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    jp's Ikariam (Web)

    [April 22, 2010 10:12:44 AM]
    After a certain amount of soul-searching and motivated by my mild frustration at being mercilessly raided and looted I decided to quit cold-turkey. I requested my account be deleted (there's a button for that) and decided never to log on again. I did try to log on the next day, just to see if the account was in fact gone and I was surprised to see a message saying that my account would REALLY be deleted on the 28th and that I still had time to "get it back" if I wanted. I was tempted, but didn't cave.

    So why quit? Well, it's been several years since I first started playing and, to be honest, the game has never been that engaging or meaningful. Why did I continue to play? I'm not sure. Habit, I guess. Perhaps I've always wondered what the "next" level was. I reached a point where I could't set any form of realistic goals anymore...

    Oh, I had been in the top 100 players for quite a while as well. For the record. ;-) (top 5 in many of the sub-categories)

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Apr 22nd, 2010 at 10:19:18.

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    [January 27, 2009 05:00:09 PM]
    I've recently spent some more time playing this than before. (ie, rather than 10 minutes a day, I'm probably up to about 20 minutes a day). The main reason is that the game has been "upgraded" to a new version (0.3) which has made some pretty significant changes to the pacing of the game. While I could whine about how these changes have affected me negatively, they are, on the whole, an improvement to one of the issues I had been talking about: stuff takes so long to make/happen that there is little incentive to play more than 10 minutes a day.

    It will be interesting to see how it all plays out because some people will have set themselves up in a position that is now not so good. (and vice versa). For example, I have 5 colonies but none of them produce sulphur. Sulphur was necessary for military reasons more than anything (ie, you need it to buy troops/ships). Since I wasn't playing that sort of game, I was able to get buy by trading for it on the open market. Now, certain buildings require sulphur! (which I don't have, and is getting pretty scarce). Oops!

    I was ranked at #100 for a while there and I've been steadily dropping. Apparently this is because my "Generals" score is too low. (my alliance teammates have been pestering me to get this up a bit). Essentially, my army is too small. Sigh.
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    [December 12, 2008 11:23:32 AM]
    So I joined a guild. It's called "Sun" and will be disbanding soon. The only REAL benefit in joining a Guild (in my experience so far) is that it is much easier to find people with whom to establish cultural assets treaties. (which are essential for maintaining a large city). I currently have about 50 of these, which isn't really chump change and my old methods (random asking) were clearly less efficient than spamming the whole guild.

    In terms of score, I've "stabilized" at around the 250 mark. I'll go up and down a bit...but it seems that now the benefits of playing for a long time start to kick in. Ie, the people above me have been playing longer and I'll go up when they quit. For the most part.
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    [June 25, 2008 07:16:23 PM]
    I have made it to the top 717 players on my server. I guess I should feel elated, or something. The truth is that I feel I've made it this far mostly because I've "stuck around" rather than any particular strategy.

    For a web-based game with a lot of game mechanic ideas that involve player interaction, this is a surprisingly solitary game. The truth is that there simply isn't the need to actually interact. Most players seem to leave each other alone (I'm not sure how much fighting there actually is), and whenever I need other players for something (for example, to exchange cultural goods) I just spam all of the cities on an island and see who responds. After that, I pretty much forget about who I have these agreements with and who I don't. In fact, a while back I inadvertently cancelled a few agreements by attacking people I had them with. (I would have hoped to at least get a warning, "Are you sure you want to attack X?").

    I guess all of this has me thinking about the fact that, although there are game mechanisms designed to get players to interact, they don't really do so as you might have wanted them to (from the designer's perspective).
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    [May 21, 2008 02:21:29 PM]
    I've made it in to the top 2100 players (based on my score) which I guess is pretty good, but doesn't really mean anything. In some sense it's a reward for playing the game consistently, but not really indicative of anything else.

    I'm at a "high" enough level that I suppose I should be involved in becoming a member of an alliance and all that fun stuff. I haven't because I don't really see the point. You see, for a multiplayer game, this game is remarkably solitary. While there are several game mechanisms that encourage (perhaps even require) some sort of interaction, for the most part you just do your own thing whenever you can. Since you can't really make any game-meaningful decisions in "real-time" it seems a bit hard, maybe even pointless, to try to coordinate actions with other players to get stuff done together. It takes about 40 minutes, real time, for me to launch an attack on another town in my same island. Who knows how long for a town that's 6 islands away!

    I guess I should set some sort of goal to reach before I quit playing. Maybe get into the top 1,000 players?
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    [April 10, 2008 11:55:48 AM]
    I might be a sucker for web games that promise interesting game mechanics, are free to play, and, most importantly, limit the daily amount of time you spend with the game. I really loved Urban Dead, and Ikariam has been equally entertaining.

    Ikariam is a sort of an MMO version of Civ. Sort of. It seems to be set in the classical greek, while there is a tech tree of things for you to research, they are all from around that time. Sort of. There are "advanced" technologies as well (flying machines), but they are re-imagined for this time period. So I guess it's kind of like a classical greek idea of steampunk.

    Ancient greecepunk? Something like that.

    What's interesting is that rather than limit the number of actions you can take per day (ala Urban Dead) you are limited by the resources you have and the amount of time it takes to generate them. I guess Ikarium is like an RTS game, but in slow-motion (or in a "more realistic" time frame?). So, depending on how many people you send to the sawmill, you might get 4 units of wood an hour, rather than 4 units a minute, or 4 units a second, as might be the case in other games. Construction also takes time. Usually measured in hours, rather than minutes or seconds. And so on. So, you can only do so many things a day, and while you're not playing things are getting done as well (ie, you're still harvesting resources and all that).
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    jp's Ikariam (Web)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got Bored

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 1 April, 2008

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 22 April, 2010

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Interesting Civ-type gameplay over extended periods of time. Slowly paced. I guess its gameplay is now, in many ways, "standard" for social games like you see on Facebook. However, this one has been around since much earlier!

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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