I played this game for awhile on multiple worlds, and while it was sort of fun while it lasted, in the end the game isn't worth it.
The game is nothing but a "Pay to Win" game.
Whether it's buying more cards or buying Premium Tokens, both give very big unfair advantages.
To even keep up with many other players in the worlds, you will need to spend bunch of actual money to progress, otherwise you will lose fast.
Despite my game time, i give this a "Not Reccomended" to save you the 100's upon 1000's of hours you would waste on it, only for some pay to win person to raze or capture all your villages, thus making you start all over.
I should have said this before, but this is basically a Facebook Game, on Steam.
Many people are correct for saying that too.
Also, i'd like to add unless you join a brand new world the moment it's active, it will be extremely hard to get far on it.
You can use cards you aquired from other worlds in the new world, which is 1 way people stock up to get very far in new worlds.
And, usually within the first 48 to 72 hours, people will be already Rank 14 to 16 (or higher), and start taking over major parts of the world, making factions, join big houses, and conquer large areas.
Then if they move to your area, some may bully you to give up your Parish(es), or may even capture/raze your villages, just to clear you out so you don't vote for somebody else.
(The above happened to me a few times on multiple worlds.)
Also, the game has an "Inactive" system. Info below (Copied from wiki)
A village will be automatically abandoned when a player hasn't played or is dormant for a specific period of time; this time is dependant upon which rank they have reached.
The higher the rank, the longer it takes for the village to become abandoned.
If a premium token is in play at the time of going inactive, the player's account (and therefore, their village) will remain active until the premium token runs out.
More Info on days here: http://help.strongholdkingdoms.com/index.php/FAQ:Your_village#What_happens_with_inactive_players.3F
So basically, depending on your rank, if you don't sign on after xx many of days (whether you forget, internet is down, computer is broken, etc.), ALL VILLAGES you have in that world will be deleted.
Now, you will keep your same rank along with all you researched, but you will have to start over with only 1 village.
And even if you restart, there is a low chance you can be placed in the same area you were previously located.
And people that downvote this Review, are most likely the "Pay to Win" or "Bully" people I mentioned.
Don't let them sucker you into thinking it's not pay to win.
They most likely want more people to attack, so they can gain honour faster as well as maybe get free villages that you did the work setting up, but they take the rest.
Review Update 2:
To the people that either "question" why I played over 1,800+ hours in a game to not recommend it, ask yourself this:
"Do you count all the hours you play of an MMO Game you play?"
The answer most likely is no.
Playing one of those, can also EASILY add 100's upon 1000's of hours too.
Keep in mind, the gametime spans across about 1½ years.
This game has MANY different worlds.
I originally started in World 5 where I met people and joined a guild, we tried to also start in new worlds as they opened.
To keep it short, in World 6 when it opened up, there were many trolls, House members (H10 and H16) took over the area, capturing villages including mine, without warning.
Me along with alot of other people gave up on that world, as there was not really any way to keep progressing.
Many of them go far due to they gained rank fast with saved up cards.
We tried it again when World 7 was introduced, but it didn't go any better.
Within 48 to 72 hours the Leaders of the House, had already been Rank 19+ .
I think they had like 6+ villages by then.
This was a combindation of "Pay to Win" and they were beta world 7 players, whose rank didn't get reset.
By the time World 8 started, i didn't even bother to try for it, since i knew the outcome would be the same as World 6 and 7.
World 5 was fine for awhile, but then House 1 went for World Wide Domination (which they succeeded).
Again they bullied everybody to vote for them so they could take our Country and County.
Most of the house leaders was in the Top 100, insanely high rank/stats/villages/troops/production/etc.
Even after the World got sent to the "2nd Age", it didn't make a different.
They just regrouped (under a new house i think) and took over the world again.
I didn't even stick around to find out what happened next.
I heard in "3rd Age" it happened again.
It was like "what's the point of playing anymore?"
No matter what you try, you can't win when the enemy guilds have like 3x the villages you have (and that's PER Guild Member).
They most likely have dozens upon 100's of Vasseled Armies.
Each Vasseled Army = 500 Troops.
As quoting the computer Joshua from WarGames, "The only winning move is not to play" which is sadly very true.
Don't waste the time and frustration i did trying to play this game.
And, for those trolls STILL Questioning on gametime, just shut up and stop.
Had i played like 10 hours, people would ♥♥♥♥♥ because i didn't play long enough.
But I have over 1800 and now that's considered "too much"?
Reasons it's Pay to Win
Source Info: http://help.strongholdkingdoms.com/index.php/FAQ:Premium_Account
You can spend money to buy Premium Tokens and Card Packs in the game.
Card Packs (depending on what pack it is) will give you 5 random cards per pack.
Premium Tokens let you do things that you can't do unless you buy one.
(The following are for when online)
First is Building Queue. This lets you in EACH village set it up to add 4 more buildings to a queue to be built next. Default it's only 1 building at a time, so you will have to be on to place the next building without a token.
In the beginning it's not that big of deal, but later in the game when buildings take hours upon hours, it GREATLY helps.
Move Builds - This is by far the 2nd biggest reason. The ability to MOVE your buildings you place anytime you want. By default you can't move then. If you place a building in the wrong spot, tough.
You have to delete it, wait like 5 to ?? minutes (depends if you are deleting other buildings also) just to build it again, wasting resources.
Research Queue - This is the biggest reason. In the beginning it won't that big of deal, but later in game when you're higher rank, research time takes longer and longer.
Prince Rank, it took me up to 18 HOURS+ for each research.
By default, you can only research 1 thing, no queue. This adds 4 more to the queue to auto research.
Research plays a key role in the game, so that's why it's important.
(Troop health, what units you unlock, what you can build for castle, food, etc.)
Village Overview - Honestly i never used it. It's just more of a convenience to see each village production/stats.
(The followingwill activate once every two (2) to four (4) hours when you're not logged in.)
Auto Trading - Game will auto trade food to your parish, depending on the % you set it to.
Auto Scouting - Auto Sends out scouts to stashes for you.
Auto Attack - Auto Attack targets (Wolves, Bandit Camps, AI, etc).
Auto Recruiting - Lets you recruit troops automatically (assuming you have gold and enough weapons).
Crowns (In-Game Currency, costs actual money)http://help.strongholdkingdoms.com/index.php/Firefly_Crowns
You can read about crowns in the above link. (Hit Review Limit again so can't go into detail.)