I really loved this game up until a couple of years ago - started playing 6 or 7 years ago and found it really great fun for a strategy game enthusiast, but what made it pleasing was the simple graphics and almost 100% focus on the strategy - not a million thrills, frills whistles and bells - to me at least - so where did the old graphics settings go? at one point a few years ago you could still choose the old graphics settings to avoid all the bloated disturbing graphics, animation and all the rest and still only see the poster pins instead of the cheezy soldier figure graphics and all the rest. administrating cities was a clean and really fast interface to get a lightning quick overview of what was happening in your production cities and so on, but now its all a distracting muddle of graphics that just obscures all information.
I wish and hope there still is a way to just choose to play with the old graphics - I played for half a decade almost, and I played a *lot* compared to most players - more often than not juggling 3-5 games or more, but I will never play this game with the current graphics setup. The very reason I am attracted to a strategy game like this is exactly that: focus on strategy, not graphics - which also means clarity - oversight - abstract thinking, moving ideas and monitoring logistics - I'm not in it for tons of overblown graphics, annoying sounds, even more annoying animation and so on.
The reason the graphics always fail when they get too detailed is that they change the entire feeling of a game - noone has the same mental image, so when you decide *for* people, instead of letting them imagine their forces for themselves, you subtract something instead of adding something. To make it plain and howlingly obvious in an extreme example: theres a difference between having say your soldiers and graphics look like they came from a mold of candy crush or angry birds - or having them look as simple and "clean" as say "Civilization 1".
Every choice you make beyond representing each unit as a circle/ballon pin, or a pin with a square head, triangle head, etc is a move AWAY from strategy and into a completely different graphics and playstyle *FEEL* of the game.
I think for many of us older players, we played the game (and left the game) because of its graphics, the feeling of being a real general looking at a real map, with actual pins made it feel MORE realistic and the more "realistic" the soldier models get the LESS realistic the game feels, and more like playing with toy soldiers than being an actual intelligent general who can deal with abstractions like pins on a map.
So, this is a plea for a cleaner version / a completely cleaned up version of the game back to the old style.
I know I can never get back into the game as it looks right now, nor will I ever want to.
Sorry to say, you had something magical, and you chose to remove it, discontinue it, and replaced it with something that now looks like a bland boring copy of all the other similar browser strategy games out there.
Sorry, but this is how I feel about it and have felt for a long long time, ever since I saw the new graphics and could never restart playing even though I tried 3-5 times.
I hope the makers and owners realize what they lost and how much they lost when they removed the option to play this game in the old style - let's hope they get this message and decides to create something for all those of us who have stopped playing because of this and would really like to play if we had the old strategy aspect focus back again.
All the best from Oslo, Norway
Cheers. True North