It's balanced well for casual players, yet it's this same balance that ultimately keeps the game from being truly compelling at this point in time.
It almost seems like you could make a massively multiplayer online game out of just about anything, but the most successful games of this sort are all role-playing games, so it's a bit unusual to see a massively multiplayer game that involves neither elves nor space elves. Legacy Online from Oceanus Communications is essentially a massively multiplayer strategy game--one in which most essential decisions are made by the player in isolation, with only limited input from other players. This changes as you progress to the high levels of the game, where you start to become involved in politics, but it definitely offers something to those players who just want to plug along, churning out goods and services for faceless citizens whom they never see, and whose absence makes the world of Legacy Online seem a bit sterile. (Though it turns out that the game lets you import your own portraits, so if you had your heart set on playing as a space elf, you could at least make that happen, technically.)
The mechanics of Legacy Online are fairly straightforward. You choose a company (which confers certain abilities, like the ability to sell cars instead of groceries, for instance), pick a city, and start building retail outlets. Each outlet will generate a profit (or loss) per hour based on factors too numerous to mention--and most likely too numerous for a novice player to account for. As you expand your empire, you'll need to build factories to produce your goods and warehouses to store them, and you'll have to monitor important factors like your supply chain, individual location profitability, wages, employment, advertising, and more. It's a system that veteran economic strategy game players will recognize from games such as Capitalism and Entrepreneur, and one that normal people will recognize from real life.
The game's goal is the acquisition of money and "prestige points," which collectively let you advance from one level to another. As you gain levels, you'll be able to expand your empire though further construction (since you have a level-based "cap" on how many buildings you can build and control). You are also rated for the dominance you establish in your particular industry. Once you advance far enough, you can run for mayor of your city, or president of the planet. There are multiple planets in the Legacy Online universe, each with multiple cities.
The thing that distinguishes Legacy Online from almost all other massively multiplayer games is that you don't have to be logged in to progress. Your businesses will continue to generate revenue for you, regardless of your connection (or lack thereof). Consequently, you never really need to force yourself to make time for the game in order to advance yourself. After a few days away from the game, you'll simply have accrued more money to use to improve your existing position, so it's possible to play less and do more in some cases. Of course, if you want to sit and fiddle with the game obsessively, you have that option as well. The problem with this is that unlike in other online games, where there is always something to do (something repetitive, usually, but something), in Legacy Online, those who play for a long time in a single sitting will receive diminishing returns on their time. That's because at this point, Legacy Online is fundamentally a one-dimensional game.
While the whole premise of the game is building a business empire, you handle the business aspect almost solely from a chief operating officer's point of view. That is, the business decisions you make are all operational: what to produce; who to sell it to; where to build your stores, factories, and warehouses; and so on. There really isn't any kind of financial strategy, and even though Legacy Online is a game about capitalism, it has no capital markets at this time. No stock market, no bond market. If you want to raise money for your company, you have to take out a loan from the central bank, so in a sense, the game is really more of a simulation of Gorbachev's Russia.