It's kind of like Amway where the more people you sign up as your subjects, the higher and faster you can go up the chain. I am a fallen princess in Tiny Empires. When I left Second Life for about 4 months to take a RL break, I lost about 6 subjects and all the land they had. So I went from being a Princess to a lowly Marquise. Now I've worked my way back to Duchess and am probably a month or two away from being a Princess again.
Depending on what kingdom you belong to is key to enjoying the game. I've been in three different ones now and each had its own personality. One was very focused on recruiting and snagging as many people as possible without much social interaction. Another was back-stabbing and crazy.
If you find a good kingdom, the chat, activities and friendships can be as good as anything you'll find in Second Life. And it's not like raising rabbits or chickens or doing an intense role play thing (although you can if you wish). TE is very light in its demands on your Second Life time -- which makes it perfect for a busy chica like me. You can get as intense about it or you can float merrily along. :)
If you are interested in playing Tiny Empires, feel free to contact me in world (Snickers Snook -- send me a notecard if I'm not on) and I can get you started with the free, 14-day trial HUD. If you decide to continue playing and wish to join our kingdom (or hopefully my line hehe), depending on your situation, we can help with a discount on the full HUD ($799L regular price).
Here's the website for the game: http://tinyempires.com/
Happy empire building!
UPDATE: -- I've left the old blog post intact but things have changed dramatically since I posted this. I'm no longer in White Horse and was pretty naive about realities when I was there. There are good people in the kingdom but suffice it way, I'm no fan of the king period. Regardless, I have since worked my way up to Vicerine of the very fun Queendom of Hirilorn and am pleased to call Queen Aabbi my friend.