Hello and welcome to our forums!
I would also like to mention that some features you are obviously looking for - controlling numerous towns with your friends will only be available in the Siegeworks expansion pack we announced yesterday (free expansion). However - there is already a lot you can do with your friends. Player vs Player Town assaults, Player vs Player field combat, Co-op Capital Town sieges, Co-op Quests.
And if you do buy the game and decide to invite your friends, make sure you use the in-game Invite Friends feature - this way both you and your friends will get 20$ in free stuff.