Welcome to Dawn of Fantasy.
You are under wrongful assumption about how Dawn of Fantasy world map locations works with regard to player towns. DoF doesn`t show actual player towns on the world map, taking entirely different approach - it`s user friendly, quicker and makes for PvP battles always being fare. This is not like Stronghold Kingdoms or other browser MMORTS games - that didn`t have real-time combat, so that approach was impossible with DoF.
I`ll let somebody else comment on the cash shop, but as for matching armies/town by strength - our system always creates a fair battle situation. So you will only engage and get attacked by forces similar to your army or town. It`s always a matter of skill and not unfair advantage in numbers.
As design director I drew my inspiration from Stronghold and Total War games (as well as Age of Empires) - so you will love the sieges and there is also singleplayer game mode - Kingdom Wars, that`s a copy of simplified Total War gameplay. Although it`s rough around the edges as we mostly focus on Online Kigndom - MMORTS part of the game.
And battles are hectic, sometimes difficult to control and pathfinding is horrific (ok well maybe not that bad, but my opinion is negatively biased) - but still it`s a lot of fun, and if you could tolerate Stronghold 2 and 3 - things are much, much better
And our team is constantly working on the game releasing at least one patch every week - so controls and pathfinding should be improved in the coming weeks.