If we could really find friends would we be playing We Rule?


I originally intended to segue into the topic of finding friends with a discussion of the new pirate ships, shipyards and lake tiles. But even though I risk waiting and writing about them when they’re old news, I can’t. I stumbled onto another screed. Here’s the spoiler alert on ships. Buy at least one before they jump to L33 (unless you’re already at L33). They’re a great bargain for shoppers, and extremely profitable for kingdoms. The shipyards, on the other hand, is a mediocre investment, and the lake tiles are complicated and absorb a lot of real estate.


First of all, “city” isn’t a verb. So it galls me to even think the name of the new game “We City.” I get it, “We Rule,” “We Farm,” and now “We City.” But “city” simply isn’t a verb. We can rule kingdoms, our lives and the game We Rule. We can farm crops and fish for compliments. But we can’t city anything. It doesn’t even make sense to say we city.

Some of you will say, “city isn’t meant to be a verb. We City is the name of a city, like New York City.” By this thinking “rule” and “farm” aren’t verbs, they’re nouns. So the games are really like “the we rule,” “the we farm” and “the we city.”

But I don’t buy this for a minute. I can’t think of any player who ever thought of We Rule as anything but a short, simple sentence. There was never, ever in players’ minds a rule called the “we rule.” And for a city to have the word “city” in its name, there also has to be a state (as in “New York City is not the capitol of New York State”).
There is no We State, and there certainly is no game called “We State.”1 So I rest my case.

The only reason ngmoco:) used the name “We City” is to announce their blatant theft of the game City Story by TeamLava, which was nothing more than a rip-off of We Rule. You buy buildings and businesses, add roads and decorations, collect money and experience points.

Look familiar?City Story might as well have been called “We City.”

Click image to see full size

On top of that, sooner or later, you have to use something called city cash. You can’t expand your city boundaries without it, which makes ngmoco:) look generous by comparison. You also need it to buy rivers and stadiums and other cool facilities. That’s right, city cash is the City Story equivalent of mojo.
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And why did TeamLava create an urban rip-off of We Rule? Because ngmoco:) released We Farm which was a blatant rip-off of TeamLava’s game Farm Story. Admittedly, Farm Story was probably yet another attempt to capitalize on Facebook’s success with Farmville. You collect crops and raise animals and spend money to buy diamonds to buy stuff like fountains.

This person achieved Level 45 in Farm Story.

For some reason ngmoco:) decided they had to get a taste of all that farm action and, lest Farm Story somehow become more popular than We Rule, they launched We Farm two months later. We Farm looks a lot more like We Rule than Farm Story but TeamLava got the message. One month later they released City Story and ngmoco:) responded with We City, which looks almost exactly like City Story.

You need to buy city cash to expand your kingdom, I mean, city in City Story.

Click image to see full size

In the meantime, we keep getting inundated with games designed to suck money out of our bank accounts. And now that ngmoco:) has started this spiral of game copying we can expect Kingdom Story, We Space and Space Story (with in-app dilithium crystal purchases), We West and West Story (with in app ammunition purchases), We Pirate and Pirate Story (with in-app treasure purchases), We Sport and Sports Story, We Marine and Marine Story, We Robot and Robot Story, not to mention We Flush and Toilet Story.

This is not the way to stimulate the economy; it’s a strategy to get us to go deeper into debt and to empty our retirement accounts into the social network gaming industry. I decided it was time to draw the line with all these games.

Then I downloaded We City, and am already at L16.

And city still is not a verb.

The Friends Game

You don’t need to build a social network to play We Rule, or even to advance through the levels, but it makes the game more fun. You can build a kingdom on nothing but crops and groves. But what’s the fun in that?

We Rule friends are the best kind of friends because you have no obligations to them whatever. Furthermore, they will never show up at your door asking for money or dragging you off to a party where you drink to much and make an ass of yourself.

Making friends is hard. If it was easy, we probably wouldn’t devote so much time to playing We Rule trying to make virtual friends. Making virtual friends is hard too, especially for new players who are already overwhelmed by the game and its whirlwind introduction that hand holds you through eight or nine levels and then throws you to the sharks and mojo pushers.

You can start with a couple of basic moves. My first move was to ask Carol to play, if only to make my one friend and complete an objective to clear the next level. At the time, I was just looking at the game for a review on iPad Envy. I never expected Carol to actually like the game. Then she got good and I got competitive.

So I needed to find friends for my shops so I could keep ahead of her and attract customers to my shops. We discovered early on that with a cute name like JennyManytoes and a cute kitten icon, people loved Carol. I was totalthinker and there’s nothing cute or attractive about that. In fact, it’s downright arrogant. If I could go back and change my user name to something like FuzzyMuffin or BuffDude, or even PuppyLvr with the icon of an endearing puppy with head turned and ear flopping, I would.2

Being someone who naturally looks for ways around the system, and still not being convinced that this was a game I would play for the long haul, I set up three adjunct kingdoms (one of which I mention in footnote 2) to order from and to order from me. I think that was good enough to get me to level 14.

I also did a search for friends in my contacts list, and I actually found an old dear acquaintance (who has since become inactive). I friended her and discovered her kingdom was actually cool. She could sell beer in a tavern, she had dragons flying around and griffins limping. Her castle looked way better than mine. I thought, I could do this. So I had to quit goofing off and really find friends.

There are several basic strategies for finding the names of friends:

Troll the ngmoco:) support site

We Rule users love to post and gripe at Get Satisfaction. They don’t always get satisfaction, but they often leave their usernames. Browse the posts for the usernames of players you think might come shop at your kingdoms. Start with the most recent posts and look especially for players who mention that they are looking for customers or are promoting their kingdoms.

If you really want to make your job easier, download the app Desktop for a dollar. You can open a browser in one window and a notepad in a parallel window. Copy and paste user names from the browser into your notepad. Spelling is critical and this way they have only themselves to blame if they spell their username in the post.

Once you have ten or twelve names, copy and paste them into We Rule’s friends plus search bar.

Troll the We Rule review in the app store

Players looking for friends also find prospects at the App store. Browse through the reviews and look for players who ask for friends in their reviews. The more recent reviews are more likely to be more useful than the older ones, so pay attention to the dates. Unfortunately, Apple isn’t very helpful about posting reviews by their most recent dates so you may have to do a lot of browsing.

Many We Rule reviewers also list their usernames in the app store reviews.

Click image to see full size

In the meantime, we keep getting inundated with games designed to suck money out of our bank accounts. And now that ngmoco:) has started this spiral of game copying we can expect Kingdom Story, We Space and Space Story (with in-app dilithium crystal purchases), We West and West Story (with in app ammunition purchases), We Pirate and Pirate Story (with in-app treasure purchases), We Sport and Sports Story, We Marine and Marine Story, We Robot and Robot Story, not to mention We Flush and Toilet Story.

This is not the way to stimulate the economy; it’s a strategy to get us to go deeper into debt and to empty our retirement accounts into the social network gaming industry. I decided it was time to draw the line with all these games.

Then I downloaded We City, and am already at L16.

And city still is not a verb.

The Friends Game

You don’t need to build a social network to play We Rule, or even to advance through the levels, but it makes the game more fun. You can build a kingdom on nothing but crops and groves. But what’s the fun in that?

We Rule friends are the best kind of friends because you have no obligations to them whatever. Furthermore, they will never show up at your door asking for money or dragging you off to a party where you drink to much and make an ass of yourself.

Making friends is hard. If it was easy, we probably wouldn’t devote so much time to playing We Rule trying to make virtual friends. Making virtual friends is hard too, especially for new players who are already overwhelmed by the game and its whirlwind introduction that hand holds you through eight or nine levels and then throws you to the sharks and mojo pushers.

You can start with a couple of basic moves. My first move was to ask Carol to play, if only to make my one friend and complete an objective to clear the next level. At the time, I was just looking at the game for a review on iPad Envy. I never expected Carol to actually like the game. Then she got good and I got competitive.

So I needed to find friends for my shops so I could keep ahead of her and attract customers to my shops. We discovered early on that with a cute name like JennyManytoes and a cute kitten icon, people loved Carol. I was totalthinker and there’s nothing cute or attractive about that. In fact, it’s downright arrogant. If I could go back and change my user name to something like FuzzyMuffin or BuffDude, or even PuppyLvr with the icon of an endearing puppy with head turned and ear flopping, I would.2

Being someone who naturally looks for ways around the system, and still not being convinced that this was a game I would play for the long haul, I set up three adjunct kingdoms (one of which I mention in footnote 2) to order from and to order from me. I think that was good enough to get me to level 14.

I also did a search for friends in my contacts list, and I actually found an old dear acquaintance (who has since become inactive). I friended her and discovered her kingdom was actually cool. She could sell beer in a tavern, she had dragons flying around and griffins limping. Her castle looked way better than mine. I thought, I could do this. So I had to quit goofing off and really find friends.

There are several basic strategies for finding the names of friends:

Troll the ngmoco:) support site

We Rule users love to post and gripe at Get Satisfaction. They don’t always get satisfaction, but they often leave their usernames. Browse the posts for the usernames of players you think might come shop at your kingdoms. Start with the most recent posts and look especially for players who mention that they are looking for customers or are promoting their kingdoms.

If you really want to make your job easier, download the app Desktop for a dollar. You can open a browser in one window and a notepad in a parallel window. Copy and paste user names from the browser into your notepad. Spelling is critical and this way they have only themselves to blame if they spell their username in the post.

Once you have ten or twelve names, copy and paste them into We Rule’s friends plus search bar.

Troll the We Rule review in the app store

Players looking for friends also find prospects at the App store. Browse through the reviews and look for players who ask for friends in their reviews. The more recent reviews are more likely to be more useful than the older ones, so pay attention to the dates. Unfortunately, Apple isn’t very helpful about posting reviews by their most recent dates so you may have to do a lot of browsing.

Many We Rule reviewers also list their usernames in the app store reviews.

Click image to see full size

Find the friends of friends

Once you have a dozen or so friends, check out their friends lists. You can find them by going to the friend’s window. You can actually follow a link to all of their friends. When people order from you, they usually become listed as followers. You can add followers as friends, and find their friends as well.

Use your friends list to find the names of additional friends.

Click image to see full size

As you play you will find more and more tricks for developing your friends list, including playing other ngmoco:) games to build friendships and attract them to your We Rule kingdom. You might simply randomly type user names into the search field. The key is to look for players who will continue to play with you, not shop once or twice and disappear. In my experience, especially in the beginning, only two or three out of every dozen prospects will turn into a long term friendship.

You can even type names into the search field to see how many matches return.

Friendships in We Rule don’t last forever. I have a couple of friends I have played with from the beginning, but quite often a friendship lasts for a few weeks. Your kingdom may take on too much traffic for them to continue to place orders, or their kingdom may take on too much traffic. If so, good for them. Or they may get tired of the game, or of looking at your kingdom. Many players do.

This is why you keep looking for new prospects until you build a solid list of friends. And even then, you will still need to cultivate new friendships. I call this the Amway principle.

My first wife convinced me we needed to sign up with Amway to save our marriage. I worked those circles for a year before I realized those guys made the tea baggers3 look like liberal Democrats, and that nothing would save that marriage. I hope to never see a bottle of liquid coconut soap again and I will return to the Baptist church before I sell soap for any company in Grand Rapids, Micghigan.

But I did learn one thing that helped me play We Rule: It’s a numbers game. You have to reach out to a lot of players to find a few you can count on.

Trust me, it’s a lot easier to find friends in We Rule than it is to find your six friends who will find six friends who will find six more friends. You won’t need to drive ninety on snow packed roads in twenty below weather carting a white board and a box of soap supplies to draw circles for people who know damn well this is Amway, but you can’t tell them it’s Amway until the punchline.

You won’t have your own direct distributor parking in your living room every Wednesday night doubling your product order, adding in motivational books and tapes to add another thirty dollars to your weekly order, and, on top of that, convincing you to buy tickets to the city, state and regional Amway rallies that occur every other month to expose you to motivational speakers with Rollex watches and diamond rings telling you to vote Republican (even though they’re too liberal) because the Democrats will sell the economy short and ship us all to Russia (I guess it would be Iran now) for a few tax dollars more.

I started waking up with the cold sweats, and finally had to admit that if it meant I could get out of Amway, maybe I could live with divorce.

But that’s all in the past. The good news is, you don’t have to flounder around like I did to learn to recognize a good prospect from a poor one. And you don’t need to pay thousands of dollars for motivational books, tapes, rallies, speeches and soap because I can boil it all down for you into a few simple paragraphs.

Which players to look for

You can’t simply order and expect to establish a friendship. You need to cultivate the players who are most likely to return your friendship so you can build your kingdoms cooperatively.

Learn to identify the players who are more likely to build friendships. A few key signs include:

  • Cultivated fields. You want to make sure the player is actually harvesting crops. If a player’s fields are empty, or, even worse, if they are all withered, that player has either gone on vacation or abandoned the game. You only have 30 orders to exchange with other players. This includes orders from them and orders through your shops. Don’t tie up an order with kingdom that isn’t likely to deliver.
  • Open shops. It’s okay to try to order from an L40 kingdom whose shops are full. This usually means other players have good experiences with them (and they usually have more high value shops available). But they’re tough to get into, and they can’t order from you without losing one of their shop spaces, which are much more profitable than buying from you. (I except my own kingdom from this rule. You should shop with me—and Carol—whenever possible.) You will be much more successful making friends with players at lower levels who have open shops and need orders.
  • Players who return orders.Players screw up, and occasionally orders spoil. It happens to me every once in a while. I have pressed “accept” and returned a few hours later to discover the order waiting to be accepted again. I have overslept a couple of hours and had orders spoil because they matured just after I went to sleep. I have even pressed “accept” and had the screen roll over to depress the “reject” order button. If an order doesn’t come back, shrug it off. Digital shit happens. If your orders come back two or three times in a row, however, find another friend.
  • Players who order from you. Your own shops turn a much higher profit than ordering from other kingdoms. If a player doesn’t order from you (except for the high level kingdoms who can’t) after you place three orders with them, they probably won’t start ordering any time soon. You can keep them in your friends list and try again later, but you should definitely look for new friends.

Building a list of friends who will reciprocate orders takes time. Unless your entire sorority or platoon is playing. But if you make the effort to find prospects, recognize that few prospects become productive friends, and learn to cultivate friendships with the players willing to make the same effort with you, you can build a busy and profitable kingdom.

Okay, profitable in We Rule dollars. Admittedly this isn’t the kind of profitable that will get your mother off your back about doing something with your life so you can meet a real person, marry and give her grandkids. But profitable enough to feel like the game was worth the investment of your time.


1Although, now that I think of it, a game named “We State” would be perfectly available because “state” is a verb. It would be a stretch to make it a social network management game, with legislatures and utilities and universities. But you could do it. You could add railroads and state parks with little state rangers wandering around to go with the professors and utility workers and legislators with their hookers and briefcases full of cash. Or “We State” could be a social networking game where the players construct and manage sentences and paragraphs. Or it could involve building a university with dorms and classroom buildings and frat houses and bars. But then “State” would no longer be a verb even though the name would make a hell of a lot more sense than “We City.”back
2Okay, maybe not FuzzyMuffin. That has some connotations it might be best to avoid. I discovered this when I wanted to create another kingdom under the name totalthinkervassal, but ngmoco:) wouldn’t accept that name, nor would they take totalthinkerringer. So I came up with TTRinger. But when I said it real fast, it sounded like “titty ringer” and that’s what Carol calls it now. So FuzzyMuffin would definitely be out.back
3Yes, I know this is an anachronism since tea baggers didn’t exist in 1980 when my first wife convinced me to sell my soul to soap. Actually, the precursors to tea baggers existed, the people who believed in the Laffer curve, the magical formula that said you can cut taxes, increase spending and still reduce the deficit. But those people were called Reaganites and they were a lot nicer because Reagan was nice guy. His politics came from movies and the right wing fringe, but he was a nice, however misguided, guy.back

Visit my kingdom at totalthinker, and Carol’s at JennyManytoes. Write me at wrgrimoire@gmail.com.


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Tending your groves

If ngmoco:) developers thought for a minute that the stacking and moving controversies would eventually die down, they unwittingly opened the flood gates with Thursday’s release of the phoenix nest.

My first reaction was, “Oh, great, another magical creature they’re going to kill off in a couple of weeks.”

This is because I am not by nature one of those people who immediately sees the best in everything. I’m one of those people who expects the other shoe to drop before the first one does. I can’t help it. My many experiences as a teacher, community organizer and non-profit project manager have taught me that the one law that consistently operates in this universe is the law of unintended consequences. The best inentions often lead to catastrophe.

Of couse it may have something to do with being a Baptist Preacher’s Kid (BPK). In Baptist families, especially Baptist Preacher’s Families (BPFs), even the simplest compliment can end up sparking an argument based on verses you’d forgotten were in the Bible (there are so many of them) or never realized could be interpreted the way they are about to be interpreted.

“Mom, is this a new dinner recipe?” you might ask.

“Honor your mother and father,” my Dad might say.

“What does that have to do with dinner recipes?” you might reply and end up arguing about the meaning of the ten commandments, resolving your differences before you are dragged to court and an anecdote about cousins who broke every one of man’s laws but lived long lives because, by God, they respected their parents, followed by reminding your father that Jesus regularly disrespected his own mother only to raise the level of discussion even as the temperature of dinner drops.

You contemplate that maybe you should have said, “This is a really good dinner, Mom,” but that would have been a lie and Christians don’t lie, and—even were you just trying to be kind. And that’s not really the problem. The real problem is you would probably have started an altogether different argument because if there’s one things Baptists love more than Jesus it’s arguing about Jesus and all things Jesus-related, which, in the Baptist universe, is everything.

So please forgive me for not saying, “Oh look at that gorgeous new phoenix” and instead thinking, “Oh, great, another magical creature they’re going to kill off in a couple of weeks.” It’s hardwired into Baptist genes and the hardwiring doesn’t disintegrate even when you become Episopalian like your wife’s family even though they are so much nicer to each other.1

The phoenix nest and the good news/bad news joke

I can see the punch line now. The bad news is the phoenix poops a lot. The good news it, it goes away when the bird dies and the bird dies a lot.

Here’s the real good news about the phoenix nest. It delivers the highest cash and combined points return per hour of any building in the kingdom (even though, technically, it’s not a building). The phoenix nest turns over in 28 hours with 31 coins and 17 experience points an hour, making it one of the best investments you can make. Usually when something produces that high a return I try to put at least two in every kingdom until something better comes along.

Here’s the bad news about the phoenix nest. If you put two in every kingdom, you may not have room for anything else. Planting the phoenix nest requires more free real estate than any other building in the kingdom. This honor used to go to the jousting arena and unicorn’s meadows.

The nest itself doesn’t take up that much space, but the object reserves a good number of pixels in a surrounding square that can’t be occupied by anything else. I figured I could just lose a jousting area because that seemed to occupy more space than the phoenix. But that didn’t provide enough free space. In my main kingdom I had to move two buildings and sell two more (plus a ruby grove) to open up a large enough space. I had to sell off a couple of dragons in my north kingdom even though I had planned a large space for just such a building. And I had to sell two jousting arenas in my east kingdom.

Once I planted the nest in the east kingdom I was able to nudge it into a corner and squeeze in a new jousting arena, but at a net cost of 500,000 coins for the one transaction, I wasn’t happy.

On the other hand, the phoenix was gorgeous.

Until it died.

Sure it came back. It’s a phoenix. But after having to sell six buildings to make room for the nest, I thought the sight of the dead Phoenix was almost as pathetic as that little Griffin who can never learn to fly.

On the other hand, I don’t think the nest enhanced the overall aesthetics of my kingdom. Especially since I can’t fill in much of empty space around the cone with ash trees or other decorative objects. Even worse, the nest isn’t centered in the square it occupies, making it difficult to balance it with the objects around it.

The ash trees define the absolute outer boundaries of the phoenix nest.
As you can see the nest isn’t centered making it difficult to evenly align it with surrounding objects.
You should also be aware that almost twice as much open space needs to be available
just to plant it in your kingdom.
Oh, and doesn’t the dead phoenix look pathetic? He’s like that most of the time.
At least he’s not completely invisible like the fairies.

The phoenix nest should rekindle two debates current in the We Rule community—stacking groves and the need for storage space. As to stacking let me simply say that the more new toy, the game developers, introduce these super big buildings into the game, the more players are going to want to stack groves to make room for the new buildings. I ultimately removed three ruby groves in the process of planting the nest. That’s a net reduction in income of 1200 coins and more than a thousand experience points each day, not counting the incomes lost from the buildings I had to replace.

I ran the math, and I will return a small profit if all three phoenix nests have orders, but I suspect many players (and I’m one of them) would rather have the combined profit of the new nests and the old items we removed to make room.

Other players have been requesting a storage space for buildings while they’re rearranging their kingdoms. In the past I’ve commented in ngmoco:)’s forums that players actually make money by tearing down old buildings and erecting newer, more profitable ones. I still believe that, but as new buildings become larger and bulkier I find myself thinking a storage area should be included in the game as well. It would certainly make sense in cases like this, where players will have to scramble to find a way to make room in their kingdoms.

The developers may discover that the more they add these extra large items, the more players will be reluctant to buy them. Even with mojo. Normally, I would have put four phoenix nests in my kingdoms, and, if people kept visiting, added more. Three is my limit. I don’t want to make any more room.

Building your empire one grove at a time

More than any other item, groves will make your kingdom profitable. Some players, especially newer ones, will find this hard to believe. After all, groves are decorative. Sure they pop out a few coins and experience points, but the return isn’t any thing like the buildings.

If you doubt the wisdom of planting groves, go look at the top leaders on the board. They all plant ruby groves. Lots of them. Some of them plant nothing but ruby groves in their adjunct kingdoms. I will admit that you can make an aesthetic argument against packing a kingdom with groves, but financially they’re better than an IRA from the We Rule bank (oh, wait, there isn’t one) and, more importantly, they rack up experience points.

I can’t stress the importance of experience points. The game is not about earning money to buy stuff, it’s about earning experience points. The more experience points you earn the more quickly you level up and the higher levels offer more income generating opportunities. As a rule (although not always) the higher level shops generate better income than the shops at lower levels.

Even the shops that don’t actually provide a better return can still pay off because they attract buyers who don’t really get the numbers. The falconry and jousting arenas provide a terrible payout per hour, but the total coins and experience are relatively high. They are also cool to players who relish the medieval experience. I still keep a couple in my kingdom even though they’re dogs because people still like them, and will pass up better deals to purchase an order from them.

Sadly, players may visit your kingdom and find nothing but tailor shops (which are still a good bargain) and other lower level items. This alone will prompt them to move onto other kingdoms and never return to yours. The more choices they have, the more likely they are to shop. So you need to reach those higher levels, buy one or two of the expensive loss leaders and pack your kingdom with the profitable shops.

The orange trees get you there. Let’s say you collect $100K to earn the Banker III award. You can now spend it on the dragon’s lair (provided you’re at a high enough level). Or you could buy 33 orange trees for $99K. Those 33 trees return five coins and 50 experience points every six hours. Even if you skip one harvest to sleep, you still collect just under 500 coins and 5000 xp in a single day. In two days you earn around $1000 and 10,000 xp.

In addition, you earn 300 experience points for each tree you plant. That 33 grove installation will earn you just under 10,000 xp to plant them, which could push you past a level before the last tree’s in place.

If someone orders at the dragon the best you can do is $600 and 200xp in the same two days. If they don’t order from your dragon, you make even less. Which is the better investment?

Let’s put this in perspective. With 33 orange trees you could do nothing with your kingdom and advance from L15 to L16 in three days. You could jump from L21 to L24 in a month doing nothing but harvesting the same 33 groves three times a day.

I would never suggest that you buy groves and not shops, but I would suggest that you spend the money on groves first and then buy the shops with the revenue generated from the rest of your kingdom (or, if you can afford it, buy the shop with mojo and the groves with coins).2

Once you reach Level 23 you need to start mixing ruby groves in with your orange groves. The experience yield per dollar spent is much lower (85 xp every six hours for $10K investment, vs 150 for $9K) but you earn more experience points up front (1000 for each ruby grove vs. 300 for each orange grove) and the coin return outshines the orange groves ($100 for one ruby vs $15 for three oranges).

Lets say you invest another $100K to buy ten ruby groves. You will earn 10,000 xp just to plant them. Three harvests a day will yield $3000 and 2550 xp. Ten ruby groves produce half as many experience points as 33 orange groves and six times as many coins.

What about investment value?

Some players look at the initial investments and feel the ruby groves are a rip off. After all the orange grove costs less than a third of a tree but produces half as many experience points. Those players need to look beyond the intial investment. Each ruby grove outproduces an orange grove by almost 60 percent. In three harvests you will earn 150 xp from a single orange grove and 255 xp from the ruby.

But let’s not think in terms of experience points. Let’s think of the cash return on your investment. At 5 coins per harvest, the orange grove will pay for itself in 600 harvests (200 days, or six and a half months, at three harvests a day). At 100 coins per harvest, the ruby grove will pay for itself in 100 harvests, or less than a month.

Now we should consider the how quickly each grove pays for itself in experience points. Assuming each coin you spend for a grove is worth 1 xp, the orange grove will pay for itself in 60 harvests (20 days). The ruby grove will take 118 harvests (40 days), or twice as long to yield its value in experience. But in the same 118 harvests you will have earned 10,000 xp from the ruby grove and only 5900, or forty percent fewer, from the orange grove.

One ruby grove costs more than three times as much as an orange grove but by the time it pays for itself in experience, it will have outperformed the orange by a wide margin.

Planning for the future

At this point in our grove scenario you have 43 groves. Your net daily income is $3500 and 7550 experience points (more if you actually lose some sleep and collect all four daily harvests).

I think I mentioned that from this point on you should look toward creating a balance of 20 rubies for every 30 oranges in your kingdom. If you don’t feel you have the coins to add enough rubies to do this with your current fields of orange groves, at least strive for the ratio with grove purchases from this point on. Buy two rubies, then buy three orange.

By the time you reach L26, however, it’s time to stop buying orange groves and focusing on rubies.

After L26 the experience points required to move between levels increases dramatically. You will need to think 100,000 points or more to move between levels. That’s more points than you needed to reach L18.

Orange groves just won’t cut it any more. You need coins and experience, and the orange groves will nickel and dime you to death.

By level 35 start thinking in terms of a quarter million points. You can’t even afford to have orange groves in your kingdom any more. Like it or not, you need to start replacing those orange groves with ruby groves. You may wince because you spent so much for them, but they’re now a drag on your investment.

You may be concerned that I’m comparing one orange to one ruby grove even though you can buy three orange groves for the cost of a ruby. This, in fact, makes the rubies even more valuable. Three orange groves take three times as much space in your kingdom as a single ruby grove and as you climb through the levels space will become a premium. Three ruby groves will massively outperform three orange groves.

One hundred orange groves will earn 1500 coins a day if you make three harvests. You will need six harvests over two days to buy a single orange grove. One hundred ruby groves will earn 30,000. You can earn enough to buy six ruby groves with rubies in the same amount of time it takes you to earn a single orange grove with oranges.

By the same measure, one hundred orange groves only produce 15,000 experience points a day compared to 25,500 experience points for the same number of ruby groves.

This also means that once you start generating enough income to purchase rubies consistently, every orange grove in your kingdom is costing you money and experience points because it produces so much less than what you could be producing with a ruby grove. Put in those terms, one hundred orange groves are costing you $28,5000 and 10,500 xp a day in money you could have earned with rubies.

If that seems trivial, lets project it over a month. The orange groves will operate at a net loss of $855,000 and 315,000 xp for one month. You could have advanced from L28 to L30 and earned the coins for a ruby citadel by doing nothing other than harvesting rubies instead of oranges.

If you think you can’t afford to replace your orange groves with rubies, think again. By the time you hit L30, you can’t afford not to. If you’re serious about getting to L40 before your grandchildren graduate, you need at least 300 ruby groves scattered around your kingdom, and I suspect that number’s conserative. Yes, that’s three million coins worth of ruby groves, but with 300 ruby groves you will recover your investment in less than five weeks.

I’m including a couple of charts to illustrate. One chart shows the income generated by filling four adjunct kingdoms with nothing but ruby groves. The second chart shows how your money multiplies by adding one ruby grove a day for sixty days. The chart operates on the assumption that by the time you can afford to do this, you already have thirty-four ruby groves in place (for just under $100K investment up to this point).

Chart 1: The revenue produced by packing your four adjunct kingdoms with ruby groves. It doesn’t look pretty, but it makes your kingdom rich.

Chart 2: The rate of growth created by adding one ruby grove per day for 60 days (starting with 34, or $100K worth of groves). This isn’t the miracle of compound interest, you don’t get that, but it’s still pretty impressive.

When you look at the leaders, you will discover they have two to three times that many rubies. Many have filled their adjunct kingdoms with rubies, and each kingdom can hold 196 groves (with a half row extra). That’s without resorting to the controversial practice of stacking.

I would never advocate a player do something because other players do it, but in the case of planting groves, especially rubies, case we’re talking about best practices. If you do what the best players do, you have a better chance of being as successful as them.


1And sadly, even Episcopalians must have recessive Baptist genes. As soon as the whole “gay and women priests” thing started in the Episcopal church, a bunch of Episcopalians turned Catholic.back
2Believe it or not, the cost of groves in mojo is higher than the cost of most buildings in mojo. Ruby groves cost 10 mojo or $10,000 for a tenth of a percent (.001). Dragon’s lairs, which have the highest ratio of mojo to coins, cost half of that percentage (.0005). The university at 33 mojo for $275,000 is just over a hundredth of a percent (.00012). Of course this doesn’t include the additional cost of bypassing construction, but you can wait a few days for the building to install and avoid that question altogether. back


Visit my kingdom at totalthinker, and Carol’s at JennyManytoes. Write me at wrgrimoire@gmail.com.

Overcoming your mojo addiction

Before I launched into today’s topic, I had intended to ask, “What’s up with that apothecary creature?” Is it a guy in a mask, or some evil being hideously transformed by the fumes from his concoctions? Now I’m just pissed because We Rule has announced they’re discontinuing fairies.

What’s the deal here? Are we developing some kind of predjudice against magical creatures? We keep the mythical but mundane dragons and griffins, but dump the mythical but magical unicorns and fairies? This is blatant mythism, and I for one think it’s totally inappropriate in America and it’s Canadian suburb. I know I was upset that we couldn’t actually see the fairies, but the solution was to write the code to make the fairies appear, not kill them off entirely.

This may be why the We Rule developers leaked the rumor to the Mojo Farm that Apple was making them kill off We Rule Red and Gold on Saturday. When we woke up Saturday morning and found our Gold apps still operating, allowing us to manage multiple kingdoms, we would take the news about fairies with a sigh of relief. “Well, they may have killed the fairies, but I still have my Gold.”

I look forward to eliminating all the multiple incarnations of the game if ngmoco:) would only add a login feature to the one We Rule. Then, when Carol and I are on the road and there’s no network connection, we can both use my 3G iPad, and I won’t have to listen to her complain that I got the better iPad.

Okay, she’ll still complain because I will limit the time she has to harvest her crops and trees and I still will make her use her iPhone for email, but at least I can reply, “If I didn’t share for We Rule, you couldn’t answer your email and your crops will rust.” It won’t satisfy her, but at least I’ll be able to rationalize to myself that I’m the fair partner in the marriage.

So ngmoco:) drops code dust in our kingdoms to kill off the fairy tree seeds that will allow new fairy trees to grow, and instead they give us the creepy guy from the apothecary. And he is creepy.

New character crisis

When I wrote the review of We Farm for iPad Envy I noted that the developers seem to be introducing some characters into that game that made my skin crawl. The straw man has claws like Freddy Krueger and the Veterinarian clown seems to watch the children in a manner that makes me want to call the cops and child protective services.

Now the apothecary chemist comes to We Rule. And he wouldn’t be the first character who seems, well, wrong for the game. We Rule is a game about medieval to renaissance era kingdoms. When we got the university and bookstore we got two completely non-medieval characters. I thought the hot dogs in the butcher shop were stretching the line, but the characters are going too far.

I don’t object to having a black professor with the university, but at least he should be in robes. And he shouldn’t look so clueless. It’s about time ngmoco:) acknowledged the world isn’t white, but this professor is like Clarence Thomas, who, as Thurgood Marshall observed, was the wrong brother for the job. Black scholars did exist, but they were most likely Moslem, so in addition to scholarly robes he should be carrying a copy of Aristotle and the Qur’an. And the girl with glasses and a pronounced bosom that comes with the bookstore? Well, let’s face it. Her character belongs in movies on the internet that you must claim to be 18 to watch; not in a medieval bookstore. The busty babe with the glasses and books just waiting for someone to sweep her off her feet is the oldest cliche in the porn industry.

Or so I’ve been told.

Even the clock guy looks more like a 20th nerd than a medieval clocksmith. Did they even have screwdrivers with plastic handles before the twentieth century? I don’t think so.

You know what character we need? (Besides the fairies who were promised with the illustration but who still haven’t shown their faces and who are know about to lose their ability to reproduce.) A jester. What kingdom exists without a jester? If the developers need to give us a building to give us a jester character, how about a theater? (Or the US Congress?) Just don’t give us a theater and then give us Shakespeare. I want a jester.

Curing your mojo addicttion

One of the most consistent requests I have received in comments and email is how to build a kingdom without using mojo. I certainly feel the pain of players who don’t want to watch their life savings drain into a virtual kingdom or commit themselves to massive credit card debt to keep up with every new trinket ngmoco:) introduces into the game.

The newest move by the ngmoco;) team is to offer 2000 mojo in a cask for $100. Now on the surface, that’s a bargain. If you bought your mojo 30 at a time, as you needed them, you would spend $100 and only have 600 mojo. The cask offers a net gain of 1400 mojo.

But we’re talking $100 real dollars here, not 100 We Rule Virtual Coins. One hundred US dollars that are admittedly worth fifty 1990 dollars and we would be lucky if we could exchange them for 60 Euros, but still—one hundred dollars. That’s dinner and drinks at a decent restaurant and your soup course at a restaurant with more than two stars. That’s two decent seats to a baseball game in Yankee Stadium (if you buy them at the box office and not from a scalper) and I’m not a Yankees fan.

That’s four decent seats at Arlington Stadium for Rangers fans (decent seats, not the ones way up at the back of the grandstand where the players look like ants and you have to imagine you actually see the ball), who finally have a team worth paying to see and who may actually play a first playoff round against someone other than the Yankees. And if ngmoco:) adds a baseball or football stadium to the buildings I will be really upset.

A quidditch stadium, however, that would be cool. Especially if they include a couple of quidditch players flying around the kingdom and dodging the red dragons. Like the faires would do, if we could only see the fairies—the one’s who survive Wednesday’s purge Of course they would probably charge half a million coins but you could get one for 45 mojo.

Mojo puts players in an awkward position. On the one hand, we resent spending so much money on a “free” game. On the other hand, maintaining the servers and upgrading the software costs money and the only way for the developers to get money is to collect it from us.

Can you succeed without using mojo? I believe you can, but it will take you longer to climb through the levels. I will admit that I spend more on mojo than I originally intended, but a lot of that is to try new things for this blog. I build every new building and order from a proxy kingdom to find out what the rate of return will be for the shop charts. I use the mojo to add the expensive shops because it allows me to set them up quickly and use the mojo to build the item and return the order to my proxy to find out the rate of return for vendors and the time taken to complete. I spent a lot of mojo in July experimenting with crop harvests to see if early early harvests could move me to a new level (they can, but you will have to buy a flask or two).

And I’m lazy and need too much immediate gratification.

I should also warn players that as you get to the higher levels of the game it is much easier to use mojo to install a new shop than to pay 350,000 coins. I generate enough revenue to earn that much in a couple of days, but when I find a good bargain for players (such as the Cartographer’s shop and Fairy Tree) I can deploy them more quickly with mojo. And mojo expenditures for the higher priced items cost a fraction of the value of mojo for items like groves. The mojo for a ruby grove (10) is .01 percent of it’s cost in coins. The mojo cost for a red dragon is something like .00014 percent.

Carol doesn’t like to buy mojo because, in her opinion, “once you buy it you will find an excuse to use it.” When she makes this comment I don’t know if she’s making a general observation or making a point about me personally, and I don’t want to ask. But she has a point.

Mojo reduction tips

Readers have already been offering tips to avoid using mojo. Eternal Rookie suggests that readers generate revenue without “spending much on businesses. Instead make 35 orders from friends. Use the coins gained on even more groves (for coins and XP) and gold roads (for XP). This method needs no mojo whatsoever.”

I would hold off on a serious outlay on gold roads until L30 because you should concentrate on buying income generating properties. But the rest of this is sound at any level.

I would also suggest you always make sure you are planting the crop you intend to plant. Hold your finger over your crop until it turns gray, indicating it’s actually selected. It’s easy to piss away mojo harvesting the wrong crop so you can keep all your fields to a schedule.

I’m convinced the designers built a slow response into the plant selector to make it switch to the next crop at the last instant.

And if you do plant the wrong crop, don’t worry. Let it rot or harvest out. In the long run the few coins you lose won’t be nearly as costly as the 3 or 4 mojo you spend to fix the mistake.

There’s a bigger picture, however, and I’d like to paint the big picture and then suggest a more immediate strategy to beat the mojo grind.

The key is to learn to play smart. And expect to devote more time to the game than players who buy mojo. Another friend LadyBlue1 told me how she felt at that great gap between 29 and 30 when she had to earn 95,000 experience points. It was almost an impossible task. I went through that feeling too, but I had promised Carol “no more mojo” and this strategy got me there.

Building without mojo takes three things:

  1. Patience,
  2. Sound planning, and
  3. Endurance
  4. .

The endurance comes from my strategy for earning quick coins when I just can’t afford the mojo.

The patience part is maybe the hardest. You will have to watch other players with money to burn on mojo outpace you. This is especially frustrating when a Level 12 player starts ordering from you when you’re L20 and they have their ruby citadel before you hit L22. Just remember, the interest on the mojo they bought with their credit card will probably exceed the national debt before long.

A player whose kingdom I used to frequent made a huge push to move to the top of the leader board in We Farm and the top 100 in We Rule. She began to return orders immediately, which meant she was spending a lot on mojo. She succeeded in both goals, but I suspect she maxed her cards because now she’s dropping behind more quickly than she moved ahead.

Or I could be completely fantasizing a story based on numbers. But it makes a good moral point, don’t you think?

The second part is the sound planning. If you build your kingdom wisely, you will discover your revenues exceed your expectations. Some of this involves making completely counterinutive moves, but when Carol finally took my advice and tried them, she discovered she was rolling in more cash than she could have imagined.

I won’t discuss the elements of sound planning in detail because they can’t solve your mojo problems overnight. I will discuss them at greater length as the blog develops. But you can start implementing them now, and in a few weeks they will pay off:

  • Build groves from the moment they become available. When ever you have spare cash buy a grove, and start mxing orange and ruby groves as soon as you can purchase rubies.
  • Build shops for profit. Don’t buy every shop as it becomes available, buy the one’s with the best return at your current level, e.g., tailor shops, ponds, bakeries, inns, milliners, clocktowers, and serpent lairs.
  • Never let your orders outside your kingdom keep people from ordering at yours. You are allowed 30 orders (you may get a couple over the line). If you have 30 orders with other kingdoms, no one can order from your shops. You earn far more money and experience when people order from you.

All that being done, you will still reach that moment when ngmoco releases a shop with an even better value than anything else at your level, and you don’t have the coins. It’s time for an evening session devoted enterely to We Rule.

The evening session

It may seem dumb to devote an entire evening to nothing but We Rule, but you would be no different than people who spend whole evenings rolling 20-sided dice and killing trolls. And the best part is, you can keep it to yourself. No embarrassing appearances at Comiccon or running around with chain mail at Renaissance Festivals praying no one is recording you on their cell phone to post the video on the web or your company server.

Set your cable receiver to your favorite channel, put a bottle of your favorite drink on the table next to you and launch We Rule. Hopefully, you have an iPad because this will be hell on an iPhone. Here’s what you do:

Collect Coins We Rule gives out free coins every ten minutes. Set your iPhone timer and collect them every time the offer renews You can collect as many as 3000 coins an hour. Each hour buys an oraange tree.
Plant cash crops. Pre-Level 30: Corn has the highest cash payoff of any plant, but you have to sit on top of it. It harvests every 45 seconds but the return per field is $400 per hour. You won’t get every harvest exactly, but you should still get close. If you need to run to the bathroom, plant wheat or take your iPad. If you need to eat, plant rice or (if you can’t interrupt your meal, tomatoes).
After Level 30: Forget corn. Cat whiskers yield 250 coins and experience points per hour per field. This is a good balance of experience and you only have to collect every 12 minutes. Bamboo produces a higher coin yield than cat whiskers but a much lower experience yield in 45 minutes. Neither pay as well as corn.

Is this boring? Yes, but no more than knitting or compiling baseball statistics. The only real problem will be a tired finger because once you get a rhythm going, you will pretty much be harvesting and planting corn row after row after row only to have the first row you planted ready for harvest in 10 or 20 seconds.

The good news is you will also be accumulating around 80 experience points per field per hour. This is peanuts at the advanced levels, but still significant before level 30.

If you don’t get what you need one night, play a couple of nights. This may seem like a lot of effort, but the sad rule is if you don’t want to play the long game, you need to spend money for mojo, or time on your iPad.

If you need to accumulate coins and experience to advance a level at the higher rounds, try a weekend marathon.

The weekend marathon

I have devoted several weekends to We Rule. The first time, Carol and I put a whole season of Chuck and two seasons of Eureka in the DVD carousel so we wouldn’t get distracted with our real lives. The second time I watched World Cup games. I plugged my iPad recharger cable in so I wouldn’t have to take time off to recharge and pissed away three days on collecting coins and experience points. This time the coins should be used to plant groves.

This may seem expensive, but think about it. At level 29 you should have 12 fields. At 400 coins per hour that’s just under $5k an hour for each harvest. In two hours you can buy a new ruby tree. Over the weekend you can plant a dozen or more, and those coins and experience points really begin to add up.

Let’s do the math now. Suppose you call in a mental health day and devote eight hours on Friday to your kingdom and settle for six hours sleep so you can make all four tree harvests. You earn $24K collecting free coins every ten minutes. Assuming you can’t harvest corn every minute of that hours you will probably earn $32K for your harvest and and just under eight thousand experience points (80xp x 8 hrs x 12 fields), which is a drop in the bucket toward L30, but you’re on your way.

The groves, however, will begin to pay off big in experience points and the ruby groves will pay off bigh in cash. Over the weekend you can buy 30 ruby groves, or more than 90 orange groves. You should actually aim for 20 rubies and 30 orange to get a solid mix of coins and experience. At that ratio your kingdom will now generate an extra $6500 and 9400 xp per day once the weekend plays out.

Trust me, this won’t reduce the temptation to buy mojo, and the mojo pusher will find new ways to lure you back to the mojo den and mojo pipe. But it should back you out of those tight corners where you need to buy mojo to get unstuck from a rut.


Visit my kingdom at totalthinker, and Carol’s at JennyManytoes. Write me at wrgrimoire@gmail.com.


iPad Envy is created entirely using apps from my iPad.
Please email me at iPadenvy@me.com.

First Impressions

It’s never easy to ease new readers into a new blog so I thought I would launch the series with a simple question: What happened to the fairies?

The We Rule developers made a big deal of unveiling new levels, a new Citrus Citadel (which they call the “Grand Citadel”) going for the bargain rate of $750,000 dollars (or coins) and a Fairy Tree which you can only install with grow. The Grand Unveiling launched with a 25 percent off sale on all buildings, including the Fairy Tree, which means it will cost 25 mojo as of today.

To announce the We Rule Extravaganza, the developers launched the game with this splash screen showing the fairy tree with the fairies flying around it:

Wouldn’t this illustration make you expect to see fairies when you plant your fairy tree?

Now usually when you see people or creatures in the illustration of a new building, that means the new creature comes with the building and wanders around the kingdom. Even the unicorn’s meadow came with a four-legged three hooved unicorn. It took a day for the unicorns to show up so I waited and waited for the fairies. I still haven’t seen them.

Maybe the fairies pop in and out of the game, waiting to surprise players and spirit them away to We Farm. Maybe they hover at the corners of the iPad screen tempting us to look closer until we become so determined to find them we buy a $50 flask of of mojo and keep planting Fairy Trees until they turn up.

I planted the Fairy Trees because they deliver a lot of coins to customers per hour. Close to 30 coins an hour in ten hours. This makes them one of the best buys for cash return of all the shops in the kingdom (this, of course, may change as new shops are introduced).

I was hoping to see the fairies flying around my kingdoms the way the dragons and red dragons cruise the skies. If they didn’t fly as promised, at least they could stumble drunkenly around the kingdoms much like the poor griffin who never seems to master those wings.

I’m still waiting.

Maybe ngmoco:) was afraid of mid-air collisions between the dragons and the fairies. Maybe they’re waiting to add magical air traffic control towers to the buildings list before they unleash the fairies. Maybe they’re afraid the dragons will track the fairies down and snap them out of the air to crunch them like caramel corn between their ferocious dragon teeth.

I don’t see why they would be worried. I haven’t seen dragons flying off with any cows, horses or unicorns dangling from their jaws and braying with fear. I haven’t seen the serpents leaping out of their lairs to snatch the witches off their brooms. I haven’t seen fierce air-to-air combat between red dragons and their less powerful blue cousins. Magical creatures seem to be content to give each other their space.

The fairies should be safe. Let’s see them, ngmoco:).

I have an idea. Wouldn’t it be cool if the fairies kidnapped shops and hid them away? That would add a new wrinkle to the game. Think about it. You’re 3,000 experience points away from the next even level (and a new farm). You have three red dragons about to mature and free the princesses within the hour. Suddenly the red dragon lairs disappear. The fairies have them. Now you don’t know when you’ll see them back.

That would be fun.

If the last few paragraphs don’t give you an idea of what to expect from this blog, I don’t know what will.

A little perspective

The one thing to remember when reading this blog, commenting on the ngmoco:) forums and, most of all when playing, is that We Rule is a game and it’s supposed to be fun. There is no right way to play.

You can be competitive as hell and try to climb the leader boards. You can create a small community of players you don’t know personally (which is for some of us, the best kind of relationship there is because you have no responsibility whatsoever). You can play as an arts and crafts project to create pretty kingdoms that people will admire. You can play smart, to look for an edge. You can play, as I do, because it’s the only thing you’ve really succeeded at in your life. Or you can play because three million other people play and you don’t want to be left behind.

Whatever your reasons for playing, I will try to find a way to support you.

What’s to come?

Actually we’ll cover a number of things in the weeks to come. I have read the input from potential readers and have a good idea what you want. Reverence, however, won’t be one of them. Here are some of the things you can expect.

  • Game commentary every Monday.
  • The Jenny Manytoes official system of Kingdometrics, a statistical model for deciding the best buildings to build from and plants to plant.1 This will include occasional special analysis papers, including one on shops this week.
  • Kingdom design tips, including a look at model kingdoms recommended by players.
  • Chapters from We Rule: The Novelization bringing the characters of the game to the digital screen.
  • Player wish lists and gripes, culled from the ngmoco:) forums and your comments and emails. Big on player wish lists now? Gone questing/fishing signs and storage spaces for buildings. Big on my wishlist in addition? Snow and diamond groves.

Best of all, you don’t have to pay for any of this advice. You especially won’t have to pay a dollar for We Rule hint books that only tell you things you already know.

The Jenny Manytoes official part of Kingdometrics was added when Carol noticed I was not using the Jenny Manytoes review system that I use with iPad Envy with this blog. Jenny Manytoes is our hypercritical polydactl cat (twenty-eight toes total). Since I’m not reviewing apps there is no need for a review system. However, since Carol’s We Rule kingdom is named JennyManytoes, I decided to appopropriate the name for the kingdometrics system. Carol is happy, Jenny is happy and I’m off the hook.

This week I will turn the spotlight on best buys for shoppers. I am compiling charts of the best deals when shopping in other players’ kingdoms. Of course, other player best buys are your best building buys because you earn even more than they do whenever they place an order in your kingdom.
Here’s a preview:

  • Best coin return: The cartographer’s shop.
  • Best return for experience points: The bookstore.
  • Best balance of coins and experience points: The serpent’s lair.
  • Worst deal in the kingdom? Believe it or not, the popular blue dragon, delivers the smallest combination of dollars and experience points. The beehive runs a close second and nothing else is in their league for losing investments.

What’s the absolute best return for coins and experience points? Check back later this week and I’ll have the full analysis posted.

Don’t believe me? All the more reason to check back later this week.

Before I finish up this week’s post I have one request from the readers.

An open request

Blog update: The challenge has been met by a reader who pointed me to a tutorial that explained how to do it, which was how I thought. I just need to clear out some rows and practice more. Thanks, Amelia. Evidently I have tapped into a bit of a controversy with the section that follows. I am leaving it up because I love open discussion. Having grown up a Baptist Preacher’s Kid (BPK) my entire childhood was filled with contention and debate (which probably explain why I earned top speaker at so many tournaments in college and why I didn’t become a lawyer as everyone expected me to). But you can read more about that at iPad Envy.

You can follow more of the debate at ngmoco:)’s forum

Some readers may have noticed that several of the top players have learned how to force eight or nine groves to occupy the same space on the grid. One player, -King, has entire rows of crushed groves. You can tell by the streak they form.

I figured out how to stack two ruby groves but that’s the best I’ve been able to do. Even that trick isn’t easy and it took me several days to figure out.

My best guess is that you need to have a lot of coins (or two aged casks of mojo) and an empty kingdom or at least a significant portion of land. The trick is to fatigue the server so that it can’t keep up with the placement.

This feat doesn’t require a mastery of physics so much as digital sleight of hand. And anyone who can share it with me will be rewarded.

So far I’ve figured how to stack two trees, and that took some effort.
But I never could extend the tree chain.

The upside of this trick, for readers who can figure it out, is a drastic increase in their kingdom’s ability to generate revenue. The downsides are the enormous amount of coins or mojo you have to spend to stack them, the increased time it takes to load your kingdom, and the amount of time it takes to harvest all of those rubies.

The reader who can tell me how they did that before I figure it out myself will have every order from my returned immediately (up to twice a day) for thirty days. The one exception is red dragons, which I will return once a day for 30 days. I will need to verfify that it works, which means I may need to accumulate another million or two coins first, but as soon as I do I will mojo back your orders.

Ordinarilly, I never use mojo to speed up order returns because Carol would slap me over the head, but in your case I will make an exception for 30 days. That’s a lot of coins and experience points.

Furthermore, if you don’t want me to share the secret I won’t. The last thing I want is for the ngmoco:) developers to decide too many people are cashing in on a programming glitch and fix it. I will post your name in this blog if you want recognition, or withhold it if you don’t want to be inundated with emails. I know some of the people who already cracked the secret have removed their contact info because of the huge number of requests for the trick.

But I may privately reveal the secret to one or two readers as awards in future contests.

Let me hear from you, even if you don’t have a clue how to collapse the groves. Share any thoughts or concerns about the game. Send in tips and tricks you’ve discovered that you want to share with others. Most of all, enjoy the game.


1If some of you suspect I read a lot of Bill James and baseball statistics, you would be right. I learned more about math from Bill James than from all the math classes I tried to avoid in college. This proves that math does have a few uses, even for liberal arts majors.back

Please email me at wegrimoire@gmail.com.