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.

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. AntiStacker
    Sep 06, 2010 @ 18:21:44

    I don’t know why you are so excited about stacking rubies. It is a glitch that some players are exploiting and is eventually going to removed from the game.

    One player, ~King, had most of his rubies and a lot of coins and xp take away because of the practice.

    Reply

    • Totalthinker
      Sep 06, 2010 @ 20:17:43

      Thanks for the quick post.

      I certainly understand your concern, and -King was an extreme case. If you recall it took several minutes to jump from his main kingdom to his stacked kingdoms. His stacks ran wall to wall. And he is no longer one of the top ten leaders (although a lor of his rubies were still there).

      And, yes, it is a glitch as I pointed out in the blog.

      But this is a game, and the idea is to have fun. A game with no real written rules, just a series of lessons and whatever restrictions the developers apply.

      Players pay a lot of money for mojo to play (which I hear many more players complain about on the support site than stacked rubies). ngmoco:) has even started adding items like the fairy tree which can only be bought by mojo. Mojo purchases skew the game towards players who can afford mojo because of huge discrepencies in the coin/mojo pricing. For instance ruby trees have a high mojo to coin cost at 1% (10 mojo v 1000 coins). The fraction of mojo to coins for red dragons is .00014%. This means that plays who can afford to buy mojo have a huge competitive advantage over players with a more restrictive budget.

      Players have a number of reasons to play, and one of those motives for some players is the ability to tinker with the game and find an edge. We will always disagree as to whether those strategies are fair, unfair or ingenious.

      I think it’s fun to look for ways to stack rubies. It made the game more interesting for several days by presenting me with a puzzle to solve (which I have only partially solved), much like the puzzles in quest and hidden object games. And once I figured out how to stack two groves, I think it would be fun to try to stack five or six.

      Do I want wall to wall groves and five minute load times? No. I like having kingdoms with design elements and stores. But I want to try. Just for the fun of it.

      The developers limited the number of transactions per kingdom to 30 (give or take time for the server to respond). This leaves players who build attractive kingdoms with the problem of whether to limit the number of orders they take in (with a larger profit it coins and experience) in order to shop in other kingdoms or to simply stop shopping. JennyManytoes (aka Carol) was at that 30 order limit long before me and simply couldn’t shop in other kingdoms anymore because so many people had already placed orders in hers.

      Several players have found ways around this as well.

      The stacking debate is intense as I discovered in the get satisfaction site (topics/creative overlapping).

      Reply

  2. AntiStacker
    Sep 07, 2010 @ 02:25:57

    “But I want to try. Just for the fun of it.”

    Then try to figure it out. Asking someone to give you the solution is not exactly trying to figure it out.

    To each his own though,. Unless you are chasing the leaderboard, knowing how to stack ruby groves or worrying whether other players are buying a lot of mojo shouldn’t be that important.

    “transactions per kingdom to 30”

    Not to nit pick, but it is 35.

    I look forward to your next topic.

    Reply

  3. Craig
    Sep 07, 2010 @ 02:43:23

    I’m not sure that everyone who stacks rubies does it for the leaderboard. Some of us want the coinage needed to continue to work on our main kingdom. Those 300K items still take me a couple of days to build up enough to buy – and thats when I didn’t unload 200K on jewelry stores for my jewelry realm – I’ve done it, somewhat successfully – started with twos, up to 5-6 per stack now. While others may do it in some illicit way, my internet connection is generally slow – painfully so in the morning when so many people are planting and checking their kingdoms. When it is really slow, I can get the 5-6 stacked together. The fact that AT&T is slow in my region shouldn’t be something that ngmoco should penalize people for. I can’t believe that if they tried they couldn’t stop stacking – my first couple were accidents – it wasn’t until I found the website that I even knew that other people were doing it so “effectively.”

    Anyway – I’ve found that stacking takes (a) a slower connection, (b) a very steady hand, and (c) practice practice practice. There may be other ways, but that is what I’ve figured out.

    Reply

  4. whence0
    Sep 07, 2010 @ 14:35:03

    Under “A little perspective” don’t you really mean there is no *wrong* way to play the game? Every way people play is “right”, as we get to play according to our own motivations & interests (we can’t “break” the game or anything.) That allows me to change my game plan a little as my motivations change (for instance during this past weekend sale.) I love that!

    Regarding the ruby grove stacking, I’ve read a number of players’ comments that this was “unfair”, and I’ve also heard that it is unfair for people to buy a lot of mojo and move up quicker through its use. I don’t understand that way of thinking. Is there a cash prize or something I’m unaware of? The leaderboard is the only thing I can think of that is remotely about direct competition – and then, only for those who choose to play that way (and still, no prize that I’m aware of.) I don’t like the look of ruby stacking (or stuffing kingdoms from one boundary to the other with anything that will fit), but those aren’t my kingdoms. If it takes too long to load, I avoid that kingdom. But if it doesn’t, the kingdom still presents me with $$ & xp opportunities, so I’m happy to have that kingdom as a neighbor.

    I also don’t have the money for mojo (even though I bought my first mojo for some fairy trees) but again, if people can afford that and want to use it to build pretty kingdoms – or whatever – that’s fine by me. Thanks to those people ngmoco:) lives to develop another day.

    Very much looking forward to your future entries on this blog. Not only informative about the game, but entertaining. Keep up the good work!

    Reply

  5. Autumnhaiku
    Sep 09, 2010 @ 00:00:58

    Also looking forward to your future posts. Got into the game while recovering from back surgery two weeks ago. Had hoped to “finish” it at the same time I could walk again…but realize now that there’s no end in sight to either. Sigh.

    Too involved with the aesthetics of building a benevolent rulership to bother with stacking & such. Have to admit that I’ve sunk quite a treasure of real coins into this. Hoping your schemes will save me.

    Befriend this poor addled soul!

    Thanks…..

    Reply

    • Totalthinker
      Sep 09, 2010 @ 20:22:46

      Design and aesthetics are important and I always feel the need to juggle aesthetics with the need to build wealth. And I too try to create a benevolant kingdom. In my review of We Rule on iPad Envy, I discussed Carol’s and my philosophical discussions over the inclusion of the butcher shop. Next week I will discuss how to build with as little mojo as possible.

      Reply

  6. dontcareeitherway
    Sep 09, 2010 @ 18:59:33

    I tried it. If you want 10 of them closed together, accumulate 100k and place them as fast as you can with slight offsets. I’m not on high levels yet so I don’t really generate that much coins nor need to bunch all of them together. I enjoy my groves to be equally spaced where farmers can easily maintain them and sunlight can penetrate. I want those rubies to grow. 🙂

    Reply

    • Totalthinker
      Sep 09, 2010 @ 20:25:14

      Sadly, my fingers aren’t that fast. Double stacking has already slowed down the game considerably and I’m trying to limit my use of it, and it’s hard to collect from two stacked trees, but something about stacking ten trees to free up room for more buildings and decorations appeals to me.

      Reply

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