Special Halloween Edition: We Rule in Hell

Today is a special Halloween edition, posted on day early. But first, the news.


We Eat

Team Lava has two new games, so be prepared for the ngmoco:) versions: We Eat and We Conquer. Team Lava has come up with Restaurant (no Story in the title) and Empire Story, which is basically We Rule in Rome. Given ngmoco:)’s tendency to follow Team Lava’s lead with their own versions I predict we will see these soon.

Restaurant is kind of weird but cool. You have to prepare dishes for customers to consume and leave tips at other restaurants. The little anime characters enter the restaurant and sit in front of the food and make strange little gestures with their hands that I presume means eating. If the restaurant is full, or you have nothing on the menu, they get pissed and leave.

We Empire is pretty much as you would expect given We City and We Farm, build your empire with no people. I’m sure it was Team Lava’s jab at the Colosseum in We City (and an obvious attempt to model We Rule since all their ideas were ripped off by ngmoco;().

In the meantime, the Halloween mojo cash in will probably end today in time for Thanksgiving. I have no idea what we’ll do when it’s time to take our decorations down for Christmas since Santa and witches don’t go well together. Could you see it? A nativity scene with the baby Jesus right next to your haunted house? On the other side we have Santa’s workshop. And the baby Jesus, the ghost girl and elves can hang out together. They can admire the vampire in his coffin.

Oh, wait, we can’t take our Halloween decorations down because there’s no place to store them until next year.

ngmoco:) may be doing this because I had to cull a lot of kingdoms out of my friends lists this weekend because they stopped playing. I’m assuming they stopped playing because their fields aren’t harvested and they stopped placing and returning orders. So they have to find some way to draw players back to the game.

Oh well, in the meantime here’s a Halloween extra that I added to my ongoing unpublished novel Raising Hell in honor of We Rule Quest. I will be posting the entire novel over time for those people who are abandoning their kingdoms but want a reason to read the blog.

Be warned, We Rule in Hell contains gratuitous cartoon violence.

We Rule in Hell

Lucifer hated boredom, and the sad truth about Hell was that it was almost always boring. Oh, sure, he could find a fire to kindle somewhere if he looked hard enough—Fundamentalists plotting the second coming, logical positivists trying to create the perfect linguistic formula to prove hell couldn’t exist by definition and so (by definition) they couldn’t be there, a revolt by some new terrorist group who thought they could bomb their way out of hell the same way they bombed their way into it, one of the Bush’s campaigning for Lucifer’s job, the prospect of having to deal with Sara Palin when her time was up.

But every new fire seemed like a fire he’d seen before. And his arsenal was becoming increasingly tiresome: pee gasoline on them to make them toast faster, find some new hell with a new name at least a dozen words long (“How about the Hell of Having to Come Up With a New Hell With a New Name Only to Find That Hell’s Already Been Used, or Some Variation Thereof, Only to Find Yourself Further Behind Quota and If You Thought This Hell Was Bad, Wait Until You See the Next One?”)

He leaned back in his arm chair made from the arms of Peddler John from the thirteenth century, the first peddler to shake down people with both hands extended as though to double the perception of his desperation. Every evening he would leave the London square with his pockets sagging with donations, change into his evening wear and join his wealthy friends in a game of kick the beggars who are so poor they have to keep begging even after dark.

Lucifer liked his new armchair. It was a comfortable armchair. But it had an annoying habit of grabbing at Lucifer’s wallet whenever he pulled it out to use his credit card number.

Lucifer leaned back in his armchair with his ankles draped across the corner of his desk, dangling his Manolo Blahnik leopard-print shoes sewn from the genuine skin of Manolo Blahnik. Struggles had brought him a bucket full of deep-fat fried popcorn priests who loved His All-Arrogance but loved little boys even more.

He cracked them between his teeth like pistachios and then spit the bones into a chamber pot at his feet. He really loved the fat ones because they squealed the most when he bit down hard.

Lucifer dithered like this through most of the Twentieth Century and into the first decade of the Twenty-first. Finally, he decided he should probably do something. Swagger down the halls of the Homeland Insecurity Complex tossing grenades into office doorways. Convince some crazy to launch a nuclear missile top side. Not that he would convince them, really. Deep down inside they had convinced themselves and were only waiting for someone to give them an excuse.

He rose from his desk, and kicked off his Blahniks. Poor Manolo gave a little squeak when the left shoe landed in the fireplace. Let him sweat some of that extra weight off, Lucifer grinned to himself. It’s not as though he can suffer any permanent damage.

He pulled his Osama Bin Laden Speedos from his underwear drawer. “This is most degrading to the man who brought down New York City,” Bin Laden complained. Lucifer adjusted his Speedo so that Bin Laden’s face was smashed against the spiny midsection of his dismember.

“My, aren’t we crotchety? You should be honored to be so close to me,” Lucifer replied. He struggled to climb into his lizard skin pants with the lizard still in them. He decided to go shirtless to show off his new velociraptor tooth nipple piercings, so he pulled down his bling necklace with the heads of Tupak and Biggie Smalls. He finished his ensemble with razor sharp roller blades, the better for rolling over the toes of demons too slow to get out of his way.

His intercom buzzed. “Not now,” Lucifer swore and skated toward the office door. Too late, Lord Byron reached from underneath his desk calendar to push the speaker button.1

“Lucifer? Lucifer? Are you there, sir? Are you there? Lucifer, sir, are you there? Lucifer? Lucifer? I have a question. Are you there, sir?”

Damn it, Lucifer thought to himself. Ever since that show “Big Bang Theory” reached Hell’s airwaves with the announcement that Chuck Lorre thought he signed a deal with the devil to get three series broadcast on the same network, the imps had decided to emulate the character Sheldon. They thought that if they pestered him until he acknowledged them they would somehow avoid punishment when he blamed them for not bringing something to his attention.
Lucifer wished Lorre had sold his soul to him so he could send him to the Hell of Being Locked in an Echo Sound Chamber while Skinny Nerds Pound on the Door Ceaselessly and Shout “Chuck, Chuck” Until Your Ears Bleed Endlessly Only They Don’t Stop Pounding and Shouting.

Unfortunately, Lorre’s deal was only with CBS, and His All-Stuffiness had been a fan since Dharma and Greg. Even masturbation jokes on Two and a Half Men couldn’t get Lorre on His Most Arbitrary’s shit list so that Lucifer could finally get his hands on him.

“Yesssssssss,” Lucifer hissed, hoping his venomous acknowledgement would intimidate his receptionist into deciding the message wasn’t worth relaying after all.

“There’s a Fed Ex package for you, sir.”

Lucifer’s skullcap separated from his skull and blew into the ceiling on a crest of foaming hot steam. He closed his eyes and waited until it fell back into place.

“Well, sign for it and don’t bother me,” he said.

“I can’t,” the receptionist pleaded. “The delivery guy says you have to sign for it personally.”

Lucfer placed his hand over his skull cap to hold it in place. His anger swelled back down into his brain, down through his throat into his legs and blew out both knee caps instead.

“Tell him I’ll be right there,” he growled. Right there, he thought to himself, meaning anytime in the next million years.

He grabbed his baby seal cape, the baby seals still mewling, and threw it around his shoulders. He stormed out of his office and swept majestically down the hall so that demons and imps would scamper in every direction just to avoid him.

Not only didn’t they notice him, they were all standing around in groups, each one holding a small square device in their claws or a device about the size of a tablet.

“You already installed the haunted house?” One was saying. His tail was wrapped over his shoulder and eyeing his palm sized device with the eye in its tip.

“No, I don’t have the coins yet and I didn’t want to spend the mojo,” another replied. His tablet sized device was cradled between his second and third tongues. “How can you play on that tiny little iPhone anyway? You can barely see anything.”

“It’s easier to hide when my supervisor drops in. He’s already incinerated three iPads.”

“Tell me about it,” a third demon said, dangling by his toes from the ceiling. “I spent four hundred dollars on mojo last week alone and I still didn’t move past 200,000 on the leader board.”

“It’s just a cynical ploy by ngmoco;( to keep us in debt,” the second demon said. All four nostrils flared and a puff of smoke rolled from each. “It gets me all fired up just to think of it.”

A fourth demon, who had been running while pushing a cart of souls reduced to essential oil during the weekly anaerobic aroma therapy training session, stopped to look over the first demon’s shoulder.

“I like the way you’ve stacked those cemeteries,” he said. “I bet it makes it especially hard for humans to touch on one to order.”

The first demon’s claws bled with pride. “I managed to stack one hundred straight across,” he said.

“I don’t know how you do that,” the second demon said. “I can barely stack two ruby groves on top of each other.”

The demon’s tail uncoiled fully and stretched forward so that the two demons could see eye-to-eye. “Well, don’t expect me to tell you. If I give my secrets away you could get ahead of me on the leaderboard.”

A fifth demon squeezed through a ventilation grate in thirty-six segments. Once he was free he reintegrated and pulled out his iPhone. “I’m at 300,” she announced. The other four dissected her with their eyes. Buy the time she could pull himself together, the others had stolen her iPhone were staring at her kingdom.

“Unholy Lucifer,” the third demon said. “She must have six thousand diamond groves packed into her western realm. That’s like….” He squeezed his third eye so tightly Lucifer thought it would pop like a zit. “…That’s like….”

“Sixty thousand mojo,” the fifth demon said, finally managing to reassemble into something that resembled her former self.

“No, way,” the second demon said. “I was thinking more like six million mojo.”

“That would be my guess,” the third demon said.

The fifth demon rolled all seven eyes. “Six thousand diamond groves times ten mojo each. That’s six hundred thousand.”

The second demon dropped his iPad and squeezed her throat with all four tongues. “Are you making fun of my math skills?”

Lucifer came to his senses and realized he’d been watching this entire scene without frying, flaying, filleting or flambeing a single one of them for dereliction of duty, dereliction of ambition and dereliction of judgment, which was actually doubly derelict since he was standing right in front of them.

Lucifer picked each one up by the nape of the neck, each with a single sharpened claw, making sure to painfully pierce a body part in the process. “Don’t you have jobs to do?” He made his voice rattle like their bones should rattle as he shook them.

“Pardon me, you most dishonorable,” the first demon said, his eye opened wide from the tip of his tail. “But we finished our jobs.”

Lucifer tossed them all against the wall, making sure to keep them secured on the tip of one claw.

“You,” he said to the first. “How can you possibly have scrubbed the puke off the walls of our thousand perpetual vomitariums since, I might point out, the vomit in the vomitariums is perpetual?”

The demon waved his iPhone in front of Lucifer’s face. “Pardon me, your most disagreeable, but there’s an app for that.”

The demons shook their heads in unison. “There’s an app for the urinarium as well,” the second demon said.

The first demon pushed an icon on the screen of his iPhone and the retina display showed an image of a thousand mops scrubbing the vomitarium walls. “I even earn points,” the demon assured them.

Lucifer dropped them all to the floor and scratched his tail across the white phosphorous coated carpet. The carpet immediately ignited and consumed them in flames, but not before Lucifer snatched the iPhone away from his screaming subordinate.

He looked at the device seven ways from Saturday. “Where did you get these?” He demanded. Even before he heard the distressed answer warbling from six voices in unison, it occurred to him that he already knew.

“Pilgrim,” they all said.

Even as they said it, he swore the name Pilgrim under his breath.

Pilgrim, that monstrously obese perpetually happy pain in the ass assigned to hell on a clerical error. The Supreme Butt In’s personal punishment for Lucifer’s superb administration of perdition.

“How could Pilgrim possibly,” Lucifer stuttered, “possibly get these.”

“When you sent him topside, sir. To corrupt five innocent souls. Evidently the factory that manufactures iPads and iPhones screwed up an entire production line by stamping the wrong logo. He said he made a hell of a deal to get the rejects rerouted to us.”

The mere thought of it made Lucifer want to explode and splatter everyone in the room with acid blood and stinky guts. And he would have if they weren’t already being consumed by fire. Lucifer had sent Pilgrim topside to corrupt five souls, a simple job at it’s worst. Instead he redeemed countless thousands.

Lucifer turned the iPhone over. There, on the back, in addition to the glowing silver apple were two horns—one extending from each side.

“He said they were presents for the Halloween holidays, sir,” one of the demons wailed from the bubbling pile of demon entrails that made it impossible to distinguish any of them any more.

Lucifer began to stamp on the sizzling and smoking remains with his foot. “Halloween is not a holiday, you ignorant, in-sightless, inbred, insipid, inspiration-less idiots. There are no holidays in hell.”

One of the demons pled with him in a voice that faded into the carpet with the rest of their remains, “Don’t be jealous, your most unpleasantness. I’m sure he got one for you too.”

Lucifer tossed the iPhone into the wall. It bounced back harmlessly into his fingers. So he peeled the pink foam skin away from the iPhone and hurled the device again. This time it shattered into a thousand satisfying shards.

He waited until the last bubbling bit of demon flesh dissolved into the carpet, and then stormed down the hall to the reception area. Every six feet, and in a place as infinitely large as hell every six feet seemed to last forever, he found more demons with their noses buried in their iPads and iPhones.

“I can’t believe it. I installed We Rule Quest and they set my level back to 1. I lost everything,” an imp complained to a demon. The imp had his tail wrapped around a steam pipe and dangled from the ceiling.

The demon scratched his head, scooping out a large section of his brain and wiping it on the wall. “We don’t you post a comment on The Hidden Grimoire?”

The imp rolled his eyes. They fell from his head and bounced on the floor for several seconds until he could retrieve them. “A lot of good he is. All his does is spout off about buying rubies.”

“You should buy rubies. Pack your realms with them, although you can’t stack anymore, which really pisses me off.”

“Don’t you have work to do?” Lucifer demanded. His voice fell into the low registers and then rose quickly toward the end, raising the heat until the imp and demon couldn’t touch any surface without singing their sensitive skins.

“We’re doing product reviews for our afterlife styles blogs, Your Most Heinous,” both said at the same time.

Lucifer flipped his hand, releasing all eight razor sharp nails and slicing them like cucumbers. The slices wriggled at his feet, prostrate with apologies which they couldn’t speak because their speaking parts were no longer assembled. “No one has time for blogs or style,” Lucifer hissed. “Your afterlives should be devoted to monotony, suffering and perpetual regret for sins you can’t even remember.”

With another flick of the wrist he banished them to the Hell of Trying to Connect to the Internet with a 600 Baud Modem and a Handspring Visor While Internet Connection Fees Continued to Rise and Wrap Users in an Inexhaustible Contracting Bandwidth of Fibre Optic Feedback Frustration.

Lucifer had no idea what that even meant, but he was in no mood to make Hell either meaningful or comprehensible at the moment.

Even after his two little object lessons, his minions seemed to miss the message.

“Do you think they should have gotten rid of the aliens in We Farm?” a demon asked him before Lucifer pounded his head into the wall and then pushed the rest of him through so that he would plunge into an infinite web of asbestos insulation.

“Did you see the eighty percent sale on mojo?” another asked him before Lucifer pulled his tongue through the balls of his feet and stapled him to a KISS poster.

“I bet you could make ngmoco;( give us storage space and let us move buildings,” another said before Lucifer grabbed a vacuum cleaner and swept him—tonsils first—into a bag that hadn’t been changed since Struggles had vacuumed the ruins of Pompeii.

Six thousand, six hundred and sixty six permanently punished and plundered demons later, Lucifer arrived at reception to find a Fed Ex delivery boy waiting with the electronic signing pad and a box the size of a large book.

“You Lucifer?” he asked without looking up. “Sign here.” He shoved the tablet at Lucifer. Lucifer ripped the tablet from his hand, his hand from his arm and his arm from his shoulder.

“You couldn’t have just left this with my receptionist?” he demanded.

The delivery boy tried to staunch the bleeding with his remaining hand. “It’s Apple, sir. They’re really anal about who signs for their products. That’s why I have an Android.”

Lucifer signed the tablet and handed it back. Before the delivery boy could leave, Lucifer removed the iPad from its box and stuffed him inside, making sure to wrap the box with three rolls of clear plastic boxing tape. Then he tossed the box with the delivery boy inside into the incinerator.

“Apple is anal indeed,” he snarled. He looped his neck to stick his head under the receptionist’s desk and demand, “What the hell are you doing there?”

“Hiding, your most disagreeable. I didn’t think you would be happy to see me after I made you come all the way to the front.”

He reached from underneath the desk and clicked an icon on Lucifer’s new iPad before Lucifer could disembowel, dismember or do something equally disagreeable to his person.

The screen began to glow and Lucifer saw a picture of an iron maiden with a little devil beside it. “We Rule in Hell” the type display said. Underneath, in smaller letters, it said “Iron Maiden at Level 32.”

The receptionist stuck his head out from underneath his desk. “Isn’t it cool, sir? I mean, wickedly hot.”

Before Lucifer could answer, he crawled out from under his desk and showed Lucifer how to plant corn, build farms, add a mine and expand his kingdom at Level 10. He walked Lucifer through his first quest, ordering from a barn, a lumberyard and butcher to earn a pig pen.

Lucifer kicked the receptionist back under his desk and sat down to play. Within minutes he had his tailor shop and butcher and three customers waiting to order from his kingdom. He quickly worked his way to Level 20 where he could install the prisons.

Lucifer wanted to install lots and lots of prisons. He had already earned 150,000 points and thought that would buy plenty of prisons. That way he could get to Level 32 faster and install the iron maiden. But when he clicked on the prison icon a dialogue said, “You need to purchase this with mojo. Buy more at the mojo store.”

Lucifer was flabbergasted. He had spent all his mojo harvesting crops and returning orders like the tutorial told him to do. Now he had to buy mojo. He clicked on the mojo store. “Five dollars for thirty lousy mojo,” he shouted.

The thought of spending cash in hell infuriated him, especially since he had banned cash. The only way to buy mojo in hell was on credit, and he had set the floor on credit in hell at 120% interest compounded every half-second.

Credit might be acceptable for a demon, but he sure as himself wasn’t going to pay 120% interest compounded every half-second for 30 lousy mojo.

Lucifer responded as Lucifer was best equipped to respond. He trashed the iPad, the desk, the mail slots, the portraits of himself smiting Michael, Gabriel and a couple dozen minor angels. He smashed the phone, the intercom, the receptionist, the remaining limbs of the receptionist, the remaining pieces of the torn limbs of the receptionist and even the pulp that remained after he trashed the torn limbs.

When all that remained of the lobby was dust and blood, especially the finally ground dust of his iPad, Lucifer’s rage finally subsided. He took a deep breath and straightened his Speedos. His only regret was that there was nothing left to trash.

That was the moment another Fed Ex delivery boy appeared with a book-sized box under his elbow. “Are you Lucifer?” he asked. Without waiting for an answer, he shoved the signing tablet into Lucifer’s stomach. “You need to sign in person. Apple’s really anal about who signs for these.”

Flabbergasted, Lucifer took the box and looked inside. Bundled in the box was a brand new shiny iPad with the misprinted logo.

And a note.

A note from Pilgrim.

A note that said: “I figured you would need a new one about now. Don’t worry. I ordered several for you since I know how you are with your toys.”

Lucifer stared at the iPad, speechless with horror. He could take just about anything from His Most Self-Righteous. Anything but this. He smashed the new iPad in the delivery boy’s face and stormed back to his office where he found two dozen more brand new iPads waiting for him, each with a happy note from Pilgrim.

He settled into the carpet, launched an iPad, bought a cask of mojo for 25 percent off
and filled his western kingdom with prisons.


1Too learn more about Lord Byron and how his wish to rule in hell rather than serve in heaven turned out, you will have to read the novel, which will be posted in the Pages section.back

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Special Update: We Rule Quest

reposted from 10/28


Spoiler alert! Just to let you know what to expect with We Rule Quest:

  • You can logout, which means you can manage multiple kingdoms.
  • They added quests. Kind of. Nothing like the quests in Castle Craft.
  • No storage, moving or gone questing signs. A lot of bummed out players.
  • No more stacking. At least the kind I can figure out how to do.
  • A lot of wrinkles they need to iron.

We Rule Quest was released yesterday, the mother of all upgrades designed to replace all the other versions of We Rule you had floating around on your iPad. I had five of them.

A lot of people will love this, others will be pissed. Why will they be pissed? Because you still can’t move or store objects from one realm. I think this has pretty much been foremost on many readers and players minds for several months. On the Get Satisfaction website ngmoco:) said they would “take it under advisement.”

Kind of like my dad used to say, “we’ll see.”

Kind of like Carol says, “I’ll think about it” because she knows how much I hate the phrase “we’ll see” from my childhood. Even though they mean the same damn thing.

No “gone fishing” or “gone questing” option either. A number of people begged for that. But we did get “questing” if that’s any consolation.

The most important change? You can logout and login as another user. I found out completely by accident, when I was lost in their menu hierarchy (which I’ll discuss in a few paragraphs).

Then I realized ngmoco:) did announce the feature at the bottom of a long list of stuff in We Rule Quest’s description in the app store. The button isn’t quite as easy to find as the post describes. According to the post you just “click on the blue + button” and you can log out.

What they don’t say is that you actually have to click on your user id tab first then, when you get to your user section, touch and scroll as far down as you can. The logout button is at the very bottom, hidden unless you know it’s there. On top of that, you can’t just log back in, you have to restart the app.

You can manage multiple kingdoms by logging out. If you know where to find it. To make matters even easier, you have to restart to log back in.

Click image to see full size

I know this may be disappointing to some, but it’s probably the most necessary of the upgrade requests. I still want to be able to move some items into storage so I don’t have to trash them them when I redesign, but multiple kingdom management allows families to have kingdoms for each family member on a single iPad.

They will still have to fight for time on the iPad, but at least no one will be stuck trying to manage their kingdom with We Rule Red which is completely iPad averse. So I’m going to give We Rule quest a thumbs up. This also means I can re-review it on iPad Envy and maybe even cut and paste stuff from this blog.

Stacking’s out

At least until players figure out a new workaround, stacking seems to be out. I tested this afternoon to see if I could at least stack one on one and the server seems to know automatically if there’s any overlap in objects.

You can object to stacking on principles, but this means that new players will never be able to advance on older established players (including me).

I for one will miss it, and still be looking for new opportunities to stack.

The quests

The most notable addition to the game is the addition of quests, and I suspect players will be divided down the middle as to whether the quests are a truly valuable feature.

These aren’t the quests of games like Castle Craft where you have to scout, attack, build weapons and fortresses and a dozen other tasks. These are little shopping trips. I stress “little.” More like trips to the convenience store than trips to the mega mall.

If you haven’t tried them, a quest consists of buying three specific objects from other kingdoms. For new players this will encourage them to explore other kingdoms. For higher level players, I’m not sure it’s going to be all that interesting since the objects in the quest tend to be low return items like the barn and jewelry store.

This also means that players at the higher levels who have started culling these older and less profitable buildings out of their kingdoms will lose business as well. It would be nice if the quests mixed items available at different levels. Perhaps a wine tasting where players have to visit a bakery, a cheese shop and a vintage chateau.

The new quests send players shopping from specific buildings in other kingdoms. Most of the quests so far are for objects available below L20.
Click image to see full size

The reward for at least two quests is more kingdom swag. So far they’ve add a pig pen and king’s throne in a new rewards section of the build menu. I went with the pig quest and Carol went for rock, paper and scissors. She’s irked now that she discovered there’s no special item her quest unlocks.

Once you complete a quest, you unlock a new object for your kingdom. I’m not sure I really want the pig pen, but the throne might be cool.

Click image to see full size

I’ll have to wait until the other kingdoms return my pig orders to know if the quests are worth my time. I would be interested to see the throne.

I also have to say that players will not be able to poke the pig with me.1 I refuse to have any butcher shops in my kingdom so I can be vegetarian in principle. I eat meat in real life, but at least my kingdoms can be animal cruelty free.

This brings another problem with the upgrade, poor documentation. All I can find are brief in-app descriptions which seems somewhat vague to me. For a moment I thought I saw a tag that might be instructions in the plus + menu, but when I went back it was gone.

The new menus

The new plus + menu is screwy. It seems to change every time I look at it. I thought I was mistaken at first but I opened the app several times and I found one menu layout most of the time, and an entirely different layout others. The most noticeable was the leadership boards. At least twice I found them as soon as I opened the menu. Other times I had to go to my user section and then shuffle through the leader boards for every game available.

The menu contents seem to change each time you open it.

Click image to see full size

I also noticed two new leadership categories, which I think could have been thought through better. There is a category for most visited kingdoms, and the first time I looked I was listed at 113. How cool was that?

The next morning I had fallen to 202.

I wondered how I could tumbled so quickly then it dawned on me that people were running up their own visit totals. Is it that easy to do? Yes. I managed to get credit for visiting myself ten times in two minutes, logging in only once. I’m not going to tell you how I did it, but it isn’t difficult to figure out.

Stacking I get (or, sadly, I got). Running up your own visit totals seems a little too much. But ngmoco:) opened that door. We City has categories for most orders placed and most orders placed by others in your kingdom. Those make a lot more sense to me because those are much more difficult to tamper with.

The other new category is most kingdoms visited for orders. This is another one that works against more advanced players who either no longer order because they will lock out potential customers from their kingdom, or players who order from a second kingdom because they don’t want to lock customers out of theirs.

I’m personally irked because they wiped out my entire list of friends so I now have officially ordered from only three people—the people I ordered from for my quest. That’s a whole lot of friends and a whole lot of orders I know longer get credit for.

Possible password problems

Finally, Ravenpuff reported this problem in the comments in case you missed it:

Had to reset my password because my original password was 16 characters long. It took three requests for a new password before the link took me to the Plus+ site where I could change it, otherwise it kept taking me to a Plus+ page that said “Request not found!”

So much for the “use a safe secure password” theory. How about “letmein” or “password” ? If you’re having Ravenpuff’s problems, I bet you can use one of those.


1Now that I say that phrase “poke the pig with me” in my mind it sounds really disgusting. At its least disgusting its the inspiration for an SNL skit and at it’s most disgusting….I really don’t want to think about it.

That’s why I moved this from a parenthetical comment to a footnote.back


Turn the Heat On

Monday evening update: As is this wasn’t long enough, I have to eat crow and admit the ghost girl did finally show up along with a new cemetery and tiny flying bats.

The truth is, I’m glad she waited so long. It allowed me to carp one day longer. Here is the ghost girl in my north kingdom.

Click image to see full size

Spoiler alert! I will post next week’s blog on Sunday as a Halloween special, We Rule in Hell. A reader asked me for stories about We Rule characters and I promised him I would, but I decided to write an entry about people who play the game instead.

I originally intended to post a short blog today and post the special on Saturday. Then I wrote a long blog anyway because I can’t keep my mouth shut.


Halloween Bonanza

Let me start with a happy note. After ngmoco:) shamelessly promoted Tampa Bay’s baseball team in We Farm, the Rangers beat them and now they’re in the World Series against another team who’s gone just as long without a World Series championship, the Giants (at least they won a series since the move to the West Coast).

This is what ngmoco:) gets for shamelessly promoting a cause that has nothing to do with their games. I would never do that in this blog. At least not something like baseball.

Go Rangers.

Now, back to important stuff.

Aren’t the Jack O’Lanterns cool? And they actually give off reasonable experience points.

The Jack O’Lanterns are pretty cool and they actually provide a decent hourly return in experience points, which very few crops do. What I really want to know, however, is how do those pumpkins carve themselves before they’re ripe?

Click image to see full size

After requests for seasonal items, ngmoco:) is really going overboard with Halloween trinkets. We have Halloween in spades. In addition to the Jack O’Lanterns, We Rule has already given us a Haunted House, a Broomstick Boutique and two kinds of spooky trees. With another week before Halloween we could still get a cemetery with dancing skeletons, a witches cauldron and even a fairy princess, because little girls love to be fairy princesses on Halloween.

Maybe we’ll even get turkey groves and pumpkin pie shops for Thanksgiving. And Indian canoes for our lakes to go right beside the naval ships. Perhaps a funny little Puritan hat factory. Wait until Christmas. We could get a yule log, and elf toy factory, reindeer stables. Maybe even a chimney for Santa Claus to drop down. I’m spinning with anticipation.

But you know me. I can never be happy. According to the splash pages, the house and broomstick were supposed to come with a dancing scarecrow and a ghost girl. The scarecrow didn’t show up in my kingdom until yesterday, and then only in my west realm. I have yet to see the ghost girl. Carol says she finally saw her jumping around late last night, but I never saw a screen shot of the fairies and I’m waiting to see a screen shot of the ghost girl before I’ll believe.

What’s going on here? I know ghosts and fairies are supposed to be invisible, but they have to pop up sometime.

The scarecrow didn’t show up until yesterday and I still can’t find him (or her) in my main kingdom. Somehow, he doesn’t look as comical as he does on the splash screen now that he’s reduced down to that tiny size.

Click image to see full size

The bonanza didn’t stop with We Rule. On Friday, Both We City and We Farm gave us a Haunted House, and a Pumpkin Patch. We Farm also gave us Candy Corn for a crop. Godfinger added coffins, pumpkins and gargoyles. How cool is that?

Here’s the candy corn in We Farm. I bet you thought they made it in factories didn’t you? I did. This just goes to show how little you can know these days even with a post-graduate degree. Even my cousin Lee, who is a farmer, didn’t know you could grow candy corn.

Click image to see full size

And we still have a week to go. Who knows what other holiday treats are in store? I hope you have room in your kingdoms.

By the way, you can see We Farm’s ghost girl. She started haunting the farm the moment her house was erected.

Here is We Farm’s haunted house. You can see the ghost girl floating nearby. So why can’t we see We Rule’s ghost girl? Or the fairies?

Click image to see full size
See? Here’s We Rule’s haunted house, but no ghost girl. I want a ghost girl, don’t you? As a side note, isn’t it cool how I got birds in the spooky trees?

Click image to see full size

They fixed the Vintage Chateau by giving us grape girl after the fact, so I want to see ghost girl and the scarecrow. You can add them late. We know you can do it now. And maybe you can make the fairies show up too.

Some people don’t have any more room, and that’s caused a flurry of new posts about storage for older buildings. And perhaps a little anger. Perhaps it’s time to segue into a new subhead.

Hey, ngmoco:), are you listening?

What should have been a happy weekend for ngmoco:) may have become a nightmare instead. After an initially positive response to the diamond groves, players are turning on the developers like Americans turned on Obama.

In Obama’s defense, we were in deep doody when he took office; the economy arguably would have been much worse for everybody without him. But he didn’t go far enough. The only people who seem to have benefited from his initiatives are the bankers who got us into this mess, took our money when they needed it and paid it back when they didn’t, and still never gave out loans to stimulate small businesses and the economy.

And Republicans. They benefited because Obama didn’t go far enough and now people forgot that they helped the bankers get us into this mess. (And Clinton, we can’t let his administration’s willingness to loosen banking standards off the hook).

Wait a minute, readers may be thinking. This is a game blog, not a political blog.

Fear not, I am not making a political point here, or encouraging readers to keep the Republicans from returning to power and mucking things up again. The Democrats have proved themselves just as capable of mucking things up so I say, let them stay in office and clean up everybody’s mess.

Nor am I making a political endorsement, I am drawing an analogy to the Obama-like decisions of ngmoco:). They to promised change in the form of a major upgrade. They listened to suggestions and gave us diamond trees and Halloween stuff. And just like American loved Obama for a week before they ran out of patience, gamers loved ngmoco:) for a week before they ran out of patience.

Why? Because they compromised and gave us half of what we wanted.

After many happy comments about diamond trees on this blog, I pointed out that they weren’t quite the diamond trees we asked for and now readers are comparing the diamond trees to a windfall for rich players who can spend freely on mojo while poor players fall further behind.

Okay, I agree on that one.

Come on ngmoco:), how hard is it to add diamond trees for 15,000 coins? That would price them at a comparative value to rubies (10,000c for 100c and 85xp six-hour return compared to 15,000c for 150c and 105xp six-hour return). Hell, chuck the price to 20000c if you have to be tight-fisted. I would still rather spend coins than mojo, and then I will have paid for them the American way, by earning them.

But I think what really set players off was all this Halloween stuff, especially the part where lower level players have to pony up real cash to buy mojo to enjoy Halloween in their kingdoms and they have no more room to place them.

Yes, President Obama, we all wanted health care reform (well those of us who weren’t making a profit on health care) (oh, and Republicans). But we wanted the economy fixed first. I know you were afraid that if you fixed the economy first the Republicans would kill health care just like they did during the Clinton administration. And, yes, the economy is better but who can remember that far back to make a comparison? You should know Americans well enough to know that better is never good enough, we want the economy fixed. You should have gotten your priorities straight.

And guess what, ngmoco:)? You should have learned the same lessons. Sure we wanted diamond groves and seasonal stuff, but we really wanted storage space so we could move items from one realm to another, or to store stuff like the new seasonal items when Halloween is over and the Thanksgiving items show up.

You should know players well enough to know that diamond trees and haunted houses will never be enough.

Listen to some of the posts on the Get Satisfaction site last week:

“Dan replied to We Rule realms: moving buildings and objects, a question about ngmoco.

IT’s BEEN 4 months since this was asked and they have still not done it. If your not doing it then please tell us.”

So what if he misspelled “your” (sic)? He’s angry.

How about this one?

“TurnTheHeatOn:

I agree with Dan. If you’re not going to do it, then just tell us so we don’t keep waiting for it.”

Or this one?

“Cindy:

I agree, I posted something months ago! It seems as if they figure if they just ignore it long enough, it will just go away. Keep offering more things to buy, but running out of places to put them. To bad that Ngmoco doesn’t have enough repspect for its followers, to at least like you say, tell us ‘we can’t or WON’T do it’ then we can move on and let this go……”

This may seem a little extreme, but ngmoco:) did reply to the original post, more than four months ago, that they were definitely taking this under consideration. And they did announce a major upgrade a few weeks back. Not just more shit. A “major upgrade.”

All I can say is, ngmoco:) had better deliver or the voters may kick them out of office in a couple of weeks.

Oh, wait.

All I can say is, Obama and the Democrats better act fast because unlike ngmoco:) the voters can kick them out of office in a couple of weeks. We Rule fans just have to enjoy the game we’ve got.

And keep complaining. Trust me, if we have to pony up for mojo, we have the right to complain.

Speaking of space

I’ve noticed comments on this blog and ngmoco:)’s Get Satisfaction site that some players don’t see the point in paying good coins for realm upgrades when they don’t get anything out of it.

This leads me to this week’s strategic analysis. If you don’t upgrade your realms you lose coins and experience. This may seem counterintuitive, especially since customers can only place thirty orders and you can fit thirty shops in a single realm.

This is true, but if you fill all of your space with shops and crops you won’t have any room left to plant groves. Investing in more space does provide a return on your investment. You can invest in more groves and properties to generate more coins to buy more realms and invest in more groves and properties. It was painful, but I invested in land as soon as the land became available. And I would invest in more land if ngmoco:) would make it available.

My revenues grew faster the more land I bought because I could stack the land with groves. You don’t have to spend mojo on diamond groves either. Ruby groves are extremely profitable too.

The maximum upgrade provides room for almost 200 groves (I think Carol and I figured 192 but I forgot to write it down so I would be exact). It costs about 350,000 coins to buy the maximum upgrade (unless they’ve dropped the prices since I last upgraded). Those rubies will pay for themselves in six days if you harvest three times a day (of course you also have to pay for the groves). Once the land is paid off your realm will generate almost 57,000 coins a day.

It’s not a question of whether or not you can afford the realm upgrade, its a question of whether you can afford not to.

Besides, if players finally upgrade all their realms, maybe ngmoco:) will get off their behinds and release that major upgrade with storage space to allow us to move and redesign our kingdoms.

I certainly hope so because I’m tired of buying stuff I need to sell off a month later to make room for new stuff. Some things I just want to keep because I like them.

Like fairy trees and unicorns’ meadows. And they’ll probably make the Halloween stuff unavailable while our kids are recovering from their sugar rushes.

And the Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Valentine’s Day stuff like champagne factories and little heart-shaped red hot plants.

Funky Foto

Oh, and one last special entry. My funky foto (sic) of the week (not that I will do one every week). I caught our college professor, whom I’ve already ridiculed mercilessly, practicing self-decapitation for Halloween. Does ngmoco:) think we’re still living in the days of Amos and Andy? Come on, give the character some dignity and upgrade him already.

Where’s the professor’s head? Why is this guy so clueless? When are they going to replace him with a medieval Moslem scholar, a brother with dignity? Someone to acknowledge that both people of color and Moslems were actually better educated than many Europeans once upon a time.

Click image to see full size

Bean Counting: The Farmer’s Lifeline

Charts beneath blog. Now include L9 Jack 0’Lantern, correct charts and some strange bogies (“/”) I can’t eliminate.
Two major developments this weekend:

Number 2:

Aeroship became the first player to cross one hundred million points in We Rule. I’m so happy for him because I crossed twenty million and I’m even further behind. Still, who would have thought anyone would have the patience to collect that much digital swag?

100 million points. More importantly, how the hell did he stack all those vintage chateau’s?
How will we touch one to order? (touch to enlarge)

Number 1:

We got diamond groves. All of the comments were so happy that they “listened to us” that I didn’t want to spoil the party with a more objective anaylisis. I do tend to find a storm cloud in every silver lining, and since readers don’t get to make decisions about game design, why push the downer on them.

Buy after all of the celebratory comments, Pvac1138 had to deflate the balloon by pointing out the diamond groves only give out 150c and 105xp and, you have to buy them with mojo. There’s a lot of subtext here, so lest you think this is a knee-jerk reaction…

Wait, let’s examine the subtext behind “knee-jerk reaction,” for this phrase in and of itself can be peeled away layer by subtextual layer. “Knee-jerk reaction” is in fact a metaphor for someone who reacts to stimulus without thinking. But the contextual development of the metaphor was reflex testing in which a doctor would strike a patient in the knee with a hammer to see if his “knee would jerk.”

In fact a knee-jerk reaction is a good thing because it means the body is prepared to respond to external stimulus and possible harm. The patients who don’t have a knee jerk reaction are the ones who need medical assistance.

So this knee-jerk reaction is the body’s and mind’s ability to react quickly in response to physical information. It is a smart move, not a dumb move.

Subtextual layer two: I originally started the posts at get satisfaction requesting diamond groves, so I should be happy we got them. But there was a rather large contextual plane being developed to support the diamond grove not as a decorative object but a way to change the strategy of the game.

Surface plane, a pretty ice blue decoration to compliment the also requested snow theme.

Beneath the surface plane, a strategic game structure to allow more players access to non-mojo game artifacts. The diamond was seen metaphorically as the most valuable gem, in fact worth ten times as much as rubies. So we were hoping to get a grove that was very expensive with an extremely high return (100,000c to buy delivers 1000 coins and 850xp). And not have to buy it with mojo.

Are we happy to see the diamond tree? Absolutely. Will it improve the color palette or our kingdoms? Absolutely. Do we now want a crystal clear star diamond grove that costs 100K and gives 1500c and 1050 xp? Even more absolutely, even though “even more” is superfluous since you can’t be more absolute than absolute.

We also learned why things have been a little crazy on our farms, kingdoms and cities. The Gojira of Japanese game companies, DeNA, snatched up ngmoco:) and the plus+ game network.

You could see the confusion too. One week after the alien invasion of We Farm, deputy Andy drives into town to drive them off. In fact, we also get a country schoolhouse and a still.

Sure, they can call it a root beer brewery but I know enough about both to know that’s a still. Probably made with alien technology.

Then we get our shops in erector sets in We Rule. First we get the buildings, then we get the people. That’s right, the vinter woman was a last minute after thought. Which makes me wonder, if they can add her after the fact, When are we going to see the fairies?

For that matter, when do the college professors get their extreme makeovers? I saw three of them together and they just look wrong. They look like the kids the real brothers beat the crap out of after school. “Wear our colors, m____ f____? Watch us pound your round white glasses up your fat black….” I don’t think I need to explain further.

The brothers need a makeover before they get a beat over.

Crop crunching and bean counting

It’s interesting that Tammy posted a comment about crops since I had just decided to get off my ass and post a crops analysis for this week’s blog.

I had dithered on a farming analysis because running the numbers on crops is far more complex than running the numbers on buildings. You not only have to decide how much the crop is worth, you have to decide how much your time is worth. Crops involve something I call the babysitting factor.

The babysitting factor boils down to how much time you’re willing to invest to earn money from your crops. Typically the best returners harvest in very little time. Which means you have to invest more time in the game.

I don’t know about you, but I want to spend less time harvesting crops, not more. So the question is not, do I want to plant longer harvesting crops, the question is how much am I willing to lose to save my precious time?

I’ve tried a number of methods to analyze the numbers, but the best I have been able to do is make it easier to find the patterns, not draw them clearly from the data. And I have created dozens of charts which I think will be more confusing, not less, to people who don’t inhabit my head.

Since the people that already inhabit my head make life difficult to get along with, I don’t think any of my readers would want to join the crowd. So I’ll do the best I can.

You really need to think of farming as two different enterprises. The long-term regularly scheduled enterprise, and the special harvests for special situations.

As a rule you don’t need to think about experience points. With a couple of exceptions, which I will note, they tend to run about the same ratio to coins with all of the crops. So a higher coin return will tend to have a slightly higher experience return.

Mix crops?

The one policy I don’t advocate is hedging bets by mixing crops. Not only do you need to be an accounting whiz to predict the optimal mix of crops, you have to juggle multiple schedules. For most players it’s easier to develop a routine schedule and stick to it.

Low maintenance crop schedules

Sooner or later you will want to develop a fairly low-maintenance crop schedule. Farming is no fun, and figuring out which crops to plant less so. So they key is to decide which crops manage themselves most profitably.

Once players reach L17 they earn magic cauliflower and for most players that will be their staple crop for the rest of the game. The question is, now that it takes thirteenhours to harvest, what should we plant for the other eleven?

Rather than trying to fill every free hour, I look to pair one other crop that will provide the best return in the long run.

Cauliflower doesn’t provide the best cash return per hour, but it provides the best return of plants that aren’t high maintenance, with 100c and 27xp an hour. Yes, the net profit for the 13 hours is lower than if you were to plant bamboo, eggplant, tomato or peas. But you don’t have to devote time to those crops either. This makes it the perfect overnight crop.

The question is what crops to plant in the remaining 11 hours. This will depend on your level. At L40 I basically do one cauliflower planting overnight, and three blackberry plantings during the day. Blackberries deliver 500xp with every harvest. With 23 fields and 3 harvests my farms can generate 34,500xp a day.

So in one day my cauliflower generates 30000c and 8000xp, the blackberries deliver a piddling 575c and 34,500xp. That’s 30,000+c and 42,000+xp every day.

Depending on your current level, you should study the charts to find the best partner for your cauliflower because it will change as more crops become available. But some crops are good low maintenance performers and others are dogs.

Once you earn the magic cauliflower you might look at pairing the following crops as you reach different levls (the coin totals are net coins earned):

  • Peppers (L16): 255c and 105xp in 11 hrs.
  • Oats (L21) 240c and 100xp in 9 hrs.
  • Honeydew (L27) 550c and 125xp in 9 hrs.

The following deliver less cash than the honeydew but far more experience:

  • Dragon fruit (L32) 450c and 200xp in 6.67 hrs.
  • Grapes (L34) 450c and 575 in 6 hours.

The following require a little more effort but can harvested at least twice in the 11 hours before the evening’s cauliflower planting.

  • Lavender (L37) 525c and 145xp in 4 hrs (2 harvests double the return of the single honeydew harvest in 9 hours.)
  • Blackberries (L28) 500xp in 3.33 hours, or 1500xp in three harvests between cauliflower plantings.
  • This list is based on the low maintenance assumption that you only want to perform two harvests a day, not that you want to do three or four plantings each with different harvesting intervals.

    But I can’t get the cauliflower

    When you reach L11 you’ll be so happy to see the magic asparagus that you won’t care about the cauliflower. Each field delivers a net of 800c in 13 hours while you sleep. Multiply that by eight fields and you’ll feel rich every morning. Just don’t forget to save 400c for every field or you won’t be able to plant those asparagus again. If you want to remain low maintenance during the day, you could plant potatoes because they won’t spoil before it’s time to plant more asparagus. But I think you should be a little more high maintenance this early in the game, so at least do a round of potatoes and a round of pumpkings (better yet, four separate plantings of onions).

    Before L11, I would go with potatoes overnight because they don’t spoil easily and pumpkins and strawberries during the day. Your farm is new and you need to put some time in the fields.

    Overall winners

    There was a time when the choice was easy. Magic cauliflower (L17) delivered 1300c and 350xp every twelve hours. Before that the Magic Asparagus delivered 800c and 250xp every twelve hours once you reached L11. You could do your morning and evening harvest and get a really decent return.

    Then ngmoco:) ruined our delightful harvesting schedule with the digital equivalent of global warming. Players were doing very well, incomes were raising the temperature of the game, so they cooled things down by stretching the harvest schedule. Harvests went from every 15, 20, 30 and 60 minutes to 12, 18, 24, 36 and 70. By breaking away from a schedule that works with familiar day-to-day schedules, they really screwed us.

    Nonetheless, a few crops stand out for delivering special values:

    • Best hourly return: No getting around it, corn, at $400 per field per hour. They turn around every seven seconds, so expect some carpal tunnels.

      When I needed money and experience fast before L30 I would spend many evenings turning over corn fields, only stopping to plant wheat when I needed to go to the bathroom or grab a beer from the refrigerator.

    • Best cash return short term:Bamboo at $333 per hour per field every 45 minutes. Even if you harvest every hour, you still make a killing.
    • Best cash return medium term: Lavender at $131 per field per hour over 4hrs. This makes it a good compromize investment. It’s the best cash return for any crop that harvests in more than four hours.
    • Best cash returns for lower levels: Onions give you $100 per field per hour from L3 on. The 23 and 46 minute crops pay more, but an hour gives you time to do real stuff before returning to the game. The shorter intervals pretty much ruin your ability to think about other tasks.
    • Best return for cash and experience: Cat whiskers blossom fast at 12 minutes and spoil just as fast, but if you can take the time to groom them they return $225 and 225xp per field per hour.

      Once I hit L30 my corn nights were gone. My ruby groves outperformed my crops by a large margin. So if I needed an additional quick cash and experience boost like the old days, I turned to cat whiskers. I could set my alarm for 12 minutes, harvest and plant my cat whiskers and grab the free coins from the promotions if they were available. I couldn’t work on my blogs productively, but sometimes you make sacrifices for what’s really important.

    • Best overnight returns: Cauliflower (L17). But I’ve discussed this at length.
    • Least likely to die: Sunflowers (L34). At $20 per field per hour the return is terrible (in a tie with carrots for fifth worst hourly return). But if you need to spend some time away from the game, or just get tired of planting, these won’t spoil for several days and scare customers away.

    Overall Losers

    • Beans at $13.60 per hour in 25 hours.
    • Artichokes and Cotton at $16 per hour in 20 and 25 hours.
    • Watermelon at $16.67 per hour in 18 hours.
    • Pineapples at $19.06 per hour in 16 hours.
    • Carrots at $20 an hour in 13 hours.

    Harvesting with Mojo

    What about harvesting with mojo? With a couple of exceptions, I wouldn’t do it, and I would never do it at the higher levels. Mojo is expensive and the more fields you have, the more it adds up. For instance, lets say you spend two each to harvest six fields when you’re L12. That’s 12 mojo. With 23 fields at L40, you’re looking at 46 mojo, which is a bundle by any means.

    Now let’s put both in perspective. Twelve mojo you don’t spend at L12 is a chocolate shop you can buy and that will generate 320 coins and 120 xp every day, even if it sits there doing nothing. Or you can save the mojo and buy one ruby tree later on. You can keep collecting 100 cash and 85 experience points every six hours after that. At L40 you can buy four diamond trees, which, again, will produce 150 and 105xp as long as you have them. Or you can buy a vintage chateau (40m) and earn $1500-2000 every three days (I don’t have the numbers yet and probably won’t for a couple of weeks since all six of my chateaus are always booked)

    Economically, you’re better off with constant and larger return from buildings or groves.

    However, if you’re trying to get to a new lower level and you feel you have to burn mojo on crops this is what I would do. Pumpkins, which normally harvest in three hours are the highest returning crop that you can harvest with a single mojo. One mojo will produce a return of $160 and 65xp. If you look to plants with higher mojo to buy out, expenses begin to escalate.

    Let’s say you’re in a hurry to jump to L10 so you can expand your castle
    With six farms of pumpkins, six mojo will net 960c and 390xp. Seven pumpkin harvests will generate the experience points you need and more than enough cash to generate the level 10 land and castle upgrade. Those seven harvests will require an investment of 42 mojo, which will mean a $10 purchase. Ten real electronic dollars.

    And again, I want to stress that the coin and experience return is one time only. You will not be creating anything to build for the future.

    I’m not going to try to talk you out of a mojo level jump from L9 to L10. But let’s review those numbers at 19 to 20. You now need 33,500xp to make the leap, about 12 times more than the leap from 9 to 10. The mojo cost will be 515, and now you’re looking at fifty dollars to buy a mojo flask.

    Is it worth fifty dollars for a one-time mojo splurge that will do noting other than get you to the immediate goal?

    By comparison, 515 mojo would buy you 51 diamond trees, which would generate $23K and 16K xp every day. In three days you could buy a magic emporium and now both will generate income. In less than two weeks you could buy the new vintage chateau, which earns 3K in coins whenever someone places an order. And your diamond trees are still coughing up the money.

    What if I plant the wrong crop?

    Sell the farm, don’t harvest with mojo. You will lose 225c (the price of the farm less the ten percent sell back price) but you won’t lose the mojo. If the return on the crop you intended to plant is less than the cost of the farm, let the current crop rot or wait until it harvests and plant something else that can be harvested in approximately the same amount of time as the time remaining on the crops you do want.

    It’s easy to think, what’s one mojo for a field of wheat (or even cat whiskers?). Think that ten times and you’re out a diamond tree again.

    Truthfully, crops diminish in importance as you kingdom grows. But if you plant smart, you’ll move through the levels more quickly.

    Crops by level

    Level Sell for Cost Net Exp Time/Hrs Net/Hr Exp/Hr
    Bamboo 39 3450 3200 250 60 0.75 $333.33 80.0
    Cat whiskers 30 65 20 45 45 0.20 $225.00 225.0
    Lavender 37 1475 950 525 145 4 $131.25 36.3
    Grapes 34 1200 750 450 575 6 $75.00 95.8
    Dragon fruit 32 1250 800 450 200 6.67 $67.47 30.0
    Sunflowers 34 2500 2000 500 450 25 $20.00 18.0
    Blackberries 28 275 250 25 500 3.33 $7.51 150.2
                     
    Tomato 24 115 20 95 35 0.53 $178.24 65.7
    Eggplant 20 75 15 60 25 0.37 $163.64 68.2
    M Cauliflower 17 2000 700 1300 350 13 $100.00 26.9
    Honeydew 27 700 150 550 125 9 $61.11 13.9
    Broccoli 18 175 45 130 58 2.2 $59.09 26.4
    Lettuce 19 215 55 160 70 4.33 $36.95 16.2
    Radishes 25 250 50 200 85 5.5 $36.36 15.5
    Oats 21 300 60 240 100 9 $26.67 11.1
    Pineapples 23 375 70 305 130 16 $19.06 8.1
    Cotton 22 500 100 400 165 25 $16.00 6.6
                     
    Rice 15 65 10 55 22 0.30 $183.33 73.3
    Peas 12 100 20 80 33 0.53 $150.00 61.9
    M Asparagus 11 1200 400 800 250 13 $61.54 19.2
    Peppers 16 315 60 255 105 11 $23.18 9.5
    Watermelon 13 375 75 300 125 18 $16.67 6.9
    Artichokes 14 400 80 320 120 20 $16.00 6.0
                     
    Onions 3 125 25 100 40 1 $100.00 40.0
    Strawberries 8 150 30 120 50 1.75 $68.57 28.6
    Jack O’Lanterns 9 225 40 185 200 3.20 $57.81 62.5
    Pumpkins 9 200 40 160 65 3.20 $50.00 20.3
    Squash 5 225 45 180 75 5.5 $32.73 13.6
    Potatoes 10 250 50 200 80 6.67 $29.99 12.0
    Carrots 6 325 65 260 65 13 $20.00 5.0
    Beans 4 425 85 340 140 25 $13.60 5.6
                     
    Wheat 2 25 5 20 8 0.12 $171.43 68.6
    Corn 1 5 0 5 1 0.01 $400.00 80.0

    Crops by harvest time

    Level Sell for Cost Net Exp Time/Hrs Net/Hr Exp/Hr
    1 hour or less                
    Corn 1 5 0 5 1 0.01 $400.00 80.0
    Wheat 2 25 5 20 8 0.12 $171.43 68.6
    Cat whiskers 30 65 20 45 45 0.20 $225.00 225.0
    Rice 15 65 10 55 22 0.30 $183.33 73.3
    Eggplant 20 75 15 60 25 0.37 $163.64 68.2
    Tomato 24 115 20 95 35 0.53 $178.24 65.7
    Peas 12 100 20 80 33 0.53 $150.00 61.9
    Bamboo 39 3450 3200 250 60 0.75 $333.33 80.0
    Onions 3 125 25 100 40 1 $100.00 40.0
    2 to 5+                
    Strawberries 8 150 30 120 50 1.75 $68.57 28.6
    Broccoli 18 175 45 130 58 2.2 $59.09 26.4
    Jack 0’Lantern 9 225 40 185 200 3.20 $57.81 62.5
    Pumpkins 9 200 40 160 65 3.20 $50.00 20.3
    Blackberries 28 275 250 25 500 3.33 $7.51 150.2
    Lavender 37 1475 950 525 145 4 $131.25 36.3
    Lettuce 19 215 55 160 70 4.33 $36.95 16.2
    Radishes 25 250 50 200 85 5.5 $36.36 15.5
    Squash 5 225 45 180 75 5.5 $32.73 13.6
    6 to 9                
    Grapes 34 1200 750 450 575 6 $75.00 95.8
    Dragon fruit 32 1250 800 450 200 6.67 $67.47 30.0
    Potatoes 10 250 50 200 80 6.67 $29.99 12.0
    Honeydew 27 700 150 550 125 9 $61.11 13.9
    Oats 21 300 60 240 100 9 $26.67 11.1
    11 to 16                
    Peppers 16 315 60 255 105 11 $23.18 9.5
    M Cauliflower 17 2000 700 1300 350 13 $100.00 26.9
    M Asparagus 11 1200 400 800 250 13 $61.54 19.2
    Carrots 6 325 65 260 65 13 $20.00 5.0
    Pineapples 23 375 70 305 130 16 $19.06 8.1
    18+                
    Watermelon 13 375 75 300 125 18 $16.67 6.9
    Artichokes 14 400 80 320 120 20 $16.00 6.0
    Sunflowers 34 2500 2000 500 450 25 $20.00 18.0
    Cotton 22 500 100 400 165 25 $16.00 6.6
    Beans 4 425 85 340 140 25 $13.60 5.6

    Crops by net

    \

    \

    Level Sell for Cost Net Exp Time/Hrs Net/Hr Exp/Hr
    Corn 1 5 0 5 1 0.01 $400.00 80.0
    Bamboo 39 3450 3200 250 60 0.75 $333.33 80.0
    Cat whiskers 30 65 20 45 45 0.20 $225.00 225.0
    Rice 15 65 10 55 22 0.30 $183.33 73.3
    Tomato 24 115 20 95 35 0.53 $178.24 65.7
    Wheat 2 25 5 20 8 0.12 $171.43 68.6
    Eggplant 20 75 15 60 25 0.37 $163.64 68.2
    Peas 12 100 20 80 33 0.53 $150.00 61.9
    Lavender 37 1475 950 525 145 4 $131.25 36.3
    Onions 3 125 25 100 40 1 $100.00 40.0
    M Cauliflower 17 2000 700 1300 350 13 $100.00 26.9
    Grapes 34 1200 750 450 575 6 $75.00 95.8
    Strawberries 8 150 30 120 50 1.75 $68.57 28.6
    Dragon fruit 32 1250 800 450 200 6.67 $67.47 30.0
    M Asparagus 11 1200 400 800 250 13 $61.54 19.2
    Honeydew 27 700 150 550 125 9 $61.11 13.9
    Broccoli 18 175 45 130 58 2.2 $59.09 26.4
    Jack O’Lantern 9 225 40 185 200 3.2 $57.81 62.5
    Pumpkins 9 200 40 160 65 3.2 $50.00 20.3
    Lettuce 19 215 55 160 70 4.33 $36.95 16.2
    Radishes 25 250 50 200 85 5.5 $36.36 15.5
    Squash 5 225 45 180 75 5.5 $32.73 13.6
    Potatoes 10 250 50 200 80 6.67 $29.99 12.0
    Oats 21 300 60 240 100 9 $26.67 11.1
    Peppers 16 315 60 255 105 11 $23.18 9.5
    Sunflowers 34 2500 2000 500 450 25 $20.00 18.0
    Carrots 6 325 65 260 65 13 $20.00 5.0
    Pineapples 23 375 70 305 130 16 $19.06 8.1
    Watermelon 13 375 75 300 125 18 $16.67 6.9
    Cotton 22 500 100 400 165 25 $16.00 6.6
    Artichokes 14 400 80 320 120 20 $16.00 6.0
    Beans 4 425 85 340 140 25 $13.60 5.6
    Blackberries 28 275 250 25 500 3.33 $7.51 150.2

    Major upgrade: ngmoco sells out to DeNA

    As one reader has already commented, most of us can’t get into any of our realms today, including We Farm and We City. This is because ngmoco:) is now part of the Japanese company DeNA and trying to broaden its horizons to Android as well as IOS.

    You can get the press release at ngmoco:)’s site.

    My staff researcher (aka Carol) should get credit for learning this. I was too busy cursing the fact that I couldn’t log in.

    Hopefully we’ll be back in before all of our crops rot.

    Idle Income

    Update 11/14/2010: I have revised my opinion on the ponds and there have been new additions of note. Please refer to the rent analysis page.


    It was a mixed week for me in We Rule. I hit 400 on the leader board, if only for 30 minutes. On the other hand, I realized that even with 18 million experience points, I had fallen to more than 70 million behind the new leader aeroship (Steven Tyler’s going to be so pissed the guy can’t even spell the band’s name correctly).

    When I first started playing in June, with 0 experience points, I was only 14 million behind the leader Zimidar. It seems a little disheartening to realize I have more points than the leader only to fall five times as many behind.

    Boy, can that guy stack. It takes longer to load a realm than it takes to load my kingdom.

    Even if you disapprove, this is an awesome accomplishment.
    He must take more than an hour to harvest each realm.

    It’s even more exciting to know that after the build up to the “major upgrade,” we got three more shops. Is there egg over my face or what?

    Of course, the beauty of prediction is that sooner or later there will be something I can call a major upgrade, so even if none of the possibilities I covered in the column shows up I can still claim I was right.

    Oh, wait. Three new shops in the same week. That’s never happened before. So I can claim that there was a major upgrade. And we got a 25 percent discount on new realms, so many players had an opportunity to do a “major upgrade” of their kingdoms. So I was right after all.

    The real upgrade happened in We Farm, however. All of our farms finally received a geographic location. They are now officially in Roswell, New Mexico. It ngmoco:) broadcast in the TV world we could all say it has now officially jumped the shark with crop circles, UFOs and little green jumping men.

    Of course they ran out of farm things to add. And all of the white trash stuff was really demeaning to farmers. I have cousins who are farmers and they don’t have pickup trucks on blocks or bait shops in the back yard. I’m surprised they haven’t added outhouses with TV antennas on the roof.

    But how far can they take the alien thing? Are we going to have alien/redneck inbreeding? Little green rug rats with overalls and chewing tobacco?

    Maybe they will add little EBE breeding pens when they discontinue the kangaroos. Or maybe it will be nests, since we don’t really know anything about alien gestation.

    What happens when they add L40? Will our yellow country manor turn into Area 51? Will Mulder and Scully appear as characters when they add an FBI surveillance van?

    Or are they working up to a spin off game WE ET? After all, now that they’ve given us We City we no longer need verbs in the title. All I really know is that we’re rapidly reaching the point in We Farm where we have more buildings than the number of customers allowed, and when that happens we want the empty buildings to raise as much money as possible while they sit idle.

    This has been an issue in We Rule for a long time, especially for those of us who don’t want to stack multiple realms with nothing but ruby groves. You can add buildings to enhance the look of your kingdom, for the cool characters, or to generate additional revenue and experience. Sadly, very few routinely generate high experience points, so let’s focus on income generation.

    Idle income

    Should you buy buildings based on their rent return? Quite frankly, at the early stages of the game you should. Once you reach L20 and you add your south and west kingdoms, it may be less of a concern, but you should still consider it.

    As you reach the higher levels you may be thinking of other concerns, and after L30 it’s up to you. My main focus is appearance in four of the five realms. Only the my east realm has been sacrificed to revenue, and even then I still put a little thought into how it looks (not much, but a little).

    Here are my thoughts on considering rent when making building purchases.

    • Levels 5-10, it should be as important a decision as buying buildings for shoppers.
    • Levels 10-20 you should concentrate on building shops that will provide the best value to customers.
    • Once you can purchase ruby groves (L23), those should be your primary harvest/revenue generating focus. If you’re just placing a building to occupy space, occupy space with a grove.
    • Once you have 30 customers consistently, or you reach L25 and your 3rd realm, you have to decide whether free space is for revenue or design. If it’s design, building rent is important. If it’s revenue, keep adding groves.

    This means if you have a chance to buy and upgrade a realm, do it. At your first opportunity. More space means more space for rubies or rent making buildings. If you want a good looking kingdom, the more real estate you have the more room you have to spread out your ruby groves.

    You should also understand that the experience return for rentals is low in comparison to the return for shopping. So the cash return will always be better when your building is idle.

    Currently the best rent return is the Pirate Ship and Spice Shop, both paying between $20-22 an hour. The next two? Surprisingly, the pond and the Wizard’s Tower. Who would have thought? So if you see someone with a realm stacked with wizards, don’t laugh. The Pirate Ship isn’t available until L33, but the spice market becomes available at L21 so you can take advantage sooner. Both seem to occupy the same amount of space, even though the ship looks bigger.

    However, I would still cash those ponds and wizards in for rubies as soon as you can do so. Wizards pay two coins more per hour than trees, but 13 fewer experience points. Not only that, but the tower occupies the same space as two groves. As a consequence, for the same space you can generate almost twice as many coins and twelve times the experience points.

    Starting your kingdom

    Until you reach L11, you should focus on building ponds and tailor shops. The tailor shops have an excellent customer return and the pond has a great rent return. The other advantage of these items is their extremely low cost, at 1500 coins each.

    The pond takes a lot more room, so I would think in terms of two tailor shops for every pond. But remember, the tailor provides a pitiful return when it’s idle

    It may seem counterintuitive to focus on a couple of items rather than building a village, and that is always an option. But in my experience, the more quickly you increase your return with a smaller investment, the more quickly you can expand your kingdom and add realms to make room for the more expensive, less profitable items.

    Furthermore, because your investment is small, you won’t lose as much when you sell of the property to upgrade to a more expensive building.

    Forget the mine after you install the first one unless you need to earn experience points immediately. The immediate payoff in experience points is 10 percent or 100xp, but from that point on, the return is terrible.

    Expanding

    After L10 you should focus on the more profitable shops. The higher return from your pond (whose customer value is pretty good too) and tailor shop should allow you to add the bigger ticket items that players like. The wizard’s tower is an excellent purchase because it pays off when idle at the same rate as the pond. It’s seven times more expensive to install, so don’t ditch those ponds and tailor shops yet.

    But here’s the sad news. As far as idle profit goes, you’ll discover it’s a law of diminishing returns. After the wizard’s tower, rent rates collapse. So you might want to stick with the ponds you already have. The Wizard’s tower provides a decent return for customer sales, but don’t invest in too many. You might want to save your money for more profitable shops later.

    The two best rental returns after the tower are the honeybee hive and the magic emporium at $15.25 and $14.58 per hour. However, you can fit two into the space of one tower. As always, there’s a catch. The beehive is only available with mojo, and the emporium, at level 18 is 55000 coins.

    This is a tough decision here, and you need to think seriously. Personally, since you can purchase orange groves for $3K (or 5 mojo) at L15, I wouldn’t make a heavy investment in rent properties anymore. The groves will push you more quickly to L17 where you can start harvesting magic cauliflower. The cauliflower will give you a good cash return ($1300 per field profit on eight fields, which will soon expand).

    My best suggestion would be a couple of towers, two-to-three honeybee hives and a couple of emporiums once you reach L18. If you want more rentals to fill your new south kingdom, 1500 coins to buy ponds is still your best bet. You should be relying on cash income from crops, experience from oranges and cultivating customers by investing in the most profitable shops.

    L23 and beyond

    Once you can install ruby groves and harvest cauliflower, focus on profitable shops. The Spice Market, available at L21 is an extraordinary investment because it performs superbly for customers (with 50 combined points and and almost 60 for you), and empty ($20 per hour). So don’t worry about rental return any more. The pond and tower still outperform every shop but the spice market for idle income until you hit the mid-thirties.

    The only better performer for cash income than the market, pond and tower is the Pirate Ship at L33, which pays close to $22 per hour. The ship, spice market and red dragon finish in the top 3 for combined points. So the bottom line after L30 is the shops that are good for customers are also the shops that perform well empty.

    I’ve included charts below so you can study the numbers. In a week or so, I’ll move this all to the analysis pages where you can find them more easily.

    I’ve also included a chart of the animated characters, which should also be a factor in purchasing once you’re at the higher levels and design becomes a concern. This includes the really cool characters—like the pirate, the bar wench, the knight and the butterfly swarm—as well as the dogs—the candlemaker, the drunk stumbling home from the tavern with his pot of ale, and whoever that nerd is that ngmoco:) decided would best embrace the brothers and multi-cultural diversity.

    Sadly, the three-hooved unicorn, who is so charming in spite of his disability, is no longer available to new players. I really love my unicorns. Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat, loves them too. She likes to bat at them and chase them off the screen. She would eat them if she could. I don’t want to eat them, but I would pet them if I could. I would raise them in my backyard and let them chase off the tea baggers canvassing me before the elections now that I’ve unplugged my phone so I can’t hear their robocalls.

    Rent by levels

     

    Level Cost Hrs Net/Hr Exp/Hr Total
    L 5            
    Pond* 5 1500 8 $18.75 1.3 20.0
    Guild Hall 10 7500 16 $12.50 1.1 13.6
    Barn 10 6500 48 $7.29 1.0 8.3
    Windmill 9 6000 48 $6.25 1.0 7.3
    Tailor 6 1500 24 $4.17 0.8 5.0
    Mine 5 1000 10 $4.00 0.8 4.8
    School 7 2500 24 $3.33 0.9 4.3
    Lumberyard 8 4000 35 $1.03 1.0 2.0
    L 10            
    Wizard’s Tower 11 11,000 8 $18.75 1.3 20.0
    Beehive 12 10m 18 $15.28 5.6 20.8
    Magic Emporium 18 55,000 24 $14.58 1.7 16.3
    Tavern 16 22,000 36 $13.89 2.8 16.7
    Butterfly Garden 16 35m 22 $12.73 7.7 20.5
    Stables 14 18,000 12 $12.50 2.3 14.8
    Fairy tree 20  

    12 $12.50 0.8 13.3
    Inn 16 23,500 48 $11.46 2.6 14.1
    Jewelry Store 17 40,000 36 $11.11 6.9 18.1
    Dragon 20 100,000 72 $11.11 2.1 13.2
    Candle shop 17 25,000 37 $10.81 1.9 12.7
    Bakery 12 12,000 24 $10.42 1.2 11.6
    Griffin Nest 19 75,000 48 $10.42 2.1 12.5
    Naval Ship 20 18m 27 $8.89 7.8 16.7
    Cobbler 14 20,000 24 $8.33 13.5 21.9
    Prison 18 20m 48 $7.81 6.3 14.1
    Book Store 19 98,000 16 $7.81 14.1 21.9
    Blacksmith 14 16,000 48 $7.40 1.1 8.5
    Watchtower 15 18,000 48 $7.29 1.3 8.5
    Butcher 13 14,000 36 $6.25 1.2 7.4
    L 21            
    Spice Market 21 100,000 10 $20.00 7.5 27.5
    Phoenix 25 250,000 46 $15.22 7.3 22.5
    Millener 28 180,000 22 $13.64 4.3 18.0
    Hall of Justice 26 165,000 60 $10.00 4.6 14.6
    Theater 28 190,000 18 $9.72 10.8 20.6
    Serpent’s Lair 27 220,000 34 $9.56 7.4 16.9
    Cheese Shop 21 90,000 29 $9.48 6.0 15.5
    Fish market 29  

    30 $9.33 10.0 19.3
    Falconry 24 120,000 60 $7.50 6.7 14.2
    Jousting Arena 25 150,000 60 $7.50 7.5 15.0
    Unicorn 21 NA 48 $6.77 10.4 17.2
    Clocktower 22 105,000 48 $6.67 6.7 13.3
    Shipyard 23 115,000 42 $6.55 11.9 18.5
    Archery 22 25m 8 $6.25 12.5 18.8
    Fortune Teller 23 95,000 64 $5.47 6.6 12.1
    L 30            
    Pirate Ship 33 285,000 28 $21.79 6.4 28.2
    Cartographer 32 275,000 42 $18.45 7.1 25.6
    Red Dragon 35 300,000 60 $16.67 10.4 27.1
    Apothecary 31 250,000 54 $15.74 9.1 24.8
    Butterfly Garden 32 280,000 22 $12.73 7.7 20.5
    University 30 275,000 48 $8.75 8.8 17.5

    Rent by Income

    Building Rent Return
     

    Level Cost Rent XP Hrs Rent/Hr XP/Hr Combined
    Pirate Ship 33 285,000 610 180 28 $21.79 6.4 28.2
    Spice Market 21 100,000 200 75 10 $20.00 7.5 27.5
    Pond* 5 1500 150 10 8 $18.75 1.3 20.0
    Wizard’s Tower 11 11,000 150 10 8 $18.75 1.3 20.0
    Cartographer 32 275,000 775 300 42 $18.45 7.1 25.6
    Red Dragon 35 300,000 1000 625 60 $16.67 10.4 27.1
    Apothecary 31 250,000 850 490 54 $15.74 9.1 24.8
    Beehive 12 10m 275 100 18 $15.28 5.6 20.8
    Phoenix 25 250,000 700 335 46 $15.22 7.3 22.5
    Magic Emporium 18 55,000 350 40 24 $14.58 1.7 16.3
    Tavern 16 22,000 500 100 36 $13.89 2.8 16.7
    Millener 28 180,000 300 95 22 $13.64 4.3 18.0
    Butterfly Garden 16 35m 280 170 22 $12.73 7.7 20.5
    Butterfly Garden 32 280,000 280 170 22 $12.73 7.7 20.5
    Stables 14 18,000 150 27 12 $12.50 2.3 14.8
    Guild Hall 10 7500 200 17 16 $12.50 1.1 13.6
    Fairy tree 20  

    150 10 12 $12.50 0.8 13.3
    Inn 16 23,500 550 125 48 $11.46 2.6 14.1
    Jewelry Store 17 40,000 400 250 36 $11.11 6.9 18.1
    Dragon 20 100,000 800 150 72 $11.11 2.1 13.2
    Candle shop 17 25,000 400 70 37 $10.81 1.9 12.7
    Griffin Nest 19 75,000 500 100 48 $10.42 2.1 12.5
    Bakery 12 12,000 250 28 24 $10.42 1.2 11.6
    Hall of Justice 26 165,000 600 275 60 $10.00 4.6 14.6
    Theater 28 190,000 175 195 18 $9.72 10.8 20.6
    Serpent’s Lair 27 220,000 325 250 34 $9.56 7.4 16.9
    Cheese Shop 21 90,000 275 175 29 $9.48 6.0 15.5
    Fish market 29  

    280 300 30 $9.33 10.0 19.3
    Naval Ship 20 18m 240 210 27 $8.89 7.8 16.7
    University 30 275,000 420 420 48 $8.75 8.8 17.5
    Cobbler 14 20,000 200 325 24 $8.33 13.5 21.9
    Book Store 19 98,000 125 225 16 $7.81 14.1 21.9
    Prison 18 20m 375 300 48 $7.81 6.3 14.1
    Jousting Arena 25 150,000 450 450 60 $7.50 7.5 15.0
    Falconry 24 120,000 450 400 60 $7.50 6.7 14.2
    Blacksmith 14 16,000 355 55 48 $7.40 1.1 8.5
    Watchtower 15 18,000 350 60 48 $7.29 1.3 8.5
    Barn 10 6500 350 50 48 $7.29 1.0 8.3
    Unicorn 21 NA 325 500 48 $6.77 10.4 17.2
    Clocktower 22 105,000 320 320 48 $6.67 6.7 13.3
    Shipyard 23 115,000 275 500 42 $6.55 11.9 18.5
    Archery 22 25m 50 100 8 $6.25 12.5 18.8
    Butcher 13 14,000 225 42 36 $6.25 1.2 7.4
    Windmill 9 6000 300 48 48 $6.25 1.0 7.3
    Fortune Teller 23 95,000 350 425 64 $5.47 6.6 12.1
    Tailor 6 1500 100 20 24 $4.17 0.8 5.0
    Mine 5 1000 40 8 10 $4.00 0.8 4.8
    School 7 2500 80 22 24 $3.33 0.9 4.3
    Lumberyard 8 4000 36 35 35 $1.03 1.0 2.0

    Characters

     

    Level Male Female Creature
    Apothecary 31 Chemist  

     

    Archery 22 Archer  

     

    Bakery 12  

    Mrs. Pillsbury
    Barn 10  

     

    Brown Cow
    Beehive 12  

     

     

    Blacksmith 14 Sword Smith  

     

    Book Store 19  

    Buxom Librarian  

    Butcher 13 Butcher  

     

    Butterfly Garden 16  

     

    Butterfly Swarm
    Candle Shop 17 Wax Maker  

     

    Cartographer 32 Mapmaker  

     

    Cheese Shop 21  

    Milk Maid  

    Clock Tower 22 Clockmaker  

     

    Cobbler 14 Cobbler  

     

    Dragon 20  

     

    Blue Dragon
    Fairy Tree 20  

     

     

    Falconry 24  

    Falconress  

    Fish Market 29  

    Dowager  

    Fortune Teller 23  

    Fortune Teller  

    Griffin Nest 19  

     

    Baby Griffin
    Guild Hall 10 Knight  

     

    Hall Of Justice 26 Judge  

     

    Inn 16  

    Bar Wench  

    Jewelry Store 17  

    Fiance  

    Jousting Arena 25 Jousting Knight  

     

    Lumberyard 8 Hooded Woodman  

     

    Magic Emporium 18  

    Flying Witch  

    Milliner 28  

    Well-Dressed Woman  

    Mine 5  

    Prospector  

    Naval Ship 20  

     

     

    Phoenix 25  

     

    Phoenix
    Pirate Ship 33 Buccaneer  

     

    Pond* 5  

     

    Frog Prince
    Prison 18 Executioner  

     

    Red Dragon 35  

     

    Red Dragon
    School 7 Boy With Slingshot Running Girl  

    Serpent’s Lair 27  

     

     

    Shipyard 23 Dockworker  

     

    Spice Market 21 Hindu Merchant  

     

    Stables 14  

     

    Horse
    Tailor 6  

    Seamstress In Pink  

    Tavern 16 Drunk  

     

    Theater 28 Thespian  

     

    Unicorn 21  

     

     

    University 30 Clarence Thomas Faux  

     

    Watchtower 15 Watchman  

     

    Windmill 9  

     

    Dappled Cow
    Wizard’s Tower 11 Wizard  

     

    How major will the major upgrade be?


    Friday ngmoco:) announced a major game upgrade. I jumped the gun with a preview of this blog on Saturday in case they intended to launch the upgrade over the weekend. They didn’t, so here is the blog as I originally planned.


    I’ve seen a lot of suggestions for We Rule enhancements on ngmoco:)’s Get Satisfaction site. A lot of cool suggestions; a number of dumb suggestions. I even remember suggesting lakes in the middle of a list of feature requests. Who would have thought that would be the one thing they would pick up on?

    I thought lakes would be a good idea because the rivers couldn’t be arranged to form a continuous water surface. I also requested rounded road curves, which, while also down on my list of things, would have been even nicer I think. I was considering building my magical creatures kingdom and at that time I envisioned winding paths though the rubies and dragons.

    I can’t claim complete credit. I found one other person on the site who suggested a sea faring theme and I’m sure there have been other. Now that I think of it, the sea faring probably was a better suggestion.

    So now we have pirate ships, naval ships and lakes. And a fish market no one wants to buy from even though it has an excellent overall return for cash and experience points. In fact, the fish market knocked the sea serpent’s lair off the top five for overall cash and experience returned per hour. Sadly, I installed three and have only had one in use. In fact I have only had one order for the two naval ships I placed, so the return on my investment hasn’t been that great.

    I really, really like the whole lake, sea faring thing. But they use an inordinate amount of real estate. You can plant the ships by themselves, but they kind of look stupid all alone on a single water tile surrounded by red dragons and cartographers shops.

    P TextOnly the pirate ships are really worth the investment if you’re looking for a decent return for ship objects. The naval ships and ship yard are below average performers, unless you’re L20 or below. The naval ships will be your top returner until you reach the higher levels.1

    This is where it gets complicated. You need nine tiles to build even a small lake (six if you simply want to surround a ship with water). That’s a whole lot of real estate. You may not think that’s a problem until all five realms are full and you have to sell something profitable to build your lake.

    I’ll sell in a heartbeat because—while I wouldn’t trust the free market to save my job in the real world—I’m an ardent virtual capitalist. You have to sell stuff to install more stuff and earn those experience points. Capitalism works like it’s supposed to work in a game because it’s just a simulation. I’d clear out an entire kingdom if I thought it would jump me a hundred places on the leader board.2

    You need nine separate pieces to build a lake. Not nine pieces, nine completely different pieces. That will eat a hole in your kingdom’s available real estate.

    Click image to see full size
    If you want to float your pirate ship, you need at least six different pieces.

    Click image to see full size

    There would be a nice way to compensate players for all the extra space they’ll need. The developers could open up the four remaining adjacent realms. This, in fact, has been requested by several players on the Get Satisfaction site (including me).

    Other players have written that they can barely fill the five kingdoms available so why would they want four more? That’s the beauty of additional realms; only players that want them have to buy them. I know of several L40 players who haven’t spent the money for their Citrus Citadels (and at least one who hasn’t even upgraded to ruby). They spent that movie on ruby groves. More power to you all.

    I want more realms so I can build my lake realm.

    Will ngmoco:) listen to players and add more realms? We’ll find out soon. As many of you noticed, they shut down the server for a half hour Friday to prepare for a “major” upgrade.

    What will that entail? We’ll find out soon, but I’ve seen a number of popular requests and it will be interesting to see which requests ngmoco:) actually took seriously. Some of the requests have to do with the game interface, others with game play and a few merely affect kingdom appearance. I think they all have merit, and I wanted to mention a few here.

    If ngmoco:) ignores them this time around, hopefully they will listen eventually. When I was reviewing the posts on the get satisfaction site I discovered that the orange and ruby groves had originally been suggested by a player early in the game. So either ngmoco:) listened, or that player wasn’t paying attention to the game and had requested a feature that had already been installed.

    I didn’t start playing until June, I honestly don’t know what the first releases had oranges and rubies or not. Hopefully, however, the next release will include the following:

    Interface requests

    Log me in, Scotty

    One of the most useful interface upgrades would be a login feature. I mentioned this in Saturday’s post and, while this isn’t the most requested feature, I think it will be one of the most appreciated. The inability to logout out and login with a new interface is one of the most frustrating features of the ngmoco:) games.

    The games were originally meant to be played on iPhones. I get this. But iPads aren’t cheap and I can’t imagine too many families that can afford even one, much less more than one.3 Right now, a family of five can kind of sponsor their own iPad kingdoms if they download We Rule iPad and iPad Gold and also We Rule, We Rule Red and We Rule Gold. Of course, only the iPad versions let you build and expand your kingdoms from your iPad, and iPad Gold crashes at least once during every ruby harvest, so no family member gets a completely satisfying gaming experience.

    Allowing players to log in and log out would make it possible for every family, even the ones with four or more kids, to play with just one version on their iPad. The Mojo Farm recently reported that a shift in the Apple guidelines would force ngmoco:) to remove all those versions of We Rule and implement login, but Apple hasn’t seemed to follow though on that.

    I also know that the lack of a login makes it difficult for players to operate multiple kingdoms. This may be ngmoco:)’s rationale for withholding a login option. But it hasn’t stopped players from developing multiple kingdoms, so it seems pointless to handicap families to stop the players who play lose with the rules.

    Better information

    .
    It would be helpful if we could actually see the name of players who order from the shops instead of having the player name squeezed off the screen by the catchy order name. This would allow us to keep better track of who is ordering from our kingdoms so we can return the favor.

    Which do I need to know more? That I’m rescuing a princess or who placed the order?

    Orders summary page

    An order summary would be even better than simply making names more visible, and I have to say it’s one of the best ideas I’ve seen on the Get Satisfaction site. Being able to see what orders you have out and who ordered from you could help players cultivate long term friendships. The servers already have this information in their databases, or they couldn’t keep track of how many coins and experience points to award shop owners when an order completes.

    It shouldn’t be that hard to create a simple summary form with a list of orders out and orders in. I can do it in Filemaker Pro in a couple of minutes and databases are at the bottom of the list of my computer skills. ngmoco:) could simply add a report option along with the list of friends and followers.

    In game messaging

    I personally love the fact that I can have friends with absolutely no obligation to be friendly with them. But some players would like to be able to keep in touch. The ability to send a simple text message would be nice. I have written to ngmoco:) about this, especially since other games they developed do allow players to communicate and send challenges.

    I can recall one experience in We Farm when both Carol and I had orders with one player and they seemed to be tied up forever. I asked ngmoco:) if we would be able to contact that player to see if the problem was a game glitch or if (we assumed it was a) she was simply pissed at us and not returning the order.

    The developers replied that we couldn’t contact the player but that orders automatically expire after 72 hours. More than a week after the reply, the order simply expired. Perhaps if we could have contacted this player, and all three of us complained, the problem could have been resolved without tying up two windmills for eight or nine days.

    Game features

    Whenever I log into Get Satisfaction, I find two requests remain at the top of the most popular posts. Only the second-most popular made it to ngmoco:)’s “under consideration” list. So let’s start with the one I stumble onto over and over and over.

    Players want to move and store buildings and decorations

    I used to be skeptical of this, mainly because it’s actually more profitable to sell old buildings and build new ones. Every shop you build and tree you install actually earns more experience points. I even posted several comments on the Get Satisfaction site to this effect, and got into a heated discussion with someone who told me that if I was at L30 like she was, I would understand her concern.

    I was at L35 at the time, and a few days later I discovered I was at L40 and didn’t even know it. (Actually, I didn’t even know I was at L35 until they added an L35.) In fact, I wouldn’t have made it to L35 and L40 so quickly if I didn’t sell off buildings to replace them with better ones. But I didn’t see the need to bring that into the debate. The fact is, you advance more quickly by selling off buildings and installing new ones.

    I changed my mind about the ability to move (or better yet store) buildings when ngmoco:) began to discontinue shops. Now if I want to move a Fairy Tree or Unicorn’s lair from one kingdom to another, I can’t replace it. This is an even bigger problem in We Farm where they discontinue stuff every other week, and it looks like We City is discontinuing buildings as soon as they release them (like that stupid colosseum with its gladiator who wanders around with a sword to whack on all those business people).

    I would love to be able to offload a meadow or fairy tree to a storage locker while I rearrange kingdoms. Or even put it into storage until I come up with a new kingdom theme a couple of months down the road. I would store my fish markets because I suspect that building is going to go fairly soon. That’s because it’s butt ugly. I mean, really, it looks like something that belongs in the slums and the old lady looks like she hasn’t bathed in weeks even though she works next to a lake. I know I made fun of the token professor and the buxom soft porn babe that runs the bookstore, but this may be too extreme a reaction on the developer’s part.

    Will we receive this ability with the next major upgrade? I hope so. And it will make lots and lots of players happy. Best of all, more players will hang onto the stuff they bought and they won’t be earning more experience points to bump me off my spot on the leader board.

    Gone Fishing

    This request actually made it to ngmoco:)’s under consideration category. The idea behind it is that players who want to take time off from their kingdoms would be able to post a “gone fishing” notice so players won’t order from their kingdoms until they return.

    This request has a lot of merit. Currently the only way to let players know you’re out of the game is to stop planting crops, or to let your crops wither. But players who want to shop from you won’t know if this is a temporary absence or if you’ve abandoned the game entirely (and a lot of players to simply walk away, especially when they look at their bank statements—or their spouse looks at the bank statements—and realize how much they spent on mojo).

    My spin on this is that the game needs a “gone questing” notice. Fishing belongs in “We Farm.” The developers don’t even need to put a lot of effort into this one. They simply need to add a decoration of a knight waving a flag that says “gone questing.” Players can buy this decoration and place it next to their citadel when they leave, and sell it back when they return.

    How hard is that?

    Additional realms

    I know that sooner or later we would fill even the new realms and run out of space again. But additional kingdoms might take the pressure off players to sacrifice between developing pretty realms and stacking them with rubies.

    I recognize that some players will stack all eight realms with rubies so they can have 72 million experience points. Still, it would be nice to explore more themes with my kingdoms. I had to give up my rural kingdom with mines, farms and barns to build my mall kingdom. I had to sacrifice my martial kingdom with jousting arenas, watchtowers and guild halls to have one realm to stack rubies and move past the top thousand. I had to give up my mansion to redesign my main kingdom. And now I am going to have to sacrifice my suburb kingdom to build my sea faring kingdom.

    I have screen shots of the old kingdoms to remember them by, but it would really be nice to keep my designs around a little longer.

    My original rural kingdom, now paved over to build a mall.

    Click image to see full size
    My original martial kingdom, sacrificed to rubies.

    Click image to see full size

    Kingdom appearance

    The only consensus I have found as far as kingdom appearance is a request for seasonal items. Christmas and Halloween shops top the list, although other players think Christmas is totally wrong for We Rule and want Solstice shops and decorations. I certainly think seasonal items, such as pumpkins or pumpkin patches and fallen autumn leaves (similar to the rocks) would add some variety to the game.

    I originally requested snow tiles in the same post I requested lake tiles.

    The snow tiles need be nothing more than white squares the same size as bridges. The developers certainly don’t need to add top, center, side center, bottom center titles the way they did with the lake.

    In fact, now that we have lakes, sand tiles in the same color as the roads would be nice. This would allow us to build islands in the lake. If they added palm trees, we could make tropical islands.

    In addition, the developers could throw in a few snow covered trees, and some autumn trees like the maple trees in We City.

    We have debated the inclusion of churches in the comments on this site. I don’t see any harm to adding, say, a gothic cathedral with a little animation of Quasimodo at the top. It could sell dispensations for 500 xp and 400 coins. Wouldn’t it be neat if it came with a priest who tried to exorcise the witch whenever they occupied the same square?

    Don’t laugh. I’ve seen the prison guards try to lob off the heads of wenches. Why can’t the priests and witches duke it out?

    Check out this guard trying to axe murder one of the village women.

    If the cathedral seems too religious for some, how about a monastery that sells kegs of ale for 300 xp and 300 coins? Or a relics shop that sells saints’ bones?

    I will close with a request I make at almost every opportunity.

    I would like to see diamond groves. They could sell for 100K and give out 1K in coins and 850 experience points every six hours. Or sell them for a million apiece and give out 10K coins and 8500 experience points every six hours. They could have white gems instead of red gems and they would look great with the snow tiles and snow covered trees in the winter kingdom.

    The wish list I presented isn’t mine (except for the snow and diamonds). I compiled it from the many requests on ngmoco:)’s Get Satisfaction site. What remains to be seen is whether or not the next major upgrade includes player requests.


    1Unless, of course, ngmoco:) decides to screw those of us who worked hard to earn L35 and the red dragons only to have them handed out like candy to any one at L16 for a weekend. Players at lower levels will, of course, love this. But for those of us who earned our red dragons the hard way, it feels like paying a thousand dollars for an HD TV only to have the same store give them away for free to people who buy a case of Cokes the very next day.back
    2Oh, wait, I did. After hanging around the 550 on the leader board for more than a month, I replaced my entire main kingdom and finally hit my long term goal of landing in the top 500 players. Was it worth trashing all those buildings, trees, bridges and gold roads only to replace them with different buildings trees, bridges, gold roads and a few more river tiles? Absolutely.
    Unless, all of you do the same thing and knock me out of the top 500. That’s the problem with the free market and competition. There’s always someone more ruthless than you who wants to take your place at the top of the financial food chain.back
    3And, let’s be honest, if a certain party wins the election on fiscal reform campaign promises, they will slash corporate taxes even more, run up the deficit just like they did for the eight years they were in power, blame Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats just like they did for the eight years they ran up deficits, and ship the few jobs that remain that aren’t with Walmart, McDonalds and KFC out of the country. Then Walmart, McDonalds and KFC will have to close up their stores and move overseas because Americans will be too broke to even buy their cheap crap. After that, the only iPads in circulation will be the ones that sold before even Apple was forced to sell the Chinese and Indian customers who have the jobs we used to have. And the only tea party we will be having is one with empty cups.
    Before you complain about the politics here, at least I put them in the foot note instead of throwing them in your face and whining about the liberal media. Oh, and the bailout money and stimulus bill they say is ruining the economy? Don’t forget, that was an extension of Republican initiatives begun before Obama took office. To bad the Republicans are blaming the Democrats for their initiatives because it turned out the treasury may have made a profit on the bailout. And, no, I don’t worship at the church of Bill Mahr, I just happen to agree with him on this. And if I wasn’t typing this in bed while fighting off an allergy infection caused by Ragweed (although in Austin it could be anything because the pollen around here is big enough you can see it floating in the sky on windy days), I probably would refrain myself as well, but sometimes you just have to vent. You know?back


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

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