Christmas Tidings

It’s Christmas morning and parents round the world—the ones who celebrate Christmas or are culturally obliged to celebrate Christmas—will be dragged out of their beds by whiny children who have no idea how late their parents stayed up to make their Christmas as happy as possible.

Some We Rule players will have taken time off and others will cease the opportunity to move past them on the leader boards. I moved back into the top 150 in experience points and most visited, no doubt thanks to the better players who sought a more spiritual experience this week.

Of course, I couldn’t have done it without the countless readers who dropped by to order over the last few months.

I looked at quite a few kingdoms to see what folks were doing with the seasonal items, but only managed to see a fraction of what’s out there. I was saddened to drop in on old friends only to find their crops withered and their shops empty. But it is just a game, not even as popular as the far-less deserving Farmville (although that might change once DeNA releases a Flash compatible version for Mac and PC browsers and other smart phones—if they release a Flash compatible version).

People do have lives and who really wants to spend their holidays harvesting all those groves we stacked?

I’m tempted to say that if I wasn’t writing this blog, I would be tempted to move on by now. Except that We Rule really is far better developed than many of ngmoco:)’s similar games. Of the vast lot I have downloaded and tried for free mojo, I would have to say only Adventure Bay looks like it has the potential to be as good.

And it is good, and ngmoco:) does keep it fun even though it can get a tad expensive if you aren’t careful.

Not as many players actually bought and displayed seasonal items as I had anticipated. It’s hard to blame them since none of them really performed that well. It’s also hard to rearrange realms just to accommodate Christmas. I tried, but I was never happy, mostly because I wasn’t willing to chuck the basic layout of one of my realms and seize the spirit of Christmas.

But a few players did, and I want to point out the ones I felt did the most eye-catching designs. Remember, I taught design for several years so I will be looking for things many players wouldn’t. The main thing I looked for was for players who did more than map out a rectangular area and fill it with Christmas stuff.

I looked for how well they integrated the seasonal items into the overall design of the kingdom, I looked for players who integrated regular elements of the game into a seasonal design as well. I also looked for original and ingenious ideas. They didn’t have to be gorgeous, and a couple of my final selections rubbed against the grain.

And some just caught my eye. In the end that’s what kingdom design should do: catch players’ eyes so they remember one particular kingdom over the others and want to return to see more.

I’m not going to rank them, with one exception. The one that stood out for me above the others was Dinhkim,who used diamond and ruby roads to create a candy cane stripe motif.

Not only did Dinhkim work the seasonal elements into the overall design of his main realm, he accented everything with candy stripe borders.

Click image to see full size

Don’t take this to mean the others weren’t as good. This one just spoke to me a little more loudly.

Click image to see full size
ravenpuff, whose name sounds reminiscent of the houses of Hogwartz, cordoned off the winter section with diamond grove, creating a clear boundary between the seasons. Although many players also set aside a small rectangular area for their seasonal display, this one used a number of decorative and design elements to make sure it stood out.
Leaderboard leader acehound was one of the players who tied his seasonal section into the overall design of his realm. He is also a master stacker.

Click image to see full size

Click image to see full size
I don’t know what he was thinking when he chose his player name, but chieftwit brought the Christmas feel to the realm. A few more snow capped trees would have been nice.
atonaltensor started out just like many players with a small rectangular section just for Christmas shops, but he set the whole thing off with a river and diamond bridge to spill the effect into the rest of his realm.

Click image to see full size

Click image to see full size
Yausung used the spooky trees left over from Halloween to suggest the barren trees of winter. It was a risky choice, because the bare trees lack the warmth of the snow covered trees. This could put off some viewers, but for others it will provide a stark contrast. Also, notice the ice sculpture rising from the lake, anchoring the two sides o the realm.
Drewtopia add a little touch of hellfire to his winter kingdom, perhaps in anticipation of my Christmas short story.

Click image to see full size

Stocking stuffer for readers

I also included a heart-warming, if not conventional, Christmas tale within a Christmas tale that includes characters from the game: A Merry We Rule Christmas in Hell.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, A Salam Alychem and peace be with you always—not just once a year.

Contact me at Email iPad Envy, or
Email The Hidden Grimoire.


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. acehound
    Dec 26, 2010 @ 21:58:54

    Thanks for showing my santa’s workshop… I forgot to take an image of it before they gave us more snow based content and I had to dismantle to fit everything. My North Pole looks a little squished now. Looking forward to the new inventory system so I can do a full redesign. Merry Chrismukkah and a happpy new year.


    • Superknight98
      Dec 29, 2010 @ 13:52:11

      How is your kingdom so awesome?? Is there a hack or something? Or did you just buy several 2000 mojo casks and spent them on all your shops??


      • acehound
        Dec 30, 2010 @ 09:44:54

        Thanks for saying it’s awesome… I’ve basically been playing from the beginning and was able to figure out 4 methods of stacking (all of which are done in the game console {not a hack} and 3 methods remain). After the great ruby purge of 2010, which gave a full coin refund for the groves they deleted, I had just shy of 30,000,000 coin to rebuild/redesign. I have since bought a few casks to max out the diamonds and to speed up the placement of new content… I can’t stand waiting to integrate the new items. Thanks again for the compliment. Happy tapping :).

    • Superknight98
      Dec 31, 2010 @ 19:09:29

      Do you ever order from other players kingdoms? If so please order from me!


  2. confuzed1
    Dec 27, 2010 @ 19:57:24


    I discovered your site over Christmas weekend.

    We Rule is my guilty pleasure.

    I am cautious about admitting that I play anything that even remotely resembles Farmville!

    This morning I noticed the Wyvern’s Forge.

    After the disappointing results for production of the light and dark castles, I am slow to spend money on anything in this game.

    At $2.99 I am intrigued though.

    Is it really something special? Do you have any info on this yet?


  3. Kendrickhphoto
    Dec 29, 2010 @ 11:41:57


    It has pretty decent returns owner info is 2000 xp and 1500 coins for a 34 hour hire. That translates to 58.8 xp/hr and 44.1 coins/hr which puts it right up there with the Chimeras Temple at 60.4 xp/hr and 39.1 coins/hr. The Chimeras Temple is 500000 coins or 50 mojo and 50 mojo comes out to at least $10 if you’re buying the smallest amount possible.


  4. Fendora
    Dec 29, 2010 @ 21:32:47

    2.99$ is WAY too much for a stupid building in a simple game. Just remember that.
    How many of really good games can you buy with those 2.99 on the appstore?
    At least 3.


    • Totalthinker
      Dec 30, 2010 @ 03:28:51

      I can’t argue with you.

      On the other hand, I spent $12 for Madden NFL to review in iPad Envy only to find out it was the iPhone release because the app store took me to the iPhone link from its recommended section. I finally got the iPad version on sale for 0.99 and I still haven’t played it. More and more of the decent games are $10 and I can play through them in a couple of days.

      Some people spend hundreds (I’ve heard rumors—only rumors—that some people spend thousands) on mojo. And 2.99 is cheaper than buying the 50 mojo they would probably have charged ($3.12 for 50 mojo in the 800 mojo flask; $6 for the cost of mojo in the 165 mojo carafe).

      My father thought I was crazy to spend money on paperback books instead of checking them out from the library but he loved to buy and fix up used cars. which I don’t get at all.

      I do think if enough players agree with you, ngmoco:) will stop inflating the game piece prices.


  5. rob88249
    Dec 30, 2010 @ 09:53:47

    You have it good at 2.99 it’s 3.99 in Australia! And our dollar is the same as the US dollar! Massive rip off for us poor aussies.

    I don’t mind the 1.99 once in awhile but this is pushing limits. It’s annoying we buy mojo then can’t use it for new buildings. I know the game needs to make money as it’s all part of a business but don’t push it. I think we all would have rather paid $12 for the game up front and got free updates on buildings. The game is becoming pretty costly!


  6. Superknight98
    Dec 31, 2010 @ 19:04:39

    Will you all please order from me!!
    I am in desperate need of customers. I just have like 5 :(.
    Also, what is the best shop for a level 29?


  7. Superknight98
    Dec 31, 2010 @ 19:07:12

    Oh, and are the groves actually good? I have a few but I need to know if they will bring a good profit for me.


  8. confuzed1
    Jan 01, 2011 @ 01:00:40

    Groves are good, but more effective when stacked.

    As far as what buildings to buy, get the most expensive that are available for your current level.

    Don’t mess with the cheap stuff.

    Spend a little more at once, and buy something that has a better return.

    Also, watch for specials. For example, half off mojo buildings was a great one if you save it up, like I did.

    The half off chateau deal was a good one too.


  9. Superknight98
    Jan 01, 2011 @ 03:06:37

    Thank you!


  10. Superknight98
    Jan 02, 2011 @ 19:18:05

    Guys, visit zenxacred and look at his east realm!! It’s really cool.


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