Get Satisfaction

I suppose mojo sales must have been down this week because ngmoco:) announced new improved gifting. So I checked it out and the only improvement I found was a button that allows us to directly return a gift to the sender. Do you get a lot more gold gifts for your fifty mojo? Not that I could tell.

Some readers have questioned the value of the gifts in the comments section and others love them because of the cool gold and ruby items. Here’s how I see it: The gifts are a lottery. Sometimes somebody will win a half million experience points and jump a level. More often than not, you’ll get a thousand xp or something you already have like a barn.

Even the gold items are a toss up. I’ve blown a lot of mojo testing this for readers and in my experience your chances of getting a gold item are close to one per 75 mojo spent. They’re pretty, but the return is far lower than some of the big ticket items you can get for 40 to 50 mojo.

On top of that, the chances are greater that you’ll get a gold item you already have the more mojo you spend. You could end up with three gold taverns and watchtowers and still not get the gold item you really want. Think of 50 mojo as the price of a scratch off ticket. Or the price of a box of cereal if they still do box tops and trinkets.

Can I take my castle back?

If you have the dark castle, check out the new castle in my kingdom or others before you upgrade at L55. The design is cool, but the color is the same as the original castles—blah blue. Maybe they’re planning on upgrading this one to ruby, orange and dark (or hopefully sapphire or emerald) but for now I want my dark castle back.

It would be even nicer if they remembered that I already bought this so I don’t have to upgrade twice should I like the next one. Or maybe they can just introduce the dark version of this one for L60 and two million coins.

To see the castle in this weekend’s splash screen (which is by far the best illustration the artists have produced for the game, and I wish they would make it available without all the game crap), you could really want it for your kingdom. Everything’s at wrong angles and the entire effect of the image is Lovecraftian. But once you see the castle in the kingdom, the odd angles ruin the harmony of the art behind the game pieces.

This weekend’s splash screen was their best illustration ever, and the castle looks wonderfully bizarre and Lovecraftian in the frame. If only it looked that good with the game pieces.

Escalating stakes

There seems to be no question that ngmoco:) is escalating the building stakes. The time between big ticket items seems to be weekly or bi-weekly. Just about everything in the top six or seven hourly and total return slots has been introduced since Valentine’s Day.

The Hercules temple, alchemy lab and druid library all came in the last three weeks. The dragon hatchery, which came last week, has the best hourly pay out but only over ten hours. Then after unveiling the alchemy lab on Monday and the library on Thursday (and after I wrapped up my weekly update) they unveiled L60 and the Kraken which delivers 200cp per hour.

ngmoco:) is also driving up the cost of new items for players who want to keep competitive. The kraken costs 975oooc or 55m (the same mojo price as the black dragon) and requires L55 to install.

That being said, the slim differences between the items at the top means that vendors don’t need to rush into purchases. There was a time when I would swap out five big items at a time, but now it makes more sense to me to invest in one or two and wait to see if something better comes along next week. This was my strategy with the alchemist and druid and I was right, one day later they delivered the kraken.

I really, really hope we don’t get a black kraken tomorrow.

What do you want from the game

I decided last week that I got everything I wanted from competition in We Rule. I was able to spend more than a month in the top hundred, and reached 90, and that has been my goal since last July. But with the new realms, other eager players, and constant crashes I was spending more than three hours a day on We Rule alone.

So I decided, let other people have their shot at it. When a game stops being fun it stops being a game. I put all my buildings in We Farm and We City back into inventory, closed out my grills in Restaurant Story and relaxed. I had to sell all my shops in Adventure Bay because they have no inventory.

But I’ve had a lot more time to do other things I forgot I liked.

I’ve always said players can find a number of reasons to play besides trying to get to the top and I stand by that. I finally had time to redo my main kingdom and now I have time to think about what to do with my others. I still check in two or three times a day to process orders and once a day to harvest.

I figured I can start harvesting three times a day again when they introduce level 70 and the dark version of this castle. Or hopefully emerald, sapphire or even gold castles that better match the artistic style of the game.

Can you still compete with the leaders? Absolutely. Billr317, Barblaw and others have catapulted past previous leaders Acehound and Zimidar. They swapped places for the lead at least once over the weekend. Billr317 had almost four hundred million points on Thursday. Three months ago I would have said that’s impossible.

By Saturday Barblaw had four hundred fifty million with Billr317 close behind.

Both are rapidly filling all eight realms, mostly with Poseidon founts and battlements. But they is also stacking some amazing buildings; each has a realm with an entire row of stacked houses of worship (to a big payoff). Nor did they have to do it all with mojo. The more buildings they install, the more coins they generate. And if you ask them, or Acehound or Zimidar if they ever regret reaching number one, I’m sure they’ll all say they don’t regret it in the least.

Fifty million in two days. It took me almost nine months to get there. And if that intimidates you, don’t let it. Because there’s more to the game than moving up the leader boards.

So however you want to get satisfaction, feel free to play. You can play to make art, make friends, or teach yourself high-school level (maybe middle school) economics. But play to have fun. ngmoco:) is escalating the stakes, encouraging players to spend more real money to buy more mojo to build more and more expensive buildings. You can get your money’s worth without spending it all on We Rule.

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

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. chezmah
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 09:40:00

    hi there !
    i really appreciated your last article. i have been playing for some time now (i don’t keep track… its not important to me). i fully agree with you that this is a game and It IS FUN !
    i have not at all been playing with a desire to be competitive or to move forward quickly. to me its like life, to be enjoyed, and to be filled with the pleasure of being creative. when i play, i dream up pretty arrangements for my different realms and build them with the objective of creating a variety of esthetic and pleasent mini worlds where my mind can wander thru the forests and villages and vinyards of my imaginary little worlds.
    i have spent very little mojo and that, mostly by hitting the button by accident !
    So i have fun and rather than rushing thru the game to get to the front of the pack, i enjoy…. its kinda like life, if you go easy, the pleasure is more mellow
    and lasts longer.
    Would be nice if in the real world less of us would strive to be at the head of the pack and, in the process, neglect the beauty of our world. Wonder whether it could have a positive effect on all of our environment ?
    i actually spend little time “trading” and have devised an efficient system to obtain the elements to make my kingdom rich in comfort and “living lifestyle”. i do however enjoy spending hours designing or redesigning my realms, adding here and there buildings or sceneries that bring added interest.
    i agree totally with you that the gifting, albeit fun in a rather gambling sense, tends to only bring you buildings and items that you already have and do not need or want. i did not need two bookstores (that take up a lot of room) or two chocolate shops that i don’t find particularly pretty. i would rather it give you trees, roads, fences or banners or, better still, small and original items that are not available for purchase.
    my main gripe with we rule, are the technical issues, and the abysmal lack of communication on how new items are to be used ie. the gifting info, when it came out, was non existant and it took alot of trial and error to figure out.
    wouldn’t it be nice if they hired YOU to manage their communication with us we rulers !!!! you certainly are thorough and clear and concise in analysing and sharing info !
    the new social map is another example of the total absence of communication from ngmoco. i have yet to figure out what precisely they mean by ” active” and do not see the advantage of having supposedly active players listed on the first levels if, for one they are not open…. and for two they do not have items that interest me. i have numerous friends with whom i traded on a daily basis in the past and who ALWAYS delivered in a timely fashion, that have NOT once appeared below my 5th row since the new social social map was put into place…. go figure that one out.
    another small gripe is that, should one not want to partake in a particular quest, one does not have the possibility to delete it. i for one am not particularly interested in the quest that are based on a combat or war theme, nor in their “rewards” but i can not move on if i do not complete them and
    liberate space for new quest that interest me more.
    well, great to have a place to share or we rule thoughts and thanks for your great site.
    all in all, we rule is nevertheless a delightfully fun game !
    good day to all and
    à bientôt
    chezmah

    Reply

  2. Scott
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 12:49:43

    Good post. I especially agree with the Castle. It looks too… plain for what it is.
    One thing I just wanted to say is I don’t understand the chances of getting a gold building. I found an unused $30 giftcard in my room and thought I may as well by some mojo for the first time. I spent 50 mojo on magic farms and decided to spend 100 on the giftcart and got 7 gold buildings!

    Maybe I’m just lucky, but that is completely different to what you have been receiving…
    Good luck with the blog 🙂

    Reply

  3. SirCake
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 14:39:53

    Couldn’t agree more with every thing you’ve said here. Especially the idea that ‘gifting’ is nothing more than a way for ngmoco:( to separate us from our cash. Gifting could have been a fantastic way to show appreciation or just to acknowledge that someone’s kingdom is well done. But, no. 

    After vowing to never spend money on this game, I bought 800 mojo when the gifting thing first started (and mojo was half price). I spent a couple hundred of it boosting, but never got anything I valued, so I quit doing that. Spent the rest of my mojo on Sapphire trees. It would have been nice to get a gold anything, but I am not spending any more mojo or money trying to get one. 

    Like you, I am also coming to the conclusion that the competition part of the game is great, but it took up too much of my time. And now that it is crashing two or three times per visit, it takes even MORE time. I was second in the world in orders placed for a good little while there. BUt I am working away from home, and I don’t have a lot of access to wifi. So I’ve slipped to 4th or possibly fifth place. That’s cool, it was a fun run, and I accomplished that goal without having to use mojo. 

    Speaking of wifi, do you know how much data is transferred during a game?? I was playing We Rule on my 3G iPad, and used over 900MB of my monthly allotment of 2 GB in just 7 days. To be fair, I did watch a youtube video, so that could be the culprit, but most of my time on 3G was dedicated to We Rule. I’ve stopped playing on the iPad and only play on the phone now, and my iPad data usage has gone down to 30 or 40 MB a day. 

    I can’t imagine making 50 million a day. I have five realms of groves, plus all the expensive buildings, and I make less than 1 million. They have to be using mojo, yes?

    Oh, I finally upgraded from the original blue castle (and upgraded all the watchtowers in the process). So, naturally, the newest top-level castle is blue again. Just my luck. Oh well. I doubt I’ll be upgrading soon. 

    So now, I am back to playing for fun. Check out SirCake’s kingdom, especially the Main, West, and South Realms. I think they’re pretty nice. What do you think?

    I disagree with chezmah on the social map thing. I think it is the best improvement they’ve made yet. I am seeing, and interacting with, players I had given up for abandoned a long time ago. Now that I can order from them again, it’s sort of like seeing a long-lost friend. Even though I will probably never meet any of them and wouldn’t know them if we passed on the street.

    Love this blog. Thanks for taking the time to write it. 

    /sc

    Reply

    • confuzed1
      Apr 13, 2011 @ 06:43:45

      You can hit the gift cart five times for free, every 12 hours, and once a day you get a gift from ngmoco, which you can boost for free.

      I spent a total of just six mojo on the gift cart and got crap from it, so I stopped doing that.

      I have three gold buildings, several regular buildings, and many smaller items, plus a whole bunch of xp and coins, without using mojo.

      The good one though, is the gift from ngmoco. It comes in a purple box. Scan through the list, and if you don’t see the purple box, leave the realm, and when you return, try again–the gift list refreshes.

      Depending on the number of followers you have, this may take a few times. I hav a lot of followers though, and I usually get it in 2-3 tries.

      Reply

  4. slazzier
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 22:28:24

    As a player who does not buy mojo or spend any money on the game at all, I must complain about the drop in return value , for the cauliflower, how can i possibly keep up with the big spenders if i gotta spend mojo, I only get from leveling, on these new magic farms just so i can get the same return i’ve been used to for almost a year, at this rate I’ll have to level almost 30 times in order to buy all the magic farms needed just to make what i was making 3-4 days ago… like are they trying to push out those of us who don’t line there pockets?

    Reply

  5. Lycopodium
    Apr 12, 2011 @ 21:08:11

    I completely agree with your comments that always enjoy reading.
    My take is that this “gift” thing is really a way to make us part with our money. Between the coins and XP I have tens of bride and groom statues, not mentioning barns and others.
    One issue you have not commented on is the new “magic farm” stuff. It seems they are making us pay for crops we already had before in our normal farms but that have disappeared since.
    As We Rule is now becoming like a full time job (on spare time of course) I have also stopped We Farm, We City and Adventure bay.
    Finally 50 million XP is such short time, WOW!!

    Reply

  6. Moontown
    Apr 13, 2011 @ 05:24:17

    I play for fun. I enjoy moving things around and making them pretty. I think Im a little addicted to harvesting. I love going on every hour to harvest mushrooms and businesses,But I dont go crazy if I spoil a crop.It is just a game after all. After a year of playing, Im not as high as I could have been. But I was only playing with my daughters but I enjoyed every bit of it.Then I found your site, and I really started moving up. So Ill play even with all the flaws, because it makes me happy. I do look forward to your posts. I wait to buy something until you give us the skinny on that item. Thanks. Oh and I noticed that you can boost the blue ngmoco:) gift for free and it has givin me two gold trees and 50,000 xp for free in the last three days. I had givin up getting anything gold because I wont spent mojo to boost gifts. But a free BOOST that I can do!Thanks, Moontown

    Reply

  7. Jiji808
    Apr 15, 2011 @ 23:49:08

    Hey guys and gals – I got a gold barn and I didn’t even boost the gift! Go figure! Btw – I agree with all previous gripes. I’ve decided to stop buying mojo or boost gifts as my own personal strike. Probably spent $100 on mojo this year. A drop in the bucket for ngmoco (with the current order of business) I’m sure, but one less drop they’ll be seeing from me.
    Other than that, love the game, love the blog!!

    Reply

  8. QueenMaub
    Apr 17, 2011 @ 00:19:16

    SirCake – as Confuzed1 suggested, check out the group at the Design Lover’s Photo Album at http://www.serifwebresources.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3616&forumid=339260 . It’s a friendly group of Rulers who value designing for fun and post images of their realms. You’d be welcome.

    Reply

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