Farewell, We Rule

The naysayers were right, and, to be honest, I was planning on posting the probability today anyway. I had been waiting for new “community output” promised after Thanksgiving and seen none.

Truthfully, I reached 3 billion points and realized the only reason I was playing was to fill orders.

ngmoco:) announced today that they will stop the game entirely on March 31, they will stop downloading next Friday from app stores and they are disabling in-app purchases.

My book will still be on sale for those desperate to get to L80 before the shut down entirely. And I will continue to fill orders in my main realm.

For those of you who still have a love for the game, I suggest you create the designs you always wanted before it shuts down entirely. Screen shot them and send them to me at wrgrimore@gmail.com with your real name and I will post them before the game shuts down.

After all, people won't be able to see your kingdom after March 31.

Stupid marketing moves

I think it's time for companies to realize they are shooting themselves in the foot. If they keep accelerating the pace of in-app purchases and then shutting down games, people will stop playing altogether. I, for one, no longer even bother to download if I see anything resembling game bucks listed as an “in-app” purchase.

 

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We Rule Sequel on horizon?

After promising players that ngmoco:) would come up with lots of community events after Thanksgiving, we haven’t seen much. An image contest, a caption contest at Halloween and reintroduction of some old Christmas content. It seems clear ngmoco:) want to release an entirely new version of We Rule, but given the spectacular failure of Farmville 2, they seem to have gone back to the drawing board.

Who can blame them, really? Farmville 2 failed because it was little more than Farmville 1 with 2.5D graphics. I wouldn’t want to give up my old farm and start from scratch.

Trade Nations is actually chugging along, but they never choked the pipeline with content. They also added parties. Players earn token items from their shops and use them to stage parties that their friends can attend. But even they are going the sequel route with Trade Nations North Pole, which is Trade Nations with the addition of a sleigh to transport presents from factories to the main castle. It took all of three levels for me to realize I wanted little more to do with the North Pole than I did with Farmville 2.

They seem to have ignored my suggestion, which was to clean out a lot of those buildings and focus on new challenges, including possible combat.

So where can they go next? Well, I’ve been spending a lot of time in Springfield helping Homer Simpson clean up after he blew up the nuclear power plant while playing on his myPad. The Simpsons’ Tapped Out is actually a lot of fun. It’s modeled on Cityville, where players have to finished a number of tasks to earn the next building or character, but these tasks are fun. Going on a bender, robbing the Kwikie Mart, calling your alien mothership for backup. It even has a black hole at the center of town.

All of the Simpsons characters are there. Principal Skinner, Grampa, Melbourne and Mel the Bartender. Playing Tapped Out got me thinking about what the next level of We Rule should look like. Then I got it:

Monty Rule and the Holy Grail

That’s right, what better medieval source for a We Rule sequel than Monty Python? It may cost a little for the rights but it will be well worth it. Players will be able to build Camelot and let it fall into ruins while they go on silly multi-step quests. Some of the quests might include:

One of the tasks in We Rule and the Holy Grail could be to dismember the Black Knight one limb at a time. Your reward could be to unlock a tavern and a bard to sing your exploits (for 48000 coins and 10 grail berries).

  • Building an autonomous collective (complete with houses, crops and ironically literate peasants.
  • Fight the Black Knight. They would have to sever his limbs one by one until he admits he’s helpless, which he never will.
  • Avoid being seduced by the grail virgins.
  • Run away from the three headed ogre.
  • Fight off the killer rabbits

Completing each task will unlock a new building, a new character or a new task. When you touch each character they utter a humorous bon mot (except for the rabbits, of course).

I’ve given you the roadmap, ngmoco:). It’s time to get to work. Best of all, reaching higher levels in We Rule Legacy could also unlock buildings and tasks that you can’t unlock in the sequel. That will keep your current fans motivated and playing.

Halloween caption contest

Today is the last day for ngmoco:)s cutline contest, in case you missed it. They must have gotten the message because they aren't waiting until Thanksgiving to throw players a bone.

Provide a cutline for the frankenstein cartoon on ngmoco:)'s facebook page and you might win 2000 mojo. You can spend them on the legacy halloween buildings and welcome the return of Halloween characters next week.

What is Frankenstein thinking? Enter your idea on ngmoco:)'s facebook page for a chance to win 2000 mojo.

Contrary to rumors that ngmoco:) stopped supporting We Rule, the have simply transferred support. The game is now part of the mobage player network. I emailed support with a problem and, while it took several days to get an answer, they did reply.

The game still seems to be hanging on, and I still have plenty of visitors, so if you enjoy it keep playing. My feeling is that I would rather keep spending time with a game I like than investing lots of money in a new game that could go away as well.

The game is still on

Just to update yesterday’s post:

I have been busy trying to promote the pilot for an animated series of Raising Amazon studios so I have not been looking beyond the surface of the game. My fault (which is American for mea culpa). I looked at the most recent ngmoco:) blog post which has given some players concern, and while it does say new content releases will be slowing down (or going away), it does say ngmoco:) is looking for new ways to encourage player participation (which probably means less expensive).

Yesterday’s post was based on direct correspondence, and ngmoco:) insists the game is not going away, just changing a lot.

Two enhancements to indicate they haven’t abandoned the game are the new unlocked realms to kingdom 2 (southeast and southwest) and drastically reduced mojo prices. The carafe is half what it used to be (9.99) and the flask is down from $5 to $3 and the vintage issue down from $40 to $25. ngmoco:) eliminated the real bulk buys, but buying three vintage bottles still brings 400 more mojo than the old $100 cask.

The new unlocked realms also give you another canvas to build your hell realm for the Raising Hell contest. Remember one player will get a free copy of the Grimoire and at least two more will get copies of Raising Hell.

I am not so naive that I would be completely surprised it the game suddenly disappeared tomorrow, but ngmoco:) has always been up front in the past, so I feel perfectly comfortable playing on and even buying more mojo.

In the meantime, please visit Amazon studios and follow the series. The more response I get (even if unfavorable) the more likely Amazon is to pay attention. And then I can quit promoting it so heavily and get back to my first love, this blog. I will be posting a short promo video later this week.

Welcome to hell

It’s out at last. For real. The novel you previewed on this site, Raising Hell on Amazon. (You can find it on iBooks and nook after Thanksgiving). Best of all, it’s only $1. (Make sure to rate it.)

I am holding back on the release for iBooks and nook because Amazon will offer the book in their lending library if I give them exclusive rights for 90 days. (And because I let iBooks have the Grimoire first).

What the hell is Raising Hell?

Suppose you were Lucifer and you had lowered hell to the ultimate depths of agony and inefficiency. Every menial task is delegated, leaving you to punish anyone who displeases you for the least provocation. If the Lord It All Over You thinks he got the best of you, he couldn’t be more wrong.

Suddenly an innocent soul arrives in hell. There’s no explanation, just an untraceable administrative error. Even worse, this soul refuses to suffer. In fact, he can’t wait to make hell the best place of everlasting damnation ever. The only way to rectify the situation is to corrupt him as quickly as possible. If that isn’t bad enough, soon after you send him on an assignment that will seal his fate, the Allmighty Pain shows up and demands his return.

The fun doesn’t end with the book. I have also posted a pilot and proposal for a half-hour animated version at Amazon studios. Download the script and tell Amazon you love it. Even if you don’t, but you appreciate all these posts, the rating would help a lot. (After all, you don’t have to specify what the ‘it’ that you love is.)

Submit your own art

But wait, there’s more fun! I am encouraging fans to get their hands dirty and contribute themselves. I am looking for artists who would like to contribute character sketches (and even short stories based on the characters) for fans. I will post the submissions on the website g.d.i. Monday, the site devoted to promote the book and series. If you have talent or know a friend that does, check out the submission guidelines.

Design your own hell

If I like your hell realm I will feature it not just in the Grimoire, but on the g.d.i. Monday web site to reach a larger audience. How cool is that? Not to mention the prizes.

To celebrate the book, I’m also bringing hell to We Rule with a design contest. Design a realm that is so hellish, one of the book’s characters can come to visit. Designs I love will be features on this blog and the Monday site with snapshots of Raising Hell characters (maybe characters you designed or inspired) visiting. I will also award a copy of The Hidden Grimoire to my favorite design and a copy of Raising Hell to at least two additional designers.

To enter, send a screenshot of your realm to the grimoire. Make sure to mention the contest in the subject field as well as your player name and real name. Contest deadline is September 30.

Last pitch

In the meantime, don’t forget to buy copies of Raising Hell for yourself and gift them to all of your Kindle using friends. It will make a great early stocking stuffer and even your friends will owe you big time for thinking of them.

Two billion and counting

On March 12 I announced that I had earned a billion points after two years of playing. I earned my next billion in five months. So maybe it’s bragging, but I also want readers to know how quickly all those investments add up.

I’m also earning about 20 million more coins a week than I did a few weeks ago. So if the game get’s frustrating, stick with it. You’ll be surprised how quickly your effort pays off.

There it is, 2 billion experience points. Who would have thought? It took me two years to earn my first billion, five months to earn my second. Seriously, the points really compound on you if you keep at it.

Stacking is officially recognized by ngmoco:)

Okay, they didn’t exactly come out and say it, but they selected s kingdom with extensive stacking to feature on facebook and reward with 1k of mojo (along with four others). While I certainly want to extend my jealous congratulations to all the winners, I found Phrazer’s kingdom to be an illuminating choice.

A little more than a year ago, rumors were rampant that ngmoco:) was threatening to ban players who stacked extensively, and even removed groves from ~king’s and acehound’s kingdoms. I doubt this means they welcome the practice, but I think they learned to live with it graciously.

ngmoco:) featured Phrazer’s kingdom on facebook this week, and awarded 1k mojo as well. I noticed his realm because of the extensive stacking to create the design. It wasn’t took long ago that ngmoco:) was trying to remove it from the game.

Thanks for testing

Seriously. After the last event’s disastrous launch, ngmoco:) wisely held off on the release of new content until they could test it on newly-serviced servers. I don’t know if the new content is an event or a new game feature, but I’m willing to wait for a stable release.

Hawking books

Why would you want to buy the Grimoire ebook when you have this wonderful blog? There are several reasons:

  • It helps me afford mojo so I can process new items and crunch the numbers the day of release. You get the most up-to-date charts.
  • I completely rewrote old posts so that the strategies and info are the most current available.
  • You don’t have to search through old posts to find strategies and tactics. You have one convenient source and everything in one place. I only wish ePub format allowed reference notes.
  • The only book more fun than the grimoire is Raising Hellwhich is soon to be released on iBooks and Kindle.

Grimoire in iBooks

I’m not making the announcement official yet because I’m still working out the many wrinkles involved in getting the Grimoire ready to sell for Kindle. But if you want the iBooks version, it’s ready under consumer guides for 5.99. Search for We Rule.

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