The event is dead. Long live…

Never mind. It’s not coming back.

If you don’t follow ngmoco:) on Facebook you may know they cancelled the most recent disastrous event but you might not know they actually surrendered and gave everyone the frog castle and wishing well. They also gave everyone 35 mojo, which probably won’t make up for the mojo people spent trying to actually capture the frogs.

You can find the items with your other discontinued items at the very bottom (or top) of the build menu. The frog castle returns 3500cp over 18 hours (194 hcp) and the wishing well 10700 over 22 (487hcp).

You won’t find the event rewards in the featured items menu. You will find them as the most recently added items with the discontinued buildings in the standard build menu. You will have to scroll all the way to the end of the menu to find them.
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Still waiting for frog rewards

At this point I have collected at least four of every frog. (I stopped counting at four for each one). I haven’t been awarded a single building. Originally the quest chart indicated I would need to collect three of each. The the quest chart went away. This event does not keep track of any frogs collected.

Hopefully, ngmoco:) will take the event down and fix it, or fix it and then extend the event.

This was the original event chart, before I collected anything. As you can see, it says I collected all three of everything. Since then, they took it down, I’ve collected four of everything and still no rewards.

Don’t waste mojo until you know the event works and you’ll get credit for your frogs.

Hold off on frogs

I’ve captured every frog and still not unlocked my reward. The progress indicator said I found three of every frog, now it’s not showing at all. You might want to wait until the programmers finally fix the bugs. Originally we had until last week to finish but we have until the 17th.

The Return of the King who was never here

Many readers wrote to say that they do have the chess king at a cost of 2m coins, and it does indeed look like a king. It seems that after I posted last night, someone at ngmoco:) noticed and fixed the mistake. Which means you, my readers, got a rare opportunity to see a building that, technically, doesn’t exist.

The king actually dishes out 625hcp, which isn’t quite as good as the solstice castle (812), but it’s decent. The total points are a little higher (15000cp).

The chess bishop may show up again, so I’m keeping it on the list.

Hidden in the upgrades tab is the unannounced L80 Marvelous Castle. As best I can tell, it can’t even be seen from the friends map. It costs 2m coins, which is as much as a solstice castle and chess king.

In the meantime, on a hunch, I wondered if ngmoco:) has dropped the ball on other publicity moves. We never saw a splash screen announcing a new castle for the upgraded levels, so I checked and, there it is, the Marvelous Castle. This is a complete revision of the castle design, which I assume should help make future castles more space efficient.

Hi levels, low return

Not much has happened since my last special post. My fortieth reunion came and went, but Carol and I couldn’t make it. Fortunately, three of my closest friends from high school wanted to meet for lunch in San Marcos, where we went to high school at a time when hair a half inch below your ear and a half inch above the knee could get you sent home. So we zipped down for lunch, went through pictures of classmates most of whom I couldn’t remember, and greeted two other friends who showed up.

This was far more exciting than last week’s event. Conceptually, it was fun and I liked the design of the creatures. The rewards were decent, especially for the mastery level (well, not for higher level players). But there didn’t seem to be many players based on the number of creatures showing up in my kingdom.

I actually like the events, but ngmoco:) may need to do something to spice things up. Maybe players should have to ward off dragons to collect their creatures.

Oops

ngmoco:) finally released an item for the very top level. They haven’t done that since the Black Dragon at L50. The item is the Chess King, which sells for 1200000c. It doesn’t produce as much as the Solstice Castle, however, not even close. The King delivers 330hcp and 6000cp. That’s comparable to buildings available from L50.

The new chess pieces look good but they really don’t deliver much players. There are better shops at the those levels, for fewer coins. But they do make great decorative elements if you have coins to burn.

Once I planted mine, however, I realized it wasn’t a king at all, but a bishop. This is odd, since We Rule doesn’t even have a bishop as a character. It certainly doesn’t look like the king promised on the splash screen.

You have to be L80 to figure this out, but the Chess King doesn’t look anything like it’s splash screen design. In fact, it looks a lot like a Chess Bishop.

The game also has a chess rook and chess knight now. Neither of these is as good as other shops available at the same levels, but they are pretty. If you have coins to spare they could make nice decorative elements.

Perhaps this means there will be more chess pieces coming. A bishop that looks like the king, perhaps, and possible a queen and pawns. Chess set decorations were popular early in the game, built from bridges and statues. Maybe players can build a full scale chess game some day soon.

Second guessed again

This weekend I had the post written earlier because a publisher asked me to referee several articles and get them back asap. The post was built on the premise that ngmoco:) had only introduced three items in three weeks. I had already posted about a “new content” notice with new content where every angle I covered proved to be wrong. Had I 15 minutes posted earlier I would have had mud on my face again.

Not only did ngmoco:) release a new event this week, they released three new blockbuster items. I’ve been saying for a while that players at L65 should save their coins and this week they released a blockbuster shop for l65 and l70. Since both came at the same time players may have missed the new items.

On the other hand, ngmoco:) did nothing to make players want to play the event because they completely hid the reward items. You could see pictures of them, but that was about it. They don’t even show up in the featured menu when you win them anymore. You have to scroll to the very bottom of the build menu where your old inventory items are stored.

They also increased the cost of harvesting the attractor early to 5m. As always I went ahead and played through the first round and the reward for capturing the ogres, cyclops, golems and harpies was a food court.

You have to win each round before you even find out what you’re playing for. In the past they included the rewards in the features menu so you would at least know what they were. The first round award is a food court.

Come on, ngmoco:), surely you can come up with a better reward than a food court. And this food court is a tiny little thing. Hardly seems worth the time to win it. Sure, the payoff is decent, 300+ tcp, which is phenomenal for players at L8. But since the new ghost academy has an even higher return, it’s hardly worth the mojo spent for players at L45 or higher.

Usually the next item is worth double the value of the first level, so the next item should be 600+ hcp. However, you have to collect three of every item, which means that id you spend mojo to capture them you will spend 180m. Play if you want, but wait the game out. You will probably be able to collect all 24 creatures by then without spending mojo.

The food court looks really puny next to other buildings, especially the new solstice and undead temples.

The solstice fortress, however, delivers almost 15000cp in 18 hours (812hcp) which makes it by far the most valuable shop ever. The slayer’s den still delivers more total points (19400) but takes twice as long leaving a much lower hourly return. Vendors will get 10000 total coins for one item for the first time ever.

You should see a lot of solstice fortresses by the end of the week. Between the solstice and undead fortresses (606hcp), the thunderbird lair and dragons layer’s den you should have quite a few shops to help you level up more quickly.

Leaving the farms

If it seems boring lately, you still have to remember that ngmoco:) introduces new items at a faster rate than other games, with the possible exception of Snoopy’s Street Fair. But their new products usually require Snoopy Bucks. Trade Nations can go for weeks without anything new, and, well, I haven’t played anything else in so long I can’t keep up anymore.

I even gave up on Trade Nations. The only reason I kept playing was because I had 32 consecutive weeks and was waiting for another cool thing to show up. I quit actually doing anything but check in a couple of weeks ago. Then, Saturday, my wife and I had to get up early to attend a hog fry with the Cherokee Nation in Belton, Tx. I completely forgot about Trade Nation, my streak ended and there was no need to play any more.

Trade Nations did have one feature I really wish ngmoco:) would pick up for We Rule. You can leave a message for other players that pops up whenever they visit. As soon as they load your kingdom they can see a dialogue with a personalized message if you want to leave one. You can wax poetic, let people know you’re on vacation, or tell them to leave your shit alone because you can make more money ordering from yourself than from other players (which, admittedly, is rather bizarre).

No “gone fishing” sign which people ignore. No ambiguity. You’re message is there for everyone who drops by. How hard is that? Just something to think about for the “We Rule Superquest” release.

This is my farewell message for Trade Nations. Maybe I shouldn’t have waxed quite so poetic. It took a couple of weeks for other players to figure out I really was retiring from the game.

Maybe one day I’ll write about the game that I loved but which pissed me off more and more so often I finally said to hell with it (in spite of spending way to much money on their version of mojo called nanopoads) and haven’t played since. If you want to talk about a game that gave an advantage to players who spent money, that would be the one.

Okay, I’ll talk. One of the things that pissed me off was that I invested a lot of time earning credits to build their new heavy tank, as did a number of other players. After finally building my fleet up enough to actually win at least half of my battles with other players, they introduced a super tank which players could buy with nanopods. Sure enough, within days everybody with money had super tanks and the rest of us were back to losing four out of five battles.

So when I think about We Rule, I put things in perspective. The game is fun while you build your kingdoms, once you have reached L70 you will start generating enough coins to redesign as often as you want, and with the harvest orb you can harvest all 13 realms in less than half an hour.

Except for farms

Time to leave the farm.

Farms take more time than any aspect of the game. When you’re beginning, it’s no big deal, but by the time you reach L70 you have 35 farms in addition to any magic farms.

Nor does ngmoco:) make farms easy to work with. You have to look up the crop each time you plant one. If you’re lucky, the game will remember the last crop you planted.

Other games, such as Farmville and Cityville let you pick a crop and then touch the plots until you want to change crops. When you have a hundred or more farms that becomes painful.

Farmville even lets you buy a planter so you can run your finger across farms and plant row after row at once. You have to pay farm cash for gas, but you have the option.

So why would you want to keep farms? Because at lower levels they are among the best earners available and plots are cheap. You can pay for your next crop with your current harvest.

At the advanced levels, however, the cost v. return advantage loses out to more expensive items such as the golden temple and some of the new residences, such as the Persian and (admittedly ugly) creepy residence. When you earn a million or more coins every two or three days, the residences are easily afforded. When you earn a couple of million a day, so are the golden temples.

I’ve already yanked every farm to inventory and it makes the game much quicker to play.

Even before that I discovered I could rotate planting and harvest times. As long as I stuck to cauliflower I could do half the farms on one round, and the other half on the next. But the time finally came and I yanked them all. My revenues have actually improved thanks to the high return buildings I was able to stack on to what used to be farm land.

Remember, however, I was already at L75 before I even considered this option. But when you reach that level you may be looking for ways to make the game quicker and easier.

Upgrade request summary

To summarize my upgrade suggestions:

  • Customizable greeting dialogues when players visit
  • Let players keep planting the same crop without having to reselect it for each plot.

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