Save our servers

For all my assurances that I believe ngmoco:) intends to carry on with We Rule, I still realize that the game can die simply from developer neglect. If developers quit introducing new items or wrinkles, players are going to loose interest and quickly.

This is similar to the mistake TV producers make when they start moving shows around to new nights and odd hours. They may convince themselves they are attracting new viewers, but the truth is viewers don't want to follow and the shows they move into their new time slots often do even worse.

ngmoco:) developers say their servers can no longer support new game elements, and this may be true. I accept part of the blame, overloading the servers with hundreds of stacked items. But they are so cool. And I didn't have to stack the new bird residences to add more than a thousand to a single realm. The developers did that on their own.

Are there ways to free up the servers to allow new elements into the game? Yes, although they may be painful.

First, ngmoco:) can email all players who have been inactive for more than six months and tell them their kingdoms will go away to make room for new players and items. Players who have really given up on the game can start playing again. If they don't start playing in a month, remove them from the servers.

Some players won't get the notice because they used bogus emails. Oh well. Players who have multiple kingdoms and no longer use them, will probably be willing to give them up to keep playing their main kingdom.

Next ngmoco:) can limit the number of any single item that can stay in inventory. I think 50 groves and residences, and 1o of any shop would be a start. ngmoco:) could also rotate more buildings out of service. It shouldn't be hard to run a query to find out which items have lost their luster to players. They should keep the original items because they are so easy to earn coins to buy, and the best producers.

But does anyone still want the cheese shop, or romantic bistro or bookstore? Probably not too many, and the ones that do can inventory three or four. First on my list, the shops that don't have cute characters but have mediocre performance: the pie shop, the chimney sweep, the roller coaster, gatehouses, venetian palazzo, chick chalet, corn maze, alpine lodge, bridal boutique, pelt shop, millenary, tea house and Rapunzel's tower.

Just for starters.

Do I want to see most of my inventory go or the remote kingdom I use to test new shops? No. But I would do it in a heart beat if it would help keep the game continuing.

ngmoco:) may not intend to kill the game, but sitting on your hands and hoping players will still love you is no solution either.

No contest

There was only one entrant in my hell kingdom contest and that was me, and I already have copies of the prizes. It dawned on me that it may be too close to Halloween and players may have been waiting for ngmoco:) to announce a contest too. So in case anyone would still like to try their hand, send me a screen shot of any halloween or hell kingdom and.

This is my hell kingdom complete with characters being developed for the show “Raising Hell,” being proposed at Amazon Studios. So far readers have a choice of being visited by Lucifer, Pilgrim, the male or female manifestation of Mephistopheles, and Mrs. Sternmother (the worst boss ever, after Lucifer himself).

One reader will win a free copy of the Grimoire, at least two more will get free copies of Raising Hell, and I will feature the ones I like. So it no longer has to be a hell kingdom, any Halloween theme will do.

Retraction, or, maybe, clarification

When I said in my last post that I wouldn't be surprised if ngmoco:) ended We Rule, I realized I used a phrase that may mean more (or less) than I intended. It takes a lot to surprise me. What it takes to surprise me could easily give someone else a heart attack. When I say I wouldn't be surprised I mean simply, I recognize it's possible. And anything that's possible tends not to surprise me. I do not, however, expect We Rule to end any time soon.

I tend to understate because usually, but not always, it seems safer. Since “surprise” requires a different threshold for different people, I thought I would lay out a scale to indicate how surprised I would be should ngmoco:) end We Rule. In the left column is things that would surprise me less (that I would expect to happen before I would expect We Rule to end). On the right things that would surprise me more. In other words, the demise of We Rule in the near future would be, in my opinion, more likely than any of these.

More likely to happen

  • The Texas Rangers make it to a 3rd consecutive World Series
  • Mitt Romney wins the election
  • Congress lets the country slide into fiscal disaster (sorry, Janet, but you're probably not reading any more anyway)
  • Tony Romo has a winning record for the Cowboys in December
  • United Artists decides Daniel Craig is too old to play 007
  • Marijuana is legalized

Less likely to happen

  • Martians capture the Mars Rover and hold it ransom
  • Ralph Nader and Pat Robertson run for election on the same ticket
  • Tom Cruise wins an Academy Award
  • Not only is there a second coming but a third and fourth as well
  • Soccer becomes America's national sport
  • I changed my mind. Put legalized marijuana here

So there we have it. I hope it's clear now how likely I feel We Rule is to end in November. But, just in case, buy “We Rule: The Hidden Grimoire” from Amazon or iBooks right away so you can rack up as many points as possible before it goes. Carol just finished checking our bank statement and she isn't happy with me.