Can elementals be contained in an iPad?

The elemental event ended this week and the winner was mellowy7 with 3518 elementals captured.

Wow. Did he/she sleep?

Zimidar was in second place, but he’s the perpetual leader board guy. Look on any leader board and he should be there somewhere. If ngmoco:) were to create an endurance leader board he would have to be the all time leader ever and ever amen.

Mellowy7 won the elemental event by collecting 3500 elementals. That is a lot of elementals for a supposedly mellowy player. How can he contain them? His iPad must be shaking like New York City in Ghostbusters with all the elementals trying to break free. Fortunately, there is no elemental Zool to release them.
We hope.

I kept playing to send elementals to other players who might need them, but I didn’t work that hard. But I only came up with 91. Then again, I really played to get the numbers so players could know what the rewards might be.

Without question, ngmoco:) did a good job with this event. Even the toughest elementals could be caught without mojo on the last day which should have made it easier for anyone to finish if they wanted. I caught four fire elementals, three lightning and wind elementals and two composite elementals on Wednesday, and I didn’t spend any mojo. And I stopped planting lures to attract them.

For poorer players this should send the message that if they hang on long enough they should be able to win without spending a lot on mojo. Hopefully this will continue into the next events as well.

The gift cart returned with no real changes that I can see. I noticed that gifts from ngmoco:) no longer boost themselves for you; you at least have to click the boost button again.

It was a first that ngmoco:) released more gifts than ordinary buildings this week. They released three boosted and one regular gift, one cash purchase item (the Eiffel Tower) and one building (Versailles). The theme would seem to have been the French Revolution except for the fact that the Tower was built a hundred years later.

I guess now is as good a time to depose the king and queen as any. I just wonder if we’ll see a guillotine to execute the We Rule monkey king and his consort. Now that would be entertainment.

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More dragons please

Please don’t fish

I’ve noticed that a lot of players have begun placing orders in buildings where I posted gone fishing signs. The point of those signs is that I am trying to get numbers for you guys on rent return. Every time you place an order is time that I can’t get numbers to other players.

This week it took me a week to finally complete the numbers of the labyrinth, even though I had eight available in the main kingdom. I’ve even started putting “gone fishing” signs on every side of the test items, and when that didn’t work I started covering them in trees.

Four different times this week I was within two or three hours of getting those numbers on the labyrinth only to have someone place an order, which means that even after I rejected them, the counter reset.

Please, please don’t get greedy and order at buildings I’ve placed off limits. I will still reject your order and other players will wait even longer. As soon as I’ve collected the numbers, I will put the building into play (if it’s really of value to customers).

Missed opportunities

I loved the new Chinese dragon ngmoco:) released last week, so when I saw the new Sun Temple Tuesday I thought to myself, “All right, this week we’re going to get Quetzalcoatl.” But, no, we got a Jaguar woman and priest instead. Cute, but boring in comparison.

It may show up with the ball court that’s supposed to come as a reward for the King’s Court goal, but I’m not keeping my fingers crossed.

Dragons don’t get much cooler than Quetzalcoatl, the winged serpent. He actually is depicted in many forms, from snakelike to almost human to a version of Ouroboros. Any one of them would have looked great in We Rule (although this one is the coolest), but now we have to wait for another round of Mayan crap.

Image courtesy of techpin.com

You can also get Machu Picchu from the boosted gifts, but it’s huge. Really huge. Just about the biggest We Rule building I can remember. I also noticed a new kind of tree in about three different shades on the splash screen. The question is, when will it show up?

Should vendors buy the jaguar temple?

In Thursday’s analysis update I mentioned that vendors might not be so willing to invest in the jaguar temple since the vendor return is so low (about half that of the minotaur’s labyrinth), even though the customer payoff is high. I discovered that the rent return is exceptionally high, but, once again, vendors will lose money as soon as the order is placed. So you might not see too many until even more lucrative shops open.

Inspiration, perspiration or plagiarism?

I couldn’t help but wonder if the game designers haven’t been playing other games on ngmoco:)’s dime. I noticed that the Sun Temple bears a striking resemblance to the Sun Temple in Bloons. The more I compare the two, the more I can’t help but think ngmoco:) may have been trolling for ideas while playing games on company time. If so, ngmoco:) may have to pony up some royalties.

What do you think? To the right we have the We Rule Sun Temple released last Tuesday.

Click image to see full size

To the left we have the sun temple in Bloons, which is a fun game. Kind of like Plants vs. Zombies on speed. Take away the monkey face, and they look like the same item.

You may not be concerned that game designers are slacking on the job. It is DeNA’s dime, right?

But think about this. We’ve undergone a lot of building inflation, which means ngmoco:) is pushing harder than ever to get us to cough up mojo. Why? Probably to pay for more designers and developers. But if these guys would work on the company dime instead of playing games, then maybe the company could hire fewer designers and hold down the cost to us.

Let’s face it. Free enterprise isn’t really free when the customers pay for it.

The Shogun syndrome

One and a half billion experience points. How is that possible? Shepul18 has more than one and a half billion experience points and barblaw isn’t far behind. I’m not even close to that and I already feel like this game is sucking the life out of me sometimes.

Carol blithely announced that she was getting tired of We Rule. But she still plays all the other games that I abandoned because I was spending so much time with We Rule.

Congratulations leaders, seriously. But don’t let your family know because mine has already threatened me with interventions three times and I lied and promised to never play again three times. Carol supported me because my family still thinks jennymanytoes is actually a fan of my iPad blog. If they knew it was Carol….Never mind, they would never believe Carol would play We Rule. She’s the responsible one who should have married someone better than their own son (and/or brother).

I’ve been away for a couple of weeks. I intended to be back last week but evidently a certain cat (who already makes too many guest appearances in my iPad Envy column) erased the post I slaved over all weekend and replaced it with a plea for cats in We Rule.

Now I love Jenny, I love all of our foster cats and especially the ones we adopted (sometimes because we realized no one else would), so I don’t need any more damn cats in We Rule.

Then, one of my readers posted a comment that cats came with the witch’s cauldron, so Jenny scratched at my shoulder and then the iPad screen until I went ahead and added several. No go, no cats. Then she was pissed at me because she thinks it’s my fault the cats didn’t show up.

She sits on the bedroom dresser, in the middle of our TV screen and stares at me, meowing at the top of her voice during the middle of our favorite shows, making sure I know she’s not happy about the cats. Or absence of them. Or total lack of concern whether We Rule has cats or not. My feeling? We’ll end up taking them in when irresponsible players abandon them.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that three cats showed up later, slinking around behind Valhalla. I’m not sure I will tell her. Siamese don’t have a high opinion of black cats because they’re always stealing her food. And I don’t want to have to put three cauldrons in every realm so I will have the maximum number of cats.

The China connection

As many players guessed when the Chinese monastery appeared on our splash screens Thursday, this was the weekend ngmoco:) went crazy with Chinese stuff. Players who looked for gifts may have even found foo dogs without spending mojo.

But don’t expect it to end. I’m sure they will announce Chinese gifts early next week, and then gold Chinese gifts, both of which will probably need mojo. Maybe we’ll even get jade groves (almost as good as emerald) and jade Chinese gifts in celebration of the orient.

Don’t forget oriental goals. Between gold and jade Chinese gifts and two or three oriental goals, they can rake in another half million in mojo sales. We Rule is one of the highest grossing all time apps for a reason.

Does this mean the orient will take control of We Rule? After all DeNA, who now owns ngmoco:), is a Japanese company.

I doubt it. I’m sure we’ll be off to Uncle Remus items with fox lairs and tar baby pits and briar patches, or maybe Winnie the Poo. After all, the game designers seem to have the attention spans of middle school boys. And it’s too early to return to Alice in Wonderland (or Disney may have already filed suit).

The new Chinese dragons both fly and slither through your kingdom, making a great addition to your dragon collection. The temple they come with takes up a lot of room, however. Maybe because it takes more space to rid yourself of bad dragon karma.

Maybe it’s time for Jules Verne with undersea realms and the Nautilus/Mysterious Island objects. Or Around the World in 80 Days with balloons and elephants. Or even, now that I’m riffing off the Nautilus, maybe Atlantis and a sinking island? If they can make Chinese dragons slither and fly, they can make an island sink.

Cheap Chinese goods

In some respects it was like shopping at Walmart this weekend. The oriental residences are 18k coins and deliver 160cp every hour. This is almost as much in one hour as the rubies deliver in six hours. The catch is that they ripen every hour. Still, they’re cheaper than 90k for founts, or 190k for wisdom groves so that’s a pretty good deal.

You can install fifty of each residence in each realm, and provide a great way to run up points in a weekend marathon.

The new oriental residences crank out coins and xp every hour, which means they can really bring revenue into your kingdom if you want to take the time to keep up with them.

And for a few more days you can get the dragon temples for $2, and that’s a cool dragon. Yes, it’s a lot for virtual crap but considering how much I spent for the Betty Page figurine posing in her leopard bikini (the one Carol makes me keep in the closet), it’s a decent price. And that dragon is awesome.

Is ngmoco:) getting kickbacks for a movie tie-in?

I usually wait to see Marvel Comic movies until the adults have had a chance to review them, the success of Spider and Iron Man notwithstanding. But this is what I have been told is the basic story line.

Donald Blake, medical doctor and unsuspecting comic book character, is exploring in the Nevada desert. He comes across a military encampment that looks strangely like the one at the end of Iron Man II. Because in fictional realities (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) everyday people can singlehandedly outwit dozens of trained military and intelligence professionals at once—with a minimum of personal training, a few personal skills they have picked up in the back story, and a lot of pluck—Blake is able to unintentionally elude every guard.

Unintentionally, mind you, because there is no way Donald Blake can know what’s waiting for him when he stumbles across the super secret hammer uncovered by the excavation. Once he stumbles across it, however, he cannot help but pick it up to see what he has found and suddenly….

A bolt of lightning strikes him. He feels his muscles rippling with power and his chest expanding by at least twelve inches. His abs, already rock hard because he is in good health and perfectly fit, ripple from a six pack to a twelve-pack of rock hard steel. His denim shirt and jeans shimmer and transform into a costume of steel and elastic, mostly black but with an ultra-titanium breastplate decorated with six additional embedded plates that feel as light as a feather. A red robe spreads from his shoulders like an angels wings.

He is no longer in Nevada, he’s in…

Where the hell is he? He realizes he is wandering in the shadow of a black mountain forge with a golden anvil, surrounded on each side by two orange Valhallas floating in the clouds. They seem like they must fall from the sky, as would the Greek temples floating in the skies nearby.

“Great,” says the bearded man in the toga standing next to him. “First Cleopatra, now you guys. We were promised a monopoly on the God thing.”

“Who the hell are you,” Blake says, “Socrates? Plato?”

The bearded man stamps the ground with his foot, startling the black dragon above him so much he nearly collides with a wyvern.

“I told the game designers I don’t look Godly enough. I’m Zeus, the head honcho. The God of all Gods.”

“I thought that was Odin,” says Blake, suddenly wondering how he knew that since he previously had had no knowledge of Norse mythology.

A jester bumps into him and cackles. “If you’re the God of all Gods, how come he’s taller?”

The jester dances off toward the off-angled castle at the center of the kingdom. Protestors surround it shouting, “We want the dark one back.”

He can hear the jester’s voice laughing over the crowd. “Doesn’t stop the dragons from shitting on you, or the demons from pissing. And no Greek nymphs to scrub it off.”

Zeus blushes. “You won’t get used to it.”

A door bursts open in the left Valhalla and Freya emerges, spreading her arms and floating slowly to the ground. “Welcome to We Rule, Thor,” she says. “The social network game for puerile teens and failed writers hoping to boost their careers with a crappy blog.”

“My name’s Blake,” he tells her, “Donald Blake.”

“You can forget that from here on out,” she says. “It’s Thor.” She sweeps her hand across the horizon. “Take a good look. It will all be gone in four to six weeks and replaced with something new. I’m surprised this geezer is still hanging on.” She points to Zeus. “He used to have the best payout of any building and cost a whopping 35 mojo. Now he can’t even make it into the top ten.”

Zeus flashes his middle finger, which emerges from his hand like a bolt of lightning. It is a bolt of lighting. But it fizzles out and sizzles in the large snow patch at Freya’s feet.

“See what I mean?” she says. “Enjoy it while you can. We’ll probably have been replaced with King Kong’s mountain sometime in August.”

“I’m in a game?” Blake shouts. “A game? I was supposed to be in a blockbuster summer movie.”

She raises her nostril in contmept. “That was Chris Hemsworth, and, trust me, you’re no Chris Hemsworth. I have his posters plastered all over the walls of my apartment in Valhalla.”

“But it’s a game. A role playing game,” he protests.

“A social network game,” she reminds him. “There’s a difference. And it could have been worse. You could have been in the movie Almighty Thor with Richard Greco. It played on the SyFy channel the weekend of the film opening.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“It was so bad, they used Patricia Velasquez as the Norse warrior goddess. Imagine that, an actress who can barely speak English playing a Norse goddess with a Spanish accent. She was hot, though. If I leaned that way, I would have her poster all over my apartment at Valhalla. But really? The bit where they teleport into New York? I had to stop the TIVO right there.”

“I’m in hell,” Blake/Thor says. “I’m in hell.”

“No,” Freya says, “That’s another novel. With  sample chapters starting this week in the Pages section. It’s been six months since it was first promised, but six months in the real world is like a week in hell.”

The jester returns, dancing around her and laughing. “That’s his excuse? And I thought I was the jester.”

The movie Thor versus the new Thor in We Rule. Notice the difference anybody?

Thor photo by Mark Fellman.