Special Dragon Hunt Edition

The We Rule special event is a dragon hunt, not just any dragon hunt but one for six different dragons. You have to plant dragon orchids, lure the dragons and catch them within four hours.

Once you catch six dragons you earn the crystal lair. Catch six more, you earn the crimson lair. But it’s not just any six dragons, you have to catch one (or two) of each of the purple, orange, green, emerald, ruby and crystal dragons.

You get two nets, a free one that may or may not catch dragons (odds are, based on twelve tries and two catches, it won’t) and a magic net that costs 1o mojo (per dragon) that does. In the end, expect to spend about $20+ worth of mojo to complete the quest.

If you want to try the free net, try it on the purple dragons first they seem to be more easily caught than the others. And the more dragons you catch and send to others the more you seem to get in return, which can up your chances. If you don’t want to spend mojo on dragon catching, try to catch as many as you can with the free net now, and wait until the last couple of days for the dragons you don’t catch.

The odds of your actually catching a dragon with the free net are pretty slim, which is why they can charge such a steep premium for the magic net (which you can use once and once only).

If, however, you want to shoot for the crimson lair you need to capture six dragons twice, so I wouldn’t wait. ngmoco:) claims the crimson lair will be the most valuable building ever, (and it probably will be for another three or four weeks. But based on my experience with the game, there will be a building with a higher yield around Thanksgiving if not earlier. The life of highest yield buildings seems to be two to three months.

Expect to see the first building that costs a million+ coins to appear sometime before Christmas.

Don’t forget. I’m still on sabbatical to work on the ebook version of the Grimoire until mid September. In the meantime, check out the new Gifts and Goals chart.

Declaration of independence from bugs (if only)

Readers who follow this blog on their iPads may have been surprised to discover (as was I) that the familiar appearance of this blog was replaced with an iPad based swipe interface featuring multiple threads and a Volvo like box-based appearance.

This decision was made by host WordPress and not by me, and implemented without warning. Oh, I’m sure there was an article on the WordPress site, but that assumes I actually have time to blog and read all their posts as well.

To make matters worse, the automatic posting feature stopped working so that blogs I save as a draft weren’t posted when instructed (this happened on my other blog as well).

I fixed the first problem so that the blog looks the same on your laptop and iPad, but I may switch back in a few weeks as I have more time to play with the design options (there aren’t many). I realized the post wasn’t up and manually posted it Thursday.

I have already posted a request on the WordPress forums asking that WordPress give readers the option to choose the iPad or standard browser interface rather than making me force all readers into the same box. Hopefully they will find a way to do this.

More gifts

Was anyone really surprised when ngmoco:) extended the gifts “by popular demand”? This would be like the decision to extend mojo by popular demand. Hey, ngmoco:), we would like you to offer free mojo every week by popular demand.

Or how about 50 free mojo as one of the gifts?

Nor were all players happy with the new friends realms feature that lists the players in order of who logged in last over their listing in the plus + friends section. This is understandable. I spend a lot of time deleting and adding friends again to keep the list in the order I want. To have this automatically replaced based on log-in sequence is kind of irritating and I’m not sure it makes ordering easier.

The bug hunt is over

Should ngmoco:) read the comments for this blog, they should no longer be under the illusion that the problems with We Rule can be attributed solely to the iPads themselves.

In fact, I reset my iPad to factory settings and tested We Rule as the first app opened, and it crashed immediately and several more times during the harvesting session. I’m sorry, but when a game crashes on an iPad rest to factory settings as the first app opened and only one running, the problem is ngmoco:)’s.

The crashes are so severe for some players that several are ready to abandon the game (and I might if it weren’t for the blog) and one, coffeebuzzard went so far as to complain:

My next step is to submit a formal complaint to Apple, and ask them to research the many other obvious user complaints, for accepting and allowing a broken app that takes users money in their store. Since Apple is accepting the money on ngcomo’s behalf and taking a percentage for themselves, they are culpable. The normal course for Apple is to pull the game until the developer can prove the issues have been fixed.
If this game were completely free, I would simply delete it and abandon its use. But due to ngcomo’s continued negligence, I have lost patience and money and clearly others have as well. They are no longer causing frustration for their users, they are committing a crime.

I’m not sure I would go that far, but I certainly understand his or her frustration. Players reported a lot of bugs, but three seem to occur to multiple players:

  • Constant crashes
  • Items in inventory can’t be returned to play
  • Missing mojo (sometimes because players used it without meaning to, others because it simply disappears).

iPhone players noticed some bugs too:

  • Crashes when switching from kingdom to realms and back
  • Crashes when notifying that payment was received
  • Ads float into friends realms hindering ordering

By and large the crashes are the biggest complaints.

People with older iPhones are also experiencing problems, and I think this has a lot to do with the combination of iOS 4 and We Rule Quests. It would be nice if ngmoco:) could work out something with Apple to let an older version (Red or Gold) run on 3GS and 3G iPhones.

There have been a number of causes suggested. Some blame stacking, and crashes due to stacking won’t be fixed. But kingdoms that don’t stack crash too, so we can’t blame the stackers. One reader suggested that crashes may be caused by players who don’t shut down completely but leave the game running in the background under iOS 4 and tying up the server. This very well could be, but ngmoco:) needs to fix that because players can’t be counted on to understand how background apps work.

I do think demands on the server, but, as I’ve said before, I suspect
memory leaks. Even after I restored to factory settings, I noticed that We Rule would launch other apps, shutting the game down. At this point I realized those apps were always apps in the same folder as We Rule, so I moved the game back to the main screen and it started launching those apps instead. Basically something in the code accesses the iPad’s memory stack or general system code.

Readers have suggested and I agree that ngmoco:) should devote their resources to fixing bugs before they add new items to the game. If you agree please copy and paste the following message to both ngmoco:)’s support address.

As a frequent player of We Rule I appreciate your tireless efforts to listen to player requests and add new features such as inventory, additional realms and site navigation. But I am also tired of the bugs that have plagued the game since it launched last year, specifically: 1) frequent crashes on both my iPad and iPhone, 2) the inability to return items to inventory, 3) the loss of mojo, often from an inability to make a final confirmation before I spend it, and 4) the app closing down to download new content while I am in the process of harvesting (often costing me the crops).

I read the blogs and forums and know these bugs aren’t specific to me but are frequently reported by other users. Please stop introducing new items and new features until these bugs are resolved.

Feel free to add any notes of your own.

I also posted this on ngmoco:)’s feedback page, “fix bugs before features.” If you feel strongly, please log in and vote this as your number 1 request.

Susan Moon found the most puzzling bug, a movable white square. This actually means the graphics aren’t refreshing after an operation, but if I had thought to have a weirdest bug contest, she would have won this one too. Readers also reported a spade or shovel over new buildings keeping them from accepting orders.

How’s this for weird. If anyone can explain the floating white box please comment.

Hopefully, with enough votes and comments ngmoco:) will get the message and at least cut the crashes back to one or two per session.

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