Get your goals on

It took me awhile to catch on to the pirates. At first I didn’t think much of them because I was so pissed. I had waited most of Friday night to see if they would release new shops on the off chance they would, and then released the shops I had been holding.

You see, I used to spend a lot more mojo running these numbers for you guys, because I had to use it to release shops so I could make room to order from my faux kingdom. A few weeks ago I realized that if I hold off on releasing shops for a couple of hours in the late afternoon, I can time it to coincide with new building announcements and save twenty or thirty mojo.

Usually a later Friday release is no big deal, it’s only one shop. And since I do the charts and analysis on Thursday I only have to slip one new column into the new shops chart. But this week, as you know, ngmoco:) launched a major mandatory upgrade so there wasn’t much to analyze.

Quests are out. Goals are in. The announcement looks more like a sampler than a display, but that may have been the intention. Will we be happy with the changes? That remains to be seen.

Then, as I am about to wind down for the evening, I check in to fill any last minute orders and suddenly there’s all this stuff: Skull Island, pirate harbor and pirate port. Now I have to discharge more shops (with mojo), plant three new buildings, spend the mojo to construct them and process three orders from my faux kingdom, and stay up until two in the morning typing the charts.

Which meant I had to stay up until five to get the writing done that I was already behind on. On a Friday night, when I should have been asleep (or, when I was much younger, partying).

So it wasn’t until Saturday that I realized the harbor pirate character was a woman, which meant she was a woman because Penelope Cruz joined the cast of Pirates of the Caribbean, which means this whole damn weekend release was just another blockbuster movie tie-in.

An entire Friday tied up for a movie promotion. What’s next? X-Men? Transformers? If that’s too much of a stretch, I’m sure they can work in Planet of the Apes. They already have the monkey king from the old quest era.

Bye bye quests

Yes, we can already speak fondly of the old quest era because it’s been replaced by the new “goals” era. Goals are a checklist of tasks that earn coins and experience.

We Rule presents you with a list of goals. As soon as you complete one, a new goal is added to your list. You can actually complete the task, or just spend mojo.

Your tasks can include planting several different crops to make a pizza, or building a navy and adding cannons. Quite often you have to collect orders from other players for the new items you install.

At first I didn’t mind the goals. I could always install buildings from my inventory. But ngmoco:) caught on to that trick almost immediately and upgraded the upgrade within hours. Now you actually have to spend coins to buy items to earn more coins.

Each time you complete a goal, you get a little notice saying you finished. That’s it. Then you’re on to the next one. You don”t even get to relive your accomplishments by finding them listed in the achievements list.

That was when I quit playing the goals. I realized the coins I earned might not even pay back the coins I spent to install the items. I could spend less on one wisdom grove and keep earning experience points in the future. Who would have thought my enjoyment of the upgrade would end so quickly?

Personally, I enjoyed the quests more. I enjoyed them more because of the cool swag you could earn. The cute little thrones and leprechauns and the oases. Sure, the ones we earned are still available, but I was looking forward to more. And I don’t want to have to spend mojo to get them as gifts. I want to earn them.

So why did ngmoco:) dump the quests and replace them with goals? The answer is simple: to sell mojo. Most of you have already figured out that the whole point of goals is to sell more mojo. You probably got the hint when you noticed that you could spend mojo to finish the goals without doing any work at all.

If you didn’t get the hint, ngmoco:) launched another mojo sale to make sure you made the connection. So you can spend mojo to complete goals, or spend mojo to install buildings to complete the goals without spending mojo on the goal itself.

I looked in the achievements list to see if ngmoco:) at least allows you to keep track of goals completed to relive our days of glory. No such luck. Nor do they keep a list in the Game Center.

I hate to say this, but why doesn’t ngmoco:) quit shuffling around the issue, and simply put the leader board slots up for a cash bid? They could even bid out the top 25 every week or every other week. They could raise enough cash to pay quarterly bonuses to everyone on staff, and the rest of us can earn coins and buy everything with coins.

As it is, Carol is already on Facebook trying to organize Mojo Anonymous, a twelve-step group for mojo addicts. We’ve joked about it in the past, but now I think she’s serious.