Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Unlimited Gold in CityVille

There are no hacks or anything like that discussed here... just idiotic game mechanics

Games where you can never run out of things to do are not for me. If all it takes for you to surpass your peers is to sit in front of the game all day, then what is the point. Whoever has the least life wins.

Here are some simple steps to being able to afford whatever you want in the game:
1. Set up one business with as high a percent earned as possible (see prior post). A Seafood Restaurant with 263% bonus will yield 2211 coins. Simple math shows that 2211/140=15.8 coins for each good.
2. Complete quests until you can send a train to Charlieville and send the train every 5 minutes. This train costs 1200 coins and produces 300 goods. The ratio here is 4 coins per good (1200/300=4).
3. Supply your businesses with these goods for a 4x return on your investment, rotating each business through the "sweet spot" of bonus return. Repeat until you fall asleep or die of old age. This process requires very little energy, and can go on and on and on. Use businesses which hold a high amount of goods though.

I've made 20,000 coins and GAINED 2 energy while I was typing this.

Piers vs. Barns
If you are still building barns once piers become available, you are stupid. Each pier holds 420 goods, and doubles as up to SEVEN farm plots (Achieve seven boats by rotating the ones on the side so that it holds three on each side and one in the middle). They take up hardly any land for other buildings, and should produce enough crops to have a surplus if you use the train to Charlieville as well.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A few tips for CityVille

Welcome to the first update on here in a while. Please feel free to share this with friends, and make their gaming experience more productive as well. Keep in mind that this is NOT a guide to making your town pretty. I am helping to make it more productive.

Here are a few tips I have learned so far:

If you plan on playing a long time... don't use your franchises on just anything... Start with Burgers or Bikes and stick with it for a while... Whatever you do, try to make your third one Seafood, which is good until level 30. You cannot choose your franchise types again.

Completing Quests
Quests in CV may seem like a waste of time, but they are very important to continue progressing in game play. Some of them cause you to build things you don't want to, lay road you don't need, or otherwise waste resources. While it may be painful (I just finished deleting the crappy houses I didn't need) it unlocks additional homes, community projects, and businesses. Suck it up!

Laying Road... or Sidewalk
Did you know that roads do not have to be connected. Continuing with their past trend, Zynga was made it so that the people of CV do not need to reach the shops in your city to utilize them. Some of you may have taken advantage of this in the past when you turned around your counters in Cafe World to speed up delivery time. In this game, placing only a single road tile in front of your building allows you to place more decorations and increase the percentage of pay. You can also string along a sidewalk from that single road piece somewhere else, like the picture later on.

Picking the Right Businesses
Supplies and energy are your major limiting factor in this game. I always try to harvest my friends crops for them when I visit their towns for two reasons: so they don't have to waste the energy doing it, and so I get the 15 supplies bonus as well. 15 supplies are worth FAR more than 25 coins when you place enough decorations.

Given this factor, it is important to place businesses which hold a lot of supplies and also have a high yield per supply. Right now, at level 25, I am favoring the Seafood Restaurants. They hold 140 goods and when surrounded by decorations yield a ton of cash (over 1200 coins per). I currently have around 110% income on each of my three with very little investment on decorations. I plan on increasing these in the near future so that I have 140%+ income and 4 working businesses instead of three.

Other businesses, including my friends which I have allowed them to build on my land, are off to the side, connected to some road, but not in production. My friends get bonuses for having them there, and I get goods delivered once a day (which I use in the seafood shops).

Placing Decorations
Currently, I have placed my top decorations such as fountains and parks in the middle of my three active seafood restaurants increasing their production by 16-18%. I have filled up the space immediately around the shops with flowers and trees (1-4%) and leaving the outermost areas three squares away from the shops for additional high-yield decorations. As long as the tennis court, fountain, etc. is occupying one square within three of the shop, you get the bonus. Have fun doubling your income with ease.


They just changed the statues to be worth 2%... lame. Big waste of cash. This setup is now worth 263%

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bushwhacker - New Quests

With all the new things to do in the game, a few could be overlooked or confusing. The following is my list of those quests. Most are fairly straightforward, but a few have some tips associated with them. If I have missed any quests (other than Rosa's) please let me know.

Mr. Smith - Central Haven
Mining (Insert Type Here) Ore - Repeatable
Mine 10 (Insert Type Here) ore from mining spots that appear anywhere in the world and bring it to Mr. Smith in Central Haven.

Steve the Fisherman - Shadow of the Mountain
Cleaning Up the Lake - Repeatable
Fish up 5 junk items from any of the fishing holes in Hat Head Lake or the Shadow of the Moutain, then return to Steve in the Shadow of the Mountain. Junk is defined as items that do not award gold, energy or a customization item.
- Please view my post on the Fishing Lure vs. Food here

Rosa - World Traveler...
Pristine Bee Wings - The Damp Forest
Whack 10 bees and bring their wings to Rosa the Gypsy in the Damp Forest.
- Rewards you with XP and 2 Aquamarine
- Best to just stay in this zone, unless there are other zones with bees you are not 100% complete in.

Mountain Lily - The Frigid Heights
Search the mountain zones to find Mountain Lily plants. Bring 6 flowers to Rosa the Gypsy in the Frigid Heights.
- Rewards you with XP and a Citrine
- Can be found in any mountain zone, on the ground. These are not found in bushes

The Best Pink Mushrooms - The Foggy Swamp
Search the swampy zones to find Pink Mushrooms. Bring 8 of them to Rosa the Gypsy in the Foggy Swamp.
- Rewards you with XP and a Topaz

Slimy Yet Nutritious - The Cracking Path
Whack 10 Blue Fire Slugs in the snow, mountain, or swamp zones and bring their tongues to Rosa in the Cracking Path.
- Rewards you with XP and a Sapphire

Desert Wisdom - The Scorched Earth
Whack bushes in the desert until you have found 12 Desert Sage and then bring them to Rosa the Gypsy at the Scorched Earth.
- Rewards you with XP and a Ruby

Bill the Wagon Driver - The Foggy Swamp
This Swamp Sucks
Whack bushes in the swampy zones until you have found 4 replacement wheels, then bring them to Bill the Wagon Driver in the Foggy Swamp.

The Lost Cargo
Whack critters in the swampy zones until you have found 10 lost cargo crates. Bring them all to Bill the Wagon Driver in the Foggy Swamp.

The Guru - The Windy Peak
It's Pie, Man
Whack bushes in the mountains until you have found 12 Mountain Apples, and then bring them to Guru Maurice at the Windy Peak.

Expected Correspondence
Travel to Central Haven and ask the Postman if any letters have arrived for Guru Maurice. Return any correspondence to him at the Windy Peak.

The Guru's Girl
Travel to the Harbour to meet Jill and then help her get to Guru Maurice at the Windy Peak.

Guru's Girlfriend - The Harbor, and then The Windy Peak
She Gets Sea Sick by the Sea Shore
Whack bushes in the mountains until you have found 6 Ginger Roots. Bring them to Jill in the Harbour.

In the Mountains - Repeatable
Whack bushes in the mountains until you find an oxygen mask, and bring it to Jill on the Windy Peak.
- This quest name is a World of Warcraft Reference
- This quest item can even be found in "The Friendly Mountain" zone, if you need customization items there

Fetch Me a Topaz
Use the wizards magical fireball to melt the ice around a blue topaz, and bring the topaz to the wizard in the Snowy Plains.
- This is just a random spawn in any Frozen zone... enter and exit zones until you find it

Summing the Dragon
Use the infused blue topaz to unfreeze and control the dragon frozen in the ice in the Frozen Lake, then command it to obay the wizard.

Dudley, the Friendly Dragon - The Frozen Lake
Revenge is a Dish... - Repeatable
Find and melt free a blue topaz, then use it to freeze the evil wizard in a block of ice. Return to Dudley the Friendly Dragon at the Frozen Lake when you are finished.
- This is just a random spawn in any Frozen zone... enter and exit zones until you find it

Old Man - The Dry Pass
Thieving from Thieves - Repeatable
Sneak into the Bandit Camp near the High Desert and steal a cask of booze from the Bandits sleeping there.
- If you are also on the Ore quests, sometime an Ore can spawn in the same location. Clear it, and then get the booze
- When you find the Booze, also grab Jim's Hammer, and return it to him in Central Haven

Fishing in Bush Whacker - Part 3 - Fishing Lure

2% eh? Big deal... right?
Spreadsheet here

On average, over 7000 casts in the new Harbor pools, I have caught around 1700 fish. This amounts to an average of 24% The energy gained has been 4600, or .645 energy per cast.

Adding an additional 2% of fish catches would mean 97 more fish caught. On average, a fish is worth 2.735 energy. At this point, I would have an additional 400 or so energy if I had been using a lure.

On a per-cast basis, this is .055 extra energy per cast.

While .055 energy may not seem like a big deal, over the amount of time you fish, it will pay off... especially if you are up to 32,000 casts or so in 15 days like Yours Truly.

HOWEVER, if you do not fish often, you would be much better off purchasing the 50% energy refills.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fishing in Bush Whacker - Part 2

With this recent update, there is a new fishing location in the Harbor. There are also a number of new quests which I will write on tomorrow.

Getting the pole capable of fishing there is very easy: Simple do the quest that Fisherman Steve asks you to, and then talk to him again to see what he has for sale. The rod only costs one token.

So far, the Harbor seems to be dropping slightly different quality of items as Hat Head Lake, but I will know more after more casts... here is the deal so far:

The following items have been caught
Junk Items: Fuzzy dice, Broken Cup, Toilet Seat, Bike Wheel, Basketball
Fish: Cod (2), Snapper (4), Salmon (8), Marlin (30!!!)
Gold: Broken Sword (2), Dull Pearl (4), Golden Coin (6), Spices (8)
So far, it looks as though there is more gold in these pools...

I was one of the first people to find the Fishing Helmet!

Another exciting feature is the Fishing Lure, also sold by the Fisherman for 4 tokens. This item increases your chance to get Fish by 2%... more to come on this topic once I can purchase one.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fishing in Bush Whacker

Barely seven days into my Bush Whacker experiment, I have learned one valuable lesson: If you want to "catch" up, you need to fish... A lot.

In my first seven days, I feel like I have accomplished much, though I am certain that there is someone out there who will show me better. I have used 14,500 energy, found 16,000 in gold, and I have a gem score of 3,643 (I have found 3,643 Agates worth of gems). All of the rest is highly regulated by chance, so I wont bore you with how my house looks or what I am wearing (you pervert...).

I owe this fast start in this game mostly to fishing, and I have created, for your viewing pleasure, a spreadsheet that should validate this assertion. In my next post, I will have enough data to compare the two fishing locations to see if they have the same drop ratios. So far, it looks like having friends help you open up Hat head Lake is worthwhile.

Before it is brought up, both locations can drop the two customization items: A fishing hat and a goldfish bowl.  These tend to drop in quick succession.

As you can see, my conclusion is that fishing will at least double, and nearly triple your energy regeneration rate, regardless of your upgraded items. Small amounts do add up. This should serve as motivation to continue fishing in between levels. However, the ratio of energy gain per time spent is not enough to create a large imbalance in the game.

If contacted by the developers, I do have some small changes that you could make to reduce the possibility of exploitation.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

500 Visitors!

Looks like my efforts are starting to pay off, and people are sharing my posts.  500 unique visitors in the first week of writing is a great feeling.  Please continue to share my old blogs, and contribute to making this even more informative.

1. What games would you like to see tips and reviews for?  Should they be older games like Farmvillle, or should I stay focused on the new ones that are coming out like Bushwhacker?

2. Was the City of Wonder spreadsheet valuable information, and should I do more like that in the future if the right game comes along?  I have old sheets for things like Cafe World and Farmville, but I don't play those anymore.

3. Are there any aspects of the current list of games that you would like more information about?

Thanks again for your support. I hope that I can continue to bring you good information about your favorite Facebook games, and they are worth sharing with your friends.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bushwhacker - A Simple Fun Game

Bushwhacker is a very simple, casual, fun game.  It plays a lot like the first couple Zelda games, walking around a flat map, whacking bushes and monsters to find gems and items.  In this guide, I will only focus on the things you won’t learn through the in-game tutorials.  Bottom line: make smart purchases, use your energy and power wisely, and move through zones smartly.  I hope you find this brief information helpful, as you get to try a very fun and low-commitment game.

Here are your priorities for purchase:

Fishing Pole – Allows you to fish up useful gold and HP items which allow you to continue playing if you choose to.  It is also the least expensive item on the list.
Sugar Packet – You now get 2 energy per tick, which is better than the…
Rusty Stopwatch
Magical Trinket – Purchase this item AFTER you are into the zones with only level 2-3 bushes.
Speedy Shoes – This is more of a nice-to-have item… doesn’t help in game play

Buy the 25 and 75 energy refils as often as possible.  You will soon have more of those small gems than you know what to do with, and not enough energy to sate your thirst for whacking bushes.

After these items, start to purchase the items that unlock new zones as you can afford them.

Using Power and Magic
Power should be used only on monsters.  Monsters generally drop two items at a time, and thus have a lower chance of giving you nothing.  You also have a good chance of getting a ton of loot with one well-placed whack.  On several occasions so far I have gotten lucky and won 24x Fruit or 11x Gems etc.  A pretty great feeling.  The feeling is not so good when you waste 54 power and hit a monster that gives you 2x Nothing…

Magic should generally be used early on to clear out a whole zone of bushes and monsters which are the SAME level.  If you have upgraded with a Magical Trinket it makes no sense to waste your 8 magic attack on a zone with level 1 bushes.  Conversely, if you haven’t upgraded, why waste the attack on a zone with only 1-2 level 1 trees.

Customization Items and Puzzles
On the bottom right of your screen there are two tracking bars.  The first is for Puzzle Pieces (which are found right above your gold) and the second is Customization Items.  I recommend farming each zone until you have found 100% of the puzzle pieces, and possibly all the Customization Items too.  This menthod will alow you to move through at a steady pace.  The one difference is if you get enough gold to unlock the distant zones, you may want to go to those zones and skip some middles ones to get better gems and other drops.  Typically, puzzles create monsters which add to your score, and sometimes come with keys to open gates.

Customization items are purely esthetic.  They can be hats or capes for your character, or things for your house.  I personally am only level 11, but I have already collected 4 hats, 3 capes, and 7 items for the house.  This sets me apart from my peers on my friend list, so I feel pretty good about that.  Maybe one day in the future these wearable items will add to the way we play, or the items in the house will help you rest and regain energy.

I would value any requests for information or topics you want me to cover on this game.  Imput from higher level layers is also requested.

Leveling up
Dawn mentioned something I had been considering posting so I thought I would add it here. Leveling up should be a magical event for you! You shouldn't be upset over all the energy you didn't get to spend, and instead look forward to the full energy bar you now enjoy. That being said...

When you are close to a level and out of energy, finish up! Do a little fishing. Dump your magic in a zone with five of the highest level bushes or monsters that will be affected by it. This minimum amount of effort will let you finish your level with as close to ZERO left over energy as possible and move on to the next one. Another consideration that I haven't tested yet is getting as close to a level as possible, and when you only need 1 more EXP hitting a level 4+ bush to get you over... this might cut down on the EXP you need in the next level.

One thing you do not want to do is use a large energy pack when you are about to level... it would just be a waste. Keep in mind that the small packs give 25% energy, and the large ones give 100%. Use them often, but only when it will not be a waste!

Reasons to Get Friends and Level Embassies

Another reason to purchase the buildings I listed in my spreadsheet is that the upkeep is much better as well.  While the smaller items which have an equal return on investment are only giving you 9S to clean them, the larger ones give much more.  For example, a granary will give 90S and a Roman Gate 105S.  This may not be the same as if you had purchased the same amount of Silver worth of the smaller ones, but again... less selling them back to make room for better ones, and higher impact per square the whole game.

Another thing I noticed today deals with embassies.  If you needed any motivation to get mote allies this is it! = Cleaning an embassy will also yield 100S at level 1, but as you level up your embassies you will get increased silver for visiting AND cleaning them.  This quickly becomes 150, 200+ per click, usually each day.  If you hadn't noticed, as they level they also increase in Happiness as well.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Treasure Madness Basics and Beating Timers

TM Basics
Treasure Madness is another addictive game which you do NOT have to spend any money on to have a good time and even excel.

The concept is simple. Dig “tiles” or squares on a map and uncover treasures. This was immediately exciting for me as I love a good game of chance. When one map is completed you buy another with the gold you find, and are rewarded with 100 HP per level and 1 Museum $ (MU$) per map completed. Completing a treasure collection will also yield an amount of gold to help you buy more maps or upgrades to your equipment. To date, there are 328 collections, with 5 treasures in each… 1640 different treasures to find, with talented developers creating new ones all the time.

If you don’t have a good team, don’t be afraid to go to the FORUM and check out the Gifting Lounge. There are usually people like me who have everything already who are willing to help you get yours too.

Challenge Maps
Nearly every holiday, TM puts out new “challenge” maps which have a timer of a couple days to a week and contain limited edition treasures. These treasures are fairly easy to collect especially with the help of your team. More important are the MU$ you get for completing each map. These MU$ are used for unlocking special maps and buying more efficient tools. So, how do you accomplish these maps in the limited time given, especially from a lower level?

Log in Often – You can use a 100 HP first aid kit gifted from your team every 8 hours.

Click More – Each time you see a completed collection or map from a friend you get 20 HP per click, up to 200 HP per 2 hours.

Focus – Complete one map at a time if you doubt your ability to complete them all.
Look for my recommendation of “Gifts for Naughty Children” this year for Christmas… maybe they will take my advice and make a Krumpus treasure…

Level Rush
If you are close to the maximum level of 424 or at it, you may worry each time they up the level cap. Let not your heart be troubled, there are some minor things you can do to maximize your EXP gains during those times.

Plan Ahead – If you are already 424, Do an old map and uncover all the tiles, but refresh the page each time you find a treasure game and remember where it is so you do not complete it. When the cap is unlocked, you can go back to these tiles and complete them all at once, earning 15 EXP per treasure found. This is much better than the average of 3 EXP (or so) per tile that you get randomly.

Work Easy – Focus on the normal shovel tiles first! For me, these tiles only cost me 7 HP to dig. Ignore completing the maps until the level rush is over and just dig all the easy tiles first to level up. The exception is if there are challenge maps.

Generating Silver in City of Wonder and Building Marvels

For those of you with only a little jingle in your pockets, you are missing out on a big opportunity to generate a lot of silver in City of Wonder.  While this is most likely widely known to those who visit the COW Facebook page and leave comments, I assume there are far more who did not.

Every time COW publishes a photo or makes an announcement, you may have noticed that 5,000 or so comments are left on it.  Only 10% or less are “add me to your team” type posts.  The rest fit into two categories: 1. People posting bonuses (expeditions, embassy level up, etc) for others to collect.  Each day I usually post one with 10 or so bonuses to click, earning everyone who does so 5,000S and 2. People posting Marvels they want completed right away.   This method is very valuable, since (as many of you can attest to) getting your 10-20 teammates to all click something can be a challenge!  Especially when you need 25 of them.

My roommate Scott alerted me to this process a few days ago and confirmed my suspicion that you could click other peoples bonuses who are not in your team already.  He claims that over an hour or so, you can make over 100,000S just clicking bonuses on that and other pages.  Just think about that… you could purchase at least an extra two buildings a day, with fairly minimal effort.

Other revenue sources like daily embassy clicks, goods, and your friends who post bonuses to your news feed are still good.  I would certainly attend to those first, since I can make 40K very fast each day that way.  Hopefully this has opened some of your eyes to the potential of the big crowd.

The links to the pages where most of the bonuses can be found, and where you can post your Marvels are: herehere, and here!  Enjoy, and as always, please share this if you found it helpful :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Attacking, Gold, and Legends in City of Wonder

Before we get started:  If you are reasonably strong, or want to create the appearance of toughness, you should try emptying out the middle of your map.  This creates great confusion in your opponent’s advisors when it comes time to attacking you or trading with you.  In many cases they will not take the risk, and in others they will potentially choose poorly and challenge you to something you are strong in.  Either way, it will not be a guaranteed loss each time.

I have decided Gold is a boring topic, so this Is going to be a short post.

First, we must assume that everyone visiting this page is here to increase their effectiveness and not the beauty of their civilization.  If you are interested in pretty things, then the Sphinx is defiantly for you!  I mean, who wouldn’t want the other majestic iconography of Egypt to go with their free Pyramid?  Well… me for one.

Lets break down the three new items:
Egyptian Chariot – Cost: 10G, Attack 60, Defense 30, 1 SQ

Sphinx – Cost: 25G, 118S/Day, 118 Culture, 2 SQ (interesting mix of Culture and Markets)

Angkor Tree – Cost: 20G, 1600 Happiness, 180 Culture, 1 SQ (I think)

Even the best of these, the Angkor Tree, is more costly and less beneficial than the Golden Palace.  The Sphinx is the worst, since it is both more costly and you get far less than any similar items.  The chariot is, at best, unremarkable; not even as good as a standard Cavalry purchase.

So this may lead you to the question, “What are the best items to purchase with my Gold?”  Easy answer.  Never waste it on a reduction in time for research, and don’t use it to purchase more land.  Add more friends and have a little patience.  If you consult the spreadsheet, you will notice that the best cultural item is BY FAR the Golden Temple, followed by decent investments in the Golden Sanctuary, Windmill and Lake.  The Foreign Theater is the best item in culture per square, but the bang for your buck is better elsewhere…

In Markets, the Egyptian Market seems to be quite the prize.  Good cash and HUGE Trade per square ratio.  I don’t have the 40G to buy it though, and like I said this is a guide to the game without buying more gold.

Goods and Military are both being ignored, as the purchases are only equal or slightly better than other items in the game easily purchased with silver.  Let’s just move on…

Legends are a fun part of the game, because it is the first attempt they have done at adding a degree of chance to the purchasing process.  You can purchase 1 Random for 3,500, 3 for 4G, 5 for 6G or this week’s special “Sheba” for 7G.  So far I have found a decent assortment from the 1 at a time purchase and will begin to update a spreadsheet to clarify what you can get here.  I will tell you that it is quite often Rare ones like Catherine or Lincoln which are much better than Sheba.  The necessity of spending the Gold there is not evident.  It is possible that these other packs contain some of the best scientists, etc.  I would be interested in hearing accurate reports of what you have found.

At any given time you can have three Legends assisting you, but never two working on the same topic.  This means you can’t have Sun Tzu helping twice for 200% increased attack power, etc.  Unfortunately, it also means you can only use one mathematician per research project.  If you have a decent number of friends, it is pretty easy to keep up at all times an Attack/Defense/Fog of War bonus, Culture bonus, and Research bonus.  I find that Population grows too fast for me to buy the needed cultural items, so I don’t usually bother with Population multipliers.

My only complaint so far is the ever increasing amount of them that are living in my gift box that I can’t get rid of.  If a developer ever reads this, please give me a way to sell off these undesirables, or even delete them.  No one needs 15 Lenins.  My recommendation for Playdom would be to list out the Legends which come ONLY from the Gold packs which would create an incentive for people to actually purchase Gold for the game.  I would also create a list of Legends and Equipment similar to the Castle Age Chests and make it random for people to get the highest tier items… I bet we would see a spike in game play as well as sales.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Real Estate in City of Wonder

City of Wonder
CoW is a very simple game but hits a number of what I view as keys to success in the gaming world: chance, competition, and aesthetics.  If you are playing this game purely to make a pretty kingdom, leave now.  This site will only frustrate you.  While they could be doing a lot more to generate revenues, that is not the primary purpose of this blog, so I will focus only on game play for this post.  I am also not writing this as a full walkthrough of the game, and instead focusing on fine-tuning the competition and advancement aspects.

Competition, and indeed play overall is divided into three segments: culture, trade and military.  To be successful and maintain a high win/loss ratio the player should have a good balance of these three aspects.  Despite making a number of mistakes in the beginning, my current ratio is 214 wins to 17 losses – fairly strong.  The way to maintain this advantage is difficult; you must maintain a competitive advantage with resources while you advance in level (doing so quickly if you are like me).

Here comes the first mathy part of this site…  You can approach upgrades and purchases two ways: what gives me the best return on my investment and what is the best to purchase for later game play.  Put simpler, what gives me an immediate advantage for my investment and what can I purchase which I do not have to replace too quickly? The math looks like this: Cost to Purchase / (Happiness + Culture or Trade or Attack + Defense) = Return on Investment (the lower the number the better)

Two examples:
Name – Cost to Purchase / (Happiness + Culture) = Return on Investment
Starting object Monolith – 800/(90+8)= 8.16
One of the current items I am purchasing: Roman Gate – 20000/(1050+88)=17.58

So the lower number suggests you are getting more resources for your money buying the smaller item.  TRUE.  However, your most finite resource is squares on your map.  Do you really want to waste each square getting less than 100 points per square?  Maybe at first, but not long-term.  Here is the second way to view this.

Name – (Happiness + Culture) / Squares taken
Monolith – (90 + 8) / 1 = 98 HC for that one square… vs.
Roman Gate – (1050 + 88) / 1 = 1138 HC

The second one is MUCH higher, and therefore less likely to be upgraded in the long run.

Let’s explore each area individually.

Culture upgrades are found in two sections of your building tab, Cultural and Decorations.  Both types of purchases accomplish the same goal of increasing both the happiness and culture of your kingdom allowing for more population and making you more competitive in cultural exchanges.  As pointed out earlier, you either want to select properties with a high ROI or a high HC/square ratio.  Please download and view the Excel Spreadsheet I have created to aid with this decision. Yellow indicates gold purchases, Pink is the current best I am purchasing and Green is best purchase in my eyes for that category.

The best way to do this is to purchase one item at a time until there is a logical upgrade to purchase and then change your buying habits and only purchase that item.  For me, it went like this: Story Teller > Granary > Roman Gate.  My next purchases will be either of the types of swings which has a HC/Square of 1100.  Eventually I will purchase Hospitals.

Trade is upgraded through goods and market purchases.  Again these categories both serve to increase the Trade level of your society and make you more competitive in Trade excursions.  While there are differences in your return on the time you put into goods… it tends to be minute, and you should focus on the trade you get per plot of land instead.  HINT: The more it costs, the more Trade you get.  I buy “Markets” properties for the same reason, though I take into account the amount of silver I make per hour.  I started out purchasing 3 Grocers > 2 Kilns > 1 Food Market and now I am purchasing only Potters, which should last me for a long time.  Please view my spreadsheet for reasons

The math is more simple since you cannot really manage your silver per hour yields.  Instead focus on the Trade / Square formula:

Property – Trade / Squares
Potter – 176 / 1 = 176 is what I am purchasing…

By contrast…

Bank – 140 / 4 = 35 … This is a huge difference, and the price is very similar.

Trade is one of the most overlooked upgrades in the game, according to my explorations.  If you have a strong trade, you can make a ton of money early on and advance quicker.  This was my #1 priority.

Military is tough to prioritize.  The starting properties are so lame, it makes sense to put these off until later in the game when you unlock Cavalry or Cannons.  The higher your Attack and Defense, the better you will do against opponents.  Unfortunately also, these are the ones that will most make you want to play the game and make your base pretty.  HINT: there is no reason to build a wall.  Build Forges and Gates early game.


Property – ( Attack + Defense ) / Squares
Barracks – ( 16 + 8 ) / 1 = 24
Gate – ( 25 + 50 ) / 1 = 75

Later on you will purchase these…
Cannons – ( 100 + 50 ) / 1 = 150 and then…
Artillery – (140 + 60 ) / 1 = 200

I hope this has been an informative overview of the game as well as a guide to buying real estate… Please leave comments and questions and I will respond to them.  Up next, I will talk about the value of Gold and why you don’t need to purchase it…  I will also talk about which structures you should purchase with the Gold you earn from leveling and the value of Legends.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Endeavor

This blog (although I tend to loathe the word) will serve as a forum to share and discuss new social games and tips on current social games specifically for Facebook.  I look forward to sharing my insight and research, as well as relevant news for anyone who cares to read.  If nothing else, it will be a good way to keep current on the trends.

My first post will deal with City of Wonder tactics.  City of Wonder is the new and fast-growing Playdom game created due to the success of their Social City game.