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Basic Self Defense for New Players

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    Posted: 08 Sep 2011 at 00:28
Illy is in general a warm and welcoming community for new players.  However, in any group of people there are those who would seek an advantage by preying upon those who are less powerful.  Therefore, it behooves new players to learn about the threats they face and how to counteract them.  

This guide describes the most common attacks new players may face and describes steps all new players should take to defend against them.  I will focus on steps players should take in their first week of play, while still under beginner protection, in order to be prepared to defend against attacks when the rainbow wears off.  I will conclude with some remarks about dealing with the aftermath of an attack.

I begin with a word about alliances.  Alliances are an excellent source of support and defense for new players -- although this is not their only function.  Just being in an alliance can offer a measure of protection against military attacks, and in general alliances will help defend their members and assist them in recovering from any attack.  Various alliances may have specific instructions to new players about defense that supersede the general advice in this guide, based on those alliances' specific experiences and situations.

With that wiggle statement out of the way, there are two basic types of attacks a new player might face:  military and diplomatic.  Military attacks are attacks on a city by armies.  Diplomatic attacks may take the form of thieves, saboteurs or assassins.  New players are more likely to be attacked by thieves than any other form of attack; therefore this guide will first focus on defending against theft, although the defenses against theft will also help guard against other types of attack.

I.  Buildings Needed: Mage Tower and Consulate

MAGE TOWER

This is the most important building needed for initial defense.  New players should study Arcana and build a mage tower in their first day in game.   Runes is strongly recommended as the first school of magic to study.  Slaying Runes are probably the most useful type of protection for a new player; they can be studied and cast at the following levels of Mage Tower:

Name Mage Tower Kills (# units)
Mark of Slaying Level 3 5
Death Rune Level 7 20
Killing Glyph Level 11 75
Ward of Destruction Level 15 250

Note: Casting Slaying or Seeking runes requires books and cattle as well as mana and basic resources.

An alternative for new players is to cast Seeking Runes targeted specifically at thieves.  This option may be better for players in alliances who are less likely to be attacked militarily.  Unlike Slaying Runes, which offer some defense against military attacks, Seeking Runes can only protect against one type of diplomatic attack -- most new players would likely choose to target thieves, since risks from assassins and saboteurs is lower while you are new.  You may only cast one spell from the Rune school on your city, so you must choose EITHER a Slaying OR a Seeking rune.

Seeking Runes can be studied and cast at the following levels of Mage Tower:

Name Mage Tower Kills (# units)
Mark of Seeking Level 2 12
Seeking Rune Level 6 40
Seeking Glyph Level 10 130
Ward of Intentions Level 14 400

Practical tip:  If you upgrade your Mage Tower once each day during your 7 days of new player protection, you will emerge from protection being able to cast a Death Rune or a Seeking Rune.  Go forth and scorch the bad guys!

Slaying/Seeking runes stay in effect until they have killed the specified number of enemy units.  After they have been exhausted or if you are replacing a weaker rune with a stronger one, there is a minimum 6-hour cooldown before they can be cast again.  Make sure you replace the rune promptly upon completion of the cooldown period.  You receive a mail when the rune is activated or taken down, so you can use the timestamp on the mail to calculate when you can re-cast the rune.

Mark of Fear and other runes in the Fear line are NOT recommended for self-defense for new players.  While Seeking and Slaying runes kill a specified number of units even if more units than that are sent, Fear runes simply fail if more than the specified units are sent -- they will then do absolutely nothing.  It is better to kill some, even if not all, of the attackers.

CONSULATE

The consulate is the second building needed for new player defense.  Building and upgrading your consulate allows you to produce diplomatic units to protect your town.  Your army will NOT defend against diplomatic attacks.  The only defense against diplomatic units is other diplomatic units of the same type.

It is usually impractical for a very new player to produce enough thieves to withstand a theft attack from a larger players who may have many more thieves.  The most sensible course for a new player to take is therefore 1) to make being thieved as painful as possible for the thief and 2) to prevent the thief from obtaining anything of significant value from a theft attempt.  If a thief loses units in a theft attempt and gains little from it, he is less likely to revisit later.

Some researches in the Diplomacy portion of the research tree are useful in diplomatic defense.

Consulate Lev 1 CounterIntelligence allows your diplos to defend against enemies
Consulate Lev 5 Interrogation your diplos may discover who sent diplos
Consulate Lev 5 Finesse opens way for studies for spies, thieves
Consulate Lev 9 Diplomacy allows you to study Theft
Consulate Lev 9 Theft allows you to build thief units

Thief units have different names depending on race: Burglar (human), Rogue (elf), Footpad (dwarf), Goblin Cutpurse (orc).  Note that t1 thieves have better defense for the money (gold upkeep) than t2 thieves; therefore players looking mainly to defend should focus on t1 (basic thief) units.

To make thieves you need gold, horses and books.  T1 thief units have an upkeep of 2 gold per hour.  It is a good idea to make at least a few thief units to give your citizens a chance at catching the miscreant.  Because of the building and research required, this is often something you will do in your second or third week of play.  Focus on the first week of play should be on building a Mage Tower and researching the highest possible seeking and/or slaying rune, and on researching Safeguard and constructing a Vault.

II. Defense Against Military Attack

New players are not likely to be attacked militarily by larger players.  If you are attacked by a much larger player during the first month or so of play, please send a mail to the attacking player letting them know you are active and go to global chat as soon as possible.  Be prepared to give details about the attack, such as who the attacker is and when it will arrive.  If the attack already occurred, other players may request a report of the attack be forwarded.  The Illy community takes military attacks by larger players on smaller ones very seriously; for this reason alone, these attacks are rare.

Unfortunately, you are more likely to be targeted by a fellow new player than you are by a veteran.  The community is less likely to intervene directly in this sort of attack.  However, if you use a rune from the Slaying series to protect against diplomatic attacks, the rune will also fry any incoming military units -- probably as many as a fellow new player can send at you.  This is one of the main benefits to using a Slaying rune if you are a new player.

In general, players in their first two weeks of play cannot build an army big enough to make a large difference in defense.  Therefore this guide will not cover building a barracks or wall, except to note that if you complete a lev 9 consulate and a mage tower at least level 10, building a wall and upgrading barracks is a logical next step.

Even though armies are not necessary for self defense for the very new player, they can be fun to play with.  For information on building military capability, check out this guide to military development.

III.  VAULT

The vault is a passive form of defense that is recommended for new players who are experiencing problems with thieves.  It protects some of your goods from theft OR military attacks.  The amount of resources protected increases with each level of upgrade.  Protection amounts at each level can be found on the wiki:  http://illyriad.honoredsoft.com/wiki/Vault

The vault also adds to the amount stored by the storehouse and warehouse; it protects a portion of the goods that are stored.  Vault protection is automatic; there is no need to designate resources to be protected by the vault -- it automatically protects any resources you have up to the vault's protection limit.

A level 3 vault is relatively fast to build (one hour 10 minutes for levels 1 through 3) and does not require many resources (300 of each resource for the first three levels).  It protects 7500 of each basic resource (food, wood, clay, stone and iron) and gold and 30 of each advanced resource (such as books, saddles and spears).  This level of protection is enough for a new player to continue a building program as well as to protect books to re-cast a rune.  Building a vault beyond level 3 significantly increases the amount of resources required to build and is probably unnecessary for most new players.

The best time to build a vault is at the end of the first week, just prior to emerging from beginner's protection.  A vault is not needed before that time.  Building a vault requires researching Timekeeping >> Bureaucracy >> Safeguard in the City portion of the research tree.

After a player develops advanced runes and is able hire substantial numbers of protective diplos (mostly thieves) and has military defense, a vault is no longer needed.  It can be demolished to make room for more specialized buildings.

Help From Other Players

Your alliance can also reinforce your city, either with military units alone or with diplomatic units attached to armies.  If a player from your alliance (or an alliance NAP'd or confederated with your alliance) sends an army to reinforce your city and attaches diplomatic units to the army, those diplomatic units will help defend your city.  So if you are having a problem with theft attacks, it is a good idea to alert your alliance leadership.

Offsite Storage

Other than these items that cannot be thieved, it's wise for new players not to keep a lot of advanced resources and gold around.  If you receive a gift of books, convert most of them to research points upon their arrival -- research points cannot be stolen.  Retain 10-20 books to cast spells and make diplo units -- up to 30 if you have a level 3 vault.  If you are in an alliance, it is a good idea to ask a trusted alliance mate who has high-level runes and adequate defensive thieves to take care of your advanced resources.

Another alternative is to store goods in faction hubs, which cannot be thieved.  Developing offsite storage capability requires some research, so usually it should be a goal in the second week or later of play.

In order to store items at a faction hub, you will need the Faction Markets research.  This research is in the Trade portion of the research tree.  In order to unlock this research you will need to do the Guilds research (4 hours, 100 research points), the Merchants Guild research (2 hours, 2000 research points) and the Faction Markets research (2 hours, 500 research points).

Once you have this research, you can send resources to a trade hub, but you will not be able to retrieve them.  You need a Trader in the hub to be able to retrieve the items.  For this you will need to upgrade your Marketplace to level 10 and do the Trader research (3 days, 3000 research points).  You will also need to build a merchants guild in order to build a trader.  Traders have an upkeep cost of 30 gold per hour, so you might choose to wait to build one if you don't have very many advanced resources or consider your risk of theft to be low.

A vault will also protect resources against theft attacks, up to the amount of protection provided by the vault.  You may choose to store any advanced resources beyond your vault protection limit with a trusted alliance mate or in a faction hub.

Being Attacked: The AfterMath

Although war is not the only path in Illy, most players will probably find themselves attacked at some point or other.  It's best to be mentally prepared for the possibility and to know how to respond.

The most important point to remember about any attack is, "It's not the end of the world."  Being attacked, especially without provocation, can be infuriating.  In fact, diplo attacks in particular can be used as much as an instrument of psychological warfare as to create real damage to a player's cities.  As The_Dude says, a diplomatic attack is "an affront to the dignity of the defender."

However, there's really very little an attacker can do to damage the long-term growth prospects of a new player.  Let's take a look at the effects of various types of attack:

1)  Military attacks

Sieges will not be addressed in this guide.  In the highly unlikely event that you're a player just out of protection and you're being sieged, seek advice in global chat immediately.

The effect of military attacks other that sieges is simple:  They can kill your army (if you have one) and make off with some of your basic resources.  Since it's vastly more likely that a military attack came from another new player, they probably won't have taken much with their small army.  If you have built a vault, it will protect some amount of your resources, and if your resource levels were below what a vault protects you will not lose any resources at all.

2)  Theft

Thieves can take basic or advanced resources.  However, they cannot take cattle or horses.  (Apparently "Cattle Rustling" and "Horse Thieving" technologies have not yet been introduced to Illy.)  Theft attacks may occur by players of any size, but the most important thing to remember is:  They can't steal anything you don't have.  Thieves also cannot take siege blocks or any item harvested by cotters or other advanced harvesters (such as hides, grapes, rare herbs, rare minerals or animal parts).  They also cannot take any crafted equipment.

Conclusion

Every new player has a responsibility to themselves, to their fellow newbs, and to the Illy community to undertake appropriate precautions against attack.  By limiting the potential rewards to attackers (such as by not keeping advanced resources lying around) and by ensuring that stealing from new players is painful (by maintaining killing runes and possibly protective thieves) and by making it more likely that they will be found out (through Diplomacy research and maintaining thieves), every new player can contribute to the defense of all new players.

Some players feel ashamed or embarrassed after being attacked, particularly by thieves or other diplos.  Resist this feeling! There is no shame in being new and not yet strong.  Everyone starts somewhere.  The shame is on the cowards who try to take advantage of new players.  Hold your head up high, ask for help, and be proud to be part of a community that stands against this sort of attack.

The worst thing you can do in response to any attack is to leave Illy.  Don't let the bastards get you down!   Ask for help from veterans and rebuild.  Stay strong, keep building and you will succeed!


Edited by Rill - 10 Jan 2016 at 09:48
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Kurfist View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kurfist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Sep 2011 at 00:35
I'm a veteran, though i disagree with a few sentences in this guide.

Other then that, good enough rill :P

99/100 :D
Patience is a virtue, resource giving is a sin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kilotov of DokGthung Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Sep 2011 at 00:38
this guide is quite good. it explains the basics and safes time.
at least now you can link this instead of explaining this stuff on GC every 22.3 minutes



Originally posted by Kurfist Kurfist wrote:

I'm a veteran, though i disagree with a few sentences in this guide.

Other then that, good enough rill :P

99/100 :D

did you ever had more than 20k pop total?
if the answer is "no" you never left the newbie status.
i myself am average ..
people whit + 75k pop are close to be "vets"


Edited by Kilotov of DokGthung - 08 Sep 2011 at 00:40
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kurfist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Sep 2011 at 00:44
"ahem"

Yes.

Back to the point of this topic, rill how long did it take to type this up?
Patience is a virtue, resource giving is a sin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Sep 2011 at 01:18
around 2-3 hours, I think, Kur -- but I've been sort of planning it in my head for a while, and I know it could use some improvement -- I got a little brain-fried toward the end.

And sorry about explaining it every 22.3 minutes, Kilo ... I'll try to limit myself to every 2-4 hours in the future Wink Glad you like the guide


Edited by Rill - 08 Sep 2011 at 01:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fluffy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Sep 2011 at 03:33
Originally posted by Kilotov of DokGthung Kilotov of DokGthung wrote:

this guide is quite good. it explains the basics and safes time.
at least now you can link this instead of explaining this stuff on GC every 22.3 minutes



Originally posted by Kurfist Kurfist wrote:

I'm a veteran, though i disagree with a few sentences in this guide.

Other then that, good enough rill :P

99/100 :D

did you ever had more than 20k pop total?
if the answer is "no" you never left the newbie status.
i myself am average ..
people whit + 75k pop are close to be "vets"

so I guess Im not a vet yet...NEWBS4LIFE
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Torn Sky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Sep 2011 at 04:22
Originally posted by fluffy fluffy wrote:


so I guess Im not a vet yet...NEWBS4LIFE


im appalled you even had the notion

as for the guide
basically
mage tower - runes - slaying for military/diplo, seeking for diplo only
Diplo units only defend against diplo units of the same type so build some theives
Military your probably going to lose the battle - rebuild it happens
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Celebcalen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Sep 2011 at 05:26
A good guide and the method that I have used for developing my towns from scratch.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Gorx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 2011 at 08:33
I have another advice to add: speak up in global chat. If yo are known, regularly say hi and participate -- chances of being confused for inactive decrease. Furthermore, there is safety in being part of global chat community - sneaky sneak might think twice about stealing from someone who obviously logs in regularly and is plugged in.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kumomoto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 2011 at 15:36
Good points, Gorx. And great write up, Rill!

The general idea here is that you will never be able to successfully defend your city against a concerted diplo or military attack from a vet player as a newbie. But what you can do is a) make each of those attacks cost more than they gain and b) make the vet player think twice about it as they are risking being bashed by some of the quite passionate newbie defenders that are likely much larger than them. So, in essence, the best defense is reducing the cost/benefit ratio for the aggressor and putting the fear of retribution in them.


Edited by Kumomoto - 09 Sep 2011 at 15:36
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