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Direct Link To This Post Topic: City Development For New Players
    Posted: 28 Dec 2012 at 07:25
Disclaimer: City development decisions are often controversial, and I don't claim to have all the right answers for all new players under all circumstances. After all, I've only been playing for three months (EDIT: 9 months now, and haven't changed my mind significantly). However, I have used these guidelines to build and develop eight towns (between my two accounts) and I've been happy with the results so far. Your mileage may vary. Not to be taken internally. Do not read while operating heavy machinery.

Part One: Your First Settlement

Your first settlement should have the following buildings as soon as possible:

Library
Market
Storehouse
Barracks
Mage Tower
Consulate

Your first settlement should also have the following buildings, but there isn't a big rush to construct them:

Book Binder
Flour Mill
Stonemason
City Wall (requires Stonemason)
Cottages (I'd suggest 3 or 4 of these)

Your first settlement also needs the following buildings, but they are (or may be) temporary, so don't upgrade them too much:

Saddlemaker
Brewery
Tavern (don't upgrade past level 2, there's no point to it)

Resource Bonus Buildings

Each basic resource has a building that gives you a bonus. The Flour Mill gives a food bonus and the Stonemason gives a stone bonus, but you should build those anyway. If you have a resource with more than 5 plots (that isn't food or stone), consider constructing the bonus building for that resource (Carpenter for wood, Kiln for clay, Foundry for iron). This increases your existing advantage. Some players choose to construct the bonus building for resources that have fewer than 5 plots to reduce the disadvantage. Personally I don't agree; I try to locate new settlements to compensate. So if my first town has 3 clay plots, I try to get 7 clay plots in my second town. Again, there's no truly correct answer; do what seems right for you.

Also, resource bonus buildings may be prerequisites for other needed buildings as described below. Look ahead on the Research Tree to see if you need them or not.

In addition, upgrade your Paddock and Common Ground (but there's no big rush to do those either).

I don't recommend constructing any other buildings until you relocate your capital out of the newbie ring. And I don't recommend starting a second town until you have relocated.

Part Two: Relocation

This is a very controversial topic for many players, so I won't say much about it. Except that I'd recommend relocating your capital to a relatively isolated spot so that you can build additional towns nearby without crowding existing players. Personally I think that concentrating your towns in the same area is best, but others may disagree. If you have or plan to join an alliance, they may require you to locate in a specific area.

Part Three: What To Build After Relocation

Before deciding on additional buildings, first determine your sovereignty bonuses available on all squares within a 2-square radius of your town. If you don't know anything about sovereignty, there are postings in the forum that explain it. Go through the research tree on Sovereignty to see what buildings your town needs to take advantage of these bonuses, and consider constructing those. Some of those buildings may have prerequisite buildings that you will need first (for example, you can't build a Blacksmith unless you first build a Foundry). This may mean adding resource bonus buildings that you don't already have.

Next, I'd recommend that your first town specialize in harvesting and trade (subsequent towns can handle weapons and armour; see below). To fully take advantage of harvesting, you will need a Skinners Guild, Herbalist Guild, and Miners Guild. To use trade hubs, you will need a Merchants Guild and Trade Office.

Next, make sure to save one plot for a Warehouse; you'll need it later. Also consider saving one plot for a Chancery of Estates (some players think the Chancery isn't worth it, but I build one in every town).

Now, write down all the buildings you need and see if you have enough vacant spots. If you are short of spots, here are some possible solutions:

1. Demolish your tavern if you have received the Block and Tackle discovery for doing level 1 quests. There's also a discovery for level 2 quests (Inquisitive Populace), but it's of minimal value (in my opinion). Besides, level 2 quests usually kill scouts, which then have to be replaced, using up resources for very little reward.

2. If you stop doing quests, you don't need the brewery. You will need beer to build ranged units (archers), but that can wait until you have a second town, and you start this all over again.

3. If you're still short of plots, demolish the cottages and abandon the cotters. However, you will need the hides, basic herbs and basic minerals that cotters provide in order to build skinners, herbalists and miners, so make sure you've stockpiled enough. Again, your next town can have more cotters.

4. Still short of plots? Then you have to eliminate something. Look at your sovereignty bonuses again, and delete the buildings that give you the smallest bonus.

5. If you have room to keep a Saddlemaker in a second or third town, you can demolish the one in your first town. But you should always have a Saddlemaker available somewhere.

Part Four: Considerations for Second and Third Towns

Basic buildings remain the same; the only difference is that your second and third towns don't need to focus on harvesting and trade. Instead, I suggest specializing one town for weapons (spears, bows and swords) and the other for armour (leather, chain and plate). Elves can't use plate armour, but can still produce it for sale if desired. Each weapon and armour type has a "basic" building and a "specialist" building; make room for both.

Finally, one of your three towns should include a Horse Trainer.

By this time you will almost certainly have some empty building plots. Save these for the advanced buildings that benefit diplomatic and military units, or increase your magic potential. These buildings won't be available until you've done some pretty advanced research, at which point you should be familiar enough with the game to decide which ones are right for you.

Part Five: Buildings To Avoid

This may be the most controversial part. Most players will recommend a Vault and an Architect. In my view, these are a waste. New players rarely have to worry about thieves, so a Vault is unnecessary. An Architect reduces construction time for other buildings, but that's not much of a benefit. Construction time is rarely an issue; if you do need something built right away, use prestige to "instant build". Otherwise, just be patient. An Architect consumes a lot of resources to construct and upgrade, and doesn't give much benefit until it's at a high level. If you do have a building spot that you don't need for anything else, go ahead and build an Architect if you want to. Personally, I don't.

Final Words

Please feel free to IGM me if you'd like more clarification on anything I've written here. If you disagree, constructive feedback is always welcome. Again, I'm fairly new but I've thought a great deal about city development (because I initially made mistakes that took time and effort to fix). This article isn't meant to be taken as any kind of gospel, but hopefully it will help new players who find the building choices a bit overwhelming.

Final Final Words

Think and plan ahead before constructing anything. Don't just think about your first settlement; think ahead to what can wait for your second or third. There's no rush for a new player to build military units, or diplomatic units other than basic scouts and basic spies (and even basic scouts aren't needed until you relocate). Hint: basic spies are for the Statue Mystery.




Edited by Llyr - 30 Jun 2013 at 02:48

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2012 at 08:27
Good start on a guide.  I'm with you until you get to the resource boost buildings.  There are several considerations with regard to resource boost buildings.  One is that they unlock research.  As you noted, the level 1 stonemason unlocks defensive structures to build a city wall.  However, the level 5 foundry unlocks the research for the blacksmith, the level 5 carpentry unlocks the research for the fletcher and the level 5 stonemason unlocks the research for the siege workshop (granted, not as crucial).

The reason that I think unlocking research matters is that you can't speed up research.  As you mention, you can instant finish buildings with prestige, but you can't instant-finish research.  So if you are in a position to want a building or unit that requires research, you can't complete that instantly -- and might wish you had thought to do so earlier.  As your account matures, you will run out of things that are important to research, and at that point it makes sense to research "things you might need someday."

You could accomplish all that research by using just one building plot and building stonemason, foundry, carpentry and kiln serially in that slot, replacing them with the flourmill after all the research is completed -- you are not likely to need the flourmill until your city has at least 14k population anyway.

The other thing to think about with regard to the resource boost buildings is that you must build them to level 5 in order to unlock the sovereignty research for basic resource boosts.  While most people will not use sovereignty to boost any basic resources other than food, there might be instances in which you could use a quick bump to say clay production -- and don't have any space to build a kiln.  Claiming sovereignty can be a relatively quick fix to this problem.

The key here is to design your cities for flexibility, so that if you need to do something that you didn't foresee -- such as if a fantabulous just-released building or spell requires stone for maintenance -- you can do so quickly.  It's good to see your cities as a combined force, but there may be instances -- such as during a war under blockade conditions -- when you will want to have the flexibility to be able to build a blacksmith that you didn't previously need.

I am puzzled by your advice regarding having a horse trainer in every city.  I don't have a horse trainer in any city currently and have not suffered for it.  It's possible that elves and dwarves who want to equip large armies with riding horses might want many horse trainers, but then again perhaps just having 2-3 horse trainers in one city would be a better solution.  I'd be interested in hearing more on the rationale for that.

Likewise, the idea that every player will want to produce crafted chain AND crafted leather armour AND crafted spears AND crafted swords may not stand the test of time.  Most players will not have access to the variety of materials needed to craft items in each of these categories -- it likely makes more sense to build the crafting buildings for 1) items that you will personally use and/or 2) items that you can craft from resources that are readily available.

Those are some initial thoughts.  It's a good start!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2012 at 09:54
first: Thanks. Loads of! 

Second, ... and most crucial, .. I have rushed to add my comment here is because:
;) very soon, I should be able to add NOTES to these pages... as I am going to be
a famous player here. Hope So! 

-

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2012 at 11:00
My main tips for you new "people" is, DIE and be reborn as a Orc, then join the Horde. We have good taskmasters that will make sure you know what to do.

Edited by Rorgash - 28 Dec 2012 at 11:00
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2012 at 11:47
agree with rorgash, illy plays best when playing as a team, there is too many variables, no set way to do anything, it what makes it so interesting
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2012 at 14:24
Rill: I agree with you on the research, and I've edited the post accordingly. I didn't specify particular levels for buildings; if that's a prerequisite, hopefully the player can read the Research Tree and see that for themselves. The important thing to me is to get at least a Level 1 of each required building in place fairly early; how high to upgrade them and when depends on the needs and desires of the individual player.

The sovereignty issue (with example) was covered in the first paragraph of Part Three, but I've edited to make it a bit clearer.

I think you misunderstood the Horse Trainer; I said that one town should have it, not all of them. Also, I forgot to include City Wall as a mandatory building, so I've fixed that too.

For crafted items, I personally think it's important to have the capability to produce all of them by one's third or fourth settlement (subject to research and raw material availability). It doesn't mean you will, but it's good to know you can. Flexibility is important. Raw materials can be purchased if they're not readily available to harvest, which is what I've been doing. Crafted items you can easily make can be sold to buy raw materials that you can't easily harvest.

Personally speaking, I don't understand why one would construct multiple instances of the same building in one town (for buildings where that is possible). It seems wasteful to me and I haven't done it so far; perhaps with time I'll change my mind.

Leaving empty spots for potential new buildings is problematic: nice if you can spare the space, but I usually can't. I'd rather plan based on what I know is available now, not what might be available some day in the future. Besides, if a new gee-whiz building shows up it can always be included in a new town.

If new players basically follows this guide, then by their third town they will have a foundation to develop and specialize in any desired direction. Hopefully by then the player will have enough knowledge and experience to develop their additional towns in their own desired direction, which could well be very different from what I've posted here.


Edited by Llyr - 28 Dec 2012 at 14:55

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2012 at 17:33
Originally posted by Llyr Llyr wrote:

Disclaimer: City development decisions are often controversial, and I don't claim to have all the right answers for all new players under all circumstances. After all, I've only been playing for three months. However, I have used these guidelines to build and develop eight towns (between my two accounts) and I've been happy with the results so far. Your mileage may vary. Not to be taken internally. Do not read while operating heavy machinery.

Part One: Your First Settlement

Your first settlement should have the following buildings as soon as possible:

Library
Market
Storehouse
Barracks
Mage Tower
Consulate

Your first settlement should also have the following buildings, but there isn't a big rush to construct them:

Book Binder
Flour Mill
Stonemason
City Wall (requires Stonemason)
Cottages (I'd suggest 3 or 4 of these)

Your first settlement also needs the following buildings, but they are (or may be) temporary, so don't upgrade them too much:

Saddlemaker
Brewery
Tavern (don't upgrade past level 2, there's no point to it)

Resource Bonus Buildings

Each basic resource has a building that gives you a bonus. The Flour Mill gives a food bonus and the Stonemason gives a stone bonus, but you should build those anyway. If you have a resource with more than 5 plots (that isn't food or stone), consider constructing the bonus building for that resource (Carpenter for wood, Kiln for clay, Foundry for iron). This increases your existing advantage. Some players choose to construct the bonus building for resources that have fewer than 5 plots to reduce the disadvantage. Personally I don't agree; I try to locate new settlements to compensate. So if my first town has 3 clay plots, I try to get 7 clay plots in my second town. Again, there's no truly correct answer; do what seems right for you.

Also, resource bonus buildings may be prerequisites for other needed buildings as described below. Look ahead on the Research Tree to see if you need them or not.

In addition, upgrade your Paddock and Common Ground (but there's no big rush to do those either).

I don't recommend constructing any other buildings until you relocate your capital out of the newbie ring. And I don't recommend starting a second town until you have relocated.

Part Two: Relocation

This is a very controversial topic for many players, so I won't say much about it. Except that I'd recommend relocating your capital to a relatively isolated spot so that you can build additional towns nearby without crowding existing players. Personally I think that concentrating your towns in the same area is best, but others may disagree. If you have or plan to join an alliance, they may you to locate in a specific area.

Part Three: What To Build After Relocation

Before deciding on additional buildings, first determine your sovereignty bonuses available on all squares within a 2-square radius of your town. If you don't know anything about sovereignty, there are postings in the forum that explain it. Go through the research tree on Sovereignty to see what buildings your town needs to take advantage of these bonuses, and consider constructing those. Some of those buildings may have prerequisite buildings that you will need first (for example, you can't build a Blacksmith unless you first build a Foundry). This may mean adding resource bonus buildings that you don't already have.

Next, I'd recommend that your first town specialize in harvesting and trade (subsequent towns can handle weapons and armour; see below). To fully take advantage of harvesting, you will need a Skinners Guild, Herbalist Guild, and Miners Guild. To use trade hubs, you will need a Merchants Guild and Trade Office.

Next, make sure to save one plot for a Warehouse; you'll need it later. Also consider saving one plot for a Chancery of Estates (some players think the Chancery isn't worth it, but I build one in every town).

Now, write down all the buildings you need and see if you have enough vacant spots. If you are short of spots, here are some possible solutions:

1. Demolish your tavern if you have received the Block and Tackle discovery for doing level 1 quests. There's also a discovery for level 2 quests (Inquisitive Populace), but it's of minimal value (in my opinion). Besides, level 2 quests usually kill scouts, which then have to be replaced, using up resources for very little reward.

2. If you stop doing quests, you don't need the brewery. You will need beer to build ranged units (archers), but that can wait until you have a second town, and you start this all over again.

3. If you're still short of plots, demolish the cottages and abandon the cotters. However, you will need the hides, basic herbs and basic minerals that cotters provide in order to build skinners, herbalists and miners, so make sure you've stockpiled enough. Again, your next town can have more cotters.

4. Still short of plots? Then you have to eliminate something. Look at your sovereignty bonuses again, and delete the buildings that give you the smallest bonus.

5. If you have room to keep a Saddlemaker in a second or third town, you can demolish the one in your first town. But you should always have a Saddlemaker available somewhere.

Part Four: Considerations for Second and Third Towns

Basic buildings remain the same; the only difference is that your second and third towns don't need to focus on harvesting and trade. Instead, I suggest specializing one town for weapons (spears, bows and swords) and the other for armour (leather, chain and plate). Elves can't use plate armour, but can still produce it for sale if desired. Each weapon and armour type has a "basic" building and a "specialist" building; make room for both.

Finally, one of your three towns should include a Horse Trainer.

By this time you will almost certainly have some empty building plots. Save these for the advanced buildings that benefit diplomatic and military units, or increase your magic potential. These buildings won't be available until you've done some pretty advanced research, at which point you should be familiar enough with the game to decide which ones are right for you.

Part Five: Buildings To Avoid

This may be the most controversial part. Most players will recommend a Vault and an Architect. In my view, these are a waste. New players rarely have to worry about thieves, so a Vault is unnecessary. An Architect reduces construction time for other buildings, but that's not much of a benefit. Construction time is rarely an issue; if you do need something built right away, use prestige to "instant build". Otherwise, just be patient. An Architect consumes a lot of resources to construct and upgrade, and doesn't give much benefit until it's at a high level. If you do have a building spot that you don't need for anything else, go ahead and build an Architect if you want to. Personally, I don't.

Final Words

Please feel free to IGM me if you'd like more clarification on anything I've written here. If you disagree, constructive feedback is always welcome. Again, I'm fairly new but I've thought a great deal about city development (because I initially made mistakes that took time and effort to fix). This article isn't meant to be taken as any kind of gospel, but hopefully it will help new players who find the building choices a bit overwhelming.

Final Final Words

Think and plan ahead before constructing anything. Don't just think about your first settlement; think ahead to what can wait for your second or third. There's no rush for a new player to build military units, or diplomatic units other than basic scouts and basic spies (and even basic scouts aren't needed until you relocate). Hint: basic spies are for the Statue Mystery.





Hey Llyr, I admire the effort you 've put in there.Clap

I would like to propose some changes in the part one.

I think the cottage is the most useful building for a newB as he/she can harvest herbs/hides and sell them in the market to gain gold.Thus I recommend building as many of them as possible (10-15 for towns less than 3k pop).
I would not advise a newB to build a consulate or a barrack at first.
There are two reasons for that. 
First Illy is quite a peaceful game and you won't get attacked in your first 6 months here unless you piss somebody off Tongue
Second is even if you build them they won't be that useful for newBs as they won't be able to build either troops or diplos in any significant amount.

I don't support building stonemason or wall on the same grounds.

The book binder is again another building a newB shouldn't build (and those who know the game quite well will tell you that no main account should build this building). The reason is simple why would a newB wanna convert his 25 res points into 20 res points. Some people would say for gold.But wouldn't it be more efficient to build a cottage instead of the book binder in the first place.

Again there is no rush to build a saddle maker ( i would recommend building one when you have atleast 5k cows) but if you do don't demolish it.

The architect's office is a must have building for people who don't want to put large amount of RL money into the game. Again when to build it is a point of debate.my advise is to start building it once you are self sufficient (i.e you can produce the basic res you require). This building can be demolished once you 've levelled up all other building in your town

Do I need to say sorry for writing such a long post??EmbarrassedEmbarrassed

Edited to enter some fancy emoticons LOL

Edited by Gossip Boy - 28 Dec 2012 at 17:51
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2012 at 18:13
Thanks Gossip! As I said originally, there's obviously no "right" approach, but here are some additional reasons to support what I wrote:

1. I can't imagine building 10-15 cottages; I've never built more than 4 in a new town. I don't build them to sell the resources, but to retain them for future use. New players don't need gold, and I've always just gradually raised my taxes from 0% at the start when I do.

2. I always build a consulate and barracks (level 1 only) early on, just to claim the building plot so I don't forget about it. I'm getting on in years and sometimes forget things.

3. All of my towns have (or will have) a city wall; again, it doesn't need to be built right away, but I think you should have the capability for it early on.

4. A Book Binder is the only way to move research from an established town to a new one; otherwise the points just accumulate for no reason (other than sov support). All towns for both my accounts have them (or will have them). I personally can't imagine not having them, but maybe that's just me.

5. Saddlemaker is needed for advanced scouts if you want to do the level 2 quests, otherwise you're right, it may not be needed in your first town. But at level 1 it doesn't consume much and if you want to demolish it later, you haven't wasted much.

6. Architect is still, in my opinion, a huge scam. If you collect your daily prestige point, as I do, I don't think you ever need it. I've never spent real money here, but I have had enough free prestige to instant build when needed. And I only did it just before Christmas because I wanted to give myself two new towns as a present. Otherwise I could easily have waited.

Overall, my philosophy is not to deliberately construct buildings that you're going to demolish later (with the few exceptions I've noted). I also believe in constructing all the buildings you may need (to the minimum necessary level) as soon as possible so you don't overlook something. And if you think you might want to demolish something, keep it to as low a level as possible.

My only quibble about the length of your post is quoting all of mine in your reply -- never did understand why people often do that Smile.


Edited by Llyr - 28 Dec 2012 at 18:14

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2012 at 18:36
Originally posted by Llyr Llyr wrote:

Thanks Gossip! As I said originally, there's obviously no "right" approach, but here are some additional reasons to support what I wrote:

1. I can't imagine building 10-15 cottages; I've never built more than 4 in a new town. I don't build them to sell the resources, but to retain them for future use. New players don't need gold, and I've always just gradually raised my taxes from 0% at the start when I do.


Building those cotters and making gold will allow new players to keep that tax rate at 0% for an extended period of time which means more res generation for longer time

Originally posted by Llyr Llyr wrote:

2. I always build a consulate and barracks (level 1 only) early on, just to claim the building plot so I don't forget about it. I'm getting on in years and sometimes forget things.


Demolishing a cottage takes 2 mins so even if you forget it isn't a big deal
(Really wanted to say how can you be so foolish....but you gotta respect elders Big smile )

Originally posted by Llyr Llyr wrote:

3. All of my towns have (or will have) a city wall; again, it doesn't need to be built right away, but I think you should have the capability for it early on.


I think you agree that there is not a pressing need to build the wall


Originally posted by Llyr Llyr wrote:

4. A Book Binder is the only way to move research from an established town to a new one; otherwise the points just accumulate for no reason (other than sov support). All towns for both my accounts have them (or will have them). I personally can't imagine not having them, but maybe that's just me.

Best way to transfer research is to buy books from the market (price of 1 herb=price of 1 book so even if you 10 cotters you can make 1000 books in a town in one day Smile)


Originally posted by Llyr Llyr wrote:

5. Saddlemaker is needed for advanced scouts if you want to do the level 2 quests, otherwise you're right, it may not be needed in your first town. But at level 1 it doesn't consume much and if you want to demolish it later, you haven't wasted much.


A lvl 1 saddle maker consumes as much as a lvl 20 one i.e nothing but the problem is it is like 10 times slower..no point in having a lvl 1 saddlemaker.if you wanna build it lvl it up quickly. Why to take away a poor cotters home for such minor gains?Ouch

Originally posted by Llyr Llyr wrote:

6. Architect is still, in my opinion, a huge scam. If you collect your daily prestige point, as I do, I don't think you ever need it. I've never spent real money here, but I have had enough free prestige to instant build when needed. And I only did it just before Christmas because I wanted to give myself two new towns as a present. Otherwise I could easily have waited.

I will like some other players who have built 25k cities without buying prestige to express their views on this matter


Originally posted by Llyr Llyr wrote:

Overall, my philosophy is not to deliberately construct buildings that you're going to demolish later (with the few exceptions I've noted). I also believe in constructing all the buildings you may need (to the minimum necessary level) as soon as possible so you don't overlook something. And if you think you might want to demolish something, keep it to as low a level as possible.

My only quibble about the length of your post is quoting all of mine in your reply -- never did understand why people often do that Smile.


Tried something different this time Star

Edited by Gossip Boy - 28 Dec 2012 at 18:37
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2012 at 18:54
Smile Gossip! It's nice to see that we have competing views -- may the best sage win! Maybe there's a prize later. Anyway, when all is said and done I've been developing my towns in line with what I've written and I'm happy with the results so far. It's advice I'd give to anyone who asks (not that many have), with (again) the disclaimer that there are many potential "right" approaches and very few "wrong" ones.

But any reasonable approach is better than asking the question "what do I build?" in GC and getting bombarded with a dozen different answers, all reasonable and all different, which I see happening quite often.

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