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Complete Guide to Thieving.

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    Posted: 09 Nov 2012 at 20:51


[This guide is meant for beginners to thieving, in the hopes that there will be less newbs experimenting with their thieves]

IMPORTANT: Thieving & Spying should only be conducted against suspended OR inactive players. 

Inactivity is generally accepted to be 3 weeks in length, and not having responded to in game messages (igms) during that period and showing ZERO population growth.

In thieving, 2 diplomatic unit types are commonly used, namely: Thieves & Spies. Their functions are pretty self-explanatory, with thieves stealing resources & spies as the means of assessing the target’s various resource levels. 

T1 Thieves are only able to steal BASIC resources, which are your 4 building resources (Clay, Iron, Wood & Stone), and also Food & Beer & Books as well.

T2 Thieves are able to steal both BASIC & ADVANCED resources, which includes everything EXCEPT Cows, Horses & Siege Blocks. Trade V2 goods are still safe, as of time of posting.

Research Points & Mana are not considered to be a ‘tangible’ resource and hence just can’t be stolen. 

Generally T1 thieves are meant for defense/to get a feel of thieving, whilst T2 thieves are meant for some serious mischief.  


Each race has different thieving units, with slightly varying stats:

 

 

Unit Name

Carrying Capacity

Movement Speed

Dwarf

Footpad

57

14

Halfing

60

16

Elf

Rogue

50

19

Dark Elf

54

25

Human

Burglar

59

15

Master Thief

64

22

Orc

Goblin Cutpurse

71

17

Plunderer

76

20

 

The Process

1. Picking a target

As mentioned earlier, only abandoned/inactive players should be considered as potential targets

Four factors come into play when deciding who to thieve.

  • Length of Inactivity
  • Player Size/Overall Rank
  • Player Diplomatic Rank
  • Distance of Player’s town to your own

Length of Inactivity should be at least 3 weeks, accompanied by friendly mails. Useful tools to check player life signs are either: 

http://illyriad.ourguild.eu/

http://www.illytools.net/site/page?view=about (There's a little graph icon on the dashboard)

Player Size/Overall Rank, is a good indicator of the amount of resources he/she has, especially advanced resources. Obviously, it would make sense to target towns with high population as opposed to small villages. Generally I find that towns bigger than 5k population usually have at least 1k of any advanced resource. 

Player Diplomatic Rank, tells you roughly how much of a diplomatic defence he/she has against your thieves. Generally, a rank inbetween (2000-3000) shows he doesn’t have many/no defending thieves, (1500-2000) means he has some, (1000-1500) a decent amount, (500-1000) a good amount & (1-500) a staggering amount. Of course this ranking should not be taken at face value, as a player may have a lot of thieves whilst having a terrible ranking (i.e he rarely thieves others). If the target has more defending thieves than the thieves you send, you would be detected & lose your thieves.

Distance of Player’s town to your own, determines whether or not it’s feasible to thieve him/her. A T2 thief has upkeep of 4 gold/per hour. The least a thieving run should have at least 1k thieves to overcome possible defences, which equates to a drain of 4k gold/per hour. Therefore it obviously makes more economical sense to thieve from targets closer to your city. Having shorter trips also means your thieves would be able to spend more time defending at home, protecting against potential diplomatic attacks. 

2. Identifying & overcoming defences

A deterrent to thieves would be runes cast by the target. There are 3 types of runes: Fear, Killing & Seeking. 

It’s important to first identify what runes a city has in place, before taking the appropriate counter measures. I usually send a single T1 thief & a T1 spy to the target city. This allows for the identification of all possible runes. Depending on the rune in place, the system message sent to you upon triggering the rune would be different. Read the message to figure out what type of rune the city has.

Fear Runes, are a joke. Overcoming them is relatively easy, just send more than the amount of units they are able to handle and the rune would be dispelled immediately. Given that the best fear rune is only able to ‘fear’ up to 300 units, any amount exceeding 300 would instantly overload the rune.
 

Killing Runes, are annoying. They kill all unit types, except for spies & scouts. Overcoming them is more of a cost analysis. Given that a T2 thief costs around 3.4k gold to produce, and since the best killing rune is able to destroy up to 250 units, that equates to roughly 850k lost. Not to mention building thieves takes extremely long. However, killing runes kill ALL unit types, which is why it makes sense to simply send enough cheap military units to overload the rune. I usually use T1 spears, as they’re the cheapest (about 1k gold each, costing a total of 250k gold). This comes out to about 600k gold saved (850k gold minus 250k gold). Alternatively, you could send T1 thieves to overload the rune as well. But hey i'm a scrooge with me gold (:

Seeking Runes, are a pain. They kill up to 400 selected diplomatic types, and people commonly use them against thieves. The only way around them would be to first send a large enough wave of T1 thieves to overload the rune, followed by the main wave of T2 thieves.

3. Determine target’s worth


I only spy the target after I make sure the runes in place are not anti-spy (Seeking Runes can be used against spies). A successful spy mission would list out all building levels, as well as give you a detailed report of the advanced resources present. (With the exception of Horses/Cows & Trade V2 items)

4. Efficient thieving


The biggest downside to thieving is the random aspect. The variety of goods stolen is not fixed, i.e. 2 different advanced resources or just basic resources can be stolen. Additionally, even if your diplomatic offensive strength is enough to overcome the diplomatic defence, there’s a chance the theft might fail and you get a message along the lines of “diplomatic mission sadly failed, but thankfully undetected, and your thieves are safely returning home.” OR Your thieves don’t return at all.

In order to maximize gains and to make thefts more efficient, it might be a good idea to send multiple waves of thieves. I.e. instead of 1 big wave, to break it up into multiple smaller waves. This increases the chance of more types of advanced resources being stolen over a given time period. The DOWNSIDE, is that if the city has more defending thieves than each of your waves, you would fail.

5. Summary


• Choose potential target
• Send 1 T1 thief & 1 T1 spy to determine runes in place
• Deal with rune in the respective manner
• Send spies to determine target’s worth
• Send T2 thieves
• Give evil chuckle

*Sometimes, your thieves can be detected, and the diplomatic mission fails, but your thieves still make it home safely. This is extremely lucky, and a dance should immediately be done on the spot whilst madly praising the all-powerful developer gods. Sacrifice not necessary (:

 



Edited by Silvermania - 09 Nov 2012 at 21:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Silvermania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2012 at 20:57
Hey guys this is very much a work in progress, with pictures to come. Please give lotsa feedback & comments alright (: 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dunnoob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2012 at 21:06
T1: strike gold, add beer Question
T2: EVERYTHING excl. horses/cows/blocks was before trade v2, the new goods are still safe

Edited after the following reply:  T1 are cheap, I use one to identify the rune, and more to disable it, e.g., 1+399 for a ward.  T2 need saddles, I can't afford to waste them against wards, I want to end up with more saddles, not less. Embarrassed 


Edited by dunnoob - 09 Nov 2012 at 21:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Silvermania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2012 at 21:08
Originally posted by dunnoob dunnoob wrote:

T1: strike gold, add beer Question

Hmm can someone confirm this? i never bothered with T1 thieves tbh, just have lots of T2's. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2012 at 21:23
dunnoob is correct.  As a way to remember, t1 thieves can steal things beginning with b: basics (including food), books and beer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Silvermania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2012 at 21:25
Originally posted by dunnoob dunnoob wrote:

T1: strike gold, add beer Question
T2: EVERYTHING excl. horses/cows/blocks was before trade v2, the new goods are still safe

Edited after the following reply:  T1 are cheap, I use one to identify the rune, and more to disable it, e.g., 1+399 for a ward.  T2 need saddles, I can't afford to waste them against wards, I want to end up with more saddles, not less. Embarrassed 

Yep i never use T2s to clear wards :) Its either T1s or Spearmen.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2012 at 21:25
Another good reason to send multiple waves of thieves is the risk of catastrophic failure, in which all your thieves die.  Many people would rather lose one wave of 2k thieves than one big set of 10k thieves.  I think there is a way to determine how many defending thieves you've "beaten" based on the increase in your diplo score, but I defer to other experts for this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2012 at 21:26
You might also want to include attack and defense stats for the thief units.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Silvermania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2012 at 21:30
Originally posted by Rill Rill wrote:

You might also want to include attack and defense stats for the thief units.

Alright will do! And i'll add in your point about not losing all your thieves to catastrophic failure if that's ok with you. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dragonwort Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2014 at 11:21
With the right research and building, the ward of destruction (killing rune) will take out 350 troops/diplos; not just 250.

Ooops....I should have let that be a surprise....lol Smile Dragonwort
Just another wrench in the works..
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