Tales of Aloriah, IX

And so it ends. Gorogorosama mounted his new-born Sleipnir steed and charged bravely into the Molten Ashland, only to find that the Mother Dragon had already been slain. And who was standing there, sword dripping with ancient blood? None other than my nemisis, Aernoud!

It is very frustrating, but very fitting, to have him slay the beast before me. And while I defeated Aernoud in our first hostile encounters, he was always a couple steps ahead of me. For example, when Boom-Shaka cast far sight to survey the area around where I planned to settle in the Molten Ashland, it seemed that Aernoud was already controlling the neighborhood diamond mine!

And then there was the time early in the game when I asked Ookyaas about joining forces…

It’s also a great feature that everyone gets to see how the final battle turned out. That gives me an idea of what I need to prepare for next time.

Anyway, while it is sad that the game is over, I had a lot of fun and am fairly pleased with my progress. In the end I was ranked at 62, and I think 25th when looking at Civilization Size, which I think is a better indication of how close I was to victory. I had 4 of the 5 Mother Dragon Item Set, had gotten pretty good at skinnging dragons for diamonds, and Rathlin was a virtual Berserker Factory. I also had all the CP and Settlers I needed to enter the final Climate Zone. So close! I also learned a lot about the game and should do even better next time. Mother Dragon and Aernoud, you have been warned!

Thank you all for reading, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the Tales of Aloriah. Happy 2011!

Cheers,
Oliver

I Am the Lord of Ultima (well, not yet) Part 5

I Am the Lord of Ultima (well, not yet)
– by Goemon

I am officially a castled city! And how…anticlimactic. I had an image in my mind of the floodgates opening, and having to fend off wave against wave of troops. I’m talking the finale of The Return of the King here. My walls are leveled up and I’ve got thousands of city guards and berzerkers at the ready…pitfall traps and barricades line the outskirts of my town, waiting to be broken in(in case you didn’t know, they render a certain amount of invading troops useless). Or, in continuing with my underdog theme, to be honest I would have been fine with an Alamo-type battle.

But for some reason I haven’t been able to draw the attention of my neighbors. I’ve definitely tried, by means of plundering whenever possible. Granted, these haven’t been the most strategic plunders, as I think my losses often outweigh my gains. But I’m doing it mostly just to see what will happen. You would think at some point someone would get tired of me and try and fight back, but that has yet to happen. We’ll see what happens. My second city is on its way to being a solid resource farm as well as training camp, so even if my main city gets squashed I think I’ll be ok in the long run.

I want to mention a couple of things that you guys might not know about:

First off, I was unaware of how this game would end until I found this stickied thread in the official forums. If you don’t want to read through that wall o’ text, I’ll summarize. Basically, after around 6 months of server life, 8 “shrines” will start to spawn in random locations around the continent. Players can found cities on them, which are automatically susceptible to attack from others. Basically from here it’s a classic game of king of the hill- first player (and alliance) to level up their castle to level 80 wins. In order to get it up to 80, your alliance has to hold one of each type of shrine (8 total). And then you’re Lord of Ultima.

After this happens, the servers are reset, and you and I have to start all over. To be honest, this doesn’t seem like such a bad thing to me; I got a bit of a late start on my server, so I don’t really think I have chance at defending a shrine against every other player on the continent. Maybe when it gets reset and everyone starts on equal footing I will have a better opportunity. I can definitely see this angering some of the players that have been here since the beginning though; that’s a lot of game hours that just get flushed down the digital drain.

Second: One of the things I thought that was cool about Lord of Ultima was how each town was potentially different. The game gives you the power to choose where to place buildings, and where you put them determines how effective they will be. For instance, placing Woodcutter’s Huts next to Forests nets more wood profit. Makes sense, and makes building placement important, which is a bit rare in this genre.

HOWEVER, after perusing the forums yet again, I found out that you are actually more profitable by just destroying the natural resources and placing boost-buildings in their place. Here’s a pic from this thread. A rather extreme example for sure, but it illustrates the point. This effectively eliminates the need to think about where to place your buildings in relation to natural resources, since you can just cut them down and be better off. I find this pretty disappointing.

On the other hand, it makes the game more balanced because everyone can effectively have the same amount of resource intake regardless of what natural resources they start with. I for one haven’t destroyed mine yet, if for aesthetic reasons only.