Thursday, 21 August 2014

Halloween 2014 approaches

Hi Settlers,

The Halloween event is up on the test server now, so I thought I'd do a write up for the goodies you can expect this time around. I'll be comparing with last years event, and you can get a summary of the goodies from then here -> linky.

The resource for Halloween is the pumpkin. You'll get pumpkins from quests, destroying golems on your island, harvesting pumpkin fields and of course you can purchase directly for gems from the shop.
Unlike most of the events, your Explorer's can't help you with this one.

Buying the Pumpkins
Pumpkins (60 gems, unlimited): contains 50 pumpkins
A Basket of Pumpkins (360 gems, unlimited): contains 300 pumpkins

Growing your own
Small Pumpkin Cemetery (50 stone, 100 pinewood planks, limited to 3): contains 45 pumpkins. Produces 1 pumpkin every 8 hours.
Common Pumpkin Cemetery (150 marble, 200 hardwood planks, limited to 3): contains 80 pumpkins. Produces 1 pumpkin every 4 hours.
Noble Pumpkin Cemetery (10 Granite, 25 Exotic Wood Planks, limited to 3): contains 100 pumpkins. Produces 1 pumpkin every 1 hour.

All of the fields can be buffed by regular buffs. Given the extremely long production time on the small cemetery, it may be not worthwhile worrying about buffing it very much, although if you can time it properly (ie, log on at the same time every day and coincidentally around when you built it), you should be able to apply a fish platter just when the pumpkin would come out. You only need the buff to be there at the moment the pumpkin is being produced. Noble Cemetery's are certainly worth your better buffs.
Without buffs, your total pumpkin harvest would be 675 for the event. You aren't going to get a whole lot of pumpkins from quests, so if you're low on gems, I'd suggest stocking up on some of the better buffs available with the intention of using on your nobles.
Important Note: You can only get 3 of each type of field total. If you destroy a field, it will NOT return to your star menu, and cannot be replaced. Place them carefully.

Compared to last year, the Nobles have gone up by 10 exotic planks each, nothing too significant.

The Specialist
Grim Reaper General (1560 Pumpkins, limited to 1): The Grim Reaper holds 200 units like regular generals, but travels to and from adventures twice as fast (15 minute trips), and, recovers twice as quickly if defeated in combat (2 hours).
1560 Pumpkins is a lot, but if you're just starting out Settling, may be well worth aiming for. Early on when you're low on Generals, his ability to quickly ferry trips to and from adventures can help out a lot.
His price and quantity is the same as last year, but he has recently received a new look garrison to stand out when on your island or out adventuring, which I've added an image of above.

The Production Buildings
These are listed without including walk times, just production times.
Village School (600 Pumpkins, limited to 3): Pops out a settler every 2 hours. Upgradeable to level 5 for 5 settlers every 2 hours.
Fish Farm (600 Pumpkins, limited to 3): Produces a fish every 4 minutes without using any resources. Note that your regular fisherman you currently use produce every 3 minutes, so this one is a fair bit slower really, but if your fish needs are low, utilising these can mean you never need to fill fish deposits again.
Improved Storehouse (600 Pumpkins, limited to 3): Has 3 times the storage of a regular storehouse, and upgradeable to level 5, at which point it's +18000 storage. If you haven't seen them before, they're shaped differently to most buildings, and you can take a look at them here.
Silo (600 Pumpkins, limited to 3): Refills a wheatfield at a rate of 1 per 12 minutes, and upgradeable to level 5. This is the same rate a farm depletes a field, so is intended to equal out production (and not really new information to most of you).

Compared to last year, the fish farm is entirely new, but the other items, costs, and quantities are unchanged.

The Buffs & Enhancements
Frank and Stein (90 pumpkins, unlimited): Adds 1000 marble to a deposit.
Mr. Myers (24 pumpkins, unlimited): Quadruples production speed in a barracks for 1 hour.
Solar Flare (1 fish, limited to 99): Removes snow or the night from your island.
Sandman's Powder (50 pumpkins, unlimited): Night-time will fall over your island for 1 week.
Omniseeds (90 pumpkins, unlimited): Adds 250 to a deposit (Note: does not work on pumpkin fields)
Zombie (96 pumpkins, unlimited): Quadruples production on a workyard for 12 hours.
Grout (170 pumpkins, unlimited): Gives 200 grout, used to upgrade various buildings. As of Halloween, will be able to upgrade the Mill and Bakery from level 5 to level 6. Previously Grout could be used on masons, marble masons and farms from 5 to 6. The cost to upgrade mills and bakeries to level 6 is 300 grout and 1000 granite.

Pumpkins will be a fairly precious resource, so I'm not sure these buffs are really worthwhile, although an argument could be made for grout if you like the idea of your mills and bakeries going to level 6.

The Decorations
Collapsed Wall (west) (96 pumpkins, unlimited)
Overgrown Ruin (264 pumpkins, unlimited)
Collapsed Wall (north) (96 pumpkins, unlimited)
Tomb (420 pumpkins, unlimited)

Not much to say about these, they're entirely decorative, offering no actual function to your island, just prettiness. I've included above an image of what they look like in action on your island.

Pumpkins feel like a more finite resource than most of the other ones since Explorers can't help you, and the quests don't particularly give you a lot. Some adventures had them in their loot tables during the event, so getting in on loot spots may also be a good option, but I'd expect the price of those loot spots to increase for the duration of the event.

It's hard to make recommendations for this one. If you're new and low on generals (especially if you don't have a Veteran or better), the Grim Reaper is excellent, and of course, has a pretty great looking tent whilst lazing around. If you have more generals, he's probably not a good investment for your pumpkins.
All of the production buildings are good, and really depends on the state of your island, and where you'd like to cut some corners.
> A few improved storehouses go a long way towards ensuring you never cap out on important materials, and of course, assisting to complete the "have 200,000 coins" quest during later levels.
> The fish farm is nice for the idea of never needing to refill a fish deposit again, but if you have the rarity provision house you shouldn't be getting rsi from keeping a field filled anyway really. It's solving a problem that really isn't a big deal anyway.
> The village school doesn't sound like much, but having a few around and levelling them up can massively drop the amount of bread you need to produce and use to make more settlers, which also frees up your provision house and repetitive clicking there.
> And silos of course can help never replace a field ever again. If you're still working towards building a layout, an easy choice, but you do of course hit a point where there's no value in getting any more.

Personally I'll pick up the fish farms, I've got lots of room still for buildings, and the small convenience of never worrying about deposits again will be enough to justify their slower production. I also don't need a whole lot of fish day to day anyway, so 3 farms should suffice.
I might pick up some more schools if pumpkin stocks permit. I have 4 schools at level 4 currently (the 800 exotic wood planks and 1000 granite to move them to level 5 is hard to justify for what you get).
I don't need silos or improved storehouses very much (264,200 storage currently), so will probably skip.

Phew, that was a long one.
Happy Settling.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Offtopic: Random update

Hi Settlers,

Some of you may have noticed it's been a while since my last activity. In that real world place, I was directing my time towards helping at home with getting ready for our second child, who's now arrived and is with us ("awwwwwwww").
I expect over the next few week I'll get more into the swing of things here again and become more active once more.

In general island action, my Gem Plan is coming along well. My oldest 2 gem pits have emptied since I last wrote, and I have 6 currently running. Before the football event, I had a small stockpile of gems, and decided to purchase every explorer from the shop, so I have 20 in total currently (3 regulars, 12 savage scouts, 2 lucky adventurers, and 3 experienced explorers) in various stages of being scienced up.

Happy Settling.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

World Championship Event: The Calendar

The World Cup event will be returning this year, coinciding with the FIFA World Cup (previously it coincided with the Euro Cup in 2012). The real life world cup will run from the 12th of June through to the 13th of July, so presumably our event will run closely with these dates as a guide.

Similar to Christmas, this event is going to feature a calendar that you open a door of each day of the event. I'll run through the elements below.

1. The Football/Soccer ball icon next to your avatar will open the calendar up. You'll also have a quest when the event begins that directs you to where the calendar is and to open it up. Make sure you come in every single day for your reward.

2. The green doors. These doors will give you adventures for the event. These adventures will be different to what we're used to, there will be no regular combat, but instead you'll need to create items in your provision house that you'll take to the adventure, and use them on the camps to destroy them. The parts needed to create the items will be found scattered around your island.
For example, there's an enemy camp called a 'Diver'. He can be destroyed by using a 'Foul' item on him. You create a 'Foul' by combining a pile of 'Banana Peels' and 'Wet Grass' items that you find around your island. Your Explorers can also come back with these items.

3. The regular doors. These doors will give you some resources. You won't necessarily get exactly the same thing as someone else, but the items will be of vaguely similar worth. For example, in Day 2 above I received 200 fish. You might receive 200 water.

4. The yellow doors. These doors require you to make a choice as to your reward. You click on the yellow door, and a range of options will appear on the right (arrow 5) where you must click on the item you want to lock it in. You can go through all of the yellow doors to lock in the item you want immediately on the first day of the event if you'd like.
The yellow doors are:

  • Day 6: Choose between 5x Manuscripts, 3x Tomes and 1x Codex.
  • Day 13: Choose between 500 magic beans and 350 star coin
  • Day 19: Choose between 2x Rabbit Lucky Charm (3x workyard production for 48 hours), 4x Red Flying Settler (3x workyard production for 24 hours), 3x Gold Fever (3x Gold Mine production for 16 hours), or 2x Fermentation Accelerator (4x Brewery/Friary production for 24 hours)
  • Day 23: 2x Bookbinding glue (halve bookbinder production for 24 hours), 2x chocolate rabbit (halve provision house production time for 12 hours), 2x Mr. Myers (4x barracks recruiting time for 1 hour), 2x Training overtime (3x barracks speed for 12 hours).
  • Day 27: Choose between a +500 Gold Ore refill and a +750 Iron Ore refill.
  • Day 30: Choose between 1x Village School and 2x Floating Residences.
6. The completion reward. If you open up every single door, you'll also receive an improved warehouse.

If you skip any days, you can unlock those skipped days by spending some gems. Typically something you'd rather avoid, but in the end if you do unavoidably need to skip logging in for a day or two, the small gem expenditure is certainly worth the value of a otherwise free improved storehouse.

Right now on test, the adventures seem overly difficult to complete. You find few of the components on your island, and explorers come back with 4 of one of the components at a time from an extra long trip, and you can need more than 30 of some of the components to create a single item to kill a single camp (so, quite a lot of explorer trips to take out a single camp). I can't imagine it going live in the state it currently is though, so won't become overly concerned just yet. If it went live as it was right now, people would struggle to acquire footballs for anything though.

Happy Settling.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Upcoming Building upgrade, Grout

In what appears to be coinciding with the upcoming World Championship event (coinciding with the FIFA World Cup, which will be covered soon), BlueByte are planning on letting us upgrade some buildings from level 5 -> level 6.

Initially anyway, the buildings on offer are the stone mason, marble mason and farm.
A new resource will be included in the game, Grout, needed to perform this upgrade, that will only be sourced from events or special occasions.
For example, in the World Championship event you will be able to spend 249 Footballs to get 200 Grout.

Currently on Test:
Upgrading a stone mason requires 50 grout, and 500 granite.
Upgrading a marble mason requires 100 grout and 1000 granite.
Upgrading a farm requires 300 grout and 1000 granite.
Certainly a lot of grout per farm for the cost.

Initially it seemed pretty cool, but, since there doesn't seem to be a corresponding upgrade for silos, this will mess with the maths for layouts. We can still probably come up with some, maybe something that would fit with improved silos in sector 1 similar to the one I made recently.

I can certainly see some marble masons being worth upgrading though. 100 grout isn't too extreme, and you can get reasonable ongoing value out of them.
I can't imagine anyone high enough level to be considering where to spend their grout using stone enough to find much value in spending any there (along with the 500 granite) initially, although if you're rich enough, you may just do it because you can, and at that point may as well.

Happy Settling.