Simple Ideas

Valor game levels

Video Games | September 3, 2012

While there are no defined levels in the game, I see the game played on three levels. There may be more, but in truth I've only figured out two of the levels. And from what I've seen, most people playing the game are lost after they hit level two. But they play with conviction no less.

So level one is the simplest. That is the pre academy game. Up to that point no one is a threat to anyone else. That is, no one can take a city and kick you out of the world. That being the case, level one is all about resource management. Those who do it rise to the top. I'm currently number 2 or 3 in the region out of 1800 people. I can resource manage. It is low risk and high reason in terms of decisionmaking. It also helps if you hardly ever sleep. Level one is where I'm at my best. And it is also the easiest part of the game. as it rest on pure skill at math and an OCD attention to building things. There is a guild in this part of the game but it is a social group at this point. There is no common bond that ties. But you join a guild and the guild determines how level two will go. If you are in a small dysfunctional guild, you are simply a speedbump for someone else. So jumping to the top of the leaderboard early means that the top guilds in the area will recruit you. Once yo uare in a top guild, level two is suddenly a whole lot easier.

Because hardly anyone will mess with you. People click on your city, see a high point total backed by a strong guild and if they have any sense, they look elsewhere. Most people have sense. Every now and then a knucklehead with attack you "uphill" and lose the entire attack. But that aside you are ok. But here is where the guild is critical. Taking cities is much, much easier when you have people to add a "scholar bump" and also to help "clear" the city of troops. If the guild is working together, this phase is where you move from strong in the region, to dominating the region.

I've been in two guilds that made it to dominate the region. Yay! Then, in thier own way, lose the domination. So let me talk about running a guild. This is no small task nor is it easy. As a leadership position goes, this is huge. And it is being filled by...geeks at computers. Not that they can't be leaders,'s not what they do for the most part. So here is where the problems start.

When the guild is working on taking a city, deciding who gets the city is huge. That person gets a huge boost. But as many as 5 people may be involved. The other four just get older. So getting a turn for everyone is critical. In my case, I never got a lot of help, and I never got any of the choice cties. I basically did a lot of work and then ended up doing even more to build up cities. Meanwhile the guys taking the big cities were in effect killing the guild by picking the wrong targets. For the central players in this guild, the object from the get go was a policy that all but guaranteed suicide. And when finally presented with a truce alternative to suicide, they still chose death. Interesting. There is no hope for these people. The worst part is that none of them seem to know the end game. They just know the game at level two. They are very good at the tactics of taking cities, but that is the extent of their skills. They don't seem to be able to get past the "we are here to win cities and annoy the big guilds" They are firmly committed to "life ends at level 2". So for them, it does. I'd say they are underachieving, but really, they may be at the limits of thier abilities.

And in truth people see me as underachieving as I tend to pick up "garbage" cities and then grow them into full size cities. I can only do this as part of a strong guild otherwise I'd lose the cities before I build them up. So even though the guild maxes out at level two, it enable me to play my game and make it into the top 10 in the region in every case. That is not bad for a guy who does the game equivilent of dumpster diving.

My other guild fell apart in a different manner. There the guld leader was trying to make it to level three and was playing the high level guild to guild games that were needed. But in the process her guild was raped. First to create an all star guild, that took the best players. Then the mid level players were taken into a almost all star guild. And those left behind were feasted on by some of the all star players. That was sick and uncalled for. And a fine example of how not to play the end game. Simply rolling over to the super crown of all the guilds.

So this does bring me finally to the end game. Every world will end at some point. Either the players get bored and move on...or one guild just takes everything. I think that is it. But that is the problem. The people who I'm talking about having trouble with level three share one common trait. The don't know how the game ends. And yet, they are making decisions as if they know.

Now I will say that in my "suicide guild" they set out a path that ensured suicide at level 2. It was a choice for sure. But the kind of choice that effectively said they would stop evolving at apes and never make it to humans. Tough call to make, but they made it.

The other guild leader was trying to make level 3, but did a double sell out. Sold out the guild by letting the top guns get stripped off. Then sold out the bottom when everyone above 40k was absorbed and those below were left to muddle along.

So do i have the answer for level 3? Of course not. Because I've not made it to the end of the world. I'm no better off than the others who are bumping about in level 2 and not bridging the gap. But I do have some ideas...

So here they are. By the levels

Level 1 Build and farm like a person possesed. Neverf let the building queue go empty. Hit the resources hard early and you get a huge payback as you are ahead of the curve and will get courted by the top guilds. This is childs play.

Level 2, huge jump in difficulty.

-You need to add cities, but which ones? What is the cost? Lots of people like to get hyperagressive here. And to be the top player, you have to be. But to be top ten in your region, you can get by with a less aggresive approach. Pick up the easy targets. I picked up three cities in 4 days in one world when people left for a world that just opened. I don't generally like to "sit" on scholars, but it may be a good idea when there are no good targets. In level 2, you don't want engage in a fight you can lose. The waste is brutal.

-Avoid hasty attacks. Seriously. I've been in two knuckleheaded hasty attacks run by top guys. In both cases, the top guys were not out much. I lost my whole army. Yeah, its like that. Don't be like that. If you don't know the plan and it doesn't make sense, pass. In this case I was the first to go...then suddenly eveyone else had problems...and I was past the recall point. Accidents always seem to happen to the new guys when the experienced guys are doing something hasty. So take that as gospel. This is a deliberate process where you never want to come in second.

-help the new folks. Every guild has folks who have never taken a city before. You need to show them the ropes, help them on thier first couple projects. Evenually they will graduate and take cities on thier own.

-stupidly inflexible is no better than stupidly flexible. Staying a suicide course is on par with selling out your crew to save your personal hide. The right answer is likley in the middle, but in truth I've not found it yet.

So I wrote most of this a month or two and now know a lot more about level three. I'm in level 3 in two worlds and I'm one of the top five guys in the region in both worlds. While I've done this I've seen literally dozen of people climb up the leaderboard and then topple off. Level 3 is all about active players who work together. It is that simple. My suicide guild did survive to level 3 due to a number of truces and treaties that kept it above water. But the big war is now taking place and many of our player left the game out of boredom. There really is the issue. You have to have a war to keep people interested. But in fighting the war you lose active players.

One guy did propose an answer to this. That was a "no knock out" proxy war where you could attack and take cities, but you couldn't take a players last city. So in that case they could rebuild and keep playing. That was probably the best idea I'd heard. But as you can expect, the idea was voted down by knuckleheads who thought it was some kind of elaborate ruse.

Really, there is no talking to some people. And that right there is the central problem with people, regardless of what is being discussed.


1. Joanna on October 13, 2012

Well written and very interesting to a newer player. Thanks for the insight.

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