Which I guess shouldn’t be a big shock. After all, Lord of Ultima is supposed to be something of a PvP game in its browser based, real-time sort of way.
Only I’ve been playing Lord of Ultima since it launched an nobody has ever bothered with me before.
Of course, at the start, back in May or so, my own wee empire was probably too pathetic to both with. There were lots of more interesting or dangerous or threatening opponents to be found.
And there is the fact that I’ve never bothered to build a castle.
In LoU you are protected from all attacks for the first week or so… I think it was 7 days, but that time expired so long ago that it is just a blur.
After that protected time elapses you are subject to one type of attack, being plundered, unless you build a castle. A town with a castle in it is subject to siege and conquest. However, you can also only launch sieges and conquests and the like if you have a castle.
Or so I understand. I haven’t, as I said, actually built a castle.
A friend of mine, Xyd, who got me to play the game, built a castle rather early on in the life of the game and was subsequently punished for his arrogance with unending plunder and destruction.
He no longer plays.
Fearing a similar fate, I was determined (a pretty strong word for a game I play very casually) not to build a castle until I sufficient defenses.
And so I’ve never built a castle.
I’ve built quite a little empire though. Big enough to be invited to one of the top alliances on my world, and to which I contribute about 420,000 points and the occasional shipment of resources or supporting troops.
Our alliance battles always seem to occur far away from where ever I am, so my support usual arrives just in time to be either completely redundant or help sift through the ashes of somebody’s 7-point castle.
(7 is the minimum number of points a town with a castle can be worth. When it is at 7 points, you’ve pretty much won that battle having rendered the castle helpless.)
So I continued to found new towns and build them up, slowly (very slowly) learning how best to do that.
For example, it took me a long time to realize that the best response to natural resources in your town, wood, stone, or iron, is to destroy them. Heck, it took me a long time to realize that you could destroy them, much less figure out why you would want to.
As it turns out, the production bonus for having a resource processing building next to a natural resource isn’t nearly as good as having a building that supplies extra labor next door. So you cram together a grid of processing and supplementary buildings, destroying any nature that might get in the way.
Anyway, I got into the stride of this around 40 cities into my adventure. Since there is a limit to the number of buildings you can have in a city (100) the great advantage of this compressed grid is that you get a lot more production from fewer buildings, you can have more buildings available for other things, like unit production or trade.
This is actually so effective that I have gone back and started restructuring some of my old, badly laid out cities. Death to nature I guess.
LoU also offers up rewards for completing quests. The quests encourage expansion. So, for example, I have cities on more than 50 of the continents in my world. (There are a lot of continents. I have seen them numbered from 0 through 66 so far.) I have so many far flung cities because there is a series of quests to have cities on 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, etc. continents.
And it was one of these far out of the way cities that was attack, again, much to my surprise.
I was surprised because I was beginning to doubt I could be plundered. I had put up cities right next to castles of alliances at which we were at war and had never been bothered.
And then I got this report.
45,787 armored knights swooped down on my little town and stole a bunch of my stuff.
The town was completely defenseless. I had given up on bothering with troops. But now I had somebody attacking me.
I knew what to do first. I had enough resources building up to start building hideouts, which hide resources from plundering troops.
Shrifflle kept sending out plundering parties at regular intervals, but soon they began to return empty handed.
In the mean time I have been trying to gather some forces to send to my distant city to help oppose this ongoing plunder. The place is a good days sail (real time) from my nearest full-grown cities. In the mean time I have slowly been building up the city and its defenses, so once help arrives, it will have the maximum effect.
All of which has added a little spice to what has so far been, for me at least, a somewhat slow and limited game of SimCity.