Illyriad New Player’s Tips

Illyriad New Player’s Tips by Manannan

Welcome New Players to Illyriad

Whilst I have been playing Illyriad for a while now I am not the foremost expert, although some may say I would probably be close… I never liked those people anyway! The various recent reviews of Illyriad have brought an influx of new players to the game which is great! I actively participate in global chat and a lot of the same questions come up. Being the lazy [insert own expletive] I am I have written this ‘Tips for New Players’ thread for newbies interested in becoming better Illyrians and save myself and other veteran players from having to answer the same questions every five minutes.

This is the second version of the New Player Guide. The first was originally published by a great Illyriad called The_Dude who has now left the game, although there was some dispute over who actually wrote it, then later it was republished and added to by myself. Unfortunately the more that was added the more difficult it became to follow hence a rewrite was required.

Illyriad is a perpetual game. The server does not (currently) end and restart therefore there is no winner. It is about choices and trade-offs as no city can be fully grown and support a large army. There are many paths players can take in Illyriad and no one path is right for everyone. There are thousands of players which means there are millions of ideas on how to proceed through the wonderful land of Illyriad… If you look hard enough you will find ‘lions and tigers and bears’ on you way to find the wizard. The best thing you can do is talk to the veterans in global and listen to the advice they give you. Most older players will give good advice you can use whilst most newer players will give you bad advice but think they are helping you.

I have split the guide into 3 distinct parts now in the hope that it has become more structured. Firstly there are 16 general tips to help you get started in the game, then a Q & A section of commonly asked questions and finally a section with links to more information you may find useful.

1) Complete the tutorial  
You get a basic understanding of the interface and mechanics of Illyriad and you get a gift from King Sigurd, a most honorable and glorious King. “All Hail King Sigurd!”

2)  Change your tax rateTaxes generate gold and when you start you do not need a vast income. You need gold to make units and support those units. As a newbie you will NOT be making vast numbers of units for a while yet. Taxes to generate gold reduce your production of basic resources (wood, clay, iron, stone, and food) and early on these basic resources are much more important to you than gold is. I would recommend dropping your tax from the default 25% as a new player to 5% or less. As you grow in the game and start building more and more units you will need to raise your tax rate once again. Keep in mind you can only change it once every 24 hours.

3) Visit Global Chat (GC) Introduce yourself and say, “Hi! My name is Manannan and I’m and alcoholic” Oh wait… That what I say at my AA meetings. Regardless of that pop in and say ‘Hello.’ Most likely veterans like myself will be watching and recognize you as a new player. Many of us routinely send new players resources and goods with no expectations other than you become a worthwhile member of the community. It is probably a different welcome to other nameless games of the same genre most people are used to where the first thing that will happen is to ‘beat on the new guy’ as soon as his player protection finishes. Veterans for the most part are friendly and welcoming to new players to the Illyriad community. Subjects best avoided discussing in GC are real life politics, history, religion, sex and drugs as they are either offensive to begin with or invariably lead to arguments and the developers prefer to keep a family friendly atmosphere in there. Discussions about Illyriad politics, history and religion are allowed but avoid insulting any players if you want your gaming experience to be enjoyable. On a personal note if you do not want me to be constantly shouting at you please do not spam GC with pointless emoticons or emotispam as I call it. Its worst than having a troll in the room!

4) Upgrade your storehouseIf you visit GC and you see inbound caravans you should upgrade your Storehouse to increase the amount of basic resources you can receive. Resources that exceed your storage capacity are lost forever like over filling a glass of water. If that happens do not worry. Older players are willing to help the new people get a good start in the game but do not abuse their kindness as if you are greedy you will find that the new player packages quickly disappear. Also manners never killed anybody. You’ll find demands for resources won’t get you very far but polite requests normally get you several people sending. I myself have a limit to how much I will send in one go to new players outside my alliance and arguing with me that a free gift is not enough is more likely to get you a future visit from my diplomats or military than from my caravans.

5) Increase your resource production very early on  My preference is to increase wood/clay/iron/stone production equally. By this I mean complete one Lumberjack level 1, then a Clay Pit level 1, etc. After I have a level 1 then I make a level 2 on top of that level 1 resource, then a level 3 on the same plot and so on and so forth until I have a single plot of each resource at level 7. Once at level 7 you can research and then build the secondary buildings for the basic resources. These are important for two reasons. Firstly they increase your production of your basic resources (obviously) and secondly they also open up further city upgrades when they reach certain build levels such as city walls and weapon production buildings which you will need to make troops.

Early in your city’s development you will find it difficult to keep food production positive but try to avoid letting food production go negative and make it a priority to correct this when it happens. After I have a level 7 Lumberjack, Clay Pit, Iron Mine and Stone Quarry, I will “back fill” the remaining undeveloped resource plots until I have completed every resource plot to at least level 7. While developing resource production as I just described mix in builds of Paddock, Common Ground, Marketplace, Consulate, Mage Tower and Barracks. Most of these buildings have high food upkeep requirements so be sure to keep an eye on your food production.

6) Barracks and MilitaryEveryone who starts is tempted into building an army as soon as possible to protect themselves.  Do Not.  Any army you could build at the start is completely insignificant and will only serve to tempt an aggressive player to attack you for points. Whilst I have stated most of us are friendly there are those who aren’t and won’t hesitate to attack for a handful of extra points to their score. Early in the game you are more likely to be visited by diplomatic units such as thieves than an army. Building an army will also make you raise your tax rates which will hamper your growth early on. Upgrading your barracks though is a good idea when you have a chance. When you do decide to start your army the higher the level your barracks is the more troop types you are able to research and build and the faster the training times. Also the level of your barracks equates to the number of skills you can research for your commanders to allocate when they level up with enough experience. I go more in depth into troops and commanders in my ‘Military Guide’ which I may post at a later date.

7) Research Arcana and build a Mage Tower
As I just mentioned there are elements of the player base in
Illyriad less friendly to newer players and magic is your best defence to start at the start of the game, and even in later stages when you become larger.. Once you have built your Mage Tower you can research your first school of magic. Please note the following magic school order is a guide only and not “Do it this way or you will perish!” That being said myself and others STRONGLY recommend the order given.

Currently there are three schools of magic you can research, these being Blights, Geomancy and Runes. As I am typing up the rewrite of this guide however, in early July 2011, we are lead to believe by the game developers that there will be an imminent release of up to a further seven schools of magic. For the moment though it is just the three and you should research Runes first, Geomancy second and finally Blights.

Runes are your first cheapest defense against enemy units and are effective at all stages of the game. There are three types of Rune Spells. The first type are horror spells and they scare away hostile diplomatic units,  with the exception of scouts and spies, and sends them packing with their tail between their legs back to their owner without killing them. The second type are killing spells. These will indiscriminately kill any hostile diplomatic force sent against your city, again with the exception of scouts and spies, and leaves their magic scared corpses scattered in front of your city. The final type are seeking spells. These are specialised killing spells allowing you to specify exactly what type of diplomatic unit you want your mages to target if attacked and with these you can kill scouts and spies if you so wish. With seeking spells you get more kills per spell but you can only target one troop type at a time and cool off times for the spells are fairly long if cancelled before you can recast a new one. If you have a seeking spell raised for thieves and you are visited by saboteurs the enemy mission will be successful unless you have sufficient diplomatic troops for defence. Try to stick to the killing spells to start with as destroying enemy units is the best deterrent for attacks. The killing spells in order from weakest to strongest are Mark of Slaying, Death Rune, Killing Glyph, and Ward of Destruction.

Many of you will be tempted to research Geomancy as your first magic school to further boost your basic resource production. DO NOT. Unfortunately with the influx of new players theft attacks on new players in particular are on the increase, much to my and others disgust, and is probably down to the number of new player welcome packages being sent out. Runes are your best choice for your first school and if you want a magical boost to your resource production you will probably find an experienced player willing to cast one for you in GC.

Blights have no use for you early in the game as they are an offensive school of magic used to sabotage other players resource production or resource storage. They are described by some as cowards magic but can be highly effective. I go more in depth into the various magic spells available in my Guide to Magic which I may also post at a later date.

8) MarketplaceYou need a marketplace to make caravans. Caravans ship goods to friendly cities, make trades in the market, and harvest resources that spawn on the world map.

Resource harvesting is very useful as you start the game and you can use it to subsidise your resource production. Harvestable resources are shown on the world map as one of a wood, clay, iron, stone, food or gold icon the same as those on the resource bar at he top of the screen surrounded by a white circle. Newly spawned resources can contain amounts exceeding 3000 to be collected by your caravans. To harvest these click on the square on the world map the icon is and select ‘Harvest Resources’ from the pop-up menu list. On the following screen select how many caravans you wish to send to the node.

When you find resources on the world map you may see another circle to the left of it. This will be a caravan already harvesting and the colour denotes your relationship with its owner. A green circle is one of your own caravans, a blue circle denotes a caravan either belonging to a member of the alliance to which you belong or to which you alliance has positive relations with, a yellow circle will belong to a member of an alliance you have no diplomatic relations with and finally a red circle is a caravan belonging to an alliance you have hostile relations with.

If you send caravan(s) to nodes where harvesting is already occurring then yours will send those harvesting there already back to their original city without getting a full load allowing you to harvest what remains there or filling your caravan(s). These interruptions are called ‘bumping’ by the community and although it is accepted that it is part of the game I would not recommend deliberately sending your caravans to locations already being harvested.

9) Diplomatic DefenceMost likely a new player will suffer attacks from diplomatic units before armies. Diplomats are anonymous unless captured and prisoners successfully interrogated unlike armies which identify the attacker when sent. Your first defense against enemy Diplomats are your Runes so ensure you have a powerful one cast (see section 7) at all times. Second build your own force of diplomats. Put simply your diplomatic forces can stop enemy diplomats but your defending force needs to be about 50% the size of the attacking force to be effective. Also only diplomats of the same type stop enemy; i.e. thieves stop thieves, scouts stop scouts etc. If you are being continuously thieved there is no point having hundreds of scouts there to try to defend because it is literally having no effect. You train diplomats in your consulate and much like your barracks the higher the level the more types and the more advanced the diplomat you can research and build. Each diplomat type comes in a basic and advanced tier. The basic tier units are good at defense whilst the advanced ones have better offensive and movement statistics.

10) AttackedWhile a new player if you are attacked either by diplomats or military please come on to GC and speak up. Many of the older veterans do not like to see new players attacked and will render aid as they deem appropriate to the situation at the time whether its giving advice, replacing lost resources, talking to other alliance leaders on your behalf or in very extreme circumstances destroying the offending player completely.

11) AlliancesYou do NOT need to join an alliance right away. Often people come into global chat ask to join an alliance and within a minute you will receive a half dozen invites without ever having said a word to one another. These are most probably alliances you do not want to join. You will be happier in an alliance that suits your personality so if you are interested in joining an alliance then take your time and learn about the various alliances. See how their members act in GC… It probably speaks volumes as to their ethos.

12) City RelocationDo NOT move your capital until you are very close to settling your #2 city. This gives you time to become more acquainted with world of Illyriad, its community and your own play style so that you can relocate your capital as wisely as possible. This advice holds even if you have joined an alliance (or especially if you have). There are plenty of people willing to give advice on what makes a good spot but at the end of the day you have to be happy with where you move your capital too. If you join an alliance prematurely and move your city to be next to that alliances cities, you are severely limiting your future options to join other alliances that are a potentially better fit at a later.

13) Daily Log in Bonus >Thanks to the generosity of the Illyriad staff you can claim a free bonus every 24 hours when you log in. This is claimed from the front page of the Illyriad Herald which is the screen that automatically loads when you log on the game. If the 24 hours has not expired from your last claim when you log in you can always go back to it later via the satellite button off the world map at a later time. You have a choice of claiming:

  • 1 prestige to be credited to your account
  • 500 wood to be delivered to a town of your choice
  • 500 clay to be delivered to a town of your choice
  • 500 iron to be delivered to a town of your choice
  • 500 stone to be delivered to a town of your choice
  • A resource bundle consisting of 100 of each resource to be delivered to a town of your choice

Although the developers will probably hate me for saying this I would recommend claiming the prestige everyday the reason being that you can use it to do a great many things in the game. Please don’t let this free prestige stop you from supporting the game and buying extra prestige though. If you are desperate for resources though do consider claiming them, as with distances and travel times in the game it can take a while for even the veteran player to send their surplus to you to aid your construction and gaming experience to reach you. The best thing about this free bonus is that everyone can gather and use prestige even if they do not buy it.

14 Buiding Your Second CityOnce you hit 450 population in your first city you will be ready to settle your second city. To do this you must first have completed ‘Pioneering’ city research which costs 1200 RP and takes about 12 hours to complete. You can actually complete this research very early in your gaming experience, however you may struggle to do so unless you have been sent a large amount of books. Once you have completed this research you should start training your settler as soon as possible. They cost 15000 gold, 8 horses, 20 beer and 10 saddles each to produce and require 4 days to train! Don’t leave yourself having acquired the required population but having to wait a further 4 days to found your second city. Also if your are considering relocation of your capital now would be the time to do it before you send your settler.

15 Population GrowthThe common misconception seems to be if you continuously upgrade your farms your population will increase by itself over time… WRONG! Every building has a food upkeep value. This can vary from 0 p/h for low level buildings to nearly 1500 p/h for buildings at their maximum level. Basically the higher a buildings food upkeep the greater the population it provides for your city. High food consumption buildings, therefore high population buildings, include the consulate, mage tower, common ground and paddock. If you are looking for a quick boost in population those are some of the buildings to consider but be sure to keep an eye on your food production though and build farms as needed.

16 Library and ResearchYou need your library to produce research points and also complete research. If you are lucky an older player will send you some books you can convert to research points in a care package. This will enable you to research at the start without having to wait for points to amass. You should aim to get you library up to about level 12 as quickly as possible. At this level you can produce enough research points to research continuously. If you time your builds and researches completely you can do this after accepting no more than 100 books. You can boost your research points by either visiting the Temple of Reason early in the game or completing the Ancestral Lineage Mystery at any point.

New Player Q & A
When am I no longer considered a new player?Different people consider your new player status ending at different times. Some will consider you veteran enough after your new player protection expires after 5 days. For others its when you construct your second or third city. Others still will say you never stop being a new player. For me your definitely stop being being new when your population reaches 1000 regardless of the number of cities you own. If you use prestige early in the game to boost your population to this level you could swiftly end up regretting it as although your city will have moved along swiftly other important aspects of your game will not have. For classification purposes we tend to use newbie/newb to describe a player new to the game and learning the ropes and noobie/noob as a derogatory description for a player who either does not learn even the simplest of game functions after several weeks or does something really stupid.

How do I make my population grow?This is a common question asked in Global Chat and believe it or not asked a lot by people who have just read the Tips for New Players too. I can only assume people are a selective readers. Refer to section 15 for an in depth answer to this question.

Can I cancel build or research items in my queues?
No. There is no way to cancel build or research items you have put into your queues not even by using prestige or petitioning the developers.

Can I speed up research?Again no. There is no game mechanic enabling you to speed up research times not even through use of prestige. The time stated for completion of the research is the time it takes so make sure you choose carefully. This provides a useful restriction to keep the proverbial real life billionaires from ‘speed building’ cities. Even with unlimited prestige cities can only grow as fast as the pace of research.

What should I research?
 should be your first research item as it opens up a large section of the city research tree immediately you need for many of the buildings you can construct. As said above for Magic research”Arcana” then “Runes”. To open up the trade research tree research “Haggling” to allow you to have a marketplace and caravans for quests and harvesting. “Negotiation” is a wise early research to allow construction of the consulate and then later diplomatic units such as scouts. To build your barracks and open up the military research tree for various troop types, tactics and commander skills “Militia” must be completed. Once you have caravans and scouts you may want to do quests so research first “Brewing” to allow construction of a brewery to produce beer and “Bartending” to build a tavern to receive quests. Once done you can research firstly “Trade Contacts” allowing you to accept trade quests using caravans, then secondly after your tavern is upgraded to level two “Diplomatic Contacts” to accept diplomatic involving scouts. The massive “Sovereignty” research tree should be low priority unless you have nothing else to research.

Can I speed up building construction?
Yes, but as I mentioned I’d be very wary of doing so constantly for a few reasons at an early stage of the game. Firstly its not really cost effective on the prestige use. You are gifted 50 prestige when you begin by the all powerful Illyriad Gods and this can quickly get used up insta-building or boosting resource production. To continuously insta-build you would need to exploit the kindness of the veterans to be constantly sent basic resources which in some cases will upset them and get you a swift visit from their diplomatic forces. I once saw a new player who had constantly built up his storehouse and warehouse since joining the game ignoring all other buildings and asked to be sent 300k of each resource… As you can imagine the response he got wasn’t very polite. Use some common sense and upgrade your storage to a decent level, say till it holds 10k, then work on your resources. Also with
insta-build although your city population is rising quickly the research falls behind as will advanced resource production which will have a knock on effect on diplomatic/military/settler unit production, unless you can find a kind veteran or two as a benefactor. Later in the game when you have a decent foundation of resource production and research completed is when I would recommend insta-building more. Firstly you have your foundations laid and secondly the build time for some of the higher level buildings can literally take days to complete…. Or as long as it takes to click the complete all buildings in queue button.

Where do I find Quests?I’m not going to tell you…. Only joking! What sort of Q & A guide would it be if I didn’t! Quests can be found via the bottom satellite button off the world map; i.e. hover your mouse over the far left icon at the top of the screen. Here will be displayed trade and diplomatic quests, if your prestige account is active there will be two of each otherwise only one. The cost either one or two barrels of beer to accept and you must then either dispatch goods or scouts to a given location within the given time scale. The rewards vary from quest to quest and some are worthwhile others are not worth turning your computer on for. I will endeavour to publish my own comprehensive quest list in the very near future which tell you what is needed, what the reward is and how worthwhile I consider completing it. Quests do produce two random research ‘discoveries’ though which are randomly dropped after completing and both well worth gaining in all your towns.

How do I make books to make more research points?This is a common misconception by new players that books are required for research but this is not so. Books will provide a boost you your available research points (RP) if you use the Reading Room to convert them, keeping your research queue busy, however it is the library which produces RP. The higher the library level the more research points are produced an hour. Other than boosting your research books are also used in the training of diplomatic troops, casting of spells and manufacture of siege blocks. Another misconception is than manufacturing books in your bookbinder will help boost your store of RP, again this is not true. Books cost 25 RP to produce but only convert back into 20 RP. The reason for this is what I call the ‘brain drain factor’ in that if I have an understanding of something and explain it not all of that information can be translated across and some is lost.

What are the purple/pink circles on the world map?
You will see animals/monsters and army encampments on the world map that have a purple/pink circle around them. These are Non-Player Combatants (NPCs) and are static targets for players to kill. The squares on which they spawn are referred to as NPC nodes and there are many different types. They do not attack you and can be ignored if you wish. If you do want to attack them you should scout them before you send armies to them to ascertain numbers and troop types. Every six hours the NPC nodes respawn either a new NPC or resources for harvesting. An example of one of these nodes is -113|-111. I go more in depth into the various NPCs in my ‘NPC Guide & Bestiary’ which several of us have tried posting without success on the forums several times. You should hope to see it in the near future in the forum if indeed it is not there already.

Can I attack other players to boost my available resources?All players are free to attack whoever they wish but you must be willing to reap what you sow. GC and the forums are full of daily doses of drama of people attacking active players and not liking the consequences afterwards. You will see many towns on the world map near you that have zero or very little population. If a population remains zero for more than 15 minutes it means that the player quickly decided that Illyriad was not what they expected and quit right away and if a population is ten or less and stays that way for a few days you can assume they never even completed the tutorial. Once the player protection has been lifted from this inactive account all players are free to attack and “farm” the inactive city for resources. A zero pop city will produce a meager amount of fresh resources for only 1 week but a city with a population of one or greater will continue to produce resources for 4 weeks. It goes without saying that the higher the population of a city the more you should expect it to produce and hold for farming. A word of advice though and avoid attacking any player in an alliance… Their colleagues may just decide to exact extreme revenge on you.

How can I tell if I’m under attack? You will know if armies or diplomatic units you see on the map are hostile to you because they will be coloured red and also you will see a red box with a number in it on the right side of either your Military Overview (Axe Icon) or Diplomatic Overview (Rose Icon) buttons at the top of the game screen. Also you will see a red progress bar in your ‘Next Events’ box on the right-hand side of the screen. Note that you have very short alert notice of hostile diplomatic units, perhaps just 15 minutes or less at early stages of the game.

What are trolls as I hear constantly mentioned about in GC?
One of two things. Either the not so cute and cuddly NPC type that roams around the central areas of the map or more likely a particularly nasty player in the game. Any player has the potential to turn into a troll and in definition they are people who post inflammatory, extraneous or off-topic messages in global chat or the forums with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. If you see a troll in GC or the forums the best thing you can do is either ignore them or block them in chat. Trolls feed off reaction and quickly become bored and move on if ignored and nobody talks to them. We have a saying “DNFTT” in Illyriad… Do Not Feed The Trolls!

What are Mysteries?
Mysteries are special sites around the world map which when visited correctly can give you an added gaming boost. There are currently five mysteries I am aware of only three of which the community has solved. These mysteries are:

  • The Ancestral Statue Mystery (Solved)
  • The Steamtastic Brewery (Solved)
  • The Temple of Reason (Solved)
  • The Heart of Corruption (Unsolved)
  • The Fortune Teller Mystery (Unsolved)

There may well be further ones out there, in fact I would guarantee there are others hidden somewhere. I will cover mysteries at a later date either with another post myself or links to links to others how have.

I am an elf, should I bother building a forge?Yes. Elves should try to build at least a level five forge even though they do not use plate armor at all. This is because it also opens up a small branch of the sovereignty research tree and it will also be another building producing something which has value on the marketplace where there was nothing producing before. In fact plate armor would in fact be an excellent export item for an elf and if the prices are good they might even consider upgrading it further.

I’ve a game/technical problem nobody in GC can help with. What do I do?Abandon all hope… Only kidding. You have three options. Stay in global chat and keep telling everyone your story every five minutes hoping someone can help. Your could post a new thread in the forums where again people can see your problem. You may get a lucky response or it may be noticed by a developer to get a proper response but most likely it won’t. Or finally you could open an petition with the developers detailing your problem and get a proper response with n
o hassle. This is the preferred method of reporting problems.

What happens when I have negative food production then run out of food?
Your city starves and dies! Well not quite but it does shut down. If your food storage reaches zero you will not be able to start any advanced resource queues, any research, cast any spells or build anything other than new/upgrade farms until you have food in storage again. Keep an eye on food production and if it goes negative build a farm or two immediately. At the start of the game its very hard to keep food in the posititve but as you progress you will have to upgrade farms less frequently.

Why is my basic resource production positive but storage amount red?Easy answer is that your storage is full and anything produced when the amount stored is red is lost forever. Either expand your storage capacity by upgrading you storehouse/warehouse, set off some advance resource production or new building construction queue, or send resources to another city/player.

What is this ‘sovereignty’ I keep hearing players talking about?Oh boy… Saved the most difficult one for last have you. Sovereignty is one of the most difficult aspects of the game to understand and there are people who have played the game since it was introduced who do not have a clue about it. Ask a person in GC about sovereignty and the odds are you will get told a load of hogwash which sounds good but is in fact complete and utter rubbish. In the simplest description possible Sovereignty is the extending your empire outside the walls of your city, getting the denizens of these squares to bend to your will and support your city. It has high upkeep costs even at low levels and therefore is not something to consider claiming until your city is very well established but should be in your mind when finding a location for founding new cities. You can find plenty of details about the subject in my ‘Guide to Sovereignty.’

When we get were we’re going will the taverns be open?
Most probably. The only problem is there will not be any alcohol remaining as between my alliance colleague Griz and myself will have drunk them dry all of the beer and spirits… Sorry.

More Useful InformationAnother well written guide is on Kurdruks blog ‘The Wisdom of Kurdruk’ and has an excellent section in there on how to make gold from the market early in the game from livestock. One note on this tactic though is that it will reduce the cost of cows so I recommend a bit of diversification as the occasional book or sword producer is useful too. If most people just do cows eventually it will cause the cost of cows to nosedive when there is enough competition due to the added supply. Starting a blacksmith and plate forge are therefore very good ideas to diversify as well as fill your own needs.

HonoredMules unofficial wiki is very helpful on a number of subjects and I would seriously consider adding this link to your browser favorites.

There is a forum thread for newbie questions. You will not be ridiculed for asking and an experienced player is probably near by to answer quickly if you do not want to ask in GC.

For players interested in learning about alliances that are actively recruiting there is a useful forum section for alliance recruitment and the wiki has a list of training alliances.

Also keep an eye on the Illyriad Herald for any game announcements.

5 Tips For New Players by Kurdruk 

1. Relax, and enjoy the gradual ascent of your empire!

Often when I have played browser-based strategy games, there has quite a lot to do in the first few weeks. Then within 3 months either (a) there is so much to do that it’s overwhelming (no names, but I played one game where I had to log in 3 times a day to spend 10 minutes each time shuffling resources between my towns to avoid the resources being lost), or (b) I got destroyed by bigger players (not for any reason – just because that’s what they wanted to do). Not so with Illyriad!

I was amazed that Illyriad didn’t seem to require much time at first. Now I’m really happy with that – I have 6 cities, and while maintaining them takes enough time that I count Illyriad as one of my main hobbies, it isn’t a chore.

Since I started, I’ve seen new players asking “when will I be attacked?” and “isn’t this a bit slow?” Well, you probably won’t be attacked. And yes, it’s a slow journey – which means you won’t get overwhelmed by it later. Enjoy it!

2. Check In Regularly

Illyriad doesn’t require a lot of time to play. But it does help if, especially in the first month, you can check on it regularly. It’s like having a pet – pet it occasionally, check that it hasn’t made a mess on the carpet…. OK, maybe that isn’t a great analogy. Anyway….

Personally, for my first month or two I just kept a browser window open on my PC, and if I was between tasks (e.g. taking a break from work, or waiting for the kettle to boil) I would check in and see if I could build anything.

Just think about the build times for your early buildings. Most early builds take between 10 minutes and 4 hours. You can queue up 2 builds at once. Setting two buildings to build takes about 30 seconds. Obviously you don’t need to be on line all day every day, but if you can check in frequently and spare 30 seconds each time, your first village will grow all the faster for your attentions! Early in the game the main determinant of how fast you grow is how often you can glance at your browser.

3. Don’t build armies…

Like me, you may have been scarred by other strategy games, where as soon as you come out of New Player Protection, or as soon as you start falling behind your neighbors, aggressive armies start trashing your town. So, when I started, I immediately built up a defensive army. Why did I do that? This is Illyriad – not browser-based bullying.

In Illyriad, people generally attack because of Alliance politics, Tournaments, or to avenge insults. Nearly all of the Seiges you see on the Herald page are sieges of Inactive players. All in all, you are very unlikely to get attacked just because someone feels that they can.

So, early on, you won’t need an army. Armies cost gold to maintain. That means you need to maintain a high tax rate. Don’t bother. Instead, go to your Castle tab, click Taxation, and set your tax rate to 0%. This will increase your resource production.

Early in the game you need Resource production. You don’t need soldiers.

4. … but do defend yourself!

Look at your Research Tree, click on Magic, and scroll down to Runes. See there, there is a sequence of nasty little destructive runes – Mark of Slaying up to Ward of Destruction. Research those Runes. Even if you ignore the whole of the rest of the magic system, research those, and keep the biggest you’ve researched up to defend your town at all times.

These killing Runes ensure that if someone attacks you or sends thieves to pillage you, they will lose units. Meanwhile, the Runes cost you virtually noth
ing to maintain. They are a good deterrent.

If you have Runes up, and don’t let stockpiles of Resources build up (keep building!) then attackers will lose more than they will gain from attacking you – so they probably won’t bother.

5. Never be shy asking for help.

Finally, ask the other players for help whenever you need it.

Sometimes people in Global Chat will send “welcome packs” of resources to new arrivals, and more reliably if you join an Alliance you will probably find that senior members will be happy to send you resources. (Hint: remember to “give it forward” when you are better established – if you ask for help now, be prepared to give it to others later.) Personally, I let my pride get in the way, and was determined to go it alone for months (I never asked for help, I didn’t join an Alliance) and consequently my first 2 settlements grew very slowly.

If you are attacked, again, ask for help. Ask on Global Chat; ask bigger neighbors;  ask in the Forums. Lots of very big players have massive armies (30,000 troops or more across multiple cities) and are very happy to deploy some of those in a just cause – so if you are getting attacked, and genuinely didn’t bring it upon yourself, then you will almost certainly find someone willing to come to your aid.

Good Luck and Good Gaming

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