Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lord of Ultima (LoU): Building Layout

A town center in Lord of Ultima
We've been over how to lay out your buildings for ideal resource gathering, in a previous article. Now, I want to discuss all the other kinds of buildings and how they fit into your plans.

Lord of Ultima has 23 building types. 4 of those are basic resource buildings (e.g. quarry); 4 are resource multipliers (e.g. stonemason); 8 are unit generators (e.g. training ground) along with the barracks that increase troop capacity and act as multipliers for recruiting speed; there's the market and the harbor which generate trade capacity and act as multipliers for the townhouses, which generate gold; and then there's the cottages, castles, warehouses and hideouts. I've covered the first two types previously and the unit generators will be covered in another article (though I will talk about moonglow towers, here). The rest are all covered below the break.



Cottages

After your first couple of cities, when you're able to front the resources for construction of new cities from the other cities, you will want to start building with cottages. Each cottage, when raised up to level 10 gives you +100% build speed. A good general goal is about +2000% build speed in each city. This is a guideline, however. I know people who go for +2500% and some who go for +1500%. The only thing I'll say about that is this: generate a build speed that your resources can handle.

Cottages increase resource production, so you want to have each cottage next to as many resource buildings as possible like this image from our previous article:

Cottages should be adjacent to as
many resource buildings as possible.
Warehouses

If you are building a new city, you need warehouses. In a city that won't act as a resource hub, you don't need a lot of them. I recommend 1 or 2. Each warehouse benefits from the resource multiplier buildings (sawmill, stonemason, mill and foundry) that are nearby, increasing the amount of the associated resource that they can store. For a normal city, you should strategically locate warehouses near existing multipliers where possible, but don't go overboard. Remember, once your city is build, it will either need no resources or, if it's a military city, it may need only those resources required to generate and maintain troops.

For hub cities, where you funnel all of your resources for purification and/or re-distribution, you should build enough capacity so that you can handle massive amounts of resources. That way, they're never destroyed because the city was full. The definition of "massive" changes as your empire grows. At first, a couple million units of wood is an unfathomable quantity, but later on, you'll need to store millions all the time.

The row vs the star: The star configuration is ideal for smaller hubs of up to 4 million of all 4 resources. In this layout, you build a cross of 5 warehouses and in the 4 diagonal corners, you place one of each type of multiplier (sawmill, stonemason, mill and foundry). This gives you 2.2 million additional storage. You can extend this to 3.8 million by building one more warehouse at the end of each spoke of warehouses. This is where the star sputters out, however. You can't efficiently expand a star beyond 3.8 million.

If you want to store more, then the row is the way to go. It becomes much more efficient at 5-11 million resources, and is ideally suited to storing 2 or 4 resources per row. This is where you have a row of resource multipliers sandwiched between two rows of warehouses. You can extend these rows up or down, or put them next to other rows.
The row configuration for warehouses.
Notice the outer multipliers which balance
the two multipliers that are on the ends.

To use the row in truly massive configurations to store 13 million of all four resources, try this: big brick.

Trade Buildings and Gold

It's impossible to completely separate discussions of warehouses from the trade buildings (markets and harbors). You can only build a harbor in a city that has water access (build along a coast or on a river). But you can build marketplaces in any city. In a typical resource or military city, you only want one or two markets to shuffle out extra resources when required.  However, in a hub city that you use to move lots of resources around, you'll find that as many as 10 markets are not unjustified, and you can easily max out a city on harbors if it's used to funnel resources to another continent or to sell resources to players who may be as much as 24 hours away (tying up carts and trade ships in transit).

In non-gold cities you want to build your markets as far away from everything else as possible, just to avoid them being in the way. However, in a city that's built for gold generation, you will need to lay out your markets so that each market is surrounded by 8 townhouses, preferably in a configuration like this:
Markets should be surrounded by townhouses,
and townhouses should border more than
one market or harbor.
When building harbors, you want to make sure that every harbor touches as many townhouses as possible, because a harbor generates more extra gold for a townhouse than a market does. The ideal gold city has townhouses, max harbors and two markets near the water and a central area around the town hall filled with markets and townhouses.

Purification


Moonglow towers at level 10 allow you to purify resources. You only need one to purify, so unless you are generating units with your towers, never bother to build two. Place your moonglow, off in a corner because it doesn't need to interact with any other buildings. If you only log in once a day and don't use ministers, you might need a moonglow tower in each of your resource cities, but if you manage your resources through a hub, it's better to purify centrally in the hub and save one extra building per city for resources, troops or gold.

To bring these three sections together, here's a layout for a gold city that generates 40k gold per hour, can hold over 2 million of each resource and can purify.

Castles


There will be one or more articles on castles and city combat later on, but here's the basic facts: once you build a castle, you can't go back to being a regular city... ever! Once your castle is built you get increased troop capacity added to your barracks and you can upgrade your castle to 10 to get a total of 4x troop capacity. Thus, you generally only want a castle in a city that is dedicated to troop production. Any resources you produce in a castle are a pretty strong liability, though producing a minimum amount of food is a good idea, and we'll go into why and how much, later. There's no advantage to placing your castle in any particular spot, so put it anywhere out of the way.

Castles allow you to attack other players and to be attacked, but only the city your castle is in can be attacked. You generally want offensive troops in a castled city. Defensive troops can be produced in uncastled cities and then sent to the castled city as support. Defensive castles are useful for palaces (a whole other article) and for various other specialized, tactical purposes.

Hideouts


I don't personally use hideouts. My feeling is that if I need one, there's something else wrong. However, if you want to play it safe, a hideout or two can give you an emergency reserve. Place hideouts near forests that you're not using for wood production.


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