Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lord of Ultima (LoU): Planning Your Empire

A castle with supporting cities.
Lord of Ultima is a game that's entirely about planning and long-term strategy. Once you build your second city, you're well on your way to the mid-game: expanding your empire and building support structures for the conflicts that will ultimately come.

I could fill volumes of articles with tips on how to play the mid-game, but this article will only seek to introduce the basics: how to plan out each city's purpose; how to cluster cities; where to place them and when to expand to other regions/continents. Mostly, this is going to be broad advice, not specific instructions like the previous articles. This is because there are so many right answers, and they all depend on your play style. We'll get started right after the break.

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.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lord of Ultima (LoU): Troop Building

My recent Lord of Ultima article about resource building was mostly aimed at those who have just started the game, or haven't figured out the basics of resource positioning. Troop building is a trickier art. First off, you have to decide what kind of player you want to be: offensive or defensive. Also, the game changes quite a lot as it goes on, and what's safe when everyone is starting out isn't at all safe later on. There will be a whole article in this series on castle design, and another on defensive/offensive strategies, but let's just talk troop production and selection right now.

What Kind of Troops?

The first choice you have to make is what kind of troops you want. There are five reasons to want troops: defense against players for yourself, defending friends and alliance mates against attacks from players, attacking other players, raiding dungeons, and raiding bosses. Let's boil these down to just "self defense," "defense," "offense," and "raiding." The only difference between self defense and defense is that you don't usually need to take travel time into account, so we'll ignore that for now and leave the distinction for a later article. That leaves us with just three categories.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lord of Ultima (LoU): Resource Building

There's a lot of confusion in the Lord of Ultima (LoU) browser-based, free-to-play MMORTS game. I'm going to set out to resolve some of this confusion in a many-part series which will start with this post. In this post, we're considering resource building, the most fundamental mechanic in LoU.

In the first section, I'll address those who are just starting their first city, and then we'll get into the basic resource building strategies in the second section.

First off, let's destroy a persistent myth. There are lots of old guides out there that talk about building a "grid" of resource buildings. This is old, outdated and wrong information. Ignore such sites. LoU has since moved to a system where you need basic resource nodes (stone, wood, iron, lakes) in order to reach optimal builds.

First up: Starting Out

When you start your first city (log into the game) you have a town hall (level 1) the outline of your city wall (level 0) and, if you're playing on a castles server, your castle (level 1). You can follow the tutorial if you like, but you don't have to. What follows are guidelines for what you do if you do not follow the tutorial, but you can just catch up with this after you finish too.