It seems most of the questions I get asked recently relate to Alliance Cities. How do you build them? How much do they cost? What are the new buildings? And probably most important of all: What exactly is the point of the Alliance City and what does it do?
Well for the last couple of months I have been playing on the Beta server, helping our alliance to build our city, watching MZ tear it down again, rebuilding the city, MZ scrapping half the buildings, adding new buildings, watching everything change....such is the nature of Beta.
I’m quite happy to do this though, because that’s the whole point of beta testing; so that when Alliance Cities finally hit live, most of the bugs have been ironed out and hopefully the new additions are balanced (well in theory anyway!).
I have written this article to give you my impressions of alliance cities, from my first hand experience and hopefully to help your alliance prepare for when they hit live. You need to keep in mind that this is the testing stage and as such not everything here will make it onto the live servers!
First of all you need to gather resources, a lot of resources, in fact over 4 billion! The exact numbers can be seen on the Headquarters page (it’s the amount for a level 1 Headquarters). You will notice it also requires 2,500 building blue prints (or deeds as they have recently been renamed).
Deeds are a new item which can be purchased from the gold store for 100 gold each (or slightly cheaper at 70 gold each if you buy in bulk). Therefore you will need between 175,000 and 250,000 gold to buy enough to build your city.
You can also purchase deeds in the alliance store, but they are expensive at 20,000 loyalty points per deed.
Clicking the new alliance city page in game will bring up the amount of resources and deeds you need to build it. All players can donate resources to its construction via their market place. Once donated the resources and blueprints are stored safely until you have the required amount. The alliance leader can then decide to construct your city.
The city takes up 4 tiles of space to build and there is a cap of 100 alliance cities per kingdom. This is unlikely to be reached quickly due to the resource cost, but may become an issue in more established Kingdoms.
Once constructed your City will be accessible by all alliance members by simply clicking on the city and hitting enter. No other alliances will be able to see inside your city, but they will see it on the map.
Your city contains 24 plots inside your walls and 24 plots outside. Once constructed the only buildings inside will be your Headquarters (effectively your alliance city stronghold) and a single readymade level 1 resource silo (taking up one of your tiles).
The resource silo allows all members to donate further resources and deeds to your alliance city via your marketplace (note that it does not actually store anything!) More information on the resource silo can be seen here.View Full Size Image
Apart from the initial alliance city construction (which only a rank 5 can do) all other city functions can be performed by a rank 4. This includes constructing buildings, upgrading, researching and resource production.
The rest of your alliance will only have limited interaction inside the city, but everyone can help speed up research/buildings with special alliance speed ups which you can purchase with gold or with loyalty points in the alliance store.
At this point in beta you can build the following additional buildings inside your walls:- Hall of Quests, University and Mint. Outside your walls you can build the Lumber Mill, Cider Mill, Ironworks and Brickworks.
The Hall of Quests allows your alliance to complete individual alliance quests for rewards. The rewards are similar to the current in game quests. Your University allows you to access alliance city research (covered later in this article).
Your mint produces coins from silver and ore. The Lumber Mill, Cider Mill, Ironworks and brickworks all make the new alliance resources lumber, cider, iron and brick (each using two of the old resources currently in game).
Lumber, Cider, Iron and Brick are all used in upgrading alliance city buildings and are all produced in your resource buildings outside of your walls. Rank 4’s and above can click on the resource buildings and produce these new materials from the normal resources donated by alliance members.
You can choose the amount of the new materials to produce per run, depending on how much of your resources you want to spend (or are available). Generally producing a smaller batch is more efficient i.e. uses less resources per new material, but takes a significant amount of time. Producing larger batches requires less time, but is less efficient.
Upgrading these buildings reduces the production time and increases efficiency, therefore costing you less resources and reducing the time.
Coins work in much the same way except they are produced in your mint inside your alliance city walls. Coins are used only in alliance research along with the other new resources. In a way coins are the alliance city version of silver.
As of right now your alliance city cannot be attacked or scouted. Any resources you send to your city are completely safe, however they cannot be withdrawn again which means you cannot use this as an alliance bank.
Having invulnerable alliance cities is almost certainly going to change in the future. If you currently select another alliance’s city in beta, you do get the option to attack, scout and even trade, but if you try to do this you get a message that this feature is not yet available.
In addition walls were recently added inside your alliance city and whilst not currently functioning, it would seem logical these are for defense (similar to walls in your own city).
With Alliance Cities rumoured to be released imminently, it is entirely possible that these features will not be added at release. This will mean the alliances that are well prepared with the resources to build their city quickly, would benefit from a period of complete protection whilst they construct their city.
This could result in a huge advantage over alliances that develop their cities later, as they could be subject to constant attack.
So if you have got this far and read up about each building, then you may be wondering what exactly is the point of the Alliance City? In fact, you will note the following buildings: resource silo, lumber mill, cider mill, ironworks, brickworks and mint simply allow you to build and produce the new resources.
The only buildings that actually have any real use to you as a player right now are the University and Hall of Quests. The hall of quests allows members to access some additional quests which are very similar to the current ones in game and not really great to be honest.
So that just leaves the University which is home to alliance research. As I write this guide the only research tree released is the Economics tree pictured to the right.
Scanning down the list: Donation cap, Construction Speed, Cider Mill Production Speed, Lumber Mill Production Speed, Ironworks Production Speed, Brickworks Production Speed and Mint Production Speed, just benefit your alliance city.
The only abilities added so far that help individual players are: food, stone, wood, ore and silver production, which once maxed only add a 7% increase (that’s 7% when all 10 levels are maxed, not per level!).
Then we have troop load and march speed which increase all members troop load by 21% when maxed and march speed by 14% when maxed.
The final three abilities which apply to alliance members individually are hospital healing speed, energy recovery and crafting cost reduction. These have not yet been unlocked in beta, but they are all fairly mediocre abilities, which will no doubt have a small boost.
I’m sure more research trees will be added, but until they add combat trees the abilities are rather lacking.
Once you get past the “ooh a shiny new city with loads of new buildings!” moment and start to look at what the alliance city really does, the answer is not a lot right now. No doubt MZ will slowly incorporate all the existing research trees into the alliance city, but does everyone really want to spend 100’s more hours training: Strategic Troop Attack II, Duration IV and yet another March Speed increase?
We would much rather they added some brand new research, or even better new troops. I guess we have alliance city wars to look forward to at some point, but as of right now I think MZ would be silly to release the half finished part of the game that is: Alliance Cities.
If you have any questions about beta or would like us to share some other screen shots, please let us know in the comments section below.
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