Link Unit Below Tabs

Spacing

How much money does Zynga make from sales of Tier 8 units?




I was curious how many Tier 8 units were offered for sale--in particular, how many Triton Carriers since that's what's currently on sale.  To figure this out, I pieced together two pieces of information that I gathered at nearly the same time.

Data

First, the image above tells us that 44% of the total Triton Carriers offered for sale have been claimed.  That means 56% have been sold.

Second, I used Charles Proxy to find out how many Triton Carriers are currently available for sale.  The image below tells us that that number is 341.



Estimate of how many are for sale

It's critical that I got these two pieces of information less than one minute apart because that means they can be combined.  If 341 units are left, 44% have been claimed, and 56% have been sold, then that means approximately 341 / 0.56 ~  609 were originally offered for sale.

I repeated this procedure a few more times.  From all my data and from the fact that a nice, round number is more likely, I think it's safe to say that 600 Triton Carriers were originally offered for sale.


How much money does that make Zynga?

Each Triton costs 800 Empire Points, so 600 of them cost a total of 600 * 800 = 480,000 EP.  Let's say 1 EP = 0.10 USD.  Then each Triton costs 80 USD, and 600 of them cost 48,000 USD.

Assuming an average discount on EP purchase of 20%, the exchange rate is 1 EP = 0.08 USD.  Then each Triton costs 64 USD, and 600 of them cost 38,400 USD.  This assumes all EP used to buy Triton Carriers are paid for in USD or an equivalent rate in other currencies.

Assuming Zynga actually sells all 600 units, they earn around 38,400 USD.  This may not actually be the case as we know the Pegasus was only 87% claimed at the end of its offering period.

I don't know how many of the other Tier 8 units were offered for sale or how many of the future ones will be.  Let's assume 600 of each.  From all nine Tier 8 unit types, Zynga will take in revenue of around 9 * 38,400 = 345,600 USD.

I assumed the 600 units per Tier 8 unit class were for the whole world.  It's possible that it's just for the U.S. or for a particular set of game servers that I happen to be associated with.


How to Sell Unsellable Objects #2




In my earlier article "How to Sell Unsellable Objects", I showed how to get rid of unsellable objects like The Heavenly Ruler's Palace using Charles.  Here's another way to do it using Cheat Engine.

Warning: This hack uses Cheat Engine to modify memory locations used by your browser.  This method is dangerous and potentially could cause damage to your browser or your E&A game.  Use at your own risk.  (Charles is the safer approach.)


Step 1 - Set up object

Enter your game.  Select the move option.  Click on the object that you want to delete.  DO NOT place the object yet.


Step 2 - Set up Cheat Engine

Open Cheat Engine.  Use the button in the upper left to select the process belonging to your browser.  I used Opera, so you can see I selected the process "000032D4-opera.exe" in the image below.


Step 3 - Change "move" to "sell"

Next, change the "Value Type" to "Text".  In the "Text" field, enter "move" without quotation marks.  Hit "New Scan" then "First Scan".  The results will show up in the box on the left side.

Highlight all the results (select the first one, hold down shift, then either press the "End" key or keep hitting "Page Down").  Hit the red arrow button to move the results to the bottom box.  Highlight all the results in the bottom box (select one of the entries by left-click and then hit Ctrl-A).  Hit the Enter key.  In the pop-up, enter "sell" without quotation marks.

This is what Cheat Engine looks like after you've done all this:




Step 4 - Place object

Go back to your E&A game.  Place the object that you had selected earlier.  Wait at least a few seconds--longer if you have a bad or slow internet connection.  Refresh the game.  The object should now be gone.


Reference

Unsellable buildings and other objects include:
  • Parliament
  • World Embassy
  • Famine Relief Farm
  • War Room
  • Titan Lab
  • Strike Teams HQ
  • Defense Towers
  • Treasure Vault
  • Heavenly Ruler's Palace
  • Super Ore Mine
  • Energy Cradle
  • Surveillance Tower
  • Alcatraz (not the same as Prison Island)
  • Missile Launch Station
  • Element Z Rig given to you by Zynga (the ones you build are sellable)
  • Trees, shrubs, rocks
  • Depots that cannot be sold because they contain invalid items


Expansion Hack #2




Earlier, I presented an expansion hack using Charles and/or Cheat Engine.  It was possible to do that hack using only Cheat Engine, but you had to refresh the game after each expansion.  There's a way to modify the method slightly to avoid refreshing (but it's still not as nice as using Charles).  This modified method will be of interest to those of you who are familiar with Cheat Engine but not Charles.

Suppose your expansion build icon looks like the one at the top of this article.  


Step 1 - Set Up Cheat Engine

First, set up Cheat Engine by using the button in the upper left to select the process belonging to your browser.  I used Opera, so you can see I selected the process "000000D4-opera.exe" in the image below.


Step 2 - Set Required Liberty Bonds to Zero

Next, change the "Value Type" to "Text".  In the "Text" field, enter "xk01" (this is the code for Liberty Bonds).  DO NOT enter quotation marks for this method.  Hit "New Scan" then "First Scan".  The results will show up in the box on the left side.

Highlight all the results (select the first one, hold down shift, then either press the "End" key or keep hitting "Page Down").  Hit the red arrow button to move the results to the bottom box.  Highlight all the results in the bottom box (select one of the entries by left-click and then hit Ctrl-A).  Hit the Enter key.  In the pop-up, enter "xk0100000" (5 zeros at the end) without quotation marks.

This is what Cheat Engine looks like after you've done all this:


In the game, if you select "Build" and look in the "Expansion" tab, you'll see something like this:


The required number of Liberty Bonds has been set to 0.


Step 3 - Change "x01"

This is the key step that makes the whole expansion hack work.  The code for a regular expansion (i.e., non-crewed, non-EP-paid-for) is "x01".  The trick is to change it to "x10".  I hope you know how to do this at this point, but I'll give you the details anyway.  

Clear the results in the bottom box of Cheat Engine by hitting the button with the red circle with a line through it.  Hit "New Scan".  In the "Text" field, enter "x01" without quotation marks.  Hit "New Scan" and then hit "First Scan".  The results will show up in the box on the left side.

Highlight all the results.  Hit the red arrow button to move the results to the bottom box.  Highlight all the results in the bottom box.  Hit the Enter key.  In the pop-up, enter "x10" without quotation marks.

This is what Cheat Engine looks like after you've done all this:




This step is also the reason why when you refresh the game, your Coins and Liberty Bonds are restored to their original amount.  


Step 4 - Set Required Coins to Zero (Optional)

If you have enough Coins to do as many expansions as you want without refreshing, you can skip this step.  Otherwise, I'm assuming you don't have enough Coins to do many expansions at once.  This step is really for doing many expansions at once when you don't have enough Coins and don't want to refresh your game too many times.

In my other article on the expansion hack, I explained how to get many Coins using Charles.  It's possible to handle this a different way using Cheat Engine, but it's not as nice as using Charles because you have to repeat it for each expansion.

Clear the results in the bottom box of Cheat Engine by hitting the button with the red circle with a line through it.  Hit "New Scan".  In the "Text" field, enter the number of Coins required for the next expansion.  In my example, it's 71852.  Do not use quotation marks or commas.  Hit "New Scan" and then hit "First Scan".  The results will show up in the box on the left side.

Highlight all the results.  Hit the red arrow button to move the results to the bottom box.  Highlight all the results in the bottom box.  Hit the Enter key.  In the pop-up, enter "00000" or as many zeros as there are digits in the original number.  I used 5 zeros since 71852 has 5 digits.  Do not use commas or quotation marks.

This is what Cheat Engine looks like after you've done all this:


In the game, get out of the Build menu and select "Build" again to refresh it.  In the "Expansion" tab, you should see this:


The required number of Coins has been set to 0.

Step 5 - Build Expansion and Repeat

Now do the expansion!

When you look back in the Expansion tab of the Build menu, you should see something like this:


The required number of Liberty Bonds is still 0, but the required number of Coins has been reset.  No problem!  Repeat step 4 with the new number of required Coins.  You don't have to repeat steps 2 or 3 unless you refresh the game.

When you refresh your game, all the expansions you've done should still be there and your Coins and Liberty Bonds should be back to their original amounts.


World Domination Facts and Strategies



Four Levels of Strength

There are 4 levels of Strength that a World Domination Attack Force or Defense Force can fall in, depending on what the fielded force's total Strength is as a % of the maximum allowed Strength:

  • High Strength (green): 80-100% of maximum allowed Strength
  • Medium-High Strength (yellow): 60-80%
  • Medium Strength (orange): 40-60%
  • Low Strength (red): 0-40%

You can do a quick visual check of which level your Defense Force is in by nothing the color (green, orange, yellow, or red) of the Defense Force Strength in the WD main screen or the Defense Force set-up screen.  You can do the same visual check when picking your Attack Force.

I haven't tested the boundaries between levels; so, for instance, I'm not sure yet if exactly 40% is low or medium Strength.


Dominance Rewards and Penalties

Let's say you attack someone in World Domination.  You can win between 30-150 Dominance (in multiples of 10), depending on the difference between your Dominance Rank and your opponent's.

If you are taking Revenge, you can win bonus Dominance depending on how many times you and your opponent have fought:

  • 30 Dominance if you've fought 1-2 times
  • 20 Dominance if you've fought 3-4 times
  • 10 Dominance if you've fought 5-6 times

You can retreat by forfeiting 50% of the Dominance Points that you could have earned if you won the battle.  If you lose the battle by losing all your units, then you lose 40% of the winnable Dominance ONLY if you used a Low Strength attacking force.  You will never lose enough Dominance for your Dominance Rank to decrease.

If you win the battle, the amount of Dominance that the defender loses depends on which Strength level their Defense Force lies in:

  • High Strength (green): defender loses 20% of Dominance that you win
  • Medium-High Strength (yellow): 40%
  • Medium Strength (orange): 60%
  • Low Strength (red): 100%

Therefore, anyone interested in minimizing the loss of Dominance should field a Defense Force with a Strength that's at least 80% of the maximum allowed.


Game Theory of World Domination

World Domination was designed to make cooperation and collusion between players more difficult.  The fact that it's possible to lose Dominance makes most players put up the strongest possible Defense Force they can.  Some hackers go beyond that.

If you have a very high Dominance Rank, then you probably win virtually every battle that you fight.  The same goes for most of your opponents when they attack you.  So why should all these players with high Dominance Rank make it difficult for each other to gain Dominance?  To out-complete one another?  Let's face it.  There isn't much skill involved in this game.  Devoting many hours each day to playing is the most important factor in advancing in the game.

If you've just leveled and decide to take a break, a nice thing to do would be to set up the weakest Defense Force you possibly can, such as one Cadet Soldier. Everyone who attacks you will easily win, not lose any units, and not spend much Energy or Element Z in attacking you.  Since you've just leveled, you might lose a bit of Dominance, but not enough to lower your Dominance Rank.

Due to the Dominance penalty for losing, you can't put up a weak Defense Force like that all the time if you actually want to level up in World Domination.  What you can do instead is put up a Defense Force that's barely High Strength but includes one weak unit.  Usually, that one weak unit will be the one attacking invaders.  For instance, you might put up 4 Mantis Infantry and 1 Cannon Artillery.

Another benefit of having an easy-to-beat Defense Force is that it encourages opponents you've beaten to take revenge on you, especially if you let let them know ahead of time via taunts.  If they take revenge on you quickly, then you can return the favor more quickly as well.  This can be a big deal when you're at a high Dominance Rank and there are few opponents to come by.

Such cooperative strategies work much better if many people employ them.  This calls for people to be unselfish and trusting.  Think of it as being unselfish (set up a friendly Defense Force) to ultimately be selfish (easier for you to beat others' friendly Defense Forces).


Red Rampage 11





Red Rampage 11 will be released on March 27, 2012.

The 5 new units are:
  • Elite Gator Patrol Boat (Tier 6 Gunboat, 545 Strength) UT06
  • Elite Sand Shark Hovercraft (Tier 7 Gunboat, 860 Strength) UT07
  • Elite Ghost Bat Fighter (Tier 6, 490 Strength) UB08
  • Elite Buzzard Autogyro (Tier 7 Fighter*, 760 Strength) UB10
  • Elite Phoenix Bomber (Tier 7, 820 Strength) UB09

Like for the Elite Sea Hive Carrier from Red Rampage 11, two of these new units are Tier 6 instead of the expected Tier 7.  The other 3 units have only 10-20 Strength more than their regular counterparts.  I think Zynga did this in order to have offerings for both high- and mid-level players.  The mid-level offerings also have lower price points.  This splitting might avoid saturation at the higher end.

*I think Zynga recently fixed the Sand Shark Hovercraft by changing it from a Battleship to a Gunboat. But it looks like they mistakenly classified the Elite Buzzard Autogyro as a Fighter instead of an Airship. They'll probably fix this sometime in the future.

I've updated the page "Codes: Tier 7 and Tier 8 Units" with these new units.


Quest: Clash of the Titans




  • Quest #27
  • Lasts: March 26, 2012 – April 24, 2012
  • This quest is relatively easy--no tasks requiring fighting in World Domination or repelling invaders. There's only 1 farming task, but it's scaled by level.  Everyone gets the same 5 Owl Fighters at the end.  Sounds like Zynga's been listening to complaints about recent quests!

1 – Reconstructive Surgery
  • Hire 5 Architects to build Dr. Owari a state-of-the-art research lab.
  • Place 15 Land units to prepare for more Titan attacks.
  • Here comes another Titan. Battle it.
Rewards:  Griffin Fighter [Tier 5, 200 Strength], 3 Element Z, Hunker Down I

2 – Angry Owari
  • Collect 8 Kevlar Lab Coats to stay safe while building the tracking device.
  • Pillage 50 times to gather essential supplies.
  • Fight the Titan to keep Owari safe while she works.
Rewards:  Elite Wasp [Tier 5 Infantry, 220 Strength], 30 {ore}, EMP I

3 – Malfunction Junction
  • Collect 10 Babel Phish to decode Titan signals.
  • Build 30 Accuracy II Power-Ups to help defeat the attacking Titans. [10 for levels 12-30; 20 for levels 31-50]
  • Battle the Titan.
Rewards:  Elite Super Lynx [Tier 5 Airship, 250 Strength], 600 Oil, Evasion I

4 – Remote Activity
  • Get 10 Hologram images of the Titans to get a clear idea of what you're dealing with.
  • Place 40 Sea Units to intercept the Titan attack on Steele's Empire. [10 for levels 12-30; 20 for levels 31-50]
  • Battle the Titans attacking Steele.
Rewards:  Catalina Bomber [Tier 3, 120 Strength], 3 Liberty Bonds, Target Jammer II

5 – Owari's Hunch
  • Collect 15 Lead-Lined Canisters to transport hazardous materials.
  • Harvest 30,000 wood to help rebuild damaged areas while Owari works. [5,000 for levels 12-30; 15,000 for levels 31-50]  (Use the Marketplace trick. Put up 30,000 Wood.  Then, instead of removing it, replace it with 1 Wood.)
  • Fend off Titan attacks.
Rewards:  Elite P61 Blackwidow [Tier 5 Bomber, 320 Strength], 4000 Coins, Accuracy II

6 – Titan Rivalry
  • Collect 15 Spectrum Analyzers to find those hidden Titan frequencies.
  • Place 60 Fighters to monitor the Titans from overhead. [15 for levels 12-30; 30 for levels 31-50]
  • Battle the Titan, it doesn't matter which side this Titan is on. They're both dangerous.
Rewards:  Half-track Artillery [Tier 5, 340 Strength], 10 Element Z, 4000 Wood

7 – Destroy the Mother Ship!
  • Install 15 Transmission Shields to block all your transmissions from the Titans.
  • Collect 800 {ore} to help build powerful units. [100 for levels 12-30; 350 for levels 31-50]
  • Battle the Titan and make it count. We don't have much longer, the war is heating up.
Rewards:  SU-122 Elite Tank [Tier 5, 375 Strength], 2000 Oil, Missile Strike III

8 – Goodbye, my Titan.
  • Get 20 'I'm Awesome' Badges for Owari to rub it in Seabolt's face with full effect.
  • Harvest 150 red onions to give Seabolt an excuse for his jealous tears. [40 for levels 12-30; 100 for levels 31-50]
  • Battle the Titan. For the last time.
Rewards:  Elite I-400 Sub Carrier [Tier 6 Carrier, 420 Strength], 15 Energy, Explosive Ammo III


Final Rewards:  5 Owl Fighters [Tier 7 Fighter, 850 Strength]--these are the same units unlocked by achieving Dominance Rank 94 in World Domination



The Triton




The Triton Carrier will be the next Tier 8 unit of the Crimson Hand Battalion to be released.  It is a Carrier with base Strength of 900 and comes fully upgraded with 1080 Strength--higher than that of the six existing Tier 8 units.  The Triton's item code is UT09.

(Zynga made a blooper with the original image released, which showed the base Strength of 900.  This was inconsistent with similar images of other Tier 8 units that showed their upgraded Strengths.)



Expansion Hack


 

From the 6 "expansions" you start out with in the game, you need another 190 expansions to fully expand.  If you check my Expansions table, you'll see that that requires 44,627,019 Coins and 37,560 Liberty Bonds, not counting crewed expansions.  If you accumulated about 100 Liberty Bonds per day, it would take about a year to get that many Liberty Bonds to fully expand.  It is a tedious, long-term endeavor, indeed.

Here's a trick to fully expand quickly.  I assume that you are familiar with Charles, the popular web debugging proxy application, or Cheat Engine.  The first approach I'll describe is just to get you to understand the idea.  You'll actually want to use the second approach to do many expansions at once without having to refresh the game.

If you are familiar with Cheat Engine but not Charles, do not be discouraged!  It's possible to just do the first approach using Cheat Engine alone--just ignore everything about Charles.

[March 29, 2012 note: I just wrote another article "Expansion Hack #2" that slightly modifies the Cheat Engine approach explained here.  The method in this other article avoids refreshing and sets the Coins requirement for expansion to 0.]


First Approach

The first approach can be done using either Charles or Cheat Engine.  Using Charles is the safer approach as it makes one small modification in one request, and doesn't modify the state of the game otherwise.  Using Cheat Engine is more dangerous but simpler.

Make sure you have enough Coins and Liberty Bonds to do an expansion first.


First Approach Using Cheat Engine

Scan for the text "x01" and replace it with the text "x10".  It works better if you INCLUDE the quotes in your search.  Once you do this, do not look at the Expansions tab of your inventory as that will freeze the game.


Now make an expansion.  The expansion's cost in Coins and Liberty Bonds will be deducted.  However, if you refresh the game, you will see that your Liberty Bonds and Coins are back to their original numbers but your new expansion is still there!

Repeat the process as desired.  Expansion costs are scaled, so you will need an ever increasing number of Coins and Liberty Bonds.  Another annoying part of this process is having to constantly refresh the game.  There's a way to avoid this using Charles--see "Second Approach".


First Approach Using Charles

Make sure breakpoints are set on the "flashservices" subfolder of "http://fb-client-zc.empire.zynga.com".  Now do an expansion.  Look for an AMF request with target "BaseService.dispatchBatch," one of whose objects has functionName "UserService.buyExpansion."  Look for code "x01" (this is the code for an Expansion) and change it to "x10".  Execute all requests.



If you refresh the game, you will see that your Liberty Bonds and Coins are back to their original numbers but your new expansion is still there!

Repeat the process as desired.  Expansion costs are scaled, so you will need an ever increasing number of Coins and Liberty Bonds.  Another annoying part of this process is having to constantly refresh the game.  There's a way to avoid this using Charles.


Second Approach

Here's how to do as many expansions as you like without having to refresh the game.  You will need to use both Charles and Cheat Engine.

Refresh the game and set breakpoints on in Charles.  Look for the AMF request that contains "userInfo".



Look under "world" for "resources" and then "coins."  Change the number of Coins to an amount sufficient to do all of your expansions, say 99999999 (99 million and a lot of change; there are eight 9's).  Try not to use commas as I don't know if the game server will accept them.




Now, look under "player" for "inventory" and then "items".  Search for "xk01" (Liberty Bonds).  Change the number for it to an amount sufficient to do all your expansions, say 40000.



Execute all requests and the game should load.  Now use Cheat Engine to change the text "x01" to "x10".  Once you do this, do not look at the Expansions tab of your inventory as that will freeze the game.  Now, start expanding!

You'll find that the most annoying and tedious part of this whole process is doing the actual expansions!


How to Sell Unsellable Objects




Do you regret placing one (or several) of those many buildings that Zynga offered you?  Even worse, some of them are unsellable.  Unsellable buildings and other objects include:
  • Parliament
  • World Embassy
  • Famine Relief Farm
  • War Room
  • Titan Lab
  • Strike Teams HQ
  • Defense Towers
  • Treasure Vault
  • Heavenly Ruler's Palace
  • Super Ore Mine
  • Energy Cradle
  • Surveillance Tower
  • Alcatraz
  • Missile Launch Station
  • Element Z Rig given to you by Zynga (the ones you build are sellable)
  • Trees, shrubs, rocks
  • Depots that cannot be sold because they contain invalid items

One way to get rid of them is to contact customer service and ask them to remove the offending item for you.  Now, you may not want to go to that trouble for whatever reason.  Here's another way to do it.

I assume that you are familiar with and know how to use a program called Charles, a popular web debugging proxy application.  We will use Charles to transform the unsellable object to a sellable one and then sell that object.  Technically, the title of this article isn't correct.

I assume you are using the free trial version of Charles, which has the "Find" feature disabled.  If you have the full version of Charles, you can shorten the process by using "Find" to search for the item you want to get rid of instead of looking for it through its item id.  You will need to know the itemName of the object you want to get rid of.  In this case, you can skip step 1 and move on to the middle of step 2, keeping in mind to use the "Find" feature.

(Yet another way to get rid of unsellable objects is to use a certain bot, which I won't discuss in this article.)

Step 1

The first step is to get the item id of the building you want to get rid of.  For example, let's say it's the Heavenly Ruler's Palace.

Have the game and Charles open.  Turn breakpoints on for the E&A game server address "http://fb-client-zc.empire.zynga.com" so that requests between the client and game server will be intercepted and halted by Charles.  This gives you a chance to look at or modify requests before they're passed through.

Now, move the Palace from one spot to another (or to the same spot).  Go to Charles and look for the AMF request that looks like the one in the following image.  It will be one of a batch of requests being sent from the client to the server, so the "move" request might not be the first Object ("[0]") in the array of arguments as it is in the image below.  Once you find this request, you can turn breakpoints off temporarily so that new requests don't refresh your screen.




The client sends this "move" request to the game server to tell it that an object in the game world is to be moved.  Notice the function being called is "WorldService.performAction" and the action parameter is "move."  The first object argument contains the object being moved.  Verify that the itemName is "Palace" and record the id for the next step.  Here, the id is 2705 but yours will likely be different.

There's no need to modify this request.

Step 2

Refresh the game and keep executing requests.  Right before you get the game load screen or just at the beginning of it, turn on breakpoints again if you had turned them off temporarily.

Look for the AMF request that looks like the one in the following image.  Once you find it, you can turn off breakpoints.  Here, the request is being sent from the server to the client, telling the client how to populate the game world.  The "objects" subtree contains all the objects in your game world.  There can be hundreds or even thousands of objects.





You want to look through this list for the Heavenly Ruler's Palace.  The numbers 0-3 that you see (and many more that you can't see) in the image above just number the objects in the array; they don't identify them.  You need to open up each numbered subtree to check what the object is.  These id's are not consecutive and don't correspond to the array indices.  For example, in the image below, the three consecutive id's 2440, 2705, and 2726 are ordered but not consecutive. 


(If you have the full version of Charles, you should have skipped to here and used the "Find" feature to search for "Palace".  To get rid of other objects, you need to know their itemNames.)

However, you can use the fact that the objects are ordered by id to look for the id you found in step one for the Heavenly Ruler's Palace.  Confirm that you found the correct id by verifying that it corresponds to the correct itemName.  Here, id 2705 correctly corresponds to itemName "Palace."





Step 3

What we want to do is change the unsellable Palace to some other building that is sellable.  You'll have to know the proper itemName of the object that you want to transform the Palace into.  One possiblity is an Oil Well III, whose itemName is "Oil Derrick 3".

Double-click on "Palace" and change it to "Oil Derrick 3".  This tells the game client to load an Oil Well III instead of a Heavenly Ruler's Palace.  Now execute all requests that were caught by Charles.  The game should now finish loading and you should see an Oil Well III where your Palace once was.  Sell it.  If you refresh your game, you should find that your Palace has permanently disappeared.


Pegasus 87% Claimed with 1 Second Left




Sadly, the Pegasus was only 87% claimed with just 1 second left.


Codes: Military Buildings



Military Buildings SubtypeCode
Barracks IIImilitary Z13
Shipyard IIImilitary Z16
Hangar IIImilitary Z19
Barracks IVmilitary BP02
Shipyard IVmilitary BP01
Hangar IVmilitary BP03
Experimental Barracks militarySB03
Experimental Shipyard militaryZ27
Experimental Hangarmilitary SB02
Titan Labmilitary TL01
Limited Edition Unit Factory militaryLEF1
Mastery Factorymilitary MF1
Depots SubtypeCode
Army Depotmilitary WHA1
Naval Depotmilitary WHN1
Air Depotmilitary WHS1
Research Labs SubtypeCode
Army Research Labmilitary Z22
Navy Research Labmilitary Z20
Air Force Research Lab militaryZ21
Titan Research Center militaryMR11
Defense Towers SubtypeCode
Defense Tower 1military DT1
Defense Tower 2military DT2
Direct Relief Defense Tower militaryDT3
Misc Military SubtypeCode
War RoommilitaryZ25
Power-Up Factorymilitary PF1
Special Forces HQmilitary HQ01
Surveillance Towermilitary BB10
Missile Launch Station* militaryAMS
Bounty Centerbounty_center BCB
Land Weapons Center* decorationBB20
Sea Weapons Center* decorationBB19
Air Weapons Center* decorationBB21
Fluxatrondecoration BB22
Prison Campdecoration BB23


* These also serve as bonus decors.  Other military-related decors can be found on the "Codes: Decors" page (to be done later).


Time Zone Map




Many of us have friends all over the world, whether they're fellow gamers or not.  It's nice to know what time it is where they live, whether they're sleeping or what they might be doing.

Here's a useful interactive tool that allows you to do that: Time Zone Map.  The website also has many other time- and date-related tools.  I've added this link to the "Links" page on the bar just below the banner.


World Domination Cheaters




Are you curious about how many players are possibly cheating in World Domination?  So was I...

Here are some statistics on the last 100 players I fought against in World Domination.  Players that I fought multiple times count only once each.  These battles occurred over the past week (March 14-20, 2012), but I took a break from World Domination for 3 of those days.  In that time period, my Dominance Rank progressed from 54 to 56.

This table shows the % of opponents that had a given number of Tier 8 units (the Chimera and its brethren):

 # of T8 Units   % of Opponents 
047%
19%
223%
320%
41%
50%

Basically, about half of my opponents used at least one Tier 8 unit in their World Domination Defense Force.

Here's a similar table that includes both* Tier 8 units and World Domination units that players definitely shouldn't have had access to (Phoenix Bomber, Sea Hive Carrier, etc.).  I excluded the Buzzard Autogyro since many players could have received them as rewards from an earlier quest.

 # of Units*   % of Opponents 
045%
15%
219%
329%
42%
50%

Keep in mind that probably some of these players actually paid for their Tier 8 units.  It would be interesting to know what percentage that actually is.  Well, we know that the ones with World Domination units they can't possibly have unlocked yet are definite cheaters.  That gives us a lower bound for how many cheaters there are.

 # of Cheat Units   % of Opponents 
087%
18%
24%
31%
40%
50%

We see that 13% of my opponents are definite cheaters.  The actual % might be as high as around 50%--it depends on how many of those Tier 8 units are legit.  It could be even higher since some people are tactful enough not to use illegal units in their World Domination Defense Force.

The percentage of players with Tier 8 units who are definite cheaters is approximately (11 / 53) * 100% = 21%.  I'd bet the actual % is far higher.

This may or may not be a good estimate for how prevalent cheating is in Empires & Allies.  Keep in mind that this analysis was for players who were matched up with me; they had Domination Rank in the mid-50's and most of them had Attack Wins close to mine.  There is probably far less cheating among lower-level players, and greater amounts of cheating among higher-level players.


Red Rampage 10 - Weak Units





Since when does Elite = Weak?

Why are some of the new Elite units weaker than their regular counterparts?

Red Rampage 10 was just released on March 19-20, 2012 (depends on your time zone).  It introduced 5 new units:
  • Elite Mantis Infantry (720 Strength)
  • Elite Tarantula Artillery (760)
  • Elite Badger Tank (720)
  • Elite Sea Hive Carrier (645)
  • Elite Yamato III (780)
These are the corresponding regular units:
  • Mantis Infantry (700 Strength) (unlocked at Domination Rank 44)
  • Tarantula Artillery (750) (DR 59)
  • Badger Tank (800) (DR 74)
  • Sea Hive Carrier (750) (DR 64)
  • Yamato III (800) (DR 79)

The Elite Mantis Infantry has 20 more Strength than its regular counterpart, and the Elite Tarantula Artillery has 10 more Strength than its regular counterpart.  These are meager improvements, but improvements nonetheless.

On the other hand, the other 3 Elite units actually have lower strength than their regular counterparts.  Even more perplexing, the Elite Sea Hive Carrier is 1 Tier lower than the regular Sea Hive Carrier.

What's going on!?

There are several factors at play here:

  1. You can purchase these Elite units, while the regular ones need to be unlocked by gaining sufficiently high Dominance Rank in World Domination.  (Let's ignore hacking.)  The Elite units that are stronger than their regular versions are the two with the lowest Domination Rank requirements.  If you could purchase the Elite versions and they were stronger than the ones unlocked by World Domination, then World Domination would lose much of its appeal.
  2. There's not much wiggle room between the Strengths of the existing Tier 7 units and the Tier 8 units (the Chimera and its ilk).
  3. These Elite units are buildable, while Tier 8 units are not.  (Ignoring hacking again.)
  4. Tier 8 units are much more expensive than Tier 7 units.  (Ignoring hacking again.)

Tier 7 vs. Tier 8 Units

Let's take a closer look at the second factor.  Consider the Elite Badger Tank.  The regular Badger Tank has a base Strength of 800, while the Cerberus has a base Strength of 850.  When fully upgraded, these two units have Strengths of 960 and 1020, respectively.  There's not much wiggle room in between these two tanks.  If the Elite Badger Tank came with a base Strength between 800-800, then when fully upgraded, it would rival the Cerberus in Strength.  Even then, the Elite Badger Tank would be one tier lower, but most players notice Strength, not Tier.  Players who had bought the Cerberus would not be too happy about their purchases if the Elite Badger Tank came out too strong.

Similarly, the Yamato III has a base strength of 800, while the Poseidon USV has a base Strength of 850. So the same lack of wiggle room between 800 and 850 exists here.

What about the Elite Sea Hive Carrier?  No Tier 8 Carrier has been released yet, but we can expect one soon.  The regular Sea Hive Carrier has only 750 Strength.  We can expect the Tier 8 Carrier to have base Strength of 800 (more likely) or 850.   The same restrictive Strength range exists here.  It wouldn't be good for the sales of this future Tier 8 Carrier if the Elite Sea Hive Carrier already existed with nearly the same Strength.  Perhaps this explains why the Elite Sea Hive Carrier is the weakest of the Red Rampage 10 bunch in terms of Strength and the is only one that's a lower Tier than its regular counterpart.

Why does the Elite Sea Hive Carrier have to be so weak when:

  • It matches the existing Elite Sea Horse Carrier (which just came out) in Tier and Strength;
  • It Is outmatched by the existing Elite Leviathan Carrier, which is Tier 7, has base Strength of 675, and has a level requirement of only 50;
  • The Albatross Carrier is Tier 7, has base Strength of 700, and has a level requirement of 70?

The Elite Sea Hive Carrier doesn't have to be so especially weak!  It would be a bit more reasonable for it to be Tier 7 and have base Strength around 700, making it a bit stronger than the recently released Elite Sea Horse Carrier--even if that doesn't make it stronger than the regular Sea Hive Carrier, which after all needs to be unlocked through World Domination.

Conclusion

Ultimately, this whole mess stems from greed and poor planning.  This resulted in the introduction of too many units and thus conflicts between:

  • The strengths of the Tier 8 units being set around 1000--probably related to Tactical Nuke I dealing 1000 damage per unit.
  • The release of the Tier 7 units with most base Strengths around 700-800 and upgraded Strengths around 840-960, which comes close to the Tier 8 units.
  • The units unlocked by World Domination.
  • The regularly timed release of Elite units, which are usually slightly stronger than their regular counterparts.


Quest: Counterfeit Deceit


Experimenting with long version--includes story line intro's, hints, and conclusions.


  • Quest #26
  • Lasts: March 19, 2012 – April 10, 2012
  • Information subject to change!
  • All branches can be done simultaneously.
  • Tasks requiring you to fight in World Domination don't count fighting from the "Rivals" tab.

"Alchemy has somehow acquired the means to produce frighteningly uncanny counterfeit currency which could permanently damage our economy. We can’t deal with this aggressively. We’ve got to be smarter." -- How ironic!?


1 – The Inside Guy
Since we can't take them head on, we'll need to obtain more information. What we need is an inside guy. Someone to keep the intel coming because let's face it, we know pretty much nothing at this point.

Hint: Pick the perfect guy. Alchemy is experienced enough to notice an imposter.
  • Ask for 5 Board Game Money Bills. We can play with fake money too.
  • Harvest 6000 Oil to keep the show running. [1500 for levels 12-30; 3000 for levels 31-50]
  • Earn 150 Red Hearts to maintain your credibility. [75 for levels 12-30]
Rewards:  Snow Infantry [Tier 4, 130 Strength], Air Strike II, 5 Element Z

Step one, complete. Our inside guy is stationed and his first message has just been decoded. Our initial intel was indeed correct and we're on the right track


TOP PATH

2a – Tamper Tantrum
Our guy has informed us that Alchemy is operating out of an abandoned warehouse in a location that is being withheld from him. We need to bug the entire place to get a better read on their whereabouts.

Hint: The tinier the bugs, the better. They need to be invisible but effective.
  • Collect 10 Microphone Bugs to get a constant audio stream of intel.
  • Fight 30 World Domination Fights to get some information out of the DA. [20 for levels 12-30]
  • Harvest 40 Chili Peppers to put some fire in this tantrum. [15 for levels 12-30; 30 for levels 31-50]
Rewards:  Elite USS enterprise [Tier 5 Carrier, 280 Strength], Accuracy II, 5 Energy

Step two has been executed perfectly. Our bugs our functioning well. Our audio isn't telling us much for now but stay tuned, something is bound to come up.

3a1 – Gotcha! Where’d Everybody Go?
Commander! We've got a lockdown on their location, I say we take them by surprise and do a full-fledged raid

Hint: Eliminate the terrorists but get our inside guy out safely.
  • Collect 10 Bulletproof Shields to defend our ground troops during the raid.
  • Earn 150 Black Hearts to execute a flawless raid.  [50 for level 12-30; 100 for level 31-50]
  • Fight Alchemy.
Rewards:  Elite Condor Bomber [Tier 5, 250 Strength], EMP II, 200 Oil

Well, that wasn't Alchemy. I think that was just a traditional scuff over trespassing. It looks like Alchemy has packed up and left and we've got not read on our audio bugs. We've been found out

3a2 – Booby Trap
There's a big pile of what could be counterfeited coins lying in the center of the warehouse... I think they're trying to send us a message.

Hint: There's something sinister about that gold, maybe we shouldn't go near it. But it's just so... shiny.
  • Collect 10 Stretchers to take our injured home.
  • Speed Up 60 Neighbors' Barracks to get aid from them. [20 for levels 12-30; 40 for levels 31-50]
  • Deal 60,000 Damage to Air Units to protect your ground level camp site. [20,000 for levels 12-30; 40,000 for levels 31-50]
Rewards:  British Gurkha Infantry [Tier 5, 220 Strength], Target Jammer II, 50 {ore}

Commander! Are you alright? I knew we shouldn't have gone anywhere near that pile of gold but I didn't expect it to explode so furiously. Any closer and you would not have survived that.

4a – Zero to Serious in No Time
They've really done it now. We've trying playing by their rules but now we need to do things the old fashion way, with pure, unadulterated military might and strategy.

Hint: The more unheard of the tech, the better.
  • Collect 15 Obscure Military Tech to track down Alchemy.
  • Repel  45 Invasions from Neighbors to keep your operation safe. [15 for levels 12-30; 30 for levels 31-50]
  • Add 4 more space to your Army Depot for new units and tech.
Rewards:  Elite Bear Bomber [Tier 5, 325 Strength], 3000 Coins, 1 Liberty Bond

If this approach doesn't work, then I'm afraid we've run out of options. Worry not, Commander, I have full faith in our military capability. We'll track them down and stop them.


5a – The Encounterfeit
This time, I'm sure of the location. And they have no idea we're coming. Ready when you are, Commander. Let's bring these guys down.

Hint: Give them something to remember, Commander.
  • Get 15 totally secure Police Vans to keep our terrorists from getting out.
  • Pillage your neighbors 150 times to gather supplies for the mission. [80 for levels 12-30; 110 for levels 31-50]
  • Deploy 100 grunt soldiers to prepare for battle. [30 for levels 12-30; 60 for levels 31-50]
Rewards:  Elite Sea Barracuda [Tier 6 Battleship, 400 Strength], Accuracy III, 15 Energy

Bravo, Commander. That was quite a show, if I may say so themselves. We've saved our economy and our nation from the menace of Alchemy. At least until another organization pops up, let's celebrate!

Final Reward:  SpecOps Leviathan Black [Tier 7 Carrier, 800 Strength]


BOTTOM PATH

2b – Island Destination
We've got coordinates. They're on a private island south of us. Let's go in and take them out. Our intel suggests they have no idea we're onto them.

Hint: Air raids are best for surprise attacks.
  • Collect 10 Camouflaged Parachutes.
  • Win 25 battles in Battle Blitz to gain strength. [15 for levels 12-30]
  • Harvest 200 {ore} to build more units. [50 for levels 12-30]
Rewards:  Wasp [Tier 5 Soldier, 190 Strength], 50 {ore}, 1 Liberty Bond

Well, that was easy! Almost... too easy. We've got them in our custody ready for questioning. I have a feeling this is only the beginning.

3b – Tea with the Terrorists
Let us begin the interrogation process. We need to find out everything, why, what, how, when, where etc.

Hint: Remember, there are ways to get around a lie detector test so watch them carefully.
  • Hire 10 Lie Detectors to help with the interrogation.
  • Fight the terrorists.
  • Build 5 Accuracy I Power-ups from the Power-Up Factory.
Rewards:  Elite Mule Robot [Tier 5 Infantry, 200 Strength], Poison Gas III, 500 Wood

I should have known their capture was too easy. These people aren't part of Alchemy - they're just decoys. Alchemy is still out there and they're so much ahead of us. We must find them.

4b1 – Currency Leak
Our worst fears are confirmed, someone has just reported a fake bill in the city. We need to get our analysts on this ASAP and trace the origin of the bill.

Hint: Keep an eye and ear out for more fake bills. This could be the beginning of the end for our economy.
  • Hire 15 Forensic Analysts to trace the origin of the fake bill.
  • Place 50 Carriers to set out on command. [10 for levels 12-30; 25 for levels 31-50] [Actually, you need to BUILD 50 Carriers.]
  • Win 50 World Dominance Fights using Land Fleets to extract intel from the DA. [20 for levels 12-30; 40 for levels 31-50]
Rewards:  Sea King [Tier 5 Airship, 300 Strength], Field Repairs II, 3000 Coins

Alchemy was right here this whole time, right under our noses! Turns out the decoys were just a ruse to allow them to enter our nation while our defenses were low!

4b2 – Modern Torture
Commander, I know we rarely go this far but this time, it's necessary. We're going to have to torture information about Alchemy out of our decoy terrorist.

Hint: Let's just say the Red Onion has many uses. This one is particularly nasty.
  • Collect 15 Modern Torture Devices to use on the decoys.
  • Deal 120,000 damage to Sea Units to prevent any more attacks. [40,000 for levels 12-30; 80,000 for levels 31-50]
  • Harvest 125 Red Onion - a secret recipe in modern torture. [25 for levels 12-30; 60 for levels 31-50]
Rewards:  Elite K7 Bomber [Tier 5, 320 Strength], Hunker Down III, 10 Element Z

That was long and painful but they've caved. We have a location and we're not going to have to go very far. Alchemy has been right here this whole time.

5b – Busted!
Suit up, Commander, we're going in. This could get ugly but we promise to make it worth your while.

Hint: Make sure you put on your masks. You don't want to feel the effects of those gas grenades.
  • Ask for 15 Knock Out Gas Grenades to help with the ambush.
  • Earn 2 Mastery Tokens in order to strengthen your ambush strategy.
  • Gain 2 levels in World Dominance. [3 for levels 12-30]
Rewards:  Elite Vulture Copter [Tier 5, 390 Strength], 15 Energy, 600 Oil

We've got the real Alchemy in our custody, let's show them a 'good' time, shall we Commander? Also, we should destroy that huge stash of counterfeit bills once and for all.

Final Reward:  3, 5, or 10 Elite Bison Halftrack Artillery [Tier 7 Artillery, 750 Strength]



Red Rampage 10




Red Rampage 10 will be released on March 20, 2012.  The information below is subject to change!

The units are:
  • Elite Badger Tank (720) UM31
  • Elite Mantis Infantry (725) UM30
  • Elite Tarantula Artillery (760) UM32
  • Elite Yamato III (780) UT01
  • Elite Sea Hive Carrier (645, Tier 6) UT02

The Elite Mantis Infantry and Elite Tarantula Artillery have slightly higher Strength than their non-elite counterparts.  However, the other 3 units actually have lower strength than their non-elite counterparts!  Furthermore, the Elite Sea Hive Carrier is Tier 6 rather than Tier 7!  The reason for this is probably because these units can be bought for a limited time, while the regular units have to be unlocked by gaining high Domination Rank.

We'll have to wait for the elite versions of:
  • Gator Patrol Boat
  • Albatross Carrier
  • Man O' War Battleship
  • Sand Shark Hovercraft
  • Ghost Bat Fighter
  • Owl Fighter
  • Gemini Helicopter
  • Buzzard Autogyro
  • Sparrowhawk Bomber
  • Phoenix Bomber


Codes: Tier 7 and Tier 8 Units



[June 25, 2012: I haven't updated this in a few days, but will do so soon.]

Data for new units subject to change!

If you see tables that look like this anywhere else, it's because they copied it from here or from another copycat!

I hope it's obvious which units have which of these subtypes:
  • subtype = "army"
  • subtype = "navy"
  • subtype = "air"

Tier 8 Units Strength* Code
Scion (Artillery)1560 UM83
Kilowatt (Battleship)1560 UT49
Venom (Fighter)1440 UB52
Nimitzern (Infantry)1440 UM71
Beacon Submarine (Gunboat) 1440UT35
Gordon (Bomber)1080 UB30
Artemis (Infantry)1080 UM43
Triton (Carrier)1080 UT09
Pegasus Copter (Airship)1020 UL49
Poseidon USV (Battleship)1020 UA68
Cerberus (Tank)1020 US54
Harpy (Fighter)960 UB05
Chimera (Artillery)960 UM14
Kraken (Gunboat)960 US91
Tier 7 Infantry StrengthCode
Super Red Flag Infantry830 UM76
Super Karmen Infantry780 UM66
SpecOps Commando770 UM55
Red Flag Infantry750 UM60
Elite Flea Infantry740 UM38
Elite Mantis Infantry725 UM30
Mantis Infantry700 UL76
Flea Infantry670UM20
Kodiak EXO Infantry650 UL57
Tier 7 Artillery StrengthCode
SpecOps ADATS Artilleries850 UM78
Super Lincoln T100 Artillery 810UM74
Red Flag Artillery790 UM65
SpecOps Coyote Artillery770 UM56
Elite Tarantula Artillery760 UM32
Tarantula Artillery750 UL78
Elite Bison Halftrack Artillery 750UM33
SpecOps Jackrabbit730 UM24
The Bison Halftrack Artillery 700UL80
Tier 7 Tanks StrengthCode
Super Red Flag Tank850 UM77
Armadillo Tank850 UL79
Secret Service Rhino AFV820 UM64
Elite Wombat Tank810 UM50
SpecOps Wiesel MK20 Tankette 810UM39
SpecOps Griffin Tank810 UM18
Griffin II Tank800 UM17
Badger Tank800UL77
Elite Griffin Tank780 UL90
Elite Doberman Tank760 UL75
SpecOps Grasshopper Black (1) 750UM29
The Griffin Tank750 UL81
Elite Badger Tank720 UM31
Golden Doberman Tank700 UM13
Tier 7 Gunboats StrengthCode
Varun UUV-2 Sub880 UT45
SpecOps UUAV Drone Gunboat870 UT48
Elite Sand Shark Hovercraft (2) 860UT07
Sand Shark Hovercraft850 US59
Gator Patrol Boat700 US58
SpecOps Narwahl700 US78
Elite Narwahl Submarine680 US70
Narwahl Submarine650 US62
Elite Gator Patrol Boat (T6) 545UT06
Tier 7 Carriers StrengthCode
Super Tanay Carrier900 UT42
SpecOps Nuclear Sub Carrier 860UT43
Logger Head810UT08
SpecOps Leviathan Black800 UT03
Tanay Carrier790UT25
Super Basilosaurus Carrier770 UT34
Sea Hive Carrier750 US57
Elite Stonefish Carrier730 UT12
Albatross Carrier700 US61
Elite Leviathan Carrier675 US82
Elite Sea Hive Carrier (T6) 645UT02
Tier 7 Battleships StrengthCode
Super Jefferson T300 Battleship 850UT46
SpecOps Barracuda850 UT44
Sand Shark Hovercraft (2)850 US59
Karsen UMBSC-4 Battleship830 UT40
Elite Hammerhead Battleship 820UT17
Yamato III800US56
SpecOps Devilfish Patrol Boat 790UT16
Ekranoplan Black780 UT24
Elite Yamato III780 UT01
Ekranoplan Black780 UT24
SpecOps Man O' War Battleship 770US86
Man O' War Battleship750 US60
Tier 7 Fighters StrengthCode
SpecOps Ghost Bat Fighter870 UB55
Owl Fighter850UA55
X-Cillian Fighter840 UB35
Super Razor Fighter820 UB47
Super Razorhawk Fighter750 UB37
Elite Dual Fang Fighter710 UA98
Ghost Bat Fighter700 UA52
Dual Fang Fighter695 UA89
Elite Tiger Moth Fighter680 UA65
SpecOps Fledermaus Fighter660 UA88
Tiger Moth Fighter650 UA57
Elite Ghost Bat Fighter (T6) 490UB08
Tier 7 Airships StrengthCode
Elite Gemini Copter880 UA81
Super Ronan Copter810 UB42
Secret Service Vulture Copter 810UB39
SpecOps Vulture Black800 UB12
Elite Tigerfly Copter770 UB34
Elite Buzzard Autogyro (3)760 UB10
Buzzard Autogyro750 UA54
Super Tigerfly Copter730 UB33
Gemini Helicopter700 UA59
Tier 7 Bombers StrengthCode
SpecOps Locust Bomber830 UB43
SpecOps Condor Black820 UB11
Elite Phoenix Bomber820 UB09
Phoenix Bomber800 UA53
Elite Locust Bomber780 UB29
Sparrowhawk Bomber750 UA58
Elite Sky Whale Bomber700 UB15
Tier 7 Titan Parts StrengthCode
Cronus (head, Tank)825 PT51
Cannon (shoulder, Artillery) 775PT63
Missile Pod (shoulder, Infantry) 725PT62


*Strength shown for Tier 8 units is when the units are fully upgraded (5/5) since they come that way.  For other units, the base Strength is shown.

(1) The SpecOps Grasshopper Black is a Tank, even though other Grasshopper units are Soldiers.
(2) The regular Sand Shark Hovercraft is a Battleship, while the Elite Sand Shark Hovercraft is a Gunboat.
(3) The Elite Buzzard Autogyro's icon in combat is that of a Fighter, but it really acts like an Airship.

Point (3) is definitely a mistake by Zynga.  Points (1) and (2) might be mistakes or they might be intentional.  They all might be changed in the future.



Do Enemy Units Have an Unfair Advantage?




Awhile back, I posted an article titled "Sweet Spot Theory Debunked."  It was an example of confirmation bias--people tending to find confirmation in beliefs they already hold.  General Dogsworth linked this theory of sweet spots with another popular players' theory: that enemy units have a better chance of scoring direct or critical hits than players do.  Here's a quote from the General:
I hope you ALSO bear this in mind the next time you run into someone who is insisting that the AI has a better chance of inflicting Direct or Critical Hits than you do 
However, there has been no evidence offered up in support of this fair-play stance--in fact, just the opposite.  Many players are convinced from personal experience that enemy units have an unfair advantage in battle, and some have provided limited evidence of this.  Here is a thread on the official Zynga E&A forums where players are complaining about this unfairness.

Two Scenarios

Here's a scenario: a player pits 5 Talon Tanks versus 5 Kodiak EXO Infantry.  Who wins?  At first thought, Talon Tanks should win because tanks are "great" versus infantry, while infantry are "poor" versus tanks.  However, Talon Tanks are only tier 6 while Kodiaks are tier 7, giving a tier edge to the Kodiaks.  Furthermore, Kodiaks have base strength of 650, while Talon Tanks have base strength of 550.  Thus, the battle is not as clear cut as first thought.  Which factors are more important here: being "great" versus another unit type or having tier and strength advantages?

An easier scenario: 5 Talon Tanks versus 5 Advanced Soldiers.  Here, both unit types are tier 6, and Talon Tanks have a strength advantage over Advanced Soldiers by 550 to 350.  Surely, the Talon Tanks should demolish the Advanced Soldiers without taking much damage in return.  Try it yourself and see what happens.

Here's an example of how one player, Tamiyah, fared when she invaded a neighbor.  When she pitted 5 Talons versus 5 Kodiaks, she destroyed all Kodiaks but lost 3 Talons.  Is that reasonable?

Fairness

These scenarios don't really address fairness.  The first scenario concerns what factors are more important in battle, while the second concerns whether the game battle logic makes sense and to what degree.

For fairness, the key question is: What happens if we reverse the units for player and computer AI?  If I pitted my own Kodiaks or Advanced Soldiers versus the computer AI's Talons, would the results of the battle be flipped?  As a side note, does it matter whether the computer AI is controlling another player's units (like in PVP or World Domination) or other units (like in quests and Campaign Mastery)?

Back to Tamiyah's example above.  When the player reversed the situation, she failed to destroy any Talons and lost all her Kodiaks.  Not quite the same result as before, huh?  Of course, this is just one example.

I'll follow my own battles more closely to see whether the General's fair-play stance holds and report my results.

Unfairness

Suppose things really are unfair.  It would be an outrage to players, some of whom presumably fork over real hard-earned cash for Empire Points.  Why would Zynga do this?

If you've played Empires & Allies for long and have a mind for business, technology, and conspiracies, perhaps you've contemplated whether some of the puzzling things going on in the game are due to plain incompetence or planned profit maximization.  Most likely a blend of both, I believe--this is a topic I'll expand upon greatly in the future.

You might call it Zynga's Planned Incompetence for Profit Maximization, PIPM.  That sounds like one of those many acronyms for U.S. government bailout programs (TAF, TARP, PPIP, anyone?).  A simpler acronym is PIPs, Planned Incompetence for Profits.  A somewhat "inappropriate" but yet-so-appropriate acronym is PIMPs, Planned Incompetence for Making Profits.

Why would Zynga do this?  The company must think the vast majority of players are too oblivious, distracted, or stupid to notice the unfairness.  They must think that enough players--especially the "whales"--develop feelings of frustration and military inadequacy enough to the point of spending more Empire Points to get better fighting units and upgrades.


Learn how to spell, Zynga!



Image and title say it all.  Image is part of banner above Empires & Allies game.

Can you spot the spelling error?


The Pegasus



The Pegasus is the sixth special Tier 8 unit to be released.  It is an Airship with base Strength of 850 and comes fully upgraded with 1020 Strength--the same as for the Cerberus and the Poseidon USV.  The Pegasus' item code is UB05 and has worked in the game since March 16, 2012.

The Pegasus is a winged horse, usually white, from Greek mythology.  Is "pegasi" a valid plural form?

Here is the Pegasus in its docking station:


Here is an icon of the Pegasus in combat:


The Pegasus was "unofficially" released on March 15-16, 2012.  It was officially released March 17-18, 2012 (depending on your time zone).



Tier 8 Units

So far, the list of special Tier 8 units is shaping out to be:
  1. The Chimera (Artillery, 960 Strength) UL49
  2. The Kraken (Gunboat, 960 Strength) US54
  3. The Harpy (Fighter, 960 Strength) UA68
  4. The Cerberus (Tank, 1020 Strength) UM14
  5. The Poseidon USV (Battleship, 1020 Strength) US91
  6. The Pegasus (Airship, 1020 Strength) UB05
  7. The Medusa? (Soldier?, ? Strength)
  8. ? (Carrier?, ? Strength)
  9. ? (Bomber?, ? Strength)