now does justice to the game known to some as Earth
, others as E2025, and others more as a rampant addiction
. Just so you know, the game is now located at http://games.swirve.com/earth
The concept of Earth is that after a big war, thousands of city-states spring up, form clans, and either slug it out or build the networth of their empire until they're number one. But here's how you play it:
The genuine Earth experience is known as 1A, or the Intensive Standard game. This game is home to clans that have been in existence for years, as well as feuds, alliances, and wars that have gone on for just as long. Your goal is... well, that depends. Trained, expert netgainers vie for #1 in Networth, which is a number based on how big your country is, how much money you have, how big your army is, etc. Some want to kill other countries (get them down to zero population), and some clans have divisions geared towards swift elimination of those whom have done wrong. Personally, I marked my kills in my .sig image. For others, the goal of the game is to serve your clan well (there are clan rankings, too), stay alive, and end with a respectable country. In Tournament games, the objective is to climb up the ladder by getting high scores. If you get a high score, you advance to a higher rung, until you're in the Tournament A game and you're vying for total networth, and of course your slot in the A game. Free For All is a totally different bag, one that I haven't tried and most likely won't, but again, you're going for total networth. Finally, Mehul recently instituted a special server for those who get Silver status or higher in 1A (this can be done by signing up for whatever E2025's sponsors are selling.) This server is allegedly free from bots, cheaters, and so on, though I'm not a member.
Turns: You get one turn every 40 minutes. With that one turn, you can either Explore, Build, Research, do a Spy Op, send Foreign Aid to an ally, generate cash, Attack, or purchase on the Public or Private market. To reduce load on the server, you can get up to 6 bonus turns if you stay logged out for a period of 12 (3 bonus turns) to 18 hours (6 bonus turns). If you get up to 75 total turns, you start storing turns (up to 25). Any more than that and your turns get wasted.
Government: Which government you choose affects which strategies you can effectively use. They each have their pros and cons.
- Fascism : +15% Industrial and Food Production, +20% Oil Production, +20% Construction Speed, -15% Per Capita Income, -20% Population, 15% Market Commissions
- Tyranny : +10% Attack Gains, -10% Military Upkeep Costs, Only 1 Turn Required Per Attack, -25% Maximum Per Capita Income
- Dictatorship : +20% Military Strength, +25% Spy Effectiveness, -30% Construction Speed
- Communism : +20% Technology Effectiveness, +25% Industrial Production, 10% Market Commissions
- Theocracy : -25% Military Costs, +40% Construction Speed, -35% Maximum Technology, Double GDI Expenses
- Republic : +20% Land Exploration, +20% Maximum Per Capita Income, -15% Military Strength
- Democracy : 0% Market Commissions, +10% Maximum Technology, 3 Turns Required per Attack
Each government has its pros and cons, and a set of strategies that work. I have played a Commie/Indy (Communist Industrialist) and Dict/Farm (Dictator Farmer) strategy to mild success, as most of my 1A experience is during wartime.
Exploring: Early on, you use this to get more acres to use in construction. As you get more land, Exploring is less and less useful, and soon you must gain the bulk of your land from grabs (see SS and PS below).
Building: You can build Enterprise Zones (more cash per turn), Residences (higher civilian population), Industrial Complexes (tank, jet, turret production), Military Bases (troop production, lower private market costs), Research Labs (more research points per turn), Farms (more food per turn), Oil Rigs (more oil per turn), and Construction Sites (higher Buildings Per Turn). Building the same amount of everything doesn't help, so what you build should depend on what strategy you're using. Remember, if you don't build oil rigs and farms, you can buy food and oil on the public or private markets.
Researching: There are 11 types of Technology: Military (cheaper units), Medical (fewer deaths in battle), Business (higher income), Residential (larger population), Agricultural (more food), Military Strategy (bigger grabs), Warfare (missile development), Weapons (higher readiness), Industrial (more military production), Spy Effectiveness (s/a), SDI (missile defense). The more Research Labs you have, the more you can research of a given thing per turn. Again, what you research here should be in line with what strategy you're running. A warring country will want Military, Military Strategy, Weapons, and possibly Industrial. A farmer will want Agricultural. A casher will want Business. Etc. Remember, you can buy technology points on the market.
Spy Operations: I won't get into detail here, because there are a whopping 16 different things your spies can do. If you do a Spy Op and it's successful, you can do anything from look up another countrie's statistics, to sabotage their missiles, demoralize their troops, steal money, you name it. When attacking an enemy, one should always do a Spy Op so that you know how many troops to send.
Meet Your Military: You have three kinds of offensive tools: troops, tanks, and jets. Troops are worth one point. Tanks are four. Jets are two. You have one defensive unit, the Turret. They are worth two points as well.
Alliances: You can have offensive, defensive, and research alliances with other players. They will send troops to help you attack or defend, they will send you a small percentage of what they research, and you will do the same to them.
Attacking: So you want land. And buildings. And money. And you want to take it from someone else. Now we're having fun. Two kinds of attacks are capable of this, Standard Strikes, and Planned Strikes.
- An SS will lower the Readiness of those forces, 18-20%, and costs two turns. The goal here is that YourPoints (factoring in your army, the armies of your allies, and your research) > Their Points (Factoring in their turrets/troops/tanks, the same for their allies, and their research). If joy, then you will capture 3-8% of their land, along with money, food, buildings, and tech. If you keep attacking, you grabs will be less fruitful, and your Readiness will drop, leaving you open to attacks
- Planned Strikes will give your forces a 50% strength bonus, but the forces you use will be in rehab for 22 hours, and cannot be used for attack or defense. PS's often result in bigger gains.
- Guerilla Strikes send your troops against theirs. If you win, you can destroy their population and food reserves.
- Bombing Runs send your jets against their turrets. Successful strikes result in civilian deaths and blown-up buildings.
- An Artillery Barrage sends your tanks against theirs, and are used for destroying buildings.
- Finally, you have missiles. Nuclear, Chemical, and Cruise. The first, Nuclear, destroys land. Chemical missles take out some buildings and many civilians. Cruise missiles take out soldiers. It's your missiles vs. their SDI, so good luck.
Think it's complicated enough? Now comes the fun part: The clan system in E2025 is one of the most advanced in any online game. Clans will not only be structured to the point of having training camps for new members, but they will have a full heirarchy, and diplomatic relations with other clans. If you attack an established clan, you will get retalled. If you're in a clan and you attack a clan you have an alliance with, you'll most likely get double-retalled and a stern warning from your Foreign Ambassador or Divison Leader. To keep your finger on the pulse of Earth, it's highly advisable that you read AT (Alliance Talk) religiously. From the main Earth page, go to Message Boards (on the top right), and click on AT. Lots of it is junk, but lots of debate about the game takes place on AT as well. This is where public opinion gets formed, and if you're villanized on AT, you're screwed.
Now, some may bring up the issue of cheating 1A. Yes, there is cheating, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that half of the players in the game are there as bots. In Earth, there are a couple kinds of cheating you can do:
- Babysitting, in which somebody else runs your country for you (when you're away from the Internet, for example).
- Multies, in which you run more than one country.
- Being in RD, an infamous clan that's legendary for their cheating (They're invite-only, so don't bother applying)
While it looks like Mehul has instituted blocks to prevent cheating (Enter The Number you See Here
), cheating got so bad at one point that the Silver Server
was instituted. The problem with cheating is that the clans who cheat will continue to cheat, unless they have leadership that's competent
enough to weed out the problem. While RD
is legendary for running multies and not playing by the rules, they are as accepted in Earth as any other clan. Do not let negativity
scare you away from playing the game, but just remember that everything is always fair
until you factor in the human equation
. Cheating happens. Sometimes justice is served
. Let it be
Of course, there's so much more to learn about Earth, including specific strategies, than can be mentioned in one writeup. My advice? Sign up. Join a clan (I'm in AzN Dynasty, myself. azn.gamerstown.com. Join us!) Learn the way things work, and if you stick around, you'll make some good friends.
Numbers and reminders of what's what taken from http://games.swirve.com/earth. I served in UCN for three resets, then AzN for another 2 or 3, then I left for a year. My former DaiLo has dragged me back in for the March-May reset. God help us all. If you play 1A, gimme a /msg.