A Players Guide to Utopia

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By Dan4GS. October 26, 2014 (Age 63 Changes included)

Originally published in Forums: http://forums.utopia-game.com/showthread.php?626895-A-Players-Guide-to-Utopia

Updated by Icebuckle for Age 89. January 1, 2021.

Section I: What is the purpose of this guide?

This guide has been written for those that are new to Utopia, specifically for those in my kingdom. Although the official Utopian Guide presents a lot of great info, I have found its organization somewhat lacking and its clarity on topics difficult for new players to understand. Hopefully, this guide will be a little more straightforward in helping new players to understand the game and how to play it effectively.

Also, keep in mind that this guide is purposefully simplistic. It is only an introduction to Utopia, not an advanced concepts guide. Please treat it as such. This is not a replacement for the official guide, but should be used as a supplement.

Section II: What is Utopia and how do I get started?

Utopia is a turn based game, with turns progressing once every hour. In between the turns progressing, you can perform many actions, such as attacking, casting spells, or stealing resources from other provinces. Exploring new lands, building buildings, training your military, and researching books of science can all be ordered at any time and take differing lengths of time to complete, with the countdown to those resources becoming available processing every hour on the hour. These turns are known in game as "Ticks".

Utopia is a Medieval land divided into 40 different "Islands" consisting of 8 Kingdoms on each Island. Each Kingdom is composed of provinces, such as yours, coming together for the common good of the Kingdom. Kingdom's consist of anywhere from 1-25 provinces. The game is configured to automatically place new provinces in those kingdoms with less than 20 provinces so that all kingdoms have as close to 20 provinces as possible. Kingdoms can get to 25 by inviting other provinces to join their kingdom.

Utopia is played in "Ages" which last approximately three months each. At the end of the age, the scores are recorded and then all the provinces get reset so everyone starts all over again, and those that joined midway through the last round are given a chance to start on even footing.

Each kingdom chooses how to play the game as they see fit, as does each province. Generally, Kingdoms will pursue one of three things: Land (the total land of all the provinces in your kingdom), Honor (won by successful thief and mage ops, as well as successful attacks), or war wins.

Provinces will choose similar objectives for their own province depending on what they wish to accomplish. Generally speaking, provinces will try to either gain a high networth, gain Titles through honor, or seek to help their kingdom in whatever way possible. There are different ways of accomplishing these objectives, with three basic play styles and combinations of the three. Those three are: Attacker, Thief, and Mage.

Attackers rely upon a strong military to invade the lands of others to capture more land, to destroy their target's population or raze their buildings, or to plunder the wealth or knowledge of the province they are invading.

Thieves keep a strong enough military to prevent most invasions but focus on training sinister agents to do their bidding. Thieves are useful at gathering intelligence on enemy provinces, sabotaging the enemies magic effectiveness or destroying their buildings, and stealing resources, among other things.

Mages are similar to thieves in some ways, but focus on the dark magics. Mages can cast numerous beneficial spells on their own province to help with military protection, food production, or magical defense, among other things. They can also hurl large fireballs at enemies to massacre their peasants, send tornadoes through enemy provinces to destroy their buildings, or illuminate the thieves in another province to hamper their effectiveness, among many other abilities.

Most provinces will chose one primary function to focus on and one secondary function to help their kingdom with, while trying to keep enough balance in the third area so as not to make it a major weakness. For example, someone who wants to play as an attacker but also wants to dabble in black magic would be known as an A/m, with the first letter being capitalized to be the symbol of the main function of the province, while the second letter is lower case to show that the province is "minoring" in that function. An A/m would want a strong military for attack and defense and want to have enough mages to be able to successfully cast spells on most other provinces.

One popular combination is that of a T/m or M/t, since both tend to have more similar play styles than attackers and try to maximize the efficiency of the acres they do possess. You may choose any of the three functions as your focus, or you may try to focus on all...but be warned, being effective at all three functions requires a very skilled player and is close to impossible to succeed at!

There are certain races that lend themselves to specific functions, although it is theoretically possible to pursue any function as any race. For maximum efficiency, I'd recommend choosing a race that suits what you want to do in the game.

Here is a short breakdown of the races and their preferred functions:

Avians: Good at attacking with fast attack and fast training time. Because Avians fly into combat, they cannot use war horses or build stables. To make up for the lack of war horses, their offensive specialists have 12 attack instead of the typical 10. Primary role: Attacker; Secondary role: Thief

Dark Elves: Dark Elves can use offensive spells with no cost with mana being the main limitation. Affected by slightly lower building efficiency. Primary role: Mage; Secondary role: Thief or attacker

Dwarves: All rounder with a focus on buildings. Dwarves have increased building efficiency and lower construction costs, so they are able to change up their builds depending on the situation. The downside a lower birth rate, so they re-populate slower than other races. Primary role: Attacker; Secondary role: Mage or Thief

Elves: Increased magic effectiveness and double rune production, making them very suitable as mages. They have strong defense with defensive specialists having 12 points rather than the typical 10 points. To maintain their military, they have to pay more wages. Primary role: Mage; Secondary role: Thief or attacker

Faeries: Great thieves thanks to their additional thievery effectiveness. They are also able to defend better with lowered defensive military casualties, making them a less likely target for the opposing armies. Additionally, although faeries do not have any magic bonuses, they have access to all racial spells. Faeries pay for this with a slight limitation on their population size. Primary role: Thief or Mage;

Gnomes: All rounder with increased population size, increased birth rate, and less food consumption. Gnomes is the only race with no negative modifiers. Primary role: Attacker, Thief, or Mage;

Humans: Attacker with a focus on money. Humans have increased income and increased credits gained during combat. Strong attack focused elite. They make poorer mages due to their additional rune cost. Primary role: Attacker; Secondary role: Thief

Orcs: Bred for attack with additional enemy casualties and very offensive oriented elites, though they take more damage from mages and thieves. Primary role: Attacker;

Undead: Being undead certainly has its advantages, as this race loses less troops when attacking and part of the troops lost immediately become soldiers again that can be trained. The Undead also do not require food for sustenance, allowing would be farms to be converted into other buildings. Further, the Undead are the only race that actively spreads the plague, and are also the only ones immune to it. Undead are very attack oriented with strong offensive elites. Their limitation is that they cannot build any homes or hospitals. Primary role: Attacker;

After you have chosen which race you would like to play, you will also need to choose a personality to give you additional benefits. Here is a quick breakdown of personalities:

The Cleric: The Cleric is able to heal their troops during combat, resulting in 30% fewer casualties. They can also cast support spells on kingdom members. Generally this personality is best for an Attacker/mage, with a focus on attacking and then using runes to cast support spells for the kingdom.

The Heretic: The Heretic increases wizard production and makes it so that there will be less thieves lost. Additionally, more damage from spells and operations. A perfect personality for Thief + Mage play.

The Mystic: The Mystic is the only personality with access to the spell Meteor Showers. Guilds are doubly effective and they have an increase in mana recovery, allowing for more spells to be cast. The Mystic is a good choice for anyone wishing to play a Mage as their primary play style.

The Raider: The Raider is effective at plundering and is the only personality that can use specialist credits to train thieves. The raider also does not need to build Stables or Dungeons as each acre will automatically house War Horses and Prisoners. The Raider is a good choice for Attacker/thief play.

The Rogue: The Rogue focuses on thievery and ops and grants the ability to conduct more thievery ops than one otherwise would be able to with additional stealth recovery. Rogues are the only ones able to perform the following ops: Assassinate Wizards, Greater Arson, and Propaganda. The rogue is a good choice for anyone wishing to play a Thief as their primary play style.

The Tactician: The Tactician benefits from faster attack times and accurate intel with a small number of thieves. The tactician is a nice pairing with Avian Attackers for very quick attacks (add barracks for even more advantage to attack times) or any other dedicated Attacker. This is not a great choice for those that do not plan to attack often.

The War Hero: The War Hero gets additional combat gains and additional conversion into elites. They also benefit from less honor loss during combat. The War Hero is a strong personality for Attackers, especially being the only one with +3 elite bonuses (2 for offense, 1 for defense).

The Warrior: The warrior benefits from an increase in offensive efficiency and additional prisoner and mercenary strength. The Warrior also gets a significant on mercenaries. The Warrior is a good choice an Attacker, especially one paired with money to leverage the mercenaries.

For more numbers on each race and personality, see these links: Race & Personality

Now that you know the basic function of each race and personality, begin by deciding what play style you want to play, then choose races and personalities that you believe make the best combination for your chosen play style. After that, create your province and see what kingdom you joined!

For additional ideas on choosing a play style, check out this guide for more considerations: Beginner's Guide to Choosing Race and Personalities.

Section III) My province is created, what do I do now?

Part A) Build your Buildings!

So you've just logged in for the first time and you see a basic synopsis of your province, known as the "Throne Room". This screen displays how much land you have, how many GC (Gold coins) you possess, how many military and thief units you have, along with many other bits of information. Below the box with all the info is a newsreel where new events will be posted as they occur. When you are away and things are happening to your province, a detailed list of all those events will be waiting in your newsreel when you return. After the first time those events are displayed, the newsreel hides them unless you click on "See all news".

Above the box might be a message from the King or Queen of your kingdom, with basic directions or goals for everyone in the kingdom to follow. But enough with the throne room, you won't get anything done sitting here...it's time to build some buildings!

Buildings can be broken down into several different types:

  • Civil Buildings.
  • Military Buildings
  • Thievery and Mystic Buildings
  • Science Buildings

It is best not to build some of every type of building, rather, focus on building more of several type of buildings you think would best benefit you.

Buildings can also be broken down by a different category:

  • Flat rate
  • Capacity
  • Percentage based

Flat rate buildings give you a certain amount of the resource they generate no matter how much of your land is dedicated to that specific building.

Capacity buildings fill up to their listed capacity and are not effected by building efficiency.

Percentage based buildings give your province a bonus depending on what percentage of your total land is dedicated to that type of building. For instance, Forts provide 1.5% extra defense for every 1% of your land that is built as Forts. Thus, if you were to have 1000 Acres and 100 Forts, you have 10% of your land as Forts and receive a 15% increase to your total defense! (This number is calculated before diminishing returns and Building Efficiency {abbreviated BE}, which can skew that number.) Keep in mind that some buildings are not affected by your Building Efficiency (more on BE later).

Therefore, your first goal should be to figure out what buildings you want and how much of each building you'd like to have. There are several buildings that every province should have, and those are as follows:

  • Farms (unless Undead)
  • Guilds (to produce wizards and cast spells on your province)
  • Towers (to generate runes necessary to cast those spells)

In the beginning, 10% of your land should be dedicated to farms to provide enough food for all your peasants and military. Guilds and towers can vary depending on what you'd like to focus on, but generally speaking 10% guilds and 5% towers is good enough to cast spells on yourself.

Here is a quick breakdown of the other buildings by type:

Civil Buildings

  • Homes: Increases your birthrates and houses more people than other buildings. This is the only building that does not provide any jobs (which can help your BE). Capacity building and Percentage based.
  • Farms: Generates food. Flat rate.
  • Mills: Decreases exploration and building costs. Percentage based.
  • Banks: Generates GC every day and increases your income by a percentage. Flat rate and Percentage based.

Military Buildings

  • Training Grounds: Increases your offensive military efficiency. Percentage based.
  • Armories: Decreases the cost of training your military. Percentage based.
  • Forts: Increases your defensive military efficiency. Percentage based.
  • Barracks: Decreases the time required for your troops to attack. Percentage based.
  • Guard stations: Decreases the amount of land or resources lost when you suffer an attack. Does not increase military efficiency. Percentage based.
  • Hospitals: Decreases the amount of troops lost during combat and has a chance to cure the plague. Percentage based.
  • Stables: Produces war horses to increase your offensive power. Capacity building.
  • Dungeons: Houses enemy prisoners of war captured during an attack. Capacity building.

Thievery and Mystic Buildings

  • Guilds: Trains wizards. Flat rate
  • Towers: Produces runes, which are used to cast spells. Flat rate.
  • Thieves Dens: Lower losses when you get caught thieving and increased thieving efficiency. Percentage based.
  • Watchtowers: Protection against thieves. Percentage based.

Science Buildings

  • Libraries: Increases your science efficiency. This building is not affected by BE. Percentage based.
  • Schools: Decreases science costs and protects your books of learning from would be invaders. Percentage based.
  • Barren Land: Although not a building, you'll have some lying around at times. Barren land does house some people and also provides a small amount of food. Generally speaking, you should build up barren land as soon as you are able.

What buildings you build is entirely up to you, but remember, the more types of buildings you produce, the less effect each will have. Most players believe it is better to choose several types of buildings and build more of them than have a small percentage of many types of buildings.

Here are a couple samples of building strategies, starting with Attacker:

  • 10% Homes
  • 10% Farms (Food)
  • 12% Training Grounds (Better attack power)
  • 10% Armories (Cheaper troops)
  • 10% Hospitals
  • 10% Barracks (Faster attack time)
  • 10% Guilds (Got to have some wizards to cast spells)
  • 5% Towers (Need runes to cast spells)
  • 10% Stables (To house your warhorses and increase offense)
  • 3% Dungeons (House your prisoners of war, which can then be used to increase your offense)
  • 10% Watchtowers (To decrease your susceptibility to thieves)

While there are many different possible building strategies, this one covers most of the basic needs of your province.

Here is one for a Thief:

  • 10% Homes
  • 10% Farms (Food)
  • 10% Banks (Additional money)
  • 15% Guilds (If you're a thief, you'll probably want some magic ability too)
  • 10% Towers (To cast spells)
  • 20% Thieves Dens (Reduce thief losses and increase effectiveness)
  • 10% Forts (Increased defense)
  • 15% Libraries (Increased science = more efficient with the acres you have)

And finally, here is one for a Mage:

  • 10% Homes
  • 10% Farms (Food)
  • 10% Banks (Additional money)
  • 20% Guilds (You'll need lots of wizards if you want to cast spells on everyone)
  • 15% Towers (To cast lots of spells)
  • 10% Thieves Dens or Watchtowers (Reduce thief losses and increase effectiveness or prevent thieves from harming your wizards)
  • 10% Forts (Increased defense)
  • 15% Libraries (Increased science=more efficient with the acres you have)

Now these are some basic strategies and I would encourage you to come up with your own. Look at the numbers of each building, found here: Growth. From there, create your own building strategy and take the time to do the math to stick to it.

Part B) Get your military going!

Now you've finished with your building strategy and you're ready to move on. Time to go check out the military. Once you click on the "Military" link on the left side of the screen, you'll go to a menu with a couple of boxes. The top box allows you to set your draft rate and wage rate. During protection, your wage rate is set at 100% and cannot be changed. After you leave protection, you can set your wage rate to 200% to increase your military efficiency (both offense and defense) to 107.5% of normal efficiency. You can also choose to drop your wage rate as low as 20% of normal, but your men will be much less efficient.

Your draft rate determines what final percentage of your total population will be in the military. It should be noted that Thieves are counted as "being in the military" even though they cannot attack or defend during military engagements. Most provinces will have more than half of their total population in the military, while some provinces choose to go much higher. You'll also notice that you can change the rate at which peasants are drafted into your military. There are four settings here, ranging from slow to fast, with the cost per soldiers increasing the faster you draft soldiers.

Below that first box is where you see how many current troops you have. There are four basic military units:

  • Soldiers
  • Offensive Specialists
  • Defensive Specialists
  • Elite Troops.

The names are different for every race, with the exception of soldiers, which are called the same everywhere.

Soldiers have basic capability of both offense and defense, but are very weak at both. Soldiers are drafted from the peasantry and can then be trained into more advance troops. Soldiers typically have 2 offensive and 2 defensive point.

Offensive specialists are useful only for offensive endeavors and do not participate in defensive battles. They are fairly cheap to train and typically have 10 offensive points and 0 defensive points.

Defensive specialists are useful only for defensive purposes and cannot be sent out on attacks. They costs the same as offensive specialists and typically have 10 defensive points and 0 offensive points.

Elites troops are more costly than specialists but can participate in both offensive and defensive endeavors. Elite troops also add more networth to your province than specialists. Elites have different offensive and defensive points and costs different amounts depending on what Race and Personality you play.

When you first start a province, you will be given a set amount of soldiers. If you have constructed armories, do not train these soldiers yet; instead, wait for the armories to be constructed to benefit from the decreased costs of training troops. Also, you may wish to use those soldiers to explore instead of training them up right away. The choice is yours, just make sure you set your draft rate to draft new soldiers into your army!

Part C) Scientific Discoveries await!

You've finished building and inspecting the troops and it's time to see how your scientific research is being handled. You'll notice a similar screen to the "Military" screen with some similar functions.

Scientists generate books that can then be allocated to a specific Science Type. At the top of the page, you can see Current scientist generation. This is automatic and can speed up by building more Laboratories.

You can then choose the Category for Next Scientist to determine where the scientist generated will go when it is at 100%. Universities can help increase the rate of books production in a Science Category: Economy, Military, or Arcane Arts.

Under Current Effects of Science, just spend the number of books available into the science that you want to spend on. Each Science Type will have the bonuses listed next to it.

You should think about what type of province you are playing and assign your research as such; there is no point in someone who will never attack researching Tactics and Siege, as both of them are only useful during attacks.

For more information on the sciences, check out Science Formulas.

Part D) Columbus discovered what?

You've done the basic things required to get your province up and running, but you'll quickly run out of available acres to build on unless you add more. There are only a few ways to add acres:

  • Exploration,
  • Military endeavors (via attacks like a Traditional March)
  • Magic (via the spell, Paradise)

During protection, the only way to add acres is through exploration, which is also the most cost effective way when a province is small. Exploration requires a certain amount of soldiers per acre discovered as well as GC to fund the expedition. Note that specialists and elites cannot be used to explore, only soldiers. It is generally a good idea to explore for more acres during protection, just don't explore too much and neglect your military lest you be attacked after protection ends and lose what you spent on exploring!

After protection ends, exploring is still usually the most cost effective way to grow. You can explore for as much as you have soldiers and GC to fund, provided your province has more unexplored acres. Every province has a "Pool" of acres that can be explored. This pool grows a bit every day.

Because Protection is only 24 hours, the recommendation is to explore no more than 50 acres and instead, focus on getting everything ready in Growth and Military. If you so happen to land in a Kingdom during war, your protection period will be 72 hours instead. In this case, exploring a little more is fine, but the focus should be to build out your military so that you are ready to help attack, cast spells, or steal.

Part E) You're Not Alone

Now that you've sent some soldiers out to discover new territory to bring into your province and you're ready to meet the neighbors. This might be the most important part of the game, as those in your kingdom will be your closest allies going forward. Check in at the forums and say hello; your neighbors are sure to want to greet you and help you with any questions you may have. It is here in the forums that you and your kingdom mates can discuss strategy, goals, war, peace, request aid, or discuss non-utopian topics. Utopia, at its heart, is about human interaction, and if you do not visit the forums and talk to those in your kingdom, you're missing a large part of the game.

One last part of being in the kingdom is voting for the King or Queen (also known as the Monarch). To vote, click on the "Politics" tab on the left side of the screen. Usually it's best to vote for whoever is already King or Queen, but if there is not established ruler, there is probably a couple of provinces in the forums jostling for the position. Check the forums and read what each has to say and vote for the one you think would make a better ruler. Keep in mind that the King or Queen should not necessarily be the biggest province, but should be one that knows the game and is dedicated to putting the Kingdom before themselves. Once you've decided who to vote for, go vote and support your chosen leader!

Section IV) Ok, I've done what you said...what do I do now?

Part A) Activity is key

Congratulations! You made it through your first login on Utopia! Now you'll have to keep checking back on your province to continue exploring, training your military, researching more books of science, and coordinating with your kingdom mates. How often you choose to log in is up to you, but it is recommended you log in several times a day. If you do not log in for a period of 48 hours, your province will be shown as inactive to your Monarch and he or she might destroy your province, so make sure to log in at least once a day if not more!

During war time, it is recommended you log in much more often. Due to the nature of wars, the more active you can be logging in and running ops on the enemy or attacking him with your armies, the more you'll help your kingdom and the likelier you are to win the war.

Part B) You can't stay small forever

The title of this part is actually completely false. You could stay at your original size as long as you wanted and no one attacked you, but you probably shouldn't. The more acres you have, the more money you can earn, the larger the army you can field, the more thieves and wizards you can train, and the more you can contribute to your kingdom.

Utopia gives every province 10 acres of land per day, for free. There is no way to NOT get the 10 free acres of land. You might as well use it as part of a greater growth plan. If, figuring the age lasts for 90 days (approximately 3 months) and you explore only 30 acres a day (and get the free 10 acres to bring you to 40 acres/day), you'll end the round with about 3800 acres, which is nothing to scoff at. It is quite possible to explore 30 acres/day and keep a sufficient defense plus be able to focus on whatever strategy you have chosen. Of course, that does not mean you should limit yourself to 30 acres/day if you want to grow more. Conversely, sometimes it is best not to grow that much. It is important to stay within range of your kingdom teammates if there are war plans on the horizon.

All this must be weighed against several things:

  1. The bigger you are, the more resources are at your control. You can finance dragons easier when you're bigger or slay dragons quicker with more soldiers at your command. Having more acres allows you to field a larger army and gives you more money to invest in research, although as mentioned previously, you'll need a lot more books to keep the same rate of return as a smaller province.
  2. Military attack gains are dependent on the networth and land size of both the attacker and defender. For best results, you'll want to attack someone close to you in networth, and you want to have less acreage than they do. Thievery and magic operations work similarly; the greater the disparity in networth, the higher the chance of failing the op.
  3. The kingdom needs to determine what objective it is trying to accomplish that age. If the kingdom is trying to gain networth, a larger province will be able to achieve a much higher networth than a small province. If the kingdom is playing for honor, it might be more effective to stay smaller and focus on efficiency through science. If the kingdom is playing for war wins, the kingdom will probably need a good mix of province sizes to effectively counter what the opposing kingdom is doing.
  4. The higher the networth of the kingdom, the more intimidating other provinces might find it, and thus less are willing to take the risk of attacking into that kingdom. This works to protect all the provinces in the kingdom, but only if that kingdom is bigger than the kingdom from which the attacker is attacking.
  5. More often than not, highly active and skilled kingdoms wind up with larger networths and more acres. Thus, a highly skilled and active kingdom might choose to remain smaller to fight less active and less experienced kingdoms to achieve quicker war wins. The downside of this is that the kingdom as a whole would not be able to repel attacks from significantly larger kingdoms.

As mentioned previously, there are three ways to grow: Exploring, Attacking, and Magic. The first two have been covered to some degree. Those adept at the magical arts can choose to cast the Paradise spell while not in war to create several acres of new land without sending out soldiers to explore. This spell is costly and difficult to succeed at, but an accomplished mage should be able to have little difficulty with it. The second option, during war time, is to cast Land Lust, which will steal several acres from the target province and give it to the casting province. Again, this is a very difficult and costly spell to cast.

Part C) It's about balance

At some point you'll notice that you've got a certain percentage of your land dedicated to one type of building, but when you go to your Internal Affairs advisor, you'll see that you're not getting the return you expected from that building. There are two reasons for that: Building Efficiency (BE) and diminishing returns. Let's talk about these and other balance issues you'll likely encounter during your time in Utopia.

Building efficiency is how efficient your buildings are. Each completed building houses 25 people and also provides 25 jobs. Peasants in Utopia work harder than you do in real life, and are thus able to fill 1 and 1/2 jobs each. It's pretty easy to figure out, then, that if you have built up all of your acres and do not have any homes, and have 50% of your population in the military, you will not have enough peasants to fill all jobs.

Don't worry, there are modifiers to this equation. Homes increase your population without adding jobs, which can help alleviate some of these problems. Gaining Titles through honor grants an increase in population limits, and humans have an increase in population limit naturally. Also, researching Books of Housing will increase the overall capacity of your buildings, allowing you to field a larger peasantry. Even with all those modifiers, though, you're not likely to fill every available job.

But don't worry, building efficiency is not determined simply by your total peasants divided by number of jobs. If that were the case, it'd be impossible to field a decent army and maintain building efficiency. Utopian peasants work 1 and 1/2 jobs each, so you only need 67% of total jobs to be filled by peasants in order for every job to be worked. If less than 67% of your total jobs are worked, your building efficiency will drop depending on how many additional unfilled jobs you have. It should also be noted that Dwarves get a bonus to building efficiency, Books of Tools can be researched to improve building efficiency, and there are other more complicated factors such as dragons and stances that can also affect building efficiency.

The last thing you should know about BE is that the rate won't drop instantaneously. If you suddenly drop a large amount of peasants due to kidnappings in your province or fireballs sent do destroy your peasants, instead of your BE dropping immediately to the levels it should be, the level is dropped gradually until it reaches the point it should be mathematically. Likewise, if you recover many peasants quickly or add to your population in a hurry, your building efficiency will not raise as high as it should be instantaneously; rather your BE will improve a little every "Tick" until it reaches its resting point.

Now that you understand BE, there is one final factor in understanding why your province doesn't get as much out of your buildings as it should, and that factor is diminishing returns. Simply, the higher percentage of a certain type of building you have, the less benefit each additional 1% will give to you. Therefore, the first 10% of your land you dedicate to a percentage based building will be more effective than the next 10%, and so on. This does not affect flat rate buildings, which have a fixed production no matter what percentage of your land is dedicated to that type of building.

Creating an effective province is more than just about balancing your peasants and jobs. You also need to worry about having a large military, training thieves and wizards, and having enough soldiers to explore, if that is how you choose to grow. The larger the military you field, the less peasants will be available to work jobs and help your buildings attain maximum efficiency. Only peasants and prisoners of war work jobs and create income through taxation (which you cannot adjust), so the larger the military you have, the less gold you'll receive per tick.

But if you have too small of an army, your peasants will be defenseless and invading armies will steal your lands. Finding the right balance point is complicated and is highly province specific, as some provinces will sacrifice economy for military strength, or vice versa.

From the percentages provided above, we now know that you need to fill about 67% of your jobs to attain maximum BE, assuming no homes or other modifiers. It would make sense, then, to have at least 33% of your total population in the military. However, if you build some homes or have other factors that increase your total population limit, such as science, honor, or racial bonuses, you can safely increase your draft rate without harming building efficiency.

It should also be noted that it is often worth the cost of sacrificing BE to increase your overall military, which consists of military specific units and thieves. Wizards are not part of your military, but also are not peasants and do not work jobs or provide income. The percentage of your total population dedicated to non-peasant roles is entirely up to you, and finding the right balance between working peasants, military, and wizards is one of the keys to the game. During wartime, especially, it is often more important to have a larger military, more thieves, and more wizards, than it is during peacetime. This rate should be adjusted as often as you need it to be, and can sometimes change every day or several times per day, depending on the current needs of your province.

Part D) DPA, OPA, TPA, WPA, pPA... what the heck is all this stuff?

There are many acronyms in Utopia, several of which are key to figuring out the correct balance point for your province. All of the above acronyms are something Per Acre. Thus, DPA is Defense Per Acre, OPA is Offense Per Acre, TPA is Thieves Per Acre, WPA is Wizards Per Acre, and pPA is peasants Per Acre. There are plenty of other acronyms that are useful in the game, but for now we'll discuss these ones.

To calculate any of these acronyms, the math is pretty simple. For example, to calculate DPA, simply take your total number of defensive points and divide that number by your total number of acres. Defensive points can be manually calculated by multiplying soldiers by 1, defensive specialists by 4 (5 for Elves), and Elites by whatever your racial elite has for defensive points. Add those three categories together and you'll come up with your total defense. Now divide that by your acres, and voila, you now know your raw DPA! Your final DPA can include several modifiers, such as Forts, stance, protection spells, and wage rate. When you calculate all those modifiers, you come up with your total DPA. Of course, Utopia has made these calculations part of the game so you need not worry about doing all the math yourself. Instead, simply check in at your military adviser and he'll tell you your total OPA and DPA.

TPA and WPA are very important numbers because these determine how successful you are at thievery ops and spells. When attempting to thieve or cast a spell on another province, the winner will largely be determined by who has a higher TPA or WPA. Of course, different thief ops and spells have differing degrees of difficulty, and the harder the op or spell is, the greater disparity you'll need between your TPA or WPA over your target's TPA or WPA. There are also other modifiers, such as the overall networth of each province. Provinces with significant disparities in networth will have a harder time thieving or casting spells on each other than those of similar networths, assuming TPA and WPA hasn't changed.

Again, though, we now run into the balance issue. While it may be great to have 500 acres and have 5 TPA, that will limit your total number of thieves to 2500. The higher percentage of your thieves you send on any specific op, the greater chance they have of failing (due to oversaturation). Send fewer thieves, though, and your op may be successful but will not destroy or steal as much when you send more thieves. Growing larger allows you to field a larger network of thieves, and if you are 1500 acres with 5 TPA, you now have 7500 thieves at your disposal. Now you can send 2500 thieves but still only be sending 1/3 of your total TPA, increasing your chance at successfully completing the op (due to lower % of your thieves sent) and still destroy or steal a significant amount of your target's resources.

Keep in mind that more acres means more science is required to keep the same efficiency that a smaller province has with less science, and the more acres you have, the higher the chance an attacker will look at your acres and wish to attack and steal some of your acres for themselves. Of course, having more acres also allows you to have a larger economy and draft more soldiers during times of war, which will help combat any dragons sent over during the course of the war. It all comes back to balancing your province at the size and rates you think are most effective for your desired goals.

How much defense is a good defense, and how much offense is a good offense? While DPA and OPA are important numbers to give you a measuring point, there is no "right" answer for these questions. The answer is simply "As much as you can afford". Again, it's about balancing your province. The Official Utopian Guide has a article about some basic numbers to aim for depending on what part of the round you're currently in, and can be found here: It should be noted, however, that in Utopia the best defense (for attackers) is a big offense!

No matter what your goal is for the game, every province must have enough defense to protect itself from its most likely attackers, that being out of war vultures looking to steal some easy acres. There is no way to defend against every player in the game as there are just too many other players and there will always be someone bigger. During a war, nearly everyone will be attacked regardless of how much defense you have. The objective, then, of defense is to have enough to prevent multiples attacks by larger provinces and prevent others from sending small amounts of offense to capture large amounts of land.

For attackers, this balance is harder to achieve because you'll also need a substantial offense in order to capture acres from similarly sized provinces. Just as thieves and wizards are more effective against provinces of similar networth, attackers gain significantly more by attacking provinces close to them in networth. It may be obvious, but the more land a province has, the more a successful attack will capture. Therefore, the optimal target for attackers is one with more acres and slightly less networth. Attacking a province less than 80% of your networth will yield significantly less acres, as will attacking a province greater than 120% of your networth.

In order to launch successful military assaults, attackers will need to field a large offense, which can be measured in OPA. As with defense, you can never have enough offense. OPA is a less important number than DPA in some cases, as the larger a province is, the more potential targets there are, even if they yield less land or resources during an attack. This is never more pronounced than during a war, and is the reason attackers want to have large offense. The larger an attacker is, the larger an offense they can field.

There are also many more bonuses for attackers than there are for defenders. Training grounds provide a bonus to offensive military efficiency (OME), war horses add one point of offense per horse, prisoners of war can be sent back into combat to fight for you and add 3 offensive points per prisoner, and mercenaries can be purchased to fight for you, also adding 3 offensive points per mercenary. Further, there are several spells which can increase offensive attack power, such as Aggression (helping soldiers) and Fanaticism (increasing OME). The last modifier is your wage rate, which increases (or decreases) both offensive and defensive military efficiency. Combined all together, a province can significantly increase their available offense by utilizing all available ways of increasing their offense. Not all races have access to those spells, so if you want to play as an attacker, one factor would be considering which race has access to the spell you would like.

Defensively, the list of potential bonuses is a little smaller. As with offense, your wage rate can increase your efficiency. Forts also increase your defensive efficiency, and there are two spells which can help you defend your lands. Minor and Greater Protection both offer a small bonus to defending your lands, with the percentage bonus being the same for both spells but the length the spell is active for being the only difference. Town Watch is the only other way to increase your defense, and will utilize your peasants to fight in defense of your lands. Keep in mind, though, that if you cast Town Watch and are attacked, your peasants will also die in the conflict, which can hamper your economy.

The last acronym I have mentioned is pPA (peasants Per Acre). This may be the least important of the statistics, but when spying on another province can be an indication of how much science they have. Since housing science is so important, and it is likely most provinces will have spent some time researching books of housing, the higher the peasants per acre a province has, the more likely they are to have science. This can be useful for attackers looking to find target to use a Learn Attack on, which captures some of the science of the target province. For more on finding good provinces for Learn Attacks, see this article in the official Utopian Guide: http://wiki.utopia-game.com/index.ph..._Learn_Targets

Part E) Anything else you want to say?

That just about wraps up the basics of the game, although there are more advanced concepts which the guide will eventually cover. The important things to remember is that Utopia is a game about people, and how you interact with your kingdom will go a long way towards determining your success as a province and the enjoyment you get from the game.

Utopia is not a sprint; rather, it's a marathon. Building a great province is much less about how many times you can log in during a day, but rather about consistently logging in every day to tend to your province and help it grow as you see fit. Logging in multiple times one day then waiting several days before your next log in will lead to a dysfunctional province; it is better to log in fewer times but more consistently and grow your province over time.

Remember that Utopia is at its core, a game of kingdoms against each other, more so than individual provinces against each other. Don't be afraid to sacrifice personal ambitions and achievements for the good of the kingdom and be willing to change play styles if the kingdom needs you to and you feel you have the ability to play different styles. You might end up enjoying a style you did not think you'd enjoy!

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