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Curated and Simplified Guides for FoE by the Ages

Preface:

This guide (will have some occasional black magic tips here and there, if you want to play like a god one day), or rather a collection of guides, is an attempt to help FoE players at different stages with valuable guides that I've seen or written in the past. While it is primarily to help with Odhrorvar World on the English server's Freedom Fighters Guild, I hope this could be helpful to all FoE players. Please reach out with any suggestions or constructive criticism. I'd love to make it better and better for everyone.

I was not ready to get this attached to FoE when I got dragged into FoE by one of my RL friends. As a ravenous reader, I learned a great deal and avoid many pitfalls from some very in-depth and insightful guides along my FoE journey (about 14 months as of July 2020). And with a background in Mathematics and Computer Science, I'm used to reading dense research papers or scientific charts. However, I realize what's lacking out here are some accessible and easy to pick-up guides that are actionable without too many mathematical details.

Moreover, most of the great guides are structured to be an encyclopedia of this vast and ridiculously complicated game called FoE. The issue with that is, most of the players won't have the time or the interest to go through an encyclopedia for a casual game. I've got many age-related questions from my guildies. and the broader and deeper functional questions about the fundamental mechanism of the game. They actually go hand-in-hand. As one advance in age/era, the harder questions could be answered more easily as your appreciation for and of the game grows.

So to solve these problems and to help our guild's new players, I'd like to take a stab at creating a collection of good guides with specific highlights that could be helpful to a player at a certain age or with their stage of understanding of FoE. You can of course go into the links and do a deep dive anytime. But I will do my best to allow you just to read my age or stage-specific tips or highlights to get you through your current age or advance to the next stage of your understanding about FoE.

Credits:
 
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Table of Contents:

  1. Let there be light! - Early Ages Guides and Tips for a Beginner FoE Player
    1. Basic Understanding I (*Must See*) - Land, Currencies, and Resources of FoE
    2. Bronze Age
    3. Basic Understanding II - Guild, Good Guild, and Great Guild
    4. Iron Age
    5. Basic Understanding III (*Must See*) - Events and their Rewards
  2. Post-Classical, not no-class! - Middle Ages Guides and Tips for an Intermediate FoE Player
    1. Intermediate Understanding I (*Must See*) - Great Buildings (GBs) of FoE
    2. Early Middle Age ("EMA")
    3. High Middle Age ("HMA")
    4. Intermediate Understand II - Forge Point (FP) Swap, 90%, and Sniping
    5. Late Middle Age ("LMA")
  3. Bye-bye, Dark age! - Modern Ages Guides and Tips for a Good FoE Player
    1. Tutorial I: Land, Optimal Building Placements and FP Land efficiency
    2. Colonial Age ("CA")
    3. Industrial Age ("IA")
    4. Tutorial II: Goods and their Production
    5. Progressive Age ("PA")
    6. Tutorial III (*Must See*): Buildings you can actually play without (Military Unit Buildings, Gold/Production Buildings, Residences, Happiness Buildings, Goods buildings even after PA, if you've been doing the following things all along)
    7. Modern Age ("MA")
 
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1. Let there be light! - Early Ages Guides and Tips for a Beginner FoE Player
1.1) Basic Understanding I (*Must See*) - Currencies and Resources of FoE

As you follow the FoE tutorial quest lines, there are several things you really should be aware of before you go trigger happy on spending some of the resources.

  • Land: It is the only resource that is truly limited in FoE, you'd never run out of anything else (you can buy everything else with RL money -> Diamonds or just be patient and wait for them to refresh or finish for harvesting). No sweat about this just yet. But this is the only type of transaction, you won't regret later on by paying Diamond. BUT don't do it this early yet! Just so you know, later on, you'd run out of land over and over again. Land limitation is the ONLY true limitation with which you'd always have to manage. As each age advancement only gives you 2 diamonds purchases of land. But I’d focus on using your medals to acquire land first if you are in a good guild. Instead of paying with Diamond too early.

There are the following types of currencies in FoE:
  • Diamonds: how to minimize or avoid spending Real Life ("RL") cash
    • Basic - Acquired by RL cash, Quest Rewards (can be boosted by Great Building - Château Frontenac), or various random goods buildings (Wishing Wells, etc)
    • Basic - They are expensive or hard to come by. HOARD THEM and DON'T USE THEM!
    • Moderate - Use them on land acquisition as mentioned before. Don't waste them on almost anything else!
    • Moderate - If you are in a Special Event, this is the only time to use some Diamonds to finish the reward building(s) sparingly. Since these types of Event Reward buildings and their upgrade items are usually time-sensitive, they would be very helpful especially early on in your game when everything is scarce. But I'd rather do more research on how to finish those buildings beforehand without spending Diamonds than at the end to rush it with Diamonds.
    • Moderate - Of course, Inno Games is a great studio to support. So If you do have more money then you care for (you are called a "whale" within the gaming industry). Please do buy them with RL cash and spend them as much as you want.
    • Advance - Diamond Harvesting and Dedicated Farm: Herewith an encyclopedia guide: LOW Advanced Guide (authored by Pawelp), if you go to chapter 7: Diamonds, you'd see details of both. But basically you should only use Little Wishing Well (shrank by Wishing Well Shrinking Kit) for Diamond Harvesting since it minimizes the Land usage (so don't sell them to Antique Dealer early on). Unless you are very good with Land Management, it is recommended you start a Diamond Farm on a different world on the same server your main playing world. As the diamond collection is shared within the same server.
    • Advance - Diamond Rewarding Quests: It is hard not to finish them early on. However, just keep in mind one of the Great Buildings ("GB"), Château Frontenac ("CF") could boost the diamond rewards by 500% (at level 80, details see section 2.1) and more later. So don't go trigger happy and finish those Diamond quests too early if you can help it. And once you get to the recurring side quests lines, they can become quite lucrative if you are lucky with your dice rolls (with unknown quest rewards, you have once per quest, per age/era with 2% chance).
  • Coins and Supplies:
    • Basic - They are both important at the very early stage of your game. And it is all about balancing their usage. One day, you'd never need to worry about them (when you are in the later stage of the game). Do understand most of the buildings (mostly required to build by quests or immediate needs) would require them both. But do notice some category of the buildings would need one resource more than the other. Say Residential buildings would need more supplies usually and Production buildings would need more coins. Try to balance your building progress so as to avoid a hard stop when you run out either coins or supplies. This would speed up your progress through the Bronze age where camping/squatting (staying in one age for a long time) isn't really recommended.
    • Basic - Herewith a decent guide on how to best generate gold coins age by age, Forge of Empires Earning Gold Guide (authored by Surge). While it is a very old guide, I found it helpful especially for early-stage beginners.
    • Moderate - Coins has one extra usage, you can buy Forge Points ("FPs") with them. Because of that, personally, I'd rank it higher than Supplies when it comes to importance. Of course, the more you buy Forge Points with coins, the more expensive such purchase becomes. I would refrain from buying them too early too often. Personally, I'd only use coins to buy FPs to full fill some event quests quickly and ensure getting the event buildings fully upgraded. And many times, if really need to fill a position on your guild's Great Building 90% Positions (details see Section 2.4, so you can get that Great Building's BluePrints ("BPs") or bank (authored by Saknika), meaning to put them in secured 1.9 GB Channel positions of your fresh harvested Forge Points, so they might come back to your in FP packs) your daily Forge Points harvests).
    • Advance - Again with the Recurring Quests you could get them both over and over again, details see The Joys of Questing (authored by Saknika). However, you'd early era/ages, you need to make sure you are actually making a profit going through them. Again, see below section 2.1's Château Frontenac tips for how to ensure profit.
  • Forge Points ("FP"):
    • Basic: While you worry about the scarcity of coins and supplies at the beginning of the game. Very soon you'll start to realize how important FPs are. They are probably the single most important currency in FoE. Diamond is a girl's best friend, yes. But FP is the real currency in FoE at the end of the day.
    • Basic: FoE gives you 1 FP every hour if your FP meter is below 10. It'll stop when it hits 10. So always do your best to use them to keep the meter below 10. This is your only way to grow FP organically early on in the game.
    • Moderate: Join an active guild with swap or 1.9 thread as early as you can. Don't be shy to join and quit if you don't see these things offered by a guild. This would be the beginning of your path of having a great FP reserve one day.
    • Moderate: Other than help you to research technologies and advance in ages, its biggest usage is actually leveling your Great Buildings ("GB").
    • There are 4 main FP income types:
      1. Moderate (Daily FP Harvest): There would be several Event Special Buildings (see below section 1.5) and GBs that give you FPs daily or more. They are very likely to be your higher priority GBs. For details, see below section 2.1. You can see your daily FP harvest using the FoE Helper Addon (Production Summary -> FP) while playing on your computer.
      2. Advanced (FP Cashflow and Banking): Here are ways to create a Cashflow like return using your Arc or CF 80 and above bonus (or other military GBs). I'm treating all of the following ways of making FP as cashflow incomes because they all require one or many leveled-up GB(s). Almost like taking rent from your built-up real estate holdings.
        1. You can have more than 10 FPs in your FP meter. However, you can only have 100 FP at most (if you harvest quickly, you might be able to go over that limit just a bit as the system is slower then your finger swipe). So you need to find a way to bank (authored by Saknika) these FPs in your meter so you can harvest more. Basically, use 1.9 or swap channels to accomplish that.
        2. You could also snipe your neighbor's GBs (authored by MsLead) after you've achieved Arc 80 or above. Of course, you are going to be the bad guy. So vengeance can be swift and painful if you don't have a clean house with your own GBs.
        3. Quests will give your FP reward occasionally. And recurring quests will give them to you recurringly together with your CF80 bonus.
        4. With some of your key military GBs leveled-up (Alcatraz has to be one of them), you can start attacking your neighbors and loot their FPs. Or even better win battles in Guild Battle Ground. For example, if you are in a Diamond League guild, you could potentially win 10 FPs each time (35% chance as of August 2020) you win a battle. Say, if you fight 100 battles a day, you could get up to 350 FPs in a diamond league not to mention 50 diamonds (2% in the diamond league) and 250 Goods (5% in the diamond league). Again, I'm stretching the concept of "rent" as, without the key military GBs leveled-up, this kind of FP income would be immaterial.
      3. Advanced (FP Capital Gains via an Honest Swapping in a trustworthy guild): With this write-up and a really rare and honest guild that still provides and policing their Swap Channels, you could create many 2x - 10x continuous swapping FP capital gain streams, honestly. This is akin to a Monetary Supply you have created with your FP donations on your guildies swapping GBs rewarding positions.
      4. Black Magic (FP via Trading GB material goods): Once you are into later ages and you have built up enough Good production GBs, Event Special Buildings, and attack in GBG frequently in the Diamond or Platinum league, etc. You'd have a surplus of goods of your current or close ages (trade up or down). Then you should start to make yourself known as a goods supplier for GBs materials. Now, these would probably be your very late game way of make FPs (wanna get your Arc to level 130 say?). But while your daily FP harvest could go as high as 500 - 1000 in your late game, trading GB Materials (goods) could net your 200-800 fps per transaction depending on how late of an age you are in. Of course, you'd need the patience of an angle to deal with some newbie players that are very difficult to teach about mats trading as well as the FP donations. But, once your trading reputation is established. You could easily double your daily FP harvests if not more.
  • Medals: (To be finished later)
1.2) Bronze Age:
I'd plan to start a new world right before a special event. (details see below section 1.5 about Events). And unlock Cultivation as soon as possible. This way you have access to play the special event as early as in the Bronze Age! The event reward even not fully upgraded can be such boost to your daily harvest, it'll set a very mighty foundation for your games ages/eras to come. In fact, with enough of these special event reward buildings (after Fall 2018, these upgradable buildings are ridiculously overpowering, if you keep them up to date with your current age), you could one day play like a god (details see below section 3.6)

Start to invite all of your neighborhood to be your friends and use Find Friend feature as well, so you can aid them and visit their Tavern every day. Both will give you more coins and Tavern Silvers. Focus on expanding your Tavern seats first rather than spending them on boosts for now.

Again, you should join an active guild that provides swapping and 1.9 channels as soon as possible. I can not stress how important a good active guild is to a player's early leveling journey.

While I strongly recommend you go through this age quickly (Guide from Gamepressure.com) after the event following the Storyline (the main quests line), so you can access most of the game features. I want to be clear with one thing about this game. FoE is a casual game, and it is meant to be played briefly a couple of times every day. You could of course pay for diamonds and just rush through every age (and rushing ages is actually really bad if you go too fast). But that is really not the point or the best way to enjoy FoE. While I'm not a fan of camping/squatting, I'd recommend not advancing past Progressive Era until you've achieved the level of the game described in section 3.6 below.

1.3) Basic Understanding II - Guild, Good Guild, and Great Guild
  1. Allow me to be blunt, unless you are a seasoned player that is just starting on a new world with your fellow seasoned FoE friends, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME STARTING A NEW GUILD RIGHT OFF THE BAT.

    To find, join, and stay on with a good or great guild would make your life 10 or 100 times easier. I was able to power level several important Great Buildings and learned a great deal from my fellow guildies from Odhrorvar World on the English server's Freedom Fighter Guild in 14 months. And the icing on the cake is I've made several lovely new friends all the while playing!
  2. So what is a Good Guild for you? It depends on what YOU want. There is a great spectrum of Playstyle Variants of FoE (authored by sloppyjoeslayer). Are you looking to rise fast, or a casual player who doesn't want a lot of rules? If you are a casual player, then why the hell are you here reading this guide (j/k). Then you'd probably enjoy playing on yourself and explore the game at your own pace. That's completely fine.

    However, if you'd like to get through the early stage of the game quickly and get better faster, then you need to find a good guild.
    • Love GE? Then join/make a guild that rewards members for their GE performance, like a donation on their GBs for doing 64 encounters.
    • Want to camp/squat in a certain age? Find a guild where you have an active trading channel. Also has a clear policy against unfair trades by guildies.
    • Pushing the continent map eras beyond your age, or pushing tech? Find a guild with a range of ages for easy trading down.
    • Great Building threads are mandatory for a good guild (after all, you can't really be a good player in this game without GBs). Swap threads (this is a controversial topic, please see below section II.1) is great to pick up some Forge Points ("FPs") and Blue Prints ("BPs"), and a couple of BPs, but a 1.8x/1.9x thread is good for requiring fewer FPs per level for your GBs, and those 1.9x threads become a necessity once you get your Arc to level 80.
    • What usually gets players to stay in a guild is if the guild members are active not only in their gameplay but also in the community of the guild. Small talk always helps. Some guilds have a special day in the week where they do something silly like make the ugliest town, or have a city design contest.
  3. Now, what is a great guide guild?
    • Solid Leadership: There needs to be a group of seasoned players actively taking care of different roles in running the guild. If you see only one person in charge of everything, I'd be very worried about s/he burning out (and they/we all do at one point). If the leadership roles are not distributed, then the guild might not last too long. The enforcement of the good rules shouldn't be arbitrary, but consistent. If you feel anything toxic from the leader(s), leave! This is a game, getting abused while playing is simply not worth it.
    • Great Culture/Guildies: Friendly chats, Firm enforcement of good rules, and a Socialable crowd to make your FoE experience as pleasant as possible.
    • Hyper-active GB channels: A great guild's 1.9 channel should be hyper-active. At my home guild, Odhrorvar World on the English server's Freedom Fighter Guild, your 1.9 GB positions would be filled almost instantaneously. Regardless you'd participate in the Swap channels, they should be active if they exist in the guild. I'm not arguing whether Swap Channels are good or not. That usually means there are many players that trust each other enough to do it frequently via swaps.
    • Concerted efforts in trying to win most of the GVG competitions. Without such efforts, your guild won't advance much and your guild reward won't amount to much either.
1.4) Iron Age
This is the first age, you could consider camp/squat for a while. But I won't do so for too long. Because you'd be missing out on Antique Dealer feature (authored by Saknika) to get rid of things you don't need and getting potential event reward buildings or its upgrades!

But if you really are anemic (this is just a joke!) then herewith some benefits of staying in Iron for a while:
- for the most sustainable unbirthday quest (details see, The Joys of Questing, authored by Saknika) - while recurring questing is quite a bit of work, just getting the great building Château Frontenac ("CF") to 10 will already have you able to do close to as many quests as you can stand
- for the smallest spend FP quest
- for the lowest boost expedition - while this doesn't make it the easiest expedition it does put it up there for several ages

1.5) Basic Understanding III (*Must See*) - Events and their Rewards
Events are a must-do thing for any FoE players that want to build up an Empire worthy of your carefully chosen name (yes, I'm looking at your "XXXX the Great" or "XXXX the Magnificent"). One of the secrets to playing this game one day like a god is actually these upgradable event special buildings. Especially the ones since 2018 Fall events, because they can be upgraded to something ridiculously overpowering.

For instance, the best event special building as of July 2020, IMHO, is the Crow's Nest.

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Fully upgraded at level 8 with only 5x5 land requirement, it'd offer you:
1) 690 population AND 3,500 coins per day as early as the Iron Age, which would require 10 Cottages and 10x2x2 land requirement to produce. And what more insane is these two base rewards scale as your progress through the ages/eras! At the Contemporary Era, it would provide 5520 population and 49,900 in coins per day (3 Condominiums or 3x4x4 in the land required to achieve).
2) But there's more, it gives you another 8 base daily FPs harvest. (Doesn't scale with the ages though)
3) What's more outrageous is that there is a daily bonus, or shall we say a daily booty?
  • 5% for 25 Diamonds, basically this is RL cash given to you for free potentially every day. Given Little Wishing Well (2x3 in size) only has 1.25% hitting diamond per day, this special building even if it gives you nothing else in return. But just this 5% Diamond daily change is worth 4 of the Little Wishing Wells diamond probabilities in combination with the virtually the same size (5x5 ~ 4x2x3). Do you see how overpowering this Event Special Building is? As this is only the 1/7 of its rewards output ... One day, we'll see the Crow's Nest Farm city instead of the diamond farm city:). Can we say, "Yarrrrr ..." in chorus?
  • Or 40% chance for 12 more FPs, there would be a daily 20 more FPs harvest together with the 8 bases FPs.
  • Or 40% for 50 of the Goods of your current age (EVEN THE REFINED ONES!!!). Every other upgradable event special buildings' Goods would be the same, so long you renovate or one-up it to your current age.
Pirates Singing.png


Oh, this is not even the end yet. These Event Special Buildings, don't require Blue Prints or thousands of FPs in leveling costs. You earn and upgrade them just by playing special events. With everything they give you, they are more important than most of the Great Buildings as of July 2020 (details see below section 3.6).

And in combination with the Great Building, The Blue Galaxy, even with it being a lower level. You could potentially DOUBLE your collection daily, even the diamonds ...

Can you see how special these Event Special Buildings are? Can you guess what would happen if you have, say 7-10 of them in your city? Can you see why I think you could consider spending diamonds during the events? Can you guess what am I going to say in the section 3.6?

Now how to make sure you get the fully upgraded Event Special Buildings offered in each event? Research ahead of time, research during the events. Ask your guildies about them. (More to be finished later).

2. Post-Classical, not no-class! - Middle Ages Guides and Tips for an Intermediate FoE Player

2.1) Intermediate Understanding I (*Must See*) - Great Buildings (GBs) of FoE
2.2 )
Early Middle Age ("EMA")
2.3) High Middle Age ("HMA")
2.4) Intermediate Understand II - Forge Point (FP) Swap, 90%, and Sniping
2.5)
Late Middle Age ("LMA")

3. Bye-bye, Dark age! - Modern Ages Guides and Tips for a Good FoE Player
3.1) Tutorial I: Land, Optimal Building Placements and FP Land efficiency
3.2) Colonial Age ("CA")
3.3) Industrial Age ("IA")
3.4) Tutorial II: Goods and their Production
3.5) Progressive Age ("PA")
3.6) Tutorial III (*Must See*): Buildings you can actually play without (Military Unit Buildings, Gold/Production Buildings, Residences, Happiness Buildings, Goods buildings even after PA, if you've been doing the following things all along)
3.7) Modern Age ("MA")


To be continued...
 
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Is diamond harvesting and diamond farms really a topic for beginners? The resources for producing diamond farms come much later. Better not to mention them at such an early stage. I'd rather see tips on strategy and troops. I am constructing my own hints and tips for beginners based upon my own experiences and the practical (it works) advice given to me by some game elders. Perhaps I'll post it here?
Good point, I'll label these sub-points with how advance they are to allow beginners to skip them. Keep your suggestions coming :). If you have your own guide I'll link them here as well.