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For Tiny Empires 3000, please see the Tiny Empires 3000 Wiki.
Tiny Empires Basics
Tiny Empires is a massively multi-player turn-based game played inside the virtual world Second Life via the use of a HUD (Heads Up Display), where the goal is to acquire land (acres), money (gold), Subjects and move in standings amongst the other residents of the Empire. Game play is set in feudal Medieval England (1100 - 1300 CE).
Each player assumes the role of being a "Subject" of a "Liege", a feudal lord (who may be of any rank within 5 levels above all the way up to the Emperor). Subjects, Lieges and in fact, the Emperor, are all Second Life residents, playing from various locations on the Main Grid of Second Life. One may participate from any part of Second Life that is script-enabled, while wearing the HUD.
There is a free trial version available from the vendor at Ultralite Soleil's shop in Kitster (151, 38, 52), which will allow for game play until 10 acres have been accrued. At that point, game play will be suspended, and a message will appear to notify the player that in order to continue, the full version of the HUD must be purchased. A fully enabled version of Tiny Empires may be purchased via the same vendor mentioned above. Rank, gold and acres are stored separately from the HUD, and you will continue where you left off when you upgrade.
From time to time updates will be sent out. When one logs in, the new HUD will arrive automatically. Simply detach the old HUD and wear the new one to continue game play. Old HUDs may be handed to new prospective players, they will automatically receive an updated version of the HUD once they attach the old one.
Income and Advancement
One earns income from acres held personally as well as from the acres held by one's own subjects, in the form of "Homage". Gold Homage payments filter vertically up the pyramid of players toward the Emperor, with the rate paid reducing as one gains rank. Yes, there is a much heavier burden (higher gold per acre Homage rate) placed on the lower ranked members of the Empire. Such is the way of the Feudal economy, the masses support the landed nobility.
After one wears the HUD initially, the game will start, the first display will note that a turn will begin shortly. After the month (i.e. turn) changes, the display will be updated. This process of start up is the same every time one logs into Second Life or exits a no-scripts area, as the HUD re-connects to the server and updates the game status. Detaching the HUD will cause the same process to start as well. The player's status, gold, rank, acreage and subjects list information is all retained.
Early in the game, another player by standing nearby to stimulate opportunities to offer a land may hand a beginning player a few acres to help them get going and move them up in rank. One may not purchase land until they have a Liege. This is why those unfortunate souls that find themselves Liege-less due to rank or acreage issues must work quickly to find a new Liege-lord. Idling without income or the ability to increase one's holdings is frankly antithetical to the concept of game play in Tiny Empires.
To find a Liege, either stand near another player of higher rank or wait for the game to offer the option of an assigned Liege. Joining the Tiny Empires group in Second Life (SEARCH > GROUPS > type Tiny Empires in search field) can be helpful in this respect, as one mention of someone in need of a Liege will likely generate a number of teleport offers in short order! In turn, when ready to take on Subjects, the process is the same. Stand near another player or wait for game presented options such as bribery. To find the group, use the SEARCH button, select GROUPS, and put "Tiny Empires" in the search field. The group is open enrollment, and free to join.
The "Offers" tab will update each turn with new information, puzzles, questions and options to be acted upon, although occasionally one will have the dreaded "No Offers" month. Sometimes one will find gold or be awarded prizes for highly improbable and amusing reasons, or for voting with the bulk of the population on polls and puzzles presented.
Strategy and planning may help one advance quickly up the ranks. Investing in acres, bribes to increase the number of Subjects, recruiting new players to the game, paying for improvements and upgrades to the assets of one's fiefdom as well as careful cash (gold) management may pay off when preparing for annual taxes, the appearance of expensive opportunities and maintaining a happy, growing down-line of Subjects. Game play seems to improve relative to the proximity of other players, so find other folks that are also playing Tiny Empires and get together, chat and hang out between Offers. One finds that the frequency and quality of Offers improves with company (no empirical data on this point), however the fun factor most definitely does go up with company! Have fun and build your empire!
Federation - HUD upgrade
What happens when a player or Liege logs out?
Rank, Acreage, Gold and subjects are retained when a player logs out, however one does not accrue income, pay taxes nor get surprises while off-line, in a no scripts area or if the HUD is removed. Homage payments also seem only to be paid up the line if the other player is similarly available to receive gold. It is important to note that if one is a Subject of a Kingdom that is enjoying reduced taxes below the 25% set point, if for any reason the King or Queen is logged out (sim crash, ISP, or plain old regular log out), the tax rate will bump back to 25%. If, say the Royal in question was running a 20% reduced tax period and the sim they are occupying is griefed into crashing, for the next round or until they are able to get back online in time to reset the tax rate, their Subjects will be charged at the 25% rate. Of course this is yet better than the 75% higher taxes paid by those outside the kingdom (or Queendom) in question, and is also a temporary reset. One can only hope that their Liege of Lieges is a fair, understanding type that will compensate their loyal followers for their disappointment.