Step-by-step guide for new Illy-players

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Step-by-step guide for new Illy-players

Post  Janosch on Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:08 am

This guide will be frequently updated. But we cannot guarantee that it is up to date all the time and all information is correct. Some of the advices are based on individual perceptions and playing styles and there is no right or wrong.

Welcome to the forum of The Old Republic and the Illyriad Trade Union!

You can get more information about The Old Republic here.
You can get more information about The Illyriad Trade Union here.

The idea of this step-by-step guide is to help new players to learn about the game Illyriad. It is an important part of the training program the Old Republic offers to members. Feel free to post comments and questions.

How to use this guide?
For new players it is hard to get a basic orientation in Illyriad. At the beginning it is hard to know what is important and what is not (so) important (now). I will try to provide information in a step-by-step guide and provide links for further information. You will not need to read the entire guide at once. You should finish reading before settling your second city (which you can do if you have pop 450).

Structure of this guide
1. General information about Illy
2. What you need to know at the beginning
3. Other important advices
4. City relocation/founding of a new city
5. A Guide to specialisation: What to think about when you build an army and choose your commanders?
6. FAQ
In the third post of this thread, you will find the first two chapters of the Republic Legions training plan, the second part of the training program of TOR.

Note: Illy has recently been updated. The new features (except gathering) are primarily for mature players. The official help files provide good information about:


This will change some things but properly not a lot for newbies. The most important possibility is the introduction of buildings that allow you to produce different units to colect certain goods. See:

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The Guide

Post  Janosch on Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:08 am

General information about Illy:

You should be aware, that Illy is a never ending game, therefore things move slow. The good part is that you do not need to check out your account every day (though the more often you are online, particularly at the beginning, the more you will grow). New players should be aware that you
  • will most likely not be attacked for a very long time (exceptions are thieves!);
  • should check in regularly at the beginning (to always keep building);
  • should try to always keep building and researching (maybe not that easy at the beginning but you will get there quickly); and
  • should behave yourself (because trolls have a particularly hard time in this game).


Some interesting links containing a lot of further information (other links are integrated below):
HonoredMule's Illyriad Wiki (very helpful!)
Illytools (a very good tool particularly for finding good city locations)
I have been robbed! What shall I do?
The blog from Kurdruk (Interesting perspectives)
Basic self-defense for new players
NPC difficulty guide
Troops and basic ressorces calculator
Travel time calculator
Quick FAQ on sieges (by Rill)
Illyriad geography demography
Manannan provides good information for new players, that again is based on the work of The Dude, I will try to summarize it below. (This guide is partly based on it!)
Great link:

What you need to know at the beginning:

1. Complete the tutorial
You get a basic understanding of the interface and mechanics of Illyriad and you will receive a gift.

2. Change your tax rate to 0%
If you increase your tax you will earn more gold (you do not need gold when you're starting out!) and less resources (you do need these, though!). Later you may alter the tax rate. Keep in mind you can only change it once every 24 hours!

3. Visit Global Chat (GC) and never be shy asking for help
Many large players routinely send new players resources and goods with no expectations. Tell them how much of what resources you need. Also you can ask questions in GC. But do not troll in the GC! In many alliances as in this Republic, you can ask in Alliance Chat (AC) for help and we will provide substantial support.

4. Upgrade your storehouse
It should be high priority to upgrade your storehouse (and later the warehouse, which you can start to build if you have a level 15 storehouse) to increase the amount of basic resources you can hold. This allows more substantial resource shipments to your city.

5. Increase your resource production
Since begging at GC is not really what you want to do all the time, you should increase wood/clay/iron/stone production. Always watch your food requirements! This is very important! Buildings will collapse, if you run out of consumed resources!

6. Build your library and start research
You need a library to produce research points and complete research. If you are lucky an older player will send you some books you can convert to research points. This will enable you to research at the start without having to wait for points to amass. You should aim to get you library up to about level 12 as quickly as possible. At this level you can produce enough research points to research continuously.

7. Build your architect's office soon!
Building time is the main constrain to growth (unless you buy a lot of prestige – in that case you might not need the architect). From my perspective one of the most important buildings for new players is the architect office, as it helps you to level up your buildings more quickly.

8. What should I DEFINITELY not do?
A. Relocate your city or build a second city without carefully considering where you put it. If you do this too hastily, it will probably be the worst mistakes you can possibly do at the beginning (see below)
B. Attack other players (unless they are inactive).
C. Start to promote commanders without carefully thinking about it (see below).
D. Build an army (you do not need it at the beginning).
E. Build T2 buildings. There are some buildings that consume basic resources per hour (all those listed here except the Architect Office). You should wait to build them!

9. Information for impatient players: Do not build any other buildings?
It might indeed be beneficial to focus on the above mentioned buildings. Most new players will think that is too boring. And I have to agree. That is why the guideline of the Republic Legions do cover more buildings at the beginning to add some more fun and experimenting to this game. In the next section you will find some other tips about those buildings and other things.

Other important advices:

1. City relocation/founding of a new City
Again: Do NOT move your capital or found your second city, unless you know what you are doing!!!!! There are many things to think about (see below). Ask for help! And do not settle too close to another player without permission.

2. Which buildings to consider at the beginning?
  • Some buildings have already be introduced: The storehouse (and later warehouse), resource production sites (to produce basic resources: food and clay/wood/iron/stone), the library and the architect office.
  • You can find a list of all buildings here and here).
  • Market: Is good for harvesting (and later trading) and therefore similar to resource production. Try to get this to level 12. It allows for caravans to hold 1000 resources, which makes harvesting much more efficient.
  • Mage Tower: This is the cheapest and easiest way to defend yourself as a new player! You should first research the Runes school of magic. Then, activate the strongest rune (against thieves!) you have available to protect yourself.
  • Tavern & Brewery: You need beer (produced in the Brewery) and the Tavern to start accepting quests (later it might be worth destroying these buildings to specialise in something else).
  • Common Ground: Cows are the most valuable trading goods you can produce. Sell them to get cash!
  • Paddock: Horses are also good for trade but to a much lesser extend.
  • Barracks: Can be levelled up to start researching the military tree. However, don't build up your military until later.
  • Consulate: This increases your warning radius for incoming diplomat attacks and makes diplomat units available to you. In addition, it unlocks researches which can help you to identify your attacker (if you find yourself being attacked by diplomats).
  • Stone Mason, Foundry, Carpentry, Flourmill and Klin. When you have levelled up your clay/wood/iron/stone/food production sites to level 7, you can research a certain technologies that allow you to build the stone mason, foundry, carpentry, flourmill and klin. These buildings also increase your resource production. But they are properly more expensive and can wait. Once you have high resource production, start building these to unlock the ability to build tier two resources. The stone mason will allow you to build walls and later the siege workshop (you can only siege if you have a level 20 Barrack!). The level five foundry will allow you to build the blacksmith (interesting for trade!) and if you level this to level 10 the forge (you do not need a forge as elf). However, I would not level this buildings up too much, since you might decide later that you will not need some of them and will prefer to de-level them again.
  • The Forge, Blacksmith, Spearmaker, Bowmaker and Tannery allow you to produce advanced resources you will need to build up your army later. It might be worth to level up those buildings, although it would be better to read some more information on building armies.
  • The Book Binder might be interesting to be able to make books which can be traded or shipped to your new towns. You need a proper Library to produce books.
  • Saddlemaker is likely also a good idea, as saddles are not only required for the army but also for many diplo-units.

3. Daily Log in Bonus
Claim a free bonus every 24 hours (see the starting screen)! I would highly recommend claiming prestige! If you are desperate for resources ask your alliance or the global chat.

4. Population Growth and Tax
The common misconception seems to be, if you continuously upgrade your farms your population will increase by itself over time. WRONG! Every building has a food upkeep value. The higher a buildings food upkeep the greater the population it provides for your city. Population consumes food. Therefore you need to produce enough food depending on the food upkeep requirements of your buildings. Tax depends on you population and your tax rate. Your tax rate influences food and the production of wood, clay, stone and iron, mana and research. That is a very important mechanism in the game of Illy (see also here)! Do not run out of food (or any other primary resource)! Your buildings will collapse, if you do!

5. Barracks and military: Don't build armies...
It is not important to upgrade your barracks and build up your military at the beginning! Any army you could build at the start is completely insignificant! Building an army will also make you raise your tax rates which will reduce your resource production and thus hamper your growth. Upgrading your barracks though is a good idea when you have a chance. See below for more information on military. Here, you can find good information about the different units of Elves, Orks, Dwarfs and Humans.

6. Research Arcana and build a Mage Tower: ... but do defend yourself!
Magic is your best defence at the beginning of the game. Once you have built your Mage Tower you can research your first school of magic. Currently there are three schools of magic you can research:
- Runes are your first cheapest defense against enemy units and are effective at all stages of the game. It might be worth starting with this school of magic!
- Geomancy increases your resource production. It also serves as defence if Blight spells are casted on you. This should be your second choice, after you further upgraded your mage tower.
- Blights have no use for you early in the game as they are an offensive school of magic used to sabotage other players resource production or storage. They are described by some as coward magic but can be highly effective.
More information on magic in the step-by-step guide to use magic!

7. Marketplace
You need a marketplace to make caravans. Caravans ship goods to friendly cities, make trades in the market, and harvest resources that spawn on the world map.
Resource harvesting is very useful as you start the game and you can use it to subsidise your resource production (see here for a step-by-step guide to harvesting resources). If you send caravan(s) to nodes where harvesting is already occurring then yours will send those harvesting there already back to their original city without getting a full load allowing you to harvest what remains there or filling your caravan(s). These interruptions are called 'bumping' by the community and although it is accepted that it is part of the game, a lot of players recommend not to deliberately sending your caravans to locations already being harvested.
Trade is definitely worth it at a certain stage! See the guide: Trading for dummies! It is not worth trading all kinds of goods. You need to calculate whether you make a profit or not.

8. Diplomatic Defence
Most likely a new player will suffer attacks from diplomatic units before armies (and those attacks can be devastating). Diplomats are anonymous unless captured and prisoners successfully interrogated unlike armies which identify the attacker when sent. Your first defence against enemy Diplomats are your Runes so ensure you have a powerful one cast (the one against thieves)! Second build your own force of diplomats. Put simply your diplomatic forces can stop enemy diplomats but your defending force needs to be about 50% the size of the attacking force to be effective. Also only diplomats of the same type stop the enemy; i.e. thieves stop thieves, scouts stop scouts etc. You train diplomats in your consulate. Each diplomat type comes in a basic and advanced tier. The basic tier units are good at defence whilst the advanced ones have better offensive and movement statistics (see here). You are a target of thieves? Se here what to do!

9. Buiding Your Second City
Once you hit 450 population in your first city you will be ready to settle your second city. To do this you must first have completed 'Pioneering' city research. Once you have completed this research you should start training your settler as soon as possible. They cost 15000 gold, 8 horses, 20 beer and 10 saddles each to produce and require 4 days to train! Don't leave yourself having acquired the required population but having to wait a further 4 days to found your second city. Also if you are considering relocation of your capital (and you should!) now would be the time to do it before you send your settler. Read the information on city relocation below! Take some time to look for a good spot and get some help (!) but get to a decision as early as you reached 450 pop. Do not settle too close to another active player!

City relocation/founding of a new city

The article is from the Voice of the Republic (4. February 2012), the independent newspaper of the Old Republic (some links added):

Feature Article: Things to Consider – City Settlement
By Janosch & Stephens

For new players it is very difficult to evaluate where to build a city or relocate your capital to. Some players even recommend not to do it at all. And in fact you should not move your capital if you do not know what you are doing. There is not a more important long term decision, since it can be costly to correct at a later stage. You should therefore think carefully about that decision and ask for advice. The decision is made more complicated because it is nigh impossible to find a perfect location, and often one has to make a sacrifice somewhere. This is the first in a series on the tactics of Illyriad and will hopefully encourage debate on such issues.

1. Sovereignty
The concept of sovereignty may appear difficult at first, but it isn't. It allows you to claim the squares around your city as your own, which allows you to build sovereign structures on them. Sovereign structures provide a bonus to your city. The most common use of soverignty is to build farmsteads, which provide a food production bonus. This is beneficial because city size is usually limited only by the ability to produce enough food(see also here and here). With this in mind, some squares offer a larger bonus than others. This bonus is based on the number of food tiles a particular square has. Hover over a square to see this. Ideally, you would have 2 or 3 squares with 6-7 food immediately adjacent to your city. This provides a larger bonus, which means you won't have to claim as much sovereignty (remember that claiming sovereignty is expensive!). There are some guides about sovereignty here, here and here.

Something else to consider when settling is that you cannot claim sovereignty on some squares. For example, water, volcanic peaks, lakes, and swampland are all "impassable" and you cannot claim sovereignty on them. If these squares are very close to your city, this means you will have to expand your claims outward more (which is also expensive). In general, you want to be able to claim sovereignty on all of the squares immediately around your city, and at least one or two that are two squares away.

2. Resource Distribution
When settling a city, you likely want it to either have balanced resources or to have 7 food. Having a balanced resource distribution is beneficial in the short-term, as you're less likely to lack any specific resources, but having a city on a seven food square is more beneficial in the long term. Large cities often have a surplus of resources, but may lack the food required to sustain their size. As such, 7 food squares are highly recommended.

When moving a city, note that using Tenaril's Spell of Ultimate Transportation does not change the resource distribution of your capital. Exodus, on the other hand, does adopt the new resource distribution.

3. Defence
There is a military bonus that depends on the terrain. Mountains favour ranged units and nimble spearmen, and penalise cavalry heavily. Attacking swordsmen are also hampered by the passes, gullies and canyons that make frontal assaults more difficult. Hills also benefit ranged units and spearmen to a lesser extent, but still penalise cavalry (to a lesser extent). Swordsmen are largely unaffected by hilly terrain. Forests penalise ranged units and cavalry due to the foliage, but swordsmen and spearmen love all the opportunities for cover and ambush. Plains provide the opportunity for cavalry to shine - their ability to manoeuvre makes them the masters of open flat space. Lightly armoured spearmen dislike the open terrain of plains, where they are easier targets for cavalry and archers.

Think about “if the worst happens”: the worst is probably that someone will try to siege your city. This requires an attacker to take up a position on an adjacent square to your settlement, and if they do, you will want to attack them – so think about whether you are happy attacking the squares immediately around you. For example, if you want to build a cavalry army, don’t put your settlement next to a mountain – a siege camp can just sit on that mountain, knowing that your cavalry will be at a disadvantage attacking them. You're at an advantage if you build just one type of military per city, so if you want to build cavalry, you should choose a plain to build your city upon surrounded only by plains. Particularly due to the new buildings and the just described mechanism, it is worth it to concentrate on just one kind of military unit per city and one kind of terrain surrounding your city.

Another thing to consider is the use of the arctic, desert, and jungle warfare college. They give a defence and attack bonus on those terrains. Therefore, it would be beneficial to make sure that your city does not straddle two different types of terrain (jungle and desert, for instance), as the bonus will only apply to one of these terrains (unless you build another building).

4. Politics
The political surrounding is important but very hard to evaluate. Where are players that will send you resources? Where are other Republicans? Do you want to be in a cluster with your alliance? Are my new neighbours friendly towards me and my alliance? Some players will not like it if you settle too close to them and may have planned to use your square, or the squares around it for sovereignty claims. For example, Harmless? does not allow new cities to be settled closer than 10 squares to an existing H? city. It's good practice to send your new neighbours a welcome message and to settle a good distance away from them.

Also consider the factions controlling the area you're going to settle in. While they are still under development, you will want to avoid hostile factions, such as the Melders (who have a -80 standing for all races; to put that into perspective, at -75, they will "actively seek out and try to destroy cities within a certain radius of faction hub.")

5. Proximity
You have to consider the proximity of your cities to one another when placing your cities. Some prefer cities which are very tightly packed (take a look at the area around 207,-219). This is good for deference, because resources can easily be transferred between cities as needed in minutes and any attacker would be vulnerable to attack from any of the nearby cities. However, widely dispersing cities is also beneficial because it allows easier access to areas across the map. Some prefer their cities relatively close to each other, but still quite dispersed, with an hour or two between each city. There is no right answer to which one is best, and a combination of these settlement patterns are possible. However, it is something you have to consider before settling.

6. Final advice
  • Do not rush with that decision;
  • Install Illytools and use the world-map-helper (SweetSpot);
  • You must decide yourself if you prefer a remote area (from the centre/other players of the Republic) or if you rather want to move close to hub or in a hub;
  • Ask for help;
  • Finally you must make this decision yourself and vets can only advice you;
  • Do not forget, your military specialisation (of this city) depends on the surrounding of your city;
  • Place your second city on a 7 food square (this is not important if you use the relocation spell for your capital!) and leave a minimum of ten squares room to other cities or contact closer players in advance;
  • At some point you need to get to a decision, relocate your capital and settle your second city; and
  • Send a welcome mail to your new neighbours.

A Guide to specialisation: What to think about when you build an army and choose your commanders?

In the last article we have told you about the military bonus that depends on the terrain. Mountains and Hills to a lesser account, favour ranged units and spearmen, and penalise cavalry heavily and swordsmen to a lesser extent. Forests penalise ranged units and cavalry and favour swordsmen and spearmen. Plains provide the opportunity for cavalry to shine, while spearmen dislike it.

That is one reason, why it is likely beneficial to specialise in one kind of military unit per city, if the terrain surrounding your city favours that unit type. There are other arguments. If you choose a certain kind of military unit, for example you only build swordsman, you can build the T2 building that allows you to reduce its upkeep by 30-52.5 %. In our example, you would need to build one to three level 20 Infantry Quarters and could build 30%-52.5 % more swordsman. Your considerably larger army is now particularly dangerous in forests. If your city is entirely surrounded by forests you can cope with a much larger player that is not specialised.

Now you can also decide what buildings you need in your city and which buildings should be built in cities that are specialised in other military units. Specialising in swordsman will allow you to demolish buildings that produce weapons you do not need to produce them. You have free building slots to build Infantry Quarters, if you demolish the Spearmaker and the Fletcher but should level up the blacksmith.

If you decide what units should be upgraded to commanders, there is just one important difference between them. Commander skills can be generally upgraded to level 10. You can upgrade a T1 commander to level 15 only in the commander skill that gives you a defence bonus against this specific unit type. E.g. a T1 swordsman promoted to a commander can provide a 15 % defence bonus against swordsman. A T2 commander can only be levelled to 15 in the skill that provides a 15 % attack bonus for the specific kind of military unit. A T2 swordsman eventually provides a larger attack bonus to swordsman.

If your city is specialised in swordsman, it would be smart to have minimum one T2 and T1 swordsman-commanders in your city. There is definitely no point in promoting any other T2 unit to a commander, since you only have swordsman and it would provide a 15% attack bonus to a unit you should not possess. Eventually it would be good to have a T1 spear- and cavalry-commander, because spear units are also favoured in forests and swordsman may also operate on plains quite efficiently (where again cavalry is favoured). Likely you do not need a T1 bow-commander, as bowmen are favoured and swordsmen are panelised in mountains, you should not move your army to a mountain at all. Now you have a well specialised army.


When should I build an army?
The_Dude recommends avoiding army building until you are around 450 pop. So you can focus on growing your city very early on. I think that sounds reasonable, but it might be better to wati a little longer. You should consider very carefully whether it is smart to attack an active player.

Can I cancel build or research items in my queues?

Can I speed up research?

Can I speed up building construction?
Yes, but you should wait spending your prestige. It is not cost effective to spend it at the beginning. The build time for some of the higher level buildings can literally take days to complete....

What are the purple/pink circles on the world map?
You will see animals/monsters and army encampments on the world map that have a purple/pink circle around them. These are Non-Player Combatants (NPCs) and are static targets for players to kill. The squares on which they spawn are referred to as NPC nodes and there are many different types. They do not attack you. If you want to attack them you can scout them before you send armies to ascertain numbers and troop strength. Every six hours the NPC nodes respawn either a new NPC or resources for harvesting.

What are Mysteries?
Mysteries are special sites around the world map which when visited correctly can give you an added gaming boost. Some mysteries are:
  • The Ancestral Statue Mystery (Solved)
  • The Steamtastic Brewery (Solved)
  • The Temple of Reason (Solved)
  • The Heart of Corruption (Unsolved)
  • The Fortune Teller Mystery (Unsolved)

What happens when I have negative food (or resource) production then run out of food (or other resources)?
Your buildings will collapse in the order you have finished them until your production is positive again. You should definitely avoid this!

Some players say it is not possible to specialise as not all buildings have been released now. Which things should I think about that are not implemented now?
Illy changes constantly. I strongly agree with Rill: ‘’I was given very good advice by a veteran player when I started playing: Play Illy as it is now, not as it might be someday. I've been playing Illy for seven months, and my experience says that not even the developers can be sure about the details of unreleased changes. Their plans may be altered because things that seemed like a good idea at the time didn't work out. So it's better not to plan in detail for things that may not be released for a long time -- or ever.’’

Thanks to all players that assisted in the creation of this guide (also those not mentioned above). Thanks to Stephens for review!

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Training plan of the Republic Legions

Post  Janosch on Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:08 am


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Re: Step-by-step guide for new Illy-players

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