Monthly Archives: July 2013

War of Nations Tips Part 2 – Joining an Alliance

You need an alliance to survive. If you are in an active alliance, the members could send you reinforcements to help defend your base and it might even deter other players from attacking you. So try your best to join an alliance before your immunity ends.

But which alliance to join? This is the question.

1. How to chose an alliance

The game is structured such that the alliance ranking is based on the total Attack Points of the members, so no top 50 alliances (even top 100) in a matured world will accept you when you start the game unless you know some of the leaders personally, so do not waste time sending a request to them.

Having said that, you do not just want to hop into any alliances that is recruiting in World Chat that says no Attacking Points (AP) requirements. Do some research first by checking the recruiter’s level, total members, and also the total attack points of the alliance. You can do this by clicking on “Ranking” and then select the alliance tab, while a player’s level and attack points could be check by clicking on their names in the World Chat.

Observe the World Chat for awhile, you might get lucky into joining one of the big alliance’s branch which they just setup and no need of Attack Points, it is rare, but I have seen it happened. I know the World Chat conversations do not make sense most of the time, and it is flooded by braggarts, but read them often to understand the general “political climate”– which alliances are teamed and which factions are warring.

You might not be able to join these top alliances now, but it is good information that will help you on your next move if you ever intend to.

Reading the World Chat also has another advantage, you do not want to hop into an alliance that is public enemy or is warring with a major faction.

In my case, I would prefer to look around the home base, and look for high level neighbors (20+ and above), check their alliances using the “Alliance Ranking”, if the alliance is not ranked in top 50 and with moderate Attack Points, apply to it. You can send requests to multiple alliances at the same time. I got “lucky” by being accepted into alliance with a level 20+ player next to me, but only to find out later that the player is not very active in the alliance.

Having an alliance member next to you is killing 2 birds with 1 stone. First, you eliminate the possibility of that player attacking you, and secondly, you can help each other in defense and attacks. So scout around, and try applying to the alliances of your neighbor(s) unless that alliance is in the top 50.

2. Is the alliance right for you?

After you are being accepted into an alliance, I would suggest you to stay low key (not posting a lot, and don’t even say “hi”), and do not change your user name to that of the alliance prefix first (you will soon learn which alliance a person belongs to by their name, eg., XXX_king, XXX_queen) Observe the alliance chat and message board to see how is it being operated. Is it run by some short sighted warmongering maniacs or is it run by a naive 13-year-old who thinks he could rule the world?

If you like them, fine. Else, you may leave the alliance quietly and no one will notice. Usually most alliances are fine with members leaving, but who knows what others are thinking, and you might be unfortunately being recruited by a egoistic leader who felt betrayed and decided to call for your annihilation? Thus stay low key, pretend to be a newbie, not knowing what to do and pretend that you have not read this guide; very importantly do not give out your coordinates, and change your user name. Changing name is a tedious process, you are allowed to change only once every 7 days, thus if you have changed your name to XXX_noob, you are stuck with it even if you have joined another.

If you like the alliance, then you can start participating actively in it.

3. Alliance Hopping

I am a loyal person, and this could be my downfall as my current alliance is led by a clueless leader, whom, even after playing for a long time, still does not know who rules that world, and thought he could conquer it, sigh. I am sort of like becoming an unpopular adviser who would always try to explain the situation and stop him from crossing the top alliances.

Since this is a guide, I will share some thoughts on how to jump from one to another. Again, the choosing of alliance guide in point 1 applies. However, if you have chosen an alliance because of proximity of the members, you have to be a little more careful here because another member knows your base, thus you must join a stronger alliance in the neighborhood to protect yourself just in case.

You do not want to hop from one bad alliance to another, thus it is very important to identify some alliances that you would like to join and check out on their recruitment requirements. Work on your attack points slowly, and always read the World Chat and look out for opportunity. Do not leave your current alliance before you identified an alliance and is sure that you are qualified.

Alternatively, you could leave the alliance first if you have good attack points, and advertise yourself in the World Chat. It is an efficient way, and usually you would receive a few offers and you can choose from there.

In sum, alliance could give you some protection in the beginning, but it could also spell doom if you are not careful, personally, I think the most important part of joining alliance is to have fun, after all, this is only a game. If you are in one where most members are friendly and help each other, and you enjoy talking to them, I think you are a lucky person, it does not matter whether the alliance is in the top 10 or not.

Links to other topics:

  1. War of Nations Tips Part 1 – Setting up Bases
  2. War of Nations Tips Part 3 – Arms Race
  3. War of Nations Tips Part 4 – Survival

War of Nations Tips Part 1 – Setting up Bases

I do not call it a guide because as mentioned in my earlier post, I am not sure whether I could survive another day, but these are some lessons that I have learned and hope it can help other new players, or players who are struggling in the wild wild west.

I will start with building up your base.

1. Scouting the World

Hop around the different worlds, and check your starting position. If you find yourself in the middle of a ravaged world littered with decimated low level players’ bases around you, this might not be a good choice, chances are that there are sadistic bullies around who find joy in obliterating low level players. Look around, if there are many low level bases (level 15+ to 20+) in tact, great, you are in a relatively friendly neighborhood which will greatly enhance your survivability.

It is possible that the vultures are waiting for the players to grow before they attack in order to gain more Attack Points, but if they could allow you to raise pass level 20, and you follow my tips here, you just might survive the world.

In my case, my second start have me landed in a “friendly” neighborhood, where the high level players cultivated the new players for future milking. I was pretty safe throughout, and was scouted only once by a high level player when I was about level 20/21, he was probably checking whether I am ready for harvest. There wasn’t any attacks until I was in the late 20s, and now I am enduring at least 1 attack a day, which is not so bad…

If you are not sure, start in the latest servers (server with the biggest number), these are newer worlds where you might still have a good fighting chance.

2. Building Your Base

When you start the game in a new world, you will be given 5 days of immunity before the vultures are allowed to flock to you. Make very good use of these 5 days especially if you are starting in a matured world. It is best you make yourself comfortable, and have 2 to 3 undisturbed hours for the start because you want to build as much as possible. In the beginning, the upgrades only take seconds and minutes, so you want to achieve as much as possible within these few hours that you have.

Time management is key here, that is, plan all your building upgrades so that they are still working while you are away for real life or at sleep. For example, Command Center and Research Center upgrades will take longer time to upgrade, so I would leave it overnight or if it takes only a couple of hours, I will upgrade it and go to work, and check the game for awhile later.

After the initial start, you just need to check your game once in awhile and make sure they are working all time round, if you have gold, spend them during this phase and do not wait for the resources to accumulate and waste time.

Do not spend your resources in building many units now, unless you intend to build your outposts in deep area, we will start building the army only in day 3 of your immunity period or when you have overflowing resources.

The reason for this is simple, compounding interest. If you spend the resources in upgrading the buildings early, they will generate more resources for you and you can use these resources to further upgrade and in turn get more, got it? If you spent them on building army, you will be tight on resources and have to wait for them to accumulate, this is wastage of time, unless you have a lot of Gold to spend. In my case, I hardly spend any Gold at this stage.

A. Building Sequence and Planning

Just to let you know (in case you don’t) that you can build a total of 18 buildings in your home base excluding the Command Center, and you are given the factory free. So there are 17 spaces left.

Here’s the suggested building plan for the home base:

  • 2 Warehouses
  • 2 Oil Rigs
  • 3 Trading Centers
  • 2 Iron Mines
  • 3 Refineries
  • 1 Defense Grid
  • 1 Sensor Tower
  • 2 Factories
  • 1 Research Center

Build iron mines and oil dereks on patches with a resource on it, that is, oil or iron. Every home base is given 2 oil patches and 2 iron patches.You might be tempted to build another mine or oil derek on an empty patch, trust me, it is not worth it, you will demolish them later.

You can substitute some of the buildings such as a warehouse with another refinery and so on, it is entirely up to your own game play.

Leave the Sensor Tower and Defense Grid last just before your immunity ends. Since we are not building a big force now, so you can just build 1 Refinery for now, and warehouse is dependent on how fast you are accumulating resources. Just leave spaces for these buildings and do not build other buildings over them.

Upgrade the Oil Rigs, Trading Centers, Command Center and Iron Mines like mad. When you have some spare cash, you can start building your Research Center and start your researches, at least try to get to Tanks and Helicopters, ideally Rocket Trucks and beyond. Later in the game, your Research Center will also need to be in constant researching in order not to waste time. For now, it is ok to take it slightly slower. If you have Gold to spend, spend them on the researches.

B. Outpost Alpha

You can build your first outpost (Outpost Alpha) immediately and my advise is build it as soon as possible. Space it away from your home base, and make sure the hexagons do not overlap with your home base, Renegade Outposts, another player’s base, or trees. You want to get the maximum potential for this outpost and it will probably be your most important outpost because most buildings would be at advanced level in later stage.

Ideally, it should be built in area nearer to the center, at least in the level 60 renegade area (where you find level 4 to 8 renegade outposts) or deeper. Again, you will need time to scout for a suitable location, ie., no high level enemies nearby, and not near any other alliance clusters. Look for location with at least 2 or more resource patches, as you go deeper, the resource patches will yield better resources, so it is important that you have all your outposts as deep as you can defend. Because you do not have a big army and good commander now, building outposts in area deeper than 450 area (renegade outposts level 10 to 14) might be difficult.

Since it is a very important outpost, you do not want it to be too far from your home base so that you can defend it effectively. I would not build it near alliance members for now, unless you know them in real life, because you would never know when the member(s) might switch alliance or you might want to join a better one shortly, and this could spell trouble for you.

Defense grid in outpost is optional. If you intend to station troops especially long range units such as helicopters and artilleries in it, having a defense grid will give an advantage to them. Having said that, you can leave the Defense Grid to the last just before your immunity ends.

Every outposts should have a factory to train units for its own defense and/or support another outposts unless it is a specialized outposts, example, only refineries and warehouses which I strongly advise against, because a destruction of this outpost will destroy you too.

Build one of each resources here or compensate the resource that you did not build in your home base here, for example, if you have 4 Trading Centers and only 1 warehouse in home base, you might not want to build anymore Trading Centers here.

Sensor Tower is an option, I do not usually build this in any of my outposts except the L34 outposts (that is another story).

Upgrade like mad as well.

B. Outpost Bravo

After establishing your Alpha, and when you are waiting for the upgrades to complete, attack the nearest level 2 Renegade Outpost to try gaining 5 Power Cells or use Gold to buy them, they are easy to get so save yourself some gold.

Once you have your 5 Power Cells, you can build your next outpost. The location selection process is similar to the Alpha, either near your friends or near your home base or outpost Alpha. A good strategy for building outposts is stretch them towards the center, and each outpost is about 30 minutes to an hour from the nearest so you can mobilize troops between them easily, but do not make them in a straight line, it is easy for enemies to trace all of your outposts.

C. Outpost Charlie and Beyond

This will be entirely up to your own game play like whether you want to locate it in your alliance cluster. I saw many players have 4 outposts near their home base, this could seriously impact their game play later, such as low resource, and be subjected to constant attacks from other players’ home base.

That’s all for now, I will talk more about joining an alliance and others, stay tuned.

Links to other topics:

  1. War of Nations Tips Part 2 – Joining an Alliance
  2. War of Nations Tips Part 3 – Arms Race
  3. War of Nations Tips Part 4 – Survival

 

War of Nations Reload

I have excess gold which I did not use after my suicide mission, so I decided to start all over again in another world with another suicide mission in mind, in fact, I am playing in 3 worlds with one setting up a trap for the vultures.

For the last 15 days or so, I have learned a lot more about the game, and also the “politics” in the game world, which I find it interesting to keep me reading– the players’ behavior, how they try to manipulate others, and consolidate their power. I am keen to see how things develop, and pen my thoughts on the different types of players. I will also try to write up some tips on how to survive the brutal world of War of Nations for the benefits of new players, not that I am a good player, and I am not even sure of whether I could survive another day in the game, but at least some tips to survive for 15 days 🙂

If you have not played the game yet, my advise is don’t bother unless you are prepared to pour in thousands of dollars into the game.

Aftermath

Following my previous post on how to spite your nemesis before leaving the War of Nation game, here’s an update and perhaps considerations to take into account when you plan the Armageddon.

  1. I managed to completely demolish all my buildings because the war took some time, so the last Research Center was demolished during the warring actions, thus there is no rush to demolish all of them before the war.
  2. The war actually took longer than expected due to the traveling time. If you want to completely destroy all of the enemy’s buildings, it will take a long time unless you have a very huge army. In my case, I have only 3500 units, so I have to wait for them to return before sending them to another assault.
  3. I completely smashed the enemy’s two outposts, that is, destroyed every single units and buildings except the command center.
  4. After destroying a couple of buildings in the enemy’s home base, I realized all the destroyed buildings were rebuilt. Not sure what is happening, perhaps the player was online during my attacks. I thought rebuilding would take ages, thus destroying them will seriously hampered the progress of the enemy. I was lost, and not sure what was the best way to deal permanent damage to him.
  5. With no chance to seriously set him back economically, I decided to capture the outposts and abandon them. True enough, the player was online during the attacks, he moved his precious bombers to one of the outpost thinking that I would not go back to the outpost since I was focusing on his home base. As a result, all his 90+ bombers were destroyed, muhahaha…
  6. I gave up on capturing of the outposts as the capturing cycles are taking too long, instead I sent the remaining troops to his home base, mowing down his army slowly. I had a good chance to take out all his units (still outnumbering him about 1.5 times) but it would take many many trips,  I was tired and decided to call it a day, and dismissed all the units.
  7. All in all, more than 50 assaults were made.

I gained a total of 1.8 million Attack Points for this attack. I started with 3500 units, and ended with about 600 by the time I quit. Not sure how many units did the enemy had in the beginning, but he was down to about 400+ by the end. I would think he probably had about 2000+ units, and with better units such as Hawks and Bombers.

The result was a lot better than my initial expectation. I expected to take down only 1 outpost, sacrificing the rest in the 2nd outpost assault. I ended not only taking down 2, but ravaged his home base as well. Looking back, I could have started D-Day earlier so that I could capture the 2 outposts dealing permanent damage to him.

In the end, with easy rebuilding, I do not see any long term impact to the enemy, except living in fear of other players attacking him before his new fleet of army is ready. I thought of dragging him to hell together with me, but the game mechanics does not allow so unless I capture/ destroy his outposts.

Anyhow, I had a very sweet revenge, I can imagine his screams and curses watching me taking out his troops and bases but can do nothing to me because I have only 1 command center.

Sinister Plot

There is no way to pull out your base if you decide to quit War of Nations. The game developer prefers you to become a missile test site for the leets rather than allow you to leave with dignity. This was the dilemma that I had when I told my son about how we could not continue the game due to my busy traveling schedule, and our family trips. Why should I satisfy the leets’ sadistic desires? This is probably many disappointed players’ dilemma too– they have no desire to continue playing but could not bear to see the base destruction if they leave.

So here’s what I am planning to do, in fact, it is already way into execution, and I am at the point of no return now. The plan is to consolidate all the armies, and punish your most hated nemesis in the game heavily– you will be destroyed in the process, and hopefully, drag him down to hell with you as well. Even if he is not destroyed, he will only lose more and gain nothing by his retaliation– this is the sweetest revenge you can do to any players.

Here is what you can do:

1. Look at the amount of fuel in your inventory, you should have quite a bit unless you never bother about building any refineries. Look at the total consumption of fuel by your units, and gauge roughly how many hours you can last if you destroy all your refineries. In my case, I have about 200k in reserve, and depleting about 10,000 per hour, leaving 2 hours as attack time, so I have about 18 hours before I have to disband my units. That is your D-Day hour. If you have balanced “Gold”, use them wisely like getting yourself immunity for the whole process, or upgrade of commanders, instant completion of units, or if you think demolishing time is too long, buy some time boost cards.

2. With the number of hours left in mind (keep some buffer), start demolishing all your resource buildings on your home base. This will take time depending on the building level, and if you still have the speed up card, you can use on the demolishing process too. Resource buildings are buildings that enemies can gain resources if being attacked/ destroyed, these are the oil rig, iron mine, trading center, refinery, warehouse and factory. Demolish these buildings as your first priority. If you have time, demolish other buildings except the defense grid.

My priority of destruction is as follows: Trading Center because you do not need any more money. Followed by warehouse (no need to hold for resources), then by the high level resource building because the demolish process for high level building takes time, and the rest is up to you. The very important note is leave some low level refineries, research center, at least 1 factory, and the buildings on your outposts to the last (outpost buildings can be destroyed instantly by abandoning it). This will bring me to my next point.

3. I would leave 1 factory, research center, and buildings in outposts to be the last, the best option is of course you have all these on your outpost. This is because when you demolish your buildings, you will gain back some resources, you do not want to leave any for your opponents. I am not sure whether defense grid, research center, and sensory tower will yield any resources for enemies if being destroyed, but is very sure home base command center will not. So on the safe side, use as much resources as you can, unless you have time to demolish all other buildings.

As you gain back resources from the demolished buildings, build more army, and research useful technologies such as armor & damage bonus. Time them well, so that you will still have time to demolish your building before the D-Day. By the way, you can still research while the research center is in the demolishing process. Do not bother with researching a new army unit unless you are still at very low level because these researches take long time, and will need you to upgrade your factory in order to build the new units which takes more time, and time is what we lack here. Build whatever units you can, even Jeeps in large quantity is scary…

4. Next, pull your troops from your outpost back to command center, and abandon all the outposts a couple of hours before D-Day.

5. Upgrade your commanders using whatever items you have like riffle upgrade, and so on.

6. Now depending on your army and command center level, decide who are the commanders that you want to use for D-Day. Preferably those “merged” commanders with potential to reach level 20/30 should stay behind as you will gain a lot of experience. In my case, my final army size is 3500 units, with some 20+ drones, and I can put 900 units per commander, so I will need 4 commanders, with 1 spare, a total of final 5 commanders. Perform fusion of commanders into your last 5 commanders, concentrate only on the best 1 or 2. Use up any balance experience leveling card that you might have.

7. You are now almost ready for the D-Day, the effect is best if you have any unused “Gold” so that you can do all the above under immunity. In my case, the decision to leave the game was reached on the 2nd day of my “bought” immunity, so I have in total 48 hours left to demolish and build as much army units as I could. Looking back, the army size could be even bigger have I not abandoned the outposts too early, I actually abandoned them first before any demolishing work, so leave the outposts last 🙁

I would not have time to demolish all buildings, and the only one left standing beside the command center is research center which will yield some cash if being raided.

8. On the D-Day, say goodbye to your alliance if you have one, and leave it in order not to drag them into an alliance war. Attack your nemesis’ outpost command center that do not have defense grid with 2 or 3 forces. The idea is to destroy every units in the outpost. Have a commander attack the resource buildings in the outpost. In my case, I will send 3 to the command center, and 1 to a resource building slightly later for clean up. If every units are destroyed, continue to destroy the rest of the buildings in the outpost except the command center, I heard the player will go into immunity mode if it is being destroyed. Repeat for the rest of the outposts, and finally the home base. If I can take out all his units (which probably not), I will then destroy his outpost command center.

I will access my balance strength after destroying the first outpost. If I have enough strength for the next, I will continue, else, I will consolidate the units and self destruct by attacking the level 30+ renegade bases found in the middle of the map. The idea of this is not to let your nemesis have the pleasure of destroying you (not even a building), and gain experience from it.

He probably would attack your command center out of rage, but he will not gain anything because you are not building or gathering any other stuff. Say goodbye to him to spite him, give out his coordinates, and let everyone know his army strength is weaken, see him fend for himself.

If you did not read this earlier and how you wish you could revenge like this, it is possible if you have another iOS account on another device. You can build a new base in the same world with the intention to spite him. Build an outpost next to him with factory, research center, refinery, oil rig, and trading center. Do not build any defense grid/ sensory tower. Spend the first 3 days of your immunity on building/ gatherings and army build up, and the next 2 days in the demolishing as in the guide above. Abandon the final outpost after attacking.

Hope this will help other frustrated players to exit the game with a big bang. Actually with the resources on hand, you can rebuild again anytime if you wish to, of course you need to pay for immunity in the process…

War of Nations

My 7-year old son downloaded the game, War of Nations, to my iPad, and he was happily playing it for a few days. Out of curiosity, I peeked at him and fiddled with it for awhile, and realized that it is sort of an online multiplayer strategy game, and the poor boy was doing badly. So I tried to help him and explained the game mechanics to him as we go along.

Now this type of game is not difficult for me to grasp due to my vast experience from the good old days of “Doom”, to “Command & Conquer, and “Warcraft”. However, there are some new stuff in it which is not clearly explained, so I searched the Internet and found a forum.

From the forum I realized that my dear son has wasted a few days of his immunity — every new player will be granted 5 days of immunity where they can build the base without worrying about other players attacking. In order to catch up the lost time, so that he would not end up emerging from his immunity with a lowly level, I bought some “Gold” with credit card. Yes, you guessed it correctly, it is again another type of money sucking game so prevalent on tablet platform, where real money will always triumph over hard work in the game.

I boosted his building and researching speed, and finally emerged out of immunity with a good army, joined an alliance for some protection, and around level 14 or 15. From there it was all stressful– worrying about attacks, continuous pursue of base upgrading, and army building; wasted time not in any form of production could mean lagging miles behind opponents.

Playing this type of game online is bad idea. There is no pause so that you can sleep well, go to school/ work, and not worry about players from another time zone sneaking up on you. Moreover, there is no level cap on the attacking such that you can only attack player plus minus a certain levels of your current level, which means a maximum level player could attack a newbie, which is really a very bad implementation. No wonder I am seeing so many devastated low level bases around the map.

The so call objective for players is to build outpost towards the center of the map so that you can mine better resources such as Uranium and Titanium. However, there is no moving of home base option, everyone starts on the outer most ring, thus very high levels players will still have home bases in the outer rings, which is again a very huge obstacle for new players.

So what are the new players’ options? Join a strong alliance for protection? Fat hope. No strong alliance would take in new players because of the ranking system. The alliance with more “Attack Points” will rank higher in the billboard. What makes things worse for new players is Attack Point is gained only through attacking another player, so you can imagine the catch 22 situation a new player is in. Touching any higher level players who is already in a strong alliance would spell immediate doom. If you are lucky, your base might be located next to those “sleeping” low level players or players who might have quitted to gain attack points. Seriously I am not too sure whether this could work because of the vultures hovering above your head– other players are too keen to wait for your emergence from immunity and blast your base flat before you could gain any meaningful attack points.

The only alliances that would take in new player are those newly formed and with only very few members, so no protection for you as well. As I mentioned earlier, there is no moving of home base option, if there is, it is at least not so bad, where the low level players could move their bases next to some higher level alliance members’ bases for at least some protection or reinforcement if being attacked.

All the above is stacked heavily against new players, so I don’t see the game last long if no drastic changes are made to it, and the current loyal “leet” players would become bored with gridlocks of high level clans.

So back to my dear son’s game. Thanks to his dad who is willing to spend real money, he emerged from immunity at level 14/15– not so bad as compared to most new players and especially few days were wasted. You guess it right again, within a day, he got attacked by a level 20 while we were having a fun day outside. Glad that I have placed heavy troops in all the outposts, and both outposts barely survived the 3 full-force attacks from the invader. The poor boy was angry, but he couldn’t do anything about it. I was lost for awhile too, how could we survive another wave of attack? The alliance is at least 8 hours away if they are willing to help, and many high levels could reach our base within minutes. Luckily, the game got updated, and now there is an option to purchase extended immunity with “Gold” which means real money.

Yup, we are in immunity mode again. We rebuilt an even stronger army with cash injections. I was thinking of extending the immunity for another 6 days because I will be away on a business trip and following that a family trip to the Philippines. But gave the idea up because we will be facing this type of problem again and again because we have lives, and can’t be paying the developer for their lousy implementation of the game mechanics. Finally I convinced the son that we have to give up on the game. He was unwilling, and sad to give up, but was excited when I told him of our exit plan– which I will share with all other frustrated players.

Final verdict of the game? Don’t even bother unless you are willing to spend a lot of real money, and can live with the constant bragging of the “leets” who in reality are just lucky that they started the game earlier than the rest of players where they were given room to grow, have no real life, and too cowardly to take on someone their own size.

Suggestions? There are a few:

  1. Implement attack level cap, i.e., one can only attack another player around his level. The attack level cap could be wider as a player moves towards the map center. This will make the game a lot playable for beginners and everyone can play the game at their own pace instead of the current mad rush to the highest possible level, bullying beginners to gain attack points so that one can be accepted into a strong alliance for protection just in order to survive.
  2. Free Immunity period, say 8 hours a day. You can decide when to activate this or accumulate unused immunity hours and use them on a longer stretch, we need to sleep and have life too, you know?
  3. Able to move home base. This will make alliance for new players more meaningful. They could at lest group together near higher level members to deter the vultures.
  4. Force the higher level players to move their base towards center, like penalty for production in outer ring when they reach certain level, and so on.