This is a guide written by G.R.O.M for the .EN forums.
G.R.O.M wrote some absolutely fantastic guides. There are too many for me to copy over unfortunately. You can read them all on their site, here.
Introduction from the Author
This article is an ultimate guide focusing on all types of resources in Grepolis 2.0 (materials, favour points, time). I also added Production Time calculator and few nice tricks that you might have not been aware of. Full article can be found here. Enjoy and leave your comments.
In long conflicts against big or skilled players and alliances, you will have to focus on resources to be ahead of your enemy. If you read my guides about timing waves, organising them (including my famous manoeuvre), organising and planning operations and still have trouble winning then you will have to focus on your resources and prepare for a long war.
If you cant outsmart your opponent, then you need to outlast him - endurance is the key here. You should aim to have more army units available to fight than your enemy. This will let you to have control over the war. The goal is to achieve an advantage and hold or even increase it - without an army nobody can survive for long.
Resources and farming
To win we need constant inflow of resources. Whenever we fight we lose troops and we need to be able to replace them as soon as possible. The faster we can produce our troops the bigger advantage we have over our enemies. RESOURCES are the most important thing to focus on when you want to grow and conquer. The goal is to gather maximum resources in the shortest time possible.
We can obtain resources in 4 different ways:
- Trading with non-player villages
- Farming - demanding and looting non-player (farming) villages
- Farming other players - The most effective way of farming
- By building production camps, like Timber Camp, Silver Mine and Quarry
The fastest way to gather resources in my opinion is to farm other players, then in order of importance are: production camps (Timber Camp, Quarry and Sliver Mine), Demanding and Looting farming villages and finally Trading with farming villages.
Trading with villages
I will not focus on this subject here, please read my full guide about farming if you need more details.
Farming options (Loot and Demand)
Basically as you should already know, you can: Demand Resources, Loot Resources or Demand Troops (Level 3+ farming villages only). The 3rd option is only good at the beginning when you don't have barracks and would like to get new units fast to start conquering farm villages. It might happen when for some reason your neighbours grow faster than you and invest in the farming villages by expanding them. Otherwise I would never use that option as it is less efficient than simply demanding/looting and then producing units in your barracks.
Now regarding looting and demanding - the more often you loot/demand the more resources per minute you collect. This means that when possible you should be using option with the lowest cooldown (CD). The lowest one is 5 minutes, however each time you choose any option ask yourself this question: "when I can do it again"? If you can’t be back in 5 to 10 minutes then it’s better to choose 10 min CD. If you think you will be back in 3 hrs then chose 180 min CD, and so on.
The fastest way to gather resources is to use Loot option (5 min CD one to be exact). However if you loot a village which has mood lower than 80% (or 64% with Diplomacy) you risk losing the village in revolt. In the consequence you will have to retake it, which in the beginning of the game might be hard. Therefore I advice to stay in the "safe zone" and never loot when the village mood is below 80%. You don’t really gain more in the long run if you loot “harder” and it will only temporarily boost your income, while being risky. You will still have to wait for the mood to recover to loot again. More about this mechanism you can read in my full guide here.
80% is lowered to 64% if you research Diplomacy, however remember that it will not speed up mood regeneration, so it’s not such a great research after all.
How often you demands depends on your game-time availability and if you can be bothered clicking on farms every 5 minutes. I would say that the best way to do it is to loot every 5 minutes until mood drops below 80% and then use any demand CD according to schedules you can be bothered to keep. After taking mood below 80% the most efficient way would be to use 5 min demand CD every 5 minutes but don't feel bad when using other options. Being able to click a button (or many buttons if you don't pay for premium features) every 5 minutes is not always possible and can enslave you to the point when its not fun any more. Even when I have time to play I don't use 5 min CD demand option, just cant be bothered to do it that often. Draw your own personal line.
Unfortunately this system favours those who can spend more time in front of the game, to the absurd point of 5 minutes cooldown. Same thing goes with some premium features speeding up production time of units which unbalanced the game bit to much in favour of those with more cash. It shouldn't be the reason to stop playing though, because majority of players don't wish to spend fortune on the game and can’t be 24/7 glued to their screens - so if you can’t click 5 min CD all day long you are not the minority here. Also as I will show you later in this guide, gathering resources through Demanding and Looting farm villages is not the fastest one. Farming other players provide more resources and then 2nd best method are production camps (Timber Camp, Quarry and Sliver Mine). Therefore demanding and looting can only make a difference in the beginning of your game.
Ignore those people who can play more often than you, have more money - just take it all with distance and don't get frustrated with it. If you can’t catch up with the fastest growing guy on your server then you probably know why, and it might have nothing to do with your or his skills. Don't let the game to push you into doing something you don't enjoy or in the worst scenario into using a BOT - its not worth it. Win with honor or not at all - that's my motto. Actually my motto was "Victory or Death" but victory is only when I achieve it myself and not with help of cheats. Do your best with time and money you can spend on this game and see where it takes you. I think that its still possible to be successful without spending fortune, but unfortunately it requires you to be online quite often.
Other thing to remember is that mood increases by 1% per hour depending on the World Speed. Therefore as far as I understand its 1% per hour for the worlds with speed equal 1. Here you can check information about your world speed. By knowing how fast the mood regenerates, you can estimate when it will be back at 80%.
Looting for longer periods of time is not worth it. If you log in few times a day, you should be able to use 5 min CD loot option 4 times a day in the world with speed 1 or 8 times in the world with speed 2. Four 5 min loots will take mood down by 24% (4x6=24). In the world with speed 1 you will need 24 hours to regenerate 24%, in the world with speed 2 you will regenerate 48% during 24 hours, so you can use 5 min loots 8 times (8x6=48). Let me also notice that using 5 min loot CD takes only 20 minutes per day (4x5min) in the world with speed 1 and 40 min (8x5) with speed 2.
For longer periods when you are offline its better to use a long demand CDs. For this reason it’s a good idea to research Booty. If you are confused just check the official guide table. With Booty you get extra 4 options, each of them proportionally doubles CD and resources received of the original 4 options (using example of a farming village at level 1, as default you receive 10 resources every 5 minutes but with the extra option you can receive 20 resources every 10 minutes as well). The most useful option is the one doubling 240 minutes, which gives you 480 minutes CD (8 hrs). It’s perfect for the night time when you go sleep or go to work where you can’t play.
I wouldn't use Booty on looting because as I explained 5 min loot CD gives the best results, its fairly easy to use all your "daily mood capital" by choosing this option (you need only 20 or 40 minutes per day) and finally because even though Booty doubles the CD (like with the demand) it doesnt however double resources output - it only adds 66% extra resources (not 100% like in the case of demanding). You double the CD time but proportionally receives less resources if you use 4 extra options for looting.
Don't worry to much about farming villages though there are other ways of gathering resources that will not change you into a grepo-slave. Just keep using 5 min loot CD when possible (don't stay at 100% mood as its a waste, loot a bit before going sleep). Keep demanding in a way that is comfortable for you and trade as soon as you get 1:1.25 ratio.