Cosmic Raven's HQS - Condensed

Introduction to Cosmic Raven's Heavy Questing - Condensed Version

Who is Cosmic Raven?

Cosmic Raven (CR) is player on Norasil who posted a guide about his Forge of Empires strategy he called the “Heavy Questing Strategy” (HQS). At the time of posting his guide, CR said he had played for 2 years, and has coached 50+ others through the HQS, refining and perfecting it before beginning to share it on the forums.

What is Heavy Questing?

Heavy Questing is a strategy built around using the recurring quests (RQs) that come after completing or aborting each of the side quests of an age/era as the primary means to produce goods and medals, as well as gaining additional forge points and diamonds. This is distinct from the conventional way of getting goods and medals, which is by building goods buildings and fighting in GVG/GE/PVP/on the Continent Map (C Map).

What am I trying to accomplish?

CR never completed his guide before he made his last post on the forums, and he disappeared from the forum and apparently the game for unknown reasons. This is my attempt to faithfully summarize what CR wrote about the HQS to make it easier to understand how to implement it in your city. My goal is to summarize what CR wrote about his strategy--not to modify what he wrote in any way, nor to promote the HQS over conventional gameplay, nor to debate the merits or shortcomings of the HQS strategy and the finer points within it. In addition to what I am writing here, I suggest that anyone interested in the HQS also read his original guide which contains a great wealth of information as well as examples about how to design an HQS city or convert an existing city to the HQS model.

Heavy Questing Vs. Conventional Gaming in CR’s words:

In CR’s words, quoted at length for those not familiar with the distinction:

“Regular FoE player — Races through tech and across C Map, usually in pursuit of all land expansions. Doesn't score many medals or diamonds per week, or per time period. Expands city quickly mainly with tech and C map expansions and takes forever to expand with medals and diamond expansions. Doesn't swap as many FPs to GBs, so most GBs are under-leveled.

“HQS FoE player — Sprints to strategic technology vital to HQS, then slow crawls or completely halts techs to focus most or all FPs on FP Swaps to level up GBs faster. Completes more quests per day, thus scores more: FPs + Medals + Goods per day (a lot more once CF is about level 5-6) ; also, scores a few more diamonds per period. Expands city quicker via diamonds and medals than others players do, but delays city expansion through tech expansions or C Map expansions than other players do.”

Addition: 3 Month Update

See my post in this thread for an update of how I've built upon this strategy and implemented it into my city.
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Heavy Questing Strategic Objectives

The 4 objectives in HQS cities are:

1. Maximize and optimize a city's overall production efficiency—produce the most resources possible from the same, finite amount of land in a city.

2. Expedite a city's expansion rate—increase how much land there is to produce on by increasing medals production and to a lesser extent diamond gathering.

3. Expedite a city’s total progress advancement—includes technologies unlocked in the tech tree, as well as how many total GB levels that have been reached on highly useful great buildings.

And less important initially,

4. Increase combat effectiveness—This is not a primary concern of a HQS city until halfway through the Colonial Age.

These HQS Strategic Objectives are achieved by producing FPs, goods, medals, and diamonds through completed RQs, with the exception of ages where some RQs are more difficult to complete (like in PME, CE, and TE). Where other playstyles produce these resources in conventional ways like constructing a goods building and paying coins and supplies to start production, in HQS you acquire goods by receiving random rewards from completed RQs. Constructing the most helpful GBs when they are needed most and leveling them up to truly useful levels is a major component of achieving these goals.
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Relative Significance of Each FoE Resource

The Resources Ranked

1. Time - Since we gain 1 FP/hour, 1 FP is the equivalent of 1 hour in time. The more FPs we can make beyond that speeds up our game progress, so making more FPs is a primary goal in HQS.

2. Land - We are always limited by how much land we have to build on, and how much space we have limits how much we can do.

3. Happiness - An enthusiastic population is a productive population.

4. Population - The more population we can fit into a smaller space, the more we are able to produce on the land that we have left over after residences and population GBs.

5. Goods - Goods require time, land, happiness, population, coins, and supplies to produce conventionally, which makes them valuable and challenging to acquire at times.

6. Military units - Building military units requires resources like goods, and though we initially focus less on military in HQS, we ramp up our capabilities in the Colonial Age and beyond.

7. Coins and Supplies - These are relatively easy to produce, but HQS requires a limitless amount of coins for RQs. As the game progresses, coins become more plentiful and supplies more scarce.

CR’s notes about resources:

“In the HQS, we don't actually produce any goods conventionally, until we advance up to about PME. Conventional goods production consumes a lot of: land, population, and offsetting happiness. And on top of the production costs, our conventionally produced goods could easily be plundered by a determined neighbor. Instead, we are able to produce more goods-per-day, from the same amount of land through recurring quest rewards, that come by way of our supply production buildings and coins production buildings, all of which can be motivated and thus protected from plunder. A city designed for the HQS does not require a city defense at all, since there will be nothing to plunder in it. And the real bonus to designing a city thusly, is that the quest rewards can also produce for us more: diamonds, medals, and FPs.”
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Terms and Abbreviations

Abort-Cycle - Aborting through the various RQs to get to the one that we are currently focused on completing. A full list of possible RQs is given below.

Discounted Goods - Goods that are acquired at a reduced cost in regards to time, land, happiness, population, unrefined goods (in PME and later), coins and supplies. These are acquired as rewards from RQs, as well as from GBs and special buildings such as the Wishing Well (WW) or multi-production buildings such as the Terrace Farm (TF). This is in contrast to conventionally produced goods which are made in goods buildings unlocked in the tech tree.

Tech Sprint - Rather than “racing through the tech tree,” HQS involves identifying the technology in the next age that we want to unlock to meet the goals of HQS (for example, if we are in HMA, that would be Colonial Age Clockmakers), stockpiling all the FPs, goods, coins, and supplies required to unlock that tech and rebuild your city immediately when you get there, then unlocking every tech between where we are and the tech we want to unlock in a very short amount of time. When sprinting, only unlock the techs required to get to the tech you want to unlock, skipping every other tech along the way--including land expansions like LMA Optics and Pest Control. Having locked techs means that you always have a tech available to unlock when an event requires it to acquire a valuable reward. Story Quests should be completed along the way, as well as Side Quests that you are able to complete that don’t waste time sprinting (usually 4 hours or less to complete) or give out poor resources for the effort.

UBQ - Actually called “Unbirthday Party,” UBQ is easier to say than UBP. This is the central RQ to the HQS, and is the one RQ that is feasible to complete in every age, even when others are not.
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Always Do Everything For Quest Credit

Many quests require you to "collect", "gather", "produce", or "spend" a certain number of a named resource—the required resources to complete these quests are inputs. Completing quests, as well as many other game activities, can also generate resources—the resources generated are outputs. Actions whose output counts toward RQ credit include:

1. Collecting completed productions from our own buildings (any type of building).
2. Plundering completed productions from our neighbor's buildings (any type of building).
3. Aiding other players, which pay us a fixed amount of coins for each AID click.
5. Conquering a sector or a province on the C map that pays coins, supplies, or goods as a bounty.
6. Completing another quest that pays a reward of coins, supplies, goods, or units.
7. Completing a GE encounter that pays a reward of coins, supplies, goods, or units.
8. Accepting a goods trade. (However, when we post our own trade and another player accepts it, the goods we receive from the trade will not count as quest progress to "gather" or "produce" goods.)
9. Selling a building in our city which pays back a fraction of the coins and supplies required to construct the building.
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Different Types of Quests

Story Quests -This is the 1st quest giver slot given in the game. Story quests lead you through the technology tree and the continental map. Story quests can never be aborted.

Side Quests - This is the 2nd quest giver slot given to us in the game. Somewhat similar to story quests, side quests sometimes lead through the tech tree and the continental map. Most (but not all) side quests can be aborted. Once completed, the side quest slot converts to RQs, which can always be aborted. This is the basis for the abort-cycle in HQS.

In HQS, it is best to apply this general litmus test when deciding to abort or complete a side quest: “Can we complete the quest in 4 hours or less, and are the rewards we might score greater than the total resources cost to complete the quest?” If not, then the quest should be aborted.

Bonus Quests - This is the 3rd quest giver slot in the game. These quests are triggered when you are able to scout certain bonus provinces on the various Continental maps. Bonus quests cannot be aborted. The first bonus quest line appears in EMA with the Barbarian Quest Line. This quest giver slot disappears after the entire Barbarian Quest Line is completed. The next bonus quest line comes between the LMA and Colonial Age on the C Map. After you complete this bonus quest line, it converts to RQs until another bonus quest line appears in the Industrial Age, giving you a second slot to work RQs.

Event Quests - These are quests specific to a time-limited event. These quests cannot be aborted, and the quest line disappears once the event has ended. The value of the prizes awarded determines if it is worth participating in the Event Questline.

Sometimes a special event might offer a special building that is worth being pushed out of your current time period to score such a building. In such cases, a player might need to suspend all FPs Swaps so as to make fast tech progress to get the city set up again for heavy questing in the next period. This is why it is helpful to have skipped techs in the tech tree available to unlock during a special event.

Recurring Quests - After all the side quests for a given age/era have been completed or aborted, the quest giver slot will revert to Recurring Quests. These RQs cycle through repeatedly, and are described in greater detail in the next section. Starting in CA, the bonus questline between LMA and CA will also revert to an RQ questline, giving you the opportunity to complete two different RQs simultaneously.
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List of Recurring Quests

Spend X Forge Points - This quest requires you to spend a fixed number of FPs, which could be accomplished by donating FPs to a great building, filling a technology with FPs, and accepting trades from friends or neighbors. Any time you “tech sprint” up to a new time period, you should always try to alternate between the "Spend FPs" quest and the "Research 2" quest. The quest scales in difficulty by increasing the total number of FPs to spend in each age.

Research 2 Technologies - This quest requires you to unlock 2 technologies in the tech tree. During a tech sprint, when you completely fill up a technology with FPs, click the “Unlock Later” button and wait until you have two technologies ready to unlock at the same time. Then dial up the "Research 2" quest and unlock 2 technologies at the same time to complete that quest. Any time you “tech sprint” up to higher time period, alternate between the "Spend FPs" quest and the "Research 2" quest.

Collect X,000 Coins - This quest requires you to collect a fixed number of coins. The quest scales in difficulty by increasing the total number of coins to collect in each age.

Collect X,000 Supplies - This quest requires you to collect a fixed number of supplies. The quest scales in difficulty by increasing the total number of supplies to collect in each age.

Produce X <name of 24-hour supply production> - This quest requires you to produce a fixed number of 24-hour supplies productions for a specific supply production building, or for a combination of 2 different supply production buildings. This quest scales in difficulty three ways:

1. You must unlock the technology for a specific regular supply production building when we tech sprint to a new age/era.

2. Regular supply production buildings generally get larger in each later time period. Additionally, most supply production buildings in Progressive Era and later require 2-lane roads, which makes constructing several of them less practical.

3. The total number of required productions changes as you advance to later time periods.

Produce 2 x 24-hour supply productions in Bronze Age through Colonial Age.
Produce 4 x 24-hour supply productions in Industrial Age.
Produce 5 x 24-hour supply productions in PE through AFE.

There will always be one produce supplies quest corresponding to every regular supply building in each time period, but never to a premium supply building. In ages which only have 2 regular supply buildings, there will be a third quest to produce supplies from both buildings simultaneously. This third "produce supplies" quest doubles the total number of required 24-hour productions to complete it, so it is inefficient to work this quest—just abort-cycle past it.

In HQS, your city is designed and its road layout planned so as to fit as many regular supply production buildings as possible into the available land to spam this RQ. Therefore the smallest supply building of that age is used. Here are the best building recommendations for each period:

Bronze Age - Blacksmiths (2x2 tiles)
Iron Age - Butchers (4x3)
Early Middle Ages - Tanneries (3x3)
High Middle Ages - Alchemists (3x2)
Late Middle Ages - Brewery (3x3)
Colonial Age - Clockmakers (3x2)
Industrial Age - Gunsmiths (2x3)
Progressive Era - Lamp Factories (6x3, 1-lane)
Modern Era - Hatters (3x3, 1-lane)
Postmodern Era - Unfeasible to work “produce supplies”
Contemporary Era - Unfeasible to work “produce supplies”
Tomorrow Era - Unfeasible to work “produce supplies”
Future Era - Levitation Outlets (3x4, 2-lane)

CR was a Future Era player, and as such did not specify which supply buildings to build for Arctic Future Era or Oceanic Future Era. OFE players wrote that a 24 hour production from any supply building worked, so they built BA blacksmiths to work RQs.

Have 4 Military units of Type A + 4 Military units of Type B - There are three different variations of the Produce Units quest in every time period. All 5 types of regular military units from each time period will be used in at least one variation of this quest. This quest counts both attached and unattached units to determine if the quest should be: shown, hidden, or completed. It is usually impractical to work this quest once you own an Alcatraz, since you will want to stockpile more and more unattached units for use in GE, GvG, Plundering your Hood, or conquering the C Map.

"Pay X Coins + Pay Y Supplies", which is named "Unbirthday Party" (“UBQ” for short) - This quest requires you to pay Ribin the Jester a fixed number of coins plus a fixed number of supplies. The quest scales in difficulty by increasing the total number of coins and supplies to pay in each age.

This is the hidden gem of all RQs, and is excellent for converting coins and supplies into refined goods, blueprints, medals, and forge points. Therefore you need is a city that can produce both coins and supplies in a highly efficient manner; as such, this quest will heavily influence our GB construction and leveling priorities.
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Recurring Quest Random Rewards

Many different types of quests pay a "random reward," including all RQs. The pool of possible random rewards, and the percentage to pay each reward, is exactly the same for any quest from the same time period that pay random rewards.

CR shared his own estimations of frequency of rewards, similar to those found below. The ones in this guide are taken from the Forge of Empires wiki entry for “Random Rewards”:

35.72% = 5 random goods from our current age (Château Frontenac bonus applies)
14.28% = Small Coins Package (scales by age, CF bonus applies)
14.28% = Small Supplies Package (scales by age, CF bonus applies)
7.14% = Large Coins Package (scales by age, CF bonus applies)
7.14% = Large Supplies Package (scales by age, CF bonus applies)
7.14% = 1 random blueprint from 1 random GB, our current age or lower (no CF bonus)
7.14% = 5 Forge points (inventory pack, no CF bonus)
7.14% = 20 Diamonds - OR – Medals Package (does not scale by age, CF bonus applies)

For the diamonds or medals reward, diamonds are paid out the first time this reward is given. After that, medals are given for each subsequent reward. For each of the various RQs, diamonds are given once per age/era (for example, in HMA diamonds will be given once for each gather coins, gather supplies, produce saltpeter, etc.). If you are receiving medals for any given RQ, that means you have already received diamonds for that RQ of your age/era.
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Great Buildings

Constructing the right Great Buildings and at the most helpful times are central to the HQS. CR’s HQS advocates that before leaving HMA, a player should have the following GBs:

Chateau Frontenac (CF)
Hagia Sophia (HS)
Castel Del Monte (CDM)
St. Mark's Basilica (SMB)
Lighthouse of Alexandria (LOA)

These GBs are central to starting your city “snowballing.” CF boosts the amount of resources which any quest rewards, making HQS more lucrative as it levels up. HS provides necessary happiness as well as daily FPs. CDM produces daily FPs, as well as increasing attack bonus. SMB boosts coin production to help spam UBQs, and produces daily goods. LOA boosts supply production, and like SMB it produces daily goods.

These GBs should also be leveled up in this same order given above. No new GB should be built while you have one that is less than level 4 in your city. If a new GB is constructed, that GB is leveled up until it is even with the others in this list. Before leaving HMA, you should level the HS high enough to fully enthuse a fully rebuilt CA city.

HQS does not advocate constructing other GBs in HMA due to limited land space another GB would consume, as well as the higher cost for goods when constructing GBs like the Arc (1875 FE goods). GBs not on this list should wait until CA or later when your city has more available land.

Other GBs built in CA

- The Arc (Build ASAP)
- Alcatraz (Build in mid-CA when all other GBs above are level 7+ and HS cannot fully enthuse your city)
- Atomium (Build after Alcatraz is level 7 and all other GBs above are level 7)
Innovation Tower (Build after Atomium is level 7 and you have 5+ SOK)
- Frauenkirche of Dresden (Optional; build after Atomium is level 7)
- Temple of Relics (Mixed opinion on whether to build or not; build when all other GBs above are level 7+)
- Statue of Zeus (Build in mid-to-late CA when all other GBs above are level 7+)
- Cathedral of Aachen (Build in mid-to-late CA when all other GBs above are level 7+)

In CA, each GB should be raised to level 10 before moving up to IndA, with some exceptions (notably population GBs like Innovation Tower, as we do not want more population than we require because it necessitates proportionally more happiness to go with it at a rate of 140% of population gain).

Other GBs that should be considered after the above are built and leveled appropriately

Arctic Orangery
Observatory (for support pool in GVG)

Population GBs like Innovation Tower, Habitat, and Capitol are built in reverse order from when they appear in the game, and only leveled up to maintain the lowest population necessary for other buildings (more population means more happiness needed). HQS advocates waiting to construct a second population GB until previous population GBs are level 10.

CR does not advocate building the following GBs in an HQS city

Tower of Babel
Notre Dame
St Basil’s Cathedral
Cape Canaveral
Deal Castle
Royal Albert Hall
Space Needle
Lotus Tower

The following GBs are worthy to be stratosphered if you have chosen to build them

The Arc
Chateau Frontenac
Hagia Sophia
Castel Del Monte
Innovation Tower
Arctic Orangery
Cape Canaveral
Atlantis Museum
Temple of Relics

But note:

“Never, ever, ever, ever (and I mean never, ever, ever, ever, forever and ever) level up any GB beyond level 10 if you still own other GBs in your city that are not yet level 10. This is true for each, every, and all GBs in the game, no matter which GB it is. The FP cost of each GB level above 10, compared to the benefits increase for that same level, gets worse and worse the higher above Level 10 the GB reaches—the returns always keep diminishing each higher level.”

Other GBs that may be considered later in the game

Dynamic Tower
Rain Forest Project
Gaea Statue
Atlantic Museum

From CR: “Generally speaking, there are very few later-era GBs (GBs from PME and later) that are actually worth constructing if the player is not already in the same era that the GB is from, or at least 1 to 2 eras below the era the GB is from.” This is due to the cost of goods being prohibitive from building it earlier, as well as the limited benefits that some of these GBs provide.

GBs not mentioned in the guide

Voyager V1
Seed Vault
The Kraken
The Blue Galaxy
Terracotta Army
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Special Buildings

Special buildings are divided into what should be collected or built in ME and earlier, and those collected and built in PME and later.

Build in ME and earlier:

Shrine of Knowledge (as many as possible; true throughout all eras/ages)
Shrine of Awe (2x2 placeholder until an SOK can replace it)
2+ Champion retreats (locked to HMA and LMA for GVG armies)
3 Rogue Hideouts
Checkmate Square
Speaker’s Corner
King (2x2 placeholder)
Queen (Placeholder)
Lord’s Manor

Do not build in ME or earlier:

Shrine of Inspiration
Wishing Well/Fountain of Youth (before PME)
>1 Sacred Sky Watch
Victory Tower/Watchfire/Ritual Flame (unless filling unusable tiles)
Special buildings that are not valuable to an HQS city, such as the Cherry Blossom Set (“Plunder bait”)

Build in PME and later:

Shrine of knowledge (as many as possible; true throughout all eras/ages)
Multi-production buildings (especially Terrace Farm)
Wishing Well/Fountain of Youth
Premium cultural buildings
Hall of Fame
Tiger’s Den
Sphinx/Decorated Baobab/Wisteria Topiary
Watchfire/Ritual Flame
Oasis/Tribal Square

Items to collect throughout game:

100 Renovation Kits
100 One-up Kits
100 Storage Kits
90 SOKs

In HQS, one should attempt to replace all residences with SOKs and population GBs like IT, Hab, and Cap. 90 SOKs would presumably each be boosted by SMB’s coin boost.
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City Design, Planning, and Remodeling

CR’s guide has a lot of good information that is difficult to summarize, so it is best to read his guide for this information. However, a few basic principles can be listed:

1. Limit HMA and CA Cities to Only Recommended Special Buildings and Snowball GBs
2. Don't Waste Land on Roads, Decorations or Special Buildings That are Less Efficient Than Quest Rewards
3. As much as possible, try to keep your city square. Do not place land expansions into jut-out areas of wilderness in the “east” (to the bottom right) or “west” (to the top left) of your map.

There is a good tool at which you can use to design and plan your city. Note, land expansions cannot be deleted once they are laid down in a map in their city planning tool. When designing a city, CR did not complete this section of the guide, but he gives the following list of principles without discussion:

1. Start Planning the Next Major City Remodel Now, Long Before it is Required
2. Always Plan Happiness First
3. At Least as Much Unpolished Happiness as Total Population
4. Always Plan To Have as Close to 0 Surplus Population as Possible
5. Expand the City's Land to Keep it Square For as Long as Possible
6. Always Plan a Major City Remodel Starting With a Completely Empty Land Map
7. Organize a Palette of Buildings That Must Go into the City, Arranged by Similar Dimensions, Before Actually Designing The City
8. Divide the City into Different Districts; Always Design the 2-Lane Road District First
A. The 2-Lane Road District:
B. The 1-Lane Road District:
C. The Flexible Buildings District:​
9. "Nice and Neat" Grid-Style Road Layouts Almost Never Equal Efficient Road Layouts
10. Minimize the Total Tiles of Land Consumed By Roads and Decorations
11. Let the Road Layout of the Various Districts Dictate Where to Place the Town Hall
12. Try to Arrange Similarly Size Buildings By: Age, Building Type, or Collection Cycle
13. Great Buildings
14. Road Layout and Utilization
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Objectives in Each Age/Era

This information is compiled from multiple posts which were not made into one, coherent section.

CR writes:

“More often than not, I coach players to race up to HMA Alchemy, then park there and quest until they can afford to sprint to CA, then park in CA until all their GBs are level 10, then sprint up 1 period each month to Ind and PE (again for diamonds only). Then sprint to ME park there for as long as they want, until they can afford to sprint to FE. Then sprint up 1 era-per-month through PME, CE, and TE (again mainly for diamonds only). Until they finally park in FE as long as they want to, since GBs that produce Guild Goods are much less valuable when producing either AFE or OFE guild goods.”

“The HQS does not advocate parking any age that is not named: HMA, CA, ME, or FE, any longer than required to have each recurring quest pay us 20 diamonds each one time.”

Ages to park in for their lucrative rewards in HQS are marked with an asterisk (*):

Bronze Age:
Get 80 friends, preferably from well before your era
Join a guild
Quest for diamonds if possible (but don’t delay getting to IA)
Get to IA ASAP

Iron Age:
Unlock Architecture to build GBs and start swapping FPs
Unlock Butchers to begin working RQs
Quest for diamonds
Build LOA (or SOZ)
Stockpile supplies to tech sprint
Tech sprint to EMA Tanneries once all RQs pay diamonds

Early Middle Ages:
Quest for diamonds
Stockpile supplies to tech sprint
Tech sprint to HMA Alchemists once all RQs pay diamonds

*High Middle Ages:
Construct CF, HS, SMB, CDM, and LOA
Acquire 2+ Champions Retreats
Acquire 3 Rogue Hideouts
Quest for diamonds
Stockpile supplies to tech sprint
Tech Sprint to CA Clockmakers once all RQs pay diamonds

Late Middle Ages:
HQS advocates either skipping LMA entirely, or working RQs just long enough to get diamonds.

*Colonial Age:
Construct Arc ASAP
Construct Traz when lvl 7 HS is insufficient
Construct IT when 5+ SOKs are built
Construct Atomium when lvl 7 Alcatraz is insufficient
Construct SOZ (if not already built)
Construct COA when SOZ is level 7+
Optionally, construct FoD, ToR
Level all GBs (except population GBs) to 10
Stockpile supplies to tech sprint
Tech sprint to IndA Gunsmiths once all GBs (except population) are level 10 and all RQ’s pay diamonds

Industrial Age:
Quest for diamonds
Stockpile supplies to tech sprint
Tech Sprint to PE Lamp Factories once all resources are stockpiled and all RQs pay diamonds (usually 1-2 months)

Progressive Era:
Quest for diamonds
Stockpile supplies to tech sprint
Tech sprint to ME Hatters once all resources are stockpiled and all RQs pay diamonds (usually 1-2 months)

*Modern Era:
Quest for diamonds
Stockpile supplies to tech sprint
Tech sprint to PME when have enough goods collected to advance to FE Levitation Outlets
>>CR’s guide does not specify what tech to sprint to in PME as it is not efficient to work “produce supplies” in PME

Postmodern Era:
Quest for diamonds
Tech sprint to CE once all RQs pay diamonds (usually 1-2 months)
>>CR’s guide does not specify what tech to sprint to in CE as it is not efficient to work “produce supplies” in CE

Contemporary Era:
Quest for diamonds
Tech sprint to TE once all RQs pay diamonds (usually 1-2 months)
>>CR’s guide does not specify what tech to sprint to in TE as it is not efficient to work “produce supplies” in TE

Tomorrow Era:
Quest for diamonds
Tech sprint to FE Levitation Outlets once all RQs pay diamonds (usually 1-2 months)

*Future Era:
Quest for diamonds
>>CR did not advance beyond FE because any guild goods from GBs in AFE and OFE were not useful in GVG, and advised others to do the same until the situation in the game changed. Information beyond FE is lacking about what techs to sprint to.

CR’s notes about LMA:

“We might consider stopping in LMA to work each LMA recurring quest for diamonds, but won't actually park in LMA very long — we either pit-stop in LMa for diamonds or pass it completely by and skip ahead to Colonial Age Clockmakers. The coins and supplies required to sprint from the end of HMA to the "Clockmaking" technology in Colonial Age is about 8 million of each.”

CR’s notes about CA:

“By Far, the Colonial Age is the most lucrative time period for heavy questing, since we can complete the most total quests per day, which means that we will produce the most 5 packs of FPs per day in a CA city above any other time period. (However, I'm making a pretty good run at this by spamming UBQs up in FE.) While we are in CA, our city needs to be the largest field of Clockmakers that we can shoe horn in, which will permit us to complete an obscene number of quests every 24 hours, which in turn will produce much more combined value of: FPs + goods + medals + BPs. In CA, the HQS can outproduce most special buildings in the game in far less land, in far less population, and in far less offsetting happiness, all through CF-enhanced quest rewards.”

CR’s notes about IndA:

“I would say stay 1-2 months mainly to build up large stockpiles of IndA goods to help produce PME goods conventionally, which is going to happen at some point of the game. Think like 2K of each IndA good before advancing. Again if you added more GBs to your city stay in IndA until those new GBs are level 10.”

CR’s notes about PE:

“Use PE High-Rises + Innovation Tower for population; also consider adding Habitat. Use 6x3 Lamp Factories in a 1-lane district for questing. Quest PE until we scoring diamonds and enough resources to unlock all techs up through to unlock ME Hatters. In PE our GBs will also produce 24-hour PE Goods (as will Wells and Fountains). So because we leveled up our GBs earlier that produce 24-hour player goods (StM, LoA, FoD), it doesn't hurt us as much that our PE supply buildings are massive.”

CR’s notes about ME:

“Use PE High-Rises for population. ME is the first refined goods age. But it has a 3x3 Hatter that is a 1-lane road building. Park in ME as long as you want and work quests. You will be rolling in ME goods that you can trade up for PME and down for PE.”

CR’s notes about PME/CE/TE:

“As mentioned in a few places throughout this guide topic, there are some eras where we will need to produce some goods conventionally because we simply will not be able to rely as much on heavy questing for goods production as reliably as we could in other periods for a number of notable reasons.

“The ‘Produce Supplies’ quests require us to produce 5 x <24-hour productions>, which means we can complete fewer quests from the same number of buildings as we could back in any period named "an age". And this would be the case if we had the same size building to work with. However...

“The regular supply production buildings are usually much more massive, which means that we can construct fewer supply production buildings compared to the same amount of expanded land we had back in any period named ‘an age’.”

CR’s notes about FE:

“ Even though the "Produce Supplies" quest is "Produce 5 x <24-hour supply production>", we also have two recurring quest givers slots with which we can quest. This means we can simultaneously work the "Produce Supplies" quest and the "Collect Supplies" quest. There is a nice 3x4 Levitation Outlet supply production building we can use. And, since we should have a level 10 Chateau Frontenac, we will be scoring 13 FE goods, which are refined goods, per quest reward. The medals package is a massive 2,250 with a level 10 CF bonus.”
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FP Management:


Save all 10-packs of FPs, no matter how they are scored. These FPs should only be spent on the next tech sprint. This advice never changes through each time period in the game.


Use of 5-packs depends on specific situations in the game:

1. When a player is parked in HMA, CA, ME, or FE, use 5-Packs along with hourly and building FPs in our FP Swap Partnerships to level up GBs faster.

2. When close to making the next tech sprint, then what to do with 5-packs of FPs really depends on the situation. If more FPs are needed for the tech sprint, then you should save those as is done with 10-packs. If we have more than enough FPs amassed for our next tech sprint, then continue swapping 5-packs as above.

Sometimes a special event might offer a special building that is worth being pushed out of our current time period to score such a building. In such cases, a player might need to suspend all FPs Swaps so as to make fast tech progress to get the city set up again for heavy questing in the next period.


These may be spent on things like accepting external trades, especially when it is a good deal compared to what the actual market value is for the goods in question. 2-Packs may also be used to complete a "Spend FPs" quest quickly to get it off the books so that a different quest can be dialed up when the city is ready to collect, or to swoop up a donation reward on a GB.The key is that they are a tiny flexible buffer of FPs to be used at your discretion.
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Trading Goods

We must always be trading our current age goods both up and down. An HQS player should have all possible 25 trade combinations posted in both directions (both up and down) at all times using trade ratios like these:

Trading Down: Have 20 <some HMA Good> : Need 40 <some EMA good>
Trading Up: Have 50 <some HMA Good> : Need 25 <some LMA good>

Immediately re-post any trades that are picked up so that all 50 trades are always posted, every day you park in an age. One key to success is not waiting until you actually need the goods to trade for the goods. You may not need the goods now, but you will at some point.
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Guild Expedition

Quoted at length from CR:

In a nutshell, GE is both a resource drain and a gamble. In the end, a player gambles one of two ways in GE:

Gamble a bunch of units to win a bunch of goods
Gamble a bunch of goods to win a bunch of unattached units

No matter which way we choose to gamble our way through GE encounters, either approach has the same % chance to score the other types of GE prizes that are not goods and are also not unattached units. Sometimes the 1st approach is more advantageous and other times the 2nd approach is. This is going to depend on several factors that I will separate into two branches:

1. How many goods can we produce everyday? In HQS terms, we can restate this question as: how many total quests can our city complete per day and what level is our Chateau Frontenac?
2. Do we have all 5 military technologies for our current time period unlocked and does our city have all of these things: An Alcatraz, Rogue Hideouts, at least 1 barracks for all 5 military units, and a high enough total combat bonus to permit us to fight two-wave battles against units who also have substantial combat bonus themselves?

It is actually easier (reads that as cheaper) to address GE through Branch 1 than Branch 2. Just build a good HQS city.

Completing the first 2 GE levels should be feasible for any HQS player in HMA, once you get all the recommended GBs up and running. Completing GE level III and level IV will all depend on your HQS city design, how set up your are to work HQS efficiently, and the total GB levels you have in the Holy Trinity of HQS GBs: CF + StM + LoA. Once you get all three of these GBs up to about level 5, then you should be rolling in goods with which you can negotiate GE Levels I, II, and III without feeling any pain.

However, I do not advise that HMA players complete GE level IV, regardless if you fight or negotiate — the total cost for you to complete Level IV, compared to what you can score from the GE level, compared to how many of those prizes are actually valuable enough to use in an HQS city that is still in HMA makes it such that completing GE level IV isn't worth it. The math on this will change slightly upward each higher time period between Colonial Age through PE. However, from PME onward, completing level IV is much more valuable to you. This has mainly to do with the special buildings that we can score. Once we are in an unrefined goods period (that is not named The Modern Era, which is an excellent HQS time period), then more special buildings that we can score from GE/ToR Relics become valuable enough to add to an HQS city.
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The Continent Map

Many different types of quests require a player to scout, infiltrate, negotiate, or conquer a sector (or even an entire province) on the C Map. This means the further a player has raced across the C Map, relative to his current age or era, the more likely that his military technology, combat bonus, or available goods, might not be enough to complete such a quest. Therefore, HQS advocates for the following:

1. Always unlock your current period's PvP tower and STOP ADVANCING, until another item on this list forces you to advance.

2. Always skip past whatever provinces can be skipped, leaving them un-scouted. Leave these to be available for a quest in the future that requires you to advance on the C Map. This includes land expansions.

Always complete your Bonus Quest line, before your Story Quest line. Because the Bonus provinces between LMA and CA provide a 3rd quest slot which reverts to a 2nd RQ slot after the Bonus Quests are completed in CA, it is important that these provinces be scouted and conquered. This is in contrast to other provinces, which are best left unscouted and unconquered if possible. Any time you get a Bonus Quest after this time, that becomes your top priority, as it means you cannot have a 2nd recurring quest giver slot until this Bonus Quest line is completed.

Let your Story Quest line push your C Map advance at "Event quest speed", while also keeping your Story Quest line as early in your current time period as possible.

Keep your Story Quest line in lock-step with your Tech Progress. For example, if your story quest requires unlocking a specific tech, wait to complete that quest until a special event require you to unlock a tech. You will get credit in both the Story Quest and the Event Quest for unlocking that tech.
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Well-Known Member
I like it too much so I can't say enough good words for this! Great effort and good job! This gonna be the first thread I would post to my guildmates and friends when they have trouble designing cities. Meanwhile, there are two things I want to discuss here. First, Atomium is really not useful and it eats too much space, with the current version of the game(forge of arc), arc can produce way more goods for the guild and happiness is really not that important, so I think it's not a good GB that everyone should build. ( Similiar reason for FOD but its gonna lead a huge debate, so I will skip that for now) . Another thing i disagree with CR is that CE is a good stage to camp, in my opinion, even though the production building(one lane road type) is 5*5, it doesn't stop the age itself being a perfect stage to stay. A lot of people already said the reason in different threads, so I just gonna conclude it in a short version: GB produces PE goods which can be sold to a lot of newbies since PE has CF and traz which are very popular GBs. Unit can utilize AO very efficiently. GE can be finished by fighting only with a decent attack bonus.