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Thread: FINALLY!!!!! Waimea here I come!!

  1. #1
    Intrepid Explorer Pietrpahn's Avatar
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    FINALLY!!!!! Waimea here I come!!

    The day has finally arrived, 4 active months and 72,000+ rubies later.... All my currently available sites in all regions are now at 5*!

    The history
    I started playing this game in July of 2013. I was going along and had made it as far as Gedi when I started to realize that I was digging a hole for myself. and that I was never going to get ruby trades because of the lockup of the timed shelves requesting the next items of any site I had opened (Aspirational Trades). This was probably late August. I decided to stop and start concentrating on upgrading sites to their highest relic. I started with the coin sites as they were the easiest then moved on to the ruby sites. With the coin sites I started with the later sites as they gave the best trades. I tried applying the same logic to the dig sites was upgrading the Aqueduct Vineyard in Rome when I realized that most of the timed requests were for premium relics. I also figured the premium sites would give more rubies. I had opened the Valhalla area and started digging those out. When I got the first complete, I learned that upgrading Valhalla sites was REALLY expensive. The desert had also been introduced, but I was caught in the failure of Babylon and then the next site asked for way too many items and I had no hope for it (still have my 8 seeds and 2 slimes though) I think it was about this time that the concept of mastery and stars was introduced.

    Then, self-inflicted disaster, I was cleaning unused games from my iPad and I accidentally deleted my Secret Passages. This was before pocket IDs when deleting your game meant that it was gone. You started over. Well, I thought, this will give me a chance to employ the upgrade everything idea from the get go and see how it goes, The first thing i learned is that when you first start out, you cannot upgrade any sites until you get to Cairo. So I went as far as Cairo and stopped, eventually upgrading all the coin areas to 5* It was during this time that the dig sites started give 100 rubies. This gave me a stockpile for updating. I updated the Imperial Palace to 5* and was working on the Dashur Pyramid. Then there was a short 5 day period when there were a lot of doable trades. This taught me the importance of keeping relics on hand or you might not be asked for them. I was going good, had most of Valhalla dug out and opened the Mines, dug out the first of those and found out it was much cheaper to upgrade. Never got the desert on this account.

    Because, weirdness happened. For some reason that I have never explained, I got my old game back. I was back as far as Gedi. I even had the old contents of my backpack. This was, I think, mid-October. Well, OK, I had some new knowledge. I ignored Valhalla, opened the Mines on this account and went at it with a vengeance. Got the first one opened and started to update it. At this point I had discovered this forum. You won't find any posts from me from then because for some reason I was locked in an approval cycle for about a month. I found a post I think ps nz made about strategy for getting the items needed to open a desert site. I tried it and it worked that first time (never really has since) So I got the Fountain of Youth. Later I got the Lighthouse of Alexandria. I was digging and upgrading the Mines and was halfway through.

    Then, second disaster. The late-November upgrade hosed me. ROYALLY. First I got the problem that I couldn't enter any searches, then a workaround was posted here that helped me some. Then I got locked out. Every time I opened the game it would crash while loading. I restarted, no joy. I installed the game on my phone, played as a start to prove the game worked, switched to my pocket ID, crash. Lots of back and forth with PG, they really were trying to help. Eventually they reset my password. The game loaded fully and asked me for my new password. I entered it. Crash. I even tried deleting the game to start over, but they had fixed that problem and I was stuck. The only reason I didn't give up was this forum. I had started reading it looking for solutions and enjoyed the voices here.

    Mid-December, another update and I found out I was back. I had learned from reading here that opening the Night Portal might not be the best idea, so I didn't. Just remained focused on upgrading the Mines to 5*. Then, a major change. I managed to get the Frozen Hideaway in the desert and it became a ruby factory. I switch to upgrading it and started seeing rubies galore! I got it and my other desert sites to 5* and went back to updating the mines. Missed the next desert site but got the Golden Gate Bridge, another factory! 5* as soon as possible. Then Camelot appeared. Opened it. Got the first site open - Another factory, 5*. Second site - Factory. It was on the way to 5* when the next software upgrade occurred. The factories closed. Plus, now I was getting requests for all the older coin sites. Ah well. Kept up my updating, but it was slower.

    I got to be one of the guinea pigs for the Tinkers Workshop. So I got to lower my energy to search, nifty! I also soon realized that it was the new sites that turned in to factories. Each new desert site I took to 5* immediately. I finally finished the mines and went to work on Atlantis. Then Dinopolis opened. And what a factory it turned out to be. I have managed to complete all of Dinopolis, the remaining half of Atlantis, Open and complete Shangri-la, Complete Valhalla (at severely reduced prices) 4 more desert sites (which were all factories) and complete the dig sites in Moscow, Maya, Florence, Lhasa, Rome and now Gedi (also at reduced prices).

    One interesting thing is that the relics from Fourteen Falls in Gedi NEVER showed up in aspirational trades. I have only had good trades for them while I was updating it to 5*. It may be because I ran the 1.5 upgrade right before completing the building of the Falls. The site has so far turned out to be a bit of a factory. Not sure if it will last. But since the Dinopolis factory has definitely closed, I'm hoping it will. It even gives 17 rubies for 5* relics which is equal to a premium dig site.

    Things I learned
    1. Don't spread the upgrading around. Upgrade one site to 5* and move on.
    2. Whatever dig site you opened last, upgrade it immediately. It will probably pay for itself many, many times over.
    3. Yes, the older sites will probably NEVER pay for their own upgrades, but they will stop doing harm by being a part of aspirational trades.

    And now...
    <Spongebob voice>I'm ready! I'm ready!</Spongebob voice>
    Time to open the Gedi Portal and...

    2 hours until it opens. Riggggghhhhhtttt. Forgot about that. Guess I have to re-learn this part of the game again.

    <<THUD!!!!>>

  2. #2
    The Ambassador Spanish eyes's Avatar
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    Wonderful thank you Pie. Congratulations.
    Your trials and tribulations give me hope. A new premium site has arrived in the night realm. So there is still much to do.

  3. #3
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    Congratulations from me too.

    Sadly I just got the last site in Dinopolis open & am working on the toy kingdom. Doomed to be behind forever!

  4. #4
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    Uninstall quick, you've won!
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  5. #5
    Longtime Tapper sunshinenici's Avatar
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    Oh my goodness, thanks for all your wisdom. And CONGRATS!! I feel like a lot of fun things await you Piet

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    Pietrpahn, I'm playing Secret Passages from Pocket Gems. What's the name of the game you are playing? Can I get an iTunes link please?

    :/

  7. #7
    Intrepid Explorer ElleJ's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your journey Pietr!

    Edit - a bit off topic, but how were your trades affected by 1.5? It's interesting that you finished the Falls after the upgrade and that's working out for you it seems. Since all trades for Dinopolis and current Desert trades have dried for me, I'm guessing I need to open up something else to get them started again and that would be the new Premium region in the NR. Sigh.
    Last edited by ElleJ; 03-07-14 at 07:40 AM.
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  8. #8
    Intrepid Explorer Pietrpahn's Avatar
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    The Falls was only working when it was new as soon as I found enough it dried up as well. I am getting a dripping of rubies that's it. Haven't seen a single request for a Dinopolis relic since the upgrade. Fortunately this is my third time for a drought and I was expecting it. I have enough rubies on hand to upgrade a site to 5* as soon as a new desert site appears.

    As for Waimea:
    2 hours to unlock the portal
    6 hours to clear the fog
    10 hours to open the surf shack

    I did not miss this part of the game AT ALL.

  9. #9
    Intrepid Explorer FR1908's Avatar
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    How about the 192 hours to get to level 5? ;-)

  10. #10
    Intrepid Explorer ElleJ's Avatar
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    Thanks. Then I'm not going to worry about opening up anything new.

    Over the last 3 weeks I only spent the rubies I earned, so I'm still good there. And I traded heavily earlier this week before upgrading, which paid off beautifully. I didn't spend any of those, so I'm still ahead of where I was when this trading cycle began. I'm just going to focus on filling my BP so I can be ready for the next round.
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    Do you have one minute or two to search? The thought of upgrading all my sites to 5* gives me the heebie jeebies lol.

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    My game looks more like Pietr's initial game (with the exception of a nearly complete NR up through Rio)
    First off, so now the Wonderland Quest is active and I didn't do anything at all with it, but I already have a shelf blocked on something in the fog. It seems like, if I'm going to get blocked on it anyway, I might as well open it to take advantage of the bonuses for completion. Thoughts?

    The bigger question is, as most of my desert and day ruby sites are still at 1 and 2 star, how important is it to go back and upgrade those, versus just upgrading any new ruby sites I open, since it sounds like the older ones don't really produce anyway.

  13. #13
    Intrepid Explorer Pietrpahn's Avatar
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    The interesting thing is that I seem to have stopped getting aspirational trades altogether. I have half of Waimea open and in the process of updating, you would think I would have ATs for the next relics, but I don't. They seem to have stopped as soon as I finished upgrading the dig site in Lhasa which was the last un-updated site I had opened before I started the 5* run.

    During my run up, I found that the older desert sites will produce trades, just not as well as the newer ones. Even the older premium sites will throw an occasional trade.

    Since the 1.5 upgrade most of my ruby trades are from the older desert sites. I am getting a smattering from each of the premium sites, except for Dinopolis, I guess it's resting. I have even had a couple from the regular regions.

    Laz - I have 2 minute searches. but as the only way to get mastery to get to a 5* site is to do it in under a minute, that really did not help much. And as most my searches became incredibly repetitive, I was doing them in 30-40 seconds most of the time. But I will admit some of the older sites that I was not as comfortable with took longer, and the Italian Gardens would have been impossible for me without power-ups even with 2 minutes. Something about that one just messed with me.
    Last edited by Pietrpahn; 03-08-14 at 12:29 AM.

  14. #14
    Longtime Tapper sunshinenici's Avatar
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    I decided to give your strategy a try and paid $20 so I could upgrade my newest desert site (Alexandria) to 5 stars.
    I've done that now so I guess I'll see what happens. I wonder if I should blow the rest of my rubies and upgrade all my other open premium sites; first 2 mines, Japan and Egypt.
    I'd do that in a heartbeat if I knew I'd be able to get enough rubies to continue upgrading new sites as I open them, but I'm not entirely convinced that will be the case.
    Also, I've never seen 100 rubies in dig sites, has that feature gone now?

  15. #15
    Intrepid Explorer ps nz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinenici View Post
    Also, I've never seen 100 rubies in dig sites, has that feature gone now?
    It would seem so, along with Super Fruit energy power-ups.

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    Longtime Tapper sunshinenici's Avatar
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    Bugger, I could use a few hundred rubies!

  17. #17
    Intrepid Explorer ElleJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinenici View Post
    Also, I've never seen 100 rubies in dig sites, has that feature gone now?
    Apparently it was a bug - one of the few that are favourable to us! It happened for a few week period late summer. 100 and 1000 ruby drops as well as Super Fruit. No one complained of course, but some silly willy did report it! Then poof, it was gone. One of the easy to fix bugs of course - not one that takes months to figure out.
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    Intrepid Explorer ps nz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElleJ View Post
    Apparently it was a bug - one of the few that are favourable to us! It happened for a few week period late summer. 100 and 1000 ruby drops as well as Super Fruit. No one complained of course, but some silly willy did report it! Then poof, it was gone. One of the easy to fix bugs of course - not one that takes months to figure out.
    Cynicism, Elle? Nah, more like realism!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps nz View Post
    Cynicism, Elle? Nah, more like realism!
    +1 He'll make that +10

  20. #20
    Longtime Tapper sunshinenici's Avatar
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    I'm getting super disheartened. Ruby trades on both timed shelves both with items from sites I haven't opened or even unlocked the areas yet. Not a single request for my 5 star newest desert site.

  21. #21
    Is anyone losing candy bars? I lost 85. Then a few days ago, after finding a bar in the Howling Crypt, it showed 110 instead of 10. A thought was that the support team put them in my game. A ticket was submitted the day the 85 bars were gone. I used 2 of the energy bars with no problem. Then on the 3rd use, the total dropped back to 10. The same events occurred this morning, found 1 in the Howling Crypt, had 110, used 1 and total dropped to 10.

  22. #22
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    Sunshine, you might just be seeing the cramped display of the numbers. I'm not sure which screen you are looking at for the candy bar numbers, but if it's too small for hundreds then it might just get truncated to two digits.

    Not that I've ever had that problem :/

  23. #23
    The Ambassador Spanish eyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunshine8 View Post
    Is anyone losing candy bars? I lost 85. Then a few days ago, after finding a bar in the Howling Crypt, it showed 110 instead of 10. A thought was that the support team put them in my game. A ticket was submitted the day the 85 bars were gone. I used 2 of the energy bars with no problem. Then on the 3rd use, the total dropped back to 10. The same events occurred this morning, found 1 in the Howling Crypt, had 110, used 1 and total dropped to 10.
    Take screen shots both when it on the increase and when it is showing 10. Then you have evidence to add to your ticket. Post it here as well then we can all see and witness.

  24. #24
    Intrepid Explorer ElleJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunshine8 View Post
    Is anyone losing candy bars? I lost 85. Then a few days ago, after finding a bar in the Howling Crypt, it showed 110 instead of 10. A thought was that the support team put them in my game. A ticket was submitted the day the 85 bars were gone. I used 2 of the energy bars with no problem. Then on the 3rd use, the total dropped back to 10. The same events occurred this morning, found 1 in the Howling Crypt, had 110, used 1 and total dropped to 10.
    Quote Originally Posted by dzurn View Post
    Sunshine, you might just be seeing the cramped display of the numbers. I'm not sure which screen you are looking at for the candy bar numbers, but if it's too small for hundreds then it might just get truncated to two digits.

    Not that I've ever had that problem :/
    dzurn likely nailed it for you. Those little spheres just don't hold 3 digits nicely. Sometimes, depending on the digits, you may see all 3, but for the most part you'll only see 2. This has happened to me all the time with the power ups. When doing a search and you have the 3 power ups in the bottom right corner, I would rarely see the right number. Now the circle is blank with no amount at all because I have power ups at max for the most part. But at least with the power ups, we have a way to cross reference and check our amounts.

    We also ran into this problem when they increased our BP size. You couldn't see the last digit and no one knew their capacity any more.
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