A handy but time consuming way to improve your thieving skills.
No, this is not about taking your camera with you when you're playing Utopia. It's an effective way to find good thieving targets without need for luck and without using precious resources from your province. However it is time consuming, but if you have
heart for this game it will no doubly pay off. I would like to thank Quantum for having teached me this valuable instrument.
I will be writing this guide for Netscape Communicator since that is the browser I use, however it is almost identical with Internet Explorer. The first think you do is create a new folder on your harddisk named "snapshots". After you have done this you open
your browser and login into your province then go to the kingdom listing. Now here comes the small part where luck is involved however if you take snapshots of enough kingdoms (over 10) it should neglect the lucky part. Now go to a random kingdom for example 11:24 and take a good look at it. For the snapshot system to work effectively it is best to pick a medium sized kingdom, not a top-50 world kingdom and not a total newby kingdom. Because most times these kingdoms check themselves regularly
or aren't worth looking at. So go type in random numbers until you find a medium sized kingdom (I would suggest going in rows,
e.g.. 1:1, 2:1, 3:1 etc.).
After you found a kingdom you think is average left click with your mouse in the kingdom frame if you haven't done that
already to make that frame the active frame. And then press CTRL-S to save that frame on your harddisk, go to the
snapshot directory you made and give the file the following name (kingdom location separated with a "-" because you can't use
the ":" in windows names) followed by the date you made the snapshot on e.g. "Aug. 5" (which stands for the 5th of Augusts).
You will get a name like "11-24 Aug. 5.cgi" that way. The ".cgi" is the file type, cgi means the page was created with an automated script on a server you can rename it to .htm or .html but that isn't really necessary. Save about 10 kingdoms this way, and try to do that each day from now on.
Now you must be thinking: "why am I saving all those kingdoms on my hard drive?". Well after about four days, it can be any number of days you would like but I suggest four days because that is about the longest time a province will be inactive without
the kingdom getting notice of it and/or taking their own steps, it will be of good use to you. When you are logged on into Utopia
go to your kingdom listing and open a new browser window (CTRL-N). Now go to the new browser window and click on "open page" (CTRL-O). Go to the folder in which you save your snapshots and go to the ones that are 4 days old (so when it's august the 9th now pick the ones from August the 5th) and open the top file from that list.
Now resize your browser windows so that the one in which you are logged in with your province is at the left side of your screen and the one with the snapshot is at the right side of the screen. Also try to get both the kingdoms in full view, so you might have
to drag the windows over your screen a bit, depends on your resolution. After you have done this, in the left window go to the kingdom location you loaded in the right screen. You now should see the same kingdom two times, how it looks now and how it looked 4 days ago.
Now comes the most important part the comparison between the two windows, it's most easily done by looking at fame first,
then at acres and then at networth. You are looking for a province that has the same amount of fame and acres that it had
4 days ago, so the two provinces should be similar in both the windows with only a difference of about 10k nw or so (depends
on the size of the province). It is important that you keep an eye out for this, because this means the province hasn't grabbed,
been grabbed, or explored in 4 days. And this mostly always leads to an excessive amount of cash/runes in place in these provinces, and that is exactly what you were looking for. So go through the 10 kingdoms (might be more/less in your case) you
saved this way and make note of all the provinces that are similar. Write the bigger provinces on top because they generate more cash so you want to have the chance to rob the most (and now with the new thieves rules, you get more gold from bigger provinces).
So after you wrote down all the provinces that didn't change much in 4 days, go cast a crystal ball on the top-5 of your list.
And note how much gold they have, if you found a province with a large amount of gold, always check one more provinces because it might even have more gold then the last one. And also you want information from multiple provinces because the
province with the most gold might have a good thief ratio so you can't break him and you have to rob from the second-best province. Use your thieves wisely, because you don't want to loose them. There will probably be an advanced thief article later on this site.
After you have done this all, you might want to delete the snapshots you took on the date you looked at, because the folder in which you saved them could get really big. Also if you find an exceptional province, write it down on a seperate piece of paper to use as a future cash farm. I once found a province in which I could thief from for 5 days after each other, skyrocketed my province's economy. The only thing you have to do now is make new snapshots for today. I expect this method to take about
30 minutes a day if you know how to do it, some days it might take more other days it might take less.
- Mighty (24-Nov-2000)