From the weather, commandments, and just getting through the basics of the game, this guide to Crest should help any players, experienced or new. It offers valuable insight into the basic mechanics of the game, how they work, and what you should do to help yourself in different circumstances.
Commandments are the all-powerful god-like way to communicate with your followers. It's also your only way to communicate, which can be interesting... to say the least.
Commandments require influence, a currency that generations naturally over time, increasing depending on the faith of your cities. Each commandment costs four influence. Thankfully, at the start of a game, you get enough influence to issue a few commandments.
Commandments come in all shapes in size, and are always made from a combination of three words. You start out at the beginning of a game with a few words, but you can unlock more through the word tree.
Each commandment requires a condition, action, and a target.
A condition is who follows the commandment, and it's the very first word you put into a new commandment. This can be a number of things, from followers who have a certain resource, to followers near something, to different followers who are at different ages.
Here's a few examples for words in the condition slot:
- Desert - Followers living in the desert
- Berries - Followers in proximity of berries
- Metal - Followers who have metal
- Death - Followers who are close to death
- War - Followers involved in war
An action is the second word in a commandment, and it is the verb, or what the follower will do. There's ten different verbs you can choose from, and they are unlocked at the start of the game automatically. Each verb has its opposite, such as Consume and Don't Consume.
Here's a list of all the verbs with their opposites:
- Consume, Don't Consume
- Destroy, Don't Destroy
- Produce, Don't Produce
- Distribute, Don't Distribute
- Migrate, Don't Migrate
These verbs can be combined with other words to make meanings that don't always come out as you expected.
If you put Young as the Condition, Distribute as the Action, and Middle Aged as the Target, then the command would be: "Young followers, do nothing until you're middleaged."
So yes, a verb's meaning can be changed sometimes, like Produce can be feeding animals, or Distribute can be scare animals.
A Target is the third and final word of a commandment, and it shows what the followers will be doing something to. Do you want the people to hunt ostriches or antelope? That's what the Target decides. A Target works closely with the Action, so the meaning of it can be changed depending on what you put for the verb. Just try to never put Consume for the Action and Young for the Target... It might not be the best option, but who says cannibalism doesn't help your society progress?
This is all very nice and all, and it seems pretty straightforward, right? You just put the three words down, and boom, your followers will follow the commandments like good little followers should do. That's why they're called followers, after all! Right?! Wrong!
You are a supreme being, a deity who watches from above, and of course you understand what you are trying to say, but the puny followers, the mortals... They obviously cannot read at all!
In other words, cities will form 'associations' with commandments, their own personal meanings of it. Meanings that can be far from what you meant. Meanings that can do more harm to them than good. Meanings that can lead to mass migration into the desert! Or meanings that can lead to cannibalism! Being a god is messy work.
Commandments can have up to three associations that go with them that cities will follow. These associations can even be spread like a disease between cities that are near each other, causing horrid chain reactions. Interestingly enough, your followers will always get one word of the commandment right, even when they can barely read. The Action. The verb of the commandment.
This means, if you word your commandments well enough, you can minimize the damage of horrid associations. Trying to leave Consume out of your commandments can help stop the spread of cannibalism! Every little bit helps!
But what happens if you don't plan carefully? If something goes wrong and an association goes horribly wrong?
This brings up the two options that mighty deities like yourself have: Bless and Condemn Blessing a commandment (or a commandment's associations, if you so choose) will cause a commandment's energy bar from decreasing for a period of time. This helps so you don't have to recreate the commandment every time it runs out of energy and disappears.
Condemning a commandment (or a commandment's associations) is the exact opposite. It causes the energy bar to decrease faster than normal, which allows you to get rid of annoying associations easier. There's one little problem. You see your followers? They don't like it when you condemn the commandments they follow, and will gradually lose faith in you the more of their commandments you condemn. It's a tiny annoyance, compared to the big picture though. Would you rather your followers eat each other alive or be a bit angry at you? Your choice.
Followers & Cities
Followers are the citizens who work in cities. Your main goal in Crest is to help the followers survive and thrive. Of course, your followers, like all humans, have some basic needs, including one very important one... And it's called food.
Food is perhaps your follower's greatest need. They can get food from hunting, farming, collecting berries, fishing, etc. but you have to make sure they are in an environment that allows them to collect food easily and efficiently, and that they have enough time during their day to do so.
This is where locations of cities comes into play. Cities by the coast can fish for easy food. Cities by the jungle can collect berries. Cities in the desert... Well, sometimes they get lucky and a herd will move close by. Make sure, when telling your followers to migrate, that they migrate to an area with a good amount of food and other resources.
But, of course, there is more to followers than just food. By clicking on a follower, you can see their individual needs. Needs are not exactly what followers need to survive, but will usually help in the long run. There are six different needs, including food.
- Food - Food is the most basic need, and also the most important. Just have your followers collect food from something and they should be alright.
- Surplus - Surplus is how much extra your followers have of a resource. The more metal they have for example, the more their metal surplus will increase. It is useful to keep surplus high (especially food) for when a shortage comes along.
- Offspring - Offspring are a follower's children. The more the followers breed and have children, the more offspring they have. This is very important because once followers start to die of old age, you need to have children to replenish them, or else your entire city will just fall to the curse of old age.
- Social - Social is how much your communities and followers interact. It is probably one of the least important needs, and it does little except make your followers happier. There is a specific word (Socialise) that can be used in commandments to make your followers increase their social live. Be warned, however, for that commandment may be looked down upon by some cities.
- Esteem - Esteem is also a lesser of the needs, as your followers don't need it to survive. Esteem is more or less how rich your followers are, and can be increased with gems, gold, and building bigger monuments.
- Safety - Safety is how safe an individual follower or city is, and is affected by a number of variables. Getting more metal will increase safety, while having dangerous animals near a city will decrease it.
Cities are where your followers live. When you click on a city and see its individual needs, it is usually an average of all the followers living in that city, so it provides useful insight into their needs without having to click every individual follower. Cities must always have one follower. If they have zero, then the city will start to turn into ruins. Cities also have a maximum of six followers living inside them. Once a city reaches its maximum six followers, and is still doing well in terms of offspring and food, its a good idea to send some followers out to migrate and create new cities. Followers will never create their own cities unless you command it.
Cities have a certain level of faith in you, how much they like or dislike you. This can be affected by a number of things, such as what commandments you give them, or if you condemn a commandment they follow. Cities who are faithful in you give you an increase to your influence generation, while cities that are unfaithful will decrease your influence generation.
Cities also have a few interesting features, such as doctrines, expertise, warfare, trade, and monuments.
Doctrines are how a city reacts to your commandments, whether they like certain ones or dislike certain ones, and affect what the cities want the most of.
There are six different doctrines a city can be, but only a maximum of three different doctrines are ever active in a world.
Different doctrines dislike certain things, while some doctrines like certain things. Doctrines like Maintainers like food, safety, and social, while disliking offspring and esteem. This means that any commandments you give to them that involve creating offspring will be disliked, and that city will lose faith in you, while commandments that mine metal (and therefore create safety) shall be liked by that city.
Expertise is how skilled a city's followers are at a certain subject, such as mining or farming. By clicking on the expertise tab in the city menu, you can see the city's skills. A city can be skilled in two different subjects at one time, and these subjects can be a level from 1 to 5.
Expertise can be very important, allowing you to create cities that are immensely skilled at mining, or can produce a lot of food. Then, these cities can trade with other cities to provide a nice global economy where all cities prosper. Expertise in certain subjects, like mining, can grant you access to new words as well, such as gold and obsidian. This is very useful for late-game when you wish to travel to other places and build grand monuments.
Warfare & Diplomacy
Just as your cities can like or dislike you, they can also like or dislike other cities near them. Cities that are within about the size of a standard island can have diplomacy with each other. In simpler terms, they can choose to like or dislike each other. This is usually based on what doctrines a city has. If a city has the same doctrine, they usually like each other and may form alliances. If cities have dramatically different doctrines, they usually hate each other and may go to war.
- Alliances - Alliances are one of the murkier things in the game, without too much known purpose. It seems cities who have an alliance with each other will never go to war while that alliance is active, and will be quite friendly with each other. Other than that, alliances don't seem to do much, and cities within an alliance do not seem to go to war together against their enemies (unless there is some really good timing).
- War - War is when two cities do a battle with each other, usually because their doctrines are different. Whoever wins the war will force their beliefs onto the losing city, which can be useful if you like that doctrine better. If you don't, well, you might have to deal with some more angry followers due to your commandments.
- Trade - Trade is very important, especially when you have many sprawling cities. Cities who like each other will sometimes form trade routes, allowing them to trade resources they have a large amount of. This is great for creating cities that produce a lot of food but not too much metal, and therefore can trade with others.
- Monuments - Monuments are a project for late-game cities that are doing really well with an abundance of resources. Monuments cost different resources, gold, obsidian, and gems, and can be upgraded after they are first built for even more resources. Monuments don't have a large effect besides granting more esteem for each level and a happiness boost at the last level, but they can be useful for creating a completely happy society.
Environment & Weather
The environment of the world will greatly affect how well a city does. Environment includes how well the terrain is doing, in terms of water supply and the biome, and what resources (such as metals and berries) are located in the area.
The environment is very important, and can be changed and affected in a few different ways, from terraforming and building cities, to using up water and weather. Whenever you are planning your strategy, you must always look to the environment and make sure it can handle any expansion or mass farming.
When starting up a world, islands will spawn, usually with a large expanse of desert, a small strip of jungle, and some savannah dotted along the edge of the jungle. Volcanic areas are also rare found, usually about one on a main island per world, and then perhaps a smaller island hosting a patch of volcanic land.
There are four main biomes, or habitats, that exist throughout the world. Each one offers its own pros and cons. You can determine the biome based off the color of the landscape, from the lush green of the jungle to the rusty browns of the savannah and the yellow of the desert. Volcanic areas can be spotted with their black, charred area.
Deserts are generally a bad place to live starting out because food is harder to find here. Prowling animals will attack followers and there is no good places to farm. Ostriches will live and migrate nearly anywhere, so thankfully you sometimes may find a herd of ostriches near the desert.
- Metal is usually found here in greater amounts than other biomes.
- Cities will not affect water supply as much (since there is no water!).
- Hyenas and lions, dangerous animals, usually live out in the desert.
- Less food than other biomes.
Savannahs are a great starting ground for new cities because they offer a decent selection of most resources. However, be careful about founding too many cities here, for you might just use up all the water and the area will turn into a desert.
- Decent food amount.
- Gazelles usually live near here.
- Not far from jungle, where berries will grow.
- Not far from desert, where metals can be found easily.
- Weather will greatly affect how far the savannah stretches, and how well-off the terrain is.
- Area can turn into desert quickly if the water dries up, either due to cities and farms or a dry season.
Jungles are an amazing place, full of berries and lovely, fertile soil. However, jungles are perhaps the most fragile habitat, capable of being destroyed quickly if you aren't careful. Jungles can be spotted quickly with their lush, green landscape and beautiful rivers.
- Great food, both from berries and the animals that migrate through.
- Great farming ground.
- Hyenas and lions are hardly ever seen nearby.
- Hippos, a semi-dangerous animal, can sometimes become hostile and attack followers.
- The biome can be destroyed quite quickly, becoming a savannah or worse. If a dry season comes or a city is founded and uses up the water.
- Usually farther away from metal compared to other biomes.
A black landscape, both harsh and charred, but offers a valuable resource seen nowhere else. Volcanic areas are also not affected by water supply or weather, at all. Volcanic areas are usually very small compared to other biomes, and are much rarer.
- Obsidian is found here.
- Not affected by water supply or weather.
- Basically no natural food, but thankfully volcanic areas are small and folllowers can travel outside it.
- Herds do not move through the area often.
There is also another area, called the coast, that isn't truly a biome, for it can exist within any of the other biomes, but is worthy of notice. The coast is any area beside the ocean, allowing cities to build a harbor.
- Offers access to the ocean, providing fish and allowing followers to migrate to other islands.
- Other pros derived from the biome the coast is on top of.
- Cons derived from the biome the coast is on top of.
Along with all this, there is also mountains, which are more of a natural obstacle than a biome. Mountains are impassable, so followers have to go around them to get to the other side.
These different ecosystems and biome offer great variety and can affect your play immensely, but be wary, for the natural environment is VERY fragile. You (and other things) can upset it easily. Here is a few ways it can be affected:
- Cities - Cities are perhaps one of the greatest causes of the land turning back into a desert. Cities (and the followers within) naturally use up the water supply in a region, erasing savannahs and jungles. The more cities in a region, the faster this will happen.
- Animals - Animals will also use up a region's water supply, though not as much as ciites. Animal herds that boom can sometimes cause savannahs to dry up a bit, but not very much.
- Terraforming - Terraforming is your way of changing the environment. Followers will never do terraforming projects on their own, so you have to issue a special commandment to order them to terraform the environment. This can be done with Produce as the Action, and then one of the three default biome words as the Target.
There's also one other way that the environment is affected...
Most of the time the weather will stay temperate, allowing the environment to work at its own pace. However, sometimes the weather will act up, causing a massive change in the natural ecosystem, and can help an island flourish or be destroyed. Weather affects the entire world at the same time, so no island is ever safe.
- Temperate - The default weather. It has very little effect on the environment and just lets everything happen. During temperate seasons, you don't have to worry much about the weather affecting your land.
- Rainy - Rainy seasons are a wonderful blessing, replenishing water and causing jungles to grow, while forcing deserts to recede. This can help counteract farming and help repair the environment after a dry season.
- Dry - Something that any experienced player despises. Dry seasons cause water to evaporate out of the landscape, causing all islands to slowly shift back into a full desert, forcing rivers to disappears and lush jungles to fade. Usually, dry seasons won't completely destroy a jungle, and the environment will repair itself naturally when a rainy seasons comes. However, when a dry season is combined with cities and farming, the result can be a complete disaster.