New players frequently ask, early on, what should they spend Prestige on. Then a little later, comes the question of whether they need to buy any more.
The single most useful thing for you to spend Prestige on is the instant build option. As you get into the game you will find that some buildings have a long build time but relatively low cost: instantly completing these allows you to get them out of the way and to start further buildings, so that resources don’t start piling up and overflowing your Storehouse and Warehouse. If lots of people (e.g. Alliance colleagues) start sending you resources, or if you don’t log in often, you’ll reach this point pretty fast; otherwise it could take you quite a while. You’ll know this situation when you see it. You’ll start thinking “oh no, my resources are piling up, and there are still 2 days to go before my I can place a new Build order – what do I do?!” (Easy answer: use Prestige to instantly complete your buildings. It’s the top option on the Town and Production Bonuses list.)
Some people also use the option to speed up Caravan movement (this can be bought cumulatively – each time halves the travel time, so if used five times it turns a two day Caravan trek into a 3 hour sprint.) And later in the game, when you have built all your Farms to level 20 and you’re still running out of food, the +20% Food Production will start to look very attractive. Beyond that, “your mileage may vary” – it will depend on your playing style, and what happens to you (whether you need the combat bonuses, for example).
Now, on to buying Prestige. Do you have to buy any at all? No, you never have to buy Prestige. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t.
Firstly you can get Prestige for free. Every 24 hours, you can claim one free point on the Herald screen (that’s 6 or 7 points per week.) You can also get Prestige awards if you or your Alliance do well in Tournaments. And you get Prestige if you invite friends to play (and if they keep playing up to a certain point.)
But secondly, don’t let yourself become a Hoarder of Prestige. I made that mistake. So, let me tell you my story….
For 3 months I did not spend a single point of Prestige. I always thought, “no, it’ll be more useful to me when I’m bigger, I’ll hang on to it.” And of course I didn’t spend money on Prestige: I figured the game could be free, so, as I like to get a bargain, I would make sure I played for free. I was being dumb!
After 3 months, I started spending Prestige. The game seemed to speed up, and I enjoyed it more.
A month later, I realized that, actually, this game has never been free: I paid for my laptop, and I pay for my broadband connection, so I had had to spend money before I could play; it was irrational of me to draw the line at paying for the actual game. So, I spent a bit on Prestige (much, much less than I spend on an Xbox 360 game!)
Four months later I still haven’t exhausted the Prestige I bought, but now I don’t worry about it – if get bogged down and things seem a bit slow, I can speed things up a bit, and I’m now having even more fun than I was before.
So, in brief: Prestige is best for instant-builds and (later) food production, plus anything that suits your playing style. You don’t have to buy any, but don’t fall into the trap of refusing to do so because you’re enchanted by the idea of “free”. Use Prestige sensibly – don’t just splurge it all away – but don’t fall into the trap of hoarding it, either.