A year ago (roughly) a few friends were talking about another browser-based game (BBG). I asked which it was, and they pointed me at Nile Online. So began a year (roughly) long experiment.
At the start I was just looking for a new BBG as I'd ended whatever it was I was playing before. I didn't have an exceptional amount of time for games, so my PS3 wasn't being used that much. A BBG I could play before and after work, just poke in now and then.
The initial appeal for me was (in my opinion) Nile's unique focus. It's somewhat collaborative, based on trading between cities located along the Nile river in Egypt (although you can play without trading) and entirely focused on entombing yourself in the nicest tomb on the Nile. That's it, you're playing to try to kill off your character. That sounded like fun, and a solid end condition compared to the RPGs I normally play.
The first month or so was mainly just a race building up my initial infrastructure. You need to be producing clay, reeds, and wheat so that you can produce bricks, baskets, and bread. Initial building upgrades are on the order of minutes to an hour, so you're just sitting there upgrading and planning. At this point I was just gunning for entombment.
One friend was playing based on the One City Challenge, completing the game while building only one (of a possible four) cities. The advantages to multiple cities is you can be creating up to four natural resources for goods, to do it on one city means you have to rely a LOT more on trading and smart worker management.
I did not go that route, as I wanted to finish the game in a decent amount of time. However, as the months wore on, friends started dying off and I realized I was still pressing on. Sometime around the third month my goal switched to being the lowest possible rank when I died off. And that's how I played for the next 8 months.
My strategy stayed mostly the same for the game, I had two key changes, however. Initially I was simply trying to bulk up my main city center so I could entomb myself (have to max out one city center to level 22). The other cities, as I founded them, were founded to support my build speed, and ship goods back to the capital to be sold/used in the build process. If you're smart about producing the other luxury goods needed you can keep your capital upgrading constantly without much buying at the market.
This worked for a while, I was constantly dropping ranks and the city center was well on its way to being ready to entomb me. However, when the time came to pull the trigger, I wanted to drop just a few more levels and realized I wasn't sure the best way. That's when I recognized that the average level of your structures in the city is a solid determining factor for rank. So I had a level 22 city center and really low other buildings, which was really hurting my rank.
Therefore, the first change I made was to next focus on building all my buildings up simultaneously. This really sped up my rank dropping, I'd frequently lose 20 or so every update. In fact, it worked awesomely until around rank 200. I probably spent two months trying to get from 200 down below 100. Why? Because of the other caveat to ranking, "average rank of buildings and total resources on hand."
So while I had four fairly done cities, I couldn't get anywhere on rankings because my stockpiles were empty! This was my second tactic shift, going from a race to build, to a race to build and squirrel away. I kept upgrading anything that I could, but also started buying massive amounts of anything I didn't produce natively. I maxed out my bread (used as currency) production in every city and simply bought all the time. This helped a lot, although ranking up was still slow as I had to spend bread to get other goods, and I'd spend some time building my stores back up before I could gain any ground in the rankings.
Finally I reached my (new) goal: Entomb myself under level 100. Specifically, I made it to 99 after 68 'years' in game. I could have done that better if I'd focused more on stockpiling the entire game, but hey, live and learn. Fun game, worth a peek if you only want to devote a few minutes spread out through the day.