I'd like to start talking about this one mentioning that I simply love building games. Sim City, The Sims, Afterlife, and all of the historical Impressions Games ones (which became Sierra, which became Vivendi, which is Activision now): Pharaoh, Zeus, Ceasar. All of these games you can still find demos to download and try, and some rare sales on Amazon.com, thanks mostly to Sold Out Software for still selling the tittles. I haven't tried their versions of the games yet though, but like the idea that at least somewhere I can still find these tittles if I wish to have them again.
On all those games I mentioned, the focus is on economy. Some of the games don't even have combat and war at all, and those that do, have it in a very easy and simple way, and I love that. Back when I tried to play Age of Empires, both 1 and 2, I recall losing horribly to other people because I simply hate making an ugly village. I will spend time organizing, and I'd cut first the trees that are on my way to build, and save the one I find pretty, and so on.
Castle Empire is a browser based game developed by Ubisoft, the creators of "The Settlers".So far in Castle Empire, the focus is on economy, and only with a strong one you'll be able to succeed in battle. Which, you know, makes sense.
You start out with a very good tutorial that will guide you through the basics. Trying to go beyond the tutorial is generally a bad idea, since you won't have resources or enough people to just go out and do as you please just yet. So it is a popular tip to anyone that joins the game: be patient and follow the tutorial.
Patience is VERY important. While it resembles those city building games I talked about, the pace is different. Things take much longer, and the game seems to be pretty much designed as one that you keep in a tab of your browser while you do something else. Each important action will have a characteristic sound once it is done, so you'll know when to come back.
The community is nice so far. They share tips and secrets to success like crazy, and even make up lists at the boards, which is incentivated by the devs by a chance of getting cash shop currency. So if you don't like any sort of mystery and thinking and a chance for frustration, you can read before playing. I prefered to learn by myself, and I haven't made too many mystakes. I just realize that my village could have looked much more cute if I had known what I know today. Since they haven't decided if there will be a wipe after beta or not yet, maybe I'll just have to start from zero anyway, and THEN make it all cute.
So far the multiplayer aspect of it is limited to sharing buffs with friends and trading. Buffs are made from food resources that you produce in your settlement, and trade is available at level 17 once you build a "Brach Office".
I won't share any tips here, in case you are like me. Read the tutorial and follow it, and you should be ok. If you miss something, the global chat is for the most part friendly and helpful. Although the game is in "closed" beta, you just need to sign up and wait some minutes to get a key. My name over there is "Carolina" if you'd like a friend to share buffs with :)