The game is based on building cities as said above, this includes constructing buildings, creating military units, and conquering other territories. There are over 30 different structures that can be built, resource generators (Iron Mine, Stone Quarry, Woodcutters Hut, Farm, Townhouse), support structures (Sawmill, Stonemason, Mill, Foundry), Warehouses, trade structures (Marketplace and Harbor), military structures (City Guard House, Barracks, Training Ground, Stable, Moonglow Tower, Trinsic Temple, Workshop, Shipyard, Castle), City Walls, defensive towers (Lookout, Ranger, Pitfall Trap, Guardian, Barricade, Templar, Ballista and Camouflage Trap) and Palaces. Defensive towers can only be built on City Walls. The Harbor and Shipyard can only be built on Water. A city can only have one castle, and once built, a castle can not be destroyed or removed. A castle allows one to attack other cities and conquer other castled cities, but in turn opens up your city to be conquered. A player can not be completely defeated as long as they have one uncastled city. A player must belong to an alliance and have a castle in their city in order to build a palace. Each structure starts at level 1 and can be upgraded to level 10 using resources.
There are five resources used to build structures and units: Wood, Stone, Iron, Food and Gold. Buildings only use Wood and Stone, Units can use Wood, Stone, Iron and Gold to build and must have food to be kept in the city. Each city has a limited amount of storage for Wood, Stone, Iron and Food, the amount of gold you have is unlimited and is shared among all the players cities.
To Recruit units a city must have either a City Guard House or a Barracks and another military structure. A City Guard House allows the player to recruit City Guards. A Barracks will give space to recruit other units. Training Grounds: Bezerkers, Rangers and Guardians. Stable: Scout, Crossbow and Knight. Moonglow Tower: Mage, Warlock. Trinsic Temple: Templar, Paladin, Baron. Shipyard: Sloop, Frigate, War Galleon. Workshop: Ballista, Ram, Catapult. Each unit has different strengths, weaknesses and abilities. Barons will allow a player to create a new city or conquer and existing castled city. Scouts can show what units and structures are in a city or castle. War Galleons, Rams and Catapults can destroy structures in a city.
A Level 10 Moonglow tower also gives the player the ability to "purify" resources. Wood turns into Darkwood, Stone into Runestone, Iron into Veritrium and Food into Trueseed. These purified resources can be used to research improvements to units, structures and the players Title. A Players title dictates how many cities they can control, the maximum amount is currently 400 cities.
Cities are arranged on continents in the game, arranged in a grid-layout.
To become Lord of Ultima and win the game a player must belong to an alliance that controls Level 10 Palaces in all Eight Virtues simultaneously: Compassion, Honesty, Honor, Humility, Justice, Sacrifice, Spirituality and Valor. Palaces can be destroyed by other players. Each virtue provides a bonus to every player in the alliance for a specific thing (Compassion increases Construction speed in all cities, and the travel speed of infantry and cavalry units).
There is a comprehensive wiki detailing Gameplay Mechanics, Combats, Creatures, Units, Building, and the Community