From Day 1 of the server, you have to already start thinking about how to best position your cities. Also keeping in mind your positioning on Historic Cities and alliance strategies, try to set up your cities close to LVL4 and LVL5 NPCs. Do NOT cluster your cities, you will block your own NPC farming.
Or make your own NPCs close by.
For LVL12 and LVL14 cities, it's good to have LVL7-8s close that you can spam with free warriors.
You need the right Archery / HBR combination:
2. Farming missions
2.1 Ballistae + Transporters
Do not stop training these before you have 4000 Ballistae and 3200 Transporters per city.
Get Historic Cities for free warriors.
2.3 Heroes/Feast Hall/Rally Spot
Make sure you have Rally Spot and Feast Hall at level 10. In each town, you should have:
1 POL Mayor
8 ATT/POL farming heroes.
The 10th Feast Hall slot is to move in your best attack hero for troop training.
The 9th/10th Rally slot is open for scouting / transporting / attacking.
For those who don't have a historical hero (HH) and instead use our queen to train troops, you can have 9 farming heroes from each city. The downside is it limits you to only 1 open rally spot.
I wouldn't attack a NPC10 with under 95 Leadership
3. Time Management
NPC farming is not exactly the favorite part of the game for Evony players, so you will want to be as time-efficient in NPC farming as possible.
3.1 Preset troops
Have your ballistae missions in Settings 1, your warrior missions in Settings 2.
3.2 Sending missions
Always send out your farming missions from your rally spot, never from the map. When you're done in one town and going to switch to another town: click 'favorites'. In the next town, the same troop settings will still be there and you will not have to select your (preset) troops again.
Make a list of all the NPCs you farm, put them in Excel/NotePad/Word. 8 coordinates per city.
3.4 Mount speed
Very important, you need this for faster farming. As your hero levels go up, try to keep up with those levels with the according mount speed; LVL6 mount speed for LVL60-69 heroes, LVL7 mount speed for LVL70-79 heroes etcetera.
3.5 Distance & Travel time
You should continuously try to keep decreasing travel time for the longest travel time mission. Swap 1 hour NPC5 missions for 30 minute NPC2-3-4 missions. Keep bringing your travel times down. At Mount Speed 10, you should be able to have the longest farming mission at ~30minutes. This is a 1 hour round trip, enabling you to send out your missions once per hour.
Note: I found that you get a whole lot of thoroughbreds from the wheel. With 21 free amulets, you should get most of these for free really, some iron ore as well. But yes, most people will have to spend some money on this. If you do, it's certainly not a bad thing to spend money on
For LVL5 farming combos, it makes perfect sense if you actually do the round-by-round. The battle engine is complicated and fascinating, if you really want to understand it, you should start studying it.
Leadership hasn't been completely figured out, but for a 100K troop wave, you need 100 leadership for your hero stats to be fully effective. With 79 leadership, your hero will probably not fully use the 220 attack, so you have to take this into account.
Compass 10: when you upgrade to this, you archers will move faster and the defending warriors will reach your archers 1 round sooner. Therefor, you need more firepower to kill the warriors before they start actually 'touching' your archers. If you do kill them before they reach you, compass 10 is actually better than compass 9, because you take less traps/DT/Log damage.
4. Resource Farming
NPC1-5: Send 500 Ballistae + 400 Transporters. You do not need these numbers for NPC1-4 NPCs, but this is purely a time management issue. It's way easier to just send out the same missions. The ballista in Age II is possibly also the best unit in the game, so it's always good to have these. 500 ballistae also works for POL heroes you're leveling up. NPC5s can be farmed with a 500 ballistae, max techs and a ~0-10 attack hero. You don't have to set your POL heroes to attack gear this way.
NPC6-9 You should be spamming with warriors. If you do this, you don't need transporters. For 1 time hits, bring enough transporters to get the resources. Switch your heroes to full INT gear, this increases their life and decreases your losses.
NPC6: Send 85K-100K warriors. Generally not worth it.
NPC7: Send 85K-100K warriors.
NPC8: Send 85K-100K warriors. Have the most Iron/Lumber of all NPCs in the game. Best NPC to farm.
NPC9: Send 125K-150K warriors. Historic City needed for these. 100K warriors with a very good hero can also be possible, but losses will be significant.
NPC10: Do not farm these. NPC10 farming is an Age I concept. Only hit (spam) these for Justice/Nation medals.
Maybe, it's worth it to farm NPC10s to get your first attack hero to LVL150/LVL100. After that, farming NPC10s is a huge waste. Use those archers to capture HCs and get the free warriors. A LVL8 can be farmed with 14K-20K warrior losses, and you get 800K XP. Comparing NPC8 losses with NPC10 losses, training time vs XP, it's pretty close. Once you get the warriors for free, it's not even close of course.
5. Gem Farming
Note: all drop rates are estimates. %% = Delicate gem. %% = Flawless gem
-Make sure you have 10% increased droprate (400/400 colonize achievement). There's a guide on this forum to rush through this achievement.
NPC1-4: 25% / 7% Don't spam these. They aren't very good for gem farming, but they should be in your farming lists for increased speed.
NPC5: 30% / 13% These can be double hit; you'll get a drop chance on both hits. 2nd hits can replace NPC2-3 missions.
NPC7-9 30% / 23% These can be triple hit initially; drop chance on all of these hits. After this, you start spamming them every 4 minutes; again drop chance on all these hits. Keep hitting them so they will not regenerate much. In between sending out your NPC1-5 missions, you can just keep spamming them and get a huge boost to your gem income. Switch heroes to INT gear.
NPC10: 25% / 30% Standard 96K archers + 2K warriors + 2K workers (attack gear), immediate 2nd & 3rd hits with 100K warriors each, 3-4 minute interval with 100K warriors - all warriors waves with INT gear (try different timing between 3 - 4mins depending on server).
Losses on archer spear: 4K archers and the war/work
Losses on warrior waves: 5K-15K (not sure exactly here, haven't hit them in a long time)
Enough warriors depends on how many medals you need. Most people need like 20 justice medals for Prinzessin when they reach Furstin. Justice drop rate at about 20-25% maybe. So you need 80-100 hits.
80-100 * 10K warrior losses = 800K to 1M warriors. (rough estimates)
UPDATE: The 4m00s delay has worked better so far...8 of 10 gave medals.. other 2 at least gave gems
UPDATE2: There seems to be diminishing returns after about 10 waves total... will report back after a few more waves hit but i have only got 1 gem in last 3 waves (no medals)
UPDATE3: Started 8 of 10 for medals... then 0 of 3... now 3 of 3... all from same NPC10... guess there was just a little bit of a lull... never slowed from 4 min between hits
220 attack with compass 10 is a bit risky, as well as any leadership under 100. Make sure you have warhorn on also. If you keep getting high losses, mix in 2-6K ballistae.
6. Medal Farming
Added benefit of mass NPC farming, is that you will get your medals in no-time.
Cross: Not in NPCs
Rose: Mostly found in valleys, people claim to have gotten rose medals from NPC1-2.
Lion: Can be found in NPC3-4s mainly. Supposedly also drop in NPC1-2s.
Honor: Best drop rate from NPC4. Decent drop in NPC3. Low drop rate from NPC1-2.
Freedom/Wisdom/Courage: Drop from NPC5-9. These are extremely easy to get if you mass farm NPCs.
Just mass farm NPC5s with your standard bally missions, they have a good drop rate. If you can spare the warriors, spam NPC8s; they seem to have higher droprates than NPC5s also.
My best guess for drop rates in NPC5s:
So for 8 freedom medals, you should hit about 267 NPC5s.
Nation/Justice: Keep spamming NPC10s with 4 minute intervals. With enough warriors, you can get all Nation/Justice in 1 day to make prinzessin.
Other items that drop from LVL5 NPC5: hero hunting, holy water, speakers and the occasional amulet, mic script, lost armor script as well as freedom, wisdom & courage medals.
MEDAL DROP RATIOS
Approximate Freedom/Courage/Wisdom ratio can be found in the picture below (from my server. Other server may have different rates). The Honor medals drop quite frequently from NPC4-3s. Nations drop more than Justice (25% - 15% approx), I've used a lot of Nations for loyalty. Rose/Cross are not from medal farming.
HC LvL 14s
Most players will understand that once the get a HC14 farming level 8s is easy, once you have multiply HC14+ you seriously can't use them faster then you get them.
Lv8s are the best one, the amount of warriors you lose is low for really good benefits, great hero Xp, I Only use 9s to level my Pol Heroes really fast.
Here is a chart that might help some people