Just as with their launch of CityVille, Zynga is taking to Empires & Allies with a fine-toothed comb, working out some initial bugs and glitches, and changing a few gameplay elements to make them easier on players. They've announced their first major changes on the game's forums, and compiled the ones that might affect you here:
There is now a profile picture on the right side of the screen allowing you to see which of your friends played recently and only send that group of friends free gifts. In this way, you avoid "spamming" your non-playing friends with gifts they'd likely never accept anyway.
You can now earn 20 energy per 24 hour period from visiting friends. Even if you visit more neighbors in a day, you will not receive any free energy after the first 20 points. The original limit was five energy, so this is a step in the right direction.
The exploit allowing players to invade their neighbors more than once in a row has been fixed.
Each neighbor on your neighbor bar now has an image displaying which type of Ore they can mine, meaning you can help out at their mines and potentially earn this Ore for yourself.
When building Military units, the buildings now show the most powerful units (of those currently unlocked to you) first.
The minimum level requirements for some Government Buildings have been reduced.
Missing quest icons should now appear as normal.
I personally haven't noticed a lessening of the pop-ups appearing in my game, but perhaps I'm just not participating in the specific areas of gameplay from which they were removed. Either way, it's nice to see Zynga taking a firm stance on bugs this early in the game's life (and asking for fan feedback every step of the way), and we can only assume that more changes and bug patches will be released in the future. If they change the way we play the game, you can be sure we'll let you know about them, so keep checking back.
What do you think of this set of changes and updates? Have you noticed less pop-ups in your game? Would you prefer bonus energy from friends to be unlimited, or can you see where Zynga is coming from with the limit? What other items should they work on next? Sound off in the comments.