After signing up for an account, you should do three things. After building an Academy, divide your staff evenly between cutting lumber, making money, and researching. Next, log off your account and return a few weeks later. You will have an incredible amount of money and resources, and will be extremely advanced. This method is much better than playing the game. Because it is based in real time, there is only a very small amount you can do in the first week. This way you will come back to find you are very advanced, and only then is the game worth playing.