I wasn’t completely happy with my first version of the story for Travian Magazine, so here’s my second edit which I’ve resubmitted, and hopefully they can use it instead (even though it’s technically past their deadline).
Server 9 came to an end on May 22nd. The winning World Wonder switched alliances with one hour left in the game, giving a controversial, and for many players unsatisfying, end to the game. Server 9 was the first server on Travian.com to give players the full Travian 3.5 experience, previous servers were upgraded to version 3.5 part-way through.
The winning World Wonder was held by a player named Babuk, who was a member of the Meta-alliance TRUST, and prior to that a member of the Meta-alliance Rangers, who had a bitter past with the Meta-alliance Thunder, which was a key part of TRUST. The two alliances had fought a fierce war earlier in the game, and prior to that, several leaders of Rangers were in a Meta-alliance called KISS that fought against Carebears, which was led by several of the leaders that went on to lead Thunder. So there were definitely lots of chances for bad blood to build between the two sides, and harsh words were exchanged that obviously left lasting stings. At the beginning of the endgame the two had allied, thus creating a united north, but then TRUST leaders voted to kick Rangers out of the alliance because they felt they couldn’t trust some of them. However, a few weeks later, the same Thunder leaders (perhaps naively) voted to let Rangers become a part of their team again.
At the end of the game, the Thunder leaders had seemed to put the past behind them, and as the ending shows they were willing to let a World Wonder held by a Rangers player build to level 100. But apparently (and I admit I’m speculating as to Rangers’ motivations, I don’t claim to speak on their behalf), Rangers had not put the past behind them, and without the consent of other TRUST leaders, they withdrew Babuk from the TRUST alliance and switched him to Rangers when it was too late for anyone else to do anything about it.
It should be noted that Rangers did not drop their confederations with the TRUST wings that they were allied with, so some could interpret this as still being an overall win for TRUST. Rangers only had 1 World Wonder construction plan when Babuk and the rest of Rangers rejoined TRUST, so they would not have had a chance to reach level 100 without being a part of TRUST.
Rangers apparently had secret talks with some of the leaders of Chaos Factor, the Meta-alliance that dominated the Southern quadrants of the game. Apparently they had told leaders of CF that they would switch their World Wonder to Chaos Factor at level 99, and by promising this they had kept themselves safe from any Chaos Factor attacks. Obviously, this was a lie and Chaos Factor’s leaders who were talking to Rangers fell for it. The CF leaders who made this deal kept other influential CF leaders the dark about it, and most Chaos Factor players had no idea these negotiations were going on. Several Chaos Factor (and TRUST) players still had large endgame “Hammer” armies that went unused, as military force took a back seat to secret discussions and sneakiness. Instead of the outcome of the game being decided by which side had bigger armies and better players, as it is on most Travian servers, the outcome was decided by secrets and deceptions that went on between a handful of individuals.
The top attacker on the server was TheGaul from Thunder^. The top defender was The Watcher from CF. The largest player was Refbabo from CF-V. Impressively, CF had 9 out of the 10 largest players, four of whom were in CF-DW. Thunder~ was both the top attacking alliance, and the top defending alliance out of the alliances that didn’t have World Wonder holders.
I think that’s much better, don’t you?
By the way, the magazine needs reporters for Servers 8 and 6, so if you’re playing on one of those servers and you’d like to write a report on it, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org!