Server 5.com Preview

I mentioned the Server 5 restart yesterday, and I wanted to respond to a reader question about it.

Someone who read my announcement of the restart asked:

I figured that if anyone would know this, it would be you…

Do you know who/what alliances are coming back to server 5? If possible, I would like to wiggle may way into them.

Thanks

I think it’s a great idea to write about servers in advance of them starting. Consider this a mini “Server 5 Preview.” (I wanted to do one of these for S4.com and S3.com when they started up, but I didn’t have the time).

I have some info on who said they’d be back and who said they wouldn’t. People could have changed their minds of course.

Last server 5 was dominated by the U-EnD meta, which was mainly made from United Alliance in the southwest and Revelation in the Northeast. Revelation was led by Neo, whom many player credited with having amazing diplomatic and planning skills.

Neo apparently won’t be back, and I believe most of the Revelation leadership isn’t coming back either (though some of them might, as I haven’t heard of many of them moving on to other servers).

But United Alliance did say they would be coming back, so that makes them the native alliance with the best track record and probably the ones to look out for the most. I’m sure that if they do come back, they’ll fight hard to go all the way and to prove that they can win a server without Revelation’s (and Neo’s) leadership to guide them on their way and do it on their own. I’m not sure if they’re going to stay in the same quadrant, but in the last server they were in the Southwest. If they come back strong, they would be my pick for the early favourites.

The main opposition of U-EnD took a pretty hard loss, so those of them who do come back will be motivated to come back strong and pull off a win. Despite their hard loss to U-EnD, a lot of them sounded like they were very motivated to come back and play again. And, after losing to the best, you can be sure they’ve learned a lot.

The main opposing alliance that I’m sure the leaders said they were returning are the NW-Meta (which I assume would be based in the Northwest again) and Matrix. Both of them should enough good members to make a good impact. The were both united under the TWP banner at the end of the last server, but I’m not sure they’ll be united as part of the same team from the get-go.

Other alliances that opposed U-EnD as part of TWP include EG-Rebel, Tygers, and NATO (as well as some others). Last I heard EG-Rebel was a maybe, and I honestly I’m not sure about Tygers and NATO.

But besides these returning alliances, I’m sure a lot of new alliances will be powerful and will give all the returning alliances a run for their money, as thousands of players enter the new Server 5 looking for someone to fight.

For more information on the last Server 5, a good place to start is the Hall of Champions Induction for the winner. At the bottom of the induction is links to several other pieces of Endgame coverage, included Neo’s victory speech and the S5 pictures thread.

Also, if you look on this site’s right-hand collum and go to the “Posts by Category” widgit, you can click on S5.com, and you’ll be taken to all the blog posts that have Server 5 content in them, and you can read a lot of the history of the server there.

Short Announcements

Two quick announcements:

-The restart of server 5 at Travian.com has been announced. Here’s the official announcement thread, there’s a lot of discussion in it and you can tell a lot of players are really excited about it.

Best quote:

LLL Excalibur: I feel proud to have com5 knowledge on history since i played in it.

Neo please stay away.

To view all of my coverage of the last Server 5, which had one of the most memorable endgames of all time, click here.

– I’ve added the winning entry from the Travian building tree contest to this site’s Strategy and Tips section. Click here to view it.

S8.com Endgame: The Breaking Point

The Travian forums are back up, and just in time too, because players on Server 8 have a lot to discuss.

The non-aggression pact between ap.PTT and Silent But Deadly has been broken. Both sides plan the other for breaking the peace deal. ap.PTT says that they cancelled it due to attacks by Silent But Deadly members. Silent But Deadly says those attacks were rogue player who acted without orders, and that their leaders were honouring the peace deal. None of those players were tossed out of their wings, so it looks like Silent But Deadly is going to stick with them and fight it out to the finish.

And it should be quite an exciting finish. What makes this situation especially dramatic is that the top world wonders are very close to winning the game. It’s like we’re in the 4th quarter here with only minutes left on the clock, but in Travian those minutes take days (I’m used to it by now).

For more discussion about the break in the non-aggression pact, visit this thread on the S8.com forums. Here are some of the best quotes from it:

Xplus (Apeiron player): I guess there’s no coming back, now..

The SBD hits on the ap.PTT WWs (arguably don’t represent all groups of the SBD), was the reason for dropping the NAPs.

Apeiron had/have friendly relations with – and sin. And those 3 alliances have always supported each other. Skulls_dev,  a “-” member who has my upmost respect – fought on Apeiron’s side and supported Apeiron’s WWs, as well.
I’m not sure how friendly is PTT with the NE, but hype used to be a PTT wing. And I remember one PTT member pointing out that they supported Kirsa with reinforcements and resources.

Maybe what many people don’t realize is that the picture is different now.
Apeiron aligned themselves with the SE’s PTT for the endgame. Sin and – along with hype have decided to align themselves with ex-ares(and LEGO in that sense) wings (i.e. SRG and Order) to join the WW race. That makes a whole lot of difference. Because, anything that come out of one side, means that side – as a whole – is accountable for it.

Now that things are different, what happened gives both sides (i.e apeiron and sin/-) no choice but to be to be in the aggressive competitors position.

Havic33 (PTT player): As far as I am concerned, this ending is inevitable. We are all chasing the same goal, but only one side can win. That’s why we play this game.

Honestly, I actually like the fact we are going down this path. Win or lose, it certainly beats a boring, non-descriptive ending.

May the best team win.

Arlos (SBD player): I think everyone knows that any attacks made were an excuse for breaking the NAP, not the cause. Call me a cynic, but I am WELL aware that there is no way in hell you guys would sit back and just watch us win if, say, LEGO slowed you down enough for us to roar past you. Was never going to happen in a million years.


You were going to break it regardless of anything that did or did not happen. You know it, I know it, and everyone else knows it too.

Brooke (SBD): I’m at a loss why Apeiron feels the need to attack us…. but i also think its funny when people say the NE is on side of LEGO, when we aren’t, and also that we choose to be separate from ptt/ape, but really, when they merged their wonders into one ally, and i dont belive offered us to merge also, that pretty much shows that they wanted to exclude us.. otherwise, why would they merge like that?

and as far as the rogue attacks, its unfortunate, and i understand ptt must hit back. I still dont understand what justification Apeiron has, as we have worked with them all server, as friends… probably for longer then they worked with ptt for, and we have never done anything to harm them, but hey so goes life I guess.

Serbozilla: With or without rogue attacks, it was just question of time when áp.PTT™ and SDB will start attack each other.

Here are the current standings:

WW standings Sep 26

Fred Garvin’s World Wonder was hit hard by LEGO, and in a massive attack they took out two great warehouses and possibly more. Despite their earlier difficulties in the endgame, LEGO did an excellent job of keeping some of their Hammer armies in waiting until they could do the maximum amount of damage. LEGO has not released the battle report of the attakcs yet but I’ll try to get a copy of it.

For more insight onto the damage that LEGO has done, here’s a quote from Pipirop, who has also been playing close attention to this endgame and posting about it on the S8.com forums.

LEGO might be beaten but they can still bite so they launched a series of attacks that upset the balance. First they hit indoing’s WW village taking down 2 GW and 5 lvls of the WW, then AFS hit Garvin’s WW taking out 2 GW as well. In the mean time a genius operation took place against Musi. Abmurac from LEGO stole the plans of Musi two days ago which are now in the possession of Tyroff. LEGO has now 3 plans and ap.PTT are short of one plan. Musi got the KoD plan to continue building.
Following these events it is obvious that the server has become more interesting and now we will have to wait longer for the final victor to emerge. The key will be how much damage the SBD WW will take in the next 2-3 days and how much damage the SBD can deliver to the ap.PTT WWs.

With Fred Garvin’s World Wonder having lost two of its Great Warehouses, it can no longer be considered the leading World Wonder. As you can see from the standings, the next World Wonder in line is Cassini, the one and only World Wonder held by SBD. Because they only have one World Wonder, you can be sure that the defense there is overwhelming. An army will surely have to be nothing short of gigantic in order to inflict substantial damage to it. The question is how many of those armies does ap.PTT have, and how long will they wait before putting them into action.

Fake attacks from Apeiron and PTT and lighting up the Northeast, and there are probably some real ones in there as well to help weaken their support.

LEGO has effectively taken out two of ap.PTT’s World Wonders, unless the game drags on really long and there’s enough time for them to rebuild. King Of Defense might get another plan transferred to him, but he can’t gain levels for the time being. This is the second time he’s given up his plan, and maybe it’s just been decided that it’s too hard for him to hold onto it. With 3 plans LEGO might be able to get back in this race, especially with SBD and ap.PTT focus all their attention on each other.

Most significantly, LEGO has ensured that ap.PTT has to fight SBD in order to win, and now SBD must fight back. ap.PTT’s leaders might have thought they could win with SBD honouring the non-aggression pact all the way to the end. But with Silent But Deadly’s World Wonder in the lead – thanks to LEGO attacking Fred Garvin –  ap.PTT must now for the first time in this endgame take their attention off LEGO and take on the biggest alliances in the game (the top 3 alliances – Hype, Sin, and SRG-1, are all SBD). They’ll have to defend their World Wonders agains the #1 ranked attackers (Hype). They’ll have to face down what are reputed to be the largest hammers in all of server 8.

It’s time to see what PTT is really made of.

And according to LEGO, this was only phase one:

3atpax:As you can see attacks have begun on ape.ptt WW. Lego is still at the bottom of the ranks, but the damage done to the top players WW will take them 4 to 6 days to repair and be able to build a lvl 100 WW. Soon Phase II will begin.

http://www.travian.ws/analyser.pl?s=com8&aid=7596

More to come, enjoy the show.

Dang It

It’s just my luck that after I write one of my best endgame analysis write-ups that this would happen:

Forum Maintenance

I think it’s been around 12 hours so far that they’ve been down. But according to the message from the admin on the home page, Travian.com forums could be without forums for quite a while:

Dear players!

Due to some server problems the forum is not reachable at the moment. We are working on the problems but as the problems are really serious it may take up to a week until they are solved.

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused.

Regards
Tschena

Uh-oh. Up to a week? That’s a long time for an unannounced outage. I invite players who want comment on the S8.com endgame or other anything else they’d usually talk about on the forums to leave a comment after the appropriate post on my blog.
I should also mention that my blog frequently links to the Travian.com forum, especially when I’m doing endgame coverage. Obviously, none of those links will work while the forums are down. I’ll leave the links as they are and hopefully when the forums come back the links will resume working again.

Battles Earthquake Across Server 8 (updated)

Server 8 has come alive during the past few days, and while several people have lamented the lack of action up until now, it looks like we’ll have an exciting finish on our hands. Big hits from epic armies have struck several World Wonders as millions of troops clash against one another. And besides shaking up the leader board, they might also be shaking things up behind the scenes, as the NAP between Silent but Deadly and ap.PTT (PTT and Apeiron) seems to be in rocky shape as the final days of the server approaches (but it’s not quite broken yet).

We’ll get to the situation between SBD and ap.PTT in a little bit, but first let’s look at some of the recent battles. In my last update I noted that there had been little major fighting up until now. But now you’ll see how much that has changed.

LEGO, the alliance that rules the Southwest, has four world wonders, but they’ve been at the bottom of the standings for a while now. To make things even worse for them, their two top World Wonders cities (Bellhouse’s and Arnold’s) were paid an unwelcome visit by ap.PTT armies. 

We’ll start with Bellhouse’s World Wonder, which didn’t actually lose any levels, but lost a lot of its resource storage (and – for those of you who are new to this type of thing – you can’t finish building a World Wonder if you can’t store enough resources, because it takes a lot to build the upper levels)

This first attack comes from PTT’s 4th biggest player, and the 17th biggest player overall in the whole game. And he’s also currently ranked as the #1 attacker on the server.

Bellhouse WW att1

This Roman army took out the Earth Wall, to soften up Bellhouse’s World Wonder city for the attacks to follow. Note the huge amount of Equites Caesaris used (Just imagine if this had been Travian 3.5 and the Horse Drinking Trough had been available, the size of this army would be off the chart.)

After the wall was knocked down, the attacking troops streamed in, and several more waves struck. This one came about two hours later:

Bellhouse WW att2

And it was followed by several more. While this was happening, Bellhouse tried to build his wall back up as best he could, as you can see in this attack from an Apeiron member.

Bellhouse WW att3

It’s not very often you see an attack on a World Wonder that includes Praetorians and Senators, but that doesn’t have a hero. Still, it finished off the great warehouses even without a hero to provide an offensive bonus.

(UPDATE: Since the Travian forums are down right now, click here to see another battle report of a hit on Bellhouse that was linked to there)

The other World Wonder of LEGO that got hit was Arnold’s, which was the highest ranked World Wonder LEGO had. This massive attack comes from an Apeiron player who is currently ranked as the #10 attacker of the server.

Arnold WW att2

This was a solo hit, not one that was planned by Apeiron or PTT leadership, according to this post on the Server 8  forums.

Caliban (PTT player):

Going rogue and solo hitting a WW is not a good hit.
No matter how awesome your hammer is.
Hell, because it was such a nice hammer, more is the shame he used it like this.

But at least KI.EN.GRI went rogue on a WW and targeted something of value, which is more than I can say for more than a few people I have seen launching without orders.

So KI.EN.GRI apparantly acted without orders. Well, the leaders of ap.PTT might be upset with this, and they might have had other plans for that army or maybe they wanted to save it for later. But nonetheless, it did do a good amount of damage to one of their enemies. I believe this is the biggest army used so far on this server.

Amazingly, this army was actually once significantly bigger, but it lost some of its strength when it attacked a different LEGO player a few days earlier. (click here to see that battle report).

So with these attacks, it would seem that things are going ap.PTT’s way. They’ve severely set back the only alliance that is officially at war with them. But there are some cracks in the non-aggression pact between Ptt/Apeiron and Silent But Deadly. There are some Silent But Deadly players who have launched major attacks at strategic targets within ap.PTT.

These players allegedly acted on their own, but because there was more than one incident, some ap.PTT players are suspicious.

Let’s start with the hit on one of ap.PTT’s leading World Wonders, and then briefly look at some of the other incidents.

This attack was sent by a player from the alliance Ord-1. Ord-1 is ranked 31st overall when it comes to alliances, and is listed as part of the north east partnership in the SBD alliance profile.

Dani3x ww att1

Unlike Hype, Sin, and Dash from Silent But Deadly, Ord-1 doesn’t list Apeiron and PTT alliances in its non-aggression pacts (I’m not sure if that’s a significant point, but I think it’s at least worth noting).

This was a major setback for PTT’s world wonder. Luckily they have 7 other ones. But, they have a possible problem. Let’s take a look at the standings:

WW Standings Sep 23

Up until now, ap.PTT has always had the top three World Wonders. But with Dani3x getting sacked, and Silent But Deadly seemingly moving into second place, only Fred Garvin’s World Wonder is keeping ap.PTT in lead. If that one suffers a hit from LEGO, or from another rouge attacker, then Silent but Deadly moves into the lead. And that means that ap.PTT would be in the unenviable situation of having to formally break the NAP themselves if they wanted to win the game.

I mentioned that there have been other rogue attackers on ap.PTT from members of Silent But Deadly. Some of these were large armies that were sent to the World Wonder village, but they weren’t large enough to actually damage the World Wonders. I’m not going to bother posting the battle reports for those, but you can find them in the server 8 forums if you want to see them. There is no sign of coordination between these rouge attacks, and SBD leadership says that there’s no organized betrayal taking place. Attacks like that do happen during Travian endgames, where players go rogue and attack someone their alliance is allied or at peace with, and if you read the coverage of S3.com and S5.com you’ll remember that similar things happened there.

But a more interesting, and much more rare event also took place. A player from one of SIN’s wings (SIN-LOK) stole one of ap.PTT’s World Wonder construction plans. His name is Hancus I and he is by far the biggest player in SIN-LOK. He attacked where King of Defense was holding his plan, and since King of Defense was about move his plan anyway, there was little defense in his village. The timing is either extremely lucky on Hancus I’s part, or he had some inside information about what was happening and when would be the opportune moment to strike. Hancus I is a relatively smaller player and you wouldn’t expect someone this size to pull off a maneuver like this.

SIN-LOK is an interesting alliance. They aren’t confederates of the main SIN alliance, though you’d think by their name that they were one of SIN’s wings. They are allied with some of SIN’s wings. They are also primarily located in the Southeast, despite SIN being mainly located in the Northeast. Perhaps with the distance involved, it’s not so hard to believe that one of their members could act in a rogue fashion like this and succeed.

 It’s also interesting that back in May, PTT chiefed four of Hancus I’s villages (Click here to see his account in the analyzer and look at the dates in May). Perhaps that was his motivation?

But while he was able to take the plans, he wasn’t able to hold onto them for very long. Supdude, one of PTT’s leaders, took them back in less than four hours. Click here to see the battle report of Supdude getting the plan back. Here’s a screenshot of the history of who has held this set of plans, and you can see how quickly PTT was able to respond. 

KoD Plan History

(The blank line is a city of King of Defense that has since been destroyed)

So the overall damage to King of  Defense’s World Wonder was negligible, but the real question is how will this and the other rogue attacks affect SBD and ap.PTT’s diplomancy and future relations?

That’s a question I plan on looking at more in-depth in my next report.  But I’m already near 1500 words, so I think I’ll wrap up this update. It took a while, but Server 8 has now gotten very interesting, and I have a feeling that it will have a ending that will be remembered for a long time.

UPDATE: I added more links due to the Travian forums being down, and more information about the incident involving King of Defense’s construction plan.

Getting Creative on the US and UK Travian Forums

One of the major differences between the international servers (Travian.com) and the regional Travian servers (US, UK, and AUS), is that the forums for the regional ones are much more laid back and friendly, and also don’t have nearly as many flame wars. It might have something to do with the games on those servers not being as competitive as the international games, but I think another reason is that the forums have a greater sense of community and camaraderie.

I’ve written before about some of the wacky and fun events that have taken place on the UK forums, like the Travian prom. Just a couple of days ago they celebrated “Talk Like A Pirate Day” (which, by the way, is an actual parody holiday that takes place every year. Click here to view the official website.)

Besides talking like pirates on the forum that day, and giving  the UK forums also had a Pirate vs. Ninja battle. Here’s the post explaining what the day was all about.

Oh, and the ninjas won, but it was close.

Here’s some of the custom artwork they had on the forums during the event. They really went all out:

There were also some awesome custom userbars made for the event as well.

They’ll doing this again on December 5th, which is the international day of the Ninja! (Who knew?)

Another interesting fun event taking place on both the UK and the US forums is an art competition, where the two forums are competing to see which one can make a better artistic signature (Here’s the US and UK announcements of the competition).

For more information about the creative competitions taking place on the UK forums every week, here’s a complete listing. I might post some interesting entries up on this site in the future.

Is the endgame war in Server 8 over before it begins?

I think a lot of people have tuned out from Server 8. The endgame seems very one-sided, and many players seem resigned to their fate. The discussion on the forums seems to have largely died down as well.

Meanwhile, here are the standings:

WW standings Sep 19

All of the LEGO World Wonders are now at the bottom of the standings, and ap.PTT still holds the top positions.   There has been some talk of medium-sized hammers that have hit the LEGO World Wonders, but I don’t think any battle reports from these hits have made it to the forums or otherwise been made public, except for the ones I wrote about in my last post about server 8.

Is ap.PTT’s victory inevitable? Let’s take a closer look.

Let’s start with the reasons that argue in favour of the case that they are indeed unstoppable. They are by far the biggest alliance on the server, first of all. They consist of the dominant alliance in the Northwest and the Southeast, and they also have some significant members in the Northeast. They hold eight world wonders, spread out over 3 different quadrants. Their World Wonders are holding the lead 3 spots and they’re all ahead of LEGO’s.

PTT locked down their quadrant a long time ago, and haven’t faced any internal threats for a long time, and that means they’ve had more time to build and to plan for endgame than any other alliance.

The Non-aggression pact between PTT/Apeiron and Silent But Deadly, the rules of much of the Northeast, remains intact as the game enters its final stages.

And LEGO seems pretty beaten down and doesn’t seem to be offering much resistance at all.

But PTT and Apeiron leaders aren’t celebrating yet. Though they’ve had many opportunities to do so, none of of them have declared themselves the winners or started to boast about their victory yet. I’ve seen endgames declared over before only to find out the the alliance that looked like it had a dominating lead could be quickly taken down by hitting the right targets, and it could still happen here.

Here’s a recent interchange from a neutral observer and a leader player from ap.PTT from the S8.com forums:

Pipirop: Things have very much changed since my last update. As I predicted earlier apeiron and PTT officially merged and are now less than 2 weeks away of victory. In the past ten days many medium sized hammers hit practically all the LEGO WW villages essentially removing any chance LEGO had to stop the ap.PTT from winning the server. SBD has remained away from the fighting and are in close pursuit of ap.PTT. The obvious outcome of thye server will be a ap.PTT victory and there are only limited factors that could potentially complicate things. The only possibility is SBD and LEGO joining forces and whilst LEGO throws what ever armies are left still around SBD catches up with a mad resources push to win the WW race.

My sources though tell me that in the next week or so ap.PTT will mount the final offensive with the key objectives to chief all four WW villages of LEGO. I suppose this will be the perfect ending for a strong tour de force and diplomacy for ap.PTT.

That will also be the final update of the journal for this server.

Congrats to ap.PTT for a convincing victory in all fields, to LEGO for mounting as much opposition as possible, and to SBD for managing to still hang on there when all odds were against them.

If Pipirop’s information about a “Final Offensive” is correct, we could almost have a replay of the S5.com finish all over again! It would also explain why we haven’t seen very many big endgame armies used by PTT and Apeiron so far. In theory, the longer ap.PTT waits the more players from LEGO will go inactive, and thus the defense at their World Wonders will be more and more softened up. It’s been weeks since LEGO had a victory to celebrate or anything to boost morale, so players might start to lose motivation and move on to other servers before this one ends.

The scenario about SBD and LEGO joining forces is just speculation, but it’s also probably the only scenario where anyone but one of the leading ap.PTT World Wonders wins.

Here’s a reply to Pipirop’s analysis by a PTT player:

Caliban (from PTT):

Saying that ap.PTT have won when they have not and before either SBD or LEGO have thrown any hammers is grossly premature. This server will not end in 2 weeks.
This is why I’ve been hesitant to call this server over despite the evidence that PTT and Apeiron have a dominating lead. There should still be a lot of hammers out there. But Pipirop doesn’t think there are:
 
There are only 10-12 real hammers (more than 300k crop) available still on the server. 5-7 are with ap.PTT and at least 2 with SBD. Fred Garvin has more than 2 mil defence in the village, medium hammers would barely scratch that plus it would take huge coordination to do it. Same goes for the rest ap.PTT villages with the exception of Klynch. I know that you try to keep your players focused, but it is a foregone conclusion at this point Even if SBD takes out garvin and danix still you can bring down cassini with minimal effort.
I have to wonder how Pipirop could have the information about how many hammer armies each alliance has. Does he really have contacts with the leaders of each alliance who will share this usually top-secret information with him (knowing the defense at the leading World Wonder is impressive too). Or is he just an extremely keen observer? Or is it possible he doesn’t know as much as he claims? Time will tell if what he says is correct, but I must say that his numbers seem like a low amount of endgame armies for a .com server, especially given how few large endgame armies have been used so far.
 
But right now there’s still no signs of that happening. The usual epic endgame war is still waiting to start, and it might just keep on waiting until the end of the game passes and never really start. But when and if it does, I plan on writing all about it.
 
(There are some battles taking place, and some of them are posted here:  http://forum.travian.com/showpost.php?p=1447936&postcount=131)