Server 7 Restart Announced

Just in time for players who are finished with Server 9, it’s time for the return of Server 7! The server will begin in just over a week from today, and pre-registration starts next Wednesday. Click here to read the official announcement.

The Server will Travian version 3.6 but without the Rally Point Restriction or the Instant Recall function, both of which are seemingly gone from Travian.com for good.

You can view the Hall of Champions entry for the last Server 7 here: https://travianchampions.wordpress.com/world-com/s7-com-09-10-travian-3-3/. The players on the new server will certainly have big shoes to fill!

Some thoughts on S1.com and S7.com before I get to S9.com

Overall I’m really happy with how my S2.com endgame coverage turned out, and most people agree that I did a good job. I’m really looking forward to doing S9.com coverage. I’m a little bit nervous about covering a server that I’m also playing on, but I’m sure things will work out okay.

The S2.com coverage was really a good way for me to bounce back after I dropped the ball on the S1.com and S7.com coverage. I would like to take this time to apologize once again to all the players on S1.com and S7.com, for not being able to cover their endgames as much as I should have. When the S6.com, S1.com, and S7.com endgames were all going on at the same time, I tried really hard to keep up to date on what was going on with all of them, and I got burnt out really quickly. By the time S6.com ended, I was tired and my account on S9.com was very neglected, and there just wasn’t enough time for me too get back into a groove and cover S1 and S7 the way I should. But the important thing is that I’ve learned from my mistakes and now I know to just stick to playing and covering one server at a time (Speaking of which, earlier today I turned down a chance to take over an awesome account on S5.com that was offered to me, because I knew I wouldn’t have the time for it.).

I still have some material for S7.com that I never did get around to using, so maybe if I can find the spare time I’ll take a look at it and put some of it on the site. I was never really happy with the Hall of Fame entry so I might look into revamping that too.

Anyway, I just wanted to say sorry one more time to S1 and S7 players.

And without any further ado, now I’ll go face the impossible task of trying to make everyone on S9.com happy.

S7.com: Post-Game Analysis by C0unsel

The leader of Peaceful Simmers, one of the key alliances that was a part of the winning South-WW Meta-Alliance on S7.com 09-10, posted an awesome post game analysis on the S7.com forums. I thought that it was definitely worthy of being added to Travian Champions so it can be kept up permanently (I’ve also added it to this site’s Strategy Guides page in the “Expert” category).

Before I post the breakdown in its entirety, let me give some background on C0unsel. In addition to helping lead his alliance to victory on S7.com, C0unsel also co-played the Incognito account (along with Icis) which was ranked as the #1 attacker and #1 raider, and he also sat for the Regulator’s World Wonder, which ended up being the winner. C0unsel was also the #1 attacker on S4.com 08-09, and the led the Meta-alliance that finished as the runners-up on that server (I was also a part of that alliance, and that’s how I first met C0unsel). He is definitely one of the top Travian minds in the world and a true expert of the game in every sense. Here is his analysis of the endgame of S7.com:

I would like to start this post by first congratulating our opponents and especially those who stuck it out till the end. The measure of ones strength is often judged by those you are pitted against. In the North we found honourable and worthy fighters, many of whom never gave up. That being said, the north lost and lost badly. In this post I attempt to set out what I perceive as being the main reasons why, not to rubbish the north or start a flame war, but as I believe there may be some who appreciate a proper post match analysis.

To understand why the north lost and perhaps learn lessons for future servers, it is first necessary to dispel some of the reasons proffered thus far for their loss. Foremost is the argument which runs “you simmed all server but at least we had fun.” This argument is flawed on so many levels that it requires rebuttal and a continued acceptance of it can only lead to continued poor play on future servers.

Firstly, the argument presumes that building World Wonder hammer and fighting during the server are exclusive, when they are not. Taking the Incognito account as an extreme example, we fought all server, there was rarely a week we weren’t in the attackers top 10 and yet were still able to build two World Wonder hammers
http://travianreports.com/en?img=01/pjtjHch.png
http://travianreports.com/en?img=01/rKA87WS.png
Nor does one need to look at our account alone. Amongst the northern World Wonder hammers, many adopted a similar course (natooor, Aerixx to name but two) were able to both fight during the server and host a World Wonder hammer. Perhaps the main difference between north and south was we tracked, hunted then chiefed such hammers as showed themselves whereas you made no such efforts attacking southern hammers.

Secondly, the argument ignores the many types of players that play this game. Some like to play offensively from the start, others like to run defensive accounts, others perhaps being less active wish to peacefully grow a huge hammer, others still like empire building and focus on population. All of these players are an asset in endgame. The attackers to wear down the enemy, the empire builders to support the wonder in both crop and resources, the defensive players and World Wonder hammers jobs are obvious. It is perhaps a task of leadership to identify these player types and then fit round pegs into round holes and so see that all can gain their enjoyment and fulfill alliance objectives playing the type of game which suits them. To say that a particular player type, which doesn’t fall into your model isn’t having fun is the height of arrogance. It takes all types, the issue is how the players are used.

Thirdly, it is factually incorrect. PS has held the no.1 alliance offence rank since around week 29. For many weeks thereafter there was a constant battle between IR and PS jockeying for this position. The fact that the North lost more during their server wars than the south, perhaps speaks to the fact that they were less effective in prosecuting their wars than the south. Hammers lost can’t be quickly rebuilt and way too many hammers were lost by the North. The fallacy in the “at least we had fun” argument is that it isn’t necessary to lose hammers in wars. Proper planning, faking and execution should have minimized your losses. When you proclaim “at least we had fun fighting” you do no more than brag about your incompetence in executing these attacks.

Fourthly, finally and most importantly, the argument ignores the fact that this is a strategy game. Resources are finite and decisions as to where to deploy them are fundamental. If you leave the locker dry too early, then this is simply bad play. The loser in a chess game doesn’t brag about the fact that at least he had fun taking pieces with his pawns in the start and that such is more important than winning. The idea is to play well, whilst working towards your strategic objectives.

End Game Analysis
Why did the North lose the end game when from an objective look of things they should have won. As we entered end game they were more populous and through their confedding of the PT alliances, this advantage only increased.

(Click to enlarge)

I attempt to identify the major failings below. Again let me indicate this is not intended as
personal criticism but rather to start a reasoned debate. I also intend to limit my analysis to simply the end game at this stage and will write a separate post dealing with other aspects of the server:

1. The North Displayed a lack of understanding of a WW race
The idea of a ww race is to get one wonder to 100, not 8 to the mid 50s. It sounds simple but is in fact hard. People get attached to the wonders they hold, they desire crop, defences and use up valuable manpower (ww teams). All of these are finite and by splitting them you diminish your chances.

2. Inadequate Defences
Nothing contributed to the north’s loss more than poor defence. Incognito’s capital and hammer village maintained more static defence for the entire server than was present in some northern wonders. The low server numbers certainly didn’t help, yet the fact that the PC wonder gathered over 5 million defence towards the end shows what is possible. The fact that the Regulator wonder gathered and maintained over 5 million defence from around 2-3 wings, whilst being surrounded by enemies proves the point. By gathering sufficient defence, one makes a wonder immune to 3k cat attacks. By gathering a lot you make it immune to 5k cat attacks. Wonders will always take damage and delay, but through your poor defences you allowed most of our players to cause delay, rather than just the dedicated big guns.

2. Real or Fake Wonder
The concept of having a real wonder and a fake one eluded you. Not only did you spend your hammers at southern fakes, notably Caio and Slacker, at no point did u seem to designate one of your own as fake to attract and draw hammers. Maintaining a fake with 500k-1 mil defence is entirely feasible, if a thankless task and the reduced defence allows you to race it up the levels, not caring about infrastructure as its never designed to complete. Rather than have fakes and reals, you just seemed to focus on whichever was in the lead at any one time.

3. Every hour counts
In a race where hours can count, the north was dreadfully slow off the mark in seizing the wonders, and their failure to seize plans in a timely fashion was embarrassing. It is no excuse to say the natars came early. They came in day 274 on s1.com which was a useful “heads up” to all caring to pay attention.

4. Artifacts
The north failed to recognize the importance of artifacts. It is no accident that the south started the wonder race holding 8 of the end game artifacts (rivals confusion and structurals). We saw the importance of both owning them and retaining them, indeed much of our early wars were designed to attain such as remained in enemy hands. The north’s loss of the two that remained to them in the first weeks of endgame again displayed a lack of understanding of importance. In each instance several suicide hammers, expecting to meet 500k defences simply hit air, the arty being protected by only 100-200k defence and long since cleared.

Both the rivals confusion and structural have the same purpose. It compels the attacker to target the wonder itself over infrastructure. No one wishes to waste a ww hammer and risk hitting a level 1 market. The structural one acts the same way as it makes the infrastructure effectively immune to damage. The unique diet one is not an end game artifact. I say this as it does nothing that can’t be achieved through better logistical management. Yes it makes troops easier to feed in a wonder but more people sending crop achieves the same.

A lot has been written about how artifacts have spoiled the game. In my opinion this isn’t correct. What they do is provide a reason for the mid game wars, rather than mere boredom and the need to expand having settled your quad, but more importantly, they create extra strategic targets. They need to be treated like wonders in terms of alliance goals/objectives and I foresee many more wars being fought over them in future servers.

Where the north failed, was in focusing on account artifacts (troop trains/boots/diet) and not on alliance ones. The rivals and unique are effectively pointless till end game and do nothing for an individual account, perhaps a reason why the north discounted them till too late.

In addition the potential for using multiple artifacts (eyes/structural or rivals/structural), knowing how to activate each without delay, having dedicated hammers and level 20 treasuries ready to take advantage of opportunities and prevent our own artifacts falling into enemy hands are features which im sure will become commonplace on future servers. Artifacts don’t spoil the game, they simply add a new level to it. Until people properly appreciate and understand how to both value and use them, they will suffer the consequences.

5. Delay in attacking PS
This delay was inexcusable. The north must have seen that both the Caio and Regulator wonder were protected by artifacts and as such any attacks would have to target the wonder itself. Given that there is a balance to be reached between letting it get high enough so that proper delay is caused and not letting it get too high such as you can’t cause damage the first real strikes coming when they were in the high 80s was way too late.

If not earlier, by the time we stole northern construction plans from your quad following the natars spawn, the north ought to have known we were to be competitors. Granted, our diplomacy was always directed at letting you believe that an allegiance might at some unspecified time be in the offing, but continuing to rely upon these suggestions when contradicted by all evidence suggests either poor judgment in believing it, or perhaps a lack of will to do anything about it. More than anything else, I would wish to know the rationale for the north not attacking, nor even faking the SW till Regulator was in the level 60s.

6. Tactics
The harsh truth of the matter is that the Northern operations were tactically poor. Major offensives were launched against accounts holding eyes, without realizing it. Attacks were launched against artifacts which allowed them to be moved and anvils set. Instances of chiefing southern hammers was rare if indeed any happened at all and fakes against southern players were so few, that when they did arise it was like a neon sign saying “northern operation in progress”. Far from hide the attacks, they highlighted them.

7. Strategy
First and foremost this is a strategy game. Many people play it simply at a tactical level – which for them is fine. However, if no one is providing the over-arching plan, it should be unsurprising when you lose.

The North’s strategy appeared to be to dominate through numbers. To this end, the NW and NE confedded with each other, and later with PT. As a strategy it holds some merits, yet you failed to use your numerical advantage where it could count viz. in attacks, faking, defences and crop support. What PS has showed this server is that it’s rarely about numbers but the commitment of those numbers. I’d sooner have 15 dedicated players than 60 barely active ones. What perhaps was overlooked in your merger was that by doing so, you were united in your shared desire for a win, but with no sense of teamwork, watching each others back and mutually helping. Effectively you increased numbers and lost your raison d’etre. You traded numbers for your souls. Rather than it being 8 v 5 in the wonder race, it was 5 v 1 v 1 v 1 v 1 v 1 v 1 v 1 v1. It is unsurprising you lost in those circumstances.

8. Insufficient hammers
When one analyses the attacks launched in endgame it is notable that the north had too few hammers with siege. The reasons for this are best known to the north themselves. Certainly in PS people were told at the earliest stages that no army <5k siege would be counted as a ww hammer, and those potential ww hammers as were identified were nurtured, parking found for them and them given access to the troop train artifacts.

On one view it appears that many of your members simply lacked the discipline to continue building siege, content to “fight all server having fun” but as mentioned above these are not either/or choices.

9. Your Opposition
The north faced strong competition in the south. Even now I don’t believe people are truly aware as to how integrated PS/IR/LW/B was. We acted with the end game in mind, in pursuance of those objectives and always together. The SE leaders and alliances are amongst the finest I’ve worked with. The SW ones (PS, PS2, UC, Fenix) have done us proud and been a joy and a pleasure to lead. I simply mention this as absent the failings mentioned at 1-8 above, I believe you would still have had an uphill struggle. With those failings, your task became impossible.

Let me conclude this post by thanking enemy and friend alike for participating in an enjoyable server. Remember that come next server, your enemy may be your friend and vica-versa. Put away the bitterness, learn from this server, whichever side you were on and I look forward to fighting with (or against you) on future servers.

c0unse1
(the male half of Incognito)

S7.com: A Look at Regulator’s World Wonder

There are some interesting stories and things to write about from the recently completed S7.com, and I’ll try to get to as many of them as possible over the next few days (assuming I have the time).

One things I want to take a closer look at is the winning World Wonder city. Regulator used quite a unique build that’s worth taking a closer look at:

Okay, so what’s odd about this picture? Only one Great Warehouse!

Regulator’s World Wonder City used TEN Lv.20 regular warehouses (one of which is hidden behind the World Wonder) to get the necessary capacity to build his World Wonder up. This is something I’ve never seen before in my relatively brief time of watching Travian endgames. Most players use several Great Warehouses to get the storage they need. It takes less overall time to build than this many Lv.20 Warehouses, and it takes up less building spaces, giving players more room for Great Granaries and maybe a Grain Mill (Regulator even had to tear down her Marketplace in order to get enough room for the last Warehouse).  So why did Regulator and South-WW break from the norm like this?

Here’s the story behind this unconventional building strategy: When the endgame was underway, the leaders of PS thought it would be a clever idea to only build regular Warehouses, and that way when Hammer armies were launched on Regulator’s Village that targeted the Great Warehouse, they would find none there, and the attack would be wasted (it would just hit a  a resource field or a regular warehouse, which take a lot less time to build).

But what ended up happening is that South-WW’s enemies, Aurora Borealis, didn’t end up coming after Regulator’s World Wonder until much later than Regulator and PS’s leaders expected they would. By the time they got around to launching the attack, it made more sense for them to target the World Wonder itself than the Warehouses (a possible tactical error on their part).

Regulator also had the Unique Architects Secret, meaning that all of her building except the World Wonder were harder to destroy than normal. So it made sense for them to target the World Wonder instead of a level 20 building. The decoy Warehouses were never targeted, so that ended up being pretty much all that was built!

It’s worth noting that Regulator was a Roman, meaning she got to combine the Roman’s amazing Lv.20 Wall Bonus with the 5x Building Stability artifact. It’s got to be a real to pain to attack into THAT.

Here’s a picture of the defense at Regulator’s World Wonder at the end of the game:

 

Remember that this server had less players than normal, so the amount of defense there is especially impressive.

S7.com Winners Inducted Into The Hall of Champions

Travian Champions is pleased to induct the winners of S7.com 2009-2010 into the Travian Hall of Champions. These guys were definitely one of the most skilled alliances I’ve ever seen in my experience in this game, and this is definitely one well-deserved win. View the entry for Server 7 here:

https://travianchampions.wordpress.com/world-com/s7-com-09-10-travian-3-3/

Travian 3.6: All .com servers servers to be upgraded next week!

A big announcement was made on the Travian.com forums earlier today by the .com admin, Tschena. All Travian.com servers will be making changes to Travian 3.6. Not all of the 3.6 features will be going into effect, but players can expect to see new graphics and get new free features. but the biggest controversy is that all servers will now have the Travian 3.6 “Gold Club” implemented on them, even ones that are almost over, like S6.com and S1.com.  Read the announcement thread here. The full text of the announcement is below:

Here is the full text of her announcement:

Dear players,

all servers will get an upgrade either to T3.6 directly or to T3.6 code with some restrictions on December 2, 2009.

New servers (com10)

  • Rally point: only 5 troop movements (attacks, raids and reinforcement orders) per building level
  • Status icons for reports, to identify easy attacks without losses, trades etc
  • Research loop for armoury and blacksmith
  • Enough resources at…. and “capacity” after raids shown without PLUS (and for academy, armoury and blacksmith)
  • Direct link to the NPC trade
  • Direct link to “instant build”
  • 10% off and def bonus removed (only NEW Servers)
  • PLUS cost down from 15 to 10 (only NEW Servers)
  • Graphics for artefact’s and resource fields
  • Village and link panel can be collapsed

Gold club:

  • Gold club costs 100 Gold for whole server time
  • Returning troops immediate callback (and they return immediately to your village) cost 5 gold. This only affects returning troops. And only those without catapults and chiefs of any tribe. Those can not be called back immediately.
    Additional, the callback is not possible if the village is being under attack/raid hitting within the next 3 hours.
  • Master builder: prepare three more buildings in loop even without enough resources, cost 1 gold for each
  • Send away all troops before an attack comes in (they leave at the moment of the attack and return 180 seconds afterwards) 2 gold each time troops dodge. The total amount of dodges can be set by the player for each village separately (troops have to be at home for at least 10 seconds except they are returning from the usage of this option)
  • Trade route for 7 days, 2 gold per route for 7 days (only for own villages)

then there are free features in the Gold club:

  • Merchants run three times (if selected)
  • Farm list – you can setup to easy find and attack your farms
  • 15 and 9 cropper finder with oasis bonuses filter
  • Farm statistics easy overview how effective your raids to a specific village have been

Features formerly in the PLUS Account, now free for all players:

  • Enough resources at…. shown without PLUS (also for academy, armory and blacksmith)
  • “Capacity” after raids shown without PLUS
  • WarSim with all features
  • Walls etc and Rally Point can be built anywhere and be moved on their specific building site

Changes for the PLUS Account:

  • Lowered price for PLUS Account from 15 to 10
  • Research loop for armoury and blacksmith
  • 10% off and def bonus removed (to remove the possibility to buy a combat bonus for Gold)

Upgraded Travian 3.5 Servers (com1, com2, com4, com5, com6, com7, com9, comx)

  • Status icons for reports, to identify easy attacks without losses, trades etc
  • Research loop for armoury and blacksmith
  • Enough resources at…. and “capacity” after raids shown without PLUS (and for academy, armoury and blacksmith)
  • Direct link to the NPC trade
  • Direct link to “instant build”
  • Graphics for artefact’s and resource fields
  • Village and link panel can be collapsed

Gold club:

  • Gold club costs 100 Gold for whole server time
  • Master builder: prepare three more buildings in loop even without enough resources, cost 1 gold for each
  • Trade route for 7 days, 2 gold per route for 7 days (only for own villages)

then there are free features in the Gold club:

  • Merchants run three times (if selected)
  • Farm list – you can setup to easy find and attack your farms
  • 15 and 9 cropper finder with oasis bonuses filter
  • Farm statistics easy overview how effective your raids to a specific village have been

Features formerly in the PLUS Account, now free for all players:

  • Enough resources at…. shown without PLUS (also for academy, armoury and blacksmith)
  • “Capacity” after raids shown without PLUS
  • WarSim with all features
  • Walls etc and Rally Point can be built anywhere and be moved on their specific building site

Changes for the PLUS Account:

  • Research loop for armory and blacksmith

Classic servers (com3)

  • Status icons for reports, to identify easy attacks without losses, trades etc
  • Research loop for armoury and blacksmith
  • Enough resources at…. and “capacity” after raids shown without PLUS (and for academy, armoury and blacksmith)
  • Direct link to the NPC trade
  • Direct link to “instant build”
  • Graphics for artefact’s and resource fields
  • Village and link panel can be collapsed

Gold club:

  • Gold club costs 100 Gold for whole server time

then there are free features in the Gold club:

  • Merchants run three times (if selected)
  • Farm list – you can setup to easy find and attack your farms
  • 15 and 9 cropper finder
  • Farm statistics easy overview how effective your raids to a specific village have been

Features formerly in the PLUS Account, now free for all players:

  • Enough resources at…. shown without PLUS (also for academy, armoury and blacksmith)
  • “Capacity” after raids shown without PLUS
  • WarSim with all features
  • Walls etc and Rally Point can be built anywhere and be moved on their specific building site

Changes for the PLUS Account:

  • Research loop for armory and blacksmith

 

Stay tuned to Travian Champions for more news and clarifications about Travian 3.6 and how these changes will affect the game!

S7.com Endgame is Here, About a Month Early

This happened earlier with S1.com, so it was less of a surprise when there was an announcement on Travian.com saying that the Natars would be arriving a lot earlier than normal for S7.com.

On Nov.21st the endgame will begin. So best of luck to all the competitors, and I look forward to inducting the winners into the Hall of Champions!

Some American players aren’t happy that the early endgame is starting around Thanksgiving time. One player wrote into this site:

Badnews: Endgame is here far too early. It is particularly bad timing for many of the players in the USA, with NATARs due to arrive Thanksgiving week when many will be very busy with families.

It’s a tough break for some players and it will be interesting to see how the big alliances cope. It also means that the endgame will be in full-swing during Christmas and New Years, which means they probably won’t get to enjoy a New Year’s Truce (if there is one).
 
Similar to S1.com, the reason for starting the endgame early is because of the low population on the server. S7 had even less players than S1 does, even though it started later. S7 has 4559 players, while S1 has 4602.
 
S6, which is the closest server to being finished, has 6516 players left, and S8.com had 6788 player when it ended.
 
It’s sure to be hard for S7.com’s leaders to deal with the combination of a low player base and players being distracted or absent during the December holidays. But no one ever said winning Travian would be easy. All I have to say is now I’m really happy I decided to leave S7.com and just play S9.com instead.
 
The Endgame is probably shaping up to be a battle between the top north and south alliances. The top northeast and northwest alliances had been at war with one another, but recently agreed to a peace deal so that they can take on the unified southern alliances.