Awesome Travian Picture

Spotted on the Online Strategy Games blog. I think I’ve mentioned before that Oliver is keeping a blog about his adventures on S8.com, and as always it makes for an interesting read. He continues to face some hard luck, but no one ever said S8 would be easy. At least he’s got a good attitude about things.

Weekly Rewards for the Fastest Growing Player on S8.com

Whoever is the fastest climbing player of the week on Server 8 will receive a reward of 10 Gold. Server 8 is the newest server on Travian.com. The official announcement was in this thread, but let’s take a look at it here:

We are happy to inform you all that com8 will get new rewards for the climbers of the weeks as little stimulation for our new players. The winner of the climber of the weeks medal category will earn 10 Gold additionally to his medal.

We will test these rewards for the next 4 weeks and if we see that they get accepted / function they will be continued until the artefacts get implemented on com8 only.

Here you can register for com8.

Regards
Tschena and Phanttis

I’ll report back after they announce whether they’ll keep this going on not. It’s something nice to give new players something to compete for, and a different player should win it every week, so the wealth will get spread around. I’d like it if the reward was  little higher, because it’s easy to spend over 10 gold during the first week, especially if you’re trying to be #1.

More rewards for the top players is, in my opinion, a good way to balance out the changes in 3.6 that made the game easier for less skilled players.

UPDATE: They’ve announced that they might do this on future servers, and even extend this program to Server 5 and Sever 10.

S8.com Restart Announced

They’ve announced that S8.com will be restarting on Friday, December 18th. Pre-registration will open on December 16th. Read the official announcement thread here.

S8.com will be Travian version 3.6, but it won’t have the auto-recall feature that lets you instantly return your troops.

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!

Travian Champions Interviews Ice (aka Red Queen)

After the end of S8.com 08-09, I did an interview with Red Queen, also known as “Ice,”  from the winning alliance ap.PTT. Red Queen was a co-played account and Ice was one of the two players on it.

Randomgeek:  You had some previous experience leading a Meta-alliance in Travian before, during the past S6.com. Tell us a little bit about that, and why you decided to do it again.

Ice (RQ): Last server 6 was my first time playing travian, I started the server half way through and knew nothing about travian. I didn’t take over the meta leadership until about a month before endgame. The odds were overwhelming against us but we did the best we could and gave our selves a fighting chance in the end. Although we lost I took it as a learning experience that would hopefully serve me well in the future.

Randomgeek: What were some of the things you learned on that server that helped you win on S8?

Ice (RQ): One lesson I learned was that trust was the foundation of effective cooperation between alliances. On that server I was in a similar position as SBD and LEGO were (on S8.com), with no history of cooperation but the necessity to work together with another quad to eliminate the larger threat.  There were many trust issues and no cooperation.  The server ended prematurely because of this lack of cooperation. This leads to the second lesson learned which is that effective hammer use and maintenance is critical to success.  On S8 I made sure to work closely to work with our apeiron allies and keep all hammers engaged and on track.

Randomgeek: Do you think your alliance was the most organized of the 4 Metas, and did that help make the difference in the end?

Ice (RQ): Prior to endgame phase there was very little organization and coordination between the PTT wings. PTT was not a cohesive alliance but leading up to endgame I reorganized the wings geographically, improved communication (new forums and MMs) and implemented central decision making to give us a better chance for endgame. It was not perfect as there was still some sub-alliances that did their own things mainly due to language barriers.  This new streamlined organization and goal focusing, allowed PTT to work better as a team and take 5 WWs and 5 plans in a coordinated fashion. I did not get to see the inner working of the other alliances so I cannot say we were the most organized. But I can say we were alot better organized than we were two months before endgame.

Randomgeek: Given that your side had a lot of things go your way that were out of your control – One of LEGO’s leaders – CartesianCo – deleting, the Northeast’s internal wars, SBD only grabbing one World Wonder, LEGO only grabbing two sets of plans, and the other side miscalculating how much infrastrucure you had built at the end… Do you think Ap.PTT had the most luck during the endgame of the 3 sides, and did that help make the difference in the end?

Ice (RQ): I dont believe in luck. There is only opportunity matched with preparation. It is true that CartesianCo went inactive but his account was actively played by leadership. (On our side) the original King of Defense left shortly before endgame. LEGO made the strategic decision that they could not defend 4 wonders, this was not a spot of bad luck but something decided by their leadership.  It also helped their decision that Heinz-James successfully convinced LEGO leaders that CartesianCo may have been compromised. This is not luck.  Plans are not given to you they are taken. PTT successfully conquered 5 out of the 6 plans we attempted to obtain.  Success and failure is decided by organization and activity not luck.

As for the NE, again SBD only grabbing one WW according to their own leadership was a strategic decision and even if it was not, their failure could not have been ascribed to bad luck. PTT planned for 5 wonders and conquered 5 wonders, this did not happen by accident.  As for their internal wars, one cannot dismiss faulty diplomacy as bad luck, it is part of the full spectrum of travian. Lastly miscalculation of our remaining infrastructure was not bad luck. We were all working with incomplete information trying to make the best decisions we could. Furthermore, we purposely built extra capacity as part of our strategy of having our WWs bounce back quickly from GW hits. This was not luck this was the plan.

In sum, there were too many smart people on all sides working hard for months, to say that the result was just a matter of luck.  Everything you mentioned is part of the long chain of cause and effect. None of the things you mentioned happen in a vacuum, but happen as a result of an action taken by somebody.

Randomgeek: Some people have said that Ap.PTT couldn’t have possibly lost and had the Endgame won from the start. Personally I disagree, especially as the actual finish was pretty darn close. But what’s your take? Did you feel like you had a large advantage? If so, did that impact your play?

Ice (RQ): ap.PTT’s only advantage was our coordination and cooperation. This is something that SBD and LEGO did not have until the final month of endgame. Our meta only comprised half the server meaning we still had to overcome the other half. If some of our enemies were weaker than they should have been, that is because we weakened them. We played the endgame we wanted. If our enemies cannot say the same, I think that means we did something right.

Randomgeek: How close was the finish, to the best of your knowledge? How close do you think SBD or LEGO was to winning?

Ice (RQ): We know we set LEGO back at least another week according to one of their leaders, Darkseid. They would not have overcome us.  Cassini was the only real threat. To win they needed to delay every ap.ptt wonder ahead of them. After SBD sent out its last hammers, we still believe that both indoing and obviously Obor were ahead of Cassini. Although it was a close race they would have still needed two super hammers to knock them both out. They didn’t have them and neither did we and that is why Obor won.

Randomgeek: So two more big armies would have made the difference?

Ice (RQ): Yes, but there were only a handful of those size armies to begin with on the server in any case. And at that stage of the server no one expected to see anymore other than Kirsa’s (SBD) legendary and imaginary second hammer. I am sure all sides wished they could have found two more super armies of 250k+ hidden somewhere in their quad.  The largest remaining army was jajoh of apeiron who reportedly had a 200k army left. Both LEGO and SBD said they had no more hammers of the size necessary to change the outcome.

Randomgeek: You mentioned earlier how important proper Hammer use is, so I wanted to ask about the massive attack Ap.PTT arranged on SBD’s sole World Wonder. How did you go about planning that attack, choosing how many armies to use, which ones to use, which ones not to use, etc.?

Ice (RQ): Up until that point apeiron and PTT had not shared their full hammer lists. When it became apparent how well defended Cassini was, both sides agreed that it was time to put all cards on the table. Both sides agreed that the strike would be “make or break” and that we would not be able to do significant damage at that wonder a second time.  Therefore we needed to do as much damage as we possibly could in one strike and we would need to win before Cassini recovered.  Before the strike we had fresh intelligence on the wonder, but given the importance of the strike it we decided to overcompensate by 125%. Before the strikes went out we began faking known SBD hammer players and leaders which resulted in a large decrease in defenses once the attack landed. Our overestimation of defenses plus panicked withdrawals from SBD resulted in what some would call “overkill”.  However, the purpose was to definitively knock Cassini out of the race in one hit and it seems we did that. 🙂

On a side note, we had a few hammers attack Cassini without orders just because they knew a large strike was occurring.

Randomgeek: I know that PTT had its own leadership council, when Ap.PTT came together and you started to really share information with each other, what was the leadership arrangement like? How were big decisions made in Ap.PTT?

Ice (RQ): We had a shared skype room with all leaders of PTT and apeiron and other officers.  As issues arose we discussed them and reached a consensus but no official votes were taken.  Thinking back I don’t recall a situation in which we disagreed with each other on how to proceed.

Randomgeek: When you realized that you had finally won, how did it feel for you personally? What did you look back on most fondly?’

Ice (RQ): Personally, a sense of accomplishment and relief. My first instinct was to thank all our world wonder holders and sitters that put in ungodly amounts of time.  The two best moments for me during endgame were having Bofiwar’s (LEGO) hammer capital zero popped after he harassed King of Defense on which I was a sitter. And also the complete destruction of all of Bellhouse’s (LEGO) villages which required the coordination of over 25 players and whose success obviated the need to attack Bellhouse’s strongly defended WW (at that time) and preserved our remaining hammers for Arnold.

Randomgeek: Tell us a little bit about the person behind Ice and what she does when she’s not leading Travian alliances.

Ice (RQ): I am a happily married 28 year old attorney and practice family law. I live in Illinois. I enjoy volunteering in the community and on local political campaigns. I can list a lot more of the hobbies I used to have before travian sapped a lot of my free time, lol. I plan on cutting back the amount of time I play travian but I do plan on returning to help lead another alliance in the future.

Randomgeek: Are you really made of ice?

Ice (RQ): Some say I am but you only see that side of me if you don’t follow orders. :p

S8.com Winners Inducted into the Travian Hall of Champions

https://travianchampions.wordpress.com/world-com/s8-com-08-09-travian-3-0/

Travian Champions is proud to make Ap.PTT, the winners of S8.com, the 5th induction into the Hall of Champions. It was an epic battle and the longest endgame I’ve covered yet, and all 3 sides will be remembered for how long and hard they fought. Sorry for the delay on doing the entry.

Oh, and click here to see the S8.com Wordle. (Thanks to Wordle.net)

The Story of S8.com’s Final Hours

Before I do the Hall of Champions Induction for Server 8.com, I want to take this chance to look back on how the game ended, because the story of this server’s final hours is one that should go down in the history books. It was a climactic finish and a close one too. (And after this is over, I promise I’ll start writing about S6.com)

Here are the final standings from the server:

You can review how close the standings were when I wrote my last post about S8.com, but let me break it down. Ap.PTT’s leading World Wonder – Obor – was at Lv.98, meaning they just had to queue the last two levels and not get hit again in order to win. But, it had been hit hard by Silent But Deadly and it was stalled just before the finish line. Ap.PTT had several other World Wonders close to winning that were on the move, including Indoing, Dani3x, Klynch, Musi, and Fred Garvin. LEGO was trying to repair a World Wonder on Lv. 97, belonging to Arnold, that had been attacked very hard. And Silent But Deadly only had one World Wonder, but it was building levels at a fast pace over the last few days. The first time Ap.PTT took that Wonder down, it took them 39 armies to do it. They wouldn’t have enough troops for another attack like that if it came to it.

SBD looked at the battlefield and saw a lot of Ap.PTT World Wonders within striking distance of the win. So a grand operation was undertaken to attack all of them, hopefully giving their one World Wonder enough time to complete the win.

So they sent out the last big armies they had, hitting Indoing, Dani3x, Klynch, Musi, and Fred Garvin, slowing each of them enough to put their world wonder into striking distance. But the one World Wonder they didn’t hit was Obor’s.

Because they had hit Obor’s World Wonder recently, and thought that it would need several more days to rebuild, during which their World Wonder would be able to move past it, SBD didn’t think it was worth it to send any attackers to it. Even though it was on Lv.98. But they didn’t realise that Ap.PTT had built extra infrastructure and storage there before their earlier attack, so it was actually in better shape than they thought it was.

Obor’s World Wonder was often thought to be a fake World Wonder, and as Heinz James from Ap.PTT said when I interviewed him, Apeiron managed to pull off a “Non-fake Fake World Wonder Trick”. It was a long time ago, but at the start of the Endgame, Obor’s World Wonder changed hands 5 times. Apeiron was late in taking it at the start of the Endgame, then LEGO took it, then Apeiron took it back but it had been reduced to zero population. A lot of people thought it would never come back from that, and no one would have predicted it to be the winner after a start like that. (You have to respect to Obor and his sitters for never giving up on it).

 

And because it was already on Lv.98, by the time they realised their mistake, it was too late for SBD or LEGO to do anything about it. Like I said in my earlier post, “Living Dangerously“, when a World Wonder is on Lv.98, there’s no room for error when a World Wonder is only 2 levels away from being done, because you can queue the last two levels at the same time. By the time someone on Lv.98 has started building the final two levels of the World Wonder, it’s too late to do anything about it.

SBD was running light on big armies, and LEGO was pretty much tapped out too. But if they had been hit Obor’s World Wonder a little bit harder, the game would have gone on and someone else’s World Wonder would have won. So it goes to show how making the wrong guess of where your enemy is at can have a dramatic effect on the endgame.

There are varying opinions on what would have happened if Obor’s World Wonder had been hit again. Of course, that would have required at least one more big army on SBD’s or LEGO’s side, because the defense at Obor’s village was stacked quite high.

There was an operation in place to attacks Obor’s villages so he couldn’t hold a plan, but the attacks didn’t have enough time to hit. Who knows if the operation would have actually succeeded or not if the attacks had enough time to hit? (I’ve heard from Ap.PTT leaders that they would have been ready for it, Obor’s plans were moved to somewhere safe after the build order for Lv.100 was entered)

I’ve been told by some people that SBD’s World Wonder would have gone on to win if they had been able to stop Obor. Others say that Indoing’s World Wonder wasn’t damaged enough from SBD’s attacks and that it would have been ahead of Cassini’s. I don’t know for sure and a lot of the people who say these things don’t know for sure either, so in the end I guess all you can say is that it was a close finish and Ap.PTT won it just before it possibly slipped out of their hands.

Ap.PTT leaders were definitely not looking forward to doing another assault on SBD’s World Wonder. They used 39 armies the first time, and it still managed to almost come back and get the win. Even those who thought they could have slowed down SBD’s World Wonder enough for Indoing or another Wonder to finish ahead of it didn’t think they’d be able to do it by much. It came down to SBD and LEGO being a just few armies short. It was definitely a close finish.

There was some talk on the forums about how Ap.PTT were too big for the other alliances to stand a chance, and that the Server was going to have a boring ending. In the end, it was proven that that wasn’t the case. LEGO and SBD both came very close, and if some things had gone their way, either one of those could have ended up as the winner. The endgame took a little while to get interesting, but LEGO made a brilliant move to force Ap.PTT to break the Non-Aggression Pact with SBD by taking out the

LEGO’s leaders used their armies very effectively and in a future server, if they can bring a few more hammers and keep all their top players until the end, they definitely have a great chance of winning. I hope they come back for the next S8.

In the end, Ap.PTT didn’t win because they were the biggest. They won because they were the best. I’m not going to say the battlefield was even. I also think that there were some things that went in Ap.PTT’s favour that were beyond their control. But there’s a big difference between having an advantage and being unbeatable. Ap.PTT had to work hard to beat two very skilled and deadly foes, and the close ending shows it.

I’m going to finish the Hall of Champions entry for S8.com now. And then post my interview with Red Queen from PTT (also known as Ice). That seems like a fitting way to wrap up the coverage of S8 and to segue into S6. There’s a lot more I could write about, and I regret that I don’t have the time to get to it. Like any epic war, there are stories that will be untold.