Deadline Day for Travian Magazine, take two

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 admin@travian.com!

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Deadline Day for Travian Magazine

Sorry the site has been slow on updates lately. It’s certainly not for lack of content – I’ve got tons of stuff to write about and put up on the site! It’s more a matter of me not having much free time right now. I’ve started a new job recently (yay, more money!) and the commute takes a long time to get there, and my summer course load is heavier than I thought it would be.

And then there’s my parents and their yardwork. Get a smaller place already Mom and Dad, all your kids are old now!

With only enough time to get one thing done, I decided to finish the Server 9 update for the next issue of Travian Magazine. I’ll put it up here as a preview. I tried to be fair in it:

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 also a member 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 was definitely lots of chances for bad blood to build between the two sides. 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.

Rangers had also apparently made a secret deal 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, 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 leaders who made this deal kept other 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 being decided by the thousands of players on the server, the end of the game was decided by the discussions 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_JR, and CF pulled off the impressive feat of having 9 of the 10 largest players, four of whom were in CF-DW. Thunder~ was both the top attacking alliance and the top defending alliance not to have a World Wonder in it.

I’ll try to have more S9 stuff on the site soon, I really hope I can get to everything!

S9.com Roundtable Interview coming soon!

Man, I just did the most epic interview in the history of Travian Champions, with a Roundtable discussion of players from Rangers, TRUST, and CF from Server 9. I can’t wait to put it up on the site, but it’s going to take me a while to edit all of it and put it into readable form. It’s so long that I’ll probably have to split it into two parts, and I still need to talk to a few other alliance leaders as well.

I’ve got to do the dishes tonight, and do some studying as well (lousy summer course!), but I’ll try to get it done and on the site by tomorrow. Big thanks to all the people who came to the interview.

Expect an update later tonight where I get into the news of what happened in Server 9 final hours, as best I can.

S9.com: The Final Results

Server 9 is over, with Babuk finishing as the winning World Wonder.

But the real story may be that he switched alliances at level 99, from TRUST to Rangers. And many players are shocked that this has happened (I know I am, though I’m going to try to get the full story before I rush to judgement).

Here’s the final standings:

Note that Babuk joined Rangers on the last day of the Server, and that the alliance was specifically renamed Rangers on the last day as well (previously it was called “Tonto.” So this was definitely a deliberate act to put the name “Rangers” as the winning alliance at the top of the rankings as the game ends. Before the World Wonder race, Babuk was in Tonto for his entire playing time of the game (it was originally called KISSNW7).

Here’s a shot of their closing alliance screen. Babuk is listed as “The Winner”. They are listed as being confederated with several, but not all, of alliances in TRUST.

Stay tuned for more Server 9 reaction and coverage!

Website Update

Anytime I go several days without blogging, it’s always a bit awkward getting back to doing it regularly, and it’s been 11 days, one of my bigger “off” period since I’ve started this site. So I might be a bit awkward at first, but I’ll try to get back to daily updates, and devote a significant amount of coverage to the end of S9.com. Which appears to be very close at hand:

I’m sincerely sorry for not having more coverage on the Server 9 endgame while it was happening. I was spending a lot of time trying to help my Meta-alliance get the win, and it looks like those efforts will help pay off (of course I was just one of many).

Expect more updates over the next few days, I’ve got a lot to say about Server 9 and I’ll try to get to it all.

Bizarre Forum Thread of the Day

Sometimes Server 9 weirds me out: http://forum.travian.com/showthread.php?t=136239

S9.com: The Stare Down

I’m low on time so I’ll have to keep this post short, but there’s a lot to say about the current events in the S9.com endgame.

Thunder pulled the trigger on their expected attacks on The Watcher’s World Wonder (I expected that they would wait a few more days, so this was a small surprise for me that it happened already). The infrastructure was hit hard enough to slow it down, and these are the current standings:

TRUST will now pass CF in the standings, and they might be able to get several World Wonder out ahead.

Before the attacks on The Watcher, he had a population of 809, and he’s now down to 724, for a loss of 85 points. That’s not enough to take him out of the race entirely, but it should be enough to get at least of one of TRUST’s World Wonders into the lead, and maybe as many as four depending on how fast Sakeman, Bratsoni and Cleopatra can build.

Babuk is the clear leader in the World Wonder race now, with a population of 826 and nearing level 80. This means we’re in the situation that some players were speculating about: the leading World Wonder in the hands of a Rangers player, allied with Thunder. As I’ve reported earlier, TRUST and Rangers were allied at the start of the endgame, then Rangers was kicked off the team because Thunder didn’t trust them. But they later patched that back up, but will the one-time fierce rivals be able to stay together now, with the game and the glory on the line?

CF is probably betting that they can’t, and there’s nothing that CF would like more than to see Thunder attack their own side’s leading World Wonder.

(Sakeman is further back than he looks if you’re just going by the levels. His total population is about the same as Bratsoni’s, meaning he has a lot less infrastructure and storage space than Babuk does).

Stop for a second and just think about everything that’s going on behind the scenes now. Who knows what hidden cards CF has up their sleeve, but you can expect them to use every one of them to try to push the always interesting Rangers/Thunder relationship over the edge. I’m sure there’s plenty of discussion going on, even if we’re not seeing very much of it on the Server 9 forums.

CF are probably having their own internal discussions as well. What if their gambit fails and TRUST’s allegiances appear to hold? How long will they wait before attacking Babuk? Will they let it reach level 90? Level 95? Level 98? Or is it possible they will let it actually go all the way and consider that a Pyrrhic victory? The stare down is on, and we’ll see who blinks first!

In other news, TRUST dealt CF another big blow by managing to steal The Watcher’s 3x building stability artifact!

Will CF transfer their one remaining stability artifact to The Watcher, or will they leave it with Big G? It will be interesting to see what they do (or don’t do).

And who will Thunder give the building stability artifact to? Babuk? Or maybe Sakeman? Whoever gets it will be an indication about who TRUST is banking on to be a winner (note that Inocka and Cleopatra already have 3x stability artifacts).

This is another big artifact loss for CF. If they can lose an artifact that valuable at this stage of the game, there’s still a chance they could end up losing one of their two remaining World Wonder building plans.

Speaking of artifacts, TRUST moved the 5x Stability unique artifact from Bratsoni to another player. This was possibly just for safekeeping, and not because they want it transferred to another player, but still it’s worth keeping an eye on.

I’ll post a lot of battlereports later tonight! I’ve got to be heading off now, so sorry it has to wait.

These attacks cost Thunder a lot, but the attacks on Bratsoni’s World Wonder did the same to CF. And because Thudner has more World Wonders in the game, CF needs to be ahead of Thunder on offense from here in order to win.