Sunday, February 24, 2008

Simple Review of the browser game - Travian

First started playing the browser game Travian in early May 2007. It is an addictive game. Chose to play this game thinking that it will not consume more than 10 minutes of my time daily but guess I'm so totally wrong.

Travian is a war game centering around villages that you (and your enemies) built. You have three choices of the type of villages, romans, teutons, and gauls. Each choice gives different characteristics for your army. Gauls is generally more defensive focus, teutons being more aggressive, and romans somewhat in-between. There are other nuances of course.

It is a very simple game to play, which explains why there are so many players. Here's Travian's 60seconds tutorial. An excellent tutorial; model reference for other games. China servers have 130k players, while america servers have 135k players. Other servers in Europe, Africa, and Middle East have varying number of players. I've two other simple Travian guides for would-be Travian players on 1 ) Protecting resources and building up defense and traps / end game here.

All players try to build villages like this:

on a map that looks like this:

There are 4 types of resources to focus on, lumber, clay, iron, and crops. You would also try to raid other players' resources, and / or capture an oasis which contribute to your resource pool. Players have to build 'cranny' that hide resources from other players' raids. The game proceeds in real time and so every 12ms there will be resources added to your pool. You could also trade resources with your other fellow players via a simple marketplace mechanism.

While building the your village buildings, players would also recruit army units, and also train up a 'hero' that adds bonus to defense and attack values of your armies. There are also options in the village buildings to enhance armour or attack weapons for similar purposes. Villages have city wall options to add defence values to the armies.

After an attack, a report would be generated, and here's a sample:

There is an end goal to the game, i.e. it is unlike a persistent online world concept like World of Warcraft or Second Life. When end game approaches, players will be informed via a notice like this:

Basically players have to rush to build 'World Wonders' and 1st player who build a World Wonder to level 100 wins. Players have to first conquer the Natar villages to get the building construction plans. There are quite a number of natars around but they have powerful armies:

Players form alliances partly for this purpose. There will be meta-alliances (groups of alliance) formed since no particular one player could achieve this feat on his own. There is a good in-game messaging mechnism, and players have used other free online forums to communicate. Various third party tools have been developed to help players, including this site that track inactive (and thus easy targets) villages.

Would I play Travian again, I guess not. Having to track my village development and watch out for attacks while managing resources on such a tight timeframe will definitely affect my work. Guess I'll stick to playing World of Warcraft, Century Voyager and such games for the time being.

Related Posts: Travian Guide - In the Beginning - Protect Resources and Build Up Defences, Travian Guide Part 2

Afternote: Lolz I'm still playing Travian as of July 2008.


Anonymous said...

Travian is by far the WORST game I've played on-line in a long time. As many others have mentioned once a server gets up and running (read as over 2 weeks old) there is no way for any casual gamer (read as someone not willing to pay for Gold) to have any fun. You get farmed from the get go (read as GRIEVED)! It was no fun what-so-ever. I gave it a month of my time, playing casually ever day but using up all my resources and turns. Needless to say all I accomplished was giving other players things (not by choice) and having my crops destroyed and my army decimated. It is by far the WORST game to play casually. DO NOT PLAY TRAVIAN!

Anonymous said...

Actually I disagree. I've started in a server after 1 month and yet could do quite well. For new players, the servers typically assign the player further away from the centre, i.e. 0,0 coordinates. The trick is to discourage other players from farming you, e.g. good defence plus use of crannies.

After they realised that there is no profit in farming you, they would move on. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Scraze. Actually, I will recommend to beginners to start game 3-7 days after the server started. Just because you will get longer protection time and you will be further from center of map, which means further from more experienced gamers.

Only if you are skilled enough you should start from the beginning of server. Otherwise you will find yourself in the middle of huge enemies.

Sandy said...

I completely disagree with Ploute. He was probably biased against the game even before he started it.
I started on two of the servers at more than 4 months into the game, and I'm all fit and fine, inspite of checking in just once a day.
It's a great game overall