Two Anniversaries

This weekend, for most, marks one year since the MO:UL@Gametap shutdown. The past week I’ve been drawn more to this same (Easter) weekend two years ago.

That was the first time that I did a successful village takeover in Travian (this was on a server before the Gold system – or even a US server – existed). Wandering back to that game, I realize I still have good memories of Travian too, despite my problem with playing any type of MMO. I earned another new group of friends, and also had a chance to show to myself that I again can step up and lead (first within the local alliance, and then within the meta-alliance at endgame level). I just wish I can participate more in such things without getting so overboard about it; Not just in money, but in time…

Still, despite that, I did have fun. I got to see the Eder D’Uru project in SL for the first time, and am very impressed how far they’ve gotten. In particular, the heek table; I remember the original, which was coded in Telador and was functional shortly before the island was shutdown for other uses. One great quote on CyanChat regarding the project – can’t remember who at this point, sorry – mentioned how much respect they had for Cyan’s work, after having to use SL’s scripting system (a ‘joy’ that I experienced quite a bit myself ;-).

The meeting in There was mostly to chat; I didn’t mind, since it was still a chance to relax and meet folks I’ve not spoken to as far back as Mysterium 08. Plus, I was desperately in need of sleep by that point.

In all, a good weekend. And one where we, as a community, were able to come together despite how scattered we are right now. To repeat my toast earlier in CC:

*raises mug* To the Community.

[*One* community, I may now add – ‘fah uru’ I believe, which if so is fitting…]


Explaining an Interregnum, and a Brief Review of Travian Browser MMO

Of course, the first thing I need to discuss after a month is, well – what *have* I been doing the past month, anyway?

Well, Travian, mostly…

This has been one of the stranger MMO-type games I’ve ever been involved with, for the following reasons:

– Totally played on a web browser. It even has embedded chat and forums available for ‘clan’ groups (aka alliances), though larger alliance clusters use external forums.

– It is both very slow and very fast at the same time. This is hard to explain without your spending a month on the game yourself; If starting from scratch, you *may* have your first village about 60% done by then. But once your involved in alliance-level combat, folks start to work on co-ordinated attacks, down to second and sub-second accuracy. Its kinda unreal, and at times unnerving.

– It is (or was) primarily free, or at least reasonably inexpensive. You originally could play the game for free, or pay US$20 for a year of what’s called ‘Plus,’ that gave you a couple extended features that were useful for the part-time player. Now, with recent server restarts (each instance ’round’ lasts about one year), they’ve integrated the ‘Gold’ system: You buy Gold from them, and you’re given access to many different features that use that Gold. Many of those features are unbalancing to those who decide not to use Gold though – more so than ordinary Plus players did – so there’s been a backlash from that. And there’s also the fact that an above average player can easily rack up Gold purchases greater than WoW’s US$15 per month…

So, the server I’m on today is expected to go into its ‘endgame’ phase any week now. And with that completion, will be the last I’ll have to do with Travian. I will not get involved in the Gold system, but not because its unbalacing – but because I’m *definately* an above average player and would end up using more US$ than I’d normally be willing to pay out.

More on who I am there and what I’ve done will be revealed after the server completes. There is a lot of intrigue and spying associated with the game at the higher alliance levels, so its best to let my SysAdmin instincts kick in here for now. ;)

One last thing – server groups are instanced by country – its not just the com group. Click on the flags at the top of my link to switch server groups.