It was a beautiful Thursday on 21 August 2008 when my friend told me about an online game named Travian. Out of curiosity, I registered to the free online game, and start learning the basics. I picked the id name “Balamiere” because I already used the same nickname for my character in World of Warcraft, another online game I already stopped playing.
Well, it looked pretty simple. There are three different races we must choose. The Teutons, expert in aggressive playing and attacking; the Gauls, expert in defensive playing type; and the Romans, a balanced army with higher cost to train.
There are many Travian servers in the world. Players are interacting with other players from the same servers. So it’s kinda a completely separated world. I decided to play in an Indonesian server at http//s1.travian.co.id (2008-2009)
Once we registered, we are given our first village in a certain coordinate. And so we can start building the village. I chose Romans tribe for their balanced power between attack and defend. Later in the game, I discovered that this tribe also offers a huge other benefit : the ability to perform 2 upgrades at the same time; one resource upgrade and one village building upgrade.
There are 2 sections of a village: resources and buildings. Resources are needed to build other buildings, upgrades, and army trainings. There are four different types of resources in Travian: wood, clay, iron and crops. Each building and each upgrade has different needs from each types. Crops are quite specials as it is the key resources to hold a big army. Your army must have sufficient crops per hour, or they will die of hunger.
Simple? Might be. I was joining this game, assuming this would be something similar like Sim City, but online version. It was soon that I realized that it was a BIG mistake to think that Travian is a city-building game.
The fact is, power does matter in the world of Travian. As soon as a player is out from the “newbie protection period”, other (and mostly bigger) players will start bullying you with their larger amount of army. In every raid attack, bigger player will “steal” resources from smaller ones. Making bigger player can grow faster, and smaller player’s life miserable. Even worse, bigger player can destroy our buildings by sending special types of troops in a full attack.
At that moment, I also discovered that the server already started early 2008. So I was kinda… few months late. While many other players were already strong and developed, I must say that I almost gave up.
To survive, I was told that we need to join a group of player forming an alliance. Then, on 30 August 2008, I joined an alliance named YAKUZA. It was a relatively small alliance at the moment with many new players just joining.
Why join this alliance? Why not choose a bigger one? Well, At that time I was also a newbie. My village only had 75 people in the population, not much to offer to a bigger alliance, isn’t it? So I thought that YAKUZA alliance is a good place to start learning more about this game. My village was even the smallest village in YAKUZA at that moment.
YAKUZA was established by a player named sapigokil (account id name, of course). He was a nice person and helped me alot in understanding the game in that early phase.
Soon later on, I also learned that alliances can form a “bigger” group by creating a group of alliances. Those groups usually have one central alliance with the strongest power, and has other alliances joining them as a “wing” alliance. Same thing also happened with YAKUZA. At that time, there was another alliance named I.T. that seemed to be stronger, and sapigokil, our leader, negotiate to join them as a wing alliance. So YAKUZA became IT~YKZ on September 2.
My first village named Athens (I named my villages based on European city names) were already well developed, I thought it was time for me to do my first expansion. 3 October 2008 my settler were deployed to a nearby land and open my second village named London.
So, was being a wing alliance can “protect” IT~YKZ from being a raid victim (or also called “farm”)?
Absolutely no !
There was a bigger group-alliance called who constantly attacked us. Countless times we need to help each other with our limited troops to defend ourselves. And most of the time, it failed. Our resources were stolen. Our buildings were destroyed.
Yet slowly by being active, we build our defensive troops.
6 November 2008, I applied to join another alliance named LW (Lightwarriors). It was the strongest alliance in the server, and I already heard that they had the best team-playing strategy. Just as I thought, apparently it was not that easy to join the strongest alliance in the server. The only answer I got is to keep posting my updates every day in their forum and they will consider my application. While doing that, I decided to stay in IT~YKZ alliance.
10 November 2008. Sapigokil as founder and leader decided to join alliance. He left IT~YKZ alliance and asked three players to replace him as the alliance leader. The three players are myself (Balamiere), milkteagirl and opa369.
So the three of us tried our best to keep the alliance alive. The first decision that we made, is to cancel our status as a wing of I.T. alliance. We became independent alliance again, back to the original name: YAKUZA.
YAKUZA at that time was growing, but fragile. Milkteagirl is a natural leader who can handle most internal cases very well. Opa369 is a good adviser, good detective and good strategy maker. While myself taking my place mostly in diplomacy with other alliances.
For few days, we were trying to establish good internal communication between ourselves. That was the time when we realized that most of other members are still playing randomly, with very minimum knowledge about the game itself. And so the internal alliance forum was filled with lots of Q&A topic, especially about how to play effectively, building a strong and solid defense.
In early November, I read that most of good Travian players choose cropper village (land with 9 or 15 crop field slots) as their capital. At that moment, Athens was my capital. By default, our first village is our capital. Cropper village can host more troops than ordinary villages, thus it is one of the key for power. That time I began to understand why so many people fought to have cropper village.
I figured that opening a 15c village is too risky as big player from big alliance can easily conquer my village and enjoy all the hard work I’ve done. So, instead of opening a new 15c village, I choose a 9c village with crop bonus oase nearby. 12 November 2008, I made my 5th village named Rome as my future capital. The plan is to build the village first up to level 10 resources before changing my capital.
Slowly but sure, I began to develop my villages. My villages were no longer the smallest population in YAKUZA. In fact… in about 3 months I climbed up to rank #2 in the alliance.
Recruitment was something we need to do. We tried to accept few new members, but all we got was headache. Those new members were randomly attacking other players with no preparation of self defense. When a player attacked back, they cried for help from the alliance.
It was frustrating moment. The alliance can not grow if we are too busy cleaning up stupid mess created by immature members. So we decided to make a “non protective rule” for the alliance. What is that rule? Well, it basically stated that YAKUZA alliance offers NO protection for its members. Members are recruited to play together and show what they can do, not to ask for protection.
Later on, our first wing was created. A wing alliance? Well, not really a wing. It is another alliance called Yakuza~A (YAKUZA Academy). Established in November 16, Yakuza~A became our center of recruitment. We were no longer accepting new member to YAKUZA alliance. Instead, new members were joining Yakuza~A for training. We helped them with some guide to play effetively, also tested their teamwork and communication. Selected members were “promoted” to join YAKUZA alliance.
Ok, so let’s talk about alliance now. The leader of is mixed_boy, former member of LW alliance. Rumour said that he was appointed by LW high ranks to form a strong and solid to support LW in the mission of winning the server. So, it was widely known that is an ally of LW. If any player would attack member, then the player will be totally destroyed by LW, at least that’s the rumour spreading in smaller alliances.
After joining , our former leader sapigokil offered to open diplomatic talk with . He said that as a small alliance, we can not possibly join as LW’s ally. So, why not joining a big group of alliance that is already LW’s ally?
Though most members like that idea, I personally dislike it.
Until today, I am a good friend of the player behind mixed_boy account. He is a nice person. But his alliance really consists of different types of people, and many of them enjoy bullying smaller villages in the name of . I was worried that by joining , YAKUZA might ended up being such a jerk alliance.
The initial attempt was to be an ally of without changing our alliance’s name to . But that attempt was denied as indicated all their wings must carry their tag.
We had a voting that night of 19 December 2008 to decide whether we want to join or not (and changing our name). Though personally don’t feel very comfortable with the idea, I respect the voting’s result that YAKUZA decided to join as YKZ.
As we are now part of , the three YAKUZA leaders (milkteagirl, opa369 and myself) tried our best to continuously reminded other members not to get carried away with the “big name” of . We tried our best not to become power-abusive alliance. Luckily, we also got special help and knowledge sharing from becakyogya (LW-ID player) who helped haryant0 (YAKUZA member) as a sitter.
Few weeks later, sapigokil told us that he can no longer play Travian as active as before because of real life issues. His account was kept in the alliance as a symbol of YAKUZA’s relationship with .
members are nice people. But as a team playing a strategy war game, I must say that they are not as “coordinated” as I thought before. Communication was lacking to the point that many members didn’t even know what’s going on, and what is the direction of the group alliances.
Then I spoke to mixed_boy, telling him how I feel about his group alliances. He also explained his limitations and problems in controlling so many people in the group. Well, I sorta understand, but I still feel that if you can’t control 600 people, why recruit them? It is always better to have 60 active players who coordinated well, rather than 600 players playing around randomly and cluelessly. But that’s just my personal opinion.
5 January 2009, after playing for months, I tried to conquer other people’s village for the first time. Stockholm became the first village that I got from conquering (my 9th village). Hahaha, it was a big success, and suddenly many members in YAKUZA were so excited about conquering.
18 January 2009. There was a major reorganizing in . Now they want to establish a central alliance which consists of representatives from each wing. And YKZ, of course, as one of the wings was required to appoint someone to represent us. The next morning, it was decided that I will represent YKZ in Group central alliance.
Did I move to Group ?
Still remember my application to join LW alliance?
After months of no hope at all, finally my application was aproved by afternoon, 19 January 2009. So by evening of that day I did move to another alliance, but not to Group. I was invited by kuciki to join LW-EC (Lightwarriors E_Club) alliance.
Setting up a proper closure, I contacted mixed_boy and apologized for not being able to join Group. He said it was ok as is also supporting LW.
And so I was the newest member of LW, the strongest alliance in s1 Indonesian server. They have 3 alliances in their group: LW-ID, LW-IR and LW-EC. Later on, BRV7 alliance joined as LW-BRV7 and EARTH alliance joined as LW-EARTH.
Then for the first time I experienced some “real” coordination in playing this game. LW’s strength didn’t come for free. They worked very hard for it, and they deserve it. Instructions and strategies were distributed as mass messages. The objective is very clear and all members must follow the instructions carefully.
I spent few days to learn about their rules, reading the posts in their forum, and trying to get to know some of the other members.
In less than two weeks, I already enjoyed playing as LW member. Then a shocking assignment came. Due to kuciki’s activities to “reorganize” LW’s allies, I was “assigned” to be LW-EC Controller (in LW, controller means a player who coordinates all instructions coming from headquarter high ranks or internal wing problems).
Not long after that, big alliances were busy preparing for the upcoming Natarian tribe. It is a script-controlled account who has the key to win a server. To become a winner, an alliance must conquer one of 13 special World of Wonder villages; must secure two World of Wonder construction plans; and must build World of Wonder in the special village, upgrading it to level 100.
Thousands of alliances. Only 13 players can build World of Wonder. Very high competition.
The leaders of big alliances LW, HR, Peace, , SW-GOLD, IGA and KOH were having a meeting and they agreed to build a big META alliance named TAMAT (the word “tamat” means “finish” in Indonesian language). The goal is to cooperate together to win this server.
Few weeks before Natarian arrival, LW and its allies commenced a very big and coordinated attack to Nobunaga, a player from ODA alliance. Nobunaga was the biggest player in the server at the moment and he was seen as the biggest threat for TAMAT to win the server. In less than two week, Nobunaga fell. By thousands of fake attacks and hundreds of real attacks, TAMAT has started its strategy to win smoothly.
31 January 2009. YAKUZA first gathering. We had becakyogya and zangfei from LW as guest of honour. It was nice to actually meet new friends I just made from an online game. The gathering was conducted at Burger King, Sarinah Plaza, Jakarta. It was fun ! Reminded me on a similar gathering I had several years ago with friends from Kurusetra online game.
YAKUZA #1 Gathering : 31 Jan 2009, Burger King, Sarinah Plaza, Jakarta
YAKUZA #2 Gathering : 7 Feb 2009, Burger King, Sarinah Plaza, Jakarta
YAKUZA #3 Gathering : 8 Feb 2009, Taman Anggrek Mall, Jakarta
YAKUZA #4 Gathering : 8 Mar 2009, Taman Anggrek Mall, Jakarta
… and hopefully many more in the future =)
Natarian tribes arrived. The competition was not so competitive as most of the World of Wonder (WW) villages and construction plans were conquered by TAMAT members really fast.
RUSH alliance is detected as the strongest enemy in Natarian era (LW already had other enemy in prior times). 7th|BKB alliance which has been “defeated” before still had reasonably large about of army and might still show potential threats.
As a member of LW and former member of YKZ, I was doing (again) a diplomatic job giving coordination from TAMAT to YKZ. The first mission is to attack members of ODA alliance and 7th|BKB alliance. YKZ were given a week to do random attack and must keep the battle records in the form of Travilog (external website to share battle reports).
Then, a problem started. TAMAT only recognized Group as the central alliance to be the member of TAMAT, leaving all other wings. Their reason was simple actually, most of wings are too small and won’t do much in contributing to the end-server. From what I heard, TAMAT leaders asked mixed_boy to organize and choose only the best players. Those best players will be placed in 3 alliances (1 central alliance plus 2 strongest wings) and they will be listed as TAMAT members. Apparently mixed_boy didn’t like the idea. He tried to make TAMAT acknowledged ALL wings; and conflict was inevitable.
members were told since the beginning that by being in any wings, they are automatically a member of TAMAT, the strongest force who will most likely win the server. And who doesn’t like the idea of being in the winning side? That’s why when they were not recognized by TAMAT, they became very disappointed.
Regardless who is right or wrong, to me this is just one big example of terrible miscommunication.
The night before membership in TAMAT were about to be cancelled, I explained the situation to YKZ members. I offered them 2 options: to stay as a wing alliance of ; or to take different path from and become independent again.
The vote was clear, most of YKZ members choose to be independent and pledged their support to help TAMAT. That night, YKZ changed its name again to YAKUZA.
15 February 2009. YAKUZA was acknowledged and listed as member of TAMAT.
Special note: YAKUZA was the only independent alliance (non group) that was allowed to join this META alliance.
The following days are tough days to send resources and defending troops to World of Wonder villages. Since TAMAT had many World of Wonder villages, the initial plan was to build World of Wonder in three villages. Players that are given responsibility to become the WW holders are 7even, lunar_eve and milano. Later on, Dinozain (leader of SW-GOLD alliance) requested to build World of Wonder up to level 50 to give pride and satisfaction feeling to SW-GOLD members. This request was agreed by other TAMAT leaders.
Every 5 level upgrades of WW, Natarian capital will send 2 waves of troops to destroy it. In order to survive, a WW village must be guarded by a HUGE amount of army. And those army came from members of supporting alliances.
I still remember those days when all did in Travian was sending resources (especially crops) and defensive troops to those WW villages. It was… plain boring, but necessary to win the server.
Everyday I received instruction from TAMAT high ranks, and I need to announce the instructions to LW-EC alliance and YAKUZA alliance members.
Time for another problem. Supporting multiple WW was harder than we thought. Not just it demanded more efforts and attentions, it was also not very safe. Reaching level 50+, Natarian attacks to each WW village already caused too many casualties. TAMAT leaders conducted a meeting and decided that we should only proceed with only one WW.
Which WW? It was decided that lunar_eve‘s World of Wonder named Wishes Wonderland will be the only WW supported by TAMAT. Dinozain disagreed and proposed 2 WWs instead of one. Voting was conducted, and the majority wants only one WW.
By the result of TAMAT leaders meeting, Dinozain is supposed to stop his WW construction. But apparently due to one thing or another, the WW still continued, resulting in SW-GOLD membership in TAMAT was cancelled. Their WW was destroyed to level zero in less than two days.
I have no sufficient information about what really happened, therefore I try not to make speculations. What I wrote here is just simple facts that I know.
Gosh… this game is much more political than I’ve ever thought.
10 April 2009. YAKUZA changed its name once again. This time, we became LW-YKZ. Together with HR group and IGA group, we merged together as Lightwarriors.
13 April 2009, WW level 97, I returned to YAKUZA (LW-YKZ) because milkteagirl wanted to enjoy end-server not as the leader of YAKUZA. So I came back and became LW-YKZ Oyabun (our title for YAKUZA leader). Hahaha, yes, I became YAKUZA Oyabun for less than 3 days ^^
Finally, one sweet day on 15 April 2009. World of Wonder level 100 was nearly completed.
At the afternoon I moved from LW-YKZ to TAMAT, as YKZ representative.
It was 10:21pm (GMT+7) the WW level 100 was completed and our hard work was paid off as lunar_eve from TAMAT is declared as the winner of s1.travian.co.id 2008-2009.
Members of LW, Peace, HR, IGA, SOLAS, YAKUZA, TFD and Mini-TMT can proudly say that they are the winner of this server.
Here is the final members of TAMAT :
lunar_eve has made a nice video celebrating this victory :
You might want to check out her End-Game Credits :
Also, milkteagirl has her own writing about the game we have played :
By the end of the server, I managed to have around 32,000 Praetorians survived (most of them were defending lunar_eve’s World of Wonder), all upgraded to level 20 armor. I had more than 1,000 Fire Catapults, more than 1,200 Equites Caesaris and thousands of other troops.
Note : Praetorians are Romans’ elite defender. Fire Catapults are Romans’ building-destroyer unit. Equites Caesaris are Romans’ strongest cavalry.
Having 12,891 population and 17 villages, I had 4 villages near WW village location as crop support. 1 village in 7×7 area and 3 other villages in 14×14 area.
My villages :
1. Athens (-124|90) normal 6c village (21 Aug 08)
2. London (-125|90) iron village (3 Oct 08)
3. Paris (-122|91) normal 6c village (15 Oct 08)
4. Berlin (-122|90) my first 9c village (29 Oct 08)
5. Rome (-129|108) my capital, 9c with 125% bonus crop production from oase (12 Nov 08)
6. Moscow (-128|108) normal 6c village (28 Nov 08)
7. Vienna (-126|106) normal 6c village (12 Dec 08)
8. Amsterdam (-137|126) 9c village (25 Dec 08)
9. Stockholm (-136|123) 9c village, my first conquering result (4 Jan 09)
10. Kiev (-137|130) 9c village (12 Jan 09)
11. Madrid (-137|128) iron village (27 Jan 09)
12. Helsinki (-125|106) 15c village (6 Feb 09)
13. Tokyo (-12|-11) normal 6c village, WW support village in 7×7 area (17 Feb 09)
14. Seoul (-13|-9) clay village, WW support (1 Mar 09)
15. Bangkok (-15|-8) normal 6c village, WW support (18 Mar 09)
16. Singapore (-15|-17) normal 6c village, WW support (30 Mar 09)
17. Dublin (-133|106) normal 6c village (5 Apr 09)
Some screenshots :
1. Balamiere account page
2. Survived army
3. YAKUZA alliance
4. LW-EC alliance
5. TAMAT alliance
6. Players rank
7. My capital (resources page)
8. My capital (buildings page)
9. Winning notification screen
10. lunar_eve’s account page
This blog recaps my 7.5 months of experience in playing Travian. It serves the purpose for my personal documentation as well as (hopefully) inspiration for new Travian players.
My little advice for new Travian players :
Ask yourself are you ready for 1 whole year commitment to play this game actively. This game is not an online SimCity. This is a political war game with intense human relationships as important factor.
If you can commit for that period, then get yourself a strong and solid alliance, and win your server. If not, then there are tons of other games out there you can choose.
I know the official Travian site mentioned that you can either be a military player or trading player in Travian. My comment : that is so not true. THIS IS A WAR GAME. There is only one path to take : be strong, military and diplomatically. There is no option to be a “trader” here. If you wish to be a trading village and neglect to build your defensive army, stronger player will surely visit your village regularly and raid your resources. You will become a farm for their resources.
Winner of s1.travian.co.id 2008-2009
My Personal End-Game Credits
to all players of s1 co.id,
thanks for playing together, thanks for making this game an exciting experience
to all TAMAT members,
thanks for your extraordinary coordination and hard work
you are the best and I’m proud to fight together with you !
congrats for the glorious winning
thanks for having me in the best alliance ever !
I’m proud to be a Lightwarrior
to all LW-EC members,
thank you and congratulations
my deepest apology if I did make mistake of lack of something in my service as LW-EC Controller
to all LW-YKZ members,
you guys are the best !
on behalf of YAKUZA, allow me to thank all members and all players who helped us during the game
to all players that I attacked,
I never regret attacking you, this is a war game anyway =)
but I do thank all of you who made this game interesting by not deleting your account after my attack
There are 2 things I hate the most in this game :
1. a player who deleted his/her account as soon as my first attack arrived >.<
2. IGM with rude and improper words
special thanks to :
7even, for being the best leader
kuciki, for being the best diplomat
sheeva77, for always being there in YM
milkteagirl, my best buddy
opa369, my best buddy
sapigokil, thanks for making YAKUZA alliance
kbhrx, my neighbour, thanks for the best tag team
udoth, hail the queen lol
lunar_eve, for all her time and dedication
f3rr1 (ricowijaya), LW-EC partner
Niv Mizzet, still hope I can find time to play MTG online
mixed_boy, for a lot of interesting chats, too bad we ended up on different sides
and everyone else…
If you played together with me on this server, please post a comment using your in-game name.