This review was made by a MMOsite Write Club member, Dexcross. Find more his post on his game blog on mmosite: http://my.mmosite.com/dexcross/
by a MMOsite Write Club member, Dexcross
The good: +heavy teamwork, +well balanced aspects between complexity and simplicity, +have purpose, +good newbie guide
The bad: -no animation, -you will be raided by other players most of the time
I usually play RPG type of online game, including browser based MMOs. However, one of my friend finally able to persuade me to play one of strategy type browser based MMO. In my country, Travian was opening their 1st server in April 2008, and currently they are running 4 servers and 1 speed server. To my surprised, this game brought a new experience and change my perspective about strategy browser based MMO. I have tried Ikariam and Lord of Evil before, and although I will give a good score to them too, I will say that this game has many aspects that exceeding other title.
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At first, you will be given a village with limited resources and you can start building your village right away to reach higher population, found new technology, new building, new unit, build an army, etc. just like other strategy browser based game. The game also provide you with a very good newbie guide. In fact, so far, this game provide me with the best newbie guide for browser based game. You will get a 3 days (real time count) protection from other players. Now the challenge will come when you have lost your protection, because most of the time, you will be raided by other players. The only way you can face this problem, is to form an alliance with other players and craft a strategy for facing other players or even alliance. Sometimes there will be CFD (call for defenses) where you and other players in your alliance need to pool defensive units at certain village, or CFR (call for resources) where you and other players pool all resources to help build a village defense, offense, or technology advancement, besides CFA (call for attack) where you focus all of your alliance member attack to certain village. And even though you have reached highest rank player, you will still need an alliance.
This game has a very well balanced aspects between complexity and simplicity. How to play this game is very simple and I can categorize this game to have a very simple interface compare to other title in the same genre. But the way a strategy can be implemented is very complex. Sometimes a battle really decided by a matter of seconds. If one of your alliance member launch a joint attack but getting late for 5 seconds, the outcome of the battle can be fatal. And sometimes, having a joint attack will require some alliance members to sacrifice their good sleep night. Because the difference between each village that atack the same target, will require a pricise attacking launch. And sometimes, the launch should be initiated at 3 A.M. ^^.
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From what I've heard around, one round of Travian usually ended after one alliance succeed in building world of wonder. World of wonder can only be build after we defeat Natarian. So Travian is MMOG with purpose, not an open ended and "build your own goal" type of MMOG.
One amazing thing that I've experienced in this game, is that the game has triggered a very good teamwork sense. I have found that almost all the strong guild (up to rank 50th) in the game, had form a real life friendship because of the game. The feeling when you've been helped by a CFD strategy during an attack to one of your village, will make you really appreciate the effort of your alliance team member. The taste of victory during a joint attack with your other team member, also stimulate a good community even in the real life. In my country, many of strong alliance have testify that they got attached to one another on the real life. This is a very good example of a community based game. No wonder there are thousands of players joining this game. It has taught me to never underestimate the power of browser based MMOGs.
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