Travian, Ikariam, Aloriah, Oh my!

Did you wake up this morning and think to yourself “where can I find the latest developments about my favourite browser based online strategy games?” Well, you’ve come to the right place, because it’s been a big week (though quite possibly more than a week and I just didn’t notice)

I think the biggest news is Travian 4. If you head on over to this page you can enter a raffle for a Beta Key. You can also find out more about the game on the Travian 4 blog: I’ll pour over the blog this week and hopefully give you guys a short summary of what’s in store for us.

Next, Aloriah is having their own competition. Basically if you promote the game (maybe by having a post about it in everyone’s favourite OSG blog?) you can win some cool stuff. And not in-game stuff, but actual prizes. More here.

Finally, this one’s a bit old, but Ikariam added a “friend system” (on right). Basically, you can have twelve players who are considered your friends. Every time one of them founds a new colony or completes a research, you get a little bonus. Now, since most players on my Eta server have been around for a while, the bonuses are laughable. Since you very rarely found colonies or complete researches once you reach a certain size, and the bonuses are so small, it seems pretty pointless. I suppose Gameforge is hoping this will encourage new players (who it might be useful for), and I would definitely appreciate a slew of new players on Eta. Who else am I going to pillage? The friends can actually be a little useful though, because you can see when they are online. This proves very helpful when it’s war time.



I am the Lord of Ultima (well, not yet) Part 14

I am the Lord of Ultima (well, not yet)
– by Goemon

I’m sure I’m not your only link to the official Lord of Ultima Forums, but if you don’t frequent them often, it’s easy to miss a lot of the goings-on in the game. Plus, it takes a special type of person to delve into the cavernous depths of that hardcore community. I consider myself to be somewhere in between the casuals and the diehard Lord of Ultima fans; I understand the majority of the game mechanics, and in fact know them well, but at the same time I can still learn quite a bit from reading threads and posts from more experienced players.

So hopefully some of the things I relate to you are interesting or even helpful.

Right now the forums are in the middle of a contest of their own; this one starring everyone’s favorite feudal lord, the Baron. Although you can’t really tell by his tiny display icon, apparently the LoU designers decided the Baron is a huge (read: fat) glutton. This could also be due to his exorbitant cost of 50,000 gold, or the fact that he consumes 100 units of food a day. By comparison, both a Knight and THE HORSE HE RIDES ON only eat 25. No wonder he gets his own contest.

In case you’re not a math wiz, that means the Baron eats four times as much in one day as a one-thousand pound animal (horses average at 1000 pounds- don’t worry I googled it). What, is this guy from Texas or something? Zing!

Anyways, the contest is to “create an image” of the baron, using “any artistic discipline.” Interpretive dance or performance art anyone? Perhaps some abstract expressionism (if you don’t know, that’s when people splatter paint all over a canvas)? I almost feel like I should submit something like that to EA, just in an attempt to elicit a response. But alas, I probably won’t, due to my lack of inspiration. YOU should enter the contest though, because you get free diamonds, and there will be up to three winners. Plus there’s only a handful of entries so far, so even if your artistic skills aren’t the greatest you still have a shot! Let me know how it goes.

As for me, I decided to branch out of my little territory in search of adventure. I’m talking about investing in some beachfront property.

This is one of the only spots by the coast left on the continent by my quick scan, so I’m jumping on it. Hopefully being in a new area will stir up a little more excitement. I’m sending an escort of thousands of Guardians with my Baron, and hopefully that will be enough to protect the new town while I get it set up.

Battle Narrative Contest: Results

And so it ends. The Battle Narrative Contest is over. Congratulations to Eric Markle and his winning tale of the siege of Cori Celesti. Hopefully he can use the prize to keep his empire thriving. This has been a great contest, thanks to all who participated!


Battle Narrative Contest: Vote!

Here it is! The Battle Narrative Contest only received 4 entries, but now it’s up to you to decide who wins the prize! Follow the links to read each of the entries and vote for your favorite. Whichever story has the most votes at the end of a week will be the victor!

Eric Markle
James Pryor


Battle Narrative Entry: Eric Markle

The castle had been brand new, it’s completion christened only a few days prior, but no time was wasted in putting it to the test. As the mist of morning cleared, battle formations could be seen assembling as they marched fresh off the rows of moored frigates. They flew the banner of Biohazard a city in the empire of Megatron at the far end of the island that most had only heard tell of by passing merchants. No one knew why they came, they were the first but far from the last to come from that far away land to stand before the tall walls of Cori Celesti in the coming days.

The walls bristled with rangers standing at the ready as the guardian squads bustled into place in the courtyard. The militia from the surrounding glens had arrived only the night before taking up position beside their brethren.

And then without a word it began, the siege weapons of the fleet unleashing a wave a fire that engulfed the city gate in an instant shattering it to mere kindling and starting small fires throughout the city. In response a rain of massive bolts began falling among the ships, many sinking rapidly as great holes were rent through their hulls. Just as suddenly the ships fell silent replaced instead by the roar of hooves as the enemy poured through the remnants of the gate and slammed into a wall of bristling spears. Strategy and battle lines quickly devolved into a general melee as Rangers stood their ground against raging Berserkers, Templars becoming bathed in the fire of angry Mages, and Guardians surrounding isolated knights pulling them from their steeds.

With sheer numbers on their side the defenders began pushing slowly back towards the gate on all sides. Those still on horseback were the first to turn tail and the rest soon followed flowing back out the smoking portal in disarray under a harassing rain of arrows.

There was no thought of pursuit though, as just outside the range of the ballista the surviving fleet was covering the retreat. The cheers of victory were cut off before they even had time to gain momentum when returning scouts whispered dire news to the commander. No less than 6 additional armies were moving through the valley towards the city. The siege of Cori Celesti has begun…

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Battle Narrative Entry: Chavener

One of my most successful 61 round battles.

I have been pillaging this guy and he decided to retaliate against my weakest town, Stinkpit. He sent a huge navy that beat my single ram ship ( I had moved the others away) and then hit the town with over 1500 troops. Unfortunately for him I had a good wall and many mortars whereas he had few wall breakers. So
220,000 damage to him, zero to me.

As his navy was about to leave the blockade I crushed his navy too with small losses. So he was trapped and I just slowly beat him to death. Mortar ships seem to be worthless 🙂

Image 1
Image 2: notice he has no wall breakers left. He never broke my wall. I just added some more fresh troops with mortars and he was doomed.
Image 3: I don’t know why it said his troops were cALLED BACK SINCE THE PORT WAS NO LONGER blocked by him

Battle Narrative Entry: James Pryor

The small city of Jamestown rested in the crooked elbow of a mighty river. The power of the river was harnessed by the city. It allowed the mills to grind wheat into flower. The stonemasons used it’s flow to turn huge polishing wheels and create wondrous works. Their most recent was the Monument to the fallen Berserker built in front of the town hall for all to see. It honored the one man crazy enough to venture out into the forest who was killed by a giant spider. Incidentally, it was this same action that earned him the nickname of berserker.

Jamestown was a peaceful town, surrounded by other peaceful towns. Citizens worked by day and celebrated by night. They were happy folks with few worries. In fact, the only worry to be had belonged to the city council. A group of officials put in place by James himself to see to the order of the city. They were very successful with the exception of revenue generation. There were so many plans to make Jamestown better, but no money to do it with.

One of the younger members of the council convinced the others that tourism could generate a great deal of revenue. The catch was they needed something that would make Jamestown stand apart from other cities. What was it that could compel others from miles around to make the journey?

After some deliberation, a conclusion was reached. Jamestown needed a majestic symbol of power, a building that was unique to the area, something that could contain its culture; Jamestown needed a castle!

It was perfect. There wasn’t one for miles. Many had never even seen one in person. Work began right away. A few years later Jamestown had a castle that overlooked the same river that supplied the people water and machinery. It was a beautiful and wondrous sight.

It worked too! The day after its completion some people from far away rode into town on horseback. They hailed from a place no one had ever even heard of. They were armed men, but nice enough. They stayed in the inn. Ate in the Tavern. Of course they visited the castle. They even took time to admire the Monument to the fallen Berserker.

Everyone was excited. Jamestown was flourishing.

Then one day, a man came to town. He was elaborately dressed and clearly very wealthy. He spoke to the people as if he could have lead an army, but he came alone. He spoke with conviction and passion about the country he hailed from. A place just over the mountains from beyond where the mighty river starts.

The councilmen couldn’t believe what happened the next morning. After listening to this man all night, the citizens in the peaceful town of Jamestown revolted. They decided they could no longer stand under the rule of a man who knew nothing of defending a city; even if it was just a small peaceful city. The councilmen, at their roots, were cowards. When they heard the citizens wanted to revolt and take protection from a ruler they had never even heard of twelve hours before, they agreed in hopes they could keep their jobs after the change in leadership.

The change was peaceful, no blood was spilled in combat. Not even the messenger who carried the news to James was harmed. Thankfully James believed in a philosophy that doesn’t require one to kill the messenger of bad news.

However the ordeal did cause one death. The wife of the fallen berserker was visiting her husbands monument at the town hall when the mob came to tell the council they would no longer stand James’ ignorant ways. In those few minutes before the council caved, no one knew for sure what would happen. Many expected the council to denounce this treasonous idea. In a display of seriousness the mob of town folks pushed over the monument. It fell right on top of the berserkers wife.

In the end, the well dressed man stayed to look over the council. He allowed the council to stay intact, but he was essentially the power behind the decision makers. One of the first decision’s he allowed them to make was a new monument in place of the fallen berserker. It was called The Berserker and his Wife.

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