Upcoming Week

Just wanted to give a quick post to say I’ve started checking out a new Facebook game, Glory of Rome. Of course, I still need to put my thoughts together about Trade Nations and Clash of Kingdoms, not to mention an interview with Aloriah coming up this week! The world of Online Strategy games is keeping me on my toes!


Tales of Aloriah, chapter 3

It’s been a solid week for my Aloriah empire. It started by spotting a Saphire Dragon off the coast of Moyle. His 2,500 damage may or may not have influenced my decision to leave him alone. The next day something else was floating in the water, and this I had to investigate. Since Gorogorosama and my latest hero, Boom-Shaka, were off exploring, I created a new army, “Hat Fetcher”, and braved the sea. I was successful and added a Dragon Helm to my collection. I like to imagine my carrier pigeon wearing this giant, bad-ass helmet as he flew to Athenry.

And now that I’ve just made myself a big target for all the Thieves out there wanting to get their hands on my Banzai Tree (hmm, that was almost sexy), you should be warned that I also have a Hidden Chest, which gives you 5% less chance to steal an item. So I guess you only have a 95% chance. Do you feel lucky?

Gorogorosama and Boom-Shaka have been wandering around the world earning me a few achievements. Let’s take a look:

So there’s Animal Slayer, which means I’ve won a few battles against the easiest monsters around. Collector of commons means I’ve found a lot of vendor trash lying around, and since I’m a “Good Player”, Evil Enchantments means I’ve accidentally stepped in a bunch of curses. It’s nice to be rewarded for incompetence. I am proud of Great Visionary, as it means I’ve controlled several lookout-towers at the same time.

Despite all these brilliant feats, I’m only ranked at 89. Must keep climbing that ladder. At this stage in the game though, I’m more interested in Civilization Size. Is there anyway to see your ranking according to that?

Anyway, as was suggested in the comments, I should have 1-2k Berserkers before heading to Dry Steppes. I’ve got enough resources and finally enough max population, so if I keep my barracks working non-stop over the weekend I shold be ready to seize the spirit of adventure. For Asgard!


10 Games That Could Have Spin-off OSGs

Lord of Ultima started the ball rolling, but is less of an homage and more of an attempt at publicity by somehow including the name “Ultima” in the title. The OSG really has nothing to do with the Ultima MMO, but what if we took some classic (and maybe some not so classic) video games and truly adapted them to the OSG genre? Let’s find out.

1. Lord of Mushroom Kingdom: The Super Mario OSG
Naturally, the standard hot girl would be Princess Peach. Units would include Koopas (both flying and normal), bob-ombs for seige, and goombas for grunts. Your Toads would be hard at work mining for Mushrooms, Flowers, and Stars, and upgrading your Doom Ships.

2. Final FantOSG
I know Square Enix already has one in the works, but not a strictly Final Fantasy based game. The units would include the job classes from the classic games- I’m talking black mage, white mage (priest), knight, lancer, etc. The game would also have the most 3d Animated Cutscenes of any OSG to date.

3. Castlevania
Have we ever seen a horror OSG in general? I don’t think so. This game would need to employ a hero system in which players could have a Belmont lead the way. Standard units would be Castleveania staples like zombies, skeletons, those weird merman fish things, you get the point. Awesome soundtrack included.

4. Doom
A first person shooter adapted to an MMORTS? I must be crazy. But think of the potential units! All of the cool demons would be build-able: Imps, zombies, cyberdemons, pinkies. The tough part would be incorporating all the weapons.

5. Team Fortress 2
Walls built by engineers and defended by sentries. Every single class is able to be recruited. Build a 1000 scouts to rush your opponent. Build thousands of heavies and medics for a solid defense. Soldiers and Demomen destroy the walls, paving the way for a pyro rush. I don’t see how this can be bad. They could even make a shortcut to jump into a round of 2Fort while waiting to upgrade the Intelligence.

6. Half Life (2)
It might be a little difficult to capture the post apocalyptic-resistance feel of the game, but the different unit classes could work if the player was allowed to choose one of two factions, human or alien. And if Valve is going to make an OSG, why not two?

7. Grand Theft Auto Vice City
I only chose Vice City because I love the 80s theme. But really the key to making this a good game would be to have it based on different gangs in different parts of the city. It would probably end up being a mix between Mafia Wars and an OSG, which would actually be pretty interesting.

8. Halo
The franchise has already been converted to an RTS, in the form of Halo Wars. Why not one step further. The different alien types and vehicles would translate easily to the genre, and might help induct some frat boys into the genre, which will make prime raiding targets.

9. Any Star Wars game
Currently building: Death Star. Time left: 02y 04m 23d 17h 12m 14s. Hurry production?
Use the jedis as heroes, and rest is pretty self explanatory. Xwings, TIE fighters, and it makes perfect sense to have an army of 1,000 identical Storm Troopers.

10. Tetris
You figure it out.


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: http://dev.travian.org/. 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.


OSG Popularity II

Following on on my previous posts regarding OSG popularity I did another, more extensive Alexa search and am happy to share the results. Granted, as with last time this isn’t a completely accurate analysis as I’ve only referenced the most popular domain, so I haven’t taken travian.de or travian.us into account, both of which are very popular. Further, some games share a domain (for example, Freeksy and Lods Online are both subdomains of igg.com) and so their numbers are combined.

I’ll confess some of this is rather surprising. I had no idea that eRepublik was so popular, and thought Utopia Kingdoms would do better than it apparently has. Anyway, hopefully this information can be useful for players looking to join a thriving game community, and for any future OSG developers to know what they’re up against.