Travian 4 Beta Begins!

We are a go! I’m still working through the tutorial as I write this, but wanted to give you a look at the new Travian beta as soon as possible. What I can say already, is that it looks great. The new art maintains the game’s original minimalistic feel, while at the same time adding a new level of polish that helps the game feel a lot modern.

Also, Travian has finally joined the ranks of most other OSG’s by adding a key feature: the pretty girl who’s standing around but doesn’t actually affect gameplay.

Another thing I noticed, right in the tutorial text, is a bit of Travian’s philosophy that I think really helps it define the genre: “The best thing to do is to occasionally check your village and give your subjects new tasks to do”.

Anyway, check out the main views below (click for full-screen goodness) and I’ll be sure to write more later. For now, I have a game to play.

Cheers,
Oliver

Travian 4 Beta

Success! I have made it in to the Travian 4 Beta! Even though I can’t activate my account for another 5.8 days, I’ve already chosen my tribe (Gauls, since I seem to have the most success with them) and designed my Hero. I’m going for the “young Stalin” look that’s popular with the ladies these days.

From what I’ve read on the Travian 4 blog, it seems that the majority of changes for Travian 4 are the graphics. They’re adding a lot more depth to the Hero system, including “Adventures”, and expanding the Natars. While all this sounds nice in the blog, it will be great to get to experience it first hand, and also see how the new images integrate with the rest of the game.

Cheers,
Oliver

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.

Cheers,
Oliver