1 Year Celebration

Oi, somehow the days seem to slip by as we approach the end of the year. Speaking of the end of the year, OSG1 is now 1 years old! Huzzah! And look, Ikariam has dumped another load of snow to celebrate:

It’s pretty interesting that the developers are so dedicated to bringing us special graphics each holiday, but what I really want for Chirstmas is an improvement to the gameplay.

Now, I realize I’ve falled behind again this week. Let me make it up to you with a sweet image from the Travian4 Alliance:

Okay, now I’m off to chisel the next Tales of Aloriah.

Cheers
Oliver

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Tribal Wars 7.0

Tribal Wars, a browser based strategy game from InnoGames that has been around since 2003, has just become Tribal Wars 7.0. Of course, I don’t know how Tribal Wars plans on staying competitive with Travian 4 while looking like this. If any readers are followers of Tribal Wars and know if the game offers anything interseting to the genre, please let me know!

Cheers,
Oliver

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 Champions

Alas, it seems that Travian Champions, arguably the greatest Travian blog on the internet, is coming to an end. Randomgeek has put in a lot of effort keeping us updated on the rise and fall of the many Travian servers, interviewing alliance leaders and World Wonder builders, and writing articles for Travian Magazine. He has also been a loyal reader of OSG1 and I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of my own readers came here from Travian Champions.

So, Randomgeek, thank you much for all your work so far, and best of luck in all your furture endeavors!

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

A New Look

Both Ikariam and Travian updated their looks today. Travian had announced they would be updating a while ago. As I mentioned, Ikariam had already released a new front page. It feels like the shiny new ambrosia icon they added today was just to let Travian know they’re paying attention 😛

Cheers,
Oliver