Travian First Impressions - You've got some Gaul!
By Steve Boyd, OnRPG Journalist
The world of Travian is rocked with conflict. Three tribes; The Romans, The Teutons and the Gauls struggle for land and resources as they attempt to conquer their world. As I write this there are 16, 700 players battling it out on my server. They form the 300 or so alliances currently active. Me? I am all on my own.
When you enter the game world of Travian, you only have two things going for you. You are shielded from attacks by enemy players for three days and you have an ally in the form of the Taskmaster.
The Taskmaster is your mentor and tutor as you take your first steps on the way to establishing an Empire. He will advise you on gathering resources, exploring and adventuring and even renaming your settlement.
You also have the protection of your Hero unit. Your hero will carry the bulk of your burden in the early going and will explore nearby adventure spots in the hope of finding hidden resources and even troops for your nascent military forces.
As with all games of this type, the key to success is thoroughly investigating the function of items and troops before deploying them. As I leapt headlong into the game without really doing my homework, certain tasks took a lot longer than they should have. Upgrading your Main Building at the start of the game reduces your build time by four per cent. Upgrading it to level 3 brings the build time down by another six. And as you only have limited workers to begin with, getting jobs done and moving on to the next one is important.
And to complete these tasks you need resources. Resources in the world of Travian come in three flavours; crops, iron, clay and lumber.
All tasks cost a certain amount of each so having diverse resource gatherers is also important. A quick spoiler or hint here-remember your workers need food, so focus on your cropland at the start. Once you have claimed your resource spots, you can also upgrade your production facilities there. These upgrades take time, but can be completed instantly if you spend a little gold. Gold will be awarded to you once you complete the missions assigned to you by the taskmaster and can be earned later by trading with your neighbours or by auctioning loot discovered by your Hero on his adventures.
I don't normally enjoy resource based strategy games, but something about Travian clicked with me. The interface is clean and easy to navigate and the built in tutorial in the form of the Taskmaster led me by the hand from the very beginning. If you are familiar with this type of game, you may find it a little too simple for your taste but, if you are like me and have not played a huge amount of strategy style adventures, Travian may well be the one to introduce you to a new genre.