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Travian: A Beginner’s Guide to the Most Popular MMORPG Browser Game in the World

Software techies, bored teenagers and nerds all over the world have caught on the web’s most popular browser game, Travian. Travian doesn’t require any downloads, and players can log on anywhere, making it a popular choice in the Internet gaming community. But it can be very intimidating for new players, unless you have at least somewhat of an idea how to get things going.
The Game

Travian is set in what I like to call, “the olden days.” The world is comprised of squares, and grows exponentially in relation to the number of players that sign up. There are always several games of Travian taking place at any given time, and each game takes place on its own server. When you sign up for a server, you are signing up to participate in that particular game. When a game ends that server will reset, and if you check the main page regularly it’s easy to find out when a game is resetting.

If you are going to play, make sure you are ready to commit to play out an entire game. The endgame phase of Travian sessions typically don’t even begin until 300 days into the game. If this is a bit much, there is usually at least one speed server, which I have not yet attempted. Of course you can always play until you get bored and then nuke your kingdom (metaphorically, of course).

When you sign up, the first thing you’ll need to do is pick a server. There are minor differences in each server, too many to list here, but the game is essentially the same. Don’t sweat it too much unless you are getting very serious about playing this game. The world is broken up into four main quadrants: Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest. The world is so large that even if your friend joins in the same quadrant as you, you may end up hours upon hours away from them. If you were to send a soldier across the world, it would likely take many days, if not weeks. Pick your quadrant. Once you activate your account, you will be given a village. Your village is placed on the board in relation to when you signed up. If you sign as soon as a server restarts, you will be placed near the center. If you sign up several months after the game began, you will be placed in the boonies. This is a very good thing, because you have a better chance of being placed near players that closer to your level.

One of the main aspects of Travian is a sim-city like building process, in which you increase the population of village through building and eventually you can settle new villages and maintain a kingdom. Your village has resource fields with four resources: clay, crop, iron, and lumber. Different building processes take different combinations of these resources. Unless you are on a speed server, your population farms your resources and produces a certain amount per hour in real time.

The other main aspect of Travian, and the one that should turn off any sim-city players, is that it is a war game. The ultimate goal is for an alliance to build a 100 level wonder of the world, and to do this it takes a lot of battling and a lot of time. Only the top alliances have any chance of actually building one, and the rest can only hope to help in some way. All beginner’s get one week of protection, after that expect your village to be raided by bigger, stronger and more aggressive players. If you want to play nice, this is not the game for you. One of the ways to get extra resources is to raid other players, and you will be raided.

At this point you should be getting an idea whether or not you would actually like to try this game out, if so, check out the next part on this guide.

Five Big Role-Playing Games Coming Out for the 2010 Holiday Season

2010 has been a good year for RPG fans, with big hits like Mass Effect 2, Final Fantasy XIII, and Dragon Quest IX that have already been released. An already strong year will close with a bang, with these five great role-playing games coming out just in time for the holiday season.
Fallout: New Vegas – October 19 – PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360

The next game in the Fallout series takes place a few years after the events of Fallout 3. It is developed by Obsidian Entertainment, which has many employees that worked on Fallout 1 and 2. Fans of Fallout 3 should find New Vegas to be especially enjoyable, as it takes the excellent base game from Fallout 3 and adds many improvements and new features to make an even better game.

Costume Quest – October 20 – Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade

This cute little Halloween RPG is developed by Double Fine Productions, the studio best known for the games Psychonauts and Brutal Legend. Players will go around town collecting parts for their costume, recruiting fellow children to their party, and collecting candy so that they can rescue their sibling from the monsters. When in battle mode, the children become giant versions of the costume they are wearing, complete with abilities in line with the costume.

Fable 3 – October 26 – Xbox 360 (PC version release date TBD)

The third entry in the popular Fable series, Fable 3 takes place 50-60 years after the events of Fable 2. What’s interesting about the game is that it is broken into two distinct halves. During the first half of the game, you strive to overthrow the evil ruler of Albion. In the second half you become the new ruler, and you get to decide what kind of a ruler you will become. You can be a benevolent king, a nasty tyrant, or somewhere in between the two extremes.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn – November 29 – Nintendo DS

Fans of the Golden Sun series have been clamoring for another sequel since 2003, and will finally get their wish this November.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm – December 7 – PC, Mac

The third expansion to the most popular MMORPG of all time hits this December. In addition to the two new races (Goblins for the Horde, Worgen for the Alliance), Blizzard is totally revamping the old zones to try and lure old players back that may have quit playing. Other features include raising the level cap from 80 to 85, the ability to use flying mounts in the Azeroth zones, and lots of new quests, dungeons, and towns.