Last night was my first snow in Ukraine. The ground was covered with a blanket of white. And when I checked my account this morning, it seems the same has happened to Ikariam.
Ikariam does a lot of this redecorating, changing the graphics up for Easter, Halloween, etc. It was very nice to see this so well coordinated with my own winter experience. And who doesn’t like penguins? They went even further this time, by dropping some snow on the island view as well.
This is a nice touch, but it’s also a bit sad. My island seems so desolate now. Even when I wrote my review of Ikariam, there were a couple less players on my island than when I started. And now it’s practically deserted.
I know I have the unfortunate luck of being on one of the smaller servers, but it’s sad that Gameforge doesn’t seem to be doing anything to help this game that’s slowly dying. Well, hopefully something will happen in the spring.
Today I received a message from the loyal citizens of my Ikariam account:
Your citizens from world Eta have been running around for 7 days, not knowing what to do!
Hoping for a sign from you, they have now gathered in front of the town hall, instead of working.
So come back to http://en.ikariam.com and give your citizens the advice they need!
We are looking forward to your return,
Has it really been 7 days? I am a terrible ruler. Maybe if a dragon would attack Ikariam, or something else exciting, I would be more inspired to tend to my account… Hint hint, Gameforge. Hint hint.
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.
Ikariam is all dressed up for Halloween. Has anyone noticed any other OSG’s doing something special for the holiday?
The Ikariam World War is going well, though much differently than expected.
At first I sent my forces out east to help some members and we were pretty successful. We had a hilareous battle where someone tried to liberate a town we were occupying, but neglected to send any wall-breaching units so just splattered 1,000 front line units against the wall.
Action soon grew dull in the area though, so I headed back west. A very strong player, LoCarb, was occupying one of my allies’ towns. I went to assist. Things weren’t looking good, but we finally killed all his flanking units and managed to win the day. Since then we have been scouring the area, picking off anyone we can. We found another player, Tom, who had a military to match my own, but he had left his navy divided across all his towns. My armada had an easy time sailing from town to town picking him off. We’re actually raging against the last of his army right now.
An interesting aspect of this world war is that it’s turned out much more defensive than I would have thought. In a normal war, there are dozens of players who are so far from the combat that there’s no need to worry about defending their own towns and they simply send their entire force to the front line. But now, since an attack could theoretically come from anywhere, many players seem to be keeping some of their troops at home.
There are still over two more weeks of war left, and there are definitely some large battles taking place. After I clear my immidiate area of potential threats I’ll be looking forward to joining them.
In 3 days the Ikariam ETA server is going into a state of all out war. Pretty much every major alliance has decided to declare war on each other for a period of 4 weeks. This is going to make things very interesting. In most Ikariam wars thusfar, finding an opponent that you’re at war with can be tricky if you don’t happen to be nearby. But now, there will be no lack of close targets. Theoretically this means that every player will be busy fending off the attacking hordes from their own cities instead of having the entire alliance’s armies gathered in a few chokehold cities.
This, on top of Travian picking up, is definitely going to make August a very interesting month. You can read more about the war, or “Operation Alarm Clock” in the Ikariam forums.
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.
|Freesky / Lords Online
|Three Kingdoms Online
|Lord of Ultima
|Heroes of Gaia
|Age of Ocean / Empire Craft
|War of Legends
One of my most successful 61 round battles.
I have been pillaging this guy and he decided to retaliate against my weakest town, Stinkpit. He sent a huge navy that beat my single ram ship ( I had moved the others away) and then hit the town with over 1500 troops. Unfortunately for him I had a good wall and many mortars whereas he had few wall breakers. So
220,000 damage to him, zero to me.
As his navy was about to leave the blockade I crushed his navy too with small losses. So he was trapped and I just slowly beat him to death. Mortar ships seem to be worthless
Image 2: notice he has no wall breakers left. He never broke my wall. I just added some more fresh troops with mortars and he was doomed.
Image 3: I don’t know why it said his troops were cALLED BACK SINCE THE PORT WAS NO LONGER blocked by him
Browsing through the various OSG Facebook pages I came across a few cool images, including some Ikariam concept art and an interesting chart about the “History of Social Games”. I really enjoy seeing the process behind some of these games! Click to see the full size images, and enjoy.
At long last, it’s time for another OSG1 Contest. OSG’s are filled with thousands of nameless soldiers dying for the glory of our empires. It is time to let their stories be told! Send in a combat report from any OSG along with a short story about the battle for a chance to win 2 Ultimate Game Cards worth $40 USD total, which you can use to purchase Travian Gold, Ikariam Ambrosia, Lord of Ultima Diamonds, or whatever your particular OSG’s currency is.
Submit your reports and stories by June 29th. On the 30th I’ll choose my favourite five, post them on the site, and then leave it to a public vote. The entry that has the most votes by July 7th wins! Send any entries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Stories will be selected based on epicness, humour, and clarity. Here’s my own example of an entry (though obviously I’m ineligible),
The troops of Gorogorosama had been sailing for hours to reach the gates of Oddessy Aztec, a city that was rumored to have a pretty large casche of sulphur waiting to be plundered. The heavy mortars were the first to fire, breaching holes in the mighty wall. A legion of Steam Giants poured out to defend the city and had Gorogorosama outnumbered, but they also had to contend with the storm of bullets rained down on them by Gorogorosama’s Carabineers. Aztec’s two doctors ran frantically back and forth across the battlefield trying to help all they could, but alas, there was no hope and Gorogorosama was victorious!
Alright, best of luck to everyone. I look forward to reading the tales of your conquests!