OSG1

Tag - lord of ultima

Shout Outs

Just wanted to give some shout outs to some of the site’s readers who have contacted me recently. First, there’s Lord of Ultima Strategy, a blog dedicated to, you guessed it, Lord of Ultima.

Fortuente is a blog about MMO’s in general, and the author is also working on his own designs for some persistent browser based games. He’s also got a great interview with the creator of Xemerys.

Finally there’s Utopia Revolution, a new blog that is tracking the progress of a new OSG currently in development and slated for release later this year. Utopia Revolution looks like it has some original ideas and is going to take the genre in a different direction, which will be very refreshing.

Cheers,
Oliver

I Am the Lord of Ultima (well, not yet) Part 10

Goemon treats us to another episode of “I Am the Lord of Ultima”. I’m starting to miss my “Travian Chronicles”. It looks like the Natars were just released on the Speed server; hopefully the end game won’t take too long so I can jump in as soon as they start up again.

In other Lord of Ultima news, EA just put out a new patch, and has also answered the first round of developer questions. Now, without further ado:

I Am the Lord of Ultima (well, not yet)
– by Goemon

Last week my main city was utterly destroyed except for the town hall and the castle, which were both left at a paltry level one. I decided to forgo trying to rebuild that particular town, mostly out of concern that it would just get annihilated as soon as my enemy first got a whiff of new resources. Instead, I ramped up the defenses in all my other cities. In one that has reached its building limit, I even started destroying a couple resource buildings to make room for more barracks just so I could build more Guardians.

A side note about the Guardians: I didn’t really look at the stats for the Guardian before I started training them by the thousands. I just checked out the picture and the name. I mean he looks well armored enough, and like a pretty tough guy.

Plus he’s got that intense pike/spear thing. Luckily, it turns out he’s a decent defensive unit, but apparently his specialty is against anything riding a horse. So if I get attacked by an army of Knights, I will totally dominate them. If, however, somebody sends over a couple of mages, I’m pretty much screwed. I may have put all my eggs in one basket.

Since I don’t have any other castles, all the enemy can do is try and plunder my towns. Luckily, I think I’ve put a stop to that for the most part. I’m now in the tens of thousands of city guards which makes it a little harder to make a profit off of attacking me. I wasn’t too concerned about becoming a permanent farm, but I did stumble upon this stickied thread in the official forums that gave a couple useful pointers. Check it out if you want.

Basically, the thread claims that the best way to beat a plunderer is to make your town less profitable, and thus less desirable, than raiding a nearby dungeon. You do this by building up your defenses (i.e. with units like city guards, guardians, and ballistas), and keeping low resource reserves. You keep low resource reserves by constantly building units and structures (obviously). Something I overlooked, though, was the construction of Hideouts.

One level ten hideout next to two patches of woods saves 22,500 of each resource from an attack. Seems like a pretty good deal to me. So if you haven’t done so already…BUILD HIDEOUTS!

I do have to say the hideouts look pretty ridiculous though. Is that really the best cover we could come up with? a bunch of barrels shoved next to some trees? How does the enemy not find these exactly? There’s an entire class of unit (Scout) whose sole purpose is to find resources and report about their whereabouts. Yet, he is foiled by the barrels mixed in with the trees. What, he can’t push some branches out of the way? This guy needs some better training if you ask me.

Battle Narrative Entry: Eric Markle

The castle had been brand new, it’s completion christened only a few days prior, but no time was wasted in putting it to the test. As the mist of morning cleared, battle formations could be seen assembling as they marched fresh off the rows of moored frigates. They flew the banner of Biohazard a city in the empire of Megatron at the far end of the island that most had only heard tell of by passing merchants. No one knew why they came, they were the first but far from the last to come from that far away land to stand before the tall walls of Cori Celesti in the coming days.

The walls bristled with rangers standing at the ready as the guardian squads bustled into place in the courtyard. The militia from the surrounding glens had arrived only the night before taking up position beside their brethren.

And then without a word it began, the siege weapons of the fleet unleashing a wave a fire that engulfed the city gate in an instant shattering it to mere kindling and starting small fires throughout the city. In response a rain of massive bolts began falling among the ships, many sinking rapidly as great holes were rent through their hulls. Just as suddenly the ships fell silent replaced instead by the roar of hooves as the enemy poured through the remnants of the gate and slammed into a wall of bristling spears. Strategy and battle lines quickly devolved into a general melee as Rangers stood their ground against raging Berserkers, Templars becoming bathed in the fire of angry Mages, and Guardians surrounding isolated knights pulling them from their steeds.

With sheer numbers on their side the defenders began pushing slowly back towards the gate on all sides. Those still on horseback were the first to turn tail and the rest soon followed flowing back out the smoking portal in disarray under a harassing rain of arrows.

There was no thought of pursuit though, as just outside the range of the ballista the surviving fleet was covering the retreat. The cheers of victory were cut off before they even had time to gain momentum when returning scouts whispered dire news to the commander. No less than 6 additional armies were moving through the valley towards the city. The siege of Cori Celesti has begun…

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Battle Narrative Entry: James Pryor

The small city of Jamestown rested in the crooked elbow of a mighty river. The power of the river was harnessed by the city. It allowed the mills to grind wheat into flower. The stonemasons used it’s flow to turn huge polishing wheels and create wondrous works. Their most recent was the Monument to the fallen Berserker built in front of the town hall for all to see. It honored the one man crazy enough to venture out into the forest who was killed by a giant spider. Incidentally, it was this same action that earned him the nickname of berserker.

Jamestown was a peaceful town, surrounded by other peaceful towns. Citizens worked by day and celebrated by night. They were happy folks with few worries. In fact, the only worry to be had belonged to the city council. A group of officials put in place by James himself to see to the order of the city. They were very successful with the exception of revenue generation. There were so many plans to make Jamestown better, but no money to do it with.

One of the younger members of the council convinced the others that tourism could generate a great deal of revenue. The catch was they needed something that would make Jamestown stand apart from other cities. What was it that could compel others from miles around to make the journey?

After some deliberation, a conclusion was reached. Jamestown needed a majestic symbol of power, a building that was unique to the area, something that could contain its culture; Jamestown needed a castle!

It was perfect. There wasn’t one for miles. Many had never even seen one in person. Work began right away. A few years later Jamestown had a castle that overlooked the same river that supplied the people water and machinery. It was a beautiful and wondrous sight.

It worked too! The day after its completion some people from far away rode into town on horseback. They hailed from a place no one had ever even heard of. They were armed men, but nice enough. They stayed in the inn. Ate in the Tavern. Of course they visited the castle. They even took time to admire the Monument to the fallen Berserker.

Everyone was excited. Jamestown was flourishing.

Then one day, a man came to town. He was elaborately dressed and clearly very wealthy. He spoke to the people as if he could have lead an army, but he came alone. He spoke with conviction and passion about the country he hailed from. A place just over the mountains from beyond where the mighty river starts.

The councilmen couldn’t believe what happened the next morning. After listening to this man all night, the citizens in the peaceful town of Jamestown revolted. They decided they could no longer stand under the rule of a man who knew nothing of defending a city; even if it was just a small peaceful city. The councilmen, at their roots, were cowards. When they heard the citizens wanted to revolt and take protection from a ruler they had never even heard of twelve hours before, they agreed in hopes they could keep their jobs after the change in leadership.

The change was peaceful, no blood was spilled in combat. Not even the messenger who carried the news to James was harmed. Thankfully James believed in a philosophy that doesn’t require one to kill the messenger of bad news.

However the ordeal did cause one death. The wife of the fallen berserker was visiting her husbands monument at the town hall when the mob came to tell the council they would no longer stand James’ ignorant ways. In those few minutes before the council caved, no one knew for sure what would happen. Many expected the council to denounce this treasonous idea. In a display of seriousness the mob of town folks pushed over the monument. It fell right on top of the berserkers wife.

In the end, the well dressed man stayed to look over the council. He allowed the council to stay intact, but he was essentially the power behind the decision makers. One of the first decision’s he allowed them to make was a new monument in place of the fallen berserker. It was called The Berserker and his Wife.

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I Am the Lord of Ultima (well, not yet) Part 9

I Am the Lord of Ultima (well, not yet)
– by Goemon

I was greeted by LoU with an interesting sight this week.

What you’re seeing is a level 1 Town Hall, and absolutely nothing else. This is (used to be) my main and biggest city, aptly titled The City of Goemon. It was the main city that had been under siege in the weeks prior to this, but I had held off my attacker and thought I was home free. My army was still weak- I hadn’t fully recovered from the previous attacks. But I didn’t think I was in that much trouble.

Oh, how wrong I was. He sent 140,000 Berzerkers to clean out my defending army first, then followed it up with 6000 catapults. The whole city was in ruins in a matter of hours. At the most, one day.

Interestingly enough, he didn’t take the city over, or destroy it completely. He just destroyed everything but the Town Hall and the Castle, both of which are at level 1. So pretty much the city is permanently crippled, but he won’t put it out of it’s misery.

So I got that going for me.

I tried to get rid of the castle myself (to at least get a buffer to try and rebuild), but that’s not an option in the game. Once it’s built, it’s there to stay. I don’t really know if this town is worth saving- it’s already castled, so it’ll be vulnerable to attack if I rebuild anything and get resources worth taking. On the bright side, I have 3 other cities that are pretty well defended, and they’re not castled yet so I don’t have to worry about losing those just yet.

In fact, my other largest city got plundered as well, by ANOTHER 140,000 Berzerkers. Luckily, this one had better defenses AND no castle, so I did alright. I don’t get what I’m doing wrong in this game! How do I get that many troops?! For kicks, here’s the report I got to look at:

My attacker is in the Blood_Legion alliance, which just so happens to be the number one alliance on the server. So I don’t think I’ll have much of a chance if I retaliate against him. But that’s OK! I’m building up the defenses of my other towns and I’m ready for another attack. I say this now, but we’ll see when it actually happens.

I Am the Lord of Ultima (well, not yet) Part 8

I Am the Lord of Ultima (well, not yet)
– by Goemon

So I spent the past week doing battle with my arch nemesis Gankster. He continued to siege one of my towns (and was doing a mighty fine job of it, I must say), but I was able to hold him off in my others.

Every time I log into the game it seems I’ve completed another quest just by killing a certain number of attacking troops. You would think this would be highly encouraging to me. Of course, as soon as I click that dreaded “Reports” tab I get to see just how many troops and resources I lost along the way. Trust me, the quest rewards do not make up for the casualties.

Suddenly (although in actuality not suddenly at all), something strange happened. I logged in to the game one morning, fully prepared to shake my fist at the screen due to the seemingly inevitable losses that were awaiting me in the Reports tab. Only, there were no new reports. “Interesting,” I say to myself. Out loud. If I owned a beard, I would have stroked it contemplatively.

So I zoom out to the Region map to check on my good buddy’s empire. There are several cities near me that are now grayed out. GRAY! This is the Lord of Ultima equivalent of a ghost town. But how can I be certain they are Gankster’s? What if this is some kind of trick? So I click his name, which is supposed to bring me to a screen full of info about him.

And the game breaks.

It just gives me a little popup message that says “OFFLINE” in all caps, and nothing else. I recall an old Penny Arcade strip in which Gabe melees someone so hard in an online FPS that they become disconnected from the Internet. My friends, my defense was so solid that my attacker was knocked off the entire Internet. All his cities are now abandoned. So what do I do? Build up some barons to take over some more towns of course. His towns.

It was a war of attrition, and a war that I have won. It took a lot of hard work, and a lot of strategy. Well, not strategy so much as wave after wave of sacrificed City Guards and Guardians. I mean, they served their purpose. Basically, when one city guard falls two take his place. Right? No, that’s not how the game works? Ah well, they’re in EA heaven now, along with my poor, poor Sims that couldn’t learn how to swim. As well as the ones that died in a fire.

But I’m getting a bit off track here. I did want to ask you guys a question. I swooped in on a town that had an interesting layout:

It was pretty much just several instances of that. Now, my guess is that this particular town was built to mass Templars, Paladins, and nothing else? Is this a decent strategy, or is this just craziness?

Battle Narrative Contest

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 osg1_contest@hotmail.com

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!

Cheers,
Oliver

I Am the Lord of Ultima (Well, not yet) Part 8

I Am the Lord of Ultima (Well, not yet)
Part 8
– by Goemon

This is it boys. War! If you’re just tuning in, all you need to know is that a player named Gankster started scoping me out last week. He was a much more established player than I, so I spent the last week ramping up my defense in preparation for attack. That’s literally all I focused on- my wall is finally fully upgraded, I’ve got defense towers in every possible location (and every possible variation), and I have a stash of city guards and guardians. Plus, Lord of Ultima gives weaker players a pretty solid bonus- I think it’s something like 150% depending on how different the size of the armies are.

So I go to bed thinking I’m pretty well equipped for an attack. I’m not even stressed. In fact I am actually confident that this Gankster fellow is in for a world of hurt, and once he attacks me he’ll end up limping back to his base, never to return. So I log in the next day, and the City of Goemon is in shambles. It’s been plundered to the brink of bankruptcy. I have no defenders left guarding my city either, and it’s currently under seige. Clearly, I did not quite understand the Lord of Ultima battle system. The only way to stop this is by either sending armies from my other cities over there, or getting my alliance to send help. Unfortunately, neither of these is possible because: One, if I send my other armies, my other cities will be defenseless. Two, I am in an alliance of one, so I can’t expect any reinforcements there.

So just how many troops did this guy send? Somewhere around 150,000…just against the City of Goemon! He had probably 50,000 troops each attacking my other cities. Luckily, they aren’t castled, so they can’t get sieged, or taken over. But he still plundered plenty of resources, and now as retaliation I’m just trying to spend as much of them as possible on whatever I can. Pretty much strictly barracks upgrades, city guards, and guardians. I’m making a stand here.

So for the past week, every time I log into the game, at least a couple of my cities have been plundered or sieged. It’s become pretty depressing to check my report list.

I’ve attempted to compare my battles to Return of the King before. I’ve changed gears now. I’m thinking my battle is more like the plot of 300. I mean, he sent a scout, and I killed him. Just like the beginning of the movie. Of course, my lookout towers told me far in advance when his full army was coming to fight with me. But not far enough for me to build enough troops to stop him. Like the outnumbered Spartan army, I fought with a few troops and lost- a valiant but futile battle. Of course, there was much more clothing and much less terrible dialogue in the Lord of Ultima version. Plus none of those boring political scenes, and unfortunately I’m missing that oddly out of place Irish accent from Gerard Butler.

How long will I last if this keeps up? I’m not sure. All I can do is upgrade my towers and keep building more troops. Wish me luck.

I Am the Lord of Ultima (Well, not yet) Part 7

Goemon treats us to another hilarious edition of “I Am the Lord of Ultima”. Enjoy!

I Am the Lord of Ultima (Well, not yet)
– by Goemon

I got scouted by someone that goes by the name of Gankster this week. You read that right, not Gangster but Gankster. See, it’s a play on words. If you’re a dedicated enough gamer to be browsing a blog on the topic, you probably know what the word “Gank” means. More than likely it struck fear directly into your heart. If, somehow, you missed this term in your online gaming career, allow me to elaborate. Basically, to gank means to kill someone that doesn’t stand any chance against you. Usually very quickly, and often unexpectedly. This is a term exclusive to multiplayer games, by the way. For example: in just about any PvP MMORPG, if a very high level player jumps out of the digital bushes and kills a newbie instantly with a high level spell, this is the prime example of a gank. Another example: say you’re playing an online FPS. You shoot your opponent down to 2 hp, and you’re about to finish him off, when all of the sudden BAM! Your teammate comes out of left field, shoots the guy once, and gets credit (and points) for the kill. Perfect gank scenario.

So to recap:
ga – nk (noun) – 1. To kill a severely disadvantaged player in an MMO

2. To steal something in game that wasn’t rightfully yours (i.e. a kill)

In Lord of Ultima, or many other OSGs for that matter, ganking is a pretty easy thing to do. Sure, developers have started to implement some newbie defenses like grace periods and Lord of Ultima’s castle system. But once you get past these things, what happens? Take me for instance. I am well past the grace period and have a sweet castle. But my city and army size is nothing compared to this Gankster character. I’m sitting on around 10,000 compared to his six figure score. Now, Lord of Ultima does boost the weaker player’s stats if he is attacked as another form of protection against ganking, but that only goes so far.

But here’s the thing: I’m a firm believer that it’s all part of the game. Sure, I can’t really gank anyone around me. But if I was in a position to do so, I feel like I probably would- let’s be honest, it’s kind of hilarious. Even the word itself is hilarious. Come on, say it out loud. Gank. Funny, right? Of course, all he’s done so far is scout me. And I slaughtered his scouts. Maybe that will send him enough of a warning.

Moving past Gankster. I accomplished something huge this past week- I successfully conquered a town. No wait, make that a city. Actually, I conquered an entire EMPIRE. Alright, maybe it was just a city. However, I effectively doubled my entire score with this strategic coup d’etat. And it wasn’t even a gank either- the city was just sitting there, and all I had to do was send good ol’ Sean Connery (read: a baron) over there to settle it. Not only did it double my score, but it gave me a mass of resources to spend on troops as well. Plus, it’s in a rather strategic location that opened up some new territory for me to settle in.

All in all, it was probably the most successful thing I’ve ever done in the game- and also one of the easiest. But it all felt too easy. Was this town rightfully mine? Was it…ganked? Does this make me a horrible person? These are intense philosophical questions I now need to ask myself. Who knew Lord of Ultima could be so deep.

Also please everyone, note my use of the unoffensive term “newbie” instead of the derogatory “noob.” I’m not trying to sound like a jerk here.