Travians is a simple browser MMORPG set in the same universe as the strategy game Travian. Unlike its predecessor, Travians takes a more personal approach. Players control a single villager who must improve his or her village day by day. Travians restricts gameplay with something called Occupation Points, players have a maximum of 30 and must spend one in order to gather resources. Occupation points convert to Action points when used and are required to play multi-player minigames. Overall, the game promotes a social experience where making friends and having guests visit your home play a larger role than the turn-based combat.
Tribes - Roman, Teuton, Gaul
Resources - Wood, Clay, Ore, Grain, Flour, Coal, Wooden Boards, Bricks, Iron, Bread
Minigames - Get Four, Tic-Tac-Toe, Dots & Boxes, Battle Ships, Reversi, Chess, Blackjack, Skat, Poker, Dice Duel, Rock-Paper-Scissors, Checkers, Backgammon, Mill, Combat Bricks, Domino
Travians Featured Video
Travians Full Review
By, Jaime Skelton
Travians is a casual browser-based MMORPG from the creators of Travian. Unlike Travian, which is an MMORTS, Travians offers a more casual, mini-game based atmosphere for players. A little more like a virtual world, Travians offers players plenty to do over a long stretch of time.
Starting on the Right Foot
After creating your Travians account, including choosing a race and gender, you’ll enter the world on a tutorial island. This tutorial island will walk you through the very basics of Travians, which mainly consists of being able to harvest resources – a simple process which simply involves clicking on a harvestable area (which will highlight with a tooltip when moused over) and waiting for the animation to finish. New players also pick up basics like talking to NPCs, decorating houses, and the use of occupation and action points (more on that in a bit).
What impressed me, however, is that within two minutes of my character appearing on this tutorial island, another person had teleported to me and welcomed me to Travians, asking me if I had any questions. I soon found out that every new player gets their own starting mentor, which they can immediately ask for help or resources, and which they have an opportunity to rate in a small survey after they leave the starting area. For the record, my mentor was very friendly and although I didn’t ask any questions of her, she still offered several helpful tips as I set off on my own. For any MMO, the mentor greeting is a nice touch, and Travians seemed to do it well.
OP, AP, SP
Like many free-to-play browser games, Travians utilizes a limited point system in which players receive a certain number of action points per day to do various things in the game world. In Travians, however, there are multiple levels of these points, each determining a different thing that players can do in the world.
The first of these kinds of points are occupation points, and are the basic points renewed on a daily basis for all players. These points allow players to harvest or process raw materials (ore, lumber, clay, and grain). When used, occupation points convert into the second type of points: action points. Action points are used for mini-games, working in the tavern, and fighting in the arena; winning at these events results in an award of social points. Social points are, in turn, a secondary form of currency that can be used for decorating and upgrading your personal and guild house.
What’s the Point?
If you’re familiar with Travian, you’ll know that the original game involved real-time strategy elements including building up your own city and army. While many of the elements in Travians are familiar to Travian players, what Travians doesn’t offer is the strategic element known of its predecessor. Think of Travians more like a virtual world for casual players, and less like an MMO. For instance, resources are still harvested, but are used more for guild building and trade than for building up strength.
Instead of managing a city, a Travians player managers their own single-player house (and that of their guild, if they run one.) Goals are personally set: build a massive guild house, perhaps, or top any of the multiple charts, from becoming a mini-game master to an arena master. The choice is yours, and open to your playstyle.
Finding Things to Do
In an open world like Travians, there are several things to do. Of course, the basic action that all players will invest time in is harvesting and/or processing one of the four basic resources. You are given the chance to pick one of four harvesting occupations, and can later change this to processing applications (such as baking bread or making clay bricks). Your occupation determines where you are the most productive, and all end up about equally profitable, so it merely comes down to personal preference as to where you’d like to click.
Once you’ve worked your share and sent your goods off for sale, you’re free to use your action points for mini-games or fighting. Travians offers a great selection of mini-games to play against other players, most quick and easy to play. Mini-games range from board game classics like backgammon and chess, to modern classics like Tetris and Get Four (ala Connect Four), to card games like Poker and Blackjack. Fighting in the arena is also an option, letting players match against fitting opponents in a turn-based fight.
All of this also requires the maintenance of four status bars: hunger, fun, sleep, and hygiene. Hunger manages whether or not your character can use tools, which increase the number of OP you can use at once, as well as the rewards you gain from using them. Fun influences the amount of experience you gain; without fun in your status meter, you’ll gain half-experience. Sleep helps regenerate OP faster, and fills at a basic rate of 8 hours for a full bar. Poor hygiene will reduce SP gain from activities and increase the market rate from NPCs. All of these bars, in other words, are very important to keep at least partially filled at any time.
Travians also offers quests for the player, but don’t expect to breeze through them. Quests are unlocked to players over a course of time – and that time spans over 100 days simply in the first generation. As players age, they will eventually retire and pass down their earnings, house, and achievements to their children. This passing on of genes also unlocks new quests for the player, and a chance to ‘start fresh’ without losing everything in the process.
This means, of course, that things move slowly in Travians. Although designed for the casual player who can only spend a little time each day, Travians encourages a long term commitment to see the fruition of their efforts. This can especially be felt in the first week of the game, where I found myself, for instance, simply logging in for a few minutes a day to use my points or play mini-games, while I waited to earn the money or pass the time to acquire my next quest.
Final Verdict: Good
Travians is definitely for the casual gamer who has the patience to wait for the rewards from their game time. It offers great social gameplay, especially for fans or players of Travian who are looking for something a little less competitive or time-intensive. It’s a balance of fun and work: there’s not much exciting about clicking over and over on the same work area just to get action points, but the mini-games and enjoyability of building your own home is rewarding in the end. There’s great community aspects to Travians, and it’s fair to say that it has definitely earned its awards.