Travian’s birthday is just around the corner and as you might know already, there will be another birthday special. We already published the name, Travian: Scattered Empire. In an interview, Martin, our minister of information, has been able to ask our game designer Jake about a couple of details.

What exactly is Scattered Empire?

We introduced the Roman Empire with Ancient Europe last year and will continue now with Scattered Empire. The name “Scattered Empire” stems from the Roman Empire, which broke apart. The regions that were left over now have to be conquered by the players. There will be fierce battles over complete regions and within each region, villages can be built and battles can also be fought against others. This means that players have to focus on many villages this time.

There have been annual specials for some time now. Last year it was Ancient Europe. What makes this one different to last year’s special?

In Scattered Empire there are different regions in which players can form alliances. As soon as an alliance dominates a region, a countdown will start. Once that has finished, all players of that alliance can use the artifact powers. The alliance will always produce victory points when it holds a region. Of course they can also hold multiple regions at the same time, but the more regions an alliance has, the more difficult it will be to hold them. Indeed players will accumulate the most victory points if they hold multiple regions over a longer period of time or hold a region for the longest time, respectively. This increases the chances of winning the server.

Since you’re talking about victory points. The normal Travian: Legends endgame depends on the Wonder of the World. In birthday special versions it’s always slightly different. How does it work in Scattered Empire?

Usually we have the Wonder of the World in Travian: Legends, where all attention is on just a few villages. Large armies stand together and the numbers are ever increasing. When so many troops are all in one place, the crop counter quickly drops down very low and logistical problems arise. In Scattered Empire we want to add a slight change to that challenge. It’s no longer about having everything focused on one place, but we want to spread the whole thing out more. The goal is to have more smaller skirmishes. Each attack, even on smaller targets will count, so the overall sequence of events will change.

At the same time there is no dynamic end, but a pre-set duration of the server.

Exactly. We have a server runtime of 200 days, so there won’t be issues with planning more and more and then all of a sudden the server is over and someone else won it. There will also be an info box with a countdown, so players can prepare and plan for the end.

The birthday special is always something very extraordinary for all of us. Will there be special features as well?

Yes, we do want to try out two new features. One of them will be that players can group troops together, so for example if I train troops in two villages and then send them all to one village, I can then continue to send those troops on missions from that village. For this the troops literally “move barracks/stable”. This will cost the player some resources however.

The second feature will be that troops can be forwarded within an alliance. So if players are in the same alliance, they can forward their defensive troops directly without detour. Right now it’s very different. If us two would be in an alliance for example and I send you reinforcements, you would first need to send them back to my village, before I can send them elsewhere. Now you can forward them directly, despite them being my troops. So they no longer make detours.

What do you aim for with all these changes in Scattered Empire?

A new gaming experience. It’s a “let’s try this without touching the actual game”. This also allows us to find out which changes are popular with the players, so that they may be implemented in the normal game, too. If for example there’s a player saying “I’ve been playing Travian for five years now and no longer wanted to play, but this special sounds really interesting”, then something like the birthday special is a very good variation of the game.

To summarize it quickly: Why should we play Scattered Empire?

It will definitely be a completely different gaming experience. While at the core it is the same game, it will progress in various new ways. Instead of many large battles, there will be even more smaller battles, more hot spots and real campaigns, always with the goal: “This region is ours!”

Are you going to play as well?

Of course! I’m already playing on our internal test server and there has been a lot of positive feedback so far. Hence I will definitely also play on the public server.

Thanks for the interview, Jake.