Welcome to our second Travian: Tides of Conquest alliance spotlight! If you have not read the first interview and you are not familiar with the concept, every Friday in August we are interviewing a key member of a well-known alliance that is planning to join one of our upcoming Annual Special‘s gameworlds.

Let me introduce this week’s guest: Arkki from the Nordics Annual Special alliance (this is just a placeholder for whichever name the alliance is going to choose this year).

Hello and welcome to our second Alliance Spotlight, Arkki. First of all, tell us something about yourself and your Travian: Legends career.

Hi! I’m Arkki, self-proclaimed in the Nordic circles as ”the most hated” – though I’ve got to admit I’ve grown out of the brand since it was based on some provocative analysis and smaller communities.

I’m from Finland, and I’ve been playing since 2009. Currently, I’m studying administrative sciences at the University of Lapland and working alongside my studies. In addition to Travian, I have several hobbies; one could say that in general, I’m interested in topics like nature, history, society, literature, economy, and health. And I do love swimming – alongside a good sauna, of course!

How many Annual Specials have you played? What was your favorite so far and why?

It’s actually hard to keep count. I’ve played a few Finnish ones until the Nordics communities were merged. Furthermore, it was not long until Annual Specials became Europe-wide and eventually international. I think they are all very different, and it’s hard to pick a favorite. But if I had to choose, I think I’d go with the Finnish ”Fire and Sand” from 2017, since the new system was fascinating and memories have taken their time to grow sweeter.

I also really liked our alliance at the 1x ”Shadow Empires” – I wasn’t personally a fan of factions, but we had an amazing crew and very competent coordinator team which really helped to make most of the round.

By reading the Travian: Tides of Conquest feature set, what is the most interesting feature, in your opinion? Why?

I’m very keen to see how the new Victory Point system will play out. I believe it’s going to be a whole new ballgame in terms of rewarding activity, and that is honestly exciting. However, I have to admit I have some concerns as well. Like many others in the community, I think there may be ways to exploit the new system in ways that the developers and players who play by the gentleman rules won’t find appropriate. Despite this, I can see its great potential and we’ll know soon, how the new system will work in practice.

It’s also worth mentioning that switching alliances has been made harder. There are of course genuine switches, merges, and such which are of course problematic, but at the same time back-stabbing will become harder – which is good. In my opinion spies are the lowest form of this fine game.

Also: a big plus for the banners!

How does your alliance normally recruit for an occasion such as the Annual Special? Do you have any special tools you use?

Usually, there is more or less a pre-made player base if someone close to me decides to rally up an alliance. This applies to me as well, and I can confirm that most likely I will put up a partially premade alliance, if we’ll get the Tides of Conquest round on double speed (Editor’s Note: you do!). At the same time, I want to point out that some of the best and most loyal players have been so-called server recruits, so I don’t consider it wise to look down at them or support some two-class system – in my opinion, all players are equally a part of the team regardless of when they join.

When it comes to our tools, I think it depends a lot on what kind of expertise the coordinator team has. I’m personally a fan of Gettertools, but with Excel witches and wizards there have been also other emphases. I’m also curious about defense tools as well, since they are less familiar for me – discluding standard defense form here. Also, the crop calculator has proven its value in few rounds.

P.S. If you find yourself interested, don’t hesitate to contact me in Discord: Arkki#0365.

Without revealing your strategy, how do you come up with your “winning strategy”? Guide us through the process.

For this, I need to explain my personal philosophy as a leader. I think that leadership gets its mandate from the members; hereby the objective should also be defined by the members. Whether it’s victory, wreaking havoc, or just having fun, it should be discussed properly so everyone can commit to the common goal. I also think that when several competent players review the same matter, the chance of a human error is largely diminished. That serves everybody.

After this, the leadership will prepare plans to achieve the common goal. While facing tough questions in terms of diplomacy or regional movements, the rank-and-file should be heard. I often prefer to have a prepared proposal from the coordinators that can give structure for the conversation – it may not win the popular vote, but still gives some insight for the members and maybe also helps them to make an impact.

I think this is also the proper place to point out certain groundless rumors. In my opinion, a strategy shouldn’t be based on vengeance. The personal disagreements of a leader shouldn’t be solved at the expense of the members. Now, I know that there are some people who say – or hope – that in a situation where I’d rally up an alliance of my own, I’d make taking them down its sole purpose. Excuse me for being blunt here; a lost round or one bad leader is no reason to drag an alliance into the mud. If we’ll start the round, these people who have spread such rumors will be insignificant in terms of our strategy – despite their potential personal fantasies.

One last question: what is your biggest wish for this Annual Special? Apart from winning, of course! Anything new you want to try out with your alliance?

I’m hoping for a good fight, and one could say that it’s actually my most important wish. Of course also new faces, the thrill of the fight and the new functions are important! I’m also keen to study new alliance tools – including the new banners – and to see what the new victory points system will bring into the game. Furthermore, I’ve preferred battle group systems in the past and looking to develop them to be more functional. Yet, above all, I hope for a good round and a proper run for my money!

Thank you for your time Arkki! See you next Friday with another Alliance Spotlight!