This was a very interesting server with a concept I personally was not familiar with at all. It had some really nice features that I hope will remain in some way in the upcoming version of the server as I've understood that it's unlikely to come back without any changes to the gameplay.
Please keep in mind that these are my reflections and that some things simply are my impressions and not facts. Thanks everyone involved for an interesting server, both allies and enemies! It has been fun
I really like the forwarding feature. It simply makes sense and brings in more options for teamplay.
With similar reasoning I think the regional system giving a lot more players access to artefacts and added incitements for fights throughout the server is really good. It was a pain trying to hit through all those architects/confusions. The larger gold users are heavily benefited there.
In a similar fashion merging with gold is pretty ridiculous in how fast you can build up a hammer and by-pass the resource costs for great barrack/stable or merging for resources. Only benefits the larger gold users though. I think it's sort of balanced on this type of server as major hammers for natar clearing and ww hits are not necessary, it's mainly how fast hammers can be rebuilt by merging that is obnoxious.
Both merging and artefacts have the capability to give an account more resources in exchange for splashing gold unlike the NPC feature. (By merging with gold you can train at the pace of great barrack/stable without paying the extra resource cost. Several diets/boots also result in more resources.) I think some sort of limitation should be in place to make this more balanced towards the majority of players.
About the actual server
First things first, congratulations to TM. You were quite clearly the strongest and most well prepared alliance for all the things that mattered the most for winning the server. You leveraged your position of being pre-formed and having a team with many good accounts into an early lead in the VP race.
From what I've understood you won the early battle with BA for some regions which likely played a large role in your ability to get a sizeable lead against them. Similarly you took Argentorate and Mogontiacum from us in Lords A before we were ready to really fight back in any way. In that sense your offensive capabilities did what it had to do. Although I think your strongest characteristics as an alliance was your ability to continuously settle new regions and quickly rebuild most of the damage you took.
From an outside perspective BA looked quite similar to TM at the start, although a slightly weaker version. BA also came here as a pre-formed alliance and much like TM settled new regions at an impressive rate. I think allying with BA to make the VP race an actual race all the way was the right move as neither side was strong enough alone. There were several factors playing a part in our shortcomings, but we fought well together and there were days it looked realistic before we ultimately fell short.
I think our main issue in Lords stemmed from the Meta consisting of separate alliances that never quite overcame that and really became one entity. I am not entirely sure what the main reasons were, but I think we had enough good players in Lords to be able to compete - in theory. Strong leaders and structure don't fall in place over night though and as often is the case, we didn't manage to fulfill our potential.
Lords D was probably the group who had it the roughest from the major alliances, but they remained all the way to the end and contributed with as much as they could in terms of hammers and regions. That's very respectable in my opinion and I believe many teams would have quit in their position. Lords W on the other hand had a quite easy ride through the server. They ended as the largest of the original Lords wings and quite likely had the most troops in our Meta. There were mainly a couple of defensive accounts that stuck out and did a brilliant job.
For Lords A I'll say that it looked very bleak all the way up to somewhere around Christmas where it felt like we were under a lot of pressure from TM. We lost both Argentorate and Mogontiacum fairly quickly without putting up much of a fight. The Brick should have cred here for being the only consistent leader to remain from the tough time all the way to the end. Without a single solid reference point for the alliance I don't think there would have been much left. Instead we did a strong team effort and for the second half of the server we handled ourselves well.
Throughout this server we have been called a lot of demeaning things by various people. It would have been easy to give up, but we hung in there and turned things around. I think some people who have played in pre-formed alliances for too long forget how hard it can be to go through the progress of building an alliance from scratch and building up trust for one another etc. Considering our performance for the second part of the server where we walled several TM hammers and made good work offensively - I can say with certainty that I am proud over our progress and our performance! While some other people that have acted like bullies should take a moment to think about their own actions.
It's fine to play in a pre-formed alliance and it's fine to be proud over your own alliance, but don't forget your humility. We're all people trying to enjoy this game on our spare time.
Murx was without doubt the strongest team offensively on the server. I can't remember the last time I saw an alliance call "white flag" on the forum. Unfortunately their defensive side of the game remain quite untested as they weren't a realistic contender in the VP race and teams focused their efforts elsewhere. As I can't possibly know whether the ban of Irrsinn was correct or not I'll simply say that it was unfortunate we did not get to see Murx attempt to take Segestica from Lords W. It would have been very interesting to see how Lords would stand up to that and to see Murx' attacks.
-boodil , part of boovana.