I am the kind of a player that never ever rely on a help from other people to get me into top 50 (i play speed server, also new year x2, or some foreign language speeds with help of google translate)
So far since game 1 I always come to server without knowing anyone, so i can attack anyone i wish. And i tend not to join any aliance for ...mostly 1/3 of a game. I would mention also i am gold user.
For me there is one luck factor in a game that is too much of a game changer that make you top 10 or top 20 player or just ...or something that sets you way way back.
And that luck factor for me is hunting 2nd village and especially time lost if someone takes a spot before me. The time that is lost for miss is such a large setback. In early stage thats just to to huge.
When i send today settlers for c15 on 125% there were only 3 players with 2 villas. I send them on a 5 and half hour one way trip. Someone beat me, 11 hours lost. Then 11 hours later i said o crp i will just go for c15 150% in grey areah. Noone took c15 there yet...
After 11 hour setback i now went on a 2 hour and half ride. Man...30 minutes later i check...nervously.....i said please no.....please didnt help. Someone beat me again. Pure bad luck. Someone took it before me. 30 minutes after i sent. So now 5 more hours lost.
I had settlers ready like 38 hours into game. Now 11+6=17 more hours will be lost.
And in early game every hour starts if you want to be top player. And you have to fight with people who come with a: multiaccounts or b: tonz of helpers who help them on start
This long return of a settlers is such big punishment in early stage and its just luck factor. So so frustrating to have such luck fact in early game
I play this game with big pauses since beggining. If travian ever take anywhere suggestions for game changes, my no1 change suggestion is for sure a "instant return of settlers if someone settes a villa"
Set back in early game is a 180 degree flip.