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Thread: Guide To Creating an Alliance Analysis/Overview

  1. #1
    boots
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    Default Guide To Creating an Alliance Analysis/Overview

    Why do a forum alliance analysis?

    Sometimes during midgame, there is a lull and the game becomes somewhat less interesting, either due to hammer marches becoming obscenely long, or the local destruction of all your enemies has left you nothing to do but raid inactives and chief abandoned support villages. Unfortunately, the forums for your server will sometimes become increasingly dull. So, to give yourself and the other forum-participants something more interesting to read and discuss, its always lots of fun if someone puts together an Alliance Analysis or Overview to stimulate political flaming and discussion. This way you have something to talk about or argue about, or discuss intelligently, nicely and calmly (yeah right LOL!) inbetween merchant shipments, raids, or troop queing.

    Often I see a lack of analysis' on the forums and it makes me sad. So, I thought I'd put together a guide to help anyone who is willing to put the time into it, have a general idea of where to start. I haven't personally posted any, but I've been a large contributor and compiler of my friend Shagah's that have been posted intermittently throughout s4 round 2. I view analysis like newspapers, the more options you have to look through the more interesting the server forums will be. I often start putting one together on s4 when I find the embassy section (my favoritest section ^_^ of the forums) has become too dull. It also helps give a general overview of current status to everyone who plays the server and helps give an idea of whats going on. It helps keep the boredom at bay and interest alive in the game.



    BEFORE YOU GET STARTED!
    Set aside an hour or two, and hopefully finish it asap (2 days maximum imo). Your numbers have to be done over a short period of time, otherwise there will be a time curve in statistics comparisons.

    You will need:

    Spreadsheet/EXCEL
    I highly recommend using an EXCEL program. Initially a friend put my spreadsheet together for me, and I've modified it a few times as the server progressed to meet needs of the changing game stats. If you need help with the spreadsheet you can always ask someone who has done a stats based overview/analysis to share theirs with you, or find a nerdy friend to help you with the analysis



    NERDY FRIENDS

    These are critically important for a successful Travian game AND a successful alliance overview or analysis. I suggest embarking on your quest with a friend who likes to plug numbers into spreadsheets, make up spreadsheets, and look up random infos for the overview.



    Important Websites

    For my overviews I use different sections of the ingame stats page for information as well as the external websites like the analyzer www.travian.ws and for my maps www.travianmap.nl (remember to click on the US/British flag at the top for English....and select the proper server!). You can also utilize other sites for additional statistical information if you decide to include extraneous information in your analysis.



    NOW GET STARTED!
    Compile data, use your spreadsheets to calculate your numbers & averages, get your maps together, and get going! Here are things you'll want to include:


    Statistics

    Decide which statistics you want to include in your analysis/overview. If you include ALL the statistics, you won't be able to control where the discussion will lead to, and it actually leads to LESS discussion because there is no direction. Just like when you're writing a paper for class or any written report, you want to focus on a few things. Too much information will cause people to not even read the majority of your report if there is TOO MUCH. So pick a few stats that you find interesting and include those.

    Standard stats that almost ALL the analysis include: Meta pop averages, attack points, defense points, number of members.

    Some that I like to include are: pop/per square tile to show density of alliance members on the map and village: player ratios for each alliance. Basically some random stats that I find interesting, because I'm the one putting it together!

    I've seen other people include number of chiefings and number of top twenty attackers, defenders and population as well as robber medals, pop growth medals, attack medals etc. So include what you find interesting, and remember you want to control some of the discussion that follows to be more entertaining to you. Some people might want talk about pop density, whereas other people might want to discuss their pwnage at raiding.



    Alliances
    Decide which alliances you want to include. Just like with the statistics, too much is too much and you want to steer the discussion in a particular direction (not completely KILL discussion period by over-inclusion, remember we're doing this for entertainment, not for writing a science lab report with ALL THE INFORMATION possible ). I recommend picking the top 4 metas (1 per quad if its easier that way) and then 4-6 secondary groups that are having some impact on the server as well. You want enough groups to compare and discuss but not too many. Another way to stimulate some controlled discussion is by purposely leaving specific groups out. On s4, Shagah and I purposely left out PWNY in the first several analysis simply because we knew they were avid forum participants, and wanted to extract some more entertaining discussion out of them ^_^ Which was EASILY accomplished by leaving them out of our overview/analysis when we posted them!

    REMEMBER: You want people to REACT! NOT be bored to tears!

    MAPS

    I personally LOVE having the maps embedded directly into the analysis. I don't like to have to click on a link to bring to another page. This is a little bit harder to put together, but I think its worth the effort. If you use the analyzer maps, it will only give the map of one wing, so for multiple winged alliances I use www.travianmap.nl and search for the wings of the meta I'm working on. I use the printscreen function, paste into the paint program, then cut out just the map and save it as a separate picture. I then upload it into my photobucket account (you could use imageshack if you prefer) and THEN I can insert it directly into the post.

    I think looking at the compiled meta maps of each of the major groups makes it easy to get a geographical understanding of the current state of the server. I really think its worth the effort, but it DOES add some time to an analysis. This is a good place to get a friend to collaborate with you and help cut down on the amount of time needed.

    PERSONAL COMMENTS or GRADES or RANKINGS

    Some peoples analysis will include a grading scale. One of the best analysis from s3 round one included the James Brown analysis, which he graded on 4 factors of his own opinions in letter grades (like C+ or B- ) and also discussed his comments and opinion of each group. I never felt confident enough to assign grades based on my opinions, so Shagah and I would just give personal opinions, either our own or from other people who we asked for opinions from. We never use official leadership opinions, as that wasn't the kind of analysis we were trying to put together. Again this is to stimulate discussion. If you're "too nice" you won't get a lot of discussion, so don't beat it around the bush! Be frank, be funny, be witty, be stupid, be cruel! Get people to talk! Shagah and I will also assign "Titles" just to make our overviews a little bit more unique, I actually really enjoy this part!

    Your comments are going to be biased if you're playing the server, regardless of you trying to NOT be. That is unless you have zero opinion at all, and if you're COMPLETELY opinionless you obviously lack a brain to critically think about things and shouldn't be putting together an analysis!

    AGAIN keep your comment length limited and get your point across, in a short paragraph or a few sentences. Try to be concise and to the point. (I tend to textwall if you haven't noticed yet.... ) The analysis/overview is already going to be a lengthy post, but if you want people to get your message, keep it to a reasonably short length so they'll actually read it. TOO MUCH chattering, just like TOO MANY STATS or TOO MANY ALLIANCES will cause them to completely skip it and not read much. I tend to use my "Titles" as a way to get my point across briefly and to the point, and elaborate on it a little in a short paragraph.



    Always remember that the forums are here to talk to each other about the game and about the politics, and current state of the server. And ultimately the game is here for entertainment value. Don't take things personally, and have fun with your analysis and don't worry about what other people think. I was really surprised at the number of people who neg-rep Shagah or openly criticize the analysis because they disagree with the personal comments section ^_^ But you can't take it personally and you have to be willing to laugh! I've gotten some of the best giggles out of the cruelest dereps Ultimately, you're doing the analysis to entertain yourself and others, so a few sourpusses shouldn't discourage you from putting one together or going back for a second, third and hopefully fourth and more times around.
    Last edited by boots; 07-25-2009 at 02:32 AM.

  2. #2
    boots
    Guest

    Default

    FINALLY! PRESENTATION

    a. Have a friend or two look it over and proof-read/edit it. You don't want to post it with typos or stupid errors or wrong quadrant labels

    b. If you include maps or other pictures, you may have to break it up into a couple different posts, as the forums don't allow too many pictures or symbols for posts (Travian forums include smileys as pictures, so cut back on emoticons for your analysis if you're a heavy user like me) Shagah usually divides our overviews up by quads, and has to to do ninja postings so no one sneaks a post in-between them!

    c. ORGANIZE IT! Make it easy to maneuver through for skim readers. Utilize font-size, underlining and bold letters to separate sections and groups, this makes it easier for your overview to not turn into an impossible never-ending textwall, which doesn't stimulate discussion except for tl;dr. It also helps people maneuver and find the sections they're most interested in, and they don't have to read the whole the thing to find what they want, like "NE" or "AeM Meta" if they're not so interested in whats going on in the south. (separation by quads helps a LOT!)

    d. Shagah and I first put our overviews together on a private forum, NOT Microsoft Word. This way the encodings for the images, font-sizes and underlines for forum posts are already in it, and all Shagah has to do is copy and paste it when we're ready to post. I think this is much easier. We let the people who help contribute to it into these "preparation forums" and we can add comments, do separate sections and proof it as we go over 1-2 days.




    Post-Script
    On a side note, if you're going to do an analysis, don't throw together a "newbtastic" one just to put one up. Take the time to put some effort into it, and finish it properly (I think of it as handing in a paper to my Freshman English Comp I professor ). Also, don't put together an alliance analysis if you've only played the game for 2 months and think you know all there is to know about the game. I've played the game for two years and learned a LOT my second year when I started to dual with players more nerdy/experienced/smarter than myself. (I love you Tur and Doc ). OR DO put together the analysis, even if you ARE inexperienced, but have a more experienced friend look it over and give you some pointers before you post it and get flamed. (or wth, getting flamed it can be fun and you're bound to learn something by it ^_^)
    Last edited by boots; 07-25-2009 at 03:12 AM.

  3. #3
    boots
    Guest

    Default Appendix A

    APPENDIX A


    Examples of Analysis/Overviews Already Done

    Here are some links to some of the better and regularly posted analysis that I've seen done over the last couple of years on the forums. These are some examples you can look at and compare before you make your own:

    Some of my favorites ^_^ of course:
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...35#post1222350
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...07#post1515152

    Lynx's are popular:
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...89#post1492647

    (she has a LOT from last round, she's the one who originally gave me the idea for a pop density sort of stat, I really like it)

    A couple of Lynx's from s5 round 1:
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...091#post523114
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...425#post407630

    Recent comprehensive s4 analysis and ranking:
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...41#post1567295

    My favorite from s3 round 1:
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...503#post210138

    Some s3 from this round:
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...89#post1336652
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...55#post1193657

    An s8 analysis:
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...22#post1541454

    A random one Centre did that I remembered from s4 round 1:
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...199#post230188

    A Recent s1 Overview/Analysis Ranking thingy:
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...27#post1570099

    Random old s2 Analysis:
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...41#post1322262

    Wren's "strictly by the numbers" analysis but its short and sweet and conversation stimulating:
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...64#post1449389

    WhiskeyJack's analysis-not a lot of stats but I like his commentary:
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...01#post1257110

    Another zero stats one done by Green :
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...41#post1463051

    JSZephyr's Super Biased Alliance Analysis (I like people who are honest!):
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...39#post1193163

    Some of Jono's Analysis:
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...82#post1558972
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...68#post1461210
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.p...45#post1328716
    Last edited by boots; 07-25-2009 at 03:04 AM.

  4. #4
    boots
    Guest

    Default

    APPENDIX B


    Density Calculation

    I really like density calculations as it gives an idea on the spread of the players. here is how I do my density calculations:

    Travian accounts spawn in rings, so most alliances by quads look like 1/4 of a circle, or alliances that 4 quad spread look like an entire circle. I find an area based upon circle area and divide it 4, or 2 or multiply it by 3/4ths or 1 depending on how many quads the metas are in.

    1 quad divide the area of the circle by 4

    2 quads divide the area of the circle by 2

    3 quads divide the area of the circle by 4 and then multiple by 3 (or multiply by 3/4)

    4 quads multiply by 1 (i.e. the area of the circle = the area of square tile in Travian they engulf, duh!)

    To find the area of the circle:

    use a map and visualize a circle, and find the radius of that circle, for example:



    I "guesstimate" for my circle and ignore small outliers as I've shown. I pick a point and make that my radius, for this one we could say 165 maybe? (when you're on the Travianmap.nl webpage you can hold your mouse over the point you want to get the actual number).

    Once you have your radius plug it into the circle area forumula: pi x r^2 so in this case that would be: 3.14 x 165 x 165 = 85486.5 (square travian tile if you want units here is a website if you're uncomfortable with geometry: http://www.mathwarehouse.com/geometr...-of-circle.php )

    Then because this is a one quadrant alliance I divide that by 4 which = 21372 sq Tr. Tile


    Now there are two things you can do for density, you can get player density or pop density. Both are interesting imo and would indicate a different statistic to think about. But I usually use pop density so I get whole numbers as players would lead to decimals or fractions:

    Total pop of the Meta/area of meta = pop density per sq. Tr. tile

    So for this example lets say their total population was 111,132 so:

    111132/21372 = 5.2


    Once you understand, you can incorporate this into your Excel spreadsheet and the calculation goes quite fast.

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