I have recently started playing and I would like to mention that part of my reluctance to spend gold on travian is due to the fact that other players may simply spend more gold on travian and still have an unfair advantage over me. I'm no statistician and so this might even be a bad business idea, but if you assume everybody has the same reasoning as me when it comes to spending gold, the game would make more money if there was a limit to gold spending. yes at the moment im sure some players might spend $1000 on gold. but I think it is at least worth finding out if its not a better idea to place a limit and see if 10 players spend $200 on gold instead. also... the game would be more fun. maybe this could be tested on a server? I think a good limit would be $100 a month. many people spend about that much on gaming every month (between membership and purchasing the game and dlc etc)
the only problem is that this sort of system would need time to build a player base. I'm afraid too many players have already been scared off by the gold costs. I know I was when I first found this game 9 years ago. (I was still in school so I had no budget). It makes me wonder why travian didn't start with this strategy (since it is less risky) and THEN offer unlimited gold spending as a test server.
I'm sure I'm in the minority when it comes to this forum, but I think a majority of players don't enjoy pay to win, but would still be happy to pay a large premium to enjoy their favourite game (I mean people bought the xbox 360 and paid yearly membership just to play halo 3) what I'm saying is the limit can be high but there needs to be a limit. otherwise players will just think to themselves "what's the point someone can still spend more than me. I'd rather just play a fair game."
I've never thought of it that way lol and couldn't care less how much people spend more than me to get an advantage. I just think of what I need to do and what I should do and where gold use can be effective to make playing easier/more fun for me. I've never thought of it in terms of other people and don't really see how that should put you off.
Hmm, I counted how much gold I spent in the last dex3. I mean, I counted how much I spend for what.
I can tell you one thing: 75% of the gold I spent didn't give me a real advantage, but allowed me to be lazy.
Instances: NPC trading in side villages instead of trading resources between villages and NPC trading only in capital. Completing buildings like academy, smithy, etc. instantly, because impatience, despite not being able to start next building level due to lack of resources. Instant finishing merchants, because I was too lazy to plan ahead and too impatient to wait. And so on.
There's only a few things that consume gold and give you unlimited real advantage:
1. Artworks: Usual costs in de servers for one artwork early game are 20-25k silver (= 200-250 gold), and early game they will boost your cp production by 33% (if you're a decent player and celebrate small parties). Having a few villages more or less is neglectable in the mid/late game and usually allows you to start troop training a few days earlier, resulting in a few troops more. But that's it, it's not that huge of a deal imo. If you're a decent player, you can compete with other decent players who use tons of artworks very well and without major problems.
2. Books Of Wisdom: Books of wisdom aren't that expensive, usually less than 1500 silver (15 gold) per piece, if you use them intelligently (for instance waiting for both camps to spawn and a few adventures to make it all at once), you're fine with 10-15 in the whole round, at most.
3. Cardgame - Upgrades for Barracks/Stable helmets: You can sell everything you get in the cardgame, giving you on average 2000 silver per 20 gold roll - meaning you can use card game to convert gold to silver and picking the items you need, basically paying them very cheaply. I did a statistic on which items I get and after a few hundret 20 gold rolls that was the result.
4. NPC Trades: Well, if you have a decent 15c, you have to npc, there's no way out of this. Investing the money to be able to do that will give you indeed a huge advantage over people which don't, but, if you build your capital carefully and fill it with granaries to have to trade rarely, you don't have to trade that often.
A member of my kingdom used to have great accounts with only ~1000-1500 gold per round, if you plan ahead, play carefully and don't waste your gold reklessly, that will be the amount you need.
I know that research has been done on this in the past and the answer was simple. The current way of doing it was the most profitable, times may have changed but i very much doubt it (this was done on legends before it was "legends" about 10 years back).
It's possible they've done a TEST server here and come up with a similar answer, it's also possible, if you get enough backing from this topic, for a TEST server to happen with those exact parameters.
As a f2p player, i actually benefit in some sense from the p2w players from ridiculous auction prices allowing me to get the +25% boosts and PLUS for free usually shortly after t3 artifacts are out.
Putting more time into the game for raiding and decent use of resources is much more powerful than just shoving gold into the game. Doing both is a scary prospect but there's a highly limited number of these per server.
I just see it as allowing me to play for free and if i'm allied with a similar number that i'm against, it all balances out.
Travian is a team game.....there's no amount of money i can drop onto this game that would allow me to "win" all by myself!