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Thread: Guide to Spying

  1. #1
    Gaul MemberGaul Member st jimmy 73's Avatar
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    Default Guide to Spying

    Spying plays a main role in almost every travian server. Nearly every big meta will have one or two spies feeding information in, or out. Many players will tell you, spying is part of the game. A lot of spys get punished by the multihunter for breaking rules*. So heres a guide showing you how to spy and stay within the rules of the game whilst not getting caught.


    Section 1: The beginning

    Unless your a spy for the majority of every server you play, you probably start spying after getting friendly with an enemy alliance leader. Now, sooner or later the alliance your in will find out they have a spy, so you will need to be the last person they suspect. You can do this in a number of ways, I suggest you try to do all of the following:

    1. Get one of your leaders to be a permanent sitter for you. This means he/she has eyes in your account, therefore they will trust you completely.
    2. Establish a method of communication outside of travian with the person you spy for. This means you will be able to talk to your associate freely.**
    3. Work your way up the chain, get yourself a position in the alliance, once you get that position, work as hard as you can to fulfill its requirements.***
    4. Dont change, If an alliance leader notices a change in behaviour, they may become suspicious.
    5. Become a sitter for 2 player in your alliance, an old trick to catch spies is to send a fake MM to one player, see if the enemy alliance react, and then grind the spies into the ground.****

    Now your well on your way to never being caught!
    _________________________

    *for example:spys have been banned for sabotage, breaking sitter rules, and sometimes multi-accounting
    **If you dont want to do this, i recommend setting your associate as your sitter, you'll never have to communicate with them much this way
    ***I suggest Diplomatic officer or something like that. very easy job
    ****Try not to tell the alliance leaders this, if they know who you sit for, they could send fakes MM's to them aswell
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    Quote Originally Posted by krull View Post
    I have to say that's a bit rich coming from someone with the ethics of Idi Amin, the morals of a Labour cabinet minister and the grasp on reality of Comical Ali.
    Trying to catch a spy? read this

    Want to try spying? read this

  2. #2
    Gaul MemberGaul Member st jimmy 73's Avatar
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    Section 2: What next?

    So now you are the last person they think could be a spy, you now have a few problems to face. A player from the alliance you spy for, is attacking you. He is completely unaware that your a spy.

    You cant have anyone other than your associate in the other alliance know your a spy. No one on this game can be trusted, your not dealing with them face to face, so who knows whats behind the name "trustworthy2009". Even if you do trust them, God knows what could happen later on in the server that could cause that player to grass you in.

    The first thing you should do when you see the attack incoming, is notify your associate. Let them know who's attacking and ask them to ask that player to stop attacking. Now your sure there will be no more attacks after this, alert your alliance close to the time of the attack, make a big fuss out of it, ask for defence etc. etc. being attacked makes you even less likely to be a spy, once the attack is a few seconds away, return all the troops and send yours out. if the alliance ask, say the troops were too late.

    Another hurdle we spies often come up against is defence calls, the alliance your in asks you to send in some defence to player X who has an incoming from the alliance you spy for. You can keep avoiding these, but if you do, your alliance will start to notice. Theres a few ways of dodging defence calls, you should use a variation of these methods for best effect.

    1. Usually, alliances leaders send out a message like "[MM] defence call to player X". Dont open the message and any other messages from the leaders for a few hours, when you do open it, reply to the leader telling him that your troops wont make it in time.
    2. Ask your associate to send 2-10 fakes on each of your villages, then ask the leader to send an MM out asking for defence, this not only means you can keep your troops in your village, it also means you could end up getting reinforced, meaning less defence for player X who is under attack.*
    3. Send them 100-200 cav defence, make sure they are level 0 in armoury. hey, at least you took part
    4. Ask your associate to keep you informed of which attacks are real, and which are fake. Always send a decent amount of defence to fake attacks. this one is risky though, if you or your associate misinterpret anything you could end up with a few thousand less troops.


    _________________________

    * Ask your associate to ask a friend of his to send fakes from time to time too, fakes from the same player all the time may get that players name linked to yours, this can cause all sorts of trouble later on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by krull View Post
    I have to say that's a bit rich coming from someone with the ethics of Idi Amin, the morals of a Labour cabinet minister and the grasp on reality of Comical Ali.
    Trying to catch a spy? read this

    Want to try spying? read this

  3. #3
    Gaul MemberGaul Member st jimmy 73's Avatar
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    Section 3: Double crossing and other dishonourable deeds

    If you know your associate has another spy in the alliance your in, i highly recommend you do not try double crossing your associate! You will get caught, its inevitable.

    If you know that your the only spy in your alliance, double crossing your associate is an option that is available to you. After all, your associate relies on you for information, he will 100% believe anything you tell him, if you tell him it in the right way.

    One thing you should do, double crosser or not, is eliminate any other spies in your alliance. You can be sure that if you dont find out who they are and report them in to your leader, they will do it to you.*

    The future of the server could sometimes rely on what you say to your associate. Especially around WW time, when changing those report figures just a little before handing them on could mean the difference between alliance A wins the server and alliance B wins the server.

    When double crossing your associate dont act differently to before, if you used to copy and paste messages or reports, carry on doing this, just tweak them, never write your own messages and say that player X sent this. Everyone has their own writing style, and he may be able to tell between your writing style and player X's writing style. It's always been easier to change than start anyway.

    Sabotage!


    Sabotage is a sensitive issue, and is on the line of rule breaking, there are two ingame rules giving different impressions about sabotage, more about it in the next section, I suggest you dont do it though just to be on the safe side, it gives you away very easily! When an account has been sabotaged leaders will automatically ask to know who that players sitters are. If you sabotage an account that you dont sit for, then this is hacking, and is against the rules and you should be aware that if you are caught, you could end up with a heavy ban or end in deletion.

    I would never recommend sabotage but if you do decide to do it, the best time would be when you get caught.

    As requested by Avi:

    Now, all this backstabbing and spying and stuff doesnt come without a cost, the day you get caught will be the day you'll probably get spammed by the alliance with hate messages, and any friends you had in the alliance will be pretty upset finding out that the guy they trusted the most in travian, was betraying them, those who are hurt easily by words shouldn't be spies because this will be a pretty emotional time for you.

    The key thing you should know about spying, is that its like being a very agressive player, your ruining other peoples games, its just that you dont need to send cats.

    But just remember, your on the internet, you can claim to be Orlando Bloom one day and Hitlers grand son the next, thats why i tell you to never play under the same name, then you can pretend nothing has happened and start all over
    _________________________

    *The reason its like this is reporting in a spy will gain you kudos with your alliance, meaning they'll trust you more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by krull View Post
    I have to say that's a bit rich coming from someone with the ethics of Idi Amin, the morals of a Labour cabinet minister and the grasp on reality of Comical Ali.
    Trying to catch a spy? read this

    Want to try spying? read this

  4. #4
    Gaul MemberGaul Member st jimmy 73's Avatar
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    Section 4: Sticking to the rules


    Being a spy is fun, it adds a bit of fun to the sim and farm that goes on throughout the server. But your fun as a spy can be stopped in its tracks by the Multihunter. I'll be honest with you and tell you that playing as the spy is treading in dangerous ground, the line between breaking the rules and not is a very thin line, and many spies cross it without even knowing so.

    I'll summarise the rules which spies are to be wary of:

    Sabotage, is one of those on the line things, and is up to the multihunter of that server to decide whether it is a punishable offence or not, if your planning on sabotage, i would first contact the MH of your server and ask them whether it is/isn't punishable, then you can be sure whether or not to sabotage.

    §2.1 Sitting
    There is no compensation for damages done by a sitter. Owners of an account are fully responsible for the actions of any sitters for their account. In the event that sitters of an account do not follow these rules and the General Terms and Conditions of Travian, both the account owner and the sitter may be punished.

    Sitters must play the account they are sitting to the account’s full benefit. Abuse of this function is punishable.
    As shown below by my conversation with Wickerman, the rules are very sensitive and one rule may point in a different direction to the other. May i remind you that these rules could change from the time this guide was published, and if they are, i hold no responsibility for any punishment you suffer.

    the other sitter rules are easy, dont sit for an account for more than 2 weeks if the sitted is absent and dont use the sitted's account to your benefit. These shouldnt apply to spies. As they will only need to check inbox and sent box.


    It is common for players who choose to spy using multiple accounts to get caught by the Multihunter and punished. These punishments can result in heavy bans or end in deletion so they are not advisable. Multiple accounts is against the rules, I suggest instead of having one playing account and one account to feed information out, finding another way to communicate, for example, skype or email.

    §10 Illegal Logins
    You may only access another players account via the sitter function. Abuse of the same pc usage is forbidden. Furthermore it is not permitted to gain access to another account in an illegal way. The violation of this rule can lead to expulsion from the game.
    Oh and if your spying on a speed server with more than one account, delete one asap, or one day you wont even be able to log in

    §9.4 Special regulation
    Multi accounts on the speed server and multi accounts with less than 100 population may be deleted on sight with no warning.


    Section 5: Top Tips

    1. Blend in with your alliance, if they are a lively lot, be lively. If its one of those hierachical alliances where all you need to do is follow quietly, do so.

    2. Dont trust anyone, Anyone can change sides at any time, and how do you know whether or not your alliance has spys in the alliance you spy for?

    3. Instead of sending scouts, tell your associate to send fakes instead, they cost less, and will go unnoticed.

    4. When you pick your associate, make sure hes a leader or something high, you'll need him to be high up so that there is no middle man.*

    5. Dont try to be witty and leave clues to your alliance that your a spy**

    6. Always have a backup plan for when your caught, for me I like to move to an account from the alliance i spy for.***

    7. Never use the same name anywhere, having a forum name the same as your ingame name does hold your tongue back a little, but when your ingame name is different, you can say whatever you want about whoever you want on public forums like this.

    8. It's good to get friendly with as many players in the alliance your spying in as you can, when you get caught, or delete or whatever, it really will hit alliance morale.


    Guide done for now, more will be added soon over the next few days. This is the first of these types of guide on this forum so i hope its alright. please leave suggestions behind.


    one last thing though.

    You may ask why spy, its dishonourable and you benefit nothing. Well its fun, and its different from the normal sim n' kill, you need to lie, convince, argue and is a good challenge for those who like to exercise their communication and deception skills. It adds a whole new aspect to travian
    __________________

    *You never know, a middle man could always tweak information, and you'd get the blame
    **For example, having the first letter of each village spell I S P Y 4 M D W will get you caught within the week...
    *** During midgame quite a few players get bored and quite a few leave accounts. Alliances dont want to lose players like this, so they offer the accounts to real life friends and some of their spies that arent really vital or have been caught.
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    Quote Originally Posted by krull View Post
    I have to say that's a bit rich coming from someone with the ethics of Idi Amin, the morals of a Labour cabinet minister and the grasp on reality of Comical Ali.
    Trying to catch a spy? read this

    Want to try spying? read this

  5. #5
    Gebruik met handboek! ToySoldier's Avatar
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    @ Steh;
    Seems the topic starter wanted some reserved spots, I gave them to him (explains where you're posts went)
    Hi there :p

  6. #6
    He Has A Hat Jalis's Avatar
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    Interesting, helpful for all those newbie spies out there.
    "These cowardly ideals, they will be the down fall of humanity" "Humanity? I dont see humanity anywhere" - Arteria Cranium


  7. #7
    Gaul MemberGaul Member
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    just regarding your sabotage section.. the rules clearly state

    Quote Originally Posted by da rules
    Sitters must play the account they are sitting to the account’s full benefit. Abuse of this function is punishable.
    might be worth noting that this is a violation of the rules and you could suffer repercussions using this strategy, but the damage will be done...

  8. #8
    Gaul MemberGaul Member st jimmy 73's Avatar
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    you posted before reading my section 4. theres a bit about sabotage there

    correct me if i misinterpreted the rules admins and mods
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    Quote Originally Posted by krull View Post
    I have to say that's a bit rich coming from someone with the ethics of Idi Amin, the morals of a Labour cabinet minister and the grasp on reality of Comical Ali.
    Trying to catch a spy? read this

    Want to try spying? read this

  9. #9
    Gaul MemberGaul Member
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    i did post before you updated your section 4, yes

    Sitters must play the account they are sitting to the account’s full benefit. Abuse of this function is punishable.
    but you dont mention this very clear line in the rules...

    you quote a rule saying that no compensation for damages done by a sitter but that does not make it legal...

  10. #10
    Gaul MemberGaul Member st jimmy 73's Avatar
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    I'll add that line in now and make it clear that it is their own responsibility whether the mods choose to ban or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by krull View Post
    I have to say that's a bit rich coming from someone with the ethics of Idi Amin, the morals of a Labour cabinet minister and the grasp on reality of Comical Ali.
    Trying to catch a spy? read this

    Want to try spying? read this

  11. #11
    Paralysis by analysis
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    Improvements needed from my pov:

    1. Title needs to be changed; in our guide to guides we do explicitly state that the titles need to be about your guide and not include your name. I also think 'Spying' sounds more natural than 'Espionage'.

    2. Definitely need to highlight the repercussions of rule breaking in your guide and also look at the negative impact this has on others. As far as guides go, it is quite controversial to encourage backstabbing so we need to approach the topic impartially.

    3. Writing format, could you try to write as statement of fact, rather than from personal experience? The personal touch is nice, but it is less fluent. For example "I know someone who got banned for multi-accounting" could be better worded "It is common for players who choose to spy using multiple accounts to get caught by the Multihunter and punished. These punishments can result in heavy bans or end in deletion so they are not advisable."

    4. Needs a big picture of Mata Hari.
    Uk1 armies: Round 2, Round 3, Round 5
    Uk2 armies: Round 2, Round 3, round 4
    Uk3 armies: Round 2
    Uk4 armies: Round 3
    Uk5 armies: Round 2, Round 3
    Uk6 armies: Round 2
    Ukx3 armies: Round 8, Round 9, Round 10, Round 11
    Ukx5 armies: Round 1

  12. #12
    Gaul MemberGaul Member st jimmy 73's Avatar
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    Could you change the title for me to my guide to spying please, i dont know how

    Still need to highlight more repercussions of rule breaking etc.

    Personal touch nearly all gone
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    Quote Originally Posted by krull View Post
    I have to say that's a bit rich coming from someone with the ethics of Idi Amin, the morals of a Labour cabinet minister and the grasp on reality of Comical Ali.
    Trying to catch a spy? read this

    Want to try spying? read this

  13. #13
    Tullia
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    I like the word 'Espionage' Then again, I am a logophile I agree that maybe 'Spying' would be better, even though part of me is internally protesting against "dumbing down".

  14. #14
    Gaul MemberGaul Member st jimmy 73's Avatar
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    espionage does sound better lol

    Cant find a picture of Mata hari that can be posted here that is viewable by our younger players, will have to resort to another spy

    All done and ready for more constructive criticism, have i missed anything out Avi?
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    Quote Originally Posted by krull View Post
    I have to say that's a bit rich coming from someone with the ethics of Idi Amin, the morals of a Labour cabinet minister and the grasp on reality of Comical Ali.
    Trying to catch a spy? read this

    Want to try spying? read this

  15. #15
    Gaul MemberGaul Member st jimmy 73's Avatar
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    fixed grammar mistakes and added a few pics to make it more user friendly
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    Quote Originally Posted by krull View Post
    I have to say that's a bit rich coming from someone with the ethics of Idi Amin, the morals of a Labour cabinet minister and the grasp on reality of Comical Ali.
    Trying to catch a spy? read this

    Want to try spying? read this

  16. #16

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    Interesting.
    If you want Mata Hari pics, there are several on wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mata_Hari

  17. #17

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    Source 3 and source 4 are both called source 4
    Have you been warned about breaching rule §2.P.?

    Jim (old) is gone. If we are posting it will be H (young).

  18. #18
    Gaul MemberGaul Member Angers's Avatar
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    A good guide but the grammar Nazi in me is crying...

    "Your" = Belonging to you - 'That is your rule.'
    "You're" = You are - 'You're a spy.'

    You use the former for the latter an awful lot.
    It was worth the window.

  19. #19
    Gaul MemberGaul Member st jimmy 73's Avatar
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    thanks, once im done writing the other guide i'll correct all my grammar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by krull View Post
    I have to say that's a bit rich coming from someone with the ethics of Idi Amin, the morals of a Labour cabinet minister and the grasp on reality of Comical Ali.
    Trying to catch a spy? read this

    Want to try spying? read this

  20. #20
    Active MemberActive MemberActive Member Alex50036's Avatar
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    Nice guide, I will admit to actually using a lot of the information there in my own hay day of spying. I dissapeared 5 times and never really left. Had to change my writing style each time to.
    Your very right about the changing a whole server I was once the spy who tipped the balance to the SW instead of the NE Meta winning, I got torn apart but was turned to the winner alliance in the end so 'twas worth it.
    Been said nice guide though unfortunately I think it's probably gonna end up being a less read guide as most people seem to find it 'unethnical' so to speak. I like the guide and all the techniques there are all true
    About sabotage the easiest way to sabotage is to use all the troops on both your account and that of your sitters and totally wipe out the Leaders cap (have done it myself, and at the time it was within the games rules though now I'm not so sure (correct me if I'm wrong)
    I managed to practically 0 the capital with a totaal of 90k catas at his village in same second waves.
    I think I was perpetually hardened being a spy the first time is so... how do you say shocking when I was found out my IGM's were not flooded with the usual: 'I hate you so much for betraying us, I will destroy your villages you s*&% B$!' sort of thing but sure I got a bit that was easy to handle.
    But the type of mail where the people are more sad, dissapointed and generally not angry as such, thats harder to deal with. But hey it's just a video game.
    Over-all be careful to be exactly like the rest of the alliance wether your clever cunning sharks ot dumb witless sheep, be the next sheep in line or the other shark fighting his way to the top.(sorry I like analogies)
    Pretty much summed up what could have been put into many thousands of words into a few hundred. Congratualations you have Alex50036's stamp of approval, heh heh I just thought that up right now...
    The legend of Alex!



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