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General FAQ

Age of Empires III™ is the latest sequel to the award-winning, best-selling Age of Empires™ series. Age of Empires III spans 250 years, covering the Colonial era on the American continent. You must fight to progress your civilization's dominance in the New World using a booming economy and an invincible military, with your Empire's Home City in Europe backing any decision you make.

Table of Contents

  • What's new in Age of Empires III?
  • We could go on for pages listing the new improvements and features, but among the major additions are: the Home City, Trade Routes, and the Native American tribes. For a summary of new features, check out our Features page.
  • Where can I find the demo?
  • Check out the official Age of Empires III website.
  • What civilizations are in AoE3?
  • Currently the civs included are: Spanish, British, French, Dutch, Germans, Portuguese, Russians, and the Ottomans. There are also 12 additional Native American sub-civilizations each player can align with. Check out our Civilizations page for more information.
  • What are the minimum system requirements?
  • Windows® XP
    1.4 Ghz Processor
    2 GB of Hard Drive space
    64 MB video card with support for HT&L
    Sound card & speakers / headphones
    For multiplayer: 56K dial-up Internet Access or LAN
  • Is a Mac version available?
  • Yes! A Mac version for both AoE3 and TWC are now avilable for purchase.
  • You mentioned Native Americans. What role do they play in AoE3?
  • Native Americans are basically sub-civilizations available on every map. The tribe depends on the geographic location of the map; in the Caribbean, you'll find the Carib tribe; in the Great Plains, you'll find the Comanche. For a list of the Native Tribes and their benefits, check out our Civilizations page.
  • I heard a lot about Home Cities. What's their purpose?
  • Home Cities are a major addition to AoE3 and a huge innovation to the Real Time Strategy genre, providing a role-playing game element in a real-time strategy game. Your cities in Europe send shipments to your colony in the New World, supporting more and more depending on its success. Check out the Home Cities page for more info.
  • What am I going to see graphics-wise in Age of Empires III?
  • Age of Empires III's design team at Ensemble Studios promised a breathtaking advance in RTS graphics, and they have definitely delivered. AoE III will feature a heavily modified Bang! engine, which features a lot of top-notch stuff, such as:
  • Havok 2 Physics Engine: Havok is a physics engine used by many FPS (First Person Shooter) games available today, such as Halo 2, Half Life 2, and Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault. Havok is quite popular with game designers, and it's the best physics engine available today. It will make things more realistic in AoE III.
  • Shaders: Modern general-purpose consumer computer processors (CPUs, such as the Pentium 4 and Athlon) are comparatively slow at complex math operations, making large-scale math-intensive graphical effects impractical for high-performance operation. Graphics cards, however, are extremely good at performing these math operations quickly. Shaders allow some of this graphics work to be offloaded from the CPU to the GPU (graphics card). A few older cards had a primitive version of shaders, called register combiners, but these were short-lived as full shaders followed quickly.
  • Newer versions of shader support on graphics cards allow more complex programs, increasing the amount of work which can be offloaded to the GPU.
  • Vertex Shader 3: Vertex Shaders operate on the geometry of objects, which is made of many points called vertices which define the shape of the object. Vertex Shaders are simply small programs which run on the graphics card, performing these operations. Vertex Shaders typically are given the task of transforming objects into screen space (from 3D to 2D), skinning objects, primitive lighting, and similar tasks.
  • Pixel Shader 3: Like Vertex Shaders, Pixel Shaders are small programs that run on the graphics card. Like its namesake, these programs operate on individual pixels. These programs do things such as texturing an object, advanced lighting, reflections, and other effects that make the game more visually appealing.
  • Why do some people's names appear in different colors in the forum, and why do they call themselves ES_DeathShrimp, ES_Thunder, etc?
  • Anyone in blue and with a ES_ in front of their names is an Ensemble Studios employee, the developers of the Age series. There are also several developers from all around HeavenGames which might visit our forums.
  • Anyone in red, green, or sometimes orange, is a HeavenGames staff member. The different colors denote the level of access the person has, and the amount of duties the person is responsible for.
  • Can I have a green or red colored name in the forums? Can I be a Cherub or an Angel?
  • Typically, we usually ask people to join our staff before we accept applications, but you are always free to submit a coverletter and resume to Angel Jayhawk (jayhawk at heavengames dot com). Be sure to include examples of past work, and a list of your skills and talents.
  • I downloaded Age of Empires III, but something isn't working correctly!
  • If you downloaded the game, it's probably an illegal copy. We do not support anybody who have this type of wares copy, including No-CD patches, so please do not ask us questions if you're having problems with an illegitimate game; you're having problems because you have an illegal copy.
  • When I try to download from your site, I am asked for a username and password. My forum username & password didn't work. What is the username and password?
  • You don't need a username and password to download from our site. This is normally caused by a program called Download Accelerator. If you disable it by exiting out of the program, you will be able to download the files.
  • What if I cannot find an answer I was looking for in this FAQ?
  • Search our General Discussions forum to see if somebody has asked your question before. If not, feel free to e-mail the moderators or starting a new topic asking your question.

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