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News Archives - November 2007

Age Auction For Charity

In the next week Ensemble Studios is going to put up an auction on eBay with lots of "Age of" games, shirts, hats... and every single piece signed by members of the development team! The money will go to the Child's Play Charity, a community based charity that acts in children's hospitals. Feel free to comment on the auction in this thread started by Thunder in our General Discussions Forum.

Those are some of the itens that will be up for auction:
Age of Empires
Age of Empires: Rise of Rome Expansion
Age of Empires II: Gold Edition
The Making of Age of Empires II
Age of Empires III
Age of Empires III: Collector’s Edition
Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs Expansion
The Making of Age of Empires III
...

The full list can be viewed at AgeCommunity. Oh, and ES will ship it all anywhere in the world! And will pay the shipping cost too!

Forums Rearranged

The forums have gone through some changes, as the forum sections were rearranged to a more compact form.

A link to the Downloads Section was added to the Scenario and Modding Design section to make it easier to download the files created by our forumers and similarly a link to Recorded Games section was included near the General Discussion and Strategy Discussion forums.

The Treaty Discussion and Recorded Games Discussion forums were archived - they are now read only. Do note the possibility to comment other players' recorded games in the downloads section, it's now easy to access through the link! The Clans Exchange and Tech Help forums were moved to the Community forums section, where they are better suited.

Come to see the new forum order here. I hope you like it!

AgeSanctuary Smackdown

StR_VipeR posted some news on our forums: AgeSanctuary announced the revival of the Smackdown tournaments run by MFO back in Age of Empires II. Here's how he describes the event:

AoC's Smackdown competitions were as successful as they were because they encouraged people to enjoy playing with some very weird settings. Our Smackdown competitions will be no exception. To keep things fair, we will be announcing the settings for each Smackdown 1 hour before the tournament begins. All Smackdowns will be unrated (and 1v1) - we are here to play for fun only. We're looking into prizes for the invitational event, but at present it's all about having fun adapting to the unique play conditions every week.

Read more in our forums!

To sign up directly click here!

War Stories!

Some good war stories have begun showing up in our forums and we would like to seem them keep coming! This sounds like it was fun to play. Here's a short snippet of what you can expect.

When I arrived, the Brit had an army of well over 75, with all units. The force attacking my Dutch ally was a decoy! So I left a small force of 20 men to cover my retreat. My ally barely survived the attack. I spoke with him, and we decided that the only way to win was to do a Trade Monopoly. I personally hate TM, but it was all we could do. I clicked the button and spread my troops all over the map. In a few minutes, with 2:00 left before TM, the Brit player showed up with his army at the TP at MY base!


To read the rest of this story, or add your own story be sure visit Lord Berminator's thread
and the rest of our forums!

Forum Party This Weekend - 24th and 25th of November

The forum party continues from where we left off last weekend!

Forum party is a tradition of forumers logging on to ESO to play games together at a fixed time. Everyone is welcome, fun games to be expected!

As usual, there will be two forum party times - in case you can't make it the first time, there's still the second party! This weekend the parties will be on Saturday/Sunday as opposed to only Saturday for a change. For more details, check the forums. Hope to see you there!

RTSL Reopens With 1st TAD League

RTS League went through some reorganizing, as several members of the staff changed. Fortunately RTSL staff managed to get the league back in action very quickly and it's now ready for the first TAD league. The signups have already started and will close down on Wednesday, 28th of November. The league itself is scheduled to start on 3rd of December. This moment, there are already 20 clans participating, so make sure your clan doesn't miss the fun - sign up here!

AoK and AoM leagues will continue as well, but as the site is not finalized, they will start later on.

RTSL Website | Signups for TAD Season 1

Help Wanted: Marketing/PR Department Head

HeavenGames is in search of a Marketing/PR Department Head. It is one of the highest and most important positions at HeavenGames and a great opportunity to get real work experience. Responsibilities include managing our guerilla marketing campaigns, advertising purchases (not sales), and mentions in press. While we ask for a sizable commitment and require that the Head has prior experience or education in marketing/PR, a job at HeavenGames provides substantial benefits:
  • Assistance in job/internship placement in the gaming industry.
  • Possible credit for those in university.
  • Personal websites (clouds) for all staff at no charge.
  • Possible access to game alphas/betas.
Please contact me at socvazius@heavengames.com if you are interested. If you are interested in other positions at HeavenGames, visit our Help Wanted page!

Random Civilization Generator!

We know that the community wants the old Random Civilization option back, and now we can have it! The forummer cu3hara has created a program which will generate a list of civilizations based on the parameters you've chosen, and it has just been updated to V1.0.4, which includes also an installer. If you're confused, just check this quote from the Readme:
It's fairly straightforward. Select the civs you want to allow in the game, deselect the ones you don't. Select a number of players and whether repeated civs are allowed. When you generate the civ list, it is put into the clipboard. Just paste this into the game chat and have the players change to their generated civ.
With a very simple interface it should be no problem to get used with the Random Civilization Generator. If you want to read more about it and take a look at the comments written by our forummers, then visit the thread! But if you want to try it right away instead, just click here

A Tag for Mac Recorded Games at AoE3H Downloads

Due to popular demand, we've added tags for Mac recorded games. Similarly as PC users select whether the recorded game is for AoE3, TWC or TAD, there are now separate groups for Mac:Aoe3 and Mac:TWC. This will allow searching for Mac recorded games, but first you Mac users have to upload them for others to watch. Go ahead and show other Mac users your best games by uploading them to AoE3H rec downloads section!

AoE3 1.0.3 For Mac Released

Mac users have reason to rejoice, as the Mac version of AoE3 now sports the same features as the Windows version! The 1.0.3 patch, among various bug and error fixes, contains the same codebase and balance changes as PC version 1.11.

The balance changes that were done for the PC version in 1.11 can be seen here at AgeCommunity.

Thanks goes to Beric01 for bringing this to our attention at our forums!

ESO 2 Friends Tool

A new tool has been released by Aleste and it allows you to see who is on ESO - you can even add your entire clan.

Would you like to know if your friends are online from your desktop? Or receive a notification in your system tray as soon as iamgrunt logs in ESO to challenge him?
If so, you should try the new ESO 2 Friends tool. With this tool you can configure a list of ESO users you want to monitor their online status. Its behavior is similar to MSN Messenger, so it shouldn’t be difficult to figure out how to use it.


You can check it out in the forums here!

Forum Party Tomorrow - 17th of November

Forum parties are back with The Asian Dynasties!

Forum party is a tradition of forumers logging on to ESO to play games together at a fixed time. Everyone is welcome, fun games to be expected!

There will be two forum party times, so that people from most timezones can make it. The forum party games may have some wacky settings, so be prepared :)

The details of the party can be found here. See you on ESO!

TAD makes Top 10!

Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties has entered the top 10 best selling PC games chart in the number two position according to the NPD numbers! Here is the list of PC games sales for the week ending Oct 27:

1. Half Life 2: Episode 2 The Orange Box - Valve/EA
2. Age Of Empires III: Asian Dynasties - Microsoft
3. Flight Simulator X: Acceleration - Microsoft
4. Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask Of The Betrayer - Atari
5. The Sims 2 Bon Voyage - Electronic Arts
6. Nancy Drew: Legend Of The Crystal Skull - Her Interactive
7. World Of Warcraft: Burning Crusade - Blizzard
8. World Of Warcraft - Blizzard
9. Reel Deal Slots Ghost Town - Phantom EFX
10. The Sims 2 Deluxe - Electronic Arts

I know a lot of people are with out TAD, so perhaps TAD will stay in the top spots for awhile.

Poll Roundup - Forumer title changing time!

It's the poll time again! In our recent poll we asked:

What's the first thing you'll do once you have TAD?Here's how you answered:

Start the single player campaign [879 votes]
Play multiplayer [442 votes]
Try a skirmish game [1000 votes]
Launch up scenario editor [88 votes]
Browse the game files for modding [37 votes]

The results clearly show that most players want to start with single player first before going online. The popularity of the skirmish option probably shows the intent of wanting to try a small bit of each civ to see what they're all about, even before playing the campaign.

However, there's a relatively large number of players who indicated they'd go straight away to ESO without even trying the single player. This no doubt tells something about the popularity of multiplayer gaming in Age of Empires III.

In the next poll, we'll be taking your input on forumer titles at the forums. Like last time, go ahead and vote for the option you want to appear below your name on the forums!


Are the British Underrated?

In our forums we have a good discussion going about the British? Since TAD came out, they have been popping up more and more - what is your take on the issue? Are the British underrated? Can they hold up in 1v1? RCM7535 started the post, and feel free to add to it here!

AoE3 Gold Edition for $29.90

GoGamer has a pretty good price for the Age of Empires III Gold pack - the original game and the Warchiefs expansion for $29.90, for at least a couple of days. The offer can be found here. The shipping costs to US don't seem to be that high, either. A possible Christmas present?

Keeping Your ESO Account Secure

When you have an online account, it's always important to know how to keep it safe. At Age Community a few general tips have been posted that should help you preventing others from logging in or stealing your ESO account. Check out a few of them:
Never share your account information with anyone or use your ESO password on websites or forums.

Ensemble Studios employees will not ask for your password. If you are logged on to ESO and someone is asking for your account password or account information, please immediately take a screenshot of the chat messages by pressing the "Print Screen" button, opening MS paint (or other image program) and paste the screenshot. Save it and attach it to an e-mail to age3.abuse@ensemblestudios.com.
It was brought to our attention by the forummer Eicho, and you may discuss the subject in his thread. Also it might be a good idea to read this article from Microsoft, "Strong passwords: How to create and use them". And, finally, if you wish to change your account information you can use the ESO Account Tool

AOE 10th Anniversary Image Contest

Thunder has just posted in our forums about the ongoing image contest in regards to the 10th Anniversary of Age of Empires.

It's been ten years! Age of Empires was shipped in October 1997 and we want to celebrate ten years of Age. Send us a photo of your favorite Age moment, a screenshot of your greatest victory, an Age inspired cartoon, an Age themed desktop wallpaper, or some other kind of image that you've created to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Age of Empires. We'll choose a winner and some honorable mentions to share with Age fans here on our website, and shower the image creators in Age of Empires prizes.

Summary: The Age of Empires Image Contest requires entrants to submit a jpeg image by November 23rd to age3.community@ensemblestudios.com in order to win. The image should relate to the 10th anniversary of Age of Empires.


Get the full scoop here!

The Fear of Livestock

Brian_NI has pointed out some pros and cons toward livestock and their overall usefulness. This has started a pretty good debate about when/how herd animals should be used.

Many people have a fear of livestock, this has grown in the community due to the uncontested view of "the experts" who tell us two key points:
1.That livestock is too expensive and takes too long to pay off.
2.That livestock booming requires too much micromanagement to be used effectively.


Add your own input here!

Myll_Erik joins the staff

Some time ago, a staff vacance at Age of Empires III Heaven was advertised and I'd like to thank the applicants for their applications and the great interest shown towards working as a volunteer for the site! The selection has now been done and Age of Empires III Heaven is proud to have Myll_Erik as our newest staff member!

Myll_Erik is very experienced in Age of Empires Community, having been around for almost a decade. Welcome to the staff!

You may congratulate him in the thread here and wish him good luck :)

MrMilo's WCG Summary

The newest addition to Ensemble Studios team, MrMilo, has written a summary of World Cyber Games 2007 in Seattle, along with some photographs. In his writeup, he tells interesting details about the competition and about the top players he met during the event. He also supplies links to recorded games, the realtime commentary of the game and the results of the games.

You can read his summary here at AgeCommunity forums.

What brings you to AOE3H?

That's the question being asked in our General Discussions Forum. As_Saffah's started the thread, and now he wants to know what made you sign up and what keeps you here, as an active part of the community! Check out some answers:
I found great info on AoK Heaven a long time ago and decided to check it out when Age 3 got released. Since that time, the laid-back tone, the general good humor of the posters here, and the relative lack of elitism and drama have all made this a great place to visit and contribute.
It used to be scenario designing (atleast back at AoM), there I made the switch to modding, which is keeping me here.
Oh and Ender always keeps me coming back for a good read.
Ender-tainment?
Now why don't you tell YOUR history? Then click here and share it with us!

Wacko Summarizes Balance Concerns

WaCkO from Ensemble Studios has posted at AgeCommunity balance forums a summary of balance suggestions, which he considers to be good and may forward them to the producer. The list doesn't mean that those changes will be implemented in a future patch, but similar changes may be seen in the future. The basis of a lot of ideas is to make the current rock-paper-scissors combat system stronger. The native balance concerns are also well represented.

Here's an excerpt of the list, showing that in the future having zoo wars may be a rare sight:

Team Pet Cards- People are tired of having their army annihilated by pets (coyotes, bears, jaguars) in team games. I suggested nerfing them by 1 pet and this seemed to go over really well. War Dogs also fit into this, people would prefer they weren’t so good at killing your explorer or your army. We could just lower their base attack but give them a higher multiplier vs. Treasure Guardians to balance this out.

Read the rest of his list here and tell us what you think about it in the thread here at our forums.

Strategic Objectives 1v1 Ladder Winners Announced

The Strategic Objectives 1v1 Ladder Tournament has now reached its conclusion. Miespuffel got the first spot by 148 points, with matt light getting the second spot with 147, just one point shy of Miespuffel's score. They're both eligible for prizes of their choosing from the games list. For the rest of the prizes, there was a drawing in which 14 players got game prizes. For the list, visit this thread. All winners should contact MosheLevi, so he can start mailing the game prizes.

This is not the end of the Strategic Objectives ladder though, as the ladder is going to stay in all functionality. Every month, MosheLevi is going to give one game prize via a drawing to those who've played during that month, so keep on playing!

Congratulations to all winners!