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News Archives - May 2006

New UI for the Expansion Pack?

KaSt0r has uncovered some screenshots from the expansion pack that provides a few interesting details. It appears that there will be an improved UI for the expansion pack, with more details and more coordinated than the present one. The UI seems to give more statistics, much more. Moreover, the mini-map appears to be divided into colors. Half of the map is light red. Possibly a new game mode?
As you can see at the minimap the half map has a red tone... it belongs to the red player. The other part isn't blue because there's a red settlement, too. You can also see the territorie's borders. I guess it will be a new gameplay mode called "Territories".

The other thing is the >strange< mantlet. In the very short video I saw (shorter than the trailer itself) I was able to see the Iroquois siege building; they have only 3 siege units: Ram, Mantlet and Light Cannon.
Now I guessed that the >strange< Mantlet is only a different look for a Mantlet upgrade.
All can be viewed and read in the thread.

How Long Does That Take?

Some often wonder how long it takes for various tasks in Age of Empires III to be completed. Ponder no more! sir wallace8 tested rates out in the editor and found plenty of information with regards to the amount of time tings take to build, gather, upgrade, and train. It is a great reference to see the amount of xp something is once made, or how long a building will be placed up with a certain number of settlers constructing it.
House: 20xp
1 vil: 10sec
2 vil: 8sec
3 vil: 6sec
...
Section III
This covers most units in the game. It shows how much xp you will receive, how much the cost, and how much pop the take.

Caravel: 40xp 300w 100g 5max
Cassador: 12xp, 80f 35g 1pop
Crossbow: 8xp, 40f 40w 1p
Culverin: 50xp, 100w 400g, 4p
Dragoon: 18xp, 90f 90g 2 p

Fishboat: 10xp 100w 1p
Frigate: 100xp, 500w 500g, 3max
Galleon: 80xp, 300w 500g

Halberd: 12xp, 50f 70g, 1p
Hussar: 20xp 120f 80g, 2p
And there’s plenty more where that came from! For more information and times, check out his thread.

Ladder Marathon Week

This week our ladder will include a Ladder Marathon. It is quite simple:
Rules:
You cannot have other people play for you. You cannot start games and quit simply to add another game to your game count. You must play the game to a reasonable conclusion. Do not forget to record your ladder games in case a dispute arises. Uploading games to AoE3H is also encouraged. A reminder, only one game between the same two forumers or exact same team per three days can be counted as a ladder game.
So boot up ESO2 and get those game rolling! Need more details? Look here, or sign up for the ladder, good luck!

Forum Party May 28

Our weekly forum party will be held tomorrow (Sunday) at the regular times (Noon and 7pm EST).

With the Unknown map being released in patch 1.07, our party games will be played on that map.

Not sure what a forum party is? It is simply when forumers meet up on ESO2 and play some friendly team games together. Still wondering the details and times for your area? Simply read the thread.

GGL AoE3 Tourney?

Want the chance to compete in a tournament? Want to hopefully see a few recordings from a tourney? Well hurry up and vote to see if GGL (Global Gaming) will host an AoE3 tourney. It only takes a mere two seconds to click the circle next to Age of Empires 3. This will be a "mini-tournament," but it is nonetheless beneficial to the Age of Empires 3 community. Well what are you waiting for? Vote! Once you finished with that, go ahead and discuss the voting.

Warrior's Path Sign Ups.

Ensemble Studios Warrior’s Path Tournament is now available for sign ups. Mind you, the tournament is only available for United States citizens above the age of 18. This is because the top four competitors get to fly to Ensemble Studios in Texas and get a sneak peek of the War Chiefs Expansion Pack.
-The tournament will be run over the weekend of June 17 and 18, with games starting at 12 noon CST each day, and winners will be spending two weeks in Dallas, Texas in July.

-Registration for this event closes on June 12 at 11:59am PT.
So, if you are eligible go ahead and sign up today!. Discuss the tournament, or Read the rules.

A Dutch Grenadier Rush

With cover mode being properly fixed, rushing is still not the most viable strategy to use. And, with the Dutch being slightly UP they have trouble keeping up with the other civilizations when they have to get to the Fortress Age in a timely manner. However, jaafit has found that grenadiers can be used to the Dutch’s advantage. They are the only Colonial age unit for the Dutch that can take down buildings in an efficient manner. Five grenadiers in the base before six minutes will surprise most people, especially from the turtling Dutch civ. Also, the 8 pikemen card will be sent, just in case the opponent was able to send the 3 hussar card or have military units.
Age I:
* Build 6 vils from the TC
* Card 1: 300w

Age II 4:15 -- 400w
During age-up, put 7 vils on food, 5 on gold, one forward.
* Build an artillery range
* Make no more vils
* Collect the wood crates and build 4 houses
* Card 2: 8 pikemen
* Queue up grens [vil distribution: 8 f, 5 gold]
* Card 3: 3 hussars
* Continue making grenadiers
So why not try it out? Opponents will not see such a rush is coming. Read about the strategy and download the five recordings he has provided. Good luck and happy grenadiering.

Patch 1.07 is out!

That's right, as promised the new patch has been released.
NEW FEATURES

* Added a new random map, The Unknown
* Added ability to see if a friend on ESO is playing a game
* Moderators now have blue chat in chat channels

CLIENT FIXES

* Fixed an issue that let military units in Cover Mode do extra siege damage
* Fixed an issue where the German A.I. would not build houses or collect resources when they started with just Settler Wagons
* Fixed some rollover text issues
* Hispaniola map added to the Standard Maps set

NETWORK AND ESO FIXES

* Fixed an issue where the host would appear invisible in the game setup room
* Chat channels' player lists are now alphabetized
* Fixed an issue where non-rated games were counting toward Power Rating
So get on ESO, try out the "Unknown." and enjoy!

Read about it, download, discuss.

"Unknown" Custom Map

Before the real "Unknown" map comes out in 1.07, why not get a brief taste of it? Forumer Ossian has a random map that was made that provides a random generation of terrain, just like the one to be released soon.

Snow, grass, or sand? Different landscapes, varying resources, and random placement of players, natives, and even trade routes make this large map truly random. There are no oceans, but apart from that, just about everything is possible! Are you ready to go exploring?

This map features:
- three different basic map types (snow, grass, or sand)
- randomized landscapes (lakes, cliffs, etc.)
- varying resources & treasures
- randomized player placement
- randomized trade route with varying number of trade posts
- up to six native villages
- four different native tribes
Download the map then feel free to discuss it.

Get a taste quickly, before the patch comes out tomorrow!

Healing and Repairng

Flammifer has provided the community with information on healers and repairing buildings. They are rarely used on ESO2, but priests, Imam, and medicine men can preserve key units such as mercenaries and artillery. They heal 400hp at a time but take two minutes to recharge.
This time appears to be a reasonable value if the expectation is that the ability will be used between battles. Now the only difference between all of those units and the surgeon is that the surgeon takes half as long to recharge, only 60 seconds. The healers have to be close, their max range is a puny 12. Should a unit run away after a healer has started healing it (any unit in the heal area) the healing will be completed. The healer will finish the heal animation and then walk towards the units.
Another tip that is unknown to most is that docks can heal ships. Just leave one ship at a time at the dock and the ship will heal at 10hp per second, great for Caribbean or Amazonia.

Healing is effective, but underused. Priests may be expensive at 200 coin, but saving the mercenary or mortar can save you. Go here to read the rest on healing and information on field surgeons.

New Random Land Map RMS

This week we've seen a new random map script from resident RMS expert RF_Gandalf, called Gandalf's Random Land Map. With ES to release an Unknown random map in patch 1.07, why not whet your taste buds beforehand with this offering?

I'll let RF_Gandalf himself explain further:
This map has an amazing number of randomly chosen variations possible - each of the 20 terrain patterns or 'skins' can have 2 lighting sets for a variety of appearances, 2 different patterns of fauna choices, and each has at least a few variants in the possible terrain features. Each map has the above-mentioned multiple variations in Native and Trade Route patterns, and the player starting positions varies.
So what are you waiting for? Check the map out in our downloads section here!

Patch 1.07

Patch 1.07 has been announced today. Ensemble Studios says it will be released in just a matter of days!
Patch 1.07 is in final testing and will be available in a matter of days. Included in the patch will be a new random map called the Unknown, which long time Age fans will remember as a custom random map that we released for the Age of Kings expansion pack many years ago. This one random map generates a wide variety of map types for you to play on, so you never quite know what you're going to get:
They are testing it, so most likely we’ll see a few balance changes. Plus, the popular AoK stylpe map The Unknown will be included in the patch, always a random map with a trade route splitting the map in half. That should be interesting for quite a bit of trading post battles. It will most likely be released this weekend, so keep your eyes peeled!

Eye Candy Screenshot Winners (Round 4)

Twoqtimes2 Voting for the fourth round of our Screenshot Competition came to a close last night. The forumers continue to astound everyone with their impressive screenshots. This week’s theme "a deserted or ruined town" brought in fabulous shots of quiet towns and towns up in flames.

twoqtimes2 beat out the rest with his peaceful shot, "Old Tuscon" (shown on right). Second went to YousAHo with a ruined African city in the shot "Egypt". And third went to Swift Sampson with his flooded town shot, "Aftermath". Great job to all of the participants.

To view these screenshots, along with the past winners’, visit the Gallery.

Warrior's Path Tournament

Ensemble Studios is hosting a 1v1 tournament with a unique prize! Unfortunately, you have to be over 18 and live in the Unites States. Why you may ask? Well the prize for the top four is a trip to Ensemble Studios in Dallas and see what it is like to be a game tester. And that game they will be testing, well the War Chiefs Expansion of course!
Ensemble Studios is sponsoring a 1v1 tournament for players in the United States who are 18 years of age or older. (Void in MD, VT and where prohibited by law) The lucky top four finishers from this event will be flown to Dallas, Texas where they will get an inside look at the life of a video game tester, receive a daily allowance, and have the unique opportunity to playtest Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs expansion pack for two weeks this July!

The official rules and sign-up information will be posted in the coming days.
Good luck to all of the participants!

Discuss the tournament in the thread!

Portuguese Turtle Boom

ES_Swinger has constructed a new turtle strategy for the Portuguese. Everyone knows they are great for booming, two town centers in the colonial age can let you create villagers while aging to the fortress age, get two times the amount minute men(without a card), and use two times the town center fire versus your attacking enemy. Swinger utilizes this in his own step by step strategy with the help of the sea and Native Americans.

Swinger lays it out plain and simple. He provides screenshots to show you how the game is progressing and explains events piece by piece. Cree trackers are vital to fending off wave after wave of pikes, skirms, and falconets. Minutemen do their fair share as well. Mercenaries are implemented as well. He provides his deck and a recording so hurry up and read it here!

Bruce Shelley Blog

Age of Empires III developer Bruce Shelley posted another blog recently. He mostly covers E3 and the Sioux, discussing they are decent rushers, but not as great versus the European Imperial units. But do not fret, the game is still being balanced out.

Also, he mentions a "virtual" petition of over seven thousand people that want Age of Empires and Age of Kings back to be hosted by Microsoft. They continue to search for possibilities to make this happen.

Moreover, Age of Empires III Heaven’s very own Screenshot Competition is mentioned. Bruce can not believe how talented our very own eye candy creators, keep it up everyone!

Discuss his blog, or read it.

NYU Scenario Design Classes

NYU is having a class on "Dialogue and Narrative Creation for Electronic Games" focusing on the creation of RTS games! The class is being conducted by Gordon Farrell, who has a large number of highly rated scenarios on the HeavenGames download systems. Gordon went on from HG to work at Stainless Steel Studios, Breakaway Games and Tilted Mill. The NYU website even mentions Gordon's ties to HG in their class description!

This is a kewl opportunity for those in the NY area to learn more about game design. The class runs from May 15th to June 23 and meets Monday and Wed from 5:30 to 8:30. This is an actual college class you can take for college credits. The only downside is the class is expensive...

Check it out - from there, click the bottom link in the selected course offerings list.

Forum Party- The Germans Demise

On Saturday our weekly forum party will be back in action. Forum parties are when forumers gather together on ESO2 and play a few friendly team games. Sometimes there is a map theme, sometimes not.

This week will be a tad different. Instead of having a set number of maps to play on, no one will be able to use their German home cities. That’s right, only the other seven civilizations can be used. This may happen more with other civilizations, so keep an eye out. It is a different twist so feel free to read about it and discuss in the thread.

An AoE3 Heaven Showdown

Age of Empires 3 Heaven’s resident experts Stophon4 and Mokon duked out a couple of games recently, one on Pampas, the other on Saguenay. Stophon was the Portuguese both times and Mokon was the Spanish then they had the Portuguese duel.

They are a decent couple of recordings. The first game showed plenty, and I mean plenty of minutemen by Stophon and constant pikemen by Mokon. This is followed by an interesting match on Saguenay. Mokon did not send a single card until aging up to the fortress age with a rather interesting deck. Meanwhile, Stophon did a boat boom with mercs. Unfortunately for him, having 3 explorers at Mokon’s disposal can get annoying with three crackshots on mercs ;). However, Stophon sets up his fort in a backdoor type position killing a few settlers.

Who won each game? Well that is for you to find out. You can learn a couple of different Portuguese strategies from these games. Discuss such strategies and download them on Mokon’s site.

Sandy Speaketh

Sandy continues to reply to many of the players’ questions about Age of Empires III. A topic of recent discussion is the War Chiefs Expansion. People want to know what the final civilization will be, how the War Chiefs will fit into the game, and what artillery the natives will produce.

All of his responses are compiled in Botolf’s Sandy Speaketh thread. Questions from you, the players, are answered daily. Botolf rummages through and sorts out which questions are answered that are connected to the expansion pack.
9) In some of the expansion pack screen shots the Iroquoise seem to get a slimmer version of the falconet, what is the name of this unit? Is it a regualr falconet?
A- it is not a falconet.

10) Do you mean that all the natives will have different from the europeans only (1 new building set). OR were you saying that each of the natives will have a new building set.
A- the three native civs have three different architectural styles.

10) What are u guys cooking for the E3?
A- a boring 3 minute demo and a trailer.
(At least it is something!)

Sandy does not give all of the information away, but one can learn quite a bit from him in regards to the upcoming expansion pack.

Ladder Review

Our ladder on the forums is still running strong. The Top Ten has not changed too much recently, so we need more challengers!

As of now, our top ten is as follows:
  1. Love_
  2. Flammifer
  3. Myll_Erik
  4. Mokon
  5. qaghan
  6. Roger
  7. Enemy
  8. Sullage
  9. Seancahn
  10. Stophon4
Great job so far guys! Keep it up.

Think you have what it takes to bring a couple of them down? Read the rules and sign up!

Forum Party, Sunday May 7th

Our weekly forum party will be held this weekend once again. It will be Sunday this time because of the amount of people that can not make it on Saturdays. Forum parties will most likely switch off between Saturdays and Sundays from now on... hopefully it will not get too confusing ;). And, there will probably only be a one day heads up.

We do have a theme for maps. Games will be played on one of these three: Patagonia, Yucatan, or Carolina. So be sure the players agree on a map. If not, Standard maps is acceptable.

Not sure what a forum party is? It is simply when forumers meet up on ESO2 and play some friendly team games together. Still wondering the details and times? Simply read the thread.

Round Three Screenshot Competition Winners

ReinfireThe third round of our Eye Candy Screenshot contest had forumers produce a magnificent compilation of screenshots. The theme "A Jungle Expedition" brought in shots of all sorts of creativity and ingenuity. We worked the screenshots into two categories, low and high graphics cards and forumers voted for their top choice in both pool. In first place for high graphics was Reinfire for his shot- The lost city of the Aztecs and in second was DWIEEB for the shot The Native Way.

In the second pool, YousAHo raked in the gold for unexpected visitors and bobbo ob came in second with Expedition into Asia. It was truly an astounding round by all, the competition keeps getting higher and more competitive. All four screenshots can be found in our Gallery.

We have yet another competition up, so if you missed the first few, you can submit your own creation. Our new theme is A Deserted Town. Good luck!

Poll Round up

Our previous poll was wondering what you thought of the patch 1.06 changes. Here was the tally:
Question:
-You bet! [440 votes]
-It's Alright, needed to fix more though [783 votes]
-Haven't really noticed a change. [551 votes]
-It's terrible! [321 votes]
Seems that most people think ES did a pretty decent job, but Age of Empires 3 still needs some tweaking. However, not noticing the patch came in second, so perhaps not enough was done.

Our new poll inquires which civilization you think will be the final one included in the expansion pack. Both the Sioux and Iroquois have been confirmed, only one more left. So vote on which one you think it will be ^_^.

The Sioux in Expansion Pack

The SiouxThe Sioux have been officially announced as the second Native civilization in the War Chiefs Expansion Pack. This has cause a great deal of discussion in the War Chiefs Expansion Discussion forum, everyone seems to have an idea about what their special abilities will be and how their unique styles will be implemented.

Forumer fhertlein noticed gamespot announced an interview with ES about the unveiling of the new civilization.
Well, mostly obviously the Sioux are a cavalry-heavy civ, though they do have some infantry. I don't want to go into too much detail yet, but you can expect them to be fast, hard-hitting, and resilient.
Sounds like they will be exhilarating to play!

Now all we need is to find out the final civilization. Hopefully it will be reveal at E3, but I suppose we will have to wait and find out!

A Dutch Semi-Fast Industrial

With several discussions here on the forums about the Dutch being UP, the amount of people playing as the Dutch has dropped. However, maybe all they need is a good strategy to jump-start players into using them once again since it is hard to peak interest in a UP considered civilization.

Seancahn has made his "Dutch semi fast Industrial with colonial raiding and map control" known to all. This strategy can fend off other strategies such as the rush or boom. Secondly, some think that the Dutch do not need map control. But if you do not control the map, the opponent will. And any advantage for the enemy is a disadvantage to you.

Moreover, his strategy does not include settler cards. Some may see that as unwise, but those cards are now open to be used to send wood shipments. With banks costing 350 wood, it can deplete your stockpile of wood quickly. Getting two banks up quickly is a basis of this strategy, the coin you will receive from it will pay off.

Harassing with skirmishers can hurt the opponent too. With ten skirms, you can kill a settler in one volley. This will irritate the opponent to by losing villagers to light infantry.
Once you’re here Your golden but One thing I do that many people don’t is I put my Factories to resources not HC. HC suck now that ranged cavalry destroy them. Get all your banks up and kill everything with your 150 pop army. Keep a diversified army of halbs cav and skirms and of course cannons culvs mainly.

Interesting not to use the once very popular Heavy Cannons, but those resources are constant and can come in handy.

To view the in depth description of the strategy, check out Seancahn’s thread.