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News Archives - June 2007

New Blog from Bruce Shelley

Ensemble Studios designer Bruce Shelley has posted a new blog update.
This time he talks about India in the Asian Dynasties and why India was not included in the original game.
He also mentions that Mexico’s President is a gamer and that his favorite game is Age of Empires.
Another topic was the fact that AOE3 scenario was used on PBS NOVA documentary program about The Great Inca Rebellion.
No word on the patch as of yet.

Read Bruce's blog here and discuss it in the general forum.

New Cheat Unit Found

If you have ever played with cheats turned on or visited our Cheat Page, you may have noticed that there is no cheat written to receive a George Crushington.

TinyPiesRUs posted in kingdaniel4's thread that typing "Where's that axe?" will spawn a George Crushington.

So if you play with cheats on or want to discuss it, visit the thread.

WarChiefs for Mac released

Until now, Mac users have had to watch by while PC users have played the WarChiefs expansion, but the wait is now over: on June 25th, the expansion pack for Macs reached store shelves. Welcome aboard and hope you enjoy the game, Mac users!


More information can be found here.

FFA Fun Series Autumn/Winter 2007

Following up on the FFA Spring League, LordPatrick18 is up for hosting a FFA League for the Autumn/Winter.

These are no ordinary FFA games, but rather you do not have to win the game itself to win the most points. Patrick explains further...
The League runs on a point system, with players trying to earn maximum points each round, and the person with the most points at the end of the League wins. The point system was made to try and make games more fun, encouraging rushing and revolting, and not benefiting defensive players nearly as much.

As an added spice to the rounds, each round shall have 1 or 2 themes, as such, which either reward players for certain tasks completed, or force all players to drastically change their game plan.
Points are how you can win, so rack up the most by following the various themes, knocking people out early, and taking down multiple Town Centers.

So without further ramblings, read more about the series and sign up! Good luck! News will also be made while it nears the first round.

1.04 patch speculation

1.04 patch speculation has taken a new turn in Age of Empires III community, as [ES]Vega, a member of the Ensemble Studios balance team has started giving small hints of what may be expected in the coming patch, or in the future. Keep in mind that this is by no means definite 1.04 patch information, some of his comments may refer to future patches or the they might be changed!
Here's one of his several posts at AgeSanctuary:



Without giving away to much:

Iro's will not lose their starting travois. Though it may sound like a good fix, what happens someone wants to use it for a farm, etc?

The problem is that this starting travois can be lamed by building a barracks on the shore line, front lines, etc.

So how do we fix this problem without ganking the cool bonus of the starting travois? I'll let you all figure out how we fixed it.

Read what other forumers have deducted of these comments and add your own thoughts here in a thread by Eicho.

Sign-ups for RTS League 3rd Season open



The second season of AoE3:TWC League in RTSL has reached its finals, with hope and DLX yet to play each other for championship. SkWiZz, last year's champions face the HK-clan for the 3rd place in the league. In the meantime, sign-up for the third season has started.


About 60 clans have participated in both seasons. If your clan would like to participate in the league which emphasizes fun and fair competition, make sure to sign up your clan on their website before the 7th of July, because the season starts already on 9th. More information and the league rules can be found on the RTS League website.

IGN Interview with Brian Reynolds

New details about The Asian Dynasties expansion were revealed, when IGN interviewed Brian Reynolds, Big Huge Games' CEO. The two-page interview with three new screenshots focuses on the Indian civilization and its unique features. The interview can be seen here.


Questions and speculation about Indians and cows are now settled as well, but there a lot more differences with the current civilizations, for example:


IGNPC: How would you describe the overall character of the Indians? How do they play? How do their strategies differ from those of the other civs?
Brian Reynolds: The biggest economic difference for the Indians is the fact that their Villagers cost wood instead of food.
Read the rest of the interview here and discuss this news at our forums, in a thread by Nezahualcoyotl.

Poll Round up

It is time once again to change our poll. Last time we inquired, "Will you be buying the AoE3 Board Game?" Here's how you responded:
-Yes [117 votes]
-Probably [59 votes]
-Possibly [232 votes]
-No [732 votes]
Bummer, seems like many of you are missing out on a good game. Even people who have never played Age of Empires III on the computer can enjoy the Board Game.

This week we are wondering, "What do you think should be changed, if anything, about the current Home City leveling situation?"

Semblance Returns

Former angel, Semblance, has returned to the staff to assist us with The Asian Dynasties content, which will be released after the next information clump is given to the public.

To give a shout out to Semblance, you can congratulate/welcome him back here.

Modding Discussion hits 10 000 posts!

The Age of Empires III modding community is more than just alive, it's alive and kicking! With this milestone Age of Empires III modding has again proved itself that's more than just a minor part of Age of Empires III. It'd like to use this moment to make you aware of four great, high-quality modding projects that are going on right now, together they account for more than a quarter of the total posts at the forum. There's Napoleonic Era taking you to the time of Napoleon. War of the Triple Alliance is a mod about South America, expanding AoE3's horizon southwards. The Age of Crusades takes you back to medieval times, when religion was the cause of a series of massive wars. And last but certainly not least The Lord of the Rings mod about the Lord of the Rings universe.
All projects are open to suggestions, also some of them might need your help. So if you're interested in any way, just visit these four topics.



You're interested in modding yourself? Then you can start right away by browsing our tutorials. Or you can post your questions in the modding forum of course. There are alot of experienced modders waiting to help you out and get started.

Forums Feedback

Over at HeavenGames Main Zen has opened up a new forum for you to post comments, suggestions, and requests for changes to our forums.
This is the forum for you to post questions, feature suggestions, bug reports, and offer feedback on the current version of the forums software.

Please keep everything on-topic; expect off-topic replies and threads to be hidden or deleted.

When posting a bug, please make sure you state the steps to reproduce the bug. Lastly, please include the following information along with the bug report:

* Operating System + Version, and whether all the updates have been applied;
* Browser + Version, and any addons that you have installed;
* Virus scanner
* Firewall
* Router
* Your ISP
* and if possible, the date and time the bug occurred.
We encourage you to visit and post if you wish, but anything concerning Age of Empires 3 Heaven specifically, you can post in our Website Feedback Forum.

Unit Comparison Spreadsheet - UPDATED!

The forumer Cyclohexane released his updated Unit Comparison Spreadsheet, expanded, as he said, to include every unit in the game with optional upgrades and the capability to compare base, veteran, guard, and imperial units. In fact, check out his own words about the spreadsheet:
This spreadsheet was created to mathematically compare the performance characteristics of different civilization’s units in the same classification. I posted an earlier version of this spreadsheet to get some initial feedback but this version is much superior to the previous.
Amazing, huh?

So have a look at the thread in our General Discussions Forum. But there is also his Quick Reference Guide, which is a comprehensive spreadsheet covering all of the major aspects of the real time strategy game!

Lastly, here are the download links:

AOE3 Quick Reference Guide: Click!
TWC Quick Reference Guide: Click!
Unit Comparison Spreadsheet: Click!

Bruce Shelley Blog (June 15th)

Ensemble Studios' Bruse Shelley updated his blog earlier today discussing The Asian Dynasties testing, The Dakotas Contest, The Gaming Industry, and more.

One of my favorite paragraphs from the blog was his opinion on cheating:
I find this cheating in online gaming very disappointing. If you are playing games online you probably live in an advanced nation, you have access to the latest technology, and you probably have an excellent education. Your position in life is envied by half the people on Earth or more. But seeing your name at the top of a gaming ladder is so important to you that you are compelled to find ways to cheat. Where’s the winning in that?
You can discuss the blog or do directly to read it.

Forum Party June 16th - Ladder Games

This week's forum party theme will be each game will go towards our Ladder.

A forum party is a weekly event in which forumers get together to play friendly team games (3v3s/4v4s) on ESO2. Everyone is welcome and we try to make games as fair as possible. This week, all games will be included into our Ladder. So, if you still need to sign up do so now, or before Saturday.

For more information go to the Forum Party thread.

Poll Round up

It's time to wrap up our last poll. We recently asked, "Will you be buying the new expansion pack: 'AoE3: The Asian Dynasties' this fall?"

Here's how everyone responded:
-Of course! [1532 votes]
-Possibly. [426 votes]
-Maybe once I got more information. [361 votes]
-I don't think so, but there's a chance. [186 votes]
-Nope. [151 votes]
Seems like I'll be seeing quite a few of you this fall!

Now we ask: "Will you be buying the AoE3 Board Game?"

AoE3 Board Game Review

Board Game Geek recently posted a review of the AoE3 Board Game released by Tropical Games last week. The reviewer thinks very highly of the game:
An amazing adaptation of the spirit of the Age of Empires series and executed beautifully. Everything from components, the rule book, and game play feel very polished and work. You can tell there was a great deal of research and development into this game for it to be such a success on its first printing run.
The game sounds amazing. Read the full review or talk about the game if you have it or are planning to buy it.

Our Community: TAD Civilization Predictions!

Recently, we dug up some really old outlines made by our community. Really old outlines, made even before The WarChiefs expansion had released! What's so special about them? Well, these outlines, made by forummers Cy Marlayne and Yamato Take, were designes for Indian, Japanese and Chinese civilizations for a possible expansion pack to AoE3!

Better yet, KrakenBits has joined in and together they plan to refresh their old outlines and possibly get some new ideas from the community! The Chinese outline has already been refreshed and you can view and comment on it here. Brilliant work, guys!

CGESA 2v2 AoE3:TWC Opening Tournament


L_Clan_Socrates (WaCkO) from Ensemble Studios has announced the CGESA 2v2 AoE3:TWC Opening Tournament

The tournament is sponsored by Steel Series (steelseries.com) and Thermaltake (thermaltakeusa.com).
Prizes are given to the first 3 places by the sponsors, and Ensemble is giving New ESO account to the winners.

Settings
• Game Type: Supremacy 2v2
• Map Size: Standard
• Home city level: All
• Civilization: All civs allowed

For more information and to sign up go to this link.

Gaming in Different Cultures

Angel Zen, HeavenGames Owner, has started a thread in the Gaming Discussions Forum at HG Main asking this:
How do you think gaming is viewed in different cultures outside of the USA? StarCraft is very big in South Korea (so much so that they have musicals and dramas based on the game), MMOGs are very popular throughout Asia, and strategy games such as Knights of Honor, 1701AD, etc. are very popular in Europe; North America seems to be more about First Person Shooters - or is that all just a myth?

Seeing how we have a diverse staff and audience I thought I'd ask your views here. What sort of differences can you see between different cultures when it comes to gaming?
We would truly appreciate your input and comments, so discuss it here!

AgeMod Tools!

The ex-Seraph Elpea released two amazing and very useful tools for Age of Empires III modders all across the community. They are the AgeMod Archive Creator, which packs your modded files into a single one, and the Age of Empires III AgeMod Launcher, which will launch the mod stored in the file created previously. This means you can easily switch between the original game and your mod just by chosing the correct launcher! Well, these are the instructions:
Create an AGM Archive with the archive creator, rename the file data.agm, then place it next to the launcher. The launcher works by loading the data.agm file that is in the same directory as it. You can rename the launcher EXE to your Mod's name. To distribute your mod, simply distribute the launcher (renamed to your mod's name) and the data.agm.
Confused? Then have a look at the thread at our Modding Discussions Forum. Or if you just want to try it out already, those are the download links:

AGM Launcher: Click!
AGM Archive Creator: Click!

Dakotas Random Map Contest

Ensemble Studios announced that they will be holding a contest for players and map scripters to create a Dakotas Themed Map.
Announcing The Dakotas Random Map Contest, for anyone who is up to the challenge of creating a new random map for Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs! Not only will the winner, as determined by a panel of judges here at Ensemble Studios, receive much praise and Age shwag, but their map may also end up being added to The WarChiefs in a future patch. See below for the full contest rules and requirements.
So your map could be played on by all players in The WarChiefs community at some point!

For full contest rules, read them here, or discuss it in gunner1's thread.

End HC Leveling?

Our fellow Beatnik Joe, known for his creative strategies and well written posts, has started a very interesting discussion at our General Discussions forum. He proposes high level HCs are given at will or simply the ending of the leveling scheme! As he stated in a previous thread:
"Remove the filtering by HC tier and give anyone the option of creating a level 40-50 home city at the click of a button. The leveling was a novel idea and a noble experiment, but it gets in the way of the really fun part of this great RTS -- being able to execute many creative strategies for many different civs. Let's move past it and leave the level-grinding to other game genres."

Interested in contributing with your wise, insightful and flame-free opinion? Well, then just click on this link and have fun

Ever wondered how to Sevastapol boom?

L_Clan_Socrates from ES has posted up his build order for a Sevastapol boom, which focuses around a unique Russian card. If you wish to check out the strategy itself go here and if you wish to discuss the strategy, check out the thread!

While you're there you might want to look around the rest of the Cyber Globe E-Sports Association Site.

Cuauhtemoc wants to mod!

Hello modders of AoE3HG! This weekend I've decided to present to you a summary with what there's to know about modding here, in this heaven. Today our friend Tahattus posted The list of Modding No-nos, basically a list containing what you can't do - saves a lot of time of searching!

Also, if you are new to modding and want to learn a bit more, then check out our Modding Tutorials. But if you are just interested in downloading some of them, then you might want to have a look at the Mod Database. After that, don't forget posting a message in our Modding Discussion Forums and hope that TAD will bring new features for our modders and designers play with

AoE3 Board Game

Bad connection? Got your computer taken away from you? Can't play on weekdays? Well then the AoE3 Board Game is for you! Now you can play AoE3 on the computer and off. Sort of.

Tropical Games just released an AoE3 Board Game. They describe it as a Euro-style design.
The game challenges players to become the king (or Queen) of one of the great European nations during the age of exploration. On each turn, players allocate their colonists to various actions: exploration, colonization, trade, warfare, merchant shipping, upgrading (merchant, soldier, missionary, captain), or building a unique capital building. Each choice guides their nation toward a unique strategy.
You can discuss the board game or read the full release.

TWC 1v1 RTS League


RTS-League has opened signups for a new 1v1 league for TWC.

Unlike previous clan leagues, divisions will be separated by skill, with the top players facing off against other top players in every round of the group stage. Lower divisions will also be skill sorted to maximize the fairness and enjoyability for all participating players.

While this remains a fun league, ES has decided to sponsor the winning player of the top division with a new TWC-enabled ESO account. We don't expect this to change the competition or player pool one bit; it is merely a token of thanks from ES and the RTSL staff.

More specific rules and details can be found at the RTSL site. You can also discuss the matter, on our forums.

Ladder Update

Our reigning champion has established a commanding lead with 146 ladder points. Leaving the next closest competitors, Highland guy and jaafit at 115. But he’s not invincible as jaafit managed to take the crown for a brief period. The full top ten list looks like this.

1. Parfait - Current Champion
2. Highland guy
2. jaafitt
4. Stonewall J
5. agape3
5. KingSteve3721
7. Farragut22
8. Sporting_Lisbon
9. Gomezd
9. HelzBelz

Ladder Warriors are players who take on all challenges, willing to put points and ego on the line for a good game and to get better. The ladder warriors since our TWC ladder started are O_Rolko, jaafit and Jumbalaya. Drop by our forums and congratulate them.

For all the ladder rules and to sign up stop by the ladder thread.