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News Archives - August 2007

RTSL - Webmaster Needed

RTS-League has lost their Webmaster, Cloudberry because he felt it was time to refocus on real life issues after five years of taking care of the numerous matches RTSL handles and clan battles.

So, this leaves RTSL with a big hole to fill, Roark explains:
Looking forward, this raises several immediate concerns for RTSL. Without someone with adequate coding expertise, we simply cannot continue our operation. So we are asking for volunteers from individuals who both want to help, and have the required knowledge to take over in Cloud's unique role. Specifically we need someone that is proficient with c#, sql and general linux management. Anyone interested should contact cloud or I immediately on MSN (toni@cloudmods.net or roark@rts-league.com).

If we cannot find a suitable replacement, then the current seasons of RTSL in all games will be the last. We love these leagues as much as our players, so we are hoping to find a suitable replacement. But we also understand the reality that without someone in Cloud's position, it will simply be impossible to manage our leagues.
You can visit the official RTSL forum here.

Walls Around Buildings

Tom_3000 was wondering how to stop the Iroquois' for Warhut from bothering your base too much. He recalls back in Age of Empires 2 a common practice was to wall your opponent's buildings in so units could not come out of it to attack. However, this is not frequent in Age of Empires III; in fact, I have yet to see it in one of my games.

But could this be a viable thing to mess with your opponents? Even if it is not a Warhut, but maybe a Stable or Barracks?

We want your thoughts; do you think it's worth the Villager Seconds? OR is it far too risky that units may come out of it? Post you opinions in Tom's thread.

Asian Dynasties at Leipzig Game Show

Bruce Shelley's latest blog post focuses on his experiences at the 2007 Leipzig Game Show in Germany.

In addition to a few tidbits on The Asian Dynasties and Halo Wars, Bruce posts a really interesting couple of paragraphs on Ensemble's 10-year retrospective panel on how they decided upon make-up the original Age of Empires game:

the original concept was a game that might take 8-10 hours to play but many people pushed for average lengths no longer than one hour for multi-player online.

Check out the blog post here!

HeavenGames announces StarCraft 2 Heaven!

HeavenGames (heavengames.com), the popular network of gaming fansites, has opened its latest chapter with which to bring the real-time strategy world yet another hallmark in game information and community: StarCraft 2 Heaven. Covering the highly anticipated game, StarCraft 2 Heaven promises to offer up-to-date content, the latest news, and an integrated and active community.

StarCraft 2 Heaven (starcraft2.heavengames.com) launched on August 25th, 2007 and already provides a wealth of coverage, including a preview from BlizzCon, a gallery of artwork and screenshots, news, game information, and discussion forums. Few other sites provide such various and complete content as StarCraft 2 Heaven!

Leipzig Games Convention - TAD Experiences

As some of you may already know, there was a full playable build of The Asian Dynasties at the 2007 Leipzig Games Convention. The great news is that SchuLz, a member of AoE3.de, visited the convention and wrote down his experiences. Now, translated by a few of our german speaking moderators, you can check them in the forums!

Although part of it is old information, it includes some insight about each civilization, plus a full list of Indian, Japanese and Chinese units with their respective stats! Yes, everything from Sepoys to Ashigarus, from Chu Ko Nus to Mahouts, from Samurais to Flamethrowers, and much more!

You can read all his translated notes here, in our TAD Forums.

Dakota Random Map Contest Winners Announced

Ensemble Studios held a contest for random map scripters to create Dakotas-themed random map. The winners have now been announced and the winning entry was submitted by our long time forumer, RF_Gandalf with the runner-up being Johnny_Deppig - Congratulations to both!


ES has stated, that because the next patch is fairly close to release, the map won't be included in this patch but instead in a future one. In the meantime, you can already get this map (excluding the special ES-enabled building feature) from our download section since RF_Gandalf asked ES's permission to submit it.


Discuss the map and congratulate the winners in the thread here.

TWC version
Vanilla version

IGN Preview of TAD

You can now check in IGN a short article which collects most of what's known about the upcoming expansion pack, The Asian Dynasties, in a single page. Although it doesn't really add anything new, apart from a few conclusions, it's "handy if you missed some of the movies or interviews", as our forumer Linuchadnezzar replied.

You can read the article here or comment about it in FenrisWulf's thread. And if you have missed some released content and want to learn more about TAD, then have a look at our Index and Gallery!

Poll Roundup

Time for a new poll, but first we will discuss the last one.

We just asked: "When Custom Scenarios are available, how much will you use them?"

This is how everyone responded:
-As much as I can [355 votes]
-Sometimes [197 votes]
-Occasionally [168 votes]
-If I see something I like [437 votes]
-Never [225 votes]
Now our next question concerns the Asian Dynasties:

"What civilization will you play when you get The Asian Dynasties?"

For further discussion on why you would like to play a certain civ, visit Ultra_Janissary's thread.

Unsure of what civ you would want to play? Learn about each of them!

New maps for The Asian Dynasties revealed!

Eagle-eyed forummer gz_aoe3 has spotted the names of some of the remaining maps for The Asian Dynasties in the logo for BHG's blog at IGN. It looks like the maps will be Mongolia, Deccan, Yellow River, Ceylon and Himalayas.

See if you can spot all five of them yourself at BHG's blog and why not discuss the new maps in our forum thread!

The Asian Dynasties Content Released

With The Asian Dynasties being released this Autumn, we have compiled all the information we could for an easy to view reference sheet on what will be available in the second expansion pack.

We are still in the process of completely updating it with all information, but forumers in our The Asian Dynasties Forum sure did help plenty!

Also, our Gallery is still constantly updated with the latest screenshots that BHG or ES release.

So, without further waiting for the information, check out everything you need to know about The Asian Dynasties here: http://aoe3.heavengames.com/dyn.

See an error or have something to be updated? Let us know in the thread.

Big Huge Games' First Development Blog Entry

The developer of The Asian Dynasties expansion pack, Big Huge Games, has started a development blog, in which several different game developers talk about the game and how it will - and has been created.

The first blog entry is by Ike Ellis, Lead Designer of the expansion pack. He starts off by telling what it was like when they first presented their ideas about the expansion - here's an exerpt of the entry:

Finally, one of the Ensemble crew spoke up and said, "So there is going to be an elephant with a cannon on it?"

I said, "Yes."

"This is going to be sweet!" someone in the room replied. And it was clear that we were headed for a great collaboration.
The rest of the blog can be read here.

Thanks to Brtnboarder495 for the heads-up in his thread here.

Chinese Gameplay Video Released

Ensemble Studios has now released the third gameplay video featuring the last civilization remaining, the Chinese. A lot of different unit statistics are shown, as well as the banner army types in this 2-minute video clip.

All three videos featuring the different civilizations can be downloaded at AgeCommunity movies section.

Go watch them, but don't forget to come back to discuss it in Orange4342's thread at our forums.

Garlef's 1.03 Patch stats at 5 months

Garlef has once again updated his statistics on games played and won with each civ during the 5 months of 1.03 patch. The stats are separate for 3 skill tiers. Another interesting thing he mentions:

There has now been 500K 1v1 Supremacy Games since Patch 1.03 was released.

Way to go players!

Discuss the development here in his thread.

Russian and Spanish Missionary Sling

Cyclohexane has been looking into Spain's unit the Missionary:
The Spanish have the best priests in the game. Yea Aztec’s are great but they are never used for healing due to their usefulness at the fire pit. Mayan are cheap who knows if you will get them on your map. Surgeons require a shipment, etc., etc. The reason Missionaries are so good is because of their speed, they can get in and out and never slow the army down when moved together (unlike priests with a speed of 4).

Hell with the Age 2 Mission Fervor church technology (200 gold + 200 wood), these guy have a speed of 8.05 and an amazing 405 hit points (450 EHP at range). That’s right, those donkeys can just about keep up with the Sioux WC (speed 8.1) and they can tank. Before they die, they can run away and heal each other.
He lines out the Build Order, cards, weaknesses, strengths, stats, and much more.

Moreover, for this 2v2 strat it is truly a unique and different way to try to defeat the opponent. However, with good micro you can save a lot of units by pulling them out on time.

Read the full strategy here for many more details.

Age Sanctuary Hosting 2v2 Nations Tournament

Age Sanctuary is hosting a 2v2 tournament for TWC. It is not just a regular 2v2 tournament - your teammate must be from the same country! The prizes haven't been announced yet, but ES has promised 2 TAD-activated accounts for the winning team.

The sign-ups will open on 22nd of August and will last until 29th, with the tourney starting 1st of September. There is room for 64 teams, so start choosing your teammate already!

More information can be found on AgeSanctuary website.

New China Q&A with Reynolds

Cy Marlayne saw that GameSpot had the anticipated conversation with Brian Reynolds about the Chinese civilization. They cover Chinese wonders, the campaign, migration card, their economy, banner armies, and much much more.
The most important feature of the Chinese military is the banner army, which reflects the actual organization of Chinese armies in this period. Instead of separate barracks and stable buildings, the Chinese have a war academy that produces both infantry and cavalry. But units are always produced in a banner army, which combines two different types of units.
For even more information, go straight to the interview and once you're done with that, discuss it with fellow forumers.

You can find all the screenshots released thus far in our Gallery.

HeavenGames Official Blog: The First Step

Source: The HG Blog

Hey all,

So it's been a little while since my last update. It's mostly because we're still hard at work figuring out the big picture for HeavenGames' future; it's a daunting job but I like what’s being hammered out. Anyway, in this article I'm going to discuss the two biggest problems that I'd like to get fixed before any grand scheming…and their solutions. Solutions are good.

Problem 1: HeavenGames current staff system is not what HeavenGames needs
While everyone works as hard as possible, the current staff system is simply not enough for what HeavenGames needs. Becoming staff is a big ordeal at HeavenGames, largely because of the daunting committment on both sides...

Solution: Reorganize the staff system
Reorganizing the staff system will help our current staff operate more efficiently. First, we will make sure that all of the owners are active at HeavenGames. Next, Seraphs will be required to heavily advertise job openings to ensure consistent service and organization across the network. Finally, we will work to make a job at HeavenGames more attractive by giving benefits such as possible college credit and aid in getting a job in the gaming industry...(Read more!)

Staggered Formation

Our own Flammifer has posted an in depth article on how to and when to used the Staggered Formation.
Summary of Results
1a. Stagger mode is effective against artillery area attacks. Reducing splash damage from the falconets by about 70% provided units stay in formation.
1b. Stagger mode is effective against melee area attacks. Reducing splash damage from cuirassier by 70%
2. Cavalry path finding is abysmal. Focus fire, micro management and how bad the path finding happens to be are much more important than the formation.
3. No appreciable difference as walking time counts towards reloading time. Who shoots first, focus fire / micro will play a much more important role.
For many more details and discussion, visit his thread in Strategy Central.

India Civilization Q&A at Gamespot

Brian Reynolds is back and answering questions for the AoE3 community. However, this time he lets us in on some more secrets of the Indian civilization.

He covers elephants, the Indian campaign, wonders, their other units, economy, and much more.
First, most importantly, and in a word: elephants. India represents the triumphant return of elephants to the Age of Empires series, and we're not just talking one kind of elephant here, either. There are mahouts with a powerful "splash damage" melee attack, howdahs full of archers that work as very powerful ranged cavalry, flail elephants with a melee attack that are powerful against buildings and siege units, and even massive siege elephants with cannons mounted on top!
Sounds sweet. Discuss everything about the interview in Compa_Mighty's thread.

The Asian Dynasties and Gold Edition Release Dates at Gamestop!

Well guys and gals, good news! Gamestop has issued a ship date for Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties and Age of Empires III Gold Edition (Warchiefs and Vanilla combined)! To sum it all up, it appears as though TAD will be released October 23rd, 2007 and will cost $29.99 from their online store, while Gold Edition will be released September 25th, 2007 and will cost $39.99 online.

A big thanks to forumer Donkee for the find!

If you would like to discuss it, check out this thread

Strategic Objectives!

MosheLevi has announced an upcoming contest for his Strategic Objective scenarios! Not only it will include new maps (and prizes!), but with the CSO feature being added in the next patch, he is also planning to conduct a 1vs1 online tournament! In case you forgot, check out some of its features:
1. Players can capture and re-capture neutral buildings (guarded by guardians) that are scattered around the map and receive economic/military bonuses from them.

2. Players can capture Great Cannons and use them to build Fixed Guns anywhere on the map.

In two out of the four new scenarios I added a third feature.
3. Players can Teleport their armies behind enemy lines once they captured a sacred temple (for TWC only).

These new features allow for fast paced game play where your army size can even reach 200 units.
Also, there's a new map available for download here, if you already want to start practicing.

So, what are you waiting for? Leave a comment in its thread or, if you haven't participated of the last contest, read more about the Strategic Objective scenarios and download the old ones: Click!

Gallery Updated

Our The Asian Dynasties Gallery has been updated with the latest screenshots found in interviews and previews.

You can check out all the shots here.

Think we missed a couple? If so, let us know.

1up Interview with Brian Reynolds

Hairy Scary Man pointed out that 1up has an interview with Brian Reynolds to discuss the upcoming addition to Age of Empires III.

The interview sums up many things we already know, however some new information is revealed. Also, they go on to discuss Catan for Xbox Live Arcade and its AI.
Brian Reynolds: The new random maps all depict parts of Southern and Eastern Asia -- Silk Road, Honshu, Indochina, and Himalayas. On these maps, the "native sites" are appropriate to the time and region. For instance, you might find a Shaolin or Sufi temple, or even a Jesuit mission. There are also some fun new mechanics, such as the ability to capture and recapture trading posts on the Silk Road, which makes for an exciting game indeed.

For more information and discussion about the interview, go to HSM's thread.

TAD: Japanese Gameplay Video!

And yet another TAD video, coming with two minutes of Japanese gameplay, in which you can identify all five Japanese wonders, plus some of their military units - yeah, Samurais!

  • HD Version
  • Non-HD Version

  • Haven't you found it amazing! Now come in and comment about it in it's thread in the Asian Dynasties Forum!

    Official HeavenGames CEO Blog Opens

    Source: The HG Blog


    (I'm pensive about so many things in this photo)

    Hey everyone,

    My name is Socvazius; I'm the new CEO of HG, but I've been around for quite a long time. I started visiting HG in late 1997 (at age 11), joined the staff in 2000 (my first article, a masterpiece by any standard), joined the executive board in 2003 (I have nothing to say here but I wanted to add a parenthesis for consistency), and became owner in 2005 (when I turned 18). Over all that time, I have been webmaster of 6 Heavens and have done about every possible job.

    Offline, I go by the name Sergio Prado and I study history at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. I am currently working in marketing at Vivendi Universal on Empire Earth III and World in Conflict. I love philosophy, history, physics and politics among other things, and to compensate for my nerdy tendencies I've been known to karate it up as well as do all the other things that college students do. Oh yes.

    Anyway, this is my blog! While I will surely use this blog for my own narcissistic ramblings, I intend it to be used mostly to keep everyone up to date on what's going on in HeavenGames, especially the stuff that pertains to my job: management, PR, and all the other fun parts of a gaming website. In fact, I do have some news that you guys might be interested in. For the past couple months the owners have been discussing a major revamp of how HG operates, including its staff management and exactly what services it will provide to the community. We're zeroing in on a finalized plan, so keep your eyes peeled for a freakin huge article that'll be way too long to be worth reading!

    Until the next post my friends,
    Soccy

    Roanoke 3: History and the Freemasons – The Campaign

    CaveTown from Liquid Fire Studios has released the first chapter of his campaign - Roanoke 3: History and the Freemasons for TWC.

    The campaign contains several scenarios and it is now available for download.

    Discover the world, the mysteries, the secrets and the Ones(Owns) in this epic adventure.
    You, the player, will venture into perilous quests involving RPG, Build & Destroy and many more elements.

    CaveTown’s campaign comes with Install and Uninstall programs that are very easy to use.

    For more information about CaveTown’s campaign visit this thread.

    To download “Roanoke 3: History and the Freemasons” Campaign go here.

    World Clan League Finished

    The World Clan League, hosted by the Legion Clan has reached its conclusion in the finals between the clans SkWiZz and hope. Two best of five -rounds were played in order to determine the winner, with SkWizZ managing to take home the title and the grand prize of $4500, with hope getting $2500.


    DLX reached third place with $1500, mori thereafter $1000 and finally sMb at fifth place with $500.


    The recorded games of the finals can be found at Legion's site, along with records of the other rounds. Congratulations to the winners and all participants!

    Gamespot's TAD Japanese Q&A

    Gamespot had another interview with Big Huge Games' Brian Reynolds. This time, the Japanese civ is covered in detail. Here's a very interesting excerpt concerning the Japanese economy:


    GS:GS: Could you explain how the team used real-world history to inform the design of the Japanese faction? How in-depth will history figure into their design? What major historical events will be reflected in the faction's design?


    BR:Japanese history figured strongly in our design of the civilization, from military units to technologies to home-city cards, and especially of course, the single-player campaign. A particularly good example is the Japanese ban on hunting and eating meat other than fish, which was a result of the influence of Buddhism and had been in place for centuries as of the period of this game. At the same time, there are shrines in Japan where tame deer roam free, so we allowed shrines in the game to attract nearby animals to provide a gather bonus.

    Apart from a lot of other intriguing details, there are new screenshots in the interview as well, so check it out!

    Gamespot interview

    Join the discussion at our forums in the thread by The Crazy Idiot.