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Topic Subject:The PC Gamer Article in it's entirety
WhoAskedU
Squire
posted 01-01-05 11:18 AM CT (US)         
Okay guys I didn't see anyone who posted it in large font, so here's the PC Gamer Magazine article in its entirety (actually I lied, its not the entire article, just the parts that are important). If you do not want to see it until you have the magazine in your hand then TURN BACK NOW! Before it’s too late! I warned you…

Also note that important information is in bold… and my “thoughts” are in brackets and whispered.

[Skipped paragraphs]

Continuing from where Age of Empires II left off, the third chapter in the series begins in 1500 A.D. and chronicles the Age of Discovery that started around the time when Columbus "discovered" the new world. (Yeah, we know -- several indigenous tribes were already living in America long before then. Write a historian, not us.) The single-player campaign then follows the course of American history up through 1850 -- ending right before the start of the civil war.

In multiplayer mode, you’ll be able to choose between eight different European civilizations. Only three – The French, Spanish, and British – have been officially confirmed by Ensemble, but the smart money says the Dutch and Swiss will be two more. Games will start with the arrival by ship to the shores of America, where your goal will be to explore the New World, establish Trade Routes, forge Alliances, with Native Americans, build an army for battle against rival Europeans, and ultimately bring glory to your home country.

Codenamed “Rocket,” by its internal development team, almost turned into an age game that didn’t have “ages.” Taking inspiration from German board games, the designers crafted a strategy game in which you captured victory points to win scenarios, but without technologically advancing your civilization through new ages, which is one of the hallmarks of the series. Another version had “Auto-Ages,” in which each side automatically levels up at the same time, and borrowing from massive multiplayer games, one incarnation has persistent characters that would build in experience from match to match.

While Lead Designer Greg Street asserts that Ensemble’s initial stab was a “fun game.” It didn’t feel much like an Age of Empires game. A year and a half into development, incongruent elements and features were dropped. So the team regrouped, and decided to focus more closely on traditional gameplay – but also experiment with some of the first iterations’ inventive ideas.

“Innovation has driven our design,” says Ensemble’s Senior Designer Bruce Shelley. Whose 20 year experience making video games including making a successful partnership with Sid Meier in the early 1990’s co-designing such classics as Railroad Tycoon and Sid Meier’s Civilization. The pressure was, and still is, on Ensemble to not only build on the success of the past, but also to exceed such ambitious competitors as Rome: Total War and Rise of Nations.

“There isn’t a RTS game that isn’t played at Ensemble,” says Street, who freely admits that the team borrows bits and pieces from the competition when brainstorming ideas. Another benefit from rampant sampling is that Ensemble is able to keep abreast with the latest trends and advancements in the genre. Such as innovations in user interfaces, a move toward story lines with an epic scope, and, of course, full 3D graphics.

As development gelled on Age III, two areas were singled out for innovation. First on the list was the graphic engine, which the group had decided had to be the very best on the block… So the “Rocket” team set the not-so-simple goal for itself: Age of Empires III would have the best looking graphics of any game. Period. [Pretty bold statement don’t you think? This would include amazing games like Half-Life 2, Doom 3, and Far Cry. One word: WOW]

To accomplish that lofty aspiration, Ensembles built a brand-new graphics engine [Guess they decided the BANG! Engine that was used for Age of Mythology just wasn’t good enough…unless they intended for BANG! to be for Age of Empires III all along…] from the ground up that includes features like dynamic lighting, Support for Pixel Shader 3.0, bloom effects that make lit objects seem to glow while on screen, and tone mapping to create near-photorealistic images.And one programmer had been devoted to nothing but water effects. Just to ensure that the leaping oceans in the game looked their very best…

Ensemble has also licensed the Havok physics engine for Age of Empires III. What that means for gameplay is that when you fire a cannon at a band of Redcoats, the ensuing mayhem will have all the pizzazz of an explosion as Half-Life 2; [WOW, this is ground breaking in the RTS genre… CANNOT wait to see it in action] Bodies fly through the air with rag-doll physics, tiny little hats are knocked off the heads of the injured, and your cannonball may continue to roll after impact, possibly uprooting trees or bystanders. Similarly, structures will destruct dynamically as there fired upon, with bits of roofing and rubble flung airborne until the building finally crumbles. [Better than I had expected… Can’t wait to get my hand on some artillery to have some “fun” making Swiss cheese out of enemy buildings]

Ensembles second great innovation is the one it considers to be the most important. [And being the first in the genre to incorporate Rag-doll physics isn’t?] It’s the concept of a Home City, a capital back in Europe that supports your efforts to conquer the New World.

The idea is a throwback to an early game design to include persistent characters. In multiplayer games, you’re Home City will be like a character in an RPG that “levels up” as you gain experience points, giving you access to varied upgrades. Levels and upgrades will carry over to game to game - [Sounds like a complex ranking system to me] but unlike in a typical Massive Multiplayer, skill will be most salient factor in which will win a match. So a player, with a level-50 city won’t automatically trump a level-45 competitor…though I wouldn’t take any bets on a level-5 if I were you.

Both you and your opponents will be able to view your Home City at any time. Initially, it will be small and relatively unpopulated, but as you earn glory (and XP) in the New World by hunting, fighting, and allying with Native tribes, your city will grow more powerful. And as the city expands, so will the society – including crowded foot-traffic on city streets, the ability to erect magnificent buildings, and the sounds of urban living (like the clip-clop of horses or the grinding noise of a windmill). Wonder how the residents think your doing? Click on one and he’ll tell you.

The benefit of having a Home City will be economic support in the form of regular supply shipments delivered right to your colony’s doorsteps. Additionally, every level gained will give you access to more of a branching tree of potential upgrades. Like unlocking a mime [SWEET! That’s what I’ve always wanted in an Age game…MIMES!] to entertain the pedestrians of your Home City, will be purely cosmetic. But at least half of them can affect gameplay – For instance, opening up new types of units like Grenadiers and Scouting Patrols, or being able to send reinforcements from your Home City. [Sounds to me like an Age of Empires III equivalent to Age of Mythology’s God Powers…but I still don’t have enough information]

As they become unlocked, you’ll be able to build more illustrious buildings for which your Home capital has become famous [Age of Empires III Wonders, shall we?], such as Paris Notre Dame Cathedral. Structures in a home city can also be personalized – You can select the roof colors and decorations (such as gargoyles) that adore its edifice for example. [Wow Age of Empires is getting more and more like a City Simulator] The design team believes that the RPG elements involved in building up your city will motivate you to continue playing online long after the point at which similar games wear out their welcome.

“The dream in the creative industry is to come up with an idea that people don’t know they want until they see it,” says Bruce Shelley. If RTS buffs react to the Home City concept with that sort of “Where has this been all my life?” fanfare, then the Ensemble team will all be able to breathe a collective sigh of relief. And the early word is promising: According to Ensembles, Microsoft has submitted Age of Empires III to public scrutiny through focus group testing in Chicago, Dallas, and around Europe with positive reviews. [Well, now we know that sonofthunder maybe actually got to “preview” the game… Makes you think twice before flaming someone…doesn’t it?]

Once you’ve chosen a civilization, it’s time to colonize. Gameplay begins when your ship lands on American soil (North or South) and you claim the land in the name of your motherland. Never mind the fact that some other shmoes just planted their flag on a different part of the continent – American spoils goes to he who settles best.

In the short-term, you’ll do things you normally do in a RTS game: build a base, spawn and train units and forage for resources. One big change from previous age games is that it will no longer be necessary to build drop-off centers for the three types of resources: food, wood, and coin. As soon as a villager chops down a tree skins a deer, its bounty will immediately be transferred to your reserves. [Don’t know if I like this idea…but can’t really say since I haven’t played the game yet]

Resources will vary base on where you’ve landed. For example, buffalo will be plentiful in the Great Plains, while vegetation will dominate island maps. Still, Ensemble says that each area will be balanced – a civilization won’t immediately be disadvantaged by the lack of resource while another is swimming in loot. The maps in multiplayer and skirmish will also be randomly generated, [GOOD] preventing various players from memorizing where all the loot is.

“What makes games fun is making interesting decisions,” Shelley points out, and raises your attitude toward America’s Native American tribes as an example of one of those “interesting decisions.” There will be 12 or so tribes – like the Aztecs, Iroquois, Cherokee, Comanche, and Sioux – with whom you can ally by building a trade post next to there encampment. When you ally, the native civilization will join as your own, giving you access to cool new units, unique weaponry, and a special knowledge of the land, lifting some of your fog of war. [Sounds like they took Age of Mythology’s idea of Settlements and kicked it up a notch…now we’ll be fighting over Alliances instead of measly Settlements… I like this idea…I like it A LOT.]

(If, like me, you think building alliances in real life is more difficult than building a trade post, consider the alternative: Ensemble says it play tested an elaborate and complex alliance scheme that involves lots of diplomacy and bargaining. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t much fun and was dropped after a day and a half)

If you play economically, one strategy is to ally with as many indigenous people as you can find on the map, grab resources, and speedily advance your civilization through its “Ages” of progress to acquire better technology and defense. (Ensemble wouldn’t discuss the Ages or how they’ll affect your colony since the design hasn’t been finalized, but I caught a peek at a couple of the titles that appeared during a round of play testing. Unless there’s some major rejiggering in the next several months expect atleast for Ages: Discovery, Colonial, Industrial, and Imperial. [Just as I expected…]

Conversely, you can go full out military, and put all your resources into building up a big army. Leverage the power of your Home City by putting experience points into researching new unit types and shipping over reinforcements in lieu of coin drops. And you can destroy the alliances of your opponents by destroying their trade posts. If your really cut-throat, you might even hire some mercenaries from your Home City to fight for your side.

No matter how you play, though, a battle is almost inevitable – musket against musket, cannon against cannon. There is, however, another way to win a game. You can amass “Four of a Kind,” such as allying yourself with four different tribes or by controlling four different trade posts. Like the strategy of building and protecting Wonders in Age of Empires II, this maneuver will give you an instant victory… all without firing a shot.

While naval combat will be part of gameplay, its emphasis is on ground battles in a diverse array of landscapes that include forests, snow-swept mountains, islands, and desert. [Dang it… maybe in Age of Empires IV…] And taking a page from the console-game playbook, Ensembles is packing an assortment of post game awards to coat multiplayer matches with an additional layer of competition.

Of course, Ensemble is still holding onto some secrets about its multiplayer plans. The team won’t discuss gameplay modes except to say that there will be free-for-all and team-vs-team matches supporting up to eight players over a LAN or the Internet (though the developers recommend a maximum of 4 players to maximize the fun factor). And a single player skirmish-mode will allow you battle AI-controlled opponents, although the game balancing jury is still out as to whether you’ll be able to level up your Home City in skirmish mode and then transfer it over into multiplayer bouts.

Another departure of the series is that Age III’s single-player campaign, composed of roughly 24 scenarios, will be divided into three Acts to form one epic story line crossing multiple generations of a single family. The first Act will follow the heroism of Morgan Black, a settler of Scottish decent who lands in North America circa 1500. Acts II and III will continue the story of his lineage as the family grows roots in America soil and traverses the often-rocky path of colonial history up through 1850.

Ensemble describes the story as historical fiction (since the Black family, as conveyed in the game, never existed). Although it will incorporate will world events – like the American Revolution [YAY!] – and guest stars from American History such as a pre-presidency Colonel Washington.

Wondering what adventure awaits you? Well, Ensemble isn’t spoiling such details yet, but did offer one scenario as an example: At one point, you’ll have to prevent an enemy from traveling through the Rocky Mountains. To win, your demolition team will have to set charges that will block your opponents escape routes with a stream of rock and rubble, forcing him into a battle. Ensemble is aiming for a general playtime of 40 minutes per scenario. [WOW that means roughly 16 hours to beat the campaign (40 * 24 = 960 minutes… 960 / 60 = 16 hours) THAT is a lot!]

A mixture of cut scenes and in-game cinematics will tell the game’s story, including hours of voiceovers and music recorded specifically for the game. The stirring score was written in-house and include a diverse array of different musical themes such as Last of the Mohicans and Cold Mountain, including twangy folk ballads and a rousing orchestral suite performed by the Northwest Symphony. The soundtrack is also dynamic, so that when you launch an attack, the music will abruptly intensify to match the mood.

Ensemble has devoted six full-time designers to the single-player campaign – the most ever for a game designed by the studio. And it isn’t just the writers and designers who hold sway over the final product; everybody who works at Ensemble must play Age of Empires III for at least one hour a week, and give their feedback. [Man I wish I had their job] The Team’s philosophy is evident: playtest, playtest, playtest… and then playtest some more. Their resolved not to ship a game that has to be “fixed” through patches.

[Skipped paragraph]

“The sun always shines in Age of Empires,” says Bruce Shelley with a smile when asked why so many encounters are played out in broad daylight. It’s a familiar motto for the team – in fact, someone else credits Shelley with the phrase before he even utters the words.
But his other favorite saying is law: “Differentiate and innovate, but don’t imitate,” declares Shelley. The mantra guides not only the look and feel of Age of Empires III, but also how Ensemble views its own going mission. Because unlike most games in the usual grim, bloodthirsty RTS genre, Age games are chiefly about exploration and – dare I say it – hope.

[Well that’s the End! I hope I don’t make anyone mad posting this… I didn’t intend to breach any Copyright infringement or do anything illegal like that. If I did, admins please politely close and remove this thread, thank you. And enjoy the plethora of information!]

[Oh...and Happy New Year!]


At my signal unleash HELL.
God Bless America, Land of the Free!!!
•••winner of "2002 AoM Forum's Coolest Name Award"•••
•••••••Another Fabulous Post by WhoAskedU!!•••••••
People just complain about other people's Signatures because
they aren't smart enough to make their own.

[This message has been edited by WhoAskedU (edited 01-01-2005 @ 11:22 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
Genghiz_Khan
Squire
posted 01-01-05 12:37 PM CT (US)     1 / 27       
This sounds like the ****ing WILDEST game ever. I can't wait to play it.

To tread the sharp edge of a sword
To run on smooth-frozen ice,
One needs no footsteps to follow.
Walk over the cliffs with hands free.
Wartz
Squire
(id: josephschlimmer)
posted 01-01-05 01:52 PM CT (US)     2 / 27       
Sounds awesome. Thanks for posting it


ZN: TOAO_Wartz_ | ESO2: Cyrus
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Junior
Squire
posted 01-01-05 01:56 PM CT (US)     3 / 27       
Yeah, hearing about it is nothing like reading the PC gamer article...
Now that I have read this article I believe it will be as good as aoe2 was when it was out

I really believe ES is making the best RTS game ever by far.

Beddet
Squire
posted 01-01-05 01:59 PM CT (US)     4 / 27       
I will buy this game when it comes out, but it actually sounds alot like AoM to me, maybe it will be totally smashing, and maybe it wont, I will try it (and eager to try I am).

Proud member of the One and Only
The best clan ever TOAO
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Raptor the Good
Squire
posted 01-01-05 02:18 PM CT (US)     5 / 27       

Quote:

it actually sounds alot like AoM


How the heck does it sound like AoM?!

/// (¬, (¯\ (¯¹ ¯)¯ (¯) )¬,
\\\ ==============
/// AoKH Forumer

DarckRedd
Squire
posted 01-01-05 03:02 PM CT (US)     6 / 27       
It would be ironic if the game was a flop and everyone stayed here.

Anyway, I'm eager to try my "4-of-a-kind" rush.


| D A R C K R C D D |
Aro
AoKH Dictator
posted 01-01-05 04:56 PM CT (US)     7 / 27       

Quote:

including crowded foot-traffic on city streets, the ability to erect magnificent buildings, and the sounds of urban living (like the clip-clop of horses or the grinding noise of a windmill). Wonder how the residents think your doing? Click on one and he’ll tell you.


Lame. They must've got the whole residential talking idea from Stronghold, which isn't necessary.

Quote:

One big change from previous age games is that it will no longer be necessary to build drop-off centers for the three types of resources: food, wood, and coin. As soon as a villager chops down a tree skins a deer, its bounty will immediately be transferred to your reserves.


Damn, I had a feeling they were adjusting to this when they incorperated this into the Atlanteans in AoM, but I was hoping against it. This makes this less difficult for the player, which, IMO, isn't too great for people who enjoy a nice challenge.

Quote:

If you play economically, one strategy is to ally with as many indigenous people as you can find on the map, grab resources, and speedily advance your civilization through its “Ages” of progress to acquire better technology and defense.


I wonder how these indigenous people will be represented on the map. And I wonder if we can fight them as well, for some added realism.

Quote:

As they become unlocked, you’ll be able to build more illustrious buildings for which your Home capital has become famous , such as Paris Notre Dame Cathedral. Structures in a home city can also be personalized – You can select the roof colors and decorations (such as gargoyles) that adore its edifice for example.


Ugh... I'm a designer, but there's a limit to how much design we really need in gameplay.

Quote:

Ensemble describes the story as historical fiction (since the Black family, as conveyed in the game, never existed). Although it will incorporate will world events – like the American Revolution – and guest stars from American History such as a pre-presidency Colonel Washington.


Sort of like Guy Josselyne in AoK - a made up character to bring you into History. It's a decent idea since there wouldn't be much of a storyline without a character.

Quote:

The soundtrack is also dynamic, so that when you launch an attack, the music will abruptly intensify to match the mood.


What if you don't want the music to match the mood though? I'd pick calm music over intense music any day.

Quote:

Age games are chiefly about exploration and – dare I say it – hope.


Boo! I want death and destruction!

Aside from those minor opinions, I think the game looks excellent.


» Your attractive master.
» "Because I before E is a LIE!!!"

[This message has been edited by Aro (edited 01-01-2005 @ 04:59 PM).]

Raptor the Good
Squire
posted 01-01-05 06:15 PM CT (US)     8 / 27       
I think the best things about it are going to be the graphics and physics.

/// (¬, (¯\ (¯¹ ¯)¯ (¯) )¬,
\\\ ==============
/// AoKH Forumer

Tevious
Squire
(id: The Vampire Slayer)
posted 01-01-05 07:58 PM CT (US)     9 / 27       
It sounds very interresting. But I'm dissapointed that its focusing soley on European nations in America. I only hope that the expansion focuses more on the rest of the world. I know Japan, China, and India had a lot European involvement, so that could make for a good "Asian" themed expansion.

I like the idea of having tribes so that some civilizations still make it in the game, but aren't playable since they're not nearly as advanced.

I think one good idea, possibly for an expansion since they're only focusing on America, would be to have some African maps with Zulu tribes to ally with. And I'm sure there's other good ideas for tribes in other parts of the world, but Zulu just came to mind.


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dustin11
Squire
posted 01-01-05 09:10 PM CT (US)     10 / 27       
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

If "con" is the opposite of "pro," then isn't Congress the opposite of progress?
AetiusX
Squire
posted 01-01-05 11:40 PM CT (US)     11 / 27       

Quote:

Damn, I had a feeling they were adjusting to this when they incorperated this into the Atlanteans in AoM, but I was hoping against it. This makes this less difficult for the player, which, IMO, isn't too great for people who enjoy a nice challenge

Although I admit you'd probably kill me in any RTS game, I dissagree that dropoff points don't do an incredible amount for the strategy. All that is needed is the extra vills to be placed on wood to get 100 to build the point. I do agree it will speed the game up a bit, especially on the lengthy hunting trips that were so tedious. Now presto! and a short walk gives you automatic food, without the mill. That being the only real strategic downfall of the whole no-dropoff idea, it doesn't sound too horrible. You'll still need to put the villagers on the wood and food and coin or whatever, it just may look a little odd to see less buildings around. Playing as Atlanteans in AOM:TT didn't make me believe the no-dropoff was so easy, just a small burden lifted. I'm also sure the game will be challenging enough with keeping up with your home city and the NA's alliances, so we may deserve a break from all the micromanaging. An idea probably incorporated was the "City Limit" from RoN, how you won't be able to gather resources too far from your cities. This would make sense.

The only question that remains is about the farms: what will become of them? can you build a farm in the middle of nowhere and get food from it? Will they have a mill directly attatched to them? Will the farms be completely remodeled to just click-and-drag them to what size you want? I'd appriciate some feedback because this has me puzzled.


Signed Graced by Aetius X
(don't ask)
Romanus Diogenes
Squire
posted 01-02-05 00:43 AM CT (US)     12 / 27       
age of discovery sounds pretty cool. i hate it that they're making the graphics that good however. i just got a new computer this fall but when october rolls around, the graphic quality for games will probably be so good that i won't be able to play AoE III. honestly, i would've loved it if they used AoM graphics instead. it'll take so much fun out of the game if it lags..... i'm curious about the other european civs however...lets see, great britain, france, spain, er.. portugal, netherlands, russia (because of alaska), swiss, and.....venice? if it isn't them, it'll probably be the USA. that'll be pretty cool

i guess that the expansion will either cover the civil war, or imperialism in asia and africa.

one more thing....thanks for putting the article up WhoAskedU! i probably would've never read it....


Caesar I was, Justinian I am. By the will of the first love, which I now feel, i pruned the law of waste, excess, and shame
Aussie Gamer
Squire
posted 01-02-05 02:25 AM CT (US)     13 / 27       
I dont like it, I always hated sim city and thats what it sounds like.....GRRRRR

•L• CacTus
Nobull
Squire
posted 01-02-05 04:20 AM CT (US)     14 / 27       
The concept sounds awesome but one thing that really annoys me is that te whole thing is america-oriented which sucks! No asian or middle eastern civs? wtf!? Thats just annoying that its like that

Well Lois, I tried finding my creativity like you said. First I tried an art class..Am I-Am I supposed to draw the penis? Then I tried sculpting..Am I-Am I supposed to sculpt the penis? Then i tried music..Am I-Am I supposed to conduct with my penis? Then I realised that this is it, Lois, my penis belongs on stage! ---Family Guy
Gordon
HG Alumnus
(id: Gordon B)
posted 01-02-05 05:15 AM CT (US)     15 / 27       
This sounds far too epic for my tastes. I don't care about graphics, I don't care about the singleplayer campaign. All that really matters to me about this is online play and honestly this doesn't seem like it will be great for that. Leveling up over time? Sounds like now the people with no lives really will own everyone else since they'll be able to get the top stuff and be competitive... There's a reason aside from the cost thing that I don't play MMORPGs and they've decided to make an RTS like one.

And I am pretty sure that it will be even more n00bified than AoT (AutoQue anyone?), especially with things like no drop points. I bet it will micro your units for you too so basically all you'll have to do to win a lot is play 10000 games and level up your city so you pwn everyone else. And if you can level up your city OFFLINE that's incredibly stupid.

I dunno, this totally destroyed my hope that it would be a solid RTS game like AoC. Even AoM is better than this sounds. Age games to me are about the incredible online play. That means killing things, yes. I don't want to "explore" anything, I want to play a well balanced RTS game with some nifty features. I would prefer stagnation over innovation when it comes to this game.

And this is an incredibly Eurocentric game (only Europe is playable and you get to conquer all of the pathetic savages in other places for your own profit). I realize that the historical time period had a lot of that going on, but it seems they went a little overboard on it.

Sounds like I'll still be playing AoC (if I'm gaming at all) when this comes out. I also doubt even my computer upgraded will be able to run it if its graphics are that high. And will it be playable on a 56k connection? How bad will it lag in a 4v4 (horrendously, I bet)? I may try out the demo and I might be surprised, but this doesn't sound like a game I want to play. Maybe offline, but I prefer online gaming personally.

namelessone
Squire
posted 01-02-05 06:02 AM CT (US)     16 / 27       
Maybe ES want to product Civilization 4
not the AOE 3
Nobull
Squire
posted 01-02-05 08:28 AM CT (US)     17 / 27       

Quote:

I dunno, this totally destroyed my hope that it would be a solid RTS game like AoC. Even AoM is better than this sounds. Age games to me are about the incredible online play. That means killing things, yes. I don't want to "explore" anything, I want to play a well balanced RTS game with some nifty features. I would prefer stagnation over innovation when it comes to this game.

2 words, 1 number: Empire Earth 2


Well Lois, I tried finding my creativity like you said. First I tried an art class..Am I-Am I supposed to draw the penis? Then I tried sculpting..Am I-Am I supposed to sculpt the penis? Then i tried music..Am I-Am I supposed to conduct with my penis? Then I realised that this is it, Lois, my penis belongs on stage! ---Family Guy
AetiusX
Squire
posted 01-02-05 12:47 PM CT (US)     18 / 27       
Don't down it until you play it. With 9 months of hardcore gamers playing it an hour a week, that makes it played close to too much so that they work out any stupid crap they don't like. This addition to PCgamer is like the beta progress that shows you what they've thought of. I bet a million bucks they'll throw the dropoffs back in, because that may be getting too bold and noobing up the game. Don't worry, wait until October rolls around to play the trial version online if you are weary. As for me, I'm going to put in a pre-order in february so I can get that sh*t when it's first out.


Nibb High Football Rules!


Signed Graced by Aetius X
(don't ask)
WhoAskedU
Squire
posted 01-02-05 01:44 PM CT (US)     19 / 27       
I realize dropping the drop offs out of the game is probably not good when in an "AoK Mind-Frame," but we don't even know how AoD plays. And we definetly don't have all the information. Heck, I'd be surprised if we have even 1% of the information! You got to remember, the human mind can only do so many things at the same time. That's why if you can successfully fight a three (even a two) front war, then your destined to be atleast above average at the game. For all we know they may have made military strategies A LOT more complicated, in order to balance out the more depth in game, they made the economy less taxing: no drop offs and only 3 resources.

Like I said, I'm not dissing the game untill it's installed on my computer.


At my signal unleash HELL.
God Bless America, Land of the Free!!!
•••winner of "2002 AoM Forum's Coolest Name Award"•••
•••••••Another Fabulous Post by WhoAskedU!!•••••••
People just complain about other people's Signatures because
they aren't smart enough to make their own.
Gordon
HG Alumnus
(id: Gordon B)
posted 01-02-05 03:41 PM CT (US)     20 / 27       
I guess I should trust ES considering what a great job they did with AoC, but I was horrendously disappointed reading this article. I guess my perspective is different from many people's since I play AoC in a clan and I have spent many hours practicing, watching expert recs, learning builds, etc. (btw, I've never actually taken the time to "learn" any other game, I just really like AoC.) I don't care if the graphics look like stick figures drawn by a 2 year-old as long as I can tell what units are what easily. AoC lags for many people in 4v4s with decent comps (over 1gHz processors). Can you imagine how badly this thing will lag? They recommend only 2v2s, of course, which is really limiting.

Obviously I'm not going to come down and say "omgz horrible game" without playing it. I'm just saying that from this article I have lost my hope that it would be a great game like AoC. It might be a fun game and have great offline play, but I was hoping for another game like AoC with some nice new features from the smart people at ES.

btw, you say not to knock the game until I play it. Other people here are saying that they already love it and are preordering it. It's ok to say "omgz it's the best thing EVER!!!!!!!111oneonenoe" but not to say "I don't think it will be as good as AoC" even if we're both judging from the same article? How can you know it will be worth shelling out $60 for when you haven't even seen it? But I'm the one jumping to conclusions?

Quote:

With 9 months of hardcore gamers playing it an hour a week, that makes it played close to too much so that they work out any stupid crap they don't like


An hour a week? Hardcore gamers play 10+ hours a DAY. Not that I do, but there was a time when I played at least 4 hours a day and I never got above 1650.

[This message has been edited by Gordon (edited 01-02-2005 @ 03:43 PM).]

WhoAskedU
Squire
posted 01-02-05 04:37 PM CT (US)     21 / 27       

Quote:

btw, you say not to knock the game until I play it. Other people here are saying that they already love it and are preordering it.

I'm not knocking or praising the game; I am just presenting the facts and allowing a debate to occur. Obviously a good debate argument ISN'T:

"It's the best game EVER. PERIOD."
Or
"I HATE IT."

And I would suggest EVERYONE to NOT build any biased opinions over such few facts. For example, a lot of players thing it will be terrible just BECAUSE it is 3D...Others thing it will be terrible because they think gunpowder units will be the ONLY unit worth building...Others think it will be horrible because it ONLY has European civs and no Asian...And others think it will be awesome JUST because its made by Ensembles...

Leave your biases at the door...Like I am doing.

I have my doubts. The only real thing I dislike about the game (so far, with the whole 1% of information we have) is the lack of drop off points. However, (ignoring my AoC/AoM biases) from the sounds of the other new implementations, the game sounds incredibility fun.

Fighting over alliances will be exceptional. I will guess that Town Centers will be buildable anywhere, since the settlement Idea is an AoM idea instead of an Age of... Idea. From some of the PC Gamer images, you can definitely see units on top of walls, which is something EVERYONE has been crying for since the original Age of Empires, and Ships are huge compared to units... Of course, that could all change, similar to how they changed in Age of Mythology.

I do see one trend that Ensemble has been going toward since The Conquerors, and that is that they are slowly placing more emphasis on the Military. With unit, farm, and technology queuing, Ensembles is making a statement that everyone should listen to. They want you to worry about your enemy more than worrying about your idle villagers. They want you to out smart your enemy with strategic excellence, not outplay your opponents by going through the "chores" of reassigning idle villagers. Ensemble is simply making the military the focus of Age of Discovery (Native American Alliances, Improved Formations, more counters) so they make the economic side of the game less complex to balance the more complex military side.


At my signal unleash HELL.
God Bless America, Land of the Free!!!
•••winner of "2002 AoM Forum's Coolest Name Award"•••
•••••••Another Fabulous Post by WhoAskedU!!•••••••
People just complain about other people's Signatures because
they aren't smart enough to make their own.

[This message has been edited by WhoAskedU (edited 01-02-2005 @ 04:38 PM).]

putdownpete
Banned
posted 01-02-05 05:44 PM CT (US)     22 / 27       
lol, Who ... Ensemble is gradually making this more of a military game ... rich.

That's why they are calling it 'Age of Discovery', cause you're gonna discover how to kill people better.

You can't even fight battles within Europe, which is where all the REAL battles were fought at the time, so how do you figure this is about military?

Look to Rome:Total War to provide some insight. A battle campaign for people who love fighting (and wouldn't know the difference between eating corn, skinning aligators, looking for gold in mountain streams or finding a route to the Pacific). And a campaign map where the violence of battle can be entirely avoided.

My great hope is all the natural born murderers go back to playing Half-Dumb, Counter-Jackoff, Quaking-in-their-boots and the like ...

AND I SURE HOPE TO HELL THIS GAME DOESN'T INVOLVE THE WHOLESALE SLAUGHTER OF NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES.

And, personally, I hope I've killed my last 'villager' under some false premise that this was ever an issue in war, just because game designers don't or can't deal with the issue of slavery.


Wijitmaker
Squire
posted 01-02-05 06:15 PM CT (US)     23 / 27       

Quoted from last paragraph of PCGamer article:

But his other favorite saying is law: “Differentiate and innovate, but don’t imitate,” declares Shelley. The mantra guides not only the look and feel of Age of Empires III, but also how Ensemble views its own going mission. Because unlike most games in the usual grim, bloodthirsty RTS genre, Age games are chiefly about exploration and – dare I say it – hope .

WhoAskedU
Squire
posted 01-02-05 09:02 PM CT (US)     24 / 27       

Quote:

lol, Who ... Ensemble is gradually making this more of a military game ... rich.
That's why they are calling it 'Age of Discovery', cause you're gonna discover how to kill people better.

You can't even fight battles within Europe, which is where all the REAL battles were fought at the time, so how do you figure this is about military?

Then tell me why there lowing the amount of resources, simplifying the economy, and intensifying the military strategy? It doesn't matter about where and when the game takes place, its the gameplay that gives the emphasis on military.

Quote:

My great hope is all the natural born murderers go back to playing Half-Dumb, Counter-Jackoff, Quaking-in-their-boots and the like ...

Oh, now I see, your just here trolling...

Move along guys, there's nothing to see here.
Oh, and if your going to try and make a "witty" statement by changing a games name...then at least try and think longer than four seconds about it before you type it out...


At my signal unleash HELL.
God Bless America, Land of the Free!!!
•••winner of "2002 AoM Forum's Coolest Name Award"•••
•••••••Another Fabulous Post by WhoAskedU!!•••••••
People just complain about other people's Signatures because
they aren't smart enough to make their own.

[This message has been edited by WhoAskedU (edited 01-02-2005 @ 09:16 PM).]

Hellberg
Squire
posted 01-29-05 01:03 PM CT (US)     25 / 27       
http://www.aoe3forum.com/albums/album01/shot_23.jpg

This picture is interesting. The thing in the bottom right corner to the right of the cannon, is that the marker? Looks unpractical.
Hughe cannons by the way!

And what are those things in the top right corner? Looks like beems of light. Anyone have an idea?

And oh yeah, it probably don't mean a thing, but one of the civs has very distinct yellow and blue colors. He he..

But as i said, probably don't mean a thing.

The_King_Emu
Squire
posted 02-05-05 07:59 PM CT (US)     26 / 27       
I CANT FIND PC GAMER

IS IT OUT IN ENGLAND HELP?

MUST READ PC GAMER ...

GRRRRRRRRRRR


ENGLAND IS SO SLOW
ANY HELP

The_King_Emu
Squire
posted 02-05-05 08:00 PM CT (US)     27 / 27       
EDIT-
IVE GOT OTHER PC GAMERS BUT I CNT FIND THE AGE OF EMPIRES 3 1
HELP ME
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