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Topic Subject:Age of Empires 3 - Complete FAQ
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Elpea
Hal
(id: lp_usa)
posted 01-03-05 00:08 AM CT (US)         

Age of Empires 3 -
What we know, what we think we know, and what we hope we know! - Document written by Elpea - Last updated at January 3nd 2005
For better display, you may look at this FAQ on a separate HTML document here.

Introduction:
Age of Empires 3 is the third installment of our beloved Age of Empires series, Age of Empires, or what we usually call AoE3 promises innovative gameplay, top of the line graphics, and a great multiplayer. This article will tell you, part by part, what we know, and what we're 99% sure of, just so you're up to date on this exciting title.

Current Development Stage:
'Feature complete
': gameplay, technology and features all are now all fully understood by ES, and only need polishing and finishing. Also, Ensemble Studios and Microsoft have officially announced the game, and promised a second half of 2005 release.

Gameplay:
Age of Empires 3 will feature a new feature rich gameplay, here's info gathered from magazine articles and general information gathered up to now:

  • Civilizations - AoE3 will feature 8(eight) different civilizations, up to now we know of the The French, Spanish, and the British.
    • The French -
      • Bonuses:
      • Can more easily ally with native American tribes.
    • The Spanish -
      • Bonuses:
      • Get better support from home city.
      • Unique Units:
      • Redoleros: Infantry using a sword and a buckler.
    • The British -
      • Bonuses:
      • Strong economy.
      • Villagers are produced faster.
      • Unique Units:
      • Musketeer 'Redcoat'), Foot Musketeer.
      • Longbowman: Foot Archer.

    There is STRONG belief that the following nations will also be in the game:

  • The Netherlands (Dutch)
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Ages - An Article on PC Gamer states that AoE3 will, as far as they've seen, have four ages, which are:
    • Discovery - No information on this age yet, but from the PC Gamer article, this is likely the age where the player has to "discover" the new land, and colonize it, thus beginning the game.
    • Colonial - No information on this age yet.
    • Industrial - No information on this age yet.
    • Imperial - No information on this age yet.
  • Resources - AoE3 will have only 3 resources (unlike the 4 resources featured in the previous games from the series). In AoE3, the player no longer will have drop-off points, so every time a villager collects food, it will instantly go to your stockpile, instead of the villager having to carry it over to the Granary or Mill first. These are the known resources featured in Age of Empires 3:
    • Food - Although it's not sure, this resource will most likely be collected by hunting, farming and gathering.
    • Wood - 99% Sure this resource will be gathered from chopping down trees and collecting the wood from them.
    • Coin - Not sure how this resource will be collected
  • Technology - AoE3 will feature a "home-city" gameplay, not much is known about the Home-city, except that it will play a large role on your tech tree. You get new techs by sending resources to your Home city, and you get technology back, as far as I know.
  • Natives/Diplomacy - Players will be able to build "outposts" by native tribes, those outposts in turn will grant you the right to make unique units dependant on which native tribe you built your outpost to, if you conquer 4 outposts in a game, you win (sorta like wonders in previous Age games). Below will soon be a list of known native tribes, since there's currently none, nothing to see yet
  • Units - None yet. (to see the unique units, please look under the civilizations).

Graphics:
Age of Empires 3's design team, Ensemble Studios, promises a breathtaking advance in RTS graphics, AoE3 will feature a heavily modified Bang! engine, which will feature many top-notch stuff, such as:

  • Havok 2 Physics Engine - Now this is a huuuuuge thing, if you're wondering what a physics engine is, you can visit my thread about Havok and how it affects AoE3.
  • Shaders - Modern general-purpose consumer computer processors (CPUs, such as the Pentium 4 and Athlon) are comparatively slow at complex math operations, making large-scale math-intensive graphical effects impractical for high-performance operation. Graphics cards, however, are extremely good at performing these math operations quickly. Shaders allow some of this graphics work to be offloaded from the CPU to the GPU (graphics card). A few older cards had a primitive version of shaders, called register combiners, but these were short-lived as full shaders followed quickly.
    Newer versions of shader support on graphics cards allow more complex programs, increasing the amount of work which can be offloaded to the GPU.
    • Vertex Shader 3 - Vertex shaders operate on the geometry of objects, which is made of many point called vertices which define the shape of the object. Vertex shaders are simply small programs which run on the graphics card, doing these operations. Vertex shaders typically are given the task of transforming objects into screen space (from 3d to 2d), skinning objects, primitive lighting, and similar tasks.
    • Pixel Shader 3 - Like vertex shader, pixel shaders are small programs that run on the graphics card. These programs, however, operate on individual pixels (small colored dots that make up the computer screen). These programs do things such as texturing an object, advanced lighting, reflections, and other such effects.

      *Special thanks goes to Angel Pete for the explanations on the above*

Single Player Campaign:
The single-player campaign then follows the course of American history up through 1850 and up, ending right before the start of the American civil war. Here are some known facts about the campaign, mostly extracted from the February issue of PC Gamer:

  • Roughly 24 scenarios long, each lasting about 40 minutes, which translates to about 16 hours of campaign.
  • Campaign will be divided into 3 acts, each featuring a separate generation of the same American 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.
  • It will be a fictional story, but featuring real world events, the family portrayed on the campaign is also fictional.

Multiplayer:
The Multiplayer in AoE3, will feature eight different civilizations to choose from, but only three were confirmed: The British, the French and the Spanish. In Multiplayer, players will have their ranks as their Home City, the better your home city, the better your rank, and the better the enemy you'll face. Nothing much has been released about the multiplayer, but it will most likely use a new ESO (Ensemble Studios Online).

Release Date:
All arrows point to an October/November release, but ES can always change that.

Screenshots:
Age of Mythology is now the host of every known Age of Empires 3 screenshot known of, you can access them at our Screenshot Gallery.

Others(misc):
Here's the other stuff I couldn't find a place to put it under:

  • Destroyed buildings can damage nearby units and buildings at random when collapsing/falling.
  • The game doesn't have a subtitle, it's simply Age of Empires 3
  • A units list is being created by Theris and me, please wait until we finish.

Special Thanks:
-Theris
-Angel Pete
-ES for making the awesome Age Series.
-Aro
-Ancient War


[This message has been edited by Elpea (edited 01-04-2005 @ 07:41 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
Elpea
Hal
(id: lp_usa)
posted 01-03-05 00:19 AM CT (US)     1 / 42       
Updated -

Added two more sections.


MW
Squire
(id: Medieval Warfare)
posted 01-03-05 04:45 PM CT (US)     2 / 42       
@Elpea

Update the civ. Here is some information.

Quote:

The British have a great economy and can get villagers more quickly. Their best unit is their Musketeer (the famed "Redcoats" of the Revolutionary War), but if a British player wants to change history by investing in Longbowmen well into the 1700s, they can do that as well. The French can ally with Native Americans more easily, and have a special villager, the Coureur, that can double as a light infantry. The Spanish get more support from the mother country back in Europe than other civilizations. They have several unique units, including the famous Redoleros (sword and buckler men).

Elpea
Hal
(id: lp_usa)
posted 01-03-05 05:46 PM CT (US)     3 / 42       
I updated, thanks anyway

MW
Squire
(id: Medieval Warfare)
posted 01-03-05 09:12 PM CT (US)     4 / 42       
Possible Fourth Civ:
German (More Like Prussian..maybe)


Match.

Proof:

Quote:

One of the wealthiest merchants and shippers working in the South Pacific in the 1860's


[Link]
Civil War Era...

Can it be?

-MW

Elpea
Hal
(id: lp_usa)
posted 01-03-05 09:58 PM CT (US)     5 / 42       
I'll be updating the FAQ soon.

Elpea
Hal
(id: lp_usa)
posted 01-03-05 10:28 PM CT (US)     6 / 42       
Updated - you may now see the FAQ here.

sapphirez
Squire
posted 01-04-05 10:51 AM CT (US)     7 / 42       
Wait a minute...Denmark and Sweden? They weren't part of the colonization of America or the discoveries at all, or were they? Though, I'd like to see these civs in the game as I'm from Sweden myself. Sweden did play a big part in European history during the 18th century.
Shrink
on the trender train
posted 01-04-05 12:28 PM CT (US)     8 / 42       
I think we'll definately see some Eastern civiliastions to colonise America. If they only put in Japan. There aren't enough European nations which were that important, and the company knows at least one eastern civ will be positively received.

stoneops
Squire
posted 01-04-05 06:30 PM CT (US)     9 / 42       

Quote:

Discovery - No information on this age yet, but from the PC Gamer article, this is likely the age where the player has to "discover" the new land, and colonize it, thus beginning the game.
Colonial - No information on this age yet.
Industrial - No information on this age yet.
Imperial - No information on this age yet.

Shouldn't it be

Imperial
Discovery
Colinial
Industrial

since it starts off where AoK left off which was Imperial age and then ends in the Industrial age?

Elpea
Hal
(id: lp_usa)
posted 01-04-05 07:40 PM CT (US)     10 / 42       
I got this info from PC Gamer, and I'm pretty sure it's the right order.

Butter_Weasels
Squire
posted 01-04-05 09:10 PM CT (US)     11 / 42       
"Imperial
Discovery
Colonial
Industrial"

thats exactly what I was thinking, maybe ES just didnt feel like making sense when they came up with the ages.


Current Project: Diablo II: Act 1 "Sister's to Slaughter"
Progress: 20%
Release Date: March 30th '05 or before that
omgwtflol
Squire
posted 01-05-05 01:42 PM CT (US)     12 / 42       
Im sure Portugal will be one of the civilizations, it was the biggest Empire in that time and check this aoe3 art, you can see the old Portuguese flag:

[JPEG, (76.04 KB)]

edit:
Here it is:

This was Portugal flag from 1830 to 1911.

[This message has been edited by omgwtflol (edited 01-05-2005 @ 02:14 PM).]

MW
Squire
(id: Medieval Warfare)
posted 01-05-05 04:36 PM CT (US)     13 / 42       
Nice find. Good work, Detective.
Just a chip of the old block eh?

-MW

Deathmatch
Squire
(id: Darkmaster)
posted 01-05-05 06:54 PM CT (US)     14 / 42       

Quote:

Musketeer'Redcoat'), Foot Musketeer.

Might want to fix that, since it looks as if you're upset that the British have the Musketeer as a UU.

And what age isn't Imperial? It makes little difference where they place the Imperial Age, since European nations have been conquering other nations throughout the time period AoEIII is supposed to be set in.

The Industrial Age encompasses the unification of the thirteen colonies and the independence of the United States.


-1

[This message has been edited by Darkmaster (edited 01-05-2005 @ 06:57 PM).]

Gamer man
Squire
posted 01-06-05 09:20 PM CT (US)     15 / 42       
i know industrial age is generally thought of as the 1820's when nations began to industrialize (catching up to where england was at the time). but the imperial age is gernally thought of as 1880's-1914 when europe began conquering africa and asia en-mass. I didn't think it went that far...

Moooers are remembered, chirpers never die, splashers are invincable

doctorgonzo
Squire
posted 01-06-05 09:22 PM CT (US)     16 / 42       
Why isn't Russia listed? Not only was Alaska colonized but they also (albiet briefly) established Forts in California. I'd say they would be at least one to speculate.
SchighSchagh
Squire
posted 01-07-05 06:57 PM CT (US)     17 / 42       
correct me if im wrong, but russia didnt really colonize. they just kinda claimed a bunch of land, and sent a few people there. they didnt actually tame it, did they?

- SchighSchagh
lastchance02008
Squire
posted 01-07-05 07:31 PM CT (US)     18 / 42       
In the third screenshot http://aom.heavengames.com/gallery/aoe3-earlyshots/aba
what are the flags flying on the buildings? I'm not very famliliar with flags before what they are now and the current flags of Spain and France are not them so which country's is it?

[This message has been edited by lastchance02008 (edited 01-07-2005 @ 07:41 PM).]

stoneops
Squire
posted 01-07-05 07:47 PM CT (US)     19 / 42       
It's a former flag of Germany. Many other threads have said that.
lastchance02008
Squire
posted 01-07-05 07:50 PM CT (US)     20 / 42       
Oh, I looked but didn't find anything on it. Thanks
doctorgonzo
Squire
posted 01-07-05 10:56 PM CT (US)     21 / 42       
You're right, they set up a few temporary forts (remnants have been discovered during the goldrush, If I remember correctly) and didn't stay for too long. I just really want to see The Russians in this game and I'll do anything to justify it!

Tonight we dance, for tomorrow they release the dogs.

ESO2. I'm not that great.

Ikki
Squire
posted 01-08-05 09:30 AM CT (US)     22 / 42       
Umm, russia did plenty of colonisation and taming in alaska.

Yeah, I join the crowd of demanding Russia to be in!

Lysimachus
Squire
posted 01-11-05 08:38 AM CT (US)     23 / 42       
What about System Resources? Does anyone know what those are? How will my ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 128 and Athlon XP 2700+ handle it with 1Gig of DDR PC3200?

Just to let you know, I run Empires: Dawn of the Modern World at highest graphics without a flaw. Very smooth. I hope AoE3 won't be overkill and force me to upgrade, as I won't be receiving any money for upgrades in a long time.


~Lysimachus - Former HG Angel for Rise & Fall Heaven || Was RaFH Game Info Admin || Proud Member of HG since 1998
Bajamba
Squire
posted 01-12-05 08:06 PM CT (US)     24 / 42       
I have a GeForce4 MX 440... so I think i'm gonna have to upgrade for this game. But I think your processor and RAM will be fine.

Everybody Believes Bajamba!
Farlander
Squire
posted 01-15-05 05:25 PM CT (US)     25 / 42       
Because of Ensemble's inattention we now know a few other civilizations which will be there for sure. So, since we know already about Garmany and Portugal, don't you think it is time for ES to announce them?
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