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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:
Firebird
OD Core Group
posted 01-16-05 06:03 PM CT (US)     26 / 42       
I'm glad to see this will be using ESO as well instead of the zone.

Help HG get rid of Firebird
Blake
Squire
posted 01-18-05 05:19 AM CT (US)     27 / 42       

Quote:

I'm glad to see this will be using ESO as well instead of the zone.

I didn't think the Zone was that bad, will ESO have any significant advantages over the Zone?

I'll probably have to upgrade everything in my computer except my graphics card, lol.

Blake


Come to the dark side, we have cookies...
rondp1120
Squire
posted 01-19-05 09:53 PM CT (US)     28 / 42       
Hm, are you guys forgetting the Native Americans? I'm sure you'll be able to pick one or two different tribes, such as the Sioux and the Araquoi's (forgot the spelling sorry_. It also says that the type of shading engine needed is the new 3.0 shader, which is only found in the new GPU's. For example the GeForce 6 series which run at the market for at least $300 +. I believe upgrading your video card will be essential for game play and I read the article and it was said that not only are they trying to make the best RTS game, they are trying to make the best PC game to date .
Blake
Squire
posted 01-20-05 00:05 AM CT (US)     29 / 42       
I think Natives are not usable by players, only by AI.

Blake


Come to the dark side, we have cookies...
four hundred babies
Squire
(id: Lord_Fadawah)
posted 01-20-05 01:34 AM CT (US)     30 / 42       
The Zone's a good multiplayer service, too bad it doesn't have router/firewall support for AoE and AoK.

And Blake, could you please stop writing whole posts in red text?

Blake
Squire
posted 01-20-05 05:12 AM CT (US)     31 / 42       
Sorry Lord, I do this on every forum, and will continue to do so unless I am told to stop by a moderator, I do not believe it is against any of the rules so their is no reason for me to stop. If you have any other issues with me, or red text don't hesiate to tell me

Sorry to bring this off-topic.

Blake


Come to the dark side, we have cookies...
Xingjianma
Squire
posted 01-20-05 08:49 AM CT (US)     32 / 42       
Hey Blake, nice to see you again. I thought you had disappeared from AoKH completely. How did the Hawkeye clan go?:P

.\/
/\ingjianma/
|____
Proud Member of TWH since 2007 and AoKH since 2004
Seleucid AAR|Sarmatian AAR | Spain AAR
Blake
Squire
posted 01-20-05 08:22 PM CT (US)     33 / 42       
I didn't think anyone would remember me, it's been about a year since I've been here.

Yeah, I'd pretty much given up on AoK and AoKH, but I decided to come back when I heard AOEIII was announced.

And I don't know about Hawkeye, as I said I pretty much gave up on AoK, I should check into the Zone and have a chat to some of the people I used to play with/against.

Blake


Come to the dark side, we have cookies...
Cheruscan
Squire
posted 01-20-05 09:19 PM CT (US)     34 / 42       
My first impression was that the other 5 European Civs(France, Britian and Spain are given) would include Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, and Germany.

However recent events and photo images seem to have confirmed Russia, Germany, Portugal and Netherlands.....or at least a majority of people believe this.

With that said, my bet is that Denmark will not be in.

Sweden is my pick for sure.......any one play Imperialism II?..... Sweden is in there.

She was an European' naval power 1500-1800 and had colonies in America,Sweden rose to power during the 30 years war and was a European military force until 1815 following the defeat of Napoleon.

Bet on Sweden!The best professional land army in Europe was the "Karoliners" circa 1700's "Great Northern Wars".


"The Greatest pleasure is to vanquish your enemies and chase them before you,to rob them of their wealth and see those dear to them bathed in tears,to ride their horses and clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters"...Ghengis Khan



[This message has been edited by Cheruscan (edited 01-20-2005 @ 09:29 PM).]

AOC Freako
Squire
(id: aoc_freako)
posted 01-21-05 07:48 PM CT (US)     35 / 42       
I'm not sure if this has been asked too many times (if so, sorry), but will there still be a map editor? Wonder how hard it could be placing all those tiny details..

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ T H E F R E A K O ________
· Proud Forumer of AOKH ·

[This message has been edited by AOC Freako (edited 01-21-2005 @ 07:48 PM).]

Aro
AoKH Dictator
posted 01-22-05 00:11 AM CT (US)     36 / 42       
They are extremely likely to have one, although I don't think they confirmed anything about it yet. The last think they'd want to do is leave SD community stranded.

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

[This message has been edited by Aro (edited 01-22-2005 @ 00:13 AM).]

Caeser89
Banned
posted 01-24-05 06:16 PM CT (US)     37 / 42       
Well from what you said about the graphics, I think that counts my PC out of AoE III, lol !
nuevointi
Squire
posted 01-26-05 00:30 AM CT (US)     38 / 42       
Someone mentioned Amercian Conquest: Fight Back, and I must say its a bit tilted to the Europeans especially with the Inca's and there lack of horses. I perfer to see the Inca's versus the Egyptians, Huns, Romans, so forth and so on.
In as much as I am excited about seeing the new Age of Empire, I am also bracing for disappointment. As South American military leader Simon Bolivar will not be considered. All he did was free an entire Continent. Lets not also forget General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, who organized peasant farms against the French, this is also known as Cinco de Mayo. These are military leaders who unfortunately are overlooked because of a decidedly eurocentric focus on greed. Just because these American leaders were liberators and not conquerors doesn't mean they should be excluded. And more importantly deny RTS gamers like me to joyously revel in their triumph over tyranny.

Therefore its apparent if Age of Empire is about the 18-19 century then it should pit Conqueors versus Liberators and stay away from the civilization building

[This message has been edited by nuevointi (edited 01-26-2005 @ 01:36 AM).]

Blademaster_23
Squire
posted 01-29-05 02:37 AM CT (US)     39 / 42       
Hi i am posting here after some time,and to be honest i'm a little nervous about AoE III.It looks like a lot is changing from the previous AoE titles in terms of gameplay...home cities,etc.but i hope it goes good

Can someone tell me what the minimum system requirements for AoE III are, if anyone has any idea

AQu01rius
Banned
posted 01-29-05 11:16 AM CT (US)     40 / 42       
There should be Asian civilizations, right?

[This message has been edited by AQu01rius (edited 01-29-2005 @ 11:17 AM).]

sSc_Cobra007
Squire
posted 01-29-05 11:30 AM CT (US)     41 / 42       
And do you have any idea how the editor will be like (I'm talking about the scenario editor)?

___-=@#'=-___
_|Battle-Of-Thermopylae|_
|_-----Battle-Of-Falkirk-----_|
|_-------------------------_|
=~"-=
doctorgonzo
Squire
posted 02-03-05 11:34 PM CT (US)     42 / 42       
Sweden/Dutch should really be consolidated, considering most colonization was done by Dutch explorers in the name of the Swedish crown, Sweden wasn't much of a world power, especially after their defeat by Peter the Great.
Seriously, consolidate the Dutch and lets see Russia as a civ. They were only one of the most important civilizations in history.

Tonight we dance, for tomorrow they release the dogs.

ESO2. I'm not that great.

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