Archived News From March 1998

Due to the old age of most of these news items, all hyperlinks have been disabled. It is also not possible to comment on any of news. They are presented in their current form purely for your reading pleasure - it's the closest thing to a time machine we can offer you!

News: March 31
Posted by Archangel on March 31st, 1998 @ 6:19 p.m.

Not much going on in the way of ground breaking Age of Empires II news. I have seen a couple other Age II sites post a preview of the game, but its just the same preview fact sheet seen here in Heaven, in a different format, nothing new.

As we close out another month, Heaven is only 45 days away from its ONE YEAR anniversary as an AGE site. Yes its true, on 15 May 1998 Age of Empires Heaven we be one year old! Thanks - None of the this would have been possible without the great support of the Fans and rocking game from Ensemble Studios that made it all possible.

Reminder: Heaven Contests - at Age of Empires Heaven

Age of Empires Heaven Stories Contest
The stories contest still continue in the tavern. 14 Great Battles Stories and 16 Multiplayer Stories have already been submitted so far. You have until April 6th before the contest ends, so get your papyrus and quill and start writing. - Omnivac

Scenario Design Contest
Today, Heaven proudly announces the debut of the scenario design contest. You can get all the information here and start designing right away. We expect high quality works, and the winners will be in the spotlights for everyone else to see and download their masterpieces at the end of the contest. Here's your chance to prove that you are the best. You have until the end of April. - Omnivac

I wish to thank the Microsoft Team (and more importantly - Chris De Cesare) for supplying the prizes for our latest contests! If you get a chance jump on over to the MS Gaming Web page and check out two of their very Kewl new Games - Outwars (is an upcoming, mission-based, 3rd person action game) and Urban Assault (Earth lies in ruins, the end product of a post apocalyptic nightmare of biological destruction. To add to your problems, aliens have arrived to clean up this mess).- The Archangel

News: March 29
Posted by Archangel on March 29th, 1998 @ 2:59 p.m.

Finishing up with some last comments by Mark Terrano

Next Projects:

[MTerrano] I can't give specific details, but I can tell you that they will be absolutely best-in-class games - we are a company of game fanatics , and we are completely committed to doing games that we can't stop playing (we still play Age of Empires all the time).

Coorperation with Microsoft?:

[MTerrano] We really love working with the team at Microsoft - they really helped us turn out a fantastic product with Age of Empires, and we have the same team on Age 2.

Age of Empires III?:

[MTerrano] Whew, we'll probably start thinking about that once we are finished with Age of Empires II - of course, I can't say I don't already have a wish list :)
News: March 28
Posted by Archangel on March 28th, 1998 @ 9:15 a.m.

The Building Set comments from Mark Terrano

[MTerrano] The building set is very similar to what you expected from Age of Empires - castles and towers with new abilities will definitely change your defensive strategies. Having gates that you can open and close is another great change. Already the graphics have been improved substantially - they are more colorful, more varied, and have much more detail than anything we have done so far. They are also larger - they seem in-scale with the units.
News: March 27
Posted by Archangel on March 27th, 1998 @ 6:15 a.m.

AOE II Cooperative Mode comments from Mark Terrano?

[MTerrano] We have mostly added convenience features, and a lot of robustness to our Internet games. Games are much more likely to survive through very bad internet performance, dropping players, and the other hazards of playing online. As in Age of Empires, there will be a cooperative game option, and some other diplomatic options that give you some new ways to play as well. Our Multiplayer game, and having a free matchmaking service (the Internet Gaming Zone)is very important to our strategy. Our Random Map feature has been one of the features that we are most proud of - we're happy that players are still battling out games in the thousands, and still can't decide which civilization is best. Expect to see some more interesting random map options in Age of Empires II.

Today we have another Age of Empires II site to visit. Here is the information from the Webmaster:

Age of Empires II Myriad is a new site. It will focus on the developments of the strategy-game Age of Empires II and will have an extensive archive of what little information we have on AGE2 right now. The site will be easy to use and feature many new technologies. AoE2M will grow as ES releases more info about AGE2, and will likely have exclusive information to come.

Just doing my daily rounds of News Sites, Gaming Sites, etc.. (Where do you think we get all this information? - Hard work and many hours of surfing the net!) and came across some new information (at least new to me) at the Zone. Under the "Scoop" they have "Zoners vs. Zone Team in Age Battle", "What Did Shelley Say?", "Age of Empires II Sneak Peek" and several other articles of interest. Well worth you time to check out. - The Archangel

News: March 26
Posted by Vidguy on March 26th, 1998 @ 4:25 p.m.
Just added a new Voting Poll question for everyone. "Which Civ are you most looking forward to playing?". Hmmm... there are 12 civs listed there, even though we only list 11 on your Civilizations Page. Hmmm...could this be one of the "secret Civs"? Hop on over and cast your vote! - Vidguy
News: March 26
Posted by Archangel on March 26th, 1998 @ 6:37 a.m.

Mark Terrano talks about Monks:

[MTerrano] Monks are a bit different in Age2 - they still do healing, and they can convert some units - but they do not convert buildings you can take over buildings by killing the guards, breaking into the building, and repairing the building back up to a working state). Healing is also available at buildings (moastaries, churches, keeps, and castles).

Today we also have another good Age of Empires II site to visit. Here is some information right from the Webmaster:

DeVoe's Dark EMPIRE is fastly becoming one of the most popular AoE/AoE 2 sites on the Web. The high points are large daily to semi-daily news updates plus a huge comprehensive links section, with a small review for each site. Not to mention the huge units list that got this site so popular in the first place! Check it out! - Clay 'DeVoe' Moline

Happy Aging - The Archangel

News: March 25
Posted by Archangel on March 25th, 1998 @ 6:39 a.m.

Heaven Contests - at Age of Empires Heaven

Age of Empires Heaven Stories Contest
The stories contest still continue in the tavern. 14 Great Battles Stories and 16 Multiplayer Stories have already been submitted so far. You have until April 6th before the contest ends, so get your papyrus and quill and start writing. - Omnivac

Scenario Design Contest
Today, Heaven proudly announces the debut of the scenario design contest. You can get all the information here and start designing right away. We expect high quality works, and the winners will be in the spotlights for everyone else to see and download their masterpieces at the end of the contest. Here's your chance to prove that you are the best. You have until the end of April. - Omnivac

I wish to thank the Microsoft Team (and more importantly - Chris De Cesare) for supplying the prizes for our latest contests! If you get a chance jump on over to the MS Gaming Web page and check out two of their very Kewl new Games - Outwars (is an upcoming, mission-based, 3rd person action game) and Urban Assault (Earth lies in ruins, the end product of a post apocalyptic nightmare of biological destruction. To add to your problems, aliens have arrived to clean up this mess).

I have had a chance to play a little Outwars (beta copy), and its get a two clouds up from the Archangel ! Well worth you time to check out the MS Gaming Site for more information. Also Gamestats has got a good review of the game posted on their site, which is "Thee" place to find out all your latest Gaming News from. - The Archangel

News: March 25
Posted by Archangel on March 25th, 1998 @ 6:17 a.m.

Mark Terrano comments again, this time on AOE II AI:

[MTerrano] I know that our Age of Empires AI played a very good game without cheating - and we were very pleased at how well we compared to the other state-of-the-art games that came out in 1997. I think our fans will really notice some improvements in Age2's AI - as we are designing an all-new expert system based AI - because it has to handle trade and diplomacy as well as combat. Expect a cunning computer opponent that we hope will be nearly as devious as the friends you play with on a regular basis.

Today's "Borrowed" ES Cam Picture was sent to Heaven by one of the Kewl 3D Art Dudes.. Duncan McKissick. Duncan tells me this is a picture of the party they had for Scott Winsett, Thonny Namuonglo, and Sean Wolff. It was their two year anniversary with Ensemble Studios! :} - Duncan McKissick, Computer Animator

In case you haven't been keeping up with your ES Folk Lore, Scott is a Lead Artist, Thonny a 3D Artist, and of course we all know Sean "Lord Soth" is another 3D Art Dude. Congrats!

Well here it is! One of our fellow Age of Empires II sites with a little mouth watering information on his site.

The Temple -- Remastered provides you with daily news, all the latest info on AoE I & II, it has a forums listing, all the AoE II info you can handle, screenshots, extra's, multiplayer and add-on section, cheats, etcetera! - Greetz, K_x

Well worth your visit! But don't tell anyone that the Archangel visits his site daily ;).

Bruce Shelley Chat Excerpts of the Chat of February 23 conducted on the Zone, have been posted in the The Zone. Thanks to MrSnappy for this information. If you don't know who MrSnappy is, you haven't been to the Zone much! MrSnappy is one of the Head Sysop Dudes there, drop by and tell them Heaven sent you. - The Archangel

News: March 24
Posted by Archangel on March 24th, 1998 @ 6:14 a.m.

Mark Terrano, On some of the other improvements in Age of Empires II:

[MTerrano] Combat has been improved as well - we have smarter units, with new AI and 'orders' such as guard, scout, and patrol. Battlefield formations let you have a lot more control of groups of units, especially in large battles. The maps are much larger, 300% in area - so an 8 player map can have a lot more room to grow and expand before you have to fight for territory. There are many more changes, but I think you can get the idea that Age2 has everything you liked in Age1, but we've added a lot of convenience features and some exciting new gameplay elements.
News: March 23
Posted by Archangel on March 23rd, 1998 @ 5:34 p.m.

A letter from a fellow AOE II webmaster:

Today, you posted something on AoE II Heaven about not linking back. You critizesed webmasters for not linking back when we got info from your site, and said Zx75 was one of the few who did link back. For a start: I myself also have a website ( The Temple Remastered ) about AoE and AoE II, and I link back to my sources as much as possible, AND I have both AoE Heaven and AoE Heaven II buttons on my main page!!! So please mention this on you page, so not everyone visiting my page starts thinking I'm some sort of thief!! That's all, and no hard feelings, but please put this right!- Greetz, K_x

Oops.. Your right K_x! - And you have been listed in the AOE II Links section since day one. I didn't mean to upset anyone, my comments were not meant to target your site or MANY of the other great AOE I and II websites or webmasters, just two. To make up for my lack of good judgement, I will take a short paragraph from each AOE II webmaster (That uses Link backs) and posted it up in my News section (this section) concerning information about your site so the fans will have a good look at some of the other great AOE II sites. Starting with yours K_x, send it on in!

As a related note, all Interviews are available for use on all Websites (without a link back required) as are all the "Webmaster" graphics that are seen on AOE II Heaven now (Uncut, Unedited and in Original Format as received). If you have a AOE II website and need some of the screen shots graphics, etc. Let me know and either Vidguy or myself will send you this URL. - The Archangel

News: March 23
Posted by Vidguy on March 23rd, 1998 @ 2:40 p.m.

Smog's AOE Page hosted a public chat/interview with ES Music Director, Chris Rippy and ES Designer, Ian Fischer. Unfortunately because it was on IRC, the participation was limited to about 9 people at it's max (including myself and fellow Angel, Omnivac). Because the guys had to actually get some work done it was over with in just over a half an hour. Check out Smog's for a transcript of this interview, but here's a funny tidbit from the interview:

ES_Ian: Tell em about the elephant sound, Chris.
ES_Chris: I dropped a fake tree...and the elephant died.

Heh...heh...now I'll be thinking of a fake tree every time I hunt an elephant! - Vidguy

News: March 23
Posted by Vidguy on March 23rd, 1998 @ 2:40 p.m.
It seems the good folks over at Smog's have a bit of a problem with us not announcing their big upcoming interview with ES Music Director, Chris Rippy. Well, unfortunately we didn't get any email from them notifying us of a time for this big event. If you are here early enough there still might be time to catch Chris on IRC, EFNet, channel #gamerz at 5PM CST. In case you don't have IRC or missed the timeframe, be sure to read up on our interview with AOEII Lead Designer and all around RTS God, Bruce Shelley here. - Vidguy
News: March 23
Posted by Archangel on March 23rd, 1998 @ 6:13 a.m.

Trading and economy comments by Mark Terrano (One of the designers of Age of Empires II along with Bruce Shelley). - The Archangel

[MTerrano] Trade, economy, diplomacy, and exploration play a very important role in Age of Empires II - our main goal was to not increase the complexity for our existing fans who love the strategic combat - but to make playing an economic player or an economy-only game a real, viable, option. With a much more interesting economy and marketplace system (that is still easy to use) we have really opened up some new strategies - economic this time.
News: March 22
Posted by Archangel on March 22nd, 1998 @ 12:08 p.m.
Must be getting old :) The Gamestar information was supplied by - Digichuck. Thanks Digichuck! - The Archangel
News: March 22
Posted by Archangel on March 22nd, 1998 @ 9:02 p.m.
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Gamestar a German Mag has some kind of Age of Empires CD included in the 4/98 issue. Sorry I wish I had more information, but my German is worse than my English :) - The Archangel

Age of Empires Special: Desktop-Theme, Grafik-Editor, Kampagnen-Editor, KI-Editor, Neue Kampagnen, Neue Szenarien, Sound-Editor, Tempo-Regler.
News: March 22
Posted by Archangel on March 22nd, 1998 @ 9:58 a.m.

Mark Terrano comments again, this time on new civilisations and technologies.

[MTerrano] There are all new technologies appropriate to the middle ages, from sieges to banking, and everything in between. There technology tree is even more interesting than Age of Empires - but I'll leave the specifics as a surprise for now...you won't be disappointed. All of the civilizations are new for Age of Empires II. Age2 uses the familiar Age of Empires mix of civilizations - we have 13, each with their own bonuses and liabilities.

Special note to ZX75's AOE2 Page. Nice page guy and updated often. Thanks for all the Link Backs to Heaven. zx75 has one of the few AOE II pages that doesn't "Borrow" from Heaven without posting a Link Back. Are you a webmaster? and don't understand "Link Backs"? I would suggest reading my "Rants" on webmastering. - The Archangel

News: March 21
Posted by Archangel on March 21st, 1998 @ 10:40 a.m.

Mark Terrano shares a little more insight on Age of Empires II. This time, about the Time Period that will be covered in AOE II.- The Archangel

[MTerrano] One of the most exciting periods of history - the Middle ages. Our time span is the entire middle ages - from 450 to 1450, from the Dark Ages until the end of the Castle period. For historical background we will have detailed information on the history of each civilization, a description of each unit and technology, as well as the gameplay effects each introduces.
News: March 20
Posted by Archangel on March 20th, 1998 @ 4:20 p.m.

Before we post our little bit of Age of Empires II information for the day. Does anyone have or seen the Add-On CD Scenario Disk made in Germany? I have a couple reports that it is out. If you have it or have information about it, please drop Vidguy or myself a line.

The following little news is from Mark Terrano (Designing Age of Empires II along with Bruce Shelley). It doesn't seem that long ago that Age of Empires I turned gold, so Mark lets us know how they were able to jump on to their next Rocking Game so fast. - the Archangel

[MTerrano] We are using similar technology to Age of Empires, our very flexible Genie engine. Since we had a running game to start with, we could get right into playtesting very quickly. We also have had a lot of feedback and response from AOE Fans, as well as knowing the features we wanted to add to Age of Empires but didn't have the chance to. Having played a several thousand games has really given us a feel for the things we wanted to add.

Whoops almost forgot about this one :) Old Hamlet would never forgive me.

Heavens Tavern Contest

Yep - today is the day. Contest is starting and will run until April 4th Noon PST - Winners will be announced Monday April 6th.

CONTEST OUTLINE :

Write a story for "By the Fireplace" - either Great Battles or Multiplayer Experience. The 2 best stories will awarded an original Microsoft Age of Empires T-shirt (black with AOE logo).

Best story does NOT mean that you won a game - or that you told somebody off in a multiplayer experience - or that its the longest - or shortest. Even if you stink in spelling you could still win - it's not about that either.

Best stories will be selected from 3 criterias : Atmosphere, Humour, Lesson learned. Heavenly judges will be Alexander I, MacRat and Algernon. Their judgement can not be disputed - not even by Innkeeper. As far as I know, they won't take bribes - but hey, you could try :-) No Angel or judge can participate in contest Any number of stories can be entered by the same Player All submitted stories are automatically entered in contest - this includes stories already submitted Winner stories will be published at the AOE Heaven front page Now get to The Fireplace and let everybody know about your best - or worst - multiplayer experiences. Hey - summer is not to far off. Wouldn't it be cool to go surfing in a Microsoft Age of Empires T-Shirt?

Jump on over to The Tavern to get all latest information.

As Vidperson (ah.. Vidguy) said yesterday, those cool dudes at Ensemble Studios got themselves a Live Studio Cam. mmmmm... I (of course) checked this out quite a few times today (at work I might add :) and saw some really strange things are happening there! I hope they are spending equal amounts of time in front of their computers as they do in front of the camera .

I grabbed this off their camera today, don't ask me what its about, because I don't have a clue want it means. - The Archangel

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News: March 19
Posted by Vidguy on March 19th, 1998 @ 9:15 p.m.

Well....this time we have clearance from the Pentagon to release this information to you all! :)

Ever wonder what goes on in a gaming company's offices at 4 AM in the morning? Well, here's your chance to find out!

Ensemble studios now has a new Live Studio Cam on their "Information" page. Head over there to see what's happening at any time of the day or night. The image refreshes every 10 minutes, so there's not much time for anyone to be napping <grin>. - Vidguy

News: March 18
Posted by Archangel on March 18th, 1998 @ 8:37 a.m.

You may have seen our early post (below):

"Word is that there will be 15 Civilizations in the game and 4 building sets. For those of you doing the math at home, that equates to one building set for each the ages; Dark, Feudal, Castle and Gunpowder".

Well the acutal word is NONE of the information is fact, just a wild rumor. Sorry for any inconvieince this may as caused, in the future we will triple check are FAN sources before posting anything. - The Archangel

News: March 18
Posted by Archangel on March 18th, 1998 @ 6:35 a.m.
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Age of Empires Heaven Has got a brand new Area! - The "Tavern" is one of the biggest things to hit a Age of Empires Fan site in a long time. Drop by and pay our sister site a visit. - The Archangel

Hi All! Welcome to the Tavern in the sky! Age of Empires Heaven's very own place to meet people - and maybe grab a bite and a beer.

The Tavern is a place for experienced Multiplayers - AND players all new to playing via the Internet.

If you're new to Internet Multiplaying - we have info on the all the How To's

Played a great game - or had an odd Multiplaying experience. Go tell your story By the Fireplace

Setup game arrangements in the special Veni, Vidi, Vici Players forum

OR - use the forum to arrange a special chat-event for The Tavern's Chat Room

Find friends with common interests in the ICQ list - and get on the list yourself - and maybe even create a special place for you guys in the Special Interests section.

Don't know what ICQ, IRC, Kali, Zone is? Well - Innkeeper and his friends have advice ready for you in Getting Started.

Don't feel bad about if you're a newbie. Maybe only about 10-15% of ALL the AOE players in the world have ever tried to play AOE via the Internet. Considering that AOE has sold more than 1 million copies worldwide you can safely count on meeting other newbies here :-). When you're ready - go to the forum and talk to other players and make friends - and enemies.- The Innkeeper

News: March 17
Posted by Vidguy on March 17th, 1998 @ 9:35 a.m.

Word is that there will be 15 Civilizations in the game and 4 building sets. For those of you doing the math at home, that equates to one building set for each the ages; Dark, Feudal, Castle and Gunpowder.

Lately I've been reading a book by Michael Chrighton called Eaters of the Dead, which is about one Arab's account of the "barbaric Vikings". Looks very interesting and historically accurate. I'll try to share some quotes from that over time. - Vidguy

News: March 16
Posted by Archangel on March 16th, 1998 @ 9:35 a.m.

Had an interesting email today.. The jest of which was "Why don't you post more Age of Empires II News?". There is only one answer to that one: "I would post more Age of Empires II News if there was any!" Yes as most of you know - AOEII news is a slow right now. But, I do expect things to pick up soon as we move closer to the release date.

In the mean time if your looking to talk about Age of Empires II, just visit one of our Wish or Discussion forums. Also you can hop right back over to our sister Site "Age of Empires Heaven" which is always busting out with some type of Age News. - The Archangel

News: March 15
Posted by Archangel on March 15th, 1998 @ 9:43 p.m.

The GameStats Website Has Been Redesigned And Updated !! GameStats, a leading online computer gaming magazine has totally revamped their website giving it a really sharp new look and added features! GameStats is very proud to announce that we have given our website a total facelift which is sure to please the online computer gaming community. We will continue to provide a daily update of the latest gaming news, and pointers to other gaming news-sites, reviews, previews, and cool stuff all over the world wide web. We will however be doing this in a way that is even more pleasing to the eye!

GameStats is a unique website in the computer gaming community, providing not only the latest news and reviews that *we* generate, but also on a daily basis we search the web to provide our readers with pointers to innumerable *other* game news websites, reviews, and special features on other sites. We consider ourselves not to be in competition mode with other sites but we like to think of ourselves as cooperating with them. On a daily basis we get email from webmasters from numerous gaming news sites that tip us off to new reviews or other features on their sites. If they are of high quality we happily publish them!

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GameStats also has a small family of hosted affiliate sites who comprise the GameStats News network. These independent sites operate specialty pages which focus on a single issue or game. We are very proud that GameStats currently receives an average of 1,700,000 pageviews per week between The main News Page and our directly hosted affiliates. In celebration of our redesign we have also put up a special feature on Joysticks. Titled 'The GameStats Joystick Extravaganza', this is an incredibly detailed and thorough review feature which examines ten of the most popular joysticks available on the market today. Please stop by and have a look at our new design! We think you will be very glad you did. The special feature can be found Here - Justice T Senior Editor GameStats

News: March 14
Posted by Archangel on March 14th, 1998 @ 9:00 p.m.
A little "Big" thing from Gamestats: We will have something very special for you to gaze upon Monday. Yes it's quite worth it. No this isn't some little waste of time designed to get you here for nothing. Guaranteed worth a look. Matter of fact hitting 'control d' right now might be a very good idea. - Justice T - Gamestats Editor
News: March 13
Posted by Archangel on March 13th, 1998 @ 3:10 p.m.

Seems like Heaven is in the Information Gathering Mode this week! Yes, another form for you to send your Suggestions in on. This one has to deal with Multiplayer: What multiplayer improvements, multiplayer enhancements, or new multiplayer features would you love to see for Age of Empires 2? What is on your wishlist for multiplayer?

This another good way to get your ideas in early. Its early in the development cycle for Age of Empires II, so there is always a chance your idea(s) may be the one that we will see in the final game

What my number one suggestion for "Multiplayer"? (Glad you asked :).. Save Games! Ever battle on the "GOLDRUSH" AOE I MP map? - Tons of fun, but its a good two to three hour game! Would be nice to be able to save a game like that for later play.

The Heaven's friends.txt list has been updated (again) to include the MS and Zone Dudes (thanks to _Lord_Havoc_ for that information!) and another one of those cool ES dudes have been added also. - The Archangel

News: March 13
Posted by Archangel on March 13th, 1998 @ 6:45 a.m.

Bruce Shelley talks to Heaven about Age of Empires II. Mr Shelley was nice enough to take some time out of his very busy schedule to answer a few questions submitted by the "Angels".

This Interview can be freely used on any Age of Empires Or Empires of Ages II Fan Site. - The Archangel

News: March 12
Posted by Archangel on March 12th, 1998 @ 8:03 a.m.
Last Reminder: Play the Age and Zone Teams March 12!
On March 12, members of the Microsoft Age of Empires team and members of the Internet Gaming Zone team will be on hand in the Age of Empires War Cry Room. They'll be available to play Age from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M. Pacific Time.

The Heaven's friends.txt list has been updated to include some of the names of the Sysops/MVP's that will be playing. - The Archangel

News: March 11
Posted by Archangel on March 11th, 1998 @ 10:14 p.m.

Exculsive - hehehe: "Duncan McKissick on Wednesday, 11 March 1998, at 2:50 p.m., in response to Priest Need to stay, posted by Malachi on Wednesday, 11 March 1998, at 2:36 p.m."Monks will take the place of priests in Age2. They work the same but different :}

We all know who Duncan "Reverend" McKissick and Sean "LordSoth" Wolff are! These 3D Art Dudes from Ensemble Studios have been supporting the Heaven Message Forums for close to 9 months now! (Has it really been that long!?!). Thanks again guys for supporting your AOE Fans! - The Archangel

News: March 11
Posted by Archangel on March 11th, 1998 @ 9:45 p.m.

Reminder UPDATE!: Play the Age and Zone Teams March 12!

The Sysops/MVP's will play in their + or * as the case may be. The people from MS will be in the @Zone names. There should be no @MS names, as far as I know now. - Mr Snappy - A Zoner Sysop

The Heaven's friends.txt list has been updated to include some of the names of the Sysops/MVP's that will be playing. - The Archangel

News: March 11
Posted by Archangel on March 11th, 1998 @ 8:55 p.m.

Well it seems "Crescendo" is causing some PC's to crash when accessing "Age of Empires II Heaven". If anyone else is having problems please drop us a line, tell us what your are using (IE or NS), what version and what type of plug ins you are using. This site is developed with IE 4.0 in mind, but we are giving it our best to make it viewable in all Browsers.

Just when you thought the Mid Files wars were finished (Never! - But I am looking for someone to Tone down the volume of the mid File, if you such a person that has the right program to do that, please let me know. I am looking to lower the volume on it to a dull roar :)..

Vidguy and myself and playing around overwriting each others AOEIIH Logos (We are playing? - Aren't we Vid?). You just might see a couple of different ones daily for the next few day until one of us gets tired of doing them or YOU tell us which one you like best. Please email us and lets us know. Do I see another Poll or Form? - hehehe.

AOEIIH has a few voting polls up (just a few :).. But for something different (but the same), we have put up a submit form for your TOP Kewl thing (That we know about) that you are most looking forward to having in Age of Empires II. Is this different than the voting poll - Nay (Sorry just kidding :).. Yes it is - because you can also leave you comments in the form on why you think your #1 choice of the new opinions in AOEII is the best! - The Archangel

News: March 11
Posted by Archangel on March 11th, 1998 @ 7:20 a.m.

Added an EI 4.0 active channel to the main page. Seems to work correctly this time :). If you have EI 4.X and have problems with the channel please let us know.

We are looking at changing the Text Colors on our pages. Its seems that the present colors maybe to "Dark and Creepy" for some Fans? Please lets us know what you think. You can either leave your comments in the Message Forum or bang out an email to Vidguy or myself. Thank you for your continued support.

Reminder: Play the Age and Zone Teams March 12!
On March 12, members of the Microsoft Age of Empires team and members of the Internet Gaming Zone team will be on hand in the Age of Empires War Cry Room. They'll be available to play Age from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M. Pacific Time. Come on out and challenge the people who made Age and the people who bring it to you online! You can recognize a team member by their Member ID. If they have an "@MS" they're from the Age team, and if it's an "@Zone," they're from the Zone. Sound the battle cry! - The Zone

We've also updated our Zone friends.txt list to include most of the ES, Heaven and Gamestats staff. Download it here and then make sure you put it in your Internet Gaming Zone "common" directory. Hopefully we will see a Friends.txt file from the Zone people, if so, I will add their names to the Heaven Friends.txt file also. - The Archangel

News: March 10
Posted by Archangel on March 10th, 1998 @ 4:20 p.m.

No much in the way of Age of Empires II News.. so... Lets welcome a couple of the newest members to "Gamestats News and Gaming Network". (This text was "borrowed" word for word off of the main Gamestats page from Imperious Rex :)

I'm proud to announce the addition of two new affiliates to the GameStats Network.

Serious Gamers - Your one stop directory shop. These guys are building a community links section that up until this point has been impossible for GameStats to do. Welcome Terry!

The Perfect Game - The Perfect Game is for fans of PC Baseball simulations. Started in 1994 as a print newsletter, The Perfect Game made the jump to the web in June of 1997 and the response has been overwhelming. The site is updated frequently if not daily, providing the readership with current information on all PC baseball simulations, both text-based and arcade. Welcome Kevin!

News: March 9
Posted by Archangel on March 9th, 1998 @ 9:35 a.m.

Its hard to find any Age of Empires Site on the Internet that didn't at one time use information and files from "Age of Empires Heaven".

We started "Age of Empires Heaven" on the 15th of May 1997 as the Number One Resource for "Age of Empires". We continued to this day to help Fans and other webmasters any way we can in anything AOE.

In the Heavenly spirit of Helping other webmasters with their Fan sites, the Angels are continuing to support other Age of Empires II Fan sites with a "Webmasters" page. All files on this page are, zipped and in the original formats, for your use.

If you have a new Age of Empires II site, please send me an email with the URL of your present Age of Empires II site. Sorry this special page is for webmasters only, so if you don't have a AOE II Fan page, please don't email me asking for the URL.

Of course none of this would be possible with out the support of the great folks at Ensemble Studios! - The Archangel

News: March 8
Posted by Archangel on March 8th, 1998 @ 8:45 a.m.

I N   T H E   Z O N E

The newsletter of Internet Gaming Zone

March 1998 (#2)
ZONE HITS MILLION-USER MARK!
On February 18, the Internet Gaming Zone announced that it had registered 1.1 million users since its inception in October of 1995. The Zone regularly hosts more than 6,500 simultaneous users during peak times and is matchmaking more than 1.5 million games each month! Thanks for all your support, because we couldn't have done it without you!

ZONE TO SUPPORT NETSCAPE
The Zone recently announced that it would include support for Netscape browser users when it launches the next major Zone release in the spring of 1998. Ed Fries, general manager of the games group at Microsoft, said, "Our members have been asking us to support Netscape, and we're happy to open the Zone to that segment of Web users... However, we feel our greatest achievement is the number of users online at any given time, because that's what's most important to our members -- the ability to find opponents at any time they want to play."

***March 12***
AGE OF EMPIRES -- Play the Age and Zone Teams Night!
On March 12, come to the Zone from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M. Pacific Time to take on members of the Age of Empires team and challenge those who bring you the Internet Gaming Zone. Both Microsoft teams will be on hand to battle Zone members in the Age of Empires War Cry game room. We're practicing our archer rushes and catapult placements right now! See if you can take us down! http://www.zone.com/asp/aoferedir.asp

And a special event will take place for randomly selected Zone members. You may be one of those chosen to respond to an online questionnaire. When you log on to the Zone in the next few weeks, look for a popup quiz that will ask you about your online experiences. We'll take this information and use it to help make the Zone a better place.

Our special Tip of the Month concerns the size of the chat window in the game rooms. Many people believe it's only three lines wide, but that's not true! The chat window works like any other window. Position your cursor over the lower corner of the window, click, and drag to expand its size. Then position your cursor over the small, gray box with the horizontal lines, click, and drag that to expand the number of lines in the chat window. Simple. Try it out!

ZONESTATS

  • More than 1.5 million games hosted on a monthly basis
  • Over 1.1 million registered users on the Zone
  • More than 6,900 users connected simultaneously to the Zone at peak times
  • More than 1,200 users connected simultaneously to play Age of Empires at peak times
  • Currently, there are 288 (!) regularly scheduled game tournaments on the Zone

- From the newsletter of Internet Gaming Zone

Mail Bag
Greetings!
I just wanted to thank You for the incredible work You are doing by maintaining this site. I have been using AOE-heaven for several months - enjoying being up-to-date, and all of the taunts;-) AOEII-heaven is also a beautiful piece of work, and I have confidence in the information I get from this site. Thank You for reading this mail. Best Regards. - Niklas Greve - Copenhagen, Denmark
AOE ROCKS! I love it! awesome page you made! love the CGI and use of frames, the frames aren't a pain in the ars like some pages. - Scott - Eugene, OR USA -
News: March 6
Posted by Vidguy on March 6th, 1998 @ 10:13 a.m.

Looks like the Internet Gaming Zone has posted some material pertaining to AOE II. You can find it here if you have MSIE 3+. I just read it and the information is not much different than what's in the Fact Sheet page. But drop on over and check it out. While you are there take a look at the news about playing against the AoE Team on the Zone!

In earlier NON-news, Archangel mentioned about midi files on the site:

In case you haven't noticed I added a mid file to the Main Age of Empires II Heaven main page. Why did I do this you ask? Well, for the following three reasons:

  1. I like it :).
  2. A few of our readers requested it.
  3. The Vidguy doesn't like it. ;). - The Archangel

Well, I have to say that reason number 3 is ABSOLUTES correct. I hate the fact that it explodes into my speakers without warning. Especially at the office! I think that midi files should be like good little children and speak when spoken to! <grin> As for reason number 2 ... Archy...your wife, son and your dog don't quite count as "a few readers"! Let ME know what you think of the midi file. Should we keep it? Ditch it altogether? of Make it so that you can select to hear it IF you want to? Drop ME a line at vidguy@heavenweb.com and tell ME what you think. We already know what Archy's dog thinks. ;) - Vidguy

News: March 6
Posted by Archangel on March 6th, 1998 @ 6:08 a.m.

Today is the day! Gamestats has started the Outwars Beta Sign up!

Are you ready? Been waiting all week for your chance to get into the Outwars Beta-Testing Program? Well here's your chance! Head on over to the Outwars Beta Test Signup Page right now for your chance at becoming a member of this elite group! - Justice T Senior Editor of Gamestats

Well its not a Age of Empires II beta sign up, but it is one of Microsoft's newest games and visually looks very exciting. - The Archangel

News: March 5
Posted by Archangel on March 5th, 1998 @ 4:13 p.m.

GameSpot News has Bruce Shelley answering few questions about Age of Empires II. Very nice little article, well worth your time to read.

Play the Age and Zone Teams March 12!
On March 12, members of the Microsoft Age of Empires team and members of the Internet Gaming Zone team will be on hand in the Age of Empires War Cry Room. They'll be available to play Age from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M. Pacific Time. Come on out and challenge the people who made Age and the people who bring it to you online! You can recognize a team member by their Member ID. If they have an "@MS" they're from the Age team, and if it's an "@Zone," they're from the Zone. Sound the battle cry! - The Zone

GameCenter Underground is reporting that Ensemble Studios is developing another real-time strategy game called Sorcerer, and the lead on the game is Sandy Peterson. Very Interesting News indeed! ummm.. How does "Sorcerer of the Heavens", sound for a Fan Website name? ;) - The Archangel

News: March 5
Posted by Archangel on March 5th, 1998 @ 6:44 a.m.

I've read all over the place things like the maps being huge (several times AoE's size), the villager taking x minutes to go from one end to the other, the buildings are HUGE (why?)... etc. Several modifications to formations, trade and units, as well as other announced features all seem to contribute to complexity. - Leo Brum

Yes, all of those things do make the game more complex. *BUT*, to compensate for that complexity, we'll be removing/modifying some of the micro mgmt and other areas of AOE1 gameplay. I guarantee you that both games will have a very, very comparable overall length for the average game.

The complexity is a tradeoff thing. As we add complexity in one area that didn't have it before, we'll take it away from another area. - Dave C. Pottinger Engine Lead Ensemble Studios Corp.

You know as well as anyone that increased complexity means also an increased communications traffic. This means also more demands on laggy Internet connections and, consequently, drop-outs. - Leo Brum

There's no correlation at all between these new features and increased traffic. Forming and moving a formation is the same cost (actually less once you have the formation formed) as moving units in AOE1. The implementation of new features is not laggy at all. Plus, when you factor in comm code bugfixes, using Winsock2, etc., then you'll find that AOE2 will actually be much more stable in multiplayer. - Dave C. Pottinger Engine Lead Ensemble Studios Corp.

News: March 5
Posted by Archangel on March 5th, 1998 @ 6:15 a.m.

A little non Age of Empires II news - but very important news never the less. - The Archangel

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
March Fifth, 1998 03:00 PST
Gamestats To Facilitate Outwars Beta Testing Signups

Gamestats News Network is proud to announce that it has been selected to be one of a very small number of privileged computer gaming sites who are to facilitate signups for the Microsoft Outwars Beta Test! Gamestats will open the signup facilities beginning at 00:01 (midnight) on Friday March Sixth, 1998.

According to a prior press release from AC & MS the lucky individuals who are selected for this special program will reportedly receive the following:

  • Exclusive access to a private Outwars newsgroup where the game's creators will answer questions and provide tips and tricks.
  • Exclusive access to the Outwars Gaming Zone beta lobby for multiplayer gaming. Developers from SingleTrac will be stalking the beta lobby looking for games.
  • Participation in multi-player against other beta testers and the development team.
  • Participation in real-time chats directly with developers and other beta testers.
  • A free final copy of Outwars signed by the game's creators

If you are interested in becoming a member of the beta-test team, please visit the Gamestats Website for full details and links to the signup area when it is activated early Friday morning.

In addition, the senior editor of Gamestats recently got an advance look at the beta version of Outwars and he has put together an informative preview about the game including several great screenshots. You may view his Outwars Preview.

Gamestats is a premiere gaming news site on the World Wide Web. Between the Gamestats main news site and its suite of directly hosted specialty affiliates, Gamestats receives well in excess of one million pageviews per week and we are growing steadily. Gamestats specializes in bringing its readers the very best in gaming news on a daily basis. Gamestats is a cooperative rather than a competitive site because we specialize in giving our readers the very best news stories and pointers to the most up to date game news on the web. On a daily basis, Gamestats directs its readers to reviews, previews, breaking news, and other websites of interest all over the web. In addition Gamestats generates its own product reviews, previews, editorials, and stories, as well as numerous other resources for individuals interested in computer games. - Justice T Senior Editor of Gamestats

News: March 4
Posted by Archangel on March 4th, 1998 @ 5:34 p.m.
The larger maps in Age of Empires II: With the larger Graphics in Age2, we enlarged our maps to 300% of the original size. This really gives the effect of having a much larger "world" feel to the game. - Duncan McKissick (Ensemble Studios - 3D Art Dude)
Go to the Vote Now!
What's your number one wish for AOEII? [288 Reader votes so far!]
Able to man walls and towers 77 (26%)
Reusable resources 20 (6%)
Mutli play save games 35 (12%)
Hide behind buildings/trees - Viewable to Owned player only 26 (9%)
Ramming and boarding for ships 27 (9%)
Couriers for diplomacy 23 (7%)
Heros, Kings, Queens, (Scn Editor - Edit name/stats) 38 (13%)

Above are the 7 of the most popular wish items for AOEII (out of the 15) on this poll. Whats the Archangel's Number One Wish? Being able to hide your own units behind buildings, trees, walls, etc and having those units viewable only to me. This might be hard to do, but a simple (maybe) energy bar (like the ones above the present AOEI units) would appear to you where you unit is hiding. I would think this "Wish" would add allot to the scenarios builders and for the ambush strategist.

Remember this Poll is good for another week or so. If you haven't voted for your number one wish - now is the time! - The Next Poll will include some of the FORUM suggestions that were not included in this poll.

In case you haven't noticed I added a mid file to the Main Age of Empires II Heaven main page. Why did I do this you ask? Well, for the following three reasons:

  1. I like it :).
  2. A few of our readers requested it.
  3. The Vidguy doesn't like it. ;).

- The Archangel

News: March 3
Posted by Vidguy on March 3rd, 1998 @ 12:05 a.m.

So I'm sitting here offline (yeah...I know...very rare these days) and reading the latest issue of Computer Gaming World (April 1998). In the "READ.ME" section headlined, "Microsoft Unveils Part of Its 1998 Lineup" there is a TINY little blurb that says this:

"... Some of the software remains top-secret (we can tell you that Age of Empires 2 is under development with all kinds of user-suggested features included, but if we violate our non-disclosure agreement to give you more details, we'll be forced to bundle Internet Explorer with the magazine for the next year)."

Sheesh..and all they had to do was come visit our site for some REAL information! Be sure to check out the AOE Heaven site in the next couple of days for a little "rant" from me regarding their latest "Top 100" section. - Vidguy

News: March 3
Posted by Archangel on March 3rd, 1998 @ 5:41 a.m.

Double sheesh... Seems I left off some "little details" on yesterday's post from over at Gamestats concerning:

Something Wicked This Way Comes
From Gamestats Watch this space.. In the next few days we will be giving you the opportunity to sign up for something pretty special !! If you want to be the first on your ISP to get a look at an upcoming game, keep your eyes here. It will be well worth your time. - Justice T (Gamestats Editor)

It seems this "Something Wicked This Way Comes" (And people talk about my grammar skills :).. is for the Outwars Beta Sign Up... Yeppers, you heard me right a "Outwars Beta Sign up", Another good looking game coming from Microsoft. Better start checking Gamestats to be apart of the action. Sorry for the confusion. - The Archangel

News: March 2
Posted by Archangel on March 2nd, 1998 @ 3:27 p.m.

Age of Empires Heaven! - Wow I am impressed! The Age of Empires Heaven "Angels" are in full swing at our sister site. Tons of daily news, history facts and coming new areas. The Granary Area is overflowing with new scenarios daily, The Town Center is increasing its AOEI and AOEII Links and Resources and all the other "Village" areas are busting out with mega bytes of AGE information. Make sure you stop by and tell them about the fine job they are doing.

Omnivac (One of the Heaven Angels) has complied a very long list of Wishes on his list for the Next Rocking Game from Ensemble Studios. You can find the page here. You can tell he put allot of effort and time in to this and it's will worth your time to check it out. - The Archangel

Something Wicked This Way Comes
From Gamestats Watch this space.. In the next few days we will be giving you the opportunity to sign up for something pretty special !! If you want to be the first on your ISP to get a look at an upcoming game, keep your eyes here. It will be well worth your time. - Justice T (Gamestats Editor)
Read Any Good Books Lately ?
Justice T has just finished a review of Marc Saltzman's Book The Gamers Web Directory. He reviews this book in an informal and laid back style. If you are a hard core gamer or a novice you will be real interested in this book/cd review. - Justice T (Gamestats Editor)
News: March 1
Posted by Archangel on March 1st, 1998 @ 4:22 p.m.

Seems we had a little problem with the voting form, some of the fields we not corrected in the voting script. Please stop by and try again at the Wish List Voting Poll. This voting area is pretty simple, pick (from a list) your favorite wish to be added to AGEII. Sorry but this poll only lets you pick one from the list, but I will take the TOP five from this poll and add it to the next poll with 10 more different suggestions. All these ideas came from the Discussion and Wish/Dream Forums here and it isn't a complete list (by any means) of the over 1,100 great "Wishes" suggested, but its a start. - The Archangel