Ask Sandy VII

Article written by Sandy Petersen
Originally published on 12-01-1999 ; updated on 03-13-2017
Tags: General Info, Ask Sandyman, Interviews

Q) Would giving the Mongols the Final Archer armor upgrade and final calvary upgraded unbalance the game?

A) Probably not, considering how much weaker AoK horse archers are than AoE ones. But then there's probably no single tech tree change that would "unbalance" the game in and of itself. The game is not so delicately arranged that, say, giving the Goths Gold Shaft Mining would suddenly make them a game-winning powerhouse. The tech tree differences between civs are for two purposes: first, to add flavor and difference between the civs; second and less important, game balance.

Q) there is a way to start up Age of Empires from a command line and have it automatically connect to a given IP address. But this is not publicly documented.

A) It's not a secret but I don't know the answer.

Q) Why can't villagers dismantle buildings and walls to recover a portion of the resources involved in building them?

A) Extra complexity for minimal return.

Q) Any plans from Ensemble to host an Age of Kings tournament?

A) I think the Zone is considering it.

Q) Has there been any internal discussion about possible balancing changes in a pre-expansion-pack patch?

A) Yes.

Q) Shouldn't Ensemble Studios have a position where a person plays games during the entire work day?

A) No.

Q) Is Ensemble considering, or in the process of, having two primary projects running simultanously?

A) If we don't, we'll never be able to do anything but strategy games. Because strategy games are our bread and butter and we can't afford to stop doing them in the forseeable future.

Q) Is Ensemble considering any type of persistant world game like Everquest (only strategy)?

A) Not for the Age series. At this time.

Q) Why is it that you made the civ tech trees a lot fuller than in AoE/RoR?

A) We decided it's more fun to have the civ differentiation be based on bonuses rather than tech tree.

Q) In RoR you introduced logistics to encourage infantry use - do you think that such a thing is likely for an AoK expansion?

A) No - infantry is both popular and effective in AoK. In AoE, infantry was definitely a weak link. We might introduce bonuses to enhance units that we perceive as unpopular, though.

Q) why did all of Europe fall into a Dark Age?

A) Because people willingly sold themselves into slavery for protection against raiders and barbarians. In essence, people agreed to become serfs in order to support a small warrior elite. Eventually the threat of raiders diminished, but the warrior class remained behind, and then _it _ became the oppressor. In addition, the destruction of the Western Roman Empire, the retreat of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the defeat of the Islamic invasions of Europe meant that the civilized tradition of cities, townsfolk, and trade was gone, replaced with an agrarian regime - everything was based on farmland. A knight or lord was measured by how much land he owned. Serfs were part of the land. This order of things did not change until cities once more began to rise in importance, and infantry (i.e., non-mounted soldiers) began to be able to compete with the knights in armor.

Q) in the Dark Ages did the Church have more power than the King?

A) There was a constant uneasy rivalry between these two forces. In general, however, local prejudices and traditions were always more important than the Pope's latest orders. In theory, everyone kowtowed to the Pope. In practice, everyone did just what they wanted (just like today). In the later middle ages, the church started to acquire some substantial economic power and held lots of land. The response? The noblility started to turn against the church, because _they _ wanted that land for themselves.

Q) Do you have on your License plate something like "AJOEMPR" or "ES"?

A) Sadly no.

Q) You seem to know an incredible amount of information. It's probably because you don't watch TV.

A) well ... I find it hard to imagine that watching TV would _increase _ my knowledge.

Q) What kind of settings would be good to play against the computer and would also balance the civs the best?

A) Coastal & Continental are pretty balanced, because civs that get ship bonuses don't get cheated out of them, yet land civs are also still viable.

Q) It looks like Empire Earth might redefine RTS games. Are you guys at ES quaking in your boots?? If so, are you guys considering retirement?

A) We hope that Empire Earth is a planet-shattering success. The RTS world is big enough for us to wish them the best of luck.

Q) How can a cavalry archer shoot flaming arrows?

A) He gets them out of the same magic knapsack that contains all those extra scimitars for the mamelukes.

Q) What are your views on PC software piracy ?

A) It's an excellent way to ensure that PC software will be 1) expensive, 2) low-quality, and 3) unoriginal

Q) I strongly disagree on this too. A person who wants to buy a Pirate copy wants it cheap.They probobly wouldnt buy the original in the first place.

A) In the first place, I don't care if you disagree or not. I was asked for my opinion, and it hasn't changed. If every single person who buys a pirate copy would be certain to never buy an original, then it would be true that piracy would have no effect on the industry. If you think _ that_ however, I have this terrific bridge for sale ...

Q) do you think that the gamers give you enough credit for your work

A) I think that generally speaking gamers are completely unaware of who does the games (this does not apply to members of the various forums). I think most folks just think that companies like Rareware, Blizzard, and EA produce games as if by magic, and never really think about the process that goes into them.

Q) do you play the game much

A) Almost every day. I played it this morning in a 2x2 and my team was gloriously victorious, largely thanks to my team-mate, Desperado. I helped a little, though. I was Chinese.

Q) Considering that the normal units all look the same regardless of the civilization, why didnt you fix colors on the specific civilizations?

A) So you can have the same civ be on two (or more) different sides. Also, we have only 8 colors and 13 civs.

Q) Is there an opportunity for the XPack to visually enhance the stone mines on the mini map?

A) Have you tried the resource-only view?

Q) Is there an opportunity for the XPack to enhance the outlining of the elevations?

A) We could I suppose. But it might look kind of nasty. We tried to make it as obvious as possible without cluttering up the map any more.

Q) Is Ensemble the only company that publishes strategy guides for AOK?

A) Ensemble doesn't publish strategy guides. They're all done by some other company. I promise.

Q) Do you think AoK will come to a console, such as Dreamcast?

A) Yes.

Q) Do you hope AoK will come to a console?

A) Yes. Purely for selfish financial reasons, though.

Q) Have you considered designing console games?

A) We have never ruled out console games.

Q) Do you own a Dreamcast, and will you buy a Playstation 2 when it comes out?

A) No. Yes.

Q) Was a game placed in the americas ever talked about?

A) Yes.

Q) Why was the regenerating forests feature dropped, and so another couple of features?

A) It's so incredibly rare to run out of wood that there was no point in adding a complexity to the game for something totally ahistorical (i.e., people didn't let forests regrow much in medieval times). Other features that were dropped were invariably dumped for one of three reasons:

1 - it wasn't fun (example: boarding galleys)

2 - it made little or no difference, and so was not worth the trouble. (example: different unit art for the different civs, so that a Japanese spearman looks different from a Frankish spearman).

3 - it invalidated some other feature that we wanted even more (example: a research item that upped the armor of siege weapons; we wanted siege weapons to stay vulnerable)

Q) One of my Islamic friend said that ES must had permission to include buildings such as Mosque and The Dome of the Rock in AOk. Is that true?

A) No. They're public domain.

Q) after I build a wonder, my computer ally stops militarily

A) The idea is that he's supposed to be on the defensive. He'll still respond to attacks. I agree that perhaps it would be better if he were defensive next to the wonder. One solution? Build your wonder in his town.

Q) Is it documented anywhere what the attack ratings of different units are when garrisoned?

A) I've seen it in this very forum.

Q) Do computer players ever garrison military units?

A) No.

Q) Do computer players ever use formations other than the default column?

A) No. Neither do I.

Q) The artists must have been inspired by some real buildings for the design of the 13 wonders. Some of them I can guess (Chartres Cathedral for the Franks, the Pleasure Dome at Xanadu/Shangdu for the Mongols?) but some I have no idea. Do you know what they all are?

A) I know what most of them are, but not all. Some are composites, and represent no real building.

Q) What do game designers eat for breakfast?

A) Nothing.

Q) Out of the traditional board games, which one do you like to play most? Which is the best designed, in your opinion?

A) "Best" is hard to quantify, but three undeniably brilliant boardgames are Go, Diplomacy, and Cosmic Encounter. These games are very close to perfect, in that no single rule can safely be messed with. In fact, some of the later rules additions to Cosmic Encounter undeniably make it less fun to play.

Q) What was your original inspiration that lead you to pursue computer game programming as a profession?

A) I backed into it by accident, never intending to do so.

Q) What was the name of the first game that got you "hooked" on gaming?

A) Clue

Q) what were your 5 most embarrassing moments as a beginner at this game?

A) I was never really a "beginner", because I was in on the game from the start, and thus always had a theoretical understanding of what was going on. However, this didn't save me from incredibly stupid blunders. I apologize for the magic red dock arrow. I don't have time today to list all my blunders. Maybe at a later date.

Q) Do you think that Joan of Arc really looked like a supermodel like in the movie, and if so, do you think her solders ever asked her out? And if so, where would they take her?

A) I would say that we have absolutely no evidence that Joan of Arc was particularly attractive. None of the contemporary documents describe her as beautiful. Personally, I don't think it was important - who cares how handsome Abraham Lincoln was? Joan of Arc's seminal importance had nothing to do with her appearance. I think she had to try really hard to keep from playing favorites among her soldiers, and if they wanted to take her out, I would suggest a small French bistro. Or maybe a passion play.

Q) In the windmill in Kakariko village there are 2 openings on the outside. There is something in one of them at least, for I have seen it in the cinematic that comes on when you first play the song of storms to drain the well. I think it a quarter heart.

Do you have any idea how to get into those openings?

A) I have gotten into both those openings.

Q) Since were on the subject of Kakariko village anyway whats up with that guy whose sitting on the roof and can't get down? Is there a way to get him down?

A) When you go there 7 years later he's still there, but he's learned to like it.

Q) What about the guy on top of the long ladder who claims that he cant bear anyone to be above there a way to get above him?

A) No.

Q) Also, I dislike the fact that there is another sword better than the Master Sword (the mighty evil-smashing sword).

A) but if you use the big sword you don't get your shield.

Q) I also dislike the stilted dialogue in this game.

A) this is a side effect of being translated from Japanese I suspect.

Q) Americans seem to love unscrupulous people.

A) I categorically deny this.

Q) what is your favorite temple?

A) Mormon

Q) John, Paul, George or Ringo?

A) Believe it or not, Ringo. He did more for drummers than John, Paul, or George did for their respective elements. Consider: Ringo was the first drummer to sit on an elevated platform. Buddy Holly's drummer had to stare at Buddy's backside. Ringo was up high, where the fans could see him. Also, Ringo was the first drummer to hold both sticks in the now-standard style (like clubs). Before his time, drumsticks were held in the classic snaredrum fashion - Ringo made it clear that rock & roll required strength. Two last things about Ringo's greatness - first, he had perfect timing. This was pretty damn important to the Beatles when they were doing takes of a song, and didn't have all the modern electronic gear - when they had to stop and restart, Ringo assured that they did so at the exact same beat speed. Finally, Ringo never ever did a drum solo. Well, okay he did one (1), but ONLY one. When I think of the years I've wasted listening to lame-brained drum solos in rock songs ... ARGH.

Q) Why cant I come to ES in a few years?

A) Finish college first.

Q) Also what should I do when my little sis all of sudden "wants" to use the computer as i sit down??

A) hide a candy bar in her room. Then tell her there's a candy bar hidden in her room. She'll depart to find it. Don't cheat - if she ever decides there's not really a candy bar, you can't use this technique any more.

Q) When I try to select a large group of units, not all of them get selected. Maybe only 25 or so. Why is this?

A) There has to be a limit. It think it's 40 for AoK.

Q) Do you think modifying the rule so that "ALL members of a team must complete and hold a wonder for a team wonder victory" would make wonder building a more reasonably balanced option?

A) Wonders already have to last longer in a multiplayer game. In other words, a wonder in a 2-player game doesn't have to stay up nearly as long as a wonder in a 4-player game. Isn't this enough?

Q) do you know why the christian countries (Western countries) use the arabic numbers and not the roman numbers?

A) The arabic numbers kick major butt over the roman ones. Try doing a multiplication problem in roman numbers and see how far you get. This is true for most arabic inventions, actually - such as makeup, medicine, and chemical analysis, for instance, which all had to make their way to the west after the arabs created them. You see, during the Dark Ages, the arabs weren't in a Dark age (only Europe was). I regard it as one of the major causes of the Dark Ages that Charles Martel drove back the saracens at Tours. If he hadn't, Arab science & education might have influenced the Europeans much sooner, to my ancestors' benefit.

Q) Do you know the name of the book writen by the dominicans Kramer and Springer that defined satanism and actually created what satanism is to day?

A) Malleus Malificarum, but a better definition of medieval satanism is Murray's "Witch-Cult in Western Europe"/

Q) I have recently read an old preview of aok talking about units having an attack bonus against other units when attacking them from behind. This sounds like an awesome idea and I am curious as to why you did not implement it.

A) It proved to be confusing to use in practice. If we were a wargame instead of an RTS, it might have been worth working on it.

Q) I was wondering if you had a big stack of Doom2 software somewhere? My friends and I are going to play a little Doom2 via serial link for old times sake but we were hoping to get an old patch which turns the imps into missle shooters (instead of the fire balls). Any chance you know about that patch?

A) I don't have that patch any more. I also don't know where to get the blaster patch (the one that turns your pistol into a 1000-point damage shooter)

Q) What's your favorite type of Pizza?

A) Hawaiian.

Q) Do you play AoK on the zone as Candy@$$?

A) No.

Q) Why do you answer these questions?

A) I must be stark raving mad. No other explanation covers the known facts.

Q) currently living in Texas, what do you think about W. (George that is)?

A) I think he's a fine governor.

Q) Who's idea was to make King Shah turn into a photon man when attacking?

A) What on earth are you talking about?

Q) Cthulhu or RuneQuest?

A) It is emotionally impossible for me to make a choice here.

Q) which one is actually #1 in your household, AOK or Pokemon?

A) Gaming: AoK. Trading: Pokemon

Q) when buying and selling frome the market is their a limit on the current exchange rate? What I am asking is their a limit to how high the cost of exchange increases?

A) There is no upper limit. At least, when I tried to find one, I was able to get prices up to 900+ without stopping.

Q) Do you believe that some of these guys in here respect you too much? Especially when they don't even know you? Seems like some of these guys think you're a god or something.

A) Don't sass ME, disrespectful mortal!

Q) Where'd ya go?

A) MicroSoft.

Q) Did the sandman bring Sandyman a dream?

A) I have extremely vivid dreams, often nightmares, almost every night. Which I remember, I mean. I realize that I dream every hour or so all night long like everyone else, but not everyone seems to remembers their dreams (or have as many nightmares) as do I.

Q) Do any units have a more powerful attack when garrisoned than alone?

A) Yes. Villagers.

Q) Can a Castle be thought of as a fat tower so that a Castle may use heated shots against ships?

A) You can think of it however you want, but they don't get any benefit from Heated Shot

Q) Can a TC use heated shots against ships?

A) No.

Q) Considering that a ship is in the water and a Tower is on shore (and therefore 1 elevation unit higher), is elevation of no importance to heated shots? to towers vs. ships in general?

A) Elevation is important, but the shore elevation does not count. You have to have additional elevation above that to get a bonus vs. ships.

Q) Did your mom ever fuss at you for your sarcasm when you were a kid, I know mine sure does.

A) I was not sarcastic to my mom.

Q) Do you consider being 15 still a child?

A) Absolutely.

Q) Did you watch all the James Bond movies during the fifteen days of oo7? (Not counting the last few days since it hasn't gotten there yet)

A) I don't watch TV, even when it's showing something I know I'd like.

Q) Is having a degree from Stanford in some type of gaming field (one related to work done at es) good enough to get into es? (just curious as i going there in two year)

A) Having a degree from Stanford is not sufficient to get a job at Ensemble. We don't really care what college you go to, or if you go at all. We are results-oriented.

Q) Do you think Micro$oft will compensate people that have bought aok? Since we all know they put subliminal messages into it to make it more addictive.

A) I think the fun you get out of it is supposed to recompense you for the addiction. Just as with heroin.

Q) Why do you spell Micro$oft with an s instead of a $ like the rest of us?

A) My way is easier to type.

Q) Eon or Mayfair?

A) I own both. I think Mayfair has done a terrific job of keeping the game alive. I prefer the Eon artwork, though.

Q) How many powers?

A) One per player.

Q) What's your favorite combo?

A) When I am the Vulch attacking the Insect (or vice versa) , and I have the Plague Edict. I Plague one of the other players. Then the Insect (acting as the Vulch) picks up my discarded Edict and Plagues that guy again. Then I pick it up again (after all, I'm the Vulch) and Plague him yet again. We keep this up until all the other players have lost all their cards and all their tokens are in the Warp. Then we finish out the challenge.

Q) Can you clarify what consoles you were talking about? There's the Dreamcast, PS2, Dolphin, and X-Box.

A) We have no emotional ties to any of them. We will base our decision purely on sordid monetary considerations. (I.e., which console seems to be selling the most.)

Q) I suggest ES_Sandyman that it is in the best interests of ES & MS and the Heaven sites and the children that frequent this forum that you retract and explain this Heroin reference.

A) No.

Q) Are you guys at ES planning to make an official anti-trainer?

A) So far, trainers do not appear to have been working in AoK. We have not seen a single successful one, and one of the leading trainer authors has explained extensively in print that it seems impossible to do a multiplayer AoK trainer (we don't care about singleplayer). We have been sent a number of recorded games that ostensibly show players "suddenly" getting a lot of gold or whatever. In every case, the rise in gold is accompanied with a sudden drop in some other resources (can we say "Market!"). No other evidence of a successful trainer has arisen. I'm not saying it's impossible. But it sure seems hard, and we've closed off most routes.

Q) Do you live on a texas ranch far away from the cities ?

A) No.

Q) How can you not watch TV ? You design games but yet no TV.

A) I believe that I am a better game designer BECAUSE I don't watch TV. The hours that I would have wasted watching TV I waste playing video games and watching movies instead.

Q) Did you ever have a c64 ?

A) No, but I had an Atari.

Q) And if you did do you miss those days ?

A) Not in the slightest.

Q) How the heck do you get in those 2 small openings in Kakariko? I have tried everything!

A) You have to be the adult Link to do it. You can't do it as a kid.

Q) Do you have a favorite console company at all, or favorite third-party console game developer?

A) I really respect Rareware and SquareSoft.

Q) What genres of console games do you like the most, since the genres are so completely different from the PC?

A) I like 3-d action games like Donkey Kong 64. I also like roleplaying games.

Q) Do you feel that consoles and PCs will continue to coexist as gaming platforms? I do not believe that consoles will ever replace PCs, because the few attempts to bring PC elements to the TV have been horrible eg. WebTV.

A) I think that eventually consoles will catch up to PCs in quality and then they will replace them as gaming platforms.

Q) What ISP do you use at home?


Q) What are your opinions on the Hittites that lived in Anatolia for centuries during the AoE time period (for my Ancient Civ course)? Did they really have exceptionally powerful siege?

A) Very little is actually known about the Hittites. They were feared for a century or two, and they got keen iron weapons from _someone _. I doubt they had amazingly more powerful siege than any other civilization, but it made them fun to play.

Q) It seems to me that your little "snotty" when you come on here, try giving a best responses to people.

A) If I have to read all these questions, by gum at least I can write answers that amuse me, too. If I couldn't have some fun while writing these things I'd stop.

Q) After talking to Desperado In the rated rooms he stated plainly on me asking him that the Teutonic tc range "may be" taken out in the x-pack. Yet still the los will remain. Was he pulling my chain or are you considering this?

A) Please do not post things in the forums that are revealed to you privately by ES company employees. At best, it is indiscreet. At worst, it is a small betrayal of trust. I will just say this - Desperado would be the lead programmer on the X-Pack. If we did one. Just as I and Deathshrimp would be lead design. If there was one, that is.

Q) is it still piracy if the only time I play the copy loaded on my machine is VS kid bro over zone? Becasue they both came from the same disc?

A) Let your conscience be your guide.

Q) Is your _use_ of _underscores_ to add emphasis?

A) It is my substitute for italics.

Q) I was watching a recorded game of the computer last night, and it did one thing that was particularly strange: After building its barracks at approximately 7 minutes in, it created three units--who then slaughtered the nearby boar!

A) I wonder if the boar had earlier attacked and killed one of the CP's villagers?

Q) you don't watch TV, but you DO watch movies, don't you?

A) I love movies.

Q) I just watched Alexander Nevsky for the first time, and I am curious about your take on this, propaganda overtones aside. I thought the scenes of the battle on Lake Chudskoye (Peipus) were very well done, and the Teutonic Knights were dead on to AoK's rendition of them. BUT, which civ best represents the Russians as portrayed in Alexander Nevsky? The Goths? Nevsky DID appear to have some fearsome axemen, but for the most part I saw spear-armed militia and some light cavalry.

A) In previous postings I have recommended Alexander Nevsky as perhaps the greatest medieval action flim ever made. What civ best represents the medieval Rus? Good question. Goths or Celts I suppose.

Q) What do you think about including some western civilizations that were in power over in the Americas during the Age of Kings.

A) If we were doing an X-Pack, the subject would already have been chosen. Personally, I love the Aztecs, Incans, Hurons, Sioux, Yanomamo, and Mayans.

Q) what is the reason for having a maximum selection number, by that I mean the number of units that you can select at once?

A) I am told that trying to path & formation more than a certain number of units makes the CPU chug. Probably the physical limit is way higher than the actual limit in AoK, though.

Q) ) Is there any way to get your villies and say, militia or maa in a formation??

A) Villagers and sheep won't go into a formation. Damn civilians.

Q) But I would like it if there was a button on each unit, that would determine what enemy units they attacked first.

A) Here is what they do now. First, they try to get to and kill the unit you just clicked on. If he's inconvenient, they'll attack any other unit of the same type that's available. If none of them are convenient (or if they're self-targeting), then they'll attack other units depending on which units they can most easily kill. In other words, if one of your light cav is presented with a villager & a paladin at the same time, he'll go for the villager. Of course, he might see the "wrong" one first, and even if a new target shows up while he's on his way to whoever he picked first, he won't stop and retarget. And I suspect you wouldn't want him to.

Q) where can I get a copy of Cosmic Encounter?

A) E-Bay doesn't have any?

Q) how do you feel about people who expect public figures and society to do the job of parenting for them?

A) I think they ought to be sterilized before they can reproduce. Note that I do _not_ think that a person who complains about a public figure's bad example necessarily falls into this category. Heck, I complain about public figures myself, but only about what I perceive as genuine sins or crimes, not jokes about heroin.

Q) Were you as disappointed with C&C: TS as the rest of the world?

A) No. But I didn't expect as much.

Q) Have ES players been playing under a "no teuts" rule in their network games, like everyone on the zone? I guess what I mean by this is, has the problem been recreated there at AOK central?

A) We do not have a no teuton rule here - we're trying to fix the problem after all, and how could we if we weren't able to play teutons? In any case, our fixes appear to have been successful so far. We are doing extensive further testing to make sure we haven't opened up any new cans of worms.

Q) Was Joseph Smith a travelling magician and snake oil salesman? something I heard. Or maybe not the magician part... or maybe not the travelling part... anyway, something like that.

A) Not in my opinion. I regard him as a modern prophet of God. In any case, he never claimed to have any sort of magic nor did he ever work as a salesman. He DID do lots of traveling, mostly involuntary.

Q) (Willyem_Wallace) If I were an expansion pack for AOK, what would my name be?

A) The same, except you'd spell William correctly.

Q) When designing AOK, was there ever discussion on gunpowder; whether to exclude it from civs, whether it unbalaced the game,etc.

A) We had lots of discussion on it. It boiled down to the fact that, despite the popular modern perception, gunpowder didn't fundamentally change the nature of warfare for around 150 years. Knights in armor were still able to mow down rows of arquebusiers; pikes and swords were still used by infantry; archers continued to be competitive with gunners. The biggest change was in fortifications - the old-style castles was no longer so impregnable. New kinds of walls & forts were developed that were good vs. cannons though. Probably the big change that ended the medieval days was not gunpowder - it was changes in infantry tactics. Once infantry became effective in combat, the feudal ages were doomed.

Q) what is ES/MS(if you know it) policy on a back-up disk?

A) Dunno the official policy, but I can't see anything wrong with people making a hundred back-up disks if they want. Once they buy the game, it's theirs. So long as they don't distribute their back-up copies to other people.

Q) You say infantry is popular in Aok. No one will use infantry against me in a zone game though. Do you think it is because I am playing the byzantines?

A) No. You're saying you never see berserks, champions, pikemen, teutonic knights? I find this quite astounding.

Q) Would you name some civ's that aren't going to be in the x-pack?

A) Eskimo, Bulgar, Finno-Ugaritic, Moghul, Yanomamo, Ruritanian, Swiss, Cornish, Manchurian, Pygmy, Hawaiian, Beatnik, Seminole, Neapolitan, Serb, Parisienne, Chechnya, Cossack, Neanderthal, Albanian, Vietnamese, Australian, Cockney, Basque, Lithuanian, Tibetan, Martian, Zulu, Easter Island, Navajo, Portuguese, Bavarian, Austrian, Ukrainian, Texan, Muscovite, Laotian, Javanese, Armenian, Yiddish, Esperanto, and Upper Voltese.

Q) Blizzard originally wanted to release Diablo 2 in late '98 but now are saying it will be "first quarter '00". I know you're not a Blizzard employee, but what happens in the game development process that throws the release date so far off? Maybe they keep trying to adapt it to current technology? Could it just be poor management of the process or just laziness?

A) It's rarely "laziness". Some common reasons for games being delayed include: bad time estimates (AoK), people leaving the team (Daikatan)