Ask Sandy VII

Article written by Sandy Petersen
Published on 12-01-1999
Tags: , ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 2×2 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

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

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

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

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 him…is 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

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

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’

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

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

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

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

A) No.

Q) Are you guys at ES planning to make an official

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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)