Weekly News Recap: Patch and the PotC Conqueror
7/7/01 10:56 PST | Xiphoid
Two big events occurred this week in the Age community and I thought I'd do a recap in case you missed any of it. The first is the release of the new Age of Kings: The Conquerors v1.0b patch. This is the official and final release of the patch released in conjunction by Ensemble Studios and Microsoft. Everyone is encouraged to get the new patch, as it will be the standard version required for the Zone, most recorded games will now be on the patch, and because of the numerous bug and gameplay changes. The patch is 4MB and easily installs itself in a few seconds. If you don't have it yet, get it now.
The second big event this week was the announcement of the winner of our 1v1 RM AOK:TC Path of the Conqueror Tournament. Out of 250 players, only one stood in the end and it was StorM_Panther, who defeated StorM_Rising in two games in the final round. Panther walks away with $350US and the runner-up receives $100US. Another big round of applause for Panther as he stands high with the title of The Conqueror.
AOM Center Wallpaper Contest
7/7/01 11:08 PST | Xiphoid
One of the newer sites in the community, AOM Center, is holding an Age of Mythology wallpaper contest with some great prizes including a $150 first prize and ES prize packages. Everyone is welcomed to enter.
AoM Center is putting on the first AoM Wallpaper Contest. The contest will run from July 1 to July 31. In the first week of August, the winning wallpapers will be announced and prizes will be shipped.
Conquerors 1.0b Patch RELEASED!
7/5/01 17:27 PST | Xiphoid
After a lengthy testing and evaluation period, Ensemble Studios and Microsoft have released the final 1.0b version of Age of Kings: The Conquerors patch. Curious what has changed and been added? Check out this page on ES' site which lists the numerous changes to the game. Here are some of the gameplay changes:
-Open ground is always green on the minimap, even on snow or sand terrain.
Also, ES QA-man, Kevin "The_Sheriff" Holme, has written a statement on the reasons for the changes in the patch, which was published in ES' news:
-Black Forest no longer turns up if you select Random Map or Land Random.
-Farms can be queued to 40.
-Fish traps now provide food at a faster rate, about equal to shore fish.
-All archery range units (except hand-cannoneers) now do +1 additional damage to spearman-line units.
-Camels are now as quick to train as spearmen.
-Viking Berserks now move as fast as pikemen.
-Celtic Woad Raiders now move faster (they run faster than Eagle Warriors who lack Squires).
-Bombard Cannons do +80 additional damage to buildings.
-New Multiplayer-only map type "Blind Random". This selects randomly between a number of different map types, and you are not told what kind of map you are playing on.
-Aztecs now get free Loom
-Castles now take 200 build points to construct instead of 150.
-Franks now have the Halberd technology.
-Chinese start with 50 less food than before (for a total of -200 food)
-Bombard Towers now do piercing damage instead of normal damage (the major effect is vs. rams).
-Byzantines get free Town Watch
-Training time for Teutonic Knights, Longboats, Tarkans, and Samurai is significantly reduced.
-Spanish hand-cannoneer and bombard cannons now get a 15% faster fire rate.
-Fire rate for conquistadors and elite conquistadors is also improved.
-Cav archers now have equal range to heavy cav archers.
-Goth infantry now gets its full cost discount in Feudal Age.
-Japanese infantry now gets its full attack speed bonus in Feudal Age.
" Most of the changes we made in the patch were related in some way to fan feedback. We do our best here at Ensemble to keep up with the latest strategies generated from our online community. A lot of ESers have been playing online on the Zone and reading the fan site forums since the day the game was released. We read about (and experienced ourselves online) the problems with Korean onagers, war wagons, skirmishers, fish traps, and the white minimap. We agreed with the many of the criticisms and decided to correct them. After the beta patch was released, we received a lot more feedback, mostly concerned with civilization balance. Because of all our fan feedback, we decided we should try to make some of the slower civs more popular. We took away the Chinese starting food, gave the Spanish a gunpowder bonus, gave the Byzantines a free loom tech, and made some of the slower civs such as the Goths and Japanese a little better by giving them a viable infantry rush. We are confident that the balance is much improved and eagerly wait to see all the new strategies that come out of it. "
After reading all of that.. now you're ready to download the patch and start playing a whole new game. (4MB)
5 0 0 0
7/5/01 18:32 PST | Xiphoid
Our forums have passed a monumental milestone, that of 5,000 members, and I'd like to personally thank each one of those members. Our forums have been up for a few years now and even after hundreds of thousands of posts and a huge surge in the size of the forums, a specific and special community feel of PAOE forums still remains intact. It's amazing how far they've come and how clean and organized they still remain. Cheers to my great team of moderators and the numerous daily group of posters who have really made a heck of a forum culture. Check out what's going on in the forums and if you're not a member join the best discussion you'll find. Here's to 5,000 more!
MGON AOM Preview
7/5/01 18:07 PST | Xiphoid
Media and Games Online Network has done a page-long preview of Age of Mythology offering the usual preview content. MGON gives the game an extremely promising outlook and it sounds as if they were very impressed by the game at E3. Here's a bit from the article:
The game was one of the more exciting looking strategy efforts being displayed at the recent E3 interactive entertainment expo held in LA. For a start Age of Mythology will be the first game in the ‘Age’ series to be played in 3D, and this means you will be able to rotate the map to present the best viewpoint. You will also be able to zoom in and out and look at the conflict from the range that best suits you.
The game also looks better than any of its predecessors with some delightfully detailed new units, brilliant scenery, massive buildings and best of all some truly amazing effects when they power of the gods is a part of the mix. .
POTC CONQUEROR: StorM_Panther
7/4/01 12:55 PST | Xiphoid
It's official, the Conqueror to one of the largest and most significant tournaments in Age history, the 1v1 RM Path of the Conqueror Tournament, is StorM_Panther. Panther defeated his clanmate and fellow expert, StorM_Rising, in two adrenaline packed games. Winning this tournament was a true testament of skill and determination as its roster listed around 250 players, some the best in the world, all vying to be the Conqueror. Not only is Panther named the Conqueror, but he will also reap the winnings of the touranment, as will the other finalist, Rising, and the two semi-finalists, StorM_Requiem and Mimmo.
A huge round of applause for Panther, as well as the other players listed above. A big thanks goes out to Ensemble Studios, who provided the funding for the cash prizes in this tourney. Without them, their unparalleled community support and a great game to base a tournament on, the PotC wouldn't have been possible.
1st Place: StorM_Panther - $350US
2nd Place: StorM_Rising - $100US
Semifinalist: StorM_Requiem - $25US
Semifinalist: Mimmo - $25US
In the final round it was a meeting of two experts, both bearing the StorM tag. Rising was one of the top seeds and most legendary AOK players of all time and Panther was coming into the round riding high off momentum from his hard-earned semi-finals match against StorM_Requiem. In the first and best game of the final series, Panther dug his claws into the map and confined Rising to only a fourth of the map, finally overcoming him. Having added to his momentum, Panther began where he left off in the last game with highly agressive play and managed to contain Rising's entire feudal attack and launch, literally winning the game in fifteen minutes. Though the series did not go three games, it was still enormously interesting to see these two top experts meet in such a high pressure series and here are the games (full write-ups to come soon):
Game 1 - Finals - StorM_Panther vs. StorM_Rising
And here is Panther's full path to the title of Conqueror:
Game 2 - Finals - StorM_Panther vs. StorM_Rising
Finals: defeats StorM_Rising
Again, a huge congrats goes out to Panther on this monumental win. I'd like to thank all the other 245 players who participated in this tournament for making it the smoothest and easiest running tournament I've ever organized. I had a blast pairing rounds and waiting for the results as they filtered in. Thanks and congrats Panther on a job well done! You are the official Conqueror of the PotC.
Semis: defeats StorM_Requiem
Round 6: forfeit by StorM_Front
Round 5: wins by BYE
Round 4: defeats SUD_Tkenobi
Round 3: defeats North
Round 2: defeats [CBA]Sniper
Round 1: defeats KoR_Delephant
The Path of the Conqueror Finals Announcement
7/2/01 20:26 PST | Xiphoid
It has finally come time to announce what we've all been waiting for.. the final two players who will participate in the ultimate battle for the title of the Conqueror in our huge 1v1 RM Path of the Conqueror Tournament. Out of a field of about 250 and over two months of flawless performance in the preliminary rounds and proceeding semi-finals, I am pleased to announce your PotC finalists are:
StorM_Rising  versus StorM_Panther 
In short, the winner of this three-game blockbuster finals will walk away with the $350US cash prize and all of the glory that is accompanied with beating out the other 245 players entered in the tournament in one of the toughest and biggest player fields of all time. The runner-up will receive $100US cash and a plentiful amount of respect for making it this far. One thing is for certain.. a memorable champion will be crowned come this or the next week and the clan name he will bear will be that of StorM. Good luck to these two experts and stay glued to PAOE and our forums for the first reportings of who the "Conqueror" will be.
Conquistador Show Sunday on TLC
7/2/01 21:57 PST | Xiphoid
Many thanks to bobby, aka CheeZy__monkey0 in our forums, who emailed in about a show appearing this Sunday on The Learning Channel which will spotlight the legendary Spanish conquistador, the special unit of the Spanish civilization in AOK and a mighty interesting figure in the pages of history. Look for the show this Sunday on TLC at 9PM and thanks to bobby again for the heads up.
Sunday at 9:00 experiance how the spanish conquistadors battled the mighty
aztecs in the new world, when cortez sunk his ships declaring that he would
stay in the new world untill he got what he wanted. The aztecs beleived that
questzalcotal had returned, but it waqs only the conquistadors greed for gold
that kept them alive...
Stomped.com's Brawl in the Mall
7/2/01 21:51 PST | Xiphoid
Stomped.com and Twin Gallaxies have teamed up to create a rather large gaming tournament covering many of your favorite games, including Age of Kings, in the Mall of American in Bloomington, Minnesota on July 20-22. Here are the details on the event:
Stomped.com and The Stomping Grounds, in conjunction with Twin Galaxies,
are proud to present the "Brawl at the Mall". The Brawl at the Mall will
take place July 20-22 at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota with
the Twin Galaxies Video Game Festival.
The Brawl will consist of competitions in Counter-Strike, Quake 3 Arena,
and Age of Empires II Conquers Expansion.
The Counter-Strike competition will be a 5v5 event and will serve as a
qualifier for the CPL World Championships to be held in Dallas this
December. There will also be $2,500 in prize money awarded in the
The Quake 3 Arena tournament will be a 1-on-1 competition with $500 total
prize money to be awarded. The Age of Empires II competition will be 1-on-1
competitions with $500 prize money as well.
All matches will take place at the Mall of America's Sam Goody Central
The Mall of America averages 100,000 visitors per day.
Parties interested in registering should call The Stomping Grounds at
612-279-1960 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is $25 per person
per event, $20 if you pay by phone with a credit card before July 20. All
registrations must be paid by phone or in person at The Stomping Grounds
before the event begins.
More information about the "Brawl at the Mall" will be posted at
Stomped.com and TheStompingGrounds.com as it becomes available.
For the Poor 56k Saps Like Myself..
7/2/01 20:46 PST | Xiphoid
..a fun GameSpy Top 10 List featuring the top ten things non-broadband users can do while downloading those mammoth new patches and demos that are soon becoming the standard these days. A sampling:
4. Read War and Peace
Two more months and the OC-12 connection and five pings will be mine again at college.. :)
Mark Twain defined a classic as "a book that everybody praises, but nobody reads." (By definition, I think this Top 10 qualifies.) War and Peace is one such novel. More than a historical chronicle of Russia's struggle with Napoleon, War and Peace is a record of the lives of the individuals involved and of the physical realities of human experience. In short, it's a complete portrait of the human experience -- from happiness and greatness, to grief and humiliation. Did I mention that it is very, VERY long? But hey -- if you're connected via a modem and you have to update Half-Life, you've got quite a bit of time on your hands.
Egypt and Wales Real World Maps Available
7/1/01 18:02 PST | Xiphoid
Ensemble has released two new Real World maps of Egypt and Wales, although this time around they were submitted by fans. The Egypt map was designed by Mavogenitz and Robert Chalmers took on the task of re-creating Wales. Both maps offer players and scenario designers alike a ton of replayability in both single and mulit-player games. Give these two maps a download for a new twist to your gameplay. If you think your map is good enough to send in to ES give it a try and email it in and you could win an Ensemble t-shirt.
Have a Real World Map to include in the Studios Conquerors "Real World" Maps download section? Send it in and let us look it over. If your scenario is selected, the Studios will send you a AGE of MYTHOLOGY T Shirt (The same T Shirts worn by the Studios Team at E3).
ES' Heroes of the Ages Contest Winners Named
7/1/01 18:44 PST | Xiphoid
The winners were announced a few days ago while I was away but I thought I would still post the names of the both talented and very happy winners of Ensemble's "Heroes of the Ages" Scenario Design Contest. The grand-prize winner of the new Dell Dimension desktop system was Joseph Daniel Gillum for his Canute's Saga Scenario. And here are the full details and the rest of the winners as reported by ES' main web-man, Mike "Archangel" McCart:
Grand Prize: A Dell Dimension 4100 1GHz desktop system (including a 19 inch Dell P991Trinitron monitor, a 32MB NVIDIA GeForce2 videocard, and a 40GB harddrive)! Goes to Joseph Daniel Gillum for his Canute's Saga Scenario.
Second Place: The Maid of Orleans scenario by Kosta Fomenko goes home with Sony DCR-TRV 11 Digital Video Camera.
Gordon Farrell takes third place with his Harald Hardraade - conquest of the Norman Kingdom in Itlay scenario. Gordon will be receiving a Cannon PowerShot G1 Digital Camera for his entry. "
Honorable Mentions: Norman Conquest of Sicily by Paul "KingBarbarossa" KittlausLegal and Qi Ji Guang VS the Japanese Pirates by Stanley Xiao both will receive a box full of AGE and Ensemble Studios items.
GS Coverage of PC Expo 2001
7/1/01 18:39 PST | Xiphoid
Check out GameSpy's second-day coverage of the PC Expo 2001 and get an idea of some of the gadgets and gizmos that us gamers can look forward to in the near future, from new controllers to devices.
The second day of PC Expo 2001 brought about some surprises. First, I was very impressed with Belkin's foray into the world of gaming devices. At first glace I thought, "What could a company that is known for making UPSs, surge protectors and other similar products possibly know about gaming?" Well, apparently they game themselves and are building game controllers by gamers for gamers. While that is quite a cliché, I think this is appropriate for their upcoming Nostromo n50 SpeedPad. It is radically different from any other device I have ever seen, and just in the few moments that I had to play with it I can definitely say that I look forward to owning one myself.
PotC StorM Semi-Final Write-ups Tomorrow
7/1/01 18:25 PST | Xiphoid
Look for three write-ups of the StorM_Panther (W) / StorM_Requiem (L) semi-finals of our Path of the Conqueror Tournament. The three game series ended up being extremely close in the end, with a spectacular final game to decide who moved onto the prestigious finals. The recorded games and complete write-ups will be up tomorrow night ET so look for them then.
The X is Back
7/1/01 18:13 PST | Xiphoid
I'm sunburnt from the beach and sore from reeling in the fish but I'm back to start pumping out some serious news and content for PAOE. I received hundreds of emails while I was away so it will take me a while to catch up with any submissions or requests. Big updates are planned for the forums and recorded games section within the next few weeks as well as a surprise concerning Age of Mythology.