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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition » Info about the beta
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Topic Subject:Info about the beta
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DarkRain654
Clubman
posted 07-16-09 05:25 PM ET (US)         
I am a new user on the forums making this thread to share information about the beta, and so other people can do the same.

The very first time I visited AoE Heaven was around the time AoK was coming out. I read about AoK's beta units and downloaded the Hidden Units scenario. That got me thinking about hidden beta stuff in AoE, as well. I downloaded the Horse and Trade Workshop templates, and thought, maybe there was even more stuff in the beta. I searched old interviews, gaming sites, archives, and forums and found out some stuff about the beta.

I found that the final AoE was supposed to have 7 ages:
* Stone Age
* Tool Age
* Bronze Age
* Iron Age
* Republic Age (Language.dll ID 7066, also some SLP graphics)
* Imperial Age
* ???

I also remember reading about a road that would make units go faster when walking on it (probably the Build-Road, ID 5022 in language.dll). There's also another Beta Ruins, the Traitor, and the Space_Ship cheat (all in the Composite Editor, which is awesome, by the way), and the infamous Volcano. Hero_12 is just a placeholder. RoR heroes have internal names like Hero_09, which can be sometimes found in the Help box.

A really weird thing is that the very first time I installed AoE (around 1998), I could place a Black Rider in the editor. At the time, I did not know that you weren't supposed to, but I remembered it because it becomes a catapult when it dies, and because it disappeared from the list when I installed RoR. I don't know if it was the CD or what (maybe a corrupted empires.dat), because that never happened again after that.

Another thing was that Phatfish's beta that I read about mentions "Esteem" (post 46):
http://aoe.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/aoecgi/display.cgi?action=st&fn=4&tn=5607&f=4,5607,0,90&st=25

Search "Age of Empires" Esteem download, and see what the first result is.

Here are some really old Age sites:
http://artho.com/age/
http://www.angelfire.com/fl/AgeOfEmpiresPage/

I also like the AoEBeta site:
http://phatfish.nl/aoebeta/

A year or two ago, I downloaded an AoK 0.9.7.222 Alpha Version, and was surprised by it mixing AoE, AoK, and strange beta stuff that looked different from both AoE and final AoK. The cartoon Berry Bush on the AoEBeta site is probably used as a placeholder, like AoE stuff in the AoK beta.

I was searching for "7 ages" AoE, because I remember the thing about the 7 ages and found this:
http://www.fragland.net/news/Empire-Earth-Interview/1243/
I felt it was truly important that whatever was done, that the game must go beyond the frontier forged on AoE. Moreover, I was absolutely committed to the high level premise that such a game be more ambitious and encompass an even greater scope then its predecessor. But, how, I wondered, could this be done in a truly meaningful way? Then, a thought occurred to me... I remembered back to 1995. The original design of Age of Empires had been designed to cover not 4 but 7 Ages. Beyond the Iron Age, players could achieve 3 more Ages including the "Imperial" and "Republic" Age. These additional Ages were actually implemented and working in the game in April of 1996.
That last sentence made me think, maybe somewhere out there, there's a beta with 6 or even all 7 working ages.
AuthorReplies:
Litude
Clubman
posted 07-21-09 03:21 PM ET (US)     26 / 53       
Yeah, but I found some stuff in the games folder.
ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/deskapps/games/public/Empires/
ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/deskapps/games/public/Age_Expansion_Pack/
ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/deskapps/games/public/age2/
ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/deskapps/games/public/Through_the_Ages/
There's some screenshots and videos, and the Trial Version, but no betas. There are some beta screenshots. There's some AoE music in the "Through the Ages" folder.
Yeah, I already looked through that place about one year ago and downloaded everything I found worth having.
I think it would work in the alpha, especially if your Villagers can actually build it in the game.
Yeah you'd think so, but I still have to test it to make sure.
Are the burning stones different from the Alchemy stones?
No idea, it's just text.
Do you think the "Mine Works" was like a Mining Camp in AoK? Maybe the Mine Works had the mining upgrades instead of the Market.
I think you had to build the mine works close to a supply of stone/gold and that it then automatically collected the resource. Remember that the game was more Civilization alike back in the day.
jordanthejq12
Clubman
posted 07-21-09 09:12 PM ET (US)     27 / 53       
I've decided to snag that demo. I shall give feedback on how it plays.
With moderator approval, I would also like to make it available in the Granary-probably under the Patches section.

"Preparation is not prevention. Just because you know what's coming does not mean you can stop it."
--Me

Something to remember: always know where you're going, but never forget where you came from.

The Age of Chivalry is upon us! Visit the only wiki devoted exclusively to Aoc:H by clicking on the preceding link. Oh yeah, and it works with the HD edition, too--just make sure to get this first.
Litude
Clubman
posted 07-22-09 06:07 PM ET (US)     28 / 53       
I believe I've read that the republic age was in the beta, and didn't do much that isn't in the released versions Iron age. This is what I think it would acxtually do:

-Change a few (possibly only 1) graphics. The only one we know of is the TC, with the real Iron Age graphic still in the .drs, however I believe that most buildings would keep their Bronze graphic for Iron, and use the current Iron age grapics for the Republic age. (However there is no proof for that.)

-Enable the research of the current Iron ages "Super units."

-Possibly be the age enabling the Wonder.

-Have a research Icon looking similar to the iron age one but with a red roof.
You know what, I just realized how wrong our belief of what the republic age would include is. Because in the alpha I have the republic age has already been removed, but the wonder building has not been created yet, and the so called "super units" don't exist yet either. The only things that exist are the town centers and the age research icon. So what exactly was enabled during the republic age is a mystery I don't have the answer for (maybe the elephants or something?).

By the way I just came across a quite interesting discovery. There was a mention of "Ice Age" in one of the game files which would have (obviously) been even before the Stone Age. This also explains why they made an icon to allow research to the stone age. I also think the ice age concept might be later than the republic age concept seeing as in the graphic file the stone age research graphic is located in a later slot than the one of republic age (it is also likely that they could have co-existed as otherwise I think they would have overwritten the republic age research graphic with the one from stone age, or what do you think?).

[This message has been edited by Litude (edited 07-22-2009 @ 06:10 PM).]

DarkRain654
Clubman
posted 07-22-09 09:52 PM ET (US)     29 / 53       
About 6 hours ago, Litude gave me a copy of the Alpha/Beta versions and there are a lot of awesome things like the In-Game Editor! If anyone has the Beta (not the Alpha) they can use that by using the Developer parameter and pressing Ctrl+T when inside a game.
I've decided to snag that demo. I shall give feedback on how it plays.
With moderator approval, I would also like to make it available in the Granary-probably under the Patches section.
What demo do you mean? Is it different from the usual one?
By the way I just came across a quite interesting discovery. There was a mention of "Ice Age" in one of the game files which would have (obviously) been even before the Stone Age. This also explains why they made an icon to allow research to the stone age. I also think the ice age concept might be later than the republic age concept seeing as in the graphic file the stone age research graphic is located in a later slot than the one of republic age (it is also likely that they could have co-existed as otherwise I think they would have overwritten the republic age research graphic with the one from stone age, or what do you think?).
So there were (at different times):
* Ice Age
* Stone Age
* Tool Age
* Bronze Age
* Iron Age
* Dynastic Age
* Empire Age
* Republic Age
But nobody has any beta version with more than 4 ages.
irwinner
Clubman
posted 08-01-09 10:46 PM ET (US)     30 / 53       
I can remember a major bug before one of the patches whereby you could replenish farms and the wonder time. i cant remember exactly the procedure but it may have been to select a villager and the building and press ctrl+s. doing so would restart the timer/give maximum food. not sure if that was a debugging tool of some kind or simply a cheat? try it out on a pre-patched version of the game and then on one of your betas?

on the 7/8 age theory, it looks like the game was constantly changing with each release. like "what if..ice age" then "scrap that...what if" etc etc etc! i guess the data files are filled with crap left over from the constant development!
DarkRain654
Clubman
posted 08-04-09 03:17 PM ET (US)     31 / 53       
I can remember a major bug before one of the patches whereby you could replenish farms and the wonder time. i cant remember exactly the procedure but it may have been to select a villager and the building and press ctrl+s. doing so would restart the timer/give maximum food. not sure if that was a debugging tool of some kind or simply a cheat? try it out on a pre-patched version of the game and then on one of your betas?
I tried it in AoE 1.0, but it wouldn't let me select the villager and the building at the same time. I pressed Ctrl+S with the building selected and nothing happened. I couldn't get it to work in either of the betas either (the older one doesn't even have a Wonder yet). Are you sure its Ctrl+S and not some other letter?
Rasteve
Clubman
posted 08-06-09 08:26 AM ET (US)     32 / 53       
Try holding shift when selecting a farm then select the villager. You will then have both selected but the villager details in the status box. Click CTRL + S and the food will replenish. Not sure about the wonder, but I assume the same to be true. This was fixed in v1.0c (AoE) or v1.0a (RoR).

[This message has been edited by Rasteve (edited 08-06-2009 @ 08:33 AM).]

PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 08-06-09 04:28 PM ET (US)     33 / 53       
I've updated AoEBeta with a new (near complete) Late Alpha section, aside from some features/changes pretty much everything can be found there.
i guess the data files are filled with crap left over from the constant development!
I think some of you (Zapdotep) would want to check out this crap - alpha data output files (.txt format), you can find them in the downloads page.

Those files include the "Ice Age" Litude has mentioned as well as "Republic Age", and the Lengthen Combat Mode/Triple HP mode is featured as a Technology for example (there a lot more interesting features!).



Basse
Clubman
posted 08-06-09 04:57 PM ET (US)     34 / 53       
Welcome back Phatfish
Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 08-06-09 05:04 PM ET (US)     35 / 53       
Nice Phatty, I'll have to check those out tomorrow...

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
Rasteve
Clubman
posted 08-13-09 03:45 AM ET (US)     36 / 53       
I just come across something when clearing out some bugs for my patch. It appears the following units needed to be researched prior to being trained, however in AoE/RoR these units are now available as soon as you reach a certain age (chariot units require wheel, fire galley needs war galley researched):

Light Transport
Ballista
Chariot Archer
Horse Archer
Elephant Archer
Chariot
Cavalry
War Elephant
Fire Galley
Litude
Clubman
posted 08-13-09 05:23 AM ET (US)     37 / 53       
Nice, didn't know about the light transport, chariots or the fire galleys. The interesting thing about these units is that the strings in the language DLL file say "Upgrade to Elephant Archer", "Upgrade to Ballista", which seems to indicate that some unit had to be upgraded into these. You can actually find the graphics that were used for researching these units from the final graphics.drs (except for light transport, chariot and fire galley).

[This message has been edited by Litude (edited 08-13-2009 @ 05:23 AM).]

Rasteve
Clubman
posted 08-13-09 05:45 AM ET (US)     38 / 53       
I forgot to mention scout ships. Although they do not have a string, there is a reference in the dat file.

It may have been that each civilisation had a unique line of units. Maybe egypt had scout > chariot > elephant and greek had scout > cavalry > heavy cavalry etc?

Also, the beta(?) farms were very different - in that they would accumulate food over time? I think this has caused a problem in AoE/RoR. If you increase farmer work rate it does nothing! This only affects Palmyran.
Litude
Clubman
posted 08-13-09 06:31 AM ET (US)     39 / 53       
There were also plans to have the trade boat as a unit that needed to be researched. Its graphic is also found in the final graphics.drs, the big pot on a black background.

No idea about there being unique line of units, the cavalry is still upgradeable from the scout in the late alpha (yeah, heavy cavalries cost just 100 food ) but I guess it could have been possible that there were plans for something along those lines.

As for the infinite farms, yeah they exist in the late alpha and are quite weird. That is when you build them, they start off at 0 food and then every two seconds or so one food is added until it reaches the max of 15 (wonder why they made it so low?). It doesn't work too well with your villager constantly running back-and-forth between the farm and the granary as if there's 0 food he just instantly returns to the granary.

[This message has been edited by Litude (edited 08-13-2009 @ 06:32 AM).]

Rasteve
Clubman
posted 08-13-09 06:46 AM ET (US)     40 / 53       
Is there a "mathematics" tech in the alpha/betas?

Also, is there a tech that increases chariot archer fire rate? I can remember something about the chariot tech being made into the increased fire cheat.
Litude
Clubman
posted 08-13-09 07:16 AM ET (US)     41 / 53       
Yeah there's a mathematics technology, which increases ranged soldier range by 4 or something (help file says by 50% but from testing it seems to be 4).

Haven't noticed anything that increases the fire rate of the chariot though.
Rasteve
Clubman
posted 08-13-09 07:28 AM ET (US)     42 / 53       
I believe there is an icon for it, as far as I can remember, it is a chariot wheel with multiple arrows?

I have also just found that the horse archer was going to be named a cavalry archer.

On mathematics - I was actually expecting it to affect siege, seeing as AoE used Civilisation as a reference (didn't catapult require mathematics?).
Litude
Clubman
posted 08-13-09 07:36 AM ET (US)     43 / 53       
I believe there is an icon for it, as far as I can remember, it is a chariot wheel with multiple arrows?
I think that icon was used for the upgrade to chariot archer. But the mathematics icon also exists, it's the stone tablet in which lines are drawn to represent number five.
I have also just found that the horse archer was going to be named a cavalry archer.
Yeah, it's still called cavalry archer in the alpha. There are a bunch of other name changes, like the clubman is called the maceman, the composite bowman is called long bowman, improved bowman is called composite bowman, hoplite is called legion etc. I think PhatFish has all or at least most of them covered on his website.
On mathematics - I was actually expecting it to affect siege, seeing as AoE used Civilisation as a reference (didn't catapult require mathematics?).
Haven't played Civilization enough to remember what was needed for what, but mathematics does give even catapults more range.
Rasteve
Clubman
posted 08-25-09 08:33 PM ET (US)     44 / 53       
With the various alpha/betas of AoE/Tribes/Dawn of Man - can you clarify the actual civs available? For example, have there always been the 12 civs we see in AoE?
Litude
Clubman
posted 08-27-09 02:32 PM ET (US)     45 / 53       
The alphas that I have all include the civilizations as in the final AoE, except for the earliest one where Choson is called Korean. There are some obvious typos in the civ names, Yamato is called Yomato and Choson is called Chosen.

But from other sources (text string in the .exe) there is a mention of an Israelite civilization. Also Sandy Petersen said that the Philistines used to be in the game at some point.

For how the civilizations got added, to my understanding when the game was still called "Dawn of Man" there existed only the Egyptian/African building set, possibly with only the Egyptians as civilization. After the rewrite and changing the game name to "Tribes" the Greek/European building set was added and the Babylonian/Middle-Eastern set got added shortly thereafter.

There were not originally any plans to include the Asian civilizations, but according to Matt Pritchard a company-wide meeting was held where it was decided that adding Asian civilizations would potentially give a huge boost in Asian sales being too good to ignore. To my belief this was during late 1996.

By the way I found an early Babylonian Iron Age town center from the alpha game files that I don't think has ever seen the light of day.

[This message has been edited by Litude (edited 08-27-2009 @ 02:35 PM).]

Suppiluliuma
AoEH Seraph
posted 08-30-09 12:33 PM ET (US)     46 / 53       
Asian civs weren't included in the original plans? o0 Wow! i didn't expect it...i mean the the events and history of China are important worldwide.

In any case, i liked more the old Babylonian town center.

Interesting enough after AoE II: TC, it seemed like ES turned its back at Eastern Asia's rich history and traditions, as can be seen in AoM and AoE III. That disappointed me as they turned too west centered (I'm considering that AoE III: Asian Dynasties first "author" was Big Huge Games and not ES one, as they were busy with Halo wars at that moment).
Rasteve
Clubman
posted 08-31-09 08:55 PM ET (US)     47 / 53       
Then I guess the order of the civs (internally) relate to when they were added to the game:
For how the civilizations got added, to my understanding when the game was still called "Dawn of Man" there existed only the Egyptian/African building set, possibly with only the Egyptians as civilization. After the rewrite and changing the game name to "Tribes" the Greek/European building set was added and the Babylonian/Middle-Eastern set got added shortly thereafter.
1.Egyptian
2.Greek
3.Babylonian

---------
4.Assyrian
5.Minoan
6.Hittite
7.Phoenician
8.Sumerian
9.Persian
---------
There were not originally any plans to include the Asian civilizations, but according to Matt Pritchard a company-wide meeting was held where it was decided that adding Asian civilizations would potentially give a huge boost in Asian sales being too good to ignore. To my belief this was during late 1996.
10.Shang
11.Yamato
12.Choson



Rise of Rome:

13.Roman
14.Carthage
15.Palmyra
16.Macedonian
Litude
Clubman
posted 09-03-09 04:58 PM ET (US)     48 / 53       
Interesting enough after AoE II: TC, it seemed like ES turned its back at Eastern Asia's rich history and traditions, as can be seen in AoM and AoE III. That disappointed me as they turned too west centered (I'm considering that AoE III: Asian Dynasties first "author" was Big Huge Games and not ES one, as they were busy with Halo wars at that moment).
The addition of the Korean civilization to AoK: TC also had to do with sales. Apparently Microsoft said that they needed a Korean civilization so they could compete with games likes Starcraft. They did defend themselves by saying Starcraft didn't include a Korean civilization (duh), but it obviously didn't help. Certainly shows that ES wasn't too fond of Asian civilizations.

[This message has been edited by Litude (edited 09-03-2009 @ 04:59 PM).]

Nacht Jaeger
Clubman
(id: RCM7525)
posted 09-04-09 10:55 AM ET (US)     49 / 53       
Yeah, I never could figure out how Korea was a "Conqueror".

Nacht Jaeger - Ex AoEH Angel
Suppiluliuma
AoEH Seraph
posted 09-04-09 02:20 PM ET (US)     50 / 53       
I thought they added Korea because they were looking to add a new civ for each building type (except Middle Eastern i.e Saracen). Wow i'm even more disappointed now
Rasteve
Clubman
posted 09-04-09 06:05 PM ET (US)     51 / 53       
I think I read in one of the ask sandy threads that Koreans were pushed onto the game by MS.

Of the original game, I have no problem with Choson being present, but I do not like the idea of Yamato. Most of the civ timelines overlap (i.e. in the same time period) except Sumerians being early and Yamato being late (>0AD). They would have been better off putting an Indus Valley civ, to keep 3 asian civs in the game.
Suppiluliuma
AoEH Seraph
posted 09-05-09 08:48 PM ET (US)     52 / 53       
Well Rasteve, Indus valley civilization was closer to Sumerian than to any in eastern Asia. Also remember that most of AoE's Civs are in fact from Asia: Assyrian, Babylonian, Hittite, Persian, Sumerian, Shang, Choson, Yamato and Palmyran.

About Yamato: I think ES did a mistake as it was restricting, (within AOE of course) the rich ancient Chinese culture to a single dinasty (the Shang). In fact the so called "Yamato" of AoE (or at least the part of Japan's history considered in AoE) are included within the Yayoi period of Japan, when Rice agriculture and Metalworking spread in the archipeialago and when the contry (Wa) was first mentioned in chinese documents.

The real Yamato period started at +-250 AD and ended at +- 710 AD (yeah there's no place in AoE/RoR for them)

[This message has been edited by Suppiluliuma (edited 09-05-2009 @ 09:00 PM).]

Rasteve
Clubman
posted 09-06-09 05:48 PM ET (US)     53 / 53       
Sorry, I meant to say Eastern Asia (as in the Shang, Choson and Indus valley civ could have shared the same tileset/interface).

Let's not even get into Assyrians building Pyramids!
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