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- Happy new year!
- Posted by Fisk on December 30th, 2021 @ 12:39 p.m.
- Happy new year everyone! I hope those who celebrate have had a nice Christmas and I wish you all a wonderful 2022!
Things have been pretty quiet here lately but soon AoE Heaven will enter it's 25th year of existence! For this special occasion I have prepared a new poll for you people (with some help from oldie Gordon Farrell), but before we can get in with the new we must get out with the old. Last time I asked:
Will you be buying AoE IV?
I might pick it up once there's a price drop. (46%, 41 Votes)
I have no interest whatsoever! (22%, 20 Votes)
I'm waiting the hear the public opinion. (21%, 19 Votes)
I've already pre-ordered! (11%, 10 Votes)
Total Votes: 90
So it seems most of you have had some interest in the game but won't mind waiting a bit to play it. 11 % of our visistors say they preordered the game, but since most of those votes came in after the game was released I'm going to assume that means you simply ordered it.
Our next poll is a little unique in that you can choose more than one option when answering, this time we ask:
Why do you visit us?
As always, you are very welcome to suggest additional options and leave a comment with your responses.
- AoE IV released
- Posted by PhatFish on October 29th, 2021 @ 1:36 p.m.
- If you have been waiting for the next release in the Age series, well, here it is. Age of Empires 4 launched yesterday. It has many similarities to AoK since it covers the medieval eras. Some civs have unique aspects like the Mongols who can move their "TC" to a different location, mimicking the nomadic lifestyle. To those who pre-ordered the game, it was already available for download the 27th.
AoE IV is available for purchase from the Windows Store and also Steam Workshop.
For more info, check https://www.ageofempires.com. I wish I could have directed you to AoE 4 Heaven, but alas, it was not meant to be.
- RocknRoR updated, and a new campaign
- Posted by PhatFish on September 18th, 2021 @ 3:33 p.m.
- RocknRoR, a very popular mod for the Rise of Rome expansion, has been updated to version 184.108.40.206, which includes numerous bug fixes and a some new features. Quoted from Chab:
- Automatically add "unit definitions" for villagers to GAIA unit (so you can use gaia villagers to gather, build, etc without a game crash)
- Fix a bug when setting up DM/RM games, "random" civ was always picking Egyptians
- In "random tech tree" mode, it is now possible to view individual unit bonus when pressing F2 : the unit properties pop-up displays the tech tree bonus applied to it (if any) : e.g. +20% speed
- In "random tech tree" mode, type "civ bonus" in chat box to view the civ bonus for the player you control
- In-game "unit properties" popup now displays the "original" owner for converted units
- option in rocknror.xml to automatically disable CD music when running the game (so the game does not try to access the CD drive)
- Fix a few issues with triggers, raised by PhatFish (thank you), including issues with saved games and issues with "text" trigger parameters
Additional control of Gaia is something that is most welcome, since you weren't able to build or interact, that always resulted in a game crash - none of that anymore. Let nature take it's course! If you tend to forget about unit and civ bonuses, fret no more, it can now be easily found by pressing a mere button or typing a command in the chatbox. And say goodbye to the 2 second stutter/delay you experience when the game tries to switch to the next music track. If you didn't already know, there are countless of other improvements that this modification offers in both single player, multiplayer and the scenario editor, you can check it out below:
Any suggestions or feedback can be made in this thread. Download or update to RocknRoR version 220.127.116.11 here.
It has been almost 13 years since I released my campaign The Heavenly Escort. I have updated it again, fixing some playability issues (no more catapult firing at the Ferrymaster for example), and correcting spelling mistakes. I've always felt that it needed an additional scenario with more background information or an extra challenge. Now, I can finally present to you the sequel: a campaign for the Rise of Rome expansion called Night of the Dragon - The Heavenly Escort: Part II!
46 years have passed since Tageshu was victorious over the Xiao Yang clan and escorted Zhe Yu safely to the Heavens. During these years however, a new threat began to grow, unseen and hidden from Tageshu. Will you be able to prevent Tsung from taking over the Temple complex, the guardian dragon, and Shengato from falling under his command?
Some of the features include:
- A compelling story with many hints (you'll need them!).
- Extra large and detailed bitmap.
- 32 Triggers to make the scenario come alive.
- Many never seen before scenario design tricks.
- A design based on Escher's impossible stairway illusion.
- Engaging battles with puzzle elements.
- Special effects with a suprise at the very end.
- Two possible outcomes.
- All on a very tiny 8x8 map!
Download Night of the Dragon
You will need to install RockNRoR to play this campaign as it relies on Triggers. You *can* play without and wander about, but you won't be able to finish the scenario and play like it is intended. I want to thank Chab for making this campaign possible through his RockNRoR mod.
It has been once again quite a (technical) challenge to design this and took about 3.5 months to complete, with almost all of my spare time dedicated to it.
Though it is short (it's a very tiny map!), I hope you enjoy it, I had tremendous fun designing this!
- Leave it to the Asian experts...
- Posted by PhatFish on September 14th, 2021 @ 07:46 a.m.
- ...to reign supreme over all in multiplayer. You will (most likely) never get this good at playing the game, it requires years and years of practice. To this day there is a huge following in both Vietnam and China who play very competitive matches on a daily basis. Much like experts TheViper and Daut in AoE2 DE who's matches are posted on youtube, the Asian community does the same and streams these battles also on facebook amongst other places.
If you have seen some of these battles before, you will recognize familiar names such as ChimSeDiNang and Bibi to name a few. Though the language spoken in the videos is probably not understandable unless you learned Vietnamese or Chinese, the matches speak for themselves. Tournaments are hosted on a regular basis with real money prizes.
These people are absolute experts at the game, perfectly in tune with every aspect of each civilization, and reach consistent 13 minute Bronze Age times with near perfect executed strategies. Though incredibly fast paced (speed is the key, if you didn't know that already!), these matches are so much fun to watch, especially if you want to learn a thing or two on how to get better at multiplayer. You will never hunt Gazelles the way you did before. Your build order will change. And, if you are really keen into getting faster, learn about hotkeys. Forumer Bichho dropped by us again to share some of these streams, which you can watch here:
Bibi playing with some interesting strats
If you want to join the same platform the experts are playing on, called GTV Plus, check out this post in the multiplayer forum.
- Previously unknown beta uncovered
- Posted by PhatFish on September 02nd, 2021 @ 09:22 a.m.
- Not often you get a newspost the following day on AoEH, the last time this happened was during the height of AoEH. A previously unknown beta version of Age of Empires has been uncovered, and it's pretty nice! I was hoping to collect a little more info and record more differences before posting this, I have only been able to play this build for a day or two. Since Nocomonda couldn't wait with posting the announcement, here you go. It is very close to completion but still has quite a number of differences.
The cd-rom and case which includes this late beta.
This is most likely the closed beta test version that was send out to the public. How do I come to this conclusion? It is known that official external beta testing started very late during development as stated on Telcontar's old website. This build seems to resemble that since it is only 6 weeks away from completion (final release build is dated 25th of September 1997). I am almost certain that this is where we got the Nuke Trooper and Gaia Horse templates from back in the early days of designing. Designers back then were eager for more of these secret hidden units, because they were special (still are, in a way!). Nowadays, you have access to all possible hidden units through the Composite Editor.
Hero 8 to 12 are available in this beta version.
For more screenshots, view this part of the Gallery!
Build number: 0.8.33.814
Build creation date: 14th of August 1997
Notable differences from the final release build include:
- Intro video has some different music mid-way.
- Additional catapult sound is heard in the intro music.
- Player colors are different on the achievements screen.
- Button colors are different or may change during play.
- All Trees have 10 HP. Forests use older tree models.
- Gold mines contain 300 gold instead of 400.
- Tribute system does not require a Market.
- Diplomacy and Menu buttons are still offset by a slight margin.
- Selection buttons have a round graphic instead of the x or v.
- Old cheat codes are still used.
- When a Priest has successfully converted, an additional Wololo sound is played.
- Yamato campaign is unfinished, and also missing the instruction bitmap on Mountain Temple scenario.
- Several spelling errors.
- Alt-tabbing out usually results in a crash or freeze.
- Player starts with higher resources, notably gold and stone.
- Several unfinished Multiplayer maps.
- The editor background often obscures the map when selecting something from drop-down menu (e.g. Victory conditions).
- Civilization drop-down menu in the Player section is in a different position.
- Blank instruction bitmap resembles the Mediterranean, specifically Greece and Turkey. Does not come with the game.
- Several beta units available from the Unit section: Horse, Nuke Troopers, Catapult Missile, Hero 8 - 12.
- Invisible Demon is called Demon.
- Several unfinished or unused .PER and .AI files.
There are probably quite a few more changes but these are the ones that are most apparent.
You can download the closed beta campaigns and the (multiplayer) scenarios from the Granary.
It is quite amazing that this even surfaced after so many years!
- Unofficial add-ons, press kit, and an unseen wonder
- Posted by PhatFish on September 01st, 2021 @ 11:10 a.m.
- Today I have added three new submissions to the miscellanious section of the Granary. You may have at some point in time come across these, or maybe you even own one of them. As you may be aware AoE had several unofficial add-ons made by different companies not related to Microsoft or Ensemble Studios, which contained new scenario's and campaigns. I have one of them, Conquest of the Ages. Rasteve, one of our former staff uploaded a bunch of these in the past. Here is another two:
Conquest of the Empire
The Danish love AoE. So much so that MMA (the company who made this) released
HIGH quality scenario's and campaigns on an add-on CD. They are beyond your wildest dreams, they are that freaking good. *waves hand* THESE ARE THE SCENARIO'S YOU HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR. Do check out the cool intro video though, that does make it worth the download.
Oh yes. Even the name sounds so damn cool (and masculine)... top of the line stuff hidden in here, not even kidding! Yes, there IS actual quality in the shitload of scenario's and campaigns on this add-on disc. Guess where they got most from? That's right, many of them taken straight from our Granary back in the heydays. You will find some familiar stuff on this one. I don't believe everything is stolen though, but I could be wrong, don't have the time to go through them all. Maybe you do? Worth checking out.
I also added another official Gamestock Press Kit, which as the name suggests, was given to several press agencies and magazines to show off the game at the time. Features some pretty nice cutscenes and a different AoE logo.
And now for some development related stuff, quite overdue I may add. Some time ago I came across a two-page advert of AoE which features a Greek Wonder not seen before. I intended to upload this earlier but kinda forgot about it, until today.
The building is pretty cool, though, we cannot see the top part of the statue. Do you prefer it to the Collosus wonder we get in the final? Seems like ES tried some different designs for Wonders, as you may recall one of the other wonders which had several revisions is the Pyramid. There may be something more beta related coming soon, by the way. For now, check out the 2 page advert below:
If you want to beta-test yourself these days you can try the AoEIV beta, if you become an insider on ageofempires.com. That's all for now!
- Poll being updated again
- Posted by Fisk on August 20th, 2021 @ 07:55 a.m.
- Hi everyone, I know this poll roundup is pretty late but I have been feeling a little drained of ideas lately. Last poll I asked you about some of our more obscure names in Scenario Design from the later years of AoE Heaven. The obscurity is apparent, as more than half of you seemingly don't recognize the names on the list:
Favorite "modern" scenario designer?
Who are these people? (53%, 42 Votes)
Phatfish (13%, 10 Votes)
Gumble (9%, 7 Votes)
Al_Kharn the Great (8%, 6 Votes)
Fruktfisk (6%, 5 Votes)
RCM7525 (5%, 4 Votes)
Thompsoncs (4%, 3 Votes)
Nezon (3%, 2 Votes)
Tailspray (1%, 1 Votes)
Total Votes: 80
That being said, these names are all very dear to me, as most of them were most active on the site around the same time as I was, and they were the ones I compared myself to and exchanged tips and tricks with while making my own campaigns. If you haven't already, I think their works are all worth checking out in the Granary.
If you're following the development of AoE IV you're probably already aware that the game has now entered closed beta testing. If you're looking to get into that you can sign up to be an insider on the official site. Now that details about the game are more and more out in the open it might be a good time to ask about our visitors' interest in the game. So, denizens of AoEH, will you be getting AoE IV?
- Game still receiving updates in 2021
- Posted by Fisk on April 11th, 2021 @ 4:00 p.m.
- If you're interested in the development of AoE4, I'm sure you haven't missed the new preview footage that everyone is talking about. With that and the announcement of a New United States civ for AoE3: DE, as well as another expansion for AoE2: DE, Dawn of the Dukes, it is nice to know that the original has not been entirely forgotten. This week another small update has been announced for AoE: DE. Quoting the release notes:
"This full change log is short enough to skip a tl;dr version, but it's worth noting that the main focus of this month's release is on the playability of the game and spectating experience."
Let us all take a moment and shed a tear for the unloved oldest sibling of the AoE series.
- Exit light - enter night
- Posted by PhatFish on January 30th, 2021 @ 10:46 a.m.
Have you ever wondered how AoE would look like in a night time setting? I did, and always wanted an option to play AoE like this. Here I am again shamelessly promoting another mod of mine - it's not like there's much else I can post in the news these days to get some activity going on AoEH. You can now play AoE/RoR under a moonlit sky!
Here's Andrea Rosa's Little Big Nordic Adventure campaign during the night.
This mod changes the in-game daytime (sun) setting to night (moon) setting. It works both in the original Age of Empires and The Rise of Rome Expansion pack. That means you can now play your favorite (custom) scenario's, campaigns or random maps with the night setting. The Night Mode can also be used in conjuction with any graphic.drs or empires.dat mod. No game settings or actual graphics are changed, it only alters the Interfac.drs file.
You can download the Night Mode here. Have fun playing AoE at night.
"The Sun always shines in Age of Empires." Checkmate, Bruce Shelley.
- We survived 2020!
- Posted by Fisk on January 05th, 2021 @ 08:34 a.m.
- Hey there! I know we've been a little lacking in updates. Normally somebody is around for the holidays to wish you a Merry Christmas and turn on that awesome snow effect, but this year it seems you all missed out on that. I suppose it has been a hectic year for most of us. Last poll update was in July, when I asked you:
Who's your favorite "classical" scenario designer?
Andrea Rosa (29%, 31 Votes)
I don't play custom campaigns (25%, 27 Votes)
Ingo Van Thiel (18%, 19 Votes)
Imhotep (9%, 10 Votes)
Gordon Farrell (7%, 8 Votes)
Firelegion_56 (5%, 5 Votes)
Richard Ames (3%, 3 Votes)
The Rasher (3%, 3 Votes)
Rich Parker (1%, 1 Votes)
Total Votes: 107
No big surprise to see the grandmaster of scenario design, Andrea Rosa, being the popular favorite. For our next poll we deal with the modern designers. I'm not sure how interesting you find this poll as the "modern" scenario designers generally aren't as well known as their more classical counterparts, and a shocking 25 % of you responded that you don't even play our user-made campaigns. (Why do you even come to this site, our top tier 50 pop strategy articles?) Either way, I don't have any other ideas so I tried to compile a list of what I consider to be the greatest post-EE scenario designers, which just happens to include myself. Just like last time, remember that you can comment to have your favorite added to the poll!