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Topic Subject: 25 years of AoEH
posted 05-16-22 07:51 AM ET (US)   
Yesterday, on the 15th of May, AoEH turned 25 years old. That's right, we've been around for that freaking long. It's absolutely amazing that AoEH is still up and running, even though we are nowhere near as active as in the heydays of Age of Empires and The Rise of Rome expansion anymore.

I still remember those early days, at least since late 1998, when I first visited this place. It was a time when the internet was still sort of in it's infancy, more simplified, and visiting AoEH was a place of pure magic (for me it certainly was, still is!). Lots of nice and helpful people with knowledge of strategies, scenario design, and every other aspect of the game, as well as creating amazing custom content for it. Add the Zone to that, and for a young kid this was an absolute wonder to witness, very captivating to say the least.

I spend quite some time playing versus other players on the Zone, loved RM on highland maps. Though I never have been a very good competitive online player, I enjoyed every moment of it. Those were the days, and I kind of miss them. That's not to say the years after were not any fun, on the contrary, especially after the Zone died down I stuck around AoEH and became very interested in scenario design, after becoming inspired by playing other people's creations and custom campaigns. This, to me, is one of the most important aspects of AoE: the creativity you can express is limitless. You can design your empire, shape your world, define it's traits and quirks pretty much exactly to your vision. Even though you are kind of bound to what the game can do, breaking those boundaries in creative and new ways was probably the one thing that kept me coming back for more, and with me, many other fans and designers.

When Scenario_t_c came around and "unlocked" the hidden units, and unit overlapping, things got even more interesting - a defining moment in the history of AoEH and AoE scenario design, you now had the power to do the uninmaginable, allowing for infinite new variety in your custom worlds. Even though the game was almost 10 years old now, it breathed in new life and possibilities. I myself started digging and experimenting and unlocking new options too, such as the lengthen combat mode. Then came the next thing, like unlocked new terrains to play with, and after that, hex-editing allowing even more new things never seen before.

Fast forward another 10 years or so, and around came even more possibilities with the arrival of RockNRoR, such as map copy which has backward compatibility. At some point even triggers, like those used in Age of Kings, became available. It also allowed a more immersive and adapted-to newer computers experience, making use of higher resolutions. Here's when we also get the Upatch, and from there, a few years later, we finally arrive at the Definitive Edition, which is kind of a complete overhaul of the game with an emphasis on new detailed graphics and up-to-date online capability. Even though I prefer the original game over the newer DE version for quite a few reasons, I still appreciate the fact that we even managed to get it at all, and for a while AoE was kind of revived. If it had received a similar amount of respect from MS as AoK DE has, that revival could perhaps have lasted even longer.

Now, 25 years later since Archangel Mike McCart launched AoEH back in 1997, we, incredibly enough, are still here. Though the community has been split between several places now, you can't deny that AoEH was and in a way is still the one place for Age of Empires and it's expansion pack, the Rise of Rome, and I guess to a slightly lesser extend, the Definitive Edition.

I want to thank all the fans and staff for this wonderful experience over the many years that have gone past. You made this community thrive, made it an excellent and fun place for learning and gathering information, interacting with others, and a huge inspiration for other people to get creative. Your dedication has allowed AoEH to survive up to this day.

So, even if you are not as interested in AoE anymore as you once were, come by and visit us once a while. Keep up the good work, and happy birthday AoEH!

Cheers,

PhatFish

[This message has been edited by PhatFish (edited 05-16-2022 @ 07:53 AM).]

Replies:
posted 05-16-22 09:24 AM ET (US)     1 / 5  
Congratulations ancienct game website!

//The warrior of Isola

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

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
posted 05-23-22 12:58 PM ET (US)     2 / 5  
Aoe1 has it's first Microsoft sponsored tournament since 1998 I think with Red Bull Wololo: Legacy! That's 24 years ago!

[This message has been edited by Basse (edited 05-23-2022 @ 01:35 PM).]

posted 05-23-22 10:32 PM ET (US)     3 / 5  
I'm so glad this website is still around and kicking! (Same with the people who still stop by here from time to time.)

I remember visiting AOE Heaven around Christmas of 1997 or 1998 even though I hadn't even gotten the full game yet and had to settle for the demo. Indeed, the internet was definitely a different place back then.

I've played every iteration of Age of Empires (okay, maybe not the DS version or the castle siege game, but I did play AOE Online and AOE IV) and even though I've probably spent the most time with AOE II (I just finished the last campaign mission for the Dynasties of India Rajendra campaign today), I don't think any game from this series has captured my imagination as much as AOE did.
posted 05-28-22 02:11 PM ET (US)     4 / 5  
I discovered AoEHeaven in 2019, after playing age of empires since 2010 when i was 5 years old, it was magical to discover the scenarios that were here, as well as hidden units, unit overlapping, etc. After playing aoe for years i had no idea how many features it could offer
posted 06-08-22 08:56 AM ET (US)     5 / 5  
visiting AOE Heaven around Christmas of 1997 or 1998 even though I hadn't even gotten the full game yet and had to settle for the demo
Likewise here. There was a small 2 page review in a MS magazine that came with the purchase of our new PC back then, and it also had a demo CD-rom with the RoR trial on it. Man I played this trial to death, I had so much fun with it, especially the Battle of Tunes scenario. That was quite a struggle for a complete newbie to finish, and it took me quite a long while. Only the 2nd time playing it I found the hidden Gaia army on the right upper corner of the map. The AI was amazingly challenging too. To this day it is still my all time favorite ES scenario. They did a wonderful job capturing my imagination, and my next birthday I was gifted the Gold Edition. Been hooked ever since.
Aoe1 has it's first Microsoft sponsored tournament since 1998 I think with Red Bull Wololo: Legacy! That's 24 years ago!
And not even with DE, apparently they contacted the top Vietnamese players. I wonder why they sponsor it now, MS doesn't give a flying f about the original game...
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