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Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition
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Topic Subject: Quick FAQ - All Common Questions Answered Here
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posted 10-20-03 05:42 PM ET (US)   




Welcome to the quick AoE & RoR FAQ. Here you'll find a list of questions asked so often that we lost count of it.

If you have questions not dealt with here please ask them in a separate thread so this one can be used for the really frequently asked questions.

Q: Where can I download da game?
A: At your local shop, at some places from a cereals box.
We don't support warez and no-cd cracks. Don't ask for them and don't advertise them. Expect to get banned if you do.

Q: How can I place gold mines, stone quarries, lions and other stuff on a map in the scenario editor?
A: Select Units, select Gaia from the Player drop-down list.

Q: How can I win the River Outpost scenario in the Egypt campaign?
A: This is a fairly easy scenario. The only hard part is reading the instructions. You have to upgrade to the Iron Age and upgrade your towers to guard towers.
For related questions you can consult our single player help section.

Q: How can I skip the opening cinematics when I start AoE or RoR?
A: Make a shortcut, open it, select the Properties tab, move the cursur to the end of the selected text box that has the program file name in it and add "nostartup" - without the quotation marks.

Q: How can I play the game with the midi music?
A: Make a shortcut, open it, select the Properties tab, move the cursor to the end of the selected text box that has the program file name in it and add "midimusic" - without the quotation marks.

Q: How can I save a multiplayer game?
A: You can't. It isn't an option. And that makes sense as it's hard enough to gather a set of people to play a game across the net.

Q: When I open a saved game the game crashes and returns to the desktop. Alternatively, the game crashes to the desktop in the middle of a game.
A: That's a problem of the patch, 1.c for AoE, 1.a for RoR. Don't play with the patch if you play against the computer only. You don't need a dual install to have AoE/RoR with and without the patch; simply do the following:
* Rename the patched files in the AoE folder to AoEpatch.exe and RoRpatch.exe (or use other names)
* Copy the original exes from your CD(s) to the game folder.
* Make shortcuts to all versions and place them on your desktop or in a games folder on your desktop. In the shortcut you can also add code to prevent the opening cinematics.

Do not delete the files with the patch. You need them when you play on line and for campaigns that were designed in the patched version.

Here's an alternative, posted by andycmdab:
I had extensively tested this problem before and I know when to save, save when there's no fighting going on, actually, there could be swordmen fighting but make sure there's no archers or baliistica firing -- it's that animation effects which creates the bug.
Q: How can I change the pop cap (population limit) for a single player game?
A: You can't. The CP will always cap at 50 pop. If you want to play with a higher pop cap for yourself, start a multiplayer game. In ROR you can set the pop cap in the settings screen. In AOE you need to add "Limit=xxx" (type a number instead of xxx, and don't include the quotation marks) to the command line in your shortcut.
Update: You can download an utility from the Granary section to increase the pop cap for all players in RoR here: http://aoe.heavengames.com/dl-php/showfile.php?fileid=1799

Q: Help me!!! I'm stuck in a scenario!
A: For hints about all scenarios in the campaigns and some more, visit our hints section: http://aoe.heavengames.com/academy/Hintsheets/CampaignHintsIndex.shtml.
If the hints there don't help you, or if you're playing a campaign we don't give hints for, ask your question in the forum.

Q: I downloaded a scenario /campaign. Now where do I save it to?
A: The downloaded file is a .zip archive, first open it, for instance with a program like Winzip or the default Windows program, and drag the campaign or scenario file from it. Save scenarios in the scenario folder and campaigns in the campaign folder.

Q: I got a problem with multiplayer games.
A: Try this: http://aoe.heavengames.com/downsnew/FAQ/OnlinePlayFAQ.shtml

Q: How do I make a screenshot?
A: Press Ctrl + F12. The bitmap is saved in the Age of Empires folder (where the .exe file sits).

Q: How can I run Age of Empires in windowed mode?
A: The original game does not support windowed mode but you can check this thread out for a workaround: DxWnd Utility.

Q: I get strange colors in Vista/Win7/Win8
A: Most of times it is related to a DirectDraw issue.
The solution is to add some reys in the Windows Registry. It does not need to modify any file. DirectDrawFix - Color Update will do it automatically.

For modders/developers, here is the technical detail:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DirectDraw\Compatibility\UNIQUE_APP_NAME_HERE]
"Name"="EXECUTABLE_NAME.EXE" (REG_SZ)
"ID"=hex:XX,XX,XX,XX (REG_BINARY: 4 bytes)
"Flags"=hex:00,08,00,00 (REG_BINARY: 4 bytes)

The Flags value instructs ddraw.dll to ignore this data for systems before Vista. The ID value is the internal timestamp of the executable file.

To find the timestamp with a hex editor:
- Seek in the file to 0x3C
- Read the 4 byte value here: we'll call it idOffset
- Seek in the file to (idOffset + 0x08)
- Read the 4 byte value here: this is the ID
* If you stil have issues (colors are so bad that it's absolutely not playable), you may have the ATI/AMD catalyst issue.
Some old versions of the "AMD Catalyst control center" provoke this bug. Installing the latest version of the program will fix the color issue.

Q: I still have corrupted colors in-game (color bugs), what can I do?
A: The reason for this is usually some incompatibility of your graphics card with the 8-bit graphics used by the game. First of all - update your graphics card drivers! This may be enough to solve the problem. If you still have corrupted colors - open the Launcher, select Settings and check "Windowed Mode" then Apply. This should solve it. If your game resolution is the same as your desktop, the game will not be in a window even with this option On.

Q: Virtual Store related I can't find my scenarios, campaigns, save games or other files in game directory?
A:
This is caused by Windows (Vista/7/8/8.1/10 with U.A.C. on), any programs that save files directly in system directories (like Program Files) have their files redirected to Virtual Store (Compatibility Files). You can find all your custom files in this location:
C:\Users\\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\
Replace with the account name on your PC and with the path to your game directory. For example, if the game is installed in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires" and your account name is "John", your Virtual Store path for the game is "C:\Users\John\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires". In Windows Vista/7 you can click the Compatibility Files button (in Windows Explorer) from game directory to go directly to the Virtual Store directory.
Remember that this applies to all files saved from the game.

Q: My custom campaigns are not saved by the game?
A:
This is another Windows related problem (Vista/7/8/8.1/10 with U.A.C. on), for some reason .cpx files (Rise of Rome campaigns) are not allowed. You can solve this by running the game as Administrator - right click on the game or its shortcut (or even the Launcher) and select Run As Administrator - do this only when you want to save a campaign, you should not run the game as admin otherwise. If you can't find your scenarios while running as Administrator - check the Virtual Store (information above). Move the scenarios you need from Virtual Store to original scenarios directory before saving your campaign.

If you have any other questions please ask them here!



[This message has been edited by PhatFish (edited 07-22-2016 @ 09:09 AM).]

Replies:
posted 03-05-21 01:41 PM ET (US)     301 / 310  
wait!?, Phoenicians have a hard-coded bonus separate from their tech tree?
posted 03-05-21 03:01 PM ET (US)     302 / 310  
It's so weird that the Reference file lists something much different than what is published online:
It says these are the Persian bonuses:
+67% Hunting (not +30%), +3 Hunter carry capacity
+56% Elephant unit Movement Speed (not +50%)
So Fisk was right - it's 56% not 50 percent
+67% Hunting (not +30%), +3 Hunter carry capacity
+56% Elephant unit Movement Speed (not +50%)
-28% Trireme Reload Rate (+39% Fire Rate, not +50%)
posted 03-05-21 04:59 PM ET (US)     303 / 310  
wait!?, Phoenicians have a hard-coded bonus separate from their tech tree?
Yeah you see I think that value also changes between the original and expansion pack or a patch, and the devs also forgot how to edit / lost the uncompiled verion of the original data files, so when they patched stuff like that they would do it directly in the executable.

//The warrior of Isola

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

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris

[This message has been edited by Fisk (edited 03-05-2021 @ 05:01 PM).]

posted 03-05-21 07:22 PM ET (US)     304 / 310  
Proseon sent me this Reference list for the AOE:ROR Civ bonuses. They are different than what is listed for AOE:ROR:
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/772309758706450442/817441196832981012/AOE_ROR_Reference.txt

I don't know where he got it.
posted 03-06-21 09:37 AM ET (US)     305 / 310  
yes some bonuses are hardcoded in the exe, (probably) for various reasons:
- not configurable in empires.dat (eg macedonian conversion resistance)...
- ... or bad or even stupid choice, for bonuses that are compatible/doable with empires.dat mechanics (shang villager cost : it seems it has been hardcoded from the very beginning, same for palmyra free tribute bonus in ROR)
- quick and dirty bugfixe because they realized at the last minute that empires.dat was not configured properly, and maybe in their build process it was no longer possible (or more complex) to regenerate empires.dat. Almost sure Phoenician bonus is one, because the hardcoded part reduces the civ bonus from empires.dat (that was really huge)

Of course hardcoded bonuses are against the whole logic of the game, everything should be set up in empires.dat. There are side effects :
- unexpected bonuses in all tech games
- unexpected values/bonuses in modded civilizations (modded empires.dat : some values are overwritten by hardcoded stuff from exe)
- (more general than civ bonuses) impossible customizations, any many very different levels (eg scouts behavior hardcoded on a specific unit ID, trading on other building than docks, AI/PER files used in random games, and so many other examples)

To conclude with, there are many customization you just CAN'T do with standard EXE. The only way is to have some mod on the EXE that cancels hardcoded stuff and make it configurable instead. This is what I tried to do in RockNRor (all hardcoded example above can be bypassed with this mod)
posted 03-06-21 07:32 PM ET (US)     306 / 310  
You did such a good job with RockNROR that I wish the Developers would have someone would do something similar with AOE: DE. With AOE: DE, the Scenario Editor has an entry box where you can input your Instruction Screen maps, but it doesn't work. Someone who frequents one of the HG forums told me, "it's not a supported feature. The UI (User Interface) does not have the needed backend 'wires.'" Maybe 10 years from now someone will come along and work on the AOE E bugs like you did with AOE1.

My favorite features of ROCKNROR include:
- Windowed Mode
- Save Bug fix
- Triggers like an AI declaring war after a given time
- Screenshot ability for whole maps
- Being able to place objects anywhere instead of stuck to a grid and blocked by proximity limits.
- Any WIN 7 graphics fixes for bugs like the red spotty water or the intermittent game freezing-unfreezing (I don't remember if ROCKNROR addressed these bugs though).

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 03-06-2021 @ 07:32 PM).]

posted 03-07-21 10:28 AM ET (US)     307 / 310  
I made that reference file, it was just an extra for players who play the original game.
posted 03-09-21 12:13 PM ET (US)     308 / 310  
It's worth noting for the FAQ that the Character Limit for AOE:ROR Instruction Screen messages is a bit over 4000. In my latest counting, it came to 4075.

It comes to about 1.25-1.5 pages of text in Wordpad. In AOEE, the limit is even smaller. So it seems best to just make AOE:ROR files if you are designing for AOEE, unless your map will have a conversion problem.

I made an AOE:ROR map set to Allied Team Victory on Standard Mode. I'm not sure whether it converted correctly. In the AOEE Editor, it looks like it converted fine. But I don't know for sure if the VC converted correctly I will end up finding out on Multiplayer Playthroughs of course.
posted 03-16-21 01:55 PM ET (US)     309 / 310  
Can you convert .scx files to .scn ones?
ANSWER: YES, USING ROCKNROR.

I noticed that comparable scenarios that I've submitted in AOE1 format get 4 times as many downloads as AOE:ROR scenarios.

For instance, two fixed AOE1 Custom scenarios, "Drusus and Tiberius, Version 2" and "Roman Expansion into Britannia, Version 2" get 441 and 397 Downloads respectively. But my ROR scenario "The Eagle. version 2.0" got only 98 downloads.

I made about 8 ROR scenarios, and am planning more. Obviously, it's pointless to remake AOE:ROR with Romans into AOE1 scenarios. But my "Thomas' Mission to Indo-Parthia" scenario used only Persians and Greeks, so I could have made it with AOE1.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 03-17-2021 @ 06:51 PM).]

posted 05-27-21 10:49 PM ET (US)     310 / 310  
This must have been answered a lot before, but I didn't see an easy answer at the moment: How do you find the encyclopedia for AOE:ROR and AOEE?

In AOE1 and AOE2 (including AOE2 DE), there is a HELP button that you can click on, like in the Game Settings Menu, and it opens up an encyclopedia with information on the units, civilizations, or technologies.

In AOE:ROR or ROR UPATCH, I guess that it got glitched so that it doesn't automatically open the encyclopedia, and you have to find it somehow in your AOE folder on your PC. When I click on the HELP file in my ROR folder, it brings me to the Microsoft Support page online that says "Error opening Help in Windows-based programs." Then in AOE: DE, there is not even a button for me to press for the Encyclopedia.

[This message has been edited by rakovsky (edited 05-27-2021 @ 10:52 PM).]

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