Latest News

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!
New Random Maps
Posted by PhatFish on August 03rd, 2020 @ 08:50 a.m.

Download here!

There was one area of the game which had not been tackled yet by the community... until now. I present to you: 10 new Random Map types to play on! This empires.dat mod changes your existing Random Maps and replaces them with the following:

- Arabia, Arena, Black Forest, Golden Oasis, Scandinavia.

- Alien Planet, Bubbles, Marshland, Nile Delta, The Great Wall.

The first 5 will surely make AoE2 players smile - I personally love to play these maps and I wanted them in RoR, so here you go. The following 5 are not based on AoE2 but are my own adaptation of what I always liked to see. Quite a few of these new random maps have unique play features, such as a new type of Fortification which cannot be destroyed by conventional means, or how about a Space Ship which functions as a mobile Town Center?

There are also new graphical elements for you to enjoy such as new Marsh terrain, snow patches and a variety of editor-only trees!

This mod does NOT change any existing units, terrains, buildings, campaigns, scenario's etc. in any way. There are no balance changes (RoR 1.0a balance). Nor will it alter any actual graphics of the game. Everything remains exactly the same!

Let me know your thoughts and comments and if you find a bug please notify me. I hope you enjoy these new random maps as much as I did making them!
New Patch, New Poll
Posted by Fisk on July 02nd, 2020 @ 4:21 p.m.
A new Update for Age of Empires: Definitve Edition has been announced. As pointed out by forumer Romanos_V some interesting new additions are promised, including unit stances and the option to make farms impassable like in classical RoR, in addition to balance changes and improvements to MP matchmaking.

Some time has passed since we changed the poll as well. To summarize our last one, I asked about your favorite Post-Iron unit, and the winner is a dominant force in any RM game that reaches the late Iron Age, the Heavy Horse Archer. The full results of the poll are displayed below:

What is your favorite Post-Iron Age Unit?

Heavy Horse Archer (20%, 38 Votes)
Centurion (19%, 37 Votes)
Heleopolis (13%, 24 Votes)
Legion (10%, 20 Votes)
Cataphract (10%, 20 Votes)
Schythe Chariot (9%, 18 Votes)
Armored Elephant (7%, 14 Votes)
Juggernaut (6%, 12 Votes)
Heavy Catapult (6%, 8 Votes)

Total Votes: 191

For our next poll I've picked a topic I've always wanted to ask you about but never quite figured out how to without overwhelming you with options; Scenario Designers. The solution is a somewhat arbitrary division between the "classical" designers, before the advent of overlapping buildings with the enhanced editor 2.0, and the "modern" designers after that. Then we may begin with a somewhat concise list of classical designers, and do the modern at a later time. And if your favorite is missing from this far from comprehensive list, feel free to leave a comment and I'll try to add them.

Oh, and a quick P.S., we have merged the Scenario Design and Modding forums into one, so expect to see modding threads on the front page along with our other forum topics in the future.
RockNRoR updated!
Posted by PhatFish on June 12th, 2020 @ 07:32 a.m.
To all who have never used this utility, especially scenario designers, you really should give Chab's wonderful RockNRoR a go. What this program does: It patches your empiresx.exe and basically allows you to choose between whatever (extra) options you want added or disabled: nearly every aspect of the game can be altered to your exact liking - for example custom resolutions, enhanced AI, or high game speed (very useful for testing!).

Not only this but you have total control of every single tile in the scenario editor (change it to any terrain or elevation), any custom map size, AI and PER retrieval for any map and player, changing any unit to belong to another player, and one of it's most unique features: Triggers. That's right, you can have actual triggers in RoR much like in Age of Kings. Or how about Map Copy? I have used this a ton and it makes for much easier designing.

Quite a few of these options also allow for backward compatibility with the original game allowing unique maps and settings which makes this in my opinion a must have tool!

It has just been updated to include generation of any super large custom map sizes up to 1024x1024 with a fix for LOS and crash stability (of course, original game still does not support this), and another very useful and amazing feature: extraction of .bmp instruction maps! If all this has not convinced you to download RockNRoR, you're absolutely missing out. Imagine if DE included all these wonderful features? It is something I suggested during development but unfortunately it was ignored. Anyways, read all about RockNRoR in this and this thread.

So, what are you waiting for, download the updated RockNRoR!
Big, Bigger, Biggest
Posted by PhatFish on May 21st, 2020 @ 6:49 p.m.
The map size limit of 255x255 tiles has been breached - there are now map sizes that go way beyond what is normally possible! How about a nice 512x512 tile map? Or an even bigger one?

A whopping 1792x1792 size map.

Before you open the scn editor and start designing, please carefully read all about these ridiculous sized maps in this scenario design thread. You can download the new 512x512, 768x768 and 1024x1024 map sizes here.
Designer releases half-finished campaign after 8+ years!
Posted by Fisk on April 14th, 2020 @ 10:06 a.m.
First things first, you should probably know that there's a new feature on the site. If you look in the left menu bar the Granary has a link called "New Activity" which will take you to a listing of New Comments and Reviews for all categories in the download system. Hopefully this will be of some use for those of you who comment a lot in the Granary. I have also uploaded a few new screenshots, mostly to the 2012 Pretty Town Contest Album. I always felt weird about how that Album only had 3 screenshots and 2 of those were just my unrelated project screenshots.

Now that that's out of the way, I'd like to shamelessly self-promote for a minute and announce that I have at long last released that campaign I began work on in 2011. The title landed on "Nubia - In the Shadow of the Nile". I like to think it's a pretty challenging experience but I hope some of you out there will enjoy it.

This screenshot is a lie because I actually disabled Siege in this scenario.
Fisk is an Angel
Posted by PhatFish on March 09th, 2020 @ 07:25 a.m.
Former Cherub Fisk has ascended to Angelhood! He has done a tremendous amount of work with a passionate devotion to AoEH and HG the past years he has been active as a Cherub, and we now welcome him as an Angel in Red to reign and guard over AoEH! We all know Red is the best color Congrats!
A podcast interview with Matt Pritchard
Posted by PhatFish on March 04th, 2020 @ 09:27 a.m.
The folks over at Arcade Attack interviewed Matt Pritchard (key designer and programmer for Age of Empires) just a few days ago, and he shares with us lots of interesting details about how he came to work in the gaming industry, the development of Age of Empires and Age of Kings, the remastered HD and DE versions, and much more. If you want to have some insight in the developers mind, this podcast is definitely worth your time.

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