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Age of Empires III to Expand

"Age of Empires III" Expansion Pack to Storm Windows PCs in 2006 on Shacknews is the press release announcing plans for a yet unnamed expansion for Age of Empires III planned for release this fall:

Newest Addition to Best-Selling Franchise Introduces Playable Native American Civilizations in a Fight for Control of the Americas

The incredible momentum behind ”Age of Empires III” continues as Microsoft Game Studios and Ensemble Studios announced their plans for delivering an expansion pack to gamers in 2006.

The new expansion pack will build off of the exciting real-time-strategy gameplay of “Age of Empires III,” providing players with the ability to lead one of three proud Native American civilizations, including the Iroquois Confederation, to expand their empire and fight for control of the Americas.

The expansion pack, which is due on store shelves in the Fall of 2006, will provide new ways to play and win, introducing new gameplay elements and content including new civilizations, a new single player campaign, Home City enhancements and additional maps and units. Additional content will be added to all existing European civilizations as well.

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22. Re: RTS idea Mar 8, 2006, 14:48 Tango
 
There's absolutely scope for that sort of thing, and you and I would likely be the only ones to buy it, I'm afraid.
Heh true.

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21. Re: RTS idea Mar 8, 2006, 05:37 Jow
 
There's absolutely scope for that sort of thing, and you and I would likely be the only ones to buy it, I'm afraid.

 
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20. Re: RTS idea Mar 8, 2006, 04:18 Tango
 
The RTS I'd like to see would be modern day or perhaps C&C Generals near-future style, but would incorporate many more of the realities of modern war. I don't mind AoE's historical units, but I have much less interest in futuristic games (though I may make an exception for Supreme Commander).

If I have an artillery piece, it should be able to fire for miles, but with less accuracy the further it fires. I don't want a targeting symbol when I click it, more a "circle of probability" where it is aimed at and where it could hit. If I use it to destroy a gun emplacement in the middle of a town, I should know there's a good possibility I'll hit a market (if I bothered to satellite scan the town first). If I fire blindly at the target I won't know about the market, I'll kill lots of innocents and my "public support" meter will drop, either losing me the game or restricting my access to such powerful weapons. If I complete the objective using just a couple of snipers and an engineer, I'd get bonus points. Or I could roll in with the tanks and hand out supplies. Up goes that meter.

The media would play a role - if I wipe out an entire village to try and find an enemy commander then Ill be accused of another My Lai and not be trusted with anything more than maintaining supply routes. If I watch the village closely, scan it with a satellite... why is that guy leaving the village every morning to wander into the mountains... send a Humvee in to steal a couple of suspicious people and interrogate them at my base... you get the idea.

And more different sorts of missions other than "destroy everything on the map."


I dunno, maybe the above wouldn't work so well in practice, but I'm convinced there's scope for an "intelligent" RTS which is more than simple rock/paper/scissors.

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19. Re: RTS idea Mar 7, 2006, 21:59 UttiniDaKilrJawa
 
How much you wanna bet that someone bitches about the portrayal of native americans in the exp.

 
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18. Re: RTS idea Mar 7, 2006, 21:44 ExcessDan
 
that sounds incredibly boring for the non-commanders

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17. RTS idea Mar 7, 2006, 20:42 Overflow
 
What would be interesting is an RTS that was multiplayer with the ability of a commander. So you as commander would "command" the other players on your side what to do. Let the other players "micromanage" their squads/units/whatever. Perhaps as commander, you would be the only player with the ability to see the whole map. With maybe extra powers like artiliary or what not.

Just an idea.

 
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16. Re: No subject Mar 7, 2006, 18:52 Semantics
 
I haven't bothered watching any of those. That's too bad if it is just generic gameplay wise.

 
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15. Re: Console RTS Mar 7, 2006, 16:58 Orogogus
 
I'd be interested to see how the interface works with the controller. I suspect it requires a lot of help, kind of like the auto-aim you have to have which takes all the skill out of FPS games on consoles.
If they find some way to provide a workable computer assist in an RTS game for a console, then they should take it right back and put in a PC game, too.

I want to like RTS games but I can't because I don't enjoy micromanagement, and I haven't found any since, like, Harpoon that let you move troops around without holding their hands through every piddling action.

Take Dawn of War. There's a button to add another member to your squad, and if you right click on it (I think) it auto-reinforces until it's up to full strength. All well and good, but once it gets up to full strength it turns itself off, and if it gets attacked again and loses a member I have to do it again, the upshot being that instead of just making sure I have a Terminator squad in place to hold a pass, I have to babysit them whenever they get in a fight or else they'll eventually disappear off the map. And this is a RTS that's relatively light on the micro.

This crap drives me nuts. I'm glad that micromanagement gods have a variety of choices, more power to 'em, but I'd rather see the skill in RTS be a matter of attacking at the right time and place instead of managing the interface. If the consoles get RTS games that cut out this kind of handholding then I'm jumping ship first chance I get.

 
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14. Re: How About Supreme Commander? Mar 7, 2006, 16:11 Tango
 
I think that Supreme Commander should be a pretty big event
I hope so. It needs to have decent AI though. I am still yet to be beaten by what I consider to be decent AI in an RTS game. Yeah, they might be able to amass a billion units because the computer doesn't need to click on an interface, and can micromanage and fight/defend.

I want them to attack my weak spots, and adapt their strategy according to what their recon tells them about my base. I don't want units appearing off the side of the map to "surprise" me in the middle of my base (cough AoE3 cough). I want misleading stuff. Decoy bases. Sabotage, ambush, etc.

If I'm ever a billionaire I'm gonna build a game studio to make the best ever RTS. I love the genre (and not just war games, I count SimCity and Transport Tycoon as RTS games).

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13. Re: No subject Mar 7, 2006, 16:05 John
 
RoL looks great to me. It has unique races which are not like other fantasy games.

GW: Grad Mcgarth W/N Going to finish game before I start a new character me thinks
 
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12. Re: Console RTS Mar 7, 2006, 16:04 Tango
 
Oh yeah? What about Battle of Middle Earth II for Xbox 360?
I'd be interested to see how the interface works with the controller. I suspect it requires a lot of help, kind of like the auto-aim you have to have which takes all the skill out of FPS games on consoles.

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11. Re: No subject Mar 7, 2006, 16:03 shinchan0s
 
As opposed to another cookie-cutter historical RTS?

The original Rise of Nations was such a complete game that I don't know if they could've improved on it further or added any new features besides better graphics or lame gimmicks - *cough* AoE III *cough*. So they did the next best thing and changed the subject matter. The races are original, imaginative (love the Vinci faction) and there's not one single elf to be found. I'm surprised this game doesn't get any more hype from BN.

So what did you want? Rise of Nations II with the new Eskimo civilization? If they stick with the historical route they'll just get stuck in a rut like Ensemble has with Age of Empires.

 
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10. Re: No subject Mar 7, 2006, 15:37 Jaenos
 
I dunno Semantics, I looked at a gameplay vid of the new rise of nations and was like wtf. I loved the first one but this looks like they just turned it into every other cookie cutter fantasy rts.

 
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9. How About Supreme Commander? Mar 7, 2006, 15:34 Overflow
 
I think that Supreme Commander should be a pretty big event. Hopefully they keep "way point patrolling" like in Total Annihilation and the early RTS's. That's one thing that bugs me about C&C Generals and the newer RTS's they need way point patrolling.

ARGHHHHHHH!!! I want way point patrolling! And I want decent co-op.

 
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8. Console RTS Mar 7, 2006, 15:34 ExcessDan
 
Oh yeah? What about Battle of Middle Earth II for Xbox 360?

http://xbox360.ign.com/objects/794/794413.html

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7. Maybe it's good? Mar 7, 2006, 15:30 Zorianarki
 
Maybe the lack of a flooding of RTS titles will result in the few big ones selling better? And that'll end up being a good thing. Tho I don't know the first thing about sales, marketing, saturation or [insert FATM buisnes buzzword here]. So don't take my word for it

 
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6. Re: No subject Mar 7, 2006, 15:11 Tango
 
Rise of Nations has some potential. For a francise, I mean.
Yeah but I think (and this is merely a hunch, not backed up with irrefutable evidence, just based on the big releases we see these days - so no flaming :)) that we won't see another RTS franchise like C&C, AoE or TA in the near future. I don't think publishers are interested because they don't work on consoles. I suspect their sales as a portion of total PC sales has fallen. Sure, the odd big game such as AoEIII pops up, but there aren't many new ones.

And certainly none that are coming from left field like FarCry did with FPS, or looking to revolutionise the genre as HalfLife did.

In fact, the best RTS games are often found as mods to other games.

Edit: I'd also add that I haven't played RoN yet. So I can't comment on that one


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5. Re: No subject Mar 7, 2006, 15:04 John
 
Yeap, it sure does.

Would be nice to see a new StarCraft, too.


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4. Re: No subject Mar 7, 2006, 14:40 Semantics
 
Rise of Nations has some potential. For a francise, I mean.


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3. Re: No subject Mar 7, 2006, 14:33 Tango
 
Great game IMHO. Having been having a lot of fun with the C&C First Decade pack of late, it's interesting to see how far the genre has come. Not just graphically (though AoE is pretty) but mainly in terms of the interface. But it still is waiting for a game to do what Half-Life did to FPS. Unfortunately, due to the decline in PC sales and, I suspect, in the genre, coupled with the inherent impossibility of RTS on a console (sans mouse & keyboard) I think it's unlikely that anything other than the franchises of C&C, AoE, TA and possibly StarCraft (which I never played but I hear was great) will be launched in a big way.


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