May 2002 Archives

May 30, 2002 Posted @ 10:11 PM | Angel Cay
May 2002 Monthly Challenge
This is a reminder that the May 2002 Monthly Challenge ends tomorrow at midnight.

The challenge for May 2002 is to win the Age of Wonders II Beta Demo! To download the demo, check the links listed in the AOW2 Beta Demo Forum. Your objective is to conquer the scenario in the least number of turns.

You may play simultaneous or classic turns.

You may play either Julia of the Elves or Meandor of the Dark Elves.

You must play with the following settings:

Allied Victory OFF
Exploration ON
AI Difficulty CPU Knight

Please save your progress every 10 days under a new file name. Be sure to make a special, final save just before initiating your victory battle.

Please submit your game save for the winning turn to Angel Cay (alternate email address) before 23:59 US Eastern Time on Friday, May 31st, 2002.

Check the May 2002 Monthly Challenge page for rules and results.

Discuss the May 2002 Monthly Challenge in the Competitions Forum.


May 29, 2002 Posted @ 6:39 PM | ChowGuy
RayB on the Extra CD. And other stuff
Mapmaker and storyteller extraordinare RayB AoW answered a question about availability of the Bonus CD by noting
Last time they did the promotional cd, there were something like 5 maps on it. And well... they eventually showed up on fansites... so um... I wouldn't stress too much...

Not that this is an official triumph opinion, just the ramblings of a madman...
But the real news was tucked away in the following Post Script
PS. Btw, I got official (Lennart) confirmation (gonegold and other fansites are not lying, game has gone gold.
Elsewhere, for the benefit of those who may not know what the term "Gone Gold" means, forumer LonelyTower put it this way
It means that the "final" game master discs are burnt and are sent for mass duplications.
That about sums it up LT, except of course it's only "final" in the the sense that it's what we will be seeing in the first retail boxes. That doesn't mean there won't be patches or tweaks later, or even that Triumph is not already at work on them. It does mean though that release is not being held up by any known major problems.


May 27, 2002 Posted @ 3:52 PM | ChowGuy
AoW2 Gone Gold?
No confirmation yet from the Developers here, or at the official GodGames site, but Gone Gold posted this earlier today on their news page:


Gone Gold

Age of Wonders II

Perhaps the one and only game to pull me out of Morrowind for a small while. I got the news this one was gold while I was at E3. Super. Kiss the wife and kids good-bye my friends... Looks like we're going to be away for awhile...


There's a list of game features there as well for those who don't already know what to expect. Let's hope this is truth and not just rumor, and that the ship date of 11 June we've been hearing now stands firm.


May 24, 2002 Posted @ 4:15 PM | Angel Cay
Announcing a Team Tournament at League AoW
June 15th at 10:00am US Eastern Time, League AoW will host a 2-vs-2 Team Tournament on a special map made by the Lovely Queen Elquein Jaradcel. For more information and to sign up, please check the League AoW webiste.


May 24, 2002 Posted @ 5:59 AM | Angel Nojd
AoW2 Release Date
GameSpot reports from E3:
GameSpot has learned that Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne is now essentially complete and on track to ship worldwide on June 11.

Read the whole news flash on their site.


May 24, 2002 Posted @ 5:17 AM | Angel Nojd
Report from E3: The Editor
Alex Mars reports from E3, where he has been trying out the AoW2 Editor:
While at E3 I spent a few hours messing around at the AoW2 exhibit. They had an almost complete build including the editor.

He tells us about painting with the brush, events, missing "timed obstacles", AI block, ..., and concludes:
I have some issues with how AoW2 plays out, but I must say that the editor looks pretty good.

Read and comment his whole report in our forums.


May 22, 2002 Posted @ 7:02 PM | Angel Zen
Gamespy posts preview of AoW2
While they're at E3, Gamespy has posted a hands-on preview of Age of Wonders II:
This time around, the game's single-player campaign will cast you as the young human leader Merlin. With humanity on the verge of extinction, Merlin and his last followers are attacked by a band of dragons. Saved from death by the great mage Gabriel, Merlin will need to restore order to the land of Evermore, whose lands have been torn asunder by a schism among its most powerful wizards. Along with the main campaign, you can also look forward to single scenarios, all playable with either alternating or simultaneously executed turns. You'll also get a scenario editor for creating your own challenges, as well as full multiplayer support allowing up to eight players to compete over the Internet or a LAN. Expect play-by-e-mail and hotseat options, too.
... can I get a hands-on preview of the infamous boothbabes?



May 21, 2002 Posted @ 5:18 PM | ChowGuy
Josh Retaliates!
Well sort of. Developer Josh AoW offered this clarification on the question How many mp is consumed when a unit retaliates?
Retaliation strikes consume 25% of a unit's MP... A unit's MP are restored to full at the -end- of their turn. So moving during your turn does not affect retaliations, but retaliations do affect your -next- turn's MP. Units with high MP have the advantage that they still have more MP after 1-3 retaliations than a slow unit.
Uhm... OK, clear enough. So four strikes and you're out as it were. As we inch oh so slowly toward the release we start to learn these little details. Maybe by the time it gets here we'll understand them all. Or not. But stick around folks, it's sure to be an interesting ride.


May 21, 2002 Posted @ 4:12 PM | Angel Draco
E3 Desktops for AOW2
There are five new AOW2 wallpapers for your desktop at the Gathering of Developer's E3 website. Three resolution sizes are available; fantastic images! Check out the ones for the Stronghold: Crusader expansion back too!

I'll be leaving for the E3 convention myself in just a few hours and will report back on Age of Wonders 2 when I return!


May 20, 2002 Posted @ 2:44 PM | Angel Draco
GameSpy's E3 AOW2 Preview
Gamespy has posted an updated preview of AoW2 as part of its E3 coverage. It touches on all aspects of gameplay, the background story and has some nice screenshots. Here's a snippet:
Age of Wonders II's gameplay will offer a blend of familiar features and significant changes from the original game. The core gameplay will still combine large-scale strategy and empire building with tactical combat and RPG elements. You'll explore a colorful strategic world map to find resources like mines and magical mana nodes. You'll capture or build cities, which you'll expand with improvements like defensive walls and libraries that hasten spell research. On the grand scale, you'll also get to engage in diplomacy with other leaders, negotiating treaties, trading resources or spells, and declaring war. As an interesting way for the game to dole out new quests, deities will occasionally make their presence known, recruiting you to do their bidding.


May 19, 2002 Posted @ 6:40 PM | Angel Draco
New Angel & Scenario Design Section
I'm pleased to announce that Cherub Bluecollarheaven has been promoted to Angel Bluecollarheaven, and will be overseeing AOWH's brand new Scenario Design design section!

Bluecollarheaven is the author of the well-known "Custom Map Maker's Resource" (formerly hosted at MSN Communties), which now resides here at AOWH. Hit the new "Scenario Design" button on our Nav Bar or check out its new homepage at: http://aow.heavengames.com/scenariodesign.

All aspects of using the Map Editor are covered. Submissions for articles and any short contributions are welcome! Click here to read Bluecollarheaven's announcement and to check the submission guidelines.

Whether you're an expert looking for advanced map editing techniques to make the AI more competitive, or if you've never used the map editor before and are looking for some beginner tips, our Scenario Design section is the place for you! Be sure to also check out the Scenario Design & Map Editing forum to get help or share info with your fellow map makers!


May 19, 2002 Posted @ 1:51 AM | Angel Draco
Updated AOW2 Preview at Gamespot
Got an early tip from a forumer this morning (thanks TheShadowDawn!) that Gamespot.com has posted an updated preview of AOW2, along
with a whole bunch of new screenshots and some new movies. The preview is very positive and heralds AOW2 as a worthy successor to Micropose's 1995 strategy classic, "Masters of Magic."
Master of Magic had all the exploration, resource gathering, and conquest of the Heroes of Might and Magic series, but it also had the management, research, and diplomacy of the Civilization series. It was a combination like no other, and to this day, many devoted fans still swear by Master of Magic--to them, it's the quintessential fantasy strategy game, and nothing else comes close. That's going to change with Age of Wonders II. The sequel will build on everything in the original game, but it will also have new features that might just make it the closest thing to a full-blown Master of Magic sequel that we're likely to see this year.
TheShadowDawn pointed out to me, however, that one cannot view the movies and screens unless you are a "Gamespot complete" member (it's "pay for service" plan). One of the movies is supposedly "unlocked" for non-Gamespot Complete members, but I was still asked for a log-in code and could not view it. Oh well. Their current list of "free" screenshots is very good though. You can see each of the "Wizard's Selection" screens and read a bit about their history. You can read the entire preview here.


May 16, 2002 Posted @ 5:33 PM | ChowGuy
FC spellcasting update
Once more kindly developer Josh AoW has come by, this time to expand upon the question "So what is the fc combat spell fix going to be?"
Options for the player to set how AC AI handles spells for them would require a large amount of work, since this has to be synced across a MP game. This may be possible in the future, but not right now.

The main change from the demo is that AC AI will not cast spells if it considers the battle easy. This is calculated dynamically, so if the battle turns against you, the AI will start casting.

And elsewhere he had this to say about the new improved (but missing from the Demo) Animate Dead spell
Animate Dead is no longer a small area-effect spell. It now creates up to 5 zombies from all over the battlefield. As such, it is much more useful.
Now put those together and imagine - just when you think you've squeaked through that PBEM battle the AI hits you with a pack of resurgent zombies rising up against you. Scary Josh, scary.


May 15, 2002 Posted @ 5:13 PM | ChowGuy
And the word on teleporters is...
Josh AoW has once again graced the forum to say in response to a "petition" that the option to disable building cities or teleporters will be included in the release. Later, in answer to a query about other structures, he added this
Alex: That's what we had time to implement for release. Any additional features in this area would have been too time consuming to implement at this time. IMO this addresses the main concerns voiced by forum posters in this area...

Feel free to make suggestions for further improvements to AoW2 after the full version is available.
Notice the tense in those two statements. Josh, does this mean what we all hope, that the game has in fact now Gone Gold and release is imminent? Please say it's so. Pretty please? If we offer you doughnuts?


May 14, 2002 Posted @ 9:06 PM | ChowGuy
Unit descriptions, wherefore art thou?
Triumph's rayB AoW popped in to address the question We all miss unit descriptions, right?" and has this to say:
Um... because the writer of the game had about 15 personal emergencies over the past year, including having a crappy job, getting laid off, selling house, moving, getting a new job, working insane hours and having a new baby. Well, that and it wasn't part of my contract... errr... I mean "the writer".

As for the Iron Maiden, it is an interesting tale, involving Elven Physiology and their hatred of refined metals, in particular that of Iron... not involving the torture device...
OK, Ray we all know about the house the beatiful baby girl and the rest, but about this Iron Maiden.... And what about those torture devices? Besides the ones you mentioned that is. Come on Ray, give with the story!


May 14, 2002 Posted @ 3:25 PM | Angel Draco
GamesDomain Previews AOW2
A preview of Age of Wonders 2 has been posted at GamesDomain.
Age of Wonders II has taken the bare bones of its predecessor, and fleshed them out considerably, with a luscious new engine, a new combat basis, and an epic storyline narrated by your traditional bearded old man with a twinkle in his eye. The world is out of balance - our human hero, Merlin (no, not that Merlin) has had his city destroyed, his people scattered, and is generally not a happy bunny. His ship is attacked and sinking to the bottom of the ocean, he believes his final days to be numbered - but not so! The wizard Gabriel saves him, and tasks him with saving the world.
It covers the basic storyline and essentials of game play. Nothing really new, but there are ten spiffy screenshots, especially this one, from what looks to be the "victory" screen following the Life Sphere campaign missions.


May 11, 2002 Posted @ 11:52 AM | ChowGuy
Still Going...
With Josh AoW saying the release is still on schedule and hopefully only weeks away, there's still a lot of discussion on the forum about the relative strengths of archers, whether or not "gate smashing" is a good thing, and the whole new Tactical Combat system in general. The list of known/preceived problems keeps growing and the devs have gotten even more secretive about exactly what changes they may be making, but it's likely they won't be making major design changes now, and can't be expected to. Read about the feedback Survey here and you haven't filled it out yet, please
try to do so. If the results are to have any relevance at all, they need to be in before the "Gone Gold" date.

There are of course still a lot of things we haven't seen yet, some we know of (like Skill Research and the other races) others we do not so there's still lots of room for speculation and a lot has been going on in the AoW2 General Discussions forum. Come in and add your comments and suggestions there as well. They may not make it in the initial release, but who knows what may show up later in the way of patches or even expansion packs? If past history is any indication, Triumph will be responsive to user input in terms of balancing the game and even adding new tweaks, and of course now that the mod-maker genie for AoW1 is out of the bottle, we can possibly expect to see similar things creeping into AoW2 as well. Exciting days still lay ahead.


May 10, 2002 Posted @ 2:28 PM | Angel Draco
PC.IGN Preview
A preview of Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne is IGN.PC's feature story today. It does a nice job of explaining the basics of game play, says the AI is very challenging and praises its graphics. Here's a snippet:
Most battles will probably be fought out in the open with on the natural cover or trees and rocks hampering movement and providing cover from missile fire, but you'll also have the opportunity to attack cities, which can have walls around them. If you do attack these cities, you'll want to make sure you have some siege engines along with you to knock the walls down. If you don't, chances are you'll soon find your forces being picked off by the well-defended missile troops behind the walls. If you don't have the siege engines, you'll have to bash down the gates with melee damage. This can take a little while depending on your units and give defenders ample time to cause damage enough to seriously deplete your forces. Overall at this point, I'm finding the tactical battles quite the treat, even if I seem to be outnumbered most of the time.
Click here to read the entire preview, then discuss it on our message boards!


May 9, 2002 Posted @ 12:48 PM | Angel Draco
AOW2 Delayed?
Angel Cay just got an email from Electronic Boutique about his pre-order for AOW2, looks like the new projected shipping date is June 11. Here's what EBGames.com sent him:
Important Information about your Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne order!

Dear EBgames.com Customer,

Thanks for pre-ordering Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne from EBgames.com! As an added benefit to ordering from us, we'll keep you informed of ship date changes. We are writing to let you know that we have made a slight change to the projected ship date. The new ship date for Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne will be 6/11/02. As always, EBgames.com will not charge your credit card until we ship your order.
I'm not too worried about this slight delay. I've waited this long for AOW2, I can wait a little more. Plus, I'm sure the extra time will allow the Devs to ship a better game; every little game play tweak counts!


May 9, 2002 Posted @ 12:39 PM | Angel Draco
15 Screenshots at C&V
Computer and Videogames.com has just posted 15 new screenshots. You must register with their site to view them.


May 8, 2002 Posted @ 8:31 AM | Angel Cay
May 2002 Monthly Challenge
The challenge for May 2002 is to win the Age of Wonders II Beta Demo! To download the demo, check the links listed in the AOW2 Beta Demo Forum. Your objective is to conquer the scenario in the least number of turns.

You may play simultaneous or classic turns.

You may play either Julia of the Elves or Meandor of the Dark Elves.

You must play with the following settings:

Allied Victory OFF
Exploration ON
AI Difficulty CPU Knight

Please save your progress every 10 days under a new file name. Be sure to make a special, final save just before initiating your victory battle.

Please submit your game save for the winning turn to Angel Cay (alternate email address) before 23:59 US Eastern Time on Friday, May 31st, 2002.

Check the May 2002 Monthly Challenge page for rules and results.


May 6, 2002 Posted @ 9:23 AM | Angel Cay
April 2002 Monthly Challenge Winners
All entries for the April 2002 Monthly Challenge have been processed, and it's time to announce the winners! Congratulations to the following players, who helped Julia and Elric defeat the evil hordes:

1st Place (13 Days) -- Snow Leopard
2nd Place (15 Days) -- Tie between Waterfly and Tekk Zero

For a complete list of results, check the April 2002 Monthly Challenge page.


May 4, 2002 Posted @ 3:48 PM | Angel Draco
New Screenshots @ Gamespot
Gamespot has just posted 3 new screenshots. They're hi-res and show off some pretty cool graphics!


May 1, 2002 Posted @ 11:53 PM | Angel Draco
Take the AOW2 Demo Feedback Survey!
That's right folks! Now that we've devoured the demo over the last two weeks, it's time to stand up and be counted!

Take the AOW2 Demo Feedback Survey and weigh in on some of the "hot" issues!

This 10 question survey will take all of 30 seconds to fill out! It's anonymous, but you will need to enter in your forum name and password to vote, as you can only vote once! We'll solicit input for about two weeks or so and post the results!

What are you waiting for? Hop on over to the AOW2 Demo Feedback Survey!


May 1, 2002 Posted @ 3:51 PM | Angel Draco
More Demo Tweaks & CGW Preview
More news of demo tweaks from Lennart Sas were peppered around the forum today:
"BTW, we resolved balance [i.e., mana] issues with summoning spells and pioneers. Now pioneers need a range of 10 between cities and an extra 250 gold to build an outpost. Pioneers can also build roads again.... The 'duplication of a hero' bug [has also been] fixed."
Also received word today from forumer Tylertoo the latest (June) issue of Computer Gaming World magazine contains a brief review of AOW2 based on a beta version of the full game, including the campaigns, written by Robert Coffey, CGW's RPG and Strategy editor. Here's a snippet, as provided by Tylertoo:
"I dabbled in a number of the game's mini-campaigns. Each of these smaller sequences of maps limits your in-game avatar to using just one of six realms of magic.... Learning the nuances and strategies that each spell school afforded only deepened the strategy and forced me to adapt constantly.... Maps were enormous, dotted with teleport stations that made the often-arduous march across the landscape much easier."
Stop by the forums to catch up on the latest feedback for the Beta Demo!