June 2002 Archives

June 30, 2002 Posted @ 6:01 PM | Angel Draco
AoW2 scores 87% from Elited.net
AoW2 scored an 87% from Elited.net, here's how reviewer Vix sums up her experience:
Overall the gameplay is addicting, you can honestly lose hours of sleep playing. The graphics in AoW2 are stunning and the animation has picked up since AoW. Spells are visually tantalizing. AoW2 shows off some of the best graphics of recently released turn based strategy games. I have not run into any bugs thus far which is a rarity these days. The graphics are beautiful and add to the enjoyment. Even the well characterized AI found in AoW2 are hard to defeat. AoW was a hit, and with AoW2 being an improvement from the first I can only see it surpassing others. If you enjoyed Disciples 2 you are going to love Age of Wonders 2.
You can read the full review here.


June 29, 2002 Posted @ 7:11 AM | Angel Nojd
The chatlog is up!
Gamers.nl hosted a chat with the developers on thursday 27:th. They have now put up the log from the chatsession on their site. Check it out!

The chat also made it into the Gamers.nl News.

Here's the Chatlog.

Discuss the chat in our forums!


June 28, 2002 Posted @ 6:29 PM | Angel Nojd
LeagueAoW Ready!
Der Waggs informs us that Sfriese has completed the battle reporting system for both AoW and AoW2 at the LeagueAoW site! Sign up for IP games there if you haven't already, and start reporting those battles!


June 28, 2002 Posted @ 3:20 PM | Angel Draco
PC Gameworld Rates AoW2 95%
Another awesome review for Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard's Throne from PC Gameworld, who gives it a rockin' 95% rating!
When the first Age of Wonders was released Heroes III began to fall by the wayside on my computer. With Age of Wonders II now residing on my hard drive I have a feeling that Heroes IV will also be going the way of III. From top to bottom Age of Wonders II is a great experience, giving strategy gamers a heck of a lot of game for their money. With beautiful graphics, a smart AI, and a dragon’s hoard of replayability, Age of Wonders II is a winner.

Now go out and show those bean counters that people do play fantasy games other than RPGs and Warcraft.
You can read the full review here.


June 27, 2002 Posted @ 11:21 AM | ChowGuy
Exclusive! Developer secrets revealled!
Well not really. But Triumph's Josh AoW did take a few moment's from his busy workload to answer the Savage BattleAxe's question "How long did it take you to deelope the game engine" with
Tough question to answer. Some aspects of the engine are very similar to AoW1, rewritten to improve them. Others (like the 3D) are entirely new. Additionally, work on the engine will continue for some time to come (for new products)... If I had to pick a number, I'd say 2 years, but anything between 1 and 5 could be claimed...
Read it, and the ensuing discussion here in the AoW2 General forum. As always, feel free to jump in with your own questions and comments.

And in a somewhat related development, Arnout has posted a link to a site with an interview and pictures of the team at work in their Dutch offices.
If your interested, go have look at Gamers.nl

http://www.gamers.nl/viewdocs/540

The feature is in dutch, however. But there are some pictures of the team @ work.
Lennart has kindly identified the visible culprits for us. Hmmm, those guys look a bit familiar.


June 26, 2002 Posted @ 10:05 AM | ChowGuy
Devs Live Online!
Triumph Studios Designer Lennart Sas was by earlier with the following invitation:
Dutch site Gamers.nl will host a chat session with TS Developers on Thursday 27th of June at 19:30 Central European Time, which is 1:30 PM Eastern Time in the US. English Q&A is no problem.

#gamers.nl on irc.gamepoint.net (aka irc.enterthegame.net)
Here's your chance to ask those really tough questions like "How do I my units off a boat?" :b Seriously though this will be a great opportunity to not only meet the Devs and find out some things about the game, but perhaps some of your fellow players and supporters as well. For everyone who can be there, this is a must-see. Or hear. Or type. Whatever.


June 25, 2002 Posted @ 12:32 PM | Angel Draco
Raining Reviews!
Positive reviews are coming in fast and furious; the critics can't stop saying enough good things about AoW2! We've got four reviews for you today, starting off with an in-depth three page review at Gamespy, who gave it an 89/100 and called AoW2 the "best turn-based strategy game released this year":
"A ruthless enemy AI that keeps you on your toes every single turn aids both the campaign and the individual scenarios. Age of Wonders 2 has one of the most aggressively designed CPU opponents that you will ever see in a strategy game."
Next up is Gaming Illustrated's in-depth review, calling AoW2 a "firm grip" at 88/100 (and a nice little plug for us here at AOWH!):
"For strategy and fantasy fans, AOW2 will answer why the Age of Wonders series is regarded as games that remains on one’s hard drive as other games come and go. Despite flaws, it’s the best turn-based strategy game this side of Civilization III.

The best solution for any AI failing is to face-off online against another player. AOW2 supports three types of multi-player games. I didn’t find a very extensive AOW2 community for multi-player, but the game has a loyal following with a fine community web site at http://aow.heavengames.com."
Games Domain checks in with a thoughtful evaluation, rating AoW2 a "Top Game." While Gamespy thought the interface could be a bit cleaner, this reviewer absolutely loved the layout, calling it "near perfect" and very "newbie friendly:
"What's improved is the entire game. The artwork and presentation are stunning. The interface is near perfect and intuitive. The AI is sharp and aggressive and the difficulty levels mean something, ramping up the challenge nicely. There's a lot of depth, tons of new units and spells, and a devious single-player campaign to deal with. Plus, many scenarios and full multiplayer options and a scenario editor to assuage the loss of the random mission generator. Age of Wonders II is a balm for those left unchallenged and disappointed by Heroes of Might & Magic IV and those still thrilled by Disciples II. It might even please older gamers still pining away for Master of Magic."
Finally we have a summary review from Gamezilla, who rates AoW2 for "Fans Only," because of the depth and challenging level of strategy:
"Even experts should give the tutorial a spin, as AoW2 contains enough bells and whistles to occupy even the most experienced strategist. In a given turn, you may be recruiting heroes, exploring, negotiating with or fighting other wizards, tapping mines or nodes for resources, researching technologies, learning/casting spells, building structures, managing morale, and/or moving units for strategic advantage. Whew! As you can see, this isn’t a game where you can sit back and mass produce units to conquer the map."


June 24, 2002 Posted @ 6:34 PM | ChowGuy
Polite questions yield polite answers
On the question of the Auto-move option, which many have raised, Triumph's Arnout noted here: that "Yes, auto movement will be off in the patch." Please note that this does not mean this feature is being removed, only that the existing option toggle will now be OFF rather then ON by default when you install the game.

Elsewhere on the question of Hero and Item libraries not being saved, Sikbok offers this advice:
Until the patch is out, if you want to make a hero lib just make diréctory named 'User' in your Aow2 dir. The editer will automatically save the libary to this 'User' directory.

Working on other thingies too

Sikbok & Arnout

And on the question of healers outside combat Josh AoW notes that healers do, in fact use their healing automatically on injured units in their stack. He further explains:
The healer picks a target based on how hurt they are, and how valuable they are. Units with Repair will make the same decision for Machines.

As to the slowdowns reported by some users, there is no word yet of a fix, but the developers are working on it. If this means they do not have time to read and respond to every post immediately, please understand that. They have done a wonderful job, but inevitably in any project as complex as this and dependent on so many variables in user systems, some problems will occur. As Josh points out:
It's hard to say, since we're getting some conflicting reports... Hopefully a bit more data will be posted, and a trend will develop... The ambient sfx issue is fixed, so if that's hurting performance on a particularly crappy sound card, it will be fixed as well...
Let's all give them the time and support they need to keep up the good work.


June 24, 2002 Posted @ 10:17 AM | Angel Draco
The Trades Gives AoW2 an A!
The-Trades.com gave AoW2 a high grade of "A-" in its recent review. The author really enjoyed the gameplay (even the sound!) and drew many parallels to the Civilization line of strategy games, going so far as to label AoW2 "Fantasy Civilization." Here's a snippet:
There are many aspects of the game that I found perfectly enjoyable. Capturing enemy cities allows you to build their units as is appropriate for their race. The ability to cast spells both in and out of combat as a wizard is a very cool feature. The combat mechanism in the game is great as well. Whenever combat occurs you can choose between letting the computer determine the outcome (as Civilization would have you do), or you can take an active role and command each unit in combat. This is the cool way. Here you can cast your spells, move your units, attack with ranged attackers, knock down enemy walls, use your siege engines, invoke the special abilities of your races units and heroes. It is a lot of fun and the engine is well balanced.
Click here to read the full review. Thanks to Ager Kevin Kuphal for the heads up on the review!


June 21, 2002 Posted @ 6:13 PM | ChowGuy
Actiontrip gives AoW2 an 87
Yet another review, replete with screen shots for those who still haven't got their own copies, has been posted at ActionTrip where reviewer Ure "Vader" Paul has this to say:
After striking a reasonably successful mark in the gaming world, Age of Wonders had captivated many turn-based strategy fans. In spite of its success, the gameplay was somewhat restricted and there were a few minor setbacks. Triumph Studios was determined to make things better in Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard's Throne. First, a quick warning to all players who are unacquainted with games a la Age of Winders and Heroes of Might and Magic. Age of Wonders may seem a tad tedious at first, but once your units and heroes gain enough experience you are in for a treat.
In talking about the AI, he goes on to add
I have played games like Heroes of Might and Magic, and I've never seen such a well-balanced AI system. Any time you confront a weak band of enemies, you'll witness them trying to avoid you at all costs. What's even more impressive is that they'll usually attempt to lure you into the magic domain of a rival-wizard, which makes you more open to attack. The AI in battle sequences has also been perfected. Archer units will really make an effort to get the most appropriate angle for damaging your company. Also, using advanced tactics is something you'll find enemies doing very efficiently. They will position themselves behind rocks and trees, so as to avoid being hit by your archers.
But the real scoop comes at the end, where he notes
Fans of AoW games will be happy to hear that Lennart Sas from Triumph Studios spoke of a new sequel in his last chat with us: "AoW2 is unlikely to be the last installment in the series," he said. So, until they sit down and make Age of Wonders 3, you can be sure that this game will be enough to hold your attention for some time - over 20 maps in the campaign mode, several single scenarios, many spheres of magic you can choose from, and a variety of races and units.
You can read the whole thing on-line then come to our forums and discuss your own impressions.



June 21, 2002 Posted @ 11:34 AM | Angel Draco
Devs Around The Forums
The Triumph Studios developers have been very busy on the forums lately responding to gameplay questions, clarifying feature implementation and assisting with technical and installation problems.

Josh Farley, Programmer, on Random Numbers Generator (for attack and damage values):
The random number generator is working fine, and is exactly the same as used in AoW1, and every other game you've ever played... Perhaps some players aren't noticing distance/height penalties or other things (like special abilities) that affect combat, or perhaps they're just having bad luck... But trying to blame the random number generator is pretty funny.
Josh Farley on the AI not using magic:
As noted by others, the AI can only use combat spells if it has the mana, casting points, and researched spells to use. The only other time he won't cast is if his spells won't do damage, the fight isn't in his domain, or he considers the fight to be an easy victory.
Ray Bringham, Writer, on the loss of dungeon exploration:
As a matter of consolation, you will notice that there are some dungeon like tiles in the cavern section of the map editor tiles. Now you can make the whole underground one big dungeon crawl. The reason for their removal, btw, wasn't because people didn't like them. I think it was a matter of resources and simplifying the game code so that there weren't so many special modes. There was a whole tileset for the internals of buildings which was greatly simplified by only doing the tilesets for the outdoor sites. The AI didn't really work all that well in those modes because it had to wait until the unit saw you... and special game code wasn't very applicable for the whole game...

I think in the end, in order to deliver more bang in other areas it was seen as an acceptable sacrifice to remove. I remember mourning their loss back when Lennart told me about the decision. I wept for a while. Then, like all things, I got back up on my feet and faced the new day, trying always to remain positive. Soon I found a new reason to live. And while I will always miss those dungeons, I feel as though I am stronger because I have endured their loss.

Check out these discussions and post your questions to the developers on our Age of Wonders II Forums!


June 20, 2002 Posted @ 9:55 AM | Angel Draco
More Positive Reviews!
The third review of AoW2 so far is yet again overwhelmingly positive. GamersClick has weighed in with its take on the best turn-based strategy game of the year and once again heralds AoW2 as the modern successor to the classic Masters of Magic:
There are a number of fantasy-themed turn-based strategy games available right now, and Age of Wonders 2 does an admirable job of distinguishing itself from the others. Gamers who remember the classic Master of Magic will recognize its influence on the gameplay, and those who enjoyed the first Age of Wonders game will not be disappointed by the improvements offered in the sequel. When you combine the solid gameplay with the high quality visuals and attention to detail, there's a lot to like about this game.
Don't let GamersClick's score of 82% fool you. AoW2 scored 9s and 10s in every ratings category except for "Sound" (5/10) which personally I think is a little too harsh which affected the overall score. Out of all the turn-based strategy games released this year, only AoW2 has been consistently given the accolade of reinventing the classic gameplay of Masters of Magic!


June 19, 2002 Posted @ 12:22 PM | Angel Draco
EU Version Is Gold
I can't read the announcement myself, but Swiss Gamesweb is reporting the EU version of Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne has "Gone Gold" and is expected to hit retail outlets across Europe by the end of June.
Alle Freunde gepflegter Strategiespiele dürfen sich auf einen heißen Sommer freuen, denn mit 'Age of Mythology' und 'Age of Wonders 2' erscheinen gleich zwei Referenztitel diesen Genres. Die europäische Version des zuletzt genannten Titels hat laut den Entwicklern von Triumph Studios nun den Gold-Status erreicht und befindet sich gerade zur Vervielfältigung im Presswerk. Bereits vor einigen Wochen konnte die US-Version des Strategiespiels fertiggestellt werden. Somit sollte einem Release Ende Juni nichts mehr im Wege stehen.
We also have reports filtering in that Europeans who pre-ordered AoW2 are finally beginning to receive their copies!


June 18, 2002 Posted @ 5:11 PM | Angel Nojd
Reviews!
The first two reviews of the just released AoW2 have been spotted on the web!

GameZone gives Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne a 7.4 overall rating.

GameSpot gives the game an "8.8 Great" rating, and writes:
Though it may seem difficult for beginners, Age of Wonders II sounds good, looks great, plays terrific, and improves on every aspect of the original game.



June 17, 2002 Posted @ 11:14 AM | ChowGuy
"...It's a Feature!"
We've all heard the one about "it's not a bug..." and as the AoW2 After Action Reports start coming in so do reports of unexpectedly interesting "Features." Such as this thread about "Horses galloping on water." But just to prove that even an old dog can teach us new tricks, forumer ffbj has discovered yet another heretofore unreported ability in the original game. See his "Build Roads Fast" thread in the AoW1 forum for the latest bit of goodness.

Elsewhere, opinions on the game vary from "Too Easy" to "Too Hard" which means the Devs have probably got it just about right and hit the elusive middle ground. Interestingly, one of the most frequent questions so far seems to be about the tutorial. Check here for "Gabriel's Tip #1" - Don't take your Wizard across the river!


June 17, 2002 Posted @ 8:02 AM | Angel Bluecollarheaven
Scenario Design Solution: Customising Defenders On Exploration Sites
There has been a lot of posts lately enquiring on how to customise the units defending an exploration site in the AOW2 map editor. Wazzz has provided a simple solution in response to this query in the Scenario Design forum :

"Here is the solution:

If you place an exploration site on your map, he defaults to average defenders, which means he will pick one race of the races available on the map and randomly select average strenght units.
Now, if you want to put your own defenders on this site, set it to 'none' (no (random)defenders)and place the units you want on top of the site, these will then automatically become the defenders of the site and will be invisible on the map, just like normal defenders. !
about items: if you place an item on a site, it will replace the random item in the site with the item you picked."


Wazzz has also revealed that all editor glitches will be fixed in the next patch update. So cheer up, folks and happy mapmaking!


June 15, 2002 Posted @ 9:01 AM | Angel Nojd
Final Demo
Blue's News reports that the Final Demo is out!

The final demo contains the same scenario as the Beta Demo: Inioch's Legacy, but it also has the Tutorial and supports email, LAN, Internet and single computer games. Of course it's also updated with bug fixes and other enhancements that's been added to the game since the beta demo was released.

If you haven't got the real thing yet, get the demo!


June 14, 2002 Posted @ 1:44 AM | ChowGuy
GameSpy now open for AoW2
Following up on his earlier promise to email his contacts there, Developer Josh Farley reports here that as of 23:27 EDT
The GameSpy room for AoW2 is now up and running.
So those of you looking for MP games should now be able to find each other. Happy gaming.


June 13, 2002 Posted @ 11:25 PM | Angel Draco
Devs Around The Forums
Lead developer Lennart Sas and lead programmer Josh Farley have popped into a few threads around the forums latey, no doubt to read all of the "first impressions" posts by the fans. One of the most exciting comments though was by Josh who hinted at the inclusion of a Random Terrain Generator in a future patch! Hit the links below to view the full threads where these comments appear.

Lennart on the Official Strategy Guide:
"The strategy guide has very few inconsistencies. It went to print later then the manual. I think the writing is top notch and it has a lot of overall strategies, secrets and tips, some if which are written by the developers and QA team. Go get it, it really is one of the best game guides I've seen."
Josh on why Watch Towers cannot be built:
"No evil master plan there, just a feature that didn't make it into the [final] release."
Josh on the status of the Gamespy multiplayer lobby:
I have emailed our Gamespy contact. I'll assume the AoW2 room will open soon.
Josh on why the manual mentions a random map generator:
"Yes, that is a manual error. Random Terrain Generation may be added in a patch, but it would not be a fully populated map, but merely the terrain layout, height, etc.
Visit our forums to post your first impressions of AoW2, ask the developers questions and hookup with other fans for a multiplayer game!


June 13, 2002 Posted @ 11:10 AM | ChowGuy
AoW Heaven's First Impressions
With the game now in players' hands, we've opened up some new sections, including one for AoW2 Scenario Design and the General Discussion board is already filling up with "First Impression" threads for our own members. Naturally since most of us here already know the background and have played the Demo they're a bit more specific then what you'll find on sites like Gamespot though not always as lucid. There are still a few bug reports and questions about video problems which Josh AoW and others are attempting to answer. Nojd has started an FAQ in the new Technical Help section which will be updated as we go.

Overall the general impression is that the AI is much improved over the "dumbed-down" version in the Beta Demo and is far less predictable in it's actions even within a given scenario. There are a few tips out, but it will probably be a while yet before anyone posts any major spoilers so even if you haven't got your copy yet don't be hesitant to visit the forums. We're not going to tell you how it turns out or give you a walk-through that will ruin the fun because quite frankly we haven't figured it out ourselves yet.


June 12, 2002 Posted @ 10:25 PM | Angel Draco
Gamespot's First Impressions
Like many of us today, Gamespot got their hands on Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne today and has posted some quick impressions; they seem very impressed with the game and herald it as a worthy successor to the classic Masters of Magic:
Age of Wonders II makes good use of its 32-bit color palette; the difference between the sequel's darker, richer color tones and the original game's simpler 16-bit color scheme is immediately obvious. However, the game's overland map areas are just as colorful as ever--more so, in fact, thanks to the sequel's larger number of tilesets, which include undead swamplands and burning grasslands (the latter is home to the game's two fire-wizard characters), as well as plenty of colorful animated objects spaced evenly on the maps, such as windmills, swaying trees, and flowing water, which help make the maps look more interesting without being cluttered.
You can read the full write-up here. As far as I can tell, this small write-up has not yet been "locked" (i.e., for users who pay for Gamespot's 'Complete' service) so check it out today!


June 12, 2002 Posted @ 5:54 PM | Angel Draco
AOW2 Arrives!!
Reports are coming in from all over that AOW2 has arrived in many of the mail boxes of those who pre-ordered and is appearing on some store shelves as well! Check the AOW2 General Forum to get the early impressions! I'm running home to check if my copy has arrived!


June 11, 2002 Posted @ 4:15 PM | Angel Draco
Almost There!!
The release of Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne is almost upon us! I hope to receive my pre-order copy tomorrow or the day after! While the world awaits AOW2, check out some of the positive first impressions the staff at CGOnline had on the game:
While you can create new cities, BTW, in the early missions of the solo campaign at least it's not something you will be doing much of. Pioneer units take a while to build as only pretty heavily upgraded cities can make them. Then it costs a decent chunk of gold to build anew city (rebuilding razed cities doesn't cost gold I don't think, just consumes the unit). But it does happen, just don't confuse it with MoM style colonization of the map, which is already well populated with cities.
Check out some of the other postings at the CGOnline board.

The AOWH staff is also working frantically to bring you your new online community home for AOW2! We're adding game info content right now and tweaking the design. The forums will stay where they are, but will be expanded to include both AOW1 and AOW2. Almost there!


June 10, 2002 Posted @ 12:54 PM | Angel Draco
AOW2 Spells Part IV
Gamespy has posted the fourth and final installment of its Spell Casting teaser. Check out the Resurgence, Water Mastery and Static Shield spells. Here's the description of Static Shield:
Gives units a lightning strike, and shocks enemies that strike it.
Not only does striking the enchanted unit mean certain shock, it can also stun you, leaving you defenseless against its wrath. A very powerful spell that is innate to the dreadful Wyrm.
Read the full article here.


June 7, 2002 Posted @ 10:40 AM | Angel Draco
Spell Casting II & III
Gamespy continues with its series highlighting the spells of AOW2. A short description of the spell in paired with a nice screenshot of the spell in action. In Part II Cosmic Spray, Darklands and Enchanted Roads are shown. In today's installment, Part III covers Forge Blast, Hellfire and Ice Age.


June 6, 2002 Posted @ 5:03 PM | Angel Nojd
AoW2 Beta Demo Feedback Poll Results
The feedback poll about the AoW2 Beta Demo is closed, and the results have been compiled. According to the poll, it's obvious that the fans wants the map editor to allow authors to disable certain things in a map:
  • 89% wants the map editor to allow authors the option of disabling select structures from being built within a city

  • 87% wants the map editor to allow authors the option of disabling buildable teleporters on a given map

Check out all the results on the AoW2 Beta Demo Feedback Poll Results page.


June 6, 2002 Posted @ 9:51 AM | Angel Cay
May 2002 Monthly Challenge Winners
All entries for the May 2002 Monthly Challenge have been processed, and it's time to announce the winners! Congratulations to the following players who did their best for Julia or Meandor in the Age of Wonders II Beta Demo:

Best entry played as Julia: Snow Leopard -- 5 Days

Best entry played as Meandor: Aim22 -- 7 Days

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


June 5, 2002 Posted @ 12:07 PM | ChowGuy
New Admin for The Lifeline
As those who have been around long enough know, Age of Wonders Heaven was not the original, nor even the second AoW forum, and is not the only forum now. There is also The Lifeline - an EzBoard forum started by Silverleaf after our previous home was hacked. Unfortunately Silver has been missing now for six months and there is no active Admin to maintain thee board. After some negotiation, EzBoard has decided to allow the membership to choose a new admin, but only if there is a sufficient show of support. Otherwise they may simply close it down as they have other boards. That would once again mean the loss of a great deal of our community history. All past and present Lifeliners are urged to visit this thread for details and to vote here. Even Angel Draco.


June 4, 2002 Posted @ 11:46 AM | Angel Draco
Looking at Spells
Gamespy has posted the first of four articles highlighting the spells of AOW2. A brief description of the spell is provided along with a screenshot of the spell in action. Today they look at City Quake, City Spy and Corpus Furia. Read it all here!


June 4, 2002 Posted @ 8:14 AM | ChowGuy
Help us out
Gamespot has another instant poll up for "Which of these upcoming strategy games are you most looking forward to this year?" The good news is that Age of Wonders II is on the list. The bad news is it's not doing so well. Yet. So what are you waiting for? Get out and vote! Then visit Spirit of War favorite Wazzz thread on the subject here in the AoW2 General Forum.


June 4, 2002 Posted @ 1:07 AM | ChowGuy
Editor Options
In answer to mapmaker and forum regular Fingers questions about "editor options in a patch" and the rather lengthy discussions that ensued therefrom Josh AoW had this to say:
4) [Wizard's Off] Highly unlikely. Would require rebalancing the entire game, and re-coding just about everything from AI to the interface. It's a ton of work, which actually removes features from the game that we like. That's a bad combination to make requests about.

5)
[Blank boxes for mapmakers to fill in] Sorry, but adding blank descriptions is an awful solution. Imagine if you played a game with empty descriptions... it would make the game look unfinished, and generate a bunch of customer service reports. Races and Wizards and Heroes have portraits. Races and Wizards and Scenarios have descriptions. Events can be added to tell whatever backstory you like on anything in the game.

1,2,3)
[Max population, Disabling structures, and Limiting teleport items] are all possible...
While the "possible" in that statement leaves some room for questions, a "highly unlikely" leaves a lot less. So for the moment this seems to the final word on the subject and as LonelyTower puts it "Oh cool! 3 out of 5 wishes furfiled!" Feel free to add your own thoughts, pro and con, but keep things polite. The Devs will have more then enough good ideas to work on without asking for a fundamental design change.