May 2001 Archives

May 29, 2001 Posted @ 2:06 AM | Angel Draco
Summer 2002 Release Date For AOW2?
The Stratos Group has posted a new AOW2 Preview. Nordramor shares his thoughts on Triumph Studios' upcoming sequel to Age of Wonders after spending some time with it behind closed doors at E3. Find out why he's looking like a rabid goat waiting to play it at the Stratos Group's E3 coverage site. Sadly, Nordramor quotes a tentative release date for early Summer 2002:

"The slew of new features being added/tweaked from the original is in direct response to many fan requests/suggestions. The developer, Triumph Studios, has shown quite a lot of dedication to their fan-base, and Age of Wonders 2 looks like it will be a product of the development team's skillful crafting of the fan desires into something fun. For fans of fantasy-based strategy games, Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard's Throne could be a godsend. Tentative scheduling puts the game out slightly prior to Summer 2002."

Fire-up 'dem PBEM games! We've got a long haul until next Summer. Discuss AOW2 and post your questions to the Triumph Studios developers in our AOW2 General Forum.

May 24, 2001 Posted @ 1:12 AM | Angel Draco
First AOW2 Wallpaper For Download
A HeavenGames exclusive! Check out this incredible AOW2 wallpaper that is waiting for you in the Misc. Downloads Section right now! Available for both 800x600 and 1024x768 resolutions; you will not find this wallpaper anywhere else on the Internet except at AOW Heaven! Thanks so much to Lennart Sas for sharing this preliminary artwork with us! It's on my desktop right now! I will be staring at it longingly until AOW2 is released!

May 23, 2001 Posted @ 10:09 AM | Angel Draco
Strategy Section Début
The Strategy Section is now open! Read a few articles to help you improve your game! If you have any ideas for a gameplay strategy or map editor article, or a "guide" to playing any of the races, sent it in!

May 21, 2001 Posted @ 3:43 PM | Angel Draco
Josh & Lennart Back From E3
The Triumph boys are back from E3 and are all over the AOW2 General Forum answering questions about all the exciting new information and screenshots released for Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard's Throne.

Some good stuff about Combat Mechanics is here.

Forumer Nordmar got a good look at the demo playing at E3 and provided a ton of information in this thread. Here's a sample:

  • Tactical Combat has been compacted and moved to a 'smaller' map. The units look bigger and have much more fluid animations. Placement at the start of combat can vary, depending on the attacker's approach. You can now 'ambush' enemies and begin a Tactical Combat surrounding them. Units now operate on new combined move + attack system, where they are no longer required to do one or the other. The more a unit moves, the less it can attack. Ranged units can now run & shoot.

    Post your questions to the developers in our AOW2 General Discussion Forum!

  • May 20, 2001 Posted @ 11:24 PM | Angel Draco
    Adrenaline Vault Screen Shots
    The Adrenaline Vault has posted several new screen shots. Check out the God of Nature!

    Looks like the player used some sort of fire spell or fire alter on the world map, which burned away lots of the forest, which has angered the God of Nature and now the player has to build a temple to appease the God! View the large version here!

    May 20, 2001 Posted @ 9:47 PM | Angel Draco
    Fan Preview @ Planet of Wonders
    Planet of Wonders has posted a fan preview by Dexter:

  • Most of the races will return, but their production lists are set up differently because the new sites have multiple build paths. This time, all of a race's units will really be part of the race--the more magical creatures will be summoned by your wizard.

  • There will be new races, but the "factions" will work differently. Players are no longer tied to a single race at the start, but they can choose whatever population suits them best, of course keeping in mind racial relations (mixing Halflings and Undead will have volatile results!).

  • Seek out assistance from various Deities. An active force within the game-world, Deities have their own goals and traits, which players can take advantage of by completing quests that each Deity offers. Their favor can lift an aspiring emperor to greatness, while their displeasure can lead a thriving nation into ruins.

    Read the full preview here!

  • May 20, 2001 Posted @ 9:39 PM | Angel Draco
    Danc's Preliminary Report From E3
    Danc has returned from E3 and participated in several Q&A sessions with the boys from Triumph Studios. Read his preliminary report in the forums. Here's a sample:

    Q: Will there be racial traits?
    A: Yep. Cities of a particular race will get certain inherent bonuses.

    Q: Random Terrain/map generator?
    A: Yep. They are really concerned about making it somewhat balanced. This is going to be a tricky problem, but they have a lot of good ideas.

    May 18, 2001 Posted @ 10:44 AM | Angel Draco
    New AOW2 Previews From E3!
    Now that E3 is in full swing, news about AOW2: The Wizard's Throne is coming in fast and furious! Already two new previews with new game info and screen shots. Check out GameSpy's preview for some incredible, never before seen screen shots and new game info. The new hero portraits are beautiful!

    Also visit PC IGN's preview for screenshots and some exciting new information about the use of magic and the introduction of deities.

    Post your comments about this exciting new info and ask the developers questions in our AoW2 General Discussion & Suggesstions Forum!

    May 15, 2001 Posted @ 10:03 PM | Angel Draco
    Vote For AoW2 - Show Your Support!
    GOD Games has a poll where you can vote for what game you're most looking forward to learning about from this year's E3 Expo. Go Vote for AoW2 right now!

    May 11, 2001 Posted @ 8:02 PM | Angel Draco
    Hi-Res Screen Shots Added
    Hi-Res (1024 x 768) versions of the six new E3 preview screen shots have been added to the AoW2 Previews section. Check them out now.

    May 11, 2001 Posted @ 1:06 PM | Angel Draco
    New Home for Ginette's French AoW1 Map Archive
    Ginette's French\English AoW1 map archive has a new home. Give it a hit at: Ginette's site is unique in that you can preview what each map looks like before you download, as images of all surface level mini-maps are posted. That takes a lot of work, so don't let it go to waste! Give a hit today!

    May 11, 2001 Posted @ 12:54 PM | Angel Draco
    New Patch for AoW1 in "Medieval Madness" Bundle
    AoW1 was recently re-released (along with two other games) in a bundle called "Medieval Madness." Several people have had trouble installing this version of AoW1 or getting it to run on their systems. Josh Farely tells us that a new patch will be released soon to address these problems, so stay tuned!

    If you're having problems running the AoW bundled with "Medieval Madness," post your questions in our Technical Help Forum. Josh has already been able to help several people get the game runing smoothly on their systems. Check out the Map+Draw Errors thread where Josh has already answered several technical questions.

    May 11, 2001 Posted @ 12:43 PM | Angel Draco
    Q&A with Lennart Sas on E3 Preview Screen Shots
    Lennart Sas, lead designer for AoW2 answered a few questions about AoW2 and the 6 new screen shots at the GOD Games E3 preview. Post your questions to the developers in our AoW2 General Discussion Forum:

    Q: Will "inherent weaknesses" be included, in addition to the many resistnances that were in AoW1, such as resistance to fire, poison, cold, ect.?

    A: Weaknesses are already implemented.

    Q: Is the red lady [in the screen shot] a wizard or is she some sort of fire queen?

    A: She's a wizard.

    Q: Are those winged creatures in the desert [screen shot] Draconians?

    A: Yup.

    Q: what is the larger horned creature among [the Draconians], a demon?

    A: Also a draconian. This is a wingless draconian, the "Crusher."

    Q: What are the little golden balls [in the screen shot]? Are they just the representation of the number of steps needed to take in order to move from hex a to hex b or is it some sort of spell?

    A: Movement dots. The yellow ones is the area a party can walk. In Combat the dots are color-coded incated the number of attacks after moving.

    Q: You have said that the wizard will be involved in a battle even if he's not actually on the battlefield. Is the [combat screen shot] showing that?

    A: Yes, that is Merlin casting spells in a battle over long-distance, from his wizards tower.

    Q: When will we see more screen shots?

    A: There'll be more after E3.

    May 9, 2001 Posted @ 10:15 PM | Angel Draco
    New AOW2 Screen Shots & E3 Info!
    G.O.D. Games' official E3 site is previewing a new game each day. Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard's Throne is featured today! Seven new screen shots are featured, including the map editor interface, tactical combat and the over worldmap. The graphics are stunning!

    The E3 Expo is the largest gaming trade show of the year where the industry flaunts their upcoming releases to the media. Heaven Games will be attending E3, which takes place May 17-19 in Los Angeles and you can bet that we'll will be stopping by the Triumph Studios trailer, where we will get a chance to play a single-player demo, view in-game video and get an exclusive screen shot package! Watch our exclusive report after the convention!

    May 8, 2001 Posted @ 11:36 PM | Angel Draco
    New Info On AOW2!
    Developers Josh Farley & Lennart Sas answered a few questions in our AoW2 General Discussion & Suggesstions Forum:

    Lenart on Building New Cities
    Gamemania asked: Does being able to build "wizard tower" from our city indicates that we will be able to build other buildings for our city (barracks, dragon lair, armory, etc)?

    Lennart Sas: Yes, other structures can be constructed in cities. Also, towns can grow and new ones can be founded.

    Josh on the Role Leader & Hero Units:
    I think you might have confused the Leader (now called the "Wizard" in AoW2), and the Hero...The Wizard will be less likely to roam around the world, as they are most effective when casting spells from their Towers. Even when not physically at a battle-site, Wizards can affect the outcome with their spells.

    Heroes are a totally separate set of units. They are expected to lead their party of units into combat, mixing a variety of combat-oriented skills to make sure their side comes out on top.

    Josh on the A.I. in AoW1 & AoW2:
    The AI (at higher levels) gets advantages to increase his ability to compete with human players... Infinite Gold & Mana? Nope. He gets an "allowance" each turn (varies by AI level) from an external source (a rich uncle, for example). It isn't infinite at all, although Emperor AI on smaller maps probably will have enough to do everything he wants, so it may seem infinite to you...No matter how good an AI is, human players will be better. So there will always be a need for these bonuses to add to the single-player challenge for expert players.

    The good news is that AI work on AoW2 has already begun, and AI work on a sequel is always easier, since we've got all the knowledge from working on AoW1's AI to build on. I won't make any promises, but I'll be surprised if AoW2 doesn't have a significantly better AI than AoW1, especially in terms of "exploitable" flaws...

    Josh on Unit Sizes & Screen Res in AoW2:
    Units are much larger in AoW2. Of course, the lowest screen resolution has also increased from 640x480 to 800x600, but overall the units (and scenery as well) will be larger and more detailed on-screen. And they get even bigger in Combat...

    Josh on Magic Spheres & Races:
    Players in AoW2 are more closely linked to Sphreres of Magic (since they're Wizards) than to Races.

    Visit our AoW2 General Discussion & Suggesstions Forum right now and ask the developers your AOW2 questions!

    May 7, 2001 Posted @ 12:07 AM | Angel Draco
    Fanstock 2001 Recap & Sigma Preview
    Angel Washizu from Age of Kings Heaven spent 3 days up at Microsoft last week for their annual Fanstock event, checking out this year's upcoming Microsoft games. Part One focuses in on his first day there with great detail, and finishes with a preview of Relic Entertainment's exciting new RTS "Sigma: The Adventures of Rex Chance". Sigma is being published by Microsoft and is scheduled for a Spring 2002 release. Washizu has some great pictures posted from the event as well. Click here to check it out right now!

    May 4, 2001 Posted @ 11:06 AM | Angel Draco
    AoW Heaven Affilliates with Planet of Wonders
    AOWH is happy to announce our recent affiliation with Planet of Wonders. PoW is the first fan sited devoted to covering the forthcoming sequel to Age of Wonders, AoW 2: The Wizard's Throne. Check them out for all the latest tidbits on AoW 2 and new screen shots as they are released. Stop on by and vote in their current poll: Which current AoW race should be removed from AoW 2?

    AOWH will still be your #1 community resource for downloading custom maps for Age of Wonders and (eventually) AoW 2: The Wizard's Throne. Visit our forums to meet other players and post questions to the developers of AoW2, Triumph Studios.

    May 2, 2001 Posted @ 12:37 PM | Angel Draco
    More Q&A On AoW2 With Josh Farely
    Some more Q&A about AoW2 with Josh Farely, Programmer for Triumph Studios:

    Q: Is the core design of AoW 2 basically finished?

    A: As far as the basic features, scope, and such... yeah, AoW2's design is already done. Smaller features, and tweaks to the design, will still be added as needed...

    Q: Will there be multiple figure units (e.g., Masters of Magic)?

    A: No, we toyed with the idea, but the animation for such a "set" of units would have been a pain, and the tiny units would not have looked nice at all. It also introduced a number of tricky rules that we decided were better off left out.

    Q: Will real-time or sim-turn tactical combat (“TC”) be implemented; basically anything that speeds up turn based TC?

    A: Not in the design. Combat, and TC specifically, will be improved upon, but we're not making an RTS here. Other games do a fine job of presenting twitch gaming; we'll leave it to them.

    Q: Will the defending army be able to retreat?

    A: Not likely, as they still have nowhere to go, and their retreat presents a possible exploit. There will be game play enhancements designed to prevent some of the AoW1 TC exploits we've heard tell of, besides adding some extra strategic options to the battle...

    Q: Will there be walls with battlements on/behind which units can be stationed. Or at least some improvement to AoW wall defense mechanic?

    A: There will be improvements to the wall system from AoW1. City fortifications in AoW2 should present a better strategic advantage to the defender, while also presenting less of a delay to the overall pace of the game. And that's all I'll say about this one for now...

    Q: Will there be hero classes?

    A: Players will not be required to attend schooling about Heroes. :p

    Q: Will there be city micromanagement?

    A: We don't like micromanagement. That said, there is room to improve the role cities play in AoW without descending into micromanagement hell.

    Q: Please make magical creatures only available through a “summoning” spell and not produced at a city.

    A: Races will feature a lineup of units that matches their race better than in AoW1. Additionally, magic will play a larger role in AoW2. What any of that has to do with your question, I'm not sure.

    Q: Will there be a smaller number of resources (i.e., gold/mana/population)?

    A: This is map-dependant.

    Q: Please don’t include any stupid units (e.g., penguins, fairies, etc.)

    A: One man's stupid unit is another man's favorite unit. If you tossed a little green goblin with Grover's voice into a game and made him a feared mage/warrior, I'm sure some people would call him stupid. Besides, there is no greater joy than to overrun your opponent with a horde of Dire Penguins, all the while screaming "WAAAAAAK!" at him, even if that isn't what a penguin sounds like...

    Q: Don’t include Highmen, Azracs and Frostlings, or at least some of them.

    A: I don't believe we've publicized our final race listings yet. Stop trying to get me in trouble!

    Whew, I think I made it through that minefield intact, but I guess time will tell still...