News Archives: 2003

Poll: Which AoW Game(s) Do You Play?

We have a poll up at AoW2 Heaven that needs your vote! Please let us know which one(s) of the three Age of Wonders games you think you will be playing next year. You can, of course, select all that applies:
* Age of Wonders (the original classic from 1999)
* Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard’s Throne (from 2002)
* Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic (from 2003)

If you’re qurious about our previous polls, they’re available through the Other Polls link below the currently running poll.

Current and Future Wizard’s Ladder Changes

Today the Wizard’s Ladder has found a new home. This should cut down some on the sticky clutter in the PBEM forum.

Along with a new home comes a new feature, the “Open Challenge” thread. You post a notice of what kind of challenges you are available for and can browse the thread to discover who the other active ladder players are, and what they are looking for.

Lastly there’s a call for input on proposed rules for allowing Free For All games to be registered and scored on the Wizard’s Ladder. Please read the proposal and post comments, complaints, compliments, or suggestions.

Time for the last 2003 Monthly Challenge.

The race for global fame continues in the 2003 Monthly Challenges, and it looks like Enginerd will take the world champion title. But Sprout can still grab the first place with some (extreme) luck. The current standings can be found in the Scoreboard thread.

The final december challenge can now be found in the Downloads section. The december map is Arctic Wolf’s excellent “A slippery invitation”, slightly modified of course, so any design flaws you find in it are my fault, not his.

There are also some suggestions for how we should run the 2004 Monthly Challenges in the Forums , please let us know what you think.

Good luck!

The PBEM Ladder is Up to Date

Our new PBEM Ladder admin hiranu has brought both the AOW1 and the AOW2/SM Play By E-Mail Wizard’s Ladders up to date. Now that hiranu is our dedicated ladder admin, they should be updated about once a week. So go see where you stand after all the games you’ve been playing. And if you haven’t been playing any games, go register on the boards and get started!

Join the AOW1 PBEM Ladder
AOW WL Current Standings
Join AOW2/SM PBEM Ladder
AOW2/SM WL Current Standings

Can you spare a minute (or two)?

For all the recent complaints and talk about advertising popups et al on HG, it appears that overall internet advertising i making a rebound, and this site has been asked for up-to-date demographics . Our previous profiles are about three years old, a long time given the way things move in the game industry, so HG has put up a new Survey in hopes of gaining better numbers. It’s completely voluntary and anonymous of course, and responses will not be tied back to individual users in any way. It’s just a way of showing your support for HG and, hopefully, increasing revenues so we can continue to serve you better.

So kindly take the time to fill it out, it shouldn’t take more then about two minutes, but please once only per user. Stuffing the ballot box is not going to help anyone.

New Virus out in the wild

There is a new virus that takes advantage of a recent problem discovered with certain version of Microsoft Windows. More information can be found here: . It dupes users into thinking they are installing a security update, when in fact it isn’t. See screenshot: If you haven’t updated your system, please do so at,

If you opened the attachment, it attempts to disable various anti-virus programs (like Norton Anti-Virus) as well as various firewalls (like ZoneAlarm). It will try to intercept your email username, password, and mail server settings, thus using your ISP’s mail server to spread itself. It will attempt to send itself to everyone on your address book through email, as well as attempt to spread through KaZaA, shared directories, IRC, and newsgroups. It will modify your registry, add files to your computer. In short, your computer and possibly your ISP access will be thoroughly screwed by the time the worm is done installing itself on your computer, so it’ll be best if you avoid getting infected so you don’t have to deal with the resulting mess.

As always, don’t open email attachments from people you don’t know, even if it claims to be from Microsoft.

Of worms, MSBlaster, and DirectX

If your computer is affected by the MSBlaster worm or its variants; or your computer hasn’t been patched against the worm, we urge you to patch your computer as soon as possible. You can find out how on this page at Microsoft.

Also, it’s highly advised you patch against another security hole that’s asking for trouble: There’s a problem with DirectX that allows a virus, trojan, or any malicious programs to infect your computer by simply playing an infected MIDI file. This affects all DirectX versions from 5.2 all the way up to 9.0. Thus, you can be infected by simply viewing an email or webpage that has an auto-playing MIDI file. You can find out more and how to patch this on this page at Microsoft. At least one other major media outlet has reported this.

If you haven’t installed all the critical updates in Windows Update, it’s probably a good idea to do so now.

Sweden Rules, OK?

Congratulations to Eriksson and Dan Petersson, for winning the 2003 Age of Wonders Heaven Mapmaking Competition!

Eriksson won the AoW1 single-player category with Road to Hell

Dan Petersson won the AoW1 multi-player category with Divine Chess

Magog (another Swede!) won the AoW2 single-player category, I won the AoW2 multi-player category. No, I’m not Swedish!

Well done all our winners, thanks to everyone that subjected their works of art to public scrutiny, and thanks also to all the forum members that tried and voted for the maps.

Storming of Ognock

The July Monthly Challenge for AoW1 is Sprout’s artistic creation, The Storming of Ognock. Full details are in the Competitions & Tournaments Forum. Entries must be received by the end of July, so don’t delay, compete today!

Summer Sizzler

There are a scorching 35 Monthly Challenge championship points available in our Summer Sizzler competition, based on Eriksson’s great map, Road to Hell. As this is quite a complex map, we’ve given you until the end of August. More details here, so don’t miss out, blaze a trail to this excellent scenario right now!

What do you think?

There are lots of great new maps available for you to try now, that have been entered in our Mapmaking Competition

Why not give one or two of them a try, then give them a mark out of ten – it really is that simple! 🙂

All the maps are availabe for download in this thread:
Mapmaking Competition – List Of Entered Maps

You can give us your opinion – and read what other people think – in this thread:
The Day of Judgment – 2003 Mapmaking Competition

Participate in the WL Pride of a Princess Blind Game Cup Challenge

Forummer Dan Petersson has announced a Cup tournament on his new map called Pride of a Princess. It will be played towards the Wizard’s Ladder, but no one will be allowed to see the map in advance. Check the signup post for details and sign up for this unusual and exciting challenge. If you haven’t already signed up for the Wizard’s Ladder, first go ahead and do so here.

People/ICQ List

Finally! The People/ICQ List is working again! 🙂

The People List service allows you to post your ICQ status so that anyone (whether he/she has ICQ or not) can check the list to see who’s online and perhaps contact them for a quick MP game!

You can add other information to your People List profile as well, like your home country, screen names for AIM, Yahoo Pager and MSN Messenger, as well your MS Gaming Zone or Gamespy Arcade handle.

Click the Show People link to see comments posted by everyone registered on the list about what types of games they’re interested in playing.

Map Maker Mod

Tekk Zero has released his “Age of Wonders Mapmaker Addition” which is used to add special features to scenarios. The important thing is that the scenarios will be playable with Triumph Studios’ standard rules 1.36 – the player doesn’t need to install anything extra to be able to play the map. Here’s Tekk Zero’s description of the features:

New Built-In Hero Portraits- On the selection screen of hero/leader portraits all the possible portraits are unlocked. Some that are included are the portraits Meandor, Julia, Gabriel, Elwyn, and Lord Inioch.

Alternative Hero Sprites- On the race selection screen for a hero, for each race there is a new unit graphic, a dismounted wizard-like sprite (12 in all). The feature is accessed by scrolling past the last default race selection (undead hero).

Access to all non-buggy abilities and statuses for items and heroes- For both items and heroes, as selection for use by mapmakers all the non-buggy abilities and statuses (those that I am aware) have been added (in all the item/hero screens that the abilities and statuses work).

The tool can be downloaded from our Misc Downloads: Age of Wonders Mapmaker Addition. Enjoy! 🙂

DevEd Beginner’s Guide

The Mods section of this site has grown with an article submitted by LordDragatus. He’s written a very thorough Beginner’s Guide on how to use the Developer’s Editor, based on the thread he started in the Mod Pack Forum long ago called How to use DevEd.

Have a look at the DevEd Beginner’s Guide and post your comments in the How to use DevEd thread.

Thank you, Dragatus! Enjoy everyone! 🙂