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Age of Empires Online: No problem Elephants can't solve

-SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
edited August 2011 in Games and Technology

So this just launched. The online free to play* Age of Empires, with shades of farmville and world of warcraft shoved in a blender with the classic gameplay.

It's not quite as disjointed as that sounds.

You have your home city ala AOE3, where all the farmville and WoW type stuff happens. You level up, craft stuff, equip gear on your buildings and units, unlock new units, buildings and upgrades for use in the missions and take on quests.

Quests are the classic AOE gameplay, they are literally Age of Empires levels, with everything that entails.

Here's a Giant Bomb quick look that explains everything better than I can.

Now, what about the "free" to play part? Well there's where things go a little awry, Microsoft doesn't seem to be quite as savvy as say, the LoL guys or Valve. There's still the usual horse armour style vanity microtransactions, at ~$5 a pop to unlock a set of statues or shrubs for your home city. Then there's the premium civilisations, you can play as either Egypt or Greece currently, with more to come. But you can pay ~$20 to unlock the premium version of the civ. This allows the star technologies at the bottom of the tech tree, a bunch of buildings, ranked pvp, higher quality gear and so forth. There's a lot of stuff there playing for free, but expect to run into lots of locked icons.

Also, it's GFWL. So you'll need an account for that to play, and all the premium content is payed for in MS funbux.
http://www.ageofempiresonline.com/

Join Marathon Realm and then pennyarcade chat channel.

GFWL names:
SPIgaiden
princesssafe
ActionPrinnyGo
Hardtrget
Sirmalekk
epithem1us

-SPI- on
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Posts

  • CadmusCadmus Registered User regular
    Huh... interesting. Seems like a fairly novel idea, I think I'll have to check this out.

    And here I was going to take a break from new games and play the old Hero Quest games and MOO :/

  • DarmakDarmak Godking of the Snerkywizards Registered User regular
    I was in the beta with a friend and it was pretty fun, especially doing missions together.

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  • VicVic Registered User regular
    I am having an odd problem. I am trying to start up the game with my old GfWL account I used to play Dawn of War 2 on, but they keep demanding that I enter a product key with no further explanation. I know I played DoW2 with this account so I have no idea how it could not be registered, but I bought it on Steam and Steam is now refusing to tell me what the product key is.

    So either I am not allowed to play this "free" game without registering a game that has been linked to my account for years with a key I don't have, or I am misunderstanding this entirely. Either way I am not pleased.

  • zerg rushzerg rush Registered User regular
    Wow, that free* to play has a really, really big asterisk attached to it.

  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    Vic wrote:
    I am having an odd problem. I am trying to start up the game with my old GfWL account I used to play Dawn of War 2 on, but they keep demanding that I enter a product key with no further explanation. I know I played DoW2 with this account so I have no idea how it could not be registered, but I bought it on Steam and Steam is now refusing to tell me what the product key is.

    So either I am not allowed to play this "free" game without registering a game that has been linked to my account for years with a key I don't have, or I am misunderstanding this entirely. Either way I am not pleased.
    There's been some talk on the game's forums about keys and issues with them. The solution posted was:
    1. Open the Games For Windows Client
    2. Click the Downloads tab
    3. Click the icon for Age of Empires Online
    4. Click View Keys
    5. You will see a numerical code under LIVE access code. Enter this code when prompted in-game.

    Not sure if that's relevant to what you're experiencing though.

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  • VicVic Registered User regular
    It is starting to seem like my account was dead or inaccessible, I am currently making another one. God I hate Windows Live, I really feel like I am selling my soul here. Time to update the spam filter...

  • VicVic Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    So as to not rain on this games parade, the fact that I spent all this effort getting it to work really speaks of how much that "WTF is..." video impressed me. I just got it working, time to see how much fun this really is.

    Vic on
  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited August 2011
    I have by divine mandate decided on the Marathon realm if we want to hook up.

    edit : I dunno if it matters, but I'm Egyptian.

    Echo on
  • hamdingershamdingers Registered User regular
    Did a little bit of this today. Pretty fun, especially the co-op quests. For those who are interested - its $20 to unlock the Premium version of either the Egyptians or the Greeks. You do have the option of playing a "city" of both. After about 2 hours or so I started unlocking gear that can only be used by premiums, fwiw.

  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    The one thing I ran into that just seemed like a dick move was getting a quest that required building an Arena, which requires a premium civilisation. And then not being able to abandon that quest, so it will always be there and I'll have the blueprint in my inventory.

    But overall it doesn't seem to be too restrictive playing free, the equipment part seems the most annoying but there's no dead stop wall where you have to pay to continue that I've encountered so far. One thing that seems like it could be an issue is not getting coin when other players buy things from your city, which just means you'll rely on quests for coins as a free player.

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  • EvilMonkeyEvilMonkey Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Do you have the ability to generate a map with some bot partners/enemies like in #2? (not sure if 3 had this, the better-half is the AoE fan.)

    EvilMonkey on
    [PSN: SciencePiggy] [Steam]
  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    So uh, how the heck do you build that advisor hall? I picked up the premium Egypt civ.

  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    The premium pricing seems a bit too ridiculous for me...20$ for one civ? lolwut?

    WII U NNID- talios
    steam-taliosfalcon
    XBL-AdeptPenguin
  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    Yep, it's an AoE game alright, with an AI mysteriously capable of pumping out units infinitely without needing resources.

  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    I noticed that, but the intruiging part is every kill gives you a tiny bit of xp. I wonder what happens if you make an impenetrable wall of towers outside their base then walk away from the computer or leave it on overnight. Just have it running in the background like an RTS progress quest.

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  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    Yeah, I was thinking the same. The computer kindly sends guys in one at a time.

  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    I managed to completely cheese one mission by accident. It was to destroy 16 farms, and I was making my usual overly powerful defence, but when I made the towers they just happened to be in range of an enemy farm. Which it destroyed, and each time they started to rebuild it the tower would take it out in one shot, each time counting towards the mission. So instead of scouring the map for all the farms I just sat back and won.

    Anyway, transferred onto Marathon, I'll add peoples GFWL names to the OP so we can get some cross empire trade and whatnot going. Although I don't know about co-op, I'm not sure anyone would be able to stand my playstyle.

    "ok we should attack the ene- why do you have 85 peasants? And 3 soldiers, and fifteen towers. I don't think you need to strip every resource off the map."

    *20 minutes later*

    "Ok seriously, you can do this mission with like 10 guys, you don't need to fill out the max unit cap."

    8t2qhu8l050f.jpg
  • OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? peach treesRegistered User regular
    Seeing this game in action, it kind of tickles that part of my brain that likes to level up and enjoys persistence

    But I don't know

    This whole "premium civ" bullshit is pretty lame

    7u0YG.gif
    PSN ID : DetectiveOlivaw | TWITTER | SCREENED | STEAM ID | BUY SOME STUFF!
  • KlashKlash Registered User regular
    I'm no fan of the pricing scheme, and I don't expect I'll ever actually play this since I'm not much into MP. However, I'm glad AoE still exists, it's had a place in my heart since the first one came out. The game looks great, visually and mechanically, and that trailer is fantastic. If that sense of fun permeates the entire experience, I imagine it's a real kick to play co-op stuff.

    We don't even care... whether we care or not...
  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited August 2011
    -SPI- wrote:
    Anyway, transferred onto Marathon, I'll add peoples GFWL names to the OP so we can get some cross empire trade and whatnot going. Although I don't know about co-op, I'm not sure anyone would be able to stand my playstyle.

    "ok we should attack the ene- why do you have 85 peasants? And 3 soldiers, and fifteen towers. I don't think you need to strip every resource off the map."

    *20 minutes later*

    "Ok seriously, you can do this mission with like 10 guys, you don't need to fill out the max unit cap."

    High five, fellow "advance two inches at a time" player!

    Echo on
  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    Yeah i've tried a bit of it now and err... I could see myself playing it, and spending money if they had like, 20 civilizations and they were 5 bucks a pop, hell i'd probably buy 5 or 6, but at 20$ a pop I can't justify it, and it seems like i'm missing out on enough not having a premium civ that i'm at a real disadvantage. Which is a pity as I really like it otherwise.

    WII U NNID- talios
    steam-taliosfalcon
    XBL-AdeptPenguin
  • KeamienKeamien Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    I'm totally playing this, though I'm not sure if I'll buy any of the civs.
    Add me to the op I'm princesssafe.

    Keamien on
  • CadmusCadmus Registered User regular
    UGH, I really really want to play this but I also really really want to boycott GFWL... it's such a piece of crap.

  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    880 funbucks for a "defend the whatever" mode? Really?

  • KeamienKeamien Registered User regular
    Or cheaper if you buy it together with both civs.

    I like the game, but MAN is it hard to justify spending money on.

  • ultimakayultimakay Registered User regular
    I know microsoft was trying to avoid doing the whole microtransaction stuff but I think it would have probably been more well received then lumping everything together and forcing me to buy all of it rather then the pieces of addition content that I actually want.

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  • Linespider5Linespider5 I'll see you in 24 hours. Registered User regular
    there's quite a lot to like here. I mean, it's Age of frickin' Empires. Calvary. Elephant Archers. Palm trees and barracks and gold mines! Shit just don't get old, man.

    The implied infrastructure is kinda borked, let's be honest. But I'm not too worried. If they've got the guts to keep it running they'll get it running right.

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  • SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
    If this was a boxed game with everything included I'd be in like Flynn.

    G4WL with (extremely overpriced) microtransactions? I'll miss it. A pity. I really, really like the art style though. Everything's very visually clear and distinct, but not so cartoony as to lose all importance.

  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    I really should have thought out my home city better, my (rather limited) inventory is filling up with crafting materials I can't really use for much anything.

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  • JediNightJediNight Registered User regular
    Could always just sell the excess materials to the vendor for gold.

  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    I was thinking about grabbing a premium civ, apparently though Australians get the privilege of paying an extra $5 for them so I might just hold off on that idea for the time being.
    Suriko wrote:
    If this was a boxed game with everything included I'd be in like Flynn.

    G4WL with (extremely overpriced) microtransactions? I'll miss it. A pity. I really, really like the art style though. Everything's very visually clear and distinct, but not so cartoony as to lose all importance.
    There is a retail box, although it's just the greek civ with some bonus items, exclusive shop for your city and tech tree poster etc. Also there's no disc or anything it's just codes, but it has the benefit of being potentially cheaper.

    -SPI- on
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  • Arden CaneloArden Canelo Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Okay, whenever I try to install the game I get a misleading error of something about needing to installing a hotfix for Windows XP?
    I've looked everywhere for answers but have nothing. Every time I press okay to go get the update the damn thing sends me to a help and support page with no update in sight. Please help, anyone :(

    EDIT: of course after posting in desperation of the problem the problem is now fixed.

    Arden Canelo on
  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Trying out greeks, as I've been egyptian up until now. I might switch over, partly due to greeks getting a tech that gives towers no minimum range and +25% damage that would aid my turtly playstyle.

    Looking at the two tech trees the factions are more different than I thought initially.

    -SPI- on
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  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    Okay, whenever I try to install the game I get a misleading error of something about needing to installing a hotfix for Windows XP?
    I've looked everywhere for answers but have nothing. Every time I press okay to go get the update the damn thing sends me to a help and support page with no update in sight. Please help, anyone :(

    Is it something about KB938759 xp hotfix? That's the only thing I could find anything about in relation to XP and GFWL hotfix errors. Also related to whether your system is running on US english or not.

    Anyway, this looks like it could be a solution maybe.

    8t2qhu8l050f.jpg
  • Arden CaneloArden Canelo Registered User regular
    -SPI- wrote:
    Okay, whenever I try to install the game I get a misleading error of something about needing to installing a hotfix for Windows XP?
    I've looked everywhere for answers but have nothing. Every time I press okay to go get the update the damn thing sends me to a help and support page with no update in sight. Please help, anyone :(

    Is it something about KB938759 xp hotfix? That's the only thing I could find anything about in relation to XP and GFWL hotfix errors. Also related to whether your system is running on US english or not.

    Anyway, this looks like it could be a solution maybe.

    Thanks SPI, its been resolved. (finally)

  • JediNightJediNight Registered User regular
    Tried to do an elite mode for the daily crafting quest ... NOPE.jpg

    Must need a lot of levels and equipment to be able to do those. Tons and tons of guys and the elites are like 5x or more harder than a normal one...

  • Kroyd_KrensonKroyd_Krenson Registered User regular
    Anyone knows if this is regional? Can I do a co op with anyone in the world?

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  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    Just need to be on the same server I believe. Although you can freely switch between them on the login screen (takes a few minutes to complete)

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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    So wait, it's 20$/€ to get enough content to access every feature in the game? Because that's very cheap compared to any regular P2P MMO and a lot nicer on my wallet than most F2P games I've bothered to check the cash shop for.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    Aldo wrote:
    So wait, it's 20$/€ to get enough content to access every feature in the game? Because that's very cheap compared to any regular P2P MMO and a lot nicer on my wallet than most F2P games I've bothered to check the cash shop for.

    Correct, but only for 1 civ.

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