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Age of Mythology Heaven » Forums » Strategy and General Discussion » Where did all the features go?
Topic Subject:Where did all the features go?
posted 22 July 2003 09:40 AM EDT (US)         
Funny, I was a bit disappointed with AOM and yet loved it when I got it. Many features we saw in Ausgamers or in those nice pretty early screenies were gone, as were those we expected to carry over from AOC! So this makes AOM fun, but a clearly better game than AOE II. O_o

For example:

Early screenies/graphical features

-less blue night lighting on Greek fort, which looked realsitic and beautiful.

-Larger ships and MUs (maybe we could at least get thsoe large attacking transport ships in the Mythic Age or let heroes board the Argo to increase its attack etc). The Kraken of AusGamers was good, because it was underwater mostly and larger than the Kraken now...looked a lot bigger.

-Eye candy like waterfalls, torches, more natural darking around water (how come it's squarish in AOM sometimes these days?)

-flight of arrows shown -this was such a cool looking feature I hate it how it's not in AoM anymore, minor though it is.

-Wind moving trees, etc

-Reeds on farms for units to walk through

-Water units can walk through. Actually this is only with Nile land put under the water or grey stone put under it. It's very hard to recreate that cool River Crossing type screenie.

-More aesthetic units and waves and GPs: Units were MUCH easier to distinguish in early screenies, waves were more aesthetic and cool-looking, the Rain GP shone light and had clouds in AusGamers demo.

-Unit shivering in snow, sweating in desert, etc-seeing as ES boasted about this a fair bit, I'm wondering why it's not in. O_o

-Better sound, swords clashing and better sound when attacking buildings (expected from AOC)

-Previous medusa sound, avenger and frost giant art were slightly better. The avenger looked less weird and the frost giant looked more huge and divine (no outlines around eyes etc which make it look cartoony and like an old man).

-Egyptian monuments like stone sphinxes, special obelisks and small pyramids. Just makes it seem more variable than black statues. (Largest one can remain Ra's wonder)

Gameplay features

-Wonder Race, Regicide,(both expected from AOC-wonder race was mentioned by Bruce Shelley at Ausgamers) and Golden Fleece! 'In this epic adventure, you have to find and control all the Golden Fleece to win.' (I downloaded Vachu's text editor and I saw that little line, or something similar to it).

-Better pathing like that in AOC-many don't use MUs simply because getting them to the front line is hard what with them struggling to get through a gang of hoplites.

-Those large attacking transports, maybe added now as only in the Mythic Age, with strict creation regulations. They should be expensive, take a long time to build, cost favor, and be able to change into the mightiest of siege ships/mightiest of hero ships depending on what units are put on it. You can only build a max of 3.

Some ideas:
-Relics on islands, special culture ship properties. Egyptian ships are stronger, more expensive, greeks have faster better armored ships, Norse get cheapest, best attack ships, atlanteans get best LOS and overall (defence, attack, etc) ships? basically more water use. Trade ships would be nice too. And maybe give fishing ships attack to hunt whale/get food from dead naval MUs.

-Hero ships like the boats of Ra, Skidbladnir and Baldr's boat, ship of fingernails, Hatshepsut's ship (mighty adventuring ship that can trade/generate gold).

-Special buildings (Shrine, shipyard, etc). As far as I know, the sipyard was a dock, but this gives me an idea. What if in the Mythic Age, all gods can build special buildings to their culture? Like shrines/oracle shrines for Greeks which have nice long LOS and can generate favor and train heroes/a special godspecific MU and reveal aprts of the map for a cost); a Palace which trains guards and special named heroes for Norse/Egyptias. The Norse palace is called a Winter Hall.
Heroes can include Setna (younger, with blade and amulets), Se-Osiris (his magician child, with divine eyes and a lock of hair to his side), Beowulf, Thialfi (fast hero), etc.

^ BTW that special buildings idea was half idea half expectation from Ausgamer files and same early screenies-we all saw the shrines and shipyards at least.

Comments? Questions? Any and all are welcome!

Edit: Clarifications done.

[This message has been edited by Mithrandirdragon (edited 07-22-2003 @ 11:19 AM).]

posted 22 July 2003 10:09 AM EDT (US)     1 / 5       
I'm not going to hunt up the posts just so I quote posts on each, but ES have commented on many of the design changes in the past. Mostly, they were because of technical limitations or to keep the game simple and fun. For example, did you know egyptian priests originally converted MU's instead of attacking them? ES found this really wasn't 'fun' though due to the linear relationship of converting enemy units - I steal your unit, or my unit dies in the attempt. It's infuriating for both players.


Units were MUCH easier to distinguish in early screenies

ES revamped the game model early in development, and completely changed how a lot of things worked. (The main change was god powers - previously they were cast by heroes.) At the time, they also changed the detail level on units and buildings, because they wanted to fit more onscreen at once. Unit scale was reduced, so that the units were actually smaller.

You might lament the lack of detail compared to the early shots, but personally I'm quite happy with a lag free game that has three armies of 60 units onscreen at once.


Reeds on farms for units to walk through

Bigdog actually said this wasn't so much technical as the fact that people liked the old style farms better.


Better sound, swords clashing and better sound when attacking buildings.

Um, I played in the alpha. The sound in the alpha was even more mellow than what is in AoM now. It sounded like hippikons were hitting each other with pillows and petrobolii launched crates of ping pong balls. The sound has gotten better, not poorer. Though admittedly, it still lacks compared to the epic feel created by AoK's fights.


Better pathing like that in AOC

Pathing is to do with the engine. It wasn't a promised feature, and the way it is now is the way it's always been. It's much better than it was in the alpha, I'll say that.


Wonder Race, Regicide

ES didn't dedicate resources to bringing back features no one liked. They didn't do the real world maps again, because no one really liked them. I can't really see anyone enjoying wonder race.

There's also a fundamental balance problem with wonder race in AOM - because the norse build with military.


Special buildings (Shrine, shipyard, etc).

The shrine was originally a greek structure for gathering favour but didn't have any of the functions of the temple. It was seen as redundant and removed.

The shipyard wasn't a seperate structure. It was the old art for the dock. ES left it in the scen editor.


Those large attacking transports, only in the Mythic Age, with strict creation regulations. They should be expensive, take a long time to build, cost favor, and be able to change into the mightiest of siege ships/mightiest of hero ships depending on what units are put on it. You can only build a max of 3.

They weren't going to be only in the mythic age, the large ships were going to be the only ships in the game, other than assumedly fishing boats. ES killed this ship model because it was too complex. First you have to build up an army, then you have to put it on a ship, etc.

There were also technical problems - the other ships were very large, which meant that water passages had to be by default large enough to allow them to path easily.


special culture ship properties

ES didn't add variance to the naval balance in AOM for two reasons. First they didn't want to detract from the land battle, since the game is meant to be fought on land. Second and more importantly, they didn't want to risk unbalancing it. Dedicating time to balancing an intricate naval setup meant less time and resources on other things, and they thought their time better spent on land balance. Look at AoK, where you had to play Vikings, Japanese or Saracens to stay competitive on water.

At one stage, there was consideration of making ulfsarks buildable from the Longboat, incidentally.

If you're like me, then it's possible you're a clone generated from my stolen DNA. I suggest you turn yourself in for destruction immediately.

[This message has been edited by TheShadowDawn (edited 07-22-2003 @ 10:14 AM).]

posted 22 July 2003 11:13 AM EDT (US)     2 / 5       
Interesting. Thanks for the post.

Mind you, I also said: "Many features we saw in Ausgamers or in those nice pretty early screenies were gone, as were those we expected to carry over from AOC!" 'As those we expected to carry over from AOC' refers to the sound, etc.

I guessed alpha sound woulda been horrible, lol. I never quite said ES promised better sound for AOM originally. Just a little misunderstanding, I'll edit my post sometime.

But we all agree sound needs improvement, yes? And maybe some epic tunes to the fun and varied AOM music for some flavor. The combat music that changes as u attack TC's is rather....remniscient of cartoons where people raze buildings to the ground in one hit and other such...nserious oddities. I wanted a bit more epic music for such occasions. Oh well. I guess it's ok as it is.

Bruce Shelley mentioned the wonder race style games (nice purely economic games) as possibly being in AOM on the AusGamer files (no. 2 or part 3 I think). I think just including them would be ok. I know lots of people won't like it on multiplayer, but it'll attract more people from the world and allow them to say AoM isn't just about hippokon rushes and cyclopes throwing female villies to their deaths (violence). regicide games I was surprised to hear, apparently weren't popular either. but many of my friends and forumers LOVE regicide. it gives AoM an RPG-ish flavor in a way. not too much microing either.

Golden Fleece was definitely one game type I'd like to see added though...Maybe in a patch at least. it could feature eye candy and some RPG-ish elements (relics on islands out at sea, relics guarded by monsters). That was one feature I shoulda added in my psotie up there.

Actually the units are more detailed now than they were before, but I'd rather have distinguishable units as in early screenies that are remniscient of the nice AOK easily distinguished armies. One major problemo is that when u upgrade ur troops with iron weapons, etc they all don that color of uniform, making it hard to distinguish axemen from spearmen. Veryyyy hard. And most people don't even know how to close in on units.

On the other hand, some nice handy AOC/AoK features are missing. Such as the ability to change game speed, change diplomacy with comp players (adding MUCH more fun-maybe ES could create some new taunts for that, seeing as the compo player in AOM is more intelligent and talkative). Also, the display of features (i.e. Cheats: No, game Speed: fast) before a multiplayer game launched was a nice addition, rather than just seeing the map u'll be playing. :S

I know about the attacking transports discrepancy, that's why I said we should make em trainable in Mythic age. Maybe I should make it more clearer, seeing as it wasn't a feature ES said would be in. It was an idea I had just based off that original feature to put them in the Mythic Age at least.

And who's Bigdog? An ES employee? I still can't see why reeds on shores and units walking in shallow-medium water were removed. O_o

I'm beginning to wonder if the Lampades converts MU's, myself. On the other hand, they might just have a powerful attack, but it would be...debatable as to whether it would be good to include conversion or not.

posted 22 July 2003 11:42 AM EDT (US)     3 / 5       
Well, I think most people are too busy trying to win than sit back and watch the scenery!

But, it would be good if there was an option to make all models highly detailed. The designers who like to create RPG's instead of massive battle scenarios would find it very helpful!

posted 24 July 2003 00:57 AM EDT (US)     4 / 5       
I know that's true Vasillis, but these minor things could have attracted more casual gamers. Personally I don't like the blue night setting much at ALL. -_-

And many game features I listed are important, and are partly why people say AoM isn't as good as AOC (game speed, map variety, etc)

posted 28 July 2003 11:53 AM EDT (US)     5 / 5       
Any other thoughts? I think AoM is overall a good game, but could have had some of these more innovative features to seem less like an AoK mod. :S
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