Age of Mythology@E3 2002
Easily the most exciting thing that was revealed about Random Maps in AOM, is the ability for the author to execute triggers in the map scripts. This will allow for all sorts of freedoms for RMS writers, many of whom wished for such an ability with AOK scripts. One thing the ES team will be using this for is making a King of the Hill map, instead of a full game type this time around. This may bring up the possibility for an author to rig a map so that triggers assist a player during the game. This is an issue that the ES team is certainly aware of, so we'll have to see if they address it in some way, such as somehow limiting which triggers you can execute in a map script.
There are several new random maps that are being introduced into AOM, along with some old favourites:
Oasis, which in AOK featured a larger body of water in the center surrounded by trees, will be back, but it has been changed to allow for passage through the middle of the map. The middle is now composed of more than one Oasis, with space between so that attacking through them has become an option. The map I saw had not one Oasis, but four in the center, arranged like the four corners of a square.
Vinlandsaga is a new name for a custom random map that the ES team came up with for AOK. Some of you may remember the Turkeys map, which had players starting on a small island with a Town Center and a transport. A large continent awaits those brave enough to set foot on it, and those who are too timid will fast run out of resources on their little piece of starting land.
Acropolis is a new map that plays on an old idea. Players will start with their town center elevated on a plateau, almost completely surrounded by cliffs. There is one opening through the cliffs to the open map beyond, giving the map a feel like the Fortress or Moats maps from AOK. Flying units will likely prove valuable on this map.
Watering Hole is a new map that is difficult to describe. With two players, the map is something like AOK's Highland map. With more players, it becomes far more complicated. Greg "DeathShrimp" Street kindly generated a map of this type with twelve players on it, and it really looked wild. The landmass was essentially surrounded by water, but lakes peppered the landscape which made for a great many narrow passages to your allies and enemies.
Valley of the Kings is kind of an arabia style map, but with a serious twist. All of the gold is guarded by giant gaia buildings which look like Egyptian fortresses. In order to start mining, you'll have to knock down a massive building that shoots back. Thankfully, they have a minimum range, so it won't prove impossible for weaker early age units.
While I had Greg Street showing me some of the maps he's been working on, the subject of a NOmad map or game type came up. That is, of course, the map from AOK where you start with no Town Center and just a few villagers. He seemed dead set on getting this into AOM, in some way shape or form. So NOmad fans can rest a little easier, knowing that the designers are working on bringing us this type of game in the AOM setting.
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