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AoE F.A.Q.


  1. Questions about the game
  2. Problems with the patch
  3. Playing the game
  4. Map editor
  5. Technical questions/troubleshooting

Questions about the game

Q: Where can I get the demo of AoE?

A: You can download it at Download.com or Ogr.com.
Alternative sites are:
www.microsoft.com, www.gamecenter.com, or www.shareware.com.

Q: Is the 50 unit cap an addition to the gameplay or an annoying restriction?

A: This is one of the most debated questions. I think it enhances the gameplay since it prevents rush strategies. The limit does not allow you to build more than 50 villagers and military units. However, the number of towers and other buildings is unlimited.

Q: 2500 years ago, Phalanxes ruled the battlefield. When one guy in the front row died, other spears would quickly fill the gap. Will we see such and other classical military maneuvers in AoE?

A: No, such maneuvers are not implemented. Because the number of units is not very high, different tactics are more effective. You can still set up a certain formation and divide your host in different groups. For instance, you can have your Cavalry chase Archers and Villagers while your Phalanx protects your Catapult.

Q: How balanced is the game?

A: Better than any other game I have seen so far. Every unit has its distinct weakness. For instance, the high armor of Phalanx units does not help them against arrows, so they can be taken down by Horse Archers.

Q: What are the "real" system requirements?

A: Pretty much as stated in the system requirements section on the box. However, if you want to play at 1024 x 768, you will not only need a P133 with a fast graphics adapter, but also a 17 inch screen. For 800 x 600, a 15 inch screen does the job.

Q: Is AOE supported on Microsoft's Internet Gaming Zone?

A: Yes, even the demo version is.

Q: Are the different cultures going to have different images for the people? From what I've seen the building are different but the people only vary in colour.

A: The people look the same for all tribes, but you cannot get all types of units with a tribe.

Q: I was wondering if the demo out right now is available for Mac anywhere?

A (from Matt Prichard): There are no plans for a Mac Version at this time. Strong sales and/or a write in campaign might persuade Microsoft to consider doing a Mac Version, but that is speculation on my part.

Q: How many CDs do I need for multiplayer games?

A: You need one CD for three players, two CDs for six players and three CDs for eight players.

Problems with the patch

Q: I get the error message "DirectX 5.0a required" when installing the patch. I have DirectX 5.0 installed, what do I have to do?

A: Download DirectPlay 5.0a. This should fix that problem.

Q: Where can I get the patch for AoE?

A: You can download it at Ogr.com or Microsoft.com.

Q: How can I change the unit limit with the patch?

A: Select the shortcut to Age of Empires, press "Alt+Enter", then choose "Shortcut". The "target" line should look like (including quotation marks):
"D:\Games\Age of Empires\empires.exe" -option
where option is something like Limit=60. Zone users must also change the registry in order to make the unit limit modification work; read the update.doc file that was installed with the patch for more information.

Playing the game

Q: How can I play the downloaded scenarios/campaigns?

A: To use a scenario, simply unzip it into the scenario directory in your AoE folder. Campaigns belong into the campaign directory.
To play the scenario, choose "Single player, scenario", for a campaign, select "Single player, campaign" in the game.

Q: Can I break the 50 unit limit?

A: Yes, you can. Build 49 units and a lot of buildings (docks, academies, stables) and train a lot of units at once. The number of units that are being trained does not count yet towards the total, and thus you can get 60+ units easily.

Q: How do I dismiss units?

A: Select it, then press delete. It works with buildings and units.

Q: If the defending unit's armor is the same or higher than the attacking unit's attack damage does the defending unit take no damage?

A: Even though it should not take any damage, it does take very little (about 1 hit point per hit). This happens for instance if villagers try to kill Centurions :)

Q: Do buildings have armor?

A: Yes, some kind of, but it is nowhere documented how much actually.

Q: Does piercing armor take off basic damage?

A: No, only damage from missile weapons.

Q: What is better, Chariots or Chavalry ?

A: Some people think that Chariots are useless but they are way cheaper than Cavalry and have special bonuses against Priests. Sometimes you are forced to renounce on Cavalry units due to lack of gold.
If you plan a raid on an enemy town with the purpose to kill as many villagers as you can, Cavalry units are much better because they are tougher. If you plan a large attack, I would always have a few Chariots to take out Priests and save gold. You can use that gold for Hoplites and Priests.

Q: Is there a difference between Horse Archers and Elephant Archers? :)

A: Indeed there is a huge difference. Horse Archers are fast but have few hit points. Elephant Archers are very tough ("moving Town Centers") but can be easily converted by Priests.

Scenario editor

Q: How can I place resources in the map editor?

A: Choose "Units", then select the "Gaia" (neutral) player. Now you have access to animals, bushes, mines and everything else.

Q: At the beginning of a game, a preview map of the scenario is shown, together with a description. Can I replace it with my own picture?

A: There is a file called mapdefault.bmp in the AoE directory; just edit it (do not change the size or palette) and save it under any name into the scenario directory. To see your map at the beginning of the scenario, just choose "Cinematics", then "scenario instruction map" in the map editor.

Q: In Single Player does the player's civilization always have to wear blue? Or can the colors be changed? For example, I always pictured Greeks in blue and Romans and maybe Eygptians in red.

A: You can change the color in multi player and in single player matches with custom or random scenarios (full version only), but not in the campaign.
 

Technical questions/troubleshooting

Q: How can I play the downloaded scenarios/campaigns?

A: To use a scenario, simply unzip it into the scenario directory in your AoE folder. Campaigns belong into the campaign directory.
To play the scenario, choose "Single player, scenario", for a campaign, select "Single player, campaign" in the game.

Q: How can I change the unit limit and other command line options?

A: Select the shortcut to Age of Empires, press "Alt+Enter", then choose "Shortcut". The "target" line should look like (including quotation marks):
"D:\Games\Age of Empires\empires.exe" -option
where option is something like Limit=60. Zone users must also change the registry in order to make the unit limit modification work; read the update.doc file that was installed with the patch for more information.

Q: How do you take screenshots?

A: Ctrl+F12. The screenshots are then saved as a bmp file like AoE0001.bmp.

Q: I have downloaded AOE but it needs DirectX 5.0. Do you know where I can download that?

A: You can download it at ogr.com or check the MS page.

Q: Where can I find printable techtrees?

A: You will find them in the docs folder in your AoE directory. They are printable and in Winword format.

Q: With WC2 you can see all the map by typing "on screen". Is it possible with AOE?

A: You can select "reveal map" at the beginning so you do not have to scout that much. You will see the whole territory but no buildings. If you combine that with fog of war off, you'll have on screen. There probably is a cheat code like "on screen", but I have no idea which one :)

Q: Is it possible to change the music? If so, how?

A: In the demo, you can replace the midi files in the sound directory; in the full version, you can remove the CD to hear the Midi sounds or use a different CD (some players need the AoE CD to start the game, though).

Q: Can I turn the intro off?

A: add -nostartup to the AoE shortcut, e. g. "D:\GAMES\Age of Empires\empires.exe" - nostartup. I had recommended an option to start the game without the intro in the beta test phase - I hope that will be included in AoE2.

Q: Can I save the game when I play in multiplayer mode?

A: No, you cannot save the game in multiplayer mode. The performance would have suffered too much (it requires much more time to save a multi player game than a single player one due to technical reasons). 

Q: Have you heard any info about running the trial version with Matrox video cards? I have a 4 meg Matrox Mystique, driver version 3.70, and the game crashes after a few minutes of play in the Hittite campaigns. I have tried using the command line options mfill and msync, but those seem to have no effect.

A: Get the DirectX driver 4.03.00.3700.

Q: AoE crashes when starting the game, or after a few seconds. What can I do?

A: First, try the game with the -msync and -mfill parameters. Then, disable the sound. If you have a Sound Blaster Pro, playing with a regular Sound Blaster driver may help.
Select the shortcut to Age of Empires, press "Alt+Enter", then choose "Shortcut". The "target" line should look like (including quotation marks):
"D:\Games\Age of Empires\empires.exe" -msync -mfill

Q: Unable to correctly create the CAB file. What does this mean?

A: Put in the Win95 system CD and there should be no problems. The program is looking for some CAB files that are normally installed on the system.

Q: Does the game support 3D cards?

A: No. All the animations are already rendered so there would be nothing for the 3D card to do :-)
 


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