The Rise of Nations Extended Edition Tournament

After the game Rise of Nations was launched on Steam, we have seen a couple of small updates for the game. These fixes were mostly for gamers who do a lot of multi-player gaming. Some common bugs were also fixed.

The reddit community of Rise of Nations is really active and the development team is listening in on the issues that the users are facing.

It’s great to have a community slowly building up after the game died some time back. Last week, I saw one of the enthusiasts announcing a Tournament on Steam for Rise of Nations players. It’s a start to reviving this game!

Within minutes the number of people who signed up for this tourney went from 0 to 20 .. and now we have over 40 players. For those interested in participating, please register by the 28th of June and answer on this Reddit thread.

Recapping Rise of Nations

I have been playing Rise of Nations on and off since 2005. I really got into it in the year 2008, when I started playing with my brother-in-law on Gamespy and on Virtual Private Networks.

As I started playing the game, I started picking up on the core concepts of the game like rushing, booming and raiding.

It is at that point when I decided to share my experiences and tips on this blog. While posting articles about Rise of Nations, I had another realization – and this is a nuance of the game, but it definitely is there. Some strategies are civilization specific.

Here is a list of civ-specific strategies that I have written till now –

  • Egyptians – Powered by wonders, Delayed rush and early wonders
  • Turks – Militia Rush, Villagers and Siege (will work for Koreans as well)
  • Japanese – Boom and strong infantry

Besides these, I have also covered some concepts about the game here –

I had lost my installations of the Rise of Nations discs, also the community was dwindling pretty fast. But now with Steam Integration, my hopes are up and I can think about picking up from where I left off!

Re-Release of Rise of Nations

It’s a glorious end to a busy month of May here!

I logged on to Steam today to find that Microsoft (a company that I generally do not applaud), has bought the rights of the Rise of Nations game series.

The game which was stuck in a deadend for the past 10 years has suddenly a chance to revive itself. This game had a massive cult following and I have spent many an hour rushing, raiding and defending cities in the past years. Sadly the game was not getting any upgrades and the community was on the decline.

However with Steam and Twitch integration, the game would see another spurt of players, and thats what a dying game (which still has awesome gameplay) needed. Finally an RTS I can play instead of Starcraft or Total War series!

Path of Exile the right way to design a MMO

Back in 2010, when I was hankering for a Diablo clone, I tried out a lot of games … Torchlight, Guildwars, World of Warcraft, Borderlands, Fortune Online, Path of Exile (it was still in beta), Deus Ex, The Elder Scrolls series and finally found some solace in Rise of Nations. As someone who had spent the better part of his undergrad days playing Diablo II and its expansion, I always have a fond memories for this series.

Continue reading “Path of Exile the right way to design a MMO”

Good job with Battle.net Blizzard!

Battle.net Client

Good Launchers

I am a huge fan of Blizzard. In fact I have pretty much played everything that they have released … right from Blackthorne (a 2D Scroller) to Warcraft Series. World of Warcraft is one of the games where I have paid more than 1000 USD to the company before I realized it was eating away into my life. One of the main features of the Blizzard games is the custom launcher which will download the game and set it up for you … the launchers that Blizzard makes are fairly awesome and aspiring game design firms should learn from them … this taunt is remarkably true for the TESO MMO and the Star Wars MMO. I believe RIFT is the only game which has done a better job with the launcher, the rest are languishing far behind.

Security Paranoia

The only complaint I had with the Battle.net system was the ridiculous account security and password rules. Everytime you have to play the game, you have to keep the password in mind … it studies your account usage and even emails you when it detects an off pattern. All this pretty much ensures that when you are playing hookey at work (who does’nt) and sitting at home and playing a raid on WoW, it will ask you to reset your password! Not to mention the requirement to enter your password everytime you want to play.

However, with the new Battle.net client, this has stopped!

The new Battle.net Client

This week I installed the new client because I wanted to give Diablo III and the latest patch a whirl. I had heard too many good things about the new Loot 2.0 system to not do this!! More on Loot 2.0 later.

The new Battle.net Client has integrated all the games in one client (quite like Steam or Origin) and has also made account security a part of this software. So when I save my login, I do not have to enter my security credentials all over again. This is awesome … no more getting stuck on login screen trying to cook up new “strong” passwords.

Configurable Downloads

The cool part about this client is that you can also choose to install the games on different drives of your computer. So no more worrying about your drive filling up and not being able to download the latest update.

Up until this week, I had pretty much given up on wanting to play any more Blizzard games. Especially with Valve releasing a slew of DOTA2 updates and Grinding Gear Games showcasing their Sacrifice of the Vaal expansion, it meant lesser time to play other games. However, the D3 team has something going here … the new Battle.net Client looks to be just the start!

Banished

 

On February 18th, an Indie game was launched on Steam. Interestingly enough there already was a Reddit community for it, and the game developer had done an AMA on it. I chanced on this gem of a game last week and decided to give it a try. The game is selling on Steam for 20 USD, and it’s a good purchase to go for if you like building cities. If you have tried Dwarf Fortress, or Sim Cities … then this is one game you have to try out!

A bit of History

As a child, I had always loved playing strategy games such as Age of Empires … and then came city building administration games such as Caesar III, Pharaoh and Cleopatra … followed by Zeus and Poseidon (these are still my favourite). However, post those games there were no follow-ups … there was a Caesar IV, but that really did not do so well. There was a huge gap of city building games and only the likes of Sim City (which is meh these days) seemed to fulfil it.

There were good games in the meanwhile such as the Anno series which had you going and more on this later.

Banished is addressing that need

This year, one look at the game and I started liking it to no end. It has a series of tutorials which quickly gets you up to speed in the basics of building a town. Post which you start the game on varying levels of difficulty.

The game is a sandbox city building game, with some force majeure thrown in to make your life difficult. The whole idea of the game is to think of yourself as a mayor of the town and keep building the town to address the requirements of the citizens and keep flourishing your town.

Get food, wood, shelter and clothing for your citizens. Help them build more things, trade to get access to commodities not available to you. Flourish as a city.

Gameplay

My Banished City

The game is fairly simple, and allows you to do multiple things (such as work or blog!) while you are busy building a city. When the game begins you get a small amount of villagers .. now these people are what you may call (go ahead, objectify them!!) as a resource. You ask people to do things and they will do it (haha! in real life I wish it were that simple), but in the world of Banished, they have to listen to you if they want to survive.

So you quickly allocate the jobs for each of them, so I have half of my villagers on gathering food, fishing and farming.

The game is also about striking a balance with mother nature … the only way you get access to tools and stuff is by using natural resources. Go to fast and you would deplete your world … so when you cut a tree, be sure that your foresters will plant more.

Roti, Kapda aur Makaan

Finally, to get started its all about getting the basic hygiene factors for your town. It’s about surviving against what Nature throws at you and flourishing as a community.

This is a good game to while away the Sundays and the beautiful imagery just makes it a pleasure to play the game.

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