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Age of Empires II's NEW / 3rd xpack is "The African Kingdoms" and AoM xpack teased

Tevious

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Anyone here still play AoK or AoM? Well, at long last, the "Age of" games are finally getting new content! See the video here. AoK teaser trailer at 2:33.

Age of Empires II already received it's second expansion called "The Forgotten" back in late 2013 by SkyBox Labs and the Forgotten Empires team. Now the game is getting it's third Expansion called "The African Kingdoms" which will be coming out later this year. The expansion has been confirmed to include the Berbers and the Malians so far.


Also, an expansion for Age of Mythology: Extended Edition was teased in the background. The reporter didn't seem to care at all wouldn't get out of the way, but I've blown up the image below. Looks like it might be three new civilizations/mythologies.

My speculation of the gods... [Edited]

1. God on the left appears to be Dagda from Celtic mythology. Dagda was the god of life and death. He had super strength, a big appetite, and was commonly portrayed as being bulky/fat and wielded a large magic club. You can see him holding a club in the image, so its likely him.

"Tales depict the Dagda as a figure of immense power, armed with a magic club and associated with a cauldron."
"The Dagda was a High King of the Tuatha Dé Danann" (the name of the pantheon, making him one of the major gods)
"He is also known by the epithets [...] Fer Benn ("horned man" or "man of the peak")"



2. Goddess on the right appears to be Nüwa (aka Nugua) from Chinese mythology. Nüwa was a half-serpent creator goddess who created humans from yellow mud. You can see her snake tail beside and behind her in the image.



3. God in the center appears to be one of the supreme creator gods of any of the Middle-Eastern mythologies. My best guess is that he is Ahura Mazda from Persian "polytheistic" Zoroastrianism mythology (before it became monotheist). That book he is holding could be the Gathas. He's usually depicted holding a ring, so I could be wrong. He could also be El from Canaanite mythology or Anu from Mesopotamian mythology.



So new CIVs could be Celts, Chinese, and either Persians, Mesopotamians, or Canaanites.


An alternative theory, and I think it has a lot of credence, is that there is just one new CIV; the Chinese. The gods depicted in the image could be:

1. God on the left would be Shennong, god of herbal drugs. He was one of the Five Emperors counted amongst the Three Sovereigns. He is portrayed with horns, but always short white horns, except for this one statue where he does have bull horns. I'm not sure what the large club in the image could be, but maybe its an agricultural tool. His attire and that leaf he is holding in the image does seem to fit with his description, though.



2. Goddess on the right would still be Nüwa (aka Nugua), creator goddess who created humans from yellow mud. She is also counted among the Three Sovereigns.



3. God in the center would then be the Yellow Emperor (aka Huang-Ti), a cosmic ruler god. He is also sometimes counted among the Three Sovereigns. In the image, his attire is not particularly yellow enough. Maybe he's the Jade Emperor? He still looks middle-eastern to me, but the image is very blurry.



Also, of note, is that some people did work on a Chinese mod for AoM, but it was never finished. Maybe a deal was worked out with the people involved, sort of like how the Forgotten Empires team had their work made into an official expansion. He are some images of the mod below:


As a big fan of Ensemble Studios back in the day, I'm pretty excited about this. There really hasn't been any historical RTS games since those days that I've cared about except for Rise of Nations. 0AD looks to be nice, but their progress has been pretty slow since they're doing it for free.


Original source at 2h49m: http://www.twitch.tv/twitch/v/6314795

Wololo me if old.
 

Komo

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Feb 13, 2013
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Yessss

AoE II is one of the few games I can spend a ridiculous amount of time playing without even realizing it.

Good timing too, because I've been watching various documentaries about the African continent <-<
 

Pooya

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AoM xpac? niiice. They should have mentioned these on that PC gaming conference instead of here is bunch of ports.

The thing is AoEII civs are very similar to each other with some different units but AoM? It's a 3D game and factions are completely different, it's not as simple or cheap to make new content for it. I'm very interested to see how that turns out. Asian myths are a great choice too.
 

Tagyhag

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Oh my fuck, an AOM xpac too? They can have all my money.

Very hyped for the African one as well! Better get some random maps in so the campaign modes can kick my ass just like the ones in Forgotten, seriously they turned up the difficulty to 11 compared to the originals.
 

Tevious

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Oh my fuck, an AOM xpac too? They can have all my money.

Very hyped for the African one as well! Better get some random maps in so the campaign modes can kick my ass just like the ones in Forgotten, seriously they turned up the difficulty to 11 compared to the originals.
Yeah, I noticed that. Their AI was extremely challenging for me, but also too easy for me on the easiest difficulty. I was stuck between two difficulties. Anyway, you can change the AI back to how it was in The Conquerors under "Name" change the "Computers" to "Conquerors.AI".
 

vall03

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Wait what?! Age of Mythology is getting an expansion as well? I know about the expansion for Age of Empires but didn't expect one for Age of Mythology. This is great news, loved The Forgotten expansion, can't wait for more.
 
Apr 13, 2014
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I love the game but it pisses me off that the ai gives up.

That is, at a certain hour, like maybe ten hours into the game, the ai just stops. All the villagers stop working, and they stop attacking and creating units. The units will fight when you attack but won't move far.

I can't believe that bug was never fixed
 

Tevious

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I love the game but it pisses me off that the ai gives up.

That is, at a certain hour, like maybe ten hours into the game, the ai just stops. All the villagers stop working, and they stop attacking and creating units. The units will fight when you attack but won't move far.

I can't believe that bug was never fixed
Why and how are you playing AoK game sessions for 10 hours??
 

Proelite

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I love the game but it pisses me off that the ai gives up.

That is, at a certain hour, like maybe ten hours into the game, the ai just stops. All the villagers stop working, and they stop attacking and creating units. The units will fight when you attack but won't move far.

I can't believe that bug was never fixed
If you want to play that kind of RTS, there are games built for 10 hour sessions.
 

Pau

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Very exciting! :O

I hope it's three new civilizations for Age of Mythology.
 
Apr 13, 2014
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If you want to play that kind of RTS, there are games built for 10 hour sessions.
Built for it? Age is empires is built for it, as long as the big is fixed. I play only on the biggest map.

And they add more stone. Fucking stone man, the resource ratios never made sense.

Computer cheats too. They literally build nine castles. It's mathematically impossible with the amount of stone available in their part of the map
 

Tevious

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Very exciting! :O

I hope it's three new civilizations for Age of Mythology.
I updated the OP with my speculation. I'm absolutely convinced the guy on the left is Dagda from Celtic mythology and the woman on the right is most likely Guan-Yin from Chinese mythology, so I think we are. I haven't figured out the middle guy yet, but I'm pretty sure he's one of the Middle-Eastern supreme gods for either Persians, Canaanites, or Babylonians/Sumerians/Assyrians.

I can't believe 16 years after release, Age of Empires 2 is getting an expansion. This is so cool!
Well, it did get one a couple years ago that added Italians, Indians, Incas and a few others, so it hasn't been that long ago, lol. But it's amazing that this game has had a revival and continued support with new expansions!
 

shintoki

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Honestly, I love this idea. Classic games getting more added to them rather than remade.
 

Pooya

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Nobody saw this in person? It appears to have a subtitle too. It's strange nobody reported on it, other than appearing on bg of twitch stream. lol :(
 

Tevious

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Nobody saw this in person? It appears to have a subtitle too. It's strange nobody reported on it, other than appearing on bg of twitch stream. lol :(
It's pretty clear from the video this reporter had no idea what he was talking about and gave absolutely no fucks about it. She didn't even look at the image and wouldn't get out of the way from the camera. So if this was the only reporter to get a look at it, then no wonder why.
 
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I loaded up some old files and it looks like I was mistaken about the timing. The AI gives up around 6-7 hours in and all their units just stand around and do nothing.
 

cuc

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It definitely looks like they are introducing three whole civilizations. That's actually quite a lot of work.

The goddess seems to be Nüwa, the half-serpent Chinese goddess who created humanity. That's actually older Chinese mythology, and not just the popular medieval stuff.

EDIT:

Actually it's quite possible all three are from Chinese myths. It's far more likely for them to just add one civilization instead of three.

Left: Shennong, the inventor of agriculture and medicine. Or some similar more nature-aligned god.
Middle: Huang Di, the Yellow Emperor. Or some other variation of the celestial emperor. (His style honestly isn't that close to the Mesopotamia style. Note the lack of a braided beard.)
Right: Nüwa, the creator of mankind.
 

Tevious

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It definitely looks like they are introducing three whole civilizations. That's actually quite a lot of work.

The goddess seems to be Nüwa, the half-serpent Chinese goddess who created humanity. That's actually older Chinese mythology, and not just the popular medieval stuff.

EDIT:

Actually it's quite possible all three are from Chinese myths. It's far more likely for them to just add one civilization instead of three.

Left: Shennong, the inventor of agriculture and medicine.
Middle: Huang Di, the Yellow Emperor. Or some other variation of the celestial emperor.
Right: Nüwa, the creator of mankind.
I originally thought it was all Chinese, with the three being Yen-Lo-Wang (god of death), Yu-Huang (Jade Emperor heavenly ruler), and Guan-Yin (mother goddess), but the first guy is definitely Dagda. Big strong Celtic god of life and death who wields a magic club.

However, now that you've suggested that the woman is Nuwa (or Nugua), I looked at her picture again and realized that squiggly line behind her is her lower snake body, so I think you're right about her! Good eye!

Updating my speculation in OP. That just leaves the middle guy who I am not exactly sure of.
 

JaseC

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Jul 30, 2009
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Oh, the things I would do for Age of Empires HD. One of these days a former Ensemble employee will clean out his/her garage and find CDs containing the source assets/code for AoE and Rise of Rome.
 

frontovik

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Oh, the things I would do for Age of Empires HD. One of these days a former Ensemble employee will clean out his/her garage and find CDs containing the source assets/code for AoE and Rise of Rome.
I feel the same way, JaseC, the original Age of Empires hold a special place in my heart because it was my first PC game and the experience was what inspired my interest in history.

An Age of Empires HD announcement would be equivalent to Shenmue III for me.
 

Tevious

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An Age of Empires HD announcement would be equivalent to Shenmue III for me.
This AoM xpack announcement is basically the equivalent of the Shenmue III announcement for me. There was a thread a week or two ago about what E3 announcement would make you the N64 Christmas kid and Age of Mythology 2 was mine. This is close enough. Between The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy VII remake, Nier 2, an amazing Uncharted 4 demo, Sword Coast Legends (big NWN fan), and now both Age of Mythology and Age of Kings are getting new expansions, this is the BEST E3 EVER!
Can't get excited for Shenmue III because I never played the first 2.
 

baterism

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This AoM xpack announcement is basically the equivalent of the Shenmue III announcement for me. There was a thread a week or two ago about what E3 announcement would make you the N64 Christmas kid and Age of Mythology 2 was mine. This is close enough. Between The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy VII remake, an amazing Uncharted 4 demo, Sword Coast Legends (big NWN fan), and now both Age of Mythology and Age of Kings are getting new expansions, this is the BEST E3 EVER!
Can't get excited for Shenmue III because I never played the first 2.
Same here. RTS genre need a revival.

This totally need to be on that PC conferences though.
 

Poodlestrike

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I love the support they've been giving these games lately. Here's hoping for a proper new Age of Empires (or even better, Mythology) announcement at Gamescom!
 

Green Embers

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Built for it? Age is empires is built for it, as long as the big is fixed. I play only on the biggest map.

And they add more stone. Fucking stone man, the resource ratios never made sense.

Computer cheats too. They literally build nine castles. It's mathematically impossible with the amount of stone available in their part of the map
They most likely are buying stone from the marketplace. If I remember correctly (it's been a long time since I've played) the marketplace prices adjusts to all the transactions, so if they are buying stone it will make the price higher for you to buy it.
 

Tevious

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I sure hope The African Kingdoms expansion will give each civilization "art set" their own unique art for villagers and monks. Would be pretty ridiculous to have "white" European villagers for these new African CIVs. Keep the current villagers and monks for the Eastern European art set (Britons, Celts, and Franks) and get new ones for all the rest (like how the Mesoamerican CIVs got their own monk). Also, Byzantines need a new Monastery that's more like a Greek Orthodox church and not a mosque.
 

Poodlestrike

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So, looking at the image again I'm gonna agree with cuc and say that it's probably just China. The original expansion pack only added the one civ, and I could very easily see the middle one being the Yellow Emperor (though I'm not really familiar with Chinese mythology).
 

Stumpokapow

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They most likely are buying stone from the marketplace. If I remember correctly (it's been a long time since I've played) the marketplace prices adjusts to all the transactions, so if they are buying stone it will make the price higher for you to buy it.
The computer does cheat (you can read the AI files yourself). It's not too uncommon in RTS games.
 

DarkPhoenix

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Dec 14, 2014
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Nice, more excited about AoM and a new expansion after so many years, I just need AoE4 and Zoo Tycoon3.
 

Tevious

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So, looking at the image again I'm gonna agree with cuc and say that it's probably just China. The original expansion pack only added the one civ, and I could very easily see the middle one being the Yellow Emperor (though I'm not really familiar with Chinese mythology).
But the left guy is certainly Dagda.

"Tales depict the Dagda as a figure of immense power, armed with a magic club and associated with a cauldron."
"The Dagda was a High King of the Tuatha Dé Danann" (the name of the pantheon, making him one of the major gods)
"He is also known by the epithets [...] Fer Benn ("horned man" or "man of the peak")"

In the image, he's holding a large club. I'm not sure what he is holding in his other hand, but it could be some herb or ingredient that he's putting in a cauldron that we can't see in that image.



So if the left guy is Dagda and the right woman is Nuaga, then the middle guy is probably not related to Chinese mythology (he looks particularly Middle-Eastern). My best guess is that he is Ahura Mazda and that book he is holding is the Gathas, so maybe Persians.

So anyway, I'm pretty sure we're actually getting three new CIVs! Despite how difficult it would be.
 

Meowster

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A new Age of Mythology expansion pack? Holy shit, a new age is dawning, let me reinstall the game and do a new play through.
 

Tagyhag

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So, looking at the image again I'm gonna agree with cuc and say that it's probably just China. The original expansion pack only added the one civ, and I could very easily see the middle one being the Yellow Emperor (though I'm not really familiar with Chinese mythology).
I mean, it makes sense. As much as I would absolutely love 3 new civs with different playstyles, that sounds like way too much work.

3 Gods with the same civ has been the standard so that's probably what will happen this time as well.
 

Sneaky Gato

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I agree with you ton Dagda and Nugua I'm not so sure if the one in the middle is Ahura Mazda. For one there remains a very active and sizable Zoroastrian community in Northwestern India, and given their previous troubles with offending minority religions they thought dead I'm not so sure they would risk it, especially given the history of persecution the community has suffered especially in recent times at the hands of ISIS.

I also don't believe it is Ahura Mazda because in Zoroastrianism there is only one true divinity. There is a Satan figure, a variety of angel, demons, and creatures but there is only one true divinity. Granted for game purposes they could stretch to include Angra Mainyu as a god even though that is not what he actually is. They could include Zurvan but that particular belief arose long after and has been dead for centuries placing it in this odd middle ground where it is neither part of the original faith or an accepted part of it today. This is further complicated because certain aspects of Zurvanism have survived into modern Zoroastrianism meaning that including them may further offend that community. Given that Zurvan does not really belong to either the ancient or modern beliefs but rather an intermediate area and that AoM exists on pre historic scale I'm not sure what they would do with that.

On the other hand the book and quill are very important symbols in Zoroastrian beliefs and what looks like wings over an Ark on his chest which is very traditional symbol. I would very much like for the various Pre-Islamic middle eastern mythologies be represented since it as area that very few people know about and is incredibly interesting. There are some powerful scenes such as the Descent into Hell that I would love to see.
 

Window

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Even though I'm awful at them, these are some of my favourite games of all time. Interesting approach though, releasing an expansion to a 16 year old game (albeit for remastered versions) instead of new games. Not that I'm complaining. At this stage I'll take new Age of Empires/Mythology content in any form I can get. Pretty low key announcement though. I haven't come across any news about the AoM expansion anywhere.