Interview with Greg T. Street, Lead Designer: Microsoft Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion
ActiveWin: What are some of the features that Microsoft Age of Empires II: TheConquerors Expansion Pack improves over the original version? How do you think this will add to the overall experience of playing AOE II?
micromanagement (such as the smart villagers), those that address play balance (such as improved siege weapons), and those that bring something entirely new to the game (such as the new civilizations and campaigns). I don't think it is an understatement to say that the Age of Kings expansion probably has double the content of the Rise of Rome expansion. It is almost impossible to play a game of the Conquerors and not notice something that wasn't present in Age of Kings, whether it is the new terrain, new icons on the user interface, or the updated graphics on the in-game tech tree.
ActiveWin: What are some of the more interesting technologies that have been added?Are they available to everyone or are they unique to a civilization?
trade units. Because strong trade routes can really make the difference in larger games, we gave this technology to all 18 civilizations. Heresy is designed to help players survive huge Monk attacks--it makes your units die rather than be converted. You still lose the unit, but at least your enemy doesn't get it from you. In addition, each civilization has a Unique Technology that only their civilization can research. For example, Persian Mahouts make their War Elephants move faster. Japanese Kataparuto makes their Trebuchets pack, unpack and fire faster.
ActiveWin:How long was the Expansion pack in development? Did you overcome at setbacks or set any milestones?
released to market, so it took us about 8 months to complete. The project went very smoothly, though we did need to redo the palette in order to have enough white colors available for the snow terrains.
ActiveWin: Age of Empires II is currently one of the best selling games on themarket, do you think the expansion pack will add to that success?
and civilization balance issues that developed after months of online play. An expansion gave us a great time to address some of the issues by adding new units and technologies, rather than just overhaul the system. For example, Cavalry Archers turned out to be a little weak in AOK. In the expansion, we added three new technologies, Bloodlines, Thumb Ring and Parthian Shot, that benefit Cav Archers. We believe that any fan of Age of Kings won't feel at peace until they have updated their game with the enhancements that the Conquerors Expansion brings.
ActiveWin: How do the villagers work smarter?
Camp, they will then start working at the appropriate resource without your having to go back to the completed site and re-task them. Villagers assigned to the same farm will spread out and work on any available farm. Villagers instructed to build a wall will move to opposite ends of the wall and work their way towards the middle.
ActiveWin: Have any cheats been changed, removed or added to the Expansion Pack? Ifso, can you give us some details?
ActiveWin: How do the units garrison into the different war Rams? What are thelimits as to what the different rams can store?
ActiveWin: Do you have anything to add?