News Archives: March 2004

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Rise of Nations: TaP - Trial Pack on GameStop is offering a demo version of the Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots expansion pack for $1.99, starting tomorrow. Why pay? Well you get to play the demo earlier then others AND Each demo disc includes a $10 mail in rebate for RON: Thrones and Patriots, a strategy guide, and additional content! What are you waiting for?! Go grab a copy!

Jedianakinsolo's Reskin Guide at RoNU

Jedianakinsolo's Rise of Nations Unit Reskinning Guide is now also viewable as a webpage at Rise of Nations:T&P Universe. All locations: Rise of Nations Heaven, Rise of Nations:T&P Universe Adds RoN - BSC, dedicated to the promotion and facilitation of organized internet gaming - has added Rise of Nations to its supported games. You can check out their site here.

IGN T&P Screenshots

IGN has added ten Thrones & Patriots screenshots to their Rise of Nations Xpack gallery. Some new, some old but check them out here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Basics Part II: City Planning

El_Capitan continues his multi-part review of strategy basics. This time he is covering City planning. You can check it on the 30 Mar 04 entry at Out4Blood's Rise of Nations Strategy Blog.

AU Previews of the Persians

niDe previews the Persians from the Rise of Nations: Thrones & Patriots Marketing Beta. He's thrown in screenshots of all the Persian unique units and their elephants in action. You can check it out here.

Basics Part I: Scouting

El_Capitan begins a multi-part review of strategy basics. The first installment will cover scouting. You can check it on the 28 Mar 04 entry at Out4Blood's Rise of Nations Strategy Blog.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Ruthless Scorched Earth Strategy

BloodBath, a forumer on our strategy forum started a thread on his recent experiments using a so-called scorched earth strategy. Where you raze the enemy's buildings once you've reduced them, so that even if they take it back their capitol has been gutted. Other forumers contributions help to flesh out this strategy. You can follow this discussion and add your ideas here.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Heaven Games Invades Big Huge Games

Big Huge Games recently got a visit from us at Heaven Games! Bet you didn't know that! Well three of the Heaven Games crew: Zen, Socvacius and I (One_Dead_Angel) got a chance to go down to the Big Huge Games office in Timonium to hang out with Graham "Thunder" Somers for two days (March 18-19, 2004). We got to interview none other then Brian Reynolds, the man himself! But that's not all! We also got to talk to three of the development team including: Doug Kaufman, Ike Ellis and Pranas Pauliukonis, gathering up over 4 hours of recorded interviews in total! We also met pretty much every one else that showed up at the office that day, and also had lunch with a couple of the BHG artists John Fitzgerald and Zero Dean. Of course did a lot of gaming! You can read all about our visit in this feature article!

Oh and stay tuned for the 4 interviews!

RomanGladius' Mongol Strategy

RomanGladius has started a discussion thread at our forums detailing his experience lately with a mid game Mongol Attack strategy. The Mongols are great early game rushers, but he points out that most good players are prepared for this sort of attack. He examines and talks about his sucesses with a variation for the Mongols.

Jedianakinsolo's Guide to Reskinning

Jedianakinsolo, a member of the ROME mod team, has written up a newbie's guide to reskinning units for Rise of Nations. Check out this informative article if you were always curious about making skin mods for Rise of Nations!

Biffo World Cup Recorded Games

Recorded Biffo World Cup games are beginning to appear in the Rise of Nations:T&P Universe downloads section. You can grab them here and see how Biffers do it!

Rise of Middle Earth Mod Screens

Jedianakinsolo has posted some of the first screenshots of the in-progress Rise of Nations "Rise of Middle Earth" (ROME) mod. You can check out the state of his cool project here.

RoN Oracle Winner's Ready for Download

All the winning submissions to the Rise of Nations Oracle Design Contest are ready for download. You can grab it at the Rise of Nations Oracle download section.

Lakota Unique Unit Showcase

Microsoft Games showcases the unique units of the Lakota in the Thrones & Patriots expansion. Here's a summary of their powers:
The Lakota have the Power of the Plains.
• Instead of building Farms and Granaries, receive Food for each Citizen, Scout, and Calvary unit (expect when garrisoned).
• Have no National Territory, and can construct buildings in any territory not held by another nation.
• Buildings can be razed quickly for full purchase value.
• Light and Ranged Cavalry upgrades are free.
You can check out the details here.

New T&P Screen of the Week

Microsoft Games has updated its site with a new Thrones & Patriots Screenshot of the Week. This weeks features a great looking Indian city under attack from some East Asian ships. You can check it out here.

Friday, March 26, 2004

More Thunderous Answers

Thunder / Graham@BHG returns to our forums at Rise of Nations Heaven with an enormous new batch of answers to questions, including a brief rundown on some of the changes to the old nations. Check out this informative thread here.

UGO Takes 3D Avenue T&P Preview

Nathan Davison's earlier preview of Rise of Nations: Thrones & Patriots now appears again at UGO.
"I'm not entirely sure if Thrones & Patriots will attract a whole new flock of gamers to the series, but it will most
certainly give the Rise of Nations fans out there some impressive new features and gameplay."
Eight previously seen screenshots accompany the preview. You can check out the preview at UGO, or view the earlier publication of this preview at 3d Avenue.

T&P Trailer Available at BHG

The newly-released Thrones & Patriots trailer can now be downloaded from at least four popular gaming sites. You can find the links on the BHG Home Page.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

MS XNA Platform Announced

Yesterday at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, California, USA, Microsoft announced "XNA™," a "catalyst for a new ecosystem of interchangeable, interoperable software tools and technologies from Microsoft®" for all "all Microsoft game platforms - including Windows®, Xbox® and Windows Mobile™." According to the press release, "By integrating software innovations across Microsoft platforms and across the industry, XNA forms a common environment that liberates developers from spending too much time writing mundane, repetitive boilerplate code." You can read the press release here.

Game Developers Choice Awards

Though nominated for Rookie Studio of the Year, Big Huge Games lost out to Infinity Ward, developer of Call of Duty, at the Fourth Annual Game Developers Choice Awards last night in San Jose, California, USA. You can read about the details of the awards, at Frictionless Insight.

PCA_Frogman Screens

Expert player PCA_Frogman has posted a bunch (over 30) of high-resolution T&P Marketing Beta screenshots in the Anarchy Unlimited forums. These include in game screens, interface screens, and pictures of the CD package and installation procedure. You can check it out over there.

HistoryGuy in Our Future

Please welcome the latest addition to the Rise of Nation Heavens team, HistoryGuy. He will be in charge of keeping our Strategy Library up to date and helping TGE to moderate the Strategy Forum.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Thrones and Patriots Official Trailer at Gamespot

Subscribers to GameSpot Complete can view the official Thrones and Patriots expansion pack trailer lasting (4 minites and 8 seconds). You can check it out along with an interview with Tim Train, that was posted last month.

Biffo World Cup Coming Soon

The Rise of Nations Biffo World Cup organized by KIWI_Pest_Control kicks off March 26th. You can check out the Game Dates & Times, here. The Pools & Structure can be found at the RoN Universe site, or the Kiwi Biffers home site.

Thunder Update

Thunder - BHG's Graham Somers - briefly reports about squashing bugs in the Xpack and hints at a Thrones & Patriots trailer. You can catch his Q & A thread on our forum.

niDe Previews the Dutch

Clan Anarchy Unlimited's niDe has posted an illustrated preview of the Dutch, one of the new nations appearing in Thrones & Patriots. You can check it out here.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Worthplaying Screens

Worthplaying releases another set of twenty Rise of Nations: Thrones & Patriots screenshots. You can check out them out here.

Tim Train Talks

GameSpy's Allen "Delsyn" Rausch interviews BHG's Tim Train:
"...Thrones and Patriots has almost every good idea we've received about Rise of Nations since the original product was released. This is it as far the current Rise of Nations system is concerned. Thrones and Patriots will make the game as good as it's ever going to be."
This three-page interview features six new screenshots. You find the article here.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Rise of Middle Earth & Special Forums

Cowboy has established a forum for discussion of the planned Rise of Middle Earth (ROME) mod at ‘Rise of Nations: Thrones & Patriots Universe.’ You can participate in the discussion on their forum, as well as on RON Heaven under this discussion thread.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

RoN Oracle Scenario & Mod Winners

Congratulations to DarthVeda and Speciou5, who submitted the top scenario (Red Front Campaign - DarthVeda) and top mod (Canada - Speciou5) in Rise of Nations Oracle's Design Contest! RON Oracle's Mithras notes that every submitter won something, and he'll release the works to the public once the authors have had a last chance to tweak their creations. You can check out the full results, here.

RoN Alliance Updates

Rise of Nations Alliance (French) has updated its pages on the new T&P nations - Persians, Indians, and Dutch. Check it out at their site.

DarthVeda's Scenarios

DarthVeda's releases a pair of single-player scenario. The 1st puts you in the shoes of English King Henry V facing a massive French army. You can download it at Rise of Nations Oracle's download section.

On the heels of Agincourt, DarthVeda presents Prokhorovka/Operation Citadel - the 1943 German summer offensive targeting the Kursk salient on the Eastern Front. You can download it at RoN Universe's download section.

What They're Playing

In a new edition of the GameSpy series "What We're Playing," Mythic Entertainment's Mark Jacobs (Dark Age of Camelot) says Rise of Nations is the game he plays the most at present: "I think it is a very, very well done game I've enjoyed it immensely." Check out the article here.

IGN T&P Wonders Designer Diary

The BHG art team talks about the new wonders in Thrones & Patriots: the Hanging Gardens, Red Fort, and Forbidden City. Three screenshots featuring the wonders accompany the article and each wonder's cost
and benefits are listed. Check out the article here.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Daleran's RoN Page

Rise of Nations Oracle's Daleran has extensively remodeled his personal site in advance of the publication of Thrones & Patriots. Check out his site.

Rise of Sales

NPD Tech World reports Rise of Nations was the #3 top-selling game in the US for the week of 29 Feb - 6 Mar 04 with an average selling price of $28. Check out the article here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Wonder Cards in CtW

Microsoft Games' Danan "Doc" Davis talks about ways you can and can't get a wonder card in Conquer the World. You can read about on the forum thread.

Ratings & Decay Fixed

From BHG: "Sorry for the delay folks, but at last the ratings are back in operation, complete with ratings decay. ... Just a reminder that you must now play 20 rated games to be listed on the ratings site, and the date of the last game played now reflects the date of the last rated game you played." You can get the low-down direct from BHG.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Japanese Thrones & Patriots

At a recent Microsoft Games event in Akibahara (Tokyo) featuring Flight Simulator 2004, Zoo Tycoon Complete Edition, and Rise of Nations, it was reportedly revealed that a Japanese version of Thrones & Patriots is in the works. Check out the article here, but you have to understand Japanese though!

RoN Alliance Updates

Rise of Nations Alliance (French) has updated its Civ pages to include the Americans, Iroquois, and Lakotas from the expansion. You can check out the update at their site.

2v2 GC (French) Tourney

The Ground Control Clan (Francophone) has opened sign-ups for its March 2v2 tournament to take place March 28th; You can get the full details here.

Analytical Articles at MFO

KBS_Gladiator develops concepts of "scouting effectiveness," "scouting efficiency" and others in applying mathematics to understanding Rise of Nations's gameplay. Check out the article.

Wargamer T&P Preview

The Wargamer's Jim Cobb previews T&P: "A game as popular as Microsoft's and Big Huge Game's Rise of Nations was bound to have an add-on; the only question was how big it would be. A beta copy gives the answer - Big." Check out the full article including, eleven new screenshots!

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Japan 1946 at RoN Oracle

ArmouredCar has authored a scenario based on the planned but unexecuted invasion of Honshu in 1946. Check out this fascinating what if scenario at Rise of Nations Oracle.

Friendly League

The UK-based Ron-Net web community engages in 1v1 and team online play. The site gallery has some impressive screenshots of massive battles! Check out their site here.

Armchair Empire Preview

Overlooked from March 1st - previewer Mr. Nash: "Much of the time when an expansion pack to a popular game is released, it can feel like the developers just shot it out the door with little thought outside of lining their pockets with some easy profit. But looking at just how much new stuff is being thrown into Throne and Patriots, this expansion really gives the impression that Big Huge Games wants it be something
special." Article includes four screenshots, you can find it here.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Pacific War Scenario at RONO

Coins has designed a stylized Pacific War scenario with enhanced AI naval tactics. You can get it at Rise of Nations Oracle's download section.

KBS_Gladiator Summarizes Rare Resources at MFO

KBS_Gladiator has compiled a one-page list of all Rise of Nations's Rare Resources in MS Word, which is available for download from MFO. Check out the document here.

Ramping Price of Wonders

Danan "Doc" Davis from Microsoft Games stopped by to clear up questions about ramping costs for Wonders. Check out the forum thread.

RoN Oscar Nominations

In hopes of constructing a central link library for the best Rise of Nations players, clans, sites, and supporters, El_Capitan has initiated nominations in 20 categories:
List 3 names for each category at Rise of Nations Universe, and you cannot name yourself, your own clan, or your own site! The Top 5 names counted for each category will appear in a poll to see which one is voted as the winner for that category! The deadline for nominees will be March 15th... the Ides of March!
Check out the forum thread and give your votes!

Iroquoian City Showcase at MFO

_RCF_Morrigu presents a showcase of the Iroquoi cities through the ages. Check out the cool screenshots!

Cold War Campaign Preview

You can read a Rohag preview of Thrones & Patriot's Cold War campaign at Rise of Nations:T&P Universe. Eight screenshots accompany the article, which is best viewed with UTF-8 (Unicode) enabled in the browser [pull-down menu: View - Encoding - UTF-8 (Unicode)]. Check out the article here.

Worthplaying Screenshots

Worthplaying has posted 20 new screenshots of the upcoming Thrones & Patriots expansion. Check out the brief article with its hosts of screenshots.

EToyChest T&P Preview

Overlooked from last month - previewer Jason: "Make no mistake, this expansion adds onto what is already the premier RTS experience, and come April I'll be seeing you on the front lines." Check out the article here.

The Jackal's Realism Mod at RONU

This Rise of Nations mod significantly changes unit and building damage interactions: "I edited all units and buildings to make it seem more realistic, infantry dies in one shot from a gun and so on." You can grab this mod at Rise of Nations Universe's Mod Forum.

Apolyton CS RoN Updated

Apolyton CS staff member Kyle "ixnay" Stadler has updated the site's Rise of Nations information pages to reflect all the latest information, including the Thrones & Patriots expansion. Check out their updated T&P factsheet. Also congrats on Apolyton's 6 years+ of operations!

New Screen of the Week at MS T&P Site

Microsoft Games has added a new Thrones & Patriots screenshot of the week to their site, this time featuring Enlightenment Age Dutch defending a town - check out the armed merchants.

2nd Annual Spacey Awards

Rise of Nations is a nominee in the "Fave Video Game" viewers' choice category for the 2nd annual "Spacey Awards" sponsored by Space: The Imagination Station. Voting ends March 28th, 2004, at 11:59pm US ET and awards will be presented Sunday, April 18th. Go vote now!

Avault T&P Preview

Adrenaline Vault previewer Dustin Arient: "As an expansion pack, it hits the nail pretty much on the head. Plenty got added, nothing got taken away, and some new avenues of strategy have been opened up that'll add life to the game online and off." Article includes 10 screenshots.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Press Articles Section Revamped

Collecting all of the miscellaneous Press articles from around the internet. We now have a revamped section specifically with links to all of the articles I managed to dig up past and present. Remember the old unit and nations previews? What about that Developer's Diary you saw on the news board just last week. Here's a centralized resource to get the low-down.

Stop staring at the computer and get some Sun!

A belated welcome to the newest member of our team at Rise of Nations Heaven, Angel Sunshine. She will be helping us with revamping our long outdated (sorry folks) unit section.

Where's the Beefeater?

Overlooked but not overcooked! A Beefeater skin mod by CJ that replaces the pikeman unit submitted a few weeks ago, is featured in our Mod Gallery, and available for download!

Thunder Takes on Xpack Questions

Thunder / Graham Somers of BHG offers to try to answer questions unanswered in the recent net radio interview on the Team Sportscast Network. Check out the forum thread!

Ratings Decay Anomalies

BHG and GameSpy are working on problems related to the new ratings decay system; their latest announcement:
"A bug has been found with the way information is being displayed from the database, not in the decay system itself. We will be working with GameSpy to correct the ratings and enable decay."
You can get the whole story straight from BHG.

Gaming Nexus T&P Preview

Previewer Tyler Sager: "The new Nations work well and are nicely balanced-none are too powerful, but none feel "thrown together" either." Sager provides nine new screenshots. Check out the full article here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Roman Orgy!

Hearing the pleas of some of you Roman Lovers, I have created a Mod that gives the Romans a Ballista Unique Unit in classical. This mod removes the Flaming Arrow UU from Korea and gives it to the Romans, renaming it Ballista. The skin is also changed so that the crew looks more Roman. All Nations are still playable except that the Roman gain a UU and Koreans loose one UU. You can download it here.

Monday, March 8, 2004

Ratings Decay

Graham Somers has informed me that the Ratings decay for multiplayer rated games should be online as of this moment. It may take some time for the ratings to be updated with their decayed scores, but should take effect from now on.

Saturday, March 6, 2004

MFO/BHG Seedings & Players

MFO's Random Offensive Nations Tournament starts today. You can find the seedings and players here.

TSN-BHG Interview Info

TheGoodEvil has initiated several threads containing reports on new Thrones & Patriots information from the Team Sportscast Network interview with BHG developers Friday night. Check out the Thrones and Patriots forum threads.

Bridger also announces TSN has readied a 23MB download of the interview (registration may be required). You can download the audio interview here. If you don't have the time or brandwidth to do that, xxFlukexx listened to the download and roughly scribed the contents. You can read it on the forum thread.

"A thousand and one thanks" to Bridger for all his efforts in producing the interview!

New Screenshot of the Week at MS Site

This week, Microsoft's Thrones and Patriots Official page features an awesome screenshot of a scene involving Indians defending their city from some Turkish invaders.

Final Reminder for Napoleonic Design Contest

Just wanted to give people a final remind about the close of our "Rise of the Enlightened", Napoleonic era scenario design contest. The deadline is tomorrow at Sunday midnight (EST), 1 minute before Monday to be exact. Check out the contest details if you still aren't sure about something, but probably the only thing left to do is ponder about which prize you will get.

HomeLan Fed T&P Preview

Previewer John [JCal] Callaham: "However, we must admit to having enjoyed playing the Americans the most; not just because its our native land but because they get a free Wonder built right off the bat." You can check out the full article, including 3 screenshots here.

3DAvenue Previews Thrones and Patriots

Nathan Davison from 3DAvenue has written up a preview of the Thrones and Patriots expanion pack. He says
" is clear from just reading the features of this add-on that quite a considerable amount of new goodies have been brought to the table. One of the basic aspects of Rise of Nations is its included nationalities, and T & P brings six new ones - Iroquois, Lakota, American, Dutch, Persian, and Indian. The most interesting inclusion to the nation list here is probably America - now available for your complete control. Of course, each nation can basically reach the same level of supremacy, but the novel idea of controlling the world's biggest powerhouse is appealing...."
You can find the full article, including 5 screenshots here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

RoN Oracle Design Group

Mithras of Rise of Nations Oracle announces plans for a design group. He says "The design group is officially formed and they are already talking about their first project. The groups "mandate" is to just work together to create great custom content and to help other people who wish to try the scenario editor, modify civilizations etc." Check out the forum thread and see if you like to be a contributer.

Celtic Warriors' March Contest

The Francophone Celtic Warriors Clan March Contest challenges players to reach a 75% territorial conquest victory in the shortest possible time. Full details on their forums.

RoN Tourney Hosted by Gamespy Arcade

XTC_Sm|te announces the next GameSpy Strategy & Simulations Wizards Rise of Nations tourney Event (2v2), March 12th at 4:00 pm US EST / 9:00 pm GMT.
Detailed can be found here.

Nox' Shots at RoN Revolution

Rise of Nations Revolution's Nox has uploaded seven new screenshots from the Thrones & Patriots Marketing Beta. Several of these shots are impressive composed scenes - apparently Nox' handiwork with the editor. Check out these excellently put together scenes.

GI T&P Preview: 92%

Gaming Illustrated previewer Greg Gibson: "I don't usually sit down and play games for 5 hours at a clip - so you better understand that this is a fine game. BIG HUGE GAMES did a great job in producing an expansion pack that was better than the original." Seven screenshots accompany the preview.

Next to Last Reminder

There's less then a week to go with our Rise of Nations Napoleonic Scenario design contest. We need YOU, well more like your entries! Right now you're pretty sure to win some prizes, so enter! It's the easiest way to win some cash and prizes, since well never! Contest details can be found here.

Thrones and Patriots Beta Screenshots Features Iroquois

Our Thrones and Patriots Beta Screenshots gallery now also features Iroquois from Ancient age to Info Age. Check them out here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Worthplaying T&P Preview

"With all of the comparisons made between the original game and the Civilization series, I have to say that this expansion pack does give Rise of Nations an even bigger Civ feel than before. Again this has a lot to do with the government feature." Thirty-seven screenshots accompany the article!

New Developer Diary - CtW Campaigns

At "Designers and programmers from Big Huge Games' talk about the most interesting aspect of the Rise of Nations expansion. Conquer the Freaking World exposed, baby!" Check out this article with its 4 screenshots.

Architecture Showcase at IGN

BHG sent IGN a showcase of the new architectural sets in Thrones & Patriots and a discussion of the challenges of their development. Check out the article here.

Thanks to Pyros!

Never Mind the Mortars! The Mayans are coming!

SGT Keith Flores (US Armed Forces), with his fellow soldiers and gaming buddies casually waited out a Mortar attack (in the real world) while playing Rise of Nations (virtual world)! This unique letter to BHG comes with a neat photo. Check it out here.

Monday, March 1, 2004

El_Capitan's Training Regimen for RoN

El_Capitan offers "A brief synopsis on areas you need to improve on to become a better player at Rise of Nations. He says "these are what I tell most players to focus on depending on where they're starting in the game." Check out his comments at Out4Blood's Rise of Nations Strategy Blog, 29 Feb 04 entry.

Gulf War Scenario

Now available: Gulf War V1 (Operation Iraqi Freedom; scripted single-player scenario) by jimmy_pat1403. You can download it from the author's own RoN page.