HeavenGames

News Archive: October 2003

Empires Eyecandy Thread

Empires has one of the most powerful scenario editors in the genre and that means with a big of innovation, someone can make some absolutely amazing scenes. So xLpx has started a thread to compile all of the eyecandy screenshots the community has come up with.

Have a cool eyecandy shot you want people to see, or just want to take a look at what others have made? Head down to the thread!

Tests on English vs French Imperial Troops

Although the French cavalry during the middle ages dominate over those of the other civilizations, there has been some misconceptions as to how powerful they are in the Imperial Age. So Lysimachus put them to a combat test against English cavalry. Well, interestingly enough, the English cavalry defeated their French counterparts; such an understanding of the power of the cavalry should help people in their use of it. Here's some of what he had to say on it:

"Conclusion: In Imperial Age, Frank Cav are not as good as people are making them. All my extensive tests have showed that English Cav seem to have the slight edge, ONLY in Imperial Age. Now this is not including the Hussar, since Hussars come in the Gundpowder Age. But even then, my tests show that English Lancers resource speaking defeat French Hussars...EVEN after he falls off his horse and continues fighting as a Grenadier."
After testing both nations' cavalry, Lysimachus decided to pit the English and French infantry against each other as well. As it turns out, the English Regulars totally wiped the floor with the Grenadiers, even with cost/army size compensation.

"I did a number of tests with 20v24. The English Regulars win hands down almost every single time, OVERWHELMINGLY.

In fact, the English had 18 left after killing all 24 Grenadiers."
Tests like these are great, gives people a better understanding of the nuances and other aspects of the game that you wouldn't get at first glance. In other words, it tells me not to send grenadiers against English regulars ;)

Patching Empires

Some forumers have been wondering if Stainless Steel Studios will be patching Empires very much now that it is released. Well, worry not, the SSSI folks assure us that they plan to patch the game and resolve any issues with it! Judging by the kind of quality that they've put into Empires, I think it's safe to say the SSS guys will keep patching the game until it is completely perfect. Though it is pretty darn close to it right now *runs off to play another game of Empires* ;)

"I know I'm hard at work on the patch! =)

Problem with "pathfinding" is that it could mean anything. For instance, it might be units clipping, unit ai, the actual path-planning a unit does, mele combat, you tell it to go here and it gets lost, collisions/pushing other units, etc.

Here's an example, lets say you tell a unit to kill a building.. he starts walking towards it.. the building dies, the unit stops moving"

Pro-Ladder opens League!

Pro-Ladder has announced their latest project. The Pro-Ladder Empires League is where experts can participate in tournaments and other pre-organized events with chances to win prizes. If all goes well, Pro-Ladder may include a Team League, where you an a partner tag team for victory. You can find biffy's thread in our forums. Information is also available at Pro-Ladder.

Gamers Depot Review

Gamers Depots recently posted an enthusiastic review of Empires: Dawn of the Modern World, giving it a total score of 80% (of 4 out of 5 drips). The two paged review gives a great overview of the game and its many features.
"We enjoyed this title, and found it to be an immersive and good-looking way to lose several hours of sleep, and recommend it to both veterans of the Strategy Title and folks who are looking for something new to try—you’ll definitely get your money’s worth the first time around, and there’s lots to come back to in this title. This one’s a winner, and will give you a recurring fix whenever you feel the battle fever coming on. Now get out there and fight, son. You wanna live forever?"
Find this review at Gamers Depot.

Ideazon's Empires Hotkeyboard

Ideazon is starting production on a keyboard for Empires that basically makes it easy to use hotkeys in the way its designed. Some of the previous games they've made these keyboards for have been AoM and others, so you could check those out to see if you'd like to preorder one for Empires! No amount of hardware aid will keep me from dying quickly in any game ;)

Actiontrip Reviews Empires

The folks at Actiontrip have reviewed Empires, they seemed to like it quite a bit, with their only major complaints being on the technical side of the game; they loved the actual gameplay. Actiontrip gave Empires an 85 out of 100; not too bad, here's a snippet:

"When they made Dawn of the Modern World, Rick Goodman and his chaps at Stainless Steel appeared to have been gearing it towards addictive multiplayer gaming. Make no mistake, the single-player campaigns are fun, but the multiplayer gives you and your friends more freedom to create the RTS atmosphere of your dreams. Each side gets to use the unique combat skills of their units and hero characters to help them achieve victory. Also, up to seven players are able to play online, but we still need a chance to test that one properly."

Historical Accuracy of the Empires Campaigns

Just recently, a thread on the Empires campaigns has been somewhat active in our forums. The conversation shifted somewhat towards the historical accuracy of the campaigns, where Gordon Farrell assures everyone that all of the settings for the campaigns were researched in great detail; all of the campaigns are almost entirely historically accurate. Sounds pretty good to me, nothing soils a historical game's quality like faulty history. Well, besides having a horrible bug that causes computers to explode; I have yet to create one that bad, but I'm working on it ;)

"To start: I did the research and wrote the stories for the Patton Campaign and the Yi Campaign; Rick and I developed the Richard Campaign together.

Everything in the Patton Campaign is based on accurate history. Unless something was added at the last minute that I don't know about, Patton himself never meets Rommel in the battlefield. This is historically accurate."

Strategy Discussions Forum Opened!

With Empires released and people trying out new strategies and tactics all the time as they learn the game, it only seemed fitting that a forum for just that be opened in the EH forums. So the Strategy Discussions Forum has been opened for all of your strategy-conversing needs! Man, I'm going to really need to follow the advice in that forum; Soccy's skill < rock ;)

EToyChest Reviews Empires 3 1/2 Stars

Etoychest has reviewed Empires with 3 and a half stars out of a possible 5 stars. Cuthbert, the reviewer, covers all the basic grounds with the different nations and ages making it possible for some truly epic battles. Unforuntely, the reviewer didn't seem to like the fact that Empires is similar to all RTS games, and the poor quality of the singleplayer AI although he only mentions the multiplayer aspect in a single paragraph. On the other hand though, he was impressed with a number of things:
The storylines were well-written enough to keep me interested throughout, and the voice acting was surprisingly well-done...

Graphically, Empires is way above any other RTS game on the market. The fully 3D engine allows you to zoom in on the action all the way down to eye-level, and the level of detail when you do so is truly astounding.
After reading this review and Gamespot's, there is no doubt that you must play Empires yourself to see if it fits you. Overall, everyone seems to be enjoying it, even if it is just the same old RTS game.

Poll Roundup

Have you gotten a copy of Empires yet? was last week's poll question. It looks like quite a lot of people got their copy of Empires the first week; and even those that haven't bought it yet plan to get it fairly soon. Here's the poll results:

[39%] You bet!
[28%] No, but probably in a week or two
[13%] Nah, a month or two
[7%] Don't plan on getting it
[13%] Don't know if I'll be getting it

Total: 423 votes
With the game released and many people really getting down to some serious gaming, preferences should be arising among them. Which nation do you like the most so far? The crafty French? Industrious Germans? Imperialist Brits? Answer in our poll!

GameSpot Review

GameSpot released their review of Empires: Dawn of the Modern World today. With an overall score of 8.5, quite an improvement over Empire Earth's 7.9. The review is quite information and gives a good overview on many of Empire's features:
"At first glance, the nations seem amazingly different, each with its unique powers and units. To keep the sides in balance, the resource prices have been tweaked quite a bit. As a result, the Russians might pump out lots of weak conscripts--which can be built amazingly fast once "Steamroller" is researched--to harass the German war machine and preempt getting overwhelmed by a wave of very expensive and very strong King Tiger tanks. While the documentation focuses on background history and lists powers in detail, there are national characterizations that underlie the design. The Chinese can take advantage of mobile Mongol barracks and town halls, Korean units have a martial arts power-up that can be temporarily triggered, the early Franks (and later French) are particularly good at scouting and defensive structures, and the United States is the only nation with nukes. However, for all the differences, all sides get functionally similar classes of units, and a number of early powers reappear in the modern nations with different names."
You can find this two paged review at GameSpot. Thanks to forumer Intrepid for the heads-up!

Extension on Avault Giveaway

Avault has extended the last day for their Empires giveaway to October 30th after losing some of their entries.
The Adrenaline Vault today announced the extension of its Empires: Dawn of the Modern World giveaway until October 30th. Due to a mail glitch, entries received between October 24th and October 26th were lost. Those who entered the promotion during that period are encouraged to re-enter to ensure their chance to win one of the prizes.
Hopefully, we will see at least one of the community members win the giveaway.

starComa Replay Database

The starComa clan has started a recorded games database. Many are records of top-notch players, so it is guaranteed to be a great learning lesson.
"Everyone is invited to upload his Replays and you can even create your own Folder with your Name or description, you just have to create an account at our side and make a short post in our forums that you like to have the rights to upload your Replays."
You can find the database over at starComa. You can also find information about their Sunday-Night Tournaments here.

Imperial Review

With the long-awaited release of Empires this week, things have really started to become more active. Both The Adrenaline Vault and Gaming Illustrated are giving away free copies of the game in celebration of its release, be sure to check both of those out for your chance to get a copy! Immediately following the release of a game, some people always encounter a problem of some sort with the game and their system; you can't get every single problem in the development of the game. But no worries, SSS is giving out a considerable of help and information on fixing the more common problems encountered; such as drivers for the ATI Radeon series, other conflicting programs already on the computer, and motherboards with onboard video. Just scroll down this news page for all of the details on that.

Interestingly enough, not too many articles on Empires came out this week, only 3. The first was IGN's last nation feature, covering Germany and the UK. Following that up, IGN released a review of Empires; they gave it a fairly respectable score of 8.8. Games Domain also reviewed Empires, giving another decent score of 4 out of 5.

What's coming next week? More reviews of Empires are sure to coming out as people really get down to playing it. Plus, you'll probably see a thing or two come out around these parts in Empires Heaven; keep your eyes peeled for it!

That's it for this week, see you 'round the empire!

HG Server Outages

HeavenGames has been working on moving to new servers recently; as a result, the current servers will be down tonight/tomorrow morning (12:45am EST -> 7:00am EST) and on Sunday night/Monday morning (12:00am EST -> 6:00am EST) to get stuff prepared for the move. During those times, all of the sites will be down and you won't be able to access them. Server move! Yipee! ;)

Gaming Illustrated Giveaway

Gaming Illustrated is giving away three copies of Empires: Dawn of the Modern World. So for those who cannot get their hands on a copy, this may be your lucky day! Enter the contest over at Gaming Illustrated now!
Gaming Illustrated is proud to announce that we're giving away an astounding THREE copies to promote the new RTS game - 'Empires: Dawn of the Modern World". To enter, all you have to do is enter once per day via the form below. Read the Giveaway Rules and click on the link below them, and enter to win. The prize winners will be announced at noon Pacific Standard Time on October 26, 2003!

Some more tech help from SSS

David Boghdan sent me another email on help with another tech difficulty that some people may be encountering concerning a motherboard with onboard video:

"When a computer with a motherboard that has onboard video, which is common on low end systems, that does not support 3D graphics has created problems. It appears that Empires might try to use this display device if it is left enabled. The solution to this is to disable the onboard video device in the bios or in the Device Manager."
Pretty quick and easy solution, should help out most people with that problem. Thanks Dave! Man, I would die without tech help; I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a cooling fan and a hard drive otherwise ;)

Contest at Avault

The Adrenaline Vault is giving away 4 brand new copies of Empires in their latest game giveaway. All you have to do is fill out an entry form and you've got a chance to win one of those 4 copies. Check it out! Free copies of Empires? I wish I had heard about that before I sold my leg for my copy ;)

Review at IGN

Following up their features of each nation in Empires, IGN has written up a review of it as well. Like most IGN reviews, it's fairly detailed and goes over a number of aspects of the game. In the end, they gave Empires a 8.8 out of 10. Here's a snippet:

"Ultimately this is a good direction for the genre. You're willing to tolerate the larger missions because the pacing and narrative continuity keeps you interested in nearly every minute of the action. Multiplayer offers some compelling variations among the empires that gives each side (and each combat pairing) a unique character. Though the traditional RTS still has a lot of life left in it, it's nice to play through a title that presents things in a different format."

Having trouble installing Empires?

Well, David Boghdan sent me an email giving some information for those with that problem that have Daemon Tools or Alcohol installed. As you can tell, if either are installed, you can't install Empires. So you'll have to delete both of them and try installing Empires again. According to David, you should be able to reinstall the two programs after Empires is on your computer.

Games Domain Reviews Empires

Games Domain has written up a snazzy new review of Empires, talking about all of the basics to the game. It gave Empires a 4 out of 5; not too shabby. Here's a snip:

"While Empires: Dawn of the Modern World does suffer somewhat next to Rise of Nations, it's still a very entertaining and diverting game. The variety of nations means there's a lot here to experience and master, and the interesting and novel tactical choices the game offers will bring smiles to many faces. Unlike its predecessor, it smartly keeps its focus as the ages change, and certainly has a good deal of personality. If you're looking for an Age of Empires-style RTS game, and you're bored with the competition, Empires is the game for you."

IGN Features Germany and the UK

IGN has released their last civilization feature for Empires, featuring both Germany and the United Kingdom. It's a pretty good article, covering all of the unique attributes of each nation. Check it out! German chocolate cakes, mmmm... ;)

Economic Advantages

  • Bauhaus: The famous German architectural school provides two significant benefits. First it allows for more rapid construction of buildings and settlements. It also grants the German player free universities and settlements.
  • Rhineland-Westphalia: This rich region offers the German player faster wood gathering and more productive farming.

Empires Released Today!

Everyone that's sitting at your computers without a copy of Empires, head down to your local game store to grab a copy; it's been released today! They should be at any of the major gaming stores: Best Buy, GameStop, GamingETC, Babbages, etc. So be sure to head down to the nearest one and get one while ya can! People looked at me funny when I camped outside GameETC last night, waiting for it to open... ;)

Poll Roundup

Do you think you'll like the scenario editor in Empires? was last week's poll; people seem to really be impressed with what they've seen so far with the scenario editor. I bet we'll see loads of great works from it as people really get down to designing. Here's the full results:

[65%] I'll love it!
[21%] It'll be good
[6%] It'll be average
[9%] Won't really like it

Total: 164 votes
With Empires released today, it'd be interesting to know how many people will get a copy within the first week. Have you gotten a copy of Empires yet? Did ya get it first week? Plan on getting it soon? Answer in our poll!

Ultimate Advertisement?

IGN is currently one of the most respected and prominent sources for gaming news. With a strong commitment to the promotion of Empires: Dawn of the Modern World, Activision is now advertising on IGN. Empires will be a part of the layout on IGN's frontpage, a first stop for many readers. This portal to the IGN network is visited daily by thousands of surfers of all ages. The marketing potential will be huge. Activision has definitely raised the bar with the quality and location of thier ads. You can find the layout at IGN.com.

Notice for all ATI Radeon Owners: Catalyst 3.8

DO NOT install the latest Catalyst Drivers (3.8) for any card in the ATI Radeon family
All modifications of the 3.8 release such as Omega, DNA, and Neutral are also affected. Leaked versions and modifications of the Dell 3.8.5 or Asus v6392 drivers are affected.

The newest Catalyst 3.8 Drivers break all 2D/3D transitions within Empires. All versions of the Empires Demo are affected including the Best Buy SP Demo, Electronics Botique MP Demo, and both downloaded SP and MP Demos. This a problem related to the drivers and not related to Empires.
From Stainless Steel:
"The latest ATI drivers (catalyst version 3.8) cause some problems in
Empires. All 2-D backgrounds will not get drawn correctly. You will
typically see a black screen with "residue" from the previous screen,
although text will still draw correctly. Unless you know where the buttons
are, it makes navigating the menus a bit of a nightmare. ATI is aware of
the issue and working on a fix for their new drivers. In the mean time,
however, do NOT upgrade to the 3.8 drivers. Use the 3.7 version instead.

If you've already installed the 3.8 drivers, don't worry. You can just
install the older 3.7 drivers over them. However, Windows will probably
tell you that you are replacing a newer file with an older one. This is
exactly what you want to do, so click "Yes" to overwrite any files that the
older driver might be installing."
Screenshots: Broken 1, Broken 2

Empires Alliance strikes Gold!

Empires Alliance, ran by the same guys who did Empire Earth France has been lucky enough to receive the Gold (Final) version of Empires: Dawn of the Modern World. They have recently posted nine new screenshots in their gallery. You can view them at Empires Alliance.

Imperial Review

Last full week leading up to the release of Empires, whoo! As things have been leading up to it getting placed on the shelves of our favorite gaming shops, we've seen a good deal of activity in the community. Particularly EH's own forums, activity has really been increasing with each day; posts from both our large community of forumers and a number of the awesome dudes from SSS. Scenario Design Discussions has seen a lot of interesting threads pop up, including some conversation on using innovation in the scenario editor to create things such as snow-covered ground. SSSI's Gordon Farrell proved it was possible with a rather clever use of the editor; if that could be done with tinkering around in the editor in just an hour or two, I can't even imagine what you guys will be able to come up with when the game is out. While on the subject of manipulating the editor, a thread on creating hybrid buildings was started; some of the SSS guys talked a bit on it too, and how it's possible. With all of this information on the capabilities of the editor, surely people have an idea of what they're going to create in terms of scenarios and campaigns. So a topic on just that has been filled with ideas and brainstorming; a great place to see just what's going to come out in the coming months.

Review, feature, interview. We saw all three of them this week, each from different sites. Game Over posted their review of Empires; though short, it's fairly positive about the game. IGN released the next article, a feature of the Franks/French; giving out some interesting specific info on them. And finally, Warcry NN caught up with Rick Goodman for an interview on SSS' games and the RTS genre in general.

What's coming next week? What we've been waiting so long for, the release of Empires: Dawn of the Modern World! I don't know about you guys, but I'm planning on camping outside my local GamingETC, waiting to get my grubby hands on a copy of it. *starts to pack tent* ;)

That's it for this week, see ya 'round the empire!

Warcry NN Interviews Rick Goodman

Thanks to the folks at Empires Aeon for this news: Warcry News Network has interviewed Rick Goodman; the interview is mainly about the general idea of Empires and the RTS genre. It's a pretty good read, worth checking out. Insert amusing/witty text here... ;)

WarCry: In most of your career, you have made RTS games based on history. It’s obvious that you have a special interest in history. What do you plan or wish your next-move to be? Another RTS-history game? Could you imagine making a RTS game that takes place in space?

Rick: I have though about making a Science Fiction based RTS where players populate planets and fight to conquer them. When I was younger I used to play a board game on this very subject. In a way, I guess you could call a plausible science fiction game “historical”. It’s just that the events have yet to occur. I think for now, however, I’ll stick to more traditional historical games. As long as we bring fresh new game-play ideas to the genre, history will continue to provide exciting and fertile ground for us to develop.

IGN Features the Franks/French

IGN released their next feature in the Empires' nation series; covering the Franks and their modern age counterparts, the French. Not too much specific information has been known on the French, so this is a good article to learn all about them! France, home of french toast, french fries, and french kis-er, nevermind ;)

Special Units

  • Berserk: It's bad enough that he throws axes at you. That they can tear through multiple enemies at once makes him an absolute nightmare.
  • Montgolfier Balloon: This unit doesn't only spot enemies, he also drops leaflets on them with demoralizing messages.
  • Chevalier: This unit can entice other nearby units in to a noble charge.
  • GameOver Empires

    Stainless Steel staff Gordon Farrell has recently let us know that GameOver has posted a review of the Empires: Dawn of the Modern World Demo. It covers both the Single Player (Korean and English campaigns) and Multiplayer Demo (Patton campaign). The review commends many features included in Empires. Overall, the review is short but a good read. You can find the review at GameOver.

    What are YOU working on for an Empires scenario?

    It seems like a lot of people have already started planning their scenarios and campaigns for Empires when the game is released, so Master Echuu started a thread for people to talk about and brainstorm various ideas for them. There are a number of really interesting ideas, check it out! I'd love to make a scenario, but I have 0 skill in it; took me 3 weeks to figure out how to use a trigger... ;)

    Hybrid Buildings

    Wow, our scenario design forum has just been rolling recently; the next notable thread is about creating hybrid buildings and otherwise manipulating them. Although you can't create hybrid buildings in the conventional sense, it still is possible to manipulate the scenario editor to do so; as Gordon Farrell indicates:

    "I'm the one who found it!! In Tutorial #6 I enlarged the houses that have columns in front (I think they were bronze) and had them overlap with temples placed at either end to create the illusion of a connecting stoa, or covered colonnades, between the two larger buildings.

    (Of course, BW, that doesn't mean other folks haven't discovered it independently, on their own, as we do with many trigger tricks... )"
    There are a number of other developer posts about how to manipulate buildings; it's a really interesting thread, check it out!

    Poll Roundup

    Last week's poll question asked What do you want to see from EH in the near future? Well, it seems the majority of our visitors want strategy articles. As such, EH will work to get the community the most and best strategy articles when the game is released!

    [22%] Basic content
    [40%] Strategy articles
    [22%] Scen Design articles
    [11%] Contests!
    [6%] Other events

    Total: 170 votes
    EH's scenario design forum has been quite active with discussion recently, a lot of people are interested in using Empires' scenario editor to make some great scenarios. From what you've seen so far, Do you think you'll like the scenario editor in Empires? Think you'll love it, maybe dislike it? Answer in our pol!

    Snow in the Empires Editor?

    A conversation has been going on for quite some time on the lack of snow in the Empires scenario editor. Several people wanted it, but others just said that it can easily be implemented into scenarios by manipulating the editor.

    Well, the skilled Gordon Farrell proved that by spending a couple hours messing with various things in the editor, and managed to get something that looks like light snowfall:



    It just goes to show that simply doing a little exploring of the capabilities of the editor, you can make so many things. Awesome stuff, find out how Gordon did that by checking out his thread; maybe comment on it as well! Hmm, you think the editor could be used to make a starship with the name of, oh, I don't know...the USS Enterprise? ;)

    Imperial Review!

    Biggest news this week? Why, Empires went gold! I'll bet every one of you were happy to hear that news; just one more week before the long-awaited game is released! As the release of the game gets closer, we're seeing many more articles on it. The first this week was Gamestar Magazine's review of Empires. Not too long after that, GameSpot released two snazzy new trailers for the game; IGN followed up shortly thereafter with a feature of both the Chinese and Koreans.

    Also, in preparation for the release of Empires and the release of their own site, Empires Revolution announced a pretty simple foruming contest for everyone to participate in. The prizes are pretty nifty, I'd check it out if I were you!

    What's coming next week? Certainly more articles as the release of Empires closes on us. Just one more week!

    That's it for this week, see you 'round the empire!

    Chinese and Koreans Feature at IGN

    IGN has released their next installment of their weekly nation feature, this time featuring both of the Far Eastern civilizations in the game: the Chinese and Koreans. The lengthy article covers the attributes of both nations, it's a fairly informative read. Man, I just want to play the Koreans for their exploding oxen... ;)

    Military Abilities

    • Art of War: Through his teachings Sun Tzu allows Chinese players to train all soldiers and cavalry at the war camp.
    • Battle Junks: These powerful battleships are attractive enough on the basis of firepower alone. That they can transport units and weapons makes them even more effective.
    • Monsoon: Chinese commoners can call down heavy rain that slows enemy units considerably.

    Empires Revolution Contest

    Unfortunately, the release of the main Empires Revolution site has been delayed; but don't worry, they're still keeping things going with a contest! It's just about as simple as a contest can get, just post in the ER forums and you might be one of the lucky ones selected to get a set of goodies. Heehee, "ER" ;)

    "The contest is rather simple. Just post in the forums and we will choose random posts and if you made the post we chose, you win! The more posts you have increases the chances of winning...

    Follow the simple rules and you can win a set that includes a poster signed by Rick Goodman, and 2 civ cards (England and Germany). We have 12 sets to give out at the moment and we are working on getting more."

    Two New Trailers at GameSpot

    GameSpot has released two new trailers for Empires. Both are pretty good videos to look at, check 'em out! *pulls out bag of popcorn* ;)

    HeavenGames Visitor Survey

    Now seems to be about as good a time as any for HeavenGames to have a visitor survey, so here it is! It's basically just so we have a general idea what most of the visitors are like; what kinds of games you guys play, what your occupation is, stuff like that. That information will be used so HG can improve the quality of our advertising and help raise money to keep us online for a while. Worried about people finding out who you are? No worries! The survey is totally anonymous. Be sure to take a couple minutes out of your day to help I can't believe they didn't include my question: "Who would win: Kirk or Picard?" ;)

    Empires: Dawn of the Modern World Gold!

    All the gaming sites have announced that Empires has finally gone gold. This means the game is completely finished and sent to the publisher to be manufactured and spread to all the retail stores. Just like before, it seems the date is still being held as October 21, just a few more weeks until we can play all 5 ages.
    SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Prepare to command legendary civilizations and create mighty empires as Activision, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI - News) Empires: Dawn of the Modern World(TM) has gone gold. Developed by acclaimed game designer Rick Goodman and Stainless Steel Studios, Empires: Dawn of the Modern World represents the only truly global RTS where players control unique civilizations across a timeline that spans from the Middle Ages to World War II. The PC game, which is scheduled for release on October 21, is rated "T" ("Teen" -- blood and violence) by the ESRB and carries a suggested retail price of $49.99. Both the single-player and multiplayer demos can be downloaded at www.empiresrts.com
    Source: Yahoo Press Release

    Poll Roundup

    Last week's poll question of Do you plan on buying Empires when its released? received a resounding "You bet!" from the vast majority of the voters. Pretty good sign, I'd say. Here's the poll results:

    [57%] You bet!
    [18%] Probably
    [8%] Yeah, but a few months after
    [9%] Not sure
    [9%] Nope

    Total: 198 votes
    With the release of Empires getting closer and closer, things will start to get a lot more busy around here and throughout the community. So with all of this activity and the resource that will be the game, What do you want to see from EH in the near future? Basic content? Strategy articles? Contests? Answer in our poll!

    Gamestar Magazine Review

    The German magazine, Gamestar has published in their latest issue, a review of Empires: Dawn of the Modern World. It spans five pages and is accompanied by some stunning artwork. oPPonent of the starComa clan has recently sent us some very high quality scans of the review. It is in full German, so those who don't understand it may be out of luck. However, the screenshots and art should be more than enough motivation. You can view the first three pages in our Screenshot Gallery. The last two pages will be coming soon!

    Imperial Review

    T'was another slow week, though a bit was going on around the Empires community. Probably the biggest news was the problems with the Gamespy server being down, but the fine folks at SSS worked hard to get Gamespy to work on it and keep it from happening in the future. What would interest many people would be the release date of Empires seen at Gamespy: October 21st. Just 17 days left until the release of the game we've all been waiting so long for, I can barely wait! Seriously, I've chewed my nails to the bone waiting for it...must. have. Empires.. ;-)

    As far as previews or any other similar articles, the only one to come out was from IGN; detailing the Russians and their unique attributes in Empires. I think they're going to be one of my favorite nations, quickly massing armies is my preferred way of playing; quantity over quality. Over in our active forums, there was a thread that's had conversation going for a while now concerning the air capabilities of the United States and how it works best; through combined arms. For more interesting conversations and threads, just head down to our forums to check 'em out!

    What's coming next week? One more week closer to the release of Empires, things should start speeding up. Previews, features, things to that effect; I'll keep you guys up to date on all that.

    That's it for this week, see you 'round the empire!

    November CGM has Empires Poster

    Thanks to Empires Aeon for this bit of news: The November issue of Compuiter Games Magazine has a nifty fold-out poster for Empires. For a larger version of it, just check out Aeon's scanned image of the poster.

    IGN Features Russia

    IGN's next feature for Empires' civilizations is Russia, one of the largest nations in the world throughout modern history. It covers all of their unique attributes and then some, not a bad read. Here's a snippet:

    Economic Abilities

  • Communism: This cost-saving measure allows the Russians to produce new units with fewer resources.
  • Proletariat: Russia begins the game with a huge working class, giving her a leg up on the competition.
  • Russian Winter: In preparation for Russia's harsh winters, the Russian fishing fleets and hunters gather food faster than those of other civilizations.
  • US Air Capabilities

    A thread in our forums has been active for quite some time, spurring a lengthy conversation on the United States' air/anti-air capabilities and how to best use them. It's quite interesting to realize how differently their air fighting works as opposed to other giants in that area such as the Germans. Here's a bit from the thread:

    "A well-balanced ground force escorted by fighters is very deadly. USA’a economy should allow you a steady flow of P-51’s. Midgard Eagle said it best: Combined arms. That is the secret to succeeding with the US.

    javajeff makes and excellent point too about trading units with your allies to make up for weaknesses. If your ally has Tanks, he’s gonna want one or two of your Engineers. That's a fair trade for some mobile AA."
    - Boggy SSS

    Demo MP Servers Back & October Games

    GameSpy Arcade had some odd problem over the weekend as Rick mentioned recently in the forums, but the servers have gone back online. Hopefully, the short break allowed you to see your family again and maybe shower :)

    Also, while I was browsing around Gamespy, I noticed their Games of October article. It gives the release dates of several games in October including some of my favorites like Max Payne 2, Call of Duty, and of course Empires: Dawn of the Modern World. It looks like the date is set to October 21 (which EB Games also has), just 20 more days away if all goes well. It looks to be a very good gaming month.

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    Empires: Dawn of the Modern World is a game by Stainless Steel Studios and published by Activision.