Does Age of Empires III multiplayer just not work?

I’ve read some of the rumblings here and elsewhere, but found the Collector’s Edition cheap. I figured, “Hey, it’s Microsoft, it’s Ensemble, there’s only so badly they’re going to fuck things up, and there should be a ton of players.”

Well, I’m trying to join 2v2 games, and every time it says, “Failure to join game.”

I think someone needs to bring a huge fucking product liabilities suit against one of these online game producers. I’m getting tired of having half-ass products that do not do what they’re intended to do.

P.S. Yes, I’m fully aware of the humor of being the typical internet, “I’m going to sue, class action suit,” man. No, I’m not usually like that. Yes, I do want to hunt Bruce Shelley and drink his blood right now.

I’ve only played 1v1 but it’s worked fine for me. I’m not saying your oputrage isn’t justified, but why don’t you load your shotgun AFTER the soon-to-be released 1.05 patch? I hear that’s corrected a lot of stuff.

I’ll do that. I’m just annoyed. As I try Rise of Nations again and hang forever on “Connecting” machines.

Before someone plays the, “It’s your computer,” game, this is a computer that seems to work with 99% of the other games out there (FPSs, RTSs with multiplayer components not made by hacks, etc.). I also can get it working sometimes, and it’s always odd to hear that the problem is caused by your X because it is blocking Y, but it seems to only magically block Y sometimes, and not others.

In other words, I think it is less likely that my computer/connection is the issue when the multiplayer works sometimes and not others (and works perfectly in most other games). I really don’t care about the industry standard dodge that it must be something mysterious with YOUR computer, because it certainly can’t be our software’s fault.

EDIT: Again Natus, thanks. I know you’re trying to help. I’m just tired of this, and understand why people are moving to consoles when I have nights like this. Most people who are of an age to regularly inhabit this board don’t get hours of free time to burn trying to join games, I presume.

It’s possible no one plays 2on2 automatch. Try joining a hosted 2on2 game. It can’t match you with someone if there’s no one to match you with.

This is attempting to join lobby games, not automatch. When I am mentioning matchmaking, I am talking about the multiplayer interconnectivity function generally (although DoW’s automatching was decidedly wonky).

Oh, didn’t realize it was that bad. Sounds like a firewall issue; when i reinstall my PC-cillin it sets the internet firewall by default too high for many games to connect. Might want to check or just turn it off for a few minutes to see if that helps.

Ok, I’m going to calm down and ask nicely, because I really am stupid about this. I’ve never understood why, if it were my firewall or router, it would allow me to join 1/6 or 1/8 of the games I attempt to join.

I understand “It’s blocking you from joining.” I do not understand, “It’s blocking you from joining sometimes.” It should be binary, no?

Hey, i don’t know either :).

Most routers/firewalls have a lot of built in support for exceptions, though most of these exceptions are for older games. It also depends, i suppose, on exactly how the game is connecting to the 'net, and what the firewall/router looks for when blocking traffic. I can easily set my firewall to ‘kill net connection’ where it blocks virtually everything; but on the high setting it often asks every time a game wants to connect. For some games, though it never asks, and the game refuses to work. I could set up exceptions, but i’m lazy, so i just turn it down to Medium, and all my games work fine.

Not really a technical or helpful post, but there you go.

Anyway, try disabling your firewalls and see if that helps you to connect. If it does, you can exit real quick (before the nasties give you a virus), and figure out what to do from there. Also, you can try disabling your firewall and enabling Windows XP firewall, and see if that changes anything.

Unless some games use different ports and therefore some are blocked and not others. Just speculation.

Understood, but this is the same game not working sometimes and working others. So it would have to be the same game using different ports.

Oh, if only it were anywhere remotely that simple. :)

Age 3 and AOM are both peer-to-peer games where a lot of others use a client-server model. Peer-to-peer is much more demanding in terms of the kind of connections it requires, most notably in letting other people connect to you, something most firewalls live to prevent.

I’m totally not up to speed on where connection issues stand in Age 3 but I know our online devs spend a lot of time looking at the official forums on

It’s almost certainly a product of how your router/internal network is set up. I realize you’re mad, but when you go apeshit on Ensemble and then turn around and say you don’t know much about your router and network, that kind of sets you up for a dish of crow, don’t you think?

Why wouldn’t I? This doesn’t happen with other games. I don’t need to understand the inner workings of my television or cable connectivity to know that when the cable goes out, there’s a problem, and it’s probably not my TV.

In other words, if I’m having problems with a ton of games, I’m happy to probe around and think that it is something on my end. If I’m having problems with AOE III, while playing Battlefield 2, WoW, Age of Mythology, and many other games happily with no problems, and even playing the occassional sporadic game of AOE III when the damn thing works (strongly suggesting to me that it is not something messed up on the router and network), then no, I don’t think there is any dish of crow owed.

In fact, it is precisely that, “It doesn’t work, but unless you can create your own CPU from a maskwork, it must be your fault,” attitude that I’m complaining about. The fucker doesn’t work. Don’t start by presuming it must be something messed up on my end; if my setup works with 99.9% of the products on the market, then it’s your product that doesn’t work right, not my setup.

Buy a console. Your heart will thank you.

NAT router? Tons of peer-to-peer RTS games have problems with them, and the more players the more chance of a problem. Battle for Middle Earth and Dawn of War being two well known ones. Age of Empires III doesn’t have any involvement with Gamespy for online play does it?

I do believe that AoEIII’s ESO is seperate from Gamespy. It’s more like IIRC.

I had a few connection problems too, but nothing on SlyFrog’s level. But then, I’ve never got into it with more than 2 people. One thing that drives me mad about AoEIII is the replay system. It’s really bad and I hope it gets fixed.

take a gander, SlyFrog:,29188,0,10

We don’t have anything to do with Gamespy on Age III (or any of Ensemble’s games), as far as I know.

Ah, my screw up, sorry.

Here’s the thing, you’ve got a piece of hardware setting there that is fundamentally designed to keep people out. You’re trying to play a game with all those people you want to keep out. It’s not so cut and dried as “IT SHOULD JUST WORK” when you start going down that road, especially on the PC.

As noted above, if it makes you mad enough, consoles are much simpler.