New Age of Empires Expansion

Press release here.

And it’s being developed by Big Huge Games.


Cool, because they’re working together.

Sad, because BHG isn’t making an expansion for Rise of Legends.

Very cool. I’m a huge fan of Big Huge Games, and AoE3 is one of the games I own yet have hardly played. I’m going to be watching this one closely.

I was initially irate at the announcement. I’d take it as the most significant confirmation yet that Big Huge Games is done with Rise of Legends. But then I read this portion of the interview:

GS: What can you tell us about the multiplayer content of the expansion? Are there any specific issues or long-requested additions that will make their way into The Asian Dynasties?

BR: I know one thing that has been requested was “a lot more hotkeys,” and we have definitely added that in spades. We also talked to a group of top-level players about what features they’d most like to see added to the interface now that the game system is mature, and we’ve tried to implement as many of those as possible while remaining true to the spirit of the original game.

So, Big Huge Games is getting their hands dirty with Age of Empire 3’s surprisingly primitive interface. Excellent. All RTS aficionados know BHG makes the best interfaces in the business. I hope Brian’s idea of a hotkey makeover and interface additions means AoE 3 will soon control much more like Rise of Nations/Legends.

To give credit where it’s due, Scott Lewis was the UI guru at BHG. He’s at Firaxis now, so I hope he passed on some tricks to those he left behind.

I love the idea of BHG putting some of their own flavor into Asian Dynasties.


Maybe this will make AoE3 a bearable game…hmmm…

We can only hope!

This could be the best possible thing: the excellent gameplay and UI of a Big Huge Games game, with the marketing power and internet interface that actually works 75% of the time (so that more than 3 people play the game online) from Ensemble.

Will the new hotkeys and UI adjustments work with Aoe3 and the warchiefs?
I was also hoping for a Rol expansion that would hopefully fix the online problems.

To be clear, we aren’t redesigning the UI visuals, that just didn’t seem like our mandate for a “special guest director” appearance on someone else’s cool game. We’ve added boodles of hotkeys – for the existing things that didn’t have them, plus for a few extra find/select type functions that the hardcore players asked for. Also a number of preferences on the “Options” screens, again mostly based on player requests. When we get closer to release time maybe we’ll try to scrape together a complete list.

If you have the Asian Dynasties expansion installed, you’ll be able to access the original AoE3 content (campaign, plus the original nations in multiplayer) and the Warchiefs content if you have that installed, from the AoE3 Asian Dynasties icon (just as you can currently use the original AoE3 content from the Warchiefs icon), which will mean you can for example play the Ottomans with the new hotkeys in solo or multiplayer, or play the original campaign. But of course for multiplayer you’ll have to play against other players who also have Asian Dynasties in order to take advantage of the new features – since everyone needs to be running the same app in order for the game to stay “in sync”.


Edit: (removed nooblike misunderstanding of forum system)

It’s because you searched for “Asian Dynasties”.


  • Alan

Wow, what a noob! Yeah someone told me the thread was here. I was wondering why some names seemed to be “blessed” and others were not… now to go edit out my nooblike comment!


Were formations ever added to Aoe3? If not are there plans to have some with the new expansion?

edit: One UI feature I loved from Rol was the ability to set rally points into existing groups, that is something that AOE3 really needed from past experience imo.