My favorite online multiplayer game was Age of Empires which I played online via its original platform, The Zone, for many years. As I have thus far only found limited information about the multiplayer options, I have a few questions/suggestions for important multiplayer options!
The ability to host custom multiplayer games independent of a standard matchmaking system. When this game was played online on its original platform, the popular game modes were custom rulesets and were hosted via lobbies. For example, popular game modes included:
- NS (No Siege) — Horse Arches Only
- Cho — Chosen Civilization only, legions and towers only
- Reg — Standard deathmatch, all units applicable
- Wonder War — First team to build and protect a wonder for 2000 years wins
- Tiny RC — Tiny map size, random civilization
- Sea War — No land units aside from villagers
- One Unit War — Tiny map size, one unit only
Note: all the above modes were played as ‘Death Match’ where you start with large quantities of resources. Another popular mode was ‘Random Map’ where you start with limited resources and the gameplay is much slower.
The ability to set the population above 50 units. You were able to do this previously by changing a Windows registry file, up to a maximum of 200. The ‘Death Match’ modes noted above are not playable with a low population, as you were able to start with a Town Center and 3 villagers and hit 200 population in under five minutes. This lead to extremely fast paced gameplay, where games were frequently decided in well under 10 minutes.
The ability to play the original Age of Empires, in lieu of always playing via the expansion ‘Rise of Rome.’