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October 19, 2011

Persian civilisation launches for Age of Empires Online today!

Great news for Age of Empires Online fans – Microsoft Studios and Gas Powered Games are today pushing out the brand new civilisations, the Persians! The Persians will be the first “pro” civilisation. This means players start straight away at level 20 allowing players to immediately tech up and start with gear already attached. Players will be able jump straight into the action with Persia with no worries about having to trudge through the early levels for experienced players. This does come at a cost though as there is no story driving campaign quests with the Persians. Microsoft Studios clarified on the reasons for this as follows:

Persia won’t have a story campaign, since our goal was to get players access to high level content quickly. We’d love to create some Persian story content later, since that culture has an amazing history, but for this launch, we wanted to focus on a way to accelerate advanced players into gameplay.

This seems quite reasonable considering the bran new civilisation has appeared after only just a few months of the original release date of Age Online. It’s a package tailored for the more experienced players and its great to see the developers taking steps to please all types of players be they new or experienced.

Persia comes with a whole bunch of exciting unique units which include:

The Immortal, effective against infantry at short range but can also shoot arrows from afar.
The Sparabara, a shielded infantry unit capable of withstanding ranged weaponry.
The War Wagon, an impressive war machine able to destroy enemies with volleys of arrows.

The units look excellent and definitely add alot of variation in comparison to the Greeks and Egyptians. I have my eye on the War Wagon which looks like it will be very useful as a fast-moving siege weapon. Baracade your castles!

War Wagons are looking pretty interesting!

Besides some interesting new units the Persians also bring some new play styles to the table. A new unique building called the Aid tent can be built by upgrading storehouses. This will allow nearby units to be healed automatically. Sounds like a great way to protect villagers after an attack. Also on offer are some special unique techs from another exclusive building the War Academy. This is perhaps one of the most interesting unique features, the war academy, this allows players to change play style upgrades on demand. For instance a player could activate the “Rigorous training” upgrade which allows units to train 30% faster which can be extremely useful when under attack. However, these upgrades do come at a cost as well. For instance the rigorous training upgrade while it increases train time by 30% it increases the cost of each unit by 15%. This allows players to pick their poison so to speak.

The War Academy adds another layer of strategic choices.

Overall the addition of the Persian civilisation to Age of Empires Online looks exciting. The units and upgrades are suitably different to add a new mix of game play and the civilisation should bode well with those players who like to jump straight into the action at Level 20. Whilst the lack of story-driven campaign is slightly disappointing the speedy turn around time and interesting unique features of the civilisation should result in happy Age of Empire-rs!

Players can play the demo of the Persian Civilisation by checking out the new region in-game. Just speak to your City Ambassador to be shown the way! The purchase price for the Persian Civilisation is offered at the special introductory price of 640 points, rising to 1280 points after the limited promotion ends. So if you like what you see, now is the perfect time to visit your empire bazaar and make a purchase! Enjoy!


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