|59) as for the Star forts, why not have it so when you first place the fort, it has to leave room for the star fort upgrade
A – because then the normal fort would be very difficult to place on the map. This isn’t surmise on my part – that’s how it was for a long time. The reduction to the small fort came only after months of playtest.
60) don’t you think Outposts, walls and forts should recieve possibly a third/fourth upgrade or at least be a little more effective
A – no. I think that they should be superceded in 4th age, so games can reach a close.
61) do you plan to support AoE3 with any cash/hardware tournaments?
A – Yes, certainly. However, such a tournament does take some dev time, and right now we’re really obsessed with getting the patches out. You wouldn’t want to play in a tournament till after the balance patch anyway, right?
62) if the Sheriff is such an expert, why does he have only 61 wins with an 81% win percentage?
A – two reasons. First, he never plays n00bs. If he’s in a room and he sees that the other players have less than like a 75% win rate, he quits out and looks for another game. So he only takes on top players. Second, he is often called into meetings or consultations here at work. If he’s in a game at that time, he usually has to resign early, lowering his win percentage.
63) could there ever be an option added to allow us to increase in the population limit?
A – only if we increased the minimum hardware requirement.
64) Is ES going to make cuirassiers weaker or aren’t they?
A – look dude, you are missing the entire point of what I said about cuirassiers. They are a unique unit. No other civ gets them. This means that you cannot separate the issue of cuirassier quality from the overall French problem. If we were to nerf the French economy, for instance, this could make cuirassiers acceptable, because then they’d be rarer. If we were to nerf the French resistance to rushes, this might make cuirassiers into line, because they’d be forced to spend resources early on anti-rush gear, and cuirassiers would be a late game luxury. Maybe nerfing cuirassiers IS the way to go for French, but you have to understand that there are a lot of ways to bring the French down from their mighty 54% win ratio, and nerfing them six different ways from Sunday is not the solution.
65) Are there any plans to boost Russia?
A – Look. If we nerf the civs that are currently stronger than Russia, we don’t NEED to boost Russia, right?
66) why is that such a great game as AOE3 has so many bugs and technical problems ?
A – go find me a similarly-elaborate game with fewer bugs and I’ll take you seriously.
67) Is the game made in C++ plus DirectX?
A- um. I think so. I’m not a programmer.
68) Whats the relation between M$ and ES?
A – they own us lock, stock, and barrel.
69) how many games have you played online and with what civs have you played the most?
A – Not very many. Usually I play my Russian civ.
70) Would it be safe to assume to “not give up hope” on other controls like seek and destroy, explore, hold fire, etc?
A – Don’t expect every single “missing” formation to someday make it into the game, but it’s reasonable to expect some.
71) Was there any real historical meaning to giving the ottomans free villagers?
A – they had a tightly organized system of control over their towns and hamlets, with local bureaucrats watching everything that happened. This system made things work smoothly,, but made it difficult for the Ottomans to respond rapidly to changing social or political events. The
“settlers are free but you can’t control their production directly” bonus of the Ottomans reflects this system.
72) I’ve been suggesting that making the explorer’s One Shot ability be made to kill anything in the game instead of just Treasure Guardians.
A- this used to be in the game. It was Not Good and got removed. One effect of it was that no one ever tried to rush with hussars or grenadiers, because one of your expensive dudes got popped first thing when you rode into town. So everyone used pike & crossbows so the explorer couldn’t kill as much value of unit. That distorted early unit balance.
73) you think that it would be prudent to simply lower the French Courier’s hitpoint to that of an average Settler?
A – I think it’s better to fix a bonus rather than eliminating it.
74) About Swedes and Italians, what were their unique units and what unit did they replace?
A – the Swedes had “Fusiliers” and the Italians had “Elmeti”, “Merchants”, and “Architects.” Fusiliers replaced Musketeers, and Elmeti were a heavy cav unit like the cuirassier or oprichnik. Merchants & Architects replaced settlers.
75) Italians bonus was that villagers cost gold, what would replace that bonus when they are to be released?
A – what makes you think they would ever be released?
76) Is it true the AOE3 team prefers oriental food over pizza’s when working over time?
A – sadly no. I do, though.
77) Is it true ES employees volunteered to join the game balance crew, just to play the game before anybody else?
A – not exactly. ES employees are required to playtest the game, though.
78) Is it true a love affair between employees started at the companies’christmas party?
A – well two of the workers here got married but I don’t know if the romance started at the Christmas party
79) Is it true the game ‘went gold’ just in time to get the dev team their ‘on time’ bonus, though deep in their hearts they wanted at least another 12 months for this already superb game?
A – we did not get a bonus for finishing on time. And no one wanted to work another 12 months on Age 3, that’s for absolutely certain. Sorry ?to burst your bubble.
[Edited on 1/16/2006]