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Posts tagged ‘Age Community’


Robot Entertainment to hand over to Waypoint

Hot of the press from Today an announcement was made by Robot Entertainment Community Manager, Duncan “Aloysius” Stanley talking about the end of Robot’s primary involvement with the Halo Wars Community. The announcement reads as follows:

On February 28th, 2010, Halo Waypoint will be begin to officially support both Halo Wars and Waypoint staff will transition in over the next month to support operations of and the Halo Wars matchmaking and stats servers. Over the past year, Robot was very proud to roll out 4 Title Updates for Halo Wars, provide technical support on the forums and provide a place for volumes of fan fiction. Robot was proud to be a part of this community for the past year, and we hope we served you well.

Along with supporting operations, Halo Waypoint has exciting plans for Halo Wars. Look for announcements in the near future.

So long and thanks for all the fish!

This was quite an unexpected announcement as in most cases the developer is responsible for the games communities. For example, Rare looks after Banjo and Lionhead looks after the Fable communities. However, it seems Microsoft is not so keen to continue having Robot watch over the Halo Wars community. Presumably, now a year on from Ensemble’s closure the agreement struck between Robot and Microsoft to look after the Halo Wars community has expired and possibly as a result of cost cutting Microsoft are bringing the management of the website in house.

Come February 28th a new moderation team will be drafted in from Microsoft’s, 343 Industries – the “Waypoint” team. Its been a bumpy road for Halo Wars fans having to go through another major change in the way the game is supported. First the closure of the original developer Ensemble, then the removal of the second developers community presence. Microsoft do not seem to be treating the strategy version of the Halo IP very well!

Although the announcement states “exciting plans for Halo Wars” are in the works, one must wonder how “exciting” these plans can be without a developer attached to the game anymore.

Hopefully there will be more details to follow about this announcement in due course.

What about Age Community?

Some good news is that the Age of Empires community will still be looked after by Robot Entertainment as before.


Microsoft resolve Age of Empires Bad CD Key error by handing CD keys over to Robot Entertainment


Players who have recently purchased copies of Age of Empires 3 have found themselves unable to play Age of Empires 3 on ESO after Microsoft failed to inform Robot Entertainment, now managing the support for Age 3 the CD Keys leaving players unable to create or upgrade accounts. Needless to say the inability to play online bemused many players and some commenting on the official community website.

However today Robot Entertainment has received the keys and Duncan Stanley, Community Manager for Robot Entertainment has updated the community as follows:

We just uploaded 10s of thousands of keys that we received from Microsoft late in the day.

 If you were getting the 100 bad cd-key error while trying to create an account, or upgrade an account, please try again.

If you receive the same error as before, please email with the subject Bad CD-key Error 100 with your cd-key.


Microsoft publish Age of Empires 3 copies without informing Robot Entertainment of CD-Keys


Microsoft has, bewilderingly released new copies of Age of Empires 3 and its set of expansions including the newly released Age of Empires 3 Collectors edition. One would imagine that Microsoft would be contacting Robot Entertainment so that they can prepare the Ensemble Studios Online (ESO) server to accept the new CD-keys enabling purchasers to play the game online. However it seems that Microsoft have been less forthcoming with Robot Entertainment about these re-releases by not informing Robot Entertainment about these new CD keys leaving purchasers bemused that copies of the game are invalid.

Perhaps someone at Microsoft is emailing the wrong person and has forgotten that the email address has been shut down.

One must worry from this news about the quality of communication from Microsoft to Robot Entertainment following the closing of internal studio Ensemble. It is sad that poor performance from Microsoft is potentially adversely affecting the reputation of Robot Entertainment who end users believe is offering the support for ESO. Community Manager for Robot Entertainment, Duncan Stanley says:

Microsoft, the publisher of all of the Age of Empires III games and expansions, recently released new copies of the game, and the expansions.

When they did this, they did not give us, Robot Entertainment, the cd-keys first to upload to our server so that people who buy the game can authenticate and create accounts.  Because of this, users may get Error 100 [Bad CD-Key] when trying to create or upgrade an ESO account.

Microsoft and Robot Entertainment are aware of the problem, and we are working to resolve it as speedily as we can.

We will upload the cd-keys to the server as soon as we get them.

 We apologize for the frustration.

We will keep you posted on updates with this unfortunate situation


Aloysius sheds light on the OOS / Maphack bans


Just in case you dont want to read through all the threads taking place on Age Community ive included below some extracts from Robot Entertainment Community Manager “Aloysius”. This should help clear up the Robot position on these bans and demonstrates that accounts do get re-evaluated when an appeal is requested and that programmers have indeed looked at the code behind hack detection. Here goes – (and yes, ive added some emphasis on key points)

  • We do not ban random people, we don’t just draw names out of a hat and ban people.  No one has ever been banned because we didn’t like them or “just because,” or anything like that.
  • We examine cheating reports and our server logs, and when an account has been using out of sync and map hacks, we take action against that account.  If you get out of syncs all the time when playing multiplayer, try reinstalling the game, and checking with your ISP to ensure that your connection is working properly.
  • We examine every account individually for OOS and Map hacking, and examine claims of innocence when the case warrants.  We have never reversed a ban for OOS / Map Hacking.  After this recent wave of OOS / Map Hacking Bans, the programmers who wrote the tools re-examined the code and ran tests and determined that the bans were valid.
  • We cannot release source code, our diagnostic processes, give access to our back-end servers, release private customer data or anything else that would compromise the integrity of our online environment as well as satisfy our legal protection.  We can’t really be “transparent” in our security practices so that we can stay one step ahead of the hackers.
  •  We already permaban the guilty, after investigation.
  •  We do not re-issue accounts for the people banned. We encourage everyone to maintain secure passwords and never give them out to anyone else, ever, under any circumstance.  ESO will never ask you for your password.
  • We can tell the difference between a normal OOS and one being caused by a hacking tool.
  • Normal OOSs can happen for a wide variety of reasons, bad internet connections, bad installs, bad other software, virus scanners kicking in during a game, etc.  We even had a case where every 600 seconds (10 minutes), someone would go OOS no matter what, 100% of the time.  They eventually got it fixed by calling their ISP.  They were not banned, even though they OOS’d in dozens of games.

All of this seems very satisfactory to me. Players should be reminded that the tools used to identify cheaters at Robot Entertainment are the same as those used at Ensemble Studios. For more information keep track of the discussion at AgeCommunity:


Official Robot Entertainment blogs go live!

New Robot Website

The Robots at the spacepod like office in Plano have launched their official company blogs with Dave Pottinger and David Kubalak. Dave Pottinger shares with us his dream of having the Robot Entertainment logo in Lego form much like the Google logo shown below:


It is infact a deadly serious project and Mr Pottinger has been spending his free time experimenting with Lego base boards to get them a suitable size for the Lego Robot logo – here he is, in action!

Lego Dave

One might wonder if Mr Pottinger spent too much of his childhood playing with Lego! It does seem like a fun project though and if Google can do it why not Robot? You can stand by for updates on this by following this website or by subscribing to the Robot Blog RSS feed.

In other non Lego news..

David Kubalak lifts the curtain on the faces behind Robot’s art team:


Please note: The above picture may not accurately represent entire appearance!

You can click the image to enlarge and from left to right you will find:

Bryan Hehmann – Environment Artist, Nathan Stefan – Concept Artist, Gene Kohler (bottom) – Character Artist, Dion Hopkins – Visual Effects Artist, David Kubalak- Art Director, Charles Tinney (bottom) – Animator, Rob Walden – Hard Surface Modeler, Juan Martinez Technical Artist and Animator, Brad Crow (bottom) – Art Director, Paul Slusser – Environment Artist, Duane Santos – Hard Surface Modeler, Won Choi (bottom) – Concept Artist, Chris Moffitt – Character Artist, and Bart Tiongson – Concept Artist.

All of those people are Ex-Ensemblites! Its interesting to read about the individual roles each artists has. David Kubalak is the Art Director and has his own blog where you can find some of his artwork at:

Clearer Robot Art picture discovered!

You may remember a previous post where I mentioned Age Community were studying Robot Entertainment pictures closely for any hints on a new Age of Empires game. David Kubalak’s blog contains an image extract from a news article which shows a picture of Gene Kohler working on some textures. Check out the image below and be sure to enlarge!

Gene working on textures

Discussion on this can be found on the Age Community forums.

Further reading..

I encourage all fans to check out the Robot website to read the full blog posts from the two Robot Daves! Looking forward to seeing more posts from them soon!

Lets see how this Lego logo develops!!


Remember: Never share your ESO account details with anyone


The ESO team at Robot Entertainment ban hundreds of players at a time for account stealing and people logging into shared accounts. Make sure you NEVER log into any account other than your own or you will be banned and you will lose your rank.

The number of threads on the Age Community website about account stealing has increased recently and I encourage readers to be vigilant about thier ESO account usage.

Dont get caught out, play by the rules and enjoy the ESO expierence.



Age 3 Patches have been released!


Quick heads up to Age of Empires players who have been awaiting the latest round of patches this time from Robot Entertainment, the patch is now available for auto download and manual download on the AgeCommunity website. Information can be found below:

Patch Notes:

Age of Empires III: 1.13
Age of Empires III: The War Chiefs 1.05
Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties 1.02


Click here and choose your game from the list


UPDATED: Robot to support Age Community come March


Robot is poised to resume Age Community moderation in March following the transition period from Ensemble Studios into Robot Entertainment. It is expected a moderator from Robot will make a post to the community informing everyone what the plans are. Robot has reported that the support for Age will be no less than it was when under the Ensemble Studios moderation.

Good news for fans!


Aloysius, community manager at Robot Entertainment has now confirmed that Robot is offcially taking over the Age of Empires 3 community and that support will be the same as that under Ensemble Studios. You can read the announcement below along with a direct link:


Hi everyone,

 I’m Aloysius and I’m the Community Manager at Robot Entertainment.

We’ll be taking the baton from Ensemble Studios for Age3 community and customer support.

We’ll be providing the same level of support that Ensemble always has, so expect a bigger presence on the forums.

A couple questions that I know a lot of people are asking:

Q:  Are you taking the ESO servers down?
A:  There are no plans to, and in fact we have been doing hardware and software upgrades to the servers so that they are even more stable, so you guys can keep on playing.

Q:  Can you make a fan-made patch official?
A:  Unfortunately that cannot take place due to legal reasons.  A Robot made patch may eventually come out, but there is no date set for that yet.