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Posts tagged ‘ESO’


Slight ESO maintenance changes and downtime consultation

Just a quick note for all Age of Empires 3 players. Ryz0n the community manager at Microsoft who are now running the support for Ensemble Studios Online have announced the times for ESO maintenance is changing slightly. Previously On the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month, ESO underwent scheduled maintenance with Robot Entertainment. Going forward this maintenance will occur on Tuesdays between approximately 10AM PST (GMT -8) and 12PM PST.

There are some discussions about ways users can be better informed about this downtime. You can read about the downtime and the announcement plans over at Age Community:


Robot Entertainment signs off from Age Community

January 3rd 2011 marks the day when Robot Entertainment officially retires from Age Community both the forum support and the support for ESO. Robot took over the support for Age Community and ESO shortly after Ensemble closed its doors In February 2009, the support in place at Robot was similar to the support offered at Ensemble. Microsoft has decided to take operations of Age 3 in house and will be lead by some of the same Community team behind Age of Empires Online plus a dedicated community administrator for Age Community. Read moreRead more


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.


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:


Banned from ESO? Here’s what you should do…


I have been reading the AgeComm forums and have had some emails from the community site and this blog with regards to possible “unjust” banning from the ESO service. Whilst I understand people feel strongly that they are innocent my understanding is that the tools used to collect data about ESO accounts are the same tools used by Ensemble since ESO’s introduction. With a 4 year record the ESO system is probably robust and correct in its reporting. However, if you have been banned and want to appeal heres some top tips…

  1. Ask yourself “why have I been banned”? Before asking Robot try asking yourself this question – have you noticed any unusual activity have you given out any login details? If you havnt cheated it doesnt mean someone else hasnt compromised your account and cheated under your ESO ID.
  2. Next stop- check your emails. You should receive an email from Age3support advising you that you have been banned, the reason why and the type of ban (temporary, permanent). Study the email carefully and make sure that you didnt do what the stats reported. Remember, Robot only ban on cumulative reports of cheating. You must understand that the results are probably correct and that there is a good possibility your account may have been compromised.
  3. Email back. Be sure to include your name, email, CD key and PID key (found in the “About” screen in game). Robot will investigate your query and will get back to you with more details. Remember to be polite and write in plain English.. I would advise against txt tlk. Robot should be able to clear up any reason why you have been banned and if there has been a mistake, will get you back online.
  4. Still un-happy? – Post in the forums. The Age Community is a great place to ask for help and members may be able to help find you the root cause of the ban. Never under estimate the community.
  5. Last resort.. If you feel you have been treated unfairly you can raise a formal complaint with Robot at the studios main contact email address (see thier website).

I hope these tips help people understand how they can go about getting information about why they may have been banned. As a reminder.. make sure that you dont:

  • Cheat on the ESO service using any hack tools or modified game files
  • Dont give out ANY of your account details.

Feel free to get in contact with me at if you are still flummoxed on what to do. Or you can find me and lots more helpful community members at For those that have spoken or wish to get in contact with me remember that I am not an employee of Robot Entertainment and cannot speak on their behalf. This blog is run by an individual and any advice on this site or through my email is personal advice completely un-affiliated with Robot.

Not forgetting the Halo Wars readers..

As a side note, for Halo Wars readers.. DLC 2 is coming soon! Aloysius has teased it may be sooner than you think!


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.



Problems with the ESO population count


Age of Empires 3 players may be aware that the counter on the ESO population is currently not reporting accurate figures. Aloysius, community manager at Robot Entertainment has confirmed that it is being looked into.

In the meanwhile you can find the true number of people playing using the link below which will also be available on the menu to the left.