AoC's Nostalgia

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Icestorm2
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AoC's Nostalgia

Post by Icestorm2 »

Originally I was replying to the discussion on AoC in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3792&start=195
This post got so damn long that I felt it should be a separate thread.

AoC's original core Mid SH players had pretty much all left by the end of 2003, this was almost a year before players from EE started to come over to AoC regularly to put in perspective. The preference for 4v4s, large maps, expansionism, wing and pocket roles, etc, were established pretty early. Expansionism was determined to be the only worthwhile (and later necessary) civ power because it afforded players greater flexibility, provided economic bonuses and allowed them to rebound from what would otherwise be devastating losses of units and cits. Teams demanded their sword players on wing use it (among other things like pop cap and siege or archer range) for the that reason. Gameplay and conventional strategies developed pretty quickly in the first 6 months (From Fall 2002 to Spring 2003). Rushing was never obsolete, but as players got better at playing defense it became harder and harder to decisively beat players in the first 15 minutes. You needed something to offer in the later stages of the game besides just swords, because you had to navigate mazes of walls and buildings while taking fire from protected crossbows and ballistas(and the trebs that kept your allies siege at a safe distance). Eventually everybody had to play with the end-game in mind, or you'd be dead weight and risked losing a spot in games.

The desire to conform led to less early game pressure and dedicated booming became safer and more common. Games became a contest of proficiency in tactics with combined units and micro-managing siege. Players generally used walls and buildings to secure their flanks, the interior bases tended to be studded with towers. Archers became favored over CA due to pop cap constraints, shared bonuses with crossbows and range and firepower in general being more important than mobility in the protracted tug-of-war sieges that games developed into (cav archers actually became a rare sight in games). This style of play became more intense as the top players in mid became insular and cliquish.

In the summer of 2003, AoC lost a lot of players to other RTS games like Warcraft 3 and Rise of Nations. A few mid players would return, but the decrease in the number of active players meant that it was harder to get a game where all the players were proficient in the established meta. Some of the veteran players compensated for this by systematically stacking the teams. While this lasted for a time, eventually (after consistently crashing at the end of the game so nobody could view the stats) it was agreed that teams should be decided by designated captains. This is when I noticed that a lot of the top players had gotten so careless that they completely vulnerable in the first few minutes. No units, no towers, no attempt to wall until about 4-5, they weren't really starting production until after 10 and had nothing considerable until at least 15. I felt compelled to take advantage of this as a short term strategy, expecting I might win a game or two before they'd adjust. No serious adjustment was ever made, the most they did was start towering, walling, making units earlier. They didn't really accept that I was moving the action back into the earlier part of the game, I think they thought I'd start holding back eventually once the novelty wore off. They never really complained, they just decided it was time to move on. All of them except eeralf and Warrman quit between September and October 2003. The majority of the remaining players were in a state of arrested development.

(side note: Eeralf was once a much better player, never really elite or anything but more capable than most. I think the boozing took its toll eventually. Warrman was once pretty good too, but developed a taste for weird and ineffective strats and refused to change back to more effective playstyles.)

To mid players, that first year was a golden age. The elaborate style of play they saw from the top players was the pinnacle of gameplay in their eyes. Pyro, Buttfreek, Dante, Answer, Venom, etc all started to play in mid-2003 when it was in full swing and they were still very nascent players. They really only caught glimpses of the top players at the time, and not even really having the basics down a lot of them would try to simply imitate their playstyles unsuccessfully. Pyro had the benefit of one of them teaching him a basic cav archer strat, the rest were essentially journeymen and once the environment that supported their playstyle vanished they basically had to relearn how to play Mid again. They were motivated by a desire to basically resurrect the Golden Age, initially believing it would come about naturally as they got better. Later on they'd realize it required a mutual restraint which was often hard to exercise (after mid 2004, it was also hard to get a game with 8 players who had the mindset for it). That was generally the source of their infighting and ingame trolling, as well as their contempt for regular EE players who started migrating to AoC in 2004.

It really wasn't until they regularly encountered mid players from EE that they really got motivated to improve at the more basic levels (as opposed to focusing on how to combine swords and archers most efficiently). I didn't really grasp this until much later, for the most part I thought they were just average players who could only get so good. I had tried teaching some players directly to bring them up to speed, they all generally left to play mod tl (a much more active sett at the time) after getting a basic grasp on managing their economy. After getting disillusioned with that I figured anyone with the ability to get better would manage to learn through osmosis. It wasn't really until 2005 that Mid on AoC really recovered from the deficit left by its founding stock quitting a year and some months earlier. The mid community by then contained a lot of regulars from EE, even as they managed to get along with AoC players there was still a conflict of vision. The newer AoC players also seemed to lack the vision of the older players like Pyro, Buttfreek, etc. It's hard to get nostalgic about something you didn't actually see or experience.

The closest AoC ever really came to a real renaissance was the later half of 2006. Most of the 2nd generation players on AoC were back and active, a lot of newer players were active in mid from both AoC and EE. The players were all more evenly matched and it led to longer games. We tried organizing a 16-team 2v2 tournament that started out well, but it was at the end of the year and brokedown as people weren't really active during the Holidays. We played less frequently in early 2007. At some point (April or March I'm not sure), Seizmic, Answer and I caught JT online in the lobby and decided to troll and berate him. We screen capped a lot of it and posted it on MPA. The following Monday obviously the 3 of us were banned, but he also banned anyone he saw in the lobby that he associated with us and said anything to the effect of 'lol' and even basic greetings. Then he banned most of the MPA posters who commented in the thread. It was easy enough to get back into the game, but nobody really had the desire to play after that. By then everyone had moved on and the desire to rebuild what we thought was lost years earlier was pretty much gone too.

We got a lot of the core players to briefly come back out of nostalgia in Summers of 2008, 2009 and 2012(?) I think. To me they were kind of like Indian Summers, not an actual reinvestment back into the game. We come back because to remember the things we liked about the game, and then we leave again when we get sick of the things we forgot we hated.

Icestorm2
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Re: AoC's Nostalgia

Post by Icestorm2 »

Also, I might not remember posting this when I get up tomorrow. Don't know how long it'll take me to cycle back to this site.

BigRon
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Re: AoC's Nostalgia

Post by BigRon »

Icestorm2 wrote: We got a lot of the core players to briefly come back out of nostalgia in Summers of 2008, 2009 and 2012(?) I think. To me they were kind of like Indian Summers, not an actual reinvestment back into the game. We come back because to remember the things we liked about the game, and then we leave again when we get sick of the things we forgot we hated.
then there are guys like arnzer who has been tryharding since 2012 and jerks himself to sleep thinking about how awesome he is by beating these players.
fucking kid

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lightnessking.
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Re: AoC's Nostalgia

Post by lightnessking. »

And then there are players that are getting triggered and upset about other people for no reason at all. winkwink bigron wink ;D
You cannot make another post so soon after your last.

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Re: AoC's Nostalgia

Post by BigRon »

lightnessking. wrote:And then there are players that are getting triggered and upset about other people for no reason at all. winkwink bigron wink ;D
Was macht ein Holländer, nachdem sein Land die Fußballweltmeisterschaft gewonnen hat?

Er macht die PlayStation aus und geht ins Bett! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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lightnessking.
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Re: AoC's Nostalgia

Post by lightnessking. »

Such a good joke that you can't even write it in english ^^? You incompetent retarded fucker :shock:
You cannot make another post so soon after your last.

BigRon
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Re: AoC's Nostalgia

Post by BigRon »

lightnessking. wrote:Such a good joke that you can't even write it in english ^^? You incompetent retarded fucker :shock:
triggered. wait i got another one:

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen deutschen Bier und einem holländischen Elfmeter: Das deutsche Bier geht immer rein. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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lightnessking.
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Re: AoC's Nostalgia

Post by lightnessking. »

But dutch beer would do the same :P.
You cannot make another post so soon after your last.

joey
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Re: AoC's Nostalgia

Post by joey »

BigRon wrote:
Icestorm2 wrote: We got a lot of the core players to briefly come back out of nostalgia in Summers of 2008, 2009 and 2012(?) I think. To me they were kind of like Indian Summers, not an actual reinvestment back into the game. We come back because to remember the things we liked about the game, and then we leave again when we get sick of the things we forgot we hated.
then there are guys like arnzer who has been tryharding since 2012 and jerks himself to sleep thinking about how awesome he is by beating these players.
fucking kid
leave the 25 yr old virgin alone :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: AoC's Nostalgia

Post by P-51 »

Though I was mostly a mid dm player and started playing in 2005, I remember the "conflict of vision" that you mention. Especially later in 2006 it became the cool thing to do for mid dm players to crossover into mid sh. And I recall many EEC mid sh players were adamantly asserting that Expansionism was a waste of civ points.

It was interesting reading the history of AoC from your perspective. Because apparently the peak of my playing from 05-07 was during what you call the second golden age. At the time I mostly assumed that players who were better than me often played since the beginning of AoC.

Clouds
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Re: AoC's Nostalgia

Post by Clouds »

That was a nice read for some old time memories.

What are you guys up to in your lives? Still playing some games? God we are old now.

If anybody wants to catch up let me know and I can give you a discord we can catch up in.

Pyro

Icestorm2
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Re: AoC's Nostalgia

Post by Icestorm2 »

I haven't played anything online in a while, too much shit requires arbitrary grinding now. I couldn't imagine getting into EE if you had to play 20-30 games a day too unlock enough points for something like attack bonus on swords.

You now remember: Backdraft.

Clouds
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Re: AoC's Nostalgia

Post by Clouds »

Icestorm2 wrote:I haven't played anything online in a while, too much shit requires arbitrary grinding now. I couldn't imagine getting into EE if you had to play 20-30 games a day too unlock enough points for something like attack bonus on swords.

You now remember: Backdraft.
That is true. I was gonna pick up the new Total War that just came out. Have heard good things.


Also backdraft?

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Re: AoC's Nostalgia

Post by herik »

Cool illustration of the beginning of AOC!
2008, 2009 were the days!

R.I.P. AOC mid :cry:

Clouds
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Re: AoC's Nostalgia

Post by Clouds »

I noticed Age of Empires 4 releases sometime late 2018. Seeing as RTS is now dead and the age of mobas and grind complexes is today’s new norm. I am interested to see how much effort and how much of today’s video game culture of grinding out points makes it into today’s RTS games. Are any of you planning on buying aoe4.

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