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Reader Comments (28)

Posted: Aug 17th 2011 6:04AM eLdritchZ said

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basically what they are doing is, they are rereleasing the original Age of Empires with a cutsie graphic style for "free" where you have to buy stuff if you want to have a chance (premium units are the best in the game) and fancy EPIX that you can only equip if you buy the premium races ;)

doesn't half of that sound like a familiar 12million player concept, to anyone else? ;)

Posted: Aug 17th 2011 6:51AM dtoast said

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Hey wow! Another US game screwing oceanic countries in the butt with its fees!

I'm in SEA and its asking me to pay in Australian Dollars. Not only that, its asking me to pay 25% MORE than its US dollar counterpart.

Screw this game. If I'm going to have to convert my currency anyway, why do I have to be forced into the one that's going to charge me more?

Posted: Aug 17th 2011 7:26AM dtoast said

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Oh damn, I just looked at the cost to play in Singapore. I guess it can be WAY worse than having to pay 1.25x the price in Australian dollars. MS is charging THREE TIMES the US dollar equivalent to Singaporeans.

I don't see this game being a hit out here in the cash shop loving south east asian countries. Way to isolate a market.

Posted: Aug 17th 2011 8:39AM Valkesh said

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This is game where the title F2P is a bit disingenuous.

What they're trying to do here is more or less release a game with an unlimited free trial with the ability to buy into the game a la carte. You can play the game in it's entirety for free, however, you cannot get access to anything above the lowest tier of gear. That being said, you also don't need to buy everything to be put on a (relatively) "even" playing field either since you need only unlock the premium civ pack for the one you actually plan on playing.

I say relatively even playing field because even once you enter the "real game", the game was never meant to be a balanced perfectly symmetrical competitive game. It's very much an RPG in the sense that gear and levels make a difference, and while it evens out at the top the gear still lets you customize your play style. The percentage bonuses I've seen do not completely flip the balance of power on end(lets face it, 3.2% of 15 is not a ton, even spread out amongst 20 of that unit) and do get the more drastic ones (like conversion protection) you need to sacrifice a different bonus (such as perhaps armor). Also, important distinction in that buying into premium doesn't so much as let you "buy gear" as it does let you use gear period. You still have to find it and earn it, but you just can't use it without a premium civ.

Season pass is expensive, but as people have been saying, if you buy EVERYTHING, it does save you a bit. Comes out to about $90ish but buying the four civs planned so far alone would come out to $100, and all the other little bits push that up a bit. That being said, unless you're intent on buying bushes, your best bet on playing the game would be just getting the faction you tend to stick with and little else. If I were to just get the premiums for Egyptians, Celts (when they release) and that defense mode, it would be about $50, which is about the price of a standard release.

tl;dr: It's not a free to play game. It's a game, that's been released for free that you can buy into a la carte, and is more about customization and progression than perfectly symmetrical competitive play. The pricing isn't perfect, but you can get a fair amount from it for the asking price if you're not intent on buying everything under the sun.

Posted: Aug 17th 2011 1:16PM (Unverified) said

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@Valkesh

Thank you for your insightful post. If only people could really read what you just said.
I took a look at their Cash Shop and bought the Greek Premium Civ ($20), there's nothing else there to buy (besides the Crete pack), everything is just decorations.

In the end I only spent $20 and have access to the entire game (except Crete).
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Posted: Aug 17th 2011 10:27AM JanChel said

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Nah, this all sounds way too expensive. The game doesn't even look all that updated. It's all facebook-ified graphics. (actually, this is a big deal, graphics are very important to me)

I guess thanks for making a new Age of Empires, but I'm not going to indulge in this pricing plan. $20 per civ? With only two civs out now and more planned in the future? MS must be thinking I'm made out of money.

Perhaps I've been spoiled with previous installments where I get a whole lot more for the boxed copy of the game, but if I had to choose between paying hundreds of dollars to play or go without? I'd rather go without.

Besides, the game doesn't even look that good.

Posted: Aug 25th 2011 8:05AM soberkinkster said

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You don't have to pay the 99 bucks. Why so stuck on the 99 bucks? I paid 20 bucks for my civ and I'm loving it. No monthly fee, which in my book is free to play ala guildwars. If I want to try another civ down the road, I can pay 20 bucks for it. I could have stuck with no paying for anything, but I feel its normal to pay at least something for something. It is a fun game. Please try it before you go putting it down.

Posted: Aug 25th 2011 8:12AM soberkinkster said

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As far as the graphics, they are stylized for timelessness. Plus the more people that can play it, the more that can play it right? There's a flip side to this negativity. The palette is colorful and bright and the UI is easy peesy. It will be easy to bring my friends with laptops or older pc's to come in and try it with me. So many gorgeous games I can't share with my RL friends because they can't load it on their xbox and their HP computers or whatever won't handle them. So, I'm willing to take the hit if I have a vast amount of buddies to choose from. People really should try this game before they talk negative about it. It isn't right to tell people to hate something you haven't tried for yourself.

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