Age of Empires Online

I used to play a lot of Age of Empires with Tim, years and years ago, mostly co-op against the AI as neither of us wanted to kill each other.  My dad also played, though lacking the internet, we weren’t able to play together.

I tried multiplayer when I first got the internet, via some Microsoft service.. and was almost immediately yelled at by randoms who determined any new player to be unworthy of joining a game.  Eventually I found a game, only to realise there was some cheating going on when my opponents appeared with cars.  Yeah.. right.  Back to the AI, then 😉

Age of Empires Online is free to play, although there is “premium content” available, adding new civilizations as well as less useful decorative items.

Each player starts off with their own Capital City, to which buildings can be added to gain new technologies and units.  You can also pick up new quests here, the first of which are all about teaching the basics of killing enemies, gathering food and building units.. this all works the same as the original Age of Empires gameplay.

The “online” part of the game consists of co-operative questing and PvP.. you can team up with other players to complete quests, though it isn’t required.

I think that it’ll be fairly difficult for people to cheat, though I don’t know what advantages the premium content will give people.. I guess we’ll have to see whether multiplayer with randoms will be worth playing.

Portal 2 ARG and Defense Grid: The Awakening

Portal 2 was supposed to be released on the 19th April.. however, an earlier release date was suggested over the last week, as a pile of clues have been discovered by fans dedicated enough to go looking for them.

I am not one of those people; while I love the fact they’ve done it, I don’t have the time or knowledge required to root around with codes, convert random numbers to images and access encrypted files.  Seriously.. even if I had the time I wouldn’t even know where to start, nor whether I was even going in the right direction.  Instead, I’m content to keep an eye on the Valve ARG wiki..

The Potato Sack Pack appeared on Steam last week, and I just took it as an opportunity to grab a few more cheap games, but it was another part of this rather clever play by Valve!  The info gathered so far points to Portal 2 being unlocked when an unspecified amount of play-time has been reached on the various games in the pack.

There is also a potato-collecting mechanic involved, with collectible potatoes hidden in the games and elsewhere: one can be collected simply by joining the ‘nelipot’ Steam group.  The ARG Wiki people have discovered that more potatoes increase the rate that the GLaDOS@Home bars fill up.. so really, the aim of this game is now: collect potatoes and play indie games 🙂

I won’t be idling in any games overnight, though.. while it’s mentioned on the Wiki as a way of adding the the cause, I consider it to be too close to cheating when the ‘aim’ is to play.  I have similar reservations about using the login details posted for collection of potatoes as well..  I’m just going to play the games.

I was gifted Defense Grid: The Awakening on Friday: a tower defense game with a twist.. when the invading aliens reach your base that’s not it.. they steal a power core and attempt to leave the base with it.

Killing the alien results in the core being dropped.. it will try to make its way back to base but can be grabbed by another alien en-route.

The Meteor tower is my current favourite.. long-range, great damage when it hits.. though I like the laser too, especially when upgraded. 🙂