Before we could build even one Roman building or unit, we had to decide what buildings and units they had. So we need to back up a bit to get you into our frame of mind.
We started by analyzing what everyone could agree on: the designs of the Original 6 civs. This week, we are going to start with buildings. In later weeks, we will perform a similar analysis with units and technologies. But for now, we are looking at just buildings.
Every civilization in AoEO has 18 buildings except the Norse (16). Looking deeper, we can see that every building falls into one of five categories: Common Buildings, Improved Buildings, Advanced Buildings, Custom Buildings, and Unique Buildings.
Overall, this analysis of the five categories of buildings forms a touchstone for how we as Developers approach civ design. Since it helps explain the design of the Original 6 civs, it also helps us design new civs (and help you predict where we are heading). In other words, if our Romans follow these rules, then we are on the right track. And if they don’t, then they aren’t quite right.
So to us, this is very important stuff. Since these are new terms that we started using during our designs and that players have never seen before, so let’s slow down and explain.
======Common Buildings: The game files tell us that there are 13 buildings that every civilization in Age of Empires Online shall have by default, and that they each shall appear at certain ages. Age 1: Town Center, Storehouse, House, Watch Post, Dock, Wall, and Barracks; Age 2: Market, Farm, Guard Tower, Armory; Age 3: Fortress; Age 4: Wonder.
We call these the Common Buildings, and, in fact, that’s what the game files call them, too. In almost all cases, every Common Building in every civ is identical. However, there are two exceptions, Improved Buildings and Advanced Buildings.
======Improved Buildings: Sometimes a Common Building in a civ has a special technology or other attribute that improves it a little. Examples of these Improved Buildings are the Persian Storehouse (it heals), the Celtic house (it allows you to Age up), the Babylonian clay Wall (cheaper in Age 1), and the Norse Fortress (Burning Pitch). Arguably the Egyptian Armory is an Improved Building (it has cheaper, combined armor techs) as is the Greek Guard Tower (the Academy gives it Murder Holes and higher health and damage). By our count, every civ so far has one Improved Building.
======Advanced Buildings: Meanwhile, sometimes a Common Building is replaced by a completely advanced version of that building that is still available in the same age. Examples of Advanced Buildings are the Norse Longhouse (House) and Outpost (Watch Post) and the Babylonian Ox Cart (Storehouse), which is actually a unit that replaces the role of a building).
Other than the 13 Common Buildings, each of the Original 6 civs have 5 other Custom Buildings (except the Norse, who inexplicably have only 3). In almost all cases, every Custom Building is some form of the following: Archery Range, Stables, Siege Workshop, Temple, and Academy (a building with only techs).
Frequently these buildings use civ-specific names (the Sacred Grove and Great Hall are essentially Temples, and the Bard Hall serves as an Academy). Custom Buildings often can become available in either Age 2 or 3 depending on the civ.
======Unique Buildings: A few Custom Buildings stand out so much that we call them Unique Buildings. Sometimes, Unique Buildings serve as some advanced form of a Common Building that does not actually replace it, such as the Persian Immortal Camp (Barracks), Celtic Gold Mines (Storehouse), and Babylonian Gardens (Farm). Other times, Unique Buildings combine the features of two or three buildings into one (the War Academy trains priests, has tech upgrades, and houses unique toggle techs and the Ziggurat trains priests, has tech upgrades, and ages up). There are five Unique Buildings in the game, and they are available anywhere from Age 1 through Age 3.
Putting all of this together, we get the following chart:
Note that no two civs occupy the same field. Instead, each new civ focuses on different buildings. The civs dance around the chart filling holes and never quite overlapping. Therefore, the empty spaces map out open real estate for future civs, such as the Romans.
So each civ has about three buildings that do new things (plus a couple that just have unique names).
It also shows that civs got a bit more unique over time. The Greeks (our 1st civ) act like a baseline that every other civ jump off from in different directions. This makes some sense, too. Nobody wants a new civ to feel boring.
Since the new buildings help give each civ their unique feel, we are going to give the Romans a few. But if we gave them too many, it would break the mold. So we must choose wisely.
This blog is not meant to replace the upcoming Weekly Blog, but is rather additional information for those who are interested. Stay tuned this Saturday for more reveals on the Romans!
Thanks for reading,
Project Celeste Development Team
Missed the Roman Civilization's announcement? Find out about it HERE.
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By PF2K on May 29, 2019 at 5:45 PM
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