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Ladies & Gentlemen,

EscapeAoE is very pleased to announce The New World Championship 2019! The first Age of Empires 3 LAN tournament in over ten years.

This July, we’ll fly the top eight international players to Manchester, all expenses paid, to compete at our studio. Under entirely lag free conditions, this four day event will determine AoE3’s New World Champion, who’ll take home the lion’s share of the $4000 cash prize!


Qualification Event:

Escape & ESOC will be partnering to host an open sign-up, online qualification tournament to determine who the top 8 invitees will be. We’re taking no chances here - for an event of this scale, the qualifier has to comprehensively determine the true top eight best players! This is why we’ll be hosting a 64 Player Double Elimination Tournament. This will play out normally until all but 8 players are fully eliminated. The survivors will compete in the LAN Playoffs.

The bracket will be seeded with the top 64 signups determined by ESOC 1v1 elo. This means the top seeds will in theory be the best players... start ranking up now to improve your position!

Signs ups will open March 1st - 31st. The qualification event will be managed & scheduled over the ESOC Forums and will commence at the start of April and conclude 7 weeks later (1 round per week). Upon discovering the top eight, we’ll take a brief pause to allow for visas, flights and accommodation to be finalized. The Championship will resume with the LAN Playoffs July 11th-14th hosted & managed by Escape at our studio in Manchester.


LAN Playoffs, July 2019:

We have plenty of room for an audience at the studio! If you’d like to attend the event in person, we’d love to have you - by all means book flights & accommodation now! Here’s everything you need to know if you’re coming.

SCHEDULE:

Wednesday, July 10th: Arrival Day - Players, casters & most guests will arrive in the UK
Thursday, July 11th: LAN Day 1 - Round of 8 (part 1) - 2x Best of 7 series
Friday, July 12th: LAN Day 2 - Round of 8 (part 2) - 2x Best of 7 series
Saturday, July 13th: LAN Day 3 - Round of 4 (Semifinals) - 2x Best of 7 series
Sunday, July 14th: LAN Final Day - Third Place Match (best of 7 series) & GRAND FINAL (best of 9 series)
July 15th & 16th: No Stream & studio closed - Most people will travel home - though everyone’s invited to hang out a bit longer!

Note: Invitees can customize their flight dates in & out if they want to make a small holiday out of the trip.


Format, Settings & Rules:

Both the Qualifier & LAN will use Standard Supremacy settings and will be played on EP6 (ordinary ESOC Patch). Currently, EP civilization balance seems to be the best it’s ever been! Because of this, we’re going to deviate from traditional ESOC tournament civilization rules and instead use ‘smackdown rules’ which are more exciting! For those unfamiliar, they are written here.


Map Pool

Summer Kamchatka:
AoE3’s quintessential tournament map. The “bread-and-butter” of competitive 1v1. Since its inception in 2014, Kamchatka has seen some incredible games and has a warm place in our hearts as the first map in a series. A watercourse divides the region and forks in the centre to form an island. Shallow crossings offer passage but only in predictable locations--a keen awareness of your opponent will be rewarded as they can only approach you from limited angles.

Kamchatka Minimap


Baja California:
Baja California is an arid peninsular region where colonies are divided by a mountain range. Players must control the wide central mountain pass, or sneak through narrower backdoor chokes as they vy for control of a winding trade route and the surrounding resources, or else spread their influence on the sea.

Baja California Minimap


Deccan:
Players start on opposing sides of a closed central plateau containing abundant wildlife and natural minerals. Your homecity has taken an interest in the wealth of this region and its valuable trading routes so has supplied your colony with additional starting resource crates to jumpstart your influence in the area and put a wider array of strategic options at your disposal.

Deccan Minimap


Thar Desert:
Shifting sands and rolling dunes cast long shadows across the Thar Desert. This vast open landscape is far from barren though -- gold is plentiful, and although food is not scarce either, the wild elephants are not easily controlled! Settlers will quickly find themselves out in the open as they venture away from their town in search of food. There is no passing trade in the desert, and the native Udasi offer little by way of alliance--acting mostly as an obstacle which makes controlling the centre of the map much more difficult than it would first seem.

Thar Desert Minimap


New England:
Players begin on the shores of the New World surrounded by dense forest, lakes, and beautiful unspoiled wilderness. This classic Age of Empires 3 map boasts some unique naval options where warships can play an important role in influencing the mainland and controlling the central trading route. The island just off the coastline offers an excellent strategic position for anyone casting an eye to the surrounding fish stocks.

New England Minimap


High Plains:
High Plains is a throwback to the classic vanilla Great Plains: a fairly open map where large, plentiful herds of bison roam freely. A long trading route spans across the map; monopolizing this is a surefire way to a powerful economic victory making fierce competition over each post an essential factor in remaining a relevant power in this the region.

High Plains Minimap


Pampas Sierras:
Wild llamas roam the western Pampain mountains, and new colonies must choose whether to invest into the wealth of livestock, or take their chances picking out the first treasures in the lowlands. This semi-arid region offers no trading routes, though native Incan and Mapuche tribes populate the landscape -- player should watch out for potential alliances that can offer a variety of early aggressive options as well as valuable lategame technologies.

Pampas Sierras Minimap


Fertile Crescent:
A pair of rivers divides the Fertile Crescent - your settlement is positioned on the outskirts of the central plain and is faced with a decision... the center represents a solid strategic position, but offers no trade and little in the way of resources compared to the surrounding east and west. Influencing these three regions as well as two seperate trading routes is tough, you can’t be everywhere -- absolute control over the Fertile Crescent is exceedingly challenging.

Fertile Crescent Minimap


Florida:
In the race to colonize the Americas, new arrivals are settling the East Coast quickly! Neighbouring trade flows through this bustling region and directly into your new colony. Starting on top of the route, you begin with a market and two trade sites within arms reach. A strong early economy is ensured, especially with coastal fishing up for grabs too, but expanding your trade into the opponents territory will be very challenging. Native Seminole and Carib tribes offer some incredibly powerful archer technologies - beware!

Florida Minimap
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That's right, the new balance iteration is here! Aside from that, we've got a number of map updates, some important bug fixes for the patch and a couple new options in the launcher that you might find useful. All good stuff. Enjoy!

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EP 6.0.0.0
changelog since EP 5.1.1.0

General
- Removed duplicate map art files from ESOC Patch 5.1 compatibility dataset, greatly reducing its size.

ESOC Patch general changes
- "Spanish Gold" description updated to "Precious metals from the new world grant additional coin with all your shipments, starting with this one."

ESOC Patch map changes
- Added UIx version of New England, removed old version.
- UIx New England: improved sheep spawn locations, whales fix, island fix, other tweaks.
- Seasonal Winter version disabled, until further notice, on the following maps: UIx ESOC Fertile Crescent, UIx ESOC Florida, UIx ESOC Mendocino, UIx ESOC Pampas Sierras.
- UIx ESOC Kamchatka: disabled Winter spawn version until end of July, 2019.
- Prevent starting mines spawn failure in games with more than 2 players (by falling back to 1v1 mine spawn logic when needed), on the following maps: UIx ESOC Mendocino, UIx ESOC Manchac, UIx ESOC Tassili. Was primarily an issue for teamgames with observers.
- UIx ESOC Colorado: adjusted player placement locations in 2v2 with observers, in order to ensure starting units spawn for all players.
- UIx ESOC Malaysia: water areas of the map should no longer occasionally become filled with land.

ESOC Patch bug fixes
- "Advanced Dock" shipment undocumented and unintended +3 range effect buff reverted (was in effect since EP 3.2).
- Fixed a bug causing the Disciplined Urumi shadow tech effects to be applied team-wide; especially problematic in combination with the Team Urumi shipment, which enables this tech even for non-Indian teammates.
- "Spanish Gold" shipment now affects "Native Treaties" and "Royal Decree to Claim the New World" shipments with the extra coin crate.
- "Spanish Gold" shipment no longer grants an extra coin crate with the arrival of Aztec allies granted by the "Native Treaties" shipment.

ESOC Patch Launcher
- Added option to show unit/building HP on mouseover.
- Added option to hide game interface on screenshots.
- Any error encountered during the update process will now be properly logged.
- Fixed an issue where the Launcher would always launch ESOC Patch after "repairing" a suspicious file, even when the user was originally interrupted from launching Treaty Patch or XPMOD. The proper originally-interrupted game version will now be launched in this case.

ESOC Patch balance changes

Balance development comments, by @zoom, in italic:

To quote a great player: "Finally!"

We are very excited to bring you this long awaited (and long in-the-making) balance update, in time for the 2 Vs 2 event. We're also confident that this will benefit the patch, players and viewers alike.

Thank you to everyone who helped provide feedback, and to everyone who supports EP, in game or in spirit.


General

– "The Exiled Prince” & Fortress Age "The Messenger" age-time increased from 40s to 45s
Nerfs one of the most viable options in the game, in its own right, indirectly buffing its alternatives (including not aging) as well as impacting civilizations, more or less, one way or the other (something being taken into account). An unusual change, by historic EP standards, but a relatively modest one, with good promise; a sign of things to come, perhaps.

– “Bastion” improvement moved from Colonial to Fortress Age; now also increases wall build-time by 50%
Especially meant to address excessive walling in the late game, this change will be disproportionately beneficial to team-game balance.

– "Advanced Dock" shipment no longer affects Fishing Boat train-time.
This shipment currently does seem to be causing some balance issues, particularly in early-game shore-control, and in synergy with the "Schooners" shipment. Along with the Advanced Dock +3 range bug revert, this change aims to resolve that.

– Culverin ship multiplier decreased from 12.5 to 10
Reverts a eurocentric and flawed change.

– "Apache Raiders" improvement decreased from +2 to +1 Apache Cavalry villager multipliers
Results in Apache Cavalry doing three (instead of five) times the recalculated damage to villagers, lessening its abusability without nullifying its effectiveness.

Aztecs

– “TEAM Cheap Fishing Boats” shipment changed from no effect to -20w Fishing Boat cost
Undoes the mistake of removing a shipment. This is TPP, not TP!

Chinese

– Shaolin Master cover mode removed; passive-aggressive abilities chance increased from 20% to 30%, in the Colonial Age
Addresses the problem that is having one of two infantry melee heroes with cover mode, and the other without, while solving an abuseable bug, in the only way possible. Chinese being buffed presents a good opportunity to do so. While not necessarily a balance issue, in the bigger picture, some are predictably disenchanted with the monk becoming weaker. Because of this, we're improving, instead, on the unit's combat abilities, by enhancing its actual features, rather than broken bugs.

– Disciple train-time decreased from 11s to 7s
Aims to offset the adverse effects, of the above change, on training Disciples.

– "TEAM Improved Warships" shipment increased from +15% to +20% attack & hitpoints
This change should make the shipment viable for all game-modes, without making it overpowered in any. Especially given the situational Fire Junk, and the Fuchuan with a build-limit of two.

– Qiang Pikeman hand attack light infantry multiplier increased from 2.25 to 3.5
Makes countering light infantry, in general, and the Coyote Runner, in particular, less difficult.

– “Territorial” banner-army train-time decreased from 33s to 29s
Makes the banner-army's train-time less disproportionately punishing. To put things in perspective, this change improves the banner-army's ratio of cost to train-time from 16.36 to 18.6. The Forbidden Army has a ratio of 25.15 – after its train-time was increased from 29s to 33s.

Germans

"Advanced Dock" shipment increased from +50% damage, +50% heal-rate and -33% train-time to +100% damage, +100% heal-rate and -33% train-time; no longer affects Fishing Boat train-time.
Sees the shipment mirror that of other civilizations.

Indians

– House cost increased from 60w to 70w; bounties adjusted from 12 to 14 (build) & 24 to 28 (kill)
Reverts half of the remainder of the buff, in order to tone down the strength of the civilization.

– Zamburak ranged resistance decreased from 30% to 20%; Mansabdar updated accordingly
Completely disregarding its Colonial Age availability and improvement shipments, the Zamburak is an exceptional unit, from a statistical point of view. For this reason, this change will help balance Indians, sensibly – especially in team-games, where the unit is more prevalent.

Iroquois

– "Crates of 400 Food, 200 Wood, and 200 Coin" shipment changed to 300f, 300w, 200c
This change should make the shipment more appropriately viable, for Colonial Age play in particular.

Japanese

– Golden Pavilion wonder, ranged unit attack bonus decreased from 15% to 10%
This change both compensates for the Exiled Prince/Fortress Messenger nerfs in a strategic way, and improves the viability of wonder options, within and without the Golden Pavilion.

– Shogun Tokugawa cost increased from 350c to 750c; bounties adjusted from 35 to 75
Addressing team-game balance, primarily, this change increases the significance of the unit's death, to both sides.

– Shrine cost reduced from 125w to 120w; bounties adjusted from 25 to 24 (build) & 50 to 48 (kill)
A slight buff to the civilization, removing another decimal cost from the game, for an added bonus.

Ottomans

– “Guard Abus Gun” improvement cost reduced from 450f, 600w, 600c to 600w, 600c
Another borderline bug-fix, to a needlessly punishing exception.

– "Janissary Combat" home-city shipment increased from 15% to 20%
This change is also aimed at helping the scaling of the civilization.

Russians

– Musketeer batch cost reduced from 281.25f, 93.75c to 270f, 90c
Provides a slight buff to one of the worst performing units of the civilization while eliminating another problematic and ugly decimal cost.

Sioux

– Teepee hitpoints aura decreased from 10% to 7%
This change makes breaking Sioux defensive positions less difficult.

– War Chief ranged resistance now increases from 10% to 30% when reaching the Fortress Age
This change seeks to make viable – in terms of balance – keeping the heavy cavalry tag, as previously added to the War Chief. It decreases the impact of the tag by about 40%, while increasing the durability of the unit by about 25%, to other ranged damage. Ultimately, it does make sense for the unit to have the tag, and higher ranged resistance, along with it. There is precedent for hero unit statistics being buffed when advancing in age—most notably in the case of the only other cavalry hero unit in the game—The Brahmin Monk, which gains speed, in Colonial Age, that would have been adverse to balance in the Discovery Age.

Spanish

– Rodelero hand attack increased from 10 to 11
A slight buff to a less-than overperforming unit of the civilization, available in the Colonial Age.

Simple changelist without comments


You may also view a combined changelog of all ESOC Patch balance changes compared to the official RE patch on our wiki, now all fresh and updated for EP6: https://wiki.eso-community.net/ESOC_Patch/Version_history/Compared_to_RE

Credits

- Spawn improvements on UIx New England by @Garja.
- Most Launcher improvements by @Thrar, new blood in the dev team! :flowers:
- @zoom for the monstrous amount of work on balancing and patch notes!

Download

1. If you have a previous version installed, you can simply run the EP Launcher and auto-update should have you covered.
2. If you're installing for the first time, download the exe installer.
 

 

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