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United States of America CurassierAndCurassier
ESOC Media Team
Posts: 165
ESO: Montcalm17
Location: San Francisco

06 Feb 2018, 17:11


(This one's on the longer side. But I've done my best to split it up into sections so if you're pressed for time, feel free to scroll down to whatever section interests you.)

Where We’re Going


On Sunday, February 11, ESOC will celebrate a birthday. Its own. This post is a look back on the year that was, with a nod to the future. But first, we’ve got some invitations to tend to. Because, like any good birthday, we’re throwing a party. And we’re playing cards.

“But CurassierAndCurassier/Montcalm17,” you say, “This is an Age of Empires 3 forum, why would we play cards?”

Well, we’re not playing poker, or Uno, or hanafuda. We’re playing cards Age of Empires style. Specifically, we’re hosting a tournament of Cards, the minigame designed by @Interjection , on the 11th to mark our anniversary. You can download the minigame here (viewtopic.php?t=9748) and if you need a little convincing, well, just check this video out.

phpBB [video]

Come one come all, no PR minimum required to join the fun. But if you prefer to sit back and watch, you’ll be treated to a laid back casting featuring two ESOC greats: The aforesaid Interjection, and the man himself @_H2O .

Signups for the event will be open from 12:00 to 14:00 GMT on February 11th, and the games will begin at 15:00. Signup is simple: Just go to your MyESOC page.


This little mini-tournament is only a teaser for a year that promises to be one of innovation and experimentation in the ESOC world. We will kick off year 3 by leaving supremacy behind for a moment and delving into the strange world of treaties in @QueenOfdestiny ’s Time2Treaty tournament. Strap in for long battles and intensive micro. Prepare yourself for astronomical resource numbers and body counts. Marvel at strange, never before seen in a major tournament cards: Unction! Fur Trade! South Sea Bubble! Medicine! House of Braganca!

OK maybe not House of Braganca. No tournament will ever make House of Braganca useful.

And no sooner will the winner be crowned than the next tournament begin, taking Age of Empires deep into the heart of darkness.

Wars of Liberty

The Age of Exploration is over.
In the West, native empires rise in South America for the first time since the days of Atahualpa. Though free of their Old World oppressors. The crown jewel of the continent is the mighty Brazilian Empire, and its massive army built on the backs of slaves. But now it makes itself the target of the smaller states. Will it survive, or will a new empire emerge after the fray?

In the North, the American Republic is crumbling. The fate of Democracy hangs in the balance. There are no neutral parties here; a side must be taken. The industrious Union, or the rough-riding Confederacy. Your pick will determine your story, your fight, your destiny.

Across the Atlantic, the Old World looks to rebuild their empires in the swirling sands and dense jungles of Africa. But the land is occupied, host to mighty empires and ancient civilizations of its own, and they will not bow to their invaders. They will resist. If Africa is to be colonized, it will have to be taken. River by river, jungle by jungle.

Where We’ve Been

The Patch

The latest versions of the ESOC Patch have created plenty of talking points and debate. The dev team behind took this past year to experiment a little more than before, leading to some very interesting changes. This past year saw the EP make the biggest change to the game yet: Spanish Gold.

In the base game, Spanish Gold is an Age IV shipment that gives saloons and galleons +50% hitpoints and lets you train stronger pirates. It is useless on top of being horrifically historically inaccurate (Pirates fighting for Spain??) and was probably sent once or twice in the history of the base game. Now, Spanish Gold is a resource shipment that gives Spain coin crates with each successive shipment. It’s not terribly strong, but at least playable. This sort of change, beyond tweaking numbers and instead altering the entire purpose of the card, was a first for the EP team.

On the current patch, Britain and the Sioux have received large boosts in power. Britain seems to be generally seen as the best, and Brit mirrors were a staple of 2017. But the Sioux’s rise was more intriguing. Still not terribly popular, the increases to their durability and gathering made them at last a genuine terror to face and gave their distinct playstyle more credence. Throughout the year Aizamk and @goongoon constantly frustrated and confounded with them.

Elsewhere, a 10 HP nerf to Sepoys proved controversial, despite a reduction to India’s house costs. Ultimately, it didn’t seem to deter players from India. They were used in 6 games in the semi-finals and finals of the most recent tournament, with Sepoys aplenty.

We had an explosion of new maps in 2017. Almost too many to really go through, but the beautifully designed Thar Desert and the intriguingly idiosyncratic Herald Island and Wadmalaw also deserve shoutouts. See the full list of maps and download them here: maps.php


Spring 2017

BlackStar_OP had some unfinished business.

In the Spring of 2015, he had risen to the top of the Age of Empires world with a thrilling, all-time-classic triumph over _H2O, in a finals series that needed all eleven games. In Summer, he returned for a title defense. He tore through his competition, not losing a single game in his first four rounds. He surely scanned the competition: _H2O, despite bringing him to the brink last time, had not returned. Garja had been knocked out early. He seemed destined for a date with Samwise12 in the finals.

But then the impossible happened.

He lost to BadSpeed in the round of 8.

For all of 2016, we did not see him. Without his presence, _H2O and LordRaphael split back to back finals series. As the new year dawned, it was those two names everyone floated as the favorites. But Blackstar had other plans. It had been nearly two years since he toppled _H2O and stunned the community. But now, with his legend fading, he made his return. And he had only one thing on his mind.


The story of the Spring 2017 tournament was his revenge tour. He got off to a torrid start as with last time, sweeping four straight rounds. He dropped one game to Mitoe in the semi-finals, but still steamrolled his way to a date with LordRaphael in the final match. It was tense, and the reigning champ gave BlackStar a ferocious fight, but in the end, BlackStar_OP had his revenge. It was one hell of a comeback tour and a clear sign for the coming year: Things were going to be different.

Warchiefs Classic

In the doldrums of summer, as a prelude to the coming grand tournament in Autumn, the community shone a light on the first inhabitants of the New World. Every game in the tournament required one civilization from the Warchief expansion to be present. This was no place for players used to standard European armies. It was the field ground for players who could innovate, adapt, play an unconventional or even unique style.

Someone like Aizamk.

The mighty bovine man needs no introduction here. But it bears noting despite his popularity, despite his brilliant ideas, he hadn’t yet won a major tournament. Perhaps he’d gotten in his own head a little too much and over-thought things. Perhaps he’d been afraid to get creative and played against his strengths. Nevertheless, it was clear from the outset that this was a different Aizamk in the Warchiefs classic. He was still tricky, and as fun to watch as ever. But there was another narrative as well this time.

He wanted to win.

It came down to a finals match between him and diarouga. After splitting the first two games, Aizamk found another gear to switch into, and put on a complete showcase with the Sioux in game 4. This game really signalled the beginning of an era in the ESOC world. Aizamk showcased the strengthening of the Sioux civ that the ESOC Patch had engineered. The new media team was complete and off and running. And after a year where two players played in each final match, 2017 had two different winners.

And there would be a third.

Autumn 2017

It was not a good time to be considered a favorite.

_H2O started, but dropped out early on.

LordRaphael fell in the semi-finals to GoonGoon in a series that wasn’t particularly close.

Goodspeed lost in the second round.

Tedere12 knocked off GivesUAnxiety and StanleyWinston during an electrifying Cinderella run to begin the tournament.

But none of these would wind up being the biggest story of Autumn. That would belong to the Canadian.

As was the case with his former Smackdown frenemy in the Warchiefs Classic, @Mitoe looked like a different player this tournament. His path was not easy: He had to get through Cohenski, Tit, and Kaiserklein (who had just bested him in the bronze medal match in Spring) to make it to the finals. There he played a great series against GoonGoon, was decided on a clash between France, that old powerhouse from the very first days of Age of Empires 3, and the Sioux, the upstart civ made a superpower by the latest patch. Here the Sioux’s run of glory ended. Mitoe did not panic when GoonGoon took the early advantage. He held on, turned the tides, and took his place in the pantheon of greats.

Aizamk’s Craziest Build Yet

You know the whole “could Jesus microwave a burrito so hot he could not eat it?” joke? Well, could @Aizamk create a build so terrible he could not win with it? He tried in 2017, and it turns out, no. He can make literally anything work, as seen by what may actually be his craziest build yet.

If you haven’t seen it in action already, I will attempt to describe it to you. It’s a sort of naked FF combined with a consulate rush, except instead of shipping units from the consulate, he researches upgrades to home city shipment rates, and snowballs an army of shipped mercenaries.

Oh, and it’s also a 10/10.

And also it’s with Japan.

This thing is crazy. It’s absolutely bloody bonkers. It goes against everything Japan is built to do, and yet... it worked way more than it should have. Aizamk’s figured out something about the timing of it all. He’s shipping Ronin right as his opponent is pushing into his base, and when he wins it’s because the Ronin arrive and pop out right onto a poor besieging army. Facing this build is not the time to keep calm and ship Mams, (if the Ronin don’t kill them the following Ninjas will) it’s the time you question everything you ever learned about this game. And when he beats you with an army of no more than two dozen soldiers backed up by maybe 12 villagers, while you did everything right and proper, well, all you can do is sit back and let the existential crisis wash over you. What is meta? Why even bother playing standard? Who even thinks of this sort of thing anyway?!?

The New Media Team

There was some turnover to both ESOC teams this year, and lots of new faces and names. By the end of the year, the media team had a new leader (@Mr_Bramboy handed the role over to @MCJim ) and added long time caster and everybody’s favorite Belgian Chrisie10101, as well as the one and only @XeeleeFlower, to help run the show. They also brought on some dude who can’t even spell Curaissier correctly and forgets that he made an ESO account and has to confusingly go by two different usernames. Loser.
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No Flag noissance
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Posts: 1924
Location: United States

06 Feb 2018, 17:24

First reply Post.
Good job doing a recap on the tourneys, and.... aizamk made new build????
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No Flag umeu
Posts: 8194

06 Feb 2018, 17:32

link to aiz jap ronin game?
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Posts: 388

06 Feb 2018, 17:38

That jap game of aiz was so exciting. He won with 0 vills.
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United States of America CurassierAndCurassier
ESOC Media Team
Posts: 165
ESO: Montcalm17
Location: San Francisco

06 Feb 2018, 17:49

umeu wrote:link to aiz jap ronin game?
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Spain NekoBerk
Posts: 599
ESO: NekoBerk
Location: Barcelona

07 Feb 2018, 10:21

God job writing this man, you make me recover my interest in this dead game for still playing
"That's why we sing for these kids who don't have a thing
Except for a dream and a fuckin' rap magazine " - Eminem

"And we hate po-po
Wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho' " - Kendrick Lamar
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No Flag fightinfrenchman
Donator 03
Posts: 4482

07 Feb 2018, 10:52

Hopefully this year ESOC also gets new mods to clean up the Off Topic section.
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United States of America XeeleeFlower
ESOC Community & Media Team
Donator 10
Posts: 541

07 Feb 2018, 11:36

Such bittersweet irony.
My posts represent my views and may or may not represent the views of ESOC as a whole.

Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

I love good methamphetamine; highly addictive.
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Norway iwillspankyou
Posts: 3322

07 Feb 2018, 12:15

@CurassierAndCurassier very nice summary. Make me feel prowd to be a member of ESOC :flowers:
Hippocrits are the worst of animals. I love elifants.
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Spain NekoBerk
Posts: 599
ESO: NekoBerk
Location: Barcelona

07 Feb 2018, 13:20

I can't open this link @CurassierAndCurassier viewtopic.php?f=215&t=13518&p=286811&hilit=cards#p286811 it says i'm not authorized
"That's why we sing for these kids who don't have a thing
Except for a dream and a fuckin' rap magazine " - Eminem

"And we hate po-po
Wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho' " - Kendrick Lamar
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Netherlands MCJim
ESOC Media Team
Posts: 2488
Location: The Netherlands

07 Feb 2018, 15:48

I wonder where we are in the next 3 years! AoE3:DE?

Good post!
:food: AoE3 YouTube channel:
:wood: AoE3 Twitch channel:
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Netherlands edeholland
ESOC Community Team
Donator 01
Posts: 2832
ESO: edeholland
Location: Not ede
GameRanger Id: 4053888

07 Feb 2018, 15:58

NekoBerk wrote:I can't open this link @CurassierAndCurassier viewtopic.php?f=215&t=13518&p=286811&hilit=cards#p286811 it says i'm not authorized

The board is hidden for now, I think it will be released when all the rules etc are final, that might be on our birthday.
Whiteboards are remarkable
Not living in Ede
--- h2o Rip ---
In the beginning ESOC was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
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France Rikikipu
ESOC Dev Team
Posts: 1509
ESO: p-of
Location: In your base

07 Feb 2018, 21:33

CurassierAndCurassier wrote:
umeu wrote:link to aiz jap ronin game?

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Sweden Gendarme
Donator 02
Posts: 3985
ESO: Gendarme

07 Feb 2018, 21:57

LOL that was great! Swiss pikemen xD
duck wrote:man it really sucks when you have to agree with gendarme on things
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Poland pecelot
Retired Contributor
Donator 03
Posts: 8640
ESO: Pezet
Location: Warsaw, Poland

07 Feb 2018, 23:19

umeu wrote:link to aiz jap ronin game?

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United States of America Papist
ESOC Community Team
Donator 03
Posts: 2341
ESO: Papist

08 Feb 2018, 20:25

So proud to be a member of an amazing staff serving an even equally amazing community :flowers: .
My first post, circa March 2015 :blush:
Papist wrote:@frycookofdoom. WTF are you talking about? There is no need for AoE to become a StarCraft rip-off. I sincerly doubt a historical game would attract the science fiction crowd anyways.
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Kiribati SirCallen
Posts: 6125

08 Feb 2018, 20:52

I'm not, of either!
"The desire for intimacy has biological roots and, in the great majority of people, persists from birth until death."
No Flag Bucknasty
Posts: 34

08 Feb 2018, 20:57

Please stop bumping old threads
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No Flag fightinfrenchman
Donator 03
Posts: 4482

09 Feb 2018, 01:29

Papist wrote:So proud to be a member of an amazing staff serving an even equally amazing community :flowers: .


Mod edit: redacted. Small claims court, please.
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Bavaria j_t_kirk
Posts: 555
ESO: j_t_kirk
Location: Kingdom of Bavaria

14 Feb 2018, 13:52

What is "House of Braganca"?
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