Microsoft has confirmed that Age of Empires Online
will have a free-to-play model, as well as the option to upgrade to a "Premium Civilization". The game itself will only be available to download for free, and will not be available for purchase in retail outlets. It will launch with two civilizations. Initially it was only the Greeks, playing the part of the red team, that were going to be building their own empire. Now, you have a choice; the game will also be launching with the Egyptians playing the part of the blue team.
Players can now have two capital cities, one for each faction, and they will be your headquarters. The cities will be used to access quests, and will function as a travel destination and interaction point for other players. They are also the main source of bragging rights, but your friends will not just be restricted to admiring your efforts. Other players can join you on your quests, and will also be able to shop in your stores. The content will constantly be evolving too. All of these features will be available in the free version of the game.
As previously mentioned, there will also be Premium Civilization Packs. Fortunately, each pack will be a one-time only upgrade; there will not be any micro-transactions or subscription fees. Although the content is subject to change, this is the current list of additional features that will be included in each Premium Civilization Pack:
• Rare and epic gear: Unlock gear that makes your units more powerful, with unique designs to make your armies stand out in battle.
• Advisors: In the Advisor Hall, you can unlock unique units, such as armored elephants and civilization powers.
• Tech Tree: Experience the full Tech Tree with fantastic end-game Star Techs. For example, generate resources from your Market, have your troops bandage themselves, or make your people immune to conversion in battle.
• Initiate player vs. player games: Set parameters for the gameplay you want and invite your friends to play,
• Additional Inventory slots: More than double your inventory space.
• More Workshops: Drastically improve your capital’s production with more workshops to create all the materials you need for crafting.
• Craft Halls: Learn unit enhancements from additional Craft Halls and use them to your advantage in the game. You get seven to choose from, including the Military College, which enhances infantry; the Hunting Lodge, which enhances archers and missile units; and the Cavalry Hall, which enhances mounted units.
• Empire Points: Get the ability to spend Empire Points on the best loot in the game. Empire Points reward you for having multiple civilizations.
• In-game stores: Earn in-game currency from the stores in your Capital City.
As the game is Games for Windows Live enabled, there will be achievements, but it is uncertain whether the game will start with a score of 200g or 1000g. There will be future DLC available, possibly in the form of additional civilizations, and these will add further gamerscore.Age of Empires Online
will be released this year.