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Age of Empires III Maps - Scripts
Age of Empires III features a huge number of different random map scripts, each of which represent a different part of the world and therefore have slightly different parameters and feels to them. Unfortunately, when playing the game for a long time, a player may find that they have simply played all of the random Age of Empires III maps the game has to offer. Luckily there are a huge number of random map scripts to be found on the web. These generally have a slightly different design to the ones Ensemble Studios originally created, and can add some variety when a player has played all of the scripts included in the original game.
Many fun maps can be found on the Age of Empires III Filefront website. My personal favourites are the River Crossings Map, which is based around a central river and have plenty of opportunities for defensive and offensive play. The Appalachians Map is also of great enjoyment, allowing players to battle over the mountainous regions of Pennsylvania.
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Age of Empires III Maps - Scenarios
The downside to Age of Empires III maps generation system is that at times the output can be boring and flat. All the maps in Age of Empires III skirmishes are random maps, generated from a set of parameters, with each region having slightly different ones. Without the purpose and intention of a creator crafting a map by hand, there can sometimes be the feeling that a map has no real climax to it – lacking that purposefully placed landmark or river, players have nothing of real value to fight over. Where scripts allow some sort of fluidity in the design of the map, a scenario is a set landscape, with every terrain piece intentionally placed by the modeler.
There are plenty of different scenarios available for Age of Empires III. They range from scenarios representing real life historical battles, to flights of fantasy, and even simple stackings of difficulty for or against the player.
The Battle of Gettysburg map is one of the best Age of Empires III maps ever created. It features landmarks from the real life battle and is close to perfect in design and playability.
A World Map is even available, which features much of the world’s land, set up in a mostly playable way. With a few friends it can be great fun, playing out somewhat like a game of risk.
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Making Your Own Age of Empires III Maps
The ways for making random map scripts and scenarios differ greatly.
Scenarios are relatively easy to create, with the tools already provided ingame under "Create Scenario". It takes practice to create a smooth, balanced scenario map, but otherwise the tools are fairly simple to use and self explanatory.
Creating random map scripts can be extremely difficult for the inexperienced. The scripts are essentially unintelligible for most people, and contain algorithms, advanced mathematics and even some syntax more akin to C# coding then map making. To describe all of these functions and how to correctly use them would be more suited to its own guide, and for the moment a suitable guide can be found at Hyena Studios