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Game News:
Game Servers

After almost a decade I have updated the servers that you can play on on the right hand side of my webpage. I have no affiliation with them or earn any benefits from referring people to them. I used to support Voobly almost exclusively but things change. I am very disappointed with Steam and Voobly, SkyBox and their developers for changing our games to the point where our favorite parts are now no longer fun to play.

Don't get me wrong, I and those I play with are still into Age Of Empires and Mythology, but you are better off playing LAN or single player than multiplayer. The scene is not as exciting as it was, and most of these servers force you to play with their version of the game.

GameRanger is probably the only unrestricted and pure server hosting service. Voobly has implemented a system that eventually requires you to play the same patch as everyone else. Steam requires you to purchase their version of the game and to use their patches.

Posted by admin on 2016-04-03 11:06:00 UTC

Game News:
Windows 10 - The Can Of Worms

Windows 10 was a philanthropic gesture by Microsoft. It gave people an opportunity to upgrade to windows 10 from pretty much any supported version of Windows, which I think included everything after windows Vista. It may even be available to other versions but I did not check. Two things worry us when a big company offers free software. Firstly, network traffic seems to increase when windows 10 is installed, flaring up a long ongoing argument about which information is being sent and received without our consent.

Young guys entering the gaming world probably think the biggest problem they have to face is getting their game to work on their laptop. Patches, technical help centres and services like Steam, Voobly and a Game Ranger are all there to help you play online. Steam however is geared towards an online DRM service. It became so successful that it has literally dwarfed inhouse game servers and other services because it gives people the convenience of one place to play a myriad of games. many of those games are independent of the business of Steam. In other words almost anyone can sell on Steam (provided enough peers support their game). So this giant has made the idea of Digital Rights Management (Forceful Copyright Enforcement) an online service for many of the games it supports. As a result, those old technologies like SecuRom and SafeDisk are not used much if at all anymore in the gaming making world.

Now we have either a real problem or God send. Windows 10 no longer ships with all those little worms called CD Protection layers. That includes SecuRom and SafeDisk. As a gamer what this means is that most of the launchers and No CD hooks that fooled SecuRom and SafeDisk have nothing to trick. Old patches and No CD Launchers will most likely fail. Some NoCD hacks still work though especially ones that simply by-passed the protection. Now the reason for this article is because one of the thousands of games affected is Age Of Mythology and it's expansion The Titans. It is one of our games that we play. Now there are a couple of things you should know. At the moment none of the No CD launchers will work. The symptom is you launch the game and nothing happens. Alternatively you may get different messages like requiring administrator privileges. The bottom line is that you will not be able to run the game on WIndows 10 unless you want to install SafeDisk 4.0 which in my opinion is untested and the last thing we really want to do.

Posted by admin on 2016-02-18 08:41:42 UTC

Site Information:
Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year for 2016.

2015 was not a great year for PC gamers and it showed through the lack of quality games. A significant increase in political motives have crept into the games we play, which in the past was sublime or almost transparent. in 2015 the games were not entirely free of political agendas, each title offering something different to a particular regime.

In anycase, some commercial games worth mentioning from 2015 include;

1. Guild Wars 2
2. StarCraft II
3. Pillars Of Eternity
4. Tomb Raider
5. Card Hunter (Free)


Not much of the RTS Genre pulled off anything note worthy aside the StarCraft II series. Although Age Of Mythology Extended Edition and Age Of Empires HD are expecting some new expansions, an indication of a steady player base. Having a steady player base is a feat in it's self. StarCraft II has managed to learn from the Free 2 Play experience and has made the game capable of being played for free as a trial without expiration. Which means you can effectively play using the Try Before You Buy mode for as long as you want. There are severe limitations but the game is playable if you use one of the Free 2 Play teams. This model is fantastic as it has created a player base of over 10000 online, a massive number of RTS players. The only gripe as I mentioned before are the political motives that pop up in a less than subtle way, for example I despised the idea of raiding an established city and destroying it to the ground. Yet in the chat channel we are getting many people speaking as if they are going into some kind of tour of duty. "Let's set fire to their villages", "Let's burn them up" etc etc.

Guild Wars II was so repulsive in story line that I ended up muting the voice over and doing quests as blindly as possible. What I truly despise about RPG games is that they seem to think we like being part of some kind of kingdom. Seriously, if we paid good money for a game, the least the developers could do is give us a fantasy government system like a true democracy. Other than that Guild Wars 2 is a good game, the pvp needs a bit of tweaking to be of any interest to hardcore PvPers coming from Lineage II. I found that Guild Wars 2 aside some atrocious story telling and over infatuation with guilds, masonic alliances and parties, monarchs and kingdoms, the underlying game is actually fun. It has a little of everything for everyone. If you like crafting and making gear, it has that, if you like pvp it has that too, if you want a gentle grind for a casual player it has that too. You can play the game the way you want and it can be enjoyable without the micro transaction bait and traps that fester most RPG's online today. Guild Wars 2 is a buy it once and your done franchise, although expansions have already been released for the hardcore fans.

Tomb Raider the new release in Nov 2015 I think was a nice story with the approach that it was not a massive grind to finish the story. It kept me interested from start to end and was very entertaining.

Pillars Of Eternity is also worth mentioning only because it offered something different rather than something exceptional. It is a game that looked like Never Winter Nights but with modern graphics and gameplay. It was old school third person view that is not too different to games like Diablo. yet it just had it's own charisma.

Finally of the RPG genre Card Hunter is free from Steam and is a turn based card playing game that is actually also fun to play. It is a mix between a chess board, an encounter in a hack and slash dungeon crawl, a combat session in D&D and a card game. The cards are dealt to each character according to their level, type etc, and you play the fixed number of cards for each character that you control. It can be fun and has elements of strategy and RPG.

Lets hope that better thought out and more entertaining games await us for 2016. I am hoping another RTS title hits the market, hopefully it will be as entertaining as StarCraft II and yet something fresh and new to play.

Till then, once again I wish you all a Happy New Year 2016

Posted by admin on 2016-01-01 01:11:02 UTC

Game News:
Windows 10 Upgrades For Free

Well Microsoft has started sending out Windows Update announcements that users of Windows 7 and 8, 8.1 can reserve a copy of Windows 10 Upgrade.

This should be exciting for everyone who was hoping to try the new operating system but was let down by the flop that was Windows 8 and 8.1. Well Apple have started giving out free upgrades, so it makes sense that the Microsoft is going to try and retain their clients. The free Windows 10 upgrade is permanent with full support in the years to come.

What has not been disclosed yet is if the Operating system will be installable as a standalone or if users who have formatted their HDD are going to need their old operating system and the new Windows 10. From the look of things there appears to be a return of the Windows Marketplace for PC but I could be wrong. If it is then we may just see some games being re-supported such as Age Of Empires Online which was only playable for approximately 18 months.

Posted by admin on 2015-06-01 01:45:06 UTC

Site Information:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Remember that happiness is about being content with the least. So this New Year lets hope we all find the path that leads us to contentment and happiness. Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.

Posted by admin on 2014-12-23 10:20:16 UTC

Game News:
Game Of Thrones - The Wall - New Age of Mythology Map

I have made a new map called The Wall. It was inspired by The Wall in Game of Thrones. The movie depicts a large ice wall blocking passage from the frozen lands into the area of the Westeros. It is largely based on the Jotunheim maps and the Danube River maps of AOK. This map is better I think than those maps in many different ways. To try it out you can find the download at:

The Wall Random Map

Posted by admin on 2014-07-18 14:32:40 UTC

Game News:
Game Mover

At the time of writing this review, Application Mover found atDownload.com is a free application mover and is a good alternative to Steam Mover. Application Mover simply lets you move an existing installation on Windows XP, Vista, 7 to another location. This is ideal for recovering some critical space on your Windows drive.

I found that this application worked very well for most games, infact I did not encounter any problem with my games. It is better than Steam Mover, and infact I would not use Steam User again.

If you are seeking to simply relocate your steam applications then you will not need to use any software. To move Steam to another drive simply follow the following steps:

1. Delete everything in your Steam folder except the SteamApps folder AND the Steam.EXE file.
2. Once everything is deleted copy the SteamApps folder and the Steam.EXE to you new location.
3. From your new location run Steam.EXE
4. Once all the files are downloaded (which are small in size, trust me!) login with your user and password. You must do this log in correctly otherwise you may lose the data file listing your games in the SteamApps folder.

Your games will not download again, this method will only download the Steam system files which are typically less than 50MB. Once you log in with your proper username and password, you will get access to all you games instantly. It is as far as I know, the best way to move your steam installation.

For all other games that are not part of Steam, I think Application Mover is the best option we have at the moment. It does a physical move of all game files to required destination and does not symlink to the new location. I have also noticed that it actually changes the registry to complement the new location. It changes any registry occurrence of C:\ drive to your new drive eg D:\ . It may also make use of Symlinks ie keeping some keys with the old settings but forwarding the PC to the new location ie making C:\Mygame actually open D:\Mygame. But I have not encountered any Symlinks using this software, the Steam Mover Application on the contrary seems to have made heavy use of Symlinks. In any case the Application Mover messes with less and is cleaner in moving your applications, which don't have to be games.

I have not tested old DRMs that checked the game was run from the place it was installed like Securom. So do not think I have been very thorough in testing, I have merely tested with about 45 games and they all moved without a problem. Also before you go ahead and styart moving stuff, I suggest you do not move any operating system files or important files to your operating system. If you have programs with sensitive or critical data, then don't risk it without backup first.

Till next time, Have Fun!

Posted by admin on 2014-07-18 13:53:56 UTC

Site Information:
Steam Family Share

Ever wanted to share your Steam games with family members? I for instance have some games purchased under one main account, yet other games are in another account. So It makes sense to bridge two or more Steam accounts by sharing the games in each Steam account.

Steam announced the great idea of sharing games between accounts back in 2013. Well today that is possible and it is one of the greatest things to happen on Steam. You can share your games with up-to 5 other accounts, which is ideal for a family or small group of friends.

What is Steam Family Library Sharing?

Steam Family Library Sharing allows family members and their guests to play one another's games while earning their own Steam achievements and saving their own game progress to the Steam Cloud. It's all enabled by authorizing family members' accounts and shared computers.

Read more here:
"https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=3784-QLBM-5731&l=english"

Great stuff Valve!

Posted by admin on 2014-05-12 19:34:16 UTC

Game News:
Good Old Games On Steam

Exciting news has come to RTS fans, as MS has modernized some of their old games. Included in the list of revived classics are Age of Kings and Age of Mythology.

AOK HD
Steam AOK HD

The Steam version of Age Of Kings offers high definition graphics and numerous changes to improve multi-player and single-player experiences. The same can be said for the exciting new and yet to be released Age Of Mythology Extended edition:
Steam AOM Extended

Posted by admin on 2014-04-11 12:02:59 UTC

Game News:
GFWL Update

A massive protest erupted a few months ago regarding the announced closure of GFWL Marketplace. Several games released by Capcom, Warner Brother Games, Microsoft, 2K Games and several others relied on the Games For Windows Marketplace. Some relied on the GFWL services to login and enable cloud saving and various other server related features.

The previous law suit against Microsoft for closing GFWL and AOEO has stopped being advertised here. The reason being that there maybe some hope. Even though GFWL Marketplace is being shut down, this does not mean that the services of GFWL will cease entirely. How this affects Age Of Empires Online is that it may infact be un-playable after the July 1 2014 closure of the GFWL Marketplace.

However, because of the large number of games affected and using GFWL services most Game developers will need to patch their games to take out reliance on GFWL. The other alternative is that while the GFWL Marketplace is removed, the GFWL services maybe allowed to continue, which is entirely wishful thinking.

There has been some confusion and bad reporting on the subject most people are left in the dark. But here are a few snippets of information to shed some light on what is happening:

On the XBox website we have this:
"As part of the upcoming Xbox 360 system update, Microsoft Points will be retired, and the Xbox.com PC marketplace will be closed as of August 22, 2013. We encourage you to spend your Microsoft Points balance prior to this change. Although you will not be able to purchase new games, you can continue to enjoy previously purchased content by downloading them through the Games for Windows LIVE client software as usual."

So this makes sense in terms of making everyone upgrade their consoles and use a new marketplace which will be the same as the old marketplace but only open to XBOX One users :)

Now the PC users who are not used to being handled in this way are a little upset with the idea that because some crappy DRM service is going down, that their favorite games won't be playable. But the DRM component may not entirely be going down.

Recent versions of Street Fighter IV include a GFWL login and a Steam Store market in game. So with these additions to the games comes hope that other Game developers will update their games with a patch.

Age Of Empires Online remains the game of most concern because as you log into the game there is an Important Announcement stating:

"Age of Empires Online will close on July 1, 2014 and all purchases have been disabled as part of the PC Marketplace shutdown."

Steam have been reasonably good with game developers and producers. For example they let MS sell on Steam, they even gave us COH (Company Of Heroes) owners a limited crossover to Steam version for free. So people with the CD could get a steam version for free. Steam have also graciously hosted a server for AOK HD (Age Of Kings High Definition) , an old game with some die hard fans.

Microsoft seems to have little remorse about the axing of their GFWL marketplace, but this will obviously be replaced by a new marketplace that XBox users and PC users can download and purchase Games. So really GFWL is not disappearing it is being re-branded into something else. Since MS have made it clear that previous purchases on XBox and PC that relied on the service will remain playable, it is somewhat a rare and unfortunate situation that MS would state Age Of Empires Online will entirely close down on July 1 2014.

I do not want to give false hopes but if everything shuts down July 1 2014 then perhaps it will re-open again without any promises the day after under a new name and brand. It can not be accepted that a game is sold and becomes unplayable within a two year span. The very idea seems like a once off in the entire history of gaming. In the background are many groups preparing to address the issue and take legal action based on what they perceive as unfair DRM usage. There is a degree of service people expect from purchased games. Even if a game is marketed as F2P it does not change the fact many paid for the product in support of it. The greatest supporters of the game will also be the ones suffering the greatest loss.

Posted by admin on 2013-12-01 05:20:17 UTC

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