Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 17 Quercus”, the seventeenth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha features a major gameplay rebalance, units on walls, trigger support, improved mod support and more!
Easy Download and Install
Download and installation instructions are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. 0 A.D. is free of charge and always will be. Although you might find some people selling copies of 0 A.D., either over the internet or on physical media, you will always have the option to download 0 A.D. completely gratis, directly from the developers.
Moreover, you can redistribute the game and modify it freely as long as you abide by the GPL. You can even use parts of the art and sound for your own projects as long as you abide by CC BY-SA. No “freemium” model, no in-game advertising, no catch.
Top New Gameplay Features in This Release
- Major Core Combat Rebalance: Now, if you send only one unit type to battle, it fares poorly against regiments of the same size that mix more than one type, e.g. melee and ranged units. Technologies as a whole have been made more expensive and unrelated technologies have been “unpaired”. Some stats have been adjusted to make training some units viable. Buildings are now a bit easier to destroy. Temporarily, we have removed formations, and we plan to re-implement them again in a more balanced way.
- Naval Map Support: The computer opponent now uses transport ships to colonize other islands and attack enemy bases, but naval combat (i.e. ships against ships) is not yet implemented.
- Improved Fog of War: The Fog of War is the part of the terrain that has been scouted already but is not in vision range of your units or allied units. Buildings and changes to resources such as trees or metal mines are now also hidden in the Fog of War, and not just units. Hence, players now need to scout more often to find unclaimed resources on the map, hidden enemy outposts and more.
- Units On Walls: Units can be garrisoned in wall segments, and appear on the walls at predefined prop points. (Importantly, while the units can attack and be attacked individually, they cannot walk around on the wall.)
- Multiplayer Lobby Profiles: Users can now view profiles of other players from within the lobby. Profiles contain user statistics such as rating, games won and lost, highest rating, and ranking that can be accessed on-demand.
- New Maps: Siwa Oasis (skirmish map) and Schwarzwald (random map).
Scenario and Mod Design
- Triggers: A “trigger” makes an action occur in the game if a specified event takes place. For example:
If you build an outpost within a certain area (event), your enemy’s walls are destroyed (action);
Alternatively, if a timer runs out (event), an army spawns on the border of the map and marches towards your city (action);
Or, if a certain building is destroyed (event), the player who owns it loses the game (action).
- Two new maps make use of the trigger system in Alpha 17:
Survival of the Fittest: Each player has one female citizen in the middle of the map where treasures spawn from time to time. The main bases are on isolated spots with no resources and some buildings are restricted. Enemy attack forces spawn regularly and attack your main base. The goal is to survive as long as possible by collecting treasures, recruiting troops and defending your base. (Map type: Random; Map Filter: Standard)
Treasure Islands: Search treasures on small islands and on the water. Collect more treasures than your opponent to win. You can use fishing boats to garrison infantry and send them to other islands. Trade ships can be used to collect floating treasures, but you need to advance to Town Phase before they can be built. (Map type: Scenario; Map Filter: Naval Maps)
- Mod Selector and Improved Mod Support: The new Mod Selector allows users to enable or disable mods, save them or just restart into them to test them out. This way, it is a lot easier to test and play mods. This can be reached at: Main Menu -> Tools & Options -> Mod Selection. Also, modders can now easily make small changes to the game without having to copy and modify many files.
Several parts of the game and the engine have been improved for better performance. Comparing with Alpha 16, you’ll notice significantly higher framerates at the beginning of the game. There are also some improvements observable later in the game, but also additional overhead from new features. Improvements have been made in these areas:
- Simulation: Dynamic message subscriptions;
- Rendering: Optimise silhouette rendering, new unit renderer, optimisation for non-animated units;
- AI: Building placement code, handling of unreachable targets (i.e. for builder or gatherers), Defense — finding defending units;
Graphics and User Interface
- Improved Culling for Shadows and Reflections: This fixes ugly pop-in effects for shadows and reflections while scrolling.
- Improved Water Rendering.
- Improved CJK text input using the Windows IME.
- Music: Omri has created a new and improved version of Honour Bound — the 0 A.D. main theme.
- Miscellaneous: Hellenistic ranged siege animations added; Carthaginian ballista added; Iberian barracks replaced; Rotary mill added; Ptolemaic blacksmith modified; Gaul farmstead modified; Ptolemy I hero for the Ptolemies; Snow wolf modified; Iberian wonder added; New Iberian tower models added (see screenshots above).
Please see the “Get Support” page on our website to find ways to get help from the active and friendly 0 A.D. community.
We are well aware there is some room for improvement in 0 A.D. Some known issues are: Lag, visual glitches or textures not loaded, missing animations and more. When you provide feedback, we would ask you to focus on some of the other points that could be improved. Thanks.
We are seeking volunteer contributors in programming, art, sound, documentation and more. Programmers are especially welcome and can get started immediately.
Map Design Contest!
Do you want to try your hand at creating new maps? Especially now that triggers have been added? Then you get some extra motivation from the Council of Modders who are now hosting a map making contest. They do encourage you to make use of triggers and graphical mods as triggers and better mod support are important features in this release. The deadline is 30th November.
We name our releases according to development status (“Alpha” or “Beta”), successive release number (1, 2, 3, …) and a word relating to the ancient world, in alphabetical order (“Argonaut” for A, “Bellerophon” for B, …).
“Quercus” is Latin for “oak tree”. The name relates to 0 A.D. as it could refer to the oak leaves used in the corona civica, a military honor given to a citizen who saved the life of other citizens or soldiers whilst in battle. Recipients were allowed to enter the Roman Senate, and were required to wear them at public gatherings. (Thanks, Jonathan L.!) This name suits this version well because of the many bugfixes and optimizations in Alpha 17 that make the game stabler and more mature, like an old oak tree. Also, the increased support for mods allows the game to easily diverge into more varieties of gameplay, like branches growing from a tree trunk. (Thanks, ltms!).
For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter R. Keep it original and related to the time frame portrayed in 0 A.D. (appx. 500 BC – 1 BC)!
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Contact info for press, bloggers, etc.: aviv@wildfireLATINgames.com without the capitalized name of a language spoken in ancient Rome.