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Aoc strategy timeline / history

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Aoc strategy timeline / history

Postby  9mil » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:17 am

Hey I was thinking about how this game has evolved over the years and I think it would be cool and helpful to have a written history of the dominant strategies in aoc and maybe add it to aoczone's main menu where the Best Aoc Players link is.

I like looking for trends and it would be interesting to see if the strategies recycle themselves by one strategy developing in order to counter the previous, or if they develop from raw to refined in a linear fashion where the current strategies are actually the most effective. Also it could be helpful to stimulate interest in the game by people who once played aoc multiplayer to reminisce about the good ol days of aoc, as well as help them catch up with the current strategies if they want to make a comeback. It may also be useful in developing Aoe FE the new expansion, I really dont know much about its developers, but if they only take into account the way that the game is currently played, they might assume that the current dominant strategies are the best possible strategies (which is not necessarily so) and they might develop the new expansion to balance out the current dominant strategies only.

I only started playing aoc multiplayer in like 2003 and took a lot of breaks from then to now so below is what i've come up with off the top of my head. Also my perspective is very limited because its only a 1v1 arabia perspective with focus on feudal age.

Gaming client: Microsoft Zone
From Aok to Aoc- Teuton tc rush in dark age, Teuton tower rush in feudal age, Frank fast castle forward, Celt fast castle with seige and fast castle then boom to imperial were the dominant strategies. Britons, Chinese, and Mongols were used.

Aoc 2001-2002: Experts using Chinese and occasionally Mongols adapted to the release of Microsoft's 1.0c patch In 2001 which changed the balance of the game by adding 1 piercing armor to villagers, giving scouts +2 attack in feudal age, and more. I think Kmkm popularized the Hun flush and skirm/spear forward during this time. 24-25 pop feudals where experts massed skirms was dominant. When players hit castle they massed knights from 3 stables and boomed with TCs spread out all over the map. Some players including Rahl and H3LLR41S3R developed the drush and used it successfully, producing militia in dark age from a forward barracks and walling resources. Fun games were played in the zone ladder room. Major financial contributers Bill Gates and WCG sponsors easily provided more money in this 2 year period than all other tournaments in the next 10 years combined.

2001-2002 Tournament winners
Microsoft's International Tournament:
1st place Grunt, 2nd place Kaohen
World Cyber Games 2001 in Seoul, South Korea:
1st place Kmkm, 2nd place Grunt
MFO Clash of the Titans:
1st place DevilZ_High, 2nd place Arch_Koven_
FOPT Summer Cup:
1st place EvilBlitz_NG, 2nd place Mimmox
FOPT Reef's Rumble:
1st place aluba007, 2nd place Capoch
Path of the Conqueror:
1st place StorM_Panther aka KS_Haws, 2nd place StorM_Rising
Arablet Cup 1:
1st place Arch_Koven_, 2nd place: Chris
Arablet Cup 2:
1st place Halen, 2nd place Grunt
World Cyber Games 2002 in Seoul, South Korea:
1st place Halen, 2nd place Ken
Legion Alliance Cup:
1st place Halen, 2nd place Pepin (aka???)
Legion Cup 1:
1st place Grunt 2nd place L_Clan_Apple
Legion Cup 2:
1st place Chris 2nd place Tamock
MFO Long Live the King:
1st place Capoch, 2nd place L_Clan_The_Chobo (aka???)
AOC $4,000 tourney:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Capoch

2001-2002 Popular clans
Arch
cF
CNS
DaRq
DjiNN
FodA
Fruits of the Poisonous Tree
Gx
KS
Legion Clan
MaD
Mystic
Myth
pG
riZen
SeVeN
StorM
Zealots of Death


Aoc 2003-2004: Still 24-25 pop feudals with Huns but experts were using scouts + archers instead of mass skirms and occasionally doing 22 pop to go scouts or to forward. When a forward was detected the defending player usually tried to wall the enemy buildings. Full feudals were popular with players often castling at 30+ minutes. Maps were left open and players were aggressive. In castle, knights were an option but people would quickly switch to ca + pike to push. More players were drushing with mesoamerican civs including Arch Vile who is one of many that recieves credit for popularizing it. Olympus PPoC reaches 23++ rating with drush only, further developing it by building the barracks defensively as opposed to forward. On water maps experts usually went feudal with 24 vils plus 4-5 fishing ships to grush, which often was an all out feudal grush. Land Nomad map became popular. This was the time period when chinese players joined the greater gaming community after playing on the chinese server and we saw experts like windy, playboy, bt4, and iori come out of nowhere. FOPT_Strawberry is an organizational contributor and L_Clan_Arablet sponsors major tournaments with money out of his own pocket.

2003-2004 Tournament winners
Arablet Cup 3:
1st place Chris, 2nd Bender
Master of AoC:
1st place Yanzi, 2nd PPoC
TvK Tourney:
1st place Yanzi, 2nd Daut
MFO's The Conquering Hero:
1st place Capoch, 2nd place Storm Extacy
FOPT Anniverary Cup:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Halen
FOPT Arabia Masters:
1st place WIndy, 2nd place Daut
CERPIO Gladiator Cup 1:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Rami
CERPIO Gladiator Cup 2:
1st place PeEl, 2nd place Daut
UD Return of the Champion 1:
1st place Daut, 2nd place 2scared
Ares Cup MVP:
1st place IORI, 2nd place Melody
FOPT Simply the Best:
1st place: BT4, 2nd place IORI
Legion Cup 3:
1st place Rami, 2nd place Capoch
Bsk MVP 1:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Grunt
AOA Rakeshty:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Chris

2003-2004 Popular clans
Ares
Arg
Berserkers
Cath
CNA
CNS
Crime Scene Investigators
Easy to Win
ELT (what did that stand for?)
Fruits of the Poisonous Tree
Killing Generation of Brazil
Legion Clan
LOLITA
Myst
Olympus
PL
poison of Zone
i2eign
Roman Units
StorM
SWJ
ThuG
Unholy Disciples
VietNam Strategy
Wolf
Zilla

Gaming client: Gamepark
Aoc 2005-2006: Competition to master meso civs is high and they are used about equally often as Huns are. Drushing becomes widespread and counters the Hun flush. Forwards are incorporated and attacking in all ages becomes common. In castle age EW are generally preferred to Xbows. As players use Aztecs more frequently collecting relics becomes important. The Hun flush didnt change much, 22 pop to 24 pop feudals with archers and scouts and 22 pop forwards, but full feudals were becoming less popular as people preferred to castle and go CA. Arena map grows in popularity. L_Clan_Arablet is still the major sponsor for Aoc. The LN community raises money for a tournament but L_Clan_Bolt ends up stealing it.

2005-2006 Tournament winners
China Hero Cup:
1st place BT4. 2nd place SWJ Cloudy
GGL Aoc Playoff:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Daut
GGL AmeriCup:
1st place Daut, 2nd place PeEl
Bsk MVP 2:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Daut
Bsk MVP 3:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Chris
Back to Almaty Tournament:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Rukie
Arena Masters Tournament:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Wrath
AYN Cup:
1st place bvirus, 2nd place Rami
Handicap Tournament:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Dreams
Legion Regicide Imperator:
1st place Chris, 2nd place PeEl
UD Return of the Champion 2:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Dreams
AocGroup 1v1 tourney:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Daut

2005-2006 Popular clans
Arg
ArgoNaut
Berserkers
Crime Scene Investigators
FOX
Killing Generation of Brazil
Hot Young Masters
Legion Clan
Myst
PL
poison of Zone
Rulers of Rome
SWJ
The Skull Collectors
Thug
TsUnami
Unholy Disciples
VietNam Strategy
Zealots of Death
Zilla

Gaming client: IGZones
Aoc 2007-2008: Players using meso civs continue to develop their drushing skills and Celts become recognized as a legitimate drushing civ, but choosing Huns beings to make a resurgance. Unlike in the past, Hun players are beginning to prefer the added strategic options available in castle age to the rock-paper-scissors simplicity of feudal age. Games are often won or lost in castle age. Full feudals are rare and full castles become the norm with Hun CAs being the dominant unit. Rams are used more frequently than mangonels. In comparison to earlier years, players have adopted a more defensive playstyle in order to prevent raiding and typically wall with buildings in tandem with palisades. Double Arabia map is featured in Brain Champion Cup and becomes a fan favorite although 1v1 arabia tournaments happen less often than in prior years. Canary donates money to fund BCC1, BCC2, and BCC3.

2007-2008 Tournament winners
Arablet Cup 4:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Ding
Brain Cup Champion 1:
1st place Ruso, 2nd place Chris
Indus Anniversary Tournament:
1st place Chris, 2nd place Wrath
Brain Cup Champion 2:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Ding

2007-2008 Popular clans
Ares
Arg
CNA
Eok (Whats this stand for?)
Hot Young Masters
Indus
Legion Clan
Myst
poison of Zone
Rulers of Rome
SlipKnot
TWP (What did that stand for again?)
VietNam Strategy

Gaming client: Voobly
Aoc 2009- present: Experts continue to use meso civs to drush but the phenomenon has spread to include drushing with Huns. The Hun drush to FC and immeadiate massing of CA followed by upgrades becomes realized as perhaps the most overpowered strategy discovered in the 12 years of Aoc's strategic history. Players drushing with meso civs also usually FC but make archers along the way and upgrade them to Xbows to raid, rather than massing EW. Mangonels and monks are used more often than in the past. The formerly open arabian maps often become closed off by palisades in dark or feudal, followed by stone walls later. In recent strategies, drushing is still viable but fast feudals with 22, 21, 20, and even 19 pop followed by raiding with scouts is trending. Later in feudal they usually mass archers and build eco to go castle around 22 mins where they can upgrade to xbow, and mass CA. ironically this recent strategy is much the same as the 2003-2004 24 pop fuedal scout+archers strategy. On water maps many go feudal with 22 vils and 3-4 fishing ships to grush. MegaRandom and LightRandom maps are popular. Best of 21 challenges begin amongst the top 5 players in the world. Players of all skill levels, including top experts, begin streaming games and highly anticipated matches are frequently streamed with live commentary. Dreams and ZeroEmpires develop State of the Empire, a streamed talk show about Aoc with top experts as guests.

2009-present Tournament winners:
Gods of War:
1st place Alive, 2nd place Cain
Master of the Huns 1:
1st place Daut, 2nd place RiuT
Brain Cup Champion 3:
1st place RiuT, 2nd place Daut
AokH Open:
1st place Jordan, 2nd place sletten
DyT 1v1 Tournament:
1st place RiuT, 2nd place Alive
Portal RTS-BR 1v1 Combate:
1st place Dogao, 2nd place Ny4JyN
CivCup 1:
1st place Jordan, 2nd place Dogao
Masters of Arabia:
1st place Tim, 2nd place Viper
Best of 21 Chris vs Daut Challenge:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Chris
Best of 21 Jordan vs Daut Challenge:
1st place Daut, 2nd place Jordan
Best of 21 Viper vs Jordan Challenge: TBA
Best of 21 Dreams vs Dogao Challenge: maybe 11

2009-present Popular clans:
aLc
Arg
BuzZ
Chinese Kung Fu
Confederate States of America
CSC
Dragons y Tigers
Hot young Masters
Immortals
JPN48
Kotowari
Last objective never executed
Malevolent
poison of Zone
Revenge of the Knight
Rulers of Rome
SlipKnot
StorM
The Wanderer idle Knight
TyRant
VietNam Strategy
Viper
white Wizards
XJL

Summary:
The early days of Aoc were dominated by massive skirmisher battles in feudal age with micro often winning games. Mixing archers in with skirmishers to improve attack versus villagers and scouts led to the scout + archer full feudal era. As time progressed experts realized that while masses of knights were effective for raiding, Hun CA were much more cost effective for the purpose. Early pioneers of the drush such as Arch_Vile and Olympus_PPoC proved to be ahead of their time since the drush has developed into a viable option no matter what the civ, the map, or whether the game is a 1v1 or teamgame. However when the drush was added to the Hun strategic arsenal many players in the Aoc community became unhappy to see that once highly strategic matches of slight economical advantages, map control, raiding, and resource denial between the brightest analytical minds in the gaming world was being reduced to a race to mass the most CA. Since then even newer strategies have developed from a new generation of Aoc'ers using fast feudals and scouts to raid a drusher's economy. With a new expansion in development, Aoc's strategies will inevitably continue to evolve.

If theres anything incorrect in here please let me know. Also please check if my estimates for the dates that gaming clients were used is correct.

I took info from RTS League hall of fame, aoczone ofc, voobly, ms zone ratings and this fansite that fallingstar hooked me up with: http://lch.free.fr/aoc_history/aoc_expert.html. Tried to make it as accurate as possible
Last edited by  9mil on Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Aoc strategy timeline / history

Postby  Carlos Ferdinand » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:23 am

Really hope to see someone redoing the classical skirm-from-home strategy, but i doubt it, since walls just make them really ineffective so often
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Re: Aoc strategy timeline / history

Postby  CondoM » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:30 am

Pre-1.0c aoc was mostly Chinese and sometimes Mongols. Usually archer/skim flushes. Archers were OP back then because vils had -1 pierce armour. Scouts were pretty useless because they didn't have the +2 attack.
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Re: Aoc strategy timeline / history

Postby  8th wonder » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:32 am

emm ur wrong about some timings, i have never played in igz and i was around when all started drush, so it cant be igz time when drush became popular, all drushed since moh, wich was in voobly played
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Re: Aoc strategy timeline / history

Postby  Danigc » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:52 pm

In AoK -> Teuton tower rush
AoK -> Frank fast castle and make a castle on enemy town
AoK -> Celt Fast castle and make a lot of siege
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Re: Aoc strategy timeline / history

Postby  The muffin man » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:50 pm

really cool idea bro!! I really hope that some experts will jump on board and give some more in depth analysis on strat progression. Someone like chris could add alot to this.
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Re: Aoc strategy timeline / history

Postby  BuzZ_Quiller » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:01 pm

Good job. However, Chris did not use stone walls, he kept his old school style for a long time, stone walls came when the Asia (Vietnan and China) players used it with good results back in BCC2 I think. Chris eventually had to adapt to this new style, he always played aggresive with few walls I think.
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Re: Aoc strategy timeline / history

Postby  timtim » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:05 pm

In AOK Tc rushes was a common strat. Especially with teutons while they had +2 range. And chris walled before that if i am not wrong.
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Re: Aoc strategy timeline / history

Postby  iamPhoenix » Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:33 pm

Land Nomad map became popular.


LN was popular back in MS Zone... Back then, most of games played at Medieval Siege were LN...
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Re: Aoc strategy timeline / history

Postby  9mil » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:18 am

  8th wonder wrote:
emm ur wrong about some timings, i have never played in igz and i was around when all started drush, so it cant be igz time when drush became popular, all drushed since moh, wich was in voobly played


thx any input on when hun drush became popular?

  BuzZ_Quiller wrote:
Good job. However, Chris did not use stone walls, he kept his old school style for a long time, stone walls came when the Asia (Vietnan and China) players used it with good results back in BCC2 I think. Chris eventually had to adapt to this new style, he always played aggresive with few walls I think.


yeah it was rare when chris used stone walls on arabia but i recall a few games in early aoc where he used them. You're right the chinese and vietnamese popularized them but i was thinking that more than a few people would recall chris using them every now and then

also when did the chinese community join ms zone? For a while they were isolated on their own server, anybody know?

thx for the input i'll update the post. Looking forward to hearing from aoczone staff too
Last edited by  9mil on Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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