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Kamis, 11 Oktober 2007

The Information of Rise of Nations


Fundamentally, Rise of Nations is similar to many real-time strategy games. The player usually starts with a basic city, dispatches resource-collecting workers, creates factory structures with which to build and strengthen their army, and attacks the enemy's army and settlements.
Rise of Nations employs the concept of "territory," as employed in Civilization III; the area near the player's settlements is considered their territory, and players may only construct buildings within their territory or that of an ally. A nation's borders can be expanded by the creation and expansion of cities and forts, the discovery of certain technologies, and obtaining access to certain rare resources. Other technologies and resources cause enemy units to suffer attrition over time, which can eventually destroy an unsupported invasion force.
Cities are significantly important to gameplay; most buildings must be built within a certain distance of a city, borders are most easily expanded by building and expanding cities, and cities are the only source of the resource-collecting Citizen unit. City placement must be carefully considered, because the player may only build a certain number of cities, usually eight, although more may be obtained through conquest. Because cities are so critical to gameplay, they cannot be destroyed when attacked, but are instead assimilated to the control of the capturing player over a span of several minutes. The side controlling them, however, can adopt a scorched-earth policy and raze the surrounding buildings to prevent their capture.
Citizens (resource-collecting workers) in Rise of Nations don't remain idle after creation until orders are given to them; rather, after a brief pause, idle citizens look for any nearby construction sites, unoccupied resource gathering sites, or damaged buildings and automatically move to build, gather, or repair there. This option can be disabled if desired. All resource patches in Rise of Nations are infinite, unlike the finite amount of resources found in, for example, Warcraft single-player campaigns; the main limit is the player's maximum-collection-rate cap, which must be upgraded via research.
Each of the 18 civilizations in Rise of Nations has its own set of at least three unique units spread throughout the ages, as well as a graphics set unique to their cultural group. Rise of Nations uses a hybrid 2D/3D engine to render buildings, but a 3D engine to render units, terrain, and special effects .
There are six resources in Rise of Nations, five of which (Food, Timber, Metal, Oil, and Wealth) are used mostly to build units and buildings; Wealth can also be exchanged for the other four on the Market. The sixth resource, Knowledge, is different from the others as its primary use is researching technologies; its only other use is the construction of missiles and the last two wonders (Supercollider and Space Program). Knowledge is generated by placing Scholars within Universities; however, each one of the player's cities can only have one University. Each building, technology, and type of unit requires one or two different resources, and each copy of a specific unit or building costs more to build. Both these concepts (resource diversity and "ramped-up" costs), along with the fact that units are also deliberately designed in a Rock, Paper, Scissors weakness system, encourage the player to create diverse, well-balanced armies.
As in the Civilization series, any nation can be played during any age, despite the nations historically having come into existence or having been destroyed at extremely different times in history. Some unique units are based on predictions of what may have been, if certain nations were not destroyed in real-life history. For example, the Native South American nations (the Aztecs, Maya, and Inca) have unique units in the Modern and Information ages, which resemble Iberian-South American guerrillas of real-life history. The end conditions are also made to be historically neutral, in that one can win the game by a capital capture, territorial superiority, researching four dominating technologies, or the usual wonder and score victories. Another perceived inconsistency is that some nations have their historical capital city instead of the current one (or vice-versa). For example, the Turkish capital in Rise of Nations is Istanbul, although the capital of Turkey has been Ankara since 1922. Similarly, the Japanese capital in-game is Kyoto, despite the fact that Tokyo became the capital in the 19th century. It is also worth noting that the same city can be built by multiple nations: if the Romans, Greeks, and Turks are found in the same game, it is possible that the cities of Byzantium, Constantinople, and Istanbul can exist as separate cities during the same game, despite the fact that these are different historical names for the same city.
A single player campaign, Conquer the World, is included in the game. It is comparable to the board game Risk, except that attacks on enemy territories take place during in-game battles, which can last as long as 90 minutes depending upon the scenario. The campaign map is similar the same as Risk's, but luck is less of a factor. The player can also purchase reinforcements or bonus cards and engage in diplomacy with other nations. The campaign starts at the Ancient Age and progresses slowly over the course over the campaign to end at the Information Age. Within the context of a battle, it may be possible to advance to the next available age (and thus benefit from the associated potential unit upgrades in that battle).
Rise of Nations uses an ELO rating system to rank players.


Gameplay focuses heavily on creating a balance between a heavily aggressive and militaristic attack and developing a strong economy and center of production. Players who develop a balance tend to be better than players who focus specifically on one or the other.
Because every unit in the game has its counter unit (for example, pikemen kill knights), and terrain and military tactics matter, a keen sense of generalship is required to make the best use of one's army. Flanking maneuvers are made possible as attacks from the side and, to a lesser extent, from behind, will do more damage than frontal assaults. A general unit can be used to fast march an army to outmaneuver an opponent or move to where it needs to be quickly, create decoy armies to draw enemy fire or create a diversion, camouflage an army to make them temporarily invisible or "dig in" infantry troops and thus increase their defensive capabilities. Terrain also plays a role on a tactical level: attacks from higher ground are more effective, and, from a defensive standpoint, units in rocky areas are better protected whereas units wading in water are more vulnerable. Several tactical formations are also available, including the ability to compress or expand the line of battle. When a formation is chosen, the selected units automatically reposition themselves accordingly, typically with faster moving units in the front and slower moving, vulnerable units in the rear. With sufficient skill in creating proper unit distributions in an army and fielding that army, it is possible to defeat a numerically superior enemy in Rise of Nations.
In a manner similar to chess, slight strategic mistakes early in the game can turn into major tactical problems later on. For example, a poor and hasty placement of a city in an empty piece of land when some more reconnaissance would have shown a superior wood placement site can lead to severe wood gathering problems later on since a lumbermill must be built within city boundaries and serves to automatically enhance the productivity only of those wood gathering sites that are within the city's limits.
It is common to find a shortage of resources early in a game, but usually, as the game continues, the gather rates rise and these shortages disappear.


There are more than 200 different types of units in Rise of Nations, ranging from the Ancient Age Hoplite to the Information Age Stealth Bomber. Military units are created at certain structures: the Barracks, Stable/Auto Plant, Siege Factory/Factory, Dock/Shipyard/Anchorage, Airfield, Missile silo and Fort/Castle/Fortress/Redoubt. Unit types such as Light Infantry, Heavy Infantry and Ranged Cavalry are upgraded as the player advances through the ages. These upgrades usually represent revolutionary changes in their particular field. For example, the Arquebusier of the Gunpowder Age becomes the Musketeer of the Enlightenment Age, representing the great advantage of flintlock muskets over the earlier matchlock muskets and showing increased attack power and reload speed. Also, each nation gets its own set of unique units. For example, the Greeks can build Companion cavalry, the Russians can build Red Guards infantry and T-80 tanks, the British can build Longbowmen, Highlanders, and Avro Lancaster Bombers, and the Germans get the Tiger and Leopard tanks.
Because of the wide variety of units in the game, players have the opportunity to create an army customized to their tastes. Most units have a cost that is roughly equal to that of their peers. Additionally, most units use only two resource types, making creating diverse armies easier and almost required. Terraced costs further contribute to the incentive for a diverse army, as each additional unit a player creates of a single type will cost more.


Rise of Nations received mostly positive reviews from most websites and magazines and won several awards. However, there were significant problems with multiplayer gaming.