In response to the recent thread at Heaven Games AOE3 General Discussion forum about the pros and cons of having a Discovery Age (title of thread - "This Game Would Have Been Much Better Without a Discovery Age" - check it out for some very different opinions), I have created these maps for you to try out the suggested starting conditions. The thread author and others feel that Discovery is too slow and boring, and that you should start in Colonial Age with the units and resources you would ordinarily have by the time you reach Colonial Age. Of course that is a pretty nebulous starting condition and your real position varies from game to game, player to player, civ to civ, and map to map.
I have taken three of the standard ES maps for TWC (Saguenay, Yucatan and California) and edited them to include extra starting villagers and starting crates. Each player / each civ will have the usual starting resources PLUS 2 extra starting crates of food, coin and wood, except on the Califronia map I made the resources 3 extra crates of each resource. Also each player will get extra starting villagers - French get 8 Coureurs, Germans get 5 Settler Wagons, and the other Europeans and Native civs get 10 of their usual villagers.
This is just for fun and the experience of trying the suggested starting conditions. I have not done any balance testing to adjust the resources between civs, and these may not really be the optimal settings. These settings should allow, however, a variety of options such as a rapid rush (especially for Iroquois with starting Travois and Ottoman with tons of wood) or quickly boat booming. See for yourself if you would like these starting conditions!
To play these maps, these 6 files must be placed in the folder: My Documents\My Games\Age of Empires 3\RM2. Please do not place them in the game's install folder - that will not work. When you start up a skirmish game in Single-player or Multiplayer, use the small blue 'Custom Map' button, which allows you to then select one the random maps in that My Games folder from the drop-down window. The files will transfer in Multiplayer if your allies or opponents have not downloaded the files. Please do not edit the files or you will have compatibility problems in Multiplayer. Do not try to play in the original AOE3, as the new terrains and natives will not work.
Note that these maps will play on ESO or LAN/Internet or Singleplayer, but that on ESO you will not gain XP for your Homecity.
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