Josh and Greg continue the Noob November celebration by sending countless soldiers to their deaths in an attempt to discern the exact importance of gear. They also give their tips for new players gearing up their civilizations and weigh in on the all-important question: what stat is the best for each unit?
- Play Age of Empires Online — if you’re not, go listen to last week’s episode and get convinced. Also, why are you listening to this if you’re not playing AOEO — I’m genuinely curious, please tell us
- Get a civ — any civ will do
- Get a piece of gear
- Struggle about what to do with that piece of gear — bonus points if it sparks an existential crisis
How to Gear
- Quest Rewards
- Bandit camps in most maps
- Explain how levels work
- Won’t get you the best gear
- Is a fairly opaque system that’s difficult to break into
- But it’s easy and only takes time
- Look at crafting guide from a few weeks ago to get basic info on how crafting works
- If you got the Coin, just buy it!
- Tons of gear on the trade channel
- Try to negotiate sellers down to a lower price, most don’t get a lot of inquiries and will be willing to make a deal
Evaluating Gear: How to Pick the “Best” Gear for Each Unit
- Quality is not always what matters
- blues can be better than epics
- It’s more about matching your vision for the unit, not just hard numbers
Know your goal
- Skirmish Rush, PvP, etc.
- Don’t be afraid to swap gear between missions
Option 1: Focus on your strengths
- Philosophy: Spearmen are good vs. cavalry, so you will make them when you need to kill cavalry. Therefore, give them gear that boosts their damage vs. cavalry
- This works best when you know counters well and are planning to scout and counter enemy armies
- It also makes you susceptible to counters. If you only boost spearmen’s cavalry damage, they’ll get absolutely shredded by archers
Option 2: Shore up your weaknesses
- Philosophy: Spearmen are good vs. cavalry by nature, so they’re going to have no problem killing them. Spearmen struggle against archers, though. Therefore give them gear that adds pierce armor and movement speed.
Option 3: Play it safe
- Philosophy: You never know what you’ll have to face, so it’s best to have a flexible army that’s read can respond to anything. Therefore, give gear that boosts flat HP and damage
- In general, focusing on strengths is a safe route for new players.
- Look at what that unit is already good against in combat and try to find gear that makes it even better in that role
How to Gear the Celts
- Combined, it’s probably our favorite civ
- Also the one we have the most experience with
- Spearmen: Snare, armor, movement speed
- Long Swordsmen: Damage vs calvary, snare, lower cost to produce
- Woad Raider: Movement speed, armor, snare ( effective against ranged and siege, get to them fast and hold them.)
- Champion: Damage, movement speed, damage vs building ( good tank and damage sponge, destroys buildings fast but move very slow)
- Slingers: Maximum Range, line of sight, armor.
- Bowman: Critical hit chance, line of sight, maximum range
- Scout: Line of sight, movement speed, health
- Horsemen: Movement speed, snare, armor. (effective against horsemen, get to them quick and keep them there while you destroy them)
- Carpentom: Movement speed, damage Vs infantry, cost reduction. ( Chariot warrior, effective against ranged, gets snared easily and is expensive late game)
- Fishing boat: Gathering food bonus, line of sight, repair efficiency
- Merchant transport: Movement speed, trade bonus, line of sight
- Swanship: Damage, pierce armor, cost reduction
- Ram: Damage, Snare Resist, Pierce Armor
- Stone Thrower: Line of Sight, Movement Speed, Armor
- Druid: Health, Healing, Armor
- Augur: Conversion Rate, Healing, Health
- Villager: Resource gathering, Movement Speed, Health
- Caravan: Movement Speed, Trade gold, Health
And that is just the units, use common sense gearing your buildings as well.
Advisers: The Forgotten Gear
What are advisers
- Trading cards that give boosts to civ inside matches
- One per age
- Example of boosts
Where do you get them?
Greg is an entertainer extraordinaire, gondolier and PC Gamer contributor. Josh is a game designer at SOE and former editor for PC Gamer and the Official World of Warcraft Magazine.