We’re hosting a 700$ cash price tournament (http://forums.ageofempiresonline.com/forums/thread/282874.aspx) on Saturday and Sunday 16GMT, which we will be live streaming on (http://twitch.tv/zutazuta) to get the competitive environment going for Age of Empires Online. We’re planning more tournaments for the future. So if you’re an Age of Empires fan and like PvP (no matter whether you play or just watch), please check it out!

What is Age of Empires Online?

Age of Empires Online is the latest entry of Age of Empires and free to play. While the game has an MMO-like metagame mainly meant for PvE, the core gameplay in PvE quests and PvP matches is pure Age of Empires: Classical base building, four resources, five unique civilizations and more upcoming.

If you left AoEO, or never picked it up, because there was a barrier to getting into the kind of PvP game you wanted to play, you should come back: the barrier is gone. We’ve just introduced a new way to PvP, Champion Mode, that puts all players on equal footing from the moment you make a civilization. There’s no need to get gear or level up in Champion Mode: all in-game techs in the tech tree are unlocked, and gear still makes your units look cool, but it doesn’t affect unit stats. Just hop on a Premium civilization and play, simple as that.

This game is fun. The pacing is fast—it feels more like AoC than AoM or AoE3—and there is a hard counter system that rewards good micro. Also, because we patch the game most months, balance changes will come more frequently than they did for AoE3.

- Milo, Ex-Ensemble Studios Playtester and Age of Empires Online Balance Lead

So despites its MMO style in PvE, the game’s champion mode PvP is what’d you expect from a classical AoE game like Age of Empires II: The Conquerors.

The PvP mode of the game is getting a lot of love from the developers, with a dedicated balancing team and new features, like the new spectator (observer) mode:

Spectator Mode allows 1-3 players observe or "Spectate" 1v1 or 2v2 Arena matches. The Spectator has full access to scouting, build queues, resources, and chat. It is intended to be used by players who are specifically invited to a Party for the purpose of Spectating. As the Spectator, you have an overview of the entire match. You can see all players, their scores, and everything about their resources and what they're building.

So what do we want?

More PvP players. Simple as that. Age of Empires Online wasn’t great when it was released, but we feel that it definitely deserves a second chance. The game has the potential to be a true successor to the former Age games. So please tune in our AoEO All-Starts tournament on Saturday and Sunday 16GMT to check the game out, and give it a chance!
If you have further questions or want to test Champion Mode, ask away here (http://forums.ageofempiresonline.com/forums/284684/ShowThread.aspx#284684), or ask questions in our Stream chat.