I'm Rob Kimball. I play Photoshop.
I agree, the new interface is pretty awesome, but why was the help wanted abolished in the first place?
A fantastic article! This encouraged me to set up a SVN repository for my own team and realizing my faults as a leader of a team working on a rather large-scale mod after having released several smaller ones. I realized that FTP isn't good enough for file transfer. The thing that stopped me dead in my tracks was the bit about a forum in which each item received its own thread. Similarly, our forum was organized for each bit of the project to be worthy of its own thread: individual units, buildings, props, and even GUI threads still exist in the forum, and we posted in the respective thread when something was updated. With Subversion, all of the hassle is elminated, and while the thread-per-item theory is still valid and noteworthy, it isn't good for file management.
So I thank you for this.
This game was great in some ways, horrible in others.
For starters, modding is discouraged in Age of Empires III. You can't add new models, new animations or modify the interface a whole lot in comparison to the late and great Age of Mythology. To avoid going into details, it's nearly like they wanted to drift away from the modding community, leaving their loyal AoM fans behind in a cloud of dust.
To avoid continuing that rant, I suppose I'll start my second reason for discontent. The editor. Yes, omg, the graphics are so pretty! Not.. the excessive use of bloom filters makes gameplay a big blurry high-contrast nightmare, and the graphics actually makes it very difficult to modify the game at all, basically because of the complication of the animating process to cater to bloom and HDR.