Report article RSS Feed New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 9 Ides of March

This version debuts the Roman faction, new combat and trade systems and more!

Posted by Jeru on Mar 15th, 2012

Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of "0 A.D. Alpha 9 Ides of March", the ninth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha debuts the Roman faction, new combat and trade systems and more.

Easy Download and Install

Download and installation instructions are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. 0 A.D. is free of charge and always will be. You can redistribute it and modify it as long as you abide by the GPL. You can even use parts of the art and sound for your own projects as long as you abide by CC-BY-SA. No "freemium" model, no in-game advertising, no catch.

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Top new features in this release:

  • The Roman Republic faction, playable on custom scenarios and random map scripts--in single player and multiplayer, complete with a new art set, including new buildings, units, and ships.
  • A new combat system that adds bonuses and weaknesses to each unit, like rock-paper-scissors (e.g. spearmen defeat melee cavalry, but are countered by skirmishers and cavalry archers).
  • A brand new trading system, over land with traders trained from markets, and over sea with merchant ships built at the dock. Establish a trade route between two markets or docks, and your traders will gain resources for every trip made. You can choose which resource will be gained by a trader.
  • Over a dozen new random map scripts by Spahbod, wraitii, and mmayfield45.
  • New animations: Rowing oars for ships, rams, some catapults, traders, some animals.
  • AI improvements: 0 A.D.'s default AI, qBot, has had a performance increase and had a serious bug fixed with the attack code.
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All works CC BY SA Wildfire Games.


  • Music and Sound: Four new tracks and one re-made track, all composed and directed by Omri Lahav, featuring Marta Mc'cave on the flute and Shir-Ran Yinon on the viola. Two of the tracks celebrate the Roman faction with a very Italian mandolin.

    • An Old Warhorse Goes to Pasture - An Iberian early peace track
    • Juno Protect You - A Roman early peace track
    • Elysian Fields - A Roman peace track
    • Highland Mist - A Celtic early peace track
    • The Road Ahead - A remade, neutral (not faction-specific) peace track

  • Bug fixes and minor features:

    • Outposts available for all factions. These are cheap and can be built quickly anywhere on the map except on enemy territory, but are weak and easily destroyed.
    • Minimap colors have been adjusted to see player units more clearly
    • Hunters now automatically continue hunting after they finish gathering from one animal
    • Military-only bandboxing (Thanks, gerbilOFdoom)
    • Improved Atlas selection behavior
    • Garrisoning now has a range check (no more teleporting)
    • Allies are now placed near each other in random maps
    • Fixed OS X fullscreen mode (Thanks, Echelon9)
    • Improved FreeBSD support
    • Improved COLLADA importer
    • Replaced most old 3D models with COLLADA versions
    • Experimental Android/GLES/GLSL support. To be sure, 0 A.D. is not designed to run on smartphones.

Please contribute! (REPORTERS/BLOGGERS, PLEASE MENTION THIS! We need your help to finish the game. Thanks.)

We are seeking contributors in programming, art, sound, web design, taking YouTube videos and more. These roles on the 0 A.D. development team are great if you want to brush up on your skills and update your portfolio, if you're seeking a project for school with real-life applications, or if you care about the cause of free culture and software and are willing to work pro bono with a group of dedicated volunteers from all over the world.

Interested? Please register on our forums and start a new topic introducing yourself in the applications and contributions forum following these instructions.

Who were the Romans?

The Romans controlled the largest empire of the ancient world. Rising from a group of villages to controlling an empire stretching from southern Scotland to the Sahara Desert, Rome remained one of the strongest nations on earth for almost 800 years, controlling over 60 million inhabitants, one quarter of the Earth's population at that time.

Rome's regime changed over time from a republican system to an autocratic empire. While the politicians seemed to be in control, the real power lay with the army. Indeed, war was the heart and soul of the Roman political system, affecting everything that the government did. In fact, Romans reveled in combat and war so much so that one of their favorite forms of entertainment was gladiatorial combat. This resulted in a population that was eager to fight and support their military efforts.

Rome produced not only effective generals but formidable engineers. Today we owe many technological advances to the Romans, who were the supreme builders of the ancient world. Roads, massive buildings, and large mining and water movement projects were common. These inventions and more served to spread the Roman legacy that endures to this day, from language to medicine, from literature to government, and from legal codes to art, architecture and beyond.

The timeframe of 0 A.D., 500 B.C. - 1 B.C., coincides with Rome's rise to power from a small city-state to one of the greatest empires on earth. In following centuries, however, this massive empire soon became too large to control, and foreign peoples began swarming into the Empire. For centuries, Rome fought an ever-increasing flood of migrant "barbarians", until the western half of the empire fell in 476 A.D. The eastern half, however, lived on and evolved into a very different empire, called Byzantium. The Byzantines' religion was Christian, their language was Greek and their capital was in Constantinople, which is modern-day Istanbul. Rome's eastern successor, Byzantium, continued to be a powerhouse well into the middle ages.

In 0 A.D. the Romans will have many bonuses that match their historic strengths. These include:

  • Powerful infantry,
  • Incredible siege equipment,
  • Superior defensive construction and mining,
  • And an excellent navy.

While the Romans may not specialize extremely well in specific areas, they are one of the most well-rounded civilizations in 0 A.D.

(Source: 0 A.D.: Romans)

Why "Ides of March"?

We name our releases according to development status ("Alpha" or "Beta"), successive release number (1, 2, 3, ...) and a word relating to the ancient world, in alphabetical order ("Argonaut" for A, "Bellerophon" for B, ...). In honor of the release of the Roman faction, we decided to dub Alpha 9 "Ides of March".

The ides was a day in the Roman calendar that marked the approximate middle of the month, deriving from the Latin word "Idus" which means "half division". The ides was the 13th day of most months, but the 15th day of March, May, July, and October. The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars, and a military parade was usually held. In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was killed in 44 B.C. (Sources: English Wikipedia articles Roman calendar and Ides of March)

For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter J. Keep it original and within the 0 A.D. time-frame (appx. 500 BC - 1 BC)!

Long Time, No Siege

Wildfire Games will keep releasing new versions of 0 A.D. from time to time. Watch our news feed to get updates, or follow us by e-mail, RSS, Facebook or Twitter. And you're always welcome to join the 0 A.D. community on our forums.

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Contact info for press, bloggers, etc.: aviv@wildfireROMULUSgames.com without the name of Rome's legendary founder written in all caps.

Post comment Comments
RKotern
RKotern Mar 15 2012, 3:16pm says:

beautiful ROMANS!!

+3 votes     reply to comment
Camo_Hunter8
Camo_Hunter8 Mar 15 2012, 3:49pm says:

seems good ima try

+3 votes     reply to comment
Mythos_Ruler
Mythos_Ruler Mar 15 2012, 3:54pm replied:

Great! Try it out and let us know what you think. Remember though, it's still only an alpha. ;)

+3 votes     reply to comment
Arcones
Arcones Mar 15 2012, 4:07pm says:

Super excited to play :)

Last version I tried was Alpha 7

+3 votes     reply to comment
AirborneSn1p3r
AirborneSn1p3r Mar 15 2012, 5:03pm says:

Great! Cant wait to give it a blast :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
Camo_Hunter8
Camo_Hunter8 Mar 15 2012, 5:32pm says:

awesome game but really needs a server list tutorial and eaiser city building

+3 votes     reply to comment
feneur
feneur Mar 16 2012, 5:20pm replied:

Eventually we hope to have an in-game multiplayer lobby, but for now here's some info on how to setup a multiplayer game: Trac.wildfiregames.com To find someone to play against the forums ( Wildfiregames.com ) and the IRC channel ( Irc.quakenet.org ) are good places. People at our forums have also created a Steam group: Steamcommunity.com and a Hamachi server: Wildfiregames.com

Not sure what you mean by easier city building. Building individual buildings is easy enough, and putting them where you want them is generally easy (can be a bit of an issue with walls, but we have just started working on a proper wall system which hopefully will be included in Alpha 10). If you want to place more than one of the same building at the same time, just shift-click and you'll be able to place multiple foundations. You could mean something completely different for all I know though :-/

+2 votes     reply to comment
Heaney
Heaney Mar 15 2012, 5:45pm says:

"the Roman faction"

Now. I play like crazy.

+3 votes     reply to comment
ForgingLifeGame
ForgingLifeGame Mar 15 2012, 7:16pm says:

Awesome sound track.

+3 votes     reply to comment
pureevil29
pureevil29 Mar 15 2012, 9:58pm says:

Ok I tried alpha 9 and here are my thoughts.
The Great things:
- The game looks amazing! The maps, vegetation and water are among the best I´ve seen in any RTS game.
- The amount of units and detail that goes into them are top notch. Lots of versatility and historical accuracy. You guys did your history homework!

The Good things:
- The Ai does a believable job immersing the players into the ambience and mood for the game to be enjoyable yet challenging.

The Not so good yet:
- Animations... units look good but animate in a somewhat robotic manner, some animals lack walking/Hitting animations, also units hit very slowly and it is very hard to tell who is attacking who and who is hitting who. (No impact/Blood effects)

- Movement and unit responce are also on the slow side... I am used to the MOBA genre where unit responce is very fast and accurate so this is what struck me the most when I started playing. Also units move in formation (very nicely!) but once a mayor battle has begun it is very hard to tell what is going on... It is like I watch my army marching and they are super cool but when the battle starts I can´t tell my units from the enemys nor is it clear who is winning until one of us is out of units. Very hard to use counter units because of this chaos.

- Performance: Running on a macbook pro 2011 with Nvidia 320GT, getting minor stutters every 5-10 minutes. Still very playable but this system runs Napoleon Total War without problems so some more optimizing could be required.

- All this issues are minor considering: It is still in alpha and gameplay is already LOTS of fun!

Once the animations, movement response, formation battles and running is added (my horses feel like grannys in wheelchairs right now) this game will become a massive addiction for Strategy players worldwide!

Great work guys, totally worth it! Keep it up!

+6 votes     reply to comment
Gen.Kenobi
Gen.Kenobi Mar 16 2012, 10:07pm replied:

Animations are still work in progress ;) Don't worry, we're planning to make them look way better! :)

Thanks for the support!
If you wish, join our forum community!
Wildfiregames.com

+4 votes     reply to comment
necron15
necron15 Mar 16 2012, 6:42pm says:

Awesome update.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Rafhaelbass
Rafhaelbass Mar 17 2012, 11:11am says:

Game looks awesome, tracking and trying!

+2 votes     reply to comment
StrykerCraft
StrykerCraft Mar 17 2012, 2:13pm says:

will the next release be a beta or alpha 10?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Mythos_Ruler
Mythos_Ruler Mar 17 2012, 2:27pm replied:

Alpha 10. We'd like to get at least a wall system, technologies, and a few other things in place before we're comfortable with labeling the next release a "beta."

+1 vote     reply to comment
StrykerCraft
StrykerCraft Mar 23 2012, 8:49am replied:

where would be the best place to suggest a name for the next alpha? If possible, could you say what new content the next alpha will include(ie. new faction), so i can think/look up words pertaining to that.

+1 vote     reply to comment
feneur
feneur Mar 23 2012, 3:12pm replied:

Wildfiregames.com would be the best place :) We've added all the factions we intend to (though there's talk about perhaps adding some minor bonus factions, but that's most likely a few releases away anyway, and not a major feature). Trac.wildfiregames.com gives an overview of the things currently being worked on, but some of them might not make it if they take longer to complete than expected etc.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Clonkex
Clonkex Apr 4 2012, 9:46am says:

I looked at the screenshots and my first thought was how much it looks like Age Of Mythology! The art style is almost identical. If I didn't know any better, I would have assumed they were AOM screenshots!

Given the similarities to AOM, I'm assuming you've played it before. It's one of my favourite games. If you can achieve AOM-quality gameplay and graphics, then I'll love you forever :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
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