Age of Empires Online Season Pass Available Now
Written Tuesday, August 16, 2011 By Alan PettitView author's profile
Age of Empires Online is available now for direct download to your PC. The core of the game is free, and allows for 330 Gamerscore to be unlocked without spending a single earth dollar. However, the rest of the Gamerscore (and any upcoming DLC) is dependant upon purchasing some of the Premium Content. Thus, the Season Pass I, available now for a limited time. For $99.99 in the US or £74.99 in the UK you will receive every piece of content released for the game from today through the next six months, including all the premium civilizations, booster packs and the (relatively useless) "Empire "Extras" packs, which allow for the addition of extra decorations to your cities. Four of the "Empire Extras" are currently available via the game's official marketplace page for $4.99/£2.49 each... if you're that hard up for extra shrubbery.
Like I mentioned previously, the first 330 Gamerscore for AoEO can be earned for free from the core game - these achievements do not have any qualifiers in their descriptions save one. Purchasing any Premium Civilization (including waiting and getting one of the upcoming releases) will net you the ability to unlock another 150 Gamerscore for the PVP achievement (despite no qualifier in its description, it does require premium content) and three non-descript premium content quests. The remaining achievements will require the specific content below:
- Premium Greek Civilization ($19.99/£14.99) - 260 Gamerscore - The greater your power, the greater your empire! Take your free-to-play Greek Civilization to the next level by unlocking Rare and Epic gear, Advisors, and Ranked PVP; increasing your Capital City warehouse storage; adding more Workshops; and receiving Coin when other players buy from your stores. For an unrivalled Age of Empires Online experience, get the Premium Greek Civilization Pack today!
- Premium Egyptian Civilization ($19.99/£14.99) - 260 Gamerscore - Make all bow down to you, oh, great Pharaoh! Take your free-to-play Egyptian Civilization to the next level by unlocking Rare and Epic gear, Advisors, and Ranked PVP; increasing your Capital City warehouse storage; adding more Workshops; and receiving Coin when other players buy from your stores. For an unrivalled Age of Empires Online experience, get the Premium Egyptian Civilization Pack today!
- Defense of Crete Booster Pack ($9.99/£4.99) - 150 DLC Gamerscore - Pack up your army and head to Crete! King Minos needs your help to defend his island from invaders—and he’s sure to enrich your coffers if you succeed. Beat back waves of relentless invaders as you protect the sacred Minoan Wonders from being destroyed. For even more fun, invite a friend to team up against the barbarian attackers. Earn new gear and awesome rewards for defending Crete!
So to recap: the full original 1000 can be earned for $40/£30, with the first 150 DLC for $10/£5. However, it is highly likely that the second set of DLC included in this season pass (available "this holiday" according to Microsoft) will also include achievements. There will be two more premium civilizations (the Celts and Persians) at $20/£15 each and a second booster pack (Skirmish Hall) for $10/£5. So for actual achievement-related content, that is still $100/£75, the same as the cost for the Season Pass. What this really boils down to is free shrubbery. If you're planning on buying all the useful premium content anyway, you may as well splurge now and get that shrubbery!
However, one offer, also available only for a limited time, is the Special Launch Offer which bundles both available premium civilizations and the first booster pack for only $39.99/£29.99, essentially netting you the booster pack free. Booster Pack > Shrubbery.