Age of Empires Online developer Gas Powered Games has revealed its upcoming pro civilization Babylon along with the Fertile Crescent booster pack in an exclusive Eurogamer interview.
Both the Babylon civ and the Fertile Crescent are due on 16th August to celebrate the game's one-year anniversary. Babylon will cost 900 Empire Points, the in-game currency, while the booster pack will cost 450.
Gas Powered Games described the Babylonians as a "very economics focused civ," and noted: "where they really shine is their ability to build a strong economy, and quickly."
Crucial to this swift allocation of resources is a new unit called the Ox Cart, which acts as a mobile storehouse. Instead of having to spend a lot of time and wood rebuilding storehouses or trek long routes to gather and deposit resources, the Ox Cart can move along with the rest of the settlers.
Among the Babylonian's most interesting new additions is The Siege Tower, which acts as a Trojan horse of sorts. It can transport several units and comes with its own ranged fire-arrow attack, while opponents can't see what units are inside. Maybe it's a formidable battalion, or maybe it's a decoy. "You have the ability to mask what you're doing by hiding your army inside the siege tower, and we've seen a lot of cool strategy come out of that," said systems design lead Eric Williamson.
Elsewhere, the Shield Bearers are able to withstand a lot of piercing damage, but are more susceptible to anti-infantry melee than many other units, and the Lancer is an anti-infantry cavalry unit capable of closing distances quickly once they get within range of the enemy.
The Babylonians come with their unique set of structures too, including the Ziggurat, a requirement for moving from Age one to age two. The Ziggurat is used to build priests, which can research techniques like Pharmacology, which gives all military units one health regen per second.
Once in Age two, Gardens are unlocked, which aide in upping research and unit production speed. If you use the Ziggurat to research cultivation, each Garden will also grow food.
Babylonians can also build clay walls out of wood. These can be resurrected quicker than stone walls, but they're not as durable.
Age of Empires Online's other major addition is the Fertile Crescent booster pack, which is set in Mesopotamia and contains over 30 new quests aimed at users over level 20, with repeatable quests that scale all the way to level 40, netting better rewards for higher level players.
"This is the first quest pack we've done where all the repeatable content has rewards that scale and scaling enemy behaviour," said design lead, Brian Frick. "This is the way we're going to be going in the future with this kind of content. We just want to have more of our content be fun for all levels to play."
The Fertile Crescent quests include scavenger hunts for ingredients comprising "a drink worthy of the gods," an evil tyrant to overthrow, disenfranchised Persian landholders to fight, and you can embark on an Ox Cart mini-game where you must attempt to gather as much gold as possible with your mobile storehouse.
"We have to admit, we love the Ox Cart. It was decided that we needed to make content that really highlighted it. Featuring it in a repeatable quest line where players gathered resources to store in it seemed like the way to go, especially when it is gold being gathered," said the developer.
Additionally, there will be AI controlled co-op quests with for solo players, such as one quest where players will have to battle the villainous Mad Median with a Babylonian ally.
To see the Babylon and Fertile Crescent add-ons in action check out the exclusive trailer above and screenshot gallery below.