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Ian Vogel (a.k.a. Lobo2k6) has commented on the 10/7 Update- Persians, PvP, Skirmish:

Quoted from Ian Vogel[1]:

Persians, Skirmish and PvP updates

Hi everyone. Some brief updates for you.

Persia’s in full testing and I think it’s looking good. I’ll give a brief recap: this civ starts at level 20, and our goal is for the civ to give higher level access, quickly. It has a good value for people who want higher level like access to Age 4 units, and skipping more of the tutorial quests as they play against friends in the Arena or Unranked PvP. Also, this Pro Civ is a way for people to have higher leveled gameplay in boosters like Crete and Skirmish (read on about that)

Persia 1

Skirmish is also in full testing and we’ve added some new aspects we think will make it a lot of fun. Here's a look at the UI (still in progress)

Skirmish UI

First, we’ve added a full unit unlock option so that you can play with all units against AI.

  • Your gear still matters, and will totally benefit you.
  • Your level matters too, since your rewards are based on your level, and your opponents scale to your level.
  • You do however have the ability to age up in the quest all the way to the Golden Age (Age 4), even if you are a player as low as level 1.
  • When you play you have the ability to build any unit that your civilization can build – even if it is not unlocked at your Capital City Palace.
  • You do not automatically have all of the tech upgrades. The choices you make in your Capital City still matter.
  • Bottom line is you can play at any level, with players of other levels, and have access to lots of cool units.
  • Battle with up to 3 of your friends or computer allies against up to 4 customizable enemy AI
  • Coming in November
Champion PvP is in testing too.

Champion mode is what we call our new Ranked PvP mode. Gear still looks cool, but the stats are disregarded. All players have a full tech tree and access to all units.

  • Again, we’re de-coupling PvP and PvE balance which will help us make a lot more balance changes without disrupting the other type of gameplay, so it’s a big win.

We also snuck in a Champion toggle to the Arena so you can practice against friends. Thanks to GPG for this extra effort.

  • Coming in November
Matchmaking Improvements

Matchmaking for Ranked and Unranked PvP has been completely overhauled. It starts looking only for people at your current level for 30 seconds. If it can't find a match, it expands by 1 level and waits another 30 seconds. If it still can't find a match, it goes into a quicker expansion of levels over the next few minutes before finally maxing out at all levels.

  • Long term we want to get cross-shard matching, but this will be a nice improvement short term.
  • Coming in October
Fixes/Ongoing Updates

We have a lot coming in our next patch, here is a taste:

  • We have a fix for the Trade/ Lag problem.
  • Guardian Treasures are now awarded to all co-op players, if they are still active in the quest.
  • The Advisor Hall is now buildable by free players. Advisors can be added to the Hall by everyone, but only Premium Civilizations can use them.
    • This will help free players and their inventory space, and hopefully they can see how cool the Advisors can be
  • Much more, coming soon in October

Thanks, have a great weekend. Can’t wait for you guys to check some of this out!

Ian

References

  1. 10/7 Update- Persians, PvP, Skirmish at AgeOfEmpiresOnline.com.

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