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Wildfire Games has released the seventeenth alpha version of 0 A.D., which includes some important changes, such as a major gameplay rebalance, units on wall, improved mod support and more.

0 A.D. alpha 17

For those not familiar with 0 A.D., this is an open source, historical war and economy RTS game developed by Wildfire Games which features several ancient civilizations at their prime, from Greece and Rome to Carthage and Persia. The game is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.

While it features great sound and graphics and has both single-player and multi-player functionality, the game still lacks some features, such as no matchmaking service (multi-player uses peer-to-peer networking, without a central server), that's why the game is still considered "alpha".

Notable changes in 0 A.D. Alpha 17 "Quercus":
  • Major Core Combat Rebalance:
    • if you send only one unit type to battle, it fares poorly against regiments of the same size that mix more than one type, e.g. melee and ranged units;
    • technologies as a whole have been made more expensive and unrelated technologies have been "unpaired";
    • some stats have been adjusted to make training some units viable
    • buildings are now a bit easier to destroy;
    • formations were removed temporarily, but they will be reimplemented again some point, in a more balanced way.
  • Naval map support: the computer opponent now uses transport ships to colonize other islands and attack enemy bases, but naval combat (i.e. ships against ships) is not yet implemented;
  • Units On Walls: Units can be garrisoned in wall segments, and appear on the walls at predefined prop points;
  • Users can now view profiles of other players from within the lobby;
  • 2 new maps: a Oasis (skirmish map) and Schwarzwald (random map);
  • Implemented triggers: A "trigger" makes an action occur in the game if a specified event takes place;
  • A new Mod Selector allows users to enable or disable mods, save them or just restart into them to test them out. This way, it is a lot easier to test and play mods. This can be reached at: Main Menu -> Tools & Options -> Mod Selection. Also, modders can now easily make small changes to the game without having to copy and modify many files.

Those are just the most important changes in the latest 0 A.D. alpha 17 but there were many other improvements added with this release, such as better performance, improved fog of war, better AI as well as various graphical and user interface improvements like new Hellenistic ranged siege animations, replaced Iberian barracks, new Iberian tower models (screenshot above) and much more.

Below you can watch the 0 A.D. Alpha 17 trailer, which presents some of these changes:

(direct video link)

If you can contribute to 0 A.D. (programming, art, sound, documentation and more), see the programmers getting started page and join #0ad-dev on QuakeNet on IRC.

It's also worth mentioning that the Council of Modders are hosting a map making contest. Check out THIS forum post for details.

Install 0 A.D. in Ubuntu / Linux Mint

0 A.D. is available in the official Debian / Ubuntu / Linux Mint repositories however, if you want to play the latest version, you must use a PPA. To add the official 0 A.D. PPA and install the latest 0 A.D. in Ubuntu / Linux Mint, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wfg/0ad
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install 0ad

Download 0 A.D.

Download 0 A.D. (binaries available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X and source code)