10 Reasons AoE2:DE is so bad

Yes, it’s me complaining again. But for one last time.

1) Development is highly sales-focused.

Instead of putting some time and effort to to work on stability you guys continue to work on superflous marketable-features. This becomes more evident as the game is as unstable as it’s ever been and we will reach the point of no return.
But hey, at least you can auto-scout now.

2) A highly competitive RTS is now a casual game.

Age of Empires was like chess. Timeless, balanced, each game was different.
Do you think adding 20 new pieces to chess would make it better? Of course not.
Unless, you’re a toddler who just likes to mess around with the pieces because they look funny.

There was never need for 80 new civs. You had one job: improve stability and add quality of life.
Instead you destabilized the game with trivial features, increased crashes, and made the game perform worse.

3) There is no Quality Assurance

When Forgotten Empires mod came out many years ago I admired it because it did what you expect a mod to be. Lots of new content to enjoy for people that want to try something different.
Unfortunately, FE mod/expansion has become “official” now. Microsoft saw the opportunity to make a few extra bucks and without any type quality assurance, DE is released.

It’s a bit funny that nearly every “Art of War” mission is bugged. When you have no Q/A and just continue to add content nonstop, there are always other things that take priority, therefore certain bugs will remain forever. Piling more and more issues over time will only make this worse in the future.

This does justice to DE as it makes the game look like what it truly is by heart: a mod.

4) “More is Less”

I really like new maps. I think new campaigns are nice although I haven’t played them, I assume some people like them. However this trend of adding so many civs is mindnumbingly dumb. It’s so careless and lazy.

Being an AoE nerd, remembering all civ bonuses in AoC was hard enough. Now it’s impossible.

As a result, you reduced variety instead of increasing it. Because it’s now much more efficient to learn the top 5 civs and just ignore the rest. In the past, the limited amount of civs allowed you to have a pretty good understanding of their use cases. Now it all feels washed out and irrelevant.

5) Priorities

People, including myself, have had issues of crashing every single game. There’s people that had this issue since launch and continue it to have it today. It’s OK - you can release a crooked game because you already charged us for it anyway.

But the developer eyes don’t seem to be in fixing the instability issues. Even though, many people have paid THREE times for this game. What do we get instead? A PROFANITY FILTER. #Priorities

6) Incompetence

You managed to break things that have worked perfectly fine for 20 years.

As is the case of recorded games.

  • You cannot watch a game past one player that resigns (FFA, huge comebacks, etc? haha no)
  • When game updates, old recordings become incompatible. Yes, incompatible. Yes… incompatible.

Why this is important is not only because we had this feature working forever and now it doesn’t, but because tournaments & youtube AoE content heavily relies on recorded games.

Microsoft I hope you’re watching HC3 and the cringy rec-game crashes. I guess it properly represents the game.

7) Instability

As mentioned too many times, the game continues to get worse in performance, and will continue to do so as devs add more stuff without taking care of what’s already here and bugged as heck. There’s many symptoms of the game not being able to handle itself, among memory leaks, sounds that stop working, etc.

But the most infuriating symptom?

Units fail to respond to commands. For example, you send them to attack and the units freeze.
Sometimes they freeze for no reason at all. Before, you could grab 20 paladins and divide them in 5 groups to raid diff specific locations, or villagers.

Now, if you try to do that, they freeze, they don’t follow any proper orders as much. This is so detrimental to the competitive scene. There is excess evidence here, for example HC3 Nicov lost lots of camels to xbows because his units simply wouldn’t attack, lol.

8) Decade-old bugs are still there

After seeing all of this you’d think they must have done something right. But…

  • Out of sync bug still there and frequent (1h into game? OOPSIE! NG!)
  • Villagers still get stuck when gathering resources
  • The unit pathing is still really bad and seems worse when you scout big tree blocks
  • Villagers hunting boar can stop walking and get stuck attacking

And more issues if you look, really. I’m just trying to find something they did right besides the ability to queue techs.

9) Ranked Team Games are dead

I already made a topic on this so I don’t want to repeat myself.

Essentially, it’s impossible to get a 4v4 ranked with the new queue system. Half or more of the playerbase is all about team games. As the game continues to die, this will only be worse (even 1v1 takes over 5min already).

Unranked team games are toxic as f, imbalanced, and full of quitters.

10) Community isn’t heard

Because us, who were the AoE community for the last 10 years before DE (no vets actually mained HD), no longer matter. It’s all about fresh customers now, getting the juicy kid money.

  • Big outrage about auto-scouting feature? Devs: implement auto-scouting
  • Big outrage about profanity filter? Devs: no word issued at all

I don’t care about these 2 specific issues as much as being intrigued on why such trivial features get added when there is so many essential things that need to be fixed.


AoE2:DE seems beyond repair. (I truly hope I’m wrong)


I regret spending my money in AoE2DE. MP is a no go thanks to overall matchmaking - not to mention stability issues.
Not even singleplayer achievements are working properly - and that’s like the most basic stuff in a game. If i wanted to play single player without achievements i would pirate download it and save my money.


Literally every updates includes stability and performance improvements. My potato 4go laptop can run the game just fine.

You’re not going to be taken seriously with such arguments. They added 4 new civs, and told they wouldn’t add any other one.

FE becoming official is the HD edition. You’re like 7 years too late.

If it truely was the case, OP Malian, Cuman and Bulgarian would still be in the game. You can’t call all this balancing “lazy”

If you can’t then the tech tree UI mod is for you.

You mean the time where most Arabia games where Huns wars, or Mayan/Aztecs if you wanted some variety. And where not choosing Vikings on water was a missclik?

Then again, read the patch notes? Fill a bug report instead of crying here if your problem persist?

Just like on HD

Did I mention the official performance issues thread is less and less active?

Units not responding and villagers being blocked, while still worked on, shouldn’t be there sure. Bugged team matchmaking as well. Broken filter too. But what’s the use of burrying legitimate critics under piles of salt?

I guess they didn’t want to scrap all that just because people where convinced it would be some kind of OP find-all stuff, while it actually is just a very dumb AI.

That’s an issue. That you could fix by, dunno, asking?

But there is no autoscout and only 16 civs in AoE:DE, it’s the game for you!

EDIT: Since people seem to love this reply, I want to clarify that you should read the whole thread first and read all of @Skillmund’s argument because they reformulated and clarified their viewpoint, which means what I said is somewhat obsolete.


Literally every update also brings new issues, which obviously is not listed in the changelog. It’s easy to claim there are performance improvements but if you take an actual look on the changes they fixed a few niche bugs but the important ones are still there and unlikely to be fixed. If you check “known bugs” the primary 5 min disconnect issue is labeled as “Needs more information” when there’s literally none to give. This is because they just kept on adding more stuff before validating the existing stuff.

Im comparing to AoC, the true age of empires 2. The one that was rising in popularity from userpatch/voobly devs until M$ came in to ruin the party. HD version was a joke.

Except it was a data mod and you could still play the original game if you wanted, as they were well aware not everyone wanted to play this mod. And honestly I would be willing to accept the new content if the game was stable, old features worked & they didnt charge us three times for it.

I agree there is no such thing as full true balance, and meta will always be a thing, but my point here is that it’s much harder now to have a deep understanding about a civ and how it matches against other civs because there are so many now.

If you include other map pools and team games, many AoC civs could be really good. For example, celts/turks/korean in BF, mongols in general, etc. Now there are so many civs that it’s really hard to keep track which one excels where or how their matchups look like.

That’s a 500 IQ response right there. The official performance threads are less active because the game is less active and because people give up at some point.


5 month topic with 500 replies. There isn’t much to describe about the issue in the first place. I don’t see why people would be motivated to keep posting the same stuff that’s been posted 500 times there.

Yes I did fill bug reports. And I also found 3-4 month old topics for some problems I had, unaddressed and unacknowledged (re: bugged recs isnt listed in known issues). So crying there is not enough.

Sir, again, I did. And that even earned me the user of the month badge due to all support it had despite how salty I sound in these forums. Completely ignored by the devs (by the way that was just 1 topic out of 10 or more regarding this issue).


Put that way, it’s clearer. Dunno how to help. Maybe I will sound really dumb, but there was a petition asking for dev attention about Age of Mythology on this https://www.change.org/ Eventually a new patch came out. Was it related or not? No idea. But at least the much bigger AoE2 base would make it impossible for MS to not listen.

For the “too much civ” problem, it’s double the work to understand everything sure, but the good news are that the “true AoE2” civs are still on average the best, and that none of them became bad at something it was good at (except Chinese on Nomads), so what you remember about these 18 civs still holds true. Except they also got buffed, so things like Korean being absolute trash outside of BF can be forgotten about.


At the end of the day yes I know I sound salty. I am also aware that while I may not like some new content, or civs, other people may do. The main reason I pointed this out is because I think they should work on the stability before adding more and more content which will only make things harder to fix and track in the long run.

I’m happy to accept all of it if the game just worked. If ranked TG was a thing. If I could watch my recs. If 80% of the games weren’t determined by somoene crashing. All I want is to play. Is that really too much to ask/expect for?


Literally every update also brings new issues

which most have been address with hot fixes immediately after.

. Now there are so many civs that it’s really hard to keep track which one excels where or how their matchups look like.

I mean maybe for you if youre trying to keep up with every single thing. however watching a lot of pro and competative matches I see a lot more variety and very few mirrors lately

side note I love that auto scouting and profanity filter are the hill you guys are dying on for ‘grr DE bad’…like performance has been improving for me every update…you all made it through actual balance issues like super strong cumans… but auto scouting… ‘game is now for casuals!! gahh!!!’ even though its really bad and if you’re as good as you think you are and casuals are loosing it you should win…and profanity filter like not being able to curse just breaks the game somehow…like sure certainly game terms being filtered is bad but they can fix that an you can adjust…but no this is the line lol


To be fair the filter still isn’t. And having many hotfixes also aggravates the rec issue.


The main reason I pointed this out is because I think they should work on the stability before adding more and more content

they aren’t adding more civs…and they have no plans to add new campigns or such…they added a new feature while having a list of bug and balance changes…like in the grand scheme of things adding the AI script already in the game to your scout is not like they are just thrusting new content out creating a bunch of bugs…


No no no… Look, I mentioned these 2 things for reasons that are beyond whether these changes are good or not. I really don’t care about auto scouting and I came to accept that the filter is probably pushed by sales team and devs don’t get a vote. The reasons I pointed it out are because:

  • They continue to add more stuff instead of improving the performance or user experience. For example, the filter adds a significant delay to the chat.
  • It seems as if the community is ignored and doesn’t get to participate in the development choices. Namely 1) and 10) in the main topic.

Again, I couldn’t care less about auto scouting. My point is, is the game really in such a good/stable spot that they’re focusing on really trivial features, as opposed to doing what really matters?


Since we can ping people to ask, @GMEvangelos @Licidy , could you please provide us with some explanation as to how does the dev team decides which part of the game must be worked on first? What is the likeliness of a suggestion/request being taken into account if there is no answer from the staff?
Thanks in advance for your help


They will NEVER learn. This is mostly M$'s fault (they own the franchise) - bureaucrats making the most amazing and well thought out decisions. Forgotten keep quiet because they are under contract (silenced with a corporate whip). Then there are just some inexperienced programmers on either part. The result is a mediocre half-assed product that reeks of incompetence.

The solution is simple: tell your friends and other players not to buy, to not support. Hurt them where they feel it most: their corporate pockets. Call them out continuesly and state all the facts about the persistent problems that have been enumerated above and across the forums, reddit and elsewhere since release.

They do not care about quality, the franchise or the fanbase at all. Stop supporting!


i enjoyed playing the campaigns in hard before at the old age of empires… now it’s annoying, frustrating and sometimes impossible because of bugs, crashes, units not responding, lunatic IA that literally wants to knife your throat for some reason… and if you change difficulty to medium guess what, the IA gets very bad and it will probably even surrender or literally stop playing lol, you can see how their villagers start to get stuck, inactive, the soldiers start forming circles around castles for whatever reason (old problems still not fixed), i guess they are praying to some god or something… that’s my biggest problem, the difficulty which is absolutely broken, it’s unplayable and the performance is even worse making it a headache more than a challenge.

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autoscouting is horrible for competitive games

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Nothing is ever beyond repair, except life that dies. We are all in the same boat here. And as long there is hope and the developers don’t give up there is plenty of time down the road to adjust and make things better again. And it does improve with every release.

Rome wasn’t built in one day.


I sometimes wonder if I’m playing a different game than everyone else. I really like DE! A lot more enjoyable than HD. And I’m far from a console/casual player who wants games on rails like I’m on a carnival ride.

I’ve never had DE crash. But I save at least 3 or 4 times per match because I’m paranoid of it crashing, due to others talking about such a thing. I’m sure their intent isn’t to have the game crashing just so they can have upset customers :slight_smile:


Well by the sound of your post you play solo so most of the issues don’t really apply to your case.

The HD release was terribly bad and worse than DE for sure. It was dirty and the online lag was on another level, at least in my personal experience, it was unplayable. DE lag seems to be reduced in comparision but this is no novelty, Voobly accomplished this 10 years ago. The competitive AoE scene never took HD seriously and it was just a quick moneygrab, I like to think that HD never existed.

Is it fair to set our standards to what Voobly accomplished? I think so. Their team as well as the people involved in Userpatch 1.4 made the game run nearly flawlessly, and they did it for free, unlike here. Which also explains why despite all new things DE offers, there’s still more people playing in Voobly.


It’s hard to be happy when you know where we came from. They ripped me off 4 times with HD, then they took away my (and the majority’s) way of playing online in DE. How can they expect me to be happy?

I have a text document with page after page of issues with this game, it’s exhausting.

I think it’s disgusting how they forced the pro community over in order to stay relevant in tournaments, while the game is still broken. Their spec features being nothing compared to what we had… Just a total downgrade.

Then something close to my heart… they permanently removed all of the iconic original assets just to implement zoom and 4k graphics, which are no where near necessary for RTS. If you love a game, then you do everything to preserve classic mode. Maybe they did it for the pathing, well the results aren’t really worth it… No excuse can be given for the removal of the classic sounds, not even left as an option in settings. The remade sounds are just nearly the same but downgrade quality… Whats worse, the idea or the oversight?

Too much to mention, I would be crazy to pay for something that has cause the biggest damage to this game.

The pros were forced, the casuals didn’t know better. Maybe it sounds excessive what I’m saying, since the game still works right… well when they do 1 thing right but also take away 1 thing, I rather have that they did nothing at all.

@CactusSteak2171 I have been holding myself back, but I just want to take this time to politely make you aware that you are extremely annoying. Welp, you must be getting a kick out of it.


Last mission of Joan’s campaign(on hard) lol. It’s ludicrous.

I do mostly play single player games so far. But I’ve definitely played a decent number of multiplayer games. I can’t remember any crashes yet. Well, maybe one time, actually, a couple months back… but it was and has been an anomaly.

Thanks for posting the S. Jobs interview in a different thread, by the way. I’m really finding it interesting