I bought the DE a few days ago on Steam and tried to play with other friends over steam, which worked fine at first. The problem is, that one player in the lobby probably caused issues with the connection. We all had a pretty laggy experience, everything stuttered. It was a connection fault, the frame rate of all other players were rock solid at 60. The one friend, which probably caused this issues, had no problems whatsoever. It ran fine on his PC until at some point we all got a game freeze and the lobby crashed mid game, but continued to run on the PC of the friend, which “caused” the problems. We tried it multiple times with different lobby hosts, we could not solve this issue.
Next problem - I barely see any lobbies in the browser. I enabled cross play and linked my Xbox Live account to the game, but still - I see at max 5 lobbies. Besides, I can never join any lobby which I can find over the browser. It either says that the lobby is already full (alltough it isn’t), that the lobby does not exist anymore (which is not true, it’s still there after a refresh) or that there’s a general issue with joining. I also can’t join any running game as a spectator, it always says that there’s a general issue. Next thing, today I tried to play with a friend who bought the game on the Microsoft store. I found out, that this is due to the update 32911 which hasn’t been rolled out to the MS store owners, I hope this get’s a fix very soon.
So, in conclusion:
Bought the game for a full price, can’t join ANY game, can’t spectate ANY game, games with friends on steam are unplayable due to some unknown problems (by the way, AOE2:DE is the only game we experienced this problem with our friend, it’s not his PCs or connections fault).