replacing the pear to pear system with a dedicated server system is a big step forward for performance, but it is vital that players are able to host their own dedicated servers, not relying on Microsoft’s servers, for a few reasons:
LAN play for people with little or no internet
DDos and other outages (even amazon web services had an outage recently, so no one is immune)
end of life cycle: this game has lasted 20 years it will probably last 40 more, players should still have access to the game they bought long after it stops being cost-effective for Microsoft to run servers (many games have been killed by the developer turning off servers that players cant host themselves, if you let players host their own servers there will be no backlash when the order comes from above to close down the servers)
most importantly, server-side mods: the aoe2 community have created may great things from the 5th age to grand theft monument if you want to unite the, currently divided, community with aoe2 de then you need to make these sorts of projects possible.
(hopefully, this is already in development, if anyone knows please tell me)
Thank you for reading. this one feature will be the deciding factor in whether I (and I believe many others) buy and move to DE