AOE2 Top Priorities: Three things that MUST be FIXED

  1. Yes (will take them 20 years at this rate)
  2. Yes (they won’t though because MS doesn’t want to invest any further in to DE)
  3. No, this game is not worth a single extra penny in it’s current state. Servers are bad, network coding is poor, dumb enforced censorship, MP sucks.

naw if they go down the route of reskin for money, then theres a huge chance they’ll disable the mod and editor. in that case we’ll just go back to pre DE and play for free there, with like 1000x more mods

Everybody would. Monetization is one of the reasons why people prefer old games, with free mods.


thats a terrible argument bro. asking someone to find a source for you to prove their point. I dont see fish under the sea so there is none, go find me fishes and I’ll believe you.

Reason game died before is because internet wasnt as big as it was 18-20 years ago which at the time internet was considered as a luxury. now it is a necessity and much more have access to it thus boost ads revenue and bunch of other viewership. f2p is the way to go, thats just how it is.

there are things they can benefit by fixing bugs, such as that we may purchase AOE4 when it comes out. if they dont then I wont bother to purchase AOE4, thats an incentive for them right there.


No, it’s not. He said, “Your idea has been tried already, and failed miserably.” He can’t just make up stuff. Anyway, I’m not here to argue.

The game can still be f2p. But, it needs some type of subscription. Selling the game for a one-off $20 will just result in a buggy multiplayer experience that will die off in a short period of time.

There were plenty of people playing it online at MS in the 2000’s, but the game didn’t continue to be developed. They came out with AOE3, which wasn’t the same experience as AOE2. People still come back to AOE2 for the gameplay.

Here is how developers could make some money with AOE 2 DE.


Yep, more expansions, more money. HD proved this is a winning startegy.

Subscription fee? Dead game!


If they monetize then they should go the visual option root like leage of legend skins.

3 Dollar for original cata
5 Dollar for regional Asian units skins for knights, champions, etc.
Some none essential to the gameplay but nice eyecandy

I could life with this if it was the price for further support. If the put multilayer behind a paysall then voobly is going to be back

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I changed the wording a bit to emphasize a subscription of some kind.


  • Free to play multiplayer
  • Tournaments / leagues for members ($2-$5 per month memberships)
  • One monthly free tournament for everyone (based on rankings)
  • Clan tournaments / leagues for members

The key in official supported skins would be that it is so visible to other players, while cosmetic mods are only visible to whoever installed the mod.

This would introduce the bragging rights which are essential for these kind of business models.


Don’t be so naive. As already pointed out this game is not free. And on top of that, AOE2DE is under GAAS model. What that mean is that the investment for the game’s life support is previously planned. Of course that doesn’t mean that they won’t be reactive with the development, but the general leading is pretty much mapped already. The same goes for the development budget. This game already had its money investement, any income they get further on is profit, and only that. They won’t turn it into more investment (unless for some exceptional reason), because that’s not how business work on post-launched games.

And just think about it: overpricing this game as you suggested is a recipe for failure alone. Now, remember that AoE2 is a game easily playable on voobly, totally for free. What’s your guess on the outcome of having a paid online multiplayer?

I mean, fine I gues?? Every non-invitational tournament has a subscription fee already, but having official tournaments more often would be not bad. The questions that it lefts with me is who would this be target for? And this audience would be worth the investment?

Sadly this a MS problem, not exactly related with the game. You should contact their support. I hope it gets fixed ASAP.

This is a pretty neat idea, I’ve been hoping to see some DLCs like this since the beta. There are many stuff that can be changed without the risk of visual clutter, such as siege units, elephants, the Chicken Scout skin for the Eagle Scout.

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Obviously, I paid $20 for it. And in the same paragraph that you quoted that sentence from, I said:

Context is important.

$20 is fine for downloadable software that’s installed on the user’s computer because it can be replicated and distributed at next to no cost.

A one-time fee of $20 however is unsustainable for a game that requires long-term maintenance, like AOE2 does. Such a business model results in a poor multiplayer experience that’s treated as a loss leader (what I was getting at by “free”) rather than the main (or a main feature).

It also results in a “have to create a completely new game to make money” mentality (ex: Age of Mythology) rather than “improve the current game to make it a better experience” mentality.

That’s not what gaming as a service means nor is gaming as a service independent of a subscription model :slight_smile: In fact, gaming as a service often uses subscriptions as a central part of the model and historically has as well. A large part of AOE’s current revenue might even be coming from Xbox’s Game Pass subscriptions.

Gaming as a service involves providing a continual service (ex: new content, cloud servers to run the games on, etc) rather than a one-off. So they are actually headed in the general direction I want (which is good to see and which I didn’t know previously!), but I hope they see multiplayer as a central part of the game rather than focusing primarily on single player features (ex: campaigns).

I’m not overpricing it. You’re undervaluing it. It’s worth more than $20, IMO. I don’t mind just paying $20, but I want the lobbies to work and for the game not to crash all the time (#1 and #2 above). That’s all. I’m willing to pay a bit more to be able to play often and reliably.

I’m not familiar with Voobly, as I left AOE2 soon after AOE3. Does Voobly control development of the game though? Does it have a big enough user base to have consistent availability for games, where I can get on and play within minutes? Is it reliable or does it crash often too?

Good questions. It would be for everyone, noobs, intermediates, and pros. Kind of like chess dot com.

You don’t get it. It’s not unsustainable because the investment to make a game is prior to its making (and just as a disclaimer: my point disregards indie games, as AoE2DE is not a indie game). The development budget accounts for the game development itself, marketing, server rents and mainetenance, post release life support, technical support. These things don’t come into play as the money goes in, they are planned on the investment of making a game, that’s what makes it possible. By planning, the publisher knows very well what’s possible and how much resource they need/want to allocate on projects in order to succeed and profit. If AoE2DE doesn’t have more resources on its development team it’s because the publisher planning decided on that amount that they have now, not because of a lack of money. And in fact, the game still performing very well sale-wise. If there’s a thing that this game already makes well that thing is money.

Not only that but we have plenty of examples on the online gaming universe that disproofs your claim. Only from the top of my mind I can think of: Minecraft, CS:GO, (arguiably) PUBG, R6, Street Fighter V.

That’s far from why new games are made. AoM itself was in development concurrent with AoK, it wasn’t made for raise funds. You can only improve a game so much, there’s always the need to surpass previous creations limitations and take new flights. For example, take a look on Numantian Games’ thoughts on improve further They are Billions after the release. And sometimes it’s really a lost cause, why would you exhaustedly try to improve a game that your public doesn’t like to play instead of going for new projects.

Of course the make of money comes into play, but I don’t think this mentality was ever a case with AoE, and honestly don’t see it happening to most of games (that aren’t sports games or Call of Duty).

What I brought up was the definition that the dev team, who’s part of the gaming industry, uses for their model. I will not contradict that, because I don’t even think that I have the knowledge to do so. If you want to, fine.

Steam metrics alone indicate a healthy sale stream of the game. And given how disproportional finding a Xbox player online compared to finding a Steam player is (Steam players being far more common) I wouldn’t say that the Game Pass have that large of a part. But that’s just my impression based only on multiplayer, I can’t support this any further.

Voobly is the sole reason of why AoE2 still relevant nowadays, it’s the platform where the community got togheter to play. Basically all the standards of how AoE2 should be are measured in comparison of how the game is on Voobly.

Yes, it has a consistent and numerous enough playerbase, over the last decade, to provide games easily and often.

It is as much reliable as AoC can be.

I don’t see how and why casual players (noobs and intermediates, basically) would invest as much in the game to the point of paying for competing in tournaments. I simply can’t picture that happening.


SavvyEmpire, I am glad you bought paid option up!

It’s great idea to have paid content. Rather than monthly subscription I’d like to see in game shop where you could buy/ subscribe to certain multiplayer packages. I have several ideas that would be great to see!

It would be great to have packages which boost your unit speed production, it could generate resources like relics but it could generate wood, food.

Also it could boost your cav speed, unit speed in general. Another tier for blacksmith update (paid) would be cool. they can increase range for archers, skirms. double HP of all your structures, add 50% to all your units (villagers included).

Depends which package would you purchase, you could combine them. But I am all for this! Bring in money to maintain the game and this is the solution!

Because now when game is free, lobby is not working.

By introducing fees for multiplayer there is a risk of MP players base reduction and division. Some people will pay and play, some will reduce their playing and some stopped completely.

I am strongly against any additional fees for playing. As many people have already mentioned we have paid for the game. Additionally, we bought it with no information about future fees.

But I am OK with new paid expansions.

  1. The wait times are under 5 mins and matches can take up to an hour. I would actually suggest they increase the wait times until they can find players close in elo. Especially with team games its worth the wait. When I was playing DE team games I would often get matches with extreme elo differences between the players and the games would not be good. Id often find myself building wonders out boredom and doing things like building 200 rams and winning games using just rams because of the skill differences between me and my opponents. It would end up being a bigger waste of a time than if we had waited an additional 5 mins.

  2. Agreed.

  3. As many others pointed out the majority of the player base would be extremely against paying for a subscription on a game that we already bought. This would make DE dead and move players to another platform like voobly that can host DE on their servers. Also Microsoft studios is the richest game developer in the world if not 2nd only to sony. And Microsoft itself is worth over 1.3 trillion dollars. Trying to milk 2 dollars a month from the old fans of aoe 2 would be brutal.

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Oh, but I do. You just don’t yet get that I get it :slight_smile:

The key question is, for how long? They certainly don’t have it planned for 10 years. And do those plans prioritize multiplayer?

You might not have been around back when AOE was played on Microsoft’s “MSN Gaming Zone”, but I was. They retired the lobby portion around 2006 and with that most of the AOE2 community was gone, just like that. Why? They weren’t making money from it (yes, everyone paid $20 for the game a long time ago, but eventually marketshare threshold gets to the unsustainable point… it’s like running out of the gold pile :stuck_out_tongue: … whereas subscriptions are like a regenerating gold pile). They aren’t a charity. They are looking to make money.

Minecraft is the best selling game of all time, so its threshold is higher than any other game. But, it can’t continue for ever. Plus, it has merchandizing agreements, etc.

Switched to selling cosmetic items rather than a one-off purchase.

Is young and will have the same issues later if it’s one-off, but my guess is that they focus on multiplayer.

I’m not familiar with it, but sounds like they released many versions of it (like AOE2 vs AOE3). But, I see AOE2 as a classic, like chess, that could be played for decades with just minor tweaks to keep civs balanced, maps interesting, etc. It basically is a master chess game (brings back nostalgia from the old chess intro for it).

Okay (sarcasm) :slight_smile:

No, that’s not how they defined it. You misunderstood it.


I’m really glad to hear that! I wish I knew about it sooner.

Because tournaments and leagues are fun! If you’re in a noob tournament, you have the thrill and the chase of winning it. Competition’s a big part of AOE and tournaments / leagues add to that.

I’ve enjoy the discussion, but time to go play some games now! :slight_smile:

Isn’t it obvious enough that nothing lasts forever?! I didn’t bought the game with the expectations of playing it online 10 years from now, and I seriously doubt that you or anyone else had. I’m more concerned with the foreseeable future closer to us, and that one is guaranteed to have support.

Have you bothered reading the GAAS article?

You can be as much nitpicky as you want about the games I briefly mentioned (and just now I also reminded of Overwatch), but my point, that we have a lot of examples of under 60$ online games that have constant post-launch support and doesn’t charge extra fees to play online, still maintained.


Quoting LeChuk on their article:

When you hear terms like Games-as-a-Service, you might be tempted to associate that with popular Free-to-Play games, but they aren’t strictly related. Free-to-Play is really just one of many ways in which some products decide to charge for their experience. Subscriptions are another. A one-time purchase too. Po-tay-to, po-tot-o, right? But Games-as-a-Service is really more about how ­we work, and it involves staying more closely connected to YOU – the Community – and making sure we’re prioritizing the things YOU care about. When we shipped the game last November, it stopped being about us. Right now it’s all about you. You’re the rock stars. Each and every one of you. And we’re talking about Games-as-a-Service because that’s very much how we work with AoE2:DE.

Please explain me what they actually meant with that and how I misunderstood it.

Yes, on pro-player level, what translates for the people that are the most dedicated to the game. This is the opposite of casual. I can see dedicated players adhering to that, but since this audience is so small I can’t see such subscription service being a profitable investment.

Just enter ranked games. You have a game against equal skilled players and it is not bugged at all.
For me there are only two reasons to no play ranked:

  • I wanna play with friends against friend and make my own teams.
  • I dont like the settings / map pool.

I agree that getting into a lobby, make equally skilled teams, … is pretty time consuming. I did try the lobby once and i just got kicked from every lobby, because they didnt like i had 1v1 ranked rating by host. That doesnt make sense.

Now i stick to RM ranked games (1v1 and team games) and almost every game is good. Teams are pretty balanced since last server maintainance. It is really easy to get into a ranked game. No issues at all.

I didnt noticed any stability issues or crashes untill this point. I have around 60 MP games played. No crashes at all. Only thing is noticed is sometimes lag. I think this is related to the increase of players because Corona, so server were too small. This seems like it is fixed. So i dont really know about this issues you are talking.

Just no. They dont need to changes the rules about paying. I bought this game knowing i can play MP for free. It is kinda strange if you just change it to be paid. I think you will loose many players if you make MP only possible by a monthly fine. I think many go back to HD or Voobly. I would even think Voobly will try to include AoE II DE multiplayer for free at there platform.

If they need such kind of system where you have to paid for multiplayer, they had to introduce this at release. Not after 6 months.

I also dont know why you think they are spending time chasing single player features. If you have seen latest patches most changes are for SP and MP or only MP. I cant really remember some SP only changes in the patch notes.

So i really dont think these are really top priorities.

I would call it backwards thinking, that we must keep paying because the game is in a bad shape instead of them delivering on the promise of the “definitive edtion”.

I disagree that this game needs continuous development, if everything is fully featured and working then what is left to do? Maybe some balance changes once a year?

If SP people are willing to pay for campaign dlc’s then that’s fine, but for multiplayer just get it right and leave it. This whole DE venture has already been hugely profitable for them, so don’t be fooled that they are on a tight budget because the game is in bad shape.