Hard is way too hard

Honestly, the difficulty scaling in base AoE2: DE is really messed up. I’m too good for Moderate, and I easily crush the enemy. However, I get completely wrecked by the Hard AI. As a result, I simply do not have any fun playing the game, because it’s either not challenging enough or frustrating. There should be a difficulty between Moderate and Hard, or make the transition more smooth.


Have you tried playing with Handicap?
You can buff the Ai Player or yourself with it in 5%increments.


I want to get better legitimately, and a handicap feels too much like cheating.

I understand that, imo giving the moderate AI a Handicap to make it stronger could be an option.

hmm cant really relate. All i do vs hard ai ( i play lots of 1v2 with my friend having a hard ai on his team) is drop a castle in between us and they just auto-lose there since they keep suiciding units into my castle and rarely make trebs/bbc. The main thing is dealing with the feudal 1,000 units. But the ai will just auto atk buildings, so put some buildings in between the two of you and it’ll atk it until units come to gain its aggro instead. Ai will probably run into tc’s and die as well. Not sure on that, it seems to vary between perfectly stepping back or suiciding in

Kinda off topic, i feel extreme ai is easier to beat than the hardest ai. hardest ai i only win by putting pressure in feudal or very early castle age. While extreme ai is just simplier imo, its micro is nice but it makes less counter units.

One thing u can try is to do something like a 4v3 vs hard ai. Might be too easy but u can adjust with players and handicap.

Also imo the jump from hard to hardest is definately the biggest jump. Hardest to extreme is probably the most noticeable (fancy micro, grouping, drush etc.) but idk if its just me but i swear that its so much easier beating it than the hardest ai.

hard isn’t really that hard. just hide behind castles and tc and continue to boom and ignore enemy. and make like few knights and herbal meds and watch ai keep running units to their death.

same can be said for extreme, its when you are up against 2 AI and they have trade then time is against you.

I actually think Extreme is not hard enough. All difficulty levels of AI die hard to castles. Doesn’t matter if the castle is forward or at your base, their kryptonite is castles. So just get a castle up and full boom to imp. Easy game. I wish the AI players were better at reacting and adapting like a human player would, then it would actually be good practice for ranked games.


Your exact fit in opponents is only found in ranked vs human opponents, where the elo system matches you versus players on you level based on how you do. Vs computer you don’t have very fine-tuned options in difficulty.

If you’re serious about improving, ranked multiplayer is probably your best and fastest bet then. You can also persevere against the hard AI instead.

No matter which opponent you decide to go against, rewatch your recs, adopt a build order if you haven’t already, etc.

yep things like walking around, just outside of castle range while continue to harass player would be a huge step up in difficulty.