How to move on from V&V

At time of writing Victors and Vanquished sits at Mostly Negative (33% positive rating) on steam

It feels like we have hit a new low, both in content quality and community trust. What could the next steps be?
I’ll try to suggest some measures that can be taken by the community management team and the development team to salvage this situation and rebuild trust.

First of all, I don’t think this last DLC is an outlier, but the continuation of a downwards trend. Each patch that fixes some bugs introduces new ones. There hasn’t been open and honest communication with the wider community at any point. With that in mind, my suggestions will not just target V&V but also some of the broader issues:

Short term:

  1. First of all. Apologize. An actual apology, admit that you did wrong and what you did wrong. You could also explain how you reached those decisions, that would might gain you some sympathy. (again, not limited to V&V)

  2. A partial refund for V&V. For its price this DLC simply contains too little. Compared to any other DLC it contains significantly less, while costing more.
    Alternatively add more content. You claimed the workshop scenarios would be polished? Then do that, add a new model for mounted samurai. Add Varangian guards. Add unique hero models for the named units. Maybe even add one or two more actually new scenarios.
    Give actual voice lines by more than one person. Add new intro/outro slides. This simply isn’t enough.

Long term:
3) Better quality control/release pipeline/internal processes. How often do new ############ introduce new bugs? How can this happen? Add automated testing, have real humans actually play the game before launch. How does a bug like monaspas dealing extra damage to buildings make it into the game? How do we get regressions like the recent pathing fiasco with teleporting units?
To follow up on this: When issues like this do happen, admit fault and roll back to the previous patch. Yes this is humbling, but it shows that you are willing to fix issues and doesn’t leave us with a broken game.

  1. Better and honest communication.
    Explain why you think 5 new scenarios and some small changes to community content warrant 13 eur
    Explain why sticking with the current version of (broken) pathing is better than reverting to a previous version.
    Explain why we can’t switch of chat filter.
    Why can’t we have more colors to choose from (especially useful for colorblind people)?
    What’s the reason we can’t play 5v5 or 8v8.
    Why don’t we have better post-game statistics like aoe3?
    We might disagree, but at least we would have an answer. Not knowing the answers we will assume the worst.
    Host some Q&A/AMAs where you give honest answers. Listen to feedback.

  2. Pricing. I can’t believe I need to write this, but: Don’t drastically cut content and simultaneously increase the price. I think most of us would tolerate minor price increases, if there is at least an equal/equivalent amount of content offered.

I think the majority of players can agree to the above, or at least agree that doing so would improve the game.

One final thing that is more personal and possibly controversial:
I bought this game as a “definitive” edition. I don’t like most of the new civ additions (however I do like the campaigns, QOL features etc). I cannot find competitive games where I just play the base civilizations (prefereably just AoC, but even base DE). To play competitively I am forced to play against the new civs.
Maybe add a queue where DLC civs aren’t allowed or even just limited to AoK civs, this would also make getting into the game easier.

I personally refunded V&V while I still could. I am disappointed by this to no end. I will step away from the game (and this forum) for a while as I am not enjoying the game in it’s current form. I hope the situation will improve, so I will look at it again in a half a year or so.


Or explain why you can’t return to the previous pathing.

For many people this probably looks a lot easier then it is, but they need just tell us why it’s not that easy.
This way we would understand why it’s taking so long to fix.


fair enough, this hadn’t crossed my mind. If I were to design a game like this pathfinding would be it’s own class or library and reverting to the previous version could be done in a few minutes. I don’t know what mess they have

Unfortunately this is not something that the current developers could decide.
It was decided 25 years ago.

According to some older posts they are in the process of clearing up the old code. Probably moving the pathing into a centralised class.
Maybe that’s the reason it keeps breaking because they are rewriting it from scratch.

But I don’t know, I can only guess.
They should tell us.

Many over developers do weekly or even just monthly dev updates where they talk about what they are working on.
Why can’t AoE/AoM devs do that?


my point exactly :smiley: twenty

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You know after seeing their business decisions in the past year and a half, especially this one, I start to be really worried about the AOE3 DLC and AOMR

But hey one is a traditional “new civ” DLC type they have been making for years and the other is based on a well-established game on a well-established engine. These are impossible to mess up, right?



The solution is simple in my eyes: take a page from Creative Assembly. Last year they made multiple and very large mistakes, but the ones that are most relevant here are what happened with the Shadows of Change DLC, and Total War: Pharaoh.

In short, they released a DLC with very little content at a very high price, higher than previous DLC. it had 3 new playable characters, which is good, but the new units were very few in number. Not to mention, the in-game lore for these characters was very underwhelming. Usually, there is a reason why X character starts in Y location, but not this time. Here characters are in the opposite ends of the globe, as far away from their home as possible, because… IDK, that’s it.

The result? People got mad, left bad reviews, but the devs apologized and added more content to the DLC, practically doubling it in size.

But they also screwed up with Total War Pharaoh. It had a small scope and very little factions, not to mention it was practically recycled from Total War: Troy. It also was very expensive, and people could buy “better” editions which were even more expensive, but the upside was that you would get some future DLC for free. So basically, you paid for a promise.

Again, people got mad, and as a result the devs apologized, made the game cheaper, refunded lots of money, and added the first DLC as a free update.

Now, I’m aware Forgotten Empires does not have the same resources as Creative Assembly, which is a AAA comapy. But they could benefit from learning from them.


Largely agree. I’m sure everyone could find a thing or two to quibble about but broadly speaking these are no-brainers.

  • Apology - Good Idea
  • Partial Refund / More Content - Definitely not opposed
  • Better QA - Who can argue with that?
  • Better and Honest Communication / QA AMAs - Good idea. sometimes getting into the weeds confuses people even more, but I’d say the benefits far outweigh potential drawbacks.

Quite obvious it is essentially a small saga title (which ngl is good enough for a saga title) forced into a main title maybe because someone had to ensure the number of major releases in a certain period of time I guess?

The devs did amazing job on arts and designs and tried their best to add as many features as possible make it look like a main title but the bad business model ruined all their efforts.

Here V&V is smarter, and more cost effective than what CA did: there is no effort in the first place.


the irony is: due to point 4 being an issue, I expect nobody from forgotten empires/world’s edge/whoever actually reads this forum or at least doesn’t respond to anything, so it’s a catch 22


Of course, I really liked most of what Pharaoh offered. It had interesting mechanics, beautiful art and historically accurate buildings, armor, clothing, etc. But the problem was the tiny scope they chose.

True. I can tell the game had a lot of effort behind it, but it was a bad business practice that killed it. V&V should have never been considered in it’s current iteration. All they had to do was to put a little effort, literally just hire scenario designers to make 1 campaign each, like they’ve been doing before.

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A more practical oriented idea. There is a fantasy author I read and he does a lot of stuff on YT. Livestreams, videos, AMA, QAs, the whole kit-and-kaboodle.

Whenever they’re getting ready to do a AMA/QA they’ll start a topic on Reddit like the day before. That allows people to ask questions, and for the community to up-vote the best/most desired questions. They’ll still take some questions from the chat, but having the reddit post really highlights the questions the community wants answered.

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AoE is not much smaller than Total War.
AoE is also available on Gamepass and AoE2 and AoE4 are even on Xbox.
AoE is owned by Microsoft and Total War by Sega.

Is it really that hard to make content for AoE2?
Why does AoE3 get so much free content compared to AoE2 despite having a lot less players?
Not complaining about getting AoE3 content, it’s my favourite game, but it’s kinda strange how little AoE2 is getting.


I wish there was a way to see Microsoft Store stats, we could get the full picture. But as far as I know, Creative Assembly is (or was) the biggest UK games developer, while Forgotten Empires is a medium-sized company, having 90 employees according to their website. The franchise supposedly had 50 million players in 2023, but DLC have been decreasing in quality over the last few years, so who knows.

They may or may not have a similar budget, but judging by what I can see, CA has more money. But regardless, I want FE to learn from how CA dealt with their own mistakes.

It will be another huge miss if they interpret this as “single player dlc is a bad idea”.

It’s like interpreting Pharaoh’s failure as “there are no longer audience for historical games”.

Bad products and bad business are bad ideas.


They mentioned in the Wha’ts on the Horizon section of the current patch notes that they already have plans until at least 2025, not sure how much V&V’s reception is affecting those plans.


Admittedly they can decide to cut their losses if they feel they need to do that, but my…guess…is that won’t happen.

  • NEVER do something this way again. Communicate clearly and honestly. By what I read in their posts, they carefully chose each word not to rub people the wrong way. Unfortunately, this type of communication lack transparency.

  • Increase value of the actual DLC. Add real new scenarios, improve the original ones. I guess 10~15 scenarios is manageable. I know they will anounce it pretending they’re not correcting anything but rather gifting players but ok.

  • Cool down on new content. There’s an artistic dimension to gamecrafting and artists benefit from time to craft their works. Maybe one new DLC each year or even year and half, I don’t mind. LOTW came out more than one year after DE. it’s ok, it was awesome and worth the money. Just releasing new content without proper care may be profitable thanks to a loyal playerbase but in the long run the quality of the content will nosedive.

I really don’t believe in refund and apologies. This doesn’t feel the way the operate. Sincerely, I’m ok with that. My relation with them is consumer and company. They release a good product, I will pay.


Personally, I’d really love to see a DLC in the vain of the HD Edition DLCs (+ Last Khans) that add entirely new game modes, terrains, architechture sets and music.

Or maybe something completely different such as revisiting Antiquity again but AoE 2ify it.


A lot of the reviews are written in a way that seem, suspiciously, like they were well aware of what they were buying, and are trying to review bomb the DLC – just like you said you would do 9 days ago:

TwerDefender (9d)

I can live with them calling all of these scenarios combined a “campaign”, even though this isn’t what most of us meant when we asked for more campaigns.

What I can’t stomach, is that this is still a complete rip-off at this price. This contains only 4 or 5 new scenarios, but even if you count all those minor reworks as “new” it is still so much less than a normal DLC at the same price. This is incredibly steep shrinkflation, being an effective price increase of 100% at least.

I am going to buy this, leave a bad steam review and then refund. We can’t let them get away with shit like this.

Yeah, the reviews I see look a lot like forum posts we saw here leading up to the DLC’s launch. Well-informed, well-prepared write-ups all commenting in the same way we saw here for weeks. There are a couple authentic-looking ones, but quite a few suspicious ones, in my opinion.

Those reviews may be justified… and probably are if that’s how everyone feels about it… but I guess maybe give it some time to see if people who actually keep it and play it longer than two hours give some reviews that trickle in that are more positive. (I think 2 hours is the max time you can play a game on Steam before asking for refund, iirc)

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