I am looking forward to 2024 to see, what the developers will release for the game. As they statet out in the LAST UPDATE from 11 december 2023 (Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Update 99311 - Age of Empires), they will bring SOME SURPRISES , WHAT NO ONE WILL EXPECT . With such a statement, I assume, that will appear for the players most mentioned wishes (More campaigns, much new architecture sets, more unique units, rework and extension of the civs overview skirmish map, fix still existing bugs at many and long time map interactions of civs and units, pathfinding improvements for the units and so on) into the game, otherwise this statement would make no sense.
We can be excited… But I will not praise the day before the evening. We will see, whether there are a lot of positive things or just sobering changes.
I wish, that “non playable campaign and editor units” like the Crusader Knight (Teutons), the Dismounted Konnik (Bulgarians), the Khan (Bulgarians but I find the Bulgarian not in the Editor just in the Tatars Campaign), the Khan (Mongols) and the Mounted Samurai (Japanese) become playable as unique units for these civs. You can see more details at the following link: Unit (Age of Empires II) | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom
I also think to bringing as playable units the following ones: the Norse Warrior (Vikings), the Heavy Pikeman (Britons), the Frankish Paladin (Franks), the Heavy Crossbowman (Italians), the Elite Legionary (Romans), the Imperial Legionary (Romans), the Imperial Cenutrion (Romans), the Priest as a Monk variation (Byzantines), the Royal Janissary (Turks), the Neareast Swordsman (Saracens), the Qizilbash Warrior (Persians), the Eastern Swordsman (Hindustanis), the Canoe (Malay), the Sunda Royal Fighter (Malay), the Flamethrower (Chinese), the Junk (Chinese), the Dragon ship (Chinese) and the Ninja Warrior (Japanese).
It would also be good, to bring certain “hero units” as playable into the game, I think on this to “rename” of certain heroes. You can see more details at the following link: Hero (Age of Empires II) | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom
Below a selection: Pope Leo 1 as an Hero Monk, give him a new Ingame name as Church Pope (Italians), the Cuman chief (Cumans) and Chand Bardai, give him a new Ingame name as Indian Poet (Gurjaras). In order to keep Pope Leo 1, the Cuman chief and Chand Bardai in the game, the developers can use other AI player names, that appears at this point in the campaigns or redesign this units.
Such valuable “super units” are so far simply been lying idle in the editor and campaign maps. Being able to use them in Skirmish but also in Campaigns would be just great. At the same point I would remove the concerning general units from the civs. There are far too many general unit types and technologies available to all civs, which has a huge impact on the fun of the game. Use almost all of your previously Unplayable units and rename certain Hero units and then add them to the civs, it would make a lot more sense. Seeing Aztecs and Incas with 5 playable swordsman levels in the tech tree, is historically very unwordly.
It would also make sense to see the Sogdian Cathapract (Sogdians) involved as a playable unit, but then a new civ like the Sogdians would be helpful. A new Silk Road DLC would fit in with the inclusion of the Sogdians, the Gök Turks and the White Huns (Hepthalites).
Moreover I would like to see a rework of misplaced unique units. The Organ gun for the Portuguese is historically completely wrong placed, please give them to the Britons (English) and give the Portuguese an another unique unit for example the Aventureiros, which have already been suggested here. Just because the Spanish have Conquistadors as a gunpowder unit does not mean, that the Portuguese need them too a similar one. A strange line of thought from the developers, think about it seriously…
In connection with the unique units, I want to get more unique buildings for the civs. For the Chinese it would be the “Gunpowder depot”, which has so far been portrayed as a Trade workshop in the campaigns, it could serve as a Training camp for another new Chinese special unit like the Ming artillerymen (Chinese). When it comes to the Italians, I think of a “Church” as a new special building where Church popes (Italians) can be trained as former hero units. Popes can give unique units an attack and or defense boost when they are near them.
I expect additional, that the Architecture sets will come much more similar for all 4 ages like the Dark ages, Feudal age, Castle age and the Imperial age, as far as the color schemes are concerned. Up to now, this just look ugly for a lot of civ architecture sets, it really needs improvements here.
And yes, I would like to see even more “economic distinctions” for the civs. Give the Southeast Asian civs (Rise of the Rajas campaigns) finally rural “rice” farms, that they can rice grow on the country, not just in watery environments.
What do you want for the game in 2024? Share your thoughts here. The developers will definitely enjoy reading it…