Is it worth going back to this game in 2020?

With the current situation of Starcraft 2 under ActiBlizz, broken servers and no more content updates. One should be wise to move to this masterpiece that is the Age of Empires Franchise. This game has its flaws but unlike the stagnant Starcraft 2, the community here is growing. There are also great mods if you’re into custom campaigns, etc.

P.S. I bought nearly all digital goodies in SC2 but at the end all we got was dump in the face over there when no more support PR was released. Immediately move to AoE, never went back and totally love playing the campaigns with custom campaigns here. There is also a growing esports scene.


No, this game has been trashed like HD back in 2013 - They basically pulled of another HD Edition and we all know how good it was.
The game itself (especially the graphics) is good, but everything around it - Performance, Matchmaking, UI, Modding, Scenario creation, Multiplayer system, punishment execution all are absolutely behind every RTS released in 2020.
If you only care about Singleplayer then go for it, but multiplayer is just a pain currently. Sometimes your ally names flicker in Quickplay (if they are shown even).


Can totally relate to it. If we are honest the game migth be worth the 20 dollars it costs. A lot of Singleplayer and campaign modes and such. The main issue really is MP and performance. I have played the CD edition AoC on a PC that is 100 times slower than my current setup, back in 2007 or whatever I had no issues (at least performancewise, dont wanna talk about my skill back then xD) at all with 8 AIs all spamming units and stuff. Now we are hoping for the game not to crash to desktop in a MP battle with everyone having 50 pop. And then you are imagining what the game could actually be if Devs would not be total ******, thats what makes people upset and angry about this game. Sometimes MP will just work fine for hours and PC is just chilling in a 250pop 8 player post imp black forrest battle, the other time it will just crash in a 2v2 in feudal :confused:


@MockHamill, hello and welcome to the forum! :raising_hand_man:
I will speak only for myself, as I believe you want to hear personal opinions, not so much generalizations.
The first thing that made me buy it was the nostalgia factor. AoE2 is THE game and even after 21 years it is still a classic RTS choice. All the basics are still here, nothing too crazy was changed. There are new mechanics that spice up the game, like the Konnik and the Feitoria, but me and the community embraced them immediately.
Second, the quality of life features, QoL, are a huge step forward. They literally can up your skill level. The shift-click, the new walling algorithm, the reseeding - they all help a lot. This way you spend more time concentrating on the basic game and less on the bits and tricks just to get your economy to work properly.
Third, I see a lot of feedback between the developers and the community. This game has so many patches and it has never been so balanced. Yes, there are some glaring issues, but as the majority of the pro players confirm, for the most played map Arabia there are just few civilizations that are bad. Also, DLCs are coming soon :wink:
I really can not say too many bad things about the multiplayer. I practise often with a friend of mine and even after imperial age, things are fine when we play 2v2 or 3v3. I start to suspect that it is deeply related to the PCs, not so much to the server locations or anything like that. I mean, why would a Portuguese complain that the connection is slow, when he/she plays against a Japanese - after all there are unavoidable technical complications, right. On the other hand, even during tournaments the game crashes and matches have to be restarted due to a connection drop. Again, is it the game or the internet.
As a summary, AoE2 is alive and thriving. Soon, there will be 37 civilizations and people demand more. The developers are dedicated and AoE4 is in progress.
I say yes, buy the game and get good. If you are not still sure, watch youtube videos. Pros and caster like Hera, TheViper, MbL, DauT, T90, Nili, MembTV - they post regularly.


Do not buy the game in any case! For over a month the multiplayer is no longer playable, here and on Steam are countless posts about it and the developers simply do not care. Worst support ever and simply a cheek.


From what i’ve seen its only having issues in 4v4 games.


No, definitely also in other constellations, be it 3 vs. 3, 2 vs. 2.

Before the update, it ran in the same settings etc.


Seems like some others are playing a different game. I love the match making system. As result you will get much better quality. The skill gap is very small (after the initial start), which make this system so much better then the old system.

I also notice not that much lag. After a while i tried HD. That give me a very terrible experience. DE was perfomance wise so much better. I dont really notice much lag at all. Yeah, sometimes there is some lag, but that was also the case on HD or Voobly. Note: I mostly play 1v1. I am not really into TGs. As far as i know there were some lag issues for TGs, but they are mostly fixed.


I’ll try to answer some questions

This is still more or less the case, but honestly it isn’t that bad. Usually you will reach the feudal age at the 10 minute mark if you play a fast feudal build. And 10 ingame minutes is much faster than real minutes (game runs at 1.7x speed). So 10 game minutes would be roughly somewhere under 6 real time minutes. And you use those 6 real time minutes, to scout your map, your opponent’s map, decide your strategy, plan out your buildings/walls etc… because the maps are randomly generated, and you need to process the map, and see which one of your resources is vulnerable (a forward gold mine might be really hard to defend if enemy applies pressure on it early). And you also have options with some fast civs to go even faster into feudal. Something like mongols 18 to 20 pop scouts is super fast and effective. Or do a dark age rush, making a barracks around game’s minute 6 (which is for real time around 3.5 minutes) and making 3 militia to send to your enemy to harras him, in order to buy yourself time for setting up your strategy. Most people talk about timings in the game’s time, and not in real time, but it’s pretty easy to see the ingame clock just by pressing F11.

Also, regarding economy, you will find that you need to babysit your economy so much more compared to sc2. In sc2 I assume you just throw your workers on the vespene gas and the crystals, and keep adding, without much control required.

In aoe2, you gotta pay special care in dark age, having your vills kill only 1 sheep at a time, as an animal not being gathered on is rotting away. Lumberjacks tend to keep getting stuck around each other, and sometimes keep gathering distant trees instead of the closed ones, so you gotta pay special attention to them. After you eat up all the different animals, the food eco gets easier, as it just turns into Farms. And ofc as the game goes on, you will have much more workers compared to a sc2 game. In a standard 200 pop game, you are aiming to never stop producing villagers untill you have 100-120 of them.

Ranked 1v1s will last anywhere from 20 to 60 ingame minutes, which when translated to real time, is 12 to 35 minutes per game

We are actually in quite a good spot now, and most civs are actually viable when speaking about the most common setting, which is 1v1 Arabia. Out of 35 civs, for Arabia, I’d say there’s like 5 very strong civs, another 15 perfectly viable ones, another 10 middle/average, and like 5-6 which may be questionable to play and aren’t so viable.


Definitely worth coming back to play as I did. I played against the same players as you and this game is better than it was on the zone. Just need the volume of players back


I love how the OP started the topic the answers are piling on but he is nowhere to be seen yet :P. I hope he remembers and gives the game a shot again.


Same! a lot of people talk about the game as if it was Warcraft 3 Reforged, I mean, there were a considerable amount of bugs on release, but most of them were addressed throughout this year, there are still some things to iron out (no spectator chat yet smh) but game is perfectly playable for like 99.99% of people, if it wasn’t the Steam reviews wouldn’t be “Very Positive” since release and “Overwhelmingly Positive” recently


Is it worth it? Yes. Is it as fast as SC2? No. Do you get to interact with your opponent right from the start? Depends


So how is Age of Empires DE compared to the original?

Bigger and more competitive than ever. The ranked 1v1 ladder is actually remarkably good at matching you with opponents close in skill until you are in about the world top 3% (which I don’t think you’ll have to worry about for some time). There are over 42k active players on the 1v1 ladder, so queue times are usually under 2 minutes.

The people in this thread complaining about lag/bugs are not necessarily wrong, but for 1v1 play the server performance/ping is relatively good. When I started competitive play in 2018 all connections were p2p and that was actual hell.

I have a vague memory of AOE2 being a bit slow and receptive compared to SC2. Getting sheep and building up took several minutes every game and you did not start interacting with your opponent until the second age.

The game might feel slow by comparison when starting out, especially since APM plays a less significant role in competitive games (300-400 APM is normal for pro players, mid-level players probably average 120-250). That’s one of the starkest differences between these two games. If you invest time into having a good build and different openings, you’ll find you are engaging pretty early (within the first ~5 minutes of play). Over time, you will find that scouting and gathering information about your opponent’s strategy takes up most of this time in the first age anyway, so you won’t be dying of boredom. The game also runs slightly faster than it did up until 2019 (1.7x game speed is standard in ranked matches, instead of previous releases’ 1.5x speed).

So is it worth investing your time in and is the ranked 1v1 games unique enough that you will still have fun after a few thousand games?

Short answer, yes. Long answer, if you like RNG manipulation and learning about obscure bonuses, you will improve faster and enjoy the game more. After a couple hundred games you should be developing your skill at reading the randomly-generated maps so you can incorporate the lay of the land (hills, resource positions, woodlines) into your strategy decisions. Plus, there’s over a thousand possible civilisation matchups to analyse and consider.

Also how is the game length?

1v1 matches are typically between 15 and 30 minutes, with a tendency to run longer rather than shorter.

It also depends on what maps you prefer playing, as ‘closed’ maps tend to favour longer defensive games and ‘open’ maps put early rushes in focus.

Also how is the balance? Is there anything that is much harder to defend than to use or is the game balanced overall, i.e. is every civ viable in a competitive 1vs1 setting?

As far as I’ve seen, people tend to agree that the current iteration is the most balanced that the game has ever been. Updates over the past year have radically changed some civilisations to balance them, but there are no ‘broken’ civs that people feel they have to main to increase their elo. Between two players of commensurate skill, civilisation matchup matters more, but a player with ~100 elo on their opponent should be able to win with any civ.

That said, tournaments include a civ draft and some expert players release tier lists so it’s not too hard to figure out who the favourites are. It’s easier to learn all civilisations one-by-one now for new players. Picking a ‘main’ civ used to be very uncommon, but now the ranked ladder allows for it to be the default method of play. Having 35 (soon to be 37) different factions makes playing full random pretty overwhelming for some people, but it can also be a fantastic way to rapidly acquire game knowledge.

A lot of SC2 players have come across to AOE2 since DE’s release, which is fascinating to watch. Especially all the click spam in Dark Age at ~1100 elo :upside_down_face: just remember to breathe and get upgrades!

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Thanks for all the replies. I actually bought the game and played for like 20 minutes but have not still decided if I should go back playing or not.

The things that really bother me:

  1. The zoom setting feels wrong after playing SC2 for 10 years. I figured out how to zoom in an out and set the default zoom, but the game feels too zoomed out. I play with 4k on maximum settings on a 55" monitor but I feel like I am so far from the action, I am used to being closer to the units. Not sure how to even micro units when being so zoomed out.
  2. The graphics even with 4k, the enhanced graphic free download and everything on max is still bad by modern standards. SC2 is 10 year old game but is still crisp and beautiful with 4k and everything on max.

Still I guess I could maybe get used to the zoom setting again and ignore the bad graphics if I get used to the game again. Not sure if I could go back to the slow tempo though. I really like the tech tree and the random map generation but I do not like the huge number of civs. I think the original game was more distinct before they started to add so many civs after AOC.

The primary advantage is that there is no Protoss. I hate Protoss with a passion. SC2 is balanced on pro level but for normal players it is much easier to play Protoss compared to Terran. I hate how unfair it feels playing TvP and how much better you must be as Terran in order to have a chance against a Protoss player if you do not have pro level micro, macro and multitasking.

So just having better civ balance is a huge advantage. I played several thousand AOE2 games a long time ago and do not remember losing once to an opponent that played worse. In SC2 that is common and very frustrating.


If you hate the addition of a lot of new civs you migth not be happy to hear that there will come a new DLC with 2 additional civs soon. Also these have techs/bonuses that feel more like AoE3, which pretty much flopped, so no clue how you can then make the decission to add those mechanics to AoE2 as well. But well… FE things are always strange

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  1. That is a huge screen for PC gaming, lol. That aside, maybe you could leverage this thread to tweak the zoom. Instead of zooming out more, you could probably use it to zoom in more… but it would affect your whole Windows zoom level: PSA: How to zoom out more with an nVidia graphics card

Or maybe you could try playing without the UHD graphics enabled? No idea, but could it, theoretically, look better and/or give zoom levels more appropriate for your preference?

  1. SC2 has an approx 11-year leap in game engine and computer tech over AoE2, given AoE2’s September 1999 release date. We’re lucky AoE2:DE looks as good as it does, imo. The main thing I might want now are shadows that are more crisp, like AOC’s were, which should be pretty do-able. I think most any game made in 2011 will look better than most any game originally made in 1999, particularly if the same game engine (a 2-D one, at that) is being used/leveraged 20 years later, as is the case (generally speaking) with AoE2:DE. SC2 used a 3-D engine… which is a lot easier to make ‘crisp and beautiful’ and relevant to today’s graphics expectations, imo

AoE3 and AoE3:DE, technically, have better looking graphics than AoE2:DE… but they’re in a 3D engine. And AoE3 came out in 2005. How does SC2’s graphics compare to AoE3:DE’s?

I’m glad and fortunate I’m of the mindset that gameplay > graphics for the most part, rather than the other way around… so I’m impressed by AoE2:DE’s graphics with how they are and can focus on gameplay more than appearance


It sounds like something is wrong with your settings. This is what the ranked benchmark looks like for me at 4k with enhanced graphics fully zoomed in. Is this what you’re describing as too zoomed out? I’ve never seen any streamer play the game this zoomed in.


Turned out the enhanced graphics pack had not been installed. When I installed it from steam instead it worked correctly.

Now everything looks great in 4k and with everything on max.


Cool. I see you posted this new thread, too; so am linking to it in case anyone sees the above thread and wants to see your final conclusion on the 4K graphical fidelity:

Glad it worked out

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