Let's debate some game improvements!

Hello, people. I created this post intending to find a consensus among the Age of Empires: Definitive Edition player community for witch improvements the game should receive, and making them reach the developers team.

The idea is to add new concepts to the game, achieving for it a balance between making it feel yet like the original Age of Empires, and a more modern, polished version of it. Age of Empires: Gold Edition is one of my childhood games back in the 2000’s, and let’s assume that some of it’s gameplay aspects that already don’t worked well at that time still are present on the DE version.

I’m separating this topic in two different kinds of demand: Essential ones and Optional, but welcome ones. The first are those that you think the game cannot stand without it. The last, are improvements that are not essential, but would make the game look and feel better.

For me, we should demand the following improvements of each type:

Essential demands

- Gates: yeah, I know. This topic has been exhaustively discussed already, the developers said they weren’t going to add them to the game, calling the absence of gates a “feature” from it.
In my opinion, the game always played awful without them. It’s simple irritating to have enemies entering on your town from the same gap in the wall you are obligated to leave at it for your own units to move in and out. For me, being obliged to keep some units to guard the gap, as they will eventually die, it’s not an option. Constantly building and deleting wall sections and houses to be used as gates aren’t an option either.
Gates are simple, gates are intuitive, gates are life (literally). Please, developers, add gates to the game.

- “Don’t attack” stance for catapults, and maybe all the other units: So, you reunited your forces in the front of the enemy base, ready to attack. Then, out of a sudden, the enemy units march through the… hmm, gap in the walls directly at your armies position. Your watchful units march at their encounter. Your catapults, not so much behind the action, fire ruthless at your pitiful foes. And, thankfully for them, they are gone. And your own units, either.
As this kind of enraging disaster is common place in this game since it’s launch, I believe the DE version should have this command included on it to prevent this occurrences, OR the catapults “collateral damage” could be removed.

- Unit stances: In every situation where an enemy unit enters the sight of one of your own units, they start following the enemy tirelessly to the ends of the map, until they kill the unit, or it disappear from it’s range. So, they are always at “aggressive stance”. This is especially inconvenient for base defense. You want your units to attack any foe that comes close, but you want them to come back to their original position if this enemy retreat, so the “Stand ground” command isn’t enough. All units should have the “Defensive” and “Aggressive” stances added to their command options, OR become defensive by default.

- The option for the units to enter on a basic, line formation when they reach their destination: This is a characteristic present on Warcraft III units movement that I think would be welcome on this game, and not as hard to implement than making the units move in formation, as in Age II. Together with this option, another one, for the units to keep been messed all around as it is originally, might also be present. The idea of the units make a formation at their destination is to avoid this old problem I mention here: https://forums.ageofempires.com/t/awful-pathfinding-behavior-from-the-original-game-still-present-on-de-version-part-1/77293

- To turn the Trade Workshop a buildable structure, that trains a land walking trade unit: The title it’s self explanatory - as it is impossible in this game to trade by land, this would be a welcome addition.

To maintain the game as close as possible from it’s original identity, modernizing it, without become Age of Empires II on the Ancient World, I believe the following moves should not be made:

  • The option to garrison units.
  • Other formations.
  • Fish traps for fishing boats.
  • The “guard” and “follow unit” commands.

Optional, but welcome demands

- A unique HUD design for each civ.
- A single Wonder model for each civ: This and the one above would enhance the game visually by a large amount, as it makes each civ feels more singular, with something unique for they identity.
- Remake and add the original game cinematics: As this game is called the “Definitive version” from the original, that means it is it’s last version, the one that will be played in the future and beyond, so at least it should include on it all the content from the original game.
- Redesign the mission briefing screen to resemble this screen from the original game:

- Redesign the Egyptian Tool Age house model to look closer as the original one:

  • Add more background images for the Main menu screen, like a remade version from this two:

The background could work as a slide presentation!

That’s it people, these are my considerations, please comment them and add your one bellow!


Great, I agree with your recommendations.
At first I didn’t like the idea of ​​gates for AOE 1, but now I think the walls are useless without this. It wouldn’t change much of the game from the original.
Personally, I think the big problem with AOE 1 is the lack of gold, as it causes civs with chariots to eventually win. Trading over land could help keep gold from finishing as quickly. Also trading in AOE 1 is not like AOE 2, which generates free gold. At AOE 1 you simply trade one resource for another, just like trade boats / merchant ships do. I see no reason why this should not be added to the game.

I miss the intro animations and mission screens, I said that from the beta.
In addition to what you mentioned, there is still a lot of content missing, such as the cheat units that retain the original model, and various bugs here and there. The upgrade buttons are still the pixelated draws from the original game.
I remember that in the original game swordsmen (and other units I don’t remember which ones) had two different animations to attack. In D.E. just one.
The graphics of the stone house construction process, shows that the original had more details:


They should port AOE1DE to the engine of AOE2DE. There are so many features such as unit stances, formations, better pathfinding, etc. which are already implemented. Also gates and a trade unit are things that should definitely make it into the game.


I agree with most of what you said, the game still needs a lot of features that have not been added, also I am of the opinion not to add the aoe2 functions copied and pasted on aoe de but to add other new ones with similar functions.
This is my personal list of necessary things to add:

  • Function to see all obscured units (like a villager behind a building or a gazelle behind a tree)
  • Add the flare to the minimap (there is also an empty icon!)
  • Replay function (possibly also as a spectator)
  • Other balances and many other bug fixes (especially on pathfinding)

Things that could be added:

  • New buildings and / or troops to increase the depth of the game
  • Implement a mod manager within the game
  • Add triggers in the scenario editor
  • Replace the cheat units with new models
  • Other user interface modifiability settings
  • More variety of maps
  • Add unique wonders for civilization (it doesn’t make sense to see the Colosseum for the Carthaginians)

Can you please improve the current friends list? As the way it is now I can’t tell if my clan mates are in a game or not. Also why no ability to send a message?



I too am in favour of some changes to make the game more attractive again. Don’t get me wrong - I love AOE 1 and am probably one of the very few who clearly prefer it to the 2nd part. Nevertheless, there are definitely things that can be improved. All modern games also live from being patched, balanced or even changed over and over again. This also keeps the game lively and slows down the danger that the players get bored at some point.
And I’m not even talking about massive changes. In my opinion, they are not necessary at all. But it’s visual and especially balancing and functional things that I think are urgently needed. In my opinion, the most necessary changes.
I had already made some of these suggestions for improvement in other threads. These will be repeated here as well. However, I leave out things like gates, etc., because there are understandable arguments for both sides here.
The changes are of course my personal opinion. You are welcome to be others :slight_smile:

I am not an english-guy. So please check me out, in case I might use some english terms wrong.


In my opinion there is no need for new special units or buildings. They are already there. It would be more important if they were also highlighted by special skins:

Egyptian: Priest + chariot
Assyrian: (very difficult) maybe that the arrows are bigger/look different and the villagers ride donkeys or something similar
Babylonians: Towers / Walls + War Galleys
Chosons: Towers + Barracks units (from broadsword fighter, at the latest from longsword fighter)
Greeks: Academy units + ships
Hittites: archery range + all catapults
Carthaginians: academy units + elephants
Macedonia: Adademy Units + Armoury
Minoer: Composite archers + ships
Palmyrer: villagers (light armour) + camel rider
Persian: Elephants + Triremes
Phoenician: For me, by far the most boring civ, but perhaps elephants and ships
Romans: swordsmen + towers/walls
Shang: Village centre + walls
Sumerians: all catapults + villagers
Yamato: cavalry and mounted archers


First of all I have to say - I’m definitely not a pro who would probably see things differently again. But it’s still the case that not enough energy was put into balancing the units. The old Age of Empires had a maximum population limit of 50 in SP. This has now been increased - that’s fine, it was absolutely necessary. But what I think was apparently not considered is that the increase of the unit limit caused a shift in the balancing.
Just a simple example:
Towers were a relatively secure support in those days. A tower can shoot at one unit. If I had (fictitious numbers) 10 towers in a row, you could easily fend off 20 - 30 units, depending on what the enemy approached with and what kind of towers you had. But now he comes with easily 70 or more units. But towers are just as strong as before and cost just as much. And there are also no more stones on the map to build more. This is a clear nerv against towers.

Also in the direct duel unit against unit it had consequences. So here are my suggestions:

Ballista/Helepolis now have 35 attacks.

Elephants now have 400 lives (Carthaginian 550) and cost 170F, 70G.

Stone throwers/catapults/heavy catapults now have the following range: 9/11/12. For comparison: A normal Catapult-Trireme has only 9.

Composite Archers now have a standard damage of 6.
Why? These units cost gold. Wagon archers do not. Wagon shooters have more lives, are faster, more resistant to conversions and have the same range as composite shooters. One less point of attack. Why should I build composite archers? With 2 more damage compared to wagon archer, I think the gold is justified.

Triremes now cost 140W/25G.

Catapult ships/heavy warships now cost 140W/50G.

Technology “technics” is too cheap in my eyes. It should cost 300F/100G.


Even though I wrote above that in my opinion there is no need for new units, I have 2 suggestions.
The first problem has in my opinion civs, who can’t build chariots. That means - no gold = lost. That’s why I propose an elite axe fighter, which can be developed from the Iron Age on, does not cost gold, but costs more food than the normal axe fighter (100?) and is about as strong as a broadsword fighter. In addition, it deals 20 percent more damage against mounted units.

Then I think there should be an elite camel rider.


The axeman should be developed immediately in the Tool Age.

Fields should be sown and not built and should be developed in the granary. Wood/gold/stone mining in the storage pits. Towers / walls / melee attack / armours in the village centre.

The harbour building should be as large as a village centre.

Even though I like AOE 1 more than 2, I’m not disputing the more sophisticated game mechanics, where I don’t understand why they weren’t included in the new Age1 - Definitive Edition. These should definitely be included in the first part. And I’m not just talking about path-finding (which in my opinion is even worse than in the original game).

I’m talking about traders that can be built in the marketplace and work just like trading ships. I’m talking about buying and selling commodities in the marketplace.
Units should also have the functions “aggressive”, “defensive”, “stand still”, “passive” and “protect” and “do not attack”. And they should at least be able to occupy square formations.

Why are there no weirs?
Why are there no beacons?
Why are there not so many kinds of random maps and game modes?
Why is there no replay function?

I think that’s enough text. Thanks to everyone who read it :slight_smile:

Best regards!


They are never going to fix or improve upon DE, don’t be delusional this game is long dead. Don’t waste your time on it.


Its so sad because its true… Microsoft and forgotten empires only cared to get away with this game to fully focus on AOE2DE next. They promised on continued support and development but that’s all nonsense from them, we keep seeing quality of life improvements to AOE2DE all the time but none to AOEDE… I honestly feel scammed by Microsoft and forgotten empires, so much so that they were sooooo freaking lazy to leave the same Civs, same units, same campaigns, and what really made me drop my glass was that they left the cheat units unmodeled lol and now they are adding the photon man into AOE2DE??? WT* Microsoft??? I wish I was wrong but your point to me is just true… they have definitively left this game in a corner now sadly and probably forever.


Unfortunately, I guess you’re right. Even though I’ll probably make myself unpopular with it, I’d even be willing to spend a few euros on special skins. Let’s say there is a “Skin-Pack for Egyptians” for 3€. I would be quite willing to pay that. But probably Microsoft is not interested in it for various reasons.

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I’d rather see them fix the issues the game still has, which is only wishful thinking. They have abandonded this game a long while now.


Hello, there!
The walls on this game are truly pointless without gates. You never can move your army too far from your base without worrying that it may be invaded during a battle somewhere else.
The eventual lack of gold it’s a major flaw on gameplay. Considering that it’s only possible to trade when an ally is present, now I think that the player should be allowed to sell and buy resources at the market as well.

You have a good point about the missing content that I have forgot to mention on my thread. Their absence on the game until now, so long after the release, is a shame. The Stone Age house construction process graphics are special, as the Stone Age house is the only building on the game that have a unique construction animation.
So, to put things straight, you added to the thread:

  • Remaster all cheat units.
  • Remaster the upgrade buttons.
  • Add the swordsman second attack animation, and the lacking ones from other units as well.
  • Remake the unique Stone Age construction process graphics.

Thanks for your contribution!


That’s it, the idea is to add to Age of Empires DE the Age of Empires II DE functions that would make it work better, but not to transform it on Age II!

This function to see units behind structures and the environment you mentioned is absolutely a must. It’s easy to miss units and animals behind trees and buildings on many circumstances.

In my opinion, there is enough buildings in the game but the Trade Workshop, as it should be added as a land trading point. But 2 or 3 new units would be awesome! I vote for Javelineers and Battering Rams, a Bronze Age upgrade for the Axeman and one for the scout, upgrading him to Light Cavalry. Your other points are commendable as well!


Good point, essential for multiplayer, and I think they aren’t hard to implement.

I share with you the opinion that massive changes aren’t necessary, but some functional improvements would be welcome! Let’s face that, besides been the Definitive Edition, it still plays old.

I would like the implementation of unique civ skins for some units as well, but I doubt the developers will ever consider that, as it certainly would deviate the game too much from the original source.

I never have thought before about this tower stats and cost balancing issue, in regard with the new population limits. Good point!

Villagers sowing farms, instead of building them as in Age II, is a simple, but great visual detail and should be considered. Towers and walls are improved from the Granary for historical reasons, as those structures started to be built on primordial agricultural societies as means to defend the food supplies.

Many thanks for the points you added!

Despite always been exciting to think on new functions for this game, unfortunately it can be considered that you are right :confused:
Like, they made an Age II DE event to celebrate Age DE anniversary, but not any new content for the game itself? Common, that was awful.


You are right about everything, saddly. That’s truly disappointing, and I also feel scammed by the false promises of support Microsoft and FE had given to us. Age II DE is great and the dev team are making a great work with the improvements, but the first game have also so much potential to look and play better. I hope that, with Age III DE launched, they will turn on a little more attention for this game.

Personally, I would prefer a new and full Expansion pack, adding new civs with new architecture and new units. Celts, Germans and Gauls, for example.


I have this wish as well. I posted about a bunch of the game bugs recently, please take a time to comment on any thread whose mentioned problems you may had experienced as well!

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I will have to be somewhat negative on that regard… They will release AOE3DE, just to get that out of the way for AOE4 and of course keep their nearly full attention on AOE2DE, I dont know, its just a feeling I have. I believe AOE3DE will have a very very similar fate as AOEDE, I totally hope i’m wrong of course because that is also an amazing game that has even more potential…

And wow, some sort of DLC for AOEDE well I would be totally up for it, so long it makes you feel that they are actually showing some respect and love towards the game itself and that means truly immersing in its development just as much as they have been with AOE2 and AOE2DE, there’s so much freaking potential for that game still, I dont get how blind they seem to be about it, its disgusting. First game that started the franchise, AOE2 wouldn’t be what it is without its predecessor success.


LOOOOOOOOOOL that’s right, i was like, AH? What is this supposed to mean? they even made a special skin but for AOE2DE hahahaha unbelievable, just took my disappointment to a whole new level. AOEDE was a huge scam.

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