Multiplayer was, is, and I'm afraid will always be, awful

Hi all.

I spent countless hours on the 3 iterations of this beautiful game.
Multiplayer was never its strongest suit - but playing it with my friends was anyway the most immersive experience I’ve ever had.

Now here we are, ~20 years after we started playing it, and we all bought into this pipe dream Microsoft sold us.
We thought we were going to be able to play again one of our teenage staple games, but now with a multiplayer infrastructure up to standards - which a game like this cannot live without.
Needlessly to say we were wrong. It still sucks.
But NOW we don’t even have local multiplayer option: we could at least try to self-host our games, forget about ranked ones, and play over some vpn like we were playing in our basement, some 20 years younger.
But no, we have to go through the official servers which apparently cannot even hold 25k concurrent users.
25k concurrent users.
There are plenty of multiplayer games which are able to support effortlessly a playerbase 3 orders of magnitude higher than this.
I’m not saying we need that kind of availability, but a company like Microsoft sure can spare a couple VMs in their clusters to make our experience less miserable.
Or maybe they can’t, but until someone COMES HERE AND TALKS TO US about what are the plans for the future of this game, we cannot really know and we are left to speculate.
Server maintenance shouldn’t be reactive, if you are serious about your product: it should be proactive.
Nothing kills a product like being unavailable when it is wanted the most.

Alas, the impression is this game isn’t loved by Microsoft the same way we love it - as many others have already put this, it looks like it was just a quick cash grab move.
The first sign of a dead product is the lack of dev-user interaction. Look at a game like LoL: for all its flaws, userbase - devs interaction isn’t one.
If HC3 has shown something these days is that there was an opportunity for a competitive scene - and that this opportunity has been wasted.


Well said. MS has ruined the fun completely by not caring or listening one bit to the players or customers. Don’t they always?

Millions of crashes, instability, memory leaks, forced map pools and auto scouting, cheaters, units not listening to your commands and now they censor everything in chat. Good communication is the most important part in any given situation. How do the devs respond to this? MoAR CeNsORSH1pp!!!1!

The Forgotten Empires team have FORGOTTEN (irony huh?) all about us and moved on to AoE3DE.

They. Don’t. Care.


You mean LAN game is great fun still? :slight_smile: It is stable?

I’m not sure I understand your question.
AoE2:DE has no LAN game option.
In classic AoE2 there was this option and it would have been nice to retain it.

I think you sre mistaken. There is an option for hosting LAN games, or am I wrong?
In the Menu, where you choose the server, you can chose local.


Isn’t a bit much doom and gloom you are spreading here? Microsoft cared enough for this game to actually revive a struggeling genre that is not expected to ever have returns the like of your mentioned LoL. Apart from that; would you like to work on something with enough further things to do up your alley and then respond to something worded like you did?
This is not the task of a dev. Sure, community care is nice and can make a game even greater, but I do not believe that that would be included on the payroll, because that is what community managers are for.
There is also currently the Coronvirus going on that brought some very interesting und unexpected problems and situations with it.

All in all, maybe be a bit calmer and a bit more polite in the way you word your complains. That could go a long way. Also Doom saying for a game like AoE2, that has survived for 20+ years now is kinda missing the target.


Seems a bit over the top considering there has been a patch every month since release and about half of your complaints were just introduced in the most recent patch which isn’t even a month old.


One thing, which I have noticed, is that every patch fixes some problems, but also creates new problems. It is quite bad to notice bug from patch and then having to wait for at least a month, till it is fixed. Some problems have been reasonably quickly hotfixed.

They should have made hotfix in beginning of this month for fixing right-clicked units retarget issue and disabling profanity filter. This way people could be a lot happier about this game.


I stand corrected about the LAN multiplayer option. I apologize about that, I never noticed it while scrolling the server list.
I will try and see if it allows to play “locally” over a vpn.

On the other hand, my point about the server being ridicolously unreliable still stands:

I don’t see how COVID19 can affect server availability - I work remotely for a medium sized ISP in a highly impacted zone and we don’t have any problem in guaranteeing availability of services.
I’d be glad to stand corrected about this if someone responsible for the multiplayer infrastructure would come here and speak sincerely about the root cause of the issue.

I don’t feel like I’ve been unpolite in my previous post - I didn’t swear nor assumed anything.
I made hypothesis about the causes of the disservice based on my experience in the field, and expressed my feelings about the lack of communication from the “devs” (obviously intended as “people involved first-hand with the game in any capacity” - I know devs are not responsible for network infrastructure. Hopefully there are sysadmins, devops, network eng. and other people taking care of all that stuff.)
I’m not saying doom for aoe, I’m saying doom for a rising competitive scene in a genre which severly lacks such a scene, and this is really a shame.

Don’t get your point here - giving a hand of paint over a 20 yo game for a quick cash grab should be a badge of honour for MS?

Anyway, it looks like it’s always us talking - people who still believe vs people who lost hope.
The ones who know what happens and where the game is headed won’t show their face in here.

I think you are way off base with this post - Warcraft 3 Reforged was a game that showed no care and was a cash grab. AOE2DE is the complete opposite. There is plenty of communication, plenty of updates. The LAN option is there - So not sure what that is about.
I see nothing but love and care for this game. There are regular communications, at least twice a month with fixes which can be viewed here:
Again, think your way off base with this one


gotta agree with the others here, aoe2de still has pretty decent support, yeah the servers arent perfect but at least they’re putting in an effort… RTS never make even CLOSE to as much money as other games, so im happy for any company to keep making them

plus in case you missed the memo, there’s a viral outbreak atm, which can cause all sorts of disruptions to everything…


a different team does AOE3 DE genius.

Christ you people are ridiculous.

theres been huge monthy updates and all you can focus on is well they aren’t commenting on my rage post so therefore no dev interaction. They are listening they are working on things…they just gave a bunch of money for HC3 which if they just wanted a crash grab and drop it they wouldn’t do. There more people playing then in years…stop with the entitlement.

first, way more then a hand of paint…second while T90 and the pros have been keeping this game going themselves…they just had their biggest tournments yet because like I said before MS gave them money to run them and do a prize pools… they’re actually doing a lot. in 2-3 months this game as already been improved a BUNCH. was the launch perfect? no but they’ve been doing a lot to fix it.


LAN or Direct IP connectivity would be great, as a nod to the previous iterations, if not possible without VPN. I don’t think I would use it much or at all, but I’m sure there are some, like yourself, who would. I wonder if the world using IPv6 now, too, and not just IPv4, makes it harder … where the IP addresses look totally different. The world ran out of IPv4 addresses. It’d probably be another layer of complexity, anyways.

I can’t tell from your post exactly if you did a VPN workaround or not, but I figured I’d link to this, in case it helps at all: Setup of PCs on LAN game only AOE 2 DE

I get the exact opposite of this impression and it’s hard for me to fathom how this sentiment persists :frowning_face: And I think it’d be more realistic to wait for final judgment until they’ve stopped doing patches and updates entirely, or slow way down with them. The two or three main post-launch patches have been huge, and I’ve heard in the forums another update is likely/hopefully coming before the end of this month; despite COVID-19 going on in the world, affecting many families, jobs, and lives.

After playing a handful of games in DE and then jumping back to HD, do you not see, hear, and feel a huge difference? The care and love is quite evident to me; but different strokes for different folks, I guess? There’s a lot more to the game than just MP, too. Getting a singular focus on one thing (your and some other players’ experiences with MP and/or a lack of LAN/Direct IP) would be unfortunate, because if you’re implying the whole game sucks and lacks love by the devs as a result of your MP experience, I feel that would be a little misleading/misguided.

I’m sorry you’ve not enjoyed it yet, but I’ve played MP just fine; used the lobbies just fine; played SP and campaigns just fine; installed mods just fine; participated in challenges/events just fine. Are there occasional glitches? Sure, but no show-stoppers that I’ve seen, and I’ll be patient with patches to fix and polish things up a bit. (Plus, I have other games to play, movies to watch, or things I can do if DE really frustrated me every time I played it.) My gaming experience with DE has, thankfully, been a lot better than yours, but, hopefully, patches come out soon to address what you’re wanting fixed or different, if it’s still salvageable for you.

Then again, I did just realize… if you happen to hate DE so much and see a lack of passion and love from Microsoft and the devs on it, and don’t see much point to playing it, would there really be much benefit to having LAN/Direct IP connectivity the way you’re wanting it to work? If the game as a whole is a waste of your time, would having LAN/Direct IP sans VPN all the sudden fix that? Genuinely curious. AoE2:HD still has LAN/Direct IP, I think – unless Direct IP was even removed from that – if DE doesn’t do much for you and your friends.

PS: There are a multitude of games where I’m left to speculate on if patches, enhancements, or new versions are being worked on :sleepy: Sadly, AoE isn’t unique in that respect :slight_smile:

PPS: The cash grab argument works more for Forgotten Empires content and HD version, imo, but I still wouldn’t really call them cash grabs. FE and its additional content used to be free long ago, then I had to pay for it when it came to Steam as an HD version, because FE’s multiplayer aspect broke and it wasn’t being supported (any attempts to contact them went into a void). Then each HD expansion pack was more $$ each time. On the other hand, DE is a night and day improvement in graphics, with new civs, new maps, new and enhanced audio including an orchestral soundtrack, AI work, MP work, FINALLY a zoom-out ability, visual effects added, etc. – and all without putting it into a new engine or a 3D engine that would totally ruin the feeling/vibe of the classic game. DE is far from a cash grab, imo, considering the magnitude of work that was involved and all that has and will likely come with it.


I know it’s fairly easy to get upset with this game due to some of its issues, but if you get your mind togheter and think more calmly, it’s noticeable that a good chunk of this criticism is either unfair or careless.

First: there’s LAN hosting available on the game, but you have to check into the online servers first to access it. Even finding that very dumb and don’t supporting it at all, I can understand that this is probably a thing as a countermeasure to non-retail copies of the game playing online. Again, I don’t suppor that, but hey, you can enjoy your LAN play.

I mean, I know that this is annoying to face, but make such a big deal of a 3~4 hours server instability seems so awkward to me. To imply that it made the experience with the game became miserable because of that, this is overreacting. I can’t think of a modern online PC/Console game with some popularity that has never had simmilar server issues.

And on top of that, the great majority of problems about playing online RM games and Single Player are ironed out already. From performance issues to major glitches. There are still some big things to be touched on, such as the attack command, but everything else seems to be pretty much minor.

The only thing I would genuinely call something nexto to a miserable experience is playing UGC games, but that’s another scope, and a scope that doesn’t concern the biggest chunk of the playerbase.

And this here feels specially unfair to me. They consistently deploy monthly updates with balances and new features, and also have been consistently getting in touch with the community about the implementations ahead of their arrival.

Finally, two things I always remember to myself when I get angry to this game: this is a $20,00 game, and it has a small development team. This doesn’t shield them from critics, but helps me to try reasonably measuring how to approach on criticizing.

Oh, and previous versions of AoE2 on online play were way more jankier than DE is now!!


Userpatch is still superior when it comes to modding/multiplayer.

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Really? now tell me how to mod the UI on UP 11111

UI isn’t as moddable as DE. This is something I agree. But UP is more flexible when adding new civs, units, scenario design, etc. Atleast I don’t get desynced or 5/6 players getting insta crashed in Multiplayer.

So the whole point and title of this fail of a thread is based on op’s unwillingness to pay attention to the details. Hmmmm.

Online is fine. I dont have any issues.

1vs1 ranked Multiplayer is fine aside from lag occasionally. Team rated games or unranked is garbage in this game. Most 2vs2 ranked games I play are not even competitive. And some of the teammates you get are clueless. End of the day they shouldn’t have a ranked team game that gives you +0 for team games. Totally stupid.