This is an euphemism, at best.
I agree that this game brought many nice additions at a reasonable price, it is full of good content — some even being brand new — and honestly getting used to DE makes going back to other AoE2 iterations almost painful given how better the game plays on DE…
…when it works. And for a considerable amount of the time this game won’t work.
The launch was disastrous, the game came infested with bugs broadly reported by beta testers, and performance issues were so impactful that it was virtually unplayable on most PC setups.
Then it took at least 2 more months for them to make the game actually playable for setups that met the advertised minimum requirements.
By January performance was considerably increased, but the introduction of the kill counter bug spoiled the fun of campaign and custom scenarios players. Many of these got unplayable and the bug took a whole month to be patched.
Early February the language filter appeared. It came out of nowhere, with not mention of its implementation by the staff and messed heavily chat communication within the game. The filter is not as much of a problem today, but remains a annoyance. Still unknown to this day what’s the purpose of its existence and if it was even work of the devs originally. They didn’t spoke a word about the issue until the arrival of the major update on the month’s end.
In the February Update they took two steps backwards and several performance instabilities were introduced again, specially regarding custom scenarios. Booting scenarios and using the editor caused continuous crashes, along with many lobby bugs and file tranfering errors. From there on custom scenarios became unplayable.
I don’t really have much to say about March aside from the fact that the game was still pretty unstable performance-wise.
The April Update had some advancement regarding performance. Some undocumented changes on how UI components work were done, this broke many GUI mods and made it unreasonably more difficult to make them possible. Also introduced the infamous Malay bug and the 256x tech cheat code that plagued ranked matchmaking with exploiters of a bug related to the code. A bug that made chatting impossible while playing custom scenarios also appeared. With the exception of the UI mods issue that still around, all of these also took a whole month to be patched.
Now, in the May Update, custom scenarios are finally working again, but ranked games became unplayable. I wonder how long it will take them to adress it.
Not to mention here inumerous pathfinding, AI beahvior, menus, interfaces, connection issues that plagued the game through all its living.
The arrival of a new major update is almost considered a joke already. We’re always uncertain if current bugs will be patched and we’re always terrified of the new dreadful bugs that will be introduced. They simply have awful quality assurance for this game.
And all of that with very poor communication to the community. Game breaking issues, staying for at least a month, with no word in regarding it by them. I honestly think that the greatest reason for frustration with this game is how bad the staff communicates with the playerbase and how little transparent they are. This is a demand we have since the game launched, it is consistently brought up ever since and still very little have been done to improve on this side. I can’t understand why.