UPDATE 56005 and why it is great

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition — Update 56005 - Age of Empires

Buffing infantry is something I have been advocating for, for a while now.

Honestly, I am surprised in the changes the devs made: buffing Teutonic Knights I did not expect. I personally think they were in a fine spot as is, but perhaps it is to make the Teutons’ UU more desirable to reduce the tendency to go all-Paladin strat.

The buffs to Samurai, Shotel Warrior, Ghebeto, Jaguar Warrior and Berserker is very appreciated. The of the things all those units civs’ had in common is that they have been used mostly as “archer civs” despite their obvious bonuses to their infantry. So the apparent intention here is to make these civs use infantry in a more common basis. Nothing wrong with that, especially given that infantry is mostly ignored given the currnet power of archery and cavalry armies.
Though I am sad that my precious Vikings civ is losing Thumb Ring, I feel like buffing Beserkers was an smart decision. We must not forget though that the loss of Thumb Ring still makes Vikings’ archer strategy still viable especially in Feudal Age and Castle Age rushes.

The increase in Palisade walls wood cost is good as well, because it makes players less campy in the early game. Even with the nerfs done to Arabia by making tree clumps farther apart it is still easy to fully wall up with nothing but Palisades even before entering the Feudal Age.

The House armor nerf is interesting… not sure if that was a good or a bad decision, but perhaps it is meant to go along with the nerf to Palisades to make build-and-boom strat not as easy.

And finally, the other changes that I want to touch on is the small changes to Menu interface being a bit easier with Co-Op campaigns and the introduction of even more Co-Op campaigns: very good things to update into this videogame. And let us not forget that Trade Carts are now with their own unique civ models, which is most appreciated!

I only hope that they do the same with Monks!

So what do you fellows think about this update? Leave your comments and thoughts below.


The biggest beneficiary from this patch shall be the Siege Tower, now that there are many different good UU infantry to put inside of it.

Also the Elite Berserk upgrade is so cheap that I already saw a game, on Survivalist’s stream, where the Vikings player had the Elite upgrade around 1 minute into the Imperial Age. Vikings are probably no less of a one-dimensional civ with their changes, now going for infantry instead of archers. But infantry spam + siege is more fun to watch than Arbalesters.


In games where gold is not a problem, forming an army of good infantry AND archers can be devastating, especially to cavalry. Vikings certainly have that potential (but they suffer for it by having a weak Stable roster, and an eco bonus that only benefits them in the early-mid game).

The age of Viking OPness will start to decline and thats good to me, we need more nerf to s tier civs.
and at the same time I like how infantry UUs are being checked and improved, and some cavalry UUs should be the next.


I like every change except the Vikings losing Thumb Ring. This breaks decades of them being an infantry and archer civilization. I can now list their fully upgradeable land units on one hand: Champion, Ram, Scorpion, Berserk, Trebuchet. It’s not enough, and economy alone cannot carry late game army composition.

This undoubtedly makes Vikings have the worst tech tree in the game, with poor cavalry and monks, and a mediocre siege workshop and archery range. Their good Arbs was the one thing that made Vikings different from other Infantry civs like Celts (who also have better cav and siege) or Aztecs (with eagles, great skirmishers and monks, better siege and also a great economy).

Truly an excellent update, but soured by one bad change.


Yes, having them keep TR, but maybe lose the free wheelbarrow and handcart in exchange for both of those techs being 50% cheaper and faster to research might have been reasonable.

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I’d sooner give up free hand cart than access to thumb ring. Vikings’ ability to farm is not what left a mark on the rest of the world.

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If we are talking real world, than it wasn’t really their archers either. It was their lightning fast raiding potential and berserkers, but the great eco is part of the AoE2 vikings identity.

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Is that good? It takes away a strategy. There was also a cost/benefit to spending wood, villager time, and mental energy to wall. Now, with a 50% increase in wall cost and a decrease in building armor, the developers have made the game more one-dimensional. Walling is not a viable option in many circumstances now.


It’s still viable. It just needs a slightly different build order now. Full Wall FC players ought to still be able to build their walls up in time for Feudal players to demand more walling nerfs. The nerf won’t do much to harm Full Wall FC economy either, for it still has safe Villagers, and most Feudal strategies are without tools to always force the Fast Castle player into overcommitting resources on base defense (Tower Rushing is the only Feudal strategy that can do this.)

Yes, I suppose the nerfs might hurt the early game economy for Full Wall FC. Buuuuut having a weaker early game economy for a stronger mid-game economy is kind of the point for Fast Castle 11.


The loss of Thumb Ring was a surprise to me…but it is not honestly THAT horrible. Taking away Bracer or the Arbalester upgrade would have been more egregious. It just means that Viking archers will miss a bit more and fire a bit slower.

Fun fact: Viking King, Olaf Tryggvason of Norway’s preferred weapon was the bow. In the Battle of Svolder, he is recorded to have fought and slew many enemies with arrows shot from his own hand. This fact alone makes me feel like it is quite legitimate for the Vikings in-game to have good archers.

I strongly feel that nerfed Wheelbarrow and Trade Cart for Vikings would be a severe blow to the strength of that civ. I love Vikings and play them often, but I would not call them overpowered. Their cavalry options are abysmal, and their siege is adequate but not the best. Vikings are the most OP on water maps involving naval engagements, but the Vikings do lack Fire Ships. Furthermore, with the recent buffs to gunpowder units, Viking infantry are more vulnerable. And now with the removal of Thumb Ring from their tech tree, it will make their archers not stay toe-to-toe with the BEST archers and skirms of other archer civs.

I highly doubt that increasing the cost of Palisades will “remove the strategy” of walling and booming. It will merely make players more conservative of their Wood resource and in the strategic placement of their walls. The extra wood cost will only bite in the Dark Age and Feudal Age, where economies are still growing and getting up to full capacity. In the mid-to-late game, you (should) have plenty of wood stocked up by then through researching Hand Cart, Bow Saw, and having many lumberjacks chopping away.

If anything, the increase of Palisades will more walling on open maps like Arabia more time-consuming; not impossible.


The continued nerfing and dissuasion of defensive strats in the game is disheartening to see. This isn’t AoE3.

Oh well, hopefully someday they’ll implement a “classic defenses mode” toggle, where for SP and unranked games, players can re-live the glory days where defensive structures helped make your empire feel like an empire and not a backyard fort made of plywood and particle boards

I wonder if the next patch will bring a “6 tower build limit” and “1 castle build limit” to the game. Might as well. I don’t think backyard fortresses or blanket forts ever exceed 6 towers and 1 castle


Yes, but this is quite significant. It means 8 Viking Crossbows/Arbalests are an equal match to 7 of a generic fully upgraded civ (Mayans, Byzantines, Incas, Japanese). They are the same as Khmer archers now, not very good, but they also lack the great scorpions of Khmer (extra range and double projectile) as well as the cavalry, elephants and hand cannoneer.

And yes, good point about King Olaf, I was going to mention Einar Eindridesson. There are many examples of Vikings using bows, it was one of their most common weapons.


The past part of this patch that even Spirit of the Law missed was:

  • So. Much. Stuff.
    • With last month’s amazing launch of Age of Empires IV, we know our players are curious about what this means for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. Will we abandon our longest-enduring classic RTS to focus on our new release? :scream::scream::scream:
    • NO WAY! While we’re thrilled for everything coming for Age of Empires IV, we’re happy to reassure our Age II players that the excitement around Age IV means MORE for you, not less. We’re planning to support Age II: DE for a long, long time, and will soon be able to share an exciting roadmap, with some genuinely awesome reveals coming in the months ahead! – stay tuned and WOLOLO!

Can’t wait to see the roadmap (perhaps new DLC?)!


What vikings made different wasn’t their good arbs bu their insane eco bonus that leads to deadly early imp push. And you still can pull it off (in fact I think losing tr won’t affect how people play the civ up to that point much) it’s just somewhat less oppressive.

And keeping the eco bonus while buffing berserks a bit will make their infantry way more viable compared to the alternative (nerfing eco bonus and keeping tr).

It doesn’t take away the strat. It just makes walling a bit more expensive. I think the opposite is the case which is making the game actually less one-dimensional. Even on arabia so many people full wall super early bc it’s so easy to do and then just house wall behind. I personally got no issue with playing games where both players are walled but let’s be real: Open maps shouldn’t be fully wallable by min 10. There is tons of maps where you either start with walls or that are easily wallable (hideout, arena, golden pit, gold rush, a great deal of runestones generations, …).

Dude it’s being nerfed because it’s too strong. Most people play defensive and that’s for a good reason: Because mostly defensive play works better than super aggressive one.

Yeah but the point is that as vikings you already have arbs while your opponent is likely still on their way to imp.


This update seems great. It’s good that they buff a lot of the unique infantry units to give them probably much more field-time. I also like that they introduced localized trade carts! Although I hope they’ll also do this for monks as I always found it weird that they simply didn’t use the already available skins for that.

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Walling isn’t dead 11. Since the PuP was up for a while I went and tested how much weaker houses are now and basically in situations were you could outrepair a given army - for instance one villager on one house could keep outside 6 scouts (480 res btw) forever - the HP will go down slowly and you might need to use another vill to briefly help out. But there will still be plenty of time to do something about the attack before a house goes down

That’s a big assumption on strategy. I think it is a problem that Vikings can only take a favorable archer vs archer fight during the short window where they are ahead by an age. As soon as the opponent hits Imp they will be at a disadvantage for the rest of the game. And once the opponent is fielding better archers than yours, a switch to infantry is a bad idea.

By forcing Vikings to age up and get arbs (because their crossbows are now weaker than most), it actually discourages players from making infantry in the mid game. Berserks are strong now, but they cost 65 food each and require a castle. Nobody is doing a fast Imperial if they spend 650 stone + 1000 food for 15 Berserks. Any opponent making crossbows is going to easily hit Imp first if the Viking makes any infantry in castle age.

No buffs for Goth? Hm…

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No one here likes Goths so who cares