[Updated 28-07-2020] The Summary on why AoE2 's gameplay is not as COMPETITIVE as it used to be

This is the situation of gameplay mechanics on DE of 28th July 2020 (after July patch).

There’s one factor that is overlooked by a lot of people on why the current meta is so defensive, passive, less micro-concentrated, more boring compared to the times before DE.
And that is INCONSISTENCY of gameplay mechanics.
Close to no delay in the game is fantastic! QoL mechanics are great! Graphics are awesome!
Yet microing on DE is so, so much worse, it’s actually terrible compared to the consistency we had experienced before.

Exclaimer: This thread is aimed at people who micro a lot and often play offensive or used to play offensive and enjoyed it before DE came out

But what exactly am I talking about? - Glad you asked!

  1. Consistent Coverage of clickable area by other (larger) clickable areas
    When you click something it should always select the same thing.
    If I click on enemy villager to attack it - there should be no way that enemy building foundation suddenly covers that clickable area of a villager that worked before when I clicked it.
    Alt+mouse click solves this issue (recent patch)

  2. Inconsistency of clickable areas in general
    If I order my villager to repair a tower - there should be no situation when I cannot click my tower to repair it or garnison my villagers inside, just because enemy villagers surrounded it from the front. By doing so enemy villagers cover the whole clickable area of a tower.
    Seems better in the new patch

There should not be a situation where a player is unable to click/select something that in different circumstances would be clickable/selectable.
And if there is no way to avoid overlapping like that then there should be implemented some kind of a consistent priority system.

  1. Oversized clickable areas of already large enough buildings and objects.
    Inconsistency with microing units next to enemy buildings and gaia obstacles on DE.
    Microing units behind enemy building is literally impossible, when on Voobly it was easily manageable.
    I’m not even talking about foundations, I’m talking about buildings that are already built. If you can’t make it work then why do you add to the 2x2, 3x3, 4x4 the height of a skyscraper to the selectable area.
    Seems better in the new patch

  2. The next case is inconsistency with micro mechanics.
    E.g. split - Flank Formation - especially when there are obstacles around.
    NOT fixed

  3. Inconsistent stuttering of units.
    Units, most of the time with considerate amount of effective Frame Delay such as Cav Archers, “bug out” that is they stutter - they stop firing and won’t fire for a split second. In micromanagement every .001 of a second matters.
    If I react accordingly but I lose the fight because my Mangonel wouldn’t fire - even though it should - then how is that experience any close to competitive? It’s a bug that randomly puts players in terrible positions that they shouldn’t be in.
    NOT fixed

  4. Inconsistency of pathfinding.
    Everyone knows it. I don’t think I need to comment on pathfinding.
    NOT fixed despite claims

  5. Consistently terrible idling of melee units with large coverage areas (mounted melee units e.g. knights) when attacking stacked units (ranged e.g. crossbowman).
    Fixed in the new patch

  6. Inconsistency of when units can go “through” each other and when they cannot.
    As an example - if I trap a villager with my militia in a one tile gap I should either always block it and kill it or the villager should always be able to go through those militia and run away.
    Seems better in the new patch

  7. Consistent stacking of ranged units (like arbalests in 1 tile gaps)
    This mechanic adds on the top of “consistently terrible idling of melee units” to create miserable fights between cavalry and arbalests, where everything that doesn’t have range dies to anything the does have range.
    There should be unsqueezable hitbox of each unit that doesn’t allow other units to go on top of it.
    NOT fixed

  8. Inconsistent stuttering of the game, different for each player, different each game
    Introduced with the new patch
    Fixed by the hotfix

If you want what we as a community want and that is to make the gameplay feel as competitive as it used to be then
make game mechanics of AoE2 on DE CONSISTENT.

I may add more examples in the future as I come up with more.

General solution on how to improve all of it (which should have been done before you released the final product):
In order to prevent the terrible gameplay mechanics that we currently have on DE
have testers (that are competitive players or better - pros with amazing micro and game knowledge) test your builds. In order to reward their time spent: pay them for their constructive feedback!

Best Regards,


I gave your post a like because I think you raise many valid criticisms, but I think describing the gameplay mechanics as terrible is over the top. Capable of improvement, certainly, but it’s a long way from terrible.


I understand. It’s completely reasonable.
I would still say that compared to Voobly aspects mentioned in the thread are terrible.

I find wording things over the top creating more pressure on devs than something like:
“Please, pretty please, currently it’s fine, but it could have been better, can you guys find a little bit of time and consider working on those issues. Maybe after you are done with other important things you’re doing like implementing mechanics that enable cheats for single player. Just keep it in mind. No rush, it’s not good, but I can play like this, thanks <3<3<3”

Releasing a new casual game is a lot of time spent on design, graphics, mechanics.
Releasing a competitive game is much harder. The same amount of time spent on design and graphics and then the real difficulty starts - mechanics - testing, testing and more testing. If something cannot be made competitive you go back to design, you change it, you change the graphics again if needed, and you do it over and over again until the product is ready. It’s the same as programming. It is programming.

I was in beta and I kindly criticized the movement of units and other mechanics.
How much it has been so far? - 5 patches?
If there’s no serious complaint - it’s no a priority.

It’s them who decided to release the game too early, without proper testing.

I appreciate the like.
It’s all about making the game a better experience to everyone.


It would be great if someone could give some insights on why the hitboxes are so out of proportion.

-Is this related to compatibillity with different elevations?

-How are hitboxes stored?

-Can they be altered by a mod?

-Would reducing the hitbox size cause issues in certain situations?

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Just a guess here… But maybe they did it to make it more playable on high res for less experienced players. Aka they have big boxes to select and attack to make it easier for someone who hasn’t done it much before.

i agree with all these issues… and i reckon it would make most of the player base, not just the most competitive players happier… these things can be really frustrating, and im far from competitive levels, we also see players from every elo complaining about one or other issue mentioned here…

you may already knw this, but apparently which ever unit was produced first, has highest priority, so villager built before m@a will pass through m@a, but not the other way around. its literally just lazy programming

what i really dont get is that people have said DE is just the old engine made over, so why do we have these massive issues that never used to exist.

did workers really idle so much before DE? same for melee fighters, or CA? why, if they’re using the old engine, do we suddenly have this garbage crop up…

The clicking issue can be removed now, as they just added it to the game with alt+right click, and this probably goes for repairing now as well.

And melee pathing takes time to iron it out.

Other than the arguable melee blocking, which would probably just need a unified overhaul of unit width, this post is mostly fixed or in the works.

I updated the thread with the experience I gained in the new (July) patch.

I still experience trying to click 1 unit but it selects 2 units (when they are very close to each other). This never happened to me on HD version.


I’ve never seen the list but Viper has said that “all of the pros” are in the discord with the devs to give them feedback and suggestions.

Giving advice and do some testing are two different things.

But yeah, there is a group of pros in discord with the devs, so they give there input. That is why we dont really see pros discussion the balance changes at this forum.

I know there’s still a lot that is lacking but it is nice to see that they are at least working on these things. The unit idling seems to have helped melee units a lot, so i find im getting a lot less frustrated using melee units.

And feels like specifically fast infantry are a lot more useful. I’m both using and seeing them in more games.

My main issue is how units stack up into a line behind each other when you’re trying to chase someone or run away.

So if im running away it means some of my units will actually walk towards the enemy. And if im chasing some of themwill either move away from the enemy or just get stuck behind each like ducks in a row so only the front few are attacking.

Makes it so much easier to run away so long as you pre empt the stupid line formation.

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