Why mainly we Death Match players refuse to move to new version

Hi Devs of AoE:DE.

As a Death Match player, I often am forced to boot the old client to have some good games with other DM players. Most of them remain on the old client. And there is a very good reason for this.

There were/are two main issues:

  • FPS Lag
  • Unit collision

The FPS lag got somewhat resolved. Not as great as the original AoE game but it is better than before. However, the second remains a huge problem.

Nobody enjoys seeing stacked Elephants on few tiles dying to mass Catapult fire. Nobody enjoys mass stacked Helepolis/Ballistas dying to 1 random catapult shot. The unit collision is a huge issue for us. Our games become impossible to enjoy because microing becomes near impossible as you cannot select your units. I think even RM players suffer from this in large battles.

If only this issue would be resolved. Seeing the latest 15 January patch made good progress, I hope you pull through with another patch fixing this unit collision.

Notice this screen. Left the latest version, on the right the old version 27374. Notice how on the right screenshot, the units respect their collision and try to reroute their position. Left screenshot the units ignore this.

Practically any unit works. In Death Match, Elephant Archers are vulnerable to Catapult fire like this. Taking them out with mere stone throwers for maximum efficiency.

Another example. Difference between losing almost all helepolis or losing 2-4 with a single shot from an enemy catapult,


During beta, zero collision was an ‘easy’ answer to pathfinding issues on villagers…

I see they chose same solution for military units as well… instead of correcting this pathfinding once and for all.

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High speculation:

After some testing, I noticed though the unit collision is intact in the beginning. But at some point the units decide to ignore collision. I could speculate there is some kind of fall back mechanism programmed in that once the units can’t find their path they drop their collision.

The ignoring seems to happen when the units are commanded into combat and actively partake in combat and have to move on. Or when they have to cross choke points or other narrow complex paths.

Once the collision breaks, it remains like that.


Yeah you can force units to stack up when you click on the other side of an obstacle. Say you’re trying to break an enemy wall. You find a corner in it and repeatedle click on the other side near the corner, all the units will stack up and you now have 10-20 units hitting a single wall tile, destroying it nearly instantly. You can break inside walls very fast this way. Or use corners on a forest to stack up your chariot/horse archers to have a deathball that cavalry can never approach, etc.

For us RM players the stacking isn’t that huge with siege. It is so expensive and slow to ramp up it is relatively rare. I’d say it’s even kind of nice because of how strong stacked archers are. With scythes though, not so much. They mop up catapracts, legion, horse archers, compies, helepolis, etc. way too effectively due to the stacking. You might lose 20 scythe before engaging properly but when the last two get into melee the grouped up units just melt away. It’s totally broken.


seems like a bug which is easy to fix. In rm its hard to make out if units are stacked together. I hope MS fixes this in the next update.

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I want to show a video of a game I played where I exactly did what @JoonasTop was mentioning.


I think nothing else needs to be said.

Or this one, notice how the enemy catapults are massive stacked. Either my SC will do serious damage, or his own catapults will do serious friendly fire damage.


I bought the game on Steam, but I am a DM only player. Is there anyway I can play it on the old client from the MS store without buying it again? Thanks in advance!

The old client is available only for the players who have bought the game from Microsoft Store before the new client was released (Aug 19, 2019).
Even if you buy the game from Microsoft store now you can’t play in the old client.

Of course…

Thanks @pate623