Happy Monday, everyone! We hope you’re staying healthy and happy, and think we have just the thing to help you part the clouds of March: a new UPDATE and a new CELEBRATION to bring the best of Spring straight into your home!
Along with the fixes and balance changes that accompany any game update, the team has been working on several new systems for Age of Empires II. Today, you get to enjoy the many fruits (3 – Food please!) of their labor:
- Four brand-new Art of War missions to hone your skills!
- Unique 1v1 and Team map pools in ranked matchmaking!
- Two brand new maps: Four Lakes and Golden Swamp!
- A new Profile Hub now available via the main menu!
- The ability to view ELO in unranked lobbies!
- Various balance changes—including a new unique unit for the Tatars!
- The SPRING CELEBRATION EVENT! (Be outside while you stay inside!)
- …and much more!
There are still plenty of cool features and fixes in the works for April—thanks in large part to the outstanding community members who have stepped up with their feedback and bug reports over the past few months. Your contributions play a big part in determining what to work on next; so, if you have not already, come join us on any (or all) of our official discussion channels and jump into the conversation:
There’s also no better time to be a part of the Age of Empires II community—and this is only the beginning of our journey! The game has come a *long* way in four months, and we still have plenty of territory to explore, relics to capture, battles to win, and wonders to build as our community continues to grow. For now (and from all of us): stay safe, stay healthy, and we hope the March Update helps you enjoy your time inside.
We’ll see you on the battlefield!
—The Age of Empires Team
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Having trouble downloading or playing the build? Visit our support page!
While there is plenty for you to enjoy and celebrate in today’s build, here are some of the highlights to look for in the March update:
Spring Celebration Event!
🌸 March 30 – April 14 🌸
As has become tradition, we’re celebrating the month and the start of the Spring season with the SPRING CELEBRATION EVENT! This month, we’re bringing the warmth, sunshine, and spirit of the Spring season straight to you—a much needed breath of fresh air while you’re stuck inside! Here’s what’s changing during the celebration:
- Four new Profile Icons.
- A new mod to replace player colors with a saturated color palette during the event.
- New Spring Menu background art during the event.
- Five blooming mods to celebrate the season in style.
Today through April 14 , come back and complete daily challenges to unlock new profile icons and mods:
✔ Sign into Xbox Live: Unlocks the Spring Woad Raider and Spring Helmet profile icon.
✔ Research Hand Cart: Unlocks the ‘lush town center mod’ and the Spring Villager profile icon.
✔ Build a Trade Cart: Unlocks ‘pink petal berry bushes mod’ and Spring Teuton Knight profile icon.
✔ Build at least 5 farms in a single game: Unlocks the ‘lush terrain’ mod.
✔ Gather at least 2020 food in a single game: Unlocks the ‘floral explosions’ (for Petards and Demo Ships) mod.
✔ Reach at least 100 population: Unlocks the ‘arrows replaced by flowers’ mod.
As a bonus, we’re also making the PHOTON MAN challenge available as a bonus task for those who missed it during our Anniversary Event. This time, you can unlock it even if you own one game on the Windows Store and the other on Steam; simply log into your Xbox Live account in both games and complete the achievement to enjoy the classic cheat unit in Age of Empires II:
✔ Earn the “21st Century” Achievement in Age of Empires: Definitive Edition: Unlocks the Photon-Man cheat code, permanently!
And as a double-super-bonus: log in with your Xbox Live account during the event to keep *ALL* the mods and Profile icons you unlock… FOR-EV-ER! Pretty great, right? We hope you enjoy the Spring Celebration Event, and look forward to seeing you on the
battle flower fields!
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Spring Celebration Event F.A.Q.
ART OF WAR
The Art of War missions are short challenges designed to help players who are looking to learn the base mechanics of Age of Empires II. The original five challenges helped lay the groundwork of your civilization: teaching you how to build an economy, grow your civilization rapidly, raise an army, defend against aggression from your opponents, and quickly progress through the Ages.
Today, four brand-new missions have been added as we continue to build on the knowledge that will help you prevail in Age of Empires:
- Land Battle: Learn about unit counters and basic maneuvers on the battlefield.
- Destroying a Castle: Learn about early siege attacks against fortified positions.
- Naval Battle: Learn about water combat and how to prevail on the high seas.
- Battle Formations: Learn when and how to use formations to keep your troops alive and outmaneuver the enemy
Give them a try, and then keep practicing until you can achieve a Gold medal in each challenge; this will ensure that you have the fundamentals you need to succeed on the live battlefield!
- Fixed an issue where discovering the Bombard Cannons on Genghis Khan – Mission 3 (“Into China”) would crash the client.
- Fixed a variety of one-off crashes.
- Fixed various issues when transferring restored game files.
- Reduced the file size of assets by 1GB, and by an additional 1GB for players running the Enhanced Graphics Pack DLC.
- Continued improvements to how VRAM and RAM is utilized when running the game.
- Implemented various performance improvements.
- Auto-Scout is now available for all horse and camel variants of the initial Scout unit.
- Fixed an issue where right-clicking to attack a specific enemy in a mixed army could result in insubordination by the ordered units.
- Fixed a legacy issue where units tasked to attack ground would sometimes ignore the command and attack the closest enemy unit instead.
- Fixed an issue where defensive structures would sometimes stop attacking targets.
- Packed Trebuchets which auto-pack and then chase another Trebuchet (target) can no longer instantly destroy the enemy Trebuchet without unpacking.
- Selecting more than one control group using Shift no longer merges them into one group by default. A new Shift Group Appending option has been added to enable or disable this behavior.
- Attack ground is no longer available for Trebuchets when playing Treaty.
- Fixed a rare issue where Siege Towers could be used to move units across terrain obstructions such as cliffs.
- Furor Celtica now applies to Rams and Siege Towers which have units garrisoned inside.
Steppe Lancer [Standard & Elite]: Increased the base attack of both the standard and elite unit by +1.
No longer have access to the Redemption technology.
No longer have access to the Redemption technology.
Can now research the Capped Ram upgrade in the Castle Age as a civilization bonus.
Kipchak [Standard & Elite]: Now fire +1 extra arrow.
Steppe Husbandry: Now grants its benefits to Steppe Lancers.
Steppe Husbandry: Now reduces the training time of Scout Cavalry, Cavalry Archers, and Steppe Lancers by 50% (was 80%).
No longer have access to the Arson technology.
The civilization bonus affecting the cost of infantry units has now been staggered per Age:
20% cheaper → 25% cheaper → 30% cheaper → 35% cheaper
The civilization bonus boosting infantry attack vs. buildings now increments by +1 attack per Age (starting in the Feudal Age).
Now gain the Thumb Ring technology for free as a civilization bonus.
Keshik: Reduced the training time from 23 to 16 seconds.
Elite Keshik: Reduced the training time from 20 to 14 seconds.
Silk Armor: Now grants its benefits to Steppe Lancers.
Timurid Siegecraft: Increased the bonus range granted to Trebuchets from +1 to +2.
Timurid Siegecraft: Now makes the new Flaming Camel unit available when researched—a fast-moving Petard with bonuses vs. mounted units and elephants.
Art of War
Four brand-new missions have been added to the Art of War tutorials:
- Land Battle: Learn about unit counters and basic maneuvers!
- Battle Formations: Learn when and how to use formations effectively!
- Naval Battle: Learn about amphibious combat and how to prevail on the high seas!
- Destroying a Castle: Learn about early siege attacks against fortified positions!
In addition to these new missions, we’ve implemented the following:
- Added localized versions of the Art of War introduction videos for all supported audio languages.
- Booming: Players can now properly advance to the Imperial Age after building two Castle Age buildings, rather than having to build a Castle.
- Booming: Fixed a separate issue where players could advance to the Imperial Age without constructing the prerequisite buildings.
- Rushing the Enemy: The kill counter will now increment properly as soon as you start killing enemy villagers.
- Fixed various instances where the dialogue text and voiceover audio did not agree during the Dracula campaign.
- Predators will no longer spawn on top of Relics.
- Alpine Lakes: Updated the map to ensure a more consistent and fair distribution of resources: including hills, forests, and lakes.
- Alpine Lakes: Each player will now start with one close lake and two small forests. Each close lake contains four deep fish within the reach of shore fishermen.
- Alpine Lakes: In addition to fish and herdables, players now start with an extra boar.
- Arabia: Reduced the number and length of cliffs that spawn on the map, allowing for more open gameplay.
- Arabia: Extra gold and stone deposits have been adjusted to distribute more evenly amongst the players.
- Arena: Deer now always appear within the bounds of the player walls.
- Arena: Fixed a bug where, on occasion, only four Relics would appear on a tiny map (instead of five).
- Arena: Adjusted the number of Relics spawned to match other maps. Six-player maps will now spawn 7 Relics, and eight-player maps will spawn 8 Relics.
- Hideout: Extra gold and stone deposits have been adjusted to distribute more evenly amongst the players.
- Hideout: Adjusted the distance of stone and gold deposits to prevent them from blocking gates.
- Hideout: Altered the way the map is generated to prevent player bases from overlapping.
- Hideout: Guaranteed that one pile of stone now always appears within the walls of each player’s base.
- Hideout: Boars will now consistently spawn inside of the player’s base.
- Hideout: Groups of Deer will now either appear entirely within the walls (50% of the time) or well outside of them.
- Megarandom: Added new map variations to make better use of the Mangrove Shallows/Forests terrain.
- Megarandom: Adjusted the balance of deer spawns to ensure an average of 4 deer per player.
- Megarandom: Fixed several bugs that caused issues with the generation of gold and stone.
- Megarandom: Increased the amount of starting gold spawned on the Empire Wars game mode.
LOBBIES & MATCHMAKING
- Added a tooltip to game lobbies that provides a detailed look at any player’s stats: including their rating, rank, wins, losses, and win percentage.
- The Technology Tree can now be viewed while in the matchmaking queue. (And there was much rejoicing…!)
- The number of spectators and Game ID are now displayed while spectating a match.
- Added the ability to pick your player color in ranked matchmaking. This now also controls your starting team position based on the selected color.
- Teams in ranked matchmaking now delegate their map bans to the party leader.
- Updated the default team selection from “-“ to “?” in multiplayer lobbies.
- Team Positions can no longer be selected when playing custom scenarios.
- Two new maps inspired by the community—Four Lakes and Golden Swamp—are now available in the Random Map selection screen by default.
- Fixed an issue where custom scenario lobbies would incorrectly display the previously-selected Random Map as the location.
- Fixed an issue where the game would run slower for players than for spectators.
- Implemented additional tracking and safeguards to defend against cheat programs.
Ranked Map Rotation
- The ranked map pool is now unique depending on whether you’re playing 1v1 or as a Team. Nine total maps are still available in both modes: six that are playable in both, and three exclusive maps that only appear in the 1v1 or Team queue.
The 1v1 map pool is as follows:
- Four Lakes
- Golden Swamp
The Team map pool is as follows:
- Black Forest
- Golden Swamp
- Team Islands
- The Slavs, Magyars, Lithuanians, and Bulgarians now have a unique set of sails for their ships.
- Vietnamese Transport Ships now use the correct set of sails.
- Sea Gates now have destruction animations.
- Imperial Camels no longer wield their shields upside down when walking.
- Terrain grid lines are now less intrusive.
- Updated the visual look of Relics.
- Indian Villagers no longer say ♪ “attack” ♪ when tasked to move.
- Properly limited how gunpower sounds are played when too many of them are triggered at the same time.
- Improved the effectiveness of AI players on the Hamburger map.
- Fixed a rare issue where AI-controlled players would continue to send unit commands after resigning or being defeated.
- Fixed an issue where AI-controlled players would play too passively before reaching the Imperial Age.
- Fixed an issue where the AI would occasionally resign too early in team games.
- Fixed a rare issue where AI players would send tribute to the host player rather than the player that requested the resources.
- Fixed a rare issue where AI-controlled players would build excessive numbers of military buildings.
- Fixed a rare issue where explorer units would occasionally fall idle.
- Fixed an issue where units would be paralyzed with fear instead of properly fleeing enemy aggressors.
- Fixed an issue where Bombard Cannons would fail to interrupt their attack-move under certain circumstances.
- Fixed a rare issue where a trapped scout using auto-scout could cause the game to lag.
- Siege weapons are no longer affected by sn-task-ungrouped-soldiers.
- unit-type-count-total now counts additional objects in the unit queue.
- up-pending-objects now counts additional objects in the unit queue.
- up-garrison now accepts unit lines.
- up-modify-group-flag can now be used to select and see which units are in what group.
- up-find-remote can now find building foundations.
- sn-allow-civilian-defense set to 0 and sn-allow-civilian-offense set to ≥1 will no longer make villagers retreat.
- Added a new Player Profile hub where you can view your game stats and collections. This is accessible directly from the main menu!
- Fixed a rare issue where chat messages were sometimes not sent to everyone.
- Shift-clicking a stack of units in the building queue now decreases the queued total by 5.
- All herdable cows will now show the correct message in the UI when found.
- The minimap now updates correctly when switching between players using hotkeys while watching a recorded game.
- The Map Seed is now visible in the objectives panel for spectated and recorded games. This information is useful when reporting issues with a randomly generated map.
- The game no longer inserts a “/” in front of non-taunt numbers when the /Taunts option is turned off.
- The Chieftains technology no longer displays an incorrect description in the notification area when researched.
- Palette mods are now possible.
- It is now possible to use OPUS encoded WEM files in audio mods.
- The Play Sound trigger effect now works with custom sounds.
- Added a unique model for the Heavy Swordsman.
- Fixed an issue where some random maps did not appear in the Scenario Editor’s “random map list.”
As always, we are continuing to track issues reported by the community for future updates. Here is a brief overview of some of the issues that have been raised for which we are actively working on solutions:
- LATENCY & DISCONNECTS: The connectivity and stability of the game are still our top priority. While we continue to implement advancements and prevention measures with each new build, we’re always on the lookout for issues that impact your ability to play. We are continuing to keep a close eye on the reports of input latency, server issues, and disconnects, and will continue doing everything we can to get these resolved for as many people as possible.
- PERFORMANCE: Speed is everything in AoE2:DE, and we want to ensure that the game makes the most of your hardware setup. We are continuing to make gains wherever possible, and will continue to work on raising the bar month after month.
- TEXT FILTERING: We’ve heard your cries and seen the ***** **** ** ******; and the team is investigating solutions that not only (more accurately) reflect the communication style of the community, but give us more control over where we set the bar both now and into the future. Watch for more updates to come!
- LOCALIZATION/TRANSLATION ISSUES: The community has done a fantastic job compiling lists of areas in the game where the translation is incorrect, missing, or could use improvement. We are watching for your reports on our official forum and will continue to implement solutions as they come our way! Keep it up!
- GAME BALANCE (incl. AUTO-SCOUTING): With the rich variety of civilizations in the game, there will always be room for adjustments to the balance of power. This also goes for new features—such as auto-scouting—where we will continue to see what can be done to strike a balance between accessibility for new players and mastery by veterans in the game.
For other known issues, please visit this page to see what’s being tracked!