Welcome to another monumental week for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition! Not only are we kicking it off with a transport ship full of features and fixes, but we’re laying the groundwork for the first official expansion—Lords of the West—which introduces two new civilizations, three new campaigns, and expands the tools with which to build your empire!
Update 44725 lays the groundwork for the expansion with improvements to the stability and performance of the game—including fixes for the multiplayer performance setbacks following the November update—along with several new features, a new in-game event, and other challenges to improve your experience. Check out some of the highlights:
- Join the New Year Celebration and unlock exclusive new icons and mods!
- Owners of the Lords of the West expansion get early access to the two new civilizations in multiplayer: the Burgundians and Sicilians!
- Numerous fixes to multiplayer performance and stability issues
- The profanity filter now targets specific ##### words rather than the whole ***** sentence
- Building blueprints can no longer be used to “scout” terrain that doesn’t have visibility
- Five new maps: African Clearing, Amazon Tunnel, Atacama, Coastal Forest, Seize the Mountain
- Unofficial mods are now disabled upon game update to prevent compatibility issues
- AI and pathfinding improvements galore!
- …and more!
We’re hoping this helps kick 2021 off to a *great* start, and creates a solid foundation for not only the expansion, but everything we have in store for the year to come (so much good stuff). As always, this includes input from all of you—the community—so come say hello:
We look forward to joining you for the big launch tomorrow, and hope you enjoy everything today’s update brings to the game! ♥
—The Age of Empires Team
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Please note that custom mods may not be compatible with the latest game update. If you are experiencing issues launching or playing the game after downloading the new build, try disabling your installed mods before trying again.
Still having trouble? Visit our support site!
While there are plenty of notable fixes and features to which to look forward in today’s build, here are some of the big highlights coming with this month’s update:
Join the New Year Celebration!
🥳 January 25 – February 8 🥳
A new year means a new chapter in the history books, as well as another reason to celebrate in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition!
2021’s NEW YEAR CELEBRATION EVENT introduces a new set of icons, new mods, new upgrade effects, and another reason to jump back into Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition to round out your collection!
Starting TODAY through FEBRUARY 8, complete daily in-game tasks to unlock event-themed goodies:
|DAY ~||🎯 Sign into Xbox Live.
🏆 Unlocks the Serjeant with Balloon-Sword profile icon.
💾 *Required* if you want to save any rewards unlocked during the event!
Each of the following challenges must be unlocked in order and on separate days:
|DAY 1||🔒 Win a Standard or Multiplayer game playing as one of the following civilizations: the Spanish, Ethiopians, Japanese, or Inca.
🧱 Unlocks the New Year Celebration Scene for the Town Center.
|DAY 2||🔒 Create 21 Hand Cannoneers in any one game.
🏆 Unlocks the Flemish Militia Cheers profile icon.
|DAY 3||🔒 Advance to Castle Age from Dark Age within 21 minutes.
🧱 Unlocks the Age Up Fireworks and Cheering Celebration mod.
|DAY 4||🔒 Create 21 Cannon Galleons or Elite Cannon Galleons in any one game.
🏆 Unlocks the Celebratory Coustillier profile icon.
|DAY 5||🔒 Cumulatively construct 21 Bombard Towers in any games.
🧱 Unlocks the Fireworks particle mod upon researching a technology or Aging-Up!
Keep it Forever!
Remember: if you sign in to Xbox Live during the event, you’ll get to keep all of the mods and profile icons you’ve achieved! Sign in, earn your rewards, and enjoy the celebration!
We hope you enjoy the Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition New Year Celebration! Again, don’t forget to sign into Xbox Live to ensure you keep everything you unlock!
—The Age of Empires Team
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NEW CIV! The Burgundians
“Rise from a mere duchy to the marvel of Western Europe through economic might, cultural achievement, and the use of advanced military technology and tactics.”
The Burgundians are a new cavalry civilization specializing in economic development. Take advantage of their ability to perform economic upgrades one Age earlier than other civilizations, cheaper stable technologies, and more powerful gunpowder units to dominate your opponents on the battlefield.
Click below to see the different tools the Burgundians bring to the battlefield!
Exclusive to Lords of the West
The Burgundians are unlocked exclusively for owners of the Lords of the West DLC. Try out the Burgundians early (multiplayer only) by pre-ordering Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition – Lords of the West, then enjoy everything the expansion has to offer on January 26th!
NEW CIV! The Sicilians
“Experience the diverse cultures and martial spirit of the Mediterranean’s crossroads as you build one of the most coveted kingdoms of medieval Europe.”
The Sicilians are an infantry civilization specializing in city building to fuel their relentless drive for expansion. Build Donjons for additional fortifications around your towns, employ the First Crusade technology to spawn batches of the unique Serjeant unit in all Town Centers, and utilize the Scutage technology to refill you and your team members’ battle coffers with 15 gold for each military unit you own.
Click below to see the different tools the Sicilians bring to the battlefield!
Exclusive to Lords of the West
The Sicilians are unlocked exclusively for owners of the Lords of the West DLC. Try out the Sicilians early (multiplayer only) by pre-ordering Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition – Lords of the West, then enjoy everything the expansion has to offer on January 26th!
Stability & Performance
- Numerous fixes implemented to address the mid-to-late game multiplayer performance setbacks following the November update.
- Implemented fixes to performance dips that could occur when a player Ages-Up.
- Fixed a crash when exiting the profile screen while it is loading.
- Fixed a crash in the Battle Royale mode triggered when the corruption damaged a non-combatant object.
- Fixed a rare issue which would cause the game to stall after submitting a player report.
- Chasing the Crown: Fixed an issue in the Bayinnaung campaign which prevented the achievement from being earnable.
- Fixed an issue where a building’s research complete animation could fail to spawn the particles if multiple research projects were queued in the same building.
- The Stormy Dog cheat unit now ♪ barks ♪ when selected.
- Bonus stats granted to unit(s) via automatic upgrades are now displayed in the base unit stats. As an example, an inherit bonus to attack granted to Scout Cavalry in the Feudal Age would be displayed as 5 instead of 3+2.
- The profanity filter now only censors the word(s) which were flagged as vulgar rather than the entire message.
- The Report Player modal no longer remains disabled after submitting a report.
- Fixed an issue where the Civilization Selection Screen could not be closed after launching the game via a Steam invitation.
- The Back button now denotes the page to which they’ll return in their tooltips.
- Upon research of the Cuman Mercenaries technology, a notification is now sent to the Cuman player’s allies when completed.
- Medals awarded upon the completion of each Historical Battle are now displayed on top of the mission titles, as intended.
- Scenario leaderboards will now properly display scores greater than 65535 points.
- The Technology Tree can now be navigated using the z, x, c, v, and b keys on the keyboard.
- Custom scenarios which change the player color of units will now display the correct color in the HUD when those units are selected with others, garrisoned, or added to command groups.
Several UI improvements have been made to the Battle Royale mode:
- The Battle Royale timer is now displayed in the Objectives panel.
- A notification is now displayed when Monks or Missionaries cannot heal a unit in the Battle Royale corrupted zone.
- The China and India Real World maps will no longer appear as suggested battlefields in Battle Royale.
- The Gaia team no longer shares the same player color as Player 7 (gray), but displays its own distinct color (white).
- Increased the line-of-sight of most starting Heroes in the Battle Royale game mode to be more consistent across all units.
- Added a new hotkey: “Select all idle military units”
- Hovering the blueprints of buildings over unexplored terrain will no longer reveal if the underlying terrain is occupied by a building or unit. While the blueprint can still be placed, it will not be buildable if the area is obstructed. This fixes the “palisade scan” exploit that allowed players to identify occupied areas beneath the fog of war.
- Fixed an exploit where units could be trapped within the foundations of horizontally- and vertically-placed Gates.
- Great Fish (Marlin) can no longer be deleted by Dock foundations.
- The “Select all military buildings” hotkey no longer allows players to select buildings and units simultaneously when no Barracks are present on the map.
- Fixed an issue where the projectiles of some ranged military—most notably gunpowder units—would be less accurate than intended.
- Updated several Joan of Arc, Barbarossa, Attila the Hun, and Bari missions—which featured the Burgundian or Italo-Norman players—to use the new Burgundian and Sicilian civilizations.
- Sundjata 4: ‘Blood on the River Bank’: The AI will no longer use the Mema Princess as an explorer, leading to a rare situation where the scenario could not be completed.
- On maps where each player begins with multiple Town Centers, additional Villagers or Llamas granted to the Chinese, Mayan, and Inca civilizations will only spawn from a single Town Center as opposed to each of them.
- Reduced the hit points of Palisade Walls and Gates by 40% in the Dark Age.
Cavalry Archer [Standard & Heavy]: Reduced the attack animation duration from 1.3 ▶ 1.15. This reduces the overall attack delay by 11.5%.
Fixed an issue where the Heated Shot upgrade would not affect secondary arrows fired from Castles and Towers.
The following civilizations no longer have access to the Treadmill Crane technology:
Konnik (Dismounted) [Standard & Elite]: No longer has more line of sight than the mounted Konnik.
Arambai [Standard & Elite]: Increased the damage dealt by missed shots (which still hit a secondary target) from 50% ▶ 100% damage.
Arambai [Standard & Elite]: Reduced attack damage from 17/19 ▶ 12/15.
Arambai: Reduced reload time to match the Elite Arambai, from 2.2 ▶ 2.0.
Reduced the bonus work rate of Foragers from +25% ▶ +15%.
Atheism: No longer reduces the research cost of Spies or Treason, but now also reduces the enemy gold income from Relics by 50%.
Reduced the price reduction of Dock technologies from 50% ▶ 33%.
The civilization now also receives a 33% discount for all University technologies.
Genoese Crossbowman [Standard & Elite]: Reduced the gold cost from 45 ▶ 40 gold. The wood cost remains the same (45 wood).
Can now research the Elite Cannon Galleon technology.
Obsidian Arrows: Replaced by a new unique technology: Hul’che Javelineers.
Hul’che Javelineers: Skirmishers throw a second projectile when researched.
Archers no longer gain bonus attack against standard buildings.
Camel units are now granted +10 hit points.
Team Bonus: Increased the bonus attack granted to Foot Archers vs. buildings from +1 ▶ +2.
Zealotry: Reduced the cost from 750 food, 700 gold ▶ 500 food, 450 gold. Now grants Camels and Mameluke units +20 hit points (reduced from +30 hit points).
Additional Town Center sheep now only spawn from newly-constructed Town Centers, and only after advancing to the Castle Age.
Keshik [Standard & Elite]: Increased the food cost from 50 ▶ 60 food. The gold cost remains the same (40 gold).
Five brand-new maps have been added to the map pool:
In addition to these changes, here’s the last update worth noting for Battle Royale maps:
- Packed Town Centers no longer appear in the Battle Royale game mode on non-BR maps.
- Antarctica: Players start with a normal scout again; Penguins will continue to roam the map as unflappable spectators of the battlefield.
- Arena: Secondary herds of sheep now consistently spawn within the walls.
- Black Forest: Balanced out the elevation throughout the map.
- Four Lakes: Relics now scale with map size. This means that 5 Relics will spawn on tiny/small/medium map sizes, 7 Relics during six-player matches, and 8 Relics during eight-player matches.
- Highland: Reduced the number or remote straggler trees spawned throughout the map.
- Highland: Small rivers will no longer separate teammates. In games with only two players or teams, only a single river will be generated on all map variants.
- Highland: The river is now consistently 7 tiles wide instead of being a random width.
- Highland: Ice crossings will no longer interfere with ship navigation during the snowy season.
- Highland: Added additional crossings to the river.
- Highland: Cliffs have been removed from the map.
- Highland: Starting gold clusters now spawn further from each other.
- Highland: Distant gold and stone nodes, as well as Relics, are now distributed more evenly around the map.
- Highland: Berries will no longer spawn adjacent to the river.
- Highland: Huntable animals now avoid areas where berries are spawned.
- Highland: Each player now consistently starts with a group of 4 Deer as opposed to randomly receiving 3 or 4 Deer.
- Highland: Removed extra boars from the map.
- Highland: Reduced the number of predators that spawn throughout the map.
- MegaRandom: Fixed several map seeds which could generate imbalanced battlefields.
- Nile Delta: No longer spawns a Packed Town Center when playing Empire Wars.
- Nile Delta: The edges of the starting islands have been moved away from the map edge on all non-Tiny map sizes. This should help prevent situations where Transport Ships could spawn in land-locked pools of water.
- Serengeti: Elevated areas now appear around player starting areas, similar to Arabia.
- Team Islands: Relics are now spawned per player on their respective island, and scale based on the total number of players in the match. This means that 4 Relics will spawn on tiny/small/medium map sizes, 6 Relics during six-player matches, and 8 Relics during eight-player matches.
- Team Islands: With the exception of ludicrous-sized maps, an extra 3-tile gold and 3-tile stone node will spawn for each player. To compensate, starting stone piles have been reduced from 5- and 4-tile groups to 4- and 3-tile groups.
- Team Islands: Adjusted the forests on each island to establish equilibrium between the two.
- Team Islands: Increased the distance at which starting gold and stone generate to the shoreline from 5 ▶ 7.
- Team Islands: The roads connecting players are now much narrower, allowing for more variety when generating resource nodes around the islands.
- Team Islands: Updated the road terrain textures to blend more seamlessly with their surroundings.
- Team Islands: Starting gold clusters now spawn further from each other.
- Team Islands: Berries now spawn further away from the shorelines.
- Team Islands: Deer herds are now generated to avoid Berry bushes.
- Team Islands: Reduced the number of predators that spawn throughout the map.
- Valley: With the exception of ludicrous-sized maps, an extra 3-tile gold and 3-tile stone node will spawn for each player. To compensate, starting stone piles have been reduced from 5- and 4-tile groups to 4- and 3-tile groups.
- Valley: Starting gold clusters now spawn further from each other.
- Valley: Deer no longer spawn on the map when “infinite resources” is selected via the match settings.
- Valley: Relics are more evenly-distributed between players for maximum drama.
- Valley: Reduced the number of predators that spawn throughout the map.
Random Map Scripting
- Implemented the effect_amount functionality, which allows the modification of object attributes, unit upgrades, and the modification or removal of technologies.
- effect_amount can also be used to apply its effects to the Gaia player by using special Gaia effect types.
- In King of the Hill games, resource generation via Monuments is now enabled by default. It can be turned off by using effect_amount to disable technology 729.
- Implemented the effect_percent functionality, which has the same function as effect_amount but uses percentage as its value.
- .xs scripting is now available in RMS. #includeXS has been added to load .xs scripts for random maps.
- AI players will no longer include Monks who are holding Relics in assaults on their enemies.
- AI players will no longer try to task Villagers to resources that are unreachable due to being blocked by allied structurers.
- AI players are now able to see enemy units that have been sighted by human allies with whom they share vision.
- AI players will no longer be able to track and find units spotted and then hidden by the fog of war for more than five seconds.
- AI livestock is no longer affected by “collide and correct,” which would previously move them away from the Town Center when they blocked another unit that had no other path to their destination.
- The Portuguese AI will no longer build Feitorias at the start of every Deathmatch.
- The AI is now aware of the Battle Royale timer, enabling them to better plan and maneuver their armies away from the impending doom.
- Fixed an issue which would prevent Villagers from fighting back against attackers on Nomad when in the process of constructing a Town Center.
- Fixed a rare issue where Villagers would fail to defend themselves against predatory animals (such as wolves).
- Fixed a rare issue where Villagers could go idle and ignore new commands after being ordered to repair an object.
- Fixed a rare issue where the AI would stop scouting for long periods of time.
- Units will now prioritize the most direct path when moving less than 20 tiles.
- Fixed an issue where boars could randomly break agro after bumping into an obstruction.
- Fixed an issue where patrolling melee units would occasionally fail to engage and attack ranged units who were already in motion.
- Fixed a crash when using direct unit control to garrison units.
- AI can now use the fe-cc-effect-amount and fe-cc-effect-percent actions.
- sn-maximum-patrol-distance now works with units patrolling in formation.
- up-can-build-line now correctly checks if coordinates are valid before attempting to place a building.
- object-data-locked now correctly checks if a gate is locked or unlocked.
- Krepost projectiles are now recognized by up-projectile-detected as projectile-castle.
- up-modify-escrow can no longer cause escrow to go into negative values.
- up-store-player-name no longer stores the player number together with the player name.
- Added missing localization for the description of the Battle Royale game mode on the Quick Play screen.
- Added a missing localization string in the fifth mission of the El Cid campaign.
- Civ-specific unit sounds can now be modified individually for the Huns and Mongols, as well as the Teutons and Goths. Naming irregularities and collisions for certain civ-specific sounds have been resolved.
- The Technology Tree data is now contained in the civTechTrees.json file, thus allowing for easier and more flexible modification of the tech tree.
- Added technology effects 20-27, which apply their effect to the player’s enemies.
- When modding the UIColors.json file, the game now correctly pulls from the Text attribute (rather than the Healthbar attribute) to determine the UI text color.
- xsEffectAmount has been implemented for both the scenario editor and random map scripts.
The following attributes can now be modified:
- Bonus Damage Resistance
- Icon ID
- Shown Attack
- Shown Range
- Shown Melee Armor
- Shown Pierce Armor
This can be done in the following methods and places:
- Technology effects in the data file
- Modify Attribute Trigger effect in the Scenario Editor
- Effect Amount command in Random Map, AI, and .xs Scripts
- Scenario designers now have the power and option to prevent human players from changing teams in their scenarios.
- Generating large maps in the editor no longer crashes the game.
- Loading very small custom maps in the editor no longer crashes the game.
- Fixed a crash when using the “Replace Object” effect.
- The “Damage Object” trigger will now work with negative numbers.
- The “Set Building Gather Point” trigger now works as intended.
- The “Play Sound” trigger now plays sounds as a 2D effect, which can be heard by the whole map when a specific position is not included.
- The “Heal Object” effect no longer excludes the given unit from the benefits of technologies.
- The “Object Has Action” condition will now work in conjuction with any unit AI tasks, such as patrolling.
- Permanent Flares placed in the editor no longer flash on the minimap.
- It is no longer possible to unpack Town Centers directly on top of resources.
Fixed a legacy issue where recorded games of a scenario using any of the following triggers would desync:
- Object Selected
- Object Visible
- Object Not Visible
- AI Signal
As always, we are continuing to track issues reported by the community for future updates. Here is a brief update from our Production team regarding some of what is still in the works:
- Late-game “Age Up” Hitching: We are aware of performance issues affecting some users as they Age Up, and are continuing to gather information as we test fixes shipping with the upcoming hotfix. If you’re experiencing this issue, please help us by contacting support with a summary of what you’re experiencing—along with a copy of your dxdiag—as this may help us better understand the root of the problem.
- “Shuffle” Music Crash: We are aware of and investigating a potential crash when using the “Shuffle” music playlist with one of the new civilizations (the Burgundians or Sicilians). A temporary workaround is to change to a different music playlist while we work on a permanent solution for the upcoming hotfix.
- Tech Tree Displays Incorrect Hit Points: Tooltips in the tech tree are currently displaying the incorrect ♥ Health for units. A fix will be released in an upcoming hotfix.
- Scenario Editor: direct_placement or grouped_by_team affects player land generation in consecutive maps. If direct_placement or grouped_by_team is used when generating a map in the editor, additional maps generated in the same editor session will not do so properly. Until this can be fixed (tentatively aiming for the quarterly update), a workaround is to restart the title to ensure maps are generated properly.
For other known issues, please visit this page to see what’s being tracked!
Today’s (January 28) hotfix introduces a handful of solutions for some of the gameplay issues that cropped up with the January update, while work continues on other bugs you’ve reported—including specific crashes that some users are experiencing. Here’s the list of changes:
- Fixed an exploit which would result in the Lithuanian Relic bonus stacking beyond the +4 cap, failing to decrement if the Relics were ejected from the Monastery, and stacking to infinity (and beyond).
- Fixed an exploit which allowed users to delete enemy walls using Tower, Donjon, and Gate foundations.
- Fixed an out of sync error triggered by placing building foundations over enemy units or buildings hidden by the fog of war.
- Please let us know if you continue to be awarded Lords of the West achievements without completing the listed requirements, as we have taken steps to resolve this. If you continue to experience it, please visit our forum and describe what you were doing when the achievements were rewarded, and whether or not you were rewarded other achievements or event challenge unlocks at the same time.
If you continue to experience any crashes, performance issues, or technical hiccups in the game, please take the time to reach out to the support team so they can assist you.
Crashes are the primary focus of our ongoing investigation, as well as performance issues noted by a subset of players. For those experiencing them, the most important thing you can do is contact our support team: both for assistance and to provide details that will help our team understand the problem.
We are also tracking and working on fixes for several other game issues identified by the community over the past week. For issues which have been verified, keep an eye on the Known Issues page for updates; and if you encounter a new problem that is not listed, please check the official forum to contribute to a discussion thread if one already exists, or start a new one if (and only if) it does not.