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Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition (AKA AoE2 HD HD)

Young_Hollow

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Making this in re this post: https://rpgcodex.net/forums/threads/age-of-empires-iv-medieval-again.117891/page-22#post-7609621 addressed to all and especially to Zboj Lamignat in the AoE4 thread considering the weakness of the Franks before the FE mod. This is the blog of Cysion, who started work on the Forgotten Empires mod, a mod which mixed up the balance of the Conquerors after 10+ years of balance-wise dormancy and became so popular it prompted M$ to take notice and take them on as a studio under their wing, releasing AoE2HD with their input. The Forgotten Empires mod kickstarted the AoE2 renaissance and for better or worse, has led us to the state AoE2 is in today.

His review of the Franks civ: http://www.cysion.be/aocbox/?p=541
Franks are simply tricky to play with. They have a rather limited techtree and only excel in their heavy cavalry, which is not sustained by their economy. However, in teamgames they’re a force to reckon. A paladin pumping ally forces your enemy to make either camels, halberdiers or his own weaker paladins, which is not population effective late game.
 

thesheeep

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Can you two lovebirds take a room, or maybe just the actual AoE2 thread that is right above/below this one?

On the other hand, this is one of the more close-to-topic derails of this place.
 

Sensuki

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Franks are the easiest civ to play.

Very smooth economy and generally very simple army composition, particularly in team games - make scouts in feudal and make knights->cavalier-> paladin, get some throwing axemen to counter pikes if needed.

There are some areas where they struggle, but they're definitely baby's first aoe2 civ.

Franks have strong winrates in closed and open maps on all ELOs in ranked, and in tournaments.

Not sure what the dev is talking about there re: economy, the faster berries and the free farm upgrades make them so smooth to play. The cheap castles are crazy as well.
 
Last edited:

Young_Hollow

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Franks are the easiest civ to play.

Very smooth economy and generally very simple army composition, particularly in team games - make scouts in feudal and make knights->cavalier-> paladin, get some throwing axemen to counter pikes if needed.

There are some areas where they struggle, but they're definitely baby's first aoe2 civ.

Franks have strong winrates in closed and open maps on all ELOs in ranked, and in tournaments.

Not sure what the dev is talking about there re: economy, the faster berries and the free farm upgrades make them so smooth to play. The cheap castles are crazy as well.
Faster berries and stables only came after the 2013 HD edition. Before that, they had a food+gold heavy army that was supported only by free farm upgrades and a UU and UT that were bad value for money. In Feudal, their scouts lacked bloodlines and were 20hp down despite being a cavalry civ and in imperial, they lacked and still lack archers and their skirmishers are gimped without the bracer tech. They also lacked squires which meant all their infantry moved slower and so became more susceptible to ranged damage.

Before the FE mod / HD edition, they were one of the worst civs in 1v1 tournaments and a worse pick than Persians or Huns or Mongols or Spanish for teamgames because all of them had much better economies and team bonuses.

He's talking about the pre-2013 age, which could be called age of the Huns, because they were the commonest pick by far in 1v1 games on open maps.
 

Cael

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Franks are the easiest civ to play.

Very smooth economy and generally very simple army composition, particularly in team games - make scouts in feudal and make knights->cavalier-> paladin, get some throwing axemen to counter pikes if needed.

There are some areas where they struggle, but they're definitely baby's first aoe2 civ.

Franks have strong winrates in closed and open maps on all ELOs in ranked, and in tournaments.

Not sure what the dev is talking about there re: economy, the faster berries and the free farm upgrades make them so smooth to play. The cheap castles are crazy as well.
Faster berries and stables only came after the 2013 HD edition. Before that, they had a food+gold heavy army that was supported only by free farm upgrades and a UU and UT that were bad value for money. In Feudal, their scouts lacked bloodlines and were 20hp down despite being a cavalry civ and in imperial, they lacked and still lack archers and their skirmishers are gimped without the bracer tech. They also lacked squires which meant all their infantry moved slower and so became more susceptible to ranged damage.

Before the FE mod / HD edition, they were one of the worst civs in 1v1 tournaments and a worse pick than Persians or Huns or Mongols or Spanish for teamgames because all of them had much better economies and team bonuses.

He's talking about the pre-2013 age, which could be called age of the Huns, because they were the commonest pick by far in 1v1 games on open maps.
It is the lack of housing that makes Huns so powerful, assuming you can parlay that early advantage to mid-game madness.
 

Young_Hollow

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Franks are the easiest civ to play.

Very smooth economy and generally very simple army composition, particularly in team games - make scouts in feudal and make knights->cavalier-> paladin, get some throwing axemen to counter pikes if needed.

There are some areas where they struggle, but they're definitely baby's first aoe2 civ.

Franks have strong winrates in closed and open maps on all ELOs in ranked, and in tournaments.

Not sure what the dev is talking about there re: economy, the faster berries and the free farm upgrades make them so smooth to play. The cheap castles are crazy as well.
Faster berries and stables only came after the 2013 HD edition. Before that, they had a food+gold heavy army that was supported only by free farm upgrades and a UU and UT that were bad value for money. In Feudal, their scouts lacked bloodlines and were 20hp down despite being a cavalry civ and in imperial, they lacked and still lack archers and their skirmishers are gimped without the bracer tech. They also lacked squires which meant all their infantry moved slower and so became more susceptible to ranged damage.

Before the FE mod / HD edition, they were one of the worst civs in 1v1 tournaments and a worse pick than Persians or Huns or Mongols or Spanish for teamgames because all of them had much better economies and team bonuses.

He's talking about the pre-2013 age, which could be called age of the Huns, because they were the commonest pick by far in 1v1 games on open maps.
It is the lack of housing that makes Huns so powerful, assuming you can parlay that early advantage to mid-game madness.
They start with -100 wood but not needing houses frees up a lot of time and saves much more wood in the long run. Their team bonus being stables working 20% faster also makes them a good for any kind of teamgame on a land map.
 
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Huns are awesome, like literally just build cavalry and go nuts. No houses, their UU is good at building killing, add some more cavalry units and some horse archers and you're off the races. Just know when to avoid all the pikes.

Also my memory is ass, but don't Huns get resources from attacking buildings or something?
 

Johannes

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Catering is not a difficult word. AoE2 is a game that has around 10k people (or more) in multi lobbies at this moment, games like that demand constant attention from the devs to listen to what community has to say. Those patches also bring things like new maps, coop, map generation and AI improvements. Like, why tf am I explaining these things?
constant changes to the balins of a mp game are annoying in most games, it really is a strike against DE. Small tweaks ain't likely to improve the game much, but force me to keep relearning basic values n shit. Better to just declare the game done at some point, and then just keep adding maps n stuff like that that doesn't stop ppl from playing in the way that they're used to.
 

vota DC

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AOC buffed a lot in case of some factions for example saracens camels and mamelukes had +50 hp and huskarl had 1.05 Speed and could be produced at barracks (they sucked before) but Franks got halberdier a year after release with a patch, DE stuff was retarded in both aoe and aoe 2: no reason to nerf hittite iron age navy and Huns late Imperial, I appreciate that they tried to make Tarkan useful.
 
Vatnik
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Catering is not a difficult word. AoE2 is a game that has around 10k people (or more) in multi lobbies at this moment, games like that demand constant attention from the devs to listen to what community has to say. Those patches also bring things like new maps, coop, map generation and AI improvements. Like, why tf am I explaining these things?
constant changes to the balins of a mp game are annoying in most games, it really is a strike against DE. Small tweaks ain't likely to improve the game much, but force me to keep relearning basic values n shit. Better to just declare the game done at some point, and then just keep adding maps n stuff like that that doesn't stop ppl from playing in the way that they're used to.
But surely it's very valuable to finally make longsworfds a good unit, for example?
 

Sensuki

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Anyone else here play ranked?

Faced a good nomad Persians player in TG yesterday and I quite liked his build - completely focuses on wood and fishing ships and docks in the early game, even idles the TC a little bit to not interrupt the wood income. I thought my nomad early eco was good until I played this guy. I had more vills than him, but he had way more fishing ships.

Tried it myself as Celts, even before I got fire ships out I was 10+ eco ahead of the other team's best player because of the extra fishing ships I made. Really hit the ground running in Feudal and went 3+ dock fire ships to kill the enemy fish while our eco is completely untouched. After killing the fish eco of the other team, two of us were 20+ eco units ahead. Forced the cav player who went FC to go heavy into farms and delayed his cav quit significantly.
 

Young_Hollow

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Its normal to prioritize big fish on maps which have them, they're faster than farms and berries. Shore fish is always best gathered with vills though, ships gather it very slowly. Most people use some kind of grush build on maps with more than a small amount of water.
 

Sensuki

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Oh I know, I know the gather rates etc and I think I'm quite strong on water maps for my ELO, just on nomad before I made fishing ships as often as I could, but my use of the vills kind of geared more towards hunt in late Dark Age eg deers and boars, sort of just trying to go FC asap. The full priority towards fishing ships seemed to be way better for eco longer term, as long as I won water. I did take one boar and force dropped, but a bit later on rather than asap and that was all I needed.
 

Johannes

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Catering is not a difficult word. AoE2 is a game that has around 10k people (or more) in multi lobbies at this moment, games like that demand constant attention from the devs to listen to what community has to say. Those patches also bring things like new maps, coop, map generation and AI improvements. Like, why tf am I explaining these things?
constant changes to the balins of a mp game are annoying in most games, it really is a strike against DE. Small tweaks ain't likely to improve the game much, but force me to keep relearning basic values n shit. Better to just declare the game done at some point, and then just keep adding maps n stuff like that that doesn't stop ppl from playing in the way that they're used to.
But surely it's very valuable to finally make longsworfds a good unit, for example?
That would just take a single patch when DE was released, but theyre making continuous changes now.
 

Sensuki

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I think the balance changes have generally been good. Most civs are viable now. They've dicked around a bit with Arabia ... I didn't have a problem with the old version and don't really like the 'new' versions. The KotD4 version is OK.

Burmese were overnerfed I think, and same with Battle Elephants.
 

Young_Hollow

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New DLC most likely to be India-centric:

Unverified, maybe fake, leak allegedly sent to a pro player's telegram points to current Indians being renamed Hindustanis and three more Indian civs called Dravidians, Bengalis and Gurjaras: https://www.reddit.com/r/aoe2/comments/tyntk8/possible_leak_of_the_new_civs/
While more India would always be a plus, adding more civs always means they'll be OP as hell in the first few months as well as introducing more balance and bug issues. Dropping a DLC with so much elephantry will add to the burden since elephants were never and still aren't properly balanced. Also sad that there's no rumors about a possible Tibetan civ since it was initially considered then scrapped for the Forgotten Empires mod.
 

JarlFrank

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Also sad that there's no rumors about a possible Tibetan civ since it was initially considered then scrapped for the Forgotten Empires mod.

The recent DLCs have all been very region-specific, so Tibetans would likely be added in a more East Asia centered DLC, or maybe Southeast Asia. Lords of the West and Dawn of the Dukes were both set in Europe but different parts of it (west and east). It makes sense they'd do the same regional focus for Asian-themed DLCs.

Then again, maybe they won't do Tibet because China doesn't approve of independent Tibet being depicted in media in any way, shape or form :M
 

Tacgnol

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I'm pleased they are still seemingly making expansions for this. I do love me an AOE 2 style campaign.

I was worried they would stop making content after AOE 4 got released.
 

Lacrymas

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AoE4 isn't as popular as AoE2. There are literally twice as many people playing AoE2. They won't let the cashcow die.
 

Preben

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Also sad that there's no rumors about a possible Tibetan civ since it was initially considered then scrapped for the Forgotten Empires mod.

The recent DLCs have all been very region-specific, so Tibetans would likely be added in a more East Asia centered DLC, or maybe Southeast Asia. Lords of the West and Dawn of the Dukes were both set in Europe but different parts of it (west and east). It makes sense they'd do the same regional focus for Asian-themed DLCs.

Then again, maybe they won't do Tibet because China doesn't approve of independent Tibet being depicted in media in any way, shape or form :M

Yeah, Tibet is a No-No unless someone wants to GTFO from the Chinese market.
In truth, there fewer and fewer regions where you can reliably squeeze additional civs.
 

Young_Hollow

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Also sad that there's no rumors about a possible Tibetan civ since it was initially considered then scrapped for the Forgotten Empires mod.

The recent DLCs have all been very region-specific, so Tibetans would likely be added in a more East Asia centered DLC, or maybe Southeast Asia. Lords of the West and Dawn of the Dukes were both set in Europe but different parts of it (west and east). It makes sense they'd do the same regional focus for Asian-themed DLCs.

Then again, maybe they won't do Tibet because China doesn't approve of independent Tibet being depicted in media in any way, shape or form :M
The western Steppe was covered in the DE launch / patch and it had Cumans and Tatars, among other European steppe civs. SE Asia was covered in the Rise of the Rajas which was released for HD and integrated into DE. RortR even had the Burmese, which are at the intersection of India and SE Asia and it still didn't have them. So it seems like if they don't come in this one, I don't see them coming at all, unless they plan to split Mongols and Chinese like they seem to be ready to do for the Indians. Even then, they'll probably split the generic ''Saracens'' and ''Persians'' first before looking east.

But political concerns are probably more important, especially since AoE2 has quite a big following in China.
 

Young_Hollow

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I'm pleased they are still seemingly making expansions for this. I do love me an AOE 2 style campaign.

I was worried they would stop making content after AOE 4 got released.
I was hoping they'd focus on balance for once instead of releasing civs with broken bonuses and UUs. I mean, did you see the Polish one? The one that can strip other units of its armor? Stuff like that, which seems so out of place in the game get introduced with every DLC and left either in their crazy OP or uselessly underpowered state for years. Hell, the Italians introduced in the Forgotten Empires mod in 2013 are still mostly useless on land maps. And the competitive scene can never adjust because of constantly getting charged by these seemingly experimental additions.

Lacrymas Tacgnol
In re AoE4, its developed by Relic while the Forgotten Empires team seems to be doing most of the lifting on DE so their fates are in two different hands. I imagine Relic may come back to AoE4 after CoH3 is released.
 
Unwanted

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Also sad that there's no rumors about a possible Tibetan civ
Not happening and you know why. No matter how much sense it makes everything existing on current territory of China won't be turned into separate civ.
I mean, did you see the Polish one? The one that can strip other units of its armor?

The strong parts of it is that it's cheap and relatively tanky, the armour stripping bonus isn't as strong as it seems on paper.
 
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