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

Shrimp

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Definitive edition looks like it'll be worth it for all the QoL improvements, but it's strange how much the article emphasises the new AI considering the aoe2hd AI also doesn't cheat, knocks the socks off of the original AI and was designed by the same guy who made PromiAI. Still, the HD AI is too easy, so as long as this one is better it's a clear upgrade. The article makes no comparison between the two so I reckon we'll just have to wait and see.
The HD AI could be pretty hard on hardest,depends on the map. Also from the looks of thing this new AI will be pretty garbage. I had noticed in gameplay videos that the pathfinding is shit and units don't know what to do,some times they just stay still and don't react. Tho it could be stupid player and some alpha bug.
If you're talking about this video https://youtu.be/M9fhkAORcXE the reason some of the units aren't attacking is because they're either set in Stand Ground or No Attack stance.
Either way path finding is probably one of the most important things they have to redo. I don't know what they attempted to do in the HD edition but my original CD version of the game somehow still manages to have better path finding than in the HD version
They weren't in a no attack stance,earlier he selected a few of them and they were not in it. The rest i agree with you.
It's true that some of the units are set to the aggressive stance, but later on when he selects larger groups of units like in 7:05 to 7:15 you can see the aggressive stance button isn't green/selected which means the group of units he has selected are set to different stances. It's the same group of mostly melee units that just runs into the middle of the mosh pit and stands still, so I kinda have to assume they weren't attacking because of their stance. Of course there's still the possibility of it being a bug, but I think this is a more plausible explanation.
DLovp.jpg
DLovy.jpg
 

fantadomat

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It's true that some of the units are set to the aggressive stance, but later on when he selects larger groups of units like in 7:05 to 7:15 you can see the aggressive stance button isn't green/selected which means the group of units he has selected are set to different stances. It's the same group of mostly melee units that just runs into the middle of the mosh pit and stands still, so I kinda have to assume they weren't attacking because of their stance. Of course there's still the possibility of it being a bug, but I think this is a more plausible explanation.
Hmmm ok,still in the game the default stance for editor units is defence or hold position,it is never "no attack". It doesn't make any sense to be in it.
 

FreeKaner

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I am puzzled by the choice of new factions. Bulgars, Lithuanians, Cumans and Tatars.

Why are Cumans and Tatars separate? Why do they have Iranian architecture set? I guess this is like giving Huns the German architecture set.
 

FreeKaner

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Ahhh because they are different people. I assume that the cuman campaign will be about the medieval times while that tatars will be about the times of the ottoman empire and its wars with the commonwealth.

"Tatar" encompasses "Cumans". Tatar refers to all of Western Turkic and Turco-Mongol tribes. It seems they use "Tatar" to specifically mean Kipchaks. Considering they seem to be going for the Timurid aesthetic.
 

Endemic

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Messages
4,327
The HD campaigns just used the Turk or Mongol civs to represent those tribes. AOE civs have always been abstractions and balanced around gameplay first (recall the numerous complaints about Chinese not getting block printing or gunpowder).
 

FreeKaner

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I mean it is not a historical documentary, it's just a history themed strategy game. Still, it is an odd choice of factions and somewhat uneven. Cumans is too specific and they seem to have specifically represent Kipchak tribes with Tatars even though it is a lot more generic term.
 

fantadomat

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Ahhh because they are different people. I assume that the cuman campaign will be about the medieval times while that tatars will be about the times of the ottoman empire and its wars with the commonwealth.

"Tatar" encompasses "Cumans". Tatar refers to all of Western Turkic and Turco-Mongol tribes. It seems they use "Tatar" to specifically mean Kipchaks. Considering they seem to be going for the Timurid aesthetic.
Ahhh you kebabs always try to appropriate other peoples history,no wonder nobody fucking likes you.
 

vota DC

Augur
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Aug 23, 2016
Messages
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I am puzzled by the choice of new factions. Bulgars, Lithuanians, Cumans and Tatars.

Why are Cumans and Tatars separate? Why do they have Iranian architecture set? I guess this is like giving Huns the German architecture set.

Because KCD.
 

fantadomat

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Ahhh you kebabs always try to appropriate other peoples history,no wonder nobody fucking likes you.

What? Are you denying Cumans are Turkic?
Depends what you mean by turkic. If you mean the bast group of tribes that inhabited the central asian steps,then they are turks. If you meant to say that they are part of the oguz tribe that decided to call themself turks,then no they are not. Cumans and Tatars are different tribe and different people,don't just brand them as turks and assume that they are the same people.
 

FreeKaner

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Depends what you mean by turkic. If you mean the bast group of tribes that inhabited the central asian steps,then they are turks. If you meant to say that they are part of the oguz tribe that decided to call themself turks,then no they are not. Cumans and Tatars are different tribe and different people,don't just brand them as turks and assume that they are the same people.

I use the term Turkic, not Turk. I use Turk to specifically refer to Oghuz only, especially Turkmens.
 

Infinitron

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https://www.pcgamesn.com/age-of-empires-2-definitive-edition/new-civs

The old and new in Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition: “we’re done adding civs”
We spoke to series creative director Adam Isgreen about the challenges of remastering the RTS

age-of-empires-2-definitive-edition-6-900x506.jpg



Following Microsoft’s announcement at E3 that Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition will release this autumn, many of the series’ million regular players are no doubt keen to learn exactly what the shiny new version will bring. We know the RTS is getting a 4K graphics overhaul, remastered audio, and an all-new campaign, The Last Khans. The E3 trailer (below) offers glimpses of these features, but how it will compare gameplay-wise to the now 20-year-old base game is more of a mystery.

As Age of Empires IV looms, Age II: DE faces a particular challenge. In giving players a reworked take on a game they already love, it needs to preserve everything that made the original a classic, yet Microsoft is also keen to reintroduce it to a new generation. That means polishing some of the rough edges of its ‘90s origins without losing any of its character.

To find out more about what Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition has in store, how the devs are finding the balance between old and new, and what they think about how the RTS genre is faring in general, we reached out to series creative director, Adam Isgreen.

PCGN: In a recent interview, you said that in previous versions of the game the AI cheated, but that in the Definitive Edition, it’ll play fair. How did the old AI cheat, and what have you done to keep the new AI competitive?

Adam Isgreen: The old AI did two things that allowed it to cheat pretty heavily. One was it had resources beyond what a normal player would have, so it basically got free resources.

The other thing was that it saw the whole map. So the AI didn’t have to scout, didn’t have to do anything to learn what you were doing, and didn’t grant you opportunities when it missed what you were doing. It had complete knowledge of the map, so it could build strategies on just seeing what was going on rather than actually reacting and playing well.

The team has eliminated that, so the AI actually has to scout now. You’ll see it be a lot more active with its scout units, especially early game, and even into mid-game, as it’s looking to see what you’re doing.

It then has to manage resources just like a player as well. It doesn’t get any bonuses like it used to. We still keep the option in the DE to play the old AI; it’s pretty fun to throw one new AI against the old ones, and watch it totally mop them up.

What the team has been doing is, since there’s been 20 years of meta on Age II in terms of competitive play, they’ve started to program a whole bunch of the strategies that competitive players use in the Age II community into the AI itself. So the AI will actually micro and macro strategy play, just like a lot of ‘strats’ that you’ll see in the Age community.

The community has been clear in its desire for the gameplay to remain the same. How difficult is it to achieve that with a base game that’s 20 years old?

AI: Bringing back any series that’s been dormant for a while is always such a challenge, because you have to have a lot of respect for what people want, but you also have to figure out the ways to modernise things. For us, because the feel of the moment-to-moment of Age II is so important to the community, it was always a matter of ‘what can we do around that, how can we make the game more fun to play, without taking away the play?’ That’s a lot of back and forth with the community.

We’ve been running councils with all of our Age teams, all doing closed tests for over a year now, to get feedback and let the community help us make the right decisions. We try things, some of which the community and pros don’t want touched and freak out over, and other things they don’t. We kind of go back and forth until we understand what they want, and they understand what we’re trying to do to make the game more accessible, or easier for people with a modern RTS sensibility to understand.



Age of Empires 2 already has an HD version. Is the DE a hard sell for players who own that?

AI: We just want people to play Age of Empires and be involved with the series. If people want to stay on HD, and that’s what they want to play, we’re not going to take it off Steam, it’s still gonna be there. We’re not going to actively support it though – our support is going to shift to the new one. For us, we just want you playing our games. If you want to play it on Steam that’s fine. If you want to play it on the Microsoft store, that’s cool. If you want to play the old version, great.

Definitely there are incentives for people to switch – if you own HD, you’re not going to have the new civs and the new campaigns that DE has, you don’t have the new AI, you don’t have the multiplayer backend that we’re bringing in from AoE4. All of that you won’t have, but if people want to do that, that’s cool. We’re not going to shut it down, we’re not going to take it away from you.



How well do you think the game’s oldest campaigns hold up in comparison to the new missions?

AI: The team did a whole bunch of polling for all of the missions over 27 campaigns. Some of the missions they left alone if people really fondly remembered them and how they played. But there were some that were really rough and boring, because they were built in an age where people didn’t think about RTS in terms of plot, or emotional beats, or a beginning, middle, and end – they just dropped you in a map and said ‘have fun’.

We’ve tweaked a lot of them. Can I say for sure that they’re going to be better than the new ones? I don’t know, I haven’t played through all 200 hours myself. But it’ll be interesting to see what people respond to. I think they’ll probably be more story-oriented, or filled in with more story than maybe some of the earlier ones, but they have taken the time to go back and actually touch all of the missions throughout all of those campaigns that some people felt weren’t living up to the standards of some of the others, so hopefully it’ll be a more even experience.



Does the existence of HD and its recent expansions mean that balancing/rebalancing Age II is easier?

AI: Forgotten Empires has been doing a great job balancing the game ever since DE came out for the first game. One of the fortunate things about the way Age was designed is that because the civilisations are more symmetrical than asymmetrical, they’re not as radical as, say, Starcraft. There’s some balance nuance that can go on, which you couldn’t do with an asymmetrical game, because you have to take into account radically different tactics in order to accomplish the same goals and balance.

There’s a nice mix there, but I definitely think that the team has felt the weight of adding four new civs. One of the biggest compliments that I know of is a lot of the pro players play random, which is crazy for an RTS game. But people in Age will do that, because even though there are counter-picks, the balance is such that there are probably some seventy-thirty matchups in there, but the pro players can still make those work. I think that’s a big compliment to the balance of Age II throughout the years.

It’s always going to be a concern, but when the game is shipped, that doesn’t mean it’s done, so we will keep balancing, and if there’s anything that’s going to completely break the game we’ll make sure to address it.



How did you decide on the new civs, and how far do you think Age II in particular can spread in terms of bringing new civs in?

AI: These civs were arrived at because we were wondering ‘what’s left?’. We were trying to find a period in history which still fit the general time scope that Age II occupies. We’ve covered so much of the world now in terms of that period that, after a lot of discussions, we finally fell on to telling the stories of the fallout of the Mongol empire, which is what The Last Khans is all about.

At this point, I think we’re done adding civilisations to Age II. I do not foresee us adding any more civs to the game. I think we’ll add more content, campaigns, new game modes – all those kinds of things we’ll explore, but even our pro players are kind of saying ‘we’re done, we have enough civs at this point to last us forever’.

It’s a lot to hold in your head, and I think that they would love to get comfortable with the game rather than trying to push into even more civs. There comes a saturation point, and I think we’re there.

When it comes to Age of Empires IV, we’ve been hanging on one trailer for a while. When will we hear more?

AI: I’m happy to tell you that we’re going to start talking about Age of Empires IV later this year. As you know, there are two major events right now – Gamescom and XO – that Microsoft always does stuff for. So one or the other, maybe? I can’t be specific, but suffice to say that we’ve got Gamescom coming up, and then XO later this year in London, so at the latest, you’ll hear more about Age of Empires IV by XO. I will say that later this year, we will start taking the wraps off both Age III and Age IV.



What do you think of the general state of RTS, particularly when you’ve got games that are 20 years old (or older) up against much more recent titles?

AI: I think AoE has an advantage in that, because it’s about history, it’s relatable. I worked on RTS games that were very science-fiction-based, and you had to explain most things to people. But with history you understand the difference between a bow and a gun, and what a wheelbarrow would do for somebody that’s trying to haul stuff around.

Some things are obvious, and that’s one of the nice things about Age specifically. But talking about RTS all-up, we see – we have all the data on how many people are playing Age of Empires – we have over a million people a month playing Age of Empires games, and the numbers keep going up, and the products keep selling. So it can’t just be nostalgia, right? There are new people coming to the series, and I think the interesting thing is that for a lot of RTS games, there is pent-up demand for more ‘thinking games’, the games that require you to plan and strategise.

The numbers seem to back this, adn we got a lot of feedback at E3 too of people saying ‘oh man, I missed this kind of game, where I’ve got to make choices, and I’ve got to think, and you have to see further into the future to do what you want to do.’ Not to the point of a 4X game, but I think there’s been such a focus [in the genre] on APM [actions-per-minute] and insane micro performance, and Age was never really that serious. Most people play with that unwritten ten-minute treaty where they don’t even fight.



I can speculate a lot, and cut up data a lot of different ways to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a bunch of different rationales, but it feels like we’re back to a point where people want games that they can sink their teeth into, take their time, and grow with the game. And going back to the accessibility of history, it makes it so much easier to jump into. We had people come up to us and say ‘I learned history from your game.’

I don’t think RTS ever went away. It got subdivided and split into everything from the Farmvilles to League of Legends. Those all took everything that was RTS, and used that in different ways to create different genres, but it’s always been there. It’s nice that everyone seems to be responding to the idea that it’s back.
 

Tigranes

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Old maybe? But reddit has a dude claiming to have very detailed info on new civs, etc. Excerpt:

N E W _ F E A T U R E S
  • Some sort of menu in Multiplayer where you can ban civs, make it a Mirror match, or go Random.

  • New "regional" unit called the Steppe Lancer, similar to how the Eagle Warrior is available to only to New World civs and the Battle Elephant is available to SE Asian civs. This civ may or may not be available to the Lithuanians or Bulgarians, but will most likely be available to Tatars and Cumans at the very least. I don't believe there are any clear screenshots of the Steppe Lancer but here's one with it's stats that was released way before my leak.

  • Supplies: New common tech for all civs to research in the Castle Age. Lowers Militia line food cost by 25%. 150 F, 100 G

  • Camels renamed Camel Rider, Heavy Camel Rider
.

.

N E W _ C I V I L I Z A T I O N S
BULGARIANS
Bonuses

  • Militia line upgrades free per Age up.
This means, free Man-At-Arms upon reaching Feudal Age, Long Swordsman upon reaching Castle Age, and Two-Handed Swordsman in Imperial Age. These guys don't have Champions to balance them out.

  • Town Centers cost -50% Stone

  • Can build Unique Building Krepost - Fortification used to train your unique unit. Unique building of the Bulgarians. Units can garrison inside for protection. Archers and Villagers shoot additoinal projectiles. Cannot be converted by enemy Monks.

  • Teams Bonus: Blacksmiths work +50% faster
Uniques

  • Unique Unit - Konnik: Bulgarian unique cavalry unit that fights on as infantry when felled. Strong vs. infantry and archers. Weak vs Camel Riders and Monks.

  • Caste Age Unique Tech - Stirrups: 400 F, 200 G. Scout Cavalry-line and Konniks attack 25% faster

  • Imperial Age Unique Tech - Bagains: 900 F, 450 G. Militia line gains +3 Armor
Tech Tree

  • No Eagles, Champion

  • No Sanctity

  • No Fortified Walls, Hoardings, or Bombard Towers but they do get Keeps

  • No Sappers
.

.

CUMANS
Bonuses

  • Can build additional Town Centers in the Feudal Age

  • Can build Siege workshop and train Battering Rams in the Feudal Age

  • Cavalry +10% faster, stacks with Husbandry

  • Team Bonus: Palisade Walls +50% HPs
Uniques

  • Unique Unit - Kipchak Archer: Cuman unique cavalry archer with rapid-fire attack. Strong vs infantry. Weak vs. Skirmishers.

  • Castle Unique Tech - Steppe Husbandry: 200 F, 300 W. Scout Cavalry line trains 80% faster

  • Imp UT - Cuman Mercenaries: 650 F, 400 G. Team receives 10 free Elite Kipchaks in Castle
Tech Tree

  • no Camels, Elephants, but they do get Husbandry along with their +10% faster movement! Yes to Paladins and Hussars, too.

  • no Guard Tower, Keep, or Bombard Tower, but they do get Fortified walls. Strangely enough, neither the Cumans nor Tatars get Keep, though the Tatars get BBTs.

  • no Treadmill Crane
.

.

LITHUANIANS
Bonuses

  • Start with +150 Food

  • Spearman line and Skirmisher line cost no Wood

  • Each garrisoned Relic gives +1 Attack to cavalry units (up to a maximum of +5)

  • Team Bonus: Monasteries work +20% faster
Uniques

  • Unique Unit - Leitis: Lithuanian unique cavalry unit with attack that ignores armor. Strong vs armored units.

  • Castle Unique Tech - Hill Forts: 250 F, 250 G. Town Centers +3 Range

  • Imperial Unique Tech - Tower Shields: 800 F, 200G. Spearman line and Skirmisher line +1 Pierce Armor
Tech Tree

  • They get full fortifications, including Bombard Tower

  • No Sappers
.

.

TATARS
Bonuses

  • Sheep have +50% Food

  • Units deal +25% damage when fighting from higher ground

  • Parthian Tactics free

  • Team Bonus: Cavalry Archers +2 LOS
Uniques

  • Unique Unit - Keshik: Tatar unique cavalry unit that generates gold when fighting other units.

  • Castle Unique Tech - Silk Armor: 400 W, 300 G. Scout Cavalry line, Cavalry Archers +1 Pierce Armor

  • Imperial Unique Tech - Timurid Siegecraft: 500 W, 400 G. Trebuchets +1 Range
Tech Tree

  • No Fortified Wall, Keep, Hoardings, but they do get Bombard Tower which is pretty unique combo

  • No Battle Elephants, no Paladin

  • No Siege Onager, I think
 
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CUMANS
Bonuses

  • Can build additional Town Centers in the Feudal Age
:what:
FAKE AND GAY, this would be OP to the point of auto-win. Or if it isn't fake, then there really has to be a price increase on the TC that exists until you reach Castle age.

If you're booming (which you will be with this ability), then you can start building tcs without needing 800 food for castle age tech, without needing 325 wood for blacksmith+market, without needing 100 wood +a few vills on gold for the 200 gold cost of castle age tech. That's 1225 resources and some vill time - you're effectively getting 3 free tcs, and you're getting them early. There's no way this is real.

And it couldn't even by punished by the other player pressuring you - walls are very strong in aoe2, and tcs are a strong defensive structure in themselves.
 
Last edited:

Zboj Lamignat

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Yeah.

A unit that flat out ignores armor sounds really op too, unless its stats are shit. +1 cav attack from relics sounds cool too.
 

BrotherFrank

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Theory crafting even though I suck at the game and don't even play it that often (when I'm in an rts mood, I tend to for go dawn of war or company of heroes) but I do watch Spirit of the Law videos so assesment of the civs if that leak is true...

Bulgarians:
Seem on the weak side to me, sorry Fantomat. The free militia upgrade when you age up is meh, the upgrade is quick and cheap to research to begin with , maybe this might matter more in pro 1v1 scenarios? Except to my knowledge militia rushes ain't considered to be strong to begin with compared to scout rushes so yeah this seems more like a pity bonus then a game changer.

Their saving grace might be the unique units and tech since dismounting upon death is something completely new to Aoe2. +25% attack speed might give them the best scout cavalry in the game past age 3 and kreposts immune to conversion has some situational uses. Still compared to the other civs here it does feel like they need something more.

Cumans:
OP, not just building additional town centers but +10% light cav attack speed is great. No early economy bonuses so their scout rush isn't going to be OP but that bonus combined with unique tech of 80% faster trainning time means they are going to be able to field larger amounts of scout cav then anyone else.
Unique unit is possibly redundant, cavalry archers are already good vs infantry (and weak to skirmishers) so I'm assuming this means they are cav archers that do better versus high pierce armor units that normal cav archers will struggle with.

Being able to build siege early might be super strong too and adept at cracking open turtles who are trying to rush for later ages.

Starting to make sense why they lack towers and keeps, it gives them some sort of weakness on the defensive to counteract those early TCs if game gets to that point.

Lithuanians:
OP. No wood cost for spearmen or archers? And they get a unique tech upgrade for them late game? Assuming they have access to full upgrades then these might just be the best spearmen/archers in the game from a cost perspective due to just needing food and gold respectively. And this would be consistent throughout the ages too so unlike the Cumans who need to hit tier2 to be OP, Lithuanians are mighty even in age 1.
Unique unit very strong and complements the cheap thrash units, anything that the archers and the spearmen struggle against, the Leitis would destroy.
They have access to defences too so seem a nice all rounder civ.

The relic bonus is just the icing on the cake.

Tartars:
The strangest one of the lot with bonuses that seem too situational to gauge how OP they are.
Having longer range trebuchets is very good at least and assuming they have siege engineers then you autowin all trebuchet duels and can siege keeps safely. The UI might be amazing if you consistently win fights, helping you snowball like crazy.
 
Last edited:

Cael

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People who think light cav is weak obviously haven't had the mongols come knocking... Mongol hussars backed by mangudai and turbo-speed rams are nasty business. Giving those things extra boosts is asking for imbalance.

Just one thing with your assessment of the Lithuanians: You don't get spearmen or archers until Feudal, so no Dark Age rushes with those.

If you get free upgrades all the way to Champions with the Bulgars, then it is worth it. The last two are pricey. Also note that it is sometimes time that is a factor, not cost of upgrades. That is what made the Turks psycho powerful as a Castle rush civ the original AoE2C: They come rushing at you with a bunch of scouts while researching Castle Age, and the next thing you know, you have a bunch of light cav in your base the second they hit Castle.
 

Young_Hollow

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Turks are considered lowest tier in competitive in 1v1 on most maps though. All they're good at are teamgames that reach the imperial age where they can trade. And LC aren't necessarily weak but they suck against everything that's on level in upgrades, so they're mostly used in no-gold wars of the end game against skirmishers and villagers or for raiding before or after better raiding units become available. Also, spending 80 food per unit isn't a good way of getting to castle quickly.
 

Cael

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Turks are considered lowest tier in competitive in 1v1 on most maps though. All they're good at are teamgames that reach the imperial age where they can trade. And LC aren't necessarily weak but they suck against everything that's on level in upgrades, so they're mostly used in no-gold wars of the end game against skirmishers and villagers or for raiding before or after better raiding units become available. Also, spending 80 food per unit isn't a good way of getting to castle quickly.
AoE is a social team game. That is what all multiplayer computer games are supposed to be. 1v1 competitive play is a stupid yardstick to measure things by because normal people simply don't play it that way.

First rule of all games: Have fun. Preferably with friends.
 

Cael

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Fuck normies though.
Not really. Set the normal difficulty for normies, BUT have a sliding scale of difficulty up to ultra-autist for all the crazies. That way, both sides are catered for.

The problem is that most games lack the latter.
 

blrrmmmff

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The feudal town center could work if it builds slowly. Like the eagle scout vs eagle warrior. You don't want to play an extended feudal battle against that though.
 

Young_Hollow

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Turks are considered lowest tier in competitive in 1v1 on most maps though. All they're good at are teamgames that reach the imperial age where they can trade. And LC aren't necessarily weak but they suck against everything that's on level in upgrades, so they're mostly used in no-gold wars of the end game against skirmishers and villagers or for raiding before or after better raiding units become available. Also, spending 80 food per unit isn't a good way of getting to castle quickly.
AoE is a social team game. That is what all multiplayer computer games are supposed to be. 1v1 competitive play is a stupid yardstick to measure things by because normal people simply don't play it that way.

First rule of all games: Have fun. Preferably with friends.
Then you'll be sad to know that team games are played competitively too, and even if they weren't, there are still objectively good ways to play the game in any situation, and in most of those situations taking Turks and doing scout cav+fast castle is still bad vs any decent player or AI. Its not ruining fun, its understanding the game. Also, don't forget that there is always a risk of cancer creeping in as number of players increases and the whole match just comes down to who got less retarded team-mates. There's a reason skill based games don't have large team sizes.
 

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