It’s been a while, but we’ve all been very hard at work to deliver you the next update to Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition! We are proud to introduce the December game update, which is accompanied by a *looooong* list of bug fixes, our first major civilization balance changes, as well as new gameplay additions and features we’ve prepared for Age of Empires II.

To see the full announcement, please check out the official news post on www.ageofempires.com!

Patch Highlights

Here are some of the most noteworthy improvements coming with today’s update—most of which originate as discussions within the community and feedback collected over the past few weeks:

  • Performance Improvements
  • Game Stability Improvements & Crash Fixes!
  • Balance Changes (particularly to the Cumans and Steppe Lancers)
  • NEW! Map Ban System for Ranked Matchmaking!
  • Updated Map Pool for Ranked Matchmaking
  • Campaign Balance & Achievement Fixes
  • NEW! Campaign Completion Medals
  • Art of War Challenge Missions now have Localized Voice-Overs
  • AI & Pathfinding Improvements

2019 Winter Celebration!

We’re celebrating the end of the year with the Winter Celebration Event!

  • Three new profile icons have been permanently added to the multiplayer Profile page. You can find and update your icon by clicking the Multiplayer shield, selecting the Profile tab, and clicking the Change Icon button.

In addition to this, the official 2019 Winter Celebration mod is now available to accompany the event. You can subscribe to the mod to enjoy the following changes:

  • All trees are covered in snow and are white.
  • All non-water terrains have patches of snow.
  • All forage/fruit bushes are replaced with piles of presents.
  • All Town Centers have presents underneath them.
  • All arrows are replaced by icicles (all normal sized, small arrows).
  • All spears are replaced by candy canes (all spears from Skirmishers and Genitours).
  • Trebuchet projectiles are replaced by presents.
  • Cannonballs are replaced by snowballs (for Bombard Cannons, Cannon Galleons, Bombard Towers).
  • Mangonel, Onager, and Siege Onager projectiles are replaced by giant snowflakes.

For information about how to find and subscribe to a mod, visit this article.

Full Patch Notes

GAME STABILITY

Game stability will always be a top priority as we work to ensure that as many players as possible can play and enjoy the game. Below are some of the initial adjustments we’ve made in an effort to improve the stability of the game.

  • Identified and implemented fixes to address various reported crashes. If you continue to experience issues, please visit the official forum where you can provide a detailed description of the issue, any error messages that appear, and a copy of your dxdiag.
  • Fixed various issues caused when installing the game to a folder with a path that utilized non-Latin characters.
  • Fixed various issues that could originate when logging into Xbox Live services.
  • Implemented several fixes to improve the stability of the game.
  • Fixed a rare crash when trying to spectate games.

PERFORMANCE

Over the past several weeks, we’ve been monitoring the performance of the game closely as more people play it than ever before. Today, we hope to implement several fixes that will improve the experience for as many players as possible.

As always, there is a vast array of hardware and software combinations to accommodate as we continue to polish and perfect the game, so we want to hear if you’re experiencing issues. Be sure to visit the forum or come say hello on Discord, where you can include as much technical information as possible so our team can dig into the problem.

General

  • The loading screen sequence is now smoother.
  • Updated the V-Sync setting to offer a more consistent and smooth experience when camera scrolling.
  • Fixed an issue where AI players could cause performance spikes when calculating very long paths.
  • Fixed an issue where the game would occasionally hitch when selecting units.
  • Voice over audio has been moved out of the main installation package to reduce the initial installation size of the game. Audio files will now be downloaded depending on the language settings of your Steam client (only).
  • Lowered the benchmark score for 1v1 games to 900. The score for team games remains at 1000.
  • Implemented several improvements to how memory (RAM) is used by the game.
  • Implemented various rendering performance improvements.
  • Fixed various render artifacting issues.
  • Fixed a rare desync issue.

Multiplayer

  • Implemented improvements to help players falling behind due to performance issues re-sync more smoothly.
  • Implemented improvements to help prevent hitching on lower-spec machines.

CAMPAIGNS

We’ve made several updates to the campaign and missions screens to not only clarify your campaign progress and historical victories, but to give you something to work towards as you learn and master the game.

  • The Campaigns screen for each storyline now displays which missions within the campaign have been completed by displaying a medal next to the mission title. The color of the medal represents the highest difficulty level on which the given mission was completed:

🥉 BRONZE: Standard Difficulty
🥈 SILVER: Moderate Difficulty
🥇 GOLD: Hard Difficulty

  • Missions that were completed before this feature was implemented will automatically receive the Bronze-tier medal.
Campaign Progress Medals

  • Campaigns that are fully completed will display an overall completion medal based on the lowest medal earned within the campaign. For example, a campaign with five Gold medals and one Bronze medal will display a Bronze medal on the Campaigns screen.
  • The swords on the campaign screen which indicate the difficulty of any given campaign have been updated to accurately convey their challenge. Easier campaigns will display a single sword; moderate campaigns will be marked by two crossed swords; the most difficult campaigns will be marked with three crossed swords.
  • The voice-over audio for the El Cid campaign is now available in Castilian Spanish.

Historical Battles

  • Bapheus: Fixed an issue that prevented objectives regarding the Byzantine Castles from working correctly.
  • Bapheus: Turkish players will now respond if the player turns hostile to them.
  • Bapheus: Objectives now display properly if the player decides to forego choosing an ally.
  • Dos Pilas: Changed the Mayan Raiders team to utilize the Mayan civilization; Uaxactun is now the Aztec civilization.
  • Dos Pilas: Fixed a bug that would prevent the mission from progressing properly.
  • Honfoglalas: Disabled the ability to research Cannon Galleons during the mission.
  • Honfoglalas: Additional resources have been added to the map.
  • Honfoglalas: Resolved a rare bug that prevented the scenario from ending before all players had resigned.
  • Honfoglalas: Balance changes have been made to the AI based on community feedback.
  • Lake Poyang: Fixed a rare crash triggered when constructing a