Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition Just Received the First Major Update

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition Just Received the First Major Update
Credit: XBOX via YouTube

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition has only been out for about a month, but the development team is wasting no time in delivering massive content updates. Today’s December patch is the first major patch of the game, and it makes a few radical changes – for the better.

The first thing to note is the limited-time 2019 Winter Celebration Event mod, which turns the game into a winter wonderland. The snowy trees and icicles arrows will melt soon, though – the event ends on January 14th, so make sure you install the mod soon.

In terms of permanent updates, though, there’s a long list of bug fixes and a couple of new additions. The following is a brief list of the update, which you can read in full here:

  • General performance improvements, including game stability improvements and crash fixes
  • Balance changes, specifically to the Cumans and Steppe Lancers
  • A new map ban system for ranked matchmaking
  • An updated map pool for ranked matchmaking
  • Balance updates to the campaign, as well as new campaign completion medals and achievement fixes
  • Art of War challenge missions will now have localized voice-overs
  • Improvements to pathfinding and AI

This is just a quick glance at what all has been added, as the patch notes are quite lengthy. The list of bug fixes alone is shockingly long in the best of ways.

One of the more notable changes is the hefty nerf to Steppe Lancers, both standard and elite. The cavalry were considered to be one of the more powerful units in the game, and were exclusive to the Cumans and Tatars. The Steppe Lancers have had their gold cost increased by 50% from 30 to 45 gold, as well as having their damage decreased by 2, their rate of fire and movement speed decreased, and their collision box doubled to stop them from stacking.

This certainly doesn’t render them useless, but those changes will radically change what sort of cavalry gets built. The gold increase alone is a hefty nerf, as every bit counts in a strategy game. Combined with the nerfs to their stats, it has the power to possibly remove them from their massive spot in play.

The Tatars have also seen changes to their Keshiks, reducing their cost and attack power while increasing their health. Considering the cavalry focus of the Tatars, seeing these sizable changes to their staple cavalry units might have some heavy repercussions.

There are plenty of other changes that have come in the first massive update, and the team intends to roll out significantly more in the coming months.