What is the X-Patch?
We're creating a patch on Voobly to improve Age of Empires II - The Conquerors. The current version of the patch can be downloaded (bottom left) and played on Voobly. The project will be released in phases to ensure thorough testing, and the community's involvement in the changes is vital. We aim to keep the number of changes to a minimum to serve everyone. Once downloaded, the patch will update itself if new changes have been applied.
Over 15 bugs have been fixed in this patch to improve the overall gameplay experience.
Polished Default Maps
After 17 years the default maps are among the favourites of players. However, many times unfair starting conditions occurred which put a damper on gameplay.
We've given all the maps touchups to adjust the most unfair elements while keeping their unique and beloved nature.
Most notably, resources such as Fish, Sheep, Deer and Relics are now distributed in a much fairer way, which allows the default maps to be played in a competitive setting.
Can often be game decisive, like shown here on Salt Marsh
All players have equally access to fish
They often spawn in favor of one player, like shown here on Archipelago, giving him all the gold for free
Islands spawn in reach of all players
One player can have far more space and all resources save in it
Equal base size for all, fair gold & relic placement
All food or gold resources can clump together in one place (see east side), giving a player a huge advantage
Food and mineral resources are distributed evely across the map
If you're interested in the detailed changes, check out the Maps-Section!
Fairer Civilisation & Unit Balance
AoC's charm is that every civilisation is unique, and good on different types of maps. Although, some civilisations have such strong and generic bonuses that they are a top pick on a majority of settings. Check out a statistic of civilisation picks in WSVG, a major 1v1 tournament:
As you see, four civilisations clearly dominate the 1v1 scene on 90% of the maps. Teamgames are dominated by five civilisations (source: RTSL).
Other civs such as Koreans or Byzantines only have small niches to fill, they are viable picks in less than 5% of the games.
With the following changes, we hope to achieve a better civilisation balance:
If you're interested why we changed something, check out our Changelog for more information!
The units are decently balanced for the most part, yet in some areas there exist strategies which outperform any alternative by far. The most extreme example is water gameplay, where grushing is the only viable strategy and has been perfected up to the last detail. This reduces the strategic freedom to a minimum.
Where possible, overpowered strategies which limit diversity are adjusted to open up more variety and strategic choices a player can make.
Reduced Late-game Lag
Stop-and-Go unit behavior and stuttering games are not caused by network issues but because the amount of computation explodes with over 500 trade carts in a 4v4 game constantly bumping into each other. A remedy for this problem is to change trade units so they cost two population space and work more efficiently. As a result, the game runs much smoother, there are no longer huge trade clumps that block trade routes, and the game is fairer as a team doesn't need a perfect map in order to have a decent route.
Unit lag in original 1.0c TGs
Mangudai stop every 2 seconds (or even more often).
Unit lag with trade modification
Mangudai move much smoother.