Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition recently dropped an expansive update, labelled Update 44725. It features a metric ton of gameplay fixes and adds two new civilizations, the Burgundians and the Sicilians, as part of a new official expansion named “Lords of the West.”
As with every big and seasonal update, there are many new icons and mods players can unlock as part of AoE’s New Year’s celebrations.
There are five new maps to explore: African Clearing, Amazon Tunnel, Atacama, Coastal Forest, and Seize the Mountain. Owners of the recently launched Lords of the West expansion also get early access to the two new civilizations in multiplayer: the Burgundians and Sicilians!
The 44725 update also fixed many multiplayer performance issues, game-crash instances, and audio-visual bugs, as well as added QoL changes. Also, the age-old “palisade scan” – a high ELO staple for identifying where enemy buildings were in the fog of war – has been fixed.
A new hotkey has been added to select all idle military units as well.
Palisade Walls and Gates now have 40 percent less HP in the Dark Age, which makes Dark Age rushes a lot more convenient. Franks, Khmer, and Slavs no longer have Treadmill Crane technology. The reduced building speed should help against Castle rushes.
Major Civilization Changes
The Franks’ Forager bonus work rate has been reduced from +25% ▶ +15%. It’s a nerf in the right direction for a civilization that has consistently been one of the highest win rate civs. However, the Franks will still, in all likelihood, remain one of the strongest in 1v1 scenarios.
The Mayans’ famed Obsidian Arrows tech, which gave their archer units +6 damage against buildings, has been removed from the game. Replacing the tech are Hul’che Javelineers, giving Skirmishers a secondary projectile upon research. On paper it sounds scary, but its practical implementation has yielded mediocre results, which, even Spirit of The Law covered in one of his recent videos.
There are also a ton of map balances, scripting and AI changes, and pathfinding optimizations.
Burmese Arambai damage was heavily nerfed: 17/19 ▶ 12/15. Even though their missed shot damage is now 100 percent instead of 50 percent, it’s not much of a buff given their inaccuracy.