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AOE II: Definitive Edition has to be the worst performing game ever made

nkarafo

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Nov 30, 2012
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Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition

I have an i5 4670, 16GB RAM and a GTX 1060 6GB. Tried this game today and i have to say, it beats even Sega Rally 2007 and GTA4 for the worst programmed game on PC. Because at least these have the excuse of being multiplatform games.

AOE suffers from severe frame pacing and performance issues even at the lowest settings. You can see here how bad it is:



Just look at this mess. CPU and GPU utilization is so low, never even going as far as, say, 40%. Yet, the framerate is in the low 30's at low settings using the game's benchmark. You can also see a high VRAM usage despite the low settings, almost maxing my 6 GB pool. And look at the frame time line, isn't that vomit inducing? The game is literally unplayable because this results in horribly stuttery scrolling when you move or zoom the map. It just jumps along instead of moving smoothly.

But wait. There is more. You can see the janky programming in more parts of the game. The loading screens for instance are pretty funny. There is supposed to be some kind of fancy particle effects animation during those screens but most of the time these either run at 3 fps (measured with RTSS) or they just freeze completely until the game loads with a janky 1 fps transition.

The game was also crashing for me the first day i tried it. It just couldn't load any map. After some searching, i found that the issue was my low (apparently) virtual RAM setting (what-year-is-this.jpg). Since i have 16GB RAM, i set 4GB of virtual RAM max so it doesn't eat too much space off my SSD. But this game didn't like that. It needs way more virtual RAM in order to run, despite having plenty of system RAM to use. It just rolls like that, you know.

A quick google search tells me this is an issue most people seem to have and there aren't any solutions you can perform to improve the situation, or at least i haven't found something. I tried everything i could do myself (tried 2 different monitors, one with Gsync, tried various Vsync and performance settings, tried windowed/fullscreen, tried locking the frame rate with RTSS, tried various ingame setting, etc) but nothing works.

Just wanted to ramble about it and warn other users before they get this piece of crap.

Definitive edition, lol.
 
Last edited:

Stuart360

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Sep 9, 2018
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Your virtual ram needs to at least match how much physical ram you have for it to work properly.
I did try this game and didnt notice any problems, i'm not big into these so didnt play for long.
Also Sega Rally isnt that bad, it has the annoying 57fps vsync thing, which cant be fixed, but its not exactly game breaking.
 

nkarafo

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Excuse me? I run this on a Surface Pro 7 and it plays flawlessly in medium to high settings. Especially the new animations are very nice to look at, they are crisp and smooth.
You say you get smooth frame times? The scrolling is 60fps smooth?
 

Gandih42

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Dec 25, 2019
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I played it on an old laptop and had no issues performance wise. Looked and played great to me.

Although I wasn't really gauging the performance like you are. Only issue I had was connecting with my friends in the online lobbies, which kind of sucked.
 

nkarafo

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Nov 30, 2012
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Must be on your end cause it runs fine here. Even before it was patched umpteen times.
Is your scrolling 60fps without jumps?

The game might run fine underneath (you don't need more than 30fps to play a strategy game like this) but the issue is with the scrolling, that is moving and zooming the map around. That needs to be 60fps or else you get frame pacing issues.
 
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SonicVolcano

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Apr 16, 2011
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Is your scrolling 60fps without jumps?

The game might run fine underneath (you don't need more than 30fps to play a strategy game like this) but the issue is with the scrolling, that is moving and zooming the map around. That needs to be 60fps or else you get frame pacing issues.

Can't remember I had any issues with that, to be honest.
 
Jan 31, 2020
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I agree. This game has single handedly cooled the love i once felt for AoE2 (probably the greatest love i ever had for any game) might need to find myself an original version~ the definitive edition for the first age of empires is better though~ and it's easy to switch in the original soundtrack
 

nkarafo

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Nov 30, 2012
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I see no ssd, that's obviously the issue here
Yeah, no. If something like DOOM Eternal is 100% smooth with perfect time frames and next to no loading on a mechanical HDD, this game doesn't have the right to demand a faster medium, especially since i didn't even use the HD pack for this performance test.

In fact, i have 100+ games and none seems to have any similar issues because of the HDD. And the only difference i saw the SSD delivering so far is better loading times. But performance is identical in all games i tried.
 
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Jan 31, 2020
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The game seems to have a hugely inefficient means of working out the ai that ensemble studios perfected~ if you play crowded random maps against ai it simply grinds to a halt. I imagine mp wouldn't be affected
 

Fake

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Dec 20, 2018
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Most of people will say they don't see issue because is the nature of the game don't have much action for notice perfomance problems.
 

Dontero

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Apr 19, 2018
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something is wrong with your rig OP. Probably game is running on your igpu rather than dgpu or you have some kind of power efficiency mode turned on.

Single player is great but multiplayer is utterly fucked since it has one of the crappiest netcodes i have ever seen.