I think the sense of perspective is lost in HD discussions, is that people don't consider HD for what it was intended to be which is a simple re-release of game. It was made largely ignoring the multiplayer community. It was simply intended a small touch up of Microsoft's best selling PC game, which was released before an era where the term e-sports even existed and most people had 56k modems. The point is that the multiplayer community of this game, was not the largest group of the player base. From the standpoint of a corporation, I can see why Microsoft didn't really consider this community when releasing HD and it came int he state it did. Tons of 90s classics receive small releases and sell for 10$ on steam, some of them the remaster is no more than just launching the game through DOS Box. Many of these games have multiplayer modes that don't even function anymore, because re-releases didn't even put forth basic effort of creating an ingame match making system and still us 90s protocols. What people fail to realize here is that for a touch up, re-release, when you ignore user patch and ignore he forgotten expansions, HD is actually good touch up. It is not superior to voobly, but it is certianly an improvement over the ladder systems people used for this game in 2003. Its more effort than most companies have been putting into for this kind of release. The fact that they actually included the forgotten team and released more expansions is really to their credit. They make money from this game, but its not their core business or money makers and it really is chump change.I get what you're saying, but HD was in the hands of a whole other developer so really the only track record is aoeDE. I can completely agree that they messed that one up at the start, but they also have shown to care about their product and have been bringing regular updates. If they insert all the good quality of life improvements that came with these updates I think aoe2DE will be in a good spot. I agree however, that they will have to try harder with aoe2DE and knock it out of the park at release.
Well it may be just me but I'm looking forward to it and dislike to see a forum filled with negativity about the release without any info.
People main complaint on AOE Zone is that effectively that a modded version of the game (user patch) ran better than HD. While this is a true, it makes sense that microsoft largely ignored what was relatively small group of players and passion project mods to their own intellectual property. This is a relatively standard approach for most rereleases. Fans release patches for games they like all the time and usually improvements of developments. Its pretty bar the course to ignore tha. The original AOE2 was never primarily a multiplayer game. Their business instincts were correct. HD has sold 5 million copies, despite constant complaining. Multiplayer base is no where near that size. I have tracked its numbers and its stayed on Steams top 100 sellers list most quarters since release.
The comparisons to Blizzard aren't necessarily valid. Blizzard is a game developer, microsoft gaming is more of a publisher. Blizzard has been releasing new PC games through the e-sports era and defined it. Microsoft has largely stayed out of PC game development. The thing is outside of this bubble of forum, their track record with AAA PC game development is not poor. This is the company that published Mech Warrior, Gears of War, Age of Empires, Dungeon Seige, Rise of Nations, Mine craft, Flight Sim. All of these were considered good games on release, some of them are even considered classice today. Like AOE2.
I think there is a lot of things to their credit. They seem to be committed to breaking into PC gaming especially with things like X-Box Game Pass, Mixer and the team they have assembled seems to include people from this community who are advocating for changes players want. The feature announce make this clear (spectator features, using backend for netcode from relic's aoe4). My read on this might be wrong, but it looks like a real effort make a good remaster and I think there is a lot of reasons to be optimistic.