So, AoE 2 has been re-released on Steam with new graphics and a few other updates. I got it today for £15 and I have to say, at the moment, I'm thinking it probably wasn't worth that much. I did play it for three hours straight, but I did that with AoE 2 before - it doesn't really add much enjoyment. Personally I was hoping for a totally revamped game engine, but it seems like they just replaced (or even improved) the renderer, changed some settings and recreated the textures and models.
On the plus side, there's multiplayer, Steam workshop integration (meaning mods), the graphics are improved (I still wouldn't call them 2013-quality compared to other modern games, but maybe that's for the best since RTS relies on relatively complex AI which is very resource-intensive), you can play in higher resolutions (at least 1080p), and they increased the population cap from 200 to 500 meaning you can have much larger armies now. On the downside, you can still only select 40 units at once which means you still can't fight on the scale of a Total War game. Also, when I built up an army of about 300 and tried to invade an enemy, the game spluttered and then crashed. Finally, people have apparently been having trouble with the game not working on some computers although I believe fixes are available. I personally haven't suffered from any bugs aside from the aforementioned crash.
If you don't have AoE2 already, then HD is definitely worth £15. But at the moment, the amount of changes that have been made just don't justify spending £15 for someone who already enjoys the original game and doesn't care that much about graphics or multiplayer. That said, if and when the modding scene takes off, the game will be that much better (although it's kind of sad that a game needs free, third-party add-ons to justify its retail price), especially if a mod can remove the damn unit-selection cap, or at least set it to something much higher than 40.
In 2012, Hidden Path Entertainment began work on an HD remake of Age of Empires II (an effort spearheaded by Matt Pritchard, an original Ensemble lead programmer) and on 7 March 2013, its release was announced, branded as Age of Empires II: HD Edition. It claims to have improved graphics, widescreen support and new multiplayer options through Steam. It was released on 9 April 2013, and there was a preorder available on the 5th of April.
I have the entire Age of Empires series collected, all the expansion packs and such - they were great games but I never played them properly (I was 10 the last time I ever touched one). I have a lot of memories from them, I think they contributed to my brain development very substantially. I also got to write random map and AI scripts for them, which shows that I was mostly interested in the technicalities. I think I still have AoK Trigger Studio lying around somewhere.
I'm anticipating that some good mods will make the game much better.
I used to play around with triggers too, but it was too laborious. It would've been better if you could write the scripts yourself rather than using the clunky mouse interface to generate them. I bet the language was extremely simple.
@chrisname in AoM and AoE3, they take the triggers and generate scripts from them. I'm not sure what the language is but it is C-like. In AoK, however, the triggers were not converted into any kind of script - they were just a more powerful version of AoE's victory conditions.