* There are specific Out-of-Synch messages to help tell who dropped or why.
* You can now return to the Previous View by hitting Backspace. You can go back to the previous 10 screen views with repeated Backspaces. For example, you could hit H to switch to a TC to take care of economy for a second, repeat for a second TC, then hit Backspace twice to return to the previous scene.
* There is a new "Status Bar" indicator to see your progress in advancing to the next age. It appears at the top center of the screen, where the current age is listed. You will not have to click on your Town Center to track how much time is left to the next age.
* There is a new "Random Teams" option in multiplayer. Basically, when you're clicking on the "team number" box, one of the results is a "?" mark, and if you pick that, then you're letting the computer pick your team for you. The players are randomly split into 2 teams.
* "The friend or foe option uses a simpler color scheme to indicate which players are your allies and which are your enemies. When you set the friend or foe option, colors are not unique for each player. Instead, enemies are red, allies are yellow, neutral players are gray, and your units are blue. The colors are determined by your diplomatic stance toward each player (not theirs toward you)." from ES website
* "Chat text is shown in each player's color and there are two new ways to send messages to specific players. As in The Age of Kings, you can begin a message with a semicolon ( ; ) to chat only with your allies. Now you can use an exclamation mark (!) to send a message only to your enemies or an asterisk (*) to send a message to everyone." from ES website
* You will be able to review your most recent chat messages.
* You will be able to see the in-game chat when watching recorded games.
* Diplomacy in single player will be "way better".
* The civ colors have been adjusted so that they are "more sparkly and easier to see".
* You can place bookmarks in a recorded game so you can skip ahead to the "good part". There is an excellent pictorial guide to this on the AOK2.com website.
* You will be able to give your computer allies the following commands:
3: Food, please - Computer player tributes 100 food to you.
4: Wood, please - Computer player tributes 100 wood to you.
5: Gold, please - Computer player tributes 100 gold to you.
6: Stone, please - Computer player tributes 100 stone to you.
31: Attack an enemy now! - Computer player uses any available units to attack the most dangerous enemy. If you have sent a "Wait for my signal to attack" command, the computer will not attack until it receives this command.
32: Cease creating extra villagers - Computer player focuses on building its military.
33: Create extra villagers - Computer player focuses on building its economy.
34: Build a navy
35: Stop building a navy
36: Wait for my signal to attack - Prevents computer player from attacking until you send the "Attack an enemy now!" message. The computer player automatically attacks unless you send this command.
37: Build a Wonder - Computer player hoards resources and attempts to build a Wonder when its stockpile is large enough.
38: Give me your extra resources - Computer player sends you any resources it can spare.
42: What age are you in?
* Selected units have a white circle at their base.