So you reached my same conclusion. The question is whether RM ELO should be 6 as you listed, or 12 if we separate the ELO for RandomCiv vs PickCiv.
I would argue the difference in skill level between games where you play your “normal” civ that you know inside-out, and games where you start and are assigned a random civ out of the current 35 (or future 44!!) is huge. Especially for lower ELO levels, players find it hard to remember the team and civ strengths of each civ, and sometimes they use units they are used to, that are very bad for this civ (e.g. using cav archers for a civ without bloodlines, building towers for a civ without arrowslits…). I agree for higher ELO players they can usually adjust, but you’re talking about the top 25% of the ladder, not the majority of casual players. The difference in performance could be huge at lower ELO levels. There is also more variability for RandomCiv in hybrid/water maps, given the civs are not balanced for water the way they balance on land.
One other thing I want to stress here, is that having 14 different ELOs don’t mean much longer waits and fewer players in each queue. Similar to right now in MM where you check 4v4 and 3v3 and 2v2 and 1v1, you are put in all queues, and join the first game in any of them. Similarly, I can check 4v4 RM Closed Maps for PickCiv and RandomCiv, and be entered into both queues. The difference is, I will be entered to each queue with a more accurate ELO for my skill in that game.
More queues and ELOs don’t mean longer wait for a game. Me being picky on the details of the game I want will lead to longer wait.
Another advantage of multiple ELOs is that we can use/update the same ELO for lobby games. If a game is set to OPEN/PickCiv/Team/RM game but has a higher population or is set to explored map, we can use/update the ELO for OPEN/PickCiv/Team/RM ladder games played by the same player, with the assumption that such non-standard settings don’t affect skill that much.
Again, it is a compromise, but it is more accurate and will negate the need for unranked lobbies entirely. Players of different ELO can still play against each other if they want, and with non-standard settings if they want, ELO won’t change that much unless the weaker player suddenly wins. Yes this can be abused up or down, but any ELO in the world can also be inflated.
Out of this, you get more players into ranked MM/Lobbies, you get more balanced games regardless of the map/mode/PickCiv… I can have fun experimenting with another game type/map without having to lose 10 games in a row, and ruining the game for 7 other players in each of these 10 game, just to get down to my true level. It is also easy to program.
Nomad games would fall into the Hybrid/RandomCiv/Team/RM ELO, unless it is played with PickCiv then it belongs to Hybrid/PickCiv/Team/RM ELO.
Some effort will need to go into categorizing each map into one of the 3 categories.