An idea to please both sides of THESE arguments on many threads.
How about we provide each player with a larger number of separate ELO:
Based on map categories:
- Open Land
- Closed Land
- Water / Mixed
Based on Civ choice:
- Random Civ
- Pick Civ
Based on number of players:
- Team games
- 1v1 games
Based on game mode:
- Random Map
- Death Game
- Any other popular mode I am not aware of
So each player can have 3x2x2x3=36 separate ELO’s. Provide an MM system like the one we have (but with all the maps considered Closed Land for the Closed Land queues), and provide a lobby system where players can agree on what exact type of map / game / conditions they like (with some limitations to keep it ranked). The ELO’s are shared between the 2 systems, but the MatchMaking will be able to select the right ELO for the available type of game.
For example, If you want to play 1v1 Arabia PickCiv, your ELO of 1800 is used to match you. This same ELO will be more or less accurate if you instead play 1v1 Serengeti or Four Lakes PickCiv lobby game. They both use / show the same ELO.
Only problem here, is that it takes you more games for each of these ELOs to adapt (since we now have 36 different ELOs instead of current 4) but there are well known algorithms that initialize your starting ELO based on other ELOs you have, so this can be mitigated and sped up. Most people will only play in 3 or 4 of these combinations anyway.
Even for tournaments, they can easily pick the relevant ELO for the tourney based on its rules. A team 4v4 Arabia PickCiv tourney shouldn’t use team ELO from Arena and Black Forest Random Civ!!
And given that ELOs are shared between lobbies (and we can have 36 different lobbies, each using the corresponding ELO) you will find a game you like either with MM, or in the corresponding lobby if the waiting is too long. But there will be less incentive for people to play in the lobby, unless they consider Serengeti very different from Arabia, or looking for something too specific.
If you are not too picky, you can select all map types for example, then you will be in the queues for all map types. i.e. if you are selective, you wait longer.
We don’t really need to make it 36 different ELOs. We can limit options for Death games. So you get 3x2x2 for Random map, and only the currently-existing 2 ELOs for Death games, giving us only 14 ELOs, instead of current 4.
Do you see this as a good compromise?