1v1 Arabia random Civ que


i very much liked the 1v1 random civ days. Although I enjoy the new QoL features and improvements of DE, I kinda miss the 1v1 random civ days so much.

That is not the case. I think it’s simpler than that. your rating represents your skill level.

An 1800 rated player who only plays arabia is competent in pretty much all areas of the game, and will beat a 1700 who plays mixed maps most of the time. I think this works other ways as well, somebody who only plays arena can make the switch to arabia, an 1800 arena player should have no issues beating a 1700 arabia player as well.

There is some truth to this statement to some extent, but I’m not sure I fully agree. A 1800 player who’s been playing only Arena, will have trouble beating a 1700 player who’s been playing only Islands on the map Islands. Even if the micro/macro mechanics remain the same, the strategical approach is so different that you would need to play enough games on Islands to actually master it. But the 1800 player could reach 1800-level on Islands with less games than it would take the 1700 player to actually reach 1800 on Islands, probably. That’s the extent to which I agree with your statement.

If worst comes to worst though. All of these ELO issues could be avoided by creating a separate ranking/queue for regular all-maps ladder rating, and one for Arabia only for example, or for an “Extended map bans queue” rating.

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In my opinion, two things need to happen:

  • Increase the number of bans to the number of maps minus one. (8 bans if there are 9 maps to choose from). Add a warning text that if a player bans more than half of the maps the wait time might increase.

  • In addition to that, I think it would be cool if there is an optional ‘prefer random’ option in the form of a checkbox. meaning that you can still pick a civilization, but if both you and the other player(s) have ‘prefer random’ selected, the game will override the chosen civilization by a random civ for all players.


Agreed. I also think these two things will make the AoE 2 rated games experience better for most people as a whole.

And for those who are still worried that this might “disturb” the ELO rating and make it less representative of skill level, there are two things to keep in mind. 1) I think those who value ELO skill representation over being able to pick your prefered maps are far less numerous that those who value the opposite. (we could confirm this with a poll). 2) if worst comes to worst, separate queues and rankings could be created .


The thing is, how many of you would play a random map if you had the chance of always playing Arabia/Arena/Black forest/ Nomad?

It will kinda kill the matchmaking in the process.
It’s a difficult decision

+1 to exactly this.

I would also add more maps, to the matchmaking, if we get to ban all minis one

There is the same discussion in multiple threads, so i just quote my own from another thread:

I dont really want to split the ladders between different maps. It will only increase waiting time for everyone. This will ready happen if you add more bans. Not only for those who just want to play Arabia, the waiting will increase with 8 bans, this will also happens to those who enjoy playing multiple maps. The idea of a checkbox for those who ban more than half of the maps were is stated that there waiting time will be increased is nice to know for them, but also the waiting time for those who dont ban multiple maps will increase. I dont think many of you thought about that part. Also ideas for splitting the queue or ranking will increase the queue time for everyone.

Like in the start of my quote: Enjoying the games means something different to anyone. Both schools of thought are roughtly equal, i think. So whatever you do, it will be disadvantages for someone. There seems to me no solution that seems to fit for everyone. If someone has such solution, i will be the first to support this solution. At this moment i just didnt found such solution at all.

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Enjoying the game means something different to anyone, therefor allowing the players to choose what they want to play should be a step towards a solution, right? The other option is not allowing players to choose, which reduces the chance of the game getting it right on its own.

It may not be perfect, but its better?


What makes this discussion difficult is that if you implement some, it will be considered as step forward by some players, but as step backwards for other players.

I just saw this. I dont support his suggestion, but i do support how he talk about this current issue. A solution isnt easy, like Ornlu said too. This makes fixing the problem difficult.

I fully do agree there needs to be some solution the makes it so more players enjoy the game, but i dont really have the solution.


Then, we should go towards the preference of the majority, rather than the one of the minority?
If the majority wants a map pool with 5 forced different maps, we would stick with the current system.
If the majority wants to be able to pick the map(s) they want to play on rated game, we should go toward that direction.

Those who want map variety can still have it in that latter option. They just have to keep all maps ubanned. And if most people end up playing on Arabia : it means the MAJORITY actually prefers to play on Arabia. Those who want another map than Arabia can ban Arabia. If they have to wait longer when they do so, it means the majority didn’t choose the maps that they picked.

Those who are ok to be forced to play so many different maps (many of which are also considered clown fiestas), even though they exist, are most likely a small minority.


I dont really know if the majority want to be an one trick pony player. When DE was released i even heard about pros who say to be delightful that the meta isnt only Arabia any more. I think on higher levels players prefer more Arabia, but i dont know how this is at lower levels. So i dont wanna say the majority prefer only arabia. Most players will have Arabia as prefered map, i fully agree with that. But i dont think everyone with Arabia as prefered map will only play Arabia. Dont get me wrong. I do enjoy Arabia too, it will be my favorite (in the current map pool too). But i dont wanna play only Arabia. So it is not a discussion between Arabia only or other maps only. I really wont mind if i play for example 50% Arabia, 50% other maps.

For me this suggestion seem like a step back, not forward. I see some drawbacks:

  1. More waiting time for everyone
  2. More one sided matches on Arabia for everyone

Did you watch the video of Ornlu? It is about the issue we also discuss at the moment. He also stated many players love to play Arabia for the most part, but he also agree there are players who wanna play more different maps. I thinks he describes the situation very well. It is hard to solve the issue. I do think there needs to be a solution.

Note: At the end Ornlu came up with a solution. This is the same as you. Like Ornly said the solution is not perfect, it is the best he can think of. I just go a little step further: I dont think this solution is good enough to be implemented. To me it has more drawbacks than benefits. Still i do think we need to find a solution that is working for everyone.

Yes, i understand the issue. Yes, i think this needs to be fixed. No, i dont think we already have some solution.

I have just watched the video and I must say that his idea is bad. Splitting into two queues is a horrible idea. Some people just wants to play Arabia or BF, I agree, but some wants to play Arabia and Islands. With 8 bans, these players would face each other (one banning 8 the other banning 7, play the intersection). With separate ladders, the guy that wants to play either Arabia or Islands then has to make a decision and if the goes for RM Queue, they wont face each other and will both sit in queue whilst they could be playing Arabia.

He also touches on players not wanting to play Arabia 100% of the time, but also not wanting to play it 20% of the time… Guess what, if you allow up to 8 bans, a person has the choice to play it the exact % that he feels like playing it. 50%, 75%, doesnt matter! Ban/unban other maps as they see fit… you dont HAVE to ban 8 maps and you can ban more or less according to how many games you have played, what you feel like playing ,etc.

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I also said i dont like his solution, so i didnt post his vid for the solution. I think he did a good job in explaining the issue and into explaining why there is no easy fix.

There are a few things here I disagree with.

  1. Noone is forcing anyone to be a “one trick pony player”. That’s the difference with our solution : there is no forcing. People who want to leave several maps open and play different maps will be welcome to do so. On the contrary, the current system is forcing people to play on maps that they do not like.

  2. I’m not sure if pros/top players are happy with the current state of the map pool and map match making system. I’ve heard several of them voice the opposite opinion on stream.

  3. The thing is, with a “free to choose” map system, people won’t have to wait longer, as long as they pick the maps that are more popular (chosen by the majority). Those who chose less popular maps are free to do so, and they will wait longer, as a consequence of being in the minority and having taste in less popular maps.
    Forcing a majority to play on maps they do not like to play on, in order to please the minority who actually like them, is wrong in my opinion.
    The maps that people actually like, will be chosen naturally by many people, and therefore people will be matched on them. And that doesn’t mean necessarily only Arabia. I’m pretty sure many people may pick 1 or 2 popular maps other than Arabia. And every once in a while, if you wanna be sure to tag on one of those other maps rather than Arabia, you can ban Arabia.
    This system is way more fair, as far as pleasing everyone is concerned, than the current system with 5 forced maps, many of which people actually dislike.

One other idea would be to have your own rating on maps, from 1 to 4 for example. The system will favour the map you put at rank 1 (as a priority) in the match making algorithm. If it can’t find a match for map 1, it will look for map 2, and so on.

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Noone directly force you to play, but indirectly this will happens. We have seen this at Voobly / HD. I already give my own experience with everyone just play 1 map. I started with BF and wanna to change to Arabia. I would deliberate loose around 10-20 games in a row to get a fair match up again. This is all because Elo isnt really transferable between maps.

And if i just wanted to switch between Arabia and BF, all games on BF would be too easy or everything on Arabia would be too hard. In the end you just stay with one map. So i would so indirectly you were forced to this by design of the ratings and the differennces between how maps played out.

I think there are mixed oppinions. I think pros are more used to play other maps, because they have to play other maps in tournaments. I think everyone will agree match making needs some improvements. I am far from a top player, but i also agree.

Again, i am not against changes. But changes needs to make sense to me.

Current situation: If two players got matched, there is always a not banned map to play on.
With unlimited bans: It is possible that the same match now is not valid, so the system cant match those two players anymore.

By adding more bans, the number of possible matches decreased. So the average waiting time will increase. By how much? That will pretty much depend on the map. My guess for Arabia would be the increase will pretty small. By other maps it can be somewhat bigger. I mostly seem issues for team games, since now you can have 8 players and always pick a map. By more bans, the possible matches will be decrease by a lot. So i think the waiting time for team games will increase by a lot.

I do agree there needs to be some kind of solution so players will have more influence about the maps they play. For example: I dont really think unlimited bans is the way to go. But a slight increase is possible to me. Lets say 6 bans for 1v1 (i dont really know what to do for team games). I am pretty sure the number of Arabia games will pretty much sky high. You still dont play only Arabia, but pretty much 50% of the time. Maybe even more would be my guess. I think we end up with such kind of suggestion as some kind of middle ground to keep as many players happy as possible.

I was also thinking about giving maps some weighting and the map is picked based on that weighting. This is kinda the same.

The waiting time will be proportional to the lack of popularity of the maps you picked. Which is fair.
Pick a popular map, and you won’t wait for long. Pick less popular maps, and you will wait longer.

Many people have voiced already that they would rather wait a few more minutes on queue and actually play on the map they enjoy, rather than be matched quickly but waste 20-40 minutes on a map they dislike.

And you forgot to mention that, in the current system, 2 players can be matched together on a map that they both dislike. Say player A 1700 elo and Player B 1700 elo, both would want to play on Arabia or Arena, for example. Currently they are forced to choose 5 maps. So they have up to 60% chance (if they both picked the 5 same maps) to be matched on a map they both dislike, while they would have both been quite happy playing on the maps they both like.

And if 2 given people have not picked any maps in common, yes I agree they will not be matched together by the system. But that’s a good thing. Because they do not want to play on the same maps. To be quite realistic though, most people will have at least Arabia unbanned most of the time. So the system will probably always be able to match 2 given players on Arabia, at least. And of course, on other maps as well, provided those 2 players have other unbanned maps in common, which will be likely as well in many cases.


I want to emphasize that not only does this increase the average wait time, but it also decreases match quality - because that player that was previously the best match for you is no longer an eligible match, you’re bound to get stronger and/or weaker opponents than normal, especially if you happen to ban the popular maps in the pool.

A solution I saw on a different thread that I quite liked was the concept of setting a map as “favorite” alongside your bans, if your matched opponent favorited the same map, then it is automatically chosen, otherwise a random map from the pool is chosen as usual.

This can be optional, but it’ll likely increase the chances of being matched on popular maps like Arabia for 1v1 and BF for team games, while still allowing variety should either player choose to favorite something else (or nothing at all).

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But NOBODY will force you to play arabia. You can ban nothing, or you can just ban arabia if you are tired of arabia all the time. Or if you want arena you ban everything except arena. I don’t see the problem really

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I sincerely hope you’re joking.

I highlighted the problem in my earlier post:

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:

  1. Open Land
  2. Closed Land
  3. Water / Mixed

Based on Civ choice:

  1. Random Civ
  2. Pick Civ

Based on number of players:

  1. Team games
  2. 1v1 games

Based on game mode:

  1. Random Map
  2. Death Game
  3. 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?

This scenario you describe will be very uncommon, because it requires these two factors :

  1. The 2 players have zero map in common. (Realistically, as long as people pick at least Arabia, this will rarely happen)
  2. Being the “best match” means there were no other players of the same Elo in the rated queue at that time? Seems unlikely unless you are pretty high on the ladder.

And even then, I wouldn’t consider those players to be the “best match” for each other, precisely because they do not want to play on the same maps. With the current system, some people are 1800 elo, but probably 1900 skill-level on Arabia or Arena, and 1700-skill level on Islands or Nomad for example. If they are matched on Islands with another 1800 elo but whose skill level is more towards Islands maps (so 1900 skill-level on Islands, 1700 on Arabia, for 1800 average). THen the match will be one sided. Therefore it wasn’t “the best match”, simply because their favorite home maps are different.

I like this idea. There is definately something to it. In such a system I would still increase the max number of bans though.
Currently you are forced to pick at least 5 maps to play on. I’d rather get it down to 3 maps, with the favourite functionality you described included. Or down to 1 map with no favourite functionalities.

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