A Refined Ranking and Quicksearch system

Preface: Please read this carefully as there are quite a few “sections”

I have seen a ton of complaints about the new system for ranking not being allowed in the Lobby browser. I completely back the devs on not allowing ranked matches in the browser. The biggest reason is people being so picky in finding a match that it can take hours to find a game. I know this from first hand experience when there were only 10-20 games open on the browser. Half the time it was not even worth trying to get a ranked game and ending up playing a completely different game. I completely agree that the Ranked should be only available in the Quick search. Not only does this make the Quick search a useful tool but also gives everyone a chance to get a game going.

However that is not saying I’m against ranks in the lobbies. I think there should be two ranking systems. An official rank with ladders like what is currently up. However I think they should also add another Community rank for lobby games. This will allow lobby users to gauge their opponents abilities. The community rank would also be able to be seen when entering and setting up the games in lobbies. I would also like to see the community rank allow for your opponents to rate your character. Say someone that constantly rage quits or disconnects because they were not happy would get a bad community score.

Finally I’m also not saying that the Ranking system used by quicks search is perfects as well. I would love to see changes implemented in how that system is used. Below I would explain one example of a system that could be used.

First a single player or team enters the quick search que.
Once a game is chosen and the teams are setup you would enter a pre-game civ assignment phase.
This phase would consists of allowing teams to ban certain civs and to systematically choose there Civs. ( I will go in detail about this below)
Finally the Teams would then be taken out of the pregame civ assignment phase into the game.

Here is an example of the pre game civ assignment phase.
I will be doing a 2v2 to make things simple but the math will be adjusted for say a 4v4 vs a 1v1 The number associated with the bans etc would be calibrated mathematically to create a gaming experience worth playing.

The first phase is a banning phase. Each player gets to choose a Civilization that they would like to ban. The top 2 civs (in a 2v2) would be banned. In an example where their is a tie the computer would randomly ban a civ to break the tie.

Next would be the picking phase. 1 member from each team would be able to pick a civ from the pool that has not been banned. Once selected both players civs would be displayed to both teams. This would allow the last teammate to choose to counter the enemy or choose a civ that would mesh well with their teammate. Finally the second players on both teams would have there civs displayed for both teams and the game would begin.

Finally i would want to see a revised system for players leaving games or rage quitting. This would of course need a redesign of being able to connect to games from the main menu.
The system would be in place to punish players that rage quit especially in multiple player teams where the loss of one teammate can mean almost certain loss for that team. Also I believe that teammates should agree that a game is lost and have a concession on conceding/resigning.

I believe this system would be on par with the games of 2020 and would be a great way for a Definitive Edition to work. As of right now the Ranking system, and reconnect systems still feel like a game from 2005.

Finally a little about the Community score. I think the community score should have two parts. I think it should consist of a rank for how well you play and another rank that rates how well you work with your team. Example would be if you get mad and throw a game your teammates can reduce your playability rank so that future player that try to set up a lobby can see that this person may not be a good teammate .

I agree the first half of your article, but I am against your sencond half.

Why should we have bans for civs? It feels like you think the current game is not balanced.

This game is not AoE2 with 35 civs and narrow maps restrictions. If you think some civs are op you could point them out, I believe the devs and dedicated communities will find good way to balance them sooner or later. Not to forbid specific civs because you don’t like them. It feels like a zerg player with low win ratio against terran players in starcaft and said “hey, can we ban terran because I don’t like them?”.

Thanks for your feedback. I am not saying there has to be a ban phase. I’m just more of pointing out that there could be something pregame where in a systematic way you could pick and then counter pick different civilizations. But that would need to be based in a way that both teams have equal opportunity to “strategize” on a plan of attack. I’m basing this off of Dota 2 if you have ever played that game. Btw the ideas in this post are a group of ideas of things that work well like from StarCraft 2 and Dota 2 etc.

I have never played Dota because it is not a RTS game.

And I am still against any pregame strategizing. For my experience there has neven been any other competitive RTS games’s ranked system allowing people to such things. (the only exception is AoE2DE, and this is why its multiplay is like a pool of stale water now!)

The primary reason is fairness. It feels like in COH, assuming there is a player have higher win rate againt Whermacht with USA, and higer win rate againt PE with British. What will happen if he ask for letting him pick a faction after knowing his oppenent’s faction, or let him ban a specific faction as oppenent? Both situations would only cause the matchmaking not fair anymore.

I think the current mechanism is the best and most fair way. Just pick your favorite, face and adapt every oppenent assigned by the system. If you think some factions are op, go ahead to pick them, or wait devs to nerf them if they are really unbalanced, just like all the other RTS games. No need to complicate the problem.

This is not at all what we want. Here are several problems:
A) When the indie devs and indie mods leave, it will be upto the community to keep out hackers/racists/angry peeps. We cannot do this without custom games. Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=man7yu11cbI (note how my ally said ‘all blacklist him plz’)
B) Unranked custom games is leading to players getting stomped on incessiantly.
C) There’s now no punishment for leaving in unranked custom games, this means 3v3 is esentially unplayable(people are neurotic/emotional and will leave if no incentive not to)
D) This doesn’t even slightly address the ‘No Rush’ crowds problems.
E) A good 25% of players only play one faction. This is why ‘splitting’ is wayyy more effective than trying to force them to go another faction via pick phases.

This is a classic ‘over designing’ of something which at worst needed a few tweeks:
A) Ranked custom should have had ‘must be X rank to join y lobby’ option. This will prevent players joining the wrong lobbies!
B) ‘can only increase by max X mmr per match’ which would keep stat padding at the same rate as quickmatch.
C) Fix desync

Also, NOBODY is asking for quicksearch to be removed as you alluded to. We simply also want a seperate rank for custom games…

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First off I never said once that people wanted the quick search removed. Only that they want ranked in lobby browsers.
Second my suggestion about having a community rank would answer to B and C

You also strongly contradict yourself. In your first paragraph you are worried about the devs leaving the game and it ending up with the community policing. That is completely a valid point and definitely has a history on the Age of Empires franchise. However you also mention that the lobbies would be blocked by “rank” so what happens to the people that are high ranked or way to low that can not find a game or increase their rank when there are so few people playing. This automatically removes their ability to play the game since most people will not want to play with them. Now creating a society where smurfing can once again take hold. That and worse now players that can’t find a game are now forced to wait till they fill their own lobby or someone “hopefully” at their level shows up.

Once again am I am not saying that the phases are “my” idea on how it should be but only suggestions on that they could do better with the ranking system to make it more Age of empires crowd friendly. It would help bridge the gap between how the current quick search works and how lobby’s work by allowing players to select their civs based off of the enemy in a structured way. This is infract a strategy game and in my mind picking civs based off of other civs its just part of that strategy factor.

You say that there is no pregame strategizing in rts games. However I would like to say are not age of empires 3 lobby games “pregame picks” You enter the lobby choose a civ. Say now someone pics a civ you don’t like so you counter that civ… this keeps revolving around till finally everyone clicks in. My suggestion would however give a time limit and create a method in which both sides have equal opportunity to counter pick if they so choose.

On aoe2 De ranking system i can not comment as I have never played aoe2 competitively just for fun and custom games.