Hello there, looking to see if there might be the chance to not allow randoms in under 1200-1400 queues for team-multi-player (as in something similar to the cross-platform cheque-button, but the negative of it - i.e. don’t queue team multi-player games with Random Civilisations).
To get into it, I’m fairly new at the game & I’ve only met 1 full friend in AoE II so far - well one who I am keeping up with (a few games a week) and a second person isn’t really on so much. But importantly they play 1-3/4 civilisations largely. I mostly play 1 or 2, but feel I’m comfortable & knowledgeable enough to play others to a reasonable extent (hundreds of hours of SotL, Hera, Viper, T-West, Survivalist, etc. videoes have been poured over).
My problem is that I’m getting games constantly with random players who just don’t seem to know the strengths of their civilisations at all. Whether it’s their civilisation that is disrupting their start or they just don’t know the game too well I am not sure, but it makes it almost impossible to rank up when you’re trying to find your own modes & methods of play. Whilst also making up for their shortcomings (sometimes you fall behind yourself, but not like this/below).
When I’ve had people who pick a civilisation (25-33% 1/4-1/3 of my games or so) I have a much more enjoyable experience & a much greater win-rate. One of the friends I’ve begun playing with a bit, isn’t too advanced in the game… from lacking ######## of knowledge (the minutiae in the game) to accidentally over-reacting (e.g. sending 3 or 4 villagers a fair distance to attempt to stymie an early Close-Wall from an opponent with a scout + villager) and so on. I easily do similar things just in a different way (e.g. build 5 stables when attacked - as I’ve got food for castle/imperial ages, for light cav & have already spent my wood/gold on archers, but obviously 5 stable production isn’t doable in even mid-castle when also spamming 2-4 archery ranges). But even though that’s the case… I know what to expect with him, his race & the way he’ll play it now & this has only taken 3-maybe-4 games. But with people picking civilisations I still KNOW/GET that they’re going for a few main things and can ask them directly about their idea(s).
But when playing with random civilisation players, they are consistently INCONSISTENT. A very seldom few will take good advantage of their civilisation. Others will build completely the wrong unit types for their civilisations or just their unique unit & that’s it until they get behind and lose out to the enemy (e.g. last game was Arambai for a MIRROR-Burmese into us essentially being dead where they went 5-6 archery ranges [which are horrible as Burmese - missing +2/+3 armour even on my Vietnamese allied Imperial Skirmishers, but we were against 2 cavalry civilisations & a countre-Burmese going elephants] & then a Leitis spammer for a Random Lithuanian). They often end up focussing on something & destroying the rest of their builds (e.g. the Lith-random went for early relic EVEN after he saw his opponent getting some scouts & didn’t have protection for his monk, didn’t keep up villager production & instead went to focussing on double castle leitis production where he thought he did damage by placing a forward castle & destroying 1 barracks - Leitis production which he couldn’t do/afford I might add, against a booming enemy who was on the defence).
I know I only have anecdotal evidence so far, just it seems as if random players at these levels really screw themselves over with the large variety of civilisations OR ‘they are the sort of player GENERALLY who is just going to have a relaxed time and not try too hard to learn the game (e.g. early mistakes), simply because they do random’. I don’t like nit-picking, but if we think about any team in any game at high levels you have players shuffling amongst teams or having to take time to be a solo-agent of sorts and they end up practising different positions and so on… the team nature of it requires them to always communicate in intricate ways. IF WE SCALE THAT DOWN to my early AoE II D.E. MMR level, I think we can easily say that showing your ally your civilisation(s) and what you’re good at/going for is the minimal level of communication that one could ask for. And that is why I’m asking for a queue-button that will allow me to avoid random players unless I want to (am queued with friends who I know can random).
Just as a final point - having 60 seconds before a game starts & asking your all(y/ies) their play-style, if they will pocket or boom and so on… but having either ‘no response’ or ‘whatever’ as your answer is not really helpful in getting you into the game/getting you excited or even confident in the game. It can happen to a player picking a civilisation, but this happens essentially every game I play with random-civ players at this early MMR.