I hope you’re all safely quarantined and all properly slaying villagers in dodgy raids and rushes.
Short background: my partner and myself started playing AOE2: HD about a year ago and came from playing with one barrack and losing to the AI on Medium to a fairly decent game. However, we are most definitely not “great” players and we have no intention of going into the hardcore, high-performane, micro-mathematical game. We are by all standards casual players, that enjoy a casual game.
However, it is fairly hard to find players to play with - we either join “noob” lobbies with highly-performing players (10k score while everyone else is at 3k) or, the other way around.
We have put together a clan to make it easier to attract similar-level players so it’s easier to invite players of our “stature” in our games. Basically, <1300 ELO, no mad rushers, no perfectly executed build orders. Don’t take this the wrong way, I have utmost respect for people that play AoE2: DE that way but your casual players doesn’t really go that direction.
If anyone is interested, please search the “TravellingWillburys” (tag: BGGNR) in the game and join. Then, just use the Clan Friends option to invite players from the clan in your games. It’s basically just a shortcut to fill in the casual lobbies.
Let me give you also another suggestion: Have you ever thought about joining the ranked ladder? The name suggest it is only very competative, but i think it is also the best way to play the game for a casual player who enjoy a casual game.
If you just want a quick game against equally skilled players, than your best bet is the ranked ladder. Match making is great to generate two equally skilled teams. The first games in match making can be one sided, sine match making needs to figure out your skill. After some games (i would say on average 5) match making knows your skill and give you equally skilled opponents.
The issue with the unranked lobby is that there isnt really a good rating to make equally skilled teams. Everyone has another definition of noob, so there is great difference between players who join this kind of rooms. This issue isnt really existing in match making. Getting balanced team in the unranked lobby is much more difficult (even for clans i would say) than just joining the ranked ladder.
Feel free to just ignore this suggestion. In the end it is all about you having fun
The ranked ladder does have the downside of having to let you go through 10 “placer” matches, to determine your ELO. It basically means that you will have to play 10 matches where you will either stomp or get stomped (some are balanced, but they are quite unlikely) So depending on your definition of “casual” you might want to avoid to go through this.
A good idea would be too create a Discord server for your clan, that way communication will be greatly eased, and you will get to know and trust the persons who joined your clan.
Like you said it will take 10 matches before your rating is shown. During this time you do have an elo, it is just not on the leaderboard. Normal match making rules will apply, but you will get / loose more points for winning / losing.
If you’re true rating is ‘pretty average’ (which is my guess for @AhhhSureLook), you really dont face 10 onesided games. This will only be the case if someone as Viper now joined the ladder. @AhhhSureLook is talking about <1300 players. My guess would be his true rating is around 1000 ELO. So almost every game will be pretty balanced for him.
Maybe it would take 5 takes, i dont think it will take more games for him. I would say playing 5 one sided games is worth if this means all other games will be fairly balanced. His problem with inbalanced teams will be gone.