Community Growth and Changes (map pools/ranked ladder)

Ok this is a hot topic and I’m in multiple threads discussing it. But here’s my take, and it’s meant to raise points and discuss the situation.

The community who kept aoe2 going only played via ranked lobbies - no auto matchmaking.
Huge thank you to all those players and community organisers
They got to pick their games exactly how they wanted (Arabia only/ arena clowns/ nomad/ Fatslob!)

Because the community did such a good job of keeping itself alive, it ended up getting more attention from YT, Twitch and ofc MS.

MS releases aoe2:DE and now includes an auto matchmaking system for their ranked ladders… and crucially no ranked lobbies.

It’s important to note that as a community grows things do change. Part of that growth and release of DE is the introduction of a ranked auto matchmaking system. Allowing an easy way for people to just play an online game, new players especially who don’t have a strong map preference. For the newer incoming player base, this is just how the game is and auto matching against people is an awesome feature. I think (but do not know) that most of the people who only want to play one map are going to be from the older community who got very niche. Clearly this is not keeping them happy, hence all the ALT F4 problems etc.

Would adding in a ‘ranked lobby’ help people who want to play on one particular map? Just like on Voobly?

Personally I love just being able to auto match, and I really want it to stay. But it is a new feature, a sign of growth. I don’t know that there is a solution to combine having an auto matchmaking system and allowing players to 100% decide what map/settings they want.

Would it be better to have both, an auto matchmaking system with map pool and a ranked lobby system where you get to pick your map and settings.

For anyone interested in my history I played aoe1 + 2 as they came out as a kid and I sucked, and never played online. HD came out I played a bit, but mostly as a nostalgia hit. I never played on Voobly and do not consider myself an old guard player. But DE came out, I watched YT for about 5months before buying the game, decided to put effort into not only the game but also the community side of things: forums, discord, yt etc. And I am still gutted they killed the DM community #SaveDM

EDIT: I forgot to mention that it is good to respect both the community who kept this game going and the newer community who are the growth of the game. If someone is new or ‘casual’ their opinion still counts. The more the community grows the more serious players they’ll be, but also the more new and casual players.


The lobby was one of the weaknesses of Voobly or HD. Match making is much superior. Currently there are just some issues that needs to be solved by the devs. So i would suggest spending time in improving the match making instead of dividing the community in again a different way to play. We all know they already failed with quick play (which just should be removed from the game).


If think a combination of both would work.

First you enable ranked lobbies with controlled settings.

Second you rework quick play to a lobby finder. You specify what you want, the quick play puts you in a lobby or opens one if not exist.

We would have a new tab.
The current hand made unranked lobby’s, the ranked games tab, the open ranked/quick play lobbies.

You can join those lobbies either manually of the lobby browser or you can use quick play to jump directly in.

Only problem. It is lots of coding work. Expensive to develop. Maybe utopian

Not sure how elo would be handled, maybe ranked lobbies need to specify an allowed elo range.

Of course waiting times to get a game would in rease, but that is inevitable if people don’t want the current system anymore that basically minimised matchmaking time by allays finding a map

A good matchmaking may be better than lobbies for most.

But the matchmaking we have for TGs doesn’t work in it’s current implementation.

Second you can’t deny, no matter what.

All hail the superiority of the match making

In voobly this could never happen unless big smurf, but since the aka rated was implemented, noob bashing was partially gone, in comparison here on DE the MM forces noob bashing, how on earth do you dare to say its superior, when its inferior at every single aspect for team games.

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I really don’t see what the weakness was.

I prefer matchmaking the current way. It’s a more modern way of doing things, and if we want new players to come to the game, using a more modern system for ranked games will make it easier for them to do so. Of course, we then have the problem of them having to deal with smurfs and people using Alt-f4, but MS if finally starting to crack down on that. I personally think that this here is quite a nice way of doing it, so that people can play arena/arabia only, other random maps, or a mix of everything, and it looks good, but that is just my opinion.


Half measure here is to just let Voobly’s software launch/integrate with Aoe2 DE, which from what I understand, they can’t (and won’t be able to in the future since MS doesn’t want that). That way people would have at least a smaller service from which they can play via lobbies.

Honestly, that would be the right thing to do, given Voobly’s contributions towards keeping AoE relevant over all these years.

Until they fix it it will be 2165 and mankind will be living on mars.

Those were real ranked matches? I can’t explain away the ELO ranges by saying the averages match. I don’t understand how they got matched.

If there are too few players in a particular region at a particular time, I wish there was some sort of handicapping system (x% additional resources gathered per 100 Elo difference).

Frankly, the system could just say “Unable to find a suitable ranked match. Would you like to continue to wait, or play sooner for an unofficial (no ELO change) match?”

Or put more simply "Unable to find a suitable ranked match. Would you like to continue to wait, or play a practice online game now?

lobby allowed people to dodge opponents, not just dodge settings. they are fatally flawed because of that

people would be looking for matches where they were favored to win, and it’s mathematically impossible for a game to exist where both teams are favored. so the end result was that nobody played rated teamgames (unless their rating was around 16xx, which is where new accounts started, so the ratings were just random noise anyways)

even going back to zone when the community was more interested in legitimate fair play and less about smurfs/points/laming, the vast majority of teamgames were unrated.

matchmaking doesn’t let that happen. you don’t see who you are playing against, so you can’t pass on a 50/50 match (or a 48/52 match) and opt to keep waiting around until you find a 70/30 one

DE matchmaking doesn’t spawn close matches most of the time which is a fatal flaw, but the concept is much better than lobbies

ranked lobbies should still exist for other reasons, but that doesn’t mean matchmaking should be replaced by going back to a flawed system. waiting times for lobby teamgames were hours, not minutes. if you weren’t there, you only see pictures of what it looked like, but the pictures don’t explain why the system was basically unusable for moderate-to-high skill players

maybe the lobbies were okay for lower-level players who only wanted to play black forest or forest nothing or something like that, but that can be accomplished by moving the no-rushing maps to their own dedicated queue instead of combining them with standard ranked play (where every single age is supposed to be featured, not just imperial age)

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I think it would be pre-built custom teams in order to smurf. If you don’t know what that means, here is my understanding, at least for this scenario. Basically, one player deliberately drops elo, before paring up with their friends. This then lowers the team average elo, and they fight people below their level, based on matchmaking using the team average to determine the matchup. So yes, I think it would have been a real ranked match, and they got matched simply by assembling their team before the game started. If you look at the leaderboards, there are people with over 4 or 5 thousand team game elo, or negative team elo, which isn’t something that should ever occur, and could only be accomplished by rigging the matchup like this.

Real ranked games, from solo queuing, one is mine and the other from a friend who wasn’t doing the cheap trick to play with low players to boost his rank.

Btw someone tell biz that the top players used to play in voobly and they were usually in the top tg ladder, viper was the top there for quite some time, dunno why he claims only 1600 were playing 11

Thank you all for the replies, I feel like I’m learning loads.

The issue I’m trying to wrap my head around right now is that given that matchmaking is new to aoe2 and doesn’t provide the same experience as the whole infrastructure of Voobly, is it really possible for it to do the same job? And if not, why are we trying to force it to do that, instead of trying to get the community infrastructure that fostered so many different communities? See this post from T-West.

Now clearly some have pointed out that Voobly was not perfect, so perhaps we could think about how to take the best bits of Voobly and solve some of the issues?

Also for the record, I’m not suggesting that we scrap matchmaking and go solely to ranked lobbies etc, I just think they’re different and both useful for different contexts.

Out of interest how many of you that are replying played on Voobly and how many didn’t? @TheBiz1 @RobotRoom @SouMexican @WoodsierCorn696 @Geojak92 @UnfamousScout @TheConqueror753 @chimpanvi

I’ve played on Voobly years ago off/on. I started playing AoC on the Zone back in 2004-2005, so I was there when Zone went down and Voobly went up.

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I didn’t play aoe 2 and was more a aoe 3 vanilla guy up until African kingdoms when Portuguese sparked my interest.

African Kingdom (wololo mod port) didn’t really take of in voobly, especially at the beginning. It was clunky to set up and hard to find mat he’s.

I played like 2(?) games on voobly and then just sticked to HD until de came out.

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I never played on Voobly, only DE.

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