Custom lobbies - Teams are NOT balanced

Hi there.
I have been playing this game since the first wave of beta invites. It’s very fun and enjoyable game.

I played a lot of 1v1 ranked games over the months, a lot of team ranked games (2v2, 3v3), and lot of custom lobbies (mostly 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4).

However, we constantly run into the same issue with custom lobbies, and that’s the issue of unbalanced teams in custom lobbies.

Game Version:

  • Build: ALL so far
  • Platform: Steam
  • Operating System: Windows 10

Issue:

Here is the issue, once you host a custom lobby and start the game the game does NOT balance the teams properly. I am not sure if it’s random (it feels like that) or is it not completed or properly done algorithm to do this.

I use aoe2.net and ingame interface to check ratings/rankings of other players.

For example, I create a lobby for 3v3 on Arabia and 5 other people join, one of them being my premade mate. There are two teams in total, it’s 3v3. Noone selects the team (everyone sets ? as team) except for me and my friend.
Me and my premade friend get matched in same team with highest rated player (highest rated in team ranked and solo ranked). Since we are also higher rated than other players in lobby, it ends up with one team of players who all have higher rating than other team.

How it should be: me and my friend should end up in one team and highest rated player should end up in opposite team.

Another example: I create a lobby and I have no friends playing with me, everyone sets random team (?) and 3 of highest rated players get placed in same team, 3 weakest players get placed in opposite team. My team ends up being a lot stronger and it’s not fun at all to play against overall a lot weaker team.

Team balancing (placing players in teams) should NOT be random. It spoils all the fun for people who are not premade or not setting team upfront.

Suggestion:

  • Balance the teams by using team ranked rating
  • If team ranked rating is not present use 1v1 ranked rating
  • if 1v1 ranked rating is not present use “unranked” rating

Reproduction Steps:

Here’s how to reproduce the problem:

  1. Create custom 3v3 lobby
  2. Wait for other people to join or invite players
  3. Let everyone set random team (? team)
  4. Start the game
  5. Check the ratings of players in one team and ratings of players in another team

Its intentionally not using any elo, and random team really does mean random. It’d defeat the purpose of unranked to involve any kind of rank. It’s a complete unknown for why unranked elo exists though. Unranked elo is also irrelevant, manually balance yourself using the (often but not always) working hover-over UI to see people’s 1v1/TG elos. If they dont have them then theres no way to determine and that’s just sort of the nature of the game.

I do agree that it should just outright be ranked 1v1/TG based on playercount and just be a lobby-browser alternative to the matchmaking, but, that’s something for another day - FE wont ever give you sense.