Do pro players ruin the game?

The noob/bad players experience in a nutshell. Get scout rushed, quit. Seems to be appealing to twitch players who hate having to scratch down a wall. They demand more and more nerfs to defensive gameplay. That’s why we have the new abomination that is Arabia where it is impossible to wall.

Many people who don’t have time to constantly be playing Age of Empires 2 to sharpen their skills. When they do play they play on a big map with lots of resources and tight choke points in a 4v4 game. Or play western europe diplomacy or something.

The Chinese civ for example are considered pretty much awful outside of the pros. But because the pros are good with the Chinese they decided to nerf them. Without any compensation.

They should get free siege engineers or something. They’ve been slamming the nerf hammer too much without giving compensation.


Although it doesn’t universally hold true, as a generalization, balancing around the pros produces the highest quality of balance across all skill levels, due to them being able to play civs in what is effectively the most optimum way. Lower level players might not be able to replicate that, but the changes made at the pro level typically improve the standard of the game for everyone. So no, pros don’t ruin the game.


I agree completely. Pros are, and have been good for the game forever.

However, OP is raising a different point.

People have been complaining about how sparse arabia is for a while, and its redesign can be attributed to high ELO players. High elo players want more aggression, while low elo players need time to learn.

The new arabia doesn’t provide that support for new players. If I only played 1v1 arabia when I started, I would’ve given up in a day.

Relevant thread, posted recently:
Agressive play might be fun for pros, but it’s turning away newcomers


Huh, I’ve been notified for this post O.o

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It is never “impossible” to wall, you can actually wall any map, its more about timing and knowing how to do it, which in practice turns out to be not that easy especially for lower elo players. And of course, dying to a scout/archer/whatever rush just after reaching feudal age is frustrating…

An easy solution for this -which had been suggested several times already- would be to put 2 different versions of Arabia into the Map pool - one “pro” version which is open with hills, bad wood lines etc, and one for the “average players” , which is flat, fairly easy to wall, and always close woodlines guaranteed.

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The noob/bad players experience in a nutshell. Get scout rushed, quit. Seems to be appealing to twitch players who hate having to scratch down a wall. They demand more and more nerfs to defensive gameplay. That’s why we have the new abomination that is Arabia where it is impossible to wall.

I don’t understand the complains about Arabia. Strategies should depend on the map, and Arabia can only be one map. So whatever Arabia is, it is not something else, but you can just play something else on other maps.

So complains about the map rotations would be more plausible.

The idea of Arabia is to be open imo, but I permaban that map anyway no matter how it is, because playing the same map all the time is completely boring for me.

Regarding pro players, the answer is probably yes, professional play kinda ruins every sport in some way. It is always more interessting at lower levels. On the other hand its also not too bad to have pro play and just natural. It can not be different.

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Hmm, I wonder whether we can have different map pools for different elo brackets?..
It might make implementation more complicated, but maybe more likely to make people happier on average. Less open arabia for lower elos for example

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I don’t get why people can’t seem to grasp the concept of small walling, it’s not difficult. The reason why Arabia is hard to wall and the pros pushed for it to be that way is because when it was so easy to full wall without so many hills etc., it just turned into a turtle and boom into fast castle map, which is not what Arabia is about. There are plenty of other maps if that’s how you want to play. Arena, BF, water maps etc. The essence of Arabia is early aggression and Feudal fights.

Ban Arabia if you can’t handle early pressure, that’s literally the whole point of the map. For every new player put off by early aggression or rage quitting the game, there would be just as many with a short attention span who don’t like how slow the action is on fast castle maps. We need open maps as an option, it’s not a city builder game.


Hmm, I wonder whether we can have different map pools for different elo brackets?..
It might make implementation more complicated, but maybe more likely to make people happier on average. Less open arabia for lower elos for example

Differnt map pools is a bad idea. It needs to be one set of rules for ranked. Calling two different maps both Arabia is an even worse idea. We need clarity. If you want a different map, call it differently, wtf.

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I dont get the point of this thread. Balancing civs isnt done for pros only. And the map pool isnt for pros only too.

I even read a lot of complaints about higher rated players who dont like the map, because it is too noobish. Maps like BF are loved by lower rated players and hated by higher rated players.

If you dont like Arabia, then just use your ban for that map and you wont get it.

BF isn’t even hated in fact there’s a community dedicated to BF games on high level called “Rage Forest”.


I guess you haven’t seen TheViper pmuch continuously posting Rage Forest games on his Youtube channel? It’s at least weekly, where he plays with the top rated players in the game all the time. 11

It isnt that black and white as i stated. That is true. But as general rule of thumb it is true. Ofc. Their are exceptions.

I am pretty sure that if you ask most high rates players for there favo map, most will answer with Arabia or any other open maps.

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TL/DR: I think pros are only ruining the games of a small minority of players while improving the gaming experience of a much bigger part of the community. So overall pros are a very positive for the game.

It is a complicated problem. Overall I fell the aoe2 pro community is great to the game and brings a lot to a part of the community, but I can understand that for another part of the community it is annoying.

Many people on the ladder are trying to play competitive game and try quite hard. They look up pros build orders and strategies and try to copy. If they hear from pro or caster that X civ is super strong with Y strategy, they will all try it on the ladder in the next days.
It is like in League of Legends when a pro team wins with an unusual champion and item build, the solo queue is full of this champion/build in the next days, and casters even call fir it during the game.

I think most mid elos on the ladder are casual follower of pros, either a few tournaments or build orders. If most players hated having a pro scene, they wouldnt watch it and woukd play lol elo style. The extreme AI and build orders are there thanks to the pro scene.

And when players contest a civ is too weak or too strong, they often give tournament result (when not ladder stats). This also shows that they give value to the pro scene.

For all these people, pros are great to have. For each annoyed quiting scout rushed there is a happy scout rusher.

But honnestly, if someone is disconnected to pros/build orders and play ultra casually without non-event mods and minimal to no hotkey usage and manage to get and stay to a ranked Elo where they often meet scout rushers, kudo to them ! Very impressive ! Sadly mid Elo is thevplace where most try to play like pros with scout/archer rushes every Arabia game.

It is very hard to have a system where everyone has its optimal play environment, and the aoe2 devs try to ut everyone in the same pack (same ranked maps except bans, no treaty for arabia, forced treaty for nomad, shared vision in ranked team games, no automatic penalty for underperforming civs, …)

I would argue that for them balance barely matter. The chinese nerf should barely affect them. It affects more the mid elos.
And especially those who play random, as they will have a big fluctuation of their winning chances depending on whether or not they get chinese.

Personally, I didnt mind the previous chinese OPness at pro level, but am also fine with their current state. After all, I am entirely fine with what the pro Hera said about I “letting pros have 1 or 2 hard civs” (currently Chinese and Dravidians) and play other civs if I only want to play strong civs.

And for Chinese being bad, I think it is way better to have a horrible civ than a OP civ, because we see the OP civ everywhere and it affects us, while we can just forget about the horrible civ and play as if it didnt exist.

For the mid Elo player who get scout rushed though, yeah life is tough. But if they hate open maps they should ban arabia for sure. Arabia is supposed to be goid for rushers. These scout rushed quiters should accept that they are in the virtual minority (of people actually not enjoying current Arabia) and play other maps, even f they have to let Islands or Arena open for it. I feel many people feel that Arabia is the trens for cool players and are forcing themselves to play it. If the Arabia version becomes bad for their taste, it is better to ban it instead of crying that it is hard to wall. Alternatively, it may be great to rename current Arabia to “desert” (reference to KotD) and set it as main map instead if Arabia while putting Arabia back to its most wallable state. Then it is the job of mid to high Elos to think about Desert instead of Arabia. But the map pool system it a big problem by itself that has not much to do with pros and deserve topic(s) for itself.

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The game used to be far more defensive. Rushing has become too strong. I find myself forced to play rich map scenarios sometimes. These kind of maps give bad players a chance. I can win in ranked games, but my win rate is like 50% percent.

That is literally the purpose of the ranked ladder. With the exception of some players at the very very top (and possibly very very bottom), everyone has a roughly 50% win rate. The elo system is meant to get you to a level where everyone is roughly similarly skilled, resulting in you winning about half your games, and losing the other half. So the fact that your win rate is about 50% means the system has actually worked for you, and you’re at the appropriate elo level.


Thats a very common argument to all those players who complain about Arabia bein too open.
But there are two problems about it.

First: Arabia is by far the most popular map, thats a reason why a lot of players WANT to play it.
If you go on twitch, looking for 1v1s, you will see probably about 90% Arabia. And of course you rather start playin the same map as your favourite streamer than goin for something you havent seen before.
If its about TG and you are looking for premates telling them “I dont play Arabia”, the probability that you will be “out” is quiet high.

Second: People saw how it was to play on a different Arabia in the past. They were used to easy walling, booming up to Imp with little military and so on, and they liked it.
And now, they cant do it anymore because the map got changed… Of course they are disappointed.

I dont know how often Arabia had been changed since DE came out but it was a LOT of times. They made it more open, then more closed, and back again, then there was KOTD Arabia, which was for many ppl too open, then they made it a little more closed, then again a little more open…
And everytime after a change, there are ppl who want the old version back, or change it in another way, so they keep on changing and changing…

Yeah, this sounds logical, but your favourite streamer likes Arabia to be open. So if you’re coming into the game and you realise an open map is popular, surely you have to accept that’s just how most people (including your favourite streamers) want to play it. Arabia is not supposed to be Hideout. They already buffed completed palisades with more HP, we don’t need more buffs. Maybe slightly fewer hills and remove water patches, but that’s it.

Or maybe that was mostly just closed map players who liked it, because Arabia used to be more similar to their favourite fast castle maps, meaning they didn’t have to ban it or learn how to play an aggressive feudal age.

You could say the same about anything that was changed in the game. I enjoyed playing with Obsidian Arrows and Incas feudal tower rush, but now I can’t do that anymore, so of course I am disappointed! See how that sounds?

Ultimately people who like playing in their comfort zone behind walls have two options: Either 1) Ban Arabia or 2) Put their big boy pants on and learn how to adapt and deal with early pressure using weaker feudal units without relying on the power spike of castle age and late game units. Or simply learn how to be aggressive in Feudal Age themselves. There are enough fast castle prison maps already, we don’t need more.


Actually im not so sure if every streamer likes Arabia to be open, but usually streamers are on another skill level than average players, so its easier for them to adapt to the changes.

Of course you can say that, but i guess its a lot harder (for low ELO players at least) to play on an open map, than playin without one tech, especially if that tech was only available to one single civ anyways.

Actually they got a third option, which the were using massively in the past already: Complaining about the map beein too open, tellin that they like the closed version waaay better, that it is no more fun for them to play, and they will stop playin for now, and so on…
And as the number of ppl who think like that is not a small minority, its just a matter of time until the devs will react with another change, thats what i tried to explain in my previous post…

It is only a minority though. What percentage of players actively post on aoe2 forums or the reddit sub? That’s already a minority before even considering their actual opinion on the topic. Which is why pro players’ opinions should carry more weight when it comes to civ balance and maps, because they understand the game on a far deeper level. Especially compared to the low ELO legends on here calling for nerfs to civs when they lose a game due to their lack of skill or not scouting etc. Very loud minorities with a low skill level who do not understand the game deeply should not be dictating changes for everyone else. But yes I agree the maps keep changing too much.