Empire Wars Needs a Ranked Ladder!

I’ve played this game for many years, I know how to do a perfect dark age build order but I’ve realized that it’s simply not enjoyable, you do the same ritual for 10 minutes every game before you actually get to play the game and have fun.

That’s why I love Empire Wars, I think it was a great idea, making the game more interesting for viewers as well as players. When it first launched it was received favorably and I think many people saw that it might be very good for the future of AoE2 as a competitive game and that it might increase the player base by cutting away the tedious part of the game which many players do not enjoy.

But this game mode is dead and don’t think it’s because of the players themselves but because it has been neglected by the developers and I think it’s a shame. What Empire Wars needs most of all is a ranked ladder, if you don’t have a ladder there’s no point in playing it, it’s as simple as that. If Death match gets a ladder then surely Empire Wars should, which I’m sure would be more popular than Death match.

Ideally we would have a separate civ balance for the game mode as well but this is not required, a ladder however, is. So please, give some attention to Empire Wars and give us a ladder.


Do we really need that?

There are less than 100 dm players playing monthly, that ladder is dead, why would you think empires wars or BR would be any different?

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remove DM ladder then.

Completely agree. Quick Play should be ranked. (Just hide the ELO)

They are fundamentally different. Empire Wars is RM without early game tedium. This phase contain almost no strategic decision outside the optimal build order which has long since been determined, with EW you jump right into the interesting part of the game.

Yes, I think a lot of players are actually very bored with the Dark Age phase and would play a lot more frequently if they could start at 20pop. I think that if the game was released today and players could choose between normal RM and EW, that EW would become the new standard. We play it this way only because it’s the standard mode. I think EW is exactly what this game needs, maybe I’m wrong but let’s at least give it a chance by having a ladder.

@Polycarp5195 I think you put your opinion about the dark age as truth. I think many players disagree with those statements.

I think the dark age is full of strategic decisions. In that age you lay the foundation for the future ages. Mistakes in the early age will end up in the end. Also the scouting and everything is part of the strategic decisions you do in the early game. I dont think many pros will agree with your statement that the early game is boring, because there are almost no strategic decision to make.

I also dont really think there will be immediately a large player base for EW. It is in the game for some time, but it never got much traction. Yes, the pro played some tournaments but that was only because there was a large prize pool. After those tournament they just went back to RM. The same happened with DM tournaments. The pros just start playing DM for a while, before they go back to RM after the tournament. Even in the mean time they play still RM.

Also RM is the standard for over 20 years. There is a reason for that. Many players are players who just play this game for years. They are used to RM. I dont see many instant switching to the EW ladder. Yeah, when the introduce this ladder, many will give it a try, but in the end i think most go back to RM, not many will stay. I also have not seen many EW games in the lobby (pre quick play). That shows that there isnt a big player base that wants to play EW.

On the other side i can see why lower rated player think the dark age is boring. They most likely pick a civ and pick their strat before they even start the game. Then the Dark Age feels pretty boring and i can see why you think EW sound much more fun. I must admit playing some EW sometimes can be really fun. It is a battle from the start. No time to full wall your base, but you have to defend with army.

I also think that the current design of Quick play is bad. Match making without ratings is useless. Currently Quick play is just some mode that is not quite Ranked and also not quite the Lobby. It has the worst things of both. So in the current set up EW and BR still wont get much attention. If the devs decides they want more attention for EW and BR, then the need to just delete Quick play and put EW and BR in the ranked queue. I made my own thread about the current issues with quick play. You can found this thread here:

Check your facts: almost 1000 players have played DM on the 1v1 ladder in the latest 28 days. The number of player on the DM TG ladder with at least a match in the latest 28 days is even just above 1000. Yes, this isnt many, but at least it is more then 100.



I express my opinion just like you are expressing yours now, nothing strange with that. And can we please stop with this nonsense of “you don’t like X because you’re low ELO”. I play at 1500, can you please tell me when the enjoyment of Dark Age kicks in because what I enjoy is seeing the knights, X-bows and mangonel shots.

What the pros like and don’t like shouldn’t really decide the matter anyway, many pros like the game to be very APM intensive simply because they are good at it, does that mean we should go back to manual reseeding of farms like before Conquerors?

There is no money in EW, it has no ladder nor matchmaking, it was never properly balanced with the civs and it doesn’t have the 20 year tradition that RM has, of course the pros don’t play it. And this is also why there are no games with it, I don’t play it myself even. Only if you give a legitimate place with a ladder and matchmaking can we observe its popularity. We may disagree on what people like, you think a slow paced start is popular, I think that’s the main reason why many choose games like StarCraft over AoE. Regardless, let’s give the game mode a real chance and we’ll see, until then it’s all just belief and opinion.

I agree regarding Quick Play, it’s a new game mode that adds absolutely nothing while splitting the player base, very bad for the game.

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I never meant to say you are a LEL. I already though your rating would be pretty decent (1500 isnt really a surprise to me). What i meant to say is that there most likely is a correlation between elo and the usefulness of the dark age. Ofcourse there are exceptions. So there is no elo range and if you are above then you need to love the farm age. I dont think many pros will have dark age as favorite age. But saying dark age had pretty no strategic value (except executing the BO) is clearly wrong to me.

But in the end i am not against having EW in ranked. I give in the previous post also some reasons to add it to the queue. If you read the thread about quick play, than you can also see that i suggested to add EW and RM to ranked as well. I think there are good reasons too add it to ranked. I wont expect it be as big as RM, but i think it will end up with more users than DM. I wont be surprised to see at least 5k users on a 1v1 EW ranking. It might be even more around for example Red Bull events.

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Yes, you’re right there are a few decisions that have to be made in the Dark Age, mainly walling, although even this tends to be rather formulaic. Personally I’d like to see experimentations with EW where you could try starting with 10, 15, 20, 25 villagers and see what is most popular. I think 28 pop is to late in the game to start really but I like the idea and it feels like it was abandoned before it had the chance to develop fully.

Well i am referring to the actual dm players, not casuals, they have never been so many and will never be.

I am 17xx and I still find the Dark Age very challenging. I can execute any build order close to flawlessly, but I still cant pay attention to all the details I want to while doing so: realizing where all my golds and stones are and how that should affect my strategy, thinking about the matchup (this I do quite well now I think), spotting hills which will be important midgame/lategame, thking about how fast I’m going to need to expand my woodlines. That’s not even taking into account the need to scout my opponent and think about all those thing for him as well. If you only focus on doing your build order I understand that you can get the impression of Dark Age being boring. I think it’s very likely though, that you just don’t realize all the thing you can do in Dark Age. In my opinion it’s very cool to have a few minutes at the start of them game where you can do the strategic planning and are (in theory^^) not that occupied yet.
I get the point of Dark Age being not that interesting to watch though.

I still think a ladder for Empire Wars would be cool though and then they could really see how interested people are in that game mode.

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The dark age being boring is because of the instant gratification design of modern games.

It’s useful for players who don’t want to scroll in the lobby just to find games. The problem with Quick Play is that it doesn’t fit the word “quick” and poorly implemented. It’s basically AoE 2 DE’s equivalent to SC2’s unranked.

The devs should have explained further that there’s a hidden rating behind Quick Play which will balance out after 10 to 25 games (for the players complaining they are being pitted against higher level.)

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You make some very valid points and I admit my dark age as a whole could be vastly improved in the areas you mention and maybe you’re right that I might enjoy it more then. Still, I think the case is strong for at least giving EW a chance and seeing how popular it would be and I’m glad you agree on that.

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As far as i know there isnt any rating behind quick play. So if you claim there is, then please post your source.

There isn’t a source and I didn’t use the correct English words to describe the statement. I was trying to say that hopefully the devs can explain behind the mechanics for the “rating” used in Quick Play “if there is”. Usually there’s a hidden algorithm behind all matchmaking.

Now i understand your post. I agree with this. I would also like to know more insights about the match makaing algorithm (for Ranked and Quick play).

The only statement i have seen from the devs is ‘Quick play is unranked’. I think that implies that there is no rating used in match making. Based on my own experience and based on the stats of aoe2.net (i have seen many unbalanced games) it looks like there is indeed no matching based on any rating in Quick play.

Match making is probably (my guess) based on region / ping to servers. Something like that.