Eureka! I've solved it - How to fix ranked play!

Thank you for bringing this up! Great point.

I really like the idea. GJ Cat

Addition to the Solution:

  1. Show ELO in unranked for less confusion and uncertainty. It can also start the chatting in the setup process if ppl are not initiating small talk with a friendly greeting of some sorts…
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Approved. I think they should have a separate ranked lobby rating.

Id be up for giving this ago, I like the map pool idea. Not sure on the scoring system.

@FasteningCat7
You clearly have no clue on how Elo (or any MMR) system work.

" you’re suggesting that someone will stay at a low ELO so they can just beat people more easily and not care about their rank? What’s to stop someone from doing that today?"

That’s called sand baggging and it’s not exactly smurfing, and yes, it is already possible to do it. The issue is not that it would possible with your system, the issue is that it would be impossible NOT to sandbag in your system for people chosing a small map pool. People would get underrated and would get to bash noobs without doing anything but selecting few maps and playing the game as you intend them to.

Your error is that you are mistaking the rating system with a reward system. It is not. It is a matchmaking tool. If you use it as a reward system to the detriment of match making aspect, match making will suck. And it does not depend on which specific rating system you use.

If say you want to “punish” specialists by underrating them and “reward” generalists by over rating them matchmaking will suck. If it only impacts the speed at which you converge to your rating, well it kind of defies the purpose of a good rating system (which is knowing your level fast), and make match making momentarily suck.

One workaround might be to have two separated ranking systems, one for the reward, and a hidden one for the matchmaking. It’s really convoluted and not without issues, but it’s been tried more or less conclusively (Prismata and Faeria and I guess many CCG, who have both a ladder-like system, persistent or monthly refreshed, and a Elo-like system, the former being the medal you pin on your jacket and the latter being used for matchmaking and being hidden for all players but those on the last step of the ladder)

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I have a more simple solution that would work just nice. Make a pool of the top 15 or 20 maps. Each map has its own ELO score and you are free to pick in which map or maps do you want to play. This way you will be facing players of your own skill level in every map ( which is the main purpose of an ELO system) Then you can have a player’s global ranking, which is just the average score of a player in all the maps. This way, if your concern is the global ranking, you will be forced to play every map. But If you just want to play your favorite map against people of your own skill level, you can do it.

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This has all of the same issues that were pointed out in the post right above yours and zero upsides.

Maps aren’t different enough to require an entirely separate ELO calculation, so far none of the options presented on these forums are any better than the system we have now, they all attempt to solve issues and complaints with the current system but don’t take into account other issues that would arise from being implemented, namely this point, again from the post right above yours:

This cannot be understated, stop focusing on your individual number as a measure of your success, it’s main purpose is to find you balanced matches to play in, and it simply cannot do that if it’s different for every map, nor if it has some weird multiplier based on how many maps you choose to queue for.

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Blockquote
Maps aren’t different enough to require an entirely separate ELO calculation

Well, I agree on that. Maybe they can do 4 different ELO scores instean of 16, something like:
-Open land ladder: Arabia, Gold rush, Valley, Cenotes.
-Close land ladder: Arena, Fortress, Hideout, Castros.
-Water ladder: team islands, …, whatever.
-Hybrid ladder: cross, medi, …

Map selection is just an example. You have 4 ELO scores and a total score ladder, which is just to check the most complete player. I don’t see any issues with that. I read the posts above mine and still find this solution pretty much perfect for everyone.

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Chances are that players will gravitate towards one of the 4 ladders as their main, and as a consequence, they’ll get unbalanced games on the others should they choose to try them out, thus causing them to stick to only one ladder, there’s no way a 1600 rated player on open maps is going to play like a 1000 rated zero gamer on closed maps, same goes for water/hybrid.

One map pool, with rotating maps of all variations, still makes the most sense if the goal is to find balanced matches.

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Maybe it would be possible to have some dependence between the ladders, for example, winning a game on a map of the “open land” ladder could also give a small amount of points on the other ladders? So a player who only plays “open land” would also slowly increase the rating in the other ladders, accounting for the fact that the different map types play out differently to some extent, but not completely differently.

Blockquote
One map pool, with rotating maps of all variations, still makes the most sense if the goal is to find balanced matches.

The system we have right now is producing plenty of unbalanced games for me. I’m a decent player in arabia and gold rush but I’m a terrible player in team islands for example ( I even don’t have a hotkey for docks, because I don’t like water maps). If I have to play 4 or 5 games in team islands (or some of the other maps where I suck) my ELO will drop a lot. Then if next game is arabia, the other player will be facing me, a player 100 points above his current ELO. That’s a total nonsense and it’s not fun for anyone.

The issue you point out is just part of any ELO system. The score needs some games to adjunst itself. It happened with the current system aswell. I think it’s not an issue at all and any player who plays like 10 games will be facing players at his own ELO. Some things can be done to palliate that issue though, like for example, first 10 games of any player won’t affect ELO score of his rival.

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You have two options here,

  1. Practice water maps more so that your ELO doesn’t drop so drastically between maps.
  2. Use your ban on Team Islands so that you don’t have to play it.

Personally I’d try for #1, so that you become a more balanced player.

Realistically I doubt you’re getting Team Islands 4-5 times in a row (at least, not often enough for it to matter in the grand scheme of things), but this seems to simply be a case of the ranked system exposing your weaknesses, you can embrace that and work on them, or you can ignore it by banning the only water map in the pool, though you may run into issues later when the map pool rotates into a set of maps that you’re not great at.

Why should anyone be forced to play maps they don’t even enjoy? Some people just enjoy Arena, some people just enjoy black forest. Now they can’t play their favorite maps in a competitive way, just because the game don’t allow them to do so.

Imagine if we put chess players and martial artists in the same pool. They flip a coin and they have to play a boxing fight or a chess game. That’s more or less what we have right now.

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I like this OP’s idea and DerraDeiro’s initial concept and here’s what id suggest.

Have the option to pick groups of maps(Land, Closed-Land, Nomad, Water,Hybrid,Etc.) You will still get a level of randomization in the maps if each group has more than 1 maps in them.

There doesnt need be any incentive in this case. You still have multiple maps to play from and this gives a level of customization to the players. Like I would prefer some nights to play a chill closed map game or on other days a frantic water/hybrid map game. In the end, if you struggle with finding games(which by the way you always will if you choose one map group simply because AOE2 doesnt have the player base), you just add more map groups and search again. People keep forgetting that average wait times in voobly were much higher. Voobly also had the problem of people controlling lobbies and creating a separation between levels. Like 2k1 TG players almost never played vs say a 1800/1900 player that they have not heard of.

Map groups are the way to go without needing to incentivize Elo because thats how the game can be played if you want people to go to the top. Players like Hera and Vivi played just Arabia for such a long time and yet you see them improve their play in other maps too. Learning to play well in one type of map is usually the way a lot of pro players improved their level.

Edit: I would suggest keeping 5 map groups as follows:
Land - Arabia, Gold Rush, Cenotes, Valley, Graveyard, Serengetti, etc.
Closed Land - Arena, Black Forest, Land Fortress, Hideout, Hill Fortetc.
Water(and Hybrid Water) - Team Islands, Medi, Rooster, Rivers, etc.
Nomadic - Nomad, Migration, Bedouins, etc.
Special Maps - Cross, MegaRandom, Chaos Pit, Land Madness, etc.

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NO.

I hate this idea.
Devs, don’t listen to this.

The entire article is just trying to sneak the idea: avoiding the specific maps.
What you truly want is not a ranked matchmaking system, but a old lobby like HD.

Calling meme maps like Blackforest/Nomad/Steppe the core maps? Simply a big joke.

Lower elo recieved while selecting less maps? This will only produce tons of smurfs and totally destroy the matchmaking.

The purpose of the ranked matchmaking is exactly to force the players to play various standard maps to estimate their skill level. So the point is not how much freedom should be given to the players to ban the maps, but to pick the proper maps to test how well the players are in the essential aspects of this game.

Just keep the matchmaking system as it is, kick out the meme maps and bring the regular map back. Pick the maps for the ranked map pool carefully. And rotate them periodically.

Improve the lobby, add casual elo or whatever so people can find proper players to play whatever meme maps and rules they want forever. Problem solved.

Stop ruining this game already.

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Once again you haven’t thought your comments through. First, an Arabia player won’t only select Arabia. They will also select Gold Rush, Steppe, Ghost Lake, Cenotes, Acropolis, etc. The specialists will be people who play on clown maps like Arena and BF.

Those people who only play Arena and BF will be incentivized to play other maps, but are not forced to. Given Arena specialists may have ratings that are below their skill level, it would likely lead to less people selecting Arena in the map pool except for other Arena players. So The Solution will allow the Arena players to play each other and enjoy the game in a ranked manner that they enjoy. It should be their prerogative to do so.

It seems like you’re getting hung up on this idea that people just want to keep their ratings low so they can bash noobs. It’s like you’re talking about the bogey man. This game is about improvement. If people select Arena in the map pool along with the other maps and get paired with someone who ratings is below their skill level, who cares? Aren’t you up for the challenge? You’ll lose less points anyways. There will only be a couple of maps where this happens so it’s not a big deal anyways. You can always unselect BF, Arena and Islands where people may specialize.

Once again The Solution is perfect. Don’t try to find one minuscule issue to bring down a solution that will allow for 95%+ of the games to be enjoyable compared to about half today.

You’re really thick

It seems like you’re getting hung up on this idea that people just want to keep their ratings low so they can bash noobs

no, as I said,

The issue is not that it would possible with your system, the issue is that it would be impossible NOT to sandbag in your system for people chosing a small map pool. People would get underrated and would get to bash noobs without doing anything but selecting few maps and playing the game as you intend them to.

Don’t try to find one minuscule issue to bring down a solution that will allow for 95%+ of the games to be enjoyable compared to about half today.

Tell me, what part of ■■■■■■■ up matchmaking is minuscule again?

Besides, there are other simpler working solution, like the double rating system I mentioned or the ability to play rated custom games that you mentioned in a poll maybe a month or two ago (probably along with the ability to set filters based on rating while setting up or browsing lobbies).

“If people select arean in the map pool along with the other maps and get paired with someone who ratings is below their skill level, who care?”

Uh, that is the ENTIRE point of the ranked system, the only point of it, to MATCH PLAYERS OF EQUAL SKILL. There is no other purpose.

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First, don’t call me the same names as your GF calls me.

Second, you didn’t read my response, or you don’t have good reading comprehension skills. The only people that would select a single map would be Arena and BF players. They are a minority of players. Most players would not select those maps. That would mean other Arena and BF players would just be playing other Arena and BF players of the same rating who are all subject to the same rating issues you’ve outlined, leading to equally matched games.

The issue you’re concerned about only occurs when a player who selects all the maps is paired with a Arena or BF specialists whose rating is too low. Mathematically that will be a very small percentage of the games that the user plays and if the user is bother by this, they can unselect Arena and BF and problem is solved.

The entire community stays happy. Both the Arena and BF players and the players would want to avoid those maps while the system also continues to encourage a diverse map pool.

I’m practice, once The Solution is implemented no one would ever complain about this non-issue. No one would even notice it. You’re clearly both only good at BF and are just upset you won’t be getting many points for only playing BF. But look on the bright side, amongst the BF clowns, you’ll all have the same ratings limitations so you can still brag about your ELO if it’s above others.

This point has already been made by people who understand ELO systems and their purpose (@Fano0517 and @ViscidFlea88145), but I want to touch on it again since it really is the underlying, game-breaking, flaw in the system you are suggesting.

I think the best way to illustrate the problem is with an example.

Let’s image we have 2 Arena only players who are perfectly evenly matched skill-wise (each has a 50/50 chance of winning). Both of our players will start with 1000 ELO and for the sake of the example two players with even ELO will gain/lose roughly 20 points. Also, in this hypothetical scenario, our two arena-only players will keep matching up against each other. Now, according to your rules, since they both selected ONLY arena, they would gain 1 point per win, but still lose 20 points per loss on average.

As they continue to play against each other, both their ELO’s would inevitably decline and no longer be representative of their skill at all, there may even be some inverse correlation between skill and ELO here since more games played should cause a lower ELO.

This is obviously a very simplified and extreme example, but the same thing would happen at a slower rate between normal players who select 16/20 maps or whatever. Winner gains ~16, loser loses ~20, over time, the more games are played, the more everyone’s ELO goes down.

Again, as other’s have mentioned, ELO is just there to help you find an evenly matched opponent. You can discuss how banning and picking maps should work, or what the map pool should look like, but discussing changes to the underlying ELO system is more or less pointless.

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