[Feature request] Remove ELO penalty for early quitting

Please remove the ELO penalty for quitting a game within the first 10 seconds. There are many legitimate reasons someone would want to quit, and hitting alt-f4 shouldn’t be required, the game should just allow it naturally with no ELO penalty.

For example, I hate mirror matches, so I always immediately quit all mirror match games. The fun of the game is using my unique civ strengths and weaknesses and units vs another civ. Mirror matches remove all fun of the game for me, so I don’t want to play them. Sometimes I will match with the same person who selects mirror a few times in a row, and my ELO falls quite a bit because I instantly quit. The result is that my ELO is artificially low, so then when I get a non-mirror match on a non-clown map, the opponent is likely less skilled than I am. (Of course the option to not match anyone who selects ‘mirror’ would be better- however other people have other legit reasons for quitting as well).

Some will say ‘that’s what you get for quitting’ but people should not be ‘forced’ into playing a game that they don’t want to play. Nobody wins.

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The issue is that people might abuse that, and quit for unlegitimate reasons. For example, if they have a negative match-up, or if they are matched against someone they don’t like, etc…

While I agree there are some legitimate reasons for early quitting, personally I think that the unlegitimate reasons outweight the legitimate ones, so I’m fine with early quit penalty.
I think the penalty is too high at the moment though. Currently, you lose as many points as if you’d lost the game even if you played it for 30 min.

An early quit (within 1 minute for example) should be considered like a “dodge”.

A good compromise would be to make the dodge penalty lower than a complete lost. For example : 50% of the points you’d lose if you’d play the game. Or a fixed number like 5 ELO points or 10 ELO points.
Or a number that grows with the number of dodges you do in a row. First dodge = 5 points penalty. Second dodge = 10 points penalty. Third dodge = 15 points penalty.
You can also act on the queue time and give a queue time penaly for dodges (as it is done in League of legends for example).


If you quit early, you are ruining a game for the enemy. This is bad behavoir and needs to be punished. You are destroying the game for anyone else, which is just bad. So there need some punishment for quitters.

I do agree an elo penalty is not the right way. Like you said it makes elo artificially low, which is also bad. It will result in one sided games. I see much more in an alternative: Time penalties for the next time you queue up. Many other MP games have such penalties.

1th dodge: Free
2nd dodge: 1 minute delay before you enter the queue.
3th dodge: 5 minutes delay before you enter the queue.
4th dodge: 15 minutes delay before you enter the queue.
5th dodge ; 1h delay before you enter the queue.

What i mean: When you click on joining the queue, you first join the ‘penalty queue’ for a specific amount of time (See above) and after that amount of time you enter the real queue and you can get a new match. Hopefully this will stop people to Alt F4.

Note: Number above are an example and are up to the devs to determine.

We can also have things like:

  • The counter of dodges resets after a month with no dodges (or something like this).
  • What is a dodge? I would say it needs to happen in the first 5 minutes of the game (in game time) and also includes Alt+F4 during when you have a match, but the game is not started.
  • You can even add some ban on joining the queue at all for some period if someone quits really really frequently.

It is up to the devs to really give this more structure, let them fill in those gaps.

This system makes it really punishing for the player who Alt F4’d.

Joining the queue is an agrement on the settings of the ranked queue system. No one force you to join the queue if you dont like those settings. If join dont like the settings of the ranked queue, then go and play somewhere else. For example: go to the lobby and host a game with your own settings. Dont annoy players with Alt + F4-ing because you dont like the settings. Think about that before you enters the queue. Just dont join if you dont like the settings.


1h delay seems like way too much though.
If they do such a thing, it should be max 10 minutes imo.

But when thinking about it, I’m not sure that time penalty is the right way for AoE. ELO penatly seems better, imo. Queue time penalty is a very annoying penalty and it might drive people away from the game when it’s still in its growth. Also, sometimes you would get penalised if your game crashes or something.

And to be frank, dodging a game in AoE isn’t as detrimental as dodging a game in say, League of Legends, for example. You opponents are not wasting that much time compared to LoL, because there is no pick&ban phase and usually you don’t have as many players in the same game (for example in 1v1 it’s only 1 player that loses time, compared to 9 other players in LoL)

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You left me speechless. If you dont like the queue, dont queue.

This doesnt make any sense. And 10 mins seriously? …

Dont waste my time.
What if I like mirror matches?

Accept the rules or dont play or at least propose something reasonable as an alternative for the qurrent system.


I can’t encourage quitting early because you don’t like the settings or the matchup.

However in the July update it seems there will be an update to matchmaking with preferred maps and some kind of checkbox for random civ matchups when you go to queue. Maybe this will help you, although I’m not 100% sure what random means, and I presume random won’t allow for mirror matches, I think full random was the option that picked random civs and allow for a mirror match.

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This doesn’t make sense at all… Quitters should always lose ELO otherwise they could exploit the system by taking only the games they’re favor to win (certain civ matchup or a player they already know).

How are you even discussing this?


I think Alt+F4 needs to be discouraged at all time. So i would start with some small penalty, but, if someone frequently just quit games, it needs to be a harse penalty. A queue time penalty is meant to very annoying. It is meant as hard punishment for quitters. Also quitters itself drive people away from the game, because they hate it to play against quitters. I much rahter have quitters to leave the game, then just players that what to play the game.

Your point about crashes is a good one. This needs to be adressed in some way. It is not really fair for players that has frequently has crashes, to be punished. I really think the devs can find a way around that.

In the first place Elo is meant as measure of skill. Quitting doesnt increase or decrease the skill of anyone. I dont see why the skill of a quitter will be decreased if he just quits 10 timse in a row, so he can bash some noobs and get back his elo. I also dont see why the enemy will win elo for playing against a quitter. He didnt really becomes a better player by playing against a quitter. Loosing Elo for quitting makes to me no sense. Loosing Elo for quitting is even abuseable to bash noobs. That is not great at all.

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I would downvote this post so hard if possible


10min queue time penalty is already harsh for a game like AoE. If you want to quit 3 times in a row you’ll have 30 min total of queue penalty. So people are already going to think twice about dodging.
Going over that is excessive, in my opinion.

And as I mentioned, AoE is still in its growth. I don’t think any kind of annoying harsh measures like long queue time penalties is a good idea yet. It’s fine for games with immense player base like League of Legends, but not yet for AoE, imo.

While a small minority of people might find loosing ELO not a problem and would still dodge, it’s still an annoying penalty for most players I’d say.

I am not sure if this thread is serious or a bad attempt to troll, but if you call “quitting a ranked match, because I dont like mirror match-ups” a “legitimate reason” for leaving a game and wasting your opponents time any further argumentation against you and your opinion seems to be effectless anyway.

It is not only okay, but highly recommended that you should lose elo points for this behavior + if it happens more often also being banned out of ranked.


How is either of those an abuse of it?
If you feel like you’re at an unfair matchup you should be able to quit, not everyone is excited to play something like koreans vs aztecs, and being against someone you don’t like is an entirely legitimate reason to not want to play a match. Most people that run into people they don’t want to play with a second time dont think about blocking them

Removing the grace period was dumb and uncalled for


So you pick goth and you quit every game where you’re not against an archer civ? I don’t know how you can’t see how abusable that is.
When you chose a civ, you are aware of its strengths and weaknesses and that you can have negative match ups and you have to adapt and deal with it. Sometimes you will have positive match-ups, sometimes negative ones. They also have to deal with that in high stake tournaments.

Imagine if you played league of legends and you were allowed to dodge for free everytime you had Garen vs Teemo, or a similar difficult match up.

You also have the mirror feature if you are scared of negative match-ups. Some people do use it


Since the game is growing, it is good to have measure so the community stay healthy. The penalty will only scare players who alt+F4. That behavoir is toxic. I dont really care if we scare such players, when the healthy players will stay.

Note that my numbers were just examples. I already said it is up to the devs to give the idea more structure and fill in the gaps. Thinks like the current numbers in my post are just examples. Dont think they are the true that must be implemented. I just wrote down some numbers to illustrate the idea.

And yes, such penalty is annoying for those players. I fully agree. It is needed to be annoy. It meant to feel as punishment.

I also dont really know why penalties are fine for a game like LoL, but not for AoE. I just dont see why ‘still in its growth’ is a reason for no penalties.

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That’s a very selfish attitude you have.


Because games like LoL have millions of players already, so losing a small percentage of that player base through penalties isn’t an issue. (also I didn’t mention “no penalty”, I said queue time isn’t the appropriate penalty for AoE, ELO loss is better in my opinion)

And it is only your personal opinion that alt+f4’ing is such a toxic behavior. Many people might look at is as a tolerable behavior. For example, I personally think that alt+f4’ing isn’t dramatic in AoE.

When your opponent alt+f4, you lose 30sec or 1min. In LoL, when someone dodges queue, people can lose much more time than this, especially if they dodge at the end of the pick & ban phase, and it’s 9 other people losing time not just 1. That’s why those harsh measures were necessary there. They are far from being as necessary in the current AoE matchmaking as they are in the LoL matchmaking.

I’d prefer to have them wait instead of smurfing.

I knew this would be an inflammatory topic. The fact still remains that people can’t be ‘forced’ to play a game they don’t want to play. This is a game. People play it for fun. You cannot ‘make’ someone play something they don’t want to play, whether it is a map they don’t want to play or a mirror match or anything else. People will either stop playing altogether or alt-f4. “If you don’t like the settings don’t join the ranked que” = stop playing AOE. We want more people to play, not less. The devs fixed the map pool, and now myself and others are now playing again = more AOE players = good. Fewer AOE players = bad.

Also, the idea of losing ELO being a ‘penalty’ is incorrect. Some people might want to noob bash, so they would want to lose ELO. (Personally I hate noob bashing, however I think ELO should reflect ONLY a players skill, not whether or not they quit the game within the first 10 seconds because they didn’t want to play it).

Wouldn’t it be best to actually allow someone to set the settings for the match they actually want to play? For example just as someone can select ‘mirror’ someone should also be able to select ‘no mirror’ as an option. Then there would be no quitting or alt-f4ing at all. Obviously quitting a ways into a match should result in an ELO loss, because that person could actually have been losing for example. Quitting a match within the first 10 seconds exists and will continue to exist whether you like it or not, so maybe its good to look at why it is happening and try to address that?

Is this against me or against topic starter?

My guess is you lost about 5 minutes.

  1. You entered the queue and wait for some minutes.
  2. You have at most 1 minute after finding a match for the match to start.
  3. Alt+F4 doesnt need to be at the first second, but can be a bit later.
  4. You need to close the game and go back to enter the queue again.

All this time is lost. No way this is all done in just 30 sec or 1 min. This take more time.

I heard more stories about players it self Alt+F4-ing, then that i notice it. I havent much dropped of players. I do think it is also mostly team game related and i dont really play much team games. Maybe i expreseed my opinion too strong. Let me make things clear. If i have the option to choice between the following two options:

  1. Quitters get Elo penalty, like they just loose the match, the enemy gets Elo for winning against a quitter.
  2. No elo is lost / won, but quitter get time penalty.

then i will always choice for option 2. I think most reason for players to quit are adressed by the devs in the upcoming patch, so that is great. I also dont think quitting i currently a really big issue. But if we are talking about the topic: How to handle quitters, i just vote for some time penalty. I think such penalty works much better in discourage players to quit then elo loss. I also dont really think such penalty has impact on the grownth of the player base.

I do see some time penalty as much better system then just an Elo loss. See also the following explanation. I fullly agree with argument:

This makes loosing Elo not a great penalty to just for quitters.

The issue with match making is that if you have to much settings, waiting time for everyone increases. So you cant just put every single setting into the ranked queue as option. The settings need to make sense for most players who wanna play in the ranked queue. I do think they do. Especially after the next update where they improved the ranked queue.

I have to admit: I dont see mirror games frequently. I would even go as far as claiming that most mirror games are the result of both players picking the same civs and not the result of one players picking mirror.

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Exactly this!!

And in many cases that time increases and in tgs that’s more people being affected, generally with longer queues

Are you perhaps an only child? I don’t understand how you can be so oblivious to anyone else?

Just because you think your reason for alt f4 is good enough, you cant imagine that other people have their own reasons as well? I hate mirror matches too. But i won’t kill the game just because its a mirror.

Like someone else mentioned,what about all the players that don’t like a specific match up? Or the guy that was afk during queue nd suddenly realises he is in a match and never picked a civ he wanted? Or the guy that isn’t happy with his starting position? Or in tgs they aren’t happy with the exact composition of the teams?

Man every 2nd player seems to have a “legitimate” reason they are pushing to remove punishment for alt f4, because the game revolves only around them.

If you want to be so picky play unranked. You can still filter the players you go against by using aoe.net.