I hate picking a top tier civ especially one that fits the map like Mongols on Steppe or Turks or Goths on Arena and im faced with a low tier civ obviously someone went random civ.

And then I hate even more going random and facing someone who picked civ? I find myself start asking Did you pick civ??? As if im shaming the guy for picking a freaking civ! PLEASE START TELLING IF THEY ARE PICKING A CIV! IDC IF YOU DONT SHOW THE CIV THEY PICKED JUST LET ME KNOW THEY PICKED AND DIDNT GO RANDOM!!! IM FREAKING OUT I JUST LOST TO FREAKING MAYANS CUZ HE DECIDED TO PICK ONE OF THE BEST CIVS IN THE GAME


Maybe…I dunno…don’t pick random if your goal is winning at all costs?


I feel this is on you… If you care so much about winning why are you picking random and hoping that they didn’t pick a civ good for the map? vice versa playing ‘top teir’ civ and then complaining if someone also didn’t pick a top teir civ. Also, how dod you know the match against mayans wasn’t random? If you both go random it doesn’t matter if the game tells you or not because they can still get a top teir and you could get a lower teir.


I just think that at least we should be able to take a look at tech tree of civ we chose while waiiting on matchmaking, also add the cost of upgrades for militia line and acrcher line for example, wich is missing on tch trees.


i know i rant a lot… but wow… really yours… you’re shaming someone for NOT picking random?

i pick civs ALL the time. I NEVER go random. I PICK weak civs because i feel like playing them, i PICK top tier civs, because i like playing them…

you’re gonna shame players for trushing and douching? i dont think so, and those are people intentionaly being mean, yet you’re whining about picking a civ? whaaaaat?


agreed, luckily i have 2 screens so i can at least look at the tech tree on the 2nd screen, but would be easier if it was in game

The thing is like I said I also feel bad when I pick a civ and the other player doesnt and I destroy him in game. I am just so used to going random before DE came out

I almost always play Spanish in single-player games or when teaming up against AI with friends. Mainly because of their fast-cannon warships, cannon towers, and upgraded wall capabilities. So, it’s only natural that when I do multiplayer matches, I pick a civ I know and am comfortable with playing… like, you know, the Spanish.

I have no clue if the Spanish are top-tier, mid-tier, or bottom-tier; I’ve never investigated or cared. I leave those analyses to the eSports pros. I just use them so I can have a good time because I know their techs and such, enjoy playing them, and feel I have a decent chance of winning with them because of all my experience with them.

So far, I think I’m, roughly, 3 wins and 3 losses on multiplayer… 2 losses coming from the dreaded Nomad map that I, apparently, suck at. (I realllly like Nomad in theory and am glad it’s in the game, and play it in single-player form on occasion… but so far, it’s clear that a fair number of online people must know strong tactics for it that I’m not privy to yet.)

Regarding OP, maybe for the person you faced manually chose the Mayans because they like playing that civ, just as I do the Spanish… with no knowledge of if they’re the “best civ in the game”… just as I was oblivious to that.

With all the balance tweaks the devs do to AoE, I’m surprised to hear one is so magnificently better than all others. Regardless, even if that’s the case now, I almost sure it it won’t be that way forever, since my hunch is that a lot of dev patches in the future will probably be to address balance issues.

The random civ option should be encouraged because it maintains variety and avoids a few meta civs being played over and over. The nature of aoe2 with its similar techtree lends itself well for random civ. And when you truely want to learn the game, it is vital to understand not only your own civ but also that of the opponent. Playing 1 civ only is one of the best ways to limit your progress (after understanding basics).

I think it should be visible if opponent has picked or not (not show civ), and the option to find a new opponent if you don’t agree with them picking civ. If you play random you should not be forced to play vs a civ picker. Fair is fair.

If you are better than your opponent you can basically win with any civ on any map. Chose your civ, or not and have fun, and let others chose or not, and have fun as well. It’s a game, meant to have fun. The more freedom you cut from it, the less fun. I don’t care if my opponent picks or not, and if i lose i lose not because the other player picked a civ but because i played bad and/or he played better. Sure perfect balance can only be achieved through mirror matches (though map generation makes it not perfect still), but the difference between even the worst and best civ, let’s say Portuguese vs Huns or Mayans on Arabia, are not that important to a point where it’s a lost cause. Skill prevails, by a lot. A better player wins with any civ. So just have fun and pick or go random, and let others do whatever they wish as long as they do not cheat or anything.

I was on this side of the argument for years. But it just doesn’t seem to play out that way at mid levels anymore. The balance has swung so wildly in favor of some of the civilizations (especially on closed and hybrid maps). Maybe it will get back to more balanced. If we’re talking top players, you still have a point. But the vast majority isn’t in that camp. And now the problem is that it seems like balance changes are now coming to try and get people to play more civs. Which is going to lead ultimately to worse balance.

The other problem with non-random civs is that it also reinforces the bad sentiment about the balance of the game. It will become self-feeding over time, as it does in games where there are balance discrepancies and lead to a lot of poor community interaction.

And more so, I’m sick of seeing the same civs every game, every day. If I had wanted that, I’d have played Starcraft. To me, it’s really the saddest thing to see happen to the game I’ve been playing for so long.

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Can you expand on this? I’m not sure what you mean by it.

It seems to me that the random civ meta came about due to a stale game that was receiving no balance updates for years, and random civs was the way to combat the staleness and keep the game fresh (because playing 1v1 Huns/Mongols on Arabia got boring).

While I do enjoy playing random civ (especially in large team games), I also enjoy picking a civ and practicing a certain strat with it, especially in 1v1 where there’s more pressure to perform well.

Now that we are receiving monthly balance updates, picking civs tends to make more sense to me, if anything due to the combination of posts like this one and the stats that show what the most picked civs are as well as their win rates, which can drive some balance discussions and give us a more even playing field in the future.

If over 60% of the civs were “viable” instead of only a handful, would picking civs make more sense? Or would the community still prefer to play random? I think we can get there, but it’s not an overnight process…game design and balance is iterative, and it’s also psychologically driven by a playerbase that might overvalue a civ or two simply because their favorite streamer does so as well.

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Due to the wide variety of maps and civilisations i don’t think that it’s realistic to expect the game to be “balanced” in a sense that there would be no tier list anymore on any map whatsoever. There will always be a top tier civ and a bottom tier civ for any given map no matter what. And yes the game is well more balanced right now than it used to be where it was pretty much summarized as Arabia Huns war, or random mirror (even more boring sometimes). A good game doesn’t have to be perfectly balanced to be enjoyable and for his characters/civs to be interesting to play with. Take any competitive versus fighting game for example. Yes, there are tier-lists, yes some characters have more winrates than others. But players, and top ones, still chose to play the bottom-tiers, because they either like their styles of fighting, the challenge that it represents to win against (and the better reward and satisfactions that comes with it), and many other factors.

In Aoe2, on its currente state, it’s good because there is no impossible match-up. Therefore you can pick whatever you like and still enjoy and have a chance to win if you play better than your opponent. So yes, allowing to pick a civ/character that you like in a game is freedom, or let’s juste say common sense, really given the circumstances (no impossible match-ups).

As we explained on another topic before you essentially can never know if you are better than your opponent because 1 the fgame doesnt show elo and 2 even if it did your opponent is most likely around the same elo as you which means you can never confidently go random when they are picking. Even viper can no longer confidently go random because someone like mbl can easily beat him if they pick a top tier civ

I don’t agree with this standpoint. Random civ to me is the natural response to a game with a shared tech tree like Age of Empires. Especially when you factor in an Elo ranking system. From a statistics standpoint, you want to average out all possible outcomes over time. Random allows for that, while pick civ does not.

I have a huge problem with this. Games that intentionally change balance in order to affect play rates do not end up being balanced long term. This is not what AoE2 has been or should be. If the current trend maintains, I will be hoping for a better RTS to come into the genre.

The community prefers to win. I think the Persian play rate alone prior to the previous patch speaks volumes to that. From the psychological perspective, the past few patches and decision to stray away from random civ has led to more players claiming ‘civ wins.’ You also see the effects of it on message boards with players auto-quitting games. Rather than address that and other issues, the devs seemed to have snuck in a change to the Elo in the first minute of play, which to me is putting a band aid on a very large problem in the community.

This argument works equally well for random, provided you truly feel that way. I feel the game is actually much less balanced than it was at first release when the outliers of the new civs are removed and less balanced than the final patch for the legacy editions. More balance changes do not equal a balanced game. Rather they illuminate previously smaller issues and create even greater discrepancies, especially when a disproportionate amount of civs are getting more playtime than others and decisions are being made based off of the results of that playtime.

If that was also the case, that the game was the most balanced it ever had been, you wouldn’t see bans in tournaments or civs being outright not allowed in tournaments. Not that the game will ever get to that level of balance, but the claim that the game is supremely balanced now is preposterous to me, no matter who it comes from.

In either case, it doesn’t even need to be random. Picked civ can work, but it emphatically does not work currently as a long term form. The game should implement measures to either inform the other player or a rudimentary ban system with one ban per player that can occur once the map is picked. But the current system is not the best possible one by any means.

If I recall correct, random civ wasn’t the MP standard from the get-go. Only when a certain pro player reached the top of the ladder playing random civ against popular 1v1 picks of the time did other players start to do the same. For the longest time, it seemed people were more than happy to play huns mirror over and over.

I suppose more time has passed now than before random civs was the norm, and most old school players are used to randoming.

I played a lot of Dota 2 before coming back to the Age series, so I might be a little bit biased, but Dota 2’s balance patches eventually put the game into a pretty well-balanced state with an ever-shifting meta that never got stale, to the point where over 95% of the 110+ hero pool was utilized in most major tournaments, I think it would be cool to see AoE evolve the same way, others may disagree.

Let me rephrase the question: If the game didn’t have a stale meta where 2 or 3 civs were dominant to begin with, would the community still have evolved into playing only random?

It seems to me that this mentality came about as a symptom of poor balance that was never addressed due to AoE’s original developer shutting down.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s fun, and it’s the way I played before DE, but I felt like it held me back from learning civ specific strategies and getting comfortable with one civ in general, which I thought would be fun and valuable to learn, and I’m getting that opportunity now.

This behavior can be observed even in the most balanced games, players will be salty about losing regardless of how even the match was and will attempt to blame the loss on anything but themselves.

I’m not sure what you mean by this? what change to Elo are you talking about?

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There is no longer a 1 minute grace period for ranked matches as of the most recent patch. Players can lose Elo right away.

To your other points, I respect your views. I was glad when the community shifted to random civ the first time and understand that some people like this kind of rebalancing. But I will probably not be playing if things continue this way, which is depressing of my favorite game.

I agree that the game should show elo. However that doesn’t change the fact that you need to improve to feel confident when you play, regardless of your current level. If you are not then that’s fine, learn the civ you want to play more, play it more and then you will eventually start to win games vs top tier civs. You’ll gain even more confidence this way. I personally like to play bottom tier civs, just for the challenges it gives and the demultiplied gratification i get when i feel like i actually improved and managed to win and played a good game which i truly deserved.

Regarding Viper, he plays civs that he likes and sometimes bottom tier civs like Portuguese and still manages to win vs guys like MBL because he knows the strenghts of the civ and what to do with them in order to succeed. As i explained above, tier-lists will always be a thing and no match-up is impossible. The game has never been more balanced than nowadays.

Devs are mainly balancing because we have a new game that needs to be optimised and there are new civs and everything behaves a bit differently… It’s definitely not the intention to KEEP balancing, at least not to this degree. That would be a nightmare, this game is far too big for that.

Let everyone have his own preference, but don’t force us to play vs civ pickers. Some civs ARE better than others, and the guy might be much better with that specific civ. This is about fairness. And the argument of “if you are better then you will win”… What to say… Someone doesn’t understand how elo works.

You guys really need to stop with determining how others have to play the game.

There is no longer a 1 minute grace period for ranked matches as of the most recent patch. Players can lose Elo right away.

Wow… Instead of adressing the wishes of those that want to have controll over maps they punish them even more. How can they not see that that behavior will go away as soon as those players get integrated or get their own place?

DE is such a dissapointment.

Nobody said that the game is supremely balanced. It would just be boring honestly. Tier-lists are fun, many people like to do their tier-lists and enjoy discussing match-ups and which civ is the best/worst etc. It has always been part of competitive games and that’s fine to me. Any str or vs fighting game or what not will always have their character or race or hero or civilisation tier-list. Not to mention that there are now 35 civs now which renders the task of perfectly balancing all of them for each map that you can think of (yes, an infinite amount), while still keeping their beloved identities and therefore differences, impossible. It’s not possible. Is that a reason to forbid players from getting the right to chose the civilisation they would like to learn/play with and have fun with ? I don’t think so.

You could always ban the top civ in any setting in any tournament if you wish, but unless some stuff is absolutely broken beyond repair (like previous chinese on land nomad) that is nonsense. Ban the top tier, then ban the 2nd top tier, then the 3rd etc… Remember me when i used to play some Michi TG on Voobly and Gamepark and the titles literally said “No Turks No Koreans No Persians No BBT then No Celt” then what just ban all civs and let all the players just play one and so everything is perfectly mirrored and balanced and becomes even more boring. This logic is flawed from the get-go.

According to the best player in the world, TheViper, the balance has never better than ever before, because now there are just simply a way better percentage of competitive 1v1 civs than ever. He is absolutely correct and no other pro player would disagree with that statement. They know what they are talking about.

I am satisfied with all the balance changes so far ? Nope, some of them i dislike, even one of my fav civs (Goths) has had changes that i despise. But i must be honest when it comes to overall balance, it is way better than it has been before, whether we compare it to the 18 civs pool of AoC. Basically AoC was 1 civ OP for each map and that was the meta. Huns on Arabia, Aztecs on Arena, Celts on BF/Michi, Vikings on water maps, Persians on Nomad and Chinese on LN. Not much experience on DM but clearly Huns was also the go-to civ here for the majority of 1v1s.

So no, the game was not more balanced before, far from that. Still needs some work to be done regarding frustrating things like the DE pathfinding which still hinders some potentiel from melee oriented civs though. Then we will have the greatest AoE2 experience ever, imo.