How to fix Quick Search (the real way)

A modern expectation for competitive multiplayer games is of fair matchmaking and low queue times. Of course, these two things are impossible to attain without a sufficient in-queue player population, and they become almost automatic when the player-base reaches a certain critical mass. Which means the devs’ main focus for improving QS should be maximizing the number of players in queue at any given time. Personally, I don’t have any qualms with QS atm, but I see that other players do.

I’m going to point out that there are two ways they can do this without even selling more copies, and I think both should be done.

First, I’m going to argue that devs should remove all lobbies except for custom-scenario games, and invite-only. Unranked and bot games can be added as queue options. Some people want ranked team lobbies, but the reality is that ranked ream lobbies will definitely spell the death of team QS, which guarantees the game dwindles the exact same way TAD did. This is not revolutionary. There are no lobbies in starcraft or league of legends, because lobbies simply deter from the quantity of players playing QS, which requires a very high count of players at all times to provide consistent and balanced match-making. I know a lot of people will be tilted at this idea, but they represent a tiny minority compared to the total number of people who purchased this game, and the number of people we all hope to see join the community.

Second, I’m going to argue that the Imperial Age should be disabled in ranked Team Supremacy. Another tilter, I know, but hear me out. In high level play, this makes no difference 99% of the time. At the lower- and mid-levels of play, game times can be wildly inconsistent, because many players know how to defend just well enough to boom up to an infinite economy, and opposing players are often forced to match it. These forced treaty games can last 90 minutes when other normal games can last just 10 minutes. This uncertainty provides a barrier to enter queue, reducing queue population. Furthermore, the fact that players are locked into a 90 minute game means that they’re queuing less frequently, also reducing queue population.

As a side note, I do think it’s noteworthy that EP was not originally balanced for quick search. Some civilizations likely need to be made more robust in order to foster a fair match-making experience.

You know people playing online rather than just the campaign is the minority and the people posting in these forums lobbying for changes is an even more miniscule minority. In the original >80% of players didn’t even end up playing online. Starcraft 2 and League of Legends doesn’t have a bunch of different maps that people want to play on or any bugs related with quicksearch or map spawns where a team can’t possibly win or a playerbase that’s ever even close to being as small as this. If you think the success of qs in games like Starcraft 2 (not that their team queue is successful either) and League of Legends is going to be replicated frankly speaking that’s the most preposterous thing of it all if you even believe that.

The arguments behind disabling imperial in team sup looks more like you trying to get rid of something you don’t like by conflating it with an issue that removes playerbase from the queue. It’s just silly either way if you genuinely only cared about forcing online players to queue ranked games and having it go faster you’d not only stop at disabling custom games you’d disable every single game mode other than 1v1 sup to remove all the split queues too then you can have fun with what’ll be left in this dying game
no new and most old players will never want to play.

Thanks for posting.

This is you conflating issues. These are different issues that can be and should be solved separately. EP was not designed for QS, so balance issues are expected, but they can be solved.

I don’t believe that aoe3 will ever grow to the size of SC2 or LoL. My point is that it’s a proven model, and that the standard has been set. I’m sure the developers want the game to grow, and it can only grow if it meets industry standards. If we see ranked move to lobby, we can take it as a sign that the devs have given up on aoe3.

You are right about this. I don’t think that the Imperial Age belongs in supremacy at all. It adds no units, no strategically significant techs, and it completely changes the spirit of the game by providing incomes that exceed actual spending capability. I’ve disliked Imp in Supremacy for 14 years. I am conflating issues, but I do believe removing Imp would help foster consistency, which would be a net-positive for an expanding community, and for matchmaking (which is supposedly bad enough that there’s real discussion to move back to lobbies). So I think it’s worth discussing.

IMO the game is doing fine with it’s current split-queue set up. I enjoy it a lot, and I want it to survive for as long as possible. But in order to keep this alive, we need forward-thinking.

I think there is no need to change. I am pretty satisfied with the current state. Just fix some connection issues and maybe make the matchmaking more accurate, and then everything is good.

But I am also completely fine if we are going to eliminate lobbies except custom scenarios games like Starcraft 2.

Add unranked queue like Starcraft 2, the unranked players will still encounter ranked players based on the hidden mmr, but the number of wins/losses won’t be counted, so the unranked players will feel less stressful.

And add vs AI and co-op mission queues like Starcraft 2 for the people only want to play against bots.

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