How to improve the lobby?

Most people know i mostly play ranked games, but sometimes i do check the lobby for some games. Mostly it is a very bad experience and i run right back to ranked (which is much more superior). The lobbies of DE are even an downgrade of the lobbies at Voobly in my opinion. Instead of just ranting on the lobbies and say people have to go to ranked (which i still do support), we can also look at some ideas to improve the lobby and makes it more useful.

1. Unranked elo

Let’s start with the big elephant in the room: We can only see the ranked elo, but many players in the lobby dont (or very infrequently) play ranked games. If they have ranked elo, then there rating isnt accurate. So you can really balance teams based on the ranked elo for this reason.

At aoe2.net you can find the unranked elo too. So it looks like the game is already tracking an unranked elo. So let us show this elo too in the lobby. This is the best measure to determine the skill of the players before the match. So it can be used to create balanced teams.

It also mean you can have a better understanding of ‘Noob’ lobbies. Aoe2.net already show more stats about the open lobbies. I have seen very strange noob lobbies. I will give you an example: Someone has a 2.5k unranked elo rating and a winrate of 80%. This player was still making noob lobbies. Based on these stats he is clearly not a noob anymore. You cant reach 2.5k elo with a 80% while still being a noob. Since he didnt had an ranked rating, you couldnt see this info into the game itself. So people just join the room, and think it is a noob room.

People like to call them noob. I have seen multiple variants in the lobby. Noob, big noob, beginner noob, medium noob. I have no idea what they really meant, skill wise. I also think every players will have its own interpretation of such term. Having just a visible rating means that you can just for a specific rating. At Voobly you saw lobbies names like 13++ BF or 22++ Arabia. The expected skill level of all players was pretty much clear with such description.

Showing the unranked elo in the lobby will solve this issue as well. So the first suggestion is to simply show the unranked elo in the lobby. I would even suggest to rename it to lobby elo

Note: The same issues as with the Ranked TG ladders are issues for unranked team games.Curently the devs have to clean this mess before unranked elo becomes really useful. More about this issue: Analyses of the ratings - Spotting the issues and [BLOG] Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition — Updates to Ranked Team Game ELO Acquisition. I would suggest to just reset the unranked elo. With the recent change there is no inflation any more and the mess is cleaned after a reset, but that is a discussion for in these other threads.

2. Lobby browser - real time data

The lobby browser has some issues in my opinion. The current data isnt real time. You have to refresh the data manually by using a refresh button. For a game from 1999 i can see why this is done. But no in 2021? This seems like a pretty much outdated features. People expect to get real time info. We already had this in Voobly. If someone created a lobby, it was instantly visible. If someone joined a lobby? Then the number of players was instantly updated. There was no need for a refresh button to update everything. And even if you click on the refresh button, then you are still not seeing real time data. You can check this yourself by doing the following steps:

  1. Join a lobby.
  2. Leave the lobby
  3. Refresh the lobby browser
  4. Look for the lobby you just entered and left.

Sometimes you might still be visible in the lobby browser. This just proves that refresh button isnt even updating to the real time data. I consider this as a bug and made a bug report about this: Lobby browser data is out dated

It is possible to have a real life lobby. This is again proven by aoe2.net. You can see all the open lobbies at this site. It updates almost instantly. So if a third party site is able to have this feature, then it must be also possible in the game itself.

Note: This also needs to be true the spectate games tab into the game. That has the same issues as the lobby browser.

3. Lobby browser - lay out

The lay out of the lobby browser is terrible in my opinion (i also disliked HD layout, the layout of voobly was much more cleaner).

There is lots of empty space on the sides, while not really providing useful information.

I have no idea why i need to see a table with all pings constantly. This might can move to another place (behind some drop down menu?). Also the filters can be moved under some drop down menu (some of the filters are already at the top as check boxes). I would also suggest the ability to select multiple settings. For example: If i want to play RM or EW, then i have to filter first for RM and then for EW. I cant select both game modes at the same time. The same is for lobbies: I am fine with a lot of lobbies, as long as the ping is fine. Westeurope and ukwest are the best, but there are many other fine servers. I want to be able to select just some server. Not just one.

Moving the filter options and the connection quality to another spot, makes even more space to add some more columns to the lobby table. I would like to see the game mode in the table. The same is true for the unranked elo of the players currently in the lobby. Both are known by the game, thus it should be possible to add those to the lobby table. This will really help with finding a good lobby for your next game.

Note: This also needs to be true the spectate games tab into the game. That has the same issues as the lobby browser. The spectate games option also needs to show all games. Now it is just showing some games. Aoe2.net also shows ongoing games, but that list seems to more complete.

4. After the game - Go back to lobby

After the game you go to the main menu. It would be nice if you can go back to lobby first. If many people enjoyed the game, you can do a rematch or at least play with the same players again. Now everyone leave the game and just looks for another game. Maybe you end up with the some of the same players, but probably you play against other players. Yes you can invite the same players again to you lobby, but i like going back to the lobby (where you can decide if you want to stay or leave) better.

5. AFK host

Sometimes the host goes AFK, but it looks like this isnt really visible into the game. It is not always the host, sometimes another player as well. You dont really know when someone is AFK. At voobly this was visible. If you didnt do any thing at your PC for for example 1 minute, you was shown as AFK and everyone knows this. If it was the host, everyone else just left the room. If it was a player, then the host just kicked that person and another player could join. I would love to see something like that in the lobby browser as well.

This were my 5 ideas on how to improve the lobby, so it is a better place to play your games.

12 Likes


This would be a start.

5 Likes

There can’t be Match making and a lobby system for the same style 1x1 or tg, lobbies would only be better than current match making for team games and small game modes, other than that it would be a step backwards for 1x1.

The things that could be improved for MM besides the algorithm to pair players would be to offer a RE and starting another game immediately, save and restore(ranked) and the maps int he pool.

there are lots of things can be improved as well, u pointed out few good points.

TBH, this DE version interface doesnt even competitive with other online games.

  1. Players stat are messy and too simple
  2. Guild is just useless
  3. Friend system is pretty useless too
2 Likes

Start with making games visible. Our games do not show up to others every 9 out of 10 times. This is not acceptable. Everything else is secondary and non important at this stage.

It doesn’t have to be competivie, it just has to work. Remember, it’s just a series of menus. All it has to do is get you in a game.

Most important update, refreshing the info of the game when you select it from the random lobby so you don’t have to guess if it’s already full or not.

I havent Voobly installed on this pc, so thanks for sharing. Most of my points are just a list of points in which Voobly is better then DE. Those points are pretty much minimal requirements for a well functioning lobby.

Not sure what your really meant to say. You can already host the same game in the lobby as you play in match making. You can also already look for the elo of users in unranked at sites like aoe2.net. This suggestion only make things that are already accessable more accessable into the game. At least i think you refer to the unranked elo in your first paragraph.

Match making will be the superior system compared to the lobby for the mainstream game modes, which are part of match making. That wouldnt change at all with this suggestion. The lobby is made for things like niche game modes and other small communities like just playing with (and against your friends), tournament games, playing against the AI. Giving those people a better experience isnt bad for the game at all.

For things on how to improve MM you can go to another thread (and if their is no with your ideas, then create your own). I made this thread with the focus on the lobby, not on match making. So this isnt the place for suggestions to MM.

Yeah, i didnt posted a full list, there are many other suggestions as well.

You got some good points as well. Not sure if i would put them under lobby improvements. They seems to be general improvements for the game:

  1. I would love to see some more exciting players stats. Now we have to rely on third parties. I have already mentioned aoe2.net some times, but there are also other sites with more details player info. So this info is already available, but isnt part of the game. I would love to see mmore player stats in the game. These player stats not only include lobby data, but also quick play, ranked and maybe even single player statistics. So it is not limitied to the lobby only.

  2. Not sure what you meant? I think you mean clans. Clans are indeed pretty useless. I have no intention to join an ingame clan. It is much better to just join some discords as alternative. A more expended clan features would be nice to have. Not only for playing in the lobby, but also to found a team for ranked / quick play. So making clans more usefull is not only helping the lobby, but also other parts of the game.

  3. Friend system is now based on you steam friend list. I dont have any idea on adding Xbox live players to your friendlist. That already shows how bad the current feature is. And again the friend system isnt limited to the lobby. Also other parts of the game will benefit from a better friend system.

This is kind of part of the showing all lobbies in real time. That point requires to have all lobbies to be visible. And this is pretty much a minimal requirement for a good functioning lobby.

The lobby is mostly for more casual players, but some niche game modes have to use the lobby as competitive. Also having ‘noob lobbies’ while the host has a 80% win rate (which shows he is clearly better then most noobs, he is just a noob basher) arent an good experience for noobs. Showing a rating doesnt instantly make it the competitive mode.

The way I see it is that the term noob in this game seems to encompass a much larger group than most other games, and given it’s complexity there’s often going to be a large disparity between the skills of certain players. But really it’s just a game, even on ranked, it’s just a number. I understand being competitive and such but I think most people just want a good game. That happens when you talk to the people in the lobby and get a feel for what kinda players they are. The dudes that join a lobby and instantly go ready and don’t say a word, those people scare me.

Sure there are instances of noob bashing and such but it’s a videogame lol. Some people just need to take a step back, go outside for a while and relax. I’d rather loose a good game than win a ■■■■ one. I just want to play it out and test my skill, winning is mostly a matter of motivation anyway.

Oh and one thing I don’t like is after playing some ranked games when coaxed into it by some friends, I have a rating and I’m getting kicked out of lobbies because people think I’m some pro player. Honestly I prolly just woke up, I’m hungover and am probably going to play like a 5yo so I join a noob lobby to have a more for-fun type game.

And I keep saying it, you gotta learn how to lose, I am actually excited to get some super high ranked player in the game to kick my ■■■ because I want to get better, and that’s the only way you’re going to do it.

Lobby is quite messed up after latest release. I can see games hanging there for days which are unable to join… when your friend creates one it does not appear in lobby games (although it is public!). you notice it after waiting for a while and then check everytime if the game can be seen in the lobby, after one creates it. Quite disappointing…

This discussion is a gem that will probably just be ignored by the devs.

By giving us a refresh button instead of real time updates, they basically told us “screw you lobby lovers. we only added a lobby system for tournaments and so Voobly fans wont rage. we hate lobbies”. real time updates is such a basic thing for every lobby system. this is emberassing.

Make lobby work. Period.

So much this!
Also, I’d like to see the pop cap of games and the AI difficulty level.
I don’t really like to hop into a lobby, filling a slot (even for moments) just to see that the host has set 500 pop and then leave.
I waste my time and the lobby host’s time. Why?

Hello !

Dear dev do something with the lobby please:

Why some authoritarian hosts can decide if I can play or don’t play ?

Most of hosts with good Elo are kicking player with same Elo and wait to have a lobby full of beginners only for the pleasure to win. While other players are kicked from all the lobbies and desperatly looking for playing.

As 95% of lobbies are “noob” which it means nothing as most of players with 0 ranked are not noob and playing with family steam second account.

This system is completely spoiling our experience of AOE2.

Few solutions :

  1. Please reset AOE to 0 after one month without ranked
  2. Add a filter of Elo to the lobbies for you can choose which range of Elo you accept in your lobby and just kick because you dont like the nick name
  3. Make a kick vote for all the other players can also decide who they want to kick or not, similar to counterstrike.

I already imagine the people who will tell me to go rank or quick game but it is not a solution because they are good only to find 1V1. 4V4 with the map you want you can wait forever. And more you play rank less you have a chance to play in lobbies.

Im a casual player with 50% of victory ranked, why I must be considered like a professional player ??

Where is the problem to play aginst stronger than you ?

Honnestly I am serious fedup of that lobby dictature !

Why some authoritarian hosts can decide if I can play or don’t play ?

It’s their lobby, they can do whatever they want. Don’t like it, host your own.

  1. Please reset AOE to 0 after one month without ranked

No. Not everyone can play Age of Empires 2 everyday. Sometimes, they are busy at work and other real life things. This reset of Elo is an awful idea. Let’s say for example The Viper had to go away for awhile. His rank is 2500-ish, all the hard work would be gone.

Or quite simply. Someone wants to take a break from the game. Like I did. I would be pretty mad to see my ELO reset to zero after one month.

  1. Add a filter of Elo to the lobbies for you can choose which range of Elo you accept in your lobby and just kick because you dont like the nick name

Unnecessary. Leave it as it is.

  1. Make a kick vote for all the other players can also decide who they want to kick or not, similar to counterstrike.

No. Only the host should hold the power. A lobby needs to be a dictatorship.

Don’t worry for The Viper he would get back his elo in few games :slight_smile:

Spoiling the experience of so many players is only dividing the community. By kicking players, the players left are getting angry, then leave, they create another lobby.

Result : You have 10 opened lobby with players waiting. And then after 15 min waiting you got a full game, you start and then sbdy is disconnecting and you are good to wait 15 more minutes.

So or you improve the “Quick Game” or you improve the lobby but solution is needed.

For people who want to play with their friends/clan they can put a password but in a public lobby, no one should be able to kick sbdy else only from his own personal decision.

Im against toxic players, but you are possibly one of them… There are so many.

Why don’t you host your own lobby? You will be the hoster and put the rules, I don’t see any problem with this.

Don’t worry for The Viper he would get back his elo in few games

With this ELO set to zero. He would have to play like 500 games, or more. And be winning each one of them.

Spoiling the experience of so many players is only dividing the community. By kicking players, the players left are getting angry, then leave, they create another lobby.

Who cares? Noobs can play with other noobs. Pros can play with other pros. Simple. Host can kick whoever they want, simple.

Result : You have 10 opened lobby with players waiting. And then after 15 min waiting you got a full game, you start and then sbdy is disconnecting and you are good to wait 15 more minutes.

Again. Who cares? It’s worth it if your hosting a noob game and you want only noobs. Or it’s a pro game, and you only want pros. Plus not everyone even hosts a standard game anyway. Lots host Diplomacy game of Europe or something. Since a lobby host leader can do pretty much anything.

So or you improve the “Quick Game” or you improve the lobby but solution is needed.

Almost nobody uses that. Since it does not factor in non standard games. Like a Diplomacy map of Europe.

no one should be able to kick sbdy else only from his own personal decision.

A democracy will simply not work. A host holds all the power, that’s the way it should be.

Im against toxic players, but you are possibly one of them… There are so many.

By calling someone toxic, you are in fact toxic. Just because I don’t agree with your idea.

The current lobby is a toxic place. One of the things i noticed, is how most lobbies deal with ‘Noobs’, which is exactly as the topic starter describes. If you have a ranked rating, even if it is below average, then you get kicked, because they think you are a pro. On the other side, unranked elo isnt visible. As result there are players without ranked elo hosting noob lobbies, while having a unranked elo of 2500 and a winrate of 80% and no one has an issue with that… They are free to still join noob lobbies, because this data is not visible into the game. Currently there are multiple open lobbies with an average rating (unranked elo) of ABOVE 2k, hosting noob games… Clearly many of these players arent noob in my definition. Bashing noobs isnt really the way to go. So this a real issue that needs to be fixed. I would suggest fixing this idea in a kind of different way. Instant of resetting the ranked stats, i would just add the unranked stats. These stats will show the data about the lobby games. No noob hosts hosting noob lobbies can be spot this way.

I already made a thread about most issues you mentioned:

You might wanna add your opinion to that thread as well.

Winrate doesnt really matter. It is about the elo number. Based on match making most players should around 50% winrate.

1 Like

A “democracy” is a big world, a simple vote system for kicking would be enought.

Do not offend, I didnt tell that you were toxic and it has nothing to do with the ideas. I am talking about the toxic environnement in the game.

But if you want we can talk about you, the problem is not that you are not agree with with my ideas, but that you do not have ideas at all.

Exemple :

A democracy will simply not work. A host holds all the power, that’s the way it should be.

If you would not answer nothing to my post, we would be at the same level. Would be thankful that you explain why a simple vote would not work