Map/ban system

I disagree. There are already some players who don’t use all their bans. Imagine how it would be if the not-Arabia maps would actually be decent like Four Lakes. Most people do like the idea of a map pool in general.

I think the heavy-wall meta is a balancing issue that could be fixed by moving palisade walls to Feudal Age or by letting players start with like 70 less stone. But DE Arabia is also not punishing enough, I suggested in another thread that Arabia gets split into it’s current version (Green Arabia…) and a more open version with ponds etc and desert setting (Dry Arabia), you could then have 2 Arabia versions in the map pool to please the Arabia-only crowd while not allowing infinite bans.

What are the other competitive maps in the pool?

Arena, Bog Islands, Arabia and Golden Pit have all been played in tournaments.

Yes but tweaked versions of the maps to make them competitive. Which is crucial I think. They are also hardly tournament staples. I don’t recall Bog Islands being used in a “normal” tournament and Arena is relatively new as a tournament map afaik and since the meta is now found out on that map we probably won’t see this map too often in the future. Golden Pit is ok.

It really depends on your definition of competitive.
If it is only ‘Arabia’ or ‘Arabia and lookalikes’ than the number is pretty small.
Other option can be ‘Maps i like’ and this can be any number, depending on the user.

No, the definition is: has been in the map pool of a big tournament and is regarded as a success/ is a recurring staple in tournaments. And I find Arabia often boring, it is just the standard map in aoe2, like Dust2 is in cs, it just never gets really old.

E: and I might add that ranked is also the only place where you can improve so it is important to allow players to avoid (most of the time) maps that are too crazy/unusual so that they can focus on basics.