Map bans and a suggestion for bringing in new players

I would like to have more time to play, but i don’t.
Allow me for the sake of whatever you believe in, to play ranked games, on a map that I want to play.

I love this game. I understand that this method, allows all the people that already plays the game, to have a match, whatever pick it is, BUT, at the same time, how many new players are we missing because of this?

I play this game today, because, back in the day, as many of us, I learned to like it by playing huns on arabia, everytime.

A new player that wants to get on the ladder, besides the fact that has to learn all the mechanics of the game, all the strategies, all the perks of every civ, is even forced to play on a random map.

To keep people that already plays the game motivated to play on other maps, is as simple as, adding specific rankings for each map, while keeping the global ranking ladder as is.

The better players will always keep playing on a variety of maps because of tournaments and pride, but, I really believe that this could allow new players to join us.



I feel your pain, I’m in your same situation: an old lover of the AoK/AoC from 2000 that has come back and have to learn to play more than 40 civs in different maps, without having time to do it.

But I don’t think that an “Arabia only” ladder would be a solution.
Simply, you have to accept that you can do well on Arabia, and suffer on other maps, and your ELO will reflect this.
You can already ban some of the maps, so you can discard water or hybrid maps, and focus on the land. With some adaptation, you can play in open and closed land map. You can choose Arabia as favourite so you’ll get it more often.
You can even pick the civ instead of going random, so that you can gain familiarity with them one by one.
And if the map pools is not good, you can skip play ladder for a while and play Quick Game.

When I was at NAC one of my IRL friends who watches Aoe2 but doesn’t play much booted up his purchase of the HD Edition and quickly jumped into a couple of noob games on Arena. He wanted to play Arena specifically because, well, he knew he was a noob and just wanted a map where he felt comfortable.

Would he enjoy DE’s ranked system? Probably not, if he had to learn a whole bunch of different maps all at once while starting out. This is one of the biggest flaws in DE imo. Maps are very polarizing: Arabia and BF themselves are both extremely popular, but are played by different groups of people. In many ways it makes even less sense to have them in the same “queue” than it would Arabia RM and Arabia EW.

And this is one of the biggest reasons why I personally only rarely play 1v1s on DE: it’s incredibly hard to play Arena consistently, even though it’s the 2nd most popular map. It’s not that I can’t play other maps: we picked Migration and Golden Lakes consistently as home maps in Nations Cup because we felt we had an advantage on hybrid/water maps. It’s that this type of map is not fun for me to play in the 1v1 ladder. I can’t just relax and play a few games of Arena on DE like I could on the previous versions of the game, despite there being seemingly more players than before.


I think high rated players are the ones who don’t like non-standard maps. Arabia is played 73% of the ime above 1900 elo but only 37% below 850 elo.

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I don’t defend an implementation of arabia only.
You would have a rating for each map. That way, I could play with players of my level, on the map that I’m learning. For new players, this would be gold.

But the indisputable global ladder would always be there, and have no doubt, that would be the one that matters.

Imagine that you are 1.8k on your favorite map.
Why force you to play at 1.5k level on that map, while some 1.8k player that has the same map as favorite, has to play on one that he hates?

“And if the map pools is not good, you can skip play ladder for a while and play Quick Game. ”
Correct me if i’m wrong, but that way the elo does not affect the match making, right?
That could make the games too easy, or too hard, taking the fun of the learning curve.

I really believe that after the initial learning, many players would not be pleased to check that they are 2k on their favorite maps, while only 1.2k on other maps. I think that those maps would even be played out more, until they reach the same level as their favorite ones.

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My question is, from those players on lower levels, how many simple cannot improve, because get frustrated for losing two or three games on a row on maps that they really don’t like, and simple does not queue for the next game?

And don’t get me wrong, I really think that you could have fun on all maps!

It is just that, if you don’t allow new players to get used to some map, it is a lot of information that you have to digest at once.

I think that implementing something like that would be too complicate and even dispersive.

Would you create a separate queue for every single map in the way that someone that choose Arabia would not match with someone that has queued in the general ladder, even if that map is in the pool?

AoE2 has a great player base, but I think it would not be as large as needed. Maybe for Arabia or Arena or Nomad, but the other maps would have a long long waiting time.

In you mix the 2 queues up, it would be complicated to find the matchup as the matching system would have to check 2 separates ELOs. Don’t know if it’s actually avaible, maybe some dev could answer here.

At the end, players would even “isolate” themselves in the favorite map ladder. Players would not learn how to play in different kins of maps.

That would be a good thing. If they have settings they find fun, the system should work to help them find these settings. Not force them into game modes they don’t enjoy.


I would create a global “queue”, and a queue for each map.
As you search for a game, you would be inserted on the global queue, and in each individual queue for the maps that you selected.The first map queue that finds a match, removes you from the global queue, and that removes you from any of the others that you are in.
Allowing someone that is good in one map only, to play someone that is good in all maps.

It could happen, but it is also a possibility that the player base for those maps today, is being affected for the players that just doesn’t queue because are forced to play Arabia, Arena or Nomad.

That sounds fun. What benefit brings to force someone to play on all maps?

This is a really bad example, but it’s like to force you to play football, basketball and rugby randomly, because it would be better for you, while you just like one of them.
Indeed it would be better for your body, but… is it what makes you have a good time?

Chess for example, I started to play bullet or blitz.
Do you think that i would keep playing, if i was forced to play randomly between bullet,blitz, rapid and classic? No! I would never open that site again.

That my friend, is what I think is happening to our game.

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You already see this happening. We have Arabia only players, we have Arena only players, hybrid players, Nomad players, etc. It’s pretty obvious when you play in a variety of maps who’s better at what. It becomes even more apparent in team games.


I’m pretty much an Arabia only player. This doesn’t mean I don’t know how to play other maps (not that it matters tbh). I play other maps sometimes, but I just highly prefer open land maps and among them Arabia is the map that is the most enjoyable to me.

I don’t care what maps other people enjoy. If people want to play Arena only, then why should they be forced to play Arabia? Or vice versa. Or any other map. In theory the current map pool system is a compromise that is supposed to maximize the number of available players in the queue, but I think it mostly discourages a lot of players from playing at all. I’m sure most people would rather wait a few minutes longer to play on the map they want rather than to be forced to play on a map they dislike. Why should they be matched with people who ban the map they exclusively want to play?

I wonder how things would be if players had more choice in this.


Who cares? No one wants to “get gud” at maps they hate.

AOE2 DE doesn’t let people play competitive games on maps they like. Seems like a fundamental requirement but it’s not there and people defending the bad design isn’t helping.

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We can see what it looks like with the abundance of rage forest lobbies and “semi-noob” arena games in the lobby. Putting labels like “noob”, “semi-noob”, and “no noob” are players trying to work around the bad lobby design.


Yeah, it’s a clear sign that the current map pool system isn’t working well. It’s a shame in my opinion that people have to resort to making lobbies again to work around this, when the promise of DE was matchmaking as a big QoL feature. There is a clear demand and it’s not being met properly.

It just strikes me as weird that we can’t have a separate queue for certain maps (at the least), because supposedly we don’t have enough players to allow that, but somehow EW 1v1 can have its own ladder, even though the EW 1v1 ladder has 25 times less active players than RM 1v1. I know EW is more popular around RBW events, but it still feels unjustified that EW 1v1 should gets its own ladder while the RM 1v1 players (the vast majority of players) are all crammed into the same queue.

By the way, that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to an EW 1v1 ladder. I just think it’s being treated differently without justification.