Map selection real problem AOE2 DE

I create this post to disccus the map selection system. It allows the player/s to ban a limited amout of maps, this leads to force them into playing in maps of the pool they dont want to (in reality, they close the game in the 1 minute of “Choose your civilization and ready up”).
Because of this, both groups of players ,the ones that want to play on the map and the ones that not, have to wait again to find rivals.
Example: This problems appears a lot with Arabia, some players ban exclusively this map while the others run out of bans. Althought they favorite Arabia, they have to play what the pool choose between the unban maps.
I think that a really good way to fix this issue is to simply get the player choose the map/s where s/he wants to play, it seems unfair that if s/he doesnt knows how to engage it, forces to play it anyways.
Speculation: If the current way is implemented in map selection to found a match earlier… leave it to the player. If i want to play in a certain map, an exclusively on that one, i would deal waiting whatever it takes to found a match.


To clarify my point, the problem isnt in waiting to find a game, is in haveing to close the game to avoid a rank penalty… opening the game again and hope that this time founds the map that i cataloged as favorite (because i couldnt ban more).

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while i haven’t really played aoe 2 og or de multiplayer that will be benefitial in my opinion too since people who don’t want to play on arabia won’t and people that want to play on it will (though that will reguire a reimaginine of the map system sth that won’t happen soon especially since the map votes just happened xD)

But you could stick to the map vote system, changing the map pool every x time.
The change would be, instead of letting you ban a certain amount of maps, the game should let you ban as many as you want… that would be the same as letting you chose in wich one you want to play.

yeah though that shoudln’t affect anyone but yourshelf honestly

Exactly! So if doesn’t… why it will be an issue to manage the map selection system this way?
" Speculation : If the current way is implemented in map selection to found a match earlier… leave it to the player. If i want to play in a certain map, an exclusively on that one, i would deal waiting whatever it takes to found a match."

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I think the simple solution is to make/join a non ranked game. Also allowing unlimitled bans on quick match would probably help. If your playing ranked you shouldn’t be playing solely the map you like. Other players deserve map advantage as well. Ranked is were you should go to show your skills not a casual game.

I dont share that thought, take Counter Strike for example, in rank mode you have a pool of maps and you select the ones you want to play. Some would take longer to find a match than others but it makes sense to have this option since you will have develop your game sense more in certain maps than in others.

Adressing “If your playing ranked you shouldn’t be playing solely the map you like”, so what is the point of baning in the first place? Isnt to play the maps you want? Why should you know how to play 3 maps instead of 1? The issue shouldnt be in “map advantage”, the elo acomplish that function. If you get to a high elo playing only one map it doesnt matter because you will play against users that are at your level.

Also, i dont consider that this limits your skills or make it a “casual game”. If you studied a build order to play in Arabia, you arenot going to develop your skills by playing four lakes. Insted, the other player that plays this map picks lituanians and implements the only build order s/he knows specifically for that map. In that case, the game is based if someone knows or not a build order for all the maps.

On top of that, as i mention, users who found a game in a map they dont want to play, they dont play it anyways, they close and open aoe. I bring this point not to penalize their rank for doing it but to solve this problem by letting them chose the map they want.
In my opinion ranked shouldn´t be difficult because of the map pool, instead because of the players. To find a game shouldnt be tidious.


If I understood correctly, you are one of the people who close the game during the ready-up timer and thus cause the game to drop so people have to queue up again?
I would suggest stop playing ranked and try out the lobby instead.
Ranked elo is meant to represent a player’s overall competitiveness level, not just on one map.
IMO, people who drop often, e.g. more than 10% of the time should have their elo reduced if they close the game and we would see a lot less of this issue.

Getting a couple of bans is essentially a compromise - it makes you be able to stay away from least favourite maps, and you can favourite a map you want to play, but still compete on not just one map.
Before DE there was no matchmaking and, while not ideal, it worked. Opening a 1v1 lobby is really not that hard. There is even the unranked elo introduced at some point which greatly helps.

I undestand your point of view, but let me insist with this concept, why you “must” know how to play more than one map?

Playing in a lobby isnt a solution because the players skill gaps tend to be enormous. Yes, there was not matchmaking but for that same reaseon Voobly played a huge part at the time of playing AoE in a competitive way.

Thats ablsolutly false, let´s asume you play ranked and any time a water map appers on the poll you ban it, maybe you reach a elo of 1500. Now, lets say your are leave with not option and you must play Islands vs a player that has the knodlege of how to engage it… the chances are that you are going to lose. You are 1500 elo but you dont have the same “competitiveness level” as your oponent, and i m using the current system as an example.
So in the end, the change i propouse doesnt affect ranks at all. It benefits all the players, the ones who close the game and the ones who have to wait again.

Also @BlackAdderCro if you could read the entire thread it would nice since it provides a better picture of what im proposing.

You are talking about this as if you only get 1 ban. You get 3 bans which means that there is no way that you are forced to play a single type of map such as water or arena-style.
Also, I don’t get your point about playing in the lobby not being an option. There is unranked elo, you can just do the same thing people have been doing for a decade on Voobly and Steam.

Ranked games and elo aren’t about providing you your rank for the map you want. It’s a ladder and it’s meant to be competitive and comparable. If players could play just one map it would erode the credibility of the ranking which is, among other things, used to enter tournaments.
If you really, really don’t want to play without banning all but one or two maps and/or closing the game, just try out the lobby. Every time I check it there’s plenty of games. Also, if you want to play something specific, you can try engaging in a Discord community where you can find partners that have similar skill level and preferences.

That said, I think giving 4 bans would still be okay, but it’s up to the devs to decide. They have a lot more information about the ladder and I’m sure they are giving thought how to balance functionality and convenience.

But at the same time

You bring the point that the current ranked systems allows you to avoid playing on a different type of map (categorized in “water or arena-style”) but at the same time you stand out that the rank elo lets you play in tournaments. This is ridiculous, it seems logic to you that a player would enter a 2000 elo tournament with out knowing how to play on water maps or exclusively in them?

If the map system will allow players to ban as many maps as they want, it wouldnt change nothing at all. Currently you may be at 1700 elo having played 1000 times in Arabia and other 1700 elo player only has done it 100 times but 900 in islands. It simply not important how many times you have played in any maps to determine your elo.

Man you have been around since zone gaming and still thinking in that way? tell me what island or arena player have conquered the game or the black forest player who killed chris and viper? see no one, good players become strong in arabia whether if you like it or not it is the more competitive map to show real skills, the meta has evolved for 20 years there, now tell me how many civs can you use for water or mixed maps? there is no balance there unless you could use at least 20 civs to face vikings and that is not the case or how many civs can you use to face japanese or lithuanians in 4 lakes? your so called elo representation is full with those players that boost their ranks playing those awkward maps including arena, that kind of breaks down any argument that playing non arabia makes you a better player, but i am ok with guys reaching whatever rank they want playing the map they like, they stand no chance in general tournaments, but not letting playing the community the maps they like cause of a big misconception about what defines a good player is tearing apart the multiplayer.

Anyway more bans is not doable without adding more maps to the pool or changing completely the MM algorithm.


This is exactly my personal issue with the map pool, im looking foreward to play on Arabia and to challenge myself in a map that seems standard. I dont want to play in “awkward maps” where a few civilizations have and advantage because of an specific build order.
So i favorite Arabia, ban all the maps that i can and still a match is found in four lakes. This is because the other player had to only ban arabia to get to chose the map… the map poll system is broken.
I insist, it doesnt affect the elo or the rank system to let a player chose the map they want to play on.

Telling people to just play unranked is not a solution. Im 12xx elo and I can barely play unranked. 90% of lobbies are “noobs only”. if i host a 1v1 I sometimes wait 15 minutes for a match, sometimes more so i give up. and even then the match is not guaranteed to be balanced coz there is not ranking system in UNranked.

I dont think the map pool system should allow one to have only 1 map available, but either have only 2 maps, or at least one map of every “type” of map (water, land, random, nomad). right now we are just dependent on the map pool, so sometimes we cant play water maps, sometimes we cant ban all the water/hybrid maps so we just cant avoid it, and sometimes we’re forced to play land maps coz there are too many of them to ban.

The system just makes no sense both from a competitive and an enjoyment points of view. If you want it to be competitive, force us to allow different types of maps so that we cant become 1 trick gold rush ponies or whatever. if you want it to just be fun, allow people to play only the maps they like. If you want a balance in between, allow people not to play the maps they dont like, and give people a chance to play the maps they do like, but set limitations, like 2 types of maps or 2 different maps.

you may ask, “whats the different from the current system”. well, the current system barely allows you to play the maps you like if they arent popular. I saw a streamer that likes islands, but just couldnt play it coz like 95% of people have it banned. he only got it 2 times during the stream, both times the other guy used alt-f4. so basically, at certain elos, if you like islands - you just cant play it. I also watch JonSlow_ which is an arena streamer, and some streams he just cant get arena coz so many people have it banned, AND ARENA IS THE SECOND MOST POPULAR MAP IN THE GAME. so no, you cant play your favorite map at a reasonable rate if its not arabia. the map rotation system also has no regard to map types, so some rotations have no water maps, some have almost exclusively open land maps (except for arena), so its not competitve in the sense of variety of maps. you can also ban all the maps except for 1 type (which is usually open and maps) and become an open land map player only. However, you can barely do that for any other map type, so its not even competitive in that sense.
All in all, what we have now is - if you dont ban arabia, you will play arabia. if you ban arabia, you will get an arabia clone coz you usually just cant ban them all. if you favor a map that isnt arabia (or an arabia clone), you will barely ever play it, and the ladder is only competitive for open land maps.

Even if you disagree with me, i think we can all agree that the current system is completely broken for team games, where you can only ban 1 map out of 9, and usually everyone bans the same maps so people rare play what they want, even more rarely than in 1v1.

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not sure what you mean that I’ve been around since zone gaming? I am fairly new here.

In any case, to reply to everyone:
The current system is a giant compromise. It’s been conceived as a matchmaking system that works both as a competitive ladder and a matchmaker for all games. It does not fulfill either fully, but it’s giving a balance.
Whether that balance should be tipped slightly to one side or another is debatable and the answer will depend who you ask.
But, as someone here pointed out, increasing map bans would break the current system. They would need a new system and it is very questionable how well it would work. Long queue times and high elo difference matchmaking (because of narrowed-down pool of player/map combo) are not something gamers want.
Related to that, the only way not to break queue times while adding more bans would be do decrease the number of maps to e.g. 4 or 5. If you increase the map pool and give unlimited bans, people the queue will be very fragmented and dysfunctional.

Re: unranked and TGs.
I think they SHOULD display unranked elo in the lobby. It already exists and you can check it from or using the Android app.
For TGs, yes it’s tricky, but I find that playing with at least one more person helps immensely. Try to engage in communities if you don’t have a regular play partner. Discord is you friend. Personally, I don’t have a problem with it. With 2 map bans in a TG I can get along fairly well. If I don’t feel like playing the fourth arena game in a row, I ban it.

Giving more bans in TGs would just cause severely unbalanced matchmaking and/or long queue times. All the problems from 1v1s are amplified several times in TGs

Thank you for bringing new ideas to this post. I agree with a lot of your statements, the map pool system doesnt fully accomplish in (what many people consider) competitive or eaither enjoyment. Is needless to mention my reasons to share the thought that “telling people to just play unranked” isnt a solution. And also what you wrote about team games.

On the other side i disagree in the limitations of the balace you propose. When i started the thread i shared my speculation and this regards what you comment about people selecting a map that a lot of others had ban. Because a player that wants to play in (for example) islands and that would take a lot of time to find an opponent, the current system allows them to find one much earlier. Why? people run out of bans so someone that isnt looking foward to this map, has got it and that leads to the Alt-F4.
Setting limitations would fix the long time a user that wants to play in one “non popular” map has to wait but more people are going to close the game. If you force them to not do it by penalizeing their elo… that will become a real problem along the community (the discussion about what ranked should measure).

I consider that a balance in between enjoyment and competitive is to allow the player to select their maps, if an Islands player finds a match, it will be against an Islands player (althought it is possible that it takes longer).
Why is this the balance in between?

Enjoyment: you play the maps you were looking for when you open the game.

Rank: I realize by the comments on this post that there is this conception that being good in differents maps determines who is or isnt a “good player”. I share the belief that a professional player has to versatile in this aspect BUT is absurd to talk about how a player have to play more than one map. When you find a match isnt base on how many times did the other user played on that specifc map of the poll, is based on the elo. With the current system you may find an opponent that has played that map thousands of time more than you, but thats balance by the ELO , taking into account the win rate that person has and against what elo.
Nobody here is complaning about the elo system, why it becomes a problem if s/he chose to play on that one? If a player increases their skill on a specific map, it will play against players with the same skill level.

In conclusion, if fix, the skill is measured with the same elo system, playing againt people that are at your level and you can chose in which map to play on.

Yes, solveing the rank problem would take that, but it will stabilize. The elo difference it will change by themself, people playing only in one map would get their elo higher until their level (yes, exclusively on that map but it will end up against users with the same skill). Unfortunately many maps would experience the long queue times, but thats because few people play them, not because of the ban. I dont consider as a bad thing if currently a lot of users wouldnt play in them if they have the option.

have a If you prefer to ignore the map pool system flaws and classify them as minor issues, is on you. I m writing this post to try to debate on how to improve the game, i dont care if its a “giant compromise”, there is a problem and needs to be adress.
I would like you to read this post to see what he state of the game would be if developers didnt take compromises: Wake up Microsoft!

I dont think forcing people to play maps they dont like is a good thing, hence alt-f4 penalty is not a solution. what we need is a system where people dont need to alt-f4.

In my previous comment i didnt really offer a new system, just talking about what such system should achieve and the problems with the current one.

An easy solution for a better system would be soft bans - you can either ban a map, or soft ban it. a banned map cannot be chosen. a soft banned map will have a lower priority to be chosen, meaning if maps that were not soft banned by either player exist - one of those will be chosen. This idea can be super effective for team game ladder, where overlapping banned maps are common. maybe in TG if your banned map was banned by someone else, one of your soft bans becomes your banned map.
An extension to this idea is to be able to rank the maps from your preferred map to your least preferred map. The map that got the most points out of you and your opponent’s rankings will be chosen, while banned maps are banned either way. maybe add a small randomizing factor to add some variety.

a better system IMO would be the obvious one - you choose the only maps you want to play in. the more maps you choose, the less time you have to wait in queue.
If devs want to avoid players that only play 1 map, set a limit of at least 2 or 3 maps.

An ideal system would also allow lobby games to be ranked, maybe with a limitation that 1 in every 4 games must be an auto match, but i really dont expect something like that to ever be implemented.

I really dont have an opinion on whether or not a competitive ladder should force players to play more than just 1 map or 1 map type. however, it seems the devs think that way and thats why im suggesting solutions that go along with that idea.

My favorite map for 1v1 is megarandom, and i rarely get to play it. it consistently gets 5th/4th place in the map polls so im not alone there. even when it is in the map pool lots of people ban it. I just dont think the current system works. I dont even want to play ranked to be competitive or anything, i just want balanced matches i can enjoy, and those can only consistently happen in a ranked system.

Those suggesting that unranked rating will be shown - you are just wrong, sorry. the whole point of unranked is to not worry at all whether you win or lose. just having a number that displays your level creates ladder anxiety which isnt fun for a lot of people and kills the point of unranked. What you really want is a different rank for ranked lobby games, which is ok to have, just dont ruin unranked for other people.

I get where you are going with this idea, the thing is that it already exists but in the opposite form and with different name, “favorite”. It doesnt really acomplish their function, if your favorite map is ban for your opponent but there is an available map in the pool for both, that map will get choosen (althought you would like to ban it if you got the option).

This system, although more complex and maybe on the long run, a little tedious, i feel it could work.

My problem with other solutions that arent just letting you chose the map you want to play on, is on the motive. I dont think they had a debate within the users skill level should consider how many maps they know how to play or not. It gives me the impresion that because of the low amount of players, you have to force someone to play with the few users looking for a match in Lombardia or Serengeti.