Matchmaking Feedback

Hello Age IV fans!

With the finishing of the server maintenance on June 14th, 2023 you may notice some changes in Ranked matchmaking that are designed to get you into a match sooner.

In short, the first matchmaking band has been changed to from an exact ELO score match to searching within a higher initial difference. The matchmaking queue continues to expand its ELO band at its regular rate after this. This should decrease the wait-time for players in the middle-range of ELO scores.

As mentioned in our Season Five Release Notes blog, we are continuing to explore improvements for players at the extreme high and low ends of the ELO range.

Please let us know about your matchmaking experiences in this thread. Did you notice any meaningful change after June 14th? Are there issues with matchmaking you feel we have not seen or are not addressing? We will be monitoring replies and the discussion, but may not directly respond to every post. Thank you,

UPDATE (July 21st, 2023) The feedback period for this specific topic has ended. Thank you to everyone for your input. If you did not have time to post your feedback here, please free free to form a new thread in the Age IV Discussion category.

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Yeah, MSNZone, a page with tiles (waiting tables) worked really well for both creating a community and getting team games pretty fast. It kept everyone together which made creating friends easy instead of separating people like in aoe3 or now in custom-mm.
I remember the tables were called noobs, rookies or 3v3 Experts etc. It would be cool if AOe4 could implement it.

It’s basically just lobbies, with the addition of having a list of players currently online.

What does any of this have to do with matchmaking? Lobbies are not matchmaking, they rely on the players to create all the games and maybe (usually not) balance the matchups.

Like to be clear, are you guys suggesting they remove actual matchmaking, which automatically finds players based on rating?

Yes, right now you simply have to accept 3v4 or other weird matchups with strange people who are afk.

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Ha! Finally someone knows exactly what I’m talking about.

I mean back in the day, we had mostly good games, sure it was prone to abuse because you can select your opponents, but the abuse wasn’t blatant to the point people can’t be bothered playing, kinda like how I feel atm. At the same time, they had a certain level of abuse prevention as well as penalty for leavers. This was some 20 years ago, but they AT LEAST had something thought out, and at least there was more thought given back then than there is now. When I say not blatant, I do mean, there are only certain people who spend hours, days trying to climb the ladder by playing against themself (waste of time). Usually it’s just one person who has nothing better to do. I can think of ways to fix this, but the highest priority should be having quality games. You can tinker the ELO numbers, and match people in so many ways, the root issue would still remain: MM model simply doesn’t work for this game.

Now, since I’m already on the topic of abuse, the abuse in the current system is significantly worse than anything back then.

I have actually suggested improved msnzone concepts, but it’s fallen on deaf ear. Should I bother suggesting again?

Some players liked blackforest back in the day, and they had their own community, and there was also different communities for different sort of games. Sometimes a title is enough to get the relevant players in place.

And for the sake of fun, people know how to balance games on their own, you don’t need a stupid MM system to figure it out for you. When we saw a stack of 4, we looked for friends, and then played. And if they were 3, and we had 1 too many, one would just sit out. Players can figure out what’s fun and balanced for themselves. Most importantly, both parties can agree to a map, why should we let the system decide? What if we both dislike say mountain clearing. Why do we need to play this garbage?

Also, tables back then created a social aspect + communities, which i had just briefly mentioned, but someone else in this thread @TaisharMalkierr already realized and elaborated on it.

To be clear, I am in full favor of the complete removal of matchmaking, yes indeed.

But at the same time, instead of removal, the ranked mm / quick mm button can be reworked – such that it becomes a “quick find” button can be used to join a TABLE/LOBBY if your ELO fits the table criteria, which is nearly the same thing as what we have now.

Better yet, being able to filter games by map, elo, servers would serve much better.

Indeed, the MSNZone model worked particularly well for social gaming and it might be less interesting for the quick-fix 1v1 player. Although MSNzone would always have several tables named “1v1 Experts only” hogging the very best prime spots for hours.

What MSN-Zone did, was crucial for the community, it brought all of us together and you would casually get in touch with all kinds of players, playing all kinds of games. AOE3’s list of games sortof worked but it missed that ‘table’ or ‘park bench’ feeling where people would simply hangout for hours together at the same table.

The current system is:
1: You click a button.
2: You enter the lottery and see who is on your team.
3: You win/lose and don’t say or get a gg.
4: Repeat spiritless cycle of PWn or get Pwned (including some abuse).

MSN zone was :
1: You browse the tables.
2: You enter a few rooms or ### ###t your own.
3: You chat a bit.
4: Game starts and you win or lose.
5: After the game you are in the same lobby waiting with the host and you often review the game together. You remark on how much trade you had and how their mangudai killed it and that made you gg. They comment on your fast rush etc. This creates a much more inclusive experience and it makes it easy to make long-lasting friends online.

Conclusion: MSN Zone’s Tables visual layout was instrumental in creating that community feeling for AOE2 and Chess. You could point to many other factors but many people still remember MSN Zone fondly.

Ranked games must be quick search as is AoE2 and SC2 currently.

To search for friends, a clan and chat system can be provided as AoE3 had in the past.

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it’s your imagination based on nostalgia.
Click button → play - bring so many people back just to play, cause “searching for lobbies is nightmare” .
you probably remember it as 20 years ago the grass was greener and people were happier.
I remember: 30 mins to find fucking lobby.

What from community you can get from dialogue:

  • Hi
  • arabia ok?
  • no
  • You was kicked from the lobby.

if I want “community” i can find it in discord or twcih. in the past it was forums… not ingame chats.

What did they do with matchmaking? I havent been on yet

“must be”? hispano, i know you’re young, you said so yourself… you clearly do not have the good experience we had in the old days. its nothing like the hot pile of mess we have right now.

twitchy is spammy.
discord is divided

in game chat would all be in one same place.

also, most of the time title would be arabia 1v1
if you want islands 1v1, you can always freely create your own lobby right?

its also not hard to say “we just played arab, lets do something else”… and then we’d play nomad, map was the least of issues… in fact there weren’t many at all.

if you prefer playing with randoms like you usually do against my full stack, by all means, go ahead, this system can continue.

You nailed pretty much all of it, I don’t have much more to elaborate than that. We do actually have discord communities atm, but it’s most certainly divided, in the old days we could just message someone who isn’t in friends list if they wanna join and play when we lacked a player… and with good experience comes new friends.

Nostalgia stays there, past nostalgia. The MM has evolved positively in these years to favor a decent competitive encounter, but we find ourselves with a system that must be remodeled in this game. We are not in the 1990s or the 2000s, nor do we have to go back to that.

For reasons of life, I’m not as young as when I was playing AoE in the 2000s.

Ok. Well that’s a complete non-starter.

The lobby system that already exists in game could be improved though by showing players ranking, allowing filtering of lobbies by ranking, having a list of people looking for game, etc… Definitely things that can be done there.

Removing matchmaking though? Yeah that’s not gonna happen.

I know there’s a small group of people that look at the voobly or even mszone days with some pretty thick rose tinted glasses, but finally getting matchmaking in AoE2 was a huge step up.

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The developer made this thread to seek feedback and to rework the MM for ranked and quick match, not to remove it as you want. I already gave my idea above and I think it is the best option, you can refute it if you wish.

I understand some complain that there needs to be a better map pool, more bans, or even that you can choose a favorite map or include a new mode, but here we are talking about MM and how you should optimize quick search.

I have seen unfavorable games a thousand times in custom, there I do not agree with you.

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If only you had played a thousand games in custom.

Okay, let them optimize quick search, let’s see. We’ll see if games become fun after the changes. We have said why the old system work and in detail, but from you, i only hear “nostaligia, old, unfavorable games, best option”. Your mindset lack substance.

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We need more civs flat out I kno they play different but more civs would make the game more alive

no thx.


my suggestion to the thread:

Remove seasons in TG(or calibration) + make ELO unified as in aoe2.

Aoe2 matchmaking somehow working fine(at least to my understanding)… and arguably with same number of players.

My matchmaking experience is ok, but I am at a low level, so there are more players.
Lucky we have all these options, and probably shouldn’t remove any, but I am not sure i understnad the point about the old AoE2 matchmaking groups? Isn’t this like what we have now in customs?