Microsoft: Please Revive Team Games

Hello all. I’ve been playing the game for several years including HD version as well as the unnofficial Voobly. The way matchmaking works is different across all these platforms.

The new ranking system in DE is cute and works fairly well for 1v1. It adds a bit of variety in allowing you to pick civ, as well as forcing a more varied map pool compared to competitive 1v1 in Voobly.

However, the ranked TG system is very bad.

The first problem:
It takes over 5 minutes to get a 2v2 and so far I haven’t been able to play a 4v4, and I presume most people have given up trying at this point. The playerbase feels small for this system and people don’t want to sit forever to find a game, so probably just people gave up trying.

The second problem:
There’s a large amount of the playerbase who specifically wants to play black forest - a relaxed wallable playstyle with explored settings, where rushing is high risk / high reward strat. This is also the best map for sneaking which is a whole playstyle of its own. After BF there is also a large group of people who like to play Arena, and finally a group of people who strictly want to play nomad or water map. Even with infinite players and no waiting queue, you have no bans and therefore you don’t really have the option to play BF 4v4 compared to HD or Voobly.

- jUsT pLaY uNrAnKeD
And this is as bad as I’ve ever seen. Since ranked TG doesn’t exist you pretty much have all TG players in the same bucket, this means you get incredibly unbalanced games and there is no way to balance the teams prior, as opposed to Voobly/HD.

But that’s not even the problem here. The issue is the amount of quitters due to unranked format.

  • Lost a villager? leave game
  • Getting rushed after neglecting walls? k, resign and move on
  • Enemy team has more score than your team? guess its GG i just exit game
  • Didn’t like map and you got flank position when you wanted pocket? Hmm, time to leave
  • Anything slightly unpleasant? Resign!

And on top of this you have to add the huge amount of unwilling quitters that disconnected or crashed.

Today, I’ve played over 10 BF 4v4 games and not a single one made it to imperial age without a quitter. It’s so incredibly frustrating on a format where you boom for 30 min and suddenly there’s no point in playing anymore because of a drop. It’s a very unpleasant game experience. There is no reputation system to hold people responsible. Everything is uniform, you cannot properly balance a game, you cannot tell who is reliable player or not. People are desperately putting a title in their games asking for “NO QUITTERS” but this obviously doesn’t change a thing.

For me, and I presume many are on the same boat, team games is what we enjoy playing the most. It feels nice to be able to fall on allies shoulder for a minute, as well as carry them in the inverse situation. It allows for more strategy as you can 1v2 stall while allies go for 2v1 push. There’s also trade routes.

The Solution
The game just feels incomplete now. If we check stats, there’s a majority of people playing TG than 1v1. This is because the amount of games on both modes is similar, yet TG carry 2-4x more players. Therefore I think this is a valid concern and the developers should look into this.

The solution is, in my humble opinion, instead of having the “ranked” vs “unranked” lobbies, make it “1v1” vs “Team Games” lobby. In either, you could have a “ranked” checkbox depending on your mood. There’s rarely people who go look for “whatever” game, you are generally decided towards one mode or the other, and it’s a much smarter question/division to make than game being ranked or not. Then we get to keep the pretty queue system for 1v1, and lobbies for TG (queue system just does NOT work for TG).

I feel like with the current instability of the game, this problem will most likely be ignored. But as a diehard AoE/BF player, it gives me peace to know I tried. Maybe with enough people on this same boat we can get them to notice. It would be nice to hear from the team, something like “possible” or “not likely” is enough, as we try to determine if commiting to long-term relationship with DE vs the alternatives is worth it.

Kind regards


A great written post for a matter that makes it unable for a lot of people to properly enjoy Aoe2 DE.
While I really like the MM for 1v1 and play my TGs on nCZone, I know this is something alot of people are affected by. And their have been loads of complaints.
Would indeed be nice to get at least a direction. At the moment it feels like the Team doesnt care about this.


Lost a villager? leave game
Getting rushed after neglecting walls? k, resign and move on
Enemy team has more score than your team? guess its GG i just exit game
Didn’t like map and you got flank position when you wanted pocket? Hmm, time to leave
Anything slightly unpleasant? Resign!

i dont understand what you want the alternative to be? the players must be forced to carry on playing when they are unhappy with the situation?

all those things you list can lead to inevitable defeats, yet you want the player to carry on “just because”? when my opponent has 10k score, and the highest score on our team is 5k, im almost definitely leaving

when i see my ally gets knight rushed, and it looks like he’s walling a base like a noob, it means he is in different skill bracket and im leaving (nevermind being the target of the rush)

people are rude, im leaving

someone is overbearing and making stupid demands, im leaving

an issue with members in the current community is that they are stuck on wanting the game to play the exact way it always used to play(notice the exaggerated knee jerk from auto scouting, which “broke the game”). if they allowed dropped playes factions to go under control of the AI, or other players, or gift resources to allies or other options, it wouldnt be such a potentially auto loss issue to lose a player.

forcing players to stay in a game they dont want to stay in, is the solution for a group of elitists who want others to do want they want, not what is better for everyone…

also if the players are dropping for such ridiculous reasons you could report them?

You have so missed the point.

People should be able to leave for whatever reason, I don’t care. All I’m asking is for a way to hold them accountable for, not punished nor prevented (as it cannot be). If you see someone with 10% win rate on team games, odds are he is a quitter, and we should be able to tell him apart if we want a good game that is decided on the team that wins the war and not the team with less quitters.

You cannot see the problem because you are the problem.

And I don’t mind. This is what unranked lobby is for and people like you should be welcomed there. The issue that can be fixed however is that there is no ranked team games alternative, because the current queue system does not work on a playerbase this small and people usually want to play specific maps.


I think getting rid of the only one ban map option and making it the same as a 1v1 would help.

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I totally agree one everything you said. I like Nomad Teamgames and they where always easy to play and easy to balance on Voobly and HD aswell. Now you have to manually Tab between and DE to check the ratings of players if you want to have a game that is not one-sided. I do not see that many quitters though, but I can see why this is a problem.

The most important (and in my opinion easiest) fix to this is to show ratings in lobbys along with games played. (Maybe even show disconnect rate, unranked rating etc.)
I would also like to blacklist players from my lobbys, or make it so that I, as the lobby creator can make it so that only players above rating x can join. But just the rating shown would help so much.

To the developers/microsoft/anyone involved with the game, please implement some lobby/matchmaking solution… Regarding players dropping, I like the idea that half of the dropped players resources are given to allies, and if the villagers carry on working and half of the collected resources are thereafter auto-tributed to the ally. This would obviously give a small surge of power to the remaining players who then have to quickly try to fight or eventually be out numbered.

But more importantly, the matchmaking/lobbies need fixing.

The players should be able to have far more influence over choosing or voting for what map to play, and the teams should be balanced. Also if the players want to play with friends then letting them join together I think should be an option, and the opposing team could be matched to have an equal average ELO. I think the auto-matchmaking is good because it stops people being overly fussy and avoiding playing with large swathes of the community.

Regarding the extensive wait times -

I saw villese, slam and nicov streaming all at the same time yesterday and all in the top 15-20 players on the leaderboard, and us viewers could see on the sterams that they were waiting for 5-10 minutes in the queue concurrently. Because of this long wait time between the games at least one of the streamers quit there and then when it got to 8 minutes. I have seen viper do the same many times when it gets to 6 minutes.

This happens for lower ranked players too. I am mid ELO (~1150) and I have to wait 5+ minutes on 1v1 also. These long wait times, even though valid counter-players are online waiting also, have crippled the game. On team games the matchmaking struggles even more it seems. Team game matchmaking could take into account the players 1v1 elo as well as team elo. Seeing viper playing against 800 1v1 elo players is odd. Then there is the issue of drops and quitters once you get into the lobby.

I do like how the ranked leaderboard is visible and helps familiarise the playerbase with the top players easily, which helps grow the community. But improving the spectating in game would be good, so I can actually find High ranked players playing who might not be streaming! Searching by ELO is useful especially if top players are playing with a different nickname or I dont know all the top 100 players. Spectating friends and top players is good, and the tools to do so could be drastically improved.

Another point is to support amateur websites such as and ‘aoe stats’ websites who monitor how successful civs are on different maps across different elos, etc.

To sum up

To sum up… There is a big difference between dropping and quitting, and both may require two different solutions, and many solutions have been proposed. And at the end of the day microsoft or whoever runs this game needs to PRIORITISE implementing appropriate matchmaking solutions. Giving players more choice over the map, support players who have allies/enemies drop, reduce wait times, allow friends to play against like-minded opponents, allow players to better find and spectate the top players, will all help make this game actually smooth and playable.

The original post is worth quickly scanning over again as it highlights various issues concisely and proposes the seeds of a good solution (involving splitting the lobby into 1v1 and team game with a check box toggling whether the match will be ranked or not)

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I could not agree more with this post.

The lobby system needs to show rankings. And the lobby needs its own ranking too.
Currently we got 1v1 and teamgame ranking, additionally there should be a lobby ranking and all of those need to be shown in the lobby so one can balance teams.

This is all it needs to revive the lobby again, people are not playing there since, even if the explained drops would not happen, it is impossible to create a balanced game in the unranked lobby.

Look at the information you get here when you check out a lobby

It is all there, all we ever asked for and need. So just find a good spot where to show that information and give it to us please.

On top of that, once there is also an unranked lobby “ranking”, add options to limit what rankings are needed to join a lobby (same as what was possible on voobly), make it easier for us to create balanced games, please.

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A really interesting topic, and a crucial one to save the community.

After reading through from the top, as a Starcraft 2 player myself, comparing this game with it, I summarise this issue into three main points and giving some humble suggested solutions, hopefully dev sees this:

  1. Ranking elo (similar to Matchmaking Rating, or MMR, in other games):
    Can just add ELO showing, or better, a ranked league border at the player’s portraits showing at a glance and giving as an achievement to the players at the same time. Just need to create a league later as future plans.

  2. Quitters and leavers should be penalised in a way, longer waiting times on ranked, or some left game percentage shown in game lobby to show others the person is a leaver. Player bans and report player should be allowed in game, but sadly none until today. An important feature to encourage good gameplay community.

  3. For unranked games, showing every single game at lobby can indeed show people the player base at the start, and that’s it. It seems like it’s getting a negative impact now as less players are doing ranked (to promote tournaments, even small ones to expand community for competitive play) as ranked doesn’t seem rewarding.

Some things can be done to try to not encourage players to go lobby than ranked by not showing much games on lobby:

  • Try to hide lobby private games as default. No point showing private games in lobby, host can invite friends and ex-game players in game.
  • Try to allow less open maps on ranked, or only allow 2-3 maps selection on ranked instead of rotating (you can see what popular maps are on lobby, mainly BF, Arabia, and Yucatan) so please listen to the community. I know it’s boring and promoting repetitive, but as this game is different from SC2 where AOE2’s maps are open, random in a sense, and there’s no air like in SC2, the map randomness and civ variety are enough in making the game a kaleidoscope. Many playing closed maps due to disliking too much randomness in a game, even water, so I believe it’s good to listen to the players. I believe many players will still love randomness, so dev should maybe make BF and Arabia popular maps on ranked by allowing at least 2-3 map selections than ban maps (to reduce variety and encourage more players to go ranked or even ranked team games as 4v4 ranked team games is a drought), and those players that chose other than the popular maps are expected to have longer wait times, so please choose popular maps as well. Players still love team games, but on a few particular maps, a summary I get from current lobby.
  • A bonus feature I feel worth adding in the future - VS AI (Ranked). I’m very excited to suggest this and I believe by creating a separate rating for VS AI players would allow us to see a player’s rating in another way, and a method to get queued up to be matched against a relative rating AI (Ranked) by starting with playing against Easiest AI to Extreme AI as the current VS AI Rating. This rating can be further used to match against Team VS AI games! As a result, shorter queuing times on ranked games, less unfair matches by having distinct rating players in a game. Of course, the players can choose their beloved map pool too! Maybe you can add in rotational map pool back to ranked play after the ranked player base is stable.

TLDR, I believe lobby isn’t a healthy place to gather for players as it has no rating, and it promotes unfair gameplay. Not sure about your manpower and resources catered for these changes. Please do something about it. Your community awaits!

Your Loving Community,

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Ranked ELO is already shown at unranked lobbies. Just hover the mouse over a player portrait.

I agree, leaver penalty is a standard to every game with a ladder nowadays.

The next update will probably remove the 50 lobby cap from the lobby browser.

Hmm it’s a good update. Maybe dev should seriously taking care of left games. Left games will drop the percentage of win rate somehow, which can be manipulated as a noob or a pro (smurf).

Looking forward! Best if only showing non-private games by default, private games can be invited by host. Region sorting if able to be sorted by latency would be best too, than the current alphabetical sort.

You can make a comeback though. Leaving before you’re actually being crushed in battle and your city is getting destroyed seems lame to me. I’ve had games where I was taking a beating in the Feudal Age, losing villagers, and falling behind. Then I’ve managed to put up a defense, beat the guy back, counter-attack, and win. I’ve also played games where I blew the early upper-hand that I had. Unless both players are phenomenal pros, they’re going to make mistakes and drop the ball on games that they should technically win. So if you’re in a team game, and someone resigns just because their team has a lower score, or they lost a villager to the boar, or something it’s really irritating. The one thing that is almost impossible to recover from is being down a player early on.

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