This has been building for a while. But to ensure the longevity of the game, I feel like a some changes need to be made to the current ranked system. Im my opinion, failure to do so will leave the game as it was when the Zone became useless and we will once again be dependent upon those in the community to fix what the development team has left behind.
Let me start by saying that I do like the concept of a ranked queue. I do not enjoy the fearful Elo-picking of a lobby system. I do not enjoy the wait times in a lobby.
But - trying to say that the current ranked queue is without flaws is ignorant. We need to do better for this to last.
Right now, we have to have a ‘rotating’ map pool, because there is no favorite map system or active ban system. We have a passive ban system that is built in a way to increase wait times. Bans should happen post matchup or there should be a favorite map system in order to ensure that players are satisfied with the maps they get most often. I love variety. But days when I draw Hill Fort or Bog Islands three times in a row simply because that’s how bans line up among players makes me want to quit. Let me pick my bans each time in no more than thirty seconds. You’ll make up for the wait time by not having to have your system filter through map bans.
Right now, there is no way to see if my opponent has picked civ. I love some map diversity. It is one of the best things to come of DE. But when I get an islands or hybrid map and see the same civs EVERY SINGLE TIME, I want to quit playing entirely. Just let me see if my opponent picked civ or not, so that if I am on a map where there is the possibility of a mis-match, I have no one but myself to blame and I don’t want to quit playing because of it. On several maps, I really don’t care if you picked civ or not. For example, on Arabia, I don’t care if you picked civ or not. If you are actually at the same skill level that I am at, we will have a fun match even if you picked the best civ of the month and I drew the worst at random. It’s a balanced map. But on a hybrid map? I’d kind of like to know if you picked a civ. On a closed map? I’d kind of like to know if you picked civ. On islands? You better believe that I’d like to know if you picked civ. I don’t even care anymore if people pick civs. But at least tell us in the queue that our opponent has picked. That’s the BARE minimum.
Right now, there is no method for community moderation beyond going on these forums and reporting someone. Who has the time/effort to do that? I have had players berate me in the first three minutes of a game simply to tilt me. I DON’T WANT TO PLAY WITH THEM. I have heard people make racist or derogatory comments in team games. I DON’T WANT TO PLAY WITH THEM. I know players who lame every game, trush every game, steal resources, vil fight, every thing that can possibly make what should be a fun experience for me less fun. I DON’T WANT TO PLAY WITH THEM. Don’t try to be the sole decision maker of what kind of online experience we want to have. AoE2 has thrived for so long off of the community. THE COMMUNITY IS ABSENT IN THE CURRENT RANKED QUEUE. I cannot talk to people pre-game, let my opponent leave the game without Elo being lost when they have a real-life issue, cannot amicably fix disconnects in team games and cannot enforce what has been etiquette for the community for the past few years. And I know you don’t have the time nor SHOULD you have the time to sift through player complaints. Let the community decide what behavior should and shouldn’t be tolerated. Give us ways to do it.
And as a side note, I hate people who use all caps in an argument. But I don’t know at this point how else to communicate the frustration I feel with the game right now. I feel as though the devs do not care about these issues at all.
I truly feel as though once this wave of newness subsides and we lose the influx of players that we will be left weaker as a result. Hopefully that’s wrong and hopefully the devs prove me wrong. But every patch has left me disappointed since the game was released in this regard.