Quick play

I really dont understand why the devs add quick play to the game. In the patch notes this new mode is describe as follow:

It’s also now easier than ever to jump in and play Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition with Quick Play! This feature allows players to set a game type and map preferences, then effortlessly matchmake with others in the Random Map, Empire Wars, and Battle Royale game modes.

Quick play is meant to be a more easy way to get into a game compared to existing ways to jump into a game. This isnt true: Getting into a ranked game is as easy as quick pley. If i had to describe Ranked, it would be something similar to this text. So quick play doesnt make it easier to jump into a game. And the above text doesnt really explain why the devs add this mode to the game.

In fact Quick play looks like a copy of the ranked queue, with just some small changes:

  1. Ranked matches players on elo, so you play against about equally skilled players. Quick play matches at random. Untill know there is always a big skill gap between players. I have played some 1v1s using Quick play, but the average elo gaps seems about to 500 elo.

  2. In ranked you can play RM or DM. In Quick play you can play RM, EW or BR. So RM can be played in ranked ad Quick play. DM can only be played at Ranked queue. EW and BR can only be played in quick play. So quick play added EW and BR to match making. Is adding EW and BR a good reason to create a new match making system? I dont think so. It was also possible to add EW and BR to the ranked queue. That would be fine as well. I would go a step further: The better step for the devs would have been adding EW and BR to ranked if they would add those modes to match making.

  3. It is possible to queue for RM and DM at the same time in ranked. It looks like this is not possible. You have to pick one of the three game modes in quick play. You cant just sign up for 2 or 3 games modes.

  4. The UI of quick play and ranked are both completely different, while all settings are the same. You still have to pick the game mode. You still have to pick the number of players. You still have to ban maps, … Everything is the same, but the UI is completely different. I dont wanna start a discussion about which UI is better here. I only wants to say that is feel weird that both UIs are pretty different. If you want an easy to navigate game, then you need consistency in the UI. If something is almost the same, then it also needs almost the same. Having a new way to play online which looks pretty different compared to the other options, is just not good.

All things considered, ranked seems to be the superior version over quick play. There arent much reasons to play quick play. I can think about some reasons:

  1. You want to try out some new strategies against a human (Not AI) and you wont want to tank your elo. My question to those players: What kind of conclusion can you get from a game with 500 elo between the 1v1 RM rating of both players. One player is just much, much better and clearly win. Note: 500 elo is an average. So you can be lucky and you play against someone of your level. But you also can be unlucky and there is a 1000 elo gap. In that case, the better player can go for any troll strategy and probably still win. So in my opinion Quick play isnt the place to try out new strategies.

  2. People just want a quick game, but are scared of the name Ranked. Now they will get the option to play in quick play. That sound nice, but after some games, they will found out that teams are unbalanced and they even can face up pros (in their eyes). They will quickly go back to the lobby.

  3. You just want a quick game, but you dont care about very unbalanced match up. In this case, quick play is possible as option. But in the end you are still better off with ranked games. You will get into a game as quickly as quick play. So in the end you are still better of with Ranked games.

  4. You want to play EW or BR. Quick play is a good option, but you might find more balanced games in the lobby. Finding a good game in the lobby might take a while, so i can understand if you will use quick play for this kind of games.

  5. This is not really a reason to play QP or Ranked, but an argument why it is bad to have both existing. It will split the player base between QP and Ranked. Less people in the queue for QP or Ranked, which lead to increased queueing times in the end. So splitting match making will make it less easy to get into a game in both QP and Ranked. Splitting the player base is only fine if the player base is large and i dont think the player base of AOE II DE is really large enough to be split.

In the end there isnt really much reason to play in quick play. And with some suggestions, we can easily eliminate Quick play completely. Let’s have a look at those suggestions:

  1. We add EW and BR to the ranked queue. They will get both their own ladder. We can even split EW in 1v1 and TG. This way you can still play EW and BR easily using match making. The end result will be more balanced games. I dont know if there are really enough players to create an own ladder for those modes, but even if these modes arent that popular, matching based on these ratings will result in smaller skill gaps between players.

  2. We just delete the current version of quick play and we rename the ‘ranked’ to ‘Quick play’. Quick play sounds much less scary for newer players. So that threshold is taken away from those users. In the background ratings are still used to match players and those ratings are also still shown. So for those who now play ranked, nothing really changes. It just functions the same. So for the competative scene, this will be still the ranking they need to care about.

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I think this would be a good option too.
I’d argue the default behaviour should be not to show the ELO though. People who care about their rank will find out how to activate it, and I think it’s more important to care for the people who don’t want to think about their rank. (I am one of the people who’d want to see their ELO change.)

The quick play queue could have functionality in existing next to ranked. BR already uses some of that functionality. IMO it should implement an opt-in system for maps. Mirror Random should function differently in quick play than it does in the Normal queue. Having an extra queue could also allow us to play with a data mod, which could be voted on in the same way as we vote for the map pool.

Definitely it should allow users to queue in as many different ques at the same time as possible (ranked included, and with an opt-in system each map effectively forms it’s own que), and I don’t much like the quick play UI.

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Ranked is for competitive play and Quick play is for casual play, as simple as that. Not everyone likes the competitive aspect of ranked matches, some people just want to play a fun casual game as quickly and with as least effort as possible.

That’s also the reason why there are different game modes for ranked and Quick play. Battle Royale is only in Quick play because is a casual game mode.

Theoretically, quick play can have shorter queue times, because ratings don’t have to be taken into account in the matching process, so it can be quicker than the ranked queue. The downside is that is can lead to less balanced matches. It’s a trade-off.

We’ll have to see in practice. I found the queue times for Quick play still relatively long, Around 5 minutes for a Battle Royale game, plus 1 minute for everyone to click in. For a game that can last between 5 and 20 minutes, I don’t consider that very quick. But give it a chance, we will see.

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The main problem is that quick play doesn’t use elo (at least it’s what i think). It should use ranked elo or an hidden quick play elo. Unfair game aren’t funny for anyone.

It uses the hidden ELO

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Hidden elo = unranked elo (on aoe2.net)?

I think Hidden Elo makes no sense in “Unranked” mode. And quick play victory condition standart (you can win with relics and wonders) while ranked game (and lobby games usually) has conquest. Just difference is this. Basically create a lobby with hidden civilizations it’s exactly quick play. I didn’t feel much time difference between ranked and quick play.

Yes

Since it’s unranked ELO, it has to be taken into account into the unranked mode, however it’s super inaccurate since you can TG against AI and win

BUT, I have a suggestion

If it’s a 1v1 unranked, consider 1v1 ELO

If it’s TG unranked, consider TG ELO

2 Likes

How do you know this?
I am not that sure about this one… I have a BR Quick Play game I now looking at on aoe2.net
my unranked elo: 2k, highest unranked elo in lobby: 2.4k, lowest: 1.3k… sounds like a lot of difference? Half of the lobby does not even have an unranked elo, because only playing ranked…
So how do you want to know that unranked elo is part of that?

This seems to be not true at all. I already explained this in another thread. There are numerous counter examples that just show that it do not use unranked elo (or any other elo). See for example the following quote:

You can find many of this kind of examples if you have a quick look at aoe2.net. For me it is clear: Quick play dont use unranked elo to match players.

I think it is his assumptions. I dont think he can proof this. The counter examples are too numerous, like i explain in this post. You also give a counter example to his claim.

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True, but I also heard SOTL mention it, so I guessed that would be true

But if are counter examples to this point, then it’s incorrect

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If people are really scared of the word ranked then I’d say 2 is definitely the way to go. I don’t think it will effect those of us who enjoy the ranking aspect. Honestly the quickest way to get a game is que up select 1v1, and Arabia as favorite. 1.5 to 2 minutes you have a game haha.

If we did this way you could easily allow people to que for EW, team games, 1v1, DM, BR etc simultaneously. Which would create real quick play functionality.

I think i have seen this idea once or twice before. This mode will still be used by the competative scene as well. So only some hidden elo doesnt make much sense for that part. As long as i am part of the AoE II community, we always have had some form of elo visible. It was never really considered as bad think.

I think you can make the argument to have an option that is named something like ‘Show ratings’ which can be put on and off.

Can you explain the functionality that is in quick play, but not in ranked. To me it looks te same. There are some minor differences (explained in the first post), but that seems to be all. To me they both function the same, except some minor details.

I see a big issue with multiple queues. If you add more queues, players will be fragmented over multiple queues and so waiting times will increase. In the end you want a system in which most players are happy to play, while others can still play their kind of niche games in the lobby. Also game with friends, games for tournaments, … can use the lobby to play those games. That would be the ultimate system that i would describe.

If i look at data mods, i dont think there are many that popular that you really can have a different queue for a specific data mod. Correct me if i am wrong on this. I must say i am not really into data mods.

Yeah, i understand the difference in theory. But in practise things looks different. In the first post i already made the comparison. I dont think QP will ever be much quicker then ranked. So if you have the choice between someone of equally skill or a random guy, i do think that everyone will go for the equally skilled player.

Now people end up with game like this:

Player 1:
1v1 RM: 1500 elo
TG RM: 2200 elo
Unranked: 2300 elo

Player 2:
1v1 RM: 600 elo
TG RM: 1200 elo
Unranked: 1100 elo

This is a example which i saw some days ago.

That is a nice conclusion about the issue and the solution. If quick play uses ranked elo or a hidden elo, it just becomes the same like the ranked queue. So i would advice the devs to just merge Ranked and Quickplay and use match making with elo.

I understand your point. I think the success of Quick Play depends on the waiting times in practice. If it’s quick, it’s a good addition to find a casual match. If waiting times are long, there is not much benefit over playing ranked or going to a lobby.

Until now, I didn’t find Quick play particularly quick. Waiting times seem to be comparable to ranked. So for me, the main difference is that you can play different game modes.

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I think there is functionality in having both of them, because that way not everything has to fit in the same framework. To give a specific example which is already implemented, I don’t see how BR would fit in the ranked ELO system.

You are right. To me this is a missed opportunity.
The other things I mentioned can be implemented now that we have them side-by-side, without breaking the ranked queue. If I didn’t make it clear, I don’t want the ranked que to be broken.

I understand the worry that extra queues could undermine the ranked queue. I wouldn’t want that to happen, but I think it can be avoided if we are careful. Just so long as it remains clear the ranked que is the ‘main’ ‘quickest’ ‘normal’ queue.
As for the worry that new ques would not be popular enough, I have fairly positive experience with the DM queue (which isn’t very popular AFAIK). So I’m not too worried about that.

Except we can’t really. I’m not even going to try to get a no-wall-mod game going in the Lobby. It won’t go well.

I expect that if we have a no-wall-mod queue for a fortnight, and we know it’s temporary, there will be quite a lot of people who want to play a few games in that queue. It has the same kind of appeal as Hamburger or Socotra. Maybe some people will want to play a lot of games. The same for CBA, Forrest Nothing, exploding villagers, and probably some mods I don’t know about.
Maybe some mods would even be popular enough to justify having a permanent queue. (CBA is the main contender as far as I know.)

We have almost all of the required infrastructure now, I don’t see any real harm in it being tried out.

No, it does not use any Elo
In a 4V4 quick play, i got 2.5k unranked elo, one of my teammate got 1.1k unranked elo. I went afk and he won the game 1v4

One main difference between quick play and ranked in the random map mode is quick play has standard victory, so you can win a game by collecting all the relics (which I did once). I don’t know why they set it to standard victory in quick play though, maybe to try something different.

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Yes, I think this also has to do with the casual nature of Quick play. In competitive play, wonder and relic victories are not really a thing, but in casual play it is.

A nice side effect is you can use those victory conditions to end the game if you’re in an imbalanced match-up and your opponents fail to concede.

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We still cant confirm this though… A number of exceptions dont prove the norm.

Potentially QP starts out trying to match close Elo(as SOTL said) but rapidly expands the criteria to more quickly attain a match. If i was the devs that’s the logic i would use.

Yes you’ll end up with imba matches but generally speaking a high % shouldn’t be.

Those minor details aren’t so minor (as has been pointed out)

Win conditions
Rate of match ups (we have people here complaining about a 40 min queue in ranked, i can’t imagine that would happen in QP)
Game modes that would be impossible in ranked

Let’s not forget this situation has literally just been instated and there might be bugs that need to be corrected. In the same way the ranked MM improved over time

There has to be something it uses other than the region