I don’t like that ranked games now leave the players with little/no customization options. I would like to play fast speed, not be locked into normal speed. What if I want to specify the map type instead of totally random? What’s the issue. I get that the community wants to arrive at a standard for rankings but leave some flexibility…geez.
The issue is that by offering ranked play customisation points you fragment the amount of players playing each segment. In order for ranked matchmaking to quickly find you a game against an evenly matched opponent there must be a large number of players also searching with the same settings.
Most players play with standard speed. In comparison not many players play with fast speed. Would you be OK with waiting 20+ minutes for a game at fast speed then getting matched against an opponent who is significantly stronger than you and wins the game in 10 minutes? That would not be a fun game.
I play ranked games with fast speed all the time in HD on Steam. Not sure why that would be an issue.
Because most players would be searching for ranked games with speed set to normal. Only a small amount of players would set their speed as fast. So you would only be matching against those small number of players, most of which would already be in a game with each other at any given time. So you would have long wait times and not many opponents searching who are the same skill as you.
In HD you host your own game with your own settings, and you manage the players who join your lobby. You can still do this in DE with the lobby system to play non standard games or preferred maps. With matchmaking the game selects who you are playing against and the game settings so they must be standard to maximise the amount of players in the pool for the system to work well.
The November 2020 patch is adding a new matchmaker for unranked games, and since this post was made, weak map preference was added to ranked matches, however the matchmaking still looks like it’ll be pretty worthless.
In HD Edition (2013 Edition), I played almost exclusively ranked matches and I got to choose every setting myself if I wanted, and thanks to the rank in most games all of the players I played with and faced were near my level. I also played almost exclusively on Black Forest and Team Islands at 300 pop, and most lobbies I joined had these settings. It wasn’t perfect but it worked a lot better than what I have now in Definitive Edition.
Now I can either play a ranked game with no options—where I can face people at my level but I can’t play the type of game I want to play—or I can play an unranked game with all the options I want but chances are there’ll be several players far outside my skill level. I just don’t like the ranked games; the population limit is too low and rushing strategies dominate; it just doesn’t feel like Age of Empires II.
Matchmaking is probably the single biggest problem I have with Definitive Edition, since I can’t find a way to play the type of matches I want with players near my skill level. We’re getting a huge patch in November with a new unranked matchmaking system, but there’s no mention of solving the issue of differing skill levels.
The patch announcement video: