These 2 things were unfortunately not working very well in AoE. The ranking system in AoE3 was very vague and not reflecting the truth. People could challange weak and/or beginners and gain a good credit. This was very frustrating because people were kicking each other out of matches because of this.
Another problem was the connection problems. If someone was lagging, everyone was lagging. If someone lost connection (which sometimes could be solved within seconds) was kicked out of the game causing the rest to lose or win. Sometimes these things were happening after a treaty of 40 minutes, making it even more frustrating.
In addition, in-game updates were also a problem in my opinion. In my opinion, if you want to keep this game a competitive game, one should update the game making the strong ones weaker and the weaker ones stronger.
I am really a big fan of AoE and I am looking forwards for the updates and the game itself! But make it more convenient for the gamers please, this will cause for a better online community… which should be one of your missions. When it comes to the online community part, I would recommend you to take League of Legends as a case for building a gamer-friendly community.