Remove map bans in ranked queue

Hi all,

suggestion is as simple as the title suggests. Just get rid of the map bans.

When two players are matched, the system simply looks at the preferred maps of both players. If they differ, the map is picked either at random (50/50) or according to the preference of the lower-ranked player (as kind of a home advantage). A soft variant in between (ELO difference influences map choice probability) is also possible.
In the end, the details here won’t matter a lot except for the very top and bottom of the ELO range. So let’s assume for now the choice is random among the two preferences indeed.

What are the consequences? Again, let’s make a simplifying assumption. We have only three maps, 70% of the player base favor Arabia, 20% Arena, and 10% a third map called “Other” (use it as a placeholder for whatever you like). The numbers are just made up, but probably not too far away from the truth.

With the system above, a player who favors Arabia will get the following ratio of games: 85% Arabia, 10% Arena, 5% Other
A player who favors Arena gets: 60% Arena, 35% Arabia, 5% Other
A player who favors Other gets: 55% Other, 35% Arabia, 10% Arena

In reality the “Other” category splits into the five other available maps in the pool. If each of them is favored equally, a player who likes, e.g. Nomad, still gets it in 51% of the matches, whereas an Arabia or Arena player “has to” play that map only with a probability of 1%.

I think this is a fair system for everyone that has the advantage that every player gets to play their actual preference in at least 50% of the games, with much higher probability for players who like popular maps such as Arabia.
This is in contrast to the current system, where relatively often maps are played that nobody really wants but that just remain as the lesser evil when the respective preferences are mutually banned. All the gold rush variants are probably a prime example of that. It would then also remove the need for strategic banning of maps (banning a map without disliking it, just to increase the probability of getting the own preference), which is always a pain to think about.

While the example above is for 1v1, the same could be easily done to simplify team game matchmaking.

Obviously this will not satisfy the “my-way-or-AltF4” faction, but for everyone mature:
What do you think about this suggestion? Would you agree that it is better to always play the preferences of either of the players, or do you actually like the “lesser evil” approach of the current system?


Half the forum argues whether we should have 3 or infinite map bans, and there it was, right in front of our eyes, we have the solution folks- just no map bans at all :smiley:


I actually quite like this suggestion, it is the Ban that stops an Arabia player and Arena player ever getting what they want since they ban each other’s favourite.

Some points:

It is most often team games that I’ve noticed people complain about when I try and provide suggestions.
How would it work for team games?
Randomly pick 1 of the 4-8 players favourite?

Could there/ should there be multiple favourite options for those that don’t mind playing a variety of maps? If you only want arena only favourite arena, but if you want arena nomad and megarandom select all those?

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Well, I would implement majority vote among the favorite picks of all players, and then, as a tiebreaker, use a random choice (or the preference of the lowest-ranked player). This would be a natural extension from the 1v1 idea.

I don’t see immediate downsides of that, except that it could complicate tie-breaking a bit (when it’s not done entirely at random).

Hmmm can you run the numbers on a majority vote system.

My gut says if one pre-made team all puts their favourite on Arabia and they get matched against a random team they will get Arabia 100% of the time if the other team doesn’t happen to all pick the same map (in which case it’s 50/50?)

Vs two pre-made teams I think it’s 50/50 whichever system you use.

But in two random pick teams that’s where it’d be interesting to know the stats of majority pick vs 1 random persons pick.

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Yeah, just after submitting I noticed that majority vote is not quite optimal for teams. What you should do instead is: Collect all votes, let’s say
5x Arabia
2x Arena
1x Islands
and then you pick the map at random with probability 5/8 Arabia, 2/8 Arena, 1/8 Islands.

That should give the desired outcome.


I’ve just gone and re-read some of the other threads about map bans and suspensions and the more I read of them the more I love this idea.

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This sounds strangely good. I’m in the group that wants more map choice, and it sounds like this system would mean getting to choose your map more than 50% of the time in 1v1. I’d be willing to play the opponent’s favorite map the other games. The current system often just ends up banning both favorites and playing a map nobody really wants.

If this becomes the system, can we open all the maps instead of limiting to 7? There are so many great maps I want to favorite, but they’re never selected or voted in.


I think it is still reasonable to keep a fairly small map pool so that players know what to expect. Looking at five different maps in advance every two weeks is doable, when it’s 30+ or so, it gets a bit… challenging [at least for a casual player like me].

However, without bans there would be little incentive to vote Arabia clones into the map pool, so my hope is that we would naturally see more diversity there.

This does not address any of the current system issues, and arguably makes them worse.

A player could still get on a map they have no will to play, so get tempted to Alt-F4, but on top of it, now they could not even ban maps to prevent it. So now someone could troll people by only favoriting BF in 1v1 and get it half of the time. A high level troll could even force Viper to play it. As a reminder, Viper forfeited a BF game in a tournament game against Slam because he didn’t want to play the map, I guess he is a toxic player too?


Yes, why should a player that enjoys BF be forced to play Arabia all the time and their preferred map never? Tbh BF at above average skill can be a very fun map, sneaking early villagers to make stables like on islands, or cutting through trees in castle age for a Khmer knight rush. You can vill fight during early walling, or even drush to keep the opponent open (Lithuanian ideally). At a high level many players don’t even bother walling, they just attack and defend the choke point.

My point is that every BF doesn’t need to be a 2 hour noob boom fest to imperial, and I don’t think anyone’s map preference should take priority over anyone else’s.


Well, first of all, it still requires the map in question to be available in the map pool. An extremely unpopular map will never make it, unless the devs decide to add it.
Second, even if it does, the probability of getting it if you don’t favor it is very low (see above, maybe 1% or so).
Third, playing it very rarely is really an issue? I would never volunteer to play BF myself, but it the queue gives it to me once every 500 games or so (1% chance, plus the map in question being in the map pool only rarely)… so what? I know that at the other end there is likely a player who likes to play the map and that player also needs an opponent. Being available as such is just fair.
Fourth, even if I get a map that I’m very uncomfortable with, there is always the option to go for some crazy all-in strat that ends the game relatively quickly (one way or the other). At least better than ALT-F4 or instant resign.

I like that suggestion. It would be fair and acceptable. Current system of Favorite and ban system often get the map nobody want.

In TG, majority voting system probably get only Arabia and Arena. But if it is the majority’s choice, so what is the problem? It is better than current system of 3 player vote for Arabia and 3 player vote for Arena, but those maps are banned for two player and they get Gold rush nobody vote for.

If players who want to play minor map in TG, they can find other players have similar preference and can make a party.

Two points on this

  1. if you don’t favourite that map your chance to play it is very small, but if you do favourite it is 50% or better for Arabia. Check the OP maths, I’m not a maths guy so it’s good to have someone else double check
  1. Not having a ban will mean you cannot guarantee you don’t get X specific map is TRUE. But it often means some else is banning your map so you don’t get to play that one either. This method means you will absolutely get to play your map, reasonably often even, but you will also get the map you don’t want, some of the time (10% arena if you favourite Arabia listed above).

I prefer the latter method, especially if I only wanted Arabia. But if you’re only ever satisfied with 100% what you want, that’s not possible in any system until the player base is much much larger.

Maybe this system could also be smart about who gets the map pick, by tracking how many consecutive games since they had their favorite. For example if Player A just played their favorite map, but Player B has gone 2 games on someone else’s map pick then it would choose Player B’s map. Then if the two players matched again right after it would show Player B just played their favorite, while Player A had one game since they had and select Player B’s map. If both had the same number of games since their fav then it would just go to a virtual coin flip, 50/50. This would eliminate a lot of the RNG and prevent anyone from getting stuck playing maps they hate several times in a row.

It could also be extended to team games, with the# of games since favorite simply being added as a multiplier to weight how many votes each player gets for a system like the one described above.

Edit: And if you dodge a map by Alt + F4 or early resign/deleting tc then it does not give credit for non-fav map played, and the player who chose that map does not get reset to 0 because they did not actually get to play a game.

Is someone who enjoys BF being forced to play Arabia currently? No. He can ban it.
Is someone who enjoys BF being forced to play Arabia with the proposed system? Yes.

So your statement is LITERALLY working against you. That is, AGAINST the suggestion of OP (who ironically, liked your post).

Funny how suddenly people in this thread defend that BF is a great map and that nobody should be prevented it to play it, yet when the exact same argument was used to show that the current ranked system was toxic and lead to the disappearance of 99% of the BF players in ranked, the same people defended that BF players had no place in ranked and should go to the lobby.

If you want to let people to play the map they want, advocate for unlimited bans. Don’t advocate for a random coin flip system. This won’t make anyone happy, neither the Arabia players, nor the BF players. They would still have a large chance of not getting the map they want, and thus, Alt-F4 would be rampant.

If instead you want to have people get a random map depending on what their opponent has chosen and the stars alignment, then the current system already does that. You have a probability to get a map you like, and a probability to get a map you dislike. OP’s proposition does not address that, the only thing it changes is that it would make the probabilities more extreme (now you’ll have more chance to get the map you like, but also more chance to get a map you absolutely hate).

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no thanks

i want to play actual random maps when i play RM, not arena/socotra/crater custom scenario garbage

Nobody can ban Arabia when it is essentially in the map pool 4 times. Whether it’s Arabia with relics in the middle, Arabia with gold in the middle, or Arabia with particularly bad woodlines doesn’t really matter, they all play the same.

BF might be an extreme example, as a niche map. With the current map pool an Arabia player can ban Islands, Land Nomad, and Arena and get an open land map every game. The closed map player is 100% forced to play on an Arabia clone, the water map player is 100% forced to play on a land map, and the nomad-favorited player is 100% forced to play with a traditional start. And players that prefer hybrid maps or black forest, they get zero options.

I’m not saying the proposed system is perfect, but it’sfar better than what we have today. The current system has a lot of flaws, and is pretty unfair to players that prefer anything besides Arabia.

Lobbies are not an answer. Just having an Elo rating is enough to get you kicked from many lobbies, so most play on smurf or alt accounts. It’s impossible to tell anyone’s skill level, most don’t show any Elo rating. Even when you form the exact game you want it is impossible to find opponents of equal skill in a reasonable time. “Noob only” games are full of 1200-1300+ players, “no noob” games have players playing at a 700-800 level. It’s a ridiculously poor system, and ranked is really the only option.

This is why I suggest 3 map bans and 3 map stars - it provides the best of both worlds while increasing the odds one of the starred maps will be starred by both players.


Incorrect, under the current system:
1v1 If player A bans arabia and Player B bans Arena, neither will get to play Arabia or Arena, the chance is 0%. The chance is 100% that they will play a different map that neither of them want.
It’s worse in team games Using current map pool:
Take a 3v3 Team game
If player 1 bans Arabia, player 2 bans arena, player 3 bans BF, player 5 bans Nomad, player 6 bans Megarandom what are they left to play with:
Mountain Range

which maps are the ones that people will Alt 4 if they don’t get…
… all the maps that are banned.
No one is Alt F4 cause they didn’t get Runestones or Baltic.

So if you come up against another team who wants to play X map, and your team want to play Y map, there’s a good chance you will have 0% chance to play a map that anyone wants.

Under the proposed system in any 1 given game
1v1: 50% chance minimum to get the map you want
Team Game 3v3: 16.6666% minimum chance to get the map you want.

However I think it’s better than that, because if you’re an arabia player you still get to have the 100% chance of arabia when you match up against someone who also wants to play arabia and again go double check the maths on it, cause it could be wrong. But OP is suggesting that could lead to:

Which compared to potentially 0% for anyone in the game is pretty good I think.