Often we get a lobby with players of various ratings, then sit there for a few minutes, hovering over icons so player ratings can appear 1-by-1, thinking about how to balance the teams. Give the lobby host an “auto-balance” option that will take the player Elos, execute some basic algorithm to balance the teams, then assign those teams to the players.
That’s neither relevant nor helpful. How does having a ranked matchmaking absolves from implementing useful lobby features ? There are dozens of situations where ranked queue doesn’t meet at all the situation.
I’d rather see random teams stay as truly random and have an auto-balance option added in addition to it (that is, add in auto-balance as an additional feature, rather than replacing the existing random team feature).
Great suggestion, also the ability to see Elo by players’ names in the lobby as well as in-game for unranked and ranked (also spectating) would be such a simple feature to add and would help to see how good players are without having to check aoe2.net
This kind of discussion is not new. There are alraedy multiple threads about some tool to balance teams in the lobby. Call it ‘show unranked ranking’ so players can balance the teams based on that ranking or call it ‘A ranked lobby’, so you can balance teams based on the current MM rankings or call it a feature of the game as ‘auto ranking’. For me it is all about the same. This is already discussed in for example:
In previous games/platforms (HD, Voobly, … ) there was no tool to balance teams. It has to be done manually. Now in DE they introduced matchmaking to have balanced teams and even balanced 1v1s. It is great we now have such tool. I wont say it is perfect or is usefull for every situation. I would much rather have focus on expanding MM so it is better for more players, than having a second tool to balance teams, a tool with its own drawbacks. I much rather have 1 great tools, than 2 tools and every think meh about tool.
This tool would have a completely different use case. Often streamers host community games in the lobby (you can’t invite 8 players to matchmaking) and then need to balance the teams. These games are just for fun between friends, there is no ranking involved or points being changed. But there is a need to have balanced teams, otherwise the games are very one-sided.
This feature would simply be a way to speed up the process of hovering over player avatars to get their ratings, thinking about which players should select which teams, typing e.g. 11212221 in the chat box, and waiting for players to select the teams.
There are already external tools that do this (some are even integrated into Twitch bots and accessible through commands in the chat), but nothing can replace the convenience of having it done directly in game. HD and Voobly actually were much better in terms of balancing teams in the lobby, as you could see all player Elos at once (either next to the name in HD or by typing !ratings into the chat box in Voobly).
The lobby should be fully featured meaning it allows unranked and ranked games on its own ladder. It needs to show elo next to the name, so it doesn’t require 2k5 lobby micro to manually form fair teams.
@KanyeTWest Your suggestion is interesting and could help forming teams in an objective manner.
However I want to comment on the purpose of the lobby, there is this idea that it’s only for casual/non serious games. I disagree, this community is too big and varied to put into a limited MM system. The lobby is where all other maps and settings can be played that are not present in MM, casual and competitive. Boths systems are different and have their own benefits. The lobby is also where niche maps can thrive and new maps can grow in popularity.
A HUGE and I’m assuming universally accepted quality of life improvement would be to include a calculator in unranked lobbies that can automatically split teams into the most balanced compositions so that each team has the same average elo. I think the best way for the calculator to work would be to put players that have outlier elos on separate teams (highest and lowest) and then compensate with the remaining players to bring the averages to be the same. Easy for devs to implement, improves quality of team games IMMENSELY.