[Suggestion] How to improve current map pool selection in the current ranked game system

Right now current map pool selection is really bad. It really forces the player to go for certain types of map now. But I think forced map pool is not bad and not good idea either. This game shouldn’t let people to play ranked game under forced settings. Instead devs can create more map pool. Map pool should be designed in such a way where players picking certain map pool shouldn’t mess up your build order at all. But there should be surprise here and there. Dev should follow ZeroEmpires’ suggestion.

  1. Open Map Pool. (Arabia, Valley, Sahara, etc. Players can go all open map strategies like Archer, Scout rush, etc.)
  2. Closed Map Pool (Black Forest, Hideout, Arena, etc. Core theme of these map pool is players to have their defenses up for early aggression)
  3. Odd Map Pool (Nomad, Steppe, etc. Theme is players won’t have general start at all. Those who played those map will have the idea.)
  4. Mixed Map Pool (Scandinavia, Coastal, etc. Theme is water and land maps must be mixed. Players has the chance to win the game either by going land or water. Both option available)
  5. Water Map Pool(Baltic, Islands, etc. Player must focus water to win the game. But still have the chance to win the game by land but low.)
  6. Competitive Map Pool(Arabia, Arena, Islands, Black Forest, Nomad. These map pool is for well known competitive maps that is commonly played all these years)

Way too many pools. I like ZE suggestion much better, and id argue even that has too many pools.

Also, BF players are not going to play ‘Closed map pool’, and arena players are going to dislike playing maps other than arena as well. I personally would much prefer arabia than open land maps

I think matchmaking should only consist of competitive options (and not one pool for all options. Arena and BF are definitely maps that people either hate or like). It makes no sense to group these together IMO

I think it would be better if we have the following pools


  1. Arabia (1v1 and TG)

  2. Random map (GOOD quality maps not terrible, outdated ones like mongolia/highland/ghost lake, etc.) (1v1 and TG). Weekly rotated pool, consist of a mix of land/water/hybrid maps. I think many custom maps

  3. Black forest (team game only)

Perhaps also add temporary pools during peak hours or weekends, such as arena and nomad.

Mix of custom tournament DM maps (stuff like sheep, wild animals, berries and straggler trees around TC removed). If the playerbase is large enough, add a green arabia DM pool as well.


I like this (SpartanCow’s) suggestion. The current ma pool combined with most of the players tryharding == civ picking is just a disaster. I would really appreciate 1v1 Arabia random civs again.

Black Forest and Nomad are well known competitive maps? wtf


The devs really have to come out and say why the matchmaking works as it does, are the limitations in bans to shorten waiting time or to make the game more competitive. But seeing how even simple things like changing the pool for DM is not bothered with, we can safely assume whoever is in charge of the map pool didn’t put that much thought into it as the people writing suggestions for improvements and may just doesn’t care enough to improve it.

As SpartanCow said, you not only make 6 pools out of the one currently existing but some of them don’t make sense. Arena and Black Forest players only want to play their specific map and don’t care that much about the other closed maps. Your mixed map pool satisfies no one, people who want to play Cross don’t necessarily want to play Baltic etc. and your competitive map pool is off. But more importantly, why not rather allow infinite bans? Your system is in no regard (forcing “competitivity”, shorten waiting time) better than this approach.

The system is perfect the way it is. The problem is the maps are uninspired. The map selection is random to ensure that the leaderboard accurately reflects “overall elo” rather than just how good you are on a single map that you play over and over. The only potential change would be to allow players the option to play in the “random map pool” which is what we currently have, or play on a selected specific map as many times as they want (and match with other players that did the same). There would need to be separate leaderboards for specific maps (bf leader board, arabia leaderboard, arena leaderboard) and well as the og “overall leaderboard.” The issue is that it will fragment the matching system resulting in longer queue times especially at higher elos.

In regards to the random map picks, there are tons of high-quality maps that have been made by the community, from major tournaments, etc. Why are we playing Kilamanjaro when we have something like Slopes we can play instead? People who understand the game meta need to be picking/making the ranked maps. Honestly, they should just hand it over to the community and reach out to the top players/casters to select the next map pool.

P.S. Low key mega random needs to be swapped out for hyper random lite. Would be amazing.

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Sound logic, but you should consider that the maps themselves are very much one sided. I think we simply don’t have the maps at our disposal that are fun to play. Slopes sounds fun, and is in my opinion a great tournament map, but something that will get very stale quickly. With the current civ pick system, it will be indians/mongols all the time. I’m also really not a fan of having to play a map that has pretty much exact same wood generation all the time, as that is one main factor how the game plays out.

the only non-arabia map (that isn’t an arabia clone) I personally enjoyed a lot was four lakes (aka cross). If it was up to me, i would still much rather play arabia 100% of the time over maps that have pretty much fixed meta.

I also disagree that “overall elo” (playing multiple maps) is a better indicator of skill than a single, but easily the most popular map (arabia). Apart from water maps, pretty much all strategies that apply in hill fort, acropolis, golden pit, hideout, etc. also apply to arabia.

I think people are mostly talking about 1v1 but I can’t help to mention Wolf Hill which is probably the most retarded “competitive” map I’ve ever played. Did someone really think that manually clicking on relics back and forth to the monastery 50 times was an interesting part of the game.

I mean I like that they try to push original maps in the pool but please at least playtest them before pushing them to the entire playerbase, this one is absolutely not fun. This is basically gold hill but with stupid monk micro and no way to come back for the losing team.

I think the current setup is fine, introduction of pools will dilute player numbers across them. I just think we need more open maps similar to Arabia.
Limit FC maps to 2 (ie, not golden pit, hill fort and arena in one go).

Because everyone has different preferences, I understand it is impossible to make everyone happy. To help this, please introduce a “preferred” map option in addition to the banning system. That was when maps the two players have banned are removed, a double chance of selection is given to you’re preferred map (3x, if both prefer the same one).

I am just going to be absurdly cheeky at this point and suggest my Watering Hole RMS be added too. Good open map https://www.ageofempires.com/mods/details/15926/

I havent played in over a month, the reason is because I want to play Arabia like maps but cannot. The huge huge huge issue with this game is not being able to play the style maps you want. Using bans, it should be possible to play arabia style maps with minimal water, or turtle maps like bf and arena, or water maps or whatever else.

Why is this not possible? I just want to play a standard age game on Arabia and I still cannot. With the current map pool it seems Arabia like gameplay is mostly impossible. if you want me and others like me to start playing again, this is non negotiable. People play for fun, being forced to play maps they dont want to isnt fun. There is no way around this fact.

I suggest always having Arabia-like map pool available, then rotate other weird maps every month or whatever but always allow the core gameplay to be possible. This is easily possible by keeping the ratio of bans/arabia like maps in balance.


I don’t know why people just don’t go play unranked, then. You can choose only Arabia with random civ pick or whatever. There are some maps in the ranked system which trouble your BO? Make a new one, that’s why we call this game Real-Time STRATEGY. Playing only one map everytime is super boring.
Maybe this would be better with asking for a “ranked-unranked-system” apart from the current ranked system, like we had in HD, so you might have an idea of the level of each player.
Anyway, the current ranked system is the better we have so far, it’s light years away from the HD or AoE 3 system.

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The reason why we are forced to play ranked is because we want games with people of similar skill level, I thought that was obvious. I never found playing only Arabia boring in the slightest. However I am saying Arabia like maps, such as they had in the past, such as steppe. Just have 3 or 4 land only maps without chokepoints and 4 bans, then have the other 4 slots be chokepoint, water or megarandom.

People who want more variety can simply not use their bans.


Then ask for the ELO system be applied at unranked matches. Everyone wins: we keep the matchmaking with diversity maps and who wants Arabia, random civs only, BF etc go back to unranked with fair games.

Then a lot of players ban the “bads” maps and everybody will play almost only the open maps. Or, those who banned too much maps will need more and more time to find a match and will come here to complain more and more and so it goes.

Sure, that would work too, if we could view the ELO of the people who join a created unranked match. Actually it seems as if you can already do that, except when I re-installed the game and went in there today to check I noticed that it just shows blank stats for almost everyone even though the stat window pops up when you hover over someone’s name. So as of today, it is still impossible to play an Arabia like map against someone of similar skill. Kind of shocking really, seems like that is a very basic thing anyone would want to be able to do.

This will be terrible for the ranking. If this will be implemented, we go back to Voobly and HD where everyone just play 1 map, because your rating only reflects your skill on that map. If you wanna try out other maps, your rating is way off and you cant get good games. For me it was a reason to quit playing after a while. I dont want that back on DE. Ratings are much more meaningfull than on VOobly or HD, i feel. I dont wanna go back to a worse system.


There are several good reasons why people don’t play unranked, you can’t find matches, you can’t find equally skilled opponents and you don’t compete on the ladder. These are all valid reasons.

Whoever decided that the ranked ladder must include variety to show “true skill”? This is a very subjective take and a standard that was never used previously. Arabia is a balanced map because it enables you to play a whole range of strategies, from Dark Age to Imperial, it’s a good measure of skill. Closed Clown maps removes 75% of the game and measures only late Castle to Post-Imp skill. Sorry, but you have no right to say that Arabia-only players don’t belong on the rankings.


And at the moment there are more clown maps than normal ones

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I agree with WoodsierCorn696 that a spread of maps is good but I also 100% agree withPolycarp5195 that Arabia is simply a really good map that allows for all strats (bar water of course). I think the current system is fine, but maybe of the 9 maps:
1 Arabia
2 Arena
3 Arabia like map (Lombardia, Cenotes)
4-5 More open maps (Acropolis, Kilimonjaro, Serengeti, Steppe, gold rush, need more to choose from)
6 2nd Closed/FC Map (Fortress, Hideout, Golden Pit, Hill Fort)
7 Hybrid (four lakes, Scandinavia, Continental, Golden Swamp)
8 Water (statistically least popular) (Islands, Team Islands, Baltic, Mediterranean, etc.)
9 mega-random, nomad or “Clown” map.
That would allow for 4 Arabia or open maps each months, while still providing 2 closed (and maybe one relatively closed map), and 2 water options, to make everyone happy.
It would be good to have a “preferred” map on top of banns as I mentioned above to increase chances of a desired map.

It would seem that the devs listened!! As of the latest map pool it is now finally possible to play 4 Arabia like maps and ban the other 3!! Yes!!! Thank you devs! Now, if you can just please keep it this way…

They will even add community input for the next map pools! I dont know how, but that is great.

Finally a way to get Forest Nothing and Michi into the map pool! :rofl: