Originally I wasn’t going to bother with this, because Im 99.9% certain that nothing comes out of it, but after thinking it bit more I came to conclusion that only thing I lose is my own time and nothing else so why not.
Let me introduce myself. Im 2v2 player and I only play with random teammates and I reached +1800 elo in QM like this, also reached Conqueror 1 and lost it so back to Diamond. I got over 3k games played in 2v2 and over the months I have observed matchmaking and player behavior meaning ppl who got higher tendencies to drophack / exploit and where they come from, while this later observation is completely speculative based on names so I won’t talk about it anymore.
Now to the main topic of this post regarding TG ranked. I made similar post back in the day when TG ranked was announced and after that I have learned new things regarding TG’s and related to matchmaking. Also my prediction back then was wrong only in way that the TG ranked is even more of joke than I originally imagine.
I want to give credits to devs who listened the community when TG ranked was requested and this only so I can take that credit away and say stop listening community if you’re not willing to think and do it properly. TG ranked as of rn is perfect example when devs only listen and not think makes game worse.
Before to points why TG ranked is failure, Id like to say this too. Those who enjoy TG ranked please enjoy it as much as you want, but it won’t neglect the fact that how poorly this was made.
So here is the list of problems and my observations / thoughts on the systems. Not in any form of meaningful order or anything.
Premade vs solo. Currently there is no system in place that makes matches balanced between premade vs solo players those leaves many matches to become extremely one sided because the advantages of premades hold is ridiculous. If player is decently skilled and plays with premade then their account gets 200-500 positive elo boost those making playing as solo extremely frustrating and difficult.
Matchmaking is dogshit. Its simple as that but further explanation is needed, I guess? Currently teams are formed based on average elo of team. So if team has 1k + 2k then the average is 1.5k those it searches players around the 1.5k elo, but this is not how to make balanced matches. Team is as strong as its weakest link. If you put 2x 1.5k and 2k +1k to same team (all solo players) most likely outcome is that 1k quits after something goes wrong those leaving 2k alone to play.
In 2 I talked about average elo of team, but this actually can also be used to manipulate matchmaking. For example 2k elo player pairs with 1k elo those 2k elo losses less points and gains more than they should. This is known method used in QM by some top ranked players to get more elo. This also pairs with the #1 point I made those almost all premades at some point of time have intentionally or unintentionally used this for their advantage those making whole matchmaking complete joke.
Balance. Its impossible to balance game around 1v1 and TG and all the potential civ comps. There is currently massive difference between civ comps. For example HRE paired with any civ becomes absolutely disgustingly broken in TG’s as long as the paired civ is capable of keeping opponents on their side of map and this means HRE is capable of getting castle under or around 7min mark and taking majority if not all relics and sacred sites. If HRE also goes burger paired with aachen there is essentially no stopping this. Only way to stop this would be feudal aggression, but due the mapsizes its nearly impossible to stop HRE before they hit castle with burger. There are also other broken strategies that are not just related to HRE, but other civs and their bonuses. This also makes TG’s freaking joke to play against because player has to know during loading screen that certain strategy is coming to even try stopping it and if they don’t know its 99% over for them and even then if they know if they just didn’t happen to pick right civs with highest chance of dealing with these strategies they just lose.
There is no penalty for players leaving. All the competitive side is instantly thrown out of window when one or more allies can unconditionally leave the game without any form of penalty whats so ever. Out of 14 losses I got 4 or 5 of them been because ally left within first 1minute of game, so I didn’t even bother trying and left myself too. This also allows form of griefing to happen. Get teamed up someone you recognize and don’t like? Oh just leave especially if they’re higher ranked than the lobby those it hurts them more plus if player doesn’t really care about the rank its even better for them.
With so many different game modes the playerbase is split so thin that getting quality matches is close to impossible and vast majority of games end up being stomp in one direction. I have played close to 50 ranked games so far (yes nolife) and 0% of them been evenly balanced or fun games.
This next applies to 1v1 same way. Currently players rank can fluctuate heavily based on couple of matches. So lets take simple example just to show what I mean. Player reaches their highest ranking lets say bronze 2. After 1 game that might become bronze 1. So even if you manage to achieve higher rank it means nothing when its easily taken away by one match. This happened to me. I was conqueror and yesterday I decided to play 1 more. Well I got badluck with coinflip and ended up having ally that was doing nothing other than sitting inside his own base those left me 2v1 constantly. In the end I lost so back to Diamond 3. Then as being pissed off about this I decided to play another to get rank back and started watching stream (this is important). So when I was watching stream after 5mins in queue I realized that premade of good players entered the queue (yes from stream). I instantly decided to avoid one sided stomp so I quit the queue, but after 5-10seconds I was placed into lobby with the premade against me even tho I had cancelled the queue. Well oh well time to do the best I can in the end game was over due the skill difference between teams and my ally “running” away from aggression after having successful aggression so game was over after that. Next game was with ally that chose to complain how 4 horsemen from mongol was denying his gold while being english with 0 longbows or spears so HRE got away with FC and got all relics and game over. So with couple of bad coinflips I ended getting stomped and resulted me dropping from conqueror 1 to Diamond 2.
This kind of system encourages player not to play especially if they reach rank they hoped to achieve. Imagine final days of season and player gets into conqueror and do they want to continue playing? Probably not because that rank is taken away from you instantly if you end up losing and even worse if its because of leaver or troll. In the end I dropped back to Dia1 because I ended up getting 1 leaver who left during loadingscreen and ally that sit inside his base doing nothing while I was getting rushed by 2 players and defended it for 4-5mins without any help.
Next point is probably one of the biggest indicator that devs put 0 effort of thinking anything. Instead of having 2v2, 3v3 or 4v4 ranked, they decided to put them all together. Advantage is that players elo is referenced over TG’s and tries to match more even matches but this has one of the most ridiculous downsides what one can hope. Because every mode is little bit different from each other and some rules are different. This results one of the modes having some extremely broken strategy thanks to civ comps and effectiveness civs. Now if player uses strategy like that they can easily get into top rankings while other modes are in disadvantage. Reference from other modes can be used without lumping ranked into one big pool especially considering each mode is slightly different with different sets of things to consider.
Well thats my rant. For me TG ranked has finalized my intentions of quitting and be done with game for good. I won’t quit today (ill get conqueror 3) unless something else comes up before that then I leave without hesitation and disregard my goal. Previously I always took breaks when playing other games or some other stuff, but was never actually done with game because I had hopes that AOE4 devs would improve game. (They have done from 1v1 perspective, but at same time screwed up TG’s so heavily that its not worth even playing) Someone is gonna say find premade or play 1v1. If I tell you to eat dogshit will you eat it even tho you dont like it? So yeah.