The Alt+F4 Multiplayer Problem

I didn’t compare the gameplay of the two games, just the matchmaking and player numbers. You could easily use Overwatch or Call of Duty matchmaking as a comparison too. Online games with ranked multiplayer need a matchmaker that can balance the interests of its playerbase. AoE2 happens to have a small playerbase which means the matchmaker needs to be more restrictive if we want decent queue times and close ELO margins.

By definition, 1000 ELO is average. This is where I am in the ELO distribution, right on the peak:

Only 4% of ranked players have a rating above 1600, what the hell are you even talking about?

Please don’t gatekeep AoE2 to only “old school” players, this is how game communities die.



I remember the days when placing gates took skill. You had to place two palisade foundations in order to rotate it correctly. And it even cost 4 Wood to do it! Kids these days just get to use the mouse wheel to place perfect gates every time. I still don’t see the Keep upgrade very often in multiplayer though, that’s more of a campaign thing.


I disagree with your advocacy of your opponent ALT+F4’ing for you, but I will defend to the death your right to crack jokes.

Ask any player above 1600 about their opinion about 1k elo players, they are like bots on skills, numbers are tricky there, the real skill difference can be measured like i am telling you, a 2.5k player can crush 2 1k players in 2x1, the same 2.5k player can’t beat two 1600, the skill difference is massive, so yeah my comparison is pretty accurate in terms of skill capabilities.

I don’t want to offend anyone but the only way to know your place is by ranking up, if you consider good cause 96% of the players are worse than you, then you are just lying to urself.

I have a new idea. Players who Alt-F4 get a time-out of the combined time of the other players’ queue.


I just don’t understand the metric you’re using, you’re essentially saying that everyone below 1600 is a noob based on how many of them a 2.5k player can beat? Why use this metric instead of using a percentile of active ranked players like every other competitive ladder?

I understand it’s a hard game but regardless of how skill levels scale I think that having to climb above 90% of all active ranked players to even be allowed to have an opinion on the game is frankly ridiculous (and you know, more gatekeeping).

Cause its simple, you don’t compare to players that don’t know how to play competitively, you compare your self vs better players.

That percentile some of you are using is as fake as the 5k elo tg players, first of all the majority of those nicks have even less than 50 games in 1x1, so they aren’t really good examples to use, lots of those numbers are smurfs for team games, meaning they rather to keep lower ranks in 1x1 and the last is that we have the same rank/rated number of the best players, i didn’t invent anything 1600-1850 are middle level player or intermediate since zone days, below that you do know how to play the game but you are missing lots of stuff.

I don’t see the point of comparing vs players that basically are new to the game and have no clue how to play, the real competition starts from 1000, below 1k elo they can’t even beat the AI on hard so yeah they are relatively noob compared to the competitive playerbase, always remember to make comparison between the top and not the tail in a game like this.

Anyway this is completely offtopic, i just felt it so wrong to read that someone believe he is an intermediated player with 1k elo cause the majority of users are lower than that, the real middle in terms of skill and knowledge is around 1600, cause frankly between a 2k and a 1k the difference is gigantic in every single aspect, you can’t refer to urself as an intermediate with such real difference.

How do you define this? Is it build orders? Is it low idle time? If you compare yourself to better players you’re going to think you’re bad at the game all the time and that will never change. Case in point, calling someone in the 90th percentile a noob when in reality a rating of 1400 is extremely solid, they are not experts by any means, but that doesn’t make them bad at the game, only an incredibly small part of the community can reach this rating.

I sincerely doubt that alt accounts and smurf are prevalent enough to skew this kind of data, you would have to provide some proof of this.

The Zone had an entirely separate playerbase and a different starting elo (zero gamers started at 1600, not 1000), Elo ratings do not transfer from one ladder to another, an Elo rating is a comparative rating only, and is valid only within the rating pool where it was established.

I have played many players with 500+ games at 1100 and 1200 ratings, these players aren’t new to the game. And even if they couldn’t beat the AI, why does that exclude them from being part of the competitive playerbase? being a competitive player doesn’t mean that you play at a certain level, it means that you play to win.

Even if we ignored everybody below 1000 rating, 1600 still puts you at top 8% or so, I’m not sure in what world that counts as “intermediate”. The disparity between 2k+ and 1k is just a testament to how deep the game is, it says nothing about who is or isn’t competitive.

When you have a bell curve like the one shown on, which only includes accounts with 10+ ranked games and only if they’ve played a game in the last 28 days, I think that 1000 rating being the top of the curve is literally the definition of statistically average.

I could even use the aoe2 API to pull only accounts with 100+ games played and I’m sure the curve would look no different.

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I can take that one step further. I don’t think 1600’s have the tactical expertise needed to properly evaluate a civ and decide whether or not something is strong or weak. Therefore we should pretty much only care about the opinions of the 2k bracket.

The cutoff you are creating here, it’s a rough opinion of what you think matters. Justify it however you like, you’re only trying to find a justification for it because it’s your opinion as to what matters for balance. As if you can’t acknowledge that the competitive sphere is an echochamber, a meta of 99% copycat strategies. It’s almost like you forgot Daut won a tournament on the back of Cav Archers in the middle of every single player crying for them to be buffed because they were unusable.

This is even more offtopic, no one is talking about balance here.

Daut didn’t win rbw3 cause of the CA but cause of the civ perks, he was able to throw units and keep the macro going with no downsides, after winning he said “don’t get me wrong CA is a terrible unit” after that the ca got buffed, so what was your point there?

I am just pointing empirical facts, even all the pro players when making new nicks, they usually label players on their ranks and while they can do everything wrong vs them and still winning, when they enter to the middle levels, they can’t fool around too much or else they get in troubles, even viper during his lefty account was pointing the difference and he noticed a substantial increment of game knowledge and skill from 1300 to 1500 which was getting close to the mid levels.

Also the fact that a +2.2k player can crush 2x1 with ease 1k elo players but he can’t do the same vs 2 1600 players is a clear demonstration of where the level of the players have increased to a point to make a noticeable difference.

I am not even replying the guy above who claim he has played 1200 guys with 500 games, cause he clearly lost the point, i never excluded those players i just said the real competition starts from 1k cause below that the level is just too low.

All of this started cause a relatively new guy playing the game who is in 1k level was giving his opinion about this issue claiming he had enough experience being in the mathematical middle and he was ok with punishments, the correction i made was to point him he was not in the realistic middle, alt f4 is not even a thing in low levels, so he hasn’t enough experience with the issue at all, specially less cause he compared the MM to the sc2 one.

And yes this issue has a lot to do with the level of the players, the higher you are the less time you want to spend on unfair settings and matches, cause you have became more selective, low elo players are okay playing whatever they can despite their winning chances and yes alt f4 is a plague from mid to high levels, this is neither a random opinion, i already tested it out with 2 nicks starting from 0 on tgs, alt f4 started above 2.3k elo with 1.2-1.4k 1x1 players on it, from 2.5 to 2.7 alt f4 is in 2 of 3 games so you figure it out.

I don’t even know what this means, of course the pros aren’t going to struggle against low and mid level players, they’re rated 2k+.

You’ve said nothing that addresses my points and I still don’t understand why you’ve arbitrarily decided that the opinions and experiences of over half of the competitive playerbase (1k and below) don’t matter.

Why does the “real competition” begin at 1k+? what is the definition of “real competition”? Do you think players below 1k aren’t competing? why?

This behavior sounds like the opposite of competitive, tbh. If anything, selectively dodging maps and settings that are unfavorable to you is the very definition of anti-competitive.

So maybe the players rated 1k and below, who are happy playing whatever hand they are dealt, are even more competitive than those who alt-F4 to dodge maps they don’t like or teammates with bad win ratios or lower ratings.

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Also as an correction to soumexicans statement alt f4 does begin in lower elos but probably not as frequent as in higher elo but despite the elo its still a plagueing thing that should be acknowgledged if its either 1200-1600 elo or 2k to 2k5

Simply: they dont bother to learn game at all.

Even t90 mentioned smth like 1300 - it’s the level of mid ELO player.
Why? Because players on that lvl learnt smth about units/counters/even build orders(not perfect, but some understanding they have).

So the person who learnt how he can counter eagle → We count him as “player” or “competitive player”.
Others bellow that ELO are playing AoE:SimVity with some military units.

That’s why, people acknowledge mid as 1200-1300* ELO solo RM.
*(or 1100…we live in the past, as time goes more and more people watch streams and learn smth about the game.)

But mathematically u are right. Or not. smth like Average = (top_elo + lowest_elo) /2 , why not?

PS U can be not agree with that classification, but i tried to explain.

I think this is an incorrect assumption, if you watch chat during a T90 stream you’ll see there are tons of 700-1k ELO players watching his content (he often polls his chat during his low elo legends segments), these players are engaged with the community.

I don’t think it’s a matter of not bothering to learn the game, it’s that execution of builds and strategies in AoE2 is inherently difficult, to a player that has been playing the game for literally 20 years it may not seem so, but I think a lot of us take our own knowledge for granted.

Players at 700 elo aren’t playing sim city, they are doing their best to win, it’s just that their best just isn’t as good as what we’re used to seeing when we watch higher level players stream, or what we see when we watch ourselves play at our respective levels if they happen to be higher. That doesn’t mean they aren’t competitive.

I think the simple fact that these players are engaging in the ranked queue at all already puts them in the competitive category. To me, someone who isn’t competitive is simply not even playing multiplayer to begin with, or playing only in lobby games with their friends instead of trying to find random opponents.

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Just a little tangent, but I tried playing some ranked tg last week. Out of 12 games i was matched for, 8 ended in alt-f4. Besides arena (which i banned) every single map ive seen be alt-f4ed, including arabia and nomad.

I said it before, if everyone starts alt-f4ing every map they dont like, soon nobody gets to play at all. I said letting bad faith actors run amok with alt-f4ing would be a problem, no matter the justifications. Now enough people have learnt what alt-f4 can do and are tired off it, and lots of people started doing it themselves.

And can you blame them? Why would I play the maps alt-f4ers like if they won’t return the favor? I wouldn’t do it still, but im gonna stick with 1v1 until this is fixed.


Good to see 4v4s are still unplayable :slight_smile:

With the update 54480 today there was a timeout feature implemented to discourage multiplayer queue dodging. For feedback on this change, please leave it here: Multiplayer Queue Dodging Timeout Feedback