They Shouldn't Have Gone with Ranked Seasons

In addition to being really affected by FOMO, you seem to be really really mad. You’re so mad you’re now just shouting and not making any sense. If you didn’t really care about cosmetics nor ranked like you say, then why making a thread about it? Why getting so overly obfuscated over people getting rewards for playing the game at a competitive level?

Take a chill pill buddy, you’ll see things more clearñy by then and realize how you’re not making any sense right now.

who said it? You? because you want collect all rewards? and you can not?
try harder.

You want take rewards from competitive players, because you know they do not need it? is it right?
LOL. Let them decide what they want.

Noone is really trying to remove rewards from anyone. This whole discussion is about allowing everyone to get rewards at some point.

But again if you play ranked only for rewards then the point stands that its wrong motivation to play ranked. As it proves that ranked mode is pointless and only reason for its existence is to reward players for playing one specific mode. (Discriminate everyone who doesnt like competitive, but likes additional customization as they get nothing cool. Only few lame, 99% time not visible profile items) Which is example of one of the worst game designs ever.


you want to give achievement “1st place in the ladder” to everyone or what you want?
in Hearthstone you can not get cards if season ends.

Play ranked, get rewards. If you can not, you can not.

Want more rewards in skirmish? ask about it. not to take “rewards from ranked because they do not need it”.

Why are you so defensive about ranked rewards ? Does it hurt you if they would be obtainable by everyone who wants them at later point in time ? Or are you once again trying to just prove by your contribution to this discussion that ranked is only about rewards and has no other purpose ?

Comparing HS, where average game takes what 10 minutes ? to a AOE4 where one game takes 40min - 1h is absurd. One game you can play on toilet break and other you have to find large enough time slot in your day to be able to play without even slightest interruption. Not to mention that its free to play & pay to win game. So it really doesn’t have place in this discussion.

And what is here again with 1st place in the ladder, you can’t give that to anyone as it doesn’t even exists. All that exists is 6 artificial categories…

You are rewarded for reaching exactly 1400 points by highest tier reward, from base 1000. For some artificial reason you have to reach it in 3 month period or you can’t obtain it ever.

So let me ask you again:

  • Would it really hurt anyone who obtained it, if there would be a way to get these rewards after season ends ?
  • And would it really hurt anyone if also all event rewards would be obtainable for everyone after event ends, just by playing the game little more than one game you need currently ?
  • Are we really taking rewards from ranked players, by wanting to make them accessible to everyone ? Or only people who have large amount of time to play a game deserve rewards ?

Do we really need timed exclusivity to encourage people to play game and potentially burn out as they are forced to keep up with another live service game ? Or do we want this community to have large playerbase that keeps returning once in a while and supports game whenever new paid content is released ? Maybe watches tournaments more often then plays the game ? You know what is best motivation for returning player to play longer ? Seeing that if they play few games they get reward and they didn’t miss anything… (Look at DOTA2 how are people sad they missed one battlepass and can’t obtain Arcanas&Personas anymore) That should give you finally some idea why I am against anything that even touches FOMO psychology abuse and I don’t care what kind of absurd argument anyone brings, I will counter it as it’s totally trivial to counter it. Because even if this would be amount monetization, then stable long term profit is always better then any kind of short term profit. But again AOE4 has no monetization so we don’t need to discuss this at the moment.

I propose simple solution and compromise that still motivates players to play ranked in positive way instead of being controlled by FOMO:

  • Ranked players get badge that is displayed and always visible on their profile, so whoever open players profile can see how good that person was in previous session. (This would be new as currently there is no mention that you would really see anything about previous seasons on profile)
  • Ranked players get cosmetic rewards either during or after the season for each rank they reached.
  • Ranked rewards from previous seasons can be obtained by anyone after season ends by winning/playing 10 - 25 ranked games for each reward tier. With current 6 tiers it would take 60-150 games for someone who missed whole season, less for anyone who played it as they would get at least one tier. This would also stack, so if you didn’t play 3 seasons you would get after first 60-150 oldest season rewards and after 180-450 games rewards from all previous seasons.
  • Events during season works same as they currently work.
  • Event rewards can be obtained after season ends again. Anyone who completes the original event task + plays 1-5 additional games for each task receives it.
  • Obviously rewards between 1v1 and any other ranked queue in future are shared and for post season rewards it doesn’t matter what kind of ranked queue you play.

Numbers can be adjusted to be reasonable amount of time, so it doesn’t feel like endless grind. 10 is probably best for win variation. 15 would be reasonable if game counts only real games and not immediate loses.

Benefits are obvious as game would slowly accumulate large amount of content for new players to obtain just by playing the game, so they would have sense of progression and it would be better motivation to play ranked, then the current system has.

Now I will trashtalk as you pissed me off by your naïve arguments, How much did you for this game from the release to today so it would have chance to prosper and keep players playing ? I spent last 1,5 month creating currently most popular mod (that at this point is enough to prove that ranked is not most popular way of playing the game at all.) and all I get for it is nothing other than few thanks. I don’t ask for any cosmetic reward and I don’t even want exclusive cosmetic reward, even if I would have as much right to get cosmetic reward as anyone who plays ranked at the moment. All I ask is to give me option to get all cosmetic rewards (current & previous), when I have time to spent whole nights to play game, instead of maintaining mod, studying, working, taking care of kids and all other daily tasks… and yes I literally do all of it and it absolutely makes it unrealistic for me to find enough time to play 1 hour long games against human. You know life is not a living in mother basement or just going to work for 8 hours and then ignoring the world.

Thanks to coming to my TED talk.

1 Like

it’s my reward, which I finished when it was available.
If someone play in 10 years, he wont be able to get the reward.
unique cause1) I can make it, other can not 2) i played while other does not.

now it’s even more motivating to get some and show off. lol

i did read first and last sentence. sry. too lazy.

The rewards are pointless and just designed to funnel people into grinding because it makes the game look popular specifically because they’re time gated. Time-gated stuff like this punishes people who don’t adopt the game and get into the droll grind ASAP. That’s the intention of them. If they wanted otherwise, they would have just made a bunch of static rewards for doing well in competitive that don’t go away every 3 or so months.

Even you don’t think it’s all about winning, clearly you do care about the rewards to some extent, because otherwise you wouldn’t care who has them. Everyone with time should be able to get every reward, not “Oh lmao you bought the game 3 years late, all the content is gone suck ■■■■”.

This is always the worst form of logic because it can apply to literally everything, by your own logic, nobody should ever have a problem with AoE4 and want it fixed they should immediately drop the game. It also proves you didn’t read the thread, because I said very early on I wasn’t going to bother with this ■■■■ and that I didn’t enjoy ranked, I’m already doing exactly you think is a suggestion. I don’t like something so I want it fixed, if everyone who had a slight problem just ignored it this game would suck and tank even harder than its playerbase already has.

Tell me about it :rofl:

I personally agree with a lot of what you’re saying, but I do 100% think this wasn’t made to reward winning so much as it was to reward grinding. Number going up was the only reward people needed in ranked AoE2, there weren’t any rewards beyond bragging rights there. As I said before, nobody needed those rewards to play ranked in AoE2, and it was more fun because there wasn’t some time gated content telling people to keep playing. Honestly even ignoring that though, ranked seasons absolutely are not suited for an RTS game like this. I really think Elo is honestly the perfect system for RTSs. But I don’t mind them giving out rewards for high ranks, they should just not lock them behind a time gate.

Yes I do get annoyed when I try to have a fruitful discussion with people and put forward my points only to be met with people like you who completely ignore them and go “lmao mad just don’t be mad”. Either try and explain your points and why you think the system works/doesn’t work, or get off this thread because you’re not adding anything to it. Most everyone else here is doing it, not you. Eleanor Roosevelt put it best when she apparently said “Small minds discuss people”, maybe it’s time you talked about something other than how mad you think I am.

I don’t think there should be time gated rewards in games, simple as that. If there were rewards for doing well competitively, I wouldn’t mind, but locking them behind artificial scarcity is the problem. Nobody needed FOMO fosterers to play ranked in AoE2, and keep in mind that a game that has basically existed for 20 years and still is dwarfing AoE4 (granted, for far more reasons than just no ranked seasons). The only person who needs to “try harder” here is you.

Exactly this. No time gated BS that punishes people who buy the game later or who aren’t pros at a game that has been out for less than a year.

I just wanna reply to say I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said. It’s clear they’re not going to remove ranked seasons, as absolutely awful as I think the design choice to change from Elo was, so you have the best system for the awful base we have to work with.

I’m glad to see your motivations are such blatantly motivated by “I’m better than you suck ■■■■” and only care about yourself, it makes sense you like time-gated rewards, because you seem insecure and want to flex on people in a virtual game. In the words of you yourself, “try harder.”

It’s not really in the past. We’re not some ancient sages going “Back in my day, people had wisdom and fought for big number, not big statue.” Just looking at the present, AoE2:DE is annihilating 4 in terms of players and people in ranked, and they don’t need time-gated rewards to do so (obviously it’s for far more than just not having ranked seasons though). Emphasis on time gated, if these rewards were just for accumulating wins or something and didn’t melt every 3 months, I really wouldn’t mind as much.

Rewards or no rewards doesn’t encourage any kind of gameplay. The point of ranked is to play to win. The inclusion of ranked is very good because a) don’t have to play maps like black forest and b) can freely play around in quick match without caring about my rating while in ranked I can play more seriously and see how high I can go

Just accept you’ll never get everything and move on, nothing wrong with that. It’s like saying ‘I want that 1500 points next to my name but I’m never going to get it because I’m not that good and the game isn’t that fun.’ I think it’s cool to have a little memento to remind yourself of where you finished in the season.

Relic could keep the rewards for future seasons so if you are new to the game or get better at the game you have a chance to get them. Limited time cosmetics are pretty lame

why people here twist arguments
If one season ends, the next will come and the next will start.

icons=“gold season1”,“gold season2”,“gold season24”
is that you mean?

You afraid of the number?

A lot games allow to get items in limitied time… and noone died. Some events produce limited rewards: chinese new year, halloween.

you literally want take rewards from ranked for free.

Yes, that would defeat the whole point of them. The rewards are for season 1, they show for the rest of time what rank you achieved in season 1. If you achieve that rank in e.g. season 3, you’ll get the rewards for that rank in season 3, but you can’t ever have the rewards for that rank in season 1 because… you weren’t that rank in season 1. If you want to be able to show off in 6 months time that you were conqueror rank in season 1, you have to actually be conqueror rank in season 1.

Hard disagree, as soon as time-gated content is put up there are people who are going to grind to try and get it because it’ll enter the shredder in 3 months. If there’s grinding to be done, there are people who are gonna grind.

Literally one of the first replies was me saying I’m not going to bother with ranked because ranked isn’t fun. I’m well aware I’m not gonna get the rewards, I still think time-gated content is ■■■■■■■■ for the reasons I’ve laid out. I’m not trying to do a salt thread thing.

Elo isn’t comparable at because Elo in AoE2 doesn’t reset every 3 months and permanently lock content behind those 3 months. You can get a 1500 or a 2000 by pure skill whether you started 15 years or 15 minutes ago, you can’t get a statue that was only released before you even bought the game. Time-gated content is BS and even ignoring that fact, ranked seasons for Age of Empires suck compared to Elo.

Yes I’m scared of the number, you got me. How did you know? You are a master at deduction and fruitful discussion. Honestly icons are the thing I least have a problem with, getting an icon for being good is fine with me, it’s when they start giving out statues and banner customisation.

Overwatch is absolutely not a good example of limited time rewards because of the whole lootbox thing, in fact you know what, Overwatch limited time items killed my mother. There, someone died, now can you say anything other than fallacious pseudo-arguments? But you know what, at least you can get the stuff the from the last event.

Yes I think time-gated rewards are stupid. That’s what I’ve been saying this whole time. Icons are fine, statues and banner stuff isn’t. Time-gated content sucks.

Just give out icons and leave the good stuff not looked behind a time-gate. Icons are fine to commemorate getting a good rank because yeah I don’t mind that stuff getting handed out, even if AoE2 didn’t need it. But statues and banner stuff is BS.


It sounds to me like the people taking issue with the rewards system want AoE4 to be a causual-player-based game, focusing on the general fun of the game and “earning” cosmetics through easy to achieve goals with what little time they have to commit to the game.

And to a point I understand this mentality.

But games aren’t sustained through a casual playerbase anymore.

Casual playerbases lead to surges of players like Among Us and Fallguys that die off after a short time

In order to create a sustainable game you need a reason to stay. MMOs have clans and in-game economies that keep people working at the drop, or grinding resources to resell. MOBAs and FPS’ have consistant patches and pro players/tournaments to keep people intersted and inspired. RTS’ naturally fall into the latter, which is why they have ranks, rewards for them, etc. Because otherwise a handful of people would play with friends or vs AI and the rest would lose interest VERY quickly.

Sorry, but that’s wrong casuals are people who maybe don’t stick with single game, but are much more willing to jump from game to game and buy it or buy new DLC/expansion. These players bring more money and cost very little overtime as they are fine with what they got.

And that’s not correct as games like EU4, Planet Zoo, Civilization etc. would be axed as their playerbase literally returns only mainly for patches and DLCs to buy them and play for a while…

If anything you need reason for players to be willing to return anytime. And that’s definitely not something you achieve by creating limited time content that they can’t obtain anymore. Because again this type of content has no value for them and doesn’t provide any reason to play the game. Neither gives them option to support the game financially once they return.

Also we are talking about AOE, franchise that survived without any limited time content for 20 years and again amount of players that bought game for nostalgia is reason why we are here today as they proved that there are still money to make. Yes, players that played for 20 years brought attention, but final financial decision to make HD and Definitive editions were based on estimates of casuals that will buy it.

MMO → WoW shows this best as players return only for start and end of expansions.
It’s simple casual players shifted from playing one game all the time to playing as many as possible due to amount of games that interest them and overall price of games dropping due to inflation.

1 Like

I think you don’t understand just how crucial a casual level playerbase is to a game especially given you incorrectly prescribe the focus on a casual playerbase as the reason for the death of those two games. Fall Guys and Among Us didn’t dwindle because they were casual games, the former dwindled because they couldn’t fix the glaring issues and the latter because everyone got tired of the meme and moved onto the next meme game.

I especially think you’re totally wrong about the importance of focusing on casual players because AoE4 has tanked in playerbase and and I think part of the reason is because they put almost all of their focus into this being an e-sports super competitive game instead of creating a casual playerbase. Look at the Steam Charts, AoE4 has been on a slow but constant decline since launch and so far the introduction of ranked seasons hasn’t done anything to fix that. The casual players left because the game was too slow to fix the glaring issues of the game and this hard focus on the small minority (and competitive players are the minority) has been one of the reasons for this game’s downfall.

Microsoft put their eggs in the wrong basket, this game was from the start made for e-sports teams and hardcore players, ignoring the fact that is consistently a tiny minority of the playerbase, people are leaving because this game has massive issues that aren’t being fixed because they are far too focused on trying to turn this game into the next StarCraft. AoE2 while it definitely is a competitive game, was made with casual people in mind, there was a reason for noobs to come back. That’s why it has 10,000 more people than 4.

Ranked seasons aren’t content, it’s just a way to reset a number and make people start the grind all over again, that’s why they give you time-gated rewards. Everyone in AoE2 was happy with their Elo going up, at most an icon should be given, but I think it’s incredibly dishonest to pretend time-gated content was some messiah and that ranked seasons saved this dying game.

You are completely correct. I firmly believe ranked-seasons punish people for not playing, not reward them for playing. They’re not a good reason to stick to a game either, if anything the fact they’re doing this is one of the other reasons I think this game feels very hearthless and without passion. This game doesn’t want to be something a guy can play and enjoy, it wants to be StarCraft, it wants to be a game Koreans play for 12 hours a day and that racks in stadiums for tournaments. That’s why they went with ranked seasons, it’s why from the start this game was designed for competitive people. It’s why this game isn’t as fun as AoE2.


Well put together. I’ve written most of these things a few times already. It’s not really a mystery when you think about it.
It reminds me a little bit situation in other genre- FPS. AoE IV in its design feels like something stuck between one of the modern military shooters like CoDs and BFs from 2010-2020, and Quake III Arena.
On one hand it presents a pretty conservative approach when you glance at the back of the (imaginary) box- checks out single-player, checks out multiplayer, there are some modes to choose from, (now) some tools but the focus of the games is very transparent and obvious considering situation in the genre and trajectory of the series. There are some people that are buying these games just for the campaign, but let’s be honest- a few hours of extremely bland, flashy, scripted gameplay with borderline zero replayability is not the driving force and the greatest strength of the game.
But the situation with MMFPS games can’t be compared to classic RTS, especially in the Lord’s year 2021-22.
PC market is huge and I do believe this game can sell millions, but it’s not 2003 and it’s hard to find a convincing, reasonable explanation for why they’ve chosen this path and format.

Strategy games can and do sell millions and gather dedicated passionate communities, but you need to provide a product not only that is presenting good value, but is attractive and interesting and on par with modern standards.
And just like mentioned Quake III (I love arena shooters, not picking on them or QIII or anything, just an example) this is something that just isn’t a thing anymore because both companies that made them and player bases moved on, and without vibrant and healthy communities genres fall into obscurity or more often- are just taken over by their offspring and competitors.

Classic ranked competitive multiplayer is fantastic, should be included and supported but betting all your money on it (game didn’t release with even a f*** map editor or cheat codes lol) is a huge gamble and odds are against it.
Again- it’s not a problem with the mode, but with the environment.

For years, hell decades- this thing has been dead outside of a few games in well-established ecosystems like AoE or xyzCraft with already existing player bases that kept it alive. But the rest of the industry and genre just moved on to various other strategy game- tactical squad RTS games, 4X games, turn-based strategies, economic strategy games, and various mixes with survival or builder elements.
And that created a void in player base. New people coming to gaming and PC gaming especially- were drawn by other genres or subgenres. And if you’re not super familiar with the classic RTS format- what are the chances you’ll jump into old school high-pressure PvP endless grindfest? And that doesn’t contradict the values of the game or the concept of fun itself. It’s just not attractive for a lot of people.

Not a fault of the mode, not a fault of the brand or the platform. AoE2 pro community is an outlier in the grand scheme of things and if you want the game to sell millions- shouldn’t be the main focus group.

I’m absolutely not advocating for changing the game genre, abandoning competitive modes or anything like that. Core design of AoE IV is just a lot of wishful thinking and chances for this game to explode were slim to begin with.

It’s one thing to do a fan service in a form of a DE release of a game. It’s another to do a new mainline game in the series after 17 years and do a streamlined copy of a king from a bygone era, without going above and beyond in any particular aspect of the game- single-player content offering, technology, visual fidelity, multiplayer modes…

Quake Live is awesome, but Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare came three years before it and demolished everything, and that game was always facing an uphill battle.
You have a generation, maybe even a two almost, of new young gamers that kinda grew in in a world where this type of gameplay wasn’t a mainstream thing anymore, and prying them from their hero shooters, survival builders and other things would require, besides luck, a lot more than IV initially offered.

Game is improving all the time, but you only release once and this is an extremely competitive market, where you can buy a few other strategy games in bundles and such, rich in content, for the price of AoE IV.

Personally: I play too many games to really dedicate to a multiplayer in one game, and looking back I’ve been coming to these games for things that are not really the main focus of IV:
-AoE1 for nostalgia and historical setting
-AoE2 for casual MP, but mostly mods, new maps, my custom maps, campaigns and skirmish
-AoE3 as above- occasional pvp, often coop and/or team games, but mostly just for a quick fix in skirmish or to play mods with new civs, maps, technologies and features.
-AoE Online-Celeste for mostly quick fixes, and also mostly in solo/coop modes. That game still rocks and in a better timeline would be re-released with major support for offline play.

Above all- it’s still important to remember, especially in these times, that in few last years we got 4 games and they all are at worst- good, and at best- absolutely delightful :slight_smile:
I don’t think there is another RTS fanbase as lucky as AoE players. Maybe Total War fans? But that’s a rocky relationship. Arguably I’d say ANNO, even though 2205 was very meh compared to 1404, 2070 or 1800.
But in the classic RTS genre? CnC, Empire Earth or WarCraft fans would kill for one good DE-like game.

IV probably should’ve been delayed a bit to have better balance, refined UI, and mod tools in the package. And price arguably should’ve been dropped by 10-20$.

1 Like

I completely agree with pretty much everything, you’ve put it well. I think part of the reason why this game has tanked is, aside from the glaring flaws it still has (zoom is still pitifully small, in fact they decreased the zoom on 4k monitors and even then it was absurdly tiny, balance is still a bit out of wack) is because from the start they didn’t want this game to be a popular RTS anyone can pick up and enjoy, they wanted to foster an intensely competitive community of e-sports pros. And what that’s lead to is casual players feeling unsupported and we’ve gone back to our regular games.

At it’s core, AoE4 is a very fun game, but it feels soulless, and I think one symptom of this, leading back to the central point of the thread, is its ranked seasons. It desperately wants to funnel people into playing the game super competitively because that’s the basket they chose to put their eggs in, I don’t think it’s working, so the game is on a slow and steady decline since launch. Which is a shame, but I think the devs don’t give a ■■■■ because the people leaving are casuals who they weren’t aiming for anyway. And again, I think ranked seasons are part of this process. Elo is better for casual players who just want to play every now and then, ranked seasons are for people to buy smurfs so they can get the best rewards hardcore players who only want to play ranked, and time-gated ranked season rewards are ■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■■.

Oh man, I think WarCraft fans would settle for the IP being sold to a not ■■■■ studio :joy:



1 Like


1 Like