What is the current state of the game?

Hi guys!

I am new at this forum, but i have played this game for a long time, but not really on regularly base. I bought AoE II DE around the release and i have played the game for some months. The game changed a lot in the recent months. Many new civs were added to the game, civ balance is changed, i see things like quick play added to the game, …

That make me think about getting back into this game. So i have some questions about the current state of the game. I am mainly interested in the MP environment, since i dont like SP.

  1. How is the current state of the game? Is the MP community still a thriving community? Or is everyone moved to AoE IV?
  2. In the past i played mainly ranked games. If i remember well, i peaked at about 1100-1150 MMR for 1v1 games. But i havent played this game for months. The last game was maybe even 1,5 years ago. So i have no idea on how my rating of 1100 of 1,5 year ago will be compared to the current 1100 level. I would imagine my own rating is very much inflated, because i lost my skills in 1,5 years. Is my 1100 rating compareable to the current 1100 level? Or do i have to lose a lot of games in a row before i get equal enemies again?
  3. I was never into team games (expect with LAN parties). How is the team game environment? Playing team games and 1v1s mixed together also sound fun to me.

Thanks for answering these questions! I hope you see me soon on the ranked ladder again!

  1. Yes, I haven’t noticed a significant drop in player count, especially multiplayer. Some of the campaign bros moved to AoE4, alongside streamers, but that doesn’t concern us.

  2. You will be about 900 elo I assume. As time passes, while the average elo increases due to the new players, the average skill outpaces that and increases even more. A lot of things happened in the past 2 years that changed the meta a lot, from the arabia style, to plain buffs and nerfs to defensive/offensive playstyles.

  3. At that level, you will find games quickly, they will be balanced, but still, you are probably better off playing with premades. Find a friend group of similar levels from discord or something.


Nice to see this! Still a large player base! AoE II will never die!

I dont really understand this. Isnt the MMR calculation zero sum? So player 1 gain x points and player 2 lose x points. As result the average should stay the same. So i dont understand why the average elo increase due to new players.

I can understand that the average level of players is going up, so 1100 elo 2 years ago is now equal to 900 elo players nowadays. Is that what you meant to say? If so, then my rating should be even lower. I am not even close as good as 2 years ago. I forgot all build orders and stuff like that. So it looks like i have to force drop my elo from 1100 to about 700-800 (something like that?). That are lots of games to loose… Isnt there a quicker way? Maybe the devs can reset an account. Wasnt there the feature of loosing/gaining more points in your first games?

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You could always do few games agaisnt the hard and hardest AI to remember builds. Once you can dunk on extreme AI you’ll be back around a 1000-1100 most likely.

Yes, it is, globally. But when a player starts playing he doesn’t continue to play in perpetuity. And the active playerbase is the one of better than average players who keep winning, as there is no fun in losing. There also is a decent amount of people who played singleplayer for a while, went for a few 1v1s, got destroyed there, and went back to SP. The elo of all those people is less than 1000 and those 100 points they lost are permanently in the hands of active players, thereby increasing the average elo.

In other words, there are more inactive players under 1000 elo than there are above 1000 elo.

Multi-player is pretty good right now. AoE4 if anything, isn’t actually doing so well, or at least as well as it could have, and people are coming back to AoE2. Your rating will not be comparible, if you last played 1.5 years ago. Over time, the skill level at a given elo is slowly moving up, as players become more adept, so that, coupled with skill decay over time for you, will mean that you will probably have to lose games to reach your actual current elo. Maybe just play against the AI, if you can beat the extreme AI you will probably still be about the same elo, as it plays between 1000 and 1200 elo, I think, based on how most people would rate it. Team games do not have a good environment for the most part unfortunately. There are a lot of smurfs and toxic players, but you could still find the occasional good game. I would recommend playing 1v1 ranked though, it should be good once you reach your elo again.

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I dont really like playing the AI. Playing the AI is much more about finding the exploits, instead of trying to play smart for me. Just playing a game against the AI can be good to get some of the skills back, but i wont be as good as when i left the game 1,5 years ago. Combined with the increase of the playing level of the player base, i think i have to lose about 300 points to get fun games again. If i remember correcty a win or lose resulted in a gain or loss of about 15 points. Seems like i have to lose about 20 games in a row before getting fun games again.

Isnt there another solution for players who are getting back after a long time? Wasnt there a system for new players to get or lose a lot of points in there first placer matches? Does something like that also apply for returning players? Or is it possible to just reset my account, so it is counted as new player? Being forced to lose 20 games in a row when coming back doesnt really sounds like a fun experience.

You can’t reset your rating. There isn’t really an easy way to drop your rating. You might wanna use a new account, so you can start all over again.

I suggest to not play TGs. The experience is really bad for TGs. See Analyses of the ratings - Spotting the issues for more details. So stick with just 1v1s.

I did think about the new account thing, but it’s bordering on smurfing I think. It would also be annoying, because any progress, or anything else from your old account would be non-transferable, so you would lose anything you had, which is especially significant for campaign progress, event mods, or profile icons.

This doesnt really matter to me. Campaign progress is just not useful for multiplayer. I can remember having great event mods (i already miss them for at least 1,5 year) and i dont really care about the profile icons. Not having access to them doesnt really matter to me at all.

Does making a new account mean buying the game again?
The point about event mods brings up another question for me: Are there any must have mods?

Is it me or are the default hotkeys changed? I thought to remember that default hotkeys are grid hotkeys. But it looks like sometimes that is true, otherwise it isnt. I dont really know many hotkeys, but looking at the building window and just pressing on the keyboard based on their position doesnt work any more. I thought i was building a house, but it turned out to be an outpost (for Q).

Did something change in the last months?

There is a massive bug going round right now with the DE hotkeys, where they have corrupted for a lot of people, and turned into the classic hotkeys: Changing Hotkey Defaults does not work, stuck in "Classic Hotkeys" and can't switch to "Definitive Hotkeys" - #17 by Kabcr
As far as mods go, the only real must-have mod for most people is small trees, I think, which isn’t linked to any event or anything.

Seems like i have to fix all the hotkeys manually :frowning:
I wont remember a lot, but already had some misclicks due to this bug. Seems like i remember more then i thought i would remember.

It is still a bad environment? I was thinking about playing some teamgames as well. I still remember some bug in match making in the past. It had something to do with 4 solo players are matched based on there sum of all ratings and premades based on the average rating of the party… That resulted in terrible match ups and wasnt fun to play at all. This was fixed somewhere in the first half of 2020. But it looks like the situation hasnt improved…

There are a lot of smurfs and other problems with team games now.

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This turned out to be a good estimate of my skills :slight_smile:

Then i will just ignore team games for now. Is there some road map from the devs describing how/when they will fix these issues?

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