We are a minority within a minority

  • This topic has 29 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 2 months, 1 week ago by TheFundamentalFlaw.
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    Just playing aoe2 in 2023 is a niche hobby.

    On top of that those who only play single player account for the vast majority of us.

    What can we do to encourage more singleplayer folks to join MP?

    What can the devs do to encourage online play?

    Incentive-wise online play tends to be the bigger cash cow for game devs.

    Look at GTA V for example.



    I chase how much gold and stone I can hoard in my games.

    And then how many castles I can make.

    Multiplayer suggests I would not be able to do these things.

    So no thanks.


    I want to play ranked but I’m pretty sure I will have my ass handed to me at least in the first ten times.

    So I’m trying to grasp the basics first, I just recently bought the game in the last steam sale just for nostalgia as I used to play this 20 years ago.

    I always liked RTS but I always struggled to micro everything together.


    One thing that really worked well in Voobly was the beginner lobby.

    You stay there until you hit 1300 and then get booted.

    That was a really nice one to give beginners that ability to feel safe


    A buddy and I love playing single player together.

    He plays on Xbox and I play on pc.

    We would love to go play multi but we are both afraid we are going to constantly be put against sweats which in turn will ruin our experience.


    I’ve played this game almost since the original release and other than a few scattered matches against IRL friends, I’ve only ever played single player.

    The metagaming that must go into multiplayer matches defeats the purpose of gaming for me.

    I don’t play any game — let alone AoE — to learn a build order, hopefully utilize it slightly faster or more skillfully than another human player, and then win in the castle age because the meta says that it’s rare and not all that useful to research every tech and go to the final age.

    Or at least somebody said that at one point.

    Do I look like the kind of guy who keeps up with “the meta”?

    Anyway, watching the pros play is good fun I’ll admit, but I’ve never once had the desire to actually learn to play that way myself.

    I play the game more or less the same way I have since I first played the game at a childhood friend’s house in the winter of 2001: I like building towns, exploring maps, and pulling down a castle brick by brick with a poorly optimized army of troops that just happen to look really cool.

    I like the stories and beautiful map design of the campaigns, I like reenacting historical battles on real world maps, and sometimes I like making a bunch of units fight each other in custom scenarios just to see who wins.

    It’s pure escapism for me, full stop.

    And nothing about multiplayer can capture that same feeling.


    Ranked optimal play is just too absurdly different to what you learn from the campaigns.

    PvP meta has grown downright hostile to new and PvE players to even try.

    Between its focus on optimized early play, insane early aggression and snowbally yet dragged out nature, its extremely hard to actually learn this game’s ranked pvp without having to watch entire video essays about how to ”properly play”.

    I know this is an unpopular opinion, but the more you balance the game pvp around people who play 12 hours a day and get paid for it, the more unwelcoming and downright hostile it becomes for everyone that might want to try it.

    This is something that has going on for years, but what made me notice how people, including the devs, have just…

    accepted that the game being balanced around a handful of extreme that 99% of the playerbase will never be able to emulate as natural and the only course, was when they nerfed walls just because a minority didnt like that pro arabia matches werent done by the first 20 minutes.

    As much as I like the game, I would never, ever recommend it to anyone I know.


    > What can we do to encourage more singleplayer folks to join MP?

    Not destroy me and my humble two hut civilization within first 5 minutes of match.


    Fixing the pathing and alert bugs would be a nice start …


    I’d say bad new player experience for online, the average new player will go on ranked and get demolished a few times before getting too scared to come back to ranked.

    Or even worse, they will use the lobby browser, join the noobs only lobby and get wrecked by the 1600 elo host.

    I think if they disallowed steam family share accounts from playing on ranked (to help stop smurfing) and did a better job at getting players to their actual elo faster.

    People would have a much easier time playing online.


    Aren’t there like 15000 players online each month?


    There really isn’t that much you can do about it.

    I used to play online with voobly and then with the steam HD version played online as well.

    That’s been the extent of my interest in multiplayer.

    There isn’t much interest in learning build orders and timings for another game.

    I only have so much time to sit back and enjoy playing a game or two and I’d rather not have to spend the first half relearning the game from challenge runs in single player to now multiplayer strategies for the thirty some odd civs and maps.

    Doing a challenge run takes maybe 10-20 hours for an entire campaign.

    That’s still a lot less time than learning everything above, and in a time crunch environment it’s a lot more enticing to do.


    I’m put off by the 1000 ELO thing.

    feels like I’d be obliged to lose 20 games before it becomes balanced

    also I don’t want to have to learn every counter and build order for 82 different civilisations, and find my way around a bunch of maps


    Or maybe the multiplayers should start enjoying single player games with the rest of us?

    AoE2 used to be a phenomenon, there was no other game with similarly deep, varied and well-crafted campaigns and scenarios in its generation.

    A lot of its current resurgence is based on the campaigns.

    I think the way to go is to create more multiplayer coop (and perhaps vs) campaigns.

    For example, imagine a grand cooperative Third Crusade campaign spanning mutliple scenarios with several players on each side.

    That is what could really create something new and exciting.


    Make the game more macro focused/make micro easy.

    I’m not interested in ranked bcuz I see all these players doing insane micro, side stepping, killing all units with a single onager and that’s just too complicated and stressful.

    I wanna see soldier go here and soldier fight and soldier die.

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