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An Idea for Improving Random Matchmaking (a little)

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For the last several weeks, a couple of months even, I have been feeling like I've faced blowout matches a lot more often. In one official WG stream earlier this year, the topic was brought up, and the response given (I believe by Tuccy) was that WG doesn't see an issue with match length. Well, here's the thing: many of these blowout matches often last 15 minutes or even longer, but it's never close. You might say that the match was decided in the MM queue. The losing team manages to avoid being zero'd out, but the match still ends 15 minutes in with 8-10 ships still alive on winning side and either zero or just a couple ships left on the losing side, and many of the winners still have a significant amount of their HP left. That is what I consider a blowout.

I haven't made a habit of tallying up my blowouts vs non-blowouts, but over the past few days I've paid a little more attention, and probably at least half, if not more, of my matches (especially at T8-10) were blowouts one way or another. It's not satisfying for either side. You either never stood a chance, or the other team just folded and you didn't have to fight for your win.

I've seen this idea thrown around by a couple CCs and a few others, so I imagine it's been suggested, but I did a brief search and I'm not seeing an obvious thread in this forum (there's plenty of threads in general game discussion complaining about MM... but not here as far as I can see) and wanted to throw my voice into the pile. At least then I can say I tried.

The idea goes a bit like this:

The matchmaker selects a group of 24 players for a random battle or ranked battle like normal. It arranges them like normal. Then, add an extra step where it hits the API for the, say, account winrate (or another stat) of the players. If it can without ruining the ships balance, I'd like to see the matchmaker swap players around if it sees a large enough (value TBD) stats imbalance. Players with hidden stats can be ignored by the extra step, I suppose. I know that WG wants to keep matchmaking times to a minimum, but I don't see adding the additional step adding much time to the matchmaker's process, and if something goes wrong (say, with the API) it can be skipped easily enough the way I see it. The idea isn't for full on skill based matchmaking, but just an improvement on the current system.

As an example: If there's a 55% WR T8 DD on team 1 and a 48% WR T8 DD on team 2, and the average winrate of team 2 is (sufficiently) below the average winrate of team 1, I'd like to see the two DDs swapped to make things a little more even. Now, there's an argument that that is pretty unfair to the 55% WR player and rigs the MM to have them end up on bad teams more often.... and that's true, no lie, I'm not pretending this is a perfect idea. It needs refinement. Ideally, though a) they wouldn't be the only one getting the short end of that particular stick, and b) maybe they can carry the lower team or make it a more interesting game for everyone. 

For bonus points, add a flag to radar ships and try to have matchmaker distribute those a little more evenly. I occasionally see matches where one side will have 2 or 3 radars and the other side will have none. Not so often but it happens. Would be nice if it didn't.

It's not a perfect solution by any means. Divs will throw a wrench in things. The nature of the player base means you'll end up with combos of players and ships in queue that is impossible to perfectly balance. You'll still end up with matches where one team has a 48% average winrate and the other side is 52% (or an even wider disparity). But that's fine. Perfectly balanced teams are boring too. I'm just hoping to reduce the number of those annoying blowout matches. 

Maybe it'll work, maybe this is idea is one that only sounds good. I can't say. My envisioned end state if this is implemented: Random games are still random (with all the good and bad that implies), but hopefully a little more engaging and interesting.



Edited by Wirespeed91
Edited to add an extra detail or two that didn't make it from my head to keyboard in the initial posting.
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Alpha Tester
27,513 posts
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Skill balancing which you are suggesting has been suggested many times. However, any statistic chosen could be played to get friendlier matchmaking.

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11,994 posts
19,508 battles

Few points

  • Random means that RANDOM
  • You're advocating "selective MM" OP.. Its not going to to work
  • WR% will never be the measuring stick, to determined a good player or a good fleet
  • Blowouts are cause by the snowball effect, which is tied to POWER CREEP.. It has nothing to do with MM
    • MM is the fall guy/scapegoat.. Power creep is the root of your blow outs *especially* at tier X
  • Because of what I noted above, blowouts will continue regardless of what MM you advocate for OP.. You're not fixing the main issue (Power creep), adding more restrictions to current MM rules is not the answer (its already been done in the past).

No thank you OP... Your suggestion wont fix the issue... The byproduct of what you suggested, will be longer wait times for the same blowout experience.

Edited by Navalpride33

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3,354 posts
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What you are suggesting makes sense and I've said the same thing in the past. The reason they will never implement it is because there's an algorithm running in the background (that many of the white knights refuse could even be possible) that integrates with and effects the MM.  The only way to override it is to play in divisions. 

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39 posts
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In the past when they "fixed" the MM it always seemed to me that it made things worse in the long run IMO

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