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BNET Matchmaker 2.0

Discussion in 'Patch Discussion' started by Kam, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. mafe

    mafe

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    My impression is that there several different opinions among wc3 players, and many of the ideas that would help some players would have downsides for others. Some of these opinions are:
    -People who have problems just finding games. This once included in particular the top players of the ladder. Having never been one myself, I cant tell if this is still the case ;)
    -People who currently do not have acceptable ping when playing on ladder,for example due being located in places far away from the battle net servers (for example oceania).
    -People who too often get matched against players that are on a different skill levels, leading to onesided games.
    -People who simply cannot find games for a preferred game mode (FFA, 3v3, maybe also AT).

    For an example of the dilemma created by these opinions, the bad ping in oceania would be helped by adding a new server there. But more servers would lead to further dividing the community, potentially increasing search times.

    Personally, I would think that there could be some options during queuing could make many people happy. Crucially, if you give players the some options, they might also have more of a chance to avoid potential new issues and adapt. For example, if the servers have large differents in the number of players, on a server with high population, a player might activate a rather restrictive set of conditions to create his perfect conditions. On a server with low population however, a player could use less restrictive options, to get a game in a reasonable amount of time.

    What could these options be like? I would try to still keep it with options that are simple to understand and clearly communicated. I believe most of the issue mentioned above could probably be mitigated, if not even solved entirely, by allowing player to control (some of) the following options:
    a) Relative skill opponents/teammates. By default, a medium setting should be selected, so that a player who cant find games can widen the skill level in order to more likely find games (at the cost of these games being less evenly matched). On the other hand, a player that istn happy to play against too strong/weak opponents can decide to only play opponents of very simlilar level (even though he might have to wait a little longer). Of course, this options would be helped by more clearly communicating the mechanisms behind ladder, and in particular giving an easy-to-understand message of what battle.net actually considers to be the players rating.
    b) In the same manner, let players select the maximum ping they are willing to accept for a game. Ideally with reforged this issue will be improved anyway, so noone will complain and this option actually isnt necessary anymore. The up/downside of selecting more/less restrictive settings would be the in analogy to the "opponent skill"-option.
    c) Enable the option for cross realm matchmaking. I would not turn this on by default, as it might bring some new issues such as increasing language barriers, and it might be counterproductive for those who dont like high ping.
    d) Players could be able to queu for several game modes at the same time.

    Of course, overall this might slighty increasing queuing times, but those who just want to play games faster will still be able to do so.

    For my personal wish list, I would like to see a larger mappool or changes to ladder maps more often. Many maps I never got to play in ladder, I assume that is just because too many people downvoated them. I dont see how gains anything from this state of affairs.

    I also agree that something should be done about smurfing, while at the same time, players should have the option to try new strategies in ladder without putting their hard-earned ladder level at risk. Also something should definitely be done about people just being afk/killing teammates in team games.

    Finally, I'm very happy that you (Kam/Blizzard) are giving the community a chance to voice their opinion!
     
  2. HighTac

    HighTac

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    Here comes the wish list of the FFA Masters community :)

    • Cross-realm ladder (with more/better server locations. Ideally one like Miami that is more suitable for South American players than Chicago)

    • Ladder with hidden player names (as in the current Battle.net)

    • With the downfall of host bots, we lost our beloved random hero FFA ladder. Maybe this can be integrated somehow (and be it by map vetoes)

    • A working match history would be really key for FFA, to identify preteamers
     
  3. Darklycan51

    Darklycan51

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    "Experience decay" should remain in the game, high level should only be for players willing to invest the time, if you can't then you shouldn't be high level.

    Why do your entire post feel like you are entitled to your level? "your intended spot", there's no intended spot, if you're good you're gonna reach there eventually, if you aren't then you won't. Dota and League take hundreds of games for the best players in the game to reach the leaderboards, why should it be 100 or less for warcraft 3? this just encourages smurfing.
     
  4. Drayen

    Drayen

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    A level of decay should stay for sure, I personally like the "bonus points" that Starcraft 2 has, it doesn't feel punishing nor does it feel like you're obligated to play, but if you miss out on the bonus points, you fall behind lesser skilled players, but you can catch it back up. Basically, everyone gets +50 free points per week if they play, so if you have 2000 points and dont play, someone with 1950 will be on the same level as you. After 10 weeks, you'll be at 2000 and he'll be at 2500, but you can play and catch it up and be at 2505, it's better system iMO.

    Experience decay as it is right now is insane. How is losing 3.2 levels in a single week anywhere near reasonable? The experience loss should be very small. Are you saying someone who manages to keep a 90% win ratio, but can only play 10 games a week, somehow doesn't deserve to be equal with other 90% win ratio players on ladder no matter how many games he plays over time?

    I sound like i'm entitled to my level because that's how the wc3 ladder system was designed. Back then, Blizzard themselves said you have a hidden level that can move very fast, which is pretty much MMR for wc3, which gives you an experience boost until your actual level reaches that level. As long as you maintain your skill level, you WILL reach this level no matter what. I just think it's stupid that it requires 600+ games to get there for the higher levels when a simple glance at your stats after a hundred or so games shows if you are at the same skill level or not as the top of the ladder. I'm just asking for strong players to level up even faster.

    There's a lvl39, 330 games player with 96% win on east, Shilohs, why does he have to be 14 whole levels below Pieck, the #1 player with 2600 games played, who has an inferior winrate of 90%? 330 games is enough to prove your earned your win ratio, he should at the very least be way closer to Pieck. Being a game masser should never be a reason why you're at the top, it should all be about having the best MMR and/or the best win ratio over a certain amount of games.
     
  5. SinisteR

    SinisteR

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    Hey Kam,


    Thanks for reaching out to the community and asking for our opinions. Thanks to you and the team for also continuing to work on the game we all love to play to this day, we all really appreciate.


    Anyway, thinking about the best way to format this I wrote a few ideas down which I will have as a separate sub-title and then a corresponding explanation as to how/why they should/could be implemented.


    Non-Ranked System like NetEase


    I think it would be beneficial to add some kind of non-ranked playing mode like what is currently available on NetEase under "Match Play". Given that Reforged will bring what we hope is an in-surge of new players I think it would be pretty off-putting to have them jump straight into a ladder game after completing the Campaign. I appreciate there are plenty of resources to assist newer players but at the end of the day this is the reality:

    1. I, as a somewhat veteran of the game, will smash a new player easily
    2. Ladder anxiety is a real thing -- both new and old players alike
    3. It's discouraging -- sometimes chat is toxic, sometimes you take a beating, etc.

    At the end of the day we want people to play the game and love it, not play the campaign, jump online and then fear pressing that battle.net button again. I also believe one of the SC2 expansions added in something like this?



    More Consistent In-Game Tournament System



    I'm not exactly sure how we could make this work but the best example I can think of is the format that W3A implemented on their servers. What occurred there was every Tuesday and Thursday at 7PM GMT there would be a server-specific tournament. You add in an actual sponsored minor tournament on a Sunday (something similar, to say, the previous ZOTAC, for example) and you had a massively diverse player base moving into a more "competitive" environment. It guaranteed a new level of excitement and fun outside of ladder games and custom games. The only problem with this is because W3A was only on one server it didn't cater to all regions, but maybe rolling something like that out on US East, West and Europe may be beneficial? I appreciate Blizzard tries to cater for all regions and players by putting on the in-game tournaments at various times but even one or two consistent tournaments throughout the week -- at each server's peak playing times -- would really add a new layer to the game it is currently missing.


    Reporting System


    I have no doubt some form of reporting system will be in Reforged but I think it's prudent to mention it here anyway. There should be a means to report a player(s) in-game (maybe in the Menu/Chat screen) and post-game (score screen) for various different reasons such as harassment, cheating, etc. I don't want to focus on this point too much because Blizzard have one of the best anti-cheat and player welfare systems in the world but I do believe Warcraft III needs to be brought in line with the standard infrastructure. I think also an easy "ignore" or mute option should be available in game rather than having to type "/ignore or /squelch player name" because I know I don't always have time to type the name and a lot of the time I come across special characters and I literally am unable to type them and there's no means of copying a name in Warcraft III. I'm not sure how this would be accessible but something through the existing Chat window (F10?) or another sub-menu within the in-game menu window.


    Cross-Realm


    I played SC2:WoL. A lot. The cross-realm feature was AWESOME. If we would get cross-realm matchmaking once again with a neutral ping that would be incredible. I'm not exactly sure how it worked in WOL but I never once felt like my in-game ping suffered a lot under this system and there are no words to describe just how spectacular it would be if this was implemented for Reforged.

    In addition, if this is not possible, I really think it would be prudent to add Oceanic servers (with a twist which I'll explain later). The reason I say this is I recently relocated to Australia and none of the in-game servers are great. Even on US West I get pings consistently in excess of 300 and when I go to East it's closer to 450 or 500. However, what would be even better would be some sort of linkage/implementation with NetEase. NetEase is an official Blizzard partnership and it's extremely busy. From Sydney, Australia I get ping <200 consistently with a free accelerator and it's much more playable than US West at the moment.

    I fully understand that NetEase is a stand-alone Company and is, ultimately, located in China which has its own logistical nightmares associated with it but just something to consider. I don't think there is a major benefit in having a majority of the average players split across different servers. Even in the old Garena days everyone trained on ladder and then played Tournaments on separate platforms.


    Multiple Game-Type Searches


    This is pretty self-explanatory but we should, at this day in age, be able to search for multiple game types - 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 simultaneously. Please add this feature in Reforged.



    Automated /stats at game start


    This is literally just a minor QOL improvement but if you could implement an automatic /stats into the game engine at the start of the game this would be great, no matter the game-mode. This may be a controversial one within the community and I'm happy to hear opinions on it but I really like this feature and I like to get an idea of what level my opponent is at or, in team games, where my allies are at. Again, this is also sometimes hard to complete in-game when players use special characters, etc. that I can't use on my Australian keyboard or I don't have the time to check. With the Blizzard website with match statistics not being 100% up-to-date it's hard to find a solution to match history and the - apparent - level of opponents and/or teammates.


    Ladder Resets and Patches


    While everyone in the community fully appreciates the changes that are occurring with balance patches and hotfixes, this has not historically been the case. Warcraft III is a fairly balanced game. We all understand it won’t be absolutely perfect – that is the nature of the beast. However, if there is going to be a period (hypothetically >12 months) without a patch it would be great to see more frequent ladder resets within the same patches. I’m personally thinking around every 90 days or so, but maybe every 120 would be the community’s preference.

    As a sub-set of this I think decay needs to be looked at. I’m not sure of the equation in the background but I think it’s currently just a bit too extreme. Don’t remove it from the game, that would be a bad idea but look at lowering the scaling modifier passed level 30-35, especially for people who play multiple game types as it’s simply unsustainable, even with a few games a day. I think it’s unfair to decay to the depths of hell because you only play 1 or 2 games a day and it’s only going to be a deterrent to more casual players who maybe, say, only play at weekends or every couple week’s when their friends are around or whatever it may be. Level is prestigious and is evidence of hard work, let’s not take that hard work away from people in a, somewhat, dramatic fashion.


    A little off-topic but still related to ladder


    1. I mentioned the need to have a mute & report feature above. However, I think there should be an option to toggle chat on or off completely. I fully appreciate Blizzard are all about the social aspect of the game (trust me, I am, too). But sometimes, I just stick on /dnd and grind out the ladder for a few hours and don’t participate in any community chat channels. I think it would be a nice QOL to add a toggle to enable/disable chat with some sort of in-game command on a game-by-game basis such as “/chat on”.
    2. I mentioned above how level is a reflection hard work and dedication. It isn’t necessarily a reflection of skill. What do I mean by this?
    • Divisions/Medal System
    Both NetEase and Starcraft II do a fantastic job of this. If you’re a Masters skill level player it’s reflected in your icon and the division/table you’re in. On NetEase, your medal changes from bronze, to silver to gold and so on as you progress through their levelling system. This adds a lot to the dynamics of ladder and creates that “whoa” factor when you see a level 50 player in the “X Division/Y Medal” division in comparison to the same level 50 player in “A Division/B Medal”.

    I’m not saying I agree with a division system – I wouldn’t be sure there would be enough of a playerbase to bring that in but maybe a medal/special portrait (I’m thinking something similar to elites, rares or boss icons in WoW, as an example) would add something special to the existing state of the game.

    And the ultimate benefit of this change? It will provide an indication of MMR brackets. I think we can all agree the recent change to MMR and searching was good. It’s not perfect, but it’s a whole lot better than it was. The system I propose above gives a somewhat reliable visible indicator as to what their MMR is. I know you don’t want to disclose the MMR system and that’s absolutely fine but if I’m a (hypothetical) Silver player and I’m constantly meeting gold players then I know I’m on the “verge” of progressing to the next tier/level. That can ONLY have a positive impact on someone’s enjoyment of the game. Similarly, someone who is at the same level and playing against (hypothetical) bronze players will have an additional incentive to review their replays, look at what went wrong and reach out to the community for help and guidance.

    We all want this game to succeed and it just adds another level of excitement the Warcraft III of old used to instill on players outside of icons (more on this later). Casual is good – hell, I am one massive casual these days – but for the guys who want to go ham and be better than they were the day before why not give them and everyone else another layer of excitement and achievements to reach for? I don’t see any negative impact to changing this system slightly. Nothing major, just a minor overhaul to bring it in line with more modern RTS engines and systems while adding additional need for social interaction. Win-win.

    1. And finally, I have one more suggestion. Mix up the in-game icons. Above, I’ve been referring to QOL changes, minor updates to the game engine, increased social engagement and added layers of excitement. The most iconic (pun) aspect that separates WC3 from its peers is player icons and portraits. Let’s be real, they are a bit outdated now. THAT SAID, I LOVE them. I don’t want them to change but I would love choice. For example, I play Human so I would propose something like this:-

    Level 1 (25 wins) – Militia, Footman or Rifleman

    Level 2 (150 wins) – Sorcerous, Priest or Mortar Team

    Level 3 (500 wins) – Spellbreaker, Siege Tank or Dragonhawk Rider

    Level 4 (750 wins) – Bloodmage, Knight or Gryphon Rider

    Level 5 (1500 wins) – Jaina (because that icon is fucking sick), Archmage or Mountain King (because he’s a Human icon really)

    Level 6 (100 TOURNAMENT WINS AS HUMAN) – Paladin, Gyrocopter or Goblin Alchemist (this is just for fun but point stands)

    Thanks, again, for listening to us.

    EDIT: Added the original word doc for formatting because I can never get it right elsewhere :D
     

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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  6. chusrubi2

    chusrubi2

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    Matchmaking algorithm:
    - A propper ELO system so we match opponents within our same level.
    - Match RT players with AT players so it finds game faster.
    - Clan war searching feature. Chieftain can choose players to play vs other clans.
    - Automated tournaments for RoC too.
    - Cross realm if ping is ok.

    Interface improvements:
    - Stats preview of your enemies & team mates in the loading screen. Also, after loading, show in menu or somewhere an option to see enemies's chosen races.
    - A very important one that I think no one mentioned yet: do not block the half of the interface when searching games. In current w3 client, when searching solo or RT half of the client features are disabled. And well, when searching AT you cannot even whisper.

    Other:
    - A totally remade ladder website.
    - A public API to gather stats.
     
  7. Kiezel

    Kiezel

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    I registered just for this topic because an adequat auto match making (AMM) is important. More specifically it is the very foudation for the game, the vascular system in some sense which ensures all places are properly connected and interacting. Let me first elaborate the current state to have an a priori sense of where this post is coming from so it is easier to put it into proper context to align potential debate in this regard. Blizzard also does not build from scratch but seems to go up, down left or right incremental to what is currently in place.

    So originally the system was quite clean: if you are better you win more. This is why you originally saw people having 30% winrate or 70% winrate. Pro players would even go up to 95+% winrates. You could be match to people being 6 (perhaps 7) levels higher (lower) than yourself as those who would win more would increase in level. I will not discuss if this is good or bad (you can argue both) but rather will discuss how this was followed up after the population on BNet declined. People had more difficulty finding opponents. Especially in the higher level regions as population grew thin.

    Hence a new, still the current, system was implemented to prevent 2 hour search times which caused a lot of smurfing. Rather than the previous: the system now aims at keeping people at a 50% winrate. It will however, especially in the first games, estimate how well a person is and assign an expected ladder level (ELL) which is hidden from the audience. If a person his ELL is set to 25 than he will, while winning approx. 50% gain a lot of XP the further below he is from 25 for a win, while losing almost no XP when losing; and this will gradually go in reverse when going up to and beyond level 25. All still winning roughly 50%. Now without debate this system is stupid. People cannot read how good a player is based on this system. E.g. a player at level 30 with 100 - 90 is a really good player. But a player at level 35 with 2200 - 2000 tends to be terrible. In other words: skill needs to be assessed based from amount of games played relative to level achieved. Because winrate does not tell you much (its 50%, likely) but the amount of games total relative to bnet level signals the ELL; which does tell us something. However, decay to bnet level is applied (no decay to ELL is applied iirc) and thus over time you need to estimate a player his skill by achieved level relative to amount of games played corrected with decay. This is not a sensible way to go. People who are better should be rewarded with a better win rate and also unlock icons sooner. They should be higher levels in bnet terms than those who are worse (currently you will always level up; it just goes slower if you are worse; but you can get top ladder with just massing games to compensate for skill).

    Now the above is just a descriptive signal entailed by my tought (which i feel is rationally accepted by many who give thought to this) but I also do understand that the population size is relevant to this. Since I do now know what population size will be I can not clearly formulate a proper solution, but from the above we can derive two key elements that should be given some toughts, mainly that (1) skill level should be able to be assessed simply from bnet level / winrate. The current system does not only hide this, the system itself is to complex to elaborate to most players. (2) the system should match population size. Search times, especially in 4on4 RT can be huge, but achieving this shouldn't come at the cost of point 1.

    For RT I'd like to use another small paragraph: currently it seems to average out teams to provide a 50% winrate. Two mediocre player can be teamed against a half god and something that should never have seen the light of day. This is no fun to any of the players involved (altough the latter probably does not really notice he was off untill the score screen shows up). But it be great if these skills could be better mean-centralized (i.e. more narrow distrubtion in plausible candidates for the game?). But again, I recognize the problem of population size. But ocasionally the difference is insane and nothing is more annoying than noticing you have an ally who relatively to oneself knows nothing about the game at all.

    There are some other points I want to address but have not given enough tought yet to provide a definite outspoken opinion on:
    - I feel the SC2 system is not great. Being upped or downed a division can result in a lot of wins, or losses. Which psychologically is tiring for a player. I do however recognize that this may well be used to prevent players from getting only a 20% winrate and thus quitting the game as a result. I never played much SC2 so my interpretation of this system may be off or simply outdated.
    - Although cross server match making sounds nice for population size and interaction, a latency issue will arise and to me, would need more compelling arguments to be a success.
    - More icons should be added to unlock. This is the single best thing blizzard implemented cause people to play and be active. But many people now have the final icon of their race twice (theoretically) or even three times.
    - There should be serious tought in the ability to have only 1 or multiple accounts. Both can have arguments which I will not go into.
    - Currently all RT is aggregated to the same bnet level. So if you have loads of 2on2 RT games it will take this into account at 4on4; which do not pay the same at all. In channels it is not clearly visible if a player is level 30 because of solo, FFA, RT or AT. Which might be neat to show. RT players tend to be far less skilled than solo players and FFA players tend to be far more creative. Having this clearly visible will be an added value as a result as it tells or at least signals about the player.
    - 3on3 never has been popular and with current population size one might want to consider removing it all together as an option. Even if bnet size would quadruple I don't see any success in subsequently finding games for this type.
    - If random players could see their race at the loading screen that be great (more of a personal wish).
    - Streams have an interface that show stats and race of opponents/players, I really love this feature as an option for ladder games.

    Anyone feel free to add, redress, etc on this post.
     
  8. floss2xdaily

    floss2xdaily

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  9. Kam

    Kam

    Blizzard Associate Producer

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    Thank you for all the feedback! We will take it into consideration moving towards Reforged.
     
  10. severed

    severed

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    Please whatever happens PLEASE do NOT allow AT vs RT like in SC2. some people think AT vs RT helps increase player pool and decrease search times, but i played W3Arena for a while and it was almost always an unfair advantage to the AT team. There are better options for improving the game IMO

    What I want is to be able to search for multiple gametypes at once. I should be able to search 1v1, FFA, and RT all at the same time (except AT), or I could search 2v2, 3v3, 4v4 at the same time, and the matchmaking should just pick a gametype at random for me. That way I can be surprised and have a different experience each time I click search. This would also help revive dead gametypes like 3v3

    There should also be a penalty system for early leavers, Tk, afk. I posted more details here ---> Penalty system for TK/AFK/Early Leavers

    Make clans more interesting somehow, maybe with a clan vs clan search feature? or a clan challenge system?

    This doesnt have to do with MM but, I also wish we could host a custom or private game with a replay instead of a map, so that I can invite friends to watch a replay together in-game with chat ---> Replay Viewer needs improvements

    of course, improve our friends list to be bigger, give us private messages in a separate window, allow disabling or enabling notifications per individual, store msgs when offline, and make it easier to mute people

    one other off topic thing about hotkeys ---> Pre-set Control Groups in Options

    Thanks! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 11:54 PM