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Misconceptions about Matchmaking

Discussion in 'Game Discussion' started by xArrogance, 18 Mar 2019.

  1. xArrogance

    xArrogance Well-Known Member

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    Adjustments to the Matchmaking formula have been debated (and demanded) since the beginning of the game.

    Many don't understand why things the way they are, that they've implemented player-requested changes, and what the real issue is.

    ... Hopefully, if we can move past this issue, maybe we can get some positive changes in the game before it sails into the sunset.

    SOLO QUEUE - RANKED MM:
    If you only play ranked with a solo queue (no fleet), your infamy is the product of your skill, item level, ship and loadout selection, match strategy and consistency -- in relation to other players.

    Skill and Item Level -
    Misconception 1: I have better items than I did six months ago, so my infamy should have increased.
    Reality 1: You are NOT getting stronger in relation to other players so your infamy is NOT going to increase dramatically.
    If you're a f2p player (or close to it), everyone else is leveling items and honing their skills at a similar rate to you .. If you had max epics before most others, it was easier to increase your infamy .. but max epics are at virtually every infamy level now so having the right items is more important than item rarity.

    Obviously, you could still buy a ton of event perks or legendary items and that would help increase your infamy - but the gains are slow and take thousands of matches to notice.

    Ship and Loadout Selection -
    Misconception 2: The choice of ship and loadouts has nothing to do with infamy.
    Reality 2: It does. And the best choices change.

    ***Solo Shooters are likely struggling to maintain their old infamy levels***
    Shooters were once the one of easiest ships to dictate match outcome with.

    Firebomb and EC/BC combos were fairly reliable and effective. Most cannons shots had slower projectiles and were taken at range so the most accurate and skilled players usually prevailed. Likewise, fixers were forced to constantly move and reposition to avoid firebombs, which made fixing unfriends more difficult.

    But .. devs saw usage rates and nerfed accordingly.

    (Ignoring the dead defender) Shooters have always been the easiest to hit with their lack of acceleration and agility, and lack of a quick escape button (nitro) .. but then they lost their base defense while most weapons received damage buffs and some received projectile speed buffs.

    The result -- Solo shooters are less effective than they were .. and infamy losses are reflective of that fact.

    For shooters, there is no longer a single loadout that will do well on every map and against every team combination.

    Lower skill shooters can hit you more easily and for more damage. A loadout designed to counter fixer teams makes you overly susceptible to speeders, interceptors and reapers that can easily track you across the map and relieve you of 50-75% of your health. Bandages are pointless against that type of burst damage. Mid-range loadouts are ineffective against mine-field, mortar spamming teams.

    Also, with near worthless FBs (with a larger variety of quick ships and various nerfs), the flare is the only alternative. And, that doesn't usually work out well. If you manage to get your slow-a** shooter in flare range of a faster ship, you have a low percentage chance of hitting with an even lower chance of getting a second cannon combo shot in.

    Anywho, for better or worse, this is an infamy system working properly ... Weaker ships fall, stronger ships rise.

    If this is your issue, then your real problem was the snail-like parts and powercell economy that made it impossible to keep up with their heavy-handed balance changes. It isn't the MM formula.

    Fixers are the new Shooters -
    I found FB spamming as annoying as anyone but knew what would happen once FBs were mega-nerfed ... Fixers would rule the bay.

    It's easier than ever before for fixers to sit back and keep their team and full health (with fewer/weaker FBs incoming and stronger repair items).

    ... There are numerous other reasons why here, but this post is long enough already.

    Match Strategy and Consistency -
    Maybe I'll fill this in later ...


    FLEETED - RANKED MM:
    Misconception 3: Bad teammates or bad luck is the reason I can't gain infamy.
    Reality 3: Everyone deals with this.
    Those above you in infamy have simply dealt with it better than you.

    As I've explained before ... everything above (skill, items, consistency) will only take you so far.

    Fleeting with a good teammate will get your further. Fleets lessens the chance that floaters/bad players are put on your team. And, two good players that play well together are stronger than they are individually (i.e., more infamy).

    Moreover, "bad" teammates is also a relative term - 99% of the bay are "bad" teammates in my eyes (in 5k ranked).

    Misconception 4: I'm better than players higher in infamy than me.
    Reality 4: Maybe.
    They might have had a bad game in your match. It happens to all of us. Or, they could be higher because they fleet better ...

    It's a choice to stay loyal to a guild rather than trading up and learning from/fleeting with better players. If infamy is your goal, then find a guild with several players that are slightly better than you, willing to fleet, and join them. You can stay friends with old guildmates through chat messages or discord.

    It's a choice to play solo and struggle gaining infamy. That's how the systems works - like it or not.

    Misconception 5: Removing fleets would be a better test of skill.
    Reality 5: Yes and no.
    Removing fleets would make it much, much harder for players to gain infamy, so you'd likely be stuck where you're at (or below) permanently .. And, it would require nerfing fixers into the ground (as well as speeders to a lesser extent).

    In single queue, no other ship has more power to change the outcome. No shooters or interceptors would be on the top of the leaderboard without fixer fleets.

    But .. it would be a good test of skill for certain ships otherwise.

    Misconception 6: Infamy is not a reflection of individual performance.
    Reality 6: Yes and no.
    Yes, there are players that are carried higher than they otherwise could get because of fleets .. so the leaderboard isn't necessarily representative of the best players in the game in that exact order .. but it's not that far off.

    There simply isn't a better way to measure "individual performance" ..

    A shooter could spam meaningless damage but contribute very little if their damage is instantly repaired by a fixer, but a speeder could take out a fixer and contribute far more towards the win with 10% of the damage .. so damage doesn't work.

    Otherwise, infamy in general is very much a reflection of your performance - over time.

    People like to post screenshots of matches they do well in .. and complain when they lose .. but they're usually not nearly as skilled as they think they are - or they're not nearly as consistent as they need to be.

    Everyone above them found a way to win tough games .. they did it over thousands of matches and they slowly built their infamy up. They didn't do it overnight.

    [Side note - Most players have around a 50% win rate in ranked matches (because of the MM algorithm) in order to keep matches as balanced as possible. Obviously they can't predict when a player will disconnect or have a bad game, but it's not a bad system. Most games use the same system for a reason.

    The difference between a 5k and a 2500 player is about 100 wins. Over 20k matches, that's 1/2 of 1%. It's not luck. It's consistency, skill and perseverance - and some good fleetmates along the road.]
     
    Last edited: 19 Mar 2019
    Fiorell, VantaBlack, Nikkie! and 6 others like this.
  2. xArrogance

    xArrogance Well-Known Member

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    Misconception 7: Infamy ranges are unfair.
    Reality 7: Infamy is an arbitrary number.
    This is the appearance of unfairness vs actual unfairness.

    Matches aren't set to make each side's infamy as close to even as possible; you can often switch a player and end up with a closer infamy total for each side.

    Teams are set by a hidden matching formula; hidden to prevent manipulation.

    For example -- They could divide everyone's infamy in two, reset league requirements, and give +12/-12 for wins/losses in most matches to bring infamy ranges closer - but it wouldn't change matching.

    Infamy tanking penalties -

    Oddly enough, infamy floors were a player suggestion. Devs agreed that a matching floor would help protect newer players ...

    I suppose they could personally review each person's matches that's dropped under 500 infamy and pass out permanent ranked bans for those intentionally losing (or for those with incredibly unreliable connections) .. but that's probably not that large of an issue. I don't know for sure.

    I imagine that most players stuck in the infamy tanking blackhole are still trying their best in ranked matches - despite what their actual infamy suggests - so it doesn't affect their teammates as much as they'd like to think.

    Otherwise, it appears that infamy is only used as an initial filter and to determine the amount of infamy lost/gained afterwards.

    Misconception 8: Rovio needs to advertise more to get more players.
    Reality 8: One, Devs don't make those decisions. Two, it's not going to happen.
    New players run into max rare and max epic players while they're still using T1-2 commons and uncommons.

    It would take a massive (costly) redesign and influx of new players to change that.

    From a business perspective .. the cost of fixing the issue, advertising, and waiting several months for those new players to start spending money is far too little benefit for the amount of risk. Most companies expect an 18% or more return on their investments; Rovio invests 1 million in Angry birds 2 and gets 100 mil in return .. so they probably expect a bit more.

    Either way, I highly doubt they're going to invest substantial resources in a game that's revenue has all but evaporated.

    [Side note - Creating tournament-standard competitions could generate quite a bit of buzz for streamers showing off the "best strategy" for this week's competition.. and that would be something devs could do .. but it's just wishful thinking at this point]

    EVENT MM:
    I've heard it's based on Captain level.. and it should stay that way, if so.
    • There's no long-term way to manipulate matches.
    • Every player has the opportunity to earn the same amount of rewards - so it would be unfair to force players to struggle getting coins against tougher competition because of their infamy when others can tank infamy and seal-club.
    • Events are different than ranked.
    • So, players should see a broader range of competition.
    • Less skilled players get to learn (and play against) the best.
    • More skilled players get the chance to see how they stack up against average players without the handicap of a high player rating.

    GUILD RIVALRY MM:

    For financial and competitive reasons, matching rivalries based on infamy (or guild ranking) was a mistake. The rewards are the same if you win with 1 quest or 200 .. another mistake.

    For whatever reason people get excited about this stuff.

    The competitive guilds want to face the best. The manipulators use half-capacity guilds or other tactics for easy matches (that require zero boosts) while earning the same rewards.

    I would've put in guild leagues - with an increasing amount of rewards (or increased quest multiplier) - and put their rivalry league ranking on the guild profile.

    There are any number of ways to do this .. the top 10-20% of each division move up, while the bottom 10-20% go down a league - for instance.

    CASUAL MM:
    I have no idea what it's based on .. but it should be gear score. It's a mode for fun, trying new things, questing.. etc. You should be able to experiment without facing your normal competition.
     
    Last edited: 18 Mar 2019
  3. mustbeunique

    mustbeunique New Member

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    what does this have to do with them matching 5600 infamy with 2200 infamy.. OH nothing
     
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  4. Ultrah

    Ultrah Well-Known Member

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    Great post, as always!

    My only question now is why we can’t fleet with players greater than or less than 800 infamy than ours.

    Like you said, almost everyone at every league now is packing quite a loadout.
     
  5. xArrogance

    xArrogance Well-Known Member

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    Screenshot ...?

    Because I explained why event and casual matched the way they do ... so I assume you mean ranked. And the only way that could possibly happen is with the matching floor and a former 3.5k player.
     
    Last edited: 21 Mar 2019
  6. DerrickRose

    DerrickRose Active Member

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    Oops, watch out!. Kids in this forum still believe they win/lose depends on skill and level. However, this is very true
     
  7. xArrogance

    xArrogance Well-Known Member

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    What people misunderstand is that most everyone has around a 50% win rate in ranked - so they all deal with bad teams.

    But they also don't understand that those higher in infamy win 1 more game every 100/150 matches than the average player. And that's the skill and strategy part .. not luck.

    Of course, if they allowed all skilled players (with the right items) to have higher win rates, the below average players would be knocked down to zero in infamy and quit playing ranked .. then the 50-60th percentile players would be knocked down, then the 61-70th percentile would be knocked down .. and so on until your left with only ranked players that can compete at the highest level (and trade wins back and forth) ..
     
    Last edited: 19 Mar 2019
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  8. xArrogance

    xArrogance Well-Known Member

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    Changing metas and balance changes are normally a good thing.. but not with powercell and gold limitations.

    When it took years to build up one ship and set of items for most players, and most players favored one ship, the power balance had to be maintained .. It wasn't .. and those players became frustrated with lost infamy.

    It's probably too late now ... but they should have kept the higher agility on the non-nitro ships, increased gold rewards by 250% and passed out more powercells.

    Players would have had the opportunity to build more items and adjust to balance changes with new ships/loadouts.

    The event gold rewards (if they continue) and increased powercell drops are great .. but it will still take players several months to clear their current inventory backlog at this rate.


    Side note - the pearl offers were interesting .. pearl divers without the wait.

    Although, they could offer 100k pearls for $10 and I wouldn't buy it .. I don't have the space to store more items, so there's no point in buying a bunch of crates.

    Maybe I'm odd .. I would buy items all day .. but I wouldn't even consider spending pearls on the resources to build items (not that 100k in pearls would get me very far buying the powercells, gold, sugar that I'd need).
     
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  9. NathanaelK

    NathanaelK Well-Known Member

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    Another perfect post. Thank you!
     
  10. JoshW

    JoshW Well-Known Member

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    Pretty solid info! Thank you for taking the time.
    I'm pretty sure players requested an infamy floor that you couldn't fall below after gaining a certain infamy, not the black hole of a tanking zone we have now.
     
    Bill Miller likes this.
  11. xArrogance

    xArrogance Well-Known Member

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    With an infamy floor, players would be able to intentionally lose matches or spam weak quest weapons in ranked without fear of losing their season rewards ..

    The matching floor works the same way .. keeping those players in higher level matches but they continue losing league rewards if they continue falling.

    The unfortunate side effect is it likely makes it harder for players to regain infamy .. I was only in the tanking penalty zone for a few hundred matches but can't say for sure how it works .. or how it should work.

    I would guess it's probably better to remove it all together at this point.. or make a training league for those that cross 1000 infamy then fall under that threshold ..
     
    Last edited: 20 Mar 2019
    M8009M, VantaBlack and Bill Miller like this.
  12. JoshW

    JoshW Well-Known Member

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    I guess that's true,
    With the recent change to league rewards though it is definitely worth it to push infamy.
    If they made it so the top 50 players per season bracket receive the current rewards and the bottom 50 get the previous, lesser rewards it would provide further incentive to stay competitive with the players around your similar infamy.
     
    Bill Miller likes this.
  13. TVNPryde

    TVNPryde Well-Known Member

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    The problem with tanking penalty I noticed is the infamy used for MM when the players are in the penalty.

    For example, if my comfort infamies are around 3200-3300. Somehow a good few day get me to 3800 and dropped to 2800 a week later. Instead of using 3k as calculation so I can climb out, MM uses 3800 which makes it impossible. When players peak at certain infamy, that means that they don’t belong to that infamy range yet. This is an easy change. Also should reset all penalties now so players can play again.
     
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  14. envylife

    envylife Well-Known Member

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    This is the core issue with current matchmaking. at 2600 Infamy my ranked matches consist of Infamy ranges 0 to NML. It's impossible to decide who deserves and Infamy adjustment in that situation, and that's why I consider Infamy as it stands now as meaningless garbage.
     
  15. TVNPryde

    TVNPryde Well-Known Member

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    Seemed the devs did tighten the MM recently. The result is it’s really hard to get a battle now. By midnight pacific time zone, it’s nearly impossible to get into a battle.

    Regarding bad MM, everyone got it, not just anyone specific. Infamy is the best indicator of ones gears and skills.

    I was in a 12 battles losing streak last night. What was annoying was I was stuck with a shooter 7 of those battles because not many people players playing ranked. That shooter was always in the back and almost always full health when his teammates were all dead. That losing streak has nothing to do with MM, just teammates that didn’t meshed with my style.
     
    Last edited: 20 Mar 2019
  16. envylife

    envylife Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately teamwork requires you to mesh with that Shooter's style as much as they to yours.
     
  17. mustbeunique

    mustbeunique New Member

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    Well thanks.. But your are just a forum member so your long write up about what you think, really means nothing to me
    In my opinion, they should not be matching (In casual and Events) 4000/4500/5000/5200 with 2200 and in regular matches why are they putting 0 infamy(yeah that right s) or 200 on the same team as 2200
    If they are that low and have been playing for awhile they should be match with other like dummies, dont stick me with them
     
  18. xArrogance

    xArrogance Well-Known Member

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    Well, you're certainly entitled to your opinion ...

    Personally, I don't think many 5k players - including myself - would enjoy 2+ hours of queue time to play a single event match (when we're eligible for the same number of coins per match as brand new players) ... because that's exactly how long the wait would be with your infamy matching brackets.
     
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  19. capphil11

    capphil11 Member

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    Generally agree, but I actually think there is a component of how long players have waited in queue and the matchmaking bands relax accordingly even for Ranked. Rovio still does try to balance the infamy on both sides, but I do see higher variance the more I have waited in queue. It makes sense since they are trying to keep wait times reasonable.

    Awesome and super thoughtful post as usual. thank you!
     
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  20. JoshW

    JoshW Well-Known Member

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    If my queue time is excessively long I will back out and rejoin the queue, doing this my battles are balanced more often than not.
     
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