Forums / Community / Matchmaking Feedback & Discussion

[Locked] MATCHMAKING FEEDBACK UPDATE – APRIL 24

OP ZaedynFel

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Why so much Slayer in HCS?
The current representation has every possible HCS configuration once. It so happens that Slayer has the most configurations. If we duplicate CTF / Stronghold entries, then you will sometimes get those twice in a row. Right now we are erring on the side of not seeing the same entries multiple times in a row, but we are willing to reconsider.

Ideally we would just weight each configuration for a more even representation, but right now we can't do that. So we have to choose between duplication or over-representation.


What are the difference in matchmaking across the different modes?
We get a few questions about this, so I'll try and summarize.

They all work almost the same, the main exception being Firefight. Firefight matchmaking does its best to put everyone onto the best dedicated server it can, but that’s it.

Ranked and Social Arena, and also the non-Firefight Warzone playlists all use skill similarly, with these differences:
  • Ranked imposes a maximum MMR gap that can never be breached. This gap is mostly the same for every playlist---1 full Rank’s worth, which means mid-Plat can match up to mid-Diamond in MMR, for example---, though I’ve eased a few back because there were players unable to match in some lists. After 40 seconds of waiting, Ranked will allow anything within that maximum gap. In addition, if you don’t search focused, and someone else has already waited 40 seconds, that player can match with you instantly as long as they are within that gap.
  • Social doesn’t have that gap. After 40 seconds of waiting, social allows any skill gap. Also, if you don’t search Focused, you can end up in a large gap match immediately if someone else in the match already waited over 40s
  • Warzone is the same as social, except it only waits 30s because it has to gather three time more players.
One other note that applies to all of this, but especially to Ranked because of the hard cut-off in MMR gap.
In order to help our very top players actually get into matches, we treat them as having lower MMRs than they actually have when they matchmake. Otherwise, they would often not get any matches at all. This results in high-skilled players getting the occasional rare very difficult match vs. top players.

How do you update maps for a playlist? Or just how do you update playlists in general?
The same way we update just about anything. A combination of
  • Design evaluation
  • Playing the playlists
  • Tracking stats (playlist health, map quit rates, etc.)
  • Listening to community feedback
Also, keep in mind there are a LOT of playlists in Halo 5, and the same team has to evaluate all of them. This includes all of the different playlists in Firefight, Warzone, and both Ranked and Social Arena.

To give you an idea of how long it can take to do an evaluation, just the small changes we are currently making to the HCS preview list take about 1 week to get right. This includes:
  • Making the changes in the map and playlist configurations
  • Double checking all of the changes we intended to make happened, and none we didn’t.
  • Testing those changes (usually requires two full teams)
  • Doing any needed localization changes (languages) if there are new names
  • Handing off the changes to the Production team that actually gets them uploaded and put into the live game. This process also has quality checks.
If you want to throw in evaluating maps, weapons, weapon placement, and more, you’re talking weeks for just ONE playlist.

This means we have to prioritize the playlists, often by a combination of popularity and health. This unfortunately means some playlists don’t get as much attention as others.


Why are my some of my matches unfair?

According to our stats, the great majority of matches are actually amazingly close. Both in terms of MMR and actual match outcomes.

Confusion happens because the only things we show are CSR and SR. Neither of these are used for matchmaking. We use MMR. We’ve actually run tests to look at CSR and SR and both are significantly worse than MMR for the purposes matchmaking. However, they are also both better than MMR for Ranking and Progression respectively.
So, for the most part, you are being put in the best matches we can.

But, we can do a better job at communicating that these matches are fair than we currently do. I’ve mentioned a few times that I’d like to call out the MMR of each team (not player) so you can see how close each match actually is. It’s not something we can do in the short term, but just so you know we are aware there is a good solution to this.
It almost always feels bad when you lose, but it’s often random performance differences in a given match that causes that, and not an actual discrepancy in skill. Sometimes players perform much better or worse than usual or expected. That leads to almost all of the “unfair feeling” cases we see.

Now, that all said, there are some fairly rare exceptions where our higher-skilled, though not top players can get into uneven matches. This happens because our top players would never get to play at all if we didn’t let them match against worse players. But, again, this is rare because the number of high-skilled players is much much larger than the number of top players. The high-skilled mostly just match other high-skilled players. It just “feels” memorably bad when those large gap matches do happen because the difference in skill is so obvious.
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Will there ever be a playlist in Halo 5 with classic gameplay(no-sprint/no-abilities)?
Can you guys implement mic matchmaking preferences. For example, a setting where i can say i want to match with chatty players over quiet players, and then i simply match with players who have that same option enabled. It seems pretty easy to implement so just wondering if you could do it.
Willko wrote:
Will there ever be a playlist in Halo 5 with classic gameplay(no-sprint/no-abilities)?
They'd have to make the maps for it first
ZaedynFel wrote:
How do you update maps for a playlist? Or just how do you update playlists in general? The same way we update just about anything. A combination of
  • Design evaluation
  • Playing the playlists
  • Tracking stats (playlist health, map quit rates, etc.)
  • Listening to community feedback
Also, keep in mind there are a LOT of playlists in Halo 5, and the same team has to evaluate all of them. This includes all of the different playlists in Firefight, Warzone, and both Ranked and Social Arena.

To give you an idea of how long it can take to do an evaluation, just the small changes we are currently making to the HCS preview list take about 1 week to get right. This includes:
  • Making the changes in the map and playlist configurations
  • Double checking all of the changes we intended to make happened, and none we didn’t.
  • Testing those changes (usually requires two full teams)
  • Doing any needed localization changes (languages) if there are new names
  • Handing off the changes to the Production team that actually gets them uploaded and put into the live game. This process also has quality checks.
If you want to throw in evaluating maps, weapons, weapon placement, and more, you’re talking weeks for just ONE playlist.

This means we have to prioritize the playlists, often by a combination of popularity and health. This unfortunately means some playlists don’t get as much attention as others.
Good to know information, but I guess it also means that it's highly unlikely I see any major playlist restructuring such as this.
One question josh, will there be any changes related to matchmaking in the upcoming season?

I know there has been a previous discussions about this in the previous updates but some of them are not coming in halo 5 but will anything be changed in matchmaking next season?

As always, we appreciate your updates and feedback josh.
As far as taking weeks for a playlist to update, why is it that the competitive playlist as taking so long to be recognized until now? I understand there is a process but if this is the case on it taking multiple weeks to add in, there should be multiple teams to help assess it would also be beneficial to both the ranked playlist and social playlist players being able to have updates that they expect on time rather than waiting for one playlist or another. You worked for Blizzard/Activision so I know you know that this is possible to achieve/do. I'm not bashing, i'm more or less curious of why the process takes so long compared to other titles.
Hey Josh, great update as usual.

Has the change to matchmaking where a team of four will face higher MMR individual players been patched in?

I ran solo this weekend as a diamond and matched a team of four that had a champion on it twice. One game I was with two other diamonds and an onyx, and the other game I think I was the 4th that joined a TO3 and they were all onyx. http://xboxdvr.com/gamer/Jolly%20Josh/screenshot/6219122 Is this working as intended? (I know I can't see the hidden MMR as well as this being the first season of HCS Summer Playlist/Proving Ground).

I still am firmly in the camp that you can't quantify the advantage that a team of four has over individual players. (Strategies, Communication, knowledge of each players role/type of player helps tremendously). I know this has been argued before, but running solo in this game is painful.
Glad to finally have some insight as to how finding matches works in H5. Great update as always.
Thank you!!!
V Agonia wrote:
One question josh, will there be any changes related to matchmaking in the upcoming season?

I know there has been a previous discussions about this in the previous updates but some of them are not coming in halo 5 but will anything be changed in matchmaking next season?

As always, we appreciate your updates and feedback josh.
"Matchmaking" can be an overloaded term. Which areas specifically?
Jolly Josh wrote:
Hey Josh, great update as usual.

Has the change to matchmaking where a team of four will face higher MMR individual players been patched in?

I ran solo this weekend as a diamond and matched a team of four that had a champion on it twice. One game I was with two other diamonds and an onyx, and the other game I think I was the 4th that joined a TO3 and they were all onyx. http://xboxdvr.com/gamer/Jolly%20Josh/screenshot/6219122 Is this working as intended? (I know I can't see the hidden MMR as well as this being the first season of HCS Summer Playlist/Proving Ground).

I still am firmly in the camp that you can't quantify the advantage that a team of four has over individual players. (Strategies, Communication, knowledge of each players role/type of player helps tremendously). I know this has been argued before, but running solo in this game is painful.
This feature is not in yet, no. Still working away at it.
ZaedynFel wrote:
Jolly Josh wrote:
This feature is not in yet, no. Still working away at it.
Any idea of the schedule for when this would be implemented?
Great post!

So how many games make up your MMR? (Is it all your game history? Or like, how you performed in your last 10 games?)

And do you have an MMR for each playlist?
ZaedynFel wrote:
V Agonia wrote:
One question josh, will there be any changes related to matchmaking in the upcoming season?

I know there has been a previous discussions about this in the previous updates but some of them are not coming in halo 5 but will anything be changed in matchmaking next season?

As always, we appreciate your updates and feedback josh.
"Matchmaking" can be an overloaded term. Which areas specifically
Oh my bad, i apologize for my inaccurate inquiry.

I would say in ranked arena in general, as previously discussed on previous updates. For example in the current state of smurfing, matchmaking gaps (high skilled players matching low skilled players due to not being able to find a match, less punishable for lower skilled in a loss), FFA CSR loss on 2nd and 3rd, and much more but i hardly remember. On previous updates you provided topics like the ones i mentioned with possible solutions but some are not doable on halo 5. My main question is that based on the updates you provided to us, will some issues mentioned be more "balanced" on the upcoming season?

Speaking of season, is there any small info or details on the next season?
My main question is in regards to the "Soft Forfeit" idea that was mentioned a while ago so that as long as you aren't the first (or second, not sure where you want to draw the line) person to quit you dont have to worry about getting a quit ban, but it still counts as a loss.

Is that being worked on?
Why is the wait time for the criteria shorter for Warzone compared to Social, you already mentioned that is is 3x the players but its only 75% of the time? Is the population that much larger that it is justified?

Also finding the "best dedicated server" is only mentioned for WZFF, is this criteria weighed into the other matchmaking formulas?

Is finding the "best dedicated server" still a criteria when searching on focused even after the MMR criteria times out?

Is there a possibility to have a user defined weighting the can either focus on server priority or MMR, because playing Warzone I really do not care how much better people are than me I just care about shots landing as expected. It could be just that you have 5 points and you can either split them between MMR or server. Wouldnt this help people feel that they have more control because it seems most of the complaints about matchmaking are either skill gap or server quality.
Is this update the reason for such bad connections recently then or is it just bad servers? Because I just played 3 games on balanced and had players teleport around the map, bullets not registering correctly (i.e 5th shot not killing or just ghost bullet effect) as well as players melee attack hit round a corner, seriously I was legit tempted to report hacks lol. But realtalk these bad connection issues are making it painful to play.
Also in regards to CSR, can we rank lock games please because it sucks that I cant gain any CSR because Diamonds are on my team or some who is a higher rank on my team stunts my CSR gain because the game got weighed in my favour. If Im Plat I should play with Plats and be allowed to gain or lose the appropriate CSR not gain 5 CSR points because the Matchmaker decided to throw Diamonds in my games, this is seriously damaging to solo players like myself who are trying to rank up as well a putting players in a "little to gain, lots to lose" scenario.
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