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[Locked] Matchmaking Feedback Update – April 9

OP ZaedynFel

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We don’t have anything new besides the playlist rankings for today, but I’m hoping to give an update on the TrueSkill2 rollout later this week. Stay tuned.

Playlist Ranks
One thing to note below: although Warzone Turbo did only 5%, it was only up for 3 days, less than half the time period covered in the ranks. It also took most of Warzone’s players during the period it was up. Looking at only the time period that Warzone Turbo was up, Turbo took 11% of the population whereas normal Warzone only 3%. So over the week, the Warzone folks shifted to Turbo. If you tried to play normal Warzone during this time, you may have noticed more matchmaking struggles than usual. Just one of the reasons we are careful about running lists with a lot of overlap for long periods of time.

Super Fiesta
Slayer
Heroic Warzone Firefight
Quick Play
Warzone
Big Team Battle
Infection
Legendary Warzone Firefight
Warzone Turbo
SWAT
H2BR Slayer
Action Sack
Team Arena
Doubles
HaloWC 2018
Breakout
Snipers
Halo 3 Classic Throwback
Mythic Warzone Firefight
Warzone Assault
Grifball
HaloWC FFA
Dear Zaedynfel:
Thanks for the info 🙏.
I will play Warzone Turbo soon 😊
A few warzone environment playlist thoughts/questions -

  • Warzone: Consider having the first weekend within a month replace the standard Warzone with Warzone Turbo; though, just for the weekend. This would prevent having the two playlists available at the same time and it would provide the player base a structured timeline for knowing when to expect Turbo's regular return.
  • Warzone Assault: Assault's matchmaking might benefit from becoming a weekend only playlist, don't you think?
  • Heroic Firefight
  • Legendary Firefight
  • Mythic Firefight: Weekend only (its low-pop doesn't really hurt it too much since it's a PvE only mode)
A few ranked environment playlist thoughts/questions -

  • Doubles: Has there been any internal discussion regarding transitioning this playlist to use the Abilities Tracker found within the HCS playlist? I think it could play pretty well within this playlist.
  • FFA: I'm wondering if the FFA playlist would benefit from becoming a weekend only playlist while the Custom Browser could be used for any HaloWC FFA weekday practice. Not to mention, Vetoed did share some interesting map diversity and improvement ideas to increase the playlist's attraction. Are any of these things under current consideration since the playlist appears to be struggling quite a bit given it slipped below the unpopular Grifball?
  • Objective: First, I'm curious about what the early data and feedback is regarding the Oddball mode since it got re-introduced to matchmaking (via Team Arena)? Has the spawn influencer related to the ball been working as intended? Could we see more developer created maps be given the Oddball mode so that it's not just Eden and Truth? AlsoAre any further changes being considered to the game-type setting such as going back to a one-hit kill for the Oddball holder or are you satisfied by the current settings? Also, could you please share whether there's been any internal discussion on replacing the Team Arena playlist with a Team Objective playlist? A playlist that features CTF, Strongholds, Assault, and Oddball. In other words, no slayer so that there's a specific playlist people can visit to earn all those non-slayer based accommodations as well as to simply play non-slayer based modes.
  • Breakout: What kind of internal discussions have you guys had for addressing the Breakout mode? I'd like to offer an idea. Consider moving it from the ranked environment to the social environment and maybe have it available on weekends only. Not to mention, I think it could benefit from switching its availability every week between itself and the Extermination mode which also operates on the same round-based game-type. The Breakout playlist (specifically speaking) could be a mixed bag that consisted of versions 1.0, 2.0, and Arena. By keeping a Breakout/Extermination playlist available every week the "breakout" accommodations can still be achieved and people who enjoy round-based game-play have a regular playlist to visit.
  • Snipers: I'm also curious as to what discussions you've had for addressing this playlist? Personally, I think it should be removed from the ranked environment and replaced by either a permanent social Shotty Snips or not necessarily replaced with anything permanent; meaning, the Shotty Snips playlist simply remains an important featured rotational mode only.
A few social environment playlist thoughts/questions -

  • Quickplay: I'm still wondering if there's been any internal discussion regarding the addition of a non-slayer based objective here? Nothing crazy of course (for example) as it needs to remain simple and straight forward for newcomers.
  • Action Sack: It could sure use a refresh. I think many of the featured playlists that are more social in nature should have a map/mode added to this playlist instead of returning as featured playlists (for example). That would help free up the featured slot to rotate a more select group of rotational playlists.
  • BTB: It could also use another refresh. Some current maps have updates and some new maps would very much be welcomed additions. I don't feel like any current maps need to be retracted/replaced from the playlist -- just updated plus some new additions.
  • Grifball: It really should either transition to being a featured playlist or a weekend only playlist.
Any chance of a member from the Multiplayer Sustain Team providing some comments or responses on some of these subjects/thoughts? I understand that it may not be something you feel comfortable giving answer to Josh if it's not something you particularly have direct influence over, so that's why I ask.
How long will the TS2 system be tested in the Quickplay playlist before being expanded into the other social playlists?

Edit: I just noticed FFA took the bottom spot from Grifball. Ouch
I want to play WZFF Turbo.
Isn't this idea interesting?
I want to play WZFF Turbo.
Isn't this idea interesting?
Only if the difficulty is harder than Mythic.
eLantern wrote:
A few warzone environment playlist thoughts/questions -

  • Warzone: Consider having the first weekend within a month replace the standard Warzone with Warzone Turbo; though, just for the weekend. This would prevent having the two playlists available at the same time and it would provide the player base a structured timeline for knowing when to expect Turbo's regular return.
An interesting idea. The first or last weekend I'd say. Why not try it I'd say.

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  • Warzone Assault: Assault's matchmaking might benefit from becoming a weekend only playlist, don't you think?
  • Heroic Firefight
  • Legendary Firefight
  • Mythic Firefight: Weekend only (its low-pop doesn't really hurt it too much since it's a PvE only mode)
I definitely think Warzone assault should be a weekend playlist only, or even better, just take it away and see if anyone really cares because I don't think there will be many who do. Then if you think there is somewhat demand for it, bring it back in a rotation playlist.

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A few ranked environment playlist thoughts/questions -

  • Doubles: Has there been any internal discussion regarding transitioning this playlist to use the Abilities Tracker found within the HCS playlist? I think it could play pretty well within this playlist.
This is a touchy topic. Personally, I don't think changing the radar to the ability tracker is a good idea as most people I know who play doubles aren't big on that style of radar and that radar really changes how the game plays. A lot of people are used to the motion tracker and that's what they like. I think a lot of people see the ability tracker radar as more "hardcore" aka HCS and people already think Halo 5 is too competitive as is.

I think the ability tracker should only be in the HCS/MLG playlists. The other playlists should use the radar that halo players have always know.

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  • FFA: I think the FFA playlist could benefit from becoming a weekend only playlist while the Custom Browser could be used for any HaloWC FFA weekday practice. Not to mention, Vetoed did share some interesting map diversity and improvement ideas to increase the playlist's attraction. Are any of these things under current consideration since the playlist appears to be struggling quite a bit given it slipped below the unpopular Grifball?
A other touchy subject. This is a hard one, but I think FFA should go back to settings before the HCS FFA. If HCS FFA is going to be a thing, then there should be a permanent HCS FFA playlist with whatever settings they want. Time and time again most people have shown that they don't want HCS settings in the non HCS playlists. I think most people are fine with HCS having their own playlist though aka like MLG had there own playlist in Halo 3.

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  • Objective: First, I'm curious about what the early data and feedback is regarding the Oddball mode since it got re-introduced to matchmaking (via Team Arena)? Has the spawn influencer related to the ball been working as intended? Could we see more developer created maps be given the Oddball mode so that it's not just Eden and Truth? Also, could you please share whether there's been any internal discussion on replacing the Team Arena playlist with a Team Objective playlist? A playlist that features CTF, Strongholds, Assault, and Oddball. In other words, no slayer so that there's a specific playlist people can visit to earn all those non-slayer based accommodations as well as to simply play non-slayer based modes.
I definitely think team Arena should go objective only and should be renamed Team objective. Then that playlist should be tried for a while to see how it's accepted.

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  • Breakout: What kind of internal discussions have you guys had for addressing the Breakout mode? I'd like to offer an idea. Consider moving it from the ranked environment to the social environment and maybe have it available on weekends only. Not to mention, I think it could benefit from switching its availability every week between itself and the Extermination mode which also operates on the same round-based game-type. The Breakout playlist (specifically speaking) could be a mixed bag that consisted of versions 1.0, 2.0, and Arena. By keeping a Breakout or Extermination playlist available every week the "breakout" accommodations can still be achieved and people who enjoy round-based game-play have a regular playlist to visit.
Now all fully admit I'm not a breakout fan. I like version 2.0 better than 1.0 minus the shotgun starts, as I feel it feels and plays a lot more like Halo. If I wanted a game that play that way I would play something else but I digress here. I definitely think extermination is a much better game type and I think it has has been much more widely accepted by the community then Breakout ever was.

I think it should be removed from ranked. I don't know if you should have both versions in still or just stick to the one, but at the very least Extermination should be added into the playlist.

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  • Snipers: I'm also curious as to what discussions you've had for addressing this playlist? Personally, I think it should be removed from the ranked environment and replaced by either a permanent social Shotty Snips or not necessarily replaced with anything permanent; meaning, the Shotty Snips playlist simply remains an important featured rotational mode only.
I think snipers should go social and shotty snipers added to the playlist.

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A few social environment playlist thoughts/questions -

  • Quickplay: I'm still wondering if there's been any internal discussion regarding the addition of a non-slayer based objective here? Nothing crazy of course (see linked "?") as it needs to remain simple and straight forward for newcomers.
I actually think keeping the playlist to Slayer only is a good idea. I still feel though too many good players are playing in this playlist that is meant for beginners. I think there should be some type of level limit in this playlist.

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  • Action Sack: It could sure use a refresh. I think many of the featured playlists that are more social in nature should have a map/mode added to this playlist instead of returning as featured playlists (for example: *). That would help free up the featured slot to rotate a more select group of rotational playlists.
I don't disagree here.

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  • BTB: It could also use another refresh. Some current maps have updates and some new maps would very much be welcomed additions.
  • Grifball: It really should either transition to being a featured playlist or a weekend only playlist
I also don't disagree here on both.

I would still like to see pistol starts in big Team Battle as many of the creators of those maps initially used pistols starts on many of those maps. It would be interesting to see how a lot of them played differently.
I would still like to see pistol starts in big Team Battle as many of the creators of those maps initially used pistols starts on many of those maps. It would be interesting to see how a lot of them played differently.
The creators of BTB maps used pistol starts? Why would they do that? Honest question. I had a discussion with some of those map creators somewhat recently in which I was trying to figure out why most of Halo 5's BTB maps, outside of a few such as Viking and Dispelled, are so cramped and lacking in vehicle variety compared to BTB maps in other Halo games, which is by far my biggest gripe with Halo 5's BTB. They kept saying things like "we don't want to allow big open spaces because people on foot wouldn't be able to take down vehicles, and when spaces are cramped it allows for player-vehicle interaction (which I assume just means players boarding vehicles) and some vague, non-specific stuff about how Halo 5's mechanics don't allow for more open, vehicle-friendly maps".

So I accepted those answers at face value and just said I hope Halo 6's mechanics allow for a more open BTB in which more maps can facilitate things like tank battles and aerial combat. But learning that those map creators were originally using pistols on the maps just makes that even worse. It's almost as if they were deliberately trying to make BTB feel like regular slayer with bigger teams, which is far from what I, personally, think BTB should be. This is why it's difficult for me to understand why people want pistol starts on BTB. I think BTB has always been fine with battle rifle starts (and DMR in Halo Reach) because it makes sense to start with a gun that has longer range for maps that have longer sightlines.

And besides, isn't the rest of Halo 5's multiplayer already very heavily focused on pistols? In my humble opinion, making BTB maps more cramped to the point that shorter-ranged pistols are a better idea than battle rifles is not the way BTB should be going. Instead of adding pistols starts, what they should do is refresh BTB and add bigger maps in which battle rifle starts would actually be appropriate if they aren't already, and maybe even BTB Heavies. Heavies was highly popular in Halo Reach and 4, to the point that it had its very own playlist in Halo 4, so why not add it to Halo 5, if not in its own playlist then mixed into the rotation? Shouldn't BTB feel like a bigger mode with plenty of vehicle action and open space, like it did in the old days, in order to differentiate it from regular 4v4 slayer? I just can't bring myself to see the appeal of pistol starts in BTB.
Thanks for the discussion.
eLantern wrote:
  • Warzone Assault: Assault's matchmaking might benefit from becoming a weekend only playlist, don't you think?
I definitely think Assault should be weekend only, or even better, just take it away and see if anyone really cares because I don't think there will be many who do. Then if you think there is somewhat demand for it, bring it back in a rotation playlist.
There will always be a fraction of people who care deeply about a particular mode that they invest time into being taken away or changed. I'm sure there are plenty of people who won't like the weekend only idea; however, if they're able to get better match-made games because the decision pools the player base at a particular time then their complaints become a bit hollow. And especially so if it meant the mode remained available every week verses only rarely or never. Ultimately, it's about the trade-offs we're willing to accept.
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  • Doubles: Has there been any internal discussion regarding transitioning this playlist to use the Abilities Tracker found within the HCS playlist? I think it could play pretty well within this playlist.
This is a touchy topic. Personally, I don't think changing the radar to the ability tracker is a good idea as most people I know who play doubles aren't big on that style of radar and that radar really changes how the game plays. A lot of people are used to the motion tracker and that's what they like. I think a lot of people see the ability tracker radar as more "hardcore" aka HCS and people already think Halo 5 is too competitive as is.

I think the ability tracker should only be in the HCS playlists. The other playlists should use the radar that halo players have always know.
I understand there are those who simply don't like the Abilities Tracker and adding it will inevitably upset them, but there'll also be those who very much appreciate the change. Simply put, the change will upset some, but the reason the Abilities Tracker would be an ideal fit for this playlist is because the 2v2 aspect naturally fosters a more competitive focus to the match. I see the Abilities Tracker as catering to that competitive atmosphere by adding depth and gamesmanship to the map movement. I mean, it can allow a player or a team to operate with a bit more freedom and creativity to devise strategic approaches or defensive retreats at the cost of self-limiting their spartan abilities. And it also bolsters the value of power-ups and power weapons. Now, I personally don't think this playlist should go to the extent of the HCS by removing automatics, the secondary weapon, or the splinter grenade -- it's more of a middle ground.
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  • FFA: I wonder if the FFA playlist would benefit from becoming a weekend only playlist while the Custom Browser is used for any HaloWC FFA weekday practice. Not to mention, Vetoed did share some interesting map diversity and improvement ideas to increase the playlist's attraction. Are any of these things under current consideration since the playlist appears to be struggling quite a bit given it slipped below the unpopular Grifball?
Another touchy subject. This is a hard one, but I think FFA should go back to settings before the HCS FFA. If HCS FFA is going to be a thing, then there should be a permanent HCS FFA playlist with whatever settings they want. Time and again most people have shown that they don't want HCS settings in the non-HCS playlists. I think most people are fine with HCS having their own playlist.
This one is certainly difficult. Population support for FFA isn't good so they must find a way to have 1 playlist that's attractive to as many people as possible while also ensuring it can remain true to its identity and purpose as a ranked competitive playlist. I've never believed that the HCS FFA playlist was going to be permanent. I assume it'll be replaced by a more traditional FFA after Worlds, but that doesn't mean that they couldn't make changes to improve the playlist with an eye toward year round play. I thought Vetoed offered some excellent ideas to achieve this by suggesting they add a few maps to the playlist with increased weighting on the tournament maps. He also suggested they reverse it back into a kill-limit mode as it would offer the same practice opportunities, but with faster matches which increases opponent variety. This should make it less demotivating to grind and lead to less quitting. During the run up to Worlds I think it's fair for the playlist to adopt several of the HCS settings (tracker, weapons, etc.), but afterwards those should revert to the norm.
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  • Quickplay: I'm still wondering if there's been any internal discussion regarding the addition of a non-slayer based objective here? Nothing crazy of course (for example) as it needs to remain simple and straight forward for newcomers.
I actually think keeping the playlist to Slayer only is a good idea. I still feel though too many good players are playing in this playlist that is meant for beginners. I think there should be some type of level limit in this playlist.
"Friendly to newcomers" and "accepting good players" is not a mutually exclusive proposition. The playlist should do both. First of all, how would you go about restricting players? By their Spartan Rank (SR) which symbolizes their experience with the game? A SR doesn't indicate skill nor does it indicate explicit experience within Arena or a particular playlist. Secondly, any type of restricting of the player base will dilute the options for the matchmaker to potentially put together a quality match. The incoming TrueSkill2 should help improve match outcome quality between new and skillfully experienced players while quickly correcting for any misjudged expectations so that the "next" match should be better.

Why do you think keeping the playlist to Slayer only is a good idea? If the concept is to keep the playlist as straightforward as possible for newcomers I guess I get it, but if it's about what's "easier" for newcomers well I've seen non-slayer objective play be simpler and more fun for many newcomers. For players who may struggle with killing enemies they can at least feel like they're able to contribute to the team by helping to either capture a stronghold, grab a flag, hold an oddball, or arm a bomb. The playlist would still be simple and straightforward by being limited to 3 maps which simplifies navigation memory and the non-slayer objectives have visual indicators which help to guide a player's action.
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  • BTB: It could also use another refresh. Some current maps have updates and some new maps would very much be welcomed additions.
I don't disagree here.

I would still like to see pistol starts in BTB as many of the creators of those maps initially used pistols starts on many of those maps. It would be interesting to see how a lot of them played differently.
True, many of the creators initially used tactical or standard Magnum starts, but I actually prefer the BR because of the descope dynamic relating to recoil; though, I do wish they'd make some minor tweaks such as hip-firing while standing equaling the current recoil, hip-firing while crouching having less recoil, ADSing while standing even less recoil, and finally ADSing while crouch-firing being practically zero recoil. To reduce any potential discomfort when ADSing and firing while standing with the COG, Longshot, or Sentinel scopes they should simply lessen the visual view-kick a bit without creating a special performance differential.
The creators of BTB maps used pistol starts? Why would they do that?
Don't really remember if the reasoning was given, but my guess would be it's because of how easy the BR was to get kills with before the tuning update. It's not really fun when you can't even venture out into the open without getting pinged from across the map with it or having a low skill ceiling with being good using it.
TrueSkill2 is now live in Quick Play. The effect will probably be subtle if you have already played a lot of Quick Play and are well above average in skill. If you have never played, or have a skill closer to the middle, it will have a larger impact. But then again, you also won't have played before to know the difference.

I expect a lot of confirmation bias.
ZaedynFel wrote:
I expect a lot of confirmation bias.
The most self-aware sentence ever uttered on Waypoint. 😂
LUKEPOWA wrote:
Don't really remember if the reasoning was given, but my guess would be it's because of how easy the BR was to get kills with before the tuning update. It's not really fun when you can't even venture out into the open without getting pinged from across the map with it or having a low skill ceiling with being good using it.
That may be true, although based on what I remember from playing other Halo games, venturing out into the open without staying close to some form of cover was always a dangerous thing to do in BTB, even when the other team didn't have a sniper rifle. But either way, I don't mind pistol starts as much as I mind the whole philosophy of making highly restrictive BTB maps such as Port Authority that cater heavily to CQC and barely have any vehicles, or fun power weapons for that matter. If they refreshed BTB with pistol starts, then I wouldn't complain as long as we also see more maps with a healthy amount of vehicle diversity and enough space to use them.
Adding objectives to Doubles would be nice.

Doubtful we will get a Breakout refresh, the thread for that is active and 51 pages long :/
eLantern wrote:
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  • BTB: It could also use another refresh. Some current maps have updates and some new maps would very much be welcomed additions.
I don't disagree here.

I would still like to see pistol starts in BTB as many of the creators of those maps initially used pistols starts on many of those maps. It would be interesting to see how a lot of them played differently.
True, many of the creators initially used tactical or standard Magnum starts, but I actually prefer the BR because of the descope dynamic relating to recoil; though, I do wish they'd make some minor tweaks such as hip-firing while standing equaling the current recoil, hip-firing while crouching having less recoil, ADSing while standing even less recoil, and finally ADSing while crouch-firing being practically zero recoil. To reduce any potential discomfort when ADSing and firing while standing with the COG, Longshot, or Sentinel scopes they should simply lessen the visual view-kick a bit without creating a special performance differential.
Some BtB Maps would be very unfun with Pistol starts (Dispelled, Viking, Guillotine), but others it could work (Fracture, Traffic Jam, Port Authority). I kinda want to see how H2BR starts would fair TBH...

I was reflecting with my company the other day on how previous halo BtB maps just seemed bigger, With or Without sprint. I think Viking is scaled very well, but even a map like Dispelled seems small. Depending on the spawn point, I can attack the enemy flag within 10 seconds...That just seems very fast to me. But that's another topic for map design lol.

A couple things I'd like to see for the social side of things:
1. Some type of "Warmup" Playlist. This could be a 4 player FFA in a bigger Octagon map or maybe a 4v4 to 5v5 Social slayer game that ends at 30 kills. I don't think it's fair to use quickplay as a warmup list, but If TS2.0 keeps the highly skilled players away from newer players, then I guess this would be a moot request

2. *Insert weekly BtB Refresh request here* - I'd love to hear an official response to the question of "where do we sit on a BtB refresh?" If it's not coming, that's fine, I can stop asking every week :) - but if it's still in the works, Can we get an update? We've seen a call to arms for MCC testing, I'm sure we can get a large contingent of BtB fans to help test maps that are nearing completion.
Adding objectives to Doubles would be nice.

Doubtful we will get a Breakout refresh, the thread for that is active and 51 pages long :/
Not sure how well that would work tbh, with objectives it would seem like the moment one player is dead the other two can just get easy points.
Getting rid of Slayer from team arena great idea.
For someone who is rubbish as me and only plays casually around work, I spend half my time trying to match in a game and when it's Slayer I just sigh...
I just want to run head on in somewhere, slayer just doesn't allow that.
Why does nobody play Warzone Assault?
ZaedynFel wrote:
TrueSkill2 is now live in Quick Play. The effect will probably be subtle if you have already played a lot of Quick Play and are well above average in skill. If you have never played, or have a skill closer to the middle, it will have a larger impact. But then again, you also won't have played before to know the difference.

I expect a lot of confirmation bias.
I’d like to ask a question. I’ve lately been receiving a lot of matches like this. Is this a result of my MMR (if you know what it is, please tell me. It would clear up so much.)? Also, will TrueSkill2 give similar results on Team
Slayer when implemented?
ZaedynFel wrote:
TrueSkill2 is now live in Quick Play. The effect will probably be subtle if you have already played a lot of Quick Play and are well above average in skill. If you have never played, or have a skill closer to the middle, it will have a larger impact. But then again, you also won't have played before to know the difference.

I expect a lot of confirmation bias.
I’d like to ask a question. I’ve lately been receiving a lot of matches like this. Is this a result of my MMR (if you know what it is, please tell me. It would clear up so much.)? Also, will TrueSkill2 give similar results on Team
Slayer when implemented?
I would need a link to the actual match in your waypoint history to get exact reasons, but usually it's this:
  1. Diamonds can match Onyx (only 1 tier away)
  2. Champions are treated as Onyx because there's only 200 of them in the world per playlist. There often won't be another 4-7 waiting for a match within the short 5-minute window a Champ searches in. So Champs are just a nice label for the top of Onyx.
  3. The unranked person on your team was probably ranked a previous season, so the system knows their skill, and it probably balances out your Platinum so the team's average is at least Diamond.
We plan to eventually roll TrueSkill2 out to every playlist, and it should improve stuff in all of them, but ultimately the highest-skilled players will often get lopsided matches because there are so few of them.
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