This became a loooong rant. Pressed for time?ZaedynFel wrote:Warzone Changes vs. MatchmakingThe last blog post also mentioned some Warzone gameplay changes. I just wanted to give a little motivation from a matchmaking point of view on these changes.
From monitoring the matchmaking data, we noticed that around 75% of Warzone matches were won by whichever team had the higher total MMR. This is despite having a pretty large population of players playing in Warzone.
We also found that tightening matchmaking didn’t have a strong enough effect on this, at least not without making it way tighter than people are currently used to, and drastically increasing wait times.
Usually, when both population is high and tighter matching doesn’t immediately help, it means that the game mode itself could use some attention.
So the matchmaking designers met with the original Warzone designers and asked what they thought. The settings changes we are seeing are the results of that cooperation, and part of an effort to increase match quality in Warzone.
Just jump to "THE IMPORTANT PART"
To be fair, matchmaking is not very good at consistently finding good match-ups in ranked playlists, even while using "Focused Search Preference".
Here's a "fun" example of when Matchmaking truly delivers (Remember, this happened while using Focused):
Just looking through my matches in Ranked Playlists it's obvious that the matchmaking is having a hard time setting up FAIR games. It happens, but more often it keeps setting up games that simply aren't fair.
That's been the case since Launch of Halo 5: Guardians.
When matchmaking can't make equal teams of 4 in Slayer, how do you expect it to make equal teams of 12, in a more complex setting like Warzone?
"the game mode itself could use some attention"
Yes. It should have been given "some attention" in the initial 2 months since Launch. Not almost 2 YEARS later.
It seems to me that for a while now you guys have been trying to fix the matchmaking model, a very complex device that probably is not going to become GOOD, ever.
(unless you are currently training a Deep-learning model for it, which definitely can become far superior to any of the classical models)
Matchmaking today is "good enough". The biggest problem is that you seem to think that the implementation of your game modes are perfect. They are not.
Matchmaking makes really uneven teams go up against each other every now and then. Instead of trying to "fix" such a massively complex problem, that obviously takes years (as matchmaking still often does make a proper mess), focus on the easy stuff.
Fix how your game handles unfair match-ups.
First and foremost:
Recognise the fact that when players are put in uneven teams, they have a tendency to quit out of games. YOUR matchmaking made the teams, don't use the Banhammer as a way to punish people for YOUR mistake. That's not a good way to grow a player-base.
Introduce a "Mercy-rule".
Games like these should have ended early. 1v4, and my only way out would have been quitting and getting a banhammer.
Here's another example:
What was the point of playing this match to the 50 kills mark? It was decided WAY earlier. Speed things along.
The game should recognise and end matches like these early. Very easy to implement, and gives massive quality of life gains to the game.
It helps players get the most out of their limited playtime.
No one wants to be stuck in that kind of game, I've been on both ends and I hate when it happens.
The biggest problem with Warzone has always been how the Snowball Effect reigns supreme.
Matchmaking is far from perfect, so the game-mode itself has to cushion the effect of uneven teams.
REQ-levels should be co-dependent on how both teams are doing.
Use the REQ-levels as a way of MINIMISING the gap between both teams, not maximising it.
When REQ-levels are increased on a personal level, completely disregarding the enemy team's REQ-level, you create a game-mode where blowout games are going to be WAY more regular than even games.
It took you 2 YEARS to figure out that the way REQ-levels increased and was balanced across teams was a bad idea?
THE IMPORTANT PART:
I think it is great that you guys are still trying to tweak how your matchmaking model operates, and you should. The problem is that you are relying so heavily on fixing something so complex, rather than quickly introducing simple quality of life changes that reduces the impact of poor matchmaking (which happens often).
I imagine you have been trying to improve matchmaking for months (probably longer), and frankly it's still, almost two years since launch, performing poorly.
Changes to how the game modes recognises and handles instances of poor matchmaking could (SHOULD) have been implemented during the first two months since launch.
(I say changes, but right now not a single game mode in Halo 5: Guardians has a protocol in place for when matches become one-sided, nor a game-mode feature in place to minimise how bad blowout games can get)
It could even have been crude things such as:
One team down by 20 kills in a Ranked game of Slayer? End game.
One team down by 30 kills in a Ranked game of Capture the Flag? End game.
One player stuck at REQ-level 3 when a player of the enemy team has REQ-level 7 in a game of Warzone? Automatically increase the first players REQ-level.
These could have been tweaked to near perfection by now!
This would have effectively reduced the impact of poor matchmaking, and it could hav been implemented when it still mattered. Two years later? How much of your potential player-base do you think was lost?