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[Locked] Matchmaking Feedback Update – Feb 13

OP ZaedynFel

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To touch on other points:

  • Please make Onyx a lot more restricted. One of many issues with the ranking system currently is that it is far too easy to get into the highest ranks. Champion and Onyx should be a rare sight.
  • Good explanations re: party matching/restrictions
  • XP per playlist would be great and would add another incentive to grind as it did in Halo 3. Potentially adding rewards for reaching X rank in a playlist?
  • I urge you to communicate with the team currently in charge of XP payouts for Halo 5 and ask them to add a dramatic increase in XP per game once you reach later ranks (SR140 to SR152).
  • Please keep progression ranking and skill ranking separate. Far too many people look back at Halo 3's progression and skill ranking with nostalgia goggles on - there's a reason it was phased out.
  • In-game leaderboards are a must. If not, at the very least visible on Halo Waypoint. Currently players have to get all hacky with the API (to my understanding) to get a rough estimate of what position players are.
  • I don't think you need to constantly generate new rewards each season. Every couple of seasons maybe but I don't think that's necessary, especially if it's as phoned in as it currently is. The season to season rewards just for completing your placement matches are plain boring and I personally lost interest trying to get them all a year ago. Ideally just a reward for Champion (unlocks Onyx and Diamond reward), reward for Onyx (unlocks Diamond reward) and a reward for Diamond.
  • Breakout shouldn't be a playlist, period. In its time as a playlist in Halo 5:

    - Released as a ranked playlist in October 2015, population quickly died because it was stale and the meta couldn't ever evolve (just like Walshy told them during the development process as seen on The Sprint).
    - Eventually new maps were added to the playlist and it was turned into a social playlist because it likely didn't have enough players and resulted in slow matchmaking times
    - Someone decided that instead of reducing this playlist to a rotational one, it needed more resources dedicated to it with a full rework completely removing the uniqueness of Breakout, managing to piss off the current Breakout fans and for some reason making it ranked again.

    Breakout should have taken a short time out, brought back in as a rotational social playlist constantly swapping with other playlists like Assault (4v4, please!), Triple Team, Super Fiesta, etc. I bring up what Quinn DelHoyo said when Monitor's Bounty was released - "Halo 5's ranked playlists will be approached and handled more sacredly, and with a higher degree of scrutiny."

    Breakout existing as a ranked playlist completely goes against what he said in December. I saw that some underpopulated social playlists got the axe recently (and will be returning as rotational playlists) - this should be the case here. Breakout should return as a rotational playlist which features both old and new Breakout.
  • Thanks for clarifying leaving and surrender - I've been looking for a source for what 343 are able to detect when a player quits a game and this helps tremendously.
ZaedynFel wrote:
XP or Progression per PlaylistWe know a number of you like the idea of having XP on each playlist, we are also liking the idea internally. But don’t expect this in Halo 5.

One question I have for you to think about is this. Halo 3 gated the per playlist rankings on skill. So you could never get to the higher military ranks if you weren’t good enough. I prefer separating skill ranking and XP ranking. I prefer something like, Bronze, Silver, Gold based on skill, and then XP ranking purely based on, e.g., wins – quits. Once you tie skill to a progression system, it starts to muddy the waters and appeals to a confused audience.
Just to clarify - you're saying Halo 3's per playlist rankings (as in 1-50) were gated on skill, not the progression ranking which was as simple as just winning a game, getting XP.
Oh, I might have lied here. I think Playlist Ranks weren't gated, just the Global Military ones.

I like that approach.
Amazing update, Josh!

In terms of consolidating the Onyx distribution, I think it is worth the "risk". People will be understandably upset if it is more difficult for them to achieve Onyx or if they get dropped a division or two, but I don't think we should cater to player's feelings over maintaining the competitive integrity of the system. I would happily lose my Onyx rank if it meant skill distribution became more balanced and Onyx returned to its intended state.

As for your idea for rewards, I'm not sure if injecting a percentage/lottery-based system would be the right idea. I feel like every single player who achieves a rank and participates in a Ranked Arena season should receive something, but it should vary based on how well you performed. Competing and knowing that there is only a percent chance that I might earn something is very discouraging. I want to be shown that A) Competing will allow me to be rewarded and B) Improving will increase the quality of my reward. Additionally I think intertwining season rewards (earning last season's reward this season) is also a bad idea, because then each season loses a bit of its identity and there is less context to the rewards that are handed out.

This doesn't necessarily mean that each skill tier needs reward exclusivity, though. Overwatch offers global Ranked weapon skins that everyone can purchase with their Competitive Currency, but higher ranked players receive that currency in larger sums, meaning they can earn and collect the skins at a faster rate. I.E. I'm Platinum in Overwatch, so it'll take me a lot of wins and maybe 2-3 seasons to earn my Gold Weapon Skin for Ana, but a Grand Master player may be able to earn that skin in just one season of play time.

Perhaps you could work with the Requisition team to create tier-based REQ Packs for Team Arena:
  • All Divisions: Season Emblem
  • Bronze-Silver: 2-3 Uncommon-Rare cosmetic REQ items
  • Gold-Platinum: 2-3 Rare-Ultra Rare cosmetic REQs
  • Diamond-Onyx: 2-3 Ultra Rare-Legendary cosmetics
  • Champion: 2-3 Legendary-Mythic cosmetics
Depending on your skill at the end of the season, you'd earn your division's respective pack. It'd tie in with the current Requisition rarity system, would create incentive to push further into divisions, and would maintain the ability to dole out consistent rewards to players of all skill levels. Obviously, a much more satisfying and intricate system could be created for future Halo titles.

I imagine this would be fairly easy to implement. There are already systems in place that automate REQ Pack deliveries (such as the Timmy Helmet), and this could easily be managed at the end of each Arena season. You wouldn't even have to create new packs each season, it would be a one time implementation that would be effective for the remainder of Halo 5's lifespan.
ZaedynFel wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
XP or Progression per PlaylistWe know a number of you like the idea of having XP on each playlist, we are also liking the idea internally. But don’t expect this in Halo 5.

One question I have for you to think about is this. Halo 3 gated the per playlist rankings on skill. So you could never get to the higher military ranks if you weren’t good enough. I prefer separating skill ranking and XP ranking. I prefer something like, Bronze, Silver, Gold based on skill, and then XP ranking purely based on, e.g., wins – quits. Once you tie skill to a progression system, it starts to muddy the waters and appeals to a confused audience.
Just to clarify - you're saying Halo 3's per playlist rankings (as in 1-50) were gated on skill, not the progression ranking which was as simple as just winning a game, getting XP.
Oh, I might have lied here. I think Playlist Ranks weren't gated, just the Global Military ones.

I like that approach.
Yup - dats it.

There's a big explanation from Bungie here back when Title Update 2 released in 2008: https://halo.bungie.net/News/content.aspx?cid=15545
Love the thought process being laid out here, thanks for sharing.

I'm curious to see how the evaluation of the "+500" skill designation for teams would be evaluated and assigned. Attaching a quantifiable number to a qualitative trait is an interesting challenge, and I'm sure it requires a fair bit of trial and error.
ZaedynFel wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
XP or Progression per PlaylistWe know a number of you like the idea of having XP on each playlist, we are also liking the idea internally. But don’t expect this in Halo 5.

One question I have for you to think about is this. Halo 3 gated the per playlist rankings on skill. So you could never get to the higher military ranks if you weren’t good enough. I prefer separating skill ranking and XP ranking. I prefer something like, Bronze, Silver, Gold based on skill, and then XP ranking purely based on, e.g., wins – quits. Once you tie skill to a progression system, it starts to muddy the waters and appeals to a confused audience.
Just to clarify - you're saying Halo 3's per playlist rankings (as in 1-50) were gated on skill, not the progression ranking which was as simple as just winning a game, getting XP.
Oh, I might have lied here. I think Playlist Ranks weren't gated, just the Global Military ones.

I like that approach.
Yup - dats it.

There's a big explanation from Bungie here back when Title Update 2 released in 2008: https://halo.bungie.net/News/content.aspx?cid=15545
lol, full circle with Sketch writing that old update.

I think I'm happy with rankings set to divisions and contained within the playlist. Having my global ranking capped at 4 levels of Brigadier was frustrating since I knew I was never getting the 50.
Hello,

I have a point to bring up in regards to surrendering. When a game starts 3v4 because someone lagged out at the start of the game, it is not fun for either team nor is it competitive. I honestly do not care about the csr in these situations, but to penalize the remaining 3 players for quitting the game with a potential ban seems extremely harsh. That is where I think a surrender option can be implemented. Give the remaining players an option to all surrender, lose the xp they would lose anyway, and get back to playing some halo.

I have played in many games where it starts lopsided or someone quits out after a few deaths. Then the remaining team members quit out and I am stuck in a slayer game 1v4. The game takes a solid 10 minutes for me to die 30 more times. Frankly, I should be able to quit this game and just lose XP instead of fearing the banhammer.

Just my two cents.
-Dan
Thanks again for the update. The season rewards should never a percent chance though. You should identify who gets what reward. Either you get the reward or you don't. Make it onyx and above get the award and an icon. Anybody gold or above gets the icon. Easy enough. Also you don't really need UX to do much, just put the exact elo threshold for champion into the description of the playlist. The leaderboard can come with the release of the next game. Just some ideas. We'll see how it all works out.
ZaedynFel wrote:
<br data-username="ZaedynFel" data-postid="2" />BreakoutWe know there is a group of you who misses the old breakout. However, the new breakout is just as popular, if not more so, than before we changed it. So just changing it back would cause the same amount if not more concern as we have now --- just from a different group of players.

But we could consider rotating the old breakout in periodically, both so its fans can enjoy it, and so we can compare its popularity again.

aarrrgggggghhhhh!!!!!looks like it;s time to move on to something else. I do appreciate the communication FINALLY. By the way a group of us miss the old breakout? Read the 700+ replies a huge majority of them are for the OG breakout. looks like you still don't listen.
Why rotate breakout and piss off half the audience every time you change it when we can have a ranked with new rules and social with classic rules
Thank you for the transparency.

Recently I came across a top 5 champion in a playlist who was rotating bronze account teammates in order to match lower tiered opponents.
  • Will the newest CSR change effectively block the "champion boosting" going on?
Along with that, How much does MMR play into selecting opponents in FFA? Or is it purely based on CSR?
  • In my 10 ranking matches this season, I think I faced two total Platinum opponents, and the rest were Diamond or Onyx, despite consistently ranking platinum in prior seasons.
  • I'm an Okay player, but pitting me up against Onyx 2000+ opponents or high diamonds does not make me want to play that playlist anymore. I know some playlists are more popular than others, but I see less rank deviation in SWAT than FFA nowadays. Something seems off.
Awesome post, love the in depth conversation you are bringing to the table. I think the biggest frustration I've experienced is around placements. This season it seems that players that are normally ranked a lot higher are in lower ranks. For example, in Team Arena, I played solo in most of my placement matches and I had quitters on most of them, and got destroyed. Other placements were against "gold" players that were doing oynx level tactics/strafes/movement. I'm usually in the platinum range (solo is tough to keep ranking up) but this season I was put in silver. In silver it was domination, like I was smurfing even tho I had no intentions of playing at this lower level. I definitely affected silver/gold players placements negatively by winning by large margins etc. It seems like across the ranks there are much higher level players in lower level ranks...yes there is a big smurfing problem, but I think there are a lot of players that have experienced what I have and it's making ranking so unbalanced to play. Any thoughts on Initial placements or more transparency on how they work would be great.

Quitting is definitely super rampant now...considering there is a social playlist and custom browser it seems like bans could be longer?

Love the idea of getting rewards for ranks...I'll never reach champion so I'm hoping they trickle down to the platinum/diamond range :)
Bring Back Shotty Snipers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The rest of this is great though.
I think the idea of having Onyx/Champion harder to get and less of a time investment is a good one. I do hope though that in future Halo games we do away with the current ranking model and season model and go back to the classic ranking systems. I think the system we have now will always be fundamentally about who is able to invest the most time and having ranks reset so frequently is ultimately discouraging.

I also like the idea of having an XP on every playlist like in Halo3 and I like the way your overall XP Rank was gated to your highest skill. The XP playlist rank was not gated on your skill. You could have a rank 30 in slayer and have a general rating because you have won 500 games in the playlist. I think this system works incredibly well to retain players and have them working towards something. Currently, in Halo 5 there's nothing to reach towards. The REQ system was a weak attempt at player retention and for the players that have already unlocked everything there is even less. It's compounded by the fact your playlists ranks get reset. Having highest rank achieved on you in game profile can be a bandaid for this problem, but I think the system needs to be reworked from the ground up in future games.
Thanks Josh.

I used to rank in Onyx in Team Arena and now it's a struggle to even get to diamond. So it seems like it has already been made more exclusive. Could you publish the bell curve of overall ranks, and the number of players in each rank?

Also, can you publish the overall top playlists based on percentage of play?

How popular was the Assault Playlist this weekend? I played a great deal of it and it is super fun! We really need a dedicated 5v5 CTF and Assault playlist (with more symmetric Forge maps).
Loving the news about solo vs party matchmaking and CSR gains at the top.
The CSR system is unbalanced and has been since release. Why is it still trying to be "tweaked" almost 15 months after the release of Halo 5? The entire system should be scraped in favor of something a player can actually enjoy grinding towards. You guys have been over-complicating a ranking process that worked absolutely fine in the past. Granted the two games (Halo 2/Halo 3) were much more enjoyable to the public from a multiplayer aspect, but that's besides the point. It worked, and people stayed around.

The reason is because it is all about more time played on the game than actual competitive wins. I've seen 150+ games played accounts with a 75% win percentage placed in Onyx almost 500-600 points still behind Champion gaining 4 points a win. On the other side, I've seen 45% win accounts with over 900 games played placed in Champ 100. I've gotten 1-4 points a win, and 16-20 points a loss where the CSR was supposedly "even."

Where is the actual balance?

Champion is supposed to be the pinnacle of a player's Team Arena success and is seen as a complete joke in the competitive community (maybe casual too).
There are about 80,000 players scoured throughout the Arena playlists (http://halotracker.com/h5/csrbreakdown). Half of them or more are Unranked in each Playlist! That means they aren't bothering with the playlist at all or played a few and stopped altogether. Some of H5's playlists only have 40% active players. That's insane! Where does your population go?

If CSR doesn't go by the end of H5, I would hope something new would be implemented by the next Halo title. The numbers DON'T LIE. Make playing for a rank actually mean something to the person actually holding the controller.
--
XP or Progression per Playlist
"But don't expect this in H5"
Leaderboards
"This won't happen in H5"

Two things that should have been implemented from the beginning of the game. You know it, we know it. Next title. We can move on.
--
I'd like to get your feedback on a few of my points when you have a chance. Thank you.
Anything in the works for a skill "buffer" zone? IE: should Platinum players be able to play againt Silvers?
Jesse Siao wrote:
The CSR system is unbalanced and has been since release. Why is it still trying to be "tweaked" almost 15 months after the release of Halo 5? The entire system should be scraped in favor of something a player can actually enjoy grinding towards. You guys have been over-complicating a ranking process that worked absolutely fine in the past. Granted the two games (Halo 2/Halo 3) were much more enjoyable to the public from a multiplayer aspect, but that's besides the point. It worked, and people stayed around.

The reason is because it is all about more time played on the game than actual competitive wins. I've seen 150+ games played accounts with a 75% win percentage placed in Onyx almost 500-600 points still behind Champion gaining 4 points a win. On the other side, I've seen 45% win accounts with over 900 games played placed in Champ 100. I've gotten 1-4 points a win, and 16-20 points a loss where the CSR was supposedly "even."

Where is the actual balance?
Champion is supposed to be the pinnacle of a player's Team Arena success and is seen as a complete joke in the competitive community (maybe casual too).
There are about 80,000 players scoured throughout the Arena playlists (http://halotracker.com/h5/csrbreakdown). Half of them or more are Unranked in each Playlist! That means they aren't bothering with the playlist at all or played a few and stopped altogether. Some of H5's playlists only have 40% active players. That's insane! Where does your population go?

If CSR doesn't go by the end of H5, I would hope something new would be implemented by the next Halo title. The numbers DON'T LIE. Make playing for a rank actually mean something to the person actually holding the controller.
--
XP or Progression per Playlist"But don't expect this in H5"
Leaderboards"This won't happen in H5"

Two things that should have been implemented from the beginning of the game. You know it, we know it. Next title. We can move on.
--
I'd like to get your feedback on a few of my points when you have a chance. Thank you.
I whole heartedly agree with this. The CSR system should be scrapped it doesn't retain players and its fundamentally flawed compared to past systems. It just doesn't work, and it doesn't make players actually want to play.
Thanks Josh.

I used to rank in Onyx in Team Arena and now it's a struggle to even get to diamond. So it seems like it has already been made more exclusive. Could you publish the bell curve of overall ranks, and the number of players in each rank?

Also, can you publish the overall top playlists based on percentage of play?

How popular was the Assault Playlist this weekend? I played a great deal of it and it is super fun! We really need a dedicated 5v5 CTF and Assault playlist (with more symmetric Forge maps).
I have had the same experience. Finally made Onyx in Team Arena at the end of the fall 2016 season, but now am struggling against low diamond opponents. I think a lot of the lesser skilled player base has dropped out, so the remaining players are much stronger. If you tweak the distribution to make higher ranks harder to achieve, it's going to really squeeze players in the bronze/silver/gold ranks, there won't be any opportunity for differentiation, and their CSR values may not be accurate (which will lead to poor matchmaking and poor player experiences)

On a more fundamental note, the whole (mathematical) point of an ELO-based system is that once you set (1) a basic skill gap parameter, e.g. that a CSR differential of 175 should correlate with a 99% win rate, and (2) some sort of "learning multiplier" that affects how fast the system tries to make you converge to your true CSR value, all CSRs in the system pretty much converge to their appropriate values. So if you start trying to artificially restrict the CSR values of the population to limit high ranks, you're just fighting against the mathematical principles of ELO, and you risk creating an unstable system that doesn't converge well to accurate CSR values.
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