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[Locked] MATCHMAKING FEEDBACK UPDATE – FEB 28

OP ZaedynFel

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Hey guys, this will be a bit shorter this week, partly because I was traveling. But keep your feedback coming!


Why not show MMR all the time instead?
The main reason we don’t splash MMR all over is we reserve the right to use whatever information we can to update your MMR. This can include information that could potentially be unfair to use to update your CSR. We don’t do a lot of this right now, but I could see a world where MMR can be affected by, e.g., how you played in a completely different playlist. In that case, we update your MMR to a more accurate reflection of your current skill, but it would be unfair to de-rank you magically outside of you playing on that playlist. Showing an MMR that is this volatile would be confusing.

CSR should be the most accurate measure of what you deserve to show as your Rank. MMR should be the most accurate measure of where we should matchmake you right now. Those aren’t always the same, and don't always have the same rules of fairness that govern them.

That said, I do also see a future where instead of directly showing the MMR that made the match, we could show some summarized version of your opponents' strength to give you a feel for why you were matched with them. For example, we could tell you that even though your opponents all look Diamond, they just played like Gold players, which matches up nicely with you being Gold.


Seasonal Resets
I’ve seen a few posts discussing the pros and cons of seasonal resets. We don’t have any plans on changing the core mechanics of how season’s currently work. Some nice things about seasons:
  • They give you something to shoot for
  • They filter out inactive players so we don’t need decay or a way to mark activity
  • Can be used as a platform for more competitive constructs
That said, we are evaluating:
  • The number of placement matches
  • How many games it takes to “prove” your rank. This is around 30-50 now.
No news yet on changes, but we’re thinking.

Do I end up 200 CSR back from where my CSR ended last season?
No, you end up 200 back from where your MMR moves to during placements. So if you go 10-0, that’s a different spot than where you were before placement, and you could actually start ahead of where you were last season. We aren’t just backing you up again and again.


Matches are better towards the season and when CSR is closer to MMR
CSR has no influence on matchmaking at all. The matches you get throughout the season are exactly the same as they are at the end, unless you have actually change[d] as a player, thus moving your MMR. Even though you sometimes see a different range of CSRs in your match, the actual skills are really close.

Are we looking at dealing with parties in Social Matchmaking and Warzone as well?
Yes.

Could we have Opt-In seasons?
This isn’t something we can do for Halo 5, but I thought it was a cool idea. I could see having an ongoing CSR that never resets (though we’d probably need some decay), and then one for the season if you opt-in. If we did this, I would only give out rewards to players who decided to opt-in to the season. There are other complications, like, which to show on the PGCR, but could probably be worked through.
Another great post, Josh! Most of this is explanatory information that I personally was already aware of, but it's cool to see you lift up the curtain for those who are less informed.

When is the soonest we could be seeing actual alterations to Halo 5's CSR/Matchmaking? Obviously a lot of this is theory crafting for future titles but we've had ~10 seasons with little to no changes so we are pretty hungry for some improvements.

Additionally, I want to reiterate that I am not entirely on board with your idea for Ranked Arena rewards. A lotto/time-exclusivity system just seems weird and unrewarding to me. I suggest re-reading this post, wherein I suggest a method of incorporating the current requisition system within a ranking reward system. Note: The rewards wouldn't actually have to be new, unique, or rank-specific. No new content would have to be created. Simply use the current RNG/rarity system and current cosmetics, but with a seasonal/performance based element of distribution. I can explain more about this concept if you are interested.

Also, are you working with the Halo Wars 2 teams? It's disappointing that HW2 didn't feature a ranking system at launch, and if you have any insight I'd love to hear about what modifications/formulas you are changing to better suit that game and its matchmaking.
I look forward to these posts as much if not more than the community update haha. Excellent feedback in every one of these posts. Keep up the great work Josh!
I'm so glad your so transparent with these updates. I can't wait until some of the changes take effect. Great update as always. Thanks Josh!
Please just bring back the 1-50 ranking system. Much more appealing than these tiers.
As always i appreciate your work!

In Rocket League and Titanfall 2 it's possible to search for multiple game modes at once. It helps finding games in less populated game modes without sitting in matchmaking forever. What's your opinion on this and will we see something similar in Halo 5 or future titles?
So does season reset tomorrow and will breakout be back in this season ( the real thing )
I DSG I wrote:
So does season reset tomorrow and will breakout be back in this season ( the real thing )
Season resets March 9th to coincide with the maintenance update.
RyInfinity wrote:
When is the soonest we could be seeing actual alterations to Halo 5's CSR/Matchmaking? Obviously a lot of this is theory crafting for future titles but we've had ~10 seasons with little to no changes so we are pretty hungry for some improvements.
We had one CSR change a couple of weeks ago, and we're strongly considering decreasing the amount of games you need to reach your target CSR for next season.

The more major stuff is going to take awhile since it involves pretty heavy changes to core code. I'm talking months here.

RyInfinity wrote:
Additionally, I want to reiterate that I am not entirely on board with your idea for Ranked Arena rewards.
I understood your original suggestions. The problem is, our more dedicated players already have ALL the content I could put into those increasingly rare req packs. So for most of the players the rewards would target, that idea doesn't work. They would get nothing out of it since they'd already have all those items. So it's the same problem. I don't have enough "new stuff" for those players to sustain that type of reward structure.

On the other hand, I have a small set of potentially really cool items that no one currently has that I want to:
  • Make really valuable for Champions
  • Make last a decent amount of time
  • Let everyone eventually get access to
It still does the same thing as far as, "the better you are, the sooner you get it, but eventually everyone gets it"

Internally, of the two designs, there's a lot more support for this one as well.

RyInfinity wrote:
Also, are you working with the Halo Wars 2 teams? It's disappointing that HW2 didn't feature a ranking system at launch, and if you have any insight I'd love to hear about what modifications/formulas you are changing to better suit that game and its matchmaking.
I came in way too recently to strongly affect Halo Wars 2's launch, but stay tuned.
ZaedynFel wrote:
Are we looking at dealing with parties in Social Matchmaking and Warzone as well?Yes.
Thank you.

I was confused for a second because I didn't realize this was a new thread. These are great though so I hope they continue.
ZaedynFel wrote:
I understood your original suggestions. The problem is, our more dedicated players already have ALL the content I could put into those increasingly rare req packs. So for most of the players the rewards would target, that idea doesn't work. They would get nothing out of it since they'd already have all those items. So it's the same problem. I don't have enough "new stuff" for those players to sustain that type of reward structure.

Could you let us know what items you're sitting on that aren't currently available to everyone that you'd offer as rewards?

Those two 'new' 343 AR skins, the Olive helmet, or some other stuff too? Just curious what content is still lingering around the game that you're willing to give out.
ZaedynFel wrote:
Hey guys, this will be a bit shorter this week, partly because I was traveling. But keep your feedback coming!

Why not show MMR all the time instead?The main reason we don’t splash MMR all over is we reserve the right to use whatever information we can to update your MMR. This can include information that could potentially be unfair to use to update your CSR. We don’t do a lot of this right now, but I could see a world where MMR can be affected by, e.g., how you played in a completely different playlist. In that case, we update your MMR to a more accurate reflection of your current skill, but it would be unfair to de-rank you magically outside of you playing on that playlist. Showing an MMR that is this volatile would be confusing.

CSR should be the most accurate measure of what you deserve to show as your Rank. MMR should be the most accurate measure of where we should matchmake you right now. Those aren’t always the same, and don't always have the same rules of fairness that govern them.

That said, I do also see a future where instead of directly showing the MMR that made the match, we could show some summarized version of your opponents' strength to give you a feel for why you were matched with them. For example, we could tell you that even though your opponents all look Diamond, they just played like Gold players, which matches up nicely with you being Gold.
Seasonal Resets I’ve seen a few posts discussing the pros and cons of seasonal resets. We don’t have any plans on changing the core mechanics of how season’s currently work. Some nice things about seasons:
  • They give you something to shoot for
  • They filter out inactive players so we don’t need decay or a way to mark activity
  • Can be used as a platform for more competitive constructs
That said, we are evaluating:
  • The number of placement matches
  • How many games it takes to “prove” your rank. This is around 30-50 now.
No news yet on changes, but we’re thinking.
Do I end up 200 CSR back from where my CSR ended last season?No, you end up 200 back from where your MMR moves to during placements. So if you go 10-0, that’s a different spot than where you were before placement, and you could actually start ahead of where you were last season. We aren’t just backing you up again and again.
Matches are better towards the season and when CSR is closer to MMRCSR has no influence on matchmaking at all. The matches you get throughout the season are exactly the same as they are at the end, unless you have actually change[d] as a player, thus moving your MMR. Even though you sometimes see a different range of CSRs in your match, the actual skills are really close.

Are we looking at dealing with parties in Social Matchmaking and Warzone as well?Yes.

Could we have Opt-In seasons?This isn’t something we can do for Halo 5, but I thought it was a cool idea. I could see having an ongoing CSR that never resets (though we’d probably need some decay), and then one for the season if you opt-in. If we did this, I would only give out rewards to players who decided to opt-in to the season. There are other complications, like, which to show on the PGCR, but could probably be worked through.
Hi Joshua,
I know it doesn't fit exactly with the points you raise every week, but I think it fits with the matchmaking argument in general: is there a single chance to see selectable data centers in the future (most likely H6 I suppose)?

I think, but this is just my opinion, that nowadays a system like that is must have in every online multi-player game to guarantee the best experience on networking and latency side.
I also know that a system like that has some consequences on matchmaking algorithms (and that's why this was cut in H5).

Thank you in advance for your time.
Josh, here's some feedback that I provided late within the last Update that I'm not sure you saw.

  • Is there any chance that personal Arena stat tracking could be better separated between Social and Ranked games within Halo 5 and on Halowaypoint, so that people can get an improved gauge on their performances and stat accumulation under those two specific environments?
  • I'm really curious as to why you guys (343i) haven't seen the Social offering as a prime opportunity to provide playlists that are somewhat specific in theme while more diverse in their actual offering of game-types? In other words, I think the social playlist lineup is the ideal location for two mixed-bag playlists that separate their themes between earning kills as the primary goal verses accomplishing non-slayer based objectives as the primary goal. Also, I think this concept works fairly well with current consolidation efforts in that it doesn't necessarily remove game-types that people may still have great interest in playing and it affords the ability to add some desired modes from the past, but it does unfortunately restrict people's ability to play a particular game-type when they want to play it (since they need to exhibit patience with the playlists' rotation of modes).
For example, I think turning the (Social) Super Fiesta playlist into a mix-bag (Social) Team Slayer playlist that included all of these slayer-based modes:
  1. Slayer (medium high rotation)
  2. Super Fiesta (medium high rotation)
  3. Regicide (medium rotation)
  4. Shotty Snipers (medium low rotation)
  5. SWAT (medium low rotation)
...is an excellent method to maintain mode diversity and bring back a past mode or modes under the social banner while fitting it all under a particular playlist theme (aka a slayer-based objective). A social slayer playlist should be more varied in it's offering (hence the more diverse mixed-bag of variants) in comparison to it's ranked brethren playlist (titled: Team Slayer) and in doing so it should provide a potential taste of several ranked slayer-based game-type variants, but now under a more "social" atmosphere while pairing them with other traditional slayer-based modes that are naturally more social (aka Fiesta and Regicide).

The other example modifies the (Social) Team Skirmish playlist so that it actually provides the community an option for playing ONLY non-slayer-based objective game-types such as these:
  1. CTF (medium high rotation)
  2. Strongholds (medium high rotation)
  3. Ricochet (medium rotation)
  4. 1-Site Extraction (medium rotation)
  5. Assault (medium rotation)
  6. Oddball (medium low rotation)
  7. KotH (medium low rotation)
  • Lastly, I wanted to make a suggestion for all the game modes under the Social banner in that I believe a point-based scoring system (similar to Halo 4) would work best. Now, I'd guess that it's something that probably wouldn't work out in Halo 5 because of the work needed to implement it, but perhaps it's something that could be considered for future titles (Halo 6?) if there's an effort to continue separating between Social and Ranked modes (I assume there will be). In my opinion, the chosen scoring system, whether to include a limited JIP, to have visual or hidden/no CSRs, calculating CSR and MMR impacts off of team or individual performance during team-based matches, the MMR/CSR search parameters, whether to include friendly fire or not, and the game mode variants themselves as well as the amount and degree of mix-bagged consolidations are the most important features that differentiate the Social and Ranked modes from one another. With that said, I believe a point-based scoring system allows all players to realize their contributions to the team's goal even if it's indirectly since not everyone can rack up big KDA ratios or get credit for scoring a non-slayer objective every game. The premise of rewarding points for even minor and indirect efforts allows players to feel as if their contributions are meaningful towards the team's goal (a total point goal). Since the Social environment is suppose to be geared toward and influenced by game-play enjoyment for all verses a heavy emphasis on primary objective competition I think the point-based scoring system is very effective at creating more of a so-called "social" atmosphere. In all honesty, I was initially glad to see Halo 5 get away from the point-based scoring system that was in Halo 4 because I believed Halo needed to re-focus on the traditionally competitive experience, but with impartial thought given to it's (a point-based scoring system) potential inclusion within Halo I do think it's an ideal fit for social playlists.
EBLspartan wrote:
I know it doesn't fit exactly with the points you raise every week, but I think it fits with the matchmaking argument in general: is there a single chance to see selectable data centers in the future (most likely H6 I suppose)?
There's always a chance, but it's not clear to me that selectable data centers is the way to go. What decision do you need to make that can't be detected automatically?

Showing the DC exposes a pretty low level decision all players, many of whom will choose that data center incorrectly, or feel like they should mess with a setting that's more complex than it looks.

I personally prefer a compromise more on the lines of, "automatically pick the best data center for the party leader"

That way, we can use all the great data center health tech we have on our side to pick a great data center, and still give players control over who in their party that data center is based on.

So if you play with a friend in a different country, you know how to pick who gets the better experience.
How about something like getting featured on the Halo 5 menu screen for a couple days or maybe have your own saying as one of the loading screens for a week as rewards for the top players at the end the season? I don't know how complicated that would be, but just throwing out a couple unique things.
Thanks for the heads up.
ZaedynFel wrote:
EBLspartan wrote:
I know it doesn't fit exactly with the points you raise every week, but I think it fits with the matchmaking argument in general: is there a single chance to see selectable data centers in the future (most likely H6 I suppose)?
There's always a chance, but it's not clear to me that selectable data centers is the way to go. What decision do you need to make that can't be detected automatically?

Showing the DC exposes a pretty low level decision all players, many of whom will choose that data center incorrectly, or feel like they should mess with a setting that's more complex than it looks.

I personally prefer a compromise more on the lines of, "automatically pick the best data center for the party leader"

That way, we can use all the great data center health tech we have on our side to pick a great data center, and still give players control over who in their party that data center is based on.

So if you play with a friend in a different country, you know how to pick who gets the better experience.
Thoughts on at least letting us see which data center we are connected to?
ZaedynFel wrote:
RyInfinity wrote:
When is the soonest we could be seeing actual alterations to Halo 5's CSR/Matchmaking? Obviously a lot of this is theory crafting for future titles but we've had ~10 seasons with little to no changes so we are pretty hungry for some improvements.
We had one CSR change a couple of weeks ago, and we're strongly considering decreasing the amount of games you need to reach your target CSR for next season.

The more major stuff is going to take awhile since it involves pretty heavy changes to core code. I'm talking months here.

RyInfinity wrote:
Additionally, I want to reiterate that I am not entirely on board with your idea for Ranked Arena rewards.
I understood your original suggestions. The problem is, our more dedicated players already have ALL the content I could put into those increasingly rare req packs. So for most of the players the rewards would target, that idea doesn't work. They would get nothing out of it since they'd already have all those items. So it's the same problem. I don't have enough "new stuff" for those players to sustain that type of reward structure.

On the other hand, I have a small set of potentially really cool items that no one currently has that I want to:
  • Make really valuable for Champions
  • Make last a decent amount of time
  • Let everyone eventually get access to
It still does the same thing as far as, "the better you are, the sooner you get it, but eventually everyone gets it"

Internally, of the two designs, there's a lot more support for this one as well.

RyInfinity wrote:
Also, are you working with the Halo Wars 2 teams? It's disappointing that HW2 didn't feature a ranking system at launch, and if you have any insight I'd love to hear about what modifications/formulas you are changing to better suit that game and its matchmaking.
I came in way too recently to strongly affect Halo Wars 2's launch, but stay tuned.
Beautiful transparency, and solid logic. Many months will be a long time for us, but this is the first time anyone from 343 has given us an actual timeframe for feedback implementation. Thank you.

Hopefully you can have a much more fleshed out reward system for future titles.
Are the Solo Queue changes in place as of now? Are they still being worked on?
ZaedynFel wrote:
Matches are better towards the season and when CSR is closer to MMRCSR has no influence on matchmaking at all. The matches you get throughout the season are exactly the same as they are at the end, unless you have actually change[d] as a player, thus moving your MMR. Even though you sometimes see a different range of CSRs in your match, the actual skills are really close.
Not sure if this was a response to some of my comments (along similar lines), but just to clarify -- I wasn't implying that the literal match quality is better at the end of the season, I was implying that they psychologically "feel more fun" when checking out folks' ranks the post-game carnage report, because you have a clear sense of your opponents accurate ranks.

Early in the season, you might win a super tryhard match, then see in the PGC that you played 4 unranked players... that's so unsatisfying. Did you just beat high-ranked players who are still doing placements?

Or maybe you're Onyx but got beat by diamond and plat players -- were they ACTUALLY diamond/plat skill level and you got embarrassed? Or did their MMR suggest they're actually onyx, but their CSRs are lagging behind their true skill? That can be very demoralizing... it feels like you got beat by worse players! But in fact they may have been better than you, just with inaccurate visible CSR. (by the way, this is also one reason smurfs are so annoying)

You've addressed some of these possibilities, but I see a few ways to make this better (could implement multiple at the same time):
  1. Make seasons longer so that CSRs spend more time closer to an accurate skill assessment
  2. Make CSR converge to MMR faster.
  3. Find a way to simultaneously display CSR (a lagging but stable skill indicator) and some kind of MMR-related skill value (an accurate/current but noisy skill indicator), and display those values in the PGC.
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