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[Locked] Matchmaking Feedback Update – January 8, 2018

OP ZaedynFel

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Mat Locke wrote:
Too many playlist period. That is the main problem and those who actually want a social experience of the game to play with their friends without tryharding in ranked are forced to the only comparable playlist BTB. Why not go back to having a social slayer and social obj and then having ranked versions. I don't enjoy having to hop into ranked when i only really play the game a few times a month. I want the core experience without having to jump into a ranked match.

With the number of playlist you seem to be just fragmenting the player base even further. Use some of those other playlist as like a weekend special here and there. With the way the game sits now, I just don't see myself playing the game more than a couple times a month as there seems to be no real focus on what can be done to build the playerbase back up and just throwing out playlist to appease small groups of players. Simplifying makes the game far more accessible rather than just a quickplay playlist. Go to 4-5 social with an additional rotating playlist and 4-5 ranked play list.
They should create a 5v5 Social Playlist or use the QuickPlay playlist for Social Slayer, CTF, Assault, Oddball, Breakout?, and then move Grifball into that with the option to vote on game mode and map. It would help with introducing new players into the main/popular game modes as well as move lower populated playlists from cluttering the selection and giving them new life.
Hey Josh, thanks for the update, and glad to see things back in full swing! That system stat system sounds crazy, in a good way, anything that will detect the true skill and give me tighter matches the better. Good luck on your upcoming GDC presentation.

I don't have a whole lot to say about the Quickplay playlist. Except I am concerned it might be too little too late. It will be good for the new players, but as we have already read the old school players won't be satisfied unfortunately. I am curious how the MMR will work for it though.

I am very concerned with the BTB playlist though. There's still the issues with the long loading times, and issues with higher MMR teams not finding matches. I do remember in a thread sometime back that you spoke about opening up the search parameters when it was apparent that matchmaking had taken a turn. I think we are at that point, and was hoping to hear your thoughts on that.

Well that's it for now. Happy New Year! Look forward to what the Halo future brings.
A quickplay Playlist is a great idea!
I think that the playlists should all be streamlined as it is so hard getting games due to players spread out over similar game types.

SOCIAL
Quickplay
Social Objective (CTF, SH, Asslt, Ball, Breakout)
Big Team Battle
Swat
Rotational Playlist (Snipers/Infection/Grifball/Action Sack)

RANKED
Team Slayer
HCS
Free For All
Doubles

WARZONE
Heroic FF
Warzone
Rotational Playlist (Mythic FF, Assault, Turbo)

Any other Playlist should be ditched I reckon. If you want to have a Grifball game all the time, start up a Custom Game and use the Looking For Group feature and the Customs Browser! That’s what they are for.

The ranked playlists should be culled too because who cares if you are a Champ Breakout player?
Joe T8 wrote:
I find this list highly dubious.

In what world is Warzone assault 2nd to last in population?

I find it extremely hard to believe, as in I don't believe, that breakout has a higher population than that many playlists, specifically including Warzone Assault, Snipers and even Grifball.
What would Josh have to gain by lying about which playlists were popular or not?

The list below was the December 11th popularity list and it's not much different than the current one with those playlists. WZ Assault dropped in the current one while Snipers gained in popularity.

Breakout
Warzone Assault
Snipers
Grifball
A quickplay Playlist is a great idea!
I think that the playlists should all be streamlined as it is so hard getting games due to players spread out over similar game types.

SOCIAL
Quickplay
Social Objective (CTF, SH, Asslt, Ball, Breakout)
Big Team Battle
Swat
Rotational Playlist (Snipers/Infection/Grifball/Action Sack)

RANKED
Team Slayer
HCS
Free For All
Doubles

WARZONE
Heroic FF
Warzone
Rotational Playlist (Mythic FF, Assault, Turbo)

Any other Playlist should be ditched I reckon. If you want to have a Grifball game all the time, start up a Custom Game and use the Looking For Group feature and the Customs Browser! That’s what they are for.

The ranked playlists should be culled too because who cares if you are a Champ Breakout player?
I completely agree with you DUS Xenharlonic ! You made the perfect listing of playlist in my opinion ! For my example I have the habit to play in super fiesta just because there isn't any other equivalent of hcs in social (it can potentially explain why this playlist is so popular).
Joe T8 wrote:
It's fine though...it's really simple. This game is going to continue to be dead as long as there is a b.s. hidden ranking system. "MMR" whatever you want to call it...
MMR has been a thing since always, it's not a new concept to Halo. The current ranking system uses the same underlying code as Halo 3, just with visual differences - top end (past a 50) opened up and names instead of number. Dr. Menke can explain it better, he's explained this on the forums in the past if you want to look it up
Vidiopro wrote:
Bring back the social team objective type playlists with oddball, ctf, and assault. Rotate in some more voted on forge maps too. #MakeHaloGreatAgain
That would be 3 playlists with standard slayer and objective gametypes. It's oversaturation. When they merge Team Area and HCS then Social Skirmish can come back.
ZaedynFel wrote:
RzR J3ST3R wrote:
Did you happen to notice and give any thought to this post I wrote last month? I wanted to propose an option to help high MMR players find social and warzone games more easily when solo-queue or in small fireteams. I 100% understand (and agree) that it's important to prevent large fireteams of high MMR players from stomping all over everyone in annoying blowouts, so large + high MMR fireteams will need to wait for similarly skilled players.

...

Thoughts?
I did read it and thought it was a clever idea.

We're at an interesting point right now in our dev process on skill and matchmaking features. A lot of the issues that avenues like this addressed are also addressed in the new systems we are bringing online. So we're in a position where fixes like this end up becoming "throw away" once the newer systems come online. We sometimes still implement them anyways if the time between fixes is really long and the impact really high, but we treat each case carefully.

In this case, the skill system changes are coming soon enough that I think it would be better to first see how well the new system natively handles this before judging between short and long-term changes to the matchmaking system.
I realize I don't have the full details of the new system, so I'm speaking with an information handicap. That said, a system that can more accurately estimate skill doesn't help the problems I'm seeing for high MMR players, unless you do something additional to help them get into games faster. In fact, it takes away the only workaround they currently have (smurfing), so now there is literally no way for high MMR players to find games, even solo or with a to2. If that's the message, it's a pretty toxic message to send to your community: "Hey come play this awesome game with an awesome MMR system, hone your skills and do so well that you can't play anymore!"

Three specific questions on this topic:
  1. Since your new system in theory can do more "accurate" MMR assessment and therefore matchmaking, does that allow you to open up the initial parameters to let players get into matches faster, or are you still going to enforce very rigid MMR gap limits between players allowed in a match? I ask because even if you make MMR estimation more accurate with this system, that doesn't address the problem of long or infinite wait times for high MMR players, even if searching solo or To2 in social playlists just trying to play the darn game. Do you believe that the MM system should be trying to find those high MMR players games and not neglect them? Or do you take the position that those players shouldn't be able to play because in your view they make the game less fun for other people by making matches have too high an internal skill gap among the players? Keep in mind, I'm talking solo or small fireteams, not full lobbies. I totally understand why full lobbies of high MMR players shouldn't be allowed to match average players (because there's ZERO the team balancer can do to create a remotely even match at that point).
  2. Does your new system incorporate the effective MMR boost players get when searching in a fireteam, and account for that in MM, so solo players and fireteams will all get more balanced matches, and I can switch between solo and party play comfortably? Currently when I go from solo-play to team-play, I run over people for several games, and when I go the other way from team play to solo play, I get wrecked for several games.
  3. Did you give any thought to another post I made in Nov, with some thoughts about why the ranked population in this game (and especially 'sweaty' playlists like HCS) seems to struggle, and how you might address it with playlist-to-playlist, and season-to-season rank equalization or slight inflation? I really think those ideas could help change the psychology for ranked playlists in this game, or more importantly, H6.
LUKEPOWA wrote:
I, for one, welcome our new matchmaker overload. Kind of scary reading it, tbh.

A few questions:

1) Will the Quickplay playlist have the stats recorded to our service record or no? I think this playlist shouldn't record stats in my opinion. It gives less incentive for someone to try and pad their stats on newbs and it could make it feel a little more social.

2) How fast will the upcoming matchmaker find games for people? Seems like it could take longer if it's trying to find more accurate games, but I don't really know so that's why I'm asking.

3) Are there any updates with the issue of players being unintentionally dropped from the search lobby? It's still happening.
1) I don't think I really have fine-grained control over that right now, but I see your point.
2) This shouldn't change too much. Just be more accurate.
3) Not at this time. It's on the list though.
RzR J3ST3R wrote:
Three specific questions on this topic:
  1. Since your new system in theory can do more "accurate" MMR assessment and therefore matchmaking, does that allow you to open up the initial parameters to let players get into matches faster, or are you still going to enforce very rigid MMR gap limits between players allowed in a match? I ask because even if you make MMR estimation more accurate with this system, that doesn't address the problem of long or infinite wait times for high MMR players, even if searching solo or To2 in social playlists just trying to play the darn game. Do you believe that the MM system should be trying to find those high MMR players games and not neglect them? Or do you take the position that those players shouldn't be able to play because in your view they make the game less fun for other people by making matches have too high an internal skill gap among the players? Keep in mind, I'm talking solo or small fireteams, not full lobbies. I totally understand why full lobbies of high MMR players shouldn't be allowed to match average players (because there's ZERO the team balancer can do to create a remotely even match at that point).
  2. Does your new system incorporate the effective MMR boost players get when searching in a fireteam, and account for that in MM, so solo players and fireteams will all get more balanced matches, and I can switch between solo and party play comfortably? Currently when I go from solo-play to team-play, I run over people for several games, and when I go the other way from team play to solo play, I get wrecked for several games.
  3. Did you give any thought to another post I made in Nov, with some thoughts about why the ranked population in this game (and especially 'sweaty' playlists like HCS) seems to struggle, and how you might address it with playlist-to-playlist, and season-to-season rank equalization or slight inflation? I really think those ideas could help change the psychology for ranked playlists in this game, or more importantly, H6.
  1. We'll tune the new system to ideally allow anyone solo to match. I'm expecting the ratings themselves to result in less outliers, so less of a need for some of the restrictions we have now, but I'll be checking the numbers.
  2. Yes, the new system will treat you differently in large team modes like Warzone. So when you play solo, you won't have an inflated MMR.
  3. There's this careful balance to walk between moral and rank legitimacy. Up to this point, I've kept things pretty pure in H5. Most of my design focus for improvements has been for the next title, so I probably won't mess too much with the existing code.
Hallelujah for the matching system. Just to hear you guys are working on something on that front is music to my ears.

Also a stats-less playlist sounds awesome for the uninitiated players who are concerned with learning, not padding stats.
RzR J3ST3R wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
RzR J3ST3R wrote:
Did you happen to notice and give any thought to this post I wrote last month? I wanted to propose an option to help high MMR players find social and warzone games more easily when solo-queue or in small fireteams. I 100% understand (and agree) that it's important to prevent large fireteams of high MMR players from stomping all over everyone in annoying blowouts, so large + high MMR fireteams will need to wait for similarly skilled players.

...

Thoughts?
I did read it and thought it was a clever idea.

We're at an interesting point right now in our dev process on skill and matchmaking features. A lot of the issues that avenues like this addressed are also addressed in the new systems we are bringing online. So we're in a position where fixes like this end up becoming "throw away" once the newer systems come online. We sometimes still implement them anyways if the time between fixes is really long and the impact really high, but we treat each case carefully.

In this case, the skill system changes are coming soon enough that I think it would be better to first see how well the new system natively handles this before judging between short and long-term changes to the matchmaking system.
I realize I don't have the full details of the new system, so I'm speaking with an information handicap. That said, a system that can more accurately estimate skill doesn't help the problems I'm seeing for high MMR players, unless you do something additional to help them get into games faster. In fact, it takes away the only workaround they currently have (smurfing), so now there is literally no way for high MMR players to find games, even solo or with a to2. If that's the message, it's a pretty toxic message to send to your community: "Hey come play this awesome game with an awesome MMR system, hone your skills and do so well that you can't play anymore!"

Three specific questions on this topic:
  1. Since your new system in theory can do more "accurate" MMR assessment and therefore matchmaking, does that allow you to open up the initial parameters to let players get into matches faster, or are you still going to enforce very rigid MMR gap limits between players allowed in a match? I ask because even if you make MMR estimation more accurate with this system, that doesn't address the problem of long or infinite wait times for high MMR players, even if searching solo or To2 in social playlists just trying to play the darn game. Do you believe that the MM system should be trying to find those high MMR players games and not neglect them? Or do you take the position that those players shouldn't be able to play because in your view they make the game less fun for other people by making matches have too high an internal skill gap among the players? Keep in mind, I'm talking solo or small fireteams, not full lobbies. I totally understand why full lobbies of high MMR players shouldn't be allowed to match average players (because there's ZERO the team balancer can do to create a remotely even match at that point).
  2. Does your new system incorporate the effective MMR boost players get when searching in a fireteam, and account for that in MM, so solo players and fireteams will all get more balanced matches, and I can switch between solo and party play comfortably? Currently when I go from solo-play to team-play, I run over people for several games, and when I go the other way from team play to solo play, I get wrecked for several games.
The new system should allow the matchmaker to include a wider variance of skill when constructing a team of players while maintaining a tight team to team skill gap. In other words, opportunities should arise for higher MMR players to search solo and find matches while keeping the quality of the match solid, but as for full teams that are made up of all high MMR players the population health at the boundaries of the skill spectrum will likely still affect the match quality and search time. Sacrifices will still occur at the boundaries of the skill spectrum and in some cases players will not be able to find matches -- this is just a product of the population health of a 2+ year old game. I floated an idea in a previous thread on a potential method to deal with trying to find people matches when the win probability might exceed the 70/30 restriction that prevents them from finding matches, but it also came with its own compromises and consequences (aka trade-offs).
Hey Josh,

Thanks for this update. It's pretty interesting I must say. I like the idea of the "quick play" playlist but I think there should be a level cap restriction of who can go into it, say 25 and under. The idea is great, a place where new players learn. Unfortunately, I just don't see that happening very often. New players will still be playing against people who have a lot more experience and they'll still be playing Smurfs. With a level cap restriction, at least it wouldn't be AS bad. I know there is no perfect fix, but I think that would help. I know players want a Soical Slayer playlist, so I'd say just put one in. If you have to take away a playlist to do it, do it.

The new match making system sounds pretty amazing. You didn't make Skynet did you? ;) Just so I'm clear here though, so are you saying that the new system recognizes when someone has more then one account? Either way, I still think a player should be a certain level before they play Ranked.

Thanks for the playlist information. To anyone who can't believe the list, remember to take a few things into consideration.

  • People will play playlists more if it has double XP on it
  • People will play certain playlists just to try and finish off commendations (Super Fiesta for example)
  • People will play playlists more if they know 343I people are playing it in hopes of getting the ice skin (Castle Wars for example)
And so on... Let's be real here, we all know castle wars for example isn't THAT popular... but having it be double XP and chances to get the ice skin will make it popular, so I'm not surprised to see it that high. I'm not saying x playlist wouldn't be popular if these things weren't in it, but it DEFINITELY factors into it.

Nice to have you back Josh, I missed these updates lol Good luck at the GDC Josh. I look forward to seeing what happens with Halo in 2018.
Breakout would ranked higher if you added 1.0 into rotation.
FYI folks, I put "Rig" when I meant "Plaza".

So Plaza, Truth, and Coliseum.

This should result in a few less noobs falling off maps.
@ZaedynFel: have you considered allowing players/teams to match based on something other than standard deviations?

What I mean would probably make more sense like this:

Currently, a MMR of 0 can match anyone from -1 to +1, which is 68% of the population.
A 1 can match from 0 to 2, which is 47.5% of the population.
A 2 can match from 1 to 3, which is roughly 16%.
A 3 matches from 2 to (now it gets weird, so let's just say infinity), which is roughly 2% (a.k.a. your target goal for number of people in Onyx).

What if instead, you let them match up to the MMR that gives them a, for instance, 20% population pool?

Someone on the Diamond/Onyx border could match down into the High Platinum, but I see that happening anyway because they are teaming up with lower ranked players...
ZaedynFel wrote:
FYI folks, I put "Rig" when I meant "Plaza".

So Plaza, Truth, and Coliseum.

This should result in a few less noobs falling off maps.
LOL. People will find a way....
ZaedynFel wrote:
Happy New Year!It’s good to be back! I have a few fun updates.
PlaylistsWe have a couple of playlist changes coming this week. First, as we announced last Friday, the HCS list will be updated to reflect the official HaloWC maps and modes. Head over to http://halo.gg for more info.

In addition, we’ll be adding a simple playlist called Quickplay at the top of our Social lists. The purpose of this list is largely so incoming players having an obvious starting point. The biggest feedback we get from new players is many if not the majority haven’t played any Halo in the past and have no idea what those playlist names mean. This should make it super clear where to start. The list will feature Slayer on Plaza (not Rig), Truth, and Coliseum. We’re keeping the maps to a minimum so folks aren’t overwhelmed, and using Slayer since it’s a straightforward game mode for both new and solo players. The playlist will also have a maximum party size of 2. If you’re looking for some light Slayer gameplay with the chance to mentor incoming folks, hop in!
Why no Rig slayer? That's one of the most fun. :'(
<p>&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;</p>
ZaedynFel wrote:
Happy New Year!It’s good to be back! I have a few fun updates.
PlaylistsWe have a couple of playlist changes coming this week. First, as we announced last Friday, the HCS list will be updated to reflect the official HaloWC maps and modes. Head over to http://halo.gg for more info.

In addition, we’ll be adding a simple playlist called Quickplay at the top of our Social lists. The purpose of this list is largely so incoming players having an obvious starting point. The biggest feedback we get from new players is many if not the majority haven’t played any Halo in the past and have no idea what those playlist names mean. This should make it super clear where to start. The list will feature Slayer on Plaza (not Rig), Truth, and Coliseum. We’re keeping the maps to a minimum so folks aren’t overwhelmed, and using Slayer since it’s a straightforward game mode for both new and solo players. The playlist will also have a maximum party size of 2. If you’re looking for some light Slayer gameplay with the chance to mentor incoming folks, hop in!
Why no Rig slayer? That's one of the most fun. :'(
<p>&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;</p>
ZaedynFel wrote:
FYI folks, I put "Rig" when I meant "Plaza".

So Plaza, Truth, and Coliseum.

This should result in a few less noobs falling off maps.
Less noobs falling off maps haha. sound reasoning for an introductory playlist.
Apoll0 wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
Happy New Year!It’s good to be back! I have a few fun updates.
PlaylistsWe have a couple of playlist changes coming this week. First, as we announced last Friday, the HCS list will be updated to reflect the official HaloWC maps and modes. Head over to http://halo.gg for more info.

In addition, we’ll be adding a simple playlist called Quickplay at the top of our Social lists. The purpose of this list is largely so incoming players having an obvious starting point. The biggest feedback we get from new players is many if not the majority haven’t played any Halo in the past and have no idea what those playlist names mean. This should make it super clear where to start. The list will feature Slayer on Plaza (not Rig), Truth, and Coliseum. We’re keeping the maps to a minimum so folks aren’t overwhelmed, and using Slayer since it’s a straightforward game mode for both new and solo players. The playlist will also have a maximum party size of 2. If you’re looking for some light Slayer gameplay with the chance to mentor incoming folks, hop in!
Why no Rig slayer? That's one of the most fun. :'(
<p>&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;</p>
ZaedynFel wrote:
FYI folks, I put "Rig" when I meant "Plaza".

So Plaza, Truth, and Coliseum.

This should result in a few less noobs falling off maps.
Less noobs falling off maps haha. sound reasoning for an introductory playlist.
Damn, I knew I was still in noob status! I always -Yoink- up that first jump to Camo...and every other one too. Oh well, Plaza's pretty good too. Although I am more used to it for Strongholds.
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