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[Locked] Matchmaking Feedback Update – July 3

OP ZaedynFel

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New Season This Week

In case you hadn’t read the blog, the next season starts this Thursday, July 6th. This will include changes to Doubles, FFA, and the return of Ranked Snipers.

In addition, here are some more changes you can expect to matchmaking.


HCS Playlist Duplicates

As discussed in the past, the way Halo 5 chooses which map and mode to play is by randomly choosing a map-mode combination from a list of the possible ones for that playlist, making sure to not choose an entry that anyone in the match played in their last match.
The HCS playlist has exactly one entry for every official HCS map-mode combination. Having only one entry per combo means you will pretty much never get the same thing twice if you stay in the hopper.

However, since there are more Slayer combinations than any other, it also means playing Slayer maps almost half of the time.

We’ve heard your feedback that there’s a bit too much Slayer, so we are going to add duplicates of CTF and Stronghold combos to balance out the proportions, starting with the new Season this Thursday.

This does reintroduce the possibility of getting the same map-mode combination more than once in a row but will hopefully be preferable than lots ‘o Slayer.

In the future, we will add the ability to weight playlist combinations, so they appear in even proportions without duplications.


New Season MMR Clipping

The skill rating system (MMR) is supposed to clip everyone’s MMRs at the beginning of each season. We do this to trim off inflated player skills. We fixed an issue before last season that was preventing this clipping from happening.

Then, we discovered that the clipping was too aggressive in many playlists, making it so higher-skilled players had unusually large gaps between their MMR and CSR values, especially in FFA where players were starting at 1200 and having to climb up to 1800 (+600) just to get champ.

We have tuned that correctly for the new season coming, so the starting gaps for higher-skilled players will be more reasonable.

For those curious about the details:
  • We were clipping players to +/- 4.0 MMR
  • This would be 4 standard deviations IF the mean was 0 and the standard deviation 1.0
  • This is not the case in many playlists. For example, FFA has a mean AND standard deviation of around 2.0 each. So FFA was being clipped to only 1.0 standard deviations on the top (hence 1200 CSR).
  • We have changed it to clip 4 standard deviations from the mean, by playlist. So, using FFA as an example again, it will clip to 2.0 +/- 8.0 or [-6, 8].


Social and Warzone Max MMR Gap

Last week I explained that we had changed the way SWAT and FFA expand their skill ranges in order to guarantee every player can get in a match within the 5 minute max wait time.

This week, we made a change to Social and Warzone matchmaking. In the past, Social matchmaking had been the same as Ranked, but with no enforced maximum skill gap. This meant that a “Bronze” player could easily get into a match with an Onyx player.

Gaps of that size create matches that are a joke for the Onyx player, and the Bronze player doesn’t even feel like they can play.

Also, gaps that large make it so if you are the Onyx player, we must put all the Bronze players on your team to balance the match fairly against the other players who are usually Gold / Plat.

This can create undo stress on the Onyx players who will have to super carry their teams to win, making Social a bit sweaty if they want to win matches.

To alleviate this, we made this change:
  • Social still expands for only 40 seconds like always, and then gives up on skill
  • But we added a max skill gap equal to half the distribution (4 standard deviations)

So after “giving up” on skill, Social will still have at least a safety net.

This is still a huge gap, but roughly half what we allowed before. This means top players won’t see worse than high-Gold / Platinum players in their matches. Bottom players usually won’t see players better than those Gold / Plat ones.

We did the same thing in Warzone as well. We also kept Warzone’s expansion time to 30 seconds before it gives up on skill and allows the new, large, max gap.


Ranked Expansion

The new expansion rules we tried on SWAT and FFA have been successful overall. The players who were no longer able to even play those formats are now getting matches guaranteed in under 5 minutes.

This also has the side benefit of making it easier for legitimate teams to catch up with Smurf teams because they can get into matches without needing Smurfs on their teams. The gap is closing a bit there.

We added these same rules to Doubles as well during the past week because that was another area higher-skilled players were struggling to be able to play the game at all.

With the new season, we will be incorporating those tunings into all Ranked playlists. This will make it so we never have periods where it is hard to find a match for players on the bottom or top. The search in all playlists will expand from a tiny gap up to the maximum allowed gap (half the distribution) over 2.5 minutes.

The risk we are taking here is that this will allow top players into matches with Plats in rare occasions. While this is true, the adaptive nature of the new rules will make sure this only happens if the only available population are those Plat players. The rules still try really hard for very tight matches at first, and will only allow those uneven ones as a last ditch effort to make a match in under 5 minutes.

Playlists that have healthy populations will probably not notice any changes, especially if they search Focused.

We are also seeing if we can increase that 5-minute wait time if this results in too many uneven matches.

Also, we noticed we had a few rules in all our playlists that were causing the matchmaker to ignore tighter matches for edge-case reasons that we didn’t need anymore. We removed those extra rules, and this should result in even tighter than previous matches under some scenarios.
So no HCS FFA settings yet...?
NicmeisteR wrote:
So no HCS FFA settings yet...?
The FFA changes are in the blog post I linked.

They are not full HCS settings, no.
ZaedynFel wrote:
NicmeisteR wrote:
So no HCS FFA settings yet...?
The FFA changes are in the blog post I linked.

They are not full HCS settings, no.
Ahh sorry missed the link. Awesomeeee thanks so much!!! Finally I can play my favorite play list againy
More then 5 maps for swat please. We need more because I'm starting to dream about these 5 maps :)
This isn't exactly related but can you please explain how this would happen?

Game in question.

Also, any chances of an implementation of a tracker that shows how much CSR you gain or lose? It's very unnecessary for us to have to guess how much we ranked up or down.

It is almost impossible to win a 3v4 in Halo. Would it be possible to decrease the amount of CSR you lose when quitting a game, after a person on your team has already quit? It seems very detrimental to take -30CSR (I think) whenever I quit out of a game when my teammate quits in the beginning. It would just be drawn out and boring for both sides to stay and get collapsed on every spawn cycle, due to the uneven amount of players. This is mostly about the HCS playlist.

Thanks for doing these!
Hopefully the social changes work out.

Any plans on adding some type of new reward for making a rank in the ranked playlists in the future? I'm asking since this is the last season where people will get emblems for ranking.

My suggestion would be a big RP/XP boost reward. I'm mainly suggesting that because the grind is a pain in the highest spartan ranks where I'm currently at, but it can also benefit lower SR players as well with unlocks and stuff.
l Jinxed I wrote:
This isn't exactly related but can you please explain how this would happen?

Game in question.Also, any chances of an implementation of a tracker that shows how much CSR you gain or lose? It's very unnecessary for us to have to guess how much we ranked up or down.

It is almost impossible to win a 3v4 in Halo. Would it be possible to decrease the amount of CSR you lose when quitting a game, after a person on your team has already quit? It seems very detrimental to take -30CSR (I think) whenever I quit out of a game when my teammate quits in the beginning. It would just be drawn out and boring for both sides to stay and get collapsed on every spawn cycle, due to the uneven amount of players. This is mostly about the HCS playlist.

Thanks for doing these!
The worse team was in a part of 4, their average skill was within tolerance, and they didn't search focused. Pretty standard stuff.

We already do decrease the amount of CSR you lose if you quit after someone else quits. Though only if that first quitter actually shows up on the scoreboard. If the scoreboard is only showing 3 on your team, then first quitter loses more. That's a lot more rare though.
How about Extermination? That was the best social playlist!
ZaedynFel wrote:
l Jinxed I wrote:
This isn't exactly related but can you please explain how this would happen?

Game in question.Also, any chances of an implementation of a tracker that shows how much CSR you gain or lose? It's very unnecessary for us to have to guess how much we ranked up or down.

It is almost impossible to win a 3v4 in Halo. Would it be possible to decrease the amount of CSR you lose when quitting a game, after a person on your team has already quit? It seems very detrimental to take -30CSR (I think) whenever I quit out of a game when my teammate quits in the beginning. It would just be drawn out and boring for both sides to stay and get collapsed on every spawn cycle, due to the uneven amount of players. This is mostly about the HCS playlist.

Thanks for doing these!
The worse team was in a part of 4, their average skill was within tolerance, and they didn't search focused. Pretty standard stuff.

We already do decrease the amount of CSR you lose if you quit after someone else quits. Though only if that first quitter actually shows up on the scoreboard. If the scoreboard is only showing 3 on your team, then first quitter loses more. That's a lot more rare though.
Thank you for clarifying! That's great that you took the time to reply. These updates are very informative.
Thanks for the updates, really intrigued by the changes coming to FFA. My CSR and MMR must really be in sync because I've been stuck at Plat 2 for forever despite winning multiple games and mostly placing top 3. I'm not sure that I agree that the best player usually wins, that may be the case but it definitely doesn't feel like it. This makes not gaining hardly any CSR for winning a game in which you were the highest ranked person in the lobby, feel really frustrating. I wish there was a way to select whether you'd rather the system try to match you against higher ranked players rather than those ranked below you, or at least try to do this first, then match with lower ranked players if it takes too long. For example, I'm only a Platinum 2 in FFA and it seems that I'm usually the highest ranked player in the lobby, so when I do win, I gain next to no CSR. I would much rather match higher Platinums and Diamonds than Golds and Silvers so I can learn how higher ranked players play and try to improve, gaining more CSR if I do manage to beat higher ranked players would be a nice bonus as well. I know matches are based off of MMR rather than CSR, so these Gold players I'm matching constantly aren't really any worse than me, but for me anyway, that makes the low CSR gains even more frustrating because it feels like I still had to fight pretty hard to get that win, like if one thing had gone differently, a lower ranked player could've easily won, so to not really be rewarded for getting the win kinda sucks. It's definitely better than it was though, it just feels like before we were gaining way too much CSR even when we didn't perform well, but now we're not earning enough CSR even when we do perform well.

I also had a quick question about ranked Snipers (super stoked this is coming back by the way). Is this going to be a kind of featured ranked playlist only for the July-August season, or is it going to be permanent (assuming the population is high enough)? Sorry if that's a stupid question, it just seems like every time I see it mentioned, it's in relation to the upcoming season rather than making it sound permanent. Really hope enough people will play it so it can stick around, Snipers has always been one of my favorite playlists and I've definitely missed it.
Thanks for the updates, really intrigued by the changes coming to FFA. My CSR and MMR must really be in sync because I've been stuck at Plat 2 for forever despite winning multiple games and mostly placing top 3. I'm not sure that I agree that the best player usually wins, that may be the case but it definitely doesn't feel like it. This makes not gaining hardly any CSR for winning a game in which you were the highest ranked person in the lobby, feel really frustrating. I wish there was a way to select whether you'd rather the system try to match you against higher ranked players rather than those ranked below you, or at least try to do this first. For example, I'm only a Platinum 2 in FFA and it seems that I'm usually the highest ranked player in the lobby, so when I do win, I gain next to no CSR. I would much rather match higher Platinums and Diamonds than Golds and Silvers so I can learn how higher ranked players play and try to improve, gaining more CSR if I do manage to beat higher ranked players would be a nice bonus as well. I know matches are based off of MMR rather than CSR, so these Gold players I'm matching constantly aren't really Amy worse than me, but for me anyway, that makes the low CSR gains even more frustrating because it feels like I still had to fight pretty hard to get that win, like if one thing had gone differently, a lower ranked player could've easily won, so to not really be rewarded for that kinda sucks. It's definitely better than it was though, it just feels like before we were gaining way too much CSR even when we didn't perform well, but now we're not earning enpuhh CSR even when we do perform well.

I also had had a quick question about ranked Snipers (super stoked this is coming back by the way). Is this going to be a kind of featured ranked playlist only for the July-August season, or is going to be permanent (assuming the population is high enough)? Sorry if that's a stupid question, it just seems like every time I see it mentioned, it's in relation to the upcoming season rather than making it sound permanent. Really hope enough people will play it so it can stick around, Snipers has always been one of my favorite playlists and I've definitely missed it.
I'm in the same exact boat actually. Plat 2 in FFA and even winning I barely even saw my bar go up.
Glad to see FFA getting some tweeks. I won't pass any sort of judgement untill I get to try it out. Maps have been trimmed? Don't know about that but would like to see torque put back in FFA that's for sure. Sad to see stasis in FFA and not the original better looking and better playing map. Would love to see overgrowth taken out since it's pretty much just plaza.
LethalQ wrote:
Glad to see FFA getting some tweeks. I won't pass any sort of judgement untill I get to try it out. Maps have been trimmed? Don't know about that but would like to see torque put back in FFA that's for sure. Sad to see stasis in FFA and not the original better looking and better playing map. Would love to see overgrowth taken out since it's pretty much just plaza.
Maps been trimmed? What do you mean.

I don't think I know the map torque but I have to agree on overgrowth.
ouv wrote:
LethalQ wrote:
Glad to see FFA getting some tweeks. I won't pass any sort of judgement untill I get to try it out. Maps have been trimmed? Don't know about that but would like to see torque put back in FFA that's for sure. Sad to see stasis in FFA and not the original better looking and better playing map. Would love to see overgrowth taken out since it's pretty much just plaza.
Maps been trimmed? What do you mean.

I don't think I know the map torque but I have to agree on overgrowth.
In the blog it says they removed some of the maps from the FFA rotation.
Dr. Menke. Thank you for being so transparent, and for your continued support to improve the game. I still play almost daily, although this season was my worst season ever, I am still having fun in WZ and WZF.


ZaedynFel wrote:
Social and Warzone Max MMR GapLast week I explained that we had changed the way SWAT and FFA expand their skill ranges in order to guarantee every player can get in a match within the 5 minute max wait time.
This week, we made a change to Social and Warzone matchmaking. In the past, Social matchmaking had been the same as Ranked, but with no enforced maximum skill gap. This meant that a “Bronze” player could easily get into a match with an Onyx player.
Gaps of that size create matches that are a joke for the Onyx player, and the Bronze player doesn’t even feel like they can play.
Also, gaps that large make it so if you are the Onyx player, we must put all the Bronze players on your team to balance the match fairly against the other players who are usually Gold / Plat.
This can create undo stress on the Onyx players who will have to super carry their teams to win, making Social a bit sweaty if they want to win matches.
To alleviate this, we made this change:
  • Social still expands for only 40 seconds like always, and then gives up on skill
  • But we added a max skill gap equal to half the distribution (4 standard deviations)
Thank you, I'm extremely tired of having stupid randoms in super fiesta constantly going out into death and doesn't have a brain to camp. Most of loses in super fiesta has been because they go 3 and 20 or my favorite so far -4 and 21 so thank you for trying to balance out the social area.

Thanks for the updates, really intrigued by the changes coming to FFA. My CSR and MMR must really be in sync because I've been stuck at Plat 2 for forever despite winning multiple games and mostly placing top 3. I'm not sure that I agree that the best player usually wins, that may be the case but it definitely doesn't feel like it. This makes not gaining hardly any CSR for winning a game in which you were the highest ranked person in the lobby, feel really frustrating. I wish there was a way to select whether you'd rather the system try to match you against higher ranked players rather than those ranked below you, or at least try to do this first, then match with lower ranked players if it takes too long. For example, I'm only a Platinum 2 in FFA and it seems that I'm usually the highest ranked player in the lobby, so when I do win, I gain next to no CSR. I would much rather match higher Platinums and Diamonds than Golds and Silvers so I can learn how higher ranked players play and try to improve, gaining more CSR if I do manage to beat higher ranked players would be a nice bonus as well. I know matches are based off of MMR rather than CSR, so these Gold players I'm matching constantly aren't really any worse than me, but for me anyway, that makes the low CSR gains even more frustrating because it feels like I still had to fight pretty hard to get that win, like if one thing had gone differently, a lower ranked player could've easily won, so to not really be rewarded for getting the win kinda sucks. It's definitely better than it was though, it just feels like before we were gaining way too much CSR even when we didn't perform well, but now we're not earning enough CSR even when we do perform well.

I also had a quick question about ranked Snipers (super stoked this is coming back by the way). Is this going to be a kind of featured ranked playlist only for the July-August season, or is it going to be permanent (assuming the population is high enough)? Sorry if that's a stupid question, it just seems like every time I see it mentioned, it's in relation to the upcoming season rather than making it sound permanent. Really hope enough people will play it so it can stick around, Snipers has always been one of my favorite playlists and I've definitely missed it.
We'll see how it goes. If it stays healthy without hurting other lists, it may be able to stick around longer than a season
Thanks for the updates, really intrigued by the changes coming to FFA. My CSR and MMR must really be in sync because I've been stuck at Plat 2 for forever despite winning multiple games and mostly placing top 3. I'm not sure that I agree that the best player usually wins, that may be the case but it definitely doesn't feel like it. This makes not gaining hardly any CSR for winning a game in which you were the highest ranked person in the lobby, feel really frustrating. I wish there was a way to select whether you'd rather the system try to match you against higher ranked players rather than those ranked below you, or at least try to do this first, then match with lower ranked players if it takes too long. For example, I'm only a Platinum 2 in FFA and it seems that I'm usually the highest ranked player in the lobby, so when I do win, I gain next to no CSR. I would much rather match higher Platinums and Diamonds than Golds and Silvers so I can learn how higher ranked players play and try to improve, gaining more CSR if I do manage to beat higher ranked players would be a nice bonus as well. I know matches are based off of MMR rather than CSR, so these Gold players I'm matching constantly aren't really any worse than me, but for me anyway, that makes the low CSR gains even more frustrating because it feels like I still had to fight pretty hard to get that win, like if one thing had gone differently, a lower ranked player could've easily won, so to not really be rewarded for getting the win kinda sucks. It's definitely better than it was though, it just feels like before we were gaining way too much CSR even when we didn't perform well, but now we're not earning enough CSR even when we do perform well.

I also had a quick question about ranked Snipers (super stoked this is coming back by the way). Is this going to be a kind of featured ranked playlist only for the July-August season, or is it going to be permanent (assuming the population is high enough)? Sorry if that's a stupid question, it just seems like every time I see it mentioned, it's in relation to the upcoming season rather than making it sound permanent. Really hope enough people will play it so it can stick around, Snipers has always been one of my favorite playlists and I've definitely missed it.
Oh, as to your matching vs. higher players question, the problem we run into there is the higher up you go, the less players there are, and so when we do have higher players, we really try and get them into a higher match first.

This makes it really hard for us to find room for them in Plat matches unless there really are no higher ones around.
I played Halo for around 3 and a half hours today and had nine 3v4s. Three of them started as 3 versus 4, which is just completely unacceptable, and I was on the team w/ three for 6 of the games. I even had times where I had two 3v4s in a row. Matchmaking desperately needs to get fixed, because running into this type of completely broken matches makes people stop playing the game, and that's not even taking the ghost melees, blank shots, heavy aim, disappearing rockets, thrust melees, and server disconnects into account.

To improve matchmaking, first off, don't start a game as a 3v4; it's really that simple. Second, as the game developers, figure out a way to tell if somebody scrolled through their menu to press leave game/dashboarded out or just disconnected, and penalize the people who purposefully quit out much more. Third, provide more incentives to not quit out of matches, such as the way Halo Reach does it with credit rewards. Fourth, ban repeat offenders by IP/Xbox and not just account, so that they can't just hop on an alt or a smurf. Finally, if a player is quitting out of a designated competitive playlist, such as HCS, don't derank the people unfortunate enough to be on her/his team, unless they're in a fireteam.
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