A Way to Increase Playlist Quality Recent stats we’ve analyzed confirm something we’ve always expected. One of the strongest indicators of match quality for a given playlist is its current population. When the population goes up, so does quality, as population goes down, quality always goes down.
So ideally, we should keep as much of the population together as possible to give higher quality matchmaking to everyone.
For example, when we take a playlist, and split it between Ranked and Social, matchmaking quality ALWAYS goes down. We’ve never seen it improve doing this. Basically, the benefits of separating the two are almost always overcome by the reduced match quality. This is even more apparent in skilled playlists because the more important skill is to the gameplay, the higher the population you need for quality matchmaking.
One option I have some experience with in other games to alleviate this is instead of splitting a Ranked list, let players choose Ranked or Social, but matchmake them together. Those that match Social don’t have their Ranks or stats affected. The result is higher quality matchmaking for everyone. We can even adjust the MMR of Social players so we don’t put them on your team if they aren’t in “try hard” mode.
We could also have some lists be Ranked or Social only (e.g. HCS vs. Action Sack) when appropriate.
Downsides I’ve heard:
Anyways, this is an option I’m looking at in the future because it has greatly improved matchmaking quality in my experience. Let me know what you think.
- “I don’t want someone on my team who doesn’t care if they win or lose.” Besides the fact that people tend to still care even if they are playing Social, we could consider never putting Ranked and Social players on the same team.
- “Although Social players usually lean back and relax, sometimes they lean forward, resulting in them playing much better than expected and making the match imbalanced” I’ve heard this complaint, but rarely seen it happen in practice. Player performance doesn’t vary enough in stats to support this.
- “Ranked teams can convince Social ones to throw the game for free wins in Ranked” In games I’ve seen this option in, I haven’t noticed this having a large impact. But, to reduce the impact of this effect, we could make some playlists Ranked-only (e.g. HCS).
This is an interesting idea, but I find that people who want to play ranked, just want to play ranked. The problem with this type of system that you suggest that I see are,
- People will quit social matches right off the bat because they just want to play ranked
- People will quit to "home screen" as soon as they see they are playing social and not ranked and/or
- (and this may be the worst one) People get frustrated, bored etc. in getting social matches when they just want to play ranked games that they ultimately just quit the game (maybe for good...) and go play something else.
I don't mind playing social when I feel like playing social. I'll play a few social matches to warm up before going into ranked (like a lot of people do) but otherwise when I'm playing ranked, I want to just play ranked!! and in my experience other people are the same way. Now I know this isn't entirely the same, but I think it's applies. In Halo Reach and 4 I lost interest very quickly because there was no ranking system. I like the competitive nature that ranked brings. Those matches where your down and your team comes back to win the match....oh I love those games and the feelings they bring. After the match, you and friends are so excited from your victory and can't wait till that next match! .... but if we're in the system that your suggesting, what happens if we get a social match after our ranked match? I'll tell you.... it kills ALL momentum! Again, when I want to play ranked, I just want to play ranked! I'll admit though, and a little off topic, I always liked Just normal Team Slayer Ranked, more then HSC or MLG playlists. I just how there is more variety in weapons, power ups and most importantly maps!!! As of now, I still think the best option is separate ranked and social playlists.
Ultimately, if the product is Fun, Looks and Sounds amazing, and is complete from the get go AND all the main playlists are there at launch, people will buy your game and stay to play your game I feel. I just think having the main playlists that people have know and loved since Halo CE need to be in at launch. Trying new game modes is a great, like breakout for example but I feel those should be brought in later after the game has come out. Use the rotational playlists to test the community to see what people really like and what not. If something becomes popular enough, it gets it's own playlist in that halo game or future halo games aka like what happen to SWAT, Griftball etc. you know. Anyways, not trying to get off topic here, just trying to make a point :)
A other thought I've had is maybe some playlists need to be in Customs games and Customs browsers only though. Speciality type playlists you know..... and before anyone bites my head off remember, I'm just tossing idea's around, that's ALL! I don't know, just a though I've had floating around in my head.
In theory, I think the idea you suggested is a good one, but unless I'm not understanding something right, in reality I think it will frustrate people more then anything (The people who just want to play ranked mainly) I am curious though... you mentioned in your post that other games have used this style of system. What games are you talking about? I don't think I've ever played any game that uses this type of system, so I would be interested to see them.