This is how the matchmaker works in Overwatch

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06/21/2016 08:53 AMPosted by Blackburne
06/21/2016 08:50 AMPosted by FuB
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This is probably the tltr response to most people complaining about MMR.

Love the game so far, would love to see the competitive mode soon.

Question:
If I queue as a solo in competitive mode, what are the odds that I will be playing with/against 11 other solo Q players?


I think it's very high. And in Competitive it will show if players are grouped together I believe.


It is imperative that solo q is reserved for solo queuers. Facing a stack of 6 as a solo player should not be a thing ever.
@Jeff,

All of these factors clear up a lot of confusion both the community and myself have been debating about for so long. It's good to see a solid confirmation that MMR does take multiple things into account.

One factor I think the machine can't factor in is if a player has the knowledge of how to counter an enemy team comp. Like you said in the post, your match went from being stopped at the train cars to being untouchable. Most likely the enemy team couldn't figure out how to counter you or didn't swap heroes at all.
Well that post has officially destroyed my belief of the 50% locked win-rate system being a thing but I still don't like being stomped. >_<
06/21/2016 08:29 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan
second to last paragraph answers your question. tl;dr - we're removing that system


Are there any plans to do anything about toxic players then? I personally only used 'avoid' to get rid of people that asked me to get cancer and die or various other things kids say on the internet these days. Frankly, that is not what I play overwatch for. I want a fun, casual experience, not have angry teens yell in my ear or type at me in all caps.

While I appreciate that the system was bad for the best widowmaker player in the world, is that really representative of the general population? What about my experience playing the game? And, judging by various forums and reddit, I'm not the only one who doesn't want toxic players in their game. What about us?
Sad to see the 'Avoid Player' option go; I was using it for especially toxic players. Oh well!
Hey Jeff, does leaving a game prematurely (getting disconnected and/or intentionally abandoning) affect your MMR?


Which brings us to the next factor that we match on: grouping. The majority of our matches are comprised of either all solo players or solo players and players grouped with one other person. However, the system does try to match groups of equal sizes together first and foremost. As the time people wait grows, we expand the search to try to find others for them to play with. This means that occasionally we will match groups with players who are not grouped or in a group size that is smaller than their own. Like I mentioned, this is exceedingly rare but can happen. And that match is only made when players have crossed a waiting threshold that we deem too long. For most group matches a group of 6 is placed against another group of 6.

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I'm curious as to why Blizzard designed a group-based game when the majority of the matches are comprised of solo players.

Not trying to ruffle feathers; legitimately curious as to the game design process.
Thank you for that excellent post!

Is there any chance of letting some of these matchmaking details show up player-side? It sounds like you're working with a huge amount of data and I know a few people (including myself) would love to poke through those numbers for fun.
06/21/2016 09:01 AMPosted by Cyanerd
It is imperative that solo q is reserved for solo queuers. Facing a stack of 6 as a solo player should not be a thing ever.

Sometimes two stacks of 6 players simply aren't available. That means at least one Solo Queue guy is going to get put into a team with a group of 5 VS a group of 6. That's just how it is.
Its just doesnt work well, thats all there is to say and you can see from looking at the forums. I cant remember ever any game causing such frustration via matchmaking as OW. Might have to look again as how you define good/bad players, since factors you take in account to group them together clearly arent too accurate.

Most frustration comes not from facing stronger enemies, but inadequate composition of own team.
06/21/2016 08:20 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan
As a result, we’ve disabled the Avoid system (the UI will go away in an upcoming patch).


Well, at least stealth changes have been confirmed. As for this specifically, it's true that it sucks being a good player with a certain hero and getting avoided, on the other hand you're opening the door to the flood of trolls and forcing people to play with them when you don't want to. I'm sorry, but when the majority of people use the system as intended it shouldn't outweigh the minority who abuse the system. May as well take out the entire report system while you're at it.
But this game, from my experience, has more stomps than any fps I can remember. No, I don't have numbers. Sure it's goal oriented but so were other fps.
Great Great post
Definitely appreciate the whole post on MM. Wasn't one of the conspiracy theorists, thought it was fair, but it's interesting to hear how it rolls. Now unless the forums background image becomes Jeff's post and that it doesn't automatically pop up as a ad when you click on any MMR related post, then the forums will sadly continue to propagate teh darkest of conspiracies
06/21/2016 08:20 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan

For example, we recently realized that “Avoid this player” was wreaking havoc on matchmaking. One of the best Widowmaker players in the world complained to us about long queue times. We looked into it and found that hundreds of other players had avoided him (he’s a nice guy – they avoided him because they did not want to play against him, not because of misbehavior). The end result was that it took him an extremely long time to find a match. The worst part was, by the time he finally got a match, he had been waiting so long that the system had “opened up” to lower skill players. Now one of the best Widowmaker players was facing off against players at a lower skill level. As a result, we’ve disabled the Avoid system (the UI will go away in an upcoming patch).


Please, please, for the sanity of we who loathe playing with toxic players as teammates, leave some form of the Avoid/Prefer system. To address the above situation, the player could maybe be placed on the opposing team?
06/21/2016 08:20 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan
This means that occasionally we will match groups with players who are not grouped or in a group size that is smaller than their own. Like I mentioned, this is exceedingly rare but can happen. And that match is only made when players have crossed a waiting threshold that we deem too long. For most group matches a group of 6 is placed against another group of 6.


Can you share statistics on Group versus smaller-groups and/or solo players? Other than that they are a "minority" of matches involving groups?

06/21/2016 08:20 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan

There are many factors that are beyond our control that add noise to the matchmaking system.

    • Leavers are extremely disruptive

    • Players vary wildly in their skill with different heroes. We have no clue which of the 21 heroes you are going to play during a match




Any plans to further mitigate the above issues? Such as harsher penalties for abandoning matches, fixed hero role queuing, etc (but not necessarily those sort of ideas).

06/21/2016 08:20 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan

So this brings me to some thoughts I’ve been having about Overwatch. While this whole post has been mostly my personal thoughts – this next part is “especially” my thoughts and not reflective of the team or the company’s POV.

For better or for worse, we focused the design of the game on winning or losing as a team. OW is not a game where you ignore the map objectives and then look at your K/D ratio to determine how good you are. We want you to focus on winning or losing and as a result you do focus on winning or losing. We tried to make it so that losing isn’t the end of the world, but to a lot of people they expect to win far much more than they lose. I sometimes wonder if we were able to clone you 11 times and then put you in a match with and against yourself, would you be happy with the outcome? Even if you lost? Out of the 5 types of matches I described above, it is my belief that you would still experience types 1-4. Are those “stomps” still not acceptable? Because they will happen…


Are game play flow / design changes off the table, then? If the root cause of some proportion of "type 1/4" games isn't the matchmaker but indeed just Overwatch's design, is that ideal for a player's experience, especially in more casual modes?

Or, alternatively, is Blizzard looking at additional ways to assist players in Quickplay matches to prevent those circumstances (while keeping a match "fair" of course)?

Thanks for reading and/or feedback!

Groups are a big challenge in our matchmaking system.

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We feel that it’s the best way to play the game.

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I once used the analogy of hanging out with people on a Saturday night. If you were to go out with five of your friends it would probably be a better time than if we tried to find 5 random people for you to go out with, no matter how smart we were in our selection process…


Love the post, except for this one little bit here that makes me sad.

I don't think grouping is the "best" way to play; I think it's a wildly different game than solo q. Solo q is by nature more chaotic, which is considered "bad" in the abstract, but it actually has a bunch of fun elements to it. You can be more opportunistic. When you get teamwork, it's emergent and feels better. You see a lot more different styles of play and learn more about each character.

The Saturday night analogy is kind of bad. If you're just killing time doing nothing, then of course killing time with buddies is better. But if you're actually trying to do something - even if it's something fun, like playing basketball or maybe Overwatch - then meeting a bunch of new people who can do that thing at roughly the same level as me is more fun.

Maybe it's just me, though. None of my IRL friends play video games.

TL;DR: @Jeff, please don't discount the value of solo q. It's a different game, not a worse one.
Jeff, any thoughts on not showing level over everyone's portrait?

The #1 complaint I see over and over again is "The level between teams was so massive, match making is totally broken!".

This is a case where they could educate themselves, but honestly I think it's misleading UI design to display a number and an increasingly fancy border that has absolutely nothing to do with MMR.
As a computer engineer student this is so interesting to read. Seems like matchmaking system is way more complicated than I thougt. Thanks to bring this posts up to the community. Jeff is love, Jeff is life.

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