Matchmaking Update - April 11

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Hello again, everyone! Today I wanted to talk about a behind the scenes change to our matchmaking systems that just went live with the 1.10 patch, but first I should take a step back and provide some background information.

As Jeff Kaplan noted in a recent post about smurfing, we do a decent job of quickly determining someone’s skill at playing Overwatch. The faster we can update your matchmaking rating (MMR) to match your “real” skill, the fewer unfair matches get created with a player with inaccurate skill. Another way to look at it is that when we’re incorrect at identifying someone’s skill, then win or loss streaks can occur. One of the tools we use to accelerate a player to their appropriate MMR is a multiplier to the rating change based upon these consecutive wins or losses.

While this streak multiplier has been working well in the “smurf” case, win or loss streaks can also just naturally occur when the matchmaking system has already properly identified skill. After all, the matchmaker is trying to place in you fair matches where you have a 50% chance to win. It’s rare, but sometimes you flip a coin 5 times and it lands on heads every time. So, when these natural streaks occur, the multiplier has been accelerating gains and losses away from your “true” skill. You end up having a larger variance in skill rating over time, which in turn hurts the overall quality of the matches.

Therefore, we’re changing the tuning of the streak multiplier to be quite a bit less aggressive. You now need to win or lose more games in a row before any multiplier is used, and it scales up at a slower pace. Furthermore, we will now try to only use the multiplier in cases where the matchmaking system has some confidence that the player’s MMR and skill are wildly mismatched. In cases of natural, random streaks, you ideally shouldn’t see any acceleration either up or down at all.

We’ll be monitoring how these changes affect overall match quality going forward, and continue to adjust tuning over time to improve the fairness and quality of Overwatch matches. Thanks for the continued feedback, and good luck in your matches!
Wow! This means that it will be harder for people like me on bronze to rise to higher ranks.

I also don't understand how it discourages smurfing.
What would you say if I told you I could predict when the coin is going to land on heads 5 times in a row?

I can definitely predict when a loss streak begins with about 90% accuracy, these are not natural.
So we're not all crazy?
stop with the 50/50 bs and make matchmaking with the same ranks, not that mixed bs
Highly Rated
thanks dad
Yay a change of no importance other than making it harder to climb ranks!
04/11/2017 07:32 PMPosted by IDFsniper
stop with the 50/50 bs and make matchmaking with the same ranks, not that mixed bs


Amen. You can examine the other sides ranks and see what this match is destined to be.
double post
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I think you are all misunderstanding the process. SR is related to but not equal to MMR. Before, when you went on a random win streak your MMR got inflated unnaturally high until you were no longer placed in true 50/50 matches because you were out matched. Since you were outmatched, then you went on a lose streak. This is what a lot of people have been complaining about, so we're not crazy. That was real. Thanks Scott!

It will be easier to rank up if your rank is deserved. Your hidden MMR will not fluctuate wildly placing you in matches you are certain to lose. You may rank up slower, no more 500SR gains followed by 500SR losses the next week with no real cause other than an algorithmic quirk.
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If you are good enough to get out of your rank you will do still do it normally, sure it's going to take a lot more to get that win streak to carry you there faster but at least you will get to where you belong. I'm glad there isn't going to be that one person who got lucky 5 times and got to plat just to come back the next day and still be silver or gold skills playing against plat or diamond people.
thank you! not only will this discourage six stacks but actually screech them to a halt in high elo.
Also can we please tweak the groups or remove them altogether at all groups I feel like they put to much pressure into matches sometimes whether you are a lonely person with a 5 man premade or being part of a group victimizing a non group member for their hero choice like a sniper.

Please it is already really bad to have a group in every single game.
Highly Rated
Thank you, Scott. This is a welcome change and I'm glad to see that you in the game design team are willing to recognize that there may have been a problem with the system and are making steps to see whether it can be improved on.
ELO system idealy balances games itself, if you gather ppl with the same ELO points the matches will be balanced, you dont need to add an algoritm that assures 50% win chance on it.

I can understand that you add it to "balance" those cases when for example a Plat member playing with a Silver friend (less than 1k elo diference) but that do not need to be balanced with a 50% win chance algoritm.

Same with the "party" thing. If you have, lets say a Quad-stack, you can be matched often with a teams with higher ELO overall, just because they do not have members in the same party. That does not help, and disencourage making partys with your friends, because the simple reason you party with somebody doesnt make your team much more coordinated, enemy team can use voice comms perfectly and you do not have much more advantage to be rated with ppl with more rating. As you climb ranks that's getting worse because more ppl uses team chat by default and have 3-4 friends in your team does not provide any huge advantage in front of an enemy team with lets say overall 100-200 more SR.

I hope you can keep improving the MM. Keep it up.
Would have been an epic April Fool's joke.

But thank you <3
What about smurfing? Jeff just said that smurfing wasn't as big a deal as people thought because this system was in place. But now the system is being scaled back dramatically, seemingly without any smurfing counter-measure, meaning smurfs will now stay at low ranks for longer? I think the more sensible fix is for the multiplier to be aggressive for new accounts, but reduced or disabled at higher levels.
Thank you so much, this was needed.
Highly Rated
ITT: People who didn't understand the post, complaining about how they can't climb from bronze other than a lucky winstreak.
So for example.. if a player has a high skill level, but is trapped in Bronze Solo Q, because they constantly get matched with awful team mates, what is the real effect of this?

Will I see a longer Queue time, but better match ups over all? (I'd be VERY VERY Ok with this)

Will this mean that diamond and platinum smurfs will be trapped down in Bronze hell, because they can't now "Rubber Band" back up to their old rank?

I have been struggling like mad to get the hell out of bronze, and every time I have had a senior rank player look at my game footage, they all say the same thing. Namely that while I have some improvement areas (we all do) there is no reason why I should be stuck in Bronze hell.

Then I get them to group with me on an alt account at my SR, and they see WHY I am stuck there. Being matched with HORRIBLE team mates, who troll, throw and flat out can't play to save their lives.

I really hope this new system fixes some of the horrifically one sided matches when people are in groups too.

We are all sick of trying to do the right thing, form a group and learn to play as a team, only to get matched with a team 500-900SR above us, and we get raped harder than Jon Voight in Deliverance.
04/11/2017 07:09 PMPosted by boundedseven
Wow! This means that it will be harder for people like me on bronze to rise to higher ranks.

I also don't understand how it discourages smurfing.


No.. but what this will do, is mean that consistently good players who win more than they lose, will not suffer the massive ups and downs.

It means you can play 10 games in a row and if you get say something like this

Win loss win win loss, loss loss loss win win.

You won't get punished as hard for the losing streak.

You have a 50% win/loss ratio..

Under the old system you would have got punished WAY harder for that loss streak, then under the new one.

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