Benevolent matchmaking, a myth, and a monster.

Competitive Discussion
It's always fun when people give game devs, and huge companies the benefit of the doubt, as if benevolence is the default state of entities who do work for money, and sell products for money, respectively.

Then you stumble upon a patent, which uses various algorithms to match players with others based on how likely they will be to buy things.

https://kotaku.com/activision-patents-matchmaking-that-encourages-players-1819630937


Now, this is an older tech, and the patent was only now granted, but hmm, I wonder if the matchmaker in this game, which is, by the way, also owned by the aforementioned company, could be utilizing matchmaking that does something equally as nefarious behind the scenes.

Overwatch matchmaking might not be trying to make us buy skins, (actually it might!) but hopefully this will make you think twice before you believe that matchmaker isn't grouping you with throwers, leavers, trolls, or 'forcing' loses and wins in some way.

It's not a magical pure mathematical entity. It's a code, written by people, for a purpose. That purpose is up to people that own it. And the people that own the code, are required to make more money this quarter for their shareholders than they did this time last year.

This really should be the nail in the coffin regarding this discussion, but it won't be. Any decent game dev will deny that they use this, or any variant of it, because here's the thing, even if they do, they want to make money, so they will have a bias and a justification in their own mind, and phrase the things their matchmaker does differently to maintain this justification.

It should be the nail in the coffin for forum trolls and elitists, because right here is proof you can make your matchmaker group people by literally any metric, no matter how insane it might sound. But it won't be, this will be forgotten and people will scream 'git gud.'

They could match you with people that scream the n-word the most often. They could match you with throwers if you win too much, they could match you with new players, they could match you with people that are known cheaters, they could do this because you have been reported a bunch, they could do this because you report others too much, or win too much, or win on certain maps too often, or play Widowmaker too much. Maybe it matches top 500 players, and known streamers with easy wins so they more easily maintain their SR, prompting their 'get gud' posts here. They could do it for no reason.

They could do it. Period.
I agree with you buddy. While I don't feel thats truly whats going on behind the scenes in OW (I sure hope not) I do feel like its the consumers duty to always be wary and hard on multi-billion dollar companies. I feel like Blizzard has honestly lost their way tho. Instead of making great games and getting profits in return, they instead focus on profits by making mass appeal games. They're officially a money driven company. And they have adopted a casual mindset in their games...not because thats what makes fun games but because they know casual = mass appeal = more $$$$

I feel their only saving grace they have right now is Overwatch and Starcraft 2. Heroes of the storm flopped, it can't touch league or dota 2 and never will.

Diablo 3 was such a horrid launch and the casual aspect added to a dungeon crawler made it too much to bear. It was sad really, cause Diablo 2 much more complex than D3, its a joke. Not to mention a dungeon crawler should never be on a !@#$ing console. Gotta make sure you dumb it down enough to be able to play it on a controller right blizz??

Now I did throw major cash at the indie company GGG for making Path of Exile. They did so much better than Blizzard with such a smaller budget. Plus they pump your money right back into the game with skins and expansions. Commendable.

And with OW...its AGAIN plagued by a casual mindset. This is totally fine and it works for a hero shooter...but to keep it all casual like in your competitive mode? F that! Get off your asses and stop chit chatting in your "war room" and start adding needed features that should have been added by S2.
Yeah, I don't ~really~ think matchmaker is deliberately making people lose, like if I had to make it a yes, or a no choice.

But I have no real compelling reasons to believe it doesn't, it's just lingering naivete and faith in a company that makes games I like.
If they are able to then yes they probably are matching people by parameters. The player base then develops this paranoia and doesn't think their performance matters eventually. It's funny how one can steam roll their placements only to lose 10 afterwards and be right back at .500... 3 of which were due to leavers and 2 to toxic and uncooperative teammates. .500 the almighty number.
10/17/2017 06:09 PMPosted by BMFK
and be right back at .500

?? Pretty sure the lowest rank is 1. How did you manage to get to .5?
If they are able to then yes they probably are matching people by parameters. The player base then develops this paranoia and doesn't think their performance matters eventually. It's funny how one can steam roll their placements only to lose 10 afterwards and be right back at .500... 3 of which were due to leavers and 2 to toxic and uncooperative teammates. .500 the almighty number.

10/17/2017 06:13 PMPosted by emberfly
10/17/2017 06:09 PMPosted by BMFK
and be right back at .500

?? Pretty sure the lowest rank is 1. How did you manage to get to .5?


.500 is a win ratio, like a batting average. 50%
10/17/2017 06:08 PMPosted by Okay
Yeah, I don't ~really~ think matchmaker is deliberately making people lose, like if I had to make it a yes, or a no choice.

But I have no real compelling reasons to believe it doesn't, it's just lingering naivete and faith in a company that makes games I like.
One thing thats been bothering me lately (dont truly believe this, crossed my mind tho of course) is I just happened to be on my 100th level when the Halloween terror event started so I was in a good position to start gaining loot boxes fast once I got reset back to 1500 exp for another level up.

I was also getting close to my season high and was climbing nicely. Soon as I got back to 1500 exp a level up, I went on a horrid losing streak. Dropped all the way down to bronze, there went my quick way to earn halloween boxes :/

Of course this is prolly just a coincidence I hope? Still like I said, always be wary of multi-billion dollar companies, can never really trust them when their driving force is $$$$$
I don't think anyone will argue with you that it's possible for this to happen. The only thing that doesn't back it up would be the data.

Why acktuversion was granted this patent is beyond me. The concept for matching "premium" customers together is not a new idea.

What I would argue you about is whether or not the matchmaker puts people together, in this game, based on that. If that were the case, it would go against the assertment of quick matchmaking made by the developers. Personally, There doesn't appear to be any separation between the length of queue for me, who has not bought lootboxes, and a family member of mine who has.

If anything it's like the low priority queue from LoL.
So in essence I can avoid getting noobs on my team by just never using skins anymore?

Seems worth an experiment next season then.
Let me know when my loot boxes influence my gameplay.

ITT: People who didn't read/understand the article posted.

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