Why Handicapping (MMR) is Wrong for Competitive Play

Competitive Discussion
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Edit: Alright it seems your post was deleted lol
02/14/2018 08:03 AMPosted by Cuthbert
02/13/2018 10:44 AMPosted by Quarters
Your claims come from willful misinterpretations of Blizzard statements, especially the Scott Mercer reply to another player asking about messed up solo/group mixes in a set of games.


My argument does not misinterpret Mercer's words. Overwatch's own developers have told us that they are using Match Making Rating to handicap Competitive Games. That is unnacceptable. You are defending the wrong position.


Your argument absolutely does misinterpret Mercer's words. Overwatch's own developers have told you that they use MMR because MMR is your SR without factoring in inactivity decay. Whether you want to believe it or not, in general you are as good as your teammates and opponents are unless you prove otherwise.
02/14/2018 11:23 AMPosted by Collater333
Edit: Alright it seems your post was deleted lol

I assume you're referring to my post. I realized just after posting that I wasn't really contributing to anything with my post so while I might not have agreed with your previous post I decided to just leave it at that :)
02/14/2018 11:54 AMPosted by Quarters
Your argument absolutely does misinterpret Mercer's words.


If that is what you really think, then let's talk about it.

02/14/2018 11:54 AMPosted by Quarters
Overwatch's own developers have told you that they use MMR because MMR is your SR without factoring in inactivity decay.


1) That's a lie. Overwatch's developers have never written specifically to me, or addressed my argument about handicapping.

2) Many other skeptics of this thread have tried to suggest that SR and MMR are "the same number." But we have no reason to believe that Match Making Rating (MMR) is even a *single number,* the way SR is. Nobody can see their MMR, so we don't know.

3) Please provide a link, because I'm happy to keep talking about this. But I want us to be on the same page. There's no point debating the meaning of developer posts without references.

In general you are as good as your teammates and opponents.


Not true. The reason I came to this forum and posted about this issue is the vastness of difference in skill/experience that I see between individual players, at every level of the SR system.

The reason the game has become so frustrating for long term players is that there is no impartial matchmaking system, so we are not getting ranked objectively based on the win/lose result of our games. That is what players expect, and Competitive Overwatch does not deliver.
Poster 1: It does this!
poster 2: No it doesn't.
poster 1: yes it does look at this!

poster 3: yeah you idiot how can you not see it?
Poster 4: LOUD NOISES!
poster 5: RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!!!!

Rinse and repeat for 45 pages.
This is what happens when you hide systems from players and use voodoo to create matches. It creates conspiracy theories and affects the way people play.

Scrap the entire MMR system.

The MM looks at your SR and finds 11 other people at that number, then throws you into a match, period. X amount per win, X amount per lose.

If you're a true SR 2000 player and you go on a losing streak down to 1500. (leavers, throwers, drunk, whatever)
You are now playing at a skill lvl 500 points above everyone else, which means you will win more then you lose and will climb back to your true SR.

The reverse it true for climbing. Maybe you got on a team with a good 5 man and you won 6 games in a row. Maybe the other team had the leavers, throwers...
Either way you are playing above your true SR and will eventually lose more then you win and drop back to 2000.

However, if you work hard and actually improve, now your true SR has gone up and so will the spot you rotate around.

Based on nothing more then that one visible number, you will eventually shake out to your actual skill level.
This is literally the only thing the MM has to do to properly place people.
MMR works as intended and has for years. The system they have implicated is very similar to the WoW arena system that has been in place for a long time, and i have extensive knowledge of.

MMR works for or against you, depending on a number of factors (especially being above or below diamond. I can give you multiple examples as to why they use the system they do, and why not being able to climb is not the systems fault.

Below diamond - The system will calculate a hidden MMR based upon win/loss (Win streaks impact it hugely) crossed with how well you do. This is why if you win multiple in a row, you will suddenly be queued with ranks much higher than you. This will result in little loss, and higher earnings when you lose/win a game. I've seen games where i was queued with an average team rating that was 300 higher than my current SR. The reverse is also true, if you start losing heaps it will drop your MMR below you and start placing you with a lower "average team rating".

Above diamond - Solely based upon win/loss, but the same principle applies.

So what impact does this have on SR and why not just use SR? Because using hidden MMR actually makes your SR much more stable (hard to believe i know). What it means is if you do well, you will find it easier to climb, and if you have a loss streak, the game will try to hold you to your current SR. How? Ill show you.

lets take a number below diamond to use as an example based on rank 2000:

I win multiple in a row and do really well, i will start to see the average team rank at 2500 pretty quickly. This means i will be gaining quite a lot per win, and not lose too much per loss. The net result is a faster climb. Now you lose 1 or 2 games in that climb, your hidden MMR will still be much higher than your SR, so overall you will climb. This is even more heavily impacted if you do well vs the average person playing that hero, at that rank. Now keep in mind that the bigger the gap gets on a win streak, technically the harder it will be for you. So that is why people say "i had a big win streak now i get a loss streak" what is happening (on average) is you are not quite cutting it at the rank, and as a result you start to drop.

I keep losing? Eventually the hidden MMR will drop below your SR, meaning the system is saying you are currently ranked higher than what you should. Now how does this directly impact SR? It means the total opposite for the above, you will start to lose more than you gain per game until the MMR corrects itself. However what it also will do is put you as the higher ranked SR for the team. So if you are 500 SR rating above the hidden MMR and therefore team SR rating? It gives you more of an opportunity to carry yourself out of the rut.

The net result means the SR is much more stable after a decent amount of games has been played. You will notice it will be quite volatile for the first few games of each season, as the more you play the less MMR will fluctuate. Personally i have gone up and down by up to 600 rating at the start of the season. By the end of the season i usually end up at about the same spot.

TL;DR MMR is important when it comes to rank fluctuation and the ability to climb/drop when needed. Averaging out leavers/throwers means they realistically have no impact on your overall rank (as say there is a 50% chance of it happening to you, probs lower than that but still). So it solely comes down to your performance to climb. This system has been in place for years, and as been designed by people that know what they are doing. Basically the old saying of "Git gud" applies if im brutally honest. The system is designed to help you.
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20760857618#post-2

Lmao. You guys twist facts to try to make the game change, and make the devs seem bad. Reference the post above to see the other side of the arguement
02/14/2018 01:24 PMPosted by Cuthbert
Not true. The reason I came to this forum and posted about this issue is the vastness of difference in skill/experience that I see between individual players, at every level of the SR system.

I climbed from silver to my peak in master. What I have learned is that you are only as good as your teammates, and YOU need to improve in order to climb. Actually try to play well instead of making the system change around you.
02/14/2018 03:42 PMPosted by TheLegend27
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20760857618#post-2

Lmao. You guys twist facts to try to make the game change, and make the devs seem bad. Reference the post above to see the other side of the arguement


Kaawumba ignores counter 'evidence' blue quotes, and cherry picks his data and claims it all as fact. Do not trust that post as it is simply biased. The two main components he comes back to are SR isn't used (it is, we just don't know how) and that mmr can only go up on a win (which we don't know either). Everything else he shows does not relate to potential handicapping.
02/14/2018 03:24 PMPosted by Anfanee
MMR works as intended and has for years. The system they have implicated is very similar to the WoW arena system that has been in place for a long time, and i have extensive knowledge of.

Funny, others in this thread have said it's not the same when arguing against a post... yall should sort that out.

MMR works for or against you, depending on a number of factors (especially being above or below diamond. I can give you multiple examples as to why they use the system they do, and why not being able to climb is not the systems fault.

Never said it was, but all this system does is muddy the waters and allow people to try to influence their MMR.

Below diamond - The system will calculate a hidden MMR based upon win/loss (Win streaks impact it hugely) crossed with how well you do. This is why if you win multiple in a row, you will suddenly be queued with ranks much higher than you.
I've seen games where i was queued with an average team rating that was 300 higher than my current SR. The reverse is also true, if you start losing heaps it will drop your MMR below you and start placing you with a lower "average team rating".

This is exactly why the system doesn't work. I couldn't have given a better example.
So just because i won a few matches suddenly i'm facing people 300 higher then me when i should be facing people the exact amount resulting in another even match. If i gained 65 SR from winning a few matches why on earth would i suddenly face people 300 higher?

TL;DR MMR is important when it comes to rank fluctuation and the ability to climb/drop when needed. Averaging out leavers/throwers means they realistically have no impact on your overall rank (as say there is a 50% chance of it happening to you, probs lower than that but still). So it solely comes down to your performance to climb.


You can remove the MMR system and it still comes down to your performance. The only difference is we'll know exactly why we're winning and losing / rising and falling.
There will be no attempts to "play the system", no vast conspiracy threads. Just hard, fast numbers.
02/14/2018 06:00 PMPosted by ForceComdr
Never said it was, but all this system does is muddy the waters and allow people to try to influence their MMR.


"muddy the waters"? what does that even mean? the only way you influence your MMR is by playing well/bad. That is literally the point of MMR. It is there to help players correct to a "true rank" faster. Eventually it evens out when the hidden MMR matches (very closely) your true SR.

02/14/2018 06:00 PMPosted by ForceComdr
This is exactly why the system doesn't work. I couldn't have given a better example.
So just because i won a few matches suddenly i'm facing people 300 higher then me when i should be facing people the exact amount resulting in another even match. If i gained 65 SR from winning a few matches why on earth would i suddenly face people 300 higher?


Why shouldn't you be facing higher people because you are on a win streak? If you are placed hugely below where you should be ranked, wouldn't you like the ability to carry yourself out of that rank? That is the point of MMR, it is to stop ruts. Forget that you are playing with people 300 higher, that is the system saying "based on current performance, you should be ranked 300 higher". Let alone i used that as an example, usually it isn't that volatile, i was just using it to show a point. If you didn't have that, it would literally take all season to climb a tier ladder....

02/14/2018 06:00 PMPosted by ForceComdr
You can remove the MMR system and it still comes down to your performance. The only difference is we'll know exactly why we're winning and losing / rising and falling.
There will be no attempts to "play the system", no vast conspiracy threads. Just hard, fast numbers.


yeah that's all well and good. Except you don't have the ability to climb without a variable system. Even with a 60% win rate it will take all season to climb a tier without it. The whole point of MMR is to make it faster to move to the "correct" rank you should be at.

Stop cherry picking what i said apart, and stop and think why they might have used that system. You are literally complaining about something that was implemented to help the skill tiers even out and be more accurate.
Anfanee, your posts indicate you:

1) believe handicapping is happening

2) believe this is a good thing

3) need to be supplied definitions of idioms

4) you like beating dead horses that are so dead they have been addressed 40 pages ago as dead horses

Just so we understand:

1) If mm is making you play games that put you against harder or easier opponents than other people are playing at your exact sr by design, then by design that is handicapping.

2) this is not a good thing, it is the exact opposite. Your argument about "60% winrate to climb a rank a season" also goes against those documented with no climbing with a similar winrate in the current system.

3) muddying the waters is an idiom describing obfuscation of a situation so as to cause confusion, possibly with the intent of discord.

4) I've been trying to give that horse a burial for months now and guys like you just won't let me. Let it go gracefully, I beg you.
You kids and your pseudo intellectual bickering.
The Universe never needed help in evening out the fields why would you even assume meddling of any sort is a good thing...
Matchmaking is the devil and Blizzards is the most vile attempt at "customer control" I've ever seen. I want to spit in their faces.
Alright, let's take this apart one point at a time.

02/14/2018 08:03 PMPosted by Jorlan

1) If mm is making you play games that put you against harder or easier opponents than other people are playing at your exact sr by design, then by design that is handicapping.

2) this is not a good thing, it is the exact opposite. Your argument about "60% winrate to climb a rank a season" also goes against those documented with no climbing with a similar winrate in the current system.

3) muddying the waters is an idiom describing obfuscation of a situation so as to cause confusion, possibly with the intent of discord.

4) I've been trying to give that horse a burial for months now and guys like you just won't let me. Let it go gracefully, I beg you.


02/14/2018 08:03 PMPosted by Jorlan

1) If mm is making you play games that put you against harder or easier opponents than other people are playing at your exact sr by design, then by design that is handicapping.


When it puts you against harder or easier opponents, it adjusts your SR gain/loss accordingly. KEY POINT: IT MAKES MATCHES WITH THE ASSUMPTION YOUR CURRENT MMR (and by extension, SR, since they are generally very closely tied) IS ACCURATE. (really extreme) example: your SR is 2000, but your MMR is 2150 and you are being matched with 2150's. However, you play like a 2300 player. It will match you with 2150 players, but since you are legitimately a better player than everyone else, you will likely win. If you don't you will lose less SR since your MMR is higher than your SR. Maybe now you're saying "Hey, what if I was being matched with 2300s where I belong, but I'm only at 50% winrate now because matches are balanced most of the time?" This is why SR gains are much larger and losses much smaller, exactly so that it can put you in a higher game while still getting you to 2300 (or whatever SR)

02/14/2018 08:03 PMPosted by Jorlan

2) this is not a good thing, it is the exact opposite. Your argument about "60% winrate to climb a rank a season" also goes against those documented with no climbing with a similar winrate in the current system.


It is a very good thing. If it matched solely on SR, you would effectively be smurfing until you climbed to your true rank. With MMR, you can climb while still being placed in matches with your true rank. Or, the opposite, if you placed too high, you would ruin games until you dropped to your true skill.

02/14/2018 08:03 PMPosted by Jorlan

3) muddying the waters is an idiom describing obfuscation of a situation so as to cause confusion, possibly with the intent of discord.


He knows this, he is saying "what does that even mean?" because it doesn't apply to this context. I believe he was wondering if you were using it in a different way or something.

02/14/2018 08:03 PMPosted by Jorlan

4) I've been trying to give that horse a burial for months now and guys like you just won't let me. Let it go gracefully, I beg you.


We're beating a dead horse just as much as you guys constantly spamming DAE MATCHMAKING IS RIGGED AND ITS WHY IM STUCK IN [low rank] REEEEEEEEE.

And another reminder that all you guys need is ten or so solid games of you reaching a career high then getting these supposed terrible, bronze-like teammates, while you are playing at or above your SR.
02/15/2018 03:37 AMPosted by tetsu
You kids and your pseudo intellectual bickering


The audience of this thread has some kids I'm sure, but many are adults. And all of us are entitled to intellectual self respect. It's not our fault that this conversation is so fraught with uncertaintly. It's Blizzard's fault for basing the discussion on dishonest terms and incomplete information, thereby excluding Overwatch's playerbase from discussing the game's design.
02/14/2018 02:47 PMPosted by ForceComdr

This is what happens when you hide systems from players and use voodoo to create matches. It creates conspiracy theories and affects the way people play.


Actually, it's people like you who believe in voodoo and has zero understanding of statistical theories who make conspiracy theories, not the other way around.
02/15/2018 08:43 AMPosted by tnucreggin
Actually, it's people like you who believe in voodoo and has zero understanding of statistical theories who make conspiracy theories, not the other way around.


Many supporters of my argument have characterized the Match Making Rating (MMR) system as voodoo. Obviously they don't mean this literally. And figurative use of the term is appropriate because MMR is an ill-defined, nebulous system that none of us completely understand even though most players *believe* in it.

Players believe Competitive Play is governed by a fair, impartial matchmaking and ranking system. Because of MMR/handicapping, that belief is untrue.

"When you believe in things that you don't understand
Then you suffer
Superstition ain't the way"

-- Stevie Wonder
Provoxin, try again without any reference to climbing, SR gains, and that "mmr = sr" claim that is based off a quote that says "generally SR chases mmr".

You too have just said handicapping occurs and that it is good. No match in a competitive game should be trying to move you somewhere, you should be doing it naturally on your own skill.

Edit: fixed an error, and want to point out that the idea that you play above/below your SR if your mmr is out of whack contradicts their own point that mmr = sr, so the entire example is just a random straw clutch anyway.
Provoxin knows what's up.

There are multiple reasons as to why they have gone the way they have. Blizzard literally have what? coming up 12 years worth of active arena experience? Then you also take into account literally every other game that uses this system... And you guys think you instantly know better because "reasons"?

Literally yet to see a solid reason not to use the MMR system. Most people against it have just said "it's handicapping, which is bad" which it isn't technically but whatever. I'm yet to see someone give a valid reasons as to why the MMR system doesn't work, pretty much everything in OPs post is hearsay that shows a lack of understanding as to not only how the system works, but why it works the way it does.

The main purpose of a MMR system is to create even distribution across competitive ranks. SR solely based competitive what OP wants to use this model the ranks would have to be MUCH closer (like 100 or so SR per rank). It would also throw the bell curve out hugely as it is proven that system is very hard to climb. You would have people complaining left, right, and centre that they spend an entire season to climb and l lose weeks worth of work in 1 bad night. It would also make the ranks a heap more volatile. Basically you would have 80% of your player base within a very close rank, because of the difficulty to move in the competitive ladder, which then makes matchmaking a complete nightmare. The end result would be a complete cluster !@#$ of gold players being put with effectively master players.

The fact is i can't think of a competitive game that uses this system. The closest you get is probably CS:GO, but there are some massive gameplay differences that prove why that system will not work in a game like overwatch (the main one being you can hard carry yourself). Even then CS uses MMR as well.... It's just a little more subtle.

Why do they use MMR? To assist in ladder movement and even player distribution. It rewards people who play well, and makes it easier for good players to climb, whilst also making it easier for players to drop when needed. In spreads the player base out much faster, which means that you get a much more accurate and linear rank distribution. Players don't see a massive jump in skill in a short amount of time. Anyone that blames an MMR system for not being able to climb is talking crap, and blaming a system for their short falls. As again, it is used in literally every competitive game i can think of. People complaining that the MMR system isn't fair, that is literally the reason why we use it, to make it fairer for players.

I suppose my main question for people.... IF you couldn't see you SR rating (so only the league you are in)... Would you care that MMR is used?
02/15/2018 11:43 AMPosted by Cuthbert
"When you believe in things that you don't understand
Then you suffer
Superstition ain't the way"

-- Stevie Wonder

Says an English major about a statistical system that he understand so little about that he scratches his head when introduced to the idea of a statistical bellcurve.

Do you not understand the concept of irony and hypocrisy?

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