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  1. #1

    Performance Based Matchmaking

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

    As mentioned in the BlizzCon 2017 opening ceremony, and during our “What’s Next” panel, we will soon be introducing performance-based matchmaking to Heroes of the Storm. With this change, your matchmaking rating (MMR) adjustments will be influenced based on your individual performance in the match instead of being purely based on whether you won or lost. We’ve broken down some details of the new system below, along with a short FAQ. Read on for details:

    What’s Changing and Why:
    In our current system, an individual player’s Matchmaking Rating (MMR) is primarily determined by the amount of games that player wins versus how many the player loses. When you win a game, your MMR goes up, while the opposite is true for when you lose. In addition to that basic rule, your MMR will go up more, or less, based on the comparative skill of both yours and the opposite team. If the enemy team has a higher MMR than your team, you’ll gain more points for defeating them and lose less if they win. The opposite applies to enemy teams that have a lower MMR. *However, the team-focused nature of Heroes presents challenges when using this system to determine an individual player’s matchmaking rating, since any single player is only 1 part of the 5-man team that won or lost the match. The system works since, all things being equal, a player will win more games than they lose over the long run if their skill is higher than other players at the same rank. However, unless the difference is significant, it can take a significant number of games before the difference in wins vs losses adjusts the player’s MMR enough to match their true skill level.

    With performance-based matchmaking, we’re looking to change that. Let’s take a look at how we’re planning to make matchmaking more accurate and better able to recognize individual skill in a team-based game:


    How it Works:

    Once we introduce performance-based matchmaking in the near future, our system will look at how well the individuals in a match are performing and use this to aid in calculating their MMR adjustments for the match. The system will apply context to these stats by looking at the Hero you’re playing, the Battleground you’re on, the game mode, and what region you’re playing in so it can make fair comparisons against other similarly skilled players under the same conditions. Our goal with this system is not to define a specific playstyle for each hero, since we are never manually setting which stats are considered important, but rather to let our machine-learning driven system define importance and weighting for stats based on millions of games of data. By looking at these stats across the entire player base, the system can see which stats are most important for effective play and create a data-driven model of what the most highly-skilled players are doing in any given situation.

    What differentiates a highly skilled player on a given Hero isn’t always obvious, though. For example:
    • When looking at a Hero like Illidan, it’s pretty straight forward. A good Illidan does a fair amount of damage, soaks a lot of experience, doesn’t die very often, and captures a lot of Mercenary camps. Illidan has a fairly high skill ceiling, though, so we expect there to be a sizeable difference in all of those stats between a highly-skilled Illidan and an average one.
    • However, for a hero like Kerrigan, the difference in raw stats like damage and experience between a high skill and average skill player isn’t quite as dramatic. Instead, the biggest thing that sets apart a highly skilled Kerrigan is how effective they are in landing crowd control effects, so the system would put a larger emphasis on this stat for Kerrigan players. She’s still being evaluated on all the same stats as every other hero, though, so a Kerrigan who spends the game only attempting to land stuns would not necessarily gain the same amount of MMR, as they would need to also contribute to the game in a meaningful way on top of landing lots of CC.

    The system can then use an individual player’s performance to adjust how much MMR the player gains, or loses, for a game. If they’re performing beyond expectations for their current MMR, the system will grant more MMR when they win, subtract less when they lose, and they’ll more quickly arrive at the proper MMR for their skill. The opposite is also true if they’re not performing up to expectations.


    FAQ
    • What is MMR?
      • MMR stands for Matchmaking Rating. In order for the matchmaker to place similarly skilled players together, it assigns everyone a matchmaking rating that indicates how skilled the system thinks the player is. MMR is a behind-the-scenes stat that is only used for matchmaking.
    • What if a Hero is updated and the “right” way to play them changes?
      • The system is fully dynamic and continually updating itself, so it automatically adjusts as balance changes, the meta shifts, and players find creative, new ways to use a hero.
    • If I perform really well, can I gain MMR while losing the game with this new system?
      • No. Winning or losing is still the primary factor in whether you gain or lose MMR so you still only gain MMR on a win and lose it on a loss. The performance-based adjustments just affect how much MMR you gain or lose.
    • Couldn’t you abuse the system by ignoring everything except those few crucial weighted stats?
      • While some stats are weighted higher than others to reflect their importance in that situation, every stat is evaluated as part of the performance calculation. If you’re focusing entirely on a few stats at the expense of others, your overall performance metric is likely to be lower. Also, you still need to win the game to gain MMR. If you’re maintaining all stats at their normal levels for your level of play, excelling at a few key stats, and winning the game, that means you’re actually doing what’s required to be the most efficient, effective version of your current hero. Good job!
    • If I’m losing a game, my stats are usually lower already. How does the system avoid double penalizing me for both losing and having lower stats?
      • The comparisons to determine how well you performed are different for winning games versus losing games.
    • Will this cause players to intentionally make games take longer so they can pad their stats?
      • All stat comparisons take game time into account so there’s no advantage for a game that goes long and no disadvantage for one that wraps up quickly.
    • Who determines which stats are important for any particular situation?
      • The community does by playing the game. The system doesn’t have any preconceptions about which stats are important. Instead, it is measuring how players are playing in particular situations in order to determine which stats are most important to highly skilled play.
    • How does the system work for a new hero or after a hero is reworked?
      • The performance-based aspect of the system will be disabled initially when a new hero launches or after a hero receives a major rework to allow the system to gather the data it needs to make performance comparisons. During this period, the system will effectively work like it used to with MMR adjustment based on win or loss.
    • This system is affecting my MMR, but how will this translate into my rank in Hero League or Team League?
      • We’ll be introducing a Performance Adjustment to the amount of rank points you win or lose after a game which mirrors the performance adjustment that was applied to your MMR. This will eventually replace the current Personal Rank Adjustment.
    • Will this help with smurfing?
      • We believe this system will go a long way to curbing the issues associated with smurfing since a player who creates a new account to intentionally best players of a lower skill will more quickly find themselves facing players of similar skill.
    • When is this coming to the game?
      • Our current plan is to implement performance-based matchmaking in December alongside our next season roll, but we will be sure to update you if anything changes.
    • Awesome. Anything else I should know?
      • The system has also shown promising potential to help detect griefing in games since it can more easily determine when someone is intentionally playing poorly. We’ve already used it to confirm reports of players who are doing things like intentionally feeding and hope to be able to automate that detection in the future so problematic players can be dealt with more quickly.


    We hope you enjoy all of the changes we have planned for our 2018 Gameplay Updates, and we’ll see you in the Nexus!
    ErixTheSwift#2335 on EU - Feel free to add me for occasional Quick Match shenanigans!

  2. #2
    Titan Acidbaron's Avatar
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    If they did this and finally succeed in something that should have been in long ago, they really need to get rid of us taking over previous season MMR or letting new people QM determine theirs.

    Actually, making useful placements not placements that barely have any impact if you win or lose.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Acidbaron View Post
    If they did this and finally succeed in something that should have been in long ago, they really need to get rid of us taking over previous season MMR or letting new people QM determine theirs.

    Actually, making useful placements not placements that barely have any impact if you win or lose.
    Placements as 'games of higher MMR importance' will be gone anyway iirc. Overall this sounds good and the most meaningful question will be if it works better than the current system, not if every obscure fringe case (hi hots reddit!) will be handled correctly from day one.

    As for placement via QM; while I don't like it, it's a simple statistical question and they will have the data by now: do people reach their 'correct' MMR bracket quicker with QM placement or not. If yes, keep and refine it, if no, ditch it.

  4. #4
    so does this mean that good players are matched with good players and bad playes are matched with bad players? cause that would pretty funny tbh lol

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Acidbaron View Post
    If they did this and finally succeed in something that should have been in long ago, they really need to get rid of us taking over previous season MMR or letting new people QM determine theirs.

    Actually, making useful placements not placements that barely have any impact if you win or lose.
    Eh, placements have a pretty decent impact, I think. Usually each win or loss will put you up or down a full sub-rank, which equals +5 games out of placements. You can move up or down a full division if you win or lose them all, which is fairly significant I think. That's like +30 games in the span of 10 games. I guess if you go 5-5 you end up right where you started though.

    Maybe it's impact on MMR is smaller.

    I think the bigger problem is out of placements and the grind to climb when you're supposed to have a 50% win rate.

  6. #6
    The Insane Aeilon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amerrol View Post
    Eh, placements have a pretty decent impact, I think. Usually each win or loss will put you up or down a full sub-rank, which equals +5 games out of placements. You can move up or down a full division if you win or lose them all, which is fairly significant I think. That's like +30 games in the span of 10 games. I guess if you go 5-5 you end up right where you started though.

    Maybe it's impact on MMR is smaller.

    I think the bigger problem is out of placements and the grind to climb when you're supposed to have a 50% win rate.
    Pretty much, I think the vast majority of players have a 50-55% winrate, meaning you can't really climb a whole lot because as soon as you do get a winning streak the game matches you so you are most likely gonna loose again.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Aeilon View Post
    Pretty much, I think the vast majority of players have a 50-55% winrate, meaning you can't really climb a whole lot because as soon as you do get a winning streak the game matches you so you are most likely gonna loose again.
    But that's simply not correct - or at least not a precise description of what the MM is doing. The MM doesn't set you up to fail, it creates match-ups meant to be as close to 50:50 as possible. During a winning streak, your MMR goes up and as a result you get matched with stronger opponents.

    Your personal winrate isn't the intention, it is the result. There is room for improvement and that's what they are doing now, but in any good matchmaking system, the vast majority of players will be in the 48-53% WR bracket.

  8. #8
    Lol the worst thing about ow is the preformance mmr, it essentially rewards you for playing the most off meta heroes, going in alone , not working with the team, basically it puts your preformance against people who play the same character so if you play a hero that no high level/high ranked heroes play youll basically gain bonus SR if you do a high percentile at that hero even if in general another hero would of been a better pick, ruins games honestly
    Last edited by arandomuser; 2017-11-26 at 09:10 AM.

  9. #9
    The Insane Aeilon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thevoicefromwithin View Post
    But that's simply not correct - or at least not a precise description of what the MM is doing. The MM doesn't set you up to fail, it creates match-ups meant to be as close to 50:50 as possible. During a winning streak, your MMR goes up and as a result you get matched with stronger opponents.

    Your personal winrate isn't the intention, it is the result. There is room for improvement and that's what they are doing now, but in any good matchmaking system, the vast majority of players will be in the 48-53% WR bracket.
    After I've been on a short win streak I've been matched with people with a hanger rank than me, so no it isn't a fair system. If I'm gold 1 I shouldn't be matched with someone 5 + rank higher than me.

    And this only happens when I'm on a winning streak, so yes...the game actively is trying to stop my winning streak instead of keeping me matched with same ranked people as I rank up.

    If it's a measure to counter smurfing than shame on them as it's ruining my game experience.

  10. #10
    Pit Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeilon View Post
    After I've been on a short win streak I've been matched with people with a hanger rank than me, so no it isn't a fair system. If I'm gold 1 I shouldn't be matched with someone 5 + rank higher than me.

    And this only happens when I'm on a winning streak, so yes...the game actively is trying to stop my winning streak instead of keeping me matched with same ranked people as I rank up.

    If it's a measure to counter smurfing than shame on them as it's ruining my game experience.
    That's the exact definition of MMR though. You win a lot, your MMR gets higher to the point where it matches the MMR of higher ranked players and so you are put against them. It's not something the game actively is trying to do. It's just how the concept of Matchmaking works.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by arandomuser View Post
    Lol the worst thing about ow is the preformance mmr, it essentially rewards you for playing the most off meta heroes, going in alone , not working with the team, basically it puts your preformance against people who play the same character so if you play a hero that no high level/high ranked heroes play youll basically gain bonus SR if you do a high percentile at that hero even if in general another hero would of been a better pick, ruins games honestly
    Sure, but you lower your chances of actually winning by playing selfishly. A person who plays with their team and looks to fit the comp will usually win more. Performance based SR (or MMR) only helps to slow your drop if you play well, but get a shit team. You won't ever gain points even if you have #1 stats in the world for a hero every game, but still lose the match.

  12. #12
    Why does the system place me in games with people above my rank in the first place? A silver player should only play with or against other silvers

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Doranian123 View Post
    Why does the system place me in games with people above my rank in the first place? A silver player should only play with or against other silvers
    Then you'd stay forever #1 silver, because you'd never be able to face and beat a gold player.

  14. #14
    Pit Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helltrixz View Post
    Then you'd stay forever #1 silver, because you'd never be able to face and beat a gold player.
    That's not true, you can get your promotion playing against silver.

    There's 2 main reasons: a) MMR - If you get on a winning streak, your MMR surpasses your rank and you (rightly so) get matched with higher division opponents with similar MMR and b) low playerbase in some regions means that people from various divisions play together or else the queues would be insuferable

  15. #15
    So why does both MMR and ranking exist in ranked mode? Shouldn't I just fight my way to a higher rank? With the system how it it's I just fight better MMR people and it keeps my rank steady

  16. #16
    Herald of the Titans DesoPL's Avatar
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    I doubt this changes to MMR will change actually anything to better.

    The problem i lately noticed on at least unranked drafts, mostly i get people with low level accounts in HOTS. Idk if they are smurfs or real people, but matchmaking could included your acc level as well.
    BfA is good expansion? Guess my taste sucks. KAPPA

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesoPL View Post
    I doubt this changes to MMR will change actually anything to better.

    The problem i lately noticed on at least unranked drafts, mostly i get people with low level accounts in HOTS. Idk if they are smurfs or real people, but matchmaking could included your acc level as well.
    It most definitely shouldn't.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Adramelch View Post
    It most definitely shouldn't.
    It's funny how people want all manner of things other than winning or losing to determine their MMR. I mean, account level? Come on.

  19. #19
    Looking at analytical - and less analytical threads - over at reddit, this looks like an unmitigated disaster. It may currently be good for detecting AFK-ers, but actually punishes you for doing objectives and playing careful instead of brawling mindlessly. Most telling might be this one:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/heroesofthe...u_for_playing/

  20. #20
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    Yeah that seems to be the general consensus.

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