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Thread: [Official] SMITE May 29 Match Making Update

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    Senior Member Prestigious GongsunYiru's Avatar
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    [Official] SMITE May 29 Match Making Update

    I'm making these threads whenever HiRez does not communicate official information to the SMITE forums (which is a lot), so...

    I wanted to give everyone an update on our continuous efforts to improve SMITE matchmaking This is a follow up to THIS THREAD made a few weeks ago.

    Over the past few weeks, we have continued to tweak our matchmaking algorithms. We have made some improvements, but some of the fundamental issues discussed in our previous thread continue to prevent a major breakthrough, even with very cutting edge mathematical techniques being applied.

    While SMITE has a quite healthy player population (about 1.5 million play the game monthly), that population is highly fragmented among:

    • Three platforms (PC, PS4, Xbox)
    • 7 Regions (NA, EU, Brazil, SLatam, NLatam, SEA, OCE)
    • 8 normal and 3 ranked gamemodes, with a quite equal spread of play among the top gamemodes (Arena, Conquest and Joust 3v3 are all similarly popular, for example).
    • With gamemodes that can run 30+ minutes, only a small fraction of the players wanting to play a particular gamemode at a particular time in a particular region on a particular platform will be “in queue” for that gamemode at a time (versus playing in a match).
    • As an older game with a massively high skill ceiling, you also have widely divergent skill levels among players, which can be complicated by party groupings, etc.

    We have tried to optimize our matchmaking as much as we can inside of these constraints, but in order to make significant additional progress, we feel like we need to make some larger changes.

    Some of these changes could be controversial, so before we implement, we first wanted to start a conversation with the community in order to get your feedback. If we decide to move ahead with these changes, they would likely come later in the summer (July or August). We would also likely introduce some of these incrementally (versus doing them all at once), so that we can collect data on each change more methodically.

    Please let me know your thoughts on these changes:

    ALL QUEUES

    All queues would be moved to TIMED queues.

    This means that:

    • Each queue will have a countdown timer that tells you when it will “pop.”
    • When the queue “pops”, each player in queue gets a match invite.
    • Everyone that accepts the match invite is then matchmade with other players in the queue at that time (with a high preference toward matching players of similar skill).
    • Because an “odd” number of people will be in queue, some players will be forced to wait for the next timer (these would be the last people joining the queueing).

    Some players may remember that we used to have a similar queuing system in the early days of SMITE.

    Note that, with this system, the more popular gamemodes would have shorter timers. For instance, Arena, Joust 3v3 and Conquest are our most popular gamemodes and they would have the shortest queue timers. Modes like Clash and Siege and MOTD, which are less popular, would have longer queue times (but they would continue to be playable). This helps ensure that when matches do pop they are as good as we can make them for when they are ready.

    CONQUEST

    Conquest is obviously the most competitive and hard-core of our gamemodes, and thus one of the most difficult for match-making.

    Conquest also has the most stunning skill differentials. Around 10% of the people that play Conquest daily have over 750 WINS in CONQUEST. The median player has around 100 WINS (but that means half the players have fewer than 100 wins).

    We are proposing that we split into 3 conquest queues as follows:

    • A “Normal” queue that is reserved for people with fewer than 50 conquest wins (that represents about ⅓ of the people playing Conquest each day). This queue would otherwise work exactly like today’s Normal queue.
    • An “Elite” queue that is reserved for players with more than 50 conquest wins. This queue would have PICKS (but no bans).
    • A “Ranked” queue that is reserved for players joining SOLO players only (i.e., you could not join in a party). This would use the normal PICKS & BANS system used today in Ranked.

    Note that some smaller regions may be forced to only have a NORMAL queue for all players, instead of having a separate ELITE queue.

    The following chart summarizes each proposed Conquest queue:



    ADVANTAGES

    A few advantages of these changes:

    • With timed queues:

      • We are hopeful that the wait times for timed queues can be chosen to reduce the number of "badly" balanced matches where there are parties of very different skill.
      • Because of the deterministic wait times offered by time queues, we can increase the average wait time on some queues with less annoyance. This will put more people in the queue which always helps match making (and players can know whether they have time to run to the kitchen and fetch that Hot Pocket from the microwave before the queue pops).

    • With timed queues, we can also balance the queue timers so that the least popular modes have longer timers and vice versa -- to ensure better matchmaking. This means, for example, that modes like SIEGE and CLASH can stay in the game but have timers that allow for better matchmaking within them (and you can know exactly how long you need to wait for the queue when you join it).
    • By only allowing players to join ranked matches solo (in addition to having timed queues), we can best ensure that we match people as closely as possible with others of the same skill. For example, we can put the Top 10 players in queue (by ELO) in a match together, and then players 11 through 20 in a match, etc.
    • By separating the NORMAL and ELITE Conquest queues based on # of Conquest Wins and by having TIMED QUEUES, we can give ELITE players confidence that they are being matched together with other ELITE players that queue at the same time. Newer players can have space to learn the game without fearing that they will run up against someone with 1000 Conquest wins.

    We are very interested in your feedback with these changes. No matchmaking system can be “perfect” -- so this system will have its own downsides and tradeoffs. But we believe that it is an experiment worth trying, and that this could improve the overall matchmaking results.

    -Stew


    Originally posted by HiRezStew

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    Senior Member Prestigious Outso187's Avatar
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    Maybe one day people will understand that "fixing" matchmaking is a long and hard process. But they're trying. It's also impossible.

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    Super Moderator Godlike RainbowSplat's Avatar
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    Soloq Ranked weeeeee
    *Disclaimer: I am a volunteer moderator. I work on best judgement and do not speak on behalf of Hi-Rez Studios.*

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    Junior Member Cupidhead Konquadorion's Avatar
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    Pro:
    Normal and Elite queue is fine with that 50 win border

    Con:
    Soloq Ranked can bore out after a long time

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    Senior Member Honoured Raptoriuzz's Avatar
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    Smite has already had Timed queues, which were bad, and they've been removed to normal queue system even before Clash and Adventure queues have been introduced.

    And now, they're gonna bring back the system which didn't work for a very long time?

    Whyyy???

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    Senior Member Chosen RandomToon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptoriuzz View Post
    Smite has already had Timed queues, which were bad, and they've been removed to normal queue system even before Clash and Adventure queues have been introduced.

    And now, they're gonna bring back the system which didn't work for a very long time?

    Whyyy???
    Probably because they already have the algorithm. Minimal work to implement it.

    I do really like the idea of picks on the "elite" queue to prevent mirror matches, but why not just put in bans too (without auto banning the new god)?

    My question is, how would this work with multi-queue? Or would this replace multi-queue?
    Last edited by RandomToon; 05-30-2018 at 04:30 PM.
    Remember The Manticore

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandomToon View Post
    Probably because they already have the algorithm. Minimal work to implement it.

    I do really like the idea of picks on the "elite" queue to prevent mirror matches, but why not just put in bans too (without auto banning the new god)?

    My question is, how would this work with multi-queue? Or would this replace multi-queue?
    Ajax has said that multi-queue would likely be removed with the return of Timed Queues.
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    Senior Member Prestigious Necromancer776's Avatar
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    A stop to premades...

    Wow I’m happy

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    Junior Member Senior Cupidhead
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    Time to reinstall.
    I assume it means no more TrueSkill right? I suggest Glicko2 for elo based MM.


    When is it being released?
    Last edited by RainbowSplat; 06-03-2018 at 12:24 PM.

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    New Member Cupidhead AnalBuccaneer's Avatar
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    smite's player base is not "healthy". theres a perfectly good reason you didnt just say exactly how many people queue for conquest in a post thats meant to solve the shitty matchmaking in conquest specifically. total number of wins is relevant, but you are ignoring all the important numbers. by going to a queue system that only cares about 1 number, your total number of wins, it's going to be like the mastery system all over again (where it was meant to keep new players out of ranked, but in the end, it didn't do anything). and even more obvious to me, the reason you are combining normal conquest and ranked conquest is because not enough people play either. whats going to happen is, yes, there will be less shitty players in higher skilled games initially, but what happens when those shitty players get a couple more wins? and who are they getting those wins from? other shitty players. we are going to be in the exact same boat we are in now... because lets be honest, there are no more new players in smite who are actually retained. you are NOT fixing elo. you are NOT fixing balance. therefore, you are NOT fixing matchmaking. the only thing this is going to do is make a larger pool of players for shitty matchmaking to pick from.

    if i was hirez, i would focus on god balance (and also item balance), which currently is a joke. fire half the designers and get some more programmers... like the ones who made the game fun in the first place. no more new gods until the ones currently released are fixed (that way, when you make a new warrior, you have a pretty good idea how he should preform).

    while god balance and item balance are slowly getting itself worked out (because lets be honest, its not going to fix itself over night), i would put all my focus on the elo system. total number of wins is such a bullshit way to look at the game, it's like you've given up on elo. how do you tell if someone is good/bad at this game? to my knowledge, the current system just looks at a couple things... wins, kills, total games played (and gold i think). i would start with something like this:

    damage taken+mitigated/deaths per minute.
    player damage-damage mitigated/kill per minute.
    kills+assists/teams total kills per minute.
    healing per minute (self and team).
    wards placed per minute.
    structure/objective damage per minute.
    wins/losses

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