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 Post subject: An update on matchmaker development
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:41 pm 
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Recently there have been quite a lot of complaints about the matchmaker. We're constantly monitoring how the matchmaker is doing and making tweaks to it, so here's an update on how things are going. Wall of text incoming, check the bold parts for a summary.

Some of the changes mentioned below are live already, others are coming in update 4.1.1, which is coming somewhere next week.

Let me start with clearing up one misconception. Leagues are NOT used by the matchmaker at all. The matchmaker ONLY looks at actual rating (the number on the right in the leaderboards). Leagues are purely visual and have no influence on anything.

One problem we're seeing right now is that new players rise in rating too quickly. The matchmaker mostly matches based on rating and ping, so if the skill rating of a player isn't accurate, then the matchmaker will make the wrong choices. We have a system in place where during the first 60 matches a new player has a strongly reduced rating. During those 60 matches this reduction gradually fades out. We're seeing that the skill difference between having played 60 matches or 150 matches is too big for this ceiling to be at 60. So we're going to increase the reduced rating for beginners to the first 100 matches in 4.1.1. This means that anyone who has played less than 100 matches (lifetime, not in this season particularly) will get a decreased rating in update 4.1.1. That sucks for intermediate players who care about having high rating, but it should improve their matchmaking significantly since they will be kept further from the pro players.

Another problem we've seen is that the matchmaker handled premades with huge skill differences badly. We see quite a lot of top players helping beginners learn how to play. It turns out there was a bug in our matchmaking code that caused such premades to ping the wrong people. In update 4.1 we released a fix that makes the matchmaker better at matching premades with large skill differences.

Note that such premades with extremely big skill differences account for a significant part of the very worst matchups being made. Since we don't want to prohibit people from playing with their friends there's little we can do about this particular situation. The matchmaker does prefer matching such premades with each other, but there aren't enough such premades to make that work often.

Another thing we see is that the matchmaker isn't good enough at actually finding the best matchups for a round. We're optimising the matchmaker at the moment to be able to try more variations. Our tests show this will significantly improve matchmaking quality. This improved matchup algorithm is going live in 4.1.1.

Before we went free to play the biggest complaint we got was long waiting times. Once we got more players with the free to play launch we reduced the time between matchmaking rounds. However, it seems we reduced it a bit too much, causing there to be too few pro players and too few players in certain regions in a round. We've increased the round durations last week and again some more this morning. Round times are now 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how many people are playing at any given time. The average waiting time for a player is half that, so 1:30 to 2:30 minutes.

A continuous problem for matchmaking is that the skill differences between the top 1000 and the rest of the top 5000 are really big. An option we're considering is to match pro players only once per two rounds. This way we can better match pros with other pros. The upside of this is clear, but this would increase the matchmaking duration a lot. To make this effective all players with a rating above something like 14000 would get waiting times of up to 10 minutes. Looking at how many complaints we previously got for waiting 8 minutes we're not so sure this is actually a good idea. An obvious suggestion is to make longer waiting times optional, but this would massively reduce matchmaking quality for anyone who doesn't enable that, and for the intermediate players being matched with them. So we haven't decided yet what to do here. What do you think? Should the top 10% players wait twice as long for better matchmaking?

We're also working on general bugfixes for rare issues, like failed host migration and routers breaking down when too many pings are sent during matchmaking.


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 Post subject: Re: An update on matchmaker development
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:13 pm 
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Joost wrote:
Let me start with clearing up one misconception. Leagues are NOT used by the matchmaker at all. The matchmaker ONLY looks at actual rating (the number on the right in the leaderboards). Leagues are purely visual and have no influence on anything.


So can we please make leagues a thing finally? Just like in every single online game?

Joost wrote:
What do you think? Should the top 10% players wait twice as long for better matchmaking?


I don't think twice as much is necessary maybe 50%/75% more time would also make the job. But separate matchmaking for higher players would be welcome.

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 Post subject: Re: An update on matchmaker development
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:16 pm 
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rybakowsky wrote:
So can we please make leagues a thing finally? Just like in every single online game?

Why would you want that? Rating is more precise than league. Leagues were used for matchmaking in the past and we got rid of that deliberately when we released Galactron. What benefits do leagues have?

For example, one particular problem we saw is that the top of league 3 is more similar in skill to the bottom of league 2 than to the bottom of league 3. Working with rating directly doesn't have this problem.


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 Post subject: Re: An update on matchmaker development
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:17 pm 
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Joost wrote:
A continuous problem for matchmaking is that the skill differences between the top 1000 and the rest of the top 5000 are really big. An option we're considering is to match pro players only once per two rounds. This way we can better match pros with other pros. The upside of this is clear, but this would increase the matchmaking duration a lot. To make this effective all players with a rating above something like 14000 would get waiting times of up to 10 minutes. Looking at how many complaints we previously got for waiting 8 minutes we're not so sure this is actually a good idea. An obvious suggestion is to make longer waiting times optional, but this would massively reduce matchmaking quality for anyone who doesn't enable that, and for the intermediate players being matched with them. So we haven't decided yet what to do here. What do you think? Should the top 10% players wait twice as long for better matchmaking?

My vote is a clear yes on this. Being good can't just mean stomping players left and right with a 90% winrate. I'm sure they will have more fun with more challenging games against actually similarly skilled players. Those games may even take longer, so the waiting time gets balanced out by the longer challenging games and less rofl-stomps (after which they have to wait for queue again). win-win.

Also a yes to giving new players less rating. It should even be 150 games or more if you ask me. It shouldn't be "easy" to gain a lot of rank as a beginner. It's way too much responsibility too soon and that can hurt you.

And why is there no rank decay in this game for people who don't play long periods of time?

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Last edited by DeezNauts on Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:45 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: An update on matchmaker development
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:21 pm 
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Have you played Overwatch? The mini-brawl mode you get thrown in to while waiting for a matchmaking to happen helps make long waits feel like short waits. Even if we just spent the time in a RandoNauts brawl game, it would make the wait not so noticeable. For my money, I would much rather have a long wait than a completely IMBA match.

That said, I actually don't find the matchmaking that bad. I've only had a very few games, since I came back, that were completely one-sided. Fewer than 10 games, out of the 150+ I've played. I recognize matchmaking is the absolute hardest thing to accomplish, and I appreciate all your efforts to make everyone happy.

Also, I have hit the magic number of posts and can never post again. Farewell, forums, how I loved/hated thee.


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 Post subject: Re: An update on matchmaker development
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:24 pm 
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I am fine waiting 2x longer for a match if it means more quality. I have seen the other side, it can wait.

Means I can play more runescape while queueing.

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 Post subject: Re: An update on matchmaker development
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:32 pm 
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Joost wrote:
rybakowsky wrote:
So can we please make leagues a thing finally? Just like in every single online game?

Why would you want that? Rating is more precise than league. Leagues were used for matchmaking in the past and we got rid of that deliberately when we released Galactron. What benefits do leagues have?

For example, one particular problem we saw is that the top of league 3 is more similar in skill to the bottom of league 2 than to the bottom of league 3. Working with rating directly doesn't have this problem.

I don't see much of a point either, especially when leagues don't get factored in to matchmaking. But leagues are good milestones for players to strive for, so don't remove them completely.

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The game has been in a downward spiral since the XP-System and team levels. Even if the game was balanced, SoloQ is a torturous experience to submit yourself to anymore. Idk how blind the devs must be to not understand how these two things are related.


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 Post subject: Re: An update on matchmaker development
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:39 pm 
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Wakkabanana wrote:
I am fine waiting 2x longer for a match if it means more quality. I have seen the other side, it can wait.

Means I can play more runescape while queueing.

Same.

I'm used to the wait, I'm Aus. I'd prefer waiting over a bad match.

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 Post subject: Re: An update on matchmaker development
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:48 pm 
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Joost wrote:
What do you think? Should the top 10% players wait twice as long for better matchmaking?

I'm not in the top 10%, so I won't be affected by this but this is a tough one
I wouldn't mind waiting 5 minutes. But anything over that is kinda pushing it.


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We're also working on general bugfixes for rare issues, like failed host migration

:party: :party: :party:
These still happen a lot, and more oft than not, someone gets kicked out of the game and has to reconnect

Are there any plans about inactive players? For example: Everyone in L1-3 who hasn't played for 1 week get their rating decreased (daily or weekly) till they reach a certain point?


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 Post subject: Re: An update on matchmaker development
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:58 pm 
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How about no more bot/half assed matches when mm can't find enough people for a 3v3, much rather to just keep waiting.

I'll go into bot q if I want games with bots in them

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