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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Matchmaker SNAFU

  1. #1

    Angry Matchmaker SNAFU

    Just got matched against Weedan. Their ranking was ~1380, my ranking was ~1200. fair enough yeah?
    I had a team of pure basic units, he had a full rank 1 squad.
    I believe Weedan was playing expert mode (30 second timer), I was not.
    Think I got matched at about 40 seconds (could be way out here I was alt+tab)
    I thought this crap was supposed to be fixed.


    TL : DR
    Matchmaker is really screwed up.
    Last edited by tnankie; 02-25-2013 at 03:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    Tnankie, the fixes to the MM do not mean that you will never be matched like this. It means that the time it takes for this kind of match to happen takes longer, and that players cannot cheat the MM by dropping stats on units to achieve low power level but maintain rank 1 units.

    The best way to avoid these kind of match ups is to stop queuing and renter the matchmaker every 30 seconds.

    Would just like to clarify that the matchmaker is not screwed up.

    Of course, it is a different issue if you would prefer never to get matched when no one within 1-2 power level is online.

    (Also note, being matched at expert has no effect on you, it should be an advantage in fact, because your opponent has less time to plan moves with 30 seconds, while you maintain your 1 min timer)

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post
    The relative power is the _hard_ constraint. The system starts out trying to match you with a zero difference (60vs60, 66vs66, etc...). Over the course of 1 minute it slowly opens up the power window to a difference of 6 (60vs66).

    Within your hard power window, it tries to find the best match for you using a combination of power delta and Elo delta, where +200 Elo is treated as +6 Power equivalent. It also weights the match against someone with the same timer (Expert vs. 60 sec). A +30 timer delta is equivalent to +100 Elo.

    Currently, if you match against someone with +3 Power, you get an underdog bonus of +1 renown.

    In the next build, underdog bonus will scale up with more power delta, possibly Power [2...6] -> Renown [1...3].
    Well clearly I have misunderstood this post.
    My maths had the rating difference at 180 (ranking) + 200 (unit ranks) + 100 (timer)
    so the matchmaker thought that a rating difference of 480 is reasonable. I thought 200 Elo ~ 6 power. So converting this becomes a match with a power mismatch of 12 and a rating mismatch of 80, both to the same player.

    I guess my point is that at no point is there a hard cut-off on ranking difference, there should be. My understanding of the MM is that yes a certain power difference is allowable after x seconds but you'd hope that you are playing against a lower ranked player to compensate. To give the much better player a 6 unit advantage is frankly ridiculous. Matches like this are BS Raven and you know it.

    Finally this match may be allowable under the current MM parameters (i.e. not a bug), this is not what my post is about. My post is that this match up is a pile of crap that does the game more harm than good (stupid thrashings v's not finding a match). That a match up like this should not be allowed by the MM.

    And really finally , yes I am still pissed off by this loss, I'd been playing my arse off (with an all rank 0 team) to keep that winning streak and then the RNG that pretends to be a MM gives out things like this.
    Last edited by tnankie; 02-25-2013 at 05:10 AM.

  4. #4
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    I can definitely understand the frustration Tnankie. And thank you for elaborating using the MM explanation post. I personally do think you're on to something with a hard cut-off. And given the explanation you've illustrated, if that is still being applied (since it looks outdated due to the renown level included in the computation, the new one is solely on rank), it would seem the MM only provides a hard cut-off for renown/power level, with Elo and timer as a secondary consideration.

    Based on my own understanding, the MM is like this due to some legacy from the beta. With a small player base, finding matches took more priority than the matches being balanced (which was sorta moot anyway cos of the testing and the renown dump).

    Still, rest assured, balanced matches are a serious concern, and one that Stoic isn't taking lightly. In forum chats and in other matchmaking threads, the devs have mentioned on busier playing times and in general I suppose, the matchmaker has been managing 85% match ups (the opposite, as in your case, being called a mismatch).

    While getting walloped by a mismatched team can be a foregone conclusion, at least the underdog renown allows the less favored player to earn the renown he couldn't earn from kills (though I do think there needs to be more consolation or a different handle). Underdog bonus should grant 1 renown for every 2 power rating difference. If you manage to kill 1-2 guys, and are outmatched by 6, you can get 5 renown from the battle.

    I don't remember where...but I remember suggesting if mismatches end up being inevitable (either as a consequence of the system or as a matter of prioritizing finding games), maybe mismatches need to be handled differently, with a different objective in play or something. That was just a crazy thing I was thinking.

    The MM will continue to undergo tweaking, for a long time, as was mentioned when the most recent changes came in. Thanks for the feedback.
    Last edited by raven2134; 02-25-2013 at 06:01 AM.

  5. #5
    Backer Conundrum's Avatar
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    Out of interest, why were you playing with a full rank 0 team in order to maintain a winning streak? It sounds like either you were attempting to farm newbies for rating or renown, and got upset when a long winning streak ended up pitting you against someone ranked higher eventually.

    (That's not meant to sound like an accusation, that's just how your post comes across, so it might be a good idea to elaborate a bit on your reasoning).

    Also, it was my understanding that John's post meant that having 30 seconds more per turn that your opponent is equivalent to +100 ELO - in other words, that the +100 would have been going to you, not Weedan. This results in a difference of 280 instead of 480, which could easily be reached within a reasonable timeframe in the MM. I'm not sure if my understanding is correct, as I've never really thought about it in depth - it's just the impression I got when first reading John's phrasing ("A +30 timer delta is equivalent to +100 Elo.")

    Finally, I think it's important not to get too hung up on things like this. If his ELO was truly so far above yours, then you didn't lose much ELO from the loss. You lost your winning streak, sure, but that doesn't cost you much Renown in the long run - and I kinda hope you're not just concerned about the win streak in the Hall of Valor. I'm sure the match wasn't particularly fun, but hey - these issues will be ironed out once we have more players and a better understanding of how the population is going to distribute itself.

  6.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #6
    Creative Director Alex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnankie View Post
    Well clearly I have misunderstood this post.
    My maths had the rating difference at 180 (ranking) + 200 (unit ranks) + 100 (timer)
    so the matchmaker thought that a rating difference of 480 is reasonable. I thought 200 Elo ~ 6 power. So converting this becomes a match with a power mismatch of 12 and a rating mismatch of 80, both to the same player.

    I guess my point is that at no point is there a hard cut-off on ranking difference, there should be. My understanding of the MM is that yes a certain power difference is allowable after x seconds but you'd hope that you are playing against a lower ranked player to compensate. To give the much better player a 6 unit advantage is frankly ridiculous. Matches like this are BS Raven and you know it.

    Finally this match may be allowable under the current MM parameters (i.e. not a bug), this is not what my post is about. My post is that this match up is a pile of crap that does the game more harm than good (stupid thrashings v's not finding a match). That a match up like this should not be allowed by the MM.

    And really finally , yes I am still pissed off by this loss, I'd been playing my arse off (with an all rank 0 team) to keep that winning streak and then the RNG that pretends to be a MM gives out things like this.
    Hi tnankie, thanks for the post.

    The crux of the problem is that matchmaking works but there probably wasn't anyone else waiting for a match in that 1-minute period.

    We know unfair situations can arise. The question that came up is if you're outmatched, should you sit in the queue forever, or should you make an unfair match? At this time we voted that playing the game would be better than not playing the game, so if you're on at an hour when there are absolutely no good matches within 1.5 minutes, it'll take the best available option.

    Three things on this: we really expect that once the game goes live (today) this will be a thing of the past. Right now the user base is limited to only early testers. Secondly, we do have a system that grants you bonus renown depending on how outmatched you are (the underdog bonus). You should have gotten some extra renown for sticking it out. Lastly, if someone with a significantly higher Elo beats you, you won't lose much ranking, which is part of how Elo works.

    Sorry about the unfair match. We're doing our best to make it fair and hopefully things really open up once the game is live.
    Last edited by Alex; 02-25-2013 at 08:11 AM.

  7. #7
    Factions veteran stoicmom's Avatar
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    Well, for what it is worth . . . i had the courage to go to battle with my upgrades because, even though my wins are few, i felt like i am understanding a little more about how to play the game with each game i loose. i was matched with my friend Slimsy who was maxed with monsters and who is very, very good at this game. After getting over the shock of his stats and line up, i was soundly beaten in six moves, i think. This is only the second time that i have been matched with a "pro" out of the 100 games i've attempted. Not going for wins, but for fun and a very slow learning curve for me. All this to say, there is something in this game for everyone. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Superbacker quartex's Avatar
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    Perhaps a long winning streak is more important to some people than their Elo ranking. What if you added a option to narrow the search parameters to limit available to opponents to only those within a certain ranking of me, instead of playing whoever is available.

    Stoic keeps says that once there's lots of players online, this won't be a problem. But I think there will always be slow times on the server. Would it be unfair for players to be able to limit the range of opponents they are paired with? Would it be bad to guarantee that you aren't wildly mismatched in your game? It sounds like tnankie is saying he'd rather not play at all, than be badly outclassed.

  9. #9
    @Conundrum I was using all basic units because I wanted to get them all to the state that they are ready for promotion. I find that if I take advanced units into battle I have to play sub optimally to get the basic units kills (The advanced ones end up getting all the kills).

    I don't think the timer is supposed to rank you against weaker players, I think it is supposed to rank you against tougher players, the advantage of using it is extra renown, the downsides are playing in less time against tougher opponents.

    About my winning streak comment, I'd been playing with an all rank 0 team against whoever I got matched up against, I'd beaten some 3 rank 1 teams, I was completely ready for that streak to end. If I'd got matched against Weedan who was also using all rank 0 then it would be fair enough, if I'd got thrown in against a weaker player with all rank 1 fair enough, I realised this is a risk. But to throw me into a match with no chance of winning what so ever leaves me really annoyed.

    @Alex, renown doesn't cut it. I am really not sure how much renown I'd need to get before this match didn't piss me off. This is a game that is supposed to be about fun. That was not fun. Honestly I'd rather not be matched than play something like that, hence my more harm than good comment. Three renown is not nearly enough, three figures might be...but I am still not sure I'd be happy.

    Furthermore lets assume (for the moment) I am a happy go lucky optimistic smiley person, what was I supposed to do in that match? As Raven mentioned there needs to be some other objective when miss-matches of this sort of scale happen (if you think allowing them to happen is the right choice).

    I strongly believe that your power cut off that has been implemented at 6 is useless in the game at the moment. The way power is currently calculated any match up is legitimate (as all rank 1 = 6 and all rank 0 = 0), so why have the cut-off at all, waiting for rank 2 or 3? I strongly believe that the cut off should be based on a combination of ranking power and timer. Convert the power difference into a rating difference, add that to the rating difference add the timer difference and set a cap that you are happy with.

    Look what I am trying to say is that I don't mind losing when I am out played by my opponent (or by myself, stupid mistakes/miss-clicks etc), but being placed in matches where there is no chance of winning (outside of my opponent leaving the computer/throwing the game) leaves a really bad taste in my mouth and I'd rather not play at all.

    Finally while I know you can avoid things like this happening by manually leaving the queue and re-entering it every 20 seconds this is really not good game design it is just busy work. If a mechanism exists to avoid unfair match ups then it really should be available as a setting not in constantly repeating a series of mouse clicks, that is what macros/robots are for.


    Pardon the wall o' text [/rant]

  10. #10
    Two more thoughts:
    1) The way it works at the moment always punishes the player with the lower ranked units.
    2) I was playing for kills trying to upgrade my team, no chance of achieving that given that matchup.


    and a bonus one

    I was just thinking about how much renown would make me feel good about the match. If a text box popped up with something like this:

    "OK, so the match maker just screwed you over. We are sorry, and to make it up to you here is enough renown to upgrade a unit."

    That might make me feel better, especially since the game is acknowledging explicitly that was a poor match.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by tnankie View Post
    Honestly I'd rather not be matched than play something like that...I strongly believe that your power cut off that has been implemented at 6 is useless in the game at the moment.
    Yeah, anyone could beat me in a 0v4, 1v5 or 2v6 match; and I, too, like cultivating a streak. I think the power difference between level-0 and level-1 units ought to be doubled.

  12.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #12
    Creative Director Alex's Avatar
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    Hi Tnankie, just read your long post. Again, it sounds to me like there was 1 opponent available at the time, and after the maximum wait time it matched you with them. It sounds like in a scenario where you would either match an uneven opponent or not make a match, you would vote to not find any match. Would you say this is true?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    Hi Tnankie, just read your long post. Again, it sounds to me like there was 1 opponent available at the time, and after the maximum wait time it matched you with them. It sounds like in a scenario where you would either match an uneven opponent or not make a match, you would vote to not find any match. Would you say this is true?
    Short answer: Yes.
    Long answer: Depends on the degree of miss match, but with the current system of play I'd rather not play. I like playing lower ranked players with advanced units while I use basics (I've won and lost in these circumstances) I find it interesting as it shows how important positioning is, I think that is reasonably balanced. Higher ranked players with advanced units is not ok.

    The other issue with this situation is that if we both re-queued immediately after the match we'd probably have ended up in the same battle again...and again...and again.

    And yes Alex I think you are probably right that it was only Weedan and I in the queue.
    Last edited by tnankie; 02-25-2013 at 05:33 PM.

  14. #14
    Could we get custom option for matchmaking? Such that everyone could change the default tolerance of the deviation in matchmaking. For example i just played with a rank 1 team a new player on his 3rd game. I felt very bad for crushing him like this so easily.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Floyd Ryan View Post
    Could we get custom option for matchmaking? Such that everyone could change the default tolerance of the deviation in matchmaking. For example i just played with a rank 1 team a new player on his 3rd game. I felt very bad for crushing him like this so easily.
    I honestly don't think it should be custom Floyd, not everyone feels bad about pawning noobs. To Weedan's credit they played reasonably quickly and also acknowledged that this was a bad matchup.

  16. #16
    Hey everyone. I think this may actually be my first proper forum post which I feel kinda irresponsible about given the amount of fun I've gotten outta the beta so far but I thought I'd weigh in as well given that I was part of the scenario that played out.

    Would it be possible to make it so that there is a cap where it just won't match two teams of dramatically different power and rankings (as someone mentioned)? While, yes, the servers are more heavily populated now that it has gone public and there will be fewer instances where a major mismatch can take place, there is also the future addition of two more levels of units which will cause further possibilities for overpowered vs underpowered matchings(dramatically so - level 0 vs level 3 anyone?). What if the lesser equipped / ranked of the two teams in queue that are matched have the ability to decline the battle? Should the lower team wish to go after the large prize of a tougher opponent they still can. Either that or just make it such that if the teams are over "x" apart, the decline button is re-instated for both parties?

    Make any sense?

    Also, what is the possibility of perhaps providing the counter which displays how many users are in the queue? Something along the lines of "# Factions are currently vying for control of Strand"? Too server intensive to implement again or easily feasible? I don't think it would promote trolling or anything but would help users know when the game population is low and poor matchups are more probable if one waits in queue. This is a common statistic in many online games is it not? (Altitude comes to mind for some reason).
    Last edited by weedan; 02-26-2013 at 03:52 AM.

  17. #17
    There used to be a counter during the beta that showed the number of other players online, for some reason it was removed. I would love to see it back, and I'm sure others would as well. As far as a hard cap on possible matches, I think there should be a limit, possibly 3 ranked unit deviation, that could be manually overridden by the player if they so choose. To simply allow these types of mismatches to occur is a bad idea in my opinion, and can very well turn off newer players. However since the player base is now much larger perhaps this issue will resolve itself.

  18. #18
    @ tnankie - 100% Agree. Unfortunately, Stoic is stubborn and only caters to a small group of players in this regard. You could argue that "pro" players are very happy to sit and play a mismatched game, but it's an absolutely terrible experience for new players, or anyone who's interested in playing a fair game. Stoic is dramatically reducing the quality of play for most players.

    There's no doubt in my mind that the current implementation is scaring people away from playing. The question is whether or not Stoic makes a change for the better while they still have some attention from the media.

  19.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #19
    Creative Director Alex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimntonik View Post
    @ tnankie - 100% Agree. Unfortunately, Stoic is stubborn and only caters to a small group of players in this regard. You could argue that "pro" players are very happy to sit and play a mismatched game, but it's an absolutely terrible experience for new players, or anyone who's interested in playing a fair game. Stoic is dramatically reducing the quality of play for most players.

    There's no doubt in my mind that the current implementation is scaring people away from playing. The question is whether or not Stoic makes a change for the better while they still have some attention from the media.
    Well, if by stubborn you mean "have been extremely quick to make changes to the game based on feedback and listening and responding to players", then you're right. Now currently, I'm looking at the metrics dashboard and I see over 800 people playing concurrently, and roughly 790 of them are in matches with identical numbers, and the others are off by 1 point. Is this the apocalypse you're referring to?

    Additionally, it takes very little time to get a party of rank 1 characters, by playing normally with no purchases necessary, at which point you've hit the ceiling and there's no way to be outmatched.

    Jim, I'd love to hear your suggestion for how we can turn this around for the better. I'm also curious about why you love to give us a hard time. Why antagonize us?

  20. #20
    Jim,

    Since release, I've been playing a 1-point team (i.e. 1 leveled up character, normally the thrasher so that I match new players) in order to build up kill counts so I can have a diverse team of level-1 units for the upcoming tourney. In my past 5 games, I have always been matched up against other 1-point teams; the outcome of these matches have therefore been the result of skill (and in-game luck.)

    In short, even though I am an "expert" player (though nowhere near the top 20), I seem to be matched up against units with similar point-values. I also try to make up for the skill gap with advice; I learned this game by losing frequently and paying attention to my opponents' superior strategy, so I figure returning the favor isn't unfair.

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