Matchmaking in 9.19.1 and the Road Ahead

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From Wargaming.

Matchmaking was among the most problematic and complex elements we addressed in Update 9.18, and it’s something we’ll keep an eye on and fine tune moving forward. Since we rolled out fundamental system improvements, we continued to work on it using a combination of your feedback and extensive data gathering. Here, we’ll discuss the effects of the revised matchmaker, with a look at future tweaks in 9.19.1 and beyond. Let’s get to it!

What’s Changed

The feedback from all of you proved instrumental in outlining the list of long-term improvements and quick fixes that could be implemented in the short term. 

Of course, two months aren’t nearly enough to adequately process all the changes, define positive trends, areas for continued improvement, and devise a sound action plan for each issue. But we’re on it! And we’ll keep you in the loop every step of the way, starting with this news beat.

Reading the hundreds of pages of discussion and feedback on the improved matchmaker convinced us that the template-based algorithm does its job of balancing the speed of matching versus the quality of matches. Every 3/5/7 battle at the top of the list makes you a key player on the team, giving you a real opportunity to lead the team to victory, which is equal parts difficult and rewarding. It’s much easier now to analyze the power balance and the situation before the countdown is over, meaning there’s time to think over the enemies’ moves and plan your own. Finally, many of you reported that gameplay on a number of maps has changed, bringing an extra thrill to the process and with it—a chance to rediscover familiar locations, devising new tactics.

The 3/5/7 template serves its purpose of allowing every tanker to contribute in battle. You always get comparable opposition, regardless of whether you’re placed at the top, middle, or bottom of the list. Remember the less-than-desirable scenario of playing Tier VIII and getting matched against Tier X? Now think how it feels in the game as it stands today. Having a few top-tiers on the other camp no longer makes you question the point of battling. Stronger opposition is fewer in number than vehicles in the middle, there’s a similar number of top-tiers on your side, and there’s no need for you to go up against them.

What’s Changing with 9.19.1

Arty returns to Platoons with a maximum limit of one SPG per Platoon: Preventing arty to join and form Platoons was a temporary restriction designed to help us measure the impact of the stun effect and other SPG changes introduced in 9.18. Probably the biggest criticism we heard was on this decision, which together with the metadata we collected made us reconsider. To set things right without returning all-arty Platoons, we’re bringing this option back for the class and limiting them to one SPG per Platoon.

The matchmaker now balances team makeups by vehicles types and Platoons within a battle tierLet’s focus on a scenario, which most of you have been through either before 9.18 or in the months after its launch. Can you recall when a team with a scout at Tier X would be matched against one with a scout at Tier VIII or something just as frustrating? These end for good with 9.19.1. Starting with its release, the matchmaker will balance team makeups by vehicle types and Platoons within a battle tier. When the matchmaker forms two sides, it puts together a similar number of TDs, LTs, and arty for each battle tier. If your team has a TD at the top, a couple of scouts in the middle, and an SPG at the bottom, the matchmaker attempts to mirror this make-up on the enemy team. However, if this scenario would cause you to wait too long, the rules become more flexible to get you into a battle faster.

All the little things, too: Along with fixing major issues, we took some time to restructure team lists to let you get a better picture of the opposition and draw a battle plan to take them down. Now, vehicles at the top, middle and bottom of the list are listed by classes and those belonging to the same class are sorted by names. Here’s the order:

  • Classes: heavy tanks → medium tanks → tank destroyers → light tanks → arty
  • Names: beginning with numbers → the Latin alphabet → names in Cyrillic

What’s Coming

When we say we aspire to build a truly fair, balanced, and exciting experience for everyone to enjoy, we stand by it. It’s not just a fancy statement written on a whiteboard somewhere at our office; it’s present in our minds with every decision we make. We won’t consider this mission accomplished until you tell us. And as we work towards it we’ll keep enhancing the matchmaker with new rules, logic, and restrictions―all of them designed to create team makeups with equal chances at victory, bringing decision-making, tactics, and strategy to the forefront.

Moving forward, we’ll be building on the balance by vehicle types to remove the difference in vehicle classes from the factors that might give one side an edge over the other. Our end goal here is to make every victory a team accomplishment that has nothing to do with matchmaking.

There are a few more issues on our to-do list, and reviewing preferential matchmaking is among them. We’ll work collaboratively as long as it takes to solve each of them without spoiling the experience for anyone. To correctly set expectations, these are just areas we’re focused on, with no set-in-stone dates. We’ll continue to keep you updated on the specifics and timing as we get closer to finalizing those for testing. Fixing the matchmaking is a huge and challenging quest for the team and we wanted to, again, thank you for taking this journey with us!

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23 comments on “Matchmaking in 9.19.1 and the Road Ahead

  1. Vidar Hook says:

    “Reading the hundreds of pages of discussion and feedback on the improved matchmaker convinced us that the template-based algorithm does its job”

    Really?
    I’ve basically only read the exact opposite. In the beginning I heard contributors like circonflexes, or in fact only circonflexes, actually like the changes because it brought some better matchmaking to tier 7, although that quickly changed when the matchmaker started preferring the 3/5/7 template. Now you only hear about how tier 8 is “fodder” for tier 10. A lot of people seem to like the 0/0/15, although I personally prefer the 0/5/10 spread.
    I really want to know what they mean by being “convinced” and where they gather data, because I really do not believe it’s from the English speaking European community where they’ve ended up with that conclusion.




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    • madogthefirst says:

      I actually like the 3/5/7 format. My only problem with it is that 80% of the time I’m part of the 7 and only less that 1% part of the 3.




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      • Charlie says:

        The biggest issue not addressed again!!! Team balancing by player skill. Seems that some clans pay to WG for matchmaking. I am usually in team where noone is in some top clan and usually my team lose (0:15 ; 1:15 ; 2:15 ; 3:15). It barelly happens that it is over 10:15. I am usually in top 3 players with 1/3 teammates achieving 0 DMG. In oponent´s team there are FAME, S4, NOXUS and such “fame” clans, easily rolling over my team… WG can play with matchmaker to put same tanks on both sides, trying to “balance” tanks (biggest SHIT ever). Until lthey make match maker considering player skills, these are just crap talks which noone can take seriously.




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    • Concerned player says:

      I dissagree. In my opinion the 3/5/7 matches itself are good and i heard many friends agree as well. The problem is more that the ratio of player numbers in the matchmaker at certain tiers causes the higher frequency as bottom tier for tier 8 tanks. One also has to consider that as bottom tier matches contain more bottom tiers this means there will always be a higher chance to be bottom tier (roughly 50%, if only 3/5/7 matchmaking, as 7 devided by 15 is 50%). However, I am pretty sure that the number of bottom tier games for tier 8 is now more around 70-80% instead of roughly 50%. I hope wargaming tweaks the 3/5/7 preference for tier 10 in such a way that the tier 8 tanks have it easier. That is definitely needed for the importance of tier 8 as a money making tier.

      I do very much agree though that wargaming should tell us where they get their ideas.




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    • John Milam says:

      the 3-5-7 template has solved most of my complaints about MM.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    Matching is all wrong. 3 tier matches are just a target for the bottom tier. Their tanks can do no damage to the other 2 tiers. This is one of the main reasons the north American E & W membership is leaving WOT. I also will be uninstalling my account in the near future. I had many premium vehicles that ended being changed from the hype of WOT to the point I sold all of them and will never buy any again. I will be saving a ton of money not buying into their CRAP anymore. It was just stupid of them. BUT they don’t listen and learn from their bad actions. It’s time a new smarter group created war tanks games that are fair to all players.




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    • Red Hot Chili Tomato says:

      I too struggle to see why WG thinks ±2 MM is such a good idea.
      Half the roster is just fodder for the few top-tier players. Why not try allowing every player in every game to be “a key player on the team, giving you a real opportunity to lead the team to victory” but based on individual skill?

      I understand single-tier MM could feel a bit repetitive, seeing the same tanks in most games over and over, but nowadays there are many more nations and lines so ±1 MM would still give plenty of variation.




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      • Red Hot Chili Tomato says:

        (cont)

        Perhaps I’m being overly cynical, but the only reason I can see for hanging on to the unfair ±2 MM is that bad-to-mediocre players too can feel the thrill of dominating a game once in a few battles.
        The fact is the majority of players are not particularly good compared to the best. WG certainly don’t want them to uninstall, feeling slapped around all the time.




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    • Ulysses says:

      +1MM would not work in NA for majority of the day.




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  3. skivster says:

    80% time, when im in the VK30.01.p i land in a tier 8 match. Super fucking fun. VK100? 70% of the time in tier 10. Oh yea, MM is doing wonders




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  4. Mike-T 2016 says:

    Until WG bring WOT into line with the expectation of the intelligent player base in the EU (yes intelligent ~ as WG must believe Europeans are thick and stupid morons) then WOT active player numbers will sadly fade away month by month

    With WG treating the EU players so badly with a oily smug smile that hides contempt mixed with dealing with ‘children’ approach to there community ~ then WG themselves will slowly then quickly fuck up there own game

    problem is, there is no real completion for WOT its a unique game faormat, and this shity attitude is the outcome.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    I am top tier every 15th-20th game. And than I am attacker with 7-8 td-s…
    In platoon whole evening can not get top tier!!!
    This BS working as intended. Fixed as always….
    In my FCM didn’t saw nothing but 5xIX + 10xVIII. In Tier 7 tanks regulary see FCM….
    This game is dead fixed rigged money pit…




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  6. Seth Hill says:

    “When we say we aspire to build a truly fair, balanced, and exciting experience for everyone to enjoy, we stand by it. And as we work towards it we’ll keep enhancing the matchmaker with new rules, logic, and restrictions―all of them designed to create team makeups with equal chances at victory, bringing decision-making, tactics, and strategy to the forefront. Moving forward, we’ll be building on the balance by vehicle types to remove the difference in vehicle classes from the factors that might give one side an edge over the other. Our end goal here is to make every victory a team accomplishment that has nothing to do with matchmaking.”

    And yet you can’t do that when you have MM that does NOT include some sort of balance based on player rating or statistics. I have screenshots of matches showing the bad mismatch of teams. Based on WN8, while not WG ratings is kind of in line with WG rating (ie better rating has better WN8): I have one where 1 team had 4 red, 1 no rating, 3 green and 7 yellow, the other team had 1 blue, 4 green, 1 orange, and 9 yellow. I have one where one team has 3 blue, 3 yellow, and 9 green vs 2 red (the reds had over 20k battles), 3 orange, and 10 green. I have another where one team was 1 orange, 1 yellow, 1 purple, 2 blue, and 10 green vs 1 red, 2 yellow, 1 purple, 7 blue and 4 green. I didn’t keep track of the results of those battles, I think I will start doing that, but if everyone plays to their ability then you should be able to deduce who should have won.

    If you want balance and equal chance of winning for the teams, you have to balance the players.




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    • Molotov says:

      Mm “works as intended”
      Since 8.6 “player balance” has been a factor in mm, but also rng,
      to create wins/losses, to “balance” players wr, punnish “sanctioned” players +make bots less rewarded




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  7. Sandor Nagy says:

    Not once WG developers said that this game is tier/tank based random MM and will never be a skill based MM as that would take the ‘random’ out of the random battles. I know that WG will never acknowledge xvm as an official performance measuring tool – since then we would have a unified working proof that skilled player distribution sucks. The problem with this as many player have already mentioned is that one team is as red as the proudest Russian flag (in 95% of the battles) while the other is a rainbow. This basically foreshadows the outcome of the battle. I am a mediocre player with 13k battles and 52.7% wr, yet I see that during summer and in after-school period the game gets flooded with players with no-experience (0 battle and tier8 premium tank to learn this game) and this makes the game unplayable. If players with different skills would be equally represented in each teams… this still would be the game of random brain-farts during battle.. true this would require some money invested not just gained.




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    • Seth says:

      I use WN8 as the example, but WG doesn’t need to use that as they have their own data and rating (player’s Service Record rating). WN8 falls in line with WG’s rating also, though not directly the same. A higher WN8 will reflect a higher WG rating.

      Adding “skill based” influence to MM will not take the randomness out of random battles, because first off you have players that just have a bad game even at top levels of skill level. If you include say +/-1 or 2 skill levels you provide even more randomness. Also, if MM is meant to make matches competitive, which WG has repeatedly stated, you can’t have that when you don’t include player skill levels in MM. Which explains lopsided wins/losses.

      Adding player skill level to MM would only require some minor coding so the cost would be minimal.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    The problem I see with 3/5/7 match making is that it places too much reliance on the 3 top tier players. If your top tiers are garbage and theirs are good you automatically lose. I have actually found the 1 tier MM that we get if the MM can’t find enough players to do 3/5/7 to be better. One idea is that the MM could attempt to create a one tier game, then go 3/5/7 if it cannot find enough players.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow what a load of horse shit. Retarded devs have killed the game. I am done, forever and spend all my dollars elsewhere. I really wish the very worst upon the devs, may they all be unemployed and homeless is what they deserve.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    Over 4 to 1 ratio bottom tier to top tier this week in three tier matches, 11 to zero bottom tier in two tier matches. This sucks – I’m forced to load premium rounds to get a few hit points.




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    • Brian says:

      It is rare that I shoot premium ammo even when bottom tier firing at top tier tanks. With the exception of taking on super heavies frontally I never feel forced to load premium. It’s called aiming at weak spots. You might want to try it and if you don’t know them maybe learn 1 or 2.




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