Update 9.20.1: Matchmaker Improvements

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Wargamings own round-up of the up-to-date matchmaker changes in the forthcoming patch.

Have you ever played Himmelsdorf against a team that has more heavies than you? Or perhaps, you’ve watched victory slip from your fingers on an open map simply because the other camp was lucky enough to have more medium tanks in their ranks. Update 9.20.1 clamps down on these frustrating scenarios by adding an extra parameter to the matchmaker: vehicle combat roles. Simply put, we taught the matchmaker to see the difference between the Maus and IS-7, for example. Now, it balances them separately. To create two evenly assembled teams, it would place the former against other heavily armored tanks (the E-100, Type 5 HEAVY, etc.), while the IS-7 gets to face the likes of the Т110Е5 and FV215b. Let’s take a closer look!

How does it work?

Along with balancing teams by vehicle classes (artillery, light tanks, and tank destroyers) and Platoons, the matchmaker now looks into the intended roles each tank plays in combat and ensures each side has a similar number of vehicles that play the same role. Of course, their exact number might differ, but this difference is one vehicle at the most.

If you need a refresher on how the matchmaker works, head HERE.

Essentially, the newly-added parameter balances out the number of autoloaders, well-protected TDs, and assault heavy tanks across teams. By distributing them evenly between the two camps, the improved matchmaker addresses another frequent concern of yours. Medium and heavy tanks are no longer distributed randomly. With classes split into smaller groups that unite vehicles with a district play style, medium tanks with a certain role are pitted against each other. The same with heavies. So you can forget about one-sided matchups with, let’s say, five Bat.-Chats duking it out with five Mauses on Steppes.

We put in extra effort to make sure balancing by a vehicle’s role does not affect the overall speed of matching. So worry not, the wait time won’t change. What should improve is the overall quality of matches as vehicle roles lower the chance of a team gaining the upper hand through sheer luck. At the same time, team setups aren’t mirrored, so every battle is a unique experience where the final outcome depends largely on tactics and teamplay.

Finally, the matchmaker tries to ensure teams are evenly assembled regarding the number of Platoon players and their vehicle tiers—its primary goal. However, it currently doesn’t balance Platoon vehicles by roles. Instead, it evens out the matchups by adding standalone vehicles to teams—if the current queue composition allows for it with no increase in the wait time. For example, if a team has a Platoon of autoloader medium tanks, the matchmaker places it against a Platoon of medium tanks. Then, it tries to add standalone autoloader tanks to the other team to even out their chances at victory. If there are no autoloaders in the queue, it will create a battle to avoid longer wait times.

Vehicle Roles

If you look at the way light tanks and arty fight, there’s no immediate value in breaking these two classes into smaller packs grouped around a certain role. Light tank gameplay is built around scouting, and that’s the role they all share, regardless of whether they remain completely still to spot enemies or zoom around the map. A particular set of LTs won’t make the enemy team superior to yours as long as both of you have them in similar numbers, and the matchmakers ensure you do. It’s the same story with SPGs: they all play as long-range support vehicles.

TDs, medium and heavy tanks are a whole other story. Let’s take medium tanks with powerful guns and moderate armor, for example. These are designated support vehicles. Their peers, with strong protection but average mobility and firepower perform best in an attack role. There’s a whole bunch of medium tanks sporting autoloader guns, and they can dismantle an enemy in no time. Finally, others perform equally well in more than one role, which makes them fairly universal.

Having analyzed the key parameters and combat performance of TDs, medium and heavy tanks, we outlined primary roles for each class at Tiers VIII–X. The structure you see below is not final. We want to hear your thoughts on the classification and criteria we put at its core (armor, firepower, and mobility). Following your feedback, we might revise it and consider introducing roles for mid to lower tiers. The chart is HERE.

But Wait, There’s More

Improvements to the matchmaker don’t end with the introduction of vehicle roles. Along with adding them, we addressed some of your most vocal requests:

  • Better chances of getting ranked at the top of the list for Platoon players: Initially, their chances of playing at the top were reduced to avoid upsetting scenarios with Platoons singlehandedly deciding the battle outcome. In direct response to community feedback, we’re raising them slightly so that you and your Platoon mates can fight at higher tiers once in a while. This won’t cause any drastic changes to the state of Random Battles, but offers a more varied experience to Platoon players.
  • Equal chances of getting ranked in the top/middle/bottom of the list for different vehicle classes: You might have noticed that heavy and medium tanks would end up in single-level battles way too often, while arty and TDs tended to get ±2 and ±1 setups. We tweaked the matchmaker, evening out the odd for all vehicle classes.
  • Optimized team assembly logic: After some extra tuning, you’ll see more 3/5/7 and 5/10 teams, which should provide for a more enjoyable experience.
  • More Grand Battles: We increased the chance of getting matched in a Grand Battle, so that more players could playtest the new format.

We put a lot of work into these improvements, and are excited to hear what you think about them. Your input is crucial as we continue evolving the matchmaker. So be sure to leave any suggestions or questions you might have on the forum.

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25 comments on “Update 9.20.1: Matchmaker Improvements

  1. malkavian_str says:

    boring, also whats the thing with games wo lights, ranked is even more erratic.




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  2. SpottableSky says:

    “After some extra tuning, you’ll see more 3/5/7 and 5/10 teams…”

    NO, NOT MORE 3/5/7 MM TIER 8 AND 6 IS A LIVING HELL WITH THIS SETUP FFS IT’S THE EXACT OPPOSITE WHAT WE WANTED *screeches*




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    • rubberboas says:

      But its exactly what tier 6 and 7 tanks wanted! Tier 8 has been sacrificed for the good of the lower, slightly shittier tiers.




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    • pixywing says:

      Everyone being the same tier is my favorite bullying tanks 2 tiers down is boring, and getting destroyed by a tank 2 tiers higher is equally boring and I just run my tank down the middle of the map fire a couple shells and grab a new tank rather than spamming premium rounds.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    How about balancing skill




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    • Anoymous says:

      Have you heard about this cool new thing called “ranked”?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Works only in tier X though




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      • Seth H says:

        Not only does it only work in tier X, but you do realize that it does NOT balance skill until you get to about a ranking of 4. You still end up with below average players getting carried up the rankings by just doing enough in wins to earn a chevron.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Very true, too many games I play really good, win a flank with 1 or 2 players beside me against 5-6 of the enemy, just to see that the other flank disastrously collapsed although they had the numbers.
      As I don’t run XVM I do sometimes spend some time after these type of games right clicking our and their team in post game stats, and what do I see: our team, especially the lost flank, is full of 46-49%ers, while their team is full of 52-56%ers…
      So, if I had XVM it would read from start that victory should be really hard to achieve in a red vs blue/green environment




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      • Seth H says:

        You need to compare the player rating and games played more than the win %. Win percent is heavily influenced by the team you are on (since you are not playing a 1v1 game) and MM.

        Player rating, especially when the player has more than say 5k battles under their belt, and battles played are a pretty good indication of what the player is like. I have seen a player with 30k battles, a sub 2k rating, and 49% win rate that played like he/she was just starting to play the game. They are the ones that drive the slow heavy tank into the open field, don’t know how to angle the armor, etc. If you had to base that player’s win rate on his/her own play (like in a 1v1 game), I would venture to guess it would be in the 20% range (and that is being gracious). I have seen a lot of decent players (mid to upper 5k rating, probably a WN8 of over 1400) that fall in the 48-49% win rate area that were it not for the teams that MM stuck them with over the years, they would be over 52%.

        To support my statement about win %: the other day I started out with a 7-10 win/loss, I ended the day at something like 13-30 win/loss. So if I was 70% to start and then went 30% for the remaining 20 matches (for a 43% overall for the day). It wasn’t from a lack of trying on my part, I was in the top 5 of the teams for most of the matches. I have had matches where I was the only player on my team that did over 1k dmg, doing as much as 3k dmg, that ended in a losses (usually a lopsided loss). Do I deserve to have those losses held against me (since you were basing on win %)? Conversely, I have had matches where my team has won because of 3 or 4 players carrying the rest of the team, do those that didn’t contribute to the win (0 dmg/spotting/etc) deserve to have those wins (based on you using win %)?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately balancing skill will probably never happen.

      Most of us recognize through general observance of playing thousands of battles, (I have played ~30k battles) that TOP CLANS most of the time end up on a way more experienced team.

      The Match Maker (MM) of World of Tanks (WoTs) is much more sophisticated than most thought, as seen in this post, where platoons were purposely penalized.

      Balancing skill would mean that TOP CLANS that compete in their world finals would potentially have worse stats, and therefore would not be as impressive. Wargaming would see this as a potential threat and loss in viewership and revenue (its all about the money) during their annual team competitions.

      Therefore, a better balance of skills on each side will probably never happen.




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      • shithead says:

        LoL, this is just ridiculous. One does not simply enjoy new conspiracy every day, but here in WoT we can…




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      • Jabstet says:

        I didnt even know 11.000 pr players existed, till i saw them in after battle stats checking
        +then, im seeing 10,000 +11,000pr players platooned together.
        Hmm i wonder how we lost.

        I think players over 6,000pr should not be able to platoon +players under 44%wr, should never be in top 1/2 of team, that way, they have time to learn/dont drag everyone down with their bad skill




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    • Jabster says:

      They do already.
      Just as youd hope.
      They use it to create win/loss +balance wr/punnish




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  4. Kulingile says:

    They still need to reverse the matchmaking preference so that a +-0 match is preferred, then 5/10, then 3/5/7. That would make so many people happier.

    “Equal chances of getting ranked in the top/middle/bottom of the list for different vehicle classes: You might have noticed that heavy and medium tanks would end up in single-level battles way too often, while arty and TDs tended to get ±2 and ±1 setups. We tweaked the matchmaker, evening out the odd for all vehicle classes.”

    Yeah… we wanted everyone to see single-tier matches more. Not just heavy and medium tanks, who are the hardest hit when matched up bottom-tier. Thank you WG.




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  5. OrigamiChik3n says:

    “A particular set of LTs won’t make the enemy team superior to yours as long as both of you have them in similar numbers”.

    Yes, except the (not rare) instances when one team gets, let’s say, tier 9 LT and the other – tier 10. I don’t see this issue addressed here.




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  6. ROMBAT says:

    The big problem of this new mm is…6 games in tier 10, 3 in tier 9, 1 in tier 8, if i play with a tier 8.
    So i thing that old mm was much better.
    This bad mm keeps this pattern even if you play with tier 5 ,6 or 7.
    +2 mm is moore than 60% of time
    +1 mm 30% of time
    0+ mm 10% of time
    And that is not ok.
    Once upon of time they sad that if you get to the next tier first 10 games you,ll be the top dog and then you,ll be on regular mm.
    Now first game you are top dog and second game i was +2 mm and so on without thouse 10 games of top to real happen.
    New mm shit mm.




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    • Angry Soviet Tankist says:

      Thats true.
      Only one correction: with new MM you can play with +2 from the first game on new vehicle.




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    • Seth H says:

      Grinding tiers 5-8 have become terrible, tier 8 tends to be the worst of them. This is especially true here in NA since the merge of the East/West servers. I’m curious if there was an impact on the players with the merge, it seems that there are more lopsided games wins/losses and that there may have been a drop in win %.




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  7. Persis says:

    The Issue with MM , will never be fixed, The core Issue is too much deference from one tier to another and also within Tiers. what A tier 5 HT can do when comes against a T29? or when i play Player TD against a tier 10 HT i can’t even pen that Tank sometimes even from Sides. and you also have that OP premium Tank , good luck when MM put your tier 6 or 7 tank against a Defender or patriot.

    Issue in MM can never be fixed as long the Tanks are not balanced in a reasonable manner and not based on Sales tactics.

    They put too much content in game for money sake and now is almost impossible to fix.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    One of the issues with MM for the NA is the lack of active players, like the EU for example. The NA server may have around 20k players on a weekend, where the EU server will have 2.5 times that many players on. The lack of active players on the NA server is plays into the problem with MM.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I would say the difference in tank performance between tiers, especially a 2 tier difference, contributes to this problem, especially at tier 8, when fighting tier 10s. Tier 8s cannot compete most of the time with tier 10s.




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  9. Mikosah says:

    The 5/10 template is the answer to most MM problems. If only WG would just use it more often.




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  10. Jabster says:

    ++Hmm dancing around the real issue again.
    Mm problem, since 8.6 is wgs mm created losses.
    Never mind heavies, its the 55% wr enemy vs 44%wr team top tanks, followed by enemy “randomly” getting better players +your team getting bad players… That makes mm +wot terrible.
    But then, mm is working as u designed it.
    Maybe wot dont expect players to discover their corruption




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