Firstly, thanks for the comprehensive write-up. Secondly, thanks to everyone for their patience with us despite our radio silence. We’ve been doing a lot of monitoring over the past (almost) week, and we’ve also received reports internally from folks who are experiencing some of the same issues y’all have been. Let’s see if we can answer or further elaborate on the systems in place to give you a better understanding of how things work. Settle in, I can already tell this is gonna be a novella.
Ranking Scoring…how is it measured?
Let’s start here. To begin, we use a modified Glicko-2 rating system. The Glicko system itself is a modified version of the Elo rating system that many of you are probably familiar with. If you’d like to read more about the rating system, here are a few helpful links:
Introduction to Glicko Rating System
Example of the Glicko-2 Rating System (Formulas and Example Calculation)
Glicko Rating System Wikipedia article
The Glicko System for Beginners
Chess Ratings - How They Work (A Comparison of Elo and Glicko Rating Systems)
Simplistically what we know is this. After being placed in your division via ten qualifying matches monster/hunters, you should be matchmade with others in your division. A victory should gain you points towards promotion, a loss takes points away.
It ends up being a lot more complicated than victory = points earned, loss = points lost, when you peek under the hood. To break it down as simply as possible, here are the factors that are taken into consideration when a match in Evolve concludes:
Your current rating (AKA “score” AKA “points”)
Your opponent’s score (if you’re a Monster player, it would be the Hunter team’s collective average score)
The Glicko formula’s confidence level (known as a Rating Deviation – RD) in the outcome of the match based on the history of your and your opponent’s matches
The Glicko formula’s volatility variable, which is based around how consistently you perform in your matches, or if you’re all over the place as far as wins/losses against opponents the algorithm expected the opposite result of.
*Quick side note: I’m by no means a mathematician. My explanations above may be a little off-base, but is what I’ve gathered based on comprehensive reading of the materials I’ve linked, and what’s been explained to me internally. If there’s any players that do have a background in this kinda thing and I’ve butchered it, I encourage you to correct me so we’re all more aware!
What’s not taken into consideration are the following:
How fast the match was won
What Stage you or your Monster opponent were at when the match was won
How the match was won (Monster death, Hunter team death, wildlife OP, relay destroyed, etc.)
Which character participated in the match
Anything else not explicitly listed in the “here are the factors that are taken into consideration list” above
Now that this is out of the way, let’s go back to Placement Matches…
Was placed in Silver Expert following 9 wins in the ten qualifying matches. Next win put me as silver master. Two game crashes and one glitch game took me to Silver Expert, a low level one at that.
Placement Matches are the “curtains” we use to hide the beginning stages of the Glicko system, as it’s trying to figure you and your patterns of wins/losses out, and what your rating should be. If you saw it, it’d look like it was jumping all over the place and be pretty stressful to witness without knowing the inner workings of the system. I’ve been told that at about 15-20 matches, the algorithm should be less swing-y, meaning that the Rating Deviation and volatility factors should be much more accurate and you aren’t losing/gaining a massive amount of points at the end of every match, if you performed as the algorithm expected. However, we thought putting players through 20 Placement Matches felt cruel and like a large barrier of entry. It was 5 internally (to help QA test it faster), but we opted for 10 at launch, in hopes that it would cover up most of the jumping around so it wouldn’t be as stressful to the player to watch themselves launch up and then drop back down before finding their “settling point”.
When you start your first Placement Match, you are set at what we anticipated would be the middle-ground of the playerbase, 1500. This is the tipping point right at Bronze Destroyer and Silver Skilled. Every Placement Match played results in your rating jumping up or down, based on the outcome, and after 10 matches, it’s presumably found a relatively accurate division you’re supposed to be in, before you start trying to climb up to the top.
As a monster player right now I can’t win even if I go on a path of destruction streak. Only being put in with bronze divisions means I can’t win more than 10 points a game. Average is 7 so far. Matchmaking takes so long that I can’t just back out and search for silvers so I play what is presented.
We had opened up the matchmaking in an attempt to alleviate wait times for players. We found that, for Hunters, this seemed to work a bit, however Hunter teams were a mish-mash of players, and playing with Hunters of a lower-skill level usually led to the team losing, which would drag the higher-rated Hunters down with them.
For Monsters, we have found that there are actually more Monsters queuing to play than there are Hunter teams available, resulting in longer wait times for the Monsters. This also meant that by the time that Monster was “next in line”, their matchmaking pool was wide open, so it’d take whoever was first available. As a result, Monsters in the Silver/Gold divisions were frequently getting matched with Hunters rated far below them, making the climb upwards tedious and frustrating (and for the Hunters they were rolling over, it was not an ideal experience).
We’ve started to slowly restrict the matchmaking once more for both Hunter teams and Hunter-Monster matchmaking with the hopes that it will give you a fun, challenging match. There was a slight error in the matchmaking that was affecting match times for about the past 24hrs, but we found that and have corrected it, so please give it another shot!
One additional issue we’ve been seeing that you didn’t mention (but I want to, as I figure others might come by this post, looking for comment about it), is that they’re a higher-rated Monster or Hunter who gets matched against an opponent that is of a similar rating and they don’t earn as many points as expected. Conversely, they get matched against an opponent who is far below them and sometimes they earn a really large amount of points (I believe one report was something like 400+). We’re continuing to investigate these issues, as this is not intended behavior, and falls outside of our expectations. We did make alterations to the Glicko-2 algorithm, so it’s possible that something isn’t calculating as it should. We’re going to be running additional simulations in various scenarios internally to see if we can figure out what’s going on there.
As for the rest, I don’t have any further information to share at this time, but we are currently working on a hotfix build that I hope will add further clarity for when we need to balance our Hunter to Monster queues, in addition to resolving some of the other points you brought up.
Thanks again for your feedback and continuing to give Hunt 2.0 a shot! We’re working on it every day and will continue to keep a close eye on things so we can make it more fun and rewarding.