Improving matchmaking


#1

I’ve got a few ideas that I think would really improve matchmaking. Mostly these would have the effect of increasing the wait time for games to form, but they would also be optional so players would have the choice of giving up wait time for preferences. The following are options I think many players would be happy to have a bit of extra wait time to get.

  1. Not requiring all 5 roles be put in the preference order - only specifying the roles you’re willing to play. Having all 5 roles in your preference order (you’re willing to play anything) would put you in games faster, but if you’re willing to wait a bit longer you can be guaranteed to get the role(s) that you actually want to play. In the event ie. two people only want to play support for the next game forming, person with the longest wait time in the queue is put in the game. I don’t think wait times would increase drastically, but player enjoyment would. If for instance not enough people wanted to play monster this would balance out over the long time as picking monster would tend to put you in a game much faster, incentivizing people to do so.

  2. Allow me to re-pick perks and monster skills if I join a game in progress. This combined with #1 would go a loooooong way towards people not minding being dropped into a game in progress.

  3. Some way to check a box that prevents me from ever being put in a game with one specific player again - possibly role specific. This is to address the “God I don’t ever want that guy to be my trapper again”. Probably have the ban auto expire after a month or so, so people aren’t permanently penalized for being a newb when they start. Similarly, an in game “friend” toggle that preferentially groups me with people I flag. PUGs are pretty inconsistent because of how important it is for each player to carry their weight, this would I think give a much better experience to those who play a lot, encouraging more people to do so.

  4. A toggle that specifies I only want to play in games with people who have microphones. This would likely have the added benefit of encouraging more people to get microphones.


#2

More on this. I would like to see a… Counter or a small bar graph that shows what people are choosing as their preferences while in game. So that way it could help players identify and even out shortages of monster players, etc. This would help players make informed decisions to help expidite match making and get games formed faster because people are unaware of the over saturation or vice versa of a role.

Think of it as like stocks. You log on, see that medics are really popular today, and decide to even out the numbers by trying something else to possibly get a faster match. Or stick with medic, but at least know why it’s taking longer.

Thoughts?


#3

Good ideas. I’m not sure how realistic they all are to implement, but I like them.

I would actually prefer to just have lobbies like L4D had on both consoles and PC. “Matchmaking” would just put someone in one of these lobbies, or in a game in progress. This would let people pick if they get to start a game fresh or are willing to jump right into the action in an existing match.


#4

@ItsSuperEffective - Yes, that’s a good idea. “Current wait time by role” displayed while you’re waiting for a match to form, along with the ability to modify your preferences would both even things out and alleviate frustration. A 5 minute wait then turns from murder-rage if I’m just waiting with no feedback, to happy patience if I know both how long to expect to wait and that I’m choosing to pay that price to get the role I want. If I’m tired of waiting I then have the option of picking the role that’s holding things up or waiting. Either way, I’m probably a lot happier having that choice.


#5

Honestly, I don’t mind terribly being put into a match in progress, if it makes matchmaking quicker then I can deal with using a character that I may not have chosen for half a match.

What would be nice (and simpler) is to have a way to choose either “Hunter” or “Monster” for matchmaking. Or have some way that a monster player that has NO interest in playing hunter to completely avoid it, and vice-versa. They could keep the order of preference mechanic for hunter players.

Monster and hunter roles are very different experiences, and for the most part require a different player base (I know some people like to play both but that’s probably not the norm). I for one have ZERO interest in ever playing the monster. I don’t find it fun at all. The team play aspect of this game is why I like it. I’d love a way to not ever get put as monster. I’ll play any hunter role, though.


#6

Works in theory.

However Left 4 Dead didn’t have “Levels”, which must be factored in for Evolve, since Levels does unlock perks.

In Left 4 Dead, you’re more likely to run into mismatched teams, not saying that Evolve is immune to this, but it could be a whole lot worse, having high level 40 Monsters stomping fresh 0-20 hunter groups if they can cherry pick.

Unless we don’t care about any of that and we go by a “honor code” for people to pick fair games >.>;


#7

In L4D, a mismatched team was not as big a deal, either. Since the game didn’t depend at all on people playing their role. Everyone was the same.

I like the part about the “honor code” :stuck_out_tongue:


#8

Have a list of lobbies. People can come and leave as they choose. Also have a “matchmaking” system, similar to a “quick play” type thing so people can instantly join the action if they want.

Where is the downside?

I personally NEVER want to be placed into a match in progress. I sometimes don’t have alot of time to play in one session, and wasting 15-20 minutes on a match in progress, in a role I don’t want, with perks I didn’t get to choose, is not acceptable.


#9

I get people may not want to join a game in progress and that’s a completely fair and valid choice.

I’m just saying there is the good part of something like this, and the bad part, which would be experienced players intentionally stomping on newer players.

This happened regularly in NS2, and it’s already a steep learning curve. Some servers operated “match making” systems within their servers to shuffle people to keep teams even, but then they didn’t get to play what side they wanted. Or programmed the server to boot people if they didn’t have X amount of hours to either keep out experienced players from rookie servers, or keep out rookies from non-rookie severs.

At the end of the day, anything automated reduces the player’s options, if there is no automation, it’s up to the players to regulate themselves, which in itself is a double edge sword.


#10

That isn’t really that hard a problem to solve. This could probably be optimized a bit, but roughly:

Wait until 5 players within X levels of each other are in the waiting queue, attempt to form a game (behind the scenes).

Go down the list of roles - sorted with the role that has the current shortest wait time at the top (the role fewest people are currently picking). [role] is filled by player with the highest preference for it not already assigned a role.

  • Ties are decided by who has been waiting longer
  • If there is a role nobody is willing to play, wait until a new player (at an appropriate level) can be added from the wait queue willing to play that role
  • If no slots remain that a player is willing to play, that player gets put back in the queue, maintaining their wait time so they’ll almost certainly get one of their roles in the next match that forms because they’ll win any ties (unless somebody else has been waiting longer)

I really think joining a match in progress would be a lot less objectionable if you were never put into a role not on your preferences, and you got to re-pick skills/perks.


#11

Probably not that simple, what if 4 players play as a party. Then match making needs to find a monster that is even with that team’s combined strength of experience.

I think there is just a shortage of monsters compared to people who’d rather play as a hunter exclusively.

Which is why I suggested having the visual bars or numbers. So that the player will have more enhanced control over the experience they will receive.

They can still choose to wait for their chosen experience or choose to loosen up their preferences to play more regularly. It’s the same thing you experience if you want to eat at a busy restaurant. You can wait for a table for 4, or have all 4 of you sit at the bar, which doesn’t always jive for a family let’s say.

Match making still does it’s job, but this will at least allow players to fit themselves better into one of those 2 camps. Everyone wins!

It might encourage people to play outside their comfort zone, when they realize there is a certain role that is in high demand and they would get rewarded with faster games at the cost of playing a looser preference.

Anyways I am repeating myself. I hope TRS takes a peek at this @MacMan


#12

I don’t see the difficulty - the only thing I left out is pre-made party’s which would simply be: don’t put me in a game unless these other players also can be. With the logic I laid out, assuming the premade team of 4 had a wait time that left them all winning ties it would work out that they’d just be waiting for an appropriate level person willing to play the monster. I suppose you’d need some logic to compensate for significantly different levels among the pre-made team, but presumably there’s already something doing that today.

This would also allow something not possible today - I don’t have 5 friends who play, but I want to play monster sometimes against my two friends with 2 random appropriate level people filling in the rest of the team. Simple, form a party and leave monster as your only preference.