Hi @Developers , I know that TRS are currently trying to rework the matchmaking system in Evolve and so I wanted to give my feedback.
First of all, I think having multiple queues in Evolve is a mistake. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea in principle but in practice it has problems.
Splitting players into 3 queues (Arcade, Hunt Hunter and Hunt Monster) separates them from each other and makes it more difficult for players to be placed together in a lobby. This creates longer queue times for everyone. I don’t really know if Evolve has enough active players to justify multiple queues and I feel like what ends up happening is one queue becomes adopted by the community and the other one becomes a ghost town.
Another issue with having multiple queues is that you end up having 3 different skill ratings for each queue. Again, I like this idea in principle but in practice I think this has negative consequences for certain players. For example, I am primary a player who solo queues. When I play in Hunt Beta, I have two different ratings for Monster and Hunter. When I play Monster the system works okay. At the start I get matched against beginners but as I win matches I get placed against better and better teams.
However, when I play Hunter I end up getting stuck in elo hell (or maybe its glicko hell?) I get matched with beginners and we end up losing and the system is not good at determining an individual hunters skill. This leads to me to be constantly matched with players who don’t have much experience and it is impossible for me to improve my rank so that I can begin to get better teammates and games. The only way to get higher ranked is to group up with other good players and farm wins for a while, then when you solo queue you will get groups with others who also did the same.
Accurately assessing the skill of individual hunters is a very difficult problem to solve for Evolve. You can’t just look at wins and losses; you can’t just look at healing and damage numbers. I don’t really know how to design an algorithm that would work well. However you don’t have to. The current rating system that is in Arcade works well and solves this problem in a roundabout way.
In Arcade you only have one rating for both Hunter and Monster. The good thing about this is that it allows solo queue players to play Monster in order to rank up and escape elo hell. Then when they switch over to playing Hunter, their rank remains the same and they get matched with better quality teammates. This is not a perfect solution but it works well and it’s in the game currently. Of course in an ideal world you could have two ratings and they would both independently be good predictors for your skill level playing that role, but again I think this is a very difficult problem to solve and ends up leading to the elo hell problems I described above.
I think that having separate ratings and queues for Hunter and Monster also increases the waiting time for higher skilled monsters and premade hunter teams. What I believe is happening is that good monster players win lots of games and become high ranked, but because individual solo hunters have a worse win/loss ratio (since they are depending on 3 other random players) their ratings are far below the monsters. The monster then ends up waiting for long periods of time and only gets matched against premade teams who also were able to raise their rank high enough.
This is not a problem in the Arcade queue because everyone has one rating and you are able to “prove” to the matchmaker that you are a good player by playing Monster and winning. This leads to many good players being matched with each other consistently as opposed to waiting in 15 minute queues in Hunt Beta.
I think TRS should remove the Hunt Beta queue entirely and make some tweaks to the Arcade queue. I think the Arcade queue is currently working reasonably well and it doesn’t need to be redesigned from the ground up. My fear is that TRS will spend a lot of time and effort trying to redesign the matchmaking and we will end up with something that is not much better or even worse. This happened before when ranked was first released for legacy Evolve.
So what are the problems with the Arcade queue right now?
First of all, I personally am not a fan of the variant maps. I understand that they don’t take as long to make as brand new maps but they just don’t offer that much value to me. I believe I am the type of player that TRS wants to play Hunt Beta, but hopefully what I have describe about will inform you as to why that is a bad experience for me. It is better for me to queue in Arcade and then just skip or requeue when a variant map comes up, than it is for me to try and solo queue as a Hunter in Hunt Beta.
I feel lots of people have the same tastes as me as I often see the variants skipped. IMO the variants should either be removed, or just simply make it so that when you skip a variant you are guaranteed to get a vanilla map next. Either that, or add a map vote option at the start of the lobby. That way, players can choose which modes they play without having to queue separately.
Another issue is having two players who only want to play Monster put in the same lobby. Since they are similarly ranked if they requeue they end up back in the same lobby over and over again. Perhaps you should allow players to not just have an order of preference but also be able to blacklist certain roles so that they will never be put into a lobby and made to play that role. If you only want to play Monster, you just cross off the hunter roles and then it will only put you in a lobby with another Monster first preference if they were also willing to play Hunter.
Some people complain about being matched with the same people over and over. I don’t really have a problem with that if they are near my level and we have close games. I would rather that than to get matched with players who are less skilled. The only time it is an issue for me is when there is a hacker that I keep getting put against.
Another problem is lobbies starting with 4 players in them. It seems to be that the lobby times out when looking for other players at your level and then just starts without being full. IMO this needs to be tweaked a little because I don’t think most people want to play with bots. The system should either keep looking for longer or start to widen the skill level in which it is searching for players until it can fill the lobby. Although I have to say that often when this happens, I just requeue, get matched with the same lobby and then it will find a last player on time the second time around. This might actually be better than getting a lower skilled player just to fill the lobby up faster.
I’m not sure if TRS wants to add in some sort of ranking system like in CS:GO. I have seen some players complain about the removal of ranked mode. If you do want to add this in you could simply show the current hidden rating that exists in the Arcade queue, in my experience it is a pretty good predictor of a players overall skill.
Thanks for taking the time to read this
TL:DR Arcade queue works well for the most part and just needs some small tweaks. Hunt Beta doesn’t work well and should be removed so that only one queue exists.