Hi Monsters and Hunters,
We wanted to get this information out to our community about a system we implemented into Stage 2 to help tackle some issues we saw with the solo queue matchmaking experience. Put simply, Solo Benefits is a system that will give the Hunter team added base stats depending on how many solo queue Hunters are on the team.
Now we know this might sound like crazy talk but we wanted to break down what this change has done for the game in this post and give a glance into what we’re looking towards with the future of Stage 2.
For us maintaining a great gameplay experience across all levels of play is a constant goal for us at Turtle Rock Studios. Solo Benefits is a new type of system for us, but through gathering data and our players feedback we hope to strive closer and closer to that goal we’ve set for ourselves.
Let’s dive into things
Below are the overall winrates for Hunters vs Monsters on each build since the Stage 2 launch.
This is a view of winrates at a high-level (meaning overview of all rounds, no specific filters applied besides build number). If you start applying filters to rounds you will notice that the winrates shift dramatically, giving us insight to problem areas. While some releases may appear 50/50 (looking at 2.01 or 2.04) there are other factors we look at to help us determine what needs changing and where. If you start looking into the winrates low-level (in depth, specific areas and filtering certain things) you quickly start seeing imbalances.
Why solo benefits are needed
The solo experience was less than ideal. We want solo queueing to be a viable option just like queueing up with three friends. The only difference is the huge discrepancy in Hunter coordination. Solo players generally have little/no coordination where full parties have at least some/a lot of coordination. We can only do so much for adjusting numbers on characters so we had to figure out another system to help level the playing field.
The system that makes solo queuing viable
Since the 2.01 update the more solo queuers you have on your team the bigger buff the Hunter team gets. When 2.01 was released we tested the system by adding something subtle to see if it helped. We added +12%/8%/4%/0% max health buffs respective to max party size of 1 (all solos)/2/3/full parties. This immediately brought up the win percentage for Hunters from an overall winrate of 43.5% (2.00/Stage 2 release) to 50% (2.01 release)–which can be seen on the “Win Rates by Build” chart.
This was enough evidence to prove our system worked. Looking deeper into the differences in party sizes, Hunters with solo queuers had a 48% winrate which is much higher than before the solo benefits system was in place. It finally gave solo queuers a chance and made up for the lack of coordination you get queuing by yourself.
If it was near 50%, why have things changed?
Hunters were already strong at high-level. New/low skilled/solo Hunter players were getting ‘pub stomped’ from Monsters while experienced/veteran Hunters were murdering Monsters. The chart below shows the first iteration of the solo benefits system in place.
Since this release we’ve been slowly shifting the meta from near 50% low-skilled players to near 50% high-skilled players and adjusting the solo benefits as we go. You guys have been calling this the 3 weeks of Hunter nerfs but only knew half the story. Alongside shifting the meta we’ve been silently buffing solo benefits to compensate for our changes. What does it look like after 5 weeks of iterating on the solo benefits system? Let’s take a look:
Much closer overall, and less of a curve towards Hunter wins and Monster loses.
So it works! What are the solo benefits? What will change moving forward?
Here’s where the solo benefits sit as of today’s update (2.06):
- Party Size of 4:
- Max Party Size of 3:
- Max Health increased to 10% from 3.2%
- Speed increased to 5% from 0%
- Jetpack Recharge increased to 5% from 0%
- Max Party Size of 2:
- Max Health increased to 17% from 13%
- Speed increased to 10% from 7%
- Jetpack Recharge increased to 10% from 7%
- Max Party size of 1 (All solos):
- Max Health increased to 25% from 20%
- Speed increased to 12% from 7%
- Jetpack Recharge increased to 12% from 7%
Are we done yet? No, nor will we ever be. We will keep iterating on this solo benefits system and potentially work on other systems like it to help resolve other problem areas.
Does the solo benefits system ramp down as skill goes up? Not currently, but we’re keeping an eye on things and will adjust accordingly.
Other questions? Let’s talk about them.