Matchmaking system?



  • Hi,

    First of all, I’ve played a lot of Chivalry before, so I’m used to the server browser. Especially in Chivalry, I like the ability to pick my own server. Sometimes I want a crowded server, at other times I prefer a half-full (or half-empty :)) server.

    But if you have a look at other new “arena-fighting” games, where small groups of people fight against eachother (e.g. Overwatch, For Honor, …), they always provide a matchmaking system. In these games, server browsers are either totally removed or only second choice if people want to start a game.

    Let’s discuss the pros and cons of a matchmaking system!

    Pros

    • Better learning curve for new players:

      New players are automatically matched with people of the same skill-level. They don’t get smashed by more experienced players over and over again and this keeps up their motivation.

      In Chivalry there were “Low-Rank”-servers. That wasn’t a bad idea and most new players had some time to get used to the game. But the transition to the “real” servers was just too harsh for some of the players. A lot of them gave up, when they had to face more advanced tactics/moves, which were not frequently used on the low-rank-servers. This problem would be gone with a matchmaking system.

    • Rank system: Motivataion for new and more experienced players:
      I think the details of a ranking system should be discusses in another topic.
      I just want to show briefly, which benefits any ranking system could have:

      If a matchmaking system is in place, there already are numbers which can easily be used for a ranking. It doesn’t even have to be a classic ELO-Rating, but could be something more abstract like leagues. (bronze, silver, gold,…). This usually motivates a lot of players because they can easily see where they stand and if they make progress. They have a similar system in “Rocket League” and it keeps me playing, although I’m somewhere in the bottom leagues, because it feels good if you climb up a little bit higher and see your progress ;)

      Even if you are on a losing streak, you still have motivation to play because you want to get your rank back or your rank became so low that you are going to win again ;), Also, winning and losing will actually feel more important, if you see that a number/rank changes after a game.

    • Balanced fights:
      The most fun I had during alpha was against opponents, who were at my skill level. Crushing newer players can be fun, but only for a short time. Getting your ass handed to you by better players may teach you one thing or another, but can be very frustrating, too.


    Cons

    • Waiting times:
      You cannot just join and play instantly. Sometimes you have to wait untill there are enough other people queuing

    • Incoming flames: "This matchmaking sucks!"
      I guess it’s quite predictable that there will be people who will flame the matchmaking, regardless of how good or bad it will be. Losing can be a frustrating experience and if people lose 5 times in a row they may think it’s the matchmaking’s fault.

    • "Matchmaking will only work with a very high player count"
      It may be right, that a game with a very high player count can provide a better matchmaking system, because there is a bigger player pool to chose from. However, I think that it wouldn’t be too bad if there are occasionally better or worse players joining the game to fill up the gaps.

    • Development time:
      Of course it needs some time to plan and implement such a system. Also matchmaking would need some serious testing with more people.
      Moreover, I believe that a matchmaking system would only make sense if it’s fully implemented before the game releases. Release will be the time when most new players arrive. At this point, a matchmaking system can help keeping the playercount high in the long-term. If it’s added after release, when the acitve playercount slowly decreases (like in every other game) most people who are looking for long-term motivation will be already gone.


    Conclusion

    All in all I think the game would benefit from a matchmaking system in the long-term. Even after release, it would help to keep new players playing, because they would feel more satisfied if they fought people of their own skill levels.
    And if they have a nice first experience with the game, they would also be more likely to stay :).

    Moreover, a rank system could be a low-hanging fruit in development which could be easily added, after a matchmaking system is in place. This would motivate new and experienced players to stick with the game and offer some kind of progress for experienced players. Although this comes at the cost of development time and a lot of neccessary testing.

    Ok that’s enough from my side :)
    What’s your opinion on this topic?


    edit: changed formatting



  • @sanastro said in Matchmaking system?:

    Hi,

    First of all, I’ve played a lot of Chivalry before, so I’m used to the server browser. Especially in Chivalry, I like the ability to pick my own server. Sometimes I want a crowded server, at other times I prefer a half-full (or half-empty :)) server.

    But if you have a look at other new “arena-fighting” games, where small groups of people fight against eachother (e.g. Overwatch, For Honor, …), they always provide a matchmaking system. In these games, server browsers are either totally removed or only second choice if people want to start a game.

    Let’s discuss the pros and cons of a matchmaking system!

    Pros

    • Better learning curve for new players:

      New players are automatically matched with people of the same skill-level. They don’t get smashed by more experienced players over and over again and this keeps up their motivation.

      In Chivalry there were “Low-Rank”-servers. That wasn’t a bad idea and most new players had some time to get used to the game. But the transition to the “real” servers was just too harsh for some of the players. A lot of them gave up, when they had to face more advanced tactics/moves, which were not frequently used on the low-rank-servers. This problem would be gone with a matchmaking system.

    • Rank system: Motivataion for new and more experienced players:
      I think the details of a ranking system should be discusses in another topic.
      I just want to show briefly, which benefits any ranking system could have:

      If a matchmaking system is in place, there already are numbers which can easily be used for a ranking. It doesn’t even have to be a classic ELO-Rating, but could be something more abstract like leagues. (bronze, silver, gold,…). This usually motivates a lot of players because they can easily see where they stand and if they make progress. They have a similar system in “Rocket League” and it keeps me playing, although I’m somewhere in the bottom leagues, because it feels good if you climb up a little bit higher and see your progress ;)

      Even if you are on a losing streak, you still have motivation to play because you want to get your rank back or your rank became so low that you are going to win again ;), Also, winning and losing will actually feel more important, if you see that a number/rank changes after a game.

    • Balanced fights:
      The most fun I had during alpha was against opponents, who were at my skill level. Crushing newer players can be fun, but only for a short time. Getting your ass handed to you by better players may teach you one thing or another, but can be very frustrating, too.


    Cons

    • Waiting times:
      You cannot just join and play instantly. Sometimes you have to wait untill there are enough other people queuing

    • Incoming flames: "This matchmaking sucks!"
      I guess it’s quite predictable that there will be people who will flame the matchmaking, regardless of how good or bad it will be. Losing can be a frustrating experience and if people lose 5 times in a row they may think it’s the matchmaking’s fault.

    • "Matchmaking will only work with a very high player count"
      It may be right, that a game with a very high player count can provide a better matchmaking system, because there is a bigger player pool to chose from. However, I think that it wouldn’t be too bad if there are occasionally better or worse players joining the game to fill up the gaps.

    • Development time:
      Of course it needs some time to plan and implement such a system. Also matchmaking would need some serious testing with more people.
      Moreover, I believe that a matchmaking system would only make sense if it’s fully implemented before the game releases. Release will be the time when most new players arrive. At this point, a matchmaking system can help keeping the playercount high in the long-term. If it’s added after release, when the acitve playercount slowly decreases (like in every other game) most people who are looking for long-term motivation will be already gone.


    Conclusion

    All in all I think the game would benefit from a matchmaking system in the long-term. Even after release, it would help to keep new players playing, because they would feel more satisfied if they fought people of their own skill levels.
    And if they have a nice first experience with the game, they would also be more likely to stay :).

    Moreover, a rank system could be a low-hanging fruit in development which could be easily added, after a matchmaking system is in place. This would motivate new and experienced players to stick with the game and offer some kind of progress for experienced players. Although this comes at the cost of development time and a lot of neccessary testing.

    Ok that’s enough from my side :)
    What’s your opinion on this topic?


    edit: changed formatting

    There is nothing bad to say about matchmaking in my opinion as long the server browsers are still fully functional and not removed or something similar.


  • Developer

    We absolutely plan on having skill-based matchmaking as we agree with most points of your thorough analysis here, and it will be available for testing in a future build. The server browser will of course remain an option for those preferring a more custom/community focused server option. We will be looking for lots of feedback on the matchmaker once it is in so look forward to that.



  • @Tibberius nice :] good to hear that matchmaking already has been considered.



  • Another thing to add to pros:

    Let’s say you’re queuing with your entire team of 6. It’s going to be really difficult to find a server with exactly 6 slots open, and even then you’ll have to split up and be on separate teams. An automatic system is pretty much necessary for team vs. pub play.