Algorithmic Handicapping (MMR) is Wrong for Online Games

I have edited and revised the original post, adding even more more video content to support my argument. For the videos, see the beginning and end of the original post. In addition to watching the videos, I hope the General Discussion audience will please read the original post, from start to finish, and tell me what they think. DO NOT SKIM, READ THOROUGHLY IN ORDER. I took the time to organize my writing, and the most important information is at the top.


Did you just necro by swapping thread titles dude? …Come on.
Let’s enjoy our glorified queue simulator in peace, yea?

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Sorry but I don’t think anyone is going to read that. Also I’m kinda shocked it been over 3 years you have been posting this tin foil hat conspiracy theory stuff.


How did you even find this thread




Great post. I agree with almost everything you say. I think matchmakers will be regulated and made public very soon. They are obviously very manipulative, and the mystery behind them only adds to the distrust. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was several lawsuits looming in OW current matchmaker that deal with exactly what you describe, namely discrimination and psychological predation for monetary gain.

I know Acti likes to tell people that the secrecy behind the matchmaker is to keep players from gaming the system and to protect their intellectual property, but players already game the system, and I really don’t buy the IP argument because OW matchmaker is actually worse than many of their competitors in regards to it’s fairness.

Acti would likely benefit from all games disclosing their matchmaker’s inner workings. The players would certainly benefit from it because they could choose the most fair of the bunch, if that was something that was important to them. Consumer rights FTW!


Holy necro Batman.


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What the hell are you on about? Okay firstly, MMR is good. It should be stricter in comp but it should still exist in Quick Play. No one likes a stomp. (Well some probably technically do but whatever) Without MMR, you can get whatever kind of players in your matches. I simply don’t understand why people are dumb enough to be so anti MMR. You already ruined Destiny 2 PvP convincing the devs it’s a good idea so the really good players can farm noobs. But at least there it’s unorganized as hell compared to Overwatch.

I wouldn’t say 50% winrate is forced. If anything if you’re having relatively even matches and winrate it means it’s working and found your elo. And if you think it’s because it’s forcing you into players much better than you; unless you’re dealing with the occasional smurf, it probably thinks you’re around the same skill level. The technology can only recognize so much ya know. I don’t know what my hidden Quick Play MMR is but I do know that 90% of the players there can aim better than I can. But I got to that point via positioning and heroes that aren’t so aim intensive, at all lol. So is it unfair in a way to be in matches where I could never ever begin to compete with an aim intensive hero? I suppose you could make an argument for it. But in this complex game we call Overwatch; I’m still competing with these people on other heroes and not losing every game.

Just in general I don’t understand these threads. They’re always so nonsensical. Ranging from “I just want to be able to farm noobs, but I’m not gonna word it like that; I’m going to tell you I want to play off meta stuff and somehow I just can’t unless I’m facing scrubs.” all the way to “MMR is imperfect, so just pitch it.”

Well A lot of the heroes people are unsatisfied with their balance, guess we better pitch them too. Some people are still playing Overwatch with a GTX, which is imperfect. Guess they better pitch that graphics card because it’s not the best it can be. MMR is imperfect and probably will be for ages if not forever. But it exists for good reason. And scrapping it is the absolute worst thing you could do.

Also your Artificial Equality section of this thread is absolutely hilarious and backwards. Can’t you just be satisfied with your rank and not turn into a conspiracy nut that you’re being held back like some kind of superhero? I don’t pretend to be a super great player myself. Have you seen my ranks the last time I indulged with competitive? To save you time; I got Silver on DPS and Flex Queue. Gold on Tank. And just barely low Plat on Support. Yeah some of the matches feel like BS and it’s ultimately not my fault that 1-2 of my teammates got a lobotomy before playing. But I’d much rather have some matches where people who don’t belong in that rating slip through the cracks than have every game be a complete roll of the dice. No MMR would make things so much worse. My Silver to Plat butt would simply not be having fun if the enemy team got a Grandmaster Widow and we don’t go above Plat or Diamond for any role. If we just ditched this all together ya’ll better be ready to have a slim chance in competitive to be matched against Kephrii playing Widowmaker. I don’t think I need to explain how unfun that would be for someone nowhere near his skill level.

This is exactly the point the OP was discussing. No matter how bad you are, the system will throw you a bone pretty commonly to keep you playing and striving. On paper, that’s great, right? You don’t have to lose every game snd the system is helping you get better at the game. Sounds magical.

But the same is true on the other end. No matter how good you are, the system will stack the odds so far against you that you will lose commonly. Somebody has to fill the lower ranks. If we all had the secret, we’d all be masters by now. But thats not how it works. Those with more natural talent and will succeed and the casuals remain a placeholder. The elite should be winning much more frequently and the bottom would lose almost every game.

If you know all that and can still enjoy the game, that’s great. I’m at the lower end of the rung and it’s pretty obvious when I am the expected potato or carry on the team. I have no real desire to make the sacrifices necessary to climb or improve, yet the system expects that of me. Instead of getting teams of players similar to my skill level, I am put on a roller coaster of team averages where it’s commonly stomped or be stomped. I’m pretty sure that was not the ideal vision of the matchmaker when it was first created.

Is it making fair matches for everyone?
Is it causing players to participate in the game more, or more often? I don’t know. And that bothers me a little. Not enough to quit, but enough to rant for three or four paragraphs on the forums.


I’ve been here for many moons, reading these forums, and posting on them. But yours takes the LONGEST and most detailed post award ever (and for good reason).

Please also do one on SOLO players forced to put up with the stacked players and then getting nothing but bullied and abused by these people.

Bottom line is. I don’t want to play in a match where everyone is playing with their friends except me. Its not like they are going to peal and heal for me and I get tired of being treated like dirt.

I think many other people feel the same too. The match design is flat-out STUPID.


Except a lot of what he posts is just a lie. There is no other way to put it. It is the standard model of a conspiracy theorist though that if you post a long series of half truths and lies then you can sucker in a few other people. For example I have actually read the patent Activision filed to use in CoD and it does not say what he is claiming. Lets be very clear about that: it does NOT say what he is claiming it says.

He also fails to understand the difference between a metric to measure success and the goal of the system. The OP builds his argument on a lie that somehow the system is “handicapping” or “rigging” the game which is a common conspiracy theory on these forums and like any talented spreader of conspiracies he does so by taking parts of a bunch of quotes and combining them in a way that makes them look believable but the problem is that to do it in that way ignores the entire context of everything being said.

For example when you talk about “50-50” win rate to speak as though the system has to put in extra work in comp to force that is nonsense. All it has to do is figure out where you belong and find 11 other people of similar skill and if is doing its job correctly you will have a 50-50 win rate as a byproduct of that. Any decent software engineer would tell you not to add in pointless complexity. There is no need to “force” a 50-50 win rate when simply finding 12 people of equal skill will create that result.


Exactly, lol.

I feel bad for the OP though. They really could use some friends, or something.

Cuthbert, we like you…just, please stop lol. For your own health.


Wow, you’ve been spamming the forums with this copy+pasted rubbish for 3.5 years and you don’t even play anymore? That’s pretty sad…


i dont care how well organized your post is, that **** is wayyyyy to long to read, especially for a forum post.

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This looks like pasta (in fact I know it is), but I’ll say this, you can’t convince flat earthers this game is rigged. Better to leave a burning house, than argue how it’s burning.

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Wouldn’t the flat earther in this analogy be the one’s claiming the game is rigged?


No, that would be the gaslighter trying to flip my analogy.


That sounds disingenuous.


I kinda get not wanting skill based matchmaking in a game like Cod, or a battle royale, but this game would be absolutely awful without it. Most posts I see on this forum complain that the matchmaker needs to be stricter and more finely tuned, not loosened.

CoD and BRs are awful without it too. There’s a reason the industry has moved away from free for all matchmaking.