Something seriously broken with matchmaking this weekend

From Lead Engineer Bill Warnecke:

Source: July 2020 Reddit AMA

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I don’t think the OP is complaining about account levels as much as disparate game experience. They’re experiencing a mismatch in skill levels between themselves and the enemy team.

I’d say hang in there, it could be that the matchmaker is still trying to find the right level for you to play at (as well as the correct mmr for anyone else in the lobby.) Things were bound to be screwy especially during a f2p weekend.

Another influence may be game mode. Comp has tighter matchmaking (but possibly more smurfs.) Whereas modes like QP and Arcade has looser matchmaking for the sake of not giving people mile-long queues. This often leads to very ‘streaky’ results.

Sorry your daughter had such a terrible experience, this game can be frustrating, its honestly not everyone’s cup of tea.

I am pretty sure it does. For every 100 lvls that i get the matches have been getting noticeably harder. I even start getting matched vs tons of smurfs even before it became a common thing for most of the people.

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Levels (borders) really don’t mean jack. If anything, the carry on your teams is just underperforming. After 6 losses you are probably the carry. Either beat the other team’s carry, or support your potato teammate better.

Trust me level has nothing to do with where you are slotted.
I am ? level now and still get placed where I should be.

I gave up on that account - didn’t buy it in the end. The games I was in were just getting silly. Almost every one a loss, then the occasional win was a steamroll. I played several hours on the 2nd and I don’t think I had a single fun game. Good luck getting new players to stay!

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:slight_smile:
I think they should at LEAST give an account more than 2 matches before they put them into General population Qs. That way they don’t get rick rolled their first match.

That really is not the ideal gaming experience. IMO.


If I recall right. Jeff Kaplan had posted in the old forums they were going to have this, or had this. But somehow it went away in January of 2018.

:thinking:

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I have all developer posts documented from the old forums. There was no such statement.

I have wayback machine open. I will take a few days and sift through it. I will post later when I find it.


Here it is: From 6 years ago. from the good old repository in the bowels of the internet.

(here it is trimmed).

"Great post, ExcaliburZ. Allow me to share some of my personal thoughts on matchmaking…

In Overwatch, whether your MMR goes up or down is contingent on winning or losing. But there are a number of factors that determine how much that rating goes up or down. For example, what map you’re playing on and whether you were attacking or defending is factored in. We know the win rates on attack/defend on all of the maps and we normalize accordingly. Not all wins and losses are equal. We also look at your individual performance on each of the heroes you played during the match. Everyone has better and worse heroes and we have tons of data showing us what performance levels should be like on those heroes. We also look at your opponents and whether or not their matchmaking rating is higher or lower than yours. These are just a few of the things that are considered when determining how your skill should go up or down. At no point in MMR calculations do we look at your win/loss ratio and win/loss ratio is never used to determine who to match you with or against. We are not trying to drive your win/loss percentage toward a certain number (although the fact that so many people are at 50% win rates makes us extremely happy). All the system does when it comes to matching on skill is attempt to match you with people of a similar number.

The system is of course deeper than this. There are penalties and handicaps added for things like not playing for a while or playing in groups of varying sizes. We also do special things for brand new players to (hopefully) keep them away from the general population.

(The section that is appropriately trimmed from the discussion with Former Game Director Jeff Kaplan).

Jeff Kaplan Continues:

Players will often mistakenly look at player level and accuse the matchmaker of making unfair matches. One thing that I have mentioned before is that we were evaluating your skill during closed beta, open beta and the second stress test weekend. If you played in any of these (over 10 million players did), we had already determined a skill rating for you (most likely). This means that it’s not uncommon to see a level 1 matchmade against much higher level players. In most of these cases, the Level 1 is a skilled player who played during the phases I mentioned but did not immediately play at launch.

Unless you have the links, good luke trying to find that…

Just posted it. (take a look) :smiley:

Okay copy the text of relevance only… please. The post you are quoting from was in the Summer of 2016 and I do have that post restored in the dev post archives. But from what I know of that post, nothing there suggests what they are currently doing to improve how Overwatch’s matchmaker works.

Im kind of a rock and a hard place. Because if I trim it. I would have players here that would accuse me of “straw manning” and I think that just goes with respect to Jeff Kaplan here. That he wrote that article and I don’t want to disrespect him and what he said. But I can highlight and emphasize the rest on that.

You can leave that full reply up if you want, but in a new reply quote what you think is suggesting they are working to match new players with each other.

I went and trimmed it. I think that should work.

The system is of course deeper than this. There are penalties and handicaps added for things like not playing for a while or playing in groups of varying sizes. We also do special things for brand new players to (hopefully) keep them away from the general population.

(The section that is appropriately trimmed from the discussion with Former Game Director Jeff Kaplan).

Jeff Kaplan Continues:

Players will often mistakenly look at player level and accuse the matchmaker of making unfair matches. One thing that I have mentioned before is that we were evaluating your skill during closed beta, open beta and the second stress test weekend. If you played in any of these (over 10 million players did), we had already determined a skill rating for you (most likely). This means that it’s not uncommon to see a level 1 matchmade against much higher level players. In most of these cases, the Level 1 is a skilled player who played during the phases I mentioned but did not immediately play at launch.

one can say that how are they really handling this situation and the underlying issues of New accounts that filter onto this platform daily.

I am perplexed that I have some game n’ aim skill and will see a level 1 account in my quickplay match and I kind of wonder what is going on with the match maker. If you know what I mean…

:thinking:

Okay so let me break down a few things

This used to happen in Quick Play before Competitive is unlocked, and I remember complains of people on alt accounts having high queue times on a pre-level 25 account because their MMRs would get thrown out of whack. Here is another post from Jeff Kaplan explaining that:

Source: https://mystgraphics.com/overwatchforumarchive/competitive-slowmatchmakingfornewplayers.html

I don’t think this happens anymore because these reports don’t come very often from what I have seen, but I will check and see if I can get an answer (no promises).

Secondly, the matchmaker has been significantly overhauled since the introduction of Role Queue and many of the restrictions that used to be in place to filter out certain players of certain skills no longer apply in order to deliver the faster queue times needed. This has its pros and cons obviously, but in the end as far as I am aware in the current state of the game. Only the MMR is used to match players.

Sadly many of the older posts from the old forums are truly now outdated which is why I try to get answers from Andy or pull information from post-Role Queue era posts.

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There are lots to debate about the match maker. It is the core to this game and is a selling point to it.

I use to host TF2 servers and if someone REALLY good was on. and they were stomping folks. The players LEFT. SO that made no fun for anyone.

Re-balancing scripts was an attempt to normalize the teams and split the good players up evenly between the two. and have the “re-log” timeout add-on installed. So they couldn’t restack the team. But spectate “in silence” only.

I am only an advocate for FAIR matches in a game like this. Because it keeps the game Healthy and Alive.


I think I have played more matches lately that feel too “one sided” and “off balance” to not back down on a stance of there is something wrong. I understand that no computer can be perfect and that human behavior is NOT predictable.

But there needs to be some adjustments, and i think we both could agree here. That when players ditch a match. They are feeling helpless.

When I look at a behavioral trait and a game starts to pick up leavers. Many people see this as negative behavior. But I really believe it is reactive behavior. They are here to play a game, they want to play the game and be apart of the community. But the game has to enable them to feel as though that they have a chance.


Either the team was too easy or “too difficult” to play against. Is how it is feeling for me anyway.

:slight_smile:

This is the biggest misconception the community has about “matchmaking” is that they look at the result of the match rather than the numbers presented at the start. I will reiterate this screen is the most detailed source of information we players have access to in order to determine how “fair” the matchmaker though the match will be before it begins. (The problem is that this screen how shows up for about three seconds and then it is gone entirely.)

I will remind everyone, even in professional play like OWL, there are some SERIOUSLY nasty one-sided stomps, and those stomps have nothing to do with matchmaking, but instead of Overwatch as a game is played (most notably Ultimate Economy), but that is a matter of debating game balance. Not matchmaking.

Leavers is a whole other debate (one I don’t have time for in this exact moment) but I think you know where my stance as been about that.

If anything, match transparency is the key to reassuring players (and even then no amount of effort Blizzard makes will satisfy everyone). I wish for a match history with individual match stats and I do believe that is coming for Overwatch 2. Until then, I must implore everyone to remember that the matchmaker is only comparing quantitative data in the MMR, not the qualitative aspects of each player’s skills.

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you make really good points!