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[FAQ] Match-making system


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merig00 #1 Posted Nov 12 2010 - 22:28

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A lot of people are asking how the match-making system functions. So here is the general info based on the devs answers.

Information is updated for the beta v 0.6.1.5

1.General Provision
The match-making system is an algorithm which distributes players into the teams before the start of battle. The way it works is really simple. You press the big red button "Battle!" and you are added to the waiting list. The mach-making system considers the info about your vehicle and assigns your a number (weight). It is based on that weight you are assigned to one or another group of players. Do not ask about the formula used to make the calculations - I don't know it. We'll talk below about what influences the final weight of the tank. There is a ceiling to the maximum weight of the team. It is a floating number but total weight of each of the two battlign teams under any conditions always will be equal.
The total weight limit of a team is floating because the level of the tanks in the game is always growing. The number of low level tanks gets lower. They give way to a higher level tanks, since players always improve their hangar collection by getting higher level tanks. The number of low level tanks is compensated with influx of new players. However the influx of new players is always fluctuating, so the weight ceiling for the team also varies. Do not confuse the level and model of the tank with the "weight". It is important.

2.Weight of the tank.
Every tank has its own weight.
Weight is a number which describes median battle effectiveness of the given tank. The effectiveness of the tank is calculated based on the tank's level. Every tank type has it's own effectiveness coefficient. MT lvl 8 has its own coefficient, TD lvl 9 has another, etc. Artillery is calculated separately.
The match-making system is "blind" - its purpose is to form teams so that the total weight of each team is equal to the weight of the enemy team.
- The system does not consider:
1. installed additional equipment and/or expendables.
2. experience level of the crew.
3. how good the player is.
4. nation of the tank.
5. tank's modules.


Example:
King Tiger can be balanced with 2 SU-152. It is normal.

Example 2:
One tank IS-7 can be easily balanced with 3 tanks IS-3. It is normal.

Important!!!
The match-making system does not take into account the armor penetration ability of your gun in relation to the armor of the enemy tanks.
The light tanks of low level end up in the battles with tanks of the high level because of the need for the scouts (light) in every battle regardless of the level.
It can happen that a level 5 tank can end up in a battle with level 6-10 tanks as one of the last tanks on the list, or it can end up being a top tank in the battle with tanks of levels 3-6. This is why the light tanks like A20 and BT-7 often end up in battles with high level tanks.

Ever tank has a diapason of the battle levels in which the tank can end up in. And depending on this range the tank is assigned into the battle.
In the future there might be a possibility to consider player's skill in calculating the weight of the tank. The mechanics of making this happen is unclear and it is uncertain if this will be implemented at all.

3. Balancing Artillery.
Artillery has a special place in any team. And because of that the weight of the artillery is calculated separately from the rest of the vehicles. There is a separate formula to calculate weight of the SPG.
Also, except making sure that both teams have equal weights, the system ensures the equality of the weights for SPGs in every team.
Additionally the system tries to reach the equality in the number of the SPGs (maximum difference - 2 units).
Simply - arties live their own lives, they have their own weight and balance in the teams.
The number of SPGs in teams depends on their number in relation to a total number of tanks on the weighting list. So if there are about 100 players and 20% of them are on SPGs then the system will try to get 20% of spgs from 30 battle participants - somewhere 3 (+/- 1) SPGs for each team.
Sometimes you can see that the number of arties differs, but on one side you have 4 SU-26 and on the other 2 Hummels. It is so because the weight of the Hummel equal to the weight of 2 SU-26 (approximately)

4. Balancing platoons.
The weight of the tanks in a platoon will be equal to the weight of the same tanks not in the platoon. In other words the platoon of 3 IS-7 will be balanced by 3 IS-7 or by a number of tanks whose total weight is equal to the weight of 3 IS-7.

5. Table of tank distribution by weight.
Spoiler                     

This table displays level of tanks and levels of battles in which they can end up at.
The game has several levels of distributing tanks into battles (so far 10 levels). It is done so to maximally diversify the number and quality of vehicles in the battle.
Exceptions:
BT-7: 3-5 (a little bit better than the rest of the tank of its level)
А-32: 4-10 (in fact a scout)
Bison: 2-5 (the gun of the next level)
PzIII: 3-10 (in fact a scout)

LT1 can meet only LT1 or LT in the battle.
LT2 can meet LT1, LT2, LT3, TD2, SPG2.

In the battles of the top levels (level 10 with participation of HT10) can end up the following tanks
LT4
MT6+
HT6+
TD5+
SPG5+

In the future it is possible to add option so player could expend the range of the levels (s)he can play at by raising the ceiling level to the maximum.
So by making certain adjustment in options, SU-18 (level 2 SPG) will have a chance to end up in the battles of levels 2-10 instead of the standard 2-3.

There are no plans to change the general principle of the match-making system. However it is possible that we will see some adjustment in coefficients and introduction of additional limitations on team make up.
If additional limitations will be added, it is possible that the waiting time will increase and it will be impossible to increase the maximum size of a platoon.
The following currently is NOT provided:
- Equal number of the top tanks
- Equal weight or number of the Light tanks
- Equal weight or number of the Medium tanks
- Equal weight or number of the Heavy tanks
- Equal weight or number of the Tank destroyers
- Maximal symmetry in models (now one team might have 2 Maus, and the other 2 IS-7)
- Equal number of platoons in teams


6. Summary.
Let's summarize in the form of a short FAQ


- Why did enemy tank had 2 IS-7 and we had 2 VK4502 and 4 KTs?
- It is so because the weight of 2х IS-7 is equal to the weight of 2х VK4502 and 4 KT.

- Why does enemy has 5 SPGs in the team, and we have only 3?
- Because your arties are higher tier.

- How does the match-making system works?
- The system forms teams based on the total weight of the teams and sends them into a battle, when they are ideally formed based on the total weight.

- What is match-making system?
- It is a mechanism which distributes players into teams before the beginning of a battle.

- What is weight of a tank?
- Weight is a number which describes median battle effectiveness of the given tank. Effectiveness of the tank is calculated based on its level and type.

- What influences the system in forming the teams?
- It is influenced by the weight of all tanks in both teams.

- What does not influence the weight of a tank? Is it possible to reduce the weight?
- The system does not take into account:
1. installed additional equipment and/or expendables.
2. experience level of the crew.
3. how good the player is.
4. nation of the tank.
5. tank's modules.

- How does artillery get balanced?
- Artillery has a special place in any team. And because of that the weight of the artillery is calculated separately from the rest of the vehicles. There is a separate formula to calculate weight of the SPG.
Also, except making sure that both teams have equal weights, the system ensures the equality of the weights for SPGs in every team.
Additionally the system tries to reach the equality in the number of the SPGs (maximum difference - 2 units).
Simply - arties live their own lives, they have their own weight and balance in the teams.
The number of SPGs in teams depends on their number in relation to a total number of tanks on the weighting list. So if there are about 100 players and 20% of them are on SPGs then the system will try to get 20% of spgs from 30 battle participants - somewhere 3 (+/- 1) SPGs for each team.

- How does platoon weight get calculated?
- The weight of a platoon is calculated just like regular tanks. Platoon weight = weight of vehicles in the platoon.

- Why am I on BT-2 is being thrown in a game against Maus???? I can't penetrate him!!!! It's not faaaaaiiiirrrrr!!!!
- It is so because the system does not take into account the armor penetration of your tank.

- Why is my KV-3 sometimes end up with tanks of levels 6-10 and sometime in a battle with level 3-6?
- It can happen that a level 5 tank can end up in a battle with level 6-10 tanks as one of the last tanks on the list, or it can end up being a top tank in the battle with tanks of levels 3-6.


7. The End Game.
In conclusion here are the basic tenants of the match-making system:
1. The system does not mirrors team make up.
2. There will be never identical composition of vehicles in two teams. Never.
3. The system might make mistakes.
4. The system does not care who you are and where you are from.
5. The major criteria in forming teams - the weight of tanks in teams.
6. Platoon weight = weight of tanks in the platoon.
7. Artillery is always balanced separately.
8. The changes in the system are possible.

merig00 #2 Posted Nov 17 2010 - 02:59

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reserved for questions

AleksandrovVA #3 Posted Nov 21 2010 - 12:00

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No questions? No more reputation for TS?  :blink:

Sgt_Stiener #4 Posted Nov 22 2010 - 13:40

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Merig00

A question I have is whether this table is supposed to represent a distribution, or whether the probability of winding up in each battle level is not equal.

I ask because I have been recording the top vehicles that have been present in 40 battles in the Leopard, PzIII and Hetzer, and only 1 battle had a tier 7 as the highest vehicle. All the others had mostly tier 8s with a number of tier 9s and 10s.

In part I think the confusion and frustration many people have with these low tier vehicles is that they so rarely get the low tier battles as suggested by the table. This maybe caused by either the fact there are simply too many high tier vehicles being played or that the system is trying to balance from the top down, with lower tiers being vacuumed up to balance out the heavies.

Could you explain how the balancer is working (i.e. top down or otherwise) and whether the distribution of battles is heavily skewed towards the higher tiered possibilities shown on the table.

Thanks.

RokRoland #5 Posted Nov 22 2010 - 17:43

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Another thing that comes to mind, is that the match maker does seem to take the first combination that fits and run with it. On average it takes me less than 5 seconds to join a game, but often times this means being bottom of the pack in a PzIII (as explained above). What I would prefer is not having to fight much bigger enemies than KV-3s at least, but it seems to be a bracket issue.

However the same occurs with other tanks too. What could be an idea is give the matchmaker some more time to form "even more optimal" teams, if you may, maybe weighing in queue time as well.

Of course the discussion here is quite often about being unhappy about being in the low end of a match, and not in the top, because everyone would want to be the top dog most of the time, and obviously that is not possible.

CharlyR #6 Posted Nov 22 2010 - 19:18

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Quote

- Why am I on BT-2 is being thrown in a game against Maus???? I can't penetrate him!!!! It's not faaaaaiiiirrrrr!!!!

What about you answer this Question:
- Why am I on PzIII always being thrown in a game against much higher tier?

Its ok for me to have some matches where i am the little fish, but not every single time!
I Have 14 matches and just 1 kill (some other unlucky PIII I met by coincidence).

Edit: Make it 17 and still 1 kill.
Its not that I suck. With my PzKw35(t) I have 83 kills in 91 matches. I just once in a while get targets that i can damage.

lost4now #7 Posted Nov 22 2010 - 22:43

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The matching system is flawed.  As the above poster said, being able to do NOTHING but cannon fodder is not fun.  The tier spread up to tier 3 is fun and good.  Any tanks has a chance to damange another tank.  Tier 4 upward, its just downhill.  The tier spread @ tier 4 onward is too much.

Steeltrap #8 Posted Nov 23 2010 - 00:43

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Yet another factor is that the game appears to think all tier 8s are equal, for example. THEY ARE NOT.

Was in a battle, in platoon with Sgt Stiener as it happens, where we were both in KV-3. Our top vehicles were 2 Panthers. The enemy had 1 x IS-7 and 2 x Tiger II. The map was Himmelsdorf. So that's a tier 10 heavy and 2 tier 8 heavies against some tier 7 heavies at best (we had a tiger I and an IS, I think). In a city map, where you are more likely to encounter a person head on, with minimal opportunity to 'dodge' owing to restricted spaces.

This was hopeless matching. A tier 8 medium used to be especially deadly due to the failures of the original engine (i.e. warping) that used to make any quickly moving vehicle very difficult to hit. This is no longer true. A tier 8 medium, in most cases, has next to no chance against a tier 8 heavy.

The 'match-maker' system "compensated" the match I mentioned by giving the enemy an A20 and a PzIII. So what? All that meant is that there were 2 people on their side who had no real chance to do anything as soon as they encountered most of our team. Meanwhile, the IS-7 killed me, Stiener and a JagdPanther while suffering almost no damage. It used its speed, firepower and armour/health simply to charge down a road and obliterate whatever it found.

So long as the system does this, it is flawed. Simple as that.

What I think it should do is the following:

1. match by TYPE and not just tier or the mysterious 'weight'. This means it matches heavies with heavies, meds with meds etc etc. So in the battle above, it would have put another tier 10 on our side, or removed it. It them would have balanced the tier 8s. It COULD have given each side a Panther and Tiger II, making for a balanced match. But thinking 2 Panthers = 2 Tiger IIs is stupid; unless the T2 drivers are poor, their superior armour and firepower render the speed of tier 8 mediums all but irrelevant.

2. restrict tier differences in matches. The cutoff point at which you might resonably expect to achieve something against an opponent is around 2-3 tiers. NOBODY should have to face vehicles greater than 3 tiers above them. It is that simple. People are getting increasingly tired of being a punching bag for vehicles 4 tiers above.

So long as the games are as they are, namely a mutual capture/defend flag or kill all, a side with the advantages in the match I mentioned all but cannot lose (simply park the IS-7 at their flag and it can run out and kill anything that gets too close, or the same with the Tiger IIs to a lesser degree).

I suspect the game is attempting a "first in first out" method of match making i.e. it attempts to minimise the period anyone waits for a match, so that IS-7 was assigned to the match as it might have been waiting longer than anything else. So our entire team of 15 was screwed so the tier 10 could have a match. I'd like to see how that is a good strategy for the enjoyment of most players.

With so many higher tier vehicles due to the endless gold supply and the soft wipe, there is absolutely no reason why matches should span more than a total of 3 tiers. It's as easily fixed as that. As for the argument that sides need 'scouts', that is simply not true. A tier 7/8 medium is a far better scout than a PzIII anyway, given view ranges and durability, plus the fact that the tier 7/8 can actually hurt things as well.

I really believe this needs addressing prior to any commercial launch. People will not pay to be put in an endless series of battles where they are cannon fodder, yet that is exactly what anyone who is new to the game 3-6 months after initial release will face.

Lastly, here are my questions:

1. can you confirm if the system is attempting to create matches based on the ORDER in which various vehicles join the queue i.e. try to find a tier 10 a match, putting it one where it has a disproportionate effect on things, rather than building the 'best' balanced matches based on what is in the queue in total?

2. are there any plans to review the system based on what peoples' experiences are, namely the "constant punching bag" syndrome complained of by tiers 4 (especially) and tier 5?

3. could you comment specifically on whether you believe, based on however much play you might have had, if you believe the match I mentioned is really balanced in the practical game world (nd not the theoretical world of the 'match-maker')?

Sommel #9 Posted Nov 23 2010 - 02:47

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This certainly clears up alot of guesswork on my part. Thanks for taking the time to explain things for us.

View Postmerig00, on Nov 12 2010 - 22:28, said:

- The system does not consider:
1. installed additional equipment and/or expendables.
2. experience level of the crew.
I presume #1 includes installed modules? Crew, Modules, and Equipment make up the bulk of a Tank's effectiveness, this must be the root of the problem that we currently experience in matchmaking. These factors have to be calculated in some way, or the matchmaking will continue to be a crazy die roll where players can do very little to influence the outcome of hopeless steamroll battles.

My experience says that an unupgraded Leopard with 50% crew is worth about 25% of its fully upgraded equivalent, an unupgraded Su-85 is worth about 35%, and an unupgraded IS-7 is worth about 60%.

Dark_MadMax #10 Posted Nov 23 2010 - 08:21

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Quote

- Why did enemy tank had 2 IS-7 and we had 2 VK4502 and 4 KTs?


Well that certainly explains a lot .  And it needs to be tweaked. 2 t44 <> 2kt or 2 is3. And 1 vk4 + several kt <> 1 is7 + t29s.  I mean you cant balance  3 Is7 by filling the opposing team with KTs

B4ckstab #11 Posted Nov 23 2010 - 11:10

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Is there a timelimit to the wait time?
I played a match in my is-7 and got a match against a t-44.
Nothing else, it was just the two of us. 1 vs 1 was fun for me but the t-44 didn't feel the same way.

vxcriss #12 Posted Nov 23 2010 - 14:59

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No offense guys, but if you don't fix the mm system, you're gonna end up just like LoL with a raging community that hates you and a perfectly good game that's ruined by a bad mm system. The mm system is terrible, I don't really care how much technology you put into it and how "smart" the algorithm is, bottom line, it doesn't work, I rarely get one or two enjoyable and fair (to my lowbie tanks) matches out of 10-15 games I play. Sorry to say this, but you FAILED big time with this.

Overlord #13 Posted Nov 23 2010 - 17:55

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View PostSgt_Stiener, on Nov 22 2010 - 13:40, said:

Merig00

A question I have is whether this table is supposed to represent a distribution, or whether the probability of winding up in each battle level is not equal.

I ask because I have been recording the top vehicles that have been present in 40 battles in the Leopard, PzIII and Hetzer, and only 1 battle had a tier 7 as the highest vehicle. All the others had mostly tier 8s with a number of tier 9s and 10s.

In part I think the confusion and frustration many people have with these low tier vehicles is that they so rarely get the low tier battles as suggested by the table. This maybe caused by either the fact there are simply too many high tier vehicles being played or that the system is trying to balance from the top down, with lower tiers being vacuumed up to balance out the heavies.

Could you explain how the balancer is working (i.e. top down or otherwise) and whether the distribution of battles is heavily skewed towards the higher tiered possibilities shown on the table.

Thanks.

Probability depends on vehicles of which tiers dominate in waiting line.

Overlord #14 Posted Nov 23 2010 - 17:55

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View PostB4ckstab, on Nov 23 2010 - 11:10, said:

Is there a timelimit to the wait time?
I played a match in my is-7 and got a match against a t-44.
Nothing else, it was just the two of us. 1 vs 1 was fun for me but the t-44 didn't feel the same way.

Timelimit is set to 5 minutes.

Steeltrap #15 Posted Nov 24 2010 - 11:32

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Hi Overlord. While you're answering questions, any chance you could have a go at my three please?

Thanks

ElcomeSoft #16 Posted Nov 24 2010 - 13:20

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It is my opinion that each individual tank and individual piece of equipment on that tank contribute to it's 'weight' in the balancing system. Even crew could make a difference in the weighting system between the stages of 50% and 100% (I would disagree on going beyond that because Repair/Camo/Firefighting are nice but they do not tremendously enhance your combat ability like the standard 50%->100% proficiency).

For example, a fully upgraded T-44 is much more effective than an unupgraded one, same goes for most tanks. A stock T-44 is probably less effective than a 100% upgraded T-43 tank, assuming the same player played on the same team with the same crew skills.

This system would be extremely difficult to implement and would probably come under the same scrutiny as the current system but if it was tweaked correctly, would give a more representative view of the effectiveness of a tank and thus improve team balancing in general.

Sommel #17 Posted Nov 24 2010 - 20:23

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View PostElcomeSoft, on Nov 24 2010 - 13:20, said:

This system would be extremely difficult to implement and would probably come under the same scrutiny as the current system but if it was tweaked correctly, would give a more representative view of the effectiveness of a tank and thus improve team balancing in general.
It would be impossible to get perfect, but it would be only too easy to add a rough multiplier that could ballpark a tank's upgrade level far closer than the current system.

Tank Value = (Base Tank Value) x (Average Crew %) x ((Total number of upgrades above default installed + 5) / 10)

That simple precalculation would set base models with 50% crew to be valued at 25% of their fully upgraded tank's worth, and would be a far cry from the current imbalance.

Steeltrap #18 Posted Nov 25 2010 - 08:31

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As a sound design principle, keep it simple.

Also, it's as important to decide what you do NOT want to happen, and ensure your system prevents it.

This is where I think the current method fails.

What's THE one thing you want people to do? Have fun. For most, that means not feeling powerless battle after battle. If I look at what kills me time and again in tier 4/5, it's tier 8+ vehicles.

This is just BAD DESIGN, sorry. It makes those low tiers excruciating to play. The soon to occur soft wipe will make it 10 times worse.

So, make some decisions about what constitutes a good game for most. Having 4-8 enemy vehicles agsinst which I am likely to achieve little or nothing is NOT a good game. It happens over and over.

Take a look at this roster. You really have to ask what the point is in adding tier 4s (the absurd 'scout' designation; sorry, a PzIII was the main battle tank of German forces at the time of June 1941, the PzIV being a support tank). Even the tier 6 vehicles largely are 1-shot victims to the tier 9/10. Want to guess what happened to everyone on BOTH sides below tier 8? That's right, they died. They achieved 1 kill on each side (I killed the Leo by luck and was killed by, you guessed it, an IS-7).

Please fix it. The system might be 'clever', might be 'scientific', but it fails in its primary duty, which is devising ENJOYABLE battles (and if that ISN'T its primary function, then scrap it and start again because it is THE most critical thing in the game i.e. what battle you end up in).

I like the game and think it's got real potential, but this is a potential killer to lasting success.

Fredziosz #19 Posted Nov 25 2010 - 11:59

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I wanted to ask a question:

My friend bought Hetzer, ive also re-purchased my old one to accompany him and Im terrified to what battles its throwed now.
We menaged to play 40 battles and only maybe 8-10 were decent ones - tier 4-6 - were we could have fun and being able to fight against enemy without any problems.
The rest of the battles... well we were thrown into very high tier batthes where we were the worst tanks on battlefield, most of the tanks were tier 6-9(14 out of 15 vechicles) so we couldnt do much - just hide and hope that we will survive battle. Sometimes we were honoured by some lost scout, but it was a rare oportunity cuz most of the times they were dead before we could reach a good spot to setup ambush site for scouts...

So my question is:
Will there ever be something to prevent Hetzers from entering the battle where 90% of tanks are between 7th and 10th tier ?
Hetzer should fight in tiers 4-6 not agaist JagdTigers, VKs 45, Ises-3 and 4's KingTigerd etc.


p.s. This is a question to Developers.

Overlord #20 Posted Nov 25 2010 - 13:21

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View PostSteeltrap, on Nov 24 2010 - 11:32, said:

Hi Overlord. While you're answering questions, any chance you could have a go at my three please?

Thanks

1. All the players/vehicles have the same priority in waiting line within 5 min timelimit.

2. Can you specify, what "constant punching bag" is?

3. Have you got the screenshot, so as to evaluate full lists?




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