This is a theory made by a member of the forums, take it with a grain of salt.
Ok, it has been over a week since the new MM got dropped on IOS and threw us for a loop. Now it hit Android and has had a couple of days to start sorting itself out. Firstly, yes, it sucks right now, and yes I hear your frustrations with matches all over the board. But, here is a brief explanation of how it works based on the data I've seen and the information Pix reps have given us.
New MM = Hanger Strength + Performance Modifer
Hanger Strength does matter, but it is not the primary determiner of your Matchmaking strength like it was under the old system. Your Performance Modifier is a large part of your matchmaking strength and is determined by some process that I'm sure is quite complicated and difficult based on a team game. I've got a pretty good idea what that is, but I'll talk about that later. Pix keeps the specifics pretty close to the chest. But, over time the MM can determine what your Performance Rating should be. This is not based purely off winrate, or damage, or beacons, or bots killed etc. Unfortunately each player is starting with a default Performance Rating and it is likely right in the middle of the Performance Rating range, in addition some protections are in place for lower level pilots.
The MM is very turbulent right now. Since this system was implemented wholesale on an existing playerbase of varied skill and hanger strengths it results in immediate chaos. Uncertainty by the system is very high and completely overpowers the hanger strength portion of MM equation, at least temporarily until it settles. But, pretty quickly strong hangers and especially strong hangers with strong players being to rise, their Performance Rating building match by match until they leave the turbulent fray behind. This system sorts from the top down, basically you have chaos and order rises from that chaos one strong hanger at a time and it works itself down. It also sorts down from the middle, poor players playing weak hangers take a beating and sink essentially donating their points to the middle chaos which is ultimately gobbled up by the better players with better hangers.
Why is my Low/Med hanger facing Top Tier guys?
Most likely it is because you have begun to build up your Performance Rating and they are fresh to the new MM. Or maybe you both jumped in with massive uncertainty in your Performance Ratings and the MM tossed you together, if so, look on the other team, there is probably another hanger as strong as yours balancing it out as part of the system sorting things out. Since the system sorts from the middle up and the middle down people just like you are the proverbial whipping boy, the filter in which the initial setting of the system relies upon. Until most of the players have logged on and played enough games to set their Performance Rating and reduce the uncertainty in the system you will keep getting these fresh to the MM people until they move above you and sometimes below you. Despite establishing your Performance Rating, you are kept in the turbulence of the system constantly sorting the stronger Hanger+ Performance Rating folks out and up and the same with the weaker Hanger+Performance Rating players. This does suck, but it does get better, hang in there and thank you for your service.
Low/Med Hanger+Established Elo = High Hanger +Default/Establishing Elo
Does the MM force a 50% Winrate?
No, the MM is not forcing a 50% winrate, but based on the new Performance Rating there is pressure towards a 50% winrate for all but the guys in the Top Tiers . Essentially there will now be a smaller range in Winrates, ie majority of players will be between 40-60% and seeing winrates outside of that rage will become much rarer.
How does winning and losing affect my Performance Rating?
Your Performance Rating is not purely your winrate, nor purely your average damage, but your damage relative to your teammates and whether you were on the winning or losing side of a battle. Here is a theoretical model for what this could look like. Without a peak behind the curtain at their new Hanger Strength Calculator and their MM there is no real way to know if these numbers are right. Now, this is highly unlikely to be what it is actually doing, but fundamentally it should be close enough to grasp how the MM is treating you.
|Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1st: +5||1st: +1|
|2nd: +4||2nd: +0|
|3rd: +3||3rd: -3|
|4th: +2||4th: -4|
|5th: +1||5th: -5|
|6th: +0||6th: -6|
So why do I keep facing opposition that is way stronger than me?
Well, if you feel you are perpetually struggling uphill against stronger opposition or always carrying a losing team it may be true. If you're always winning big, snagging that Medal of Capture or pulling 1st or second damage when you win and when you lose you are often the top performer on your losing team you could be keeping your Performance Rating high. Why? Because, you are a good pilot and are contributing at that level. It might not feel fair, but based on Performance Metrics you are right where you are supposed to be. The silver lining? As more and more people set and stabilize their Performance Ratings you should see a shift closer to your hanger strength with more skilled pilots similar to you.
If you lose small and win big your Performance Rating reflects that and gives you opposition that is at a similar performance rating to you. As time goes on this will keep getting better and better as the system fine tunes itself and that just takes a while and a lot of games. It doesn't look like the MM adjusts your Performance Rating in real time, it likely does it every X amount of time, or after a half dozen games or so, so just hang in there and keep giving it more data. As times goes on this will get less and less jumpy.
Can I "Reset" my Performance Rating?
You'll hear a lot of talk about "resetting" your Performance Rating by dropping it down to the floor by intentionally losing matches, dropping games etc. Then opposition gets really easy and you can win your way back up to "reset" it. All this is is the new kind of clubbing and Pix will be doing something to correct this problem in the future. Your Performance Rating will adjust as you play. If you've been playing under the New MM for any length of time, have no fear, it is set, or as set as the turbulant MM can be right now, and it'll keep getting better and better.
How is my Hanger Strength Calculated?
Hanger Strength is still based either solely, or manly on your strongest bot. So, having a 6/6 Heavy in a hanger of 1/1 Cossacks will give you the same opposition as a hanger full of 6/6 Heavies. So, keep those hangers balanced folks!
What is the Ratio between Light Bots, Medium Bots, and Heavy Bots?
We really don't know yet. The quick and dirty rule of thumb I've been using under the new MM is Heavy Bot X/X = Medium Bot X+1/X+1 = Light Bot X+2/X+2. So, a 6/6 Heavy is roughly equal to a 7/7 Medium is roughly equal to a 8/8 Light. But, if you're off a bit, have no fear after a number of games your Performance Rating will adjust for an unoptimized hanger to give you good quality matches.
How does the Match Maker calculate Squad Strength?
Well, it calculates its just like it did before and just like it calculates your Hanger Strength. So, the pilot in your Squad with the highest Performance Rating sets the Performance Rating for the whole squad. So, running mixed strength squads can be just as problematic as it was before and can be responsible for many of your poorly matched matches whether you are in the squad or a random paired against it. Try and run with squadmates who have similar strengthened hangers, or a squadmate with a stronger hanger who is a less skilled pilot. The closer your Performance Rating + Hangers are, the better the matches you'll see.
What have been my experiences on the MM. I have a formerly High Gold 9/9.5 Hanger. 1st Game: Crazy disparity in hanger strength, as low as 2/5 Geps as highest bot. 2nd Game: Crazy disparity in hanger strength, as low as 3/9 Geps. 3rd Game: Crazy disparity in hanger strength, as low as 4/12 Geps. 4-6 Games: Marginal improvement weeding out weaker hangers, often seeing 2-6 12/12 Top Tier Guys in each match. 7-20 Games: Incrementally less Top Tier Guys, seeing matches without them, or usually no more than 1/Match. Match balance is improving even if each player on each team is not well balanced. 20+Games: As each games goes on players weaker than 8/8 essentially disappear and 10/11 is usually the High End. Frequency of 12/12 Top Tier guys goes down significantly. Games are often well balanced even when mixed Squads are present. Few Outliers. Overall balance greatly improved and most of the time better than before the changeover. Biggest problem is not mismatched players, but players that drop matches.
During this whole process my winrate went from 74% when the new MM hit down to a low of 54% and has since stabilized at 56-58% and hasn't shifted outside of 54-60% in dozens of games. Actually, winrate is now more stable than it was prior to the MM Change. I've since dropped as low as 46% before bumping back over 50% pretty quickly.
Other MM Change Theories
The Gateway to Hell: There appears to be a shelf, or pit of despair, or gateway to hell in the MM for high level players. Essentially if a high level player equips 1/1 bots they will face competition no different than their highest level hanger would face. Based on feedback from others this shelf doesn't exist once you are fielding Bot levels of at least 4. I don't have an explanation for why the MM is doing this at this time except it is some king of rookie protection mechanism hard-coded in the system, but it is testable and quite horrible to experience. Keep bot levels of at least 4 if you are a level 30 pilot.
Increased Weapon Level Weight: Weapons look like they are now weighted more than they were before, ie a 4/12 bot is now closer to a 10/10 than a 9/9. A 2/7 is closer to a 6/6 than a 5/5.
Heavy Bot X/X = Medium Bot X+1/X+1 = Light Bot X+2/X+2
Even Teams> Even Players: Matches often appear to be following this guideline, but Pix has confirmed they did not change the Strength Calculation for Mixed Squads but that doesn't mean the Match Maker isn't giving us more balanced teams even if there are unbalanced individuals on them.
Keep playing and trust that it gets better. It does, but it comes from the middle out. The new problem is players intentionally throwing games to lower their Performance Rating for clubbing. Pix has acknowledged this problem and will likely be coming up with a fix for it in the future.
Hang tight and keep on keeping on. |}