For quite some time, matchmaking has been an issue in Heroes of the Storm – something the game’s community has vocalised on many occasions. The game’s latest patch, released in December, introduced the first phase of improvements to its matchmaking system, while its players were simultaneously invited to voice any bad experiences with an aim to solving problems long term.
A new community update posted today details how players responded and what’s being done moving forward.
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Taking to the Heroes forums earlier, community manager Spyrian thanked players for sharing their less than favourable encounters with the matchmaking system and highlighted some common occurrences – such as one-sided matchups, unskilled play and long queue times that they hope to address.
For each, Spyrian suggested Blizzard will be tinkering with the matchmaker rating (MMR) behind the scenes which will hopefully resolve issues in these areas. Queue times, says Spyrian, tend to become more of an issue around new hero releases, thus pointed to more players queuing to play as the latest characters as another possibility with this problem.
With regards to pre-made parties and solo players, Spyrian addressed coordination advantage: “We’re planning to make additional adjustments in this area, and one of the avenues we’re exploring right now would cause the matchmaker to further prefer matching parties of similar size. While this will help to limit matching solo players against large parties, it wouldn’t completely prevent these situations if the system determines the match to be acceptable.
“While matching against a full party as a team of solo players can be challenging, solo and duo-queuing players can and do beat larger parties regularly, despite the slight coordination advantage, and we’re not planning to remove the possibility to match against four and five-player parties from Quick Match right now.”
Spyrian also noted that before any changes can be made in this particular area, Blizzard will first need to gather match data and continue testing so as to ascertain anything that might be implemented down the line gets the right results.
Coordinated team compositions was then discussed: “Large parties in Quick Match are able to coordinate their hero picks, which can be frustrating for solo players who get matched against them. While this primarily occurs with full parties, we’re aware that this is a point of concern for some players.
“We’re currently investigating changes that will help limit certain types of team compositions from being formed when solo players are matched into a team. Something to keep in mind is that Quick Match is meant to offer players a wide variety of hero picks and team compositions. Just about anything can happen in this mode, and players who are looking for team compositions that follow the competitive metagame more regularly may want to queue for Hero League as an alternative.”
Lastly, Spyrian admitted that although the first phase of matchmaking changes are a step in the right direction, Blizzard were quite aware they wouldn’t address every issue. A second round of improvements is on its way while they continue to review reports and read feedback.
“We do have a strategy in place as we move toward phase two,” Spyrian concluded.