Recently the Player Behavior team has been seeing a lot of questions about matchmaking. In the future, we'd like to do more regular updates on how matchmaking is working and share some of the results behind our matchmaking systems. But for now, we'd like to start with a FAQ that answers some of the more common questions we see about matchmaking. Lyte, Glacest, and myself will be happy to answer any questions and will add to the FAQ as needed.
Q1: Does ELO Hell exist?
Based on our data and analysis, the answer is no. However, that does not mean that the pain many of our players feel is invalid. Many players feel that, through no fault of their own, they are stuck in a situation where they can no longer progress. And there are several key factors that can heavily contribute to this feeling. The first of these is that when we take a look across all games, most players actually require about 150 to 300 games to reach their true matchmaking rating. This means that for many players, what feels like an unsurpassable wall may end up being just a small road bump.
The two major psychological factors which contribute to the sense of ELO Hell are the Dunning-Kruger Effect and negativity bias. The Dunning-Kruger effect refers to the phenomenon where people tend to rate their own abilities as much higher than average, regardless of reality. For League of Legends, this translates into most players rating their matchmaking rating at about 150 points higher than their actual matchmaking rating. Negativity bias refers to the cognitive trend where people negative experiences tend to be more mentally sticky than positive experiences. In other words, negative experiences, such as playing with a leaver or a troll, will have a larger impact on your memory.
Q2: How does matchmaking work right now?
Currently the matchmaker attempts to match players with similar MMR and number of wins for that particular queue. For example, this means that your Dominion MMR is determined solely by your Dominion games which is separate from your normal blind pick games on Summoner's Rift.
Q3: If thats the case, how do I keep ending up in games with players whose skill differs greatly from my own?
The previously described behavior represents the optimal case. When server populations are low, for example at off hours or at the very extremes of MMR, the matchmaker will give up some of its accuracy in the interest of expediency. However, we are constantly tweaking our matchmaker to help reduce the chance that players of vastly different skill levels are matched together.
Q4. Is the matchmaker punishing me for my winning streaks? Ive heard that it tries to force everyone into having a 50% win chance. How is this fair!?
This is false. While the matchmaker tries to create games in which the teams are balanced and have an even chance of winning, this is not always possible. As a result, the ultimate goal of the matchmaker is to be as accurate as possible in predicting the winner of the game, thus allowing their matchmaking rating to be adjusted appropriately. In some cases (particularly for players new to that queue) win streaks can lead to a rapid increase in your MMR, which will cause you to face tougher and tougher opponents. Naturally, this will eventually end your win streak, but youll find yourself landing at a new level of more challenging competition.
Q5. Why dont we just put toxic players into a lower queue?
This concept, also known as Prisoners Island, has been proposed multiple times and considered by the Player Behavior team. However, we ultimately determined that this model was not a good fit for League of Legends. Not only does it go against our goal of reforming toxic players, but it also feels extremely negative in the rare case someone is incorrectly sent there. Finally, since League of Legends is a free to play game, prisoners may opt to just abandon their account and transfer their toxicity to our newest players.
Q6: Why is duo queuing allowed?
While duo queuing can create less than ideal situations in matchmaking, the vast majority of our players actually prefer to play with their friends. While we have to be cognizant of this fact, we are also working on improving this experience for solo queuers.
Q7: How does Riot feel about smurfs?
Riot does not officially condemn or condone smurfing. We understand the cases where players make new accounts in order to help teach new players the game, but are working on newer systems to provide a similar experience in a more positive way. Creating smurfs simply to beat lower level players is heavily frowned upon. Permanently banned players who make smurfs are quickly banned again. A permanent ban means that unfortunately, we feel that there is no place for you in our game.
This is pretty cool, thanks a lot. Although I think it would be to everyone's benefit if this were made a sticky thread for a while.
Working on it, but my forum power level is not high enough to do this.
Catching up, still working on that sticky.
EDIT: Should be up now
The part where their are players doomed to not be able to play again kinda feelt a bit harsh :/
I know they are toxic people but what if they have changed? Just a question not saying that there shouldn`t be a punishment for toxic players but still, i fell the empathy.
Long ago, toxic players who genuinely wanted to reform and could demonstrate their honesty were offered a second chance. I don't remember the specific details, but it had an extremely high failure rate (~95%) and we discontinued it.
Still think its odd, someone with an unimpressive w/l ratio like myself (who is also level 25),
Yet during PST prime time I would say every 4-5 matches or so I will get matched with several silver/gold/plat players in ARAMS or Normals.
Just a weird system.
Is normal game MMR = ranked game MMR? If I won 20 games in a row in normals does that affect my MMR in ranked?
To answer both questions at once, you have a separate MMR for each queue. 5ackLunch, you might be seeing Silver/Gold/Plat players because you've done better than they have in that particular queue.
...and my reason for doing so was the stupid border around my summoner on the loading page...
We actually ran a few studies on how having a border impacted toxicity. To quote Lyte: "Players with lower border colors did not receive any additional harassment or reports compared to the players with higher border colors in the same game."
Hm. Sorry I just saw that this thread was still going. This was marked as fixed internally. Clearly it is still happening, so I'll reopen the ticket and have it investigated. Sorry for the delay.
Hey all, here's an update.
Unfortunately, my last update was not quite correct. There was some unclear communication internally.
TL;DR of all the miscommunication is this: This is intended behavior. 6 months ago we tried taking away the cast animation. Vlad's power level spiked through the roof - his burst was insane. Nerfs would have accompanied this bugfix (kind of like when we fixed Rumble's Q). The not quite intended behavior is that you can actually cast his W immediately after his ult, but the decision was made to leave that in rather than 'fix' that. His Q and E, for now, will continue to not be able to be cast after his ult for approximately 1 second.
All this being said, it's not a clear player experience. We'll be graying out his abilities after you cast his Hemoplague so it is clear that this is the intended behavior. When you are in a teamfight, ulting will be a conscious decision - do it a second before your abilities come off cooldown to maximize your damage throughout the fight.
Sorry that I didn't keep a closer eye on this. I should've investigated more fully before updating you guys, so I apologize for any confusion my previous post contributed!
@GutEveryone: I'll doublecheck on the pool locking you out as well though. I did not cover that in my conversations.
Still reading through this. Between US and EU, this is a 200 page + thread.
Trends I am noticing:
* People feel the gold burden of supporting is too high
* People feel like others should participate in the vision game to some level
* People want items that better support playing in the vision game
* Some people are concerned about what happens to supports with a solid gold income
* Many support players feel they don't need a huge swing in incomes - just a reduction in non-permanent expenditures
Did you just read support gold posts for twenty hours?
Also engaged in some discussions with teammates about the support gold ideas. Also had to fix an xp bug I caused by accident. It's been a busy day
Opening up a discussion here regarding the Revive summoner spell on Dominion and want to hear your thoughts on a couple different things.
1. What does it do well? (ex - Let's me fight more)
2. What are Revives weaknesses? (ex - Long cooldown makes me feel like I'm playing with only one summoner spell)
3. What are Revive's high moments? (ex - I got ganked bot, revived, came back and picked up a double kill)
4. What would you like to see done differently about the spell and/or its corresponding mastery Summoner's Insight? (ex - I want to see more Movespeed upon reviving and the HP boost lasts too long)
5. How do you feel about removing the spell completely? (ex - Everyone would run Exhaust/Garrison)
We've been thinking about some potential changes to Dominion (like adding a speed boost at the nexus) and want to figure out how Revive fits into the larger picture.
And feel free to include any other thoughts you have regarding Revive.