Matchmaking FAQ, Vlad Working As Intended, More on S4 Jungle and Support Gold Changes, Reviving in Dominion Feedback Wanted

Important: Unofficial PBE Changes for 9/11 - Olaf and Xerath Splash Art, Updated Garen Dreadknight and Rugged Skins, and More

Matchmaking FAQ

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Hello Summoners!

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 that’s 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? I’ve 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 you’ll find yourself landing at a new level of more challenging competition.

Q5. Why don’t we just put toxic players into a lower queue?

This concept, also known as Prisoner’s 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."

Vlad's Abilities Working As Intended

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

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.

More on the S4 Jungle and Support Gold Changes

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

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

Reviving in Dominion Feedback Wanted

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Hey all,

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.


  • #25 Philly484

    Yeah, I know what they are saying but they are kind of beating around the bush with there "Teamwork OP" video. I am paired with players consistently who I out rank, but due to the fact I am paired with ppl who have similar win ratio keeps me in the same place of people. I may have a score of 7/2/15 as myself alone yet the game is lost, because the team didn't work together or follow through on orders. How is that my fault Riot? I can't grab there mouse and be like "No thats a bad gammer you listen to your friends!" They say that the game is dependent on the team, well I have no control over the skill level of the players I am paired with. Just cause your a Silver, Bronze, Diamond or whatever there are plenty of contributing factors as to why you are the rank you are, or in this thread stuck in ELO Hell which does technically exist, because you keep getting paired with players who have a ratio similar to yours, but they could be the team feeder you are paired with in which you as the individual player have no control over. 

  • #22 TheRokiX

    "Currently the matchmaker attempts to match players with similar MMR and number of wins for that particular queue." False. Every game I get at least one, often more than that, people who have negative winratio and are overall much worse players. Riot's statement is incorrect and they really should fix the matchmaking.

  • #23 ROGlindstrom

    it ATTEMPTS to match players! Besides if you get grouped with people like that every single game then your MMR is simply bad

  • #24 TheRokiX

    That's my point. It shouldn't just attempt it should DO it. My MMR is bad because i get sided with people like that and can't carry the game by myself

  • #26 ROGlindstrom

    Well if you can't carry then you belong where you are!

  • #27 Philly484

    Quote from ROGlindstrom »

    Well if you can't carry then you belong where you are!

    It's not one player's responsibility to carry their team. Riot say's it's a combination of Individual and team play, so It's not one team members job to carry.

  • #29 TheRokiX

    As philly484 said it

  • #19 Allas

    A mastery in utility which makes wards become less expensive for supports / A mastery that collects gold in another pocket, which can only be spend upon ward items, which could be collected from either gold/5sec or AA attacks upon everything (Also enemy wards). The mastery would then open up for a new set of items in the shop, with another but identical version of normal/pink/sightstone items.

  • #18 HonestRaven

    A few ideas I had with the Jungle/Support Gold income:


    -Pacifist's Reward: If a champion gains XP but not gold from the deaths of X nearby minions, their passive gold/5 moderately increases and they gain x gold for every enemy minion that is killed by an allied champion within X range. Note: This would need to be balanced so that it wouldn't be worth more than last hitting minions if the ADC had to back and the support stayed in lane, and would only be triggered by the XP gain leeched off of the deaths of a certain number of nearby minions not killed by them, and would be ended if they killed a minion themselves. NOT a Mastery. This would be an ambient effect in the game. Would be interesting in that a Jungle could lay in wait and if they are in XP range, benefit from this and set up some well planned ganks without losing too much gold.

    -As has been said, a cap on wards placed per person. However, possibly also a reduced cost on NORMAL wards to encourage others to buy them as well. Possibly even a ward only item slot? I know, that has been suggested to death, but it would be nice. Likely the "Sightstone" item's wards should increase that champion's ward cap appropriately, maybe even act like the Eleisa's Miricle and after a few levels fuse with the champion and generate wards at the fountain in the ward only slot? Not completely sure how to prevent champions from doing it multiple times though. Perhaps have a level requirement of level 12-15 before it fuses rather than requiring the champion to level up a certain number of times with it in their inventory? Likely the Ghost Ward mastery would also increase the characters ward capacity by 1 and give no ward. Maybe give a discount on wards instead? No idea if that is possible or not.

    -An item that can 'promote' a normal ward into a Vision ward, either permanently or for a short period of time. Probably a 3 min CD if permanently, 45s-1.5m if short term. Might also increase the ward cap? That or for a short period of time, an item that grants the Oracles effect to the champion. Most people are complaining about the vision battle, but really? What else does a support have to do other than fighting the enemy champions in their lane? In farming phases a support's job would get unbearably boring if they didn't have something else to do.


    -Hunter's Bounty: If a champion kills a Large monster, they start rendering parts from every Large monster they kill for the next 30-45 seconds, refreshing on kill of a Large monster (I'm pretty sure some sort of tag exists for this already, given Nunu's consume and the buffs he gains for 'eating' the large monsters). Separate stacking buff from the timer for the parts. Upon backing (much like the sightstone event), the heads are sold to the shop for X gold each. Possibly they lose some or all of the rendered parts upon death? Might be too harsh, but force them to play a bit more cautiously with a large stack saved up and have them back more often. Note: Would be hard for a laner to really take advantage of this since they can't really afford to go off and kill a bunch of monsters. This would also give more value to counter-jungling to break the enemy jungler's streak and set the field for more skirmishing. Also, this would allow riot to lower the value of jungle monsters and place more of the gold into the parts to discourage allied laners from killing them and possibly ending the Jungler's timer if they can't kill another camp in time either due to distance or respawn timers. Again, much like the Support one, this would be an ambient event, and not a mastery.


    Just a few ideas I think would be 'neat'.


    Last edited by HonestRaven: 9/12/2013 11:58:02 AM
  • #17 Swagstallion

    I think there already is a system in place for getting other players to value wards; improvement. Good players learn to buy a few wards each time they back, no matter what role they play.

    Sadly, I'm not a good player, but I at least learned that rule. I'm pretty much the only person who buys wards in my games. 

  • #16 Spura

    My issue with vlad is that his pool ability doesn't make him untargettable in general, only for point and click abilities. I've seen vlad get killed by Cait's skillshot while being in the pool.

  • #12 DeusBlackheart

    I agree with the first point there "ELO Hell" does not exist, mostly because an epic troll can be at any level. In the old system if you trolled your elo would fall and you would sink to the bottom, but if a troll gets to silver or gold in placement, he can stay there. Forever. The ability to not go down a league except through inactivity is a decision that has spread elo hell everywhere. Bronze just has a higher percentage of not so great players and trolls.

  • #15 jeromethiel

    Quote from DeusBlackheart »

    I agree with the first point there "ELO Hell" does not exist, mostly because an epic troll can be at any level. In the old system if you trolled your elo would fall and you would sink to the bottom, but if a troll gets to silver or gold in placement, he can stay there. Forever. The ability to not go down a league except through inactivity is a decision that has spread elo hell everywhere. Bronze just has a higher percentage of not so great players and trolls.

    Not true, because it doenst matter in which league u are. All that matters is ur mmr. So if u even get to diamond 5, now u cant reach silver w/e. But ur mmr WILL 100% reach silver mmr when u troll every game. So u will get with Silvers only and the problem itself doenst exist in Diamond anymore, it just shows ur in diamond 5. So: "trolls doenst get spread everywhere since the new system, it is like in s2 no differnece what so ever" :)

  • #21 Rikotsuz

    This guy is right!

  • #10 igotbeer

    my version of elo hell is based upon the afks/leavers, and the flat out just toxic/troll players. Witch i assume is in all divisions Still i believe in one day climbing up. I just wish there was just more of a punishment for toxic/troll players  afk/leavers ex: sumeone shows up at there house and smashes there computer with a hammer instead of hey your banned for a day  go feel free to troll kids on ur smurf cause we don't ban your ip address

    i can honestly say i have lost more games cause of afks/leavers  and trolls/toxic players then i have cause of poor game play

  • #11 VanGovv

    I think you're right with demanding more of a punishment, especially leavers or afkers should be punished harder, but with more chances to prevent this punishment by imrpoving their behaviour in a long-term-way. I like the approach of restricted chat, but i feel there should be a notification after leaving a game, that you have been reported and have to improve your behavior asap, to prevent a long term ban.Actually there shouldnt be things like a 3 day ban, at least a week is necessary in my opinion. Temporary banning IP-address would be great, permanent bans only for certain more toxic problems (cheating, botting, hacking, etc.)

    Anyways, i think most people consider losing more games because of AFKers/leavers because this way a single teammember is responsible for losing, while in every other situation multiple members of a team are responsible.

  • #7 Vuldin

    happy that they are looking into S4 jungling 

  • #6 Puruuni

    I know of a person who has at least 7 or 8 accounts permabanned but can still level new one up and play it to plat/diamond before getting banned again so this "Permanently banned players who make smurfs are quickly banned again" sounds like a lot of bogus

  • #8 keybler86

    Your one personal, anecdote doesn't make it a rule. Also, you just said he gets banned on all of them lol, that's what again means.

  • #13 drkztan

    "one personal anecdote"? This is what every banned player does. Even now, people normall have a secondary account. If people get even temporarily banned, they usually go on their smurf, or open up a new one. It's not a singular case, it's the common case.

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