Two of the things that always seem to vex players of World of Tanks are the matchmaker (probably everyone’s number 1 gripe!) and trying to earn enough money in the upper tiers. The new Q&A does a great job of handling questions about both of these, and explaining some of the developers thought process behind them. First up is the Matchmaker updates that are long overdue, and in the next post we will explore the issues with making enough credits to actually *play* your high tier tanks.
The Match maker is a complicated issue that is being addressed. Players would like to see both more even battles, (less 15-0), balanced artillery with a maximum number in a game, scouts being available in only those battles that artillery are present, platoon balance, not constantly being put in the lowest tiers in a battle, and the spread of the tiers. This all needs to be done without taking a long time to find you a match.
This sums up the whole problem in a nutshell. The reality that the WoT crew doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge though is that people are willing to wait for a match. Heck, I wait an upwards of 5 minutes for areas to load in TOR, thanks to its crappy optimization, I’m more than willing to wait 60 seconds for a match in WoT. I say that because its rare to wait more than 15 seconds for a match right now, and often as soon as you hit the battle button, you are dropped immediately into place.
While complicated, the first version of this new Match Maker should be available around the 7.2 timeframe. It will take into account many of the above listed issues that players have brought up. The one thing that will be absent is a hard 3 tier spread.
While this is on the surface good news, its kind of a silver bullet as well. A “hard 3 tier spread” means limiting matches to nothing more than three tiers of tanks at a time. For example, one of the most enjoyable matches in the game now is one of the battles the matchmaker will created that involves only tanks from tiers 3, 4 , and 5. So Stuarts and Luchs will face Mark IV‘s and Shermans, which is difficult, but not impossible. As it stands now though, there are matches that commonly occur where those same Mark IV’s and Shermans can end up in battle against Pershings and IS-3‘s. Now as you can imagine, that kind of stuff happened in real life…and it was about as fun as it ends up being in the game. However, the reason is that its not *all* about tiers.
The Match Maker does not use tiers as a determination, but instead assigns “weights” to each vehicle or vehicle type. It will try to create fun and balanced matches with vehicles that are available at the time. It will no longer immediately assign you to the first available battle you are qualified for, but rather hold your tank and make it available to several matches that are gathering players. This will add the flexibility of generating better matches.
Well, to start off, this is something of a lie. Tiers do form the basis of how matches are made. Then weights are assigned that modify the tier into the full calculations used (since obviously a tier 5 heavy and a tier 5 light are not the same thing). Holding the tank will increase time, but as we’ve already said, since the time at this point is negligible its a worthwhile exchange.
You may still see some matches with wide tier spreads; however you may also see more matches with lower tier spreads, including some that may only contain one tier. Much of this will depend on server population and the population distribution at the time you enter the queue. The matchmaker will have a better chance to deal with lower populations as it will take a little time to find better matches. If the population is so low, or badly distributed that it can’t find a “perfect” match it will also have the ability to launch with less than 15 players on a side, if it feels it offers a fair match and waiting additional time may not allow for finding the needed players to fill the rosters.
So overall this change to the matchmaker is a large step towards filling the community’s desires. It is also something that can be continued to be improved and balanced.
This is good news. The only downside to sub 15 tank matches is that there is a less potential earnings for those involved. But, given that those matches will be more balanced, there will be more opposing tanks that a player can actually do damage too, and so the actual earning will probably be higher.
Overall, this is a good improvement. Trading time for flexibility, and allowing some variations in matchmaking should be good. Now the matchmaker will not just throw your mid-tier medium tank into a match of all high-tier heavies to balance out some artificial equation, it will hold and check for other potential matches and determine a “best fit.” Doesn’t mean you won’t get into those lopsided matches still, but it should be a more rare occurrence.