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Bashiok Explains PvP Matchmaking System

Posted 9 Jul 2012 by

For some PvP may feel like a long way off but we know they are working hard at getting it out the door as soon as possible. This evening Bashiok explained how the PvP matchaming will work for anyone wanting some sort of clarification.

Stop spreading this misinformation. Blizzard has said multiple times, THERE WILL BE MATCHMAKING BASED ON YOUR GEAR.

More specifically, based off of your win/loss record. It’s not dissimilar from the matchmaker found in StarCraft II, which is based off of the Elo system used for Chess championships. Your win/loss and who they were against determines a ‘skill rating’, which is used to match up against other players of a similar rating. The intent is to get an even/fair match. Regardless of any individual factors like build, gear, or player ability, you’ll find some equilibrium where you’re facing off against players that you’re about as likely to beat as you are to lose. If getting better gear raises your abilities then you’re simply matched against players of a higher rating. Changing builds or just getting better at PvP could have the same effect. But regardless if you move up or down you’re ultimately still netting around a 50/50 win/loss as you’re always matching against similarly rated players.

Umm… that rating system wont work. You can’t use ratio, because someone fighting harder opponents will have the same ratio that someone fighting weaker opponents will have. It would be like pairing up professional baseball players against little leaguers simply because they have the same team batting average and era. It’s not a fair fight.

Oh no, it’s not based on ratio. Look up the Elo system, I’m sure there’s a wiki that can explain it better than I could.

When pressed for more details, well there are no more details in true Blizzard fashion on most things pre-release.

I don’t want to squash any excitement about PvP, because we think it’s going to be a lot of fun, but a lot of the details are still in flux. We’re focusing on 1.0.4, and once that’s behind us we’ll be a lot closer to sharing some more concrete details on the “PvP patch” as they solidify.

According to wikipedia the Elo rating system is a method for calculating the relative skill levels of players in two-player games such as chess. It is named after its creator Arpad Elo, a Hungarian-born American physics professor and has nothing to do with the Brummy rock band from the 70’s/80’s.

Each player has a rating, which is a number. A higher number indicates a better player, based on his results against other rated players. The winner of a contest between two players gains a certain number of points in his rating and the losing player loses the same amount. The number of points won or lost in a contest depends on the difference in the ratings of the players, so a player will gain more points by beating a higher-rated player than by beating a lower-rated player. In chess, for instance, if one player is rated 100 points higher than the other player, he is expected to win about five games out of eight, and the rating changes reflect that. Over a series of games, if a player does better than expected, based on the ratings (his compared to his opponents), his rating will go up.


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