SEMC, Fix Your Player Experience (A Simple Solution)

The TL:DR is in the title.

I was going to make a saltmine rant about how players are so poorly matched together by skill and simple know-how, how it is ruining the experience of so many players, but then I realized a simple, obvious solution that SEMC might not like but needs to happen in some form: make a pro mode.

And by pro mode I mean this: Make mode where players are matched by their true skill, the stats that SEMC doesn’t release. The reality is that the rank system sucks. It is easily gamed, there is no clear correlation between rank and actual skill, between boosted players and smurfs, and nobody is having fun in their mismatched games. Leave the rank system for the people who want the glory of being on a leaderboard, and have a pro-mode where players are matched on their internal stats over whatever curve that takes. Don’t make it ranked in any way, provide no incentive for playing it other than having a proper skill challenge regardless of your rank, base it more heavily on individual stats rather than team wins.

That way, players who want the prestige can rank up and get higher through normal modes, and players who just want a real challenge against players who they better match up with, at any rank, can have it, or to put it in other words, so that people who know how to play can actually enjoy the game with other people who know how to play again, and people who don’t can stick with other people who don’t.

The benefits of this are largely for veteran players or good players who simply cannot enjoy their games because of the broken matchmaking, but also provide a way for players to more easily meet more players around their skill level to party up with and actually get somewhere, because the current rank system is not cutting it in that department at all.

Simple, and to the point. Either that or figure out something for matchmaking because the current system is not cutting it for literally anybody, and is the biggest source of frustration for almost all players, because rank has come to mean little but a number next to your ign to feel good about. It isn’t relevant to being matched with players around your skill level at all until you reach the highest ranks and even then, it’s still a clusterfuck between boosters and people who are high rank but simply outmatched by people with maybe one rank difference, but vastly different worlds of experience and technical understanding. Let the wait times suck for this mode if they must, with the promise that at the end of that wait, you’re more likely to actually enjoy a properly balanced game.

I guess ultimately this is another “fix your matchmaker” thread but I’m at least trying to offer a concrete solution to the sludge that is playing this game in either solo q or a party, because as a solo q’er it is always a gamble, and as a party, it is more likely to be a steamroll regardless of your actual skill, and that’s no fun for anybody, as the current state of the matchmaker shows.

Also ultimately, this problem is underlined by all the other ones: poor means of communicating strategies and basic important things without already being in a party, poorly chosen pings, the vast difference between picking this game up and becoming experienced at it, lackluster training for said experience. You are expected to read up on and watch videos on way too many things, and a lot of strategies, you are expected to learn as you go or slog through pro video after pro video. It’s clearly not working.

The other upside for SEMC? It’ll shut a lot of people up about their horribly tilted matches until more tweaks and improvements get to the general game audience and these issues are no longer a problem: for everyone.

This is a long read but hopefully this is a constructive solution or you guys are currently working on something because such a good game with so many interesting mechanics should not be so frustrating for so many people. It’s a symptom of many other issues that semc is working on but it would be a mostly painless bandaid until those fixes are made in totality.

In fact, another idea, a longshot one, would be to make rank more focused on actual player teams and guilds, making them more relevant, and abolishing the solo player rank altogether, beyond just showing a general solo score, because this is a team game, with your solo rank based as much on your team’s performance as your own, and the player experience for many is showing it clearly isn’t working out to base individual ranks on potential team performance when one misstep from one team member can stall or bring your own rank down constantly. It would be a fundamental shift in some way but it would just make sense, and this would even help establish pro teams better, as players with a better team rank will stick together and members who don’t make the cut will be dropped out, maybe by consensus, establishing all the pro teams SEMC wanted, but organically, based on a team progression system rather than individual, and de-emphasizing the solo rank altogether as it is again, all but useless in a game like this.

Hopefully I have covered every base and fleshed out the ideas as to have something to consider or work from, but the point is: make this game feel worth itself again.

That’s how the MM works (at least they say that, but it’s horrible), MM doesn’t take into account the VST.

Not quite. Ranked MM takes vst into account as much as mmr, or at least to some degree. What I’m proposing is skipping the vst altogether for a different game mode. It has become a literal waste of time.

Edit: Also the opposite of casual as it is, where instead of people being matched regardless of mmr, people are matched only by mmr, regardless of rank, and a much, MUCH tighter mmr, where individual performance is concerned, because there is no way so many skilled players can be complaining about being matched with people who don’t know when to push and when not to, people who never use vision and people who always do, people who don’t know whst rotate means, people who push a lane as a duo q and don’t understand that you can’t just push one lane and expect the other ones not to need help eventually, etc. unless everybody is lying about their skill, or there is a real underlying problem.

Nope, it ignores VST, it only uses MMR.

Pro’s all have each other in the “friends” list… they create private 5v5 matches, which is pretty much a guaranteed way to put players exactly where they want.

and if they don’t have each other in their list, they should. because it’s the only way to know when you’re going to get decently matched up.

you’re rambling on about how MM makes bad decisions, but the overwhelming factor isn’t the hidden ELO skill, or MMR or whatever you want to call it. it’s ACTIVITY of the players themselves.

the higher the tier, the less players and the more you need to “SYNC” with every other player to be online at the same time as everybody else.

I guess a better way to say it is if you were a pro and you left for a long time and your rank goes down to nothing, you’re not playing ranked games with another high rank every game. That means when you come back you’re probably going to be destroying people to get back up to your rank that aren’t exactly at your rank. Again, it takes your rank into account to some degree when you’re matched, regardless of your actual skill. Unless I’m missing something and everyone who left the game for a long time and came back is being matched with t9 plus.

Also, I’m constantly getting matched with higher tiers who don’t know what they’re doing so again, if I always place cams on objectives, I always try to rotate and clear lanes even if my allies obliviously jungle, I ALWAYS ping danger before it comes and people just ignore it, what does that say about the skill level of the people I’m playing with who don’t? Again, this is not even about vst vs mmr, it’s about matching players who actually do what you should be doing in games with others that do without you having to slog and search for people that do or wait for that friend that is an actual competitive partner to be on. I don’t want to have to search for that. The game should be placing me with people that do what they’re supposed to regardless of whether I’m in a party or solo qing, if I’m always doing that, if I’m constantly carrying my team, I should be matched with people that do as well. That would only make sense if there’s internal stats about things like that.


Why would it make sense for pros to have to put each other in friends lists instead of the game matching you naturally? Why should you have to do anything yourself to be matched better beyond making a team and joining a game and it just happens? Why should it be the only decent way to get properly matched? That’s kinda weird considering there’s a ‘matchmaker’ that’s supposed to be accurate.

well, because MM can never be perfected. it will always remain Artificial intelligence that’s created by humans.

it relies on numbers that are either spot on , too low, or too high. I understand what you’re trying to achieve.

I’m just saying there’s a solution that’s available right now, as tricky as it is to set up, it does work.

The issue of MM has been a long drawn out affair. Creating a Pro mode could work, maybe. it would still need each pro player to be active, which is what i’m trying to point out.

MM will only get better if there are more active players online at any point in time. This you can’t just improve with a new mode. This will only change through smart marketing, improving the game, etc etc.

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Partially agreed. I definitely think the mmr is too loose in some ways and yes creating a group of friends is a solution. I just think having a mode that is more tight to your true skill regardless of any other factor, even if there were longer wait times because not enough people were on, would benefit a lot of people.

I also really think the focus on individual rank instead of, say, a select group of friends rank, is more useful, because even if your individual rank goes up and down, if you have a team rank for your team matches, it would be much simpler to deal with matching teams against each other.

I guess I am simply tired of pinging ‘we need vision’ or being in a party and watching the random 3rd or whatever just blow things for the rest of us even if we do everything we can.

I’m tired of even seeing other people complain about it. It needs to not be a thing if the matchmaking is accurate enough. I know that would kill wait times so I’m advocating a mode where basically even if you are waiting 5-10 min between matches, it’s not to be clearly disappointed anyway. And with a disclaimer that you have longer wait times ONLY for this mode for higher quality, SEMC is off the hook for these shenanigans.

Just a quick note - that’s not how decay or the matchmaker works. If you’ve been away a while, your VST goes down, but your MMR stays the same (barring an actual compression, which has been implemented time to time, and is announced). So when you come back, you’ll be up against the same level of competition as when you left, despite having a lower visual rank. I think this is actually the case for a lot of matchmaker complaints as people come back to the game after big updates (cross-platform, the dAv11d advert, etc), but they’re usually sorted into the right rank after a few games, or they get up to speed.

Likewise, matchmaking doesn’t rely on VST at all - that’s just a reflection of your performance based on behind-the-scenes elo. It’s a separate thing that functions like a trophy, and can be used to punish behavior like dodging, or to reward consistent play.

Personally, I feel like most matchmaking complaints can be attributed to differences in playstyle, the fact that there are many many many ways to win, and the inevitable data noise involved in assessing skill of individuals within games that have a rotating metric of 9 other random players. Looking at matchmaking this way, sustainable “fixes” are communication and education, likely through tutorials (although these bore most players), better guild mentorship potential, esports as gameplay modeling, and community knowledge dispersal (like the forums!!! :kraken_happy_t3:)


lol hey @HipsterSkaarf.

Alright, so that’s not how it works, given @Guest_78.

So then I have a question @HipsterSkaarf,

my experience has consistently been all over the board. I mean ALL over. One second I’m playing people who know what they’re doing, constantly going against teams even if I’m solo qing, or if I’m in a team it takes a year to match us, I can only assume because of skill discrepancy or something. Other times I get paired with people who refuse to ever use a camera once. Who just sit there and let turrets get taken even if it’s being pinged to death before the enemy even gets all the way to it. It’s not making sense to me and it’s really frustrating because I’m always doing what I’m supposed to do, constantly running in to save someone else’s butt, just watching people let minion waves push in while they dive into 3v1’s for one kill instead of clearing then pushing, what does that say about my mmr? I almost never do stuff like that and it’s become so frustrating for me to have such up and down matchups that either I or my party, if it’s not full, almost always end up rage-closing the game after a while. I also often get paired against parties or guilds and it gets so frustrating to have a completely disjointed team of my own, and it happens so often I’m literally near pulling my hair out trying to figure out what I’m supposed to think about my mmr because it’s never consistent, and it’s making my ability to rank even more inconsistent. It feels like I have to have a full team party to get anywhere where rank is concerned. I get the different playstyles part but I mean c’mon, vision on an objective as soon as it appears or helping clear a pushing minion lane if you’re near it just seems like it would be a basic thing after a while if I was matched near people who play how I always play. I guess that’s the jist of what’s bothering me. Like do people at higher ranks NOT do that all the time? That question is kind of rhetorical but I mean…how do I make sense of this?

Yeah, I don’t know. I’m not discounting what you’re seeing, either, don’t get me wrong. I think matchmaking is confusing, and there’s a lot going on - both in the behind-the-scenes workings and the natural variation found within the game. The only thing I know for sure is that our assessment of our teammates skills (or lack thereof) is often very flawed, so I tend to give the benefit of the doubt. But I do wish there were a little more transparency about how it works, or at least, some changes to the system that make it more obvious where the issues are, which I think is the really good thing about your idea to create something like a pro mode. For me, I’d like rank to be only solo queue. It would remove the ambiguity of boosting, one-tricking, and a bunch of other realities that muddy up the value of a rank.

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Omg yes. Or having a ranked solo and a ranked team as two seperate things, so the permanent team thing is more relevant in more situations. I’d be fine with less clarity if it just…felt like it made sense. And I try to give the benefit of the doubt, I really do. But when I danger ping and somebody rushes into certain death instead of waiting for 2 seconds for backup to arrive and trying to force an early kill and pings me like it’s my fault…I get heavily triggered. Or don’t use turrets for protection but ping me if I hang back and keep it from being taken long enough for my teamates to team up on another lane while multiple enemies try to take mine in frustration. I can’t tell you how many games I’ve carried where I was being pinged until near the end but got us the most kills or objective captures and got honors at the end after having to spam to the team to listen like 15 times.

It’s not a fun experience. I especially cannot stand playing higher ranks and getting pinged like I don’t know what I’m doing but securing winning moves and getting honored (or not) in the end. I’m honestly just a bit triggered today.

Edit: Also this can be moved to salt if it seems salty but I really do think we need a mode that takes individual performance into account more somehow.

The complaints are definitely NOT related to mmr vs vst issues most players are this point are aware that vst doesn’t matter and that the match making uses mmr. You don’t see players say “i got a poa silver on my team and i am vg silver wtf is this matchmaking !!” instead most complaints are “i got a tier 5 bronze on my team when i am tier 10 wtf !!!” such as games like this one:

Obviously tier 5s the beginners don’t have a similar mmr to a tier 10 the highest tier in the game… Its an algorithm issue the matchmaking just doesn’t work but semc won’t admit it they always give those pr answers about that mmr vs vst bullshit instead of working on a fix or straight completely rework the elo system but that won’t happen right cause they have bigger priorities like kraken emojis and hats to work on.

Edit: And matching 5 solos vs a trio in ranked is definitely not mmr related

No actually, that’s what I see a lot. And even in this thread there’s confusion about VST and MMR, so I don’t think you can say that this confusion isn’t an issue.

Also, when is that screenshot from, and what mode is it? I can’t find it on VGPro or VGMiner.

lol. i feel that same pain.

I also feel like playstyle is such a huge factor in how we judge players.
For example: I have my own jungle rotation meta that involves some very risky plays, which pays off very well, as long as it is executed to the TEE and preferably a Captain or a laner follows through.

I was playing a ranked match on a sunday morning (should’ve expected a casual approach) with a jungler who kept to the really old school “farm our own jungle” meta. I kept getting triggered that he wouldn’t follow up to go invade.

Later, after we lost. I questioned my expectations for him to invade with me. I mean, we cleared the entire jungle and he just sat at the crystal treant, waiting for it to spawn again. I was triggered SO so bad. what made it worse is, he was ranked higher than me and I’m thinking, did he get boosted or what?

I mean his mechanical skill was O.K. he didn’t over extend and he engaged in almost all team fights. He was just totally lacking in gold and exp, thus putting us behind on items. I suspect he’s a casual player that somehow did manage to climb the ranks, just playing on weekends.

Well, what was my point again? playstyle differences? yup, huge differences. I’m constantly creating a new jungle rotation meta, because I hate being “predictable”. it’s quite hard to get somebody to “trust” your rotations, when they haven’t done it before.

You must be looking at the wrong place then cause i’ve hundreds of similar screenshots and i am not even exagerating. This was a 5v5 ranked one and a half month ago so you’re not gonna find it on vgpro but i can give you plenty just in case you need more proof

Well, sure, of course you can. We all remember bad games more than we do the good ones. As for VGPro, I just looked through your ranked 5v5 matches, and all of them (all 33 games, going back 9 days) look pretty balanced to me. The common max spread you’re seeing is low VG bronze to high PoA silver, with a couple matches having high PoA bronzes against each other. A number of those bronze PoAs, by the way, are now VG bronze, so they were either already better and ranking up, or were coming back after decay had brought their VST down.

Do you get off games that are unbalanced? Sure, maybe, I don’t know. But I really believe it’s a lot less common than people are making it out to be. To me, the real issue is that players have wildly different expectations of what other players should be doing, be it rotations, builds, farming priorities, team comps, etc… We can’t look under the hood at another player’s MMR, or watch their last 50 matches and judge their skill ourselves. The issue is between both of those - lack of info and lack of good faith - not that “matchmaker is broken.” But it’s a lot easier to say “matchmaker is broken” so that’s what people do.

Well i think you might have just jinxed me lol look at this, tier 6 krul ? tier 8 silver tony ? poa bronze ringo ? vg silver baron ?! How is that mmr related there is literally one of the lowest ranks in the game and a guy who’s top 50 in the leaderboard all in one game ? not to mention there is a much as 4 different ranks in that game

And then you have this game, both teams get a trio mine is cath celeste alpha but they’re all 3 poa while theirs has 2 vg silvers and a vg gold ? A 400 elo discrapency between both trios and its mmr related ? No its not

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Yeah, I don’t know, man. It looks like the Tony and Krul have VSTs that are basically the same as their MMR (judging by the spread of VSTs in their recent games). Your Ringo hasn’t ranked much recently, so is likely a higher MMR (judging by the other VSTs in those games). I’d guess silver PoA, maybe high bronze.

And I’m not saying that matches aren’t funky sometimes. It’s probably really hard for the system to build a fair match for players who are ranked super high, like iamKassi, which is where some lower-ranked players get pulled in to balance things. The Baron’s team still won, so I can’t say the matchmaker did a horrible job. It produced a situation where either team could’ve won based on how well they executed certain strategies and win conditions. What do you think the loss came down to? It wasn’t the lowest ranked player, apparently.

well maybe if i was mid lane instead the game could have went better (not saying we would have won) but losing mid lane armory at 12 minutes isn’t ideal. But that’s the issue when you mix low and high ranked players in one game, it basically becomes a lotery if the vg silver gets to play a carry position so either mid or bot lane he’s gonna win but if he plays another positon he’s gonna suffer for the entirety of that game with his shitty teammates. Compensating a really high mmr with a really low one does NOT balance out, it just creates the most unhealthy games that are decided before they’ve even begun. So in an ideal scenario my team has someone who’s at least close to vg silver maybe in 2500 and they have that baron who’s vg silver, put 4 vg bronzes on both sides and the game is almost balanced maybe putting a poa gold on iamKassi’s side would pretty much nail it but no shitty matchmaking algorithm means it was a fiesta instead. Its prime time in Eu to rank and you’re saying the match maker can’t find 9 vg bronzes or 8 and a poa gold? i am gonna go with no considering the queue barely lasted 2 minutes.

What about that second game funny you didn’t even mention it, how is match with 1 vg gold 2 vg silvers and 2 poas against 3 poas and 2 vg bronzes even close to be balanced ? Like its not even high mmr being compensated by low mmr its literally one side with high mmr vs another with much lower mmr overall that game was decided before iy even begun really fun experience if you ask me. The matchmaker is just the worst like its not even CLOSE to being decent and its been that way since the release of patch 3.1. I’ve never seen an online team based game that puts a beginner with a top tier player in the same game, almost 7 months since those matchmaking issues started and there is not a slightest sign of improvement no wonder veteran players are quitting at an alarming rate.

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