In Part 1 of our Matchmaker 2.0 Myth series, we unveiled the basics of how Matchmaker 2.0 works and how it will change in Update 0.15. In Part 2, we talked about losing streaks.
In Part 3 we will take a look at yet another common misconception.
Myth #3: A Tier Spread of 3 Tiers for PvP matches is intentional
Before we discuss this matter any further, let's first define what a Tier Spread actually is. Each PvP battle consists of not just different vehicle classes but also different Tiers. The most common example would be a Tier Spread of 2 Tiers, which means that the match team contains vehicles of 2 different Tiers – for example Tier 5 and Tier 6. A Tier Spread of 3 Tiers means the number of Tiers for each team increases to 3 with, for example, Tier 5, 6 and 7 vehicles in one battle.
The Tier Spread is closely related to how the developers balance the actual vehicles. Unfortunately, in the past, a number of errors in the Matchmaker mechanism led to the impression that it’s "normal" to have a Tier Spread of 3. This impression is further enhanced by the fact that the Matchmaker is allowed to extend the Tier Spread during the hours when the server population is relatively low as a compromise between waiting times and team quality.
During optimal Matchmaker performance, the match Tier Spread is either 1 or 2. Matches with a Tier Spread of 3 or even 4 are generally rare. That being said:
The intentional and optimal Matchmaker Tier Spread is 2 Tiers.
In other words, teams consisting of (for example) Tier 5 and Tier 6 vehicles are considered optimal and the Matchmaker is configured to attempt to use this Tier Spread in the majority of battles.
Battles with a Tier Spread of 3 are not considered optimal as the game vehicles are balanced with a Tier Spread of 2 Tiers in mind. During such matches, the players at the bottom of the team are having a hard time fighting vehicles two Tiers above their own machines. This is especially true for the Main Battle Tank class where the jumps in armor thickness and firepower are especially noticeable – fighting a Tier 8 MBT in a Tier 6 MBT is very difficult.
Such matches are not typically aimed for and are usually a sign the Matchmaker is doing its best to assemble teams despite facing considerable obstacles. Unfortunately, they are currently more common on certain game servers with a lower population.
Under nearly optimal circumstances, the Matchmaker Tier Spread looks roughly like this (an example from the RU server, collected over one week):
- Tier Spread of 1 Tier: 29.13% of matches
- Tier Spread of 2 Tiers: 66.69% of matches
- Tier Spread of 3 Tiers: 4.10% of matches
Although extremely rare, a Tier Spread of 4 Tiers can also happen, typically right after a server reset.
The abovementioned ratio is what the Matchmaker is attempting to do and for the most part it is succeeding. Our goal is to have most players participate in well-balanced PvP battles and the Tier Spread is an important part of this endeavor.