Hat tip to Z, as is often the case.
Any patent attorneys out there ? A patent applied for by Wargaming shows them patenting the idea of a matchmaker system – “Dynamic battle session matchmaking in a multiplayer game” with skill based components. If a player has a 60% win rate, they could expect to be put into a harder match; and conversely, if they had a 40% win rate, they could be put into an easier match.
I am not going to overanalyze this patent – they pay people to do that. My initial reactions include being annoyed as usual at software patents on obvious processes. Really? The matchmaker does a lot of obvious things.
I also note the dates involved – applied for on 5/16/12, well after WoT had already launched, and granted recently 4/23/13. Via XVM’s website, this mod was first created 2/10/12.
What does any of this have to do with XVM ? Well, it’s a natural extension of looking at the data provided by XVM, to start thinking about skill based matchmaking. It gives you a suggested chance to win, along with the win rate for each player. People have clamored for/against it ever since the mod came out.
My thinking is the narrative probably went something like this – XVM comes out, created by dedicated fans. Questions are raised about skill based matchmaking. The big guy, Victor Kislyi head of Wargaming, makes the decision to investigate the idea which probably resulted in the patent application and eventual approval.
Another idea occurs to me – does the fact this patent exists, simply codify the existing matchmaker as a patent, with some extra ideas thrown in which may/may not be present ? Yep, sure could be. Just look at the win/loss text of the patent :
According to another aspect, the matchmaking server may store a win/loss percentage for each user (or vehicle) at a given battle level. As the player’s win/loss ratio decreases, the player becomes more likely to be placed in battles having battle levels at the lower end of the allowable range, whereas as the player’s win/loss ration increases, the player becomes more likely to be placed in battles having battle levels at the upper end of the allowable range.
The very next paragraph describes the “not too many games being at the bottom” component of the matchmaker.
According to yet another aspect, with reference back to FIG. 8, a variable may be defined (here, referred to as range variable N) that defines a number of battle sessions that a vehicle must participate in before the vehicle may be assigned to the highest possible battle level within its allowable range of battle levels. Range variable N is used to define a sub-range within the otherwise permissible range of battle levels for a given vehicle. In one variant, a vehicle may be placed in any battle level except the highest allowable battle level, based on any placement algorithm described herein or otherwise, until the player plays at least N battle sessions with a particular vehicle.
Does this patents existence mean, skill based matchmaking is present in the game ? I believe the Dev’s have said, no, it’s not. Feel free to find posts that contradict me, I’d be interested, but I’m not going to search out anything supporting my statement – I think it’s well known.
For the Record declines to believe this is implemented. I’m inclined to believe them. What would be the reason to lie to the playerbase ? That doesn’t mean there’s no cause for concern – the real question, is *will* a skill based matchmaker be implemented at some point ?
I hope not. I like the way it’s done fine – assuming equal skill and trying to match tanks by capabilities. You can (and should) question whether they achieve that, but the concept seems solid to me. Skill based can be seen as coddling bad players, and penalizing good players. Not that it should have much effect on me with my current 49.97% win rate.
Wargaming should clarify the whole thing, given their pretty darn good record of communicating with the players.