It is fundamental that any matchmaking system be balanced to perfection in order for both new and experienced individual players to enjoy the competitive landscape. The focus today is on Heroes of the Storm, the upcoming MOBA from Blizzard Entertainment. Based upon its popularity and ingenuity, the matchmaking system has received mixed reactions from players necessitating changes to be made, fast. After all, the title leaves open beta testing and enters the realm of launch on June 2, 2015. Have no idea about what Heroes of the Storm is all about? Take a moment to understand how you’ll be paired against foes before proceeding further.
Heroes of the Storm
In this particular game, there are currently three modes that you can play. First, there is a Practice mode, which is aimed at training players to enter the other two modes, Versus and Cooperative. In each case styles differ and who you play against varies. The techniques of a practice mode are a far cry from certain victory against real life opponents, but the core elements of the game are anchored on strategies. Just like any online game, if you have a better strategy in place chances are that you will emerge the victor.
The Practice Game is where you, as a single player, battle against AI bots. Whereas for the Cooperative, you are grouped with other players (four in number), and you battle against AI a pentagroup of bots. Versus mode pits your humanoid team against other flesh encapsulated enemies.The crux of the matter is how these teams are created and then put against one another; the matchmaking system. The idea of matchmaking in competitive online play is nothing new, but Heroes of the Storm differs on a number of factors.
How the HotS Matchmaking System Works
The system is designed to match players through multiple variables. Combined, these will determine who will play against the each other. The following is a summation of the factors:
- Matches based on individual skill level – this is an important factor in making sure that the players of the game have a similar win rate percentage. This makes it possible for them to play competitively without necessarily worrying about playing a loop-sided game. However, this will need improved, if not strictly new, algorithms under select circumstances, such as partying for 5v5 matches.
- Composition of team – In MOBA games team dynamics and synergy dramatically impact gameplay. In many cases, a player is given an opportunity to choose teammates in the hopes that, at the end of the day, it is to his advantage. There is no clear-cut solution that guarantees the team will be balanced due to Blizzard weighing queue times against perfect archetype distribution. Nevertheless, the balancing can be attained by including different roles or levels of gamers in each individual team.
- Random and Arranged teams – the systems can randomly choose players to play in your team or against you as an individual, but this is not always the best practice due to a limited selection pool. Whatever the pool’s barrier, regional density, server limits or the game’s popularity, a randomness factor has to be accepted.
In all matchmaking systems, it’s important that skill level is determined accurately, so that every player can enjoy the game. Based on this fact, the matchmaking system In Heroes of the Storm has undergone dramatic changes to continuously improve. Naturally, these changes are made live with an intention to make the game more enjoyable, and more competitive no matter the mode selected.
Come back next week for the next installment from guest blogger Timothy Herrera, a video gamer at heart and writer by hobby. If he’s not too busy pushing lanes, he writes for his blog at Heroes of the Storm Source.