Dota 2 Guide: Understanding The Importance Of Roles In Matchmaking

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2013-07-09
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Changes coming to matchmaking. Valve

Valve announced that the studio is making changes to the matchmaking for Dota 2. The update is just in time as Dota 2 is set to begin its new Ranked Season this Thursday. Indeed, there are a number of improvements that Valve hopes will make the experience even better. In today's guide, we look at two main issues and their corresponding impact.

 

Importance of Roles

One issue being looked into is role symmetry. It was found out that misaligned roles had a significant impact when it came to game quality. An example cited was one team having their mid player as the one with the highest rank while on the other team, the mid player was the lowest ranked. In cases like this, it resulted into a volatile game that ultimately was not enjoyable to everyone. When it came to matchmaking, the algorithm generally prioritized rank spread as one of the criteria. The planned update is going to ensure that the roles are going to be more symmetric.

What this means is that Valve is now likely going to match teams where the roles have ranks closer to each other. This is good because it somewhat balances the teams. However, in pub games there is always no assurance which player is going to play what roles. If this balancing works, it is going to make the gameplay experience better.

Another issue is in relation to core and support. In a previous update, Dota 2 allowed players to queue based on their role. This change hopes to have a small impact on the gains and losses that players have when queueing through a role. This is likely not going to have that much of an effect, especially in pub games where roles tend to be more fluid.

Smurf Accounts

Valve admitted that there has been an increase when it comes to smurf accounts. The company has revealed that it is putting this issue on high priority. Valve went on to say that there is no single solution to this issue, but hopes that different changes can lower the impact.

To solve this, Valve is now requiring players to have a unique phone number attached to their account. For now this is limited to those who want to play ranked. Even better, this change is going to affect all accounts, not just new ones. While this is indeed not a one-stop solution, it does lower the risk of making smurf accounts easily.

The mechanism that grants Ranked access is also getting changed. Instead of focusing on number of games, the metric is now going to be time based. This is actually a smart move on the part of Valve. What they are not directly telling you is that if you want to play ranked, then you have to play more.

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, Valve is putting a premium on roles and making sure that they have a better impact on the game. However, one way that this can be abused is when a player uses a smurf account. Valve answers that by now requiring players to authenticate their account through a phone number.

What is interesting is that it appears all these changes are geared toward one simple thing. That is, to get people to play Dota 2 more frequently and longer.

How about you? What do you think?

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