MMR doesn't segregate premades from solo queuers, it just inflates the MMRS of the people in the premade because they're in a premade. MMR is based on the average of the group. The longer you're in queue for, the greater the gap can be between opponents' MMRs for a given match. This sucks for high MMR solo queuers because they get matched up against premades who have usually been waiting so long that the MMR system has essentially subtracted their premade bonus to find them a match due to how long they've sat in queue. The MMR system keeps allowing lower and lower MMR solo queuers to fight them, but it's tiered.. so it'll start the match with three, and won't add a fourth solo queuer to fight the premades until more time passes to subtract even more from the MMR of the premades.
So Let's talk about the MMR...
I'm going to separate the points I'd like to make into either "Facts" or "Working Hypotheses" based on whether I'm certain about a given piece of information, or am just hypothesizing based on the data I've collected.
Is the MMR actually a thing?
Yes. And it always has been. Anyone that's every tried to synchronize queues to get into specific matches can tell you that it wasn't simply a matter of "who queued first." But now it's different...
What is MMR?
MMR stands for Match Making Rating (or Ranking depending on who you ask). It's a way to rate opponents so that players of a similar skill level can get matched together for a better, more even match. Think of it kind of like the weight classes for UFC or Boxing... it wouldn't be very fair to match a 140lbs guy against a 220lbs guy, so make sure the fights are fair, the fight organizers tend to make sure boxers fight people with a similar weight (I.E. the same "weight class".) But every once in a while, a fighter will fight someone in a weight class different than their own...
So if the MMR already existed, what did they change with Summerset?
To quote the patch notes: "Battleground match making now adds an additional multiplier to the value of players who are grouped. This value scales differently between 2, 3, and 4 player groups.... Pre-formed groups will generally be pitted against pre-formed groups, and solo players will generally be pitted against other solo players."
But wait... Are they or aren't they separating the premades from the solo queues?
Technically, NO, they are not separating the premades from the solo queues. What they ARE doing is increasing the MMR of the premades solely because they're premades. The more people in the "premade" group, the higher the increase to MMR for matchmaking purposes. So to use the boxing "weight class" metaphor... if you weigh 170 normally, but you queue as a duo, the system might consider you as actually weighing 180. If you queue as a trio, it might consider you as someone who weights 190, and if you queue as a four man, it might consider you as someone who weighs 200. In other words, it adds +10 each for a duo, +20 each for a trio, and +30 each for a four man
So if you're in a four man group with four different individual MMRs, which MMR is used for the group?
The MMR for the group is the average
of the individual characters
, after adjusting them for the size of the premade. To explain using the boxing "weight class" metaphor again, if you have a 150 lbs, a 160 lbs, a 170 lbs, and a 190 lbs fighter queuing together, we'd add 30 lbs to each since they're queueing as a premade four man... that gives us 180, 190, 200, and 210. Then we would take the average of that, which is 195. That 195 is the MMR.. or the "weight class" that the premade would have to fight in. I am 99.999% sure that it's the average of the group, and I am 99.999% sure that it's character based rather than account based.
What is MMR based off of?
This is the thing we're the least certain of at this moment. I strongly suspect that it's based off of an aggregate of your medal scores.... in essence, the sum of all your leaderboard scores. I believe this because players with both a high win rate and a low win rate seem to have high MMRs if they've played a lot of games...Similarly, players with high K/D ratios but also players with low k/d ratios tend to have high MMRs if they've played a lot of games... but my MAIN reason for thinking this is the case is because we already know that this is the system ZOS uses for the "Leaderboards" so we already know that they're tracking it.. and it would make sense for the "leaderboard" metrics (cumulative medal score in all games) to also determine MMR.... the difference between the "Leaderboards" and the MMR system is that the Leaderboards reset each week but the MMR doesn't... we know that players who used to play a ton of games but haven't played one in a month or two will still have really high MMRs. This theory also means that your MMR can't go down.... since you can never "lose" leaderboard points by performing poorly... so if someone does have their MMR go down, this theory will be disproven.
So what happens if there's nobody at your MMR level to fight?
Here's where things get interesting. Let's use the example above of a four man with an MMR of 195... they queue up, but there is no other premade out there with an MMR that high.. so they wait. It appears that the battleground group finder will be more flexible with your MMR the longer you're in queue. For instance, if this premade with MMR of 195 queues up immediately, the system will only look for groups or players with an MMR of between 190-200. Then, after five minutes, if it can't find anyone in that "weight class" it widens the range
by looking for matches with an MMR of between 180 and 210. Then after another five minutes, it widens it again, looking for opponents with an MMR of between 170 and 220. Then another five minutes, it widens again for opponents between 160 and 230, etc.... Do I know how often it widens the range? no, but i do strongly suspect it's on either 5 minute or 10 minute intervals.
So if I solo queue, how come I keep fighting premades?
Sounds like you've got a high MMR! The longer you spend queued, the more likely you are to fight "outside" of your weight class (MMR level).
How come when three premades all queue up at the same time, they have to wait 20 minutes to fight each other, even if all have been waiting for twenty minutes?
This is something that drives me insane but it is a distinct phenomenon of the new matchmaking system that didn't exist before. Let's say that two of the premades are full of people playing their BG mains... but one premade has a few alts in it, or maybe some veteran PvPers that just didn't do BGs until now. While all three premades are going to get the "premade bonus" to MMR, the MMR is character based... so the group finder would consider it an uneven match due to the low MMR of the team that's playing alts and new characters. Let's say that the average MMR of team A is 200, team B is 210, and team C is 160. Then let's add the premade bonus of 30 onto that and we get an MMR of 230 for A, 240 for B, and 190 for C... A and B will get matched together and considered "acceptable" after approx five minutes in the queue... but they'll have to stay queued for a while before the group finder will consider team C as eligible to fight in their weight class... so they wait...
How do high MMR solo queuers fit into all this?
Let's use the example in the previous question but add a twist... So:
- Team A has an MMR of 200(base)+30(premade)=230,
- Team B has an MMR of 210(base)+30(premade)=240
- Team C has an MMR of 160(base)+30(premade)=190
But then let's say that there are a few solo queuers with a really high MMR. Let's say that
- Solo queuer 1 has an MMR of 210(base)+0(solo)=210
- Solo queuer 2 has an MMR of 210(base)+0(solo)=200
- Solo queuer 3 has an MMR of 200(base)+0(solo)=200
- Solo queuer 4 has an MMR of 180(base)+0(solo)=180
So what happens? Team A and B get "matched up" almost immediately because their MMR is so similar... but then there's nobody else in that weight class for them to fight. After 5 minutes, they're eligible to fight teams with an MMR of 220. After 10 minutes they're eligible to fight teams with an MMR of 210, after 15 minutes they're eligible to fight teams with an MMR of 200, and after twenty minutes they're eli...
..hey wait a second?! Queue pop after just 15 minutes! Teams A and B just entered into a match against... a pug group comprised of solo queuers 1, 2, and 3?!?
How is this possible? It's because the BG system only needs 3 players on a team for the match to start
So solo queuer 4 with an MMR of 180 gets added in immediately, right? NOPE!
The BG queue finder keeps doing what it's doing. Where were we? Oh yes..
After twenty minutes (or five minutes into the match), the match is eligible to have MMRs of 190 join. Team C was a premade with an MMR of 190... but there are four of them and we can't fit four players into just one slot... So team C is out of luck, and the match maker continues lowering the MMR requirements for eligible players. After another five minutes (ten minutes into the match), MMRs of 180 become eligible, and solo queuer 4 (who has an MMR of 180) gets added onto the 3 man team consisting of solo queuers 1, 2, and 3... who, by the way, have been trying to fight as a pug 3 man against two full premades for the last ten minutes. Super fun for them.
And what happens to Team C, that never got into that match? Well they wait another 5 minutes or so and then fight two full groups of pug Solo queuers with MMR averages of around 130. Because their minimum MMR threshold for suitable opponents has been going down this whole time too, and they started off at 190...
Well, that kind of makes sense.. but why is it a problem?
It's a problem because if you're a high MMR solo queuer, you're almost always going to be the pug in a fight against premades. Solo queueing with a high MMR is, based on the current population trends, almost a guaranteed way to get stuck against premades. Why? Because the lower MMR solo queuers are matching up against each other so fast that their BG queue finder doesn't need
to look for players in a higher weight class. They are getting into matches so quickly that the "allowed MMR range" of that match never gets high enough to grab the high MMR solo queuer. But meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, the high MMR premades have been waiting for 20 minutes. After a 20 minute wait, the "bonus" to their MMR that they get for being a premade is essentially nullified by the BG queue finder's willingness to allow them to fight in different, lower weight classes. So the high MMR solo queuer, being the closest thing to the time-lowered MMR of the premades who have been waiting, gets gobbled up to fight the premade before that solo queuer can wait long enough to allow their own MMR to get low enough to fight in the medium/low MMR solo queue matches.
And this is really frustrating because it is making BGs miserable for every solo queuer who has played a ton of BGs... In other words, it takes the people who love the BGs the most and makes them wait or gives them the worst matches.
Is there a silver lining?
Yes. High MMR premades tend to fight against High MMR premades when they are in queues together. This is a good thing if there are three High MMR premades all queueing around the same time. And if there are going to be solo players fighting the high MMR premades, it makes sense to take the "best" (let's not discuss the correlation or lack thereof between being High MMR and being good) solo players and put them in the match. It just really sucks to be a solo player who is always getting put in those matches...
@ZOS_BrianWheeler @ZOS_GinaBruno @ZOS_JessicaFolsom
(Kudos to anyone who loves BGs enough to read this whole thing... it turned out a lot longer than I planned lol)