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Old 03-20-2017, 11:46 AM   #31
Meadows
 
 
 
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Originally Posted by TuxedoRex View Post
Creating an algorithm that can reliably match two groups of 12 to be roughly equally effective is an extremely difficult task. Even if individual skill could be quantified, there's then the factor of how well certain players synergize with others (or don't), what classes the player is capable (and willing) to play, map types, mood, "ugh screw this team I just want to snipe today," etc etc etc.

What is far less difficult (and we know this because it was the reality pre-Smissmas) is having reliable refills, which greatly improves team balance. Red team rolls Blue, players on Blue quit, Blue gets fresh blood, balanced is improved. It happened- a lot, and in fact it still occasionally does happen when your server is lucky enough to get that flood of refills before it's too late.

This is a proven solution, a far more realistic hope than expecting Valve to create an infallible team matching algorithm.
I'm not saying that creating such an algorithm is easy (or hard; I'm not a developer so I don't know) nor am I saying that I expect a perfect matchmaking system that accounts for hundreds of variables in order to get team balance juuust right.

What I am saying is that even if refills start working properly and player count imbalances get addressed as soon as they appear, there's still the problem with veteran players routinely being matched against people playing TF2 for the first time. The smaller the player pool, the less picky the refill system can be in regards to which players it populates the servers with. The whole premise of the matchmaking system, when we first read about it, was that it was supposed to alleviate this problem and give us fairer, more balanced games. Otherwise, there wouldn't be much of a point in spending so much time and resources on reworking the Quickplay system into this.

I believe this is the point that dontango was making and I felt that you dismissed it a bit too easily, seeing how it describes the majority of the solo games I play.

Basically, I do think there are improvements to be made to the matchmaking system as a whole, and while refills are an important piece of the puzzle, the system still has a long way to go before it starts to resemble what was advertised.

Last edited by Meadows: 03-20-2017 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:19 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuxedoRex View Post
Creating an algorithm that can reliably match two groups of 12 to be roughly equally effective is an extremely difficult task. Even if individual skill could be quantified, there's then the factor of how well certain players synergize with others (or don't), what classes the player is capable (and willing) to play, map types, mood, "ugh screw this team I just want to snipe today," etc etc etc.
True. But it should be extremely easy to prevent the 50 hour noob with a kill/death ratio of 1 to 15 to play with some 4000 hour veteran with multiple seasons of competitive play under his hood. But they do not even do that. There are multiple options besides using an elaborate "hidden mmr". Playtime, badge level, k/d ratio, score per minute are just the easiest that come to mind.

The rest was summed up perfectly by Meadows.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:09 PM   #33
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Here's the thing:

We had faster refills pre-Smissmas 2016.
We know the casual matchmaking experience then was vastly superior to what we have now.

Of course an improvement to the matchmaking algorithm would improve the game. Optimizing performance or rewriting the game in the Source 2 engine would, too. The trouble is, these are all feats of coding that might not be feasible for a 9 year old free to play game.

Playing with and against noobs has always been a part of casual TF2. I'm not saying it shouldn't be fixed, but its negative impact on the game pales compared to seeing a server dwindle to 3v5.

And refill-efficacy doesn't just solve player count imbalances. It stops steamrolls. It makes ragequits strengthen a team rather than cripple it. It cuts down on joining just as the server votes for a map you can't abide. It means when you hit "start search" you have a good time more often than not.

Fixing refills is so feasible (because, again, we had them just a few months ago) and addresses so many problems that it should come first.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:31 PM   #34
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Honestly, it felt like the drop in refills started happening so suddenly(sometime in the last few weeks) that I honestly figured there must have been an actual playercount drop at fault, as if some new game/update elsewhere stole them away.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:39 PM   #35
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As I've said, refills were broken when the 2016 Smissmas update hit.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:18 PM   #36
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It just didn't seem to be an actual issue until fairly recently.

I had no difficulty finding nearby, decently populated random 5CP games to join, then suddenly I'm getting thrown into half-full and still-decaying population servers on the other side of the country.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:42 PM   #37
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Well I guess I can't explain that.

I've had (extremely short) discussions since that update with other people about refills suddenly drying up though, so I know it's not just me.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:03 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by TuxedoRex View Post
Well I guess I can't explain that.

I've had (extremely short) discussions since that update with other people about refills suddenly drying up though, so I know it's not just me.
Probably because that update added the ability to vote for a map. So the server keeps going with half of the players instead of sending everyone back to the menu. As a result, it created a lot of half empty games.
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:35 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by dontango View Post
True. But it should be extremely easy to prevent the 50 hour noob with a kill/death ratio of 1 to 15 to play with some 4000 hour veteran with multiple seasons of competitive play under his hood. But they do not even do that. There are multiple options besides using an elaborate "hidden mmr". Playtime, badge level, k/d ratio, score per minute are just the easiest that come to mind.

The rest was summed up perfectly by Meadows.
No this would not be easy; you're essentially discriminating advanced players from being able to play casual at all at that point.


And even if we had a perfect system to create perfect matches (which is not possible) then all that has to happen is that one or two players to drop out immediately when they get assigned to a server to have everything fall apart once again.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:35 AM   #40
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Probably because that update added the ability to vote for a map. So the server keeps going with half of the players instead of sending everyone back to the menu. As a result, it created a lot of half empty games.
Yeah! Exactly! This is what I'm saying!
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:18 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Thurbo View Post
No this would not be easy; you're essentially discriminating advanced players from being able to play casual at all at that point.
That's why the answer is not to exclude, but to simply make sure that all 'qualities' of players are relatively evenly spread between the teams.

Although 'preferring' to keep absolute bottom-rank/just-installed newbie players in games together seems reasonable, assuming there are plenty of players to go around.
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:45 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Thurbo View Post
And even if we had a perfect system to create perfect matches (which is not possible) then all that has to happen is that one or two players to drop out immediately when they get assigned to a server to have everything fall apart once again.
Of course, such a system would never be perfect and i'd be one of the first to complain again. But even a flawed system is better than not having a system in place, at all. And that is how it feels right now.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:09 AM   #43
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I think the matchmaking system- even now- is demonstrably superior to quickplay or the team balance I'd find on the handful of populated community servers in my particular region.

Back when we had reliable refills I was getting the best games I'd ever seen- not every single time, but with some regularity. There was plenty of back and forth, neither team being obviously stronger than the other, yet not bogging down into boring stalemates, people leaving occasionally and new people arriving, so you'd never despair but you couldn't get complacent either. If that's not ideal casual TF2, I don't know what is.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:42 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by dontango View Post
Of course, such a system would never be perfect and i'd be one of the first to complain again. But even a flawed system is better than not having a system in place, at all. And that is how it feels right now.
Yeah, think. The system could already be in place and you wouldn't even notice for the reasons stated in this thread. It's the same situation either way.

If they evenly spread out people based on statistics then the guy who normally can carry an entire match as Soldier might decide to mess around as Sniper/Hoovy/Gunslinger - or people leave after the game started - and the statistical balance is completely foiled. I wouldn't doubt they already do it that way; all three times I ended up in a match with you I was on the opposing team.

If they completely separated advanced players from newbies you'd not be able to find matches without waiting 30+ minutes anymore.
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Old 03-21-2017, 02:38 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by ViRaGisTe View Post
Yes! after playing this game for 6 years, I never thought it would end up like this:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile.../?id=882453513


We appreciate the effort done to deliver this "MYM" update, but seriously you need to reverse it or at least bring back some of the pub servers the way they were.

this is getting really annoying!
While you thank Valve, it's still the people leaving that are the cause of the problem in the first place. Those people who only want to play if they're being carried or winning and if they don't they stick their middle fingers up at both their teammates and enemies and say "My fun is more important then the fun of everyone else on this server, screw off losers" and jump ship.

This is also probably why there are so many people now a days that are far worse then anyone I've ever played with back when I played the original Team Fortress mod around 20 years ago too. Because they decided that giving up and quitting is more important then giving a damn and trying to figure out how to get better.

ATM, the best thing Valve could do is making filling in the slots not take as long as it does currently. As filling in slots for all the people that told their teammates and enemies to off is faster then it takes to fill their spots up again. Which I believe Jill stated they're still looking into trying to improve that, so hopefully it will come.
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