A Discussion About Matchmaking

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StraTosSpeAr

Member

02-28-2013

Alright, so I've been aggravated by this for a long time, but I've refused to post until now. I've consistently thought, "Well I just have room to improve, and the system is good enough, so I'll just improve and then it will naturally level out".

However, enough is enough.

So, a little bit about me before I start. I reached level 30 in early January (?) and I'm a fairly casual player; I like to play a couple games a day, or maybe log in some extra time on a day off. I'm by no means fantastic, but I'd consider myself a very solid player; I can hold my own in any role and my KA-D ratio is always respectable. I quit playing SR ranked due to the boring/slow build-up, the infuriating matchmaking system that makes the game no fun, and the excessively long game time. I naturally gravitated toward Dominion, since it's fun, fast-paced, and doesn't take forever to play one game.

So as I said, I have been very frustrated with the matchmaking system for a while now; I quit playing ranked SR because of it. We all here stories about ELO hell, and most people just chalk it up to "You're not as good as you think". I used to think that way as well, telling myself that I just need to improve more, but my recent experiences in Dominion have changed my mind. I've become fairly convinced that this system is horrible for the gamers' experience, and that it makes playing incredibly un-fun for a significant portion of the LoL population. I've also become convinced, through reading these forums once in a while, that the nay-sayers tend to be similar to those random, well-to-do conservatives that tell others, "Well I was able to pull myself up from my bootstraps and become successful and rich, so why don't you?" ELO hell exists; not for all that claim that they suffer from it, but definitely for some, and it ruins the fun of this game.

Let's take a look at my match history and why I came here to talk about it.

(Disclaimer: I rarely use LoLKing and I do not frequent these forums, so forgive me if I miss some information that is crucial to the discussion or I have missed the fact that some things have already been discussed on this board).

So as far as I can see, LoLKing will show your last 10 matches played. Well, my last 10 matches were all Dominion matches, and I went 2-8 in that span.

http://www.lolking.net/summoner/na/23618561#history

A few things to note:

No AFK'ers/DC'd players in any of the last 10 games.
Champions played:
Twisted Fate: 4/10 (0 wins)
Mordekaiser: 3/10 (0 wins)
Morgana: 1/10 (1 win)
Zed: 2/10 (1 win)
Last 10 games: 2-8.
9/10 games my Kills>Deaths.
10/10 games my Kills+Assists are at least = Deaths.
6/10 games I am ranks 1 or 2.
3/10 rank 1.
3/10 rank 2,
3/4 games I was not ranked 1/2 I went bottom.
1/2 games won I was ranked 1 or 2.
5/10 games I took bottom.
4/10 bottom games we lost.
4/10 games I scored above 1500.
4/4 games I scored below 1000 I played bottom.
Total score over the 10 games:
93 Kills
51 Deaths
96 Assists
K/A-D ratio of 3.7:1
9066 points
Average 906.6 per game (average lowered because of one blowout game)

So my point is this; by every stat we can find, I feel justified in saying that I have performed quite well over the past 10 games. However, in ever game I've lost (don't have the time to dig through LoLKing to find the exact stats), pretty much every one of my teammates has had a K-D ratio < 1, or worse a K/A-D ratio < 1. Long story short, my teammates sucked ass.

So what's wrong with the matchmaking system?

Well, this game is a team game, but it runs on an ELO system, which only measures your performance based on win/loss (if your ELO is affected by your performance, please enlighten me, because from everything I've read, it isn't). This is quite ridiculous because it essentially punished players that are in my position even more than just losing. Not only do I lose, have a worse record, not get as many points, etc. but the game will match me with worse partners. I have been able to notice it quite well. The number of people who take Revive or Garrison has dropped significantly. The number of people playing gimmicky characters like AP Poppy/Trynd/Yi or movement speed Shaco has gone up drastically. No one ever plays Kass or Kha, and when I do see them, people always complain about how these champions suck (I don't play them out of principle and I don't want to artificially inflate my ELO by playing broken champions).

My conclusion is that the ELO system is simply flawed for team-based games (I see this a lot in RTS's where I play team matches as well). The game solely takes into account your wins or losses when determining your ELO, while winning or losing is based more on your team than on yourself. The reason why this is such a big problem is because it takes all of the fun out of the playing experience for people in my position. When people like us are left in a position where we are trying hard and doing respectably but we lose over and over and over because of trolls, AFK's, or bad players, then the game just isn't enjoyable. A good loss can still be enjoyable; it can be a hard-fought game where everyone played well and you saw some cool plays. Losing 8/10 times isn't, especially when you perform rather well.

Essentially, I'm asking two things with this thread.

1) Is there some magic recipe that I'm missing? Am I really the weak link, despite all of these stats and my own experience telling me that I'm performing pretty damn well?

2) Is there a way to improve the matchmaking system? I think that trying to take into account a player's performance, even in their loss, could help players in this situation (although it wouldn't be a perfect solution).

A few disclaimers; I'd be willing to bet money (if I were a betting man) that nay-sayers are going to come in and criticize my Runes, Masteries, champion choices, Summoner spells, or builds to try to justify the current system. However, I think it's safe to say that, at this ELO area, all of my choices are adequate and none matter enough to make that magical difference between me winning and losing in any of these games. Champion choices are also largely irrelevant, since we see a lot of gimmicky champions this low anyway. Furthermore, If you want to criticize a champion such as Twisted Fate, keep in my that I normally hover around a +15 win/loss spread before this run, and I main TF, even in Dominion. I am now at a +5 spread. My Summoner spells also shouldn't make a difference; I always take Revive, and both Flash and Exhaust are perfectly viable in Dominion play. As for my builds, I really see nothing wrong with them, barring one or two items that I may have bought in a particular circumstance or just to screw around with after we'd already essentially lost. Runes/Masteries, yea, you can criticize them, but again, I feel pretty strongly in saying that if they aren't perfect, they're still adequate to perform at this level of play.

I also bring this up because, despite there almost always being a complaint about this on the forums, I haven't yet seen any kind of response from Riot on this issue.


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ZallKlos

Senior Member

02-28-2013

1) Elo Heaven is only below 1000.
2) Dominion MM is worst than SR's
3) There is no fix to MM for normals and solo ranked.
4) Stop crying and get better


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StraTosSpeAr

Member

02-28-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZallKlos View Post
1) Elo Heaven is only below 1000.
2) Dominion MM is worst than SR's
3) There is no fix to MM for normals and solo ranked.
4) Stop crying and get better
So your only solution is that players have to get so much better than their actual ELO to carry their entire team? That isn't a matchmaking system at all. That's literally throwing 5 random players together and saying, "Go at it".

Oh, and "there's no fix" sounds like a lazy man's way of brushing aside the issue. I'm confident in saying that this problem is brought up often enough that it affects the enjoyment of the game for quite a few players. That alone makes it worthy enough to at least discuss seriously.


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A Slime Appears

Senior Member

02-28-2013

The main problem with elo is that there isn't a lot you can base your elo/mmr/whatever rating on besides whether you win or lose.

KD? Well, Leblanc is going to get a lot more kills than Malphite. What do?
Score? Bot lane will almost always have less than the 4 top. What do?
Tower captures? If you are capturing too many that means you are losing them just as fast. That's not good. What do?

The smaller dominion population also means you are much more likely to be matched with people who are super bad.


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SFG mAEtb0y

Senior Member

03-01-2013

So you had an unlucky streak. Deal with it. If you're really unhappy enough with where your mmr is at that you feel the need to post on the forums about it, why do you have such a big issue with playing a few games of Kassadin to pull yourself back up? (not encouraging this)


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FDru

Senior Member

03-01-2013

Elo isn't based on win/loss, other than that you gain elo for wins and lose elo for losses. The actual adjustment varies based on elo of the players in the game. It's not a perfect system (especially in a 5v5 game) but it's the best thing we have.

As for your personal situation, you need to get your mind off of K/D/A and score because these stats don't actually tell you (or anyone else) anything useful about how you are performing. Personal score especially is mostly arbitrary and is probably more detrimental to gameplay than helpful. Focus on your actions and the actions of your teammates, the results of said actions and go from there.

I would offer you more specific advice but I'm sure there's some guides around here...


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StraTosSpeAr

Member

03-01-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by FDru View Post
Elo isn't based on win/loss, other than that you gain elo for wins and lose elo for losses. The actual adjustment varies based on elo of the players in the game. It's not a perfect system (especially in a 5v5 game) but it's the best thing we have.

As for your personal situation, you need to get your mind off of K/D/A and score because these stats don't actually tell you (or anyone else) anything useful about how you are performing. Personal score especially is mostly arbitrary and is probably more detrimental to gameplay than helpful. Focus on your actions and the actions of your teammates, the results of said actions and go from there.

I would offer you more specific advice but I'm sure there's some guides around here...
Well, yes, ELO is more nuanced, but the main point still stands; the only way you can influence is is by winning or losing.

Also, while I understand your point about stats not meaning everything, they do tell some kind of story, so we can't just say that they're worthless.

I'm really just getting a vibe of resigned loss from the forums. Is there really no fix for solo queue that can at least improve the player experience? Sure, you can't make it perfect, but this seems to happen to a lot of people and happens relatively often. Do y'all just think there's no escape? Is the only cure to queue as a premade or carry yourself out with broken champions? (As a side note, what's the best role to carry your team as in Dominion? I've heard that people generally think it's top in SR; would it be bot in Dominion?)