Over the past week since Roller Champions laced up and launched, we’ve observed reports from some players that some of their Ranked Matches have started with fewer than the full complement of six players.
Let’s take a minute to pull back the curtain on how Ranked Matches work in general. Then we can give you the highlights of our investigation and good news on the solution going forward.
THE STARTING POINT: THE ALGORITHM
Roller Champions uses the same matchmaking algorithm found in Rainbow Six: Siege. The way this algorithm works is each player is first assigned a Skill Rating based on their record of wins, losses and draws during 10 placement matches. Your Skill Rating fits you in a league and once you are ranked, you’ll see your progression towards other leagues based on your matches outcome. A win will make you progress to higher leagues, and a loss will move you down. The amount of change in a win or loss depends on several factors and those factors combine into the algorithm’s confidence in its prediction for a match outcome.
THE MELTING POT: THE MATCHMAKING PROCESS
Matchmaking has two stages:
- Stage 1: Team Formation – finds other players in the matchmaking queue who have a Skill Rating within 1000 of your own. Once your squad is assembled, your team is assigned a Team Skill Rating.
- Stage 2: Opponent Selection – looks for another team with a Team Skill Rating within 1000 of your Team Skill Rating. The players are ready, and the match is created on the server.
The algorithm then makes a prediction on the outcome for each team based on the players. When all factors are equal and both teams are perfectly matched, the algorithm is less confident in the outcome and the change in Skill Rating reflects this uncertainty with small changes. This is the goal – the fairest match that can be arranged from the available players in the matchmaking queue.
Got it so far? Great! Because now let’s go back to reports of unequal Ranked Matches.
THE SIT-REP: SOMETIMES THERE’S A WRENCH IN THE POT
Ranked Matches must be 3 vs 3 and are a humans-only club – no AIs allowed! In comparison, Quick Matches can begin with AIs or could replace a human who is accidentally disconnected but this does not hold true in Ranked Matches. Yet we’re seeing cases of 2 vs 3 or even 1 vs 3.
What we’ve noticed (and are currently fixing) is that in some circumstances: a player might crash in the split-second window after matchmaking completes the Opponent Selection (stage 2) but before the match has officially begun. And this is where the problem is.
WHAT THE TEAM IS DOING TO ADDRESS THIS
Roller Champions has a reconnect feature that should fire up as soon as a disconnection is detected. These disconnections before a match start are improperly detected, therefore: affected players cannot benefit from the reconnect, will lose Skill Rating, and may get an illegitimate quit penalty.
So, what are we doing about it?
- We’re working on a patch to reduce the number of crashes in game, specifically looking at those that we believe affect the ranked experience.
- We are looking into improving the reconnect feature to catch disconnections earlier.
As for the times when even this would fail, note that there are 2 key pieces of information to keep in mind:
- Smoother Ban: We have smoothed our criteria for banning a player that gets disconnected, meaning you should not fear being banned after a misfortunate disconnection.
- Smart Skill Rating: The algorithm will consider that a team of 2 against 3 should receive a very strong bonus for winning a disadvantaged match and that they should receive a much lower malus for losing it.
Rest assured the Roller team is actively monitoring the stability of Ranked Matches, is thankful for our players reporting the issues they encounter and will communicate updates on fixes as soon as they are deployed (this article will also be updated).