Bashiok Explains PvP Matchmaking System

For some PvP may feel like a long way off but we know they are working hard at getting it out the door as soon as possible. This evening Bashiok explained how the PvP matchaming will work for anyone wanting some sort of clarification.

Stop spreading this misinformation. Blizzard has said multiple times, THERE WILL BE MATCHMAKING BASED ON YOUR GEAR.

More specifically, based off of your win/loss record. It’s not dissimilar from the matchmaker found in StarCraft II, which is based off of the Elo system used for Chess championships. Your win/loss and who they were against determines a ‘skill rating’, which is used to match up against other players of a similar rating. The intent is to get an even/fair match. Regardless of any individual factors like build, gear, or player ability, you’ll find some equilibrium where you’re facing off against players that you’re about as likely to beat as you are to lose. If getting better gear raises your abilities then you’re simply matched against players of a higher rating. Changing builds or just getting better at PvP could have the same effect. But regardless if you move up or down you’re ultimately still netting around a 50/50 win/loss as you’re always matching against similarly rated players.

Umm… that rating system wont work. You can’t use ratio, because someone fighting harder opponents will have the same ratio that someone fighting weaker opponents will have. It would be like pairing up professional baseball players against little leaguers simply because they have the same team batting average and era. It’s not a fair fight.

Oh no, it’s not based on ratio. Look up the Elo system, I’m sure there’s a wiki that can explain it better than I could.

When pressed for more details, well there are no more details in true Blizzard fashion on most things pre-release.

I don’t want to squash any excitement about PvP, because we think it’s going to be a lot of fun, but a lot of the details are still in flux. We’re focusing on 1.0.4, and once that’s behind us we’ll be a lot closer to sharing some more concrete details on the “PvP patch” as they solidify.

According to wikipedia the Elo rating system is a method for calculating the relative skill levels of players in two-player games such as chess. It is named after its creator Arpad Elo, a Hungarian-born American physics professor and has nothing to do with the Brummy rock band from the 70’s/80’s.

Each player has a rating, which is a number. A higher number indicates a better player, based on his results against other rated players. The winner of a contest between two players gains a certain number of points in his rating and the losing player loses the same amount. The number of points won or lost in a contest depends on the difference in the ratings of the players, so a player will gain more points by beating a higher-rated player than by beating a lower-rated player. In chess, for instance, if one player is rated 100 points higher than the other player, he is expected to win about five games out of eight, and the rating changes reflect that. Over a series of games, if a player does better than expected, based on the ratings (his compared to his opponents), his rating will go up.

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  1. off of? What sort of grammar is that?

  2. I wonder if repair costs and durability loss will be applied to PvP ?

    can’t imagine it would be

  3. Has there been any hint about how HC pvp will be handled?

  4. So no char attributes based matchmaking. Let the Anti-MastercardWarrior QQ commence.

    • I lol’d at the part where you insinuated that D3 is based on skill and not gear.

      • Your joking right? Ill give you that overall, this game comes down to gear. But I would put a lot of money on the fact that the top ranked players would be able to SMASH middle ranked players with half the gear in PVP arenas.

    • I accidentally recommended your comment. Forgive me for I have sinned, and you are wrong.

      The Elo system takes into account everything. Everything. Your gear (thus your attributes), your play style, your build, your skill, your tactics — quite literally you. If you have the capacity to, on average, win 50 times and lose 3 times, you’re going to be paired up with someone who has that same capacity, plus/minus a minute difference within a selectable range (the “k” value) which becomes a smaller margin as the ratings (your foes) get better. The same applies for team deathmatch; both your opponent’s team and the players with you are of equivalent prowess. The inherent randomness of skill choice, play style, PvP skill, and being able to understand your opponent quickly will determine the victor(s).

      • Dat missing of the point. Allow me to elucidate:

        1. Person A and B are Elo 1000. Their e-peens glow, they fight each other, they insult each other over who is more of an overrated pubstar.

        2. Person B whips out teh Credit Card of +5 AH Searching, raises his Elo by 500 points by buying all the uber gears.

        3. Person B now mocks Person A as a noob, Person A suffers immeasurable emotional damage and commences QQ about the bullpoop of PAY2WIN PVP I AM QUITTING THIS AND NEVER BUYING ANOTHER BLIZZARD GAME AGAIN!

        4. Additional – Person C who was at Elo 1500 without Mastercarding now faces this Person B in games, laments that noobs now infest his Elo, and commences QQ about the bullpoop of PAY2WIN PVP I AM QUITTING THIS AND NEVER BUYING ANOTHER BLIZZARD GAME AGAIN!

        I was merely predicting this phenomenon.

        • No, my sweet friend, Blizzard thought about that 🙂

          First, matchmaking rating (MMR) is invisible. There are such things as leagues and points in SC2, but they are not equal to your true MMR. They are a dedicated e-peen.
          Second, MMR is not a function of gear. If you swap gear, nothing happens to your MMR.
          Third, after person B jumps in power and stomps person A and other 1000 MMR guys several times, his MMR goes to 1500, *and they never meet on the ladder again*, leaving our CC-empowered guy at a level with less-equipped, but more-skilled players, who still beat him 50% of the time.
          Fourth point may be true. But on the other hand, holding your ground against an over-geared noob seems rewarding to me….

        • Whether or not there’s RMAH-whining has very little to do with the particulars of the PVP matchmaking system. Predicting that there well be RMAH-qq is like predicting that there will be snow in February in Alaska.

  5. ELO system “works” when all things are equal but the person. This sounds like a TERRIBLE idea when you have to factor in gear. It just doesn’t work. Seems like a lazy way around having to make a completely new match making system. Why do that when they can just steal the SC2 one!…

    • As our Violent friend above points out, this system does not factor in gear, or anything else specifically. It just looks at your wins and losses, and your and your opponents’ “matchmaking rating” (MMR).

      If you are sitting comfortably at your 50/50 win/loss ratio (at your “true” MMR), and then receive a powerful gear upgrade, you will experience a short window of “easymode” before the game notices you are roflstomping people, and raises you to appropriate opponents. Then all is stable again.

  6. The entire game is fucking broken, u blizzard morons! And yet they talk about pvp. Awesome!

    • of course they talk about pvp… its something thats been in the works for a long time and a very large playerbase has been playing simply waiting for pvp.

      do you really think that because there are other problems with the game they are going to just not talk about pvp and wait years to release it till everything else is ‘fixed’?

    • The engine of D3 is terrific. Not using this kind of engine for PvP would be a waste, both in D3 patches as in their upcoming Dota game (Blizzard All Stars).

  7. ELO? I thought the SC2 system is based upon the more advanced Glicko, like MS’s TrueSkill.

  8. ELO isn’t meant to function in a game where there aren’t persistent teams, so this is a pretty meh move. Still waiting for them to release more info about PvP before I can decide how fun I think it’ll be…

    • This is true. In SC2, MMR of a random team is an average of personal MMRs, and there is a long-standing disappointment with “random team vs arranged team” discrepancy.

    • Agreed. The ELO system in games like HoN and LoL, which are team games but teams are most often not persistent (you queue and get random groups of people with similar ELO as you), doesn’t actually work all that well. People complain constantly about teammates. Constantly. I Was hoping Blizzard could come up with something better for team arenas.

      For 1v1 arena ELO would work pretty good, but I thought they were planning arenas to be team based.

  9. Elo as in “ELO Hell” of League of Legends (LoL)?
    Looking at how the Elo implementation was a bottomless pit for LoL, would that mean a worse version aka “ELO Inferno” in Diablo 3?

    • Elo hell is bullshit, if you are bad you get to play with bad people, and that’s about it :/ Elo hell is an excuse for baddies.

      • You are mixing up the theory of Elo with the poor implementation of Elo in LoL. The theory is solid, but Riot has clearly dropped the ball in LoL. You are painting with a broad brush and have limited experience with Elo matchmaking.

        For example, the theory of central processing units is solid, but AMD is dropping the ball whereas intel is hitting homeruns on a consistent basis. (Don’t flame, I have built more AMD machines than intel over the past decade).

        I believe Elo matchmaking can definitely be implemented correctly if a developer takes some time to work on it.

  10. Well… One thing is sure.

    The graphics engine behind Diablo 3 is great. Much better and certainly more beautiful than LoL and Dota2.

    Once all data of the players are uploaded, the general setting of D3 PvP could be a blast.

    I am convinced they will use a slightly adapted version for their upcoming Dota game.

    That’s typical for Blizzard: they always build up their games on previous released techniques and formulas.

    One more exciting thing : The fact Bashiok speaks about an Elo rating is proof they are more serious about D3 PvP than they want us to believe.

    PvP with fixed gear sets in real money tournaments could be a blast. But I am afraid they will want to reserve that for their Dota game.

  11. I really, really hope they put in a custom PvP system where we can duel with friends instead of just randoms….as well as a “spectator system” where we can watch our friends duel eachother from the sidelines. Just putting in a matchmaking system seems half assed and lazy to me.

  12. Elo won’t work in case of D3 as it is not working in case of League of Legends. Their matchmaking is supposodely based on elo too, but still, many good people get paired with retards and vice versa.

  13. There’s a couple huge problems with using ELO for D3.

    Chess is a game where everyone, noobies and veterans, play with the same tools. Regardless of skill levels, every starts with the same number of knights, bishops, rooks, pawns, and queen. Regardless of skill level, all the tools also behave the same. Knights don’t suddenly show up with rocket launchers if you get better at the game…

    In D3, a person’s performance is not just determined by skill, but also by items.

    As such, a character with bad gear constantly winning will very quickly get put in a position where they can’t win any games simply due to gear.

    At the same time, a character depending purely on gear will eventually reach a balance point where they win 50% of the games.

    This means, D3 PVP is inextricably linked to gear, but also is horribly discouraging for skill based PVPers. Casual PVP if ever I’ve seen it.

    • Elo is really concerned about the outcomes and the probability of the winner.

      The means of getting there will be a no factor over time.

      Lets say you start with 100 rating points and after 20 pvp matches, you have 300 rating points. Someone else with 300 points will have as much chance of beating you as you beating him.

      Does it matter if you win because of your higher skills? Or better gear? No, only thing matters is the fact your chance of winning is 50% ideally.

    • Also, gears will be similar over time as people will list their gear for people to copy. So after a while, as gear differences lessen, user skills will be the main factor to winning.

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