You could notice that smell of burned metal in the air. The long-promised matchmaking rework has finally hit both iOS and Android.
You may expect some wonky matches in the upcoming week or two, but it all should settle down once players spread across their respective skill tiers. In one of the upcoming updates we will introduce the League system which, among tons of other things, will give you a better idea where you are compared to other players.
There will be more details later on. For now let’s discuss why we decided to go for the changes.
Firstly, many of you asked for new matchmaking. So here it is.
Secondly… boy, that’s a long story.
What was wrong with the old system?
The old matchmaking system was flawed to say the least. Without going into too much details, it took the arbitrary “power rank” of your active robots and placed you into a bracket with similarly ranked players. If you want to know more, people from a player-run wiki did a good job approximating how things worked.
And believe us, it sounds better when explained in approximate terms. As War Robots grew, the system became more and more of a hulking monstrosity built from additional rules and exceptions. Heavy robots wreck lower ranks? Get them outta there! Lancelots perform even better than other heavies in silver-tier meta? Here we go, another exception! Magnum Gepard players dominate the newbie bracket?
Oh you Magnum Gepards. Oh you.
There were many exploits in the old design, and to fix them we had to rely solely on crutches. These never solved the problem as a whole. We needed an entirely new system, which wouldn’t be hindered by the obsolete original design.
New matchmaking: 3 main goals
While building the said system, we were chasing three main goals. First of all, transparency. Previously we didn’t properly convey why the game has suddenly put you against Lancelots, Rhinos and Furys just after you started to feel your increasing superiority among Boas and Natashas. We couldn’t visualize the tier system explicitly, because we knew how easy it would be to exploit it. Now it’s different — Leagues will give you a better idea on how the game picks the teammates and opponents for you.
Second goal — better balancing. War Robots is a tricky game to balance by itself, but having the separation between arbitrary tiers where same robots may have very different performance complicates the process even more. Getting rid of it we will have a much better picture. You probably shouldn’t expect that your plain old Destrier will be able to take the Rhino head-on (come on, he wasn’t meant for that), but we shall catch annoying balance outliers much more reliably now.
Last, but not least: we want to give you better rewards for improving. It was the initial intent of the “missions” system, but as it turned out only a small handful of people could have access to “Best pilot of the day/week/month” rewards. And those who went to the extremes and managed to do so weren’t even acknowledged as deserved. With the introduction of Leagues system, which is deeply intertwined with new matchmaking, everything is going to change.
What else do we have to address?
Of course, there is a caveat. Some players don’t want to progress. They don’t care about ratings or skill levels. They found their comfort zone and have no intent of leaving it — at least for now.
And it is understandable. While rating-based matchmaking leads to better skill evaluation, closer competition and more exciting clutch moments, not everyone wants to push themselves to the limit. For some players War Robots is a game of fun, not competition. And we will keep looking for ways to cater to their preferences as well. Maybe, different gameplay modes? We’ll see.
Taking what we said into account, the updated matchmaking isn’t perfect by any stretch — nothing is. It does not represent our final vision, it is more of a foundation for all the cool things we have planned for the future. In comparison to the previous system it is more flexible, more convenient to maintain and improve, and from now on we will use it to deliver a better War Robots experience.