June 26, 2020
The Matchmaking System
in 5th Age PvP
Matchmaking in PvP has always been a hot topic in Wizard101 discussions across various platforms. It’s not friendly for the beginners, since they will often match up with experienced warlords. On the other hand, it isn’t fair for really high ranked warlords either, since they will often fight against average players with much better gear and tools (i.e. Critical, Shadow Magic, etc).
However, Kingsisle is currently reworking the matchmaking system and today we’ll discuss how it will look in the future. On Thursday, 18th of June 2020 @blake_pvp hosted a PvP round table with some Kingsisle developers – @Wizard101Devs.
Make sure to check the complete video here:
How will the new matchmaking system work?
The matchmaking system will put you in a queue after you’ll join a PvP match and sort all players by different criteria. Some are more important then other, which will play a big role in the whole PvP environment.
First, we have Tiers. This is probably the most suggested change in PvP matchmaking from the community. The system will place you in one of 3 tiers based on your level:
- Begginer/Novice: Levels 1 to 50/60, where players won’t be able to obtain critical rating and shadow pip chance.
- Intermediate/Legendary: Levels 50/60 to 100, where players will be able to obtain critical rating, but won’t be able to obtain shadow pip chance.
- Expert/Exalted: Levels 100+, where players will be able to obtain critical rating and shadow pip chance.
You won’t be able be able to fight other players who are outside your tier, unless you’re a really high ranked player. We don’t know yet how high this rank is, but the concept stands. Furthermore, lower ranked player will need to agree to a match against higher ranked warlords.
The second criterion is rank, which would basically work similarly to previously suggested soft cap and pseudo rank systems. To make it short, the new matchmaking system will prioritise rank name over the rating. So warlord is a warlord; despite having 900 or 1300 rating.
Another interesting is the “high-water mark”, which is just an idea so far. This system would remember your highest rank (not rating) and you wouldn’t be able to lose it. You would still lose points for losing matches, but you’ll keep your warlord rank, if you’ll drop below 900 rating, for instance. This is good for 2 reasons:
- Players won’t fear losing their warlord rank after reaching 900 rating.
- Once you’ll reach a certain rank you won’t be able to downrank on purpose.
It’s interesting that the 3rd criteria is rating rather then level. While matching warlords with warlords will be the priority, rank will still matter. A warlord with 1800 rating will still be paired with other warlord who has 1800 rating rather then someone who just achieved this rank.
4) Level or level band
One of the last criteria for matching is level. So at the end there will be a chance that you’ll fight someone who is higher level than you and has same rank (keeping the tier system in mind). But you shouldn’t worry about that as long as there is a healthy amount of players in the queue. And since players without membership will receive certain amount of ranked PvP credits per day, this will certainly bring more players into each queue.
5) Streak/Matches played
This will be the last criteria in case there are many players in queue and multiple appropriate candidates to face you. The system will check your winning streak and total matches played. So players who win a lot and play a lot of matches will be matched with similar opponents and vice versa.
Fun fact: The matchmaking system that pairs you based on winning streak is already implemented in the Beastmoon Hunt.
Changes in Rating System
There are also plans to change the rating system. Right now you gain or lose a flat amount of rating after a match. In 1v1 matches this is 16 points. This isn’t the best system right now, since you’ll always gain the same amount of points regardless of match difficulty. You could beat a way less experienced player without any problem or barely scrape a win against a skilled warlord and your reward will always be the same.
The Elo system is one option that has been mentioned. You gain more rating against better players and less against worse – similar to the first age. The Wizard101 devs are also exploring other possibilities for the rating system, since what work for some game might not work as effectively in Wizard101.
Changing matchmaking’s overall effect on the PvP environment
The PvP environment will shake up things a little in the 5th age. Right now, you can find advantages and disadvantages by participating in most of various levels. However, the new matchmaking system will favour players who have the highest leveled wizards in their respective tier.
Ratbeard, a Wizard101 developer, said that himself. The new matchmaking system will work the best if there is a healthy population of players in the PvP queue. If the population shrinks, then there’s a good chance that within a player tier the highest leveled players are going to be at the top of the rating in their respective tier.
This might sound unfair toward lower levels in the tier, but that’s the evolution of the game. Some downsides were inevitable, but overall the new matchmaking system is still a big upgrade. Some trade offs had to be made and this one will only appear if there is a lack of PvP players.
Should I level up or stay where I am?
Here’s the most important question regardless of the new matchmaking system. Should I level up to the top of my “tier” to maximize my matchmaking advantage or should I stay where I am right now? My answer is – stay where you are and don’t level up yet, especially if you’ve obtained lore spells already.
Give the system a chance and just wait it out. Yes, highest levels will most likely be on the top of their tier if there aren’t enough players in the queue. But we don’t know the full details yet. Maybe we’ll get tier + level band leader-boards. Maybe additional changes will ensure fair matches when you face higher levels. Give the new system a try and if you don’t like your position, level up. You can always level up fairly quickly, while leveling down (aka abracadabra and starting over) can take a bit more time and effort.
What do you think about the new PvP matchmaking system?