A.V.A. Matchmaking Issues & Improvements

The Problems of the Matchmaking and RP Systems

The matchmaking system, and the combined RP system have been wonderful additions to A.V.A! Positive influences have spawned from their implementation in the game's community, and competitive skill levels. A vast difference can be seen in the motivation of players to play A.V.A. However, as it is its first implementation, it is not perfect, and a few flaws have taken their notice!

Let us quickly list these problems before we explain them:
- 'Individual Ranking' (IR) and 'Clan Ranking' (CR) hold no value or integrity
- IR & CR lose integrity by a lack of solid structure in their implementation

The two issues listed above have dramatic effects, and will be abused heavily in future seasons. It is problematic to consider how much these systems could be abused once prizes are increased or become more desirable. They also pose issues to player motivation, and integrity of the entire system itself!

CGO Example of Clan Match Issues
Individual Ranking and Clan Ranking Hold No Value or Integrity

These two ranking systems (referred to as IR, and CR), were impemented with great promise, and achieved marginal success in their goals. A more structured environment was created for the more serious or competitive player, with more long-term goals and motivation in mind. IR and CR achieved in aiding these two player aspects greatly, and has been shown to work exceedingly well in UAVA.

Yet, when these systems can be abused, or rather farmed by players, it defeats the purpose of a ranking system that measures player (or clan) performance and skill. A clan of 5 can farm both their IR and CR rankings by playing a team of randoms of uncertain RP. This means the clan of 5 can easily win, with no struggle or issue, to raise their RP in either system. This translates to a system where the best do not rise towards the top. The core reasons are easily identified.

For instance, say we have a team called Clan 1. Clan 1 consists of 3-5 members. They have played with each other for many years, have participated in tournaments, have practiced together, worked on spots and nades, and have a general sense of teamwork among them. Now, their opponents, Team 1 consist of strangers, who have never played together, do not know which spots they should play, have no strategies, or nades, and definitely no sense of teamwork! Is it easy to tell which team has the huge advantage over the other? Is it even fair to give a measurement, or a ranking behind the outcome of the match? Is the outcome of the match even a valued statistic in this scenario?

To note extra, the above scenario is even easier during offpeak hours, or once you learn team schedules, to avoid other clans that might give you hassle!

This issue is the majority of all matches conducted in the matchmaking system. Which means the IR and CR RP systems are not measuring individual skill or clan skill, but instead how much a stacked team can win against a team of randoms! The implied purpose of the RP system to measure skill, does not work in the current situation. Eventually, this system will break down, and be degraded to the same level that the very first match channel succumbed too.

Which also brings us to our next core reason on why there is a lack of integrity in either RP ranking systems. IR is tied in with CR, as in, you can gain IR by playing in CR. This enables the first core reason listed above, and allows IR to reap the benefits of CR RP farming. It allows a player, or a team to carry an individual to an elevated IR that they may not deserve, or be capable of sustaining on their own. IR also rewards based on win/loss, so it makes no sense to tie it in with CR, if it has no differing metric to its measurement.

The issues of IR and CR being farmed, and the inconsistency of them being paired together for measuring is the reason why neither system holds any integrity in terms of skill or performance. They can not reflect or indicate any level of skill due to their implementation within AVA.

CGO Example of Clan Match Issues
Proposed Solution to Fix the Integrity of IR and CR RP Systems

A complete revamp of the system is required in order to fix the above issues, and prevent any future farming or abusable conditions. The solution is to introduce 3 modes of que in the clan system, as shown below.

- Normal Que
- Solo Que
- Clan Que

Normal Que

This que, would work just as the system is now. This que would be the more 'relaxed' que, that is aimed more for practice, or warm-up. Players can still join a room with their friends, or their team, or no one at all, and find an opposing team to play against. There would still be an RP system in place, but at a much more lax pace than currently.

There's a lot of other reasons this intial que is a good idea. Even a 'try to get good enough to do Solo/Clan Que' mode for newer players to the more serious or competitive side. Perhaps a cap at 1700 RP, to encourage users to stop doing Normal Que, and instead experience Solo Que. Perhaps in the future, if AVA gets larger, make it mandatory to reach 1700 in Normal first to prove you can play in Solo Que. Many options could come into play here!

The main point however must be that the Normal Que is the beginner system, for practice, or warm-up. An introduction before players or teams want to begin their foray into Solo Que or Clan Que! A way to test their skills, and see what they need to work on for the other que systems!

Solo Que

Similar to todays system but a lot more refined, and much more focus on individual skill. The ability to carry a game, or do well enough to have an impact on the outcome of the match. This is what individual RP should mean, and what the system of 'Solo Que' should measure! Thus, the entire system would be quite a bit different to how it is currently.

A player would press a button, and then be placed in a que. The system would then try to find other players of similar RP. Once 9 other players of very similar RP have been found, the system splits them up into two teams. The two teams would have an RP equal to each other, in order to ensure fairness. From here, the two teams would play, and RP would be gained as it is now.

However, RP gains and losses may need to be revisited. The hard curve of losing much more RP than you win may squeeze too many players together in the 1700-1800 range, and perhaps should be loosened up a bit, for more flexibility in skill ranges!

Regardless, this que will enable players to display their carry potential, or their impact on the game via their RP rating in Solo Que. Instead of now, where a player can be carried by their friends or team, or win easily against randoms or newbs. Here, a player needs to perform at their RP range to go even. However, they must perform above their RP range in order to move upwards. This is an important factor not present in the current system.

Clan Que

Again, a very similar system to the Solo Que suggestion. However, it is geared towards clans of 5, instead of 1 individual. The clan would contain the RP rating as it does now. What would change is that you are always paired against other teams of 5, all of whom are in the actual clan. This way, the system can pair clans up against similar RP clans, and an actual rating for clan skill can be determined.

Instead of destroying teams of strangers with no experience together, and no nades, teams must now face off against clans that have practiced just as much to get to the same rating of RP. This is much more fair to all players involved, unlike now. It also means there is no advantage in que'ing with your clan.

Clan Que RP will be given out as usual, though it should follow the same number system as Solo Que RP, instead of being in a completely different number range.

As well, you will not gain any Solo Que RP, as this system does not measure your individual performance, but your clan performance! Your Clan RP will belong to your clan, and not tied to your individual account. It will be your clan's rating, not your own! If Clan Que RP gives Solo Que RP gains, then the system is pointless. There is no reason in two systems existing, and no individual skill measured. Keep Solo Que RP out of Clan Que RP!

CGO Example of Clan Match Issues
A Better Competitive Environment for all A.V.A. Players & Clans

Everyone loves to have fun in A.V.A, especially when it is a fair and level field of competitive play! Having integrity in the systems that measure individual skill, and clan performance is a vital step in assuring all matches are conducted in a fair manner. Cementing a player's satisfaction and excitement playing A.V.A. daily through fun competitive play is necessary in growing the community positively!

The listed issues are hindrances and prevent players or teams from fully enjoying A.V.A. However, the solutions provided offer a possible route to take in getting these system up to par! Feedback is always important, and the community should also voice their concerns!

A.V.A. is a fantastic game, and here's to a bright future!

Written by Justin "Ink" Quinn on Sunday November 3, 2013
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