Suggested changes to the matchmaking system

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Paul
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Suggested changes to the matchmaking system

Postby Paul » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:58 pm

http://www.mode7games.com/blog/2011/06/14/new-matchmaking-system/

Going to start posting in here more when we update stuff - let us know your thoughts.
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rmsgrey
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Re: Suggested changes to the matchmaking system

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:35 pm

As I said in the comments on the blog entry, given that the client-side interface is staying the same, the proposed version in the blog looks good.

If client changes are also on the table at some point in future, my suggestion would be:

  • Have three attitudes to each game mode - prefer, tolerate, abhor
  • Have four attitudes to matchmaking - eager, picky, reluctant, off
  • Have four states for matching - seek, accept, screen, refuse
  • Have eager players seek preferred modes, then accept tolerated
  • Have picky players accept preferred modes and screen tolerated
  • Have reluctant players screen preferred and tolerated modes
  • Players with matchmaking off can only be challenged directly, not through the matchmaker
  • Players seeking a game mode will match with players seeking/accepting that mode first, then send invitations to players screening that mode.
  • Players accepting a game mode will match with players seeking/accepting that mode, but not send invitations
  • Players screening a game mode will be sent invitations to that mode, but not automatically accept
  • Players logging in default to reluctant
  • New players default to preferring Dark Extermination and tolerating everything else

So, if I can't stand Charge and would prefer to play a Light game to a Dark one (and have set my mode preferences accordingly) then, when I decide I want to play a game as soon as possible, I can set myself to "eager", and the server will check to see if anyone's waiting to automatically accept a Light non-Charge game, then looks at players who are screening such games, inviting them to a randomly chosen Light non-Charge mode (based on their preferences). If no-one accepts, then the server checks to see if anyone's waiting to automatically accept a Dark non-Charge game, and, if not, waits for the next matchmaking request.
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Cyron
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Re: Suggested changes to the matchmaking system

Postby Cyron » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:12 pm

I posted over there, but I'll post here as well

In short, I think the lights should mean basically what they do now to an end user, but with a change to orange

Red = I don't want a multiplayer game. I think omroth's suggested changes to red work fine
Green = I want a game as soon as possible. In this mode, the system will prefer your game modes but not enforce them. First, it will look first for an orange with matching preferences, and failing that the first green that comes along, trying to choose a mode that both greens have selected. Failing to get a preferred match type, it's time to roll the die.
Orange = I want a game, but I'm willing to wait until I get one I'm happy with. This would be a change from "I'm willing to play a game" to "I want to play a game". The difference is, they're willing to wait for the extra time that may be brought about by hard forcing game modes. In orange, you will firstly be matched up with orange players that meet your game type preferences, failing to find a match, it would then pair you off against greens, but only give you a match with a green if you have a game mode in common. In this mode, you will never be forced in to a mode you don't want

The biggest downfall of this change is that unless players are educated, they'll continue to use green and continue to get match modes they don't want. I think the above is a better solution, but not if people don't understand it :)
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Re: Suggested changes to the matchmaking system

Postby NDervish » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:11 am

Responding here rather than at the blog in order to keep the conversations I'm following centralized in one place (the forums) instead of many (the forums, plus every individual blog post).

I'm one of the (apparent) minority who don't have any particular problems with matchmaking as it is now. The "open challenge" popups haven't bothered me in the least since I figured out that they were open challenges, not challenges to me personally.

Mode Selection

I keep all game modes except Dark Extermination selected, not because I dislike DE, but because I want to play in a variety of modes. As I understand the current matchmaking system, if I were to also select DE, then I would end up playing 95% DE simply because that's the only mode which is selected by default and most people haven't changed their mode selections from that default. Any revision to matchmaking should take this into account and include some mechanism so that, if I have all modes selected and play multiple games against players whose mode selections are still at the default, it won't just end up being a constant string of DE every single time.

Again, I don't dislike Dark Extermination. I'm perfectly happy to play DE matches. I just don't want a steady diet of nothing but DE.

Traffic Light Settings

My current habit is to stay logged in all the time, set myself to "yellow", and come back a while later to play a turn or two, then carry on in that fashion. I like to have many games in progress concurrently and for each one to span a few days of real-world time. As far as I can tell, "green" means "I want to play a game right now" and implies that you're asking for a game to be played to completion in one sitting. It seems to me that it would be rude to go "green", issue an open challenge, and then wait a couple hours before submitting any orders, so I don't use "green" unless I plan to play and finish the game right away.

Any revision to the traffic light settings should take this into account and provide a way to handle "I'm happy to play anything against anyone (although I may prefer some modes over others)... but I don't need the game to start within 60 seconds, nor to be finished within 15 minutes". I think the current "yellow" fills this role rather well. The blog post's proposed "yellow means picky" revision doesn't.


Taking these two things in combination, it seems to me that most of the current proposals would lead to me ending up playing nothing but DE (I set all modes "preferred", including DE, so I get DE against people on the defaults, since it's their only "preferred" mode) or never playing DE at all (DE not "preferred" and yellow gives only "preferred" modes) unless I go green and annoy people by issuing challenges, then ignoring them instead of playing immediately. I'm not particularly happy with any of these three options.
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Re: Suggested changes to the matchmaking system

Postby Cyron » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:12 pm

NDervish wrote:As far as I can tell, "green" means "I want to play a game right now" and implies that you're asking for a game to be played to completion in one sitting. It seems to me that it would be rude to go "green", issue an open challenge, and then wait a couple hours before submitting any orders, so I don't use "green" unless I plan to play and finish the game right away.


It may be a bit impolite to go green, find an opponent and then walk away without submitting a turn, but there is absolutely no onus on you to complete a game in one sitting if you go green. Frozen Synapse is PBEM by nature, and the game is perfect for those who have families or can only play in short sessions. A timed mode may be a good feature to implement, but it's not here at the moment, so don't use the green button as a substitute. Your opponent won't be
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Rodeo
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Re: Suggested changes to the matchmaking system

Postby Rodeo » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:08 am

I think the system described in the blog post is a good fix for now (i.e. until changing the UI is in consideration). I would suggest having yellows issue challenges to players in the menus, as you consider doing. That avoids a situation where two players are sitting on yellow in the menus with agreeing modes selected but the game never starts. No reason to keep games from starting!
Cecek
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Re: Suggested changes to the matchmaking system

Postby Cecek » Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:57 pm

Please could you let us watch the map pool for each mode and let us ban 2-3 maps we don't want to play. I'm sure everyone has some spawn points he doesn't like or thinks are imbalanced, and it is quite frustrating to spawn in one of those. Also, it will give you feedback to see which maps are unpopular, so that you can change/remove them.
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Re: Suggested changes to the matchmaking system

Postby Warskull » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:27 pm

Cecek wrote:Please could you let us watch the map pool for each mode and let us ban 2-3 maps we don't want to play. I'm sure everyone has some spawn points he doesn't like or thinks are imbalanced, and it is quite frustrating to spawn in one of those. Also, it will give you feedback to see which maps are unpopular, so that you can change/remove them.


I think this might be easier handled by a concede button that turns into a "reject match" button if the first turn is not yet primed.
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Re: Suggested changes to the matchmaking system

Postby NDervish » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:12 pm

Cecek wrote:Please could you let us watch the map pool for each mode and let us ban 2-3 maps we don't want to play. I'm sure everyone has some spawn points he doesn't like or thinks are imbalanced, and it is quite frustrating to spawn in one of those. Also, it will give you feedback to see which maps are unpopular, so that you can change/remove them.


As I understand the way that FS operates, this doesn't make any sense. According to Omroth's description of the duplicates system,
Whenever you get into a match, the FS server will try and find a recent “Duplicate” map which neither you nor your opponent have played. If it finds one, you play that map. If it doesn’t, the system generates a new map, which future players will also play on.


Note two things in this quote:

1) The server first tries to give you an existing map that neither you nor you opponent has played before.

2) If no such map is available, a new map will be randomly generated.

Assuming this is accurate, new maps are constantly being generated. There is no fixed "map pool" to review and ban your least favorite maps from.

Moreover, it also says that you should never play the same map twice - if all available maps have been previously played by either you or your opponent, a new one will be created. Once you've been put on a map you don't like, you shouldn't ever see it again anyhow. The notion of "favorite maps" doesn't really work out either, since you don't choose the map and you won't be given the same one repeatedly.

(Note that this is entirely within the context of games started through normal matchmaking. When directly challenging a specific player, you can use Advanced Settings to choose a specific saved map rather than letting the server pick a map for you, but, in that case, the challenger is manually choosing a specific map and starting conditions. If you have an issue with the resulting starting position, then you need to take that up with your opponent, not with the server or the devs.)

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