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Matchmaking in Armored Warfare

One of the most important elements of Armored Warfare is the matchmaking in player versus player battles. The concept of matchmaking in Armored Warfare is quite different from other games as instead of hard-coded vehicle tiers - it uses a system of battle ratings, which allows us to create a much more fluid and comprehensive matchmaking mechanism that not only works fast, but is also easily customizable, allowing us to quickly adjust general tank balance and tune it in order to achieve best results.

To create as balanced teams as possible, we have developed a system where several elements are taken into account:

  • The vehicle itself
  • The equipped modules
  • How many battles the player used the vehicle in

These three categories form what we call “combat rating”.

Combat rating

In our matchmaking system, each vehicle has a different rating depending on its tier, starting at 1000 and increasing by 10 percent of the previous value for every tier as such:

Tier Value
1 1000
2 1100
3 1210
4 1331
5 1464
6 1610
7 1771
8 1949

These values are further modified by vehicle modules. In Armored Warfare, the matchmaker takes your vehicle’s module setup into account by adding extra points to your vehicle’s combat rating for any additional unlocked module equipped. Some modules add more combat rating points than others – for example equipping an upgraded gun will increase your vehicle’s rating more than equipping a new engine – but overall the combat rating value will never reach the one of the tier above, no matter how well-equipped your vehicle is.

Freshly unlocked vehicles will also get a bonus to combat rating, making them meet easier opponents still.

Additionally, Armored Warfare will allow the players to play together in small units we call “platoons”. In a unit of two or three vehicles, the matchmaker always considers the highest rating for the purpose of determining what vehicles the platoon meets in battle. In theory, if a tier 1 vehicle forms a platoon with a tier 2 vehicle, the matchmaker will put such a platoon together with other vehicles with tier 2 combat rating. The situation where vehicles of significantly different enter battles together tiers however is not desirable and there will be measures in place to prevent the creation of such units – only vehicles within certain, rather narrow rating range will be allowed to enter battles together in platoons.

Creating a battle

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Once a player enters the match queue from his garage, his vehicle is handed over to the matchmaking mechanism. The matchmaker will first try to place the vehicle immediately to an already formed battle group with an appropriate rating range – if no such group is available, after a certain period of time the matchmaker will take the player and form a new battle group around him.

Battle groups are groups of players taken from the matchmaker queue and “reserved” for an upcoming battle. They are formed around one player (called “seeder”), whose rating determines the rating of the entire group – initially, only tanks with rating within 10 percent range of the seeder’s rating are allowed to join his battle group. In other words – if a seeder drives a tier 5 tank with its default rating of 1464 points, only the vehicles with 1317 to 1610 rating are allowed to join at first. Because the tiers in Armored Warfare are separated by 10 percent rating by default, this creates a de-facto -1/+1 matchmaking spread for default vehicle values. If the matchmaker is able to fill this battle group with suitable tanks of appropriate rating, the battle is started as usual. In cases where there are no suitable vehicles available in the queue, after a certain period of time the matchmaker starts expanding the battle group rating range by a certain amount every few seconds, extending the de-facto matchmaking spread to -2/+2. This expansion however is usually artificially limited – before the rating range expansion reaches values that would allow vehicles of three tiers higher to join, the group is usually disbanded and the matchmaker attempts to redistribute the vehicles from that particular group to other groups immediately.

Platoons are subjected to the same rules although the matchmaker will always attempt to match them with other platoons on the opposite team. This is not a hard rule however and can be broken if the platoon spends too much time in the queue.

The matchmaker also accounts for vehicle classes and limitations. Currently, there is a hard limit set for artillery class vehicles – there cannot be more than three per team. The final thing also considered are the classes – while this is more of a guideline than an actual rule, the matchmaker will always attempt to make the game diverse by avoiding putting too many vehicles of one class into one battle group. Last but not least, completely new players do form battle groups separate from experienced players whenever possible.

Battle is formed

Once the matchmaker puts together a group of 30 players, it proceeds to the team-forming phase.

All 30 players are sorted into two teams based at first on two criteria:

  • Vehicle class
  • Vehicle tier

Both teams have to be balanced when it comes to both of these parameters, the matchmaker will neither allow one team to have all the MBT’s and the other to have tank destroyers only, nor will it for example allow one side to end up with tier 5 vehicles and the other with tier 4’s only. The players are separated into groups by their class and then these class groups are internally sorted by their tiers.

These sorted groups are then distributed to both teams based on the player quality. An internal rating was developed, taking several elements into account – these do include player’s winrate, average XP per battle and several other indicators. The matchmaker then shifts the players around the teams so both teams end with roughly the same player rating. Please note that the matchmaking system allows for a certain margin of difference and both teams will never be completely identical when it comes to skill – the matchmaker however is programmed to produce the most balanced teams obtainable. While attempting to keep the battles balanced by skill however, the classes and tiers are ultimately more important to the matchmaker than the skill.

With both teams sorted this way, the matchmaker starts the battle itself. You will have the opportunity to experience how our matchmaking works in closed beta of the game.

Remember to sign up for the Armored Warfare beta at AW.MY.COM and follow us for more news and updates on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask them in the appropriate forum thread you can access by pressing the “Discuss” button.

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