# How come you don't play ladder?

@cheeseberry You don't have to do a queue split - for example a simple implementation although it'd inevitably leave some people unhappy (but fewer than it would presumably make happy) would be to have a 'preference' system - you indicate if you would prefer to find a game faster, slower, or no different to default.
Then the algorithm calculates the most popular choice (you could even do a threshold, so it would only go with something other than default if more than 50% of players want the adjustment), and weights things based on that

So, if 8 people queue, 7 indicate they want a game sooner and 1 indicates they would prefer to wait for a better balanced game, the algorithm will try and find a game sooner.
If 10 people queue, 4 want a game sooner, 4 want a game slower with lower rating difference, and 2 indicate no preference, then the algorithm will work as it currently does.
As a result, more people benefit than suffer, although it's not without flaws (e.g. 7 high rated players all indicate they want a lower rating difference, and 8 lower rated players all indicate they want a game sooner than later, resulting in some of the higher rated players being matched in a poorly balanced lobby, although I expect some tweaks could reduce the likelihood of this happening)

This sounds even worse than the current system and I’d probably never queue again if I would be getting forced into a 1300 average rating game because some dudes wanna play. I already basically only queue in a party since that allows me to artificially control what “average level” of game I want.

@cheeseberry

I think you might've misunderstood as I don't think the queue would split like you imagine with example A or example B. With example A, fast-matching players would still match with better-balance players when the balance would be good enough, and if the better-balance players had already been in the queue long enough, they would presumably have a bonus due to wait time like they do now afaik. With example B, they would be even more mixed.

pfp credit to gieb

@Penguin_ @maudlin27

I probably phrased my explanation poorly: The queue doesn't need to be literally split in two for very similar behavior to take place as if it were split in too. In the end, you are further dividing an already small userbase along some preference.

In an ideal world, you could do this perfectly where you could input e.g. "I want a game with exactly 327 or less rating deviation" and then exactly get a game with such a deviation as fast as possible.

This is obviously impractical for many reasons and "get me a balanced game" or "get me any game asap" are preferences you can state, but are only fulfillable with everyone being satisfied if there are enough people on close enough to your end of the spectrum for a game, specifically a balanced game, to ever be found.

This is not the case for faf.

If we implemented such a slider, what will predictably happen is that either

1. You have enough "fast game" players that they can find unbalanced games every couple minutes and the dozen or so "balanced game" players will literally never find a game, or
2. You put players from the "balanced game" preference into unbalanced games, who will then probably just leave the game because they got literally the opposite of what they asked for.

Effectively you have split the queue in two even though, of course, a slider is technically gradual.

Not only is this all of this undesirable, this then gives rise to quite a few perverse incentives, because the slider states your preferences relative to other players: If you know that you will never get a game on the 100% "balanced" side of the slider, you want to be just slightly more on the unbalanced side than the other players looking for a "balanced" game, or you will predictably be excluded out of even most "balanced" games that you'd otherwise like to have played.

Such a slider would effectively be a crude voting system where strategic voting is the optimal choice, i.e. not stating your true preferences is optimal to achieve your prefered outcome.

Listen, I don't want to read 5 page long guides about the state of the "slider meta", the normal faf meta is already enough

As FTX mentioned there is a reason that basically no professional matchmaking system works like this, even for games with a much larger playerbase (bandwagon fallacy notwithstanding)

Of course, it could be possible that such a better matchmaking system does exist. One where not only strategic voting is not a thing, but that is also implementable for a large range of players in the queue and that works with the psychology of real people taken into account.

If you can concretely define how this would work, or can link me the implementation of some other game that does this, I'd love to hear about it

@cheeseberry

I get your point, but I think you still misunderstand. The impact of the preference slider wouldn't be so large that it would outweigh everything else combined or whatever. It would have a sensible weight that makes it one factor out of several. The largest factor should continue to be potential game balance. AFAIK, we already factor in things like a new player matching bonus, a high-rating matching bonus, a waiting time matching bonus, etc. The faster-game-preference matching bonus would just be one more factor on the list that would influence things, but it wouldn't be dominant or anything. It basically would just shift people a bit on the spectrum of faster matching vs better balance, but it wouldn't be the end-all-be-all in deciding who gets matched when.

pfp credit to gieb

@Penguin_

The resulting problems and incentives would still be the same, just less pronounced.

How do you get from:

Slider doesn't matter -> it doesn't matter
Slider matters a lot -> It makes the queue worse

to

Slider matters some magic amount -> It makes the queue better?

That being said, just extend the current algorithm to take such a slider preference into account and prove me wrong. I wouldn't know how to do that, but that doesn't mean it can't be done!

Every single factor you listed has zero player input. Yours doesn’t. This is the big difference everything posted is about.

Saying “it will just kinda matter” is a problem when the generic end user hits a button and expects that button press to do what the button press says. You cannot guarantee that in a system with 8 independent button presses without making it even more of a PITA to get a game. Ironically the thing this was supposed to solve.

@cheeseberry

A ton of things are on a spectrum where you don't want too little or too much. People can die from having too little water or too much water, too much heat or too little heat, etc. A lot of people like games that are within a certain difficulty range rather than being too easy or too hard. Different people can have different preferences. I don't know what specific slider weight would be optimal, but I imagine it's potentially somewhere in the ballpark of the weights that we give the other factors.

@FtXCommando
The slider would still have an impact. Being able to set one's preferance for that would be a nice QoL improvement that would allow people to choose their preference on the spectrum of better game quality vs faster matching. We already have people being confused and frustrated about not getting a match. This wouldn't create that problem. That problem exists either way. A little info blurb stating that using the slider makes your preference more likely but not guaranteed, could be added if people really want...

I'm not claiming that example A or example B are perfect, just that I think the system could be better with either of them than it is without them as it is now. There are pros and cons for each of them compared with each other and compared with the current system. I am inclined to think the pros outweigh the cons for either of them.

pfp credit to gieb

An info blurb to say you pressing a button might not do what the button says? It’s already creeping into nightmare ui. Matchmaking is one of those things where you will never satisfy everybody, you take a functional chasis and refine it to fit your specific environment. Adding user input to the process just makes it a total mess, especially since now you’re going to need to explain what a 10% reduction in “more balanced game” means on your slider in terms of practical game results. Nobody knows because there are too few people to make a coherent prediction about what it means. One day a maxed out slider gives you a game with 100 rating variance the next it’s 500.

Get rushed with scouts before I can even build a simple tank, then try to catch the scouts with my scouts, knowing that the match is already lost.
Totally unenjoyable, too little maps, too many open areas with no clear way to defend, no strategy, can't even build an army.

I will say that for me is totally a map issue

my man, you are not playing bar, scouts literally do no damage whatsoever in this game

queuing with a newbie to show him the beauty of tmm and meeting tagada be like:

@rezy-noob said in How come you don't play ladder?:

my man, you are not playing bar, scouts literally do no damage whatsoever in this game

I am thinking he is talking about serra scouts.

he's clearly talking about labs. Be a bit more professional guys, c'mon.

Not active anymore.

@rezy-noob well they kill the engineers, now I expanded less, too much micro to escort the rest of the engineers, they tanks arrive first, the map is too open and impossible to defend only with the acu, and it's basically lost.

it is necessary to take into account I'm a 600 rating noob, I suppose that a pro don't have this problem, but I prefer losing because macro in a game that was enjoyable, and at least I can build a little army than getting rushed and pushed since the first minute.

For example, I always enjoy a game in “Festea VII”, they are like 3 routes, and It's hard to get rushed, and it decided by epic battles or smart snipes. Or, for example, the map that has water in the middle and two land routes in the borders.

I don't know how to enjoy a rush game, basically decided by who created more t1 tanks in 8 min while expanding.

My solution to this problem was https://forum.faforever.com/topic/5743/suggestion-ladder-map-size-preference?_=1680639823970 since normally this problems are related to very little maps and decreasing the maps too "opened" from the pool

To me it seems that the community values global rating more than 1v1 rating. It's shown everywhere on pub games and people are judged by global rating over their 1v1 ratings.

Which is strange to me because I would say a good 1v1 rating is much more proof of real skill. I would be more motivated to reach my appropriate 1v1 rating if it meant that the perception of my skill in the community would become more accurate.

i dont know anyone that takes global rating seriously

nevermind just thought of sid and gyle

Haha. Yeah so it begs the question.. if it's not being taken seriously, then why does global rating take precedence in the UI over ranked rating?

Cuz why wouldn't it? Global is the 4fun custom lobby rating. So it makes sense that it would show up in custom lobbies.
2v2? Same deal.
TMM? Same deal.

Not sure why would anyone want to display 1v1 rating in setons or gap lobby.

Ladder is fine I just get bored of the same maps over and over again I'm 900-ish 1v1. I prefer Mapgen keeps it fresh.
The BO argument doesn't really bother me. I don't have any map specific BO's just generic ones, I don't think they really dictate the out come of the game that much as long as the opponent understands a generic one and all concepts in the game.
The rating argument, 1v1 vs global, I believe is more of a playstyle difference than who is better or which holds more weight.
The best way I've heard it explained talks about player map responsibility and how 1v1 rating doesn't always translate to global and vice versa.

My suggestion would be make a second 1v1 que which is only Mapgen and changes weekly. Do it for a month and see which que gets played the most. I believe that its a foregone conclusion that the map gen que comes out on top(happy to be wrong) but it would be an interesting experiment in any case.

I try to play at least one a day. Most frustrating thing for me is people quitting because they don't like the map. There are some people really bad about this.

Personally, I generally do not like the really big maps, or the really small ones.