Monday, February 09, 2009

New PvP Rating System

Here is a very informative blue post from Kalgan detailing exactly how the new PvP rating system works. It's a very informative read. Here's my summary of the new system.

There are now three ratings associated with PvP: Team Rating, Personal Rating, and Matchmaker Rating.

Team Rating
  • Visible.
  • Required for rewards.
  • Reset when a new team is created or at the beginning of a new season.
  • Not used for matchmaking.
  • Primarily represents the team's standing relative to other teams.
  • Moves towards the Matchmaker Rating over time. The larger the discrepancy, the faster the Team Rating will move.
  • Looks like a new team will start with a rating of 0 from now on, rather than starting at 1500. This makes Arena less depressing for a below-average team, and allows Blizzard to stratify gear even in the below-average zone. For example, if a piece of gear requires 1300 rating, a low-ranked team can work to achieve that rating, rather than simply restarting the team or playing very few games in order to minimize rating loss.

Personal Rating
  • Visible.
  • Required for rewards.
  • Reset at the beginning of a new season.
  • Not used for matchmaking.
  • Is primarily a control on Team Rating, trying to prevent players from leeching off a high-ranked team.

Matchmaker Rating
  • Hidden.
  • Not required for rewards.
  • Does not reset.
  • Used to match teams against each other.
  • Looks to use a system like Microsoft's Trueskill to rapidly determine your true rating.

A lot of the confusion with the new system occurs because the Matchmaker Rating is hidden, but determines the change in the visible Team Rating. Essentially, MMR is used to match teams, and the result of the match changes your MMR depending on what your opponent's MMR was. Then your Team Rating changes to be closer to your MMR. A visible Matchmaker Rating would allow people to understand the system faster.

It looks like a pretty good system in general, if it works as advertised. The Team Rating is important, because Arena is a team sport, and it is important to be able to compare teams against each other.

One change that I think Blizzard could make is to ditch Personal Rating, and simply replace it with the Matchmaker Rating. This would make the Matchmaker Rating visible and required for gear. The Matchmaker Rating can also serve the same control function, preventing low ranked players from just joining high-ranked teams for gear. This would simplify the system and make it more transparent.

Edit: Any comments about "gear > class > skill" or whatever will be deleted. That argument is uninteresting and irrelevant to this post.


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  2. This is anecdotal, but last week was the most fun in arenas I've ever had. I'm not the best player and I attribute the fun I had to playing teams that were actually close in skill instead of being completely stomped for two-thirds of the games. I found this to be the case in both 2s and 5s. From this player's perspective (~1400 rating), the new system gets 2 enthusiastic thumbs up.

  3. It was my understanding that they used some kind of a gear rating system as well. It would count every single piece of gear you had, including bank items. Is this still in effect? If so, what happens if you fill your bank and/or bags with crappy green gear?

    I really think they need to do some sort of a so-many-wins-in-a-row bonus to get the teams that should truly be in the higher brackets up to where they should be faster. I used to really hate starting a new team, winning say 7 in a row, then losing to the same team 4 times because we just happened to be in the slot where they were as they ascended the bracket (powerleveled teams).

  4. The new system doesn't take into account gear at all.

    As for wins in a row, the matchmaker rating should stabilize fairly quickly. Because the MMR doesn't reset, if you make a new team, you just end up playing at the same level that you were playing at previously.

  5. I havent done any Arena in the 2 months since i dinged 80 /shame.

    I have just got a team last night with a DK friend so will see how it goes.

  6. Hi, thanks for this post.

    Yet, I'm still quite confused especially about the teamrating gain/loss :

    I'm really new to arena, when my 2v2 team win, wee see : you earn 6 to 11 points, and opponent team lose 16 to 25 points. And vice-versa. That's the result of the large majority of my fights. It doesn't make sens to me : If I beat a team which is weaker than mine, than I don't earn much, ok, but why do they lose so much ? And if I'm killed in a few seconds by the opponent team and they earn 8 points, I think : they were better than us, so why do I lose 25 ?

    In the end, my team rating drop and drop and drop. I'm at 1100 now. How I am supposed to get new gear ? How long am I locked in pvp bleues or purple pve ?

    Should I reset the team and restart at 1500 teamrating ? (with that MMR I guess it's simply useless, because it probably consider I'm around 800 MMR or so ?)

    Should I have trained a few weeks in Skirmishes (no rating affected I guess), until I fear confident enough to start rated arenas ?

    And.. most important, how can I hope to see my arena and personnal rating go significantly up (assuming I'm good enough to deserve 1600+ rating).

  7. Gronyon:

    You should probably look at the posts by Kalgan to explain what's going on. Basically, your MMR is significantly lower then your team rating, so your team rating is drifting towards that value. Even though you're winning, you're really winning against teams that are roughly 1100 level, so the system is believing that your MMR is appropriately positioned based on your skill.

    Resetting your team will not change this at all, since you'll still only be facing other teams at roughly 1100 level, and thus your team rating will drop until you reach that point again.

    The system assumes that you're appropriately matched against other players of the same bracket if you win roughly 50% of your matches. Thus, the only way to improve your MMR is to win more then 50% of your matches against people of the same rating as you. When your team rating matches your MMR, then your MMR will start to rise with each win, and fall with each loss.

  8. Right now, there is no reason to play arena period if you are below 1600, unless for some reason you want crappy blues that are about as good as the crafted ones.

    Kalgan said next season that people below 1600 will actually be able to get reasonable items (the current Hateful, if I recall correctly). You could save up all your arena points for next season, whenever that will be.

  9. Kalgan doesn't say how MMR is moved...Since the other ratings trend towards it, it must move slowly, right?

  10. Once the MMR stabilizes, it will move with your ability to win (skill + class + gear). If your ability to win increases rapidly (say because you practiced a lot), your MMR will move quickly. But in a normal case, the MMR will move slowly.

    At the start though, the system does not have confidence that the MMR is "correct", so it will move rapidly to match your innate ability to win.