The DotA 2 matchmaking system has been screaming for an update for quite a while now and it has finally come – full info here.
There are 5 parts to this update and while they are all great, I really hoped to see one particular feature but we’ll get to that in a minute.
1. Phone Number Verification
DotA 2 smurfing is basically done at this point as phone verification is now required if you want to play ranked games. I don’t know about you but I have one phone number as do most people I presume.
So, creating several accounts to mess around with lower mmr players just for the lulz has now become a direct funding of your country’s phone companies.
However, you better hurry up and link your phone number with your DotA 2 account because on May 4th, accounts without a registered number will no longer be eligible to play ranked games.
2. Solo Queue
A huge problem with ranked matchmaking was the fact that if you played solo, there was a chance that you could end up playing with/against players who are in a party. While that is still an option, you now have the power to choose a solo queue where all 10 players in the game are playing on their own.
This is a really great feature and I can’t imagine anyone not using it if they are grinding solo mmr.
3. Party MMR Changes
While most people I’ve seen have relatively close solo and party mmr, some people have upwards of 1k difference between them.
Valve have now taken that into account with this key change in the ranked party matchmaking. Basically, it will now take into account your solo mmr when generating the overall party mmr you have.
So, if you have 4k party mmr and 5k solo mmr, you average party mmr will be seen as 4.5k by the game coordinator. This will basically make games more even as some players do tend to farm a lot of solo mmr and forget about their party mmr.
But when they want to play with friends, their individual skill is much higher than what their party mmr shows them to be which creates, well, unpleasant experience for the enemy team.
Going to low priority right now is not that big of a deal. Yes it is hell there but you can still get out relatively easy and then continue on with your crusade to torment DotA 2 souls in normal or ranked games.
However, with this matchmaking update, going to low priority comes at a price. After you get out of it, you will have a duration ban from playing in the ranked queue.
The ban will start at a few hours and build up to 4 days for people who talk on first-name basis in low priority games.
Another thing added is a better detection system for intentional feeding and stricter punishments to those caught in this act.
Lastly, a huge number of bot accounts has been banned and a better detection for bot accounts has been added. There’s no need to further expand on why this is a great feature from this matchmaking update.
5. No More Ranked Games in SA, India & Dubai
While this is certainly not the highlight if this matchmaking update, it is important to note on. Players in these regions will now have to play ranked games in nearby servers as the low amount of population in their regions have made it easy for people to abuse the matchmaking system.
The One Thing That’s Still Missing
When I woke up and saw that there was an update specific to the matchmaking system, I immediately thought that they finally added it. What is it?
It is basically a pre-game position selection feature. Why do we need such a thing? Well, let me tell you a story of countless games that I’m 100% sure not only I have been a part of. It basically goes like this:
- All players have loaded the game and hero selection phase starts.
- 2 or more people immediately mark mid and thus begins our story.
- Rarely will someone concede the position and in most cases this results in a race for first pick.
- The first pick is usually (at the moment) Invoker, Lina, Ember, etc, it doesn’t really matter. That of course results in the rest of the player(s) who marked mid to either go mad that this person just ruined their game and took their “entitled mid position”, start flaming, mark woods and say stuff like “afk woods”, you know the drill.
- Basically after this first pick by the person who was scared to play anything else other than mid, we become witness to a chain reaction that in most cases results in a loss for that team.
- After the player(s) go mad that someone else took their mid, in most cases, the team will lack any support player, will have at least one jungle and one offlane who won’t probably be the best pick because the chain reaction is in full effect.
- The enemy team easily counter-picks the mid laner with more than one hero because countering first-pick core is a child’s play.
- The safe laner, at about 5 – 10 minutes gets crushed in lane by something like Undying and Necrophos because there is just no support while the mid laner most probably is also losing the lane because of sheer outdraft.
- Everyone continues flaming each other until they either mute themselves or they become so angry that they start feeding on purpose.
- Game is lost.
Of course, there are those cases where people are flexible enough that they will come to an agreement as to who will play the mid lane and the rest will respect that choice and will go and fill other positions. In that case, all I can say is commended.
However, in my experience (I guess in lower mmr brackets it is worse), in most cases the above 10 steps unfold. So, this is where the pre-game position selection comes in.
My cousin plays League of Legends and he said that when they implemented that in their matchmaking system, the gaming experience became 10 times better and more enjoyable. I was told that the same story from above applied to League of Legends before that update and we all know how much we hate those games.
The new DotA 2 matchmaking update is really good and it solves a few key problems that the game coordinator had however, if they go ahead and implement a pre-game position selection feature, I think that everyone will commend Valve.
And I don’t think that anyone would mind waiting 5 more minutes just to play a much more enjoyable and productive DotA 2 game.