This Changes Everything: The Dota 2 Ranked Matchmaking Update
Sound the alarm! On the 6th of August 2019, the Dota 2 dev team released a blog post addressing their most recent update to the game: The Matchmaking Update, which they state is the first half of their Summer Scrub update. Apparently released to address how sodium-laden the community has become over the social aspect of this team-based game, the Matchmaking Update introduces a more role-centred take on MMR (Matchmaking Rank), experimenting on a new system that puts an emphasis on team-composition and balanced sides. Indirectly, these changes also contribute towards enforcing a more accurate MMR calculation system. But is this the be-all and end-all to eradicate all that brine in the Dota community?
What’s the big deal?
Basically, the Dota dev team removed the Solo and Party MMR counters, and implemented a system whereby you can choose to queue based on your selected role, from Hard Carry all the way to Hard Support - or in other terms, positions 1 to 5. The counters for your Solo and Party MMR have also been replaced with more theme-appropriate Core and Support MMR counters, and for now, those numbers will be an integration of your Solo Rank. They did mention that these changes are all experimental, and at the end of the season they will be collecting feedback from the community to decide whether to keep or ditch this system. If the system has been elected to remain, there will be a separate process of calibration for the two rankings.
Y U DO DIS VOLVO?! you may be asking. The answer is that they have seen players struggle when they are forced to play a certain role they don’t particularly feel comfortable with or are less skillful at, just for the sake of proper team composition. Behind the cries of ‘Mid or Feed’ and ‘Ako Mid’, a part of the playerbase still consists of people who are committed to the game and genuinely want to do well, but can’t do it on their own. This also solves the problem of ‘solo rn, sry’ situations, where players would rather grind their Solo MMR than party with their mates, effectively bringing the quintessential Dota 2 experience back to basics: strategic fun with friends.
Honestly, I can’t really tell how this will work out. Already, there are people posting screenshots of ‘Hard Supports’ who pick Invoker to go mid, so…kinda doubtful about the success of its implementation, unless an appropriate punishment system is introduced to smack down recalcitrants who dare to dishonor the ranked role queue. There have also been reports of people needing to recalibrate their Core and Support MMR, as well as the possibility of abuse within parties to inflate a specific role’s MMR by mutually agreeing to queue a certain role but play another. But in all honesty, the concept behind it is good, and it is a well thought-out plan to balance things out by lessening the strain on role picking and enforcing fair team play.
Only time will tell, I guess, but judging from the poll posted by resident Dota 2 overlord Wyk on Twitter, people seem to love the update so far. Props to the Dota team, and we here at SNN hope to see great changes in the overall matchmaking experience going forward!