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Developers’ Diaries: Matchmaking in 1.37

Pilots!

 

A few words about the way match-maker works in War Thunder 1.37

 

Battles are being balanced depending on several attributes, the most important of them are the aircraft’s rank, its battle rating (this is displayed in a plane’s menu) and the player’s battle efficiency.

 

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What does the plane’s rank affect? It guarantees that in random battles a player will not meet aircraft that is more than 1 rank different than  the chosen plane in SB and RB modes or the highest-ranked plane in Arcade mode line-up. Thus you can meet planes that are the same rank as you and seldom - planes that are one rank higher or lower. You will never meet a jet while flying rank 2 or 3 planes. Here is a simple illustration showing how the ranks system works.

Thus match-maker will balance you with the planes of your rank (principally) and sometimes aircraft one rank higher or lower. But planes of rank 2 for example will never meet rank 4 or 5.
The most important balancing tool match-maker uses is battle rating.

 

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Battle rating is an instrument of more refined match-making and it may be different for the same plane depending on the game mode. This is the biggest advantage of 1.37 match-making - it balances battles according to plane’s efficiency separately for different modes. Within each game-mode battle balancing is divided into several groups: battles between aircraft with rating from 1 to 2, from 2 to 3 etc. Aircraft that for example has battle rating of 6.5 in Arcade may have absolutely different rating in RB. So aircraft will be balanced differently in these game modes.

 

Player’s Battle efficiency - this characteristic does not affect match-making greatly. It is just a small adjustment to the battle rating of the plane. The Player’s battle efficiency is calculated automatically depending on a pilot’s recent battle results.  If you played masterfully and had good results - the system will offer battles slightly more challenging if on the contrary you were unlucky in recent fights - it will let you play in battles which are not so challenging. This also allows the system to marginally take aircraft upgrades into account.

The old system was based on just one main criteria - aircraft rank. Obviously some planes were more effective in one mode and less effective in another (it applies to all 3 game modes, besides obvious things like armament and flight model, there are issues less obvious, like the field of view in the cockpit in SB)

Effective rank for match-maker could vary +- 3 ranks depending on player’s efficiency. But this caused other problems:

a) real battle efficiency may vary for more than 3 ranks
b) the old system was not as clear to the players compared to the new one, featuring different battle efficiency in different game modes.
c) this made battle balance less fair. It could be possible that two players (one of which is “efficient” for match-maker and had +3 rank in 8 tier plane and the other one had -3 in tier 13 plane) would meet in one battle, thus  could have 5 rank difference in the old system and according to the current system they could have 2 rank difference!

The new system balances battles in a more transparent way - players should never face aircraft more than 1 rank different from chosen plane (or from the top-ranked plane in an Arcade line-up) and real balance is tuned according to battle efficiency which can also be checked.

Currently, the new Match-maker works as it did in the previous version. To make the new system work as planned we need to gather statistics of a planes’ battle efficiency in the long term.  Please note that currently battle rating is the same for all modes. However as we gather more data it may become different for different game modes.

War Thunder team

 

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