Hello, Bloodhunt community, and welcome to our latest article detailing future changes to our Trios matchmaker!
As you know, we have spent quite some time investigating a solution for the issues with long matchmaking times in Trios during off-peak hours. In the past, we presented a solution for this which involved adding bot backfilling to Trios at all times.
After receiving a clear message objecting to this change from many of you, we decided to continue our investigation and revise our plans to solve the core problem while still focusing on having the mode mainly be about fighting other human players when possible.
Now based on all learnings to date, we have come up with an improved implementation of the Trios matchmaker.
We will not be making any changes to the maximum number of players, nor will we change how matches are put together in terms of skill (there will continue to be no SBMM for Trios). Both of these factors matter in ensuring that you will get into matches as fast as possible.
What we will solve, however, is the issue of where no Trios matches can start at all during low peak hours.
Let us show you what we mean.
Improving the adaptability of the Trios matchmaker
Currently, our Trios matchmaker does not adapt to changing circumstances.
It is designed with the idea that there will always be enough players for one match to start at any given time of the day. As we can see in the graph below, that is unfortunately not always the case.
Right now, a match will not start unless there are enough players in the queue to fill the player number requirement. It will wait until enough players are in the queue at the same time, even if it needs to wait for several hours.
The graph shows that we have periods of time (multiple hours) where 0% of players get into a Trios match. 1.0 represents 100%, 0.0 represents 0%. Please note that each date (representing 24 hours) is quite compressed horizontally.
This does not work with the current number of players playing Trios, and we need to improve it so that it can handle a lower number of players, but at the same time also ensure that anyone that wants to play Trios reliably can get into a match, which also should increase the mode’s popularity. Trios simply needs to always work for it to have a chance for organic growth, as without it, it is likely that the situation will get worse.
To accomplish this, the matchmaker needs to be able to adapt to the many different circumstances (rises and drops in the number of players, regional time differences, and so on).
The goal of the changes to the Trios matchmaker
Our goal when making changes to the Trios matchmaker is to ensure that matches will start consistently. Queueing for the game mode should reliably put the player in a match.
The changes that we will be making will not be noticeable during the peak hours as matches are already able to populate without any bots.
However, when there are not enough players queueing to start a match, we need to still be able to make this game mode playable. The only way to accomplish this is by bot backfilling.
Bots will backfill matches when there are too few players queueing
Starting with the next update of Bloodhunt (currently in development), the matchmaker will continue to work as it does right now during the peak hours of the day, which is when a higher number of our player base is actively playing.
What this means in practice is that when there are at least 30 players entering a queue, there will be no bots backfilling the game. These matches will always be against human opponents.
However, if a player has waited for an extended time (currently this will be set to 8 minutes, but this might change if necessary) during hours with low numbers queueing for Trios, and there is a very low chance of any match starting at all, the matchmaker will attempt to put as many human opponents in as possible. At that point, it will look at how many bots are needed to start a match, and only backfill with that number.
For example: If the matchmaker has been waiting for 8 minutes, and only 27 players have entered the queue within that time, 3 bots will be added as a group to the match, and then the match will start.
Your opinions matter
We made these changes based on your feedback and found a good compromise. Trios will run with all human players whenever it is possible, and the matchmaker will only resort to adding bots when it is impossible to find other real players. That means once we pass the exceedingly long wait time of 8 minutes (this value may be tweaked in the future) we will start filling up the remaining empty server slots with bots.
We still want Trios to be a game mode focused on fighting other human opponents, but at the same time, we need to ensure that players can also enjoy their favorite game mode with their friends even at times when there are not enough other players queueing.
Additionally, we hope that this change will drive more players to play Trios, which will further eliminate the need to backfill with bots. In any case, the Trios matchmaker now can adapt to either circumstance.
We will continue to monitor for feedback after this change to the matchmaker and adjust the parameters if needed.
See you at dusk,