World of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment have released details for an up-coming update for their free-to-play MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), Heroes of the Storm. We’ve been playing this game since it was released to the general public as an open beta and are thrilled to be able to say that some crucial problems are finally being addressed. Matchmaking has been one of the major downfalls on this game so far, and it’s fair to say there’s been a lot of updates throughout the time it’s been available to download. Blizzard Community Manager Trikslyr recently detailed what’s changing, including “a couple of bug fixes to help the matchmaker identify players that are closer in skill.” Which is only a bad thing, if you’re constantly winning. Unlike us. Regardless, hopefully this should result in some better balanced matches.
Other changes include an increase to maximum waiting time in a matchmaking queue, down to ten minutes, although, one thing the game can be commending for is its lack of waiting time so we didn’t really see that as a problem that needed fixing. Other system improvements will also be included in the update, which at this time have not been specified. Looking forward Blizzard want to implement further changes with the intention of further improving matchmaking performance for those of us at a higher level.
However, this is all well and good but, and this is a personal thing, I don’t feel that the main issue with Heroes of the Storm’s matchmaking has been addressed. I’ll explain. Ranked play is set up in such a way that players choose their Heroes after the teams have been matched up, this means that players are able to see which Heroes their team mates have selected, and can therefore choose their own Hero according to what the team actually needs. Generally this means you end up with one Warrior, one Support, one Specialist and two Assassin Heroes, a fairly well-balanced team. Quick match however works a little differently, you choose your Hero and then the game will match you up with players, meaning the team has just been set up, without any consideration for what the team actually need.
This wouldn’t be a problem, except that in Heroes of the Storm, along with other MOBA games, success is heavily reliant on having the right team set up. Of course, there is variations of different setups, an additional Warrior or Specialist that can output high damage in the place of one of the Assassins for example, but generally you need at least one of each of the four classes in the games roster. The current matchmaking system doesn’t favour this need, and more often than not I’ve found myself in some very poorly balanced matches as a result, this generally causes a lot of frustration with players targeting one another for abuse, something we really don’t like to see in this community. I feel that the “quick match” matchmaking needs tweaking to ensure that certain criteria is fulfilled before teams are pitted against one another to ensure a more enjoyable experience.
Given Blizzard haven’t specified such changes, I can only assume that I’m peeing in the wind with such desires, still a man can dream… A man can dream.