For Season 3 of Rocket League, Psyonix had intentions to update the matchmaking feature of the title in order to make games more intense and level amongst varying skill levels in players. However, their original idea changed somewhat, and the studio have now updated Rocket League with a new way in which it finds you an opponent to play against.
“Originally, the restriction prevented parties from queuing for Competitive matches if their Skill Ratings were too far apart, but the more we worked on the feature, the more we realized that there was a better way to do it.
First, the Competitive Restriction would have had a negative impact on groups of friends that were not abusing the system, but fell outside the new limitations. For instance, you may have been in a party with friends three tiers below you, then you won a match, ranked up, but your friends didn’t. In this scenario, you would no longer be able to play together. Theoretically, this was a negative side-effect that you’d just have to accept to maintain the integrity of competitive play, but one of the reasons we kept thinking about alternatives.
Secondly, for the Champion players among you, a three-tiered skill restriction would not have entirely fixed the ability of players to exploit the Top 100 Skill Leaderboards. A Grand Champion paired with a Superstar — the lowest-allowed player under the restriction — would still climb the leaderboards more quickly than two Grand Champions playing together.”
With that, Psyonix came up with a new method, which they explain below.
Improved Party Skill Rating
Our new solution does a better job of fixing the problems at hand. Here’s how it works:
- You can search for Competitive games in a Party with anyone in your friends’ list, regardless of their current skill tier
- Instead of averaging each player’s skill together in a Party, Party Skill is now based on the highest-skilled player in the group
- When skill ratings are updated after a match, the new Party Skill rating will be used to prevent players from ranking up faster by teaming up with lower-ranked friends
Will this have any negative effects on the more professional players in your party? We shall see, but at the end of the day, it’s all about having fun in Rocket League with friends, and if the skill system separated you between matches, who would really be having fun?
An example of how this works in practice is as follows:
- A Challenger Elite player and a Prospect Elite player party up to play Doubles together. Previously, that combination would have averaged out to roughly Challenger II-level. Under the new system, they will be considered a Challenger Elite party.
- A Grand Champion player and an Unranked player party up. Previously, they would have matched as Rising Star, and the Grand Champion could earn skill rating despite playing lower-ranked players. This pairing will now match as Grand Champion. And, more importantly, that Grand Champion player will earn the same skill rating as a party of two Grand Champions would – not the skewed gains seen on the live servers. And their opponents will gain or lose the same rating as they would against two Grand Champions.