Have you ever played Himmelsdorf against a team that has more heavies than you? Or perhaps, you’ve watched victory slip from your fingers on an open map simply because the other camp was lucky enough to have more medium tanks in their ranks. Update 9.20.1 clamps down on these frustrating scenarios by adding an extra parameter to the matchmaker: vehicle combat roles. Simply put, we taught the matchmaker to see the difference between the Maus and IS-7, for example. Now, it balances them separately. To create two evenly assembled teams, it would place the former against other heavily armoured tanks (the E-100, Type 5 HEAVY, etc.), while the IS-7 gets to face the likes of the Т110Е5 and FV215b. Let’s take a closer look!
How does it work?
Along with balancing teams by vehicle classes (artillery, light tanks, and tank destroyers) and Platoons, the matchmaker now looks into the intended roles each tank plays in combat and ensures each side has a similar number of vehicles that play the same role. Of course, their exact number might differ, but this difference is one vehicle at the most.
Essentially, the newly-added parameter balances out the number of autoloaders, well-protected TDs, and assault heavy tanks across teams. By distributing them evenly between the two camps, the improved matchmaker addresses another frequent concern of yours. Medium and heavy tanks are no longer distributed randomly. With classes split into smaller groups that unite vehicles with a district play style, medium tanks with a certain role are pitted against each other. The same with heavies. So you can forget about one-sided matchups with, let’s say, five Bat.-Chats duking it out with five Mauses on Steppes.
We put in extra effort to make sure balancing by a vehicle’s role does not affect the overall speed of matching. So worry not, the wait time won’t change. What should improve is the overall quality of matches as vehicle roles lower the chance of a team gaining the upper hand through sheer luck. At the same time, team setups aren’t mirrored, so every battle is a unique experience where the final outcome depends largely on tactics and teamplay.
Finally, the matchmaker tries to ensure teams are evenly assembled regarding the number of Platoon players and their vehicle tiers—its primary goal. However, it currently doesn’t balance Platoon vehicles by roles. Instead, it evens out the matchups by adding standalone vehicles to teams—if the current queue composition allows for it with no increase in the wait time. For example, if a team has a Platoon of autoloader medium tanks, the matchmaker places it against a Platoon of medium tanks. Then, it tries to add standalone autoloader tanks to the other team to even out their chances at victory. If there are no autoloaders in the queue, it will create a battle to avoid longer wait times.
If you look at the way light tanks and arty fight, there’s no immediate value in breaking these two classes into smaller packs grouped around a certain role. Light tank gameplay is built around scouting, and that’s the role they all share, regardless of whether they remain completely still to spot enemies or zoom around the map. A particular set of LTs won’t make the enemy team superior to yours as long as both of you have them in similar numbers, and the matchmakers ensure you do. It’s the same story with SPGs: they all play as long-range support vehicles.
TDs, medium and heavy tanks are a whole other story. Let’s take medium tanks with powerful guns and moderate armour, for example. These are designated support vehicles. Their peers, with strong protection but average mobility and firepower perform best in an attack role. There’s a whole bunch of medium tanks sporting autoloader guns, and they can dismantle an enemy in no time. Finally, others perform equally well in more than one role, which makes them fairly universal.
Having analysed the key parameters and combat performance of TDs, medium and heavy tanks, we outlined primary roles for each class at Tiers VIII–X. The structure you see below is not final. We want to hear your thoughts on the classification and criteria we put at its core (armour, firepower, and mobility). Following your feedback, we might revise it and consider introducing roles for mid to lower tiers.
But Wait, There’s More
Improvements to the matchmaker don’t end with the introduction of vehicle roles. Along with adding them, we addressed some of your most vocal requests:
- Better chances of getting ranked at the top of the list for Platoon players: Initially, their chances of playing at the top were reduced to avoid upsetting scenarios with Platoons singlehandedly deciding the battle outcome. In direct response to community feedback, we’re raising them slightly so that you and your Platoon mates can fight at higher tiers once in a while. This won’t cause any drastic changes to the state of Random Battles, but offers a more varied experience to Platoon players.
- Equal chances of getting ranked in the top/middle/bottom of the list for different vehicle classes: You might have noticed that heavy and medium tanks would end up in single-level battles way too often, while arty and TDs tended to get ±2 and ±1 setups. We tweaked the matchmaker, evening out the odd for all vehicle classes.
- Optimized team assembly logic: After some extra tuning, you’ll see more 3/5/7 and 5/10 teams, which should provide for a more enjoyable experience.
- More Grand Battles: We increased the chance of getting matched in a Grand Battle, so that more players could playtest the new format.