Status Update—Fixes to Preferential Matchmaking

Source: EU WoT Portal

NOTE: The fixes described below are not final. This is a draft solution that we’ll be testing soon. We’ll be watching very closely for any issues and take action to make further changes if needed, while also keeping you in the loop on the current progress.

This past May saw us test changes to the KV-5. Had they proven agreeable, they would have been applied to other preferential tanks. However, the results didn’t align with the intended outcome and the majority of the player feedback we received proved to be negative. As the feedback and testing showed, the reason you take these tanks into battle or bring them into your garage in the first place is their preferential status and unique characteristics. In response to your comments, we went back to the drawing board to work on another round of adjustments.
Let’s take a look at where the current setup is falling short and how the upcoming changes address those areas.


  • Problem: Tanks with preferential status are likely to get matched into two- or one-tier battles, where their status combined with combat parameters does more harm than good. In certain battles, they can’t compete with Tier IX and feel inferior against regular Tier VIII tanks.
  • Goal: Improve the experience for preferential tanks while keeping the preferential matchmaking parameter and their unique characteristics intact.
  • Solution: All-around vehicle rebalances on a tank-by-tank basis combined with matchmaker rule revision. The latter is aimed at reducing instances of getting matched at the same position (top/middle/bottom) on the list for several battles in a row.
As a side note, regular Tier VIII vehicles face a similar issue with matchmaking, amplified by the fact that they also compete against Tier X tanks. Matchmaker rules revision is designed to better the experience for them, too.

Vehicle Rebalances

We’ll kick-off the preferential tank revision by tweaking their combat parameters. We originally set these parameters so that these tanks can play comfortably and competitively in Tier VIII-IX battles, where they are weaker than other machines in combat given their stats. With this in mind, at Tier X, these tanks would be ineffective which is why they have preferential matchmaking. We will definitely look at their stats to ensure their effectiveness is comparable with the performance of Tier VIIIs and so can remain competitive in those battles.
There is no blanket solution to this problem, so we’ll address it on a tank-by-tank basis, starting with Tier VIII vehicles. Combat parameters will be improved to better suit the tier spread, while also keeping their gameplay-defining characteristics intact.

• Increase the penetration value of the standard shell from 168 to 182 mm.
• Improve frontal armoring of the commander’s cupola (+40 mm, 150 -> 190); improve armoring of the radio operator’s cupola (+20 mm).
• Improve aiming time from 2.9 to 2.3 s.
Relatively small improvement of the radio operator’s cupola should still allow vehicles of lower tiers to penetrate the vehicle’s armor.
Improvement of the commander’s cupola to the level of the frontal turret armor will allow the vehicle to take advantage of its turret armor.
General improvement of the penetration value and gun handling parameters.

• Increase penetration from 175 to 182 mm for the standard shell and from 217 to 225 mm for the Premium shell.
• Improve aiming time from 3.4 to 2.8 s.
• Improve the frontal turret armoring (up to 190 mm on sides of the gun mantlet).
Increased penetration value, improved gun handling parameters. Minor improvements to turret armoring.
The vehicle remains a multi-purpose HT.
• Improve the specific power from 19.5 to 23 h.p./t.
• Increase damage per minute by 10% (from 1,920 to 2,100).
Kept and improved the role of a dynamic HT; increased battle performance.
• Increase the penetration value of the standard shell from 175 to 182 mm..
• Increase velocity of the HEAT shell (Premium shell) from 640 to 720 m/s.
• Increase damage per minute from 1,775 to 1,850.
Overall improvement of the technical characteristics.
• Increase the penetration value of the standard shell from 175 to 182 mm.
• Increase velocity of the HEAT shell (Premium shell) from 640 to 720 m/s.
Minor improvement of the vehicle that does not require major adjustments.
• Increase the penetration value of the standard shell from 198 to 204 mm.
• Review the vehicle armoring; make minor improvement to overall armoring.
• Improve hull traverse speed from 24° to 28°.
• Decrease dispersion on turret traverse from 0.18 to 0.16.
Improved maneuverability and stabilization while keeping the vehicle’s armoring and role on the battlefield.
• Increase the penetration value of the standard shell from 175 to 182 mm.
• Improve the gun depression angle from -5° to -6,5°
• Increase velocity of the HEAT shell (Premium shell) from 640 to 720 m/s.
Overall improvement of the technical characteristics.
• Increase dynamics and specific power from 14 to 15.5 h.p./t.
• Improve aiming time from 2.3 to 2.1 s.
• Increase damage per minute from 1,725 to 1,775.
• Review the vehicle armoring; make minor improvement to overall armoring (possibly).
Improved vehicle’s technical characteristics to the level of other MTs.
Overall improvement of the technical characteristics. Improved gun handling parameters.
• Increase the penetration value of the standard shell from 192 to 202 mm.
• Increase damage per minute from 1,750 to 1,800.
• Increase dynamics and specific power from 9.9 to 12 h.p./t.
Players feel rather negative about this vehicle.
Made minor improvement to dynamics while keeping the vehicle’s low mobility as compared to other MTs. Improved gun parameters.
• Increase the penetration value of the standard shell from 203 to 212 mm.
• Increase vehicle’s durability from 1,300 to 1,400 НР.
• Increase rear speed from 12 to 14 km/h.
• Improve aiming time from 2 to 1.8 s
The worse vehicle on the list in terms of statistics.
The vehicle receives significant improvements to all characteristics crucial for tank destroyers.

Matchmaker Improvements

In its current state, the matchmaker often fails to ensure proper rotation between the top/middle/bottom of the list. Getting matched at the same position for several battles in a row slows down progression and degrades the overall experience for absolutely all vehicles. Unfortunately, simply tweaking the current algorithm won’t fix it.
We tried to artificially lower the probability of getting preferential Premiums in +1 Tier and same-tier battles. However, this created more problems by increasing the number of single-tier battles and waiting times for not only Tier VIII and IX but tanks tiered VI-X.
So we’re looking into redesigning the underlying matchmaker rules to improve 3/5/7, 10/5, and 15 template distribution. This will aim to prevent cases of spending 80% of in-game time in 3/5/7 battles at the bottom of the list.
As you can understand, to find the optimal solution will take some time (about half a year) and we ask for your patience. We have already laid down a plan and work on the matchmaker is underway. We will give more information when we have it in a separate article, so keep an eye out.

What’s Next?

We’ll be watching the supertest data very closely to ensure that vehicle rebalances are working as planned and are generally resonating well with you, the players, be it this particular solution or something we arrive on together following this. Hit the forum to share your thoughts on the suggested changes and stay tuned for a closer look at what’s in store for the matchmaker.

0 thoughts on “Status Update—Fixes to Preferential Matchmaking

      1. my bad then, i remember reading recently that they are planing to remove pref mm from tanks and buffing them to stay competetive against tier 10

      2. and when i made my comment, the article wasnt complete (only KV-5 buffs were stated) and the text where it was mentioning that they are going to keep pref MM wasnt writen yet

    1. ValkyGr, youre one of those morons that will hate on WG even if they make a good change

      1. There is absolutely no reason to believe Wargaming. Previous experiences tells us that Wargaming will at some point in the future remove the PMM status – they are only waiting for people to forget about the issue while lulling them into compliance by releasing this BS and then Wargaming will strike and do what has been the plan all the time.

    2. You didn’t read the entire message. Wargaming is keeping pref MM. So +1/-2 MM stays for tanks with pref MM. Excerpt from the posted message:
      “Goal: Improve the experience for preferential tanks while keeping the preferential matchmaking parameter and their unique characteristics intact.”

      1. when i made my comment only the changes to the KV-5 were in the article, and the whole “Goal” section where it says that they are keeping pref MM wasnt in the article

  1. “As you can understand, to find the optimal solution will take some time (about half a year) and we ask for your patience.”
    Optimal soloution? WG? What will they screw up this time to “improve” the MM even more?
    Why cant they just make 5/10 MM the primary spread? would make balancing easier as well if tanks just see +/-1 Tier

  2. So, first they complain that prefMM is screwing with the MM algorithm causing long queue times. Now they don’t remove prefMM but they buff those tanks, not fixing their initial “problem”.
    I welcome the buffs but I don’t think they are enough to bring those old vehicles on par with the latest OP pay-to-win tanks.

    1. They are actually going to rework the MM, not just slightly buff the pref MM tanks. The problem here is the matchmaker, the buffs to the pref MM tanks are small change in comparison.

  3. WG should focus in making the majority of battles for Players on Tier 8 and 6 5-10 (+1-1) or same Tier (+0-0) If they want to keep using the 3-5-7 Template how about to re-shuffle the order to 5-7-3? So you will have more Top Tier tanks, the majority of tanks will be mid tier and the minority will be bottom tier. Looks like a way better spread than what is currently. (3-5-7)

    1. No, that would not be a great idea. Just image, you are one of the 3 lowtiers. The chance, that you meet a way stronger vehicle is very high and frustrating in the long run unless you are willing to shot even more gold.
      Btw. the Situation, in where the minority of tanks where lowtier are the reason for that template.

      1. The chance of you being a Lower Tier vehicle will be lower since they are only 3 of such vehicles. And the enemy Bottom Tier vehicles (3) + all 7 enemy vehicles midtier makes that the great majority of the vehicles you fight (10 out 15) are easy tanks for you as Bottom Tier to hit and kill.
        Think about it. (Proposed 5-7-3 MM Template)

  4. So, basically, we get nothing but promises to make things better in half a year time. Great.
    And it’s not like they just discovered the problem, so they spent about same time to get the “Perfecting Preferential Premiums” solution. How inefficient is the balance department? Maybe
    WG should consider some improvements there, first. A reasonable time table to deal with
    a significant and game threatening problem like this is within weeks, not years.
    So for another six months I keep 80% of my premium tanks out of battle for being useless. And therefore I go #wallet closed for another six months, until a clear and mutually beneficial solution comes to life, to convince me my investment in WG pixel tanks is not a mistake.
    No problem, I can wait. Can they?
    In all, nothing is impossible, here, with a little less greed and a little more respect to the clients, WG solving the problem. Ant they notify us that the work is on the way, how nice is that? I like the solution, just not the time table. And not the quiet on the other game issues.

  5. Well at least they’re gonna do something about 357 mm, but still, what took them so long? And why is it still gonna take another half a year?
    Can someone with a degree in game design/game business and/or have worked in WG’s development team explain to me why does it take so long to make these kind of decisions?
    I don’t wanna assume that they’re dumb or incompetent, but surely there must have been some inefficient company structure or chronic mismanagement that made them took more than a year to recognize the problem of 357mm and another half a year to rectify it?

    1. “Can someone with a degree in game design/game business and/or have worked in WG’s development team explain to me why does it take so long to make these kind of decisions?”
      I have no such degrees and don’t work for WG, but common sense tells me that they’re stalling to save face. When the fixed template MM became a thing and people complained it was garbage (so since the early weeks of its implementation) WG brushed off any and all criticism with their usual “it works as intended, no need to adjust it”, an kept this up for months. Now imagine having to admit that yes, the players were right and the game experience had become shittier, plus the previous pref MM adjustments that were so fanfared were poorly designed from the start, that would reflect very poorly on their credibility.

    2. I am a professional software development project manager, not from the gaming industry, but close enough, so I’ll take on this and I guess, this is pretty easy to explain:
      WG has a completely different sight on the game, as you as a player and customer have. For them, this is a pure business, and as has been revealed on the EU forums, they use Big-Data analytics to optimize their business in terms of return-on-invest. All of their recent decisions (around 2 years) are based on their Big-Data forecasts, after the former Bioware employee Craig Fryar (Director of Analytics at BioWare) joined them, to boost their business with analytics and forecasts based on customer behaviour.
      One of the outcomes of their analysis seem to show them, that their own 3-5-7 MM lowers their expectable income (and their profits) and has been identified a one of the main reasons the players are leaving the game (= bad for business). Now, they wan’t to react to this problem, but it isn’t a very high priority to them, because other changes they have in their development pipeline, that have been forecasted to increase their monetization of the game, are to become introduced first.
      As I said: it’s all about the views one has on the game. For WG, the 3-5-7 MM reduces their income by some margin, but for us, it is a complete gamebreaking shit causing us to pay and play. As long, as a problem in the game is not identified at the same level for both, WG and their customers, WG will always prioritize stuff completely different, then the customer would.
      Long story short, MM is not as big of a problem to them than it is for us. 🙂

      1. Wargaming is just forgetting the no. 1 axiom of business:
        ‘The customer is always right’
        Ignore that at your own peril seems to be lost on Wargaming leadership and now they pay the inevitabel price of their arrogance.
        Wargaming can’t save their games now, be it WOT, WOWP or WOWS as they have made too many bad decisions and pissed on too many of their customers to be able to regain the trust from their present and former customers.
        #WalletClosed #GamesUninstalled #FuckWargaming

  6. They could have saved themselves tons of grief by just keeping the arty changes and rolling back to pre 357 mm. Then they could have worked on things like broken tanks, 5%(liars) gold ammo spam and corridor maps.
    The fact that they brought back providence and continue to use mines and ensk for tier 10 battles show you that they have no clue how to play their own game.

  7. the simple solution is +1mm, there’d be no need to change pref mm tanks, and a tier 6 won’t continue getting raped by tier 8s. And an E25 gets stopped from screwing over the noobies in tier 5s. etc, etc.

    1. There would be plenty of reasons to change the pref mm tanks.
      Every pref mm tank is basicaly a weaker tank then the comparable same tier tank. Going to +-1mm without buffing these tanks would screw them eaven harder

  8. why not make it only 5-5-5 , ech tank in garage have its own rotation top midle botom , for preff mm tanks only top or midle (never botom) , this would be easy for server , no need for 1tier batle , + big advantage for preff tanks

  9. So they want to remove pref mm from tanks yet they keep selling prefer mm tanks. HMmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  10. So first the pref mm tanks break MM causing large queues but now its not a problem? Lol
    Even with these buffs most these tanks are useless compared to most tier 8s.
    Kv5 vs Defender loooooooool

    1. Defender is the most common tank to compare it with?
      I do agree that some of these buffs are underwhelming.
      More engine power to the T-34-3 and the 122mm crap guns should get a bit bit more penetration than 182. Either that or a bit better gun stats overall.

      1. Defender, Lorr 40T, Skorpion G, Strv S1, Somua, Chrysler, compare it to any new prem and its garbage.

  11. No increase of penn (181mm)for type 59, but an increase of penn (192 – 202mm) for the super Pershing?
    WG better think this over. My guess is they better set 202mm as standard penn for medium tanks with pref. MM and guns<122mm

  12. I still oppose the buff to the R2D2. Instead they should go for a buff to the main-turret from the current ~180mm to something like 220mm. That way tier 8s and even some tier 9s would be more inclined to aim at the weakspot instead of just shooting at the main turret which is an easy pen right now but it would remain as fair as ever to lower tier tanks.
    But this is probably exactly the reason they won’t do this.

  13. Easy to see that some genius came up with 3-5-7 because ‘it means in every 30 tank battle 24 tanks are spamming gold’, what they didn’t count on, at least for the NA server, is that the population would be cut in half and that the attractiveness of tier 8 premium tanks would be ruined. Soviet style management.

  14. My thoughts are mostly to do with the Jagdtiger 8.8, since I own that, but this is also pertinent to other German vehicles or vehicles that use German weapons.
    German guns are constantly screwed over in this game due to the wartime German method of testing shell penetration (tests were conducted versus steel rolled AT A 30 DEGREE ANGLE). This was done initially to simulate the hull of a T-34. Thing is, when shooting at angled armor the penetration will decrease – this is a physics relationship. Allied weapons were all tested while firing at vertical steel (a perpendicular penetraion by the shell) and as such would not have their penetration values reduced by the 30 degree physics nerf of the German tests. There are post-war allied tests of most of the German weapons in this game using the vertical test steel method. Since gun performance in this game is based on real-world performance, The post-war allied tests of German guns are much more accurate when comparing them to their Allied counterparts. The problem for German guns in WoT is that the devs used the German data for these guns, so in effect every shot a German gun makes has to deal with an additional 30 degrees worth of armor penetration nerf before in-game angling is taken into account. In the case of the JT88: pen is currently 202/237/44 this is mostly in line with the original German tests (with the 30 degree nerf). Pen of the same gun using Allied methodology versus vertical steel: 232/304/110. That should be the JT88’s pen IMHO. It is HISTORICAL and the tank would be fun to play. Every German gun in the game is nerfed in this way. This is one of the sources of all the complaints about anti-German-bias in this game. It also shows why German weapons were rightly feared in WWII..They were nasty.
    P.S. If you look up the article about the KwK43 (the PaK43 was the gun carriage/TD version of this gun, with minimal differences in performance), you will see all this. They have links to the original studies cited there and they also note that the post-war Allied tests are the only ones which allow direct comparisons to Allied contemporaries.

  15. What’s the point to increase 7mm pen to all D25T guns? When you can’t pen by 175mm, you can’t pen by 182mm as well, want us spam gold? just give the IS-6 a 250+ APCR and Chinese 270+ HEAT, and keep the standard 175mm.

    1. I have to agreed with Haise. All the D25T Guns (175mm of pen + Kv5 Gun with 167mm) are getting minor buffs (182mm of pen) which aren’t suficient.
      I propose a increase in the Pen on these guns to at least 200 MM of pen which isn’t anything major all the Tech Tree Tanks have minimum 212 pen with ap ammo. The apcr for the IS6 should be increased to something like 240-250 mm of armor, the guns that use heat at 250 mm of pen are fine
      WG has a bad doctrine where you need to spam Gold Ammo (2Key) to be competitive if you aren’t Top Tier Tank in the match you are in. The idea (at least for me) dunno about WG or Statpadders is I am on a Pref MM Tier 8 Premium Tank I should be able to compete using the default ap ammo and not by solo shooting premium ammo.
      I play premium Tanks to Train Crews but the most Important aspect is to Save Credits so i Can afford to Grind Tech Tree Tanks, Play Events like Ranked Battles or help my clan in Clan Wars.
      I haven’t Played my IS6-WZ-111-112 in 3 years aprox because while those tanks are fun to play I couldn’t contribute withouth Gold Spam for around 70% of my shots and Thank You Wargaming I already have my Tier Xs as credit sinks…

  16. AS long ASS there is goldammo a tank like the KV-5 will never be even balanceable. Because the magic-2-key will always render it useless.
    Dont even try to balance these Pref. MM tanks without goldammo rework. It is not going to work and you will recieve even more refusal – and rightfully so.

  17. Some regular tanks have inferior pen such as vk45a and ´T32 and they have always faced tier 10 tanks.

  18. My only comment is that Type 59 and T-34-3 currently have the same armor model, and that should be the case moving forward. Type 59’s gun is much less derpy which makes for superior *typical* medium play, I would argue superior to all other tier 8 mediums competitively. On the other hand,T-34-3’s high alpha and mobility allows it to act as a MBT situationally, a role that can give it a value few tanks on the battlefield possess.
    I finally feel as if neither is outright superior to the other, and only uparmoring one would threaten the choice and balance between the vehicles.

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