Leadblast

Why Quick Match is bad for HotS' health.

12 posts in this topic

https://heroeshearth.com/b/trentesports/read/quick-match-made-me-dumb-how-hots-teaches-you-the-wrong-lessons-from-minute-one/

This is a good article on the subject. It may explain things a lot better than I or others do.

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Pretty nice article, with good and valid points, however, I'd like to point out some things quoting his article:

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By having you pick you hero and then randomly assigning a map, Quick Match teaches you the exact opposite. The game tells you that every hero is ok on every map, because every map is available. Nothing in the QM system remotely implies that you should consider the map when choosing the hero.

I don't think that's entirely true because it is easy to realize, with practice, that not every Hero work on every map. A prime example is Tomb of the Spider Queen, where Heroes with strong waveclear and/or scouting abilities really shine. By learning through the experiences in QM you realize that. For new players, I think it does teach well, and is less intimidating than in drafting modes.

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Moreover, the new quest log in Heroes 2.0 reinforces the "play what I want first" mentality. It literally tells you what hero to play next to get them to the next level and earn a loot box. That system doesn't change when you enter draft. Even if you jump into hero league, that little box is screaming at you to ignore your team, and first pick Ragnaros because he's close to leveling up. Rag is an awful first pick in any draft environment, but who cares, you're gonna get a loot box after this game.

Well, yes. I completely agree with that. If anything, they should add a system similar to Overwatch where it points out that the team is missing a tank or a support. This is already present in the Brawl select screen, but would be nice to see in other modes.

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The specialist icon used to be a tower so you naturally think that these are the heroes who split push and focus on killing towers. So you pick Medivh and don't understand why people are yelling at you to stop split pushing. (...) The role system actively works against teaching players how to play the game at a competitive level. It tells you there's no need to learn the distinctions between warriors, because you just need to pick any warrior and you'll keep progressing. The game rewards you for not caring about the subtleties in the roles.

Actually they changed the Specialist Icon in the patch Medivh was added exactly because of that discussion that Specialist = Sieger. And they actually updated the Specialist description to something more or less like "Masters of unconventional warfare." I actually love the idea of dividing Heroes into classes because it makes easier for people to pick them up, but, like the article discussed, it brings that problem where people pick D.Va or Sonya as the solo Warrior and expect to tank. Blizzard is always reviewing classes and they do plan to update HotS this year and actually dissect all classes into subclasses and try to solve this never-ending discussion; so we'll have Warriors divided into Bruisers and Tanks, etc.

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When I played League, even in Bronze people understood what heroes could Jungle, what went in the Carry role, what lane to go to, etc.In HOTS most people don't even call their roles at the start of a lobby. That was even commonplace in every unranked draft lobby in League. Even at higher ranks, players in HOTS do not understand the importance of the draft, and they've been taught since their first matches not to care.

The problem with comparing LoL with HotS is that the majority LoL playerbase came from DotA, where all the technical terms of Jungler, Siegers, Carry, etc. was consolidated. HotS is way more casual friendly as opposed to the "hardcore" seen in LoL/DotA (not to mention the toxicity in both playerbases). If anything, HotS should have an expanded section in the Tutorial and even a glossary in the game where it teaches all those unofficial lingo. The problem is that people hate tutorials and reading, so there is another problem.

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The progression system would have to be completely overhauled if Quick Match were to be removed from the game.

Not only the progression system, but the entire accessibility for casual play. Not everyone want to play Ranked and spend time drafting. If anything, I feel that Quick Match helps you to grasp the concept of the Hero you want to play, because in Ranked you don't always get to play what you want because said Hero is either banned or you're forced to pick something else needed for that moment. So in the end Quick Match is the perfect "playing ground" to polish the your skills using specific Heroes to deal against pretty much any matchup.

Also, in the entire article he builds his arguments based on solo queueing, which bring valid points, but the goal of Heroes of the Storm is ultimately for players to build groups with their friends and create viable team compositions. And Heroes of the Storm does a pretty good job to motivate players to play with friends. There's the "Invite a Friend" system where you get mounts, bonus XP and unlock Sylvanas for free. There's the bonus XP when grouped and/or with someone from the Friend List. If you solo queue, either on Quick Match or Ranked, you're gonna have a bad time.

Heroes of the Storm is still on baby steps with roughly 2 to 3 years, and Blizzard is trying their best to make the game distinct from their competitors, namely LoL and DotA. They keep experimenting and trying new routes to avoid falling in the same ground to the other MOBAs, which I think it's great.

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On 12/1/2018 at 1:41 PM, Valhalen said:

Pretty nice article, with good and valid points, however, I'd like to point out some things quoting his article:

I don't think that's entirely true because it is easy to realize, with practice, that not every Hero work on every map. A prime example is Tomb of the Spider Queen, where Heroes with strong waveclear and/or scouting abilities really shine. By learning through the experiences in QM you realize that. For new players, I think it does teach well, and is less intimidating than in drafting modes.

Well, yes. I completely agree with that. If anything, they should add a system similar to Overwatch where it points out that the team is missing a tank or a support. This is already present in the Brawl select screen, but would be nice to see in other modes.

Actually they changed the Specialist Icon in the patch Medivh was added exactly because of that discussion that Specialist = Sieger. And they actually updated the Specialist description to something more or less like "Masters of unconventional warfare." I actually love the idea of dividing Heroes into classes because it makes easier for people to pick them up, but, like the article discussed, it brings that problem where people pick D.Va or Sonya as the solo Warrior and expect to tank. Blizzard is always reviewing classes and they do plan to update HotS this year and actually dissect all classes into subclasses and try to solve this never-ending discussion; so we'll have Warriors divided into Bruisers and Tanks, etc.

The problem with comparing LoL with HotS is that the majority LoL playerbase came from DotA, where all the technical terms of Jungler, Siegers, Carry, etc. was consolidated. HotS is way more casual friendly as opposed to the "hardcore" seen in LoL/DotA (not to mention the toxicity in both playerbases). If anything, HotS should have an expanded section in the Tutorial and even a glossary in the game where it teaches all those unofficial lingo. The problem is that people hate tutorials and reading, so there is another problem.

Not only the progression system, but the entire accessibility for casual play. Not everyone want to play Ranked and spend time drafting. If anything, I feel that Quick Match helps you to grasp the concept of the Hero you want to play, because in Ranked you don't always get to play what you want because said Hero is either banned or you're forced to pick something else needed for that moment. So in the end Quick Match is the perfect "playing ground" to polish the your skills using specific Heroes to deal against pretty much any matchup.

Also, in the entire article he builds his arguments based on solo queueing, which bring valid points, but the goal of Heroes of the Storm is ultimately for players to build groups with their friends and create viable team compositions. And Heroes of the Storm does a pretty good job to motivate players to play with friends. There's the "Invite a Friend" system where you get mounts, bonus XP and unlock Sylvanas for free. There's the bonus XP when grouped and/or with someone from the Friend List. If you solo queue, either on Quick Match or Ranked, you're gonna have a bad time.

Heroes of the Storm is still on baby steps with roughly 2 to 3 years, and Blizzard is trying their best to make the game distinct from their competitors, namely LoL and DotA. They keep experimenting and trying new routes to avoid falling in the same ground to the other MOBAs, which I think it's great.

The QM system doesn't teach you what heroes are good in certain maps and why. You may figure out these things in time, but if you were to continue playing solely QM (what many HotS players do), you effectively rendered your own experiences moot because in QM you do not get to choose the map you're going to play on. You're just assigned a random map. So, what's the point of learning what heroes are good in what maps, and why? In QM you'll never put it to good use anyway.

Most heroes can be played in most maps anyway, but some are played in different ways depending on the map. Some can be played the same way in different maps but differently depending on your team composition perhaps. Some might be unpractical with certain allies, like Abathur with Cho'Gall. You might find that hardly working in some maps and in some others not working at all because your team is essentially cut down by 2 heroes.

Drafting is not a waste of time, it is something that can make or break the match for you. If you outdraft severely an opponent team and you know how to play your heroes then you have basically won the match before it even started. In QM, you are at the mercy of RNGjesus on that regard.

I'm not even entirely sure if Dota 2 or LoL promote more toxicity among players than HotS does, in fact it's probably the opposite. With QM having no regards for strategic hero picks or team compositions, players do act very selfishly. They can and will blame the game if it randomly assigned them a map their heroes are not good with. Their allies, who have more competent heroes but are nonetheless being "dragged into defeat" because of their teammate's own inability to contribute to good play will blame them in turn. In the insult wars that ensue, no one is right and yet no one is wrong. If players cannot tell they're wrong, and why, it's naive to ask of them to make any efforts to improve. The cycle of hatred between teammates and incompetence at playing properly is thus only preserved.

Unranked is equally accessible for "casual playing" and the whole point of having a requisite of 14 heroes at level 5 before being able to play Ranked modes is just so that players have a decent pool of heroes they can play decently with.

Edited by Leadblast

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I just want to comment I've seen a weird balance of sorts in QM games as of late, I've had several Quick Matches where neither team had warriors at all, or neither team had supports and the teams looked roughly equivalent (like each team having 2 assassins, 1 mage and 1 physical). I know I've seen teams less balanced in that regard before, like 1 team having a support, 2 assassins and 2 warriors while the other team had 4 assassins and 1 push specialist, or very rarely 5 assassins, so it may seem that they improved their algorithm for grouping players into a game. 

On the other hand, I've also seen sometimes gross differences between estimated times for queuing and actual queue times... so perhaps they achieved one thing at the cost of the other.

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13 hours ago, Leadblast said:

I just want to comment I've seen a weird balance of sorts in QM games as of late, I've had several Quick Matches where neither team had warriors at all, or neither team had supports and the teams looked roughly equivalent (like each team having 2 assassins, 1 mage and 1 physical). I know I've seen teams less balanced in that regard before, like 1 team having a support, 2 assassins and 2 warriors while the other team had 4 assassins and 1 push specialist, or very rarely 5 assassins, so it may seem that they improved their algorithm for grouping players into a game. 

On the other hand, I've also seen sometimes gross differences between estimated times for queuing and actual queue times... so perhaps they achieved one thing at the cost of the other.

That is something Blizzard implemented with the 2.0 update: the game will always try to match similar teams. So, for example, if you queue with 2 healers, the game will try to find a team that features 2 healers. It is even as complex as you described, by trying to match types of Assassins (physical and magical damage), as well Bruisers (so if Sonya is the only Warrior in the team, chances you'll find a team with Zarya or D.Va are higher).

But yes, the queue time tends to be high sometimes, especially if you're with an unorthodox comp (like 5 healers or more than 1 Specialist).

Edited by Valhalen

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Quick match teaches you which characters need to or even can adapt, which combos you might bot have considered could work and often times which combos you automatically assume would lose can still win.

Half the matches where people say certain comps is GG right off the start turn out to win. So I think QM is a nice education tool and more entertaining at times than ranked can ever be. 

It can still be painful having so many specialists vs a balanced team, but I think many people forget that specialists can zone control and level pretty well. Layered together and they can push hard while staying out of range. As an obsessive Abathur player, QM lets me adapt talents and my role based on map and comp.

I often find myself as the healer, sometimes damage dealer, sometimes wave clear, and more recently trying to call out moves due to my larger vision. A couple weeks ago I was mostly content to just act as a more mobile Gall. So QM does help.

It encourages you to take chances and try new biilds without feeling the pressure of ranked.

Edited by Morcalivan
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One weird thing I notice with the way Quickmatch handles matchmaking, is the way is distributes damage dealers. More often than not, I see them stick all the specialists on one team, and all the assassins on the other. If there's 3 specialists and 3 assassins in a game, you'd think it would at least try to give each team a little bit of both. Instead it just tends to put all 3 specialists on one side, and all 3 assassins on the other.

Outside of that, it's pretty good. It knows the difference between a bruiser and a tank, and it knows the difference between a primary and a secondary support (it considers Ana a primary support). It even makes sure to distribute stealth heroes evenly. Once you play enough, you start to see what category certain heroes fall into in the game's matchmaking. Like if you pick Tyrande, you'll almost certainly be matched against another Tyrande, Abathur, Medivh, Tassadar, or Zarya.

Edited by PrivateJoker

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11 hours ago, Valhalen said:

That is something Blizzard implemented with the 2.0 update: the game will always try to match similar teams. So, for example, if you queue with 2 healers, the game will try to find a team that features 2 healers. It is even as complex as you described, by trying to match types of Assassins (physical and magical damage), as well Bruisers (so if Sonya is the only Warrior in the team, chances you'll find a team with Zarya or D.Va are higher).

But yes, the queue time tends to be high sometimes, especially if you're with an unorthodox comp (like 5 healers or more than 1 Specialist).

No, I think this was implemented much more recently, definitely much more recent than the launch of 2.0. In fact, I still see sometimes a game where one of the teams has a support and the other doesn't, but that's extremely rare now.

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8 hours ago, Leadblast said:

No, I think this was implemented much more recently, definitely much more recent than the launch of 2.0. In fact, I still see sometimes a game where one of the teams has a support and the other doesn't, but that's extremely rare now.

It was added in 2.0. They even highlighted it in the Development Video. However, maybe they keep tweaking it to offer a better experience.

What can happen, however, is one team having a Support like Tyrande or Tassadar, and the other doesn't have any Supports. In the matchmaking they're not classified as "True Supports" (aka "Healer") and are treated as something separate, by the system.

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I find Tyrande and Tassadar opposite me when I play Abathur, having to play healer as Abathur as a result of no support. And I don't think they know warriors at all. Will iften face a three warrior team with just one, or a team with a warrior and one gets none.

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15 hours ago, Valhalen said:

It was added in 2.0. They even highlighted it in the Development Video. However, maybe they keep tweaking it to offer a better experience.

What can happen, however, is one team having a Support like Tyrande or Tassadar, and the other doesn't have any Supports. In the matchmaking they're not classified as "True Supports" (aka "Healer") and are treated as something separate, by the system.

This new "QM team balance algorithm" wasn't added in 2.0. Only 1-2 months ago I was still seeing horribly balanced team matchups. Also the queue times were far shorter. Just now the balance is much better, but the queues are much longer in return. They refined this very recently. If there was a video, I didn't even see it, but they may as well have done nothing meaningful back then. It felt like there was no team balance whatsoever only a few months ago.

Also Tyrande is definitely a healer, albeit a poor one unlike Tassadar.

Edited by Leadblast

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3 hours ago, Leadblast said:

Also Tyrande is definitely a healer, albeit a poor one unlike Tassadar.

Yes, but the matchmaking doesn't classify her as a "Pure Healer", so she'll never be matched against Lt. Morales by the system, for example. Only against Tassadar and Medivh (who is also not classified as a "Specialist" by the matchmaking system).

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