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Legend Matchmaking Update for July 2018

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The Hearthstone team has decided to address the community's concerns about matchmaking between Legend and non-Legend players.

Something weird has been going on this month in the higher spectrum of the Ranked Ladder. Players on Legend that have a very low rank (1000+) - also known as the dumpster tier - are much more likely to encounter players from non-Legend ranks 1 to 5 than other Legend players from the dumpster tier. And it has been noticed that even better ranked Legend players can also face off against the occasional non-Legend adversary.

What's more, a Legend player losing to a non-Legend one results in the former dropping hundreds of ranks further into the dumpster tier, while winning only gives a boost of 10-50 ranks. Climbing up requires a ridiculous winrate percentage.

Team 5 has reassured that no changes have been made to matchmaking ever since the March 2018 update. They admit that the problem lies in the inflation of Legend ranks: more players in Legend equals more players with lower MMR achieving that nice golden portrait on the left of their names. This means that these Legend players can have a lower MMR than some skilled non-Legend players trying to climb the ladder. This is the cause of the matchmaking issues.

To counter that, from the July 2018 Ranked Season players Legend players will face off against non-Legend ones only if they have lost "significantly more games" (typical Blizzard vague phrasing). Speaking of typical Blizzard things, we also have an announcement of an announcement about additional changes to Ranked Play coming later this year.

Blizzard LogoJesse Hill

Greetings everyone!

Some players have been raising concerns that matchmaking at Legend ranks isn’t working properly. Please rest assured that we have not changed the matchmaking calculations since our 10.2 update. However, the Ranked Play update from 10.2 did result in an increased number of people reaching Legend, and their matchmaking values being much closer together.

With a tighter distribution of matchmaking ratings, losing games at lower Legend ranks can result in a matchmaking rating significantly worse than non-Legend players. Once a Legend player has a low matchmaking rating, it can become difficult for them to gain ranks.

Ranked Play is very important to us, and we’ve been watching this situation very closely as it has evolved since March. To help improve the Legend rank experience, we are changing how Legend players get matched against non-Legend players, starting with our July Ranked Play Season. With that change, Legend players will have to lose significantly more games before matching against a non-Legend player.

Additional changes to Ranked Play will be coming later this year, and those should also help to improve the experience. We’ll provide more details when those features are closer to release.

Thanks for your continued support of Hearthstone, and we’ll see you in the Tavern.


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So after months ppl complained about that issue they finally inform us about it? lol

But it's good they communicate with the players. Also I understand they are more concerned about the legend players because this goes into tournaments which means events that bring money but they should still do something about the lower ranks, it's still very unfriendly. Well the whole ranked system is a mess imo 😄 

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I hit Legend in standard very early this season and since only played standard again today. My rank had fallen from about 250 to about 1500 (still not sure I’d say that’s in the dumpster zone given that I finished April season well over 20000 after messing around with decks). But anyway, I played 4 games today for a quest and two of those were against rank 1s which seemed rather odd.

What I don’t get is why losing against non-Legend should lose you more rank than winning gains you, if their MMR is similar to yours this shouldn’t be the case. Though 3-1 with the loss to a rank 1 still took me to about 1200, so the loss to the rank 1 wasn’t particularly damaging in my case there.

I don’t really see much issue with playing non-Legend players if it’s done with MMR properly. 

I do however feel the MMR system itself isn’t very good. Firstly it’s way too volatile; my highest finishes generally have come after stopping after a crazy 12-1 type run. I feel it should ‘remember’ past games longer. Jumping from 1500 to 1200 after going 3-1 at the end of the season seems too big to me. A 3-1 run after your first 10 games should have a much bigger impact on your MMR then, than a 3-1 run after you’ve played 200 games. Also I feel playing people with much lower MMR in the long run loses you MMR (making playing at high Legend during quiet hours a risky plan), and with a good ranking system this shouldn’t happen.

Edited by Bozonik

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2 hours ago, Synesthesy said:

I have never gone to legend, so it doesn't matter to me 🙂

Sadly 😢

Its just a big fat grind. Less so with the new rules, but still.

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