Valve has released a huge update to its esports hit Dota 2, but rather than adding a new hero or changes to the game’s items or economy, this time, the update is concerning the game’s matchmaking, making some big changes as an experiment before the end of this season of ranked play.
In a blog post on the Dota 2 website, Valve announced some of the changes that they are making. One of the most controversial is that solo matchmaking rating (MMR) and party MMR are no longer separate, and are now one and the same. While Valve achknowlege
“We expect this to be the most controversial component in today’s update,” say Valve. “We can’t say that we are fully confident that this will end up being a good change either, so we’ll want to wait until the end of the season when we gather feedback and data on how it has played out after players have had a chance to absorb it.”
However, the change is designed to make it better to play with your friends. The current system, say Valve, disincentives play with your friends. Similarly, they say that as DOTA 2 is a game about teamplay, so the difference between playing as part of a stack of friends and with random players shouldn’t be all that much different.
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That’s not currently the way it is, with the mass of toxicity and regular arguments about who is going to play in which area of the map, but Valve are planning to spend the next year focussing on the play experience for DOTA 2 players at all levels, and are hoping to tackle the problems with matchmaking over the next few months.
However, the biggest change, at least externally, is that there is no more Ranked Role queue. Now, all queuing in ranked will be for different roles, meaning that when you drop into a game you’ll be assigned a role to play.
I’ve played a few games since the update went live, and it’s being a little rocky. At the moment, many people aren’t playing their assigned roles and are stil just playing whatever suits them. However, it’s only been a couple of days and players are getting used to a new, more rigid, approach to DOTA 2 matchmaking. Previously, matches in the game have a lot of offers, including junglers, roamers and a few other roles. These aren’t included, and the queues are instead for:: hard support, support, off-lane, mid-lane and safe-lane.
However, all of these changes are experimental, and we might see more changes before they go live permanently. “Sometime after The International concludes, we’ll issue a call for community feedback to help guide the next steps in our efforts to increase matchmaking quality for everyone.” add Valve.