There's bad matchmaking, and then there's this

Bad matchmaking in rated battlegrounds is something that people have moaned about at length in the past, including myself, but it's actually been a while since I've had any major problems with the system. The devs seem to have found a good way to make it work.

Last night however, it bugged out on us big time.

If you can't be bothered to look at the screenshot in detail, basically our team with a matchmaking value of 1842 got pitted against a team with a value of 2702. Yikes! Lending more credibility to the theory that this was a glitch instead of a major flaw with the system was the fact that their character and server names all showed up as "???". One of our team mates claimed to have found out their names at the end and said that they were one of the top rated teams in the EU. I can believe it.

It's quite amazing just how much of a difference skill can make. (Yes, they had much better gear too, but still...) We rode into battle to face them regardless of the odds, and they just wiped us out with seemingly no effort at all and then proceeded to graveyard camp us while their feral druid quickly capped the flag three times. All in all, the whole affair barely took five minutes, and unsurprisingly, neither team gained or lost any points. A pointless game in the most literal sense of the word.

At least we got a good laugh out of it. Our team leader, a feral druid, was particularly proud as he managed to give the graveyard camping team the slip once, snuck up on their flag carrier, and apparently managed to get him to half health before the rest of the team showed up to obliterate him. He sounded quite chuffed when he told us that one of them gave him an /applaud emote before he died.

Personally I was just grateful that they made it quick.


  1. Judging by the ???s in their names it could be a Russian guild.

  2. That's what some members of our team guessed as well.

  3. I watch a fair number of PvP streams, one in particular (Ohriginal) is for a 2800 team, and I've seen this happen before. Usually what happens is their team will sit in the queue for 45 minutes waiting to be matched up with another 2800 team (of which there are few, as you might imagine), and eventually they'll just be thrown into a match against a team that is in no way able to compete.

    Looking at it from the other side of the coin, these matches are no more enjoyable for the 2800 team than it is for you. They've been sitting around waiting for their queue to pop for a good half hour or more, only to be matched up with a team that is basically just a yawnfest for them. They've been sitting there waiting for a challenge (because let's face it, if you're playing at a 2800 level, you do it for the fun of being challenged, not just to farm wins all night), and are met with a team that, to them at least, seems not to know their ass from their elbow.

    The problem isn't just the MMR system, though it's certainly an imperfect system. I've seen multiple high-ranked teams have to coordinate on the official forums when they plan to play, just so they know they'll queue into a team on their level, rather than have matches like this happen. The problem is also that there just aren't that many for them to queue into, so it defaults to lower-ranked teams just so they have a chance to do something other than stare at the screen waiting.

    Honestly, what needs to happen is that teams not be able to queue into teams with a difference in MMR greater than 200-500 points at all, and if there are no eligible teams to queue into at your ranking, an alert needs to pop up in a timely matter telling the players so--something like "There are no teams available within your ranking, please try again later" and be removed from the queue.

  4. Oh, I have no doubt that the other team wasn't happy with this match either! Which is why it was in their interest to get it over with as quickly as possible as well.

    Interesting idea for the queueing system... the problem is, someone needs to be the first team to sit there and "be available". Also, wouldn't "trying again later" just result in a lot of requeueing with wait times staying the same?

  5. They just had their PvP equivalent of LFR. :)