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Max Hobberman on the failure of Modern SBMM (Gaming)

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, November 25, 2023, 07:35 (238 days ago)

https://nitter.net/MaxHoberman/status/1726560291641786707

tl;dr:

-Halo had different algorithms for ranked and unranked.
-Ranked did not always try to make teams even every time. That makes every game stressful. It was a mix of even, letting you stomp, and letting you be stomped.
-Modern SBMM prioritizes even matching too much, so players are constantly exhausted and sweaty.
-Unranked never factored in skill when matching, since it didn't matter and you'd just get a wide mix of skills for inconsequential fun.
-Overall, segregating players rigidly by skill is bad and hurts those on both sides of the bell curve, and makes matching take longer than it should.

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Max Hobberman on the failure of Modern SBMM

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Saturday, November 25, 2023, 16:26 (238 days ago) @ Cody Miller

https://nitter.net/MaxHoberman/status/1726560291641786707

tl;dr:

-Halo had different algorithms for ranked and unranked.
-Ranked did not always try to make teams even every time. That makes every game stressful. It was a mix of even, letting you stomp, and letting you be stomped.
-Modern SBMM prioritizes even matching too much, so players are constantly exhausted and sweaty.
-Unranked never factored in skill when matching, since it didn't matter and you'd just get a wide mix of skills for inconsequential fun.
-Overall, segregating players rigidly by skill is bad and hurts those on both sides of the bell curve, and makes matching take longer than it should.

Every bit of that sounds reasonable to me.

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He has a chance to prove it:

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, November 25, 2023, 17:48 (238 days ago) @ Kermit

"Speaking during an interview, Max Hoberman, founder and CEO of Certain Affinity, revealed that the studio currently has 3 major projects in development, the biggest of which involves its continued partnership with 343 Industries, likely referring to the rumored new Halo title. He said that he could not go into details regarding this project at this point in time."

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Cool, thanks for posting!

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Saturday, November 25, 2023, 18:19 (238 days ago) @ cheapLEY

- No text -

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Max Hobberman on the failure of Modern SBMM

by Schooly D, TSD Gaming Condo, TX, Sunday, November 26, 2023, 06:38 (237 days ago) @ Cody Miller

https://nitter.net/MaxHoberman/status/1726560291641786707

tl;dr:

-Halo had different algorithms for ranked and unranked.
-Ranked did not always try to make teams even every time. That makes every game stressful. It was a mix of even, letting you stomp, and letting you be stomped.
-Modern SBMM prioritizes even matching too much, so players are constantly exhausted and sweaty.
-Unranked never factored in skill when matching, since it didn't matter and you'd just get a wide mix of skills for inconsequential fun.
-Overall, segregating players rigidly by skill is bad and hurts those on both sides of the bell curve, and makes matching take longer than it should.

Have any games with SBMM tried offering "odds" visible to both teams before the start of the match? If the matching engine decides it will let you get stomped next game, it'd be nice and reduce frustration if beforehand it told you "look these guys are killers and you don't stand a chance, just have fun out there."

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Max Hobberman on the failure of Modern SBMM

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, November 26, 2023, 09:12 (237 days ago) @ Schooly D

https://nitter.net/MaxHoberman/status/1726560291641786707

tl;dr:

-Halo had different algorithms for ranked and unranked.
-Ranked did not always try to make teams even every time. That makes every game stressful. It was a mix of even, letting you stomp, and letting you be stomped.
-Modern SBMM prioritizes even matching too much, so players are constantly exhausted and sweaty.
-Unranked never factored in skill when matching, since it didn't matter and you'd just get a wide mix of skills for inconsequential fun.
-Overall, segregating players rigidly by skill is bad and hurts those on both sides of the bell curve, and makes matching take longer than it should.


Have any games with SBMM tried offering "odds" visible to both teams before the start of the match? If the matching engine decides it will let you get stomped next game, it'd be nice and reduce frustration if beforehand it told you "look these guys are killers and you don't stand a chance, just have fun out there."

Don't you find that out about 30 seconds into the match?

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Max Hobberman on the failure of Modern SBMM

by Schooly D, TSD Gaming Condo, TX, Sunday, November 26, 2023, 09:22 (237 days ago) @ Cody Miller

https://nitter.net/MaxHoberman/status/1726560291641786707

tl;dr:

-Halo had different algorithms for ranked and unranked.
-Ranked did not always try to make teams even every time. That makes every game stressful. It was a mix of even, letting you stomp, and letting you be stomped.
-Modern SBMM prioritizes even matching too much, so players are constantly exhausted and sweaty.
-Unranked never factored in skill when matching, since it didn't matter and you'd just get a wide mix of skills for inconsequential fun.
-Overall, segregating players rigidly by skill is bad and hurts those on both sides of the bell curve, and makes matching take longer than it should.


Have any games with SBMM tried offering "odds" visible to both teams before the start of the match? If the matching engine decides it will let you get stomped next game, it'd be nice and reduce frustration if beforehand it told you "look these guys are killers and you don't stand a chance, just have fun out there."


Don't you find that out about 30 seconds into the match?

Usually, but not always. Sometimes it can take longer just due to the vagaries of spawn locations, key kills that allow a team to control power weapons or locations, etc. But even if the skill mismatch becomes obvious quickly, I think some kind of admission of intent on the part of the game would alleviate much of the frustration on the part of the stomp-ee.

Avatar

Max Hobberman on the failure of Modern SBMM

by cheapLEY @, Sunday, November 26, 2023, 10:15 (237 days ago) @ Schooly D

https://nitter.net/MaxHoberman/status/1726560291641786707

tl;dr:

-Halo had different algorithms for ranked and unranked.
-Ranked did not always try to make teams even every time. That makes every game stressful. It was a mix of even, letting you stomp, and letting you be stomped.
-Modern SBMM prioritizes even matching too much, so players are constantly exhausted and sweaty.
-Unranked never factored in skill when matching, since it didn't matter and you'd just get a wide mix of skills for inconsequential fun.
-Overall, segregating players rigidly by skill is bad and hurts those on both sides of the bell curve, and makes matching take longer than it should.


Have any games with SBMM tried offering "odds" visible to both teams before the start of the match? If the matching engine decides it will let you get stomped next game, it'd be nice and reduce frustration if beforehand it told you "look these guys are killers and you don't stand a chance, just have fun out there."


Don't you find that out about 30 seconds into the match?


Usually, but not always. Sometimes it can take longer just due to the vagaries of spawn locations, key kills that allow a team to control power weapons or locations, etc. But even if the skill mismatch becomes obvious quickly, I think some kind of admission of intent on the part of the game would alleviate much of the frustration on the part of the stomp-ee.

It would also ruin a lot. I’ve been in some incredible come back matches that probably wouldn’t have happened if everyone on my team knew the game predicted virtually no way for us to win the match. I don’t know what the threshold is, but I bet you’d see people leave matches immediately if they were predicted to lose.

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Max Hobberman on the failure of Modern SBMM

by Schooly D, TSD Gaming Condo, TX, Sunday, November 26, 2023, 10:57 (237 days ago) @ cheapLEY

https://nitter.net/MaxHoberman/status/1726560291641786707

tl;dr:

-Halo had different algorithms for ranked and unranked.
-Ranked did not always try to make teams even every time. That makes every game stressful. It was a mix of even, letting you stomp, and letting you be stomped.
-Modern SBMM prioritizes even matching too much, so players are constantly exhausted and sweaty.
-Unranked never factored in skill when matching, since it didn't matter and you'd just get a wide mix of skills for inconsequential fun.
-Overall, segregating players rigidly by skill is bad and hurts those on both sides of the bell curve, and makes matching take longer than it should.


Have any games with SBMM tried offering "odds" visible to both teams before the start of the match? If the matching engine decides it will let you get stomped next game, it'd be nice and reduce frustration if beforehand it told you "look these guys are killers and you don't stand a chance, just have fun out there."


Don't you find that out about 30 seconds into the match?


Usually, but not always. Sometimes it can take longer just due to the vagaries of spawn locations, key kills that allow a team to control power weapons or locations, etc. But even if the skill mismatch becomes obvious quickly, I think some kind of admission of intent on the part of the game would alleviate much of the frustration on the part of the stomp-ee.


It would also ruin a lot. I’ve been in some incredible come back matches that probably wouldn’t have happened if everyone on my team knew the game predicted virtually no way for us to win the match.

Conversely you'd also create some great moments when you manage to eek out a win against a team that was predicted to stomp you.

I don’t know what the threshold is, but I bet you’d see people leave matches immediately if they were predicted to lose.

This is easily remedied by enforcing penalties for quitting and making those penalties known.

What I'm suggesting isn't exotic. In fact it's commonplace in other settings. When you play chess online right from the start of a match you can see your opponent's rating. While the "odds" aren't often displayed as such, the math to calculate your chances of winning given an ELO spread is easily available.

Increasingly the NFL and other major sports are integrating real-time odds into their score boxes and displays.

[image]

And of course sports gambling odds have been in existence for as long as people have gambled on sports.

My worry would actually be that the developers would occasionally intentionally fudge this prediction metric to artificially create the "wow underdawgz" moments I mentioned earlier. I have this beef with some of the fantasy football providers which seem to give suspicious predictions. Team A has this game in the bag. 95% chance of winning, done deal. The only POSSIBLE way Team B could come back is if their remaining player slightly overperforms their initial projection. (moments later) WOW AMAZING INCREDIBLE TEAM B WINS

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Max Hobberman on the failure of Modern SBMM

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, November 26, 2023, 16:28 (237 days ago) @ Schooly D

https://nitter.net/MaxHoberman/status/1726560291641786707

tl;dr:

-Halo had different algorithms for ranked and unranked.
-Ranked did not always try to make teams even every time. That makes every game stressful. It was a mix of even, letting you stomp, and letting you be stomped.
-Modern SBMM prioritizes even matching too much, so players are constantly exhausted and sweaty.
-Unranked never factored in skill when matching, since it didn't matter and you'd just get a wide mix of skills for inconsequential fun.
-Overall, segregating players rigidly by skill is bad and hurts those on both sides of the bell curve, and makes matching take longer than it should.


Have any games with SBMM tried offering "odds" visible to both teams before the start of the match? If the matching engine decides it will let you get stomped next game, it'd be nice and reduce frustration if beforehand it told you "look these guys are killers and you don't stand a chance, just have fun out there."


Don't you find that out about 30 seconds into the match?


Usually, but not always. Sometimes it can take longer just due to the vagaries of spawn locations, key kills that allow a team to control power weapons or locations, etc. But even if the skill mismatch becomes obvious quickly, I think some kind of admission of intent on the part of the game would alleviate much of the frustration on the part of the stomp-ee.

I'm going to lean on the side of this making things worse. If you advertise that it purposely put you against a better group, you'll be upset. But if you think it's fair and the team just played well, then you won't be.

The more info about rank and skill that is hidden from the player the better. Let them focus on playing the game. The point is nobody would complain if you have fun in most matches, and a mix of outcomes achieves that best.

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Max Hobberman on the failure of Modern SBMM

by Schooly D, TSD Gaming Condo, TX, Sunday, November 26, 2023, 17:53 (237 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I'm going to lean on the side of this making things worse. If you advertise that it purposely put you against a better group, you'll be upset. But if you think it's fair and the team just played well, then you won't be.

You have a good point *if* each win or loss affects your "power level" equally. But can't it be ameliorated if, as I suspect, getting stomped when you're expected to get stomped wouldn't ding your level as much as losing a match you're favored to win? Advertise the stakes: "The other team is heavily favored to win this match. Big upside, small downside."

I don't think this necessitates displaying raw numbers to the player. E.g. "your team's SBMM is 7225, the other team's is 9199, you have a 13.45% chance of winning this match, if you win your team's SBMM will increase by 190..." That might just stress people out. But there is probably a way to present the underlying mechanics and expectations in an intuitive way that lessens the sting when you get rolled. It'd also enhance the players' trust that the SBMM engine is behaving as intended, and it's not that you got rolled because the MM engine screwed up or made a bad calculation.

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Max Hobberman on the failure of Modern SBMM

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Sunday, November 26, 2023, 19:23 (237 days ago) @ Cody Miller

This:


The more info about rank and skill that is hidden from the player the better. Let them focus on playing the game. The point is nobody would complain if you have fun in most matches, and a mix of outcomes achieves that best.

You get it, Cody. Variability is what humans find compelling. Fun is a bigger goal than winning. I'm not super-competitive, so I couldn't care less about "ameliorating the sting." All I can say is, Max's explanation was enlightening. I now better understand why I played enjoyed thousands of PVP matches in Halo 2, and haven't enjoyed or played PVP as much since.

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Compromise

by bluerunner @, Music City, Monday, November 27, 2023, 14:47 (236 days ago) @ Kermit

Display it after the game. That way you can see if you beat a team that was ranked higher, or can at least shrug at your loss because you then see that they're higher ranked. It's also incentive to stay in the game, versus bailing because you see up front you're going to probably get beat

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Compromise

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Monday, November 27, 2023, 15:52 (236 days ago) @ bluerunner

Display it after the game. That way you can see if you beat a team that was ranked higher, or can at least shrug at your loss because you then see that they're higher ranked. It's also incentive to stay in the game, versus bailing because you see up front you're going to probably get beat

I guess. I don't want an explanation. We had a good game or we had a bad game or the other team did. And every now and then we have a really close game, which is cool.

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Max Hobberman on the failure of Modern SBMM

by squidnh3, Monday, November 27, 2023, 14:06 (236 days ago) @ Schooly D

Have any games with SBMM tried offering "odds" visible to both teams before the start of the match? If the matching engine decides it will let you get stomped next game, it'd be nice and reduce frustration if beforehand it told you "look these guys are killers and you don't stand a chance, just have fun out there."

Several people I've played Trials with look up the other team before playing on Trials Report, which gives you a pretty good idea who you are dealing with. I ask them not to tell me, I don't want to know. All it does it distract from playing your best, whether the other team is expected to be excellent or they seem like a pushover. Definitely don't want to know in-game (although before Bungie let you change your user name there was the "short name hypothesis", where the players with the shortest user names were usually the best).

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Max Hobberman on the failure of Modern SBMM

by kidtsunami @, Atlanta, GA, Monday, November 27, 2023, 14:09 (236 days ago) @ squidnh3

Have any games with SBMM tried offering "odds" visible to both teams before the start of the match? If the matching engine decides it will let you get stomped next game, it'd be nice and reduce frustration if beforehand it told you "look these guys are killers and you don't stand a chance, just have fun out there."


Several people I've played Trials with look up the other team before playing on Trials Report, which gives you a pretty good idea who you are dealing with. I ask them not to tell me, I don't want to know. All it does it distract from playing your best, whether the other team is expected to be excellent or they seem like a pushover. Definitely don't want to know in-game (although before Bungie let you change your user name there was the "short name hypothesis", where the players with the shortest user names were usually the best).

I've always played with people who report on who we're playing next.

Max Hobberman on the failure of Modern SBMM

by Claude Errera @, Monday, November 27, 2023, 14:22 (236 days ago) @ kidtsunami

Have any games with SBMM tried offering "odds" visible to both teams before the start of the match? If the matching engine decides it will let you get stomped next game, it'd be nice and reduce frustration if beforehand it told you "look these guys are killers and you don't stand a chance, just have fun out there."


Several people I've played Trials with look up the other team before playing on Trials Report, which gives you a pretty good idea who you are dealing with. I ask them not to tell me, I don't want to know. All it does it distract from playing your best, whether the other team is expected to be excellent or they seem like a pushover. Definitely don't want to know in-game (although before Bungie let you change your user name there was the "short name hypothesis", where the players with the shortest user names were usually the best).


I've always played with people who report on who we're playing next.

I like looking.

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