How Arena Matchmaking Works in Hearthstone - Games Decided on Skill & Tracking Of A Skill Rating

 

How Arena Matchmaking Works in Hearthstone - Games Decided on Skill & Tracking Of A Skill Rating

Dean "Iksar" Ayala was called into a twitter thread and went on to make some interesting statements about how Matchmaking works in Arena, how games are decided almost entirely by skill level of the players involved and how Blizzard are apparently tracking a "skill" rating (though they don't use it for anything outside Data tracking).


This discussion started off with a conversation between Celestalon and a twitter user named Judge, about Arena matchmaking occasionaly matchmaking people with 0 losses against people with 2 losses, but within usually within an overal record that made the difference only 1 loss. Example records that were given: 0-0 vs. 1-2, 4-2 vs. 3-0, 8-2 vs 8-0. The contention being that these differences between 0 loss decks and 2 loss decks were often quite lopsided.

At that point Iksar entered the conversation, and made some interesting comments about the way matchmaking works.

All records (0-2 --> 11-0) are assigned a value and are then matchmade by that value. This isn't exactly correct, but it looks something like this:

0-2 = -10
1-2 = -9
0-1 = -8
etc
etc

The order of records and distance between records is some complex table. Basically we have enough data at this point to understand how well a 2-0 performs vs a 2-1 or an 8-2 performs vs a 0-0 on average.

And just like other matchmade modes, the matchmaker looks for an opponent with an identical value, then after X time extends the search parameters a small amount and repeats that process until a match is found.

Contrary to popular belief, match outcomes are decided almost entirely by the skill level of the players involved. We know this because we track a skill rating as well we just don't use it for anything outside of data tracking.

The conversation went on about the differences between 0 loss decks and 2 loss decks, with twitter users maintaining that it feels bad and Dean Ayala maintaining that it isn't worth the neglibible difference in match quality to prolong wait times in queue for Arena.

So, what are your thoughts on the matter? And what do you think your hidden skill rating is? Join us for the conversation in the comments!

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