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Blizzard to introduce Performance-based Matchmaking in Heroes of the Storm

Reworked Stealth mechanics isn’t the only big change coming to Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm, as the company has announced that they will introduce performance-based matchmaking HotS competitive mode. This move should make a player’s matchmaking rating (MMR) more accurate in reflecting their skill level.

Right now, MMR in HotS is calculated solely by a player’s win-loss each game; when a player wins, he/she gains MMR and vice versa. The only other variable is the comparative skill of a player’s team and the enemy team; for example when a player’s team wins against a higher MMR team, the team gets a bigger MMR gain. The system adjusts the MMR gained or lost depending on the difference between rating of each team.

While this system works in theory, in practice it takes a significant amount of games for an average player to reach the right MMR for their true skill level. Blizzard is looking to streamline the process with performance-based matchmaking.

With performance-based matchmaking, the MMR gain/loss will now factor in the hero, battleground, game mode, and even region that the player is playing at. It will also factor in how well the player performs in a single match. Though this doesn’t mean that a player can gain MMR when a match is lost, as MMR gain and loss is still primarily based on the outcome of a game.

In theory, this system should give a more accurate MMR for players over a shorter period of time. This system is already being used in Blizzard’s hero-shooter Overwatch, though there might be some issues with the system. One such issue is that it might limit players to a rigid play-style for each hero to gain MMR. Another is that players might just focus on certain stats during gameplay (such as kills for Assassin heroes or damage taken for Tanks).

Blizzard is well aware of the issues that may plague performance-based matchmaking in HotS, and they are anticipating these concerns once the update goes live. The current release plan for performance-based matchmaking is on December, though no actual patch date is confirmed as of the moment.