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Valve Unveils "Experimental" Dota 2 Matchmaking Update

A new patch came Dota 2's way yesterday as game studio Valve unveiled a new, "experimental" matchmaking update. This update will change the way players' matchmaking rating (MMR) is calculated, completely doing away with separate "solo" and "party" MMR's. The main goal of this patch is to put more focus on intra-team balance, player conduct, and abusive behaviors, along with other aspects of the matchmaking system in an effort to make the Dota 2 matchmaking experience more enjoyable for players of all levels.

via Dota 2/Valve

Matchmaking has been a hot topic across Valve's popular games, with most of the feedback being decidedly negative. Valve aims to change that with this Dota 2 patch, hoping to make the game more fun for its players. The previous matchmaking system separated the MMR received from solo queues and party queues. The solo MMR was considered to be the true representation of a player's skill, and, thus, held more weight than MMR received from a group queue. This system was met with some disapproval, as there was an incentive to play alone, as opposed to with your friends.

This new update completely rids the game of this system. Instead, it adopts a system that places more value on teamplay. In the patch announcement, the Dota Team states, "Dota is a very teamplay heavy game, and we want to consider that aspect a bit more strongly in the hierarchy of matchmaking values."

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The Dota Team goes on to explain the other major change to the matchmaking system, which is the addition of the "support" and "core" MMR. With the new update, before a matchmake begins, players will choose the roles they are willing to play. These roles range from Safe Lane Core to Hard Support, so players will be able to specify the positions they are most comfortable in before the game. "So if you like playing Mid or Offlane, you can select those two," states the Dota Team.

With this update, teams will be matched up in a more appropriate team composition. This change has been implemented to prevent players from being forced into a role they are uncomfortable with and will subsequently perform poorly in. The Dota Team states that this change should combat "volatility" caused by players being put in positions they don't want to play.

via Dota 2/Valve

The Dota Team is very clear that this is an experimental update, and it provides clarification that data received from this period will determine whether or not the changes will stay in the game. They expect to be making various changes to the matchmaking system in the future as they work to "increase matchmaking quality for everyone."

The Team also states that they will ask for community feedback on the update sometime after The International has concluded. These changes will remain in the game at least until the end of the season, so, hopefully, players will find satisfaction in these changes for a temporary period, if not beyond then.

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