Warcraft 3 Reforged Patch – MMR Balancing Update (COVID-19 Effects?)

On the 19th of May 2020, Blizzard launched an announcement and update for the Warcraft 3 Refored Matchmaking: On this page you can find all changes as a quick overview and the COVID-19 effects.This is not a typical patch, it’s a matchmaking adjustment for WC3 Reforged.

What’s new in the WC3 Reforged Matchmaking Update?

  • Less desyncs and broken games.
  • A lot of Bug fixes, that directly improve all of the past updates: The art, gameplay, system and features in the game like campaigns, custom games and the versus mode.
  • Changes of the overall matchmaking and explicit changes for 1on1, team games and FFA, which you can find below in detail.
  • A statement from Blizzard and great feedback for the future of WC3 Reforged.
  • Server adjustments and improvements to reduce the latency of Warcraft 3 Reforged ladder matches.
  • Find my opinion part about the changes, and an update about WC3 Reforged and COVID-19 at the bottom.

What are the Warcraft 3 Reforged Matchmaking Changes?

Blizzard stated that they are interested in improving the balancing of Warcraft 3 Reforged and therefore they adjust the matchmaking ELO algorithm. These changes will directly widen the gap between bad and good players, to increase the likeliness to play with same skilled players.

To be exact: If a Warcraft 3 Reforged player is crossing the 5000 MMR mark, he will be better than 50% of all players. The matchmaking and ladder system in the next patches (find Warcraft 3 Patch 1.32.6 here) will be based on this great foundation of a better matchmaking system. The changes will allow the classic game team to increase the strategy variety inside a meta.

Reforged ScreenshotBlizzard pointed out, that the balancing has to be improved in a way, that players are able to start the game with any WC3 hero. The pool of strong heroes is limited right now and needs to be fixed to increase the strategic variety of army and hero compositions. The changes will address high-level players and new players at the same time and will add depth to the game.

About the MMR: MMR stands for Matchmaking Rating, and the player’s skill is tracked using numerical representations to enable fair matches. The Warcraft 3 Reforged MMR is now better calculated: After a match, a player gets a number of points dependent on factors like winning chances and internal values like the “variance”, which allows making bigger MMR jumps. The variance is high with a low amount of games and will go down with more games on an account with a better and more confident estimation of the real skill.

What’s interesting is, that Warcraft 3 Reforged has a per-race MMR in all modes except arranged team matches, which allows more competitive matchmaking options. This opens up the possibility for players to try new races, without ruining the MMR of their main race.

Global Matchmaking: The global matchmaking for all modes is also new in Warcraft 3 Reforged. It allows players to play against the best WC3 players around the world. To solve the latency problems for this, servers have been improved.

How does the Update Change the Reforged Game Modes?

WC3 Reforged Game Modes Each game mode has different changes, let’s check them out:

  • Reforged 1on1 Changes:

    1on1 matches have always been the area where Warcraft 3 players can unleash their real skill potential in a very personal and individual way. The MMR restrictions and algorithmn for the 1on1 matches are very precise and stringent to allow the maximum amount of competition.
    High-level players will now face other high-level players in a better way, at the expense of higher queueing times.
    When searching a game you search with the 100% filter to find a perfect enemy if the player base is small and the queue times goes up, the filters will widen after time. Like that, you will always find a game (not like in the old Warcraft 3, where it said “try searching a game again” which was very frustrating).

  • Reforged Team Game Changes (2on2, 3on3, 4on4):

    Team games have to consider more factors since it’s not only about the individual skill and the performance of one player. In team games, the MMR needs more time and more games to evaluate a correct score compared to 1on1 matches.
    The system will mix you (in random team games) with players of different skill groups versus players of different skill groups until a good chance of correct evaluation is possible.

    Arranged Team Games MMR in Warcraft 3 Reforged:

    For arranged teams it’s different, this mode has a fixed single MMR value that is used against other players MMR.
    Arranged teams are completely tracked separately and have their own leaderboards. This MMR algorithm technique is very professional and allows you to play with friends of different MMR: Playing matches in arranged teams will not affect your race or overall MMR, which allows you to play with good and bad friends, without much discomfort.

    On top of that comes, that arranged teams can play vs random teams, which is absolutely new for Warcraft 3.
    Here the queue times are very long because the restrictions are high, but the queues also search for random team vs random team and arranged team vs arranged team matches to speed things up.
    As mentioned before, the longer you search a match, the lower the quality amount will be, to face an enemy with the same skill level – but it will reduce the queue time.

  • Reforged FFA Changes:

    Warcraft 3 Reforged FFA Game Mode
    FFA stands for “Free-for-All” and is the least played mode in Warcraft 3 Reforged, but everyone who plays it loves it! 😉
    Statistically playing FFA is a desaster: Your winning chances are 25% – why would you do that? But playing such games is highly challenging, it’s demanding and fun.

    In the past, the matchmaking system of FFA felt always inaccurate and just random…

    Time has changed, the FFA MMR algorithm has been completely redesigned:
    Warcraft 3 Reforged FFA now has a placement system from 1 to 4. The outcome of an FFA match has multiple components that get calculated to determine a players’ MMR for FFA.
    It’s not anymore just about losing and winning plus the win amount and the percentage: Now it’s a lot about placements, which I have to experience first to give more feedback about it.
    As Blizzard states, a placement system could potentially incentivize players to prolong games in unmannered ways, but they want to check how it works. On the opposite it’s great for any player in the game to 100% defeat an enemy, because it increases the MMR.

The Statement from Blizzard about the WC3 Reforged Process:

The Blizzard classic team that is working on Warcraft 3 Reforged made a statement for the world. Finally, some important opinions and plans are announced and clarified!

  • They said that it was a very challenging launch. Prioritizing during a burning WC3 world is awful, but they promise to plan smartly.
  • Blizzard WC3 Reforged TeamThe Blizzard classic team is evaluating and implementing the user feedback as good as possible.
  • They have put hard work into the game in the past month
  • As stated in their news post, they want to communicate more frequently (on that blog and in the forums) and share their roadmap for the future.
  • To answer all of the requests of the Warcraft 3 community, here is a quotation from Blizzard:

    “In parallel to these ongoing bug fixing efforts and balance updates, we’re also working to deliver features to the game, including Improved Matchmaking, Ranked Ladders, Profiles, Custom Campaigns, and Clans. While we’ve mentioned before that these features are in development, we wanted to start providing more details on the direction we’re taking with each, share some additional insights, and allow players to provide feedback. Up first, let’s talk about our ongoing improvements to Warcraft III’s matchmaking.”

Which Features will come soon into Warcraft 3 Reforged?

  • The Matchmaking Improvements are already happening and will be improved in the near future.
  • The MMR is the foundation for ranked ladders.
  • Warcraft 3 Reforged Profiles and Clans. Find all Reforged Profile Portraits here.
  • Custom Campaigns.

Opinion and Feedback for the Reforged Developer Matchmaking Update:

Opinion and Feedback Reforged Update
Blizzard is reacting to the shitstorm in a calm and educated way – in my opinion a very positive sign. They believe in what they are doing and take their time, they don’t overcommit or lose hope. Yes, they admit that it has been a challenging launch – far away from any expectations, but patches will roll in!

The statement about sharing their roadmap is awesome, I’m looking forward to the big steps that we will see in 2020.

Is COVID-19 affecting the Development of Warcraft 3 Reforged?

It’s a bit underwhelming that we have seen no April/May patch in 2020 – Blizzard said they will publish a monthly patch, but in my opinion, it’s not the right way to go mad on this topic: The classic team will have reasons for that and a patch has to go live when it’s ready and not before…

So, is there an effect of the COVID-19 crisis? Has the pandemic affected the timeline of the Warcraft 3 Reforged Development? It does not seem like that, yes it has affected nearly every business, but the team is in full shape to tackle the next big topics and to release the next patch!

You can find all new Warcraft 3 Reforged Patches here.

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