I’ve been playing a bit of Dota 2 recently, and when I say “playing a bit”, I mean I’ve played, on average, between five and six games per day for the last 30 days. That’s a decent amount of Dota.
It was enough that I didn’t even get a chance to dole out a Game of the Year award for last year, and enough that I haven’t played anything else for the latter half of 2013. My game backlog grows ever bigger, and all I can really be bothered playing is Dota. This must be what addiction feels like.
A recent-ish update introduced ranked matchmaking, which assigns you a real, visible rating of how good (or bad) you are at Dota. From the Dota 2 blog:
We actually track a total of four MMRs [match making ratings, a numerical representation of how good or bad you are at Dota] for each player:
- Normal matchmaking, queuing solo
- Normal matchmaking, queuing with a party
- Ranked matchmaking, queuing solo
- Ranked matchmaking, queuing with a party
The spread of MMRs for normal matchmaking looked a little like this, with various MMRs calculated according to percentiles (higher is better):
It’s also worth noting the following, pointed out by the same matchmaking post on the Dota 2 blog:
Note that this distribution is from normal matchmaking. We don’t know yet what the distribution will be in ranked matchmaking, but we expect it to be different. The players who participate in ranked matchmaking will be more skilled, more experienced players. We anticipate that any given player will have different expectations and play the game differently in ranked matchmaking compared to normal matchmaking.
I was reasonably happy with my solo MMR after I completed my 10 calibration matches. I ranked in at 2357, which, according to the percentile table above (i.e. if we’re assuming the percentile distribution is the same for ranked as it is for normal matchmaking), put me smack bang in the middle of the Dota 2 player distribution, slightly better than around 50% of players.
The idea behind ranked matchmaking is not only for plays to play in what is supposed to be a more competitive environment, a more “elite” subset of the Dota 2 players (only players who have played around 150 games online can participate in ranked matchmaking), and some of the time, that’s exactly what it is.
But then there’s the rest of the time, where ranked matchmaking is — and I put this in the nicest way possible — a festering cesspool of the worst Dota 2 players, ever.
The problem, as I see it, is that people in ranked matches take it way too seriously. Sure, it’s supposed to be more competitive, and sure, it really blows when one person on your team is letting the entire team down, but for some reason, ranked matchmaking attracts some truly unattractive individuals and personalities. I can understand not randoming in ranked, I can understand not playing heroes for the first time in ranked, but I can’t, for the life of me, understand why every other person in ranked is a complete douche.