Steven R. January 17, 2020
Valve seems to be declaring its ranked roles experiment a failure.
A significant update has dropped in Dota 2, bringing with it multiple changes to the ranked matchmaking experience. While ranked matchmaking has largely revolved around a role-specific queueing system in recent months, Valve is offering players the chance to enjoy the classic free-for-all experience, entitled “Ranked Classic.”
“We are making this change because the slow/fast queue concept has not been successful in producing good quality games. The end result was slow queue waiting a little bit longer, and then forcing very bad quality matches on the entire player pool,” Valve said on Dota 2’s Steam page.
Valve has been tinkering with Dota 2’s ranked matchmaking system for several months now. In 2019, Valve introduced the ranked role system which assigned players to specific in-game roles. This spiked the length of queues for players, a fact that Valve tried to address in multiple ways.
In November, the Dota 2 development team tried to remedy this with an updated that added a “fast queue” system that gave players priority if they chose to queue for every possible role. Doing so and completing the game would earn players “tokens” which could be used towards fast queues for specific roles.
The change ultimately did little to improve matchmaking times or the quality of games. This prompted Valve to roll back some of these changes, but it is unclear if this will make things any better.
Having Ranked Roles matchmaking alongside Ranked Classic could serve to divide the dwindling Dota 2 player base. Time will tell whether this pans out, but it wasn’t the only change made in this patch.
MMR system changed in latest Dota 2 update
The removal of the fast and slow queue system wasn’t the only change that came in the latest Dota 2 update.
Alongside these changes come a shift in how MMR is adjusted from winning or losing a ranked game. Players now enter a ranked game poised to either win or lose a fixed amount of MMR. Players add or subtract 30 MMR for a win in solo queue, or 20 MMR when playing in a party. This rolls back previous changes that could see players earn only 10 MMR in victory, but lose up to 40 in defeat.
Though this isn’t as big of a shift as the changes made to the queueing system, it will likely be welcome news for players that used to potentially see multiple victories offset by a single defeat.