Valve continues juggling different interests when it comes to improving the ranked matchmaking experience in Dota 2.
In a relatively low key Dota 2 update, strict solo matchmaking returned to the game as an option for players in fast queues. This came alongside another change to ranked matchmaking that changed the parameters surrounding how parties can be matched with one another for a single game.
Strict solo matchmaking guarantees that players will be matched in a game where all 10 players involved are queued solo. This can be used to avoid potentially problematic situations involving teammates that are partied, which can result in wider MMR spreads in games or increased toxicity within games.
The option is actually hidden away to some degree. In order to implement strict solo matchmaking, players must go into the settings menu, then go to options, then bring up the advanced options menu. Strict solo matchmaking can be found as the last option in the miscellaneous section.
This is the latest installment in what has been an almost constant state of tinkering with the parameters of ranked matchmaking. While Valve’s scales have long tipped back and forth between prioritizing short queue times and guaranteeing players of comparable skills are matched together, the Dota 2 publisher has been digging in of late to improve the experience.
Whether this will make players happy or just result in more complaints as the player pool is divided once again remains to be seen.
In addition to the reintroduction of strict solo matchmaking was the expansion of which party combinations are allowed in games. While the last matchmaking update implemented in Dota 2 was fairly restrictive in this regard, this one patch rolls back some of those changes.
The patch notes state this update “increased the variety of party combinations that are valid, to help improve matchmaking quality and queue times in some cases, in part as a result of the strict solo queue addition.”
Specifically, “this means that makeups like 2-2-1 will valid.”
Finally, the update changed how MMRs are calculated for players with wide disparities between their support and core rankings. While the numbers previously moved independently of one another, once the two scores reach a certain distance from one another, MMR losses and increases in either category will drag the other score along.