Revamping World of Tanks Current Balance & Matchmaking System

This post isn’t about any changes to the way tanks are weighted, matchmaking system, and the way tanks are balanced being officially done by Wargaming.  Instead this post is my view on how the current system could be improved to make World of Tanks better overall and also put a stop to the endless cycle of re -balancing tanks due to tanks becoming to good or to bad as time progresses.  Everyone can attest to being annoyed when a tank they enjoy or own is changed for the worse or when tanks are altered contrary to their historical values to be “balanced” in World of Tanks.

For tanks that are clearly broken/over powered from the get go they would still receive changes to bring them close to other tanks.  For example the newest German tank destroyer line and how a few of the tank destroyers clearly outclass(especially the tier 10) anything in their tier.  However, shifting over to the proposed system below it would eliminate having to change/re-balance tanks that are not game breaking and are just a hair better than their peers.

How Matchmaking Weight & Battle Tiers Currently Work

For a complete explanation of how World of Tanks matchmaking currently works then hop over to the World of Tanks wiki.  I am going to do a short recap to highlight the important bits.

http://wiki.worldoftanks.com/Battle_Mechanics#Matchmaking

Battle Tiers in World of Tanks determine which tier tanks the tank you are driving can see in any given battle unless you platoon with other tanks that sees different battle tiers.  This is often referred to the matchmaking spread of a tank and most tanks see a spread that has them fighting tanks two tiers below and two tiers above the tier of their own tank.  For example a tier 5 medium tank will see enemy tanks as low as tier 3 and as high as tier 7 under normal circumstances.

Matchmaking weight on the other hand refers to the specific numerical value each tank is assigned.  This value helps the game balance teams by tallying the entire team’s matchmaking weight for each vehicle to make sure that both team’s matchmaking weight values are with a 10% margin to make each match fair. Currently the matchmaking weight(for each tank) is determined generally by the tier of the tank and also by its class.  Special weights are given to specific tanks or types of vehicles that are not balanced against their peers.  The values usually fall under this guideline.

Tier 1: 2 points

Tier 2: 3 points

Tier 3: 5 points

Tier 4: 8 points

Tier 5: 12 points

Tier 6: 18 points

Tier 7: 27 points

Tier 8: 40 points

Tier 9: 60 points

Tier 10: 100 points

Additionally heavy tanks and SPGs receive a +20% modifier to their matchmaking weight.  Tier 9/10 medium tanks receive a +20% modifier as well and tier 8/9/10 tank destroyers also receive a +20% modifier.  Light tanks in the tier 6-8 range also get a +20% modifier.  These values are found on the World of Tanks wiki and hopefully they are up to date…but its not that important to base my view on.

Changes To Matchmaking Weight Under My Proposal

Battle Tiers would remain unchanged since that part of the system is fine as far as I am concerned. However, the matchmaking weight difference would be reduced to + or – 5% due to the higher values being used in the new system to keep teams balanced. Matchmaking weight for individual tanks would be revamped to give developers more wiggle room to balance tanks without having to change the actual stats of a tank(armor, firepower, mobility, HP, etc) just to make it “fit” in a specific tier.  The problem World of Tanks has been facing as new tanks are added is that it is impossible to balance the huge selection of tanks currently in the game without either making all tanks play very similar to one another(boring) or have some be under-powered/over-powered.

Under my proposal the matchmaking weight values would be changed along with the method of assigning specific tanks their values.  Each tier would have a range at where the matchmaking weight values will be at and instead of tanks being weighted based on their class they would be weighted based on how well they are balanced against their peers.  Like the old system the higher the tier you go the greater the matchmaking weight becomes as well as the larger the range for each tier to allow further balancing.

Tier 1: 1-5 points (5 point spread)

Tier 2: 5-10 points (5 point spread)

Tier 3: 10-20 points (10 point spread)

Tier 4: 20-30 points (10 point spread)

Tier 5: 30-40 points (10 point spread)

Tier 6: 40-60 points (20 point spread)

Tier 7: 60-80 points (20 point spread)

Tier 8: 80-100 points (20 point spread)

Tier 9: 100-120 points (20 point spread)

Tier 10: 120-140 points (20 point spread)

With these values it follows similar to the old values when you include the 20% modifiers that some tanks received.  However, under this system each tank would have an individual valued assigned to it instead of having a class modifier.  While the old system might have worked when there were very clear class roles and fewer tanks it clearly does not work anymore as evident by the endless re-balancing that is occurring.  Some tank destroyers now have turrets/semi-functional turrets making them more like standard heavy/medium tanks as opposed to the original tank destroyers that did not have this trait.  New tanks have more advanced guns as far as damage, penetration, “uniqueness”, and of course the dreaded auto-loaders.  Every new addition to World of Tanks further strains the old matchmaking system that has served its purpose but now needs to be revamped.

For example.  At tier 10 you have a few tanks that are well known for being outclassed by their peers.  The M48A1, FV4202, and Maus are considered as being pretty bad tier 10 tanks in World of Tanks currently.  Under the old system their matchmaking weight is primarily tied to them being tier 10 and their class.  All three tanks have the same matchmaking weight as tanks such as the T110E3, T57, and E-100 which perform much better.  Using the new system developers have a 20 point spread to play with an can give each tank a specific matchmaking weight to keep teams better balanced without one team being at a disadvantage simply because they have better tanks with the same matchmaking weight.

Old System (MM Weight)

M48A1(120) – FV4202(120) – Maus(120) – T110E3(120) – T57(120) – E-100(120)

New System (MM Weight)

M48A1(125) – FV4202(125) – Maus(125) – T110E3(130) – T57(135) – E-100(135)

Granted these numbers are just an example and matchmaking weight values would be assigned based on actual performance values.  But as you see by the numbers above it gives the game a better platform to balance tanks by without having to shoehorn tank’s values based upon a very restrictive system that is currently in place.  If every tank eventually is truly “balanced” then the game will doubt-ably be very boring with tanks being to similar to another.  I am thoroughly convinced that there is no way to actually balance the amount of tanks currently in the game against their peers since as you change one tank being being “top dog” in its tier/class another one simply takes its place.  Its an endless cycle that is caused by a system unable to cope with an evolving game.

In the end this is simply my opinion and shouldn’t be taken as something that will ever be implemented into World of Tanks.  If this article confused you then the short version is that I am suggesting that tanks be balanced to allow a greater range of power in a given tier.  I believe that not all tanks in the same tier should be equal and capable of defeating one another in a 1 v 1 situation on a regular basis.  Instead the stronger tanks should “cost” more to field for their team, while weaker tanks should “cost” less to field for their team.  This way a team with many strong tanks have to either have more lower tiers on their team and/or have weaker tanks to fill in the gaps.  On the contrary a team with less “strong” tanks will receive less weak tanks and have a well rounded team that is not top heavy.

1 Comment on "Revamping World of Tanks Current Balance & Matchmaking System"

  1. That was a good read and a well presented argument.

    I think another way the MM could improve is similar to your account but taking in to consideration more of the vehicle fit out, if that is indeed possible (I don’t know). It is very similar to your idea that not all vehicles of the same class in the same tier perform the same. Likewise, identical vehicles will perform differently depending upon what gun, engine turret etc they are fitted with.

    In theory you could have 2 teams matched by tier and class (current system) where all of the players in one team are running stock tanks and all of the players on the opposing team have their tanks fully upgraded. This would, of course, be the worst case scenario but it is feasible and would hardly be balanced.

    With the recent introduction of hard hitting light tanks the MM is becoming more skewed under the current system. Some of the light tanks now have firepower equivalent to medium or even heavy tanks. Therefore it now makes more sense to conduct MM on capability rather than tier and class.

    And neither this nor your suggestion take into account player skills and performance, which would be another topic for discussion.

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