Out4Blood & El_Cap's Rise of Nations Strategy

Monday, December 15, 2003

BHG ratings -- the good and the bad
So, I've been playing quite a few rated games lately. I was excited to play with a (close to) "perfect" rating system. But after playing about 60 games or so, I'm having second thoughts. The ratings pretty accurately describe skill level. That has both good and bad connotations.
  • The good news is that it tells you how good someone is. This makes it great for balancing games and picking teammates and predicting how tough they are going to be.
  • The bad news is that it tells you how good someone is. This means that you are likely to beat someone rated below you and likely to lose to someone rated above you. With a few rare exceptions, I usually beat the guys below me and lose to guys above me.
This is how it is supposed to be; with mathematical precision, you can directly calculate the odds of winning, just by looking at the difference in ratings. You can pretty much tell how the game is going to turn out ahead of time. Which can be pretty discouraging if you are looking to win. It also explains some weird rated room behavior. People tend to "camp" out in the rated room (as if they were playing Everquest) rather than clicking the Find a game button. They usually try to negotiate games with people around their skill level, presumably because the QM function doesn't do a very good job of matching skills -- or perhaps because there are so few people. If people are looking to win games, then they will be looking for people at or below their rating.

One improvement I would suggest for this is to eliminate the list of names and ratings from the lobby. People should be matching up with whoever is there, not waiting for the "right" person. Maybe something for the expansion pack?

Oh, and did I mention that Maya sucks to play against?

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