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I'm curious to know whether there is some type of filter in place by Blizzard that prevents people using the same internet connection, or friends, from getting matched against each other in ranked or unranked games. My girlfriend and I sometimes play on WoL unranked games on the same network at the same time but we've never been matched up against each other, even when we start our games at the same time and when there is a one minute wait time to enter a game.

Is it just a coincidence or does Blizzard not want us to be matched up against each other?

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    Just party up and play a custom game! Also, get a copy of LotV. Nothing in SC2 is more fun than Archon mode with your SO. (You can share a single copy of the game with the spawn feature). – Adam Starrh Feb 11 '16 at 13:36
  • @AdamStarrh I suspect that the OP intends to play ranks against a friend. I mean, he said it himself – Oak Feb 11 '16 at 17:33
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    @Oak Op states "ranked or unranked" which indicated to me that it wasn't a concern. I would assume Blizzard does not want friends to be able intentionally match up with each other on the ranked system. I wouldn't know if they have controls in place, but I assume they would, in order to avoid abuse. – Adam Starrh Feb 11 '16 at 21:26
  • I don't really know StarCraft that well but could it not just be that there are tons of people to match with? Say in League I have never matched with someone I know for ranked or unranked but that's because I am a mid level player with thousands of matching options. For the top players it is common to match with friends or people using the same internet because there are much fewer matching options. – Probst Feb 11 '16 at 21:31
  • To clarify, I am asking specifically about ranked or unranked games. I know how to use custom games but I'd like to know more about how the multiplayer matchmaker works. – JSideris Feb 11 '16 at 21:40
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Blizzard has not given an insight in the matchmaking system so far. But after searching around the forums of Starcraft 2, it seems like it's based of a matchmaking ranking (MMR), which is awarded for playing ranked games. Neither is the MMR system further explained. This ranking is also considered for unranked games.

This means: either you and your girlfriend don't have the same ranking or you are just unlucky and have always been matched with other players of the same ranking as you two.

  • Intriguing. Well the matchmaker has been putting me up against platinum and diamond players (this seams about right for my skill level, even though I'm unranked and have never stayed in a ladder till the end of the season). My girlfriend is a ranked gold player, but I have quite a bit more experience (she's probably more suited for silver in my opinion, and interestingly has to go up against a lot of silver or bronze players). If the matchmaker is basing it's decision on ranking, it must be looking pretty deep into match history, and not using player's official ladder rankings to match. – JSideris Feb 11 '16 at 21:59
  • Like I said, I don't fully understand the MMS either, but I also read (not often) that there can be another MMR for unranked matches. This ranking is used when you are better in unranked than ranked matches. But don't pin me down on this, I'm just tellling what I read. – xFlowDev Feb 12 '16 at 6:48
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If you're playing on a large server, it's likely that there are too many people playing for the chance of being matched against your girlfriend to be significant. I wouldn't be surprised if there were also restrictions in place to prevent friends from fixing ranked matches against each other, such as prioritizing having a new opponent each game, but Blizzard would stand to gain very little from explaining the matchmaking system when there are plenty of people who want to exploit it.

If you want to play against a specific person, that's exactly what custom games are for.

  • I've considered that maybe there are just too many games going on at once. Is there any way to determine the number of people waiting in the matchmaking queue or to get any information on that topic? I don't play ranked games too often, but my girlfriend does and she'll often get the same opponent many times in a row. If I could get some numbers on the queue size and wait times I could use them to calculate the probability of two people being matched against each other (at different times in the day) and then test it experimentally. – JSideris Feb 11 '16 at 22:04
  • @Bizorke There might be some sort of API app you could use to get that information, but we're talking about Starcraft here--even on their less populated servers, there are probably too many people online at once to manage this. Not to mention that if the matchmaking works anything like League, you have a matchmaking rating separate from your rank which determines your opponents and how quickly you climb/fall on ladder, so the fact that you're getting matched against platinum/diamond players means you'll likely never match with a gold getting consistently matched with silver/bronze. – AverageUnknown Feb 12 '16 at 14:17
  • @Bizorke It seems like your real question here isn't about how to manipulate matchmaking to get you matched with your girlfriend, but more of a general question about how matchmaking works, is that correct? – AverageUnknown Feb 12 '16 at 14:21
  • More or less. I do some indie video game development on the he side so I like to know how these things work. It's really not a big deal if I can get an unranked game with my girlfriend, though if I did get her we would certainly use that opportunity to get all of the ranked/unranked game achievements. – JSideris Feb 13 '16 at 12:54
  • @Bizorke Which is another reason they wouldn't want you doing it. =P – AverageUnknown Feb 15 '16 at 5:29
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Option b: Blizzard does not want you to be matched up against each other.

Allowing any sort of window for pre-arrangement previous to a ranked game would be a bad idea. Is just too much exploitable. People would be able to find ways to manipulate the matchmaking system to increase or decrease their rank in the ladder, messing up with the whole "you play against people of your same level" plan. Pretty sure Blizzard tries to look for opponents with the least possible connections to you, while maintaining the similar level thing and a reasonable latency.

  • On the surface it seems very fair as well. But why wouldn't Blizard just post a public blog about cheating in the ladder with friends? The problem is that by adding programmable restrictions like this, they are building a more complex system with more vulnerabilities. For instance, how many grandmasters are there? Around 1000 or so? Lets say a bunch of mid/upper-tier GMs teamed up, added each other as friends, and used a VPN to all get the same IP address. They could collectively use this to avoid playing against each other, increasing the likelihood of getting lower-tier GMs and laddering up. – JSideris Feb 11 '16 at 22:13
  • @Bizorke Umm, well yeah, that removes players from the pool, but just as the chance of getting lower-tier GMs is increased, so is the chance of getting higher-tier GMs. Even then regardless of your opponent rank you increase or decrease your leader rank based on the MMR of your opponent, which means that defeating lower-tier opponents nets you less "experience" than defeating higher-tier opponents. – Zerjack Feb 11 '16 at 22:45

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