Matching player speed

  • I had this posted in technical and realised it would be better here.

    Can we get an option to be paired with other players that play at the same pace as us.

    I often find that I am paired with slow players and find it very frustrating when players routinely take the maximum time every turn. I'd like an option to be paired with faster players so I can play at a reasonable pace.

    I think this would be simple to add. You can add code to track a players average turn time and then add 'match player speed' option on the join screen

  • That would be a nice addition.

    Sadly, adding more parameters to an already slow matchmaker will make it nearly impossible to find a suitable game with less popular modes: 4 player games would be nearly impossible. Not to mention the expansions.

    If there are 20000 games created per day: 833 per hour. (I think this is the number provided by the admin in another topic)
    Each game takes about 2 minutes to create: 833/58 = 14 games are pending creation at any time (on average). If 10 of these are basic 3 player games then there is not much left for anything else. And if there are so few games pending... The matchmaker can not prevent separating reliable players from non-reliable players. The math just does not seem to work in favor of the matchmaker. NOT ENOUGH PLAYERS!
    @Administrator can you maybe tell us how many games were created (and games which also were finished without a quitter) last December 1-31? The fact that matchmaker hides all that info from the players makes it hard to say whether Catan Universe actually works or not. You can not see if and how many people want to play with which game settings.

  • Interesting numbers. 833 per hour means 14 games per minute. Not too shabby. I'd be willing to wait 1 (even 2) extra minute if it means saving 20 minutes in the game time, not to mention frustration. I like games that last 20-25 minute, but many stretch to 35-40 minutes because of slowness.

    Another solution is to combine the auto-match and free match. From what I understand it would mean it doesn't combine those players so it splits the available players up.

    Regarding 4 player games:
    I've never even had a 4 player game because the default is to 3 and noone changes it. The default should be to 3 or 4 players and then it can launch 3 if a 4th can not be found in reasonable time. 3 player games are too lopsided.

  • Or use a lobby so players can choose from the ~20 pending games which one to join? Much better chance to play less popular options.

    3 player games are for novices. Casual gaming experience.

    Edit: You can play a game in 20 minutes with Catan Universe? Wow... Even with bots a game takes at least 40 minutes.

  • @Stroom I don't see how a lobby system would help. You'd have to know who the fast players are. Or spend lots of time asking and selecting players. An algorithm could easily match players up, at least much better than the random nature now.

    I've had many games <20 minutes, my record was 12 minutes. When you have fast players it's quite a different game. I'd really like if all my games were <25 minutes, thats's why I'm posting here. There should be a way to have quick games. Over half an hour for a simple game is not enjoyable.

  • First, I have no confidence that the matchmaker would work with such low amount of players. With so few players it will always match players outside of their preferred range, whether it is reliability (not quitting) or game speed. The fact that for the last year things have moved slowly enforces that idea.

    With matchmaker most of the games created are 3 player games. That is because creating anything else takes too long so people quit these queues. Also, people do not know info about what kind of game options people want to play with. With a lobby, you see all game options. Or you create a game yourself so people can choose to join your game. Even those who otherwise would not think of playing with these options can see that and join.
    Really... Matchmaker kills all other game modes and enforces people to play 3 player games whereas Catan is optimal and takes more skill with 4 players. IMO this is also bad for competitive scene.

    When you create a game in lobby, you can also set the same limits for the joining players: stars, elo, game speed etc... But you still have to understand that if you add more options which players have no control over, you have to wait longer. This happens either way.

    With matchmaker you have no control over who you are playing with. People are found, game starts immediately. No option to drop out after seeing the players. Maybe you see a player who you dislike playing with in the lobby game so you don't join that player. Yes, you could block that person as well so the matchmaker would not place you in the same game but... If you are blocking all the players like that your matchmaker queues get longer over time. I am not using the block players feature because I believe people can change their ways of playing. Maybe after a month I would be willing to play with them again. I guess a timer for block list would be a good idea in that case but still, lobby allows you to choose who you play with.

    Matchmaker is useful for games with low amount of variable options and a huge player base. Catan (with the expansions) is the opposite of this.

    About the quick games: I guess you played a 3 player game to 10 points? And someone got lucky rolls early, got ahead and no-one could stop them from winning. Or people did not offer trades at all? I guess it is theoretically possible but only with lucky rolls and no trades. A balanced game of Catan should usually still take at least 30 minutes IMO.

  • administrators

    @Stroom , @PersonAD

    I'll try to get you some recent stats from the team. I'm currently filling in for our CM, who is on well-earned vacation, so please excuse if I repeat things he might already have posted.

    In regards to the discussion of matchmaker versus lobby: Stroom summed it up well: Adding more options to either a lobby or the automatch system will cause longer wait times.

    In general lobby system can provide more options to choose from when looking for a game. However it will also take longer to set up a game and find the corresponding players.

    We discussed the pros and cons of both options extensively before production started and we know that some players miss a lobby system. However we believe the option to find matches quickly via automatch or set up custom matches with friends or guild members currently online provides a reasonable balance for almost all player types.

    Furthermore we know that the current automatch system needs further tweaking. Karma-based matchmaking will be improved (narrowing down the karma values when looking for players if this option is enabled) as well as further actions against quitters will be taken.

    Setting 4 players as the default player number when matchmaking and only reducing to 3 players if a fourth player cannot be found in a reasonable timeframe is another option we're considering. If you have other feedback regarding the automatch parameters (e.g. default turn timer) please let us know and we'll discuss this with the dev team.

  • In PlayCatan, starting a game takes just as long as in CatanUniverse. Time should really not be a factor IMO. I think finding a game quicker will just mean that you add all these toxic players together with players who want to avoid them. And there is no way to get out of the game once the players have been placed in it. It just does not seem like matchmaker is a viable option. You make finding a game faster by 1 minute so that players waste 40 minutes playing a game with people they might not like. Currently in 75% of the games someone quits. It's just making the game more appealing for a mass of novice players whereas older players have to suffer the loss of quality of the games.

    Actually, for more specific expansion settings it would take less time using a lobby when trying to find a game. In CatanUniverse you are basically forcing players to use the guilds and forums to play anything that is not a 3-player-basic-game. You can not see what kind of settings people want to play.

    You can not make the matchmaker work as people want if there are so few players online at any time. The only way I can think of is to display all the combinations of options in a lobby-like way... in which case it would be much better to just have a classic lobby anyway.

  • Honestly I didn't like lobby and still did not analyze who were in the game, just clicked on the game which needed less people to start.

    Auto-match + banlist working + Karma really makes more sense to me.

    Plus as Admins said if you want to play with friends - add them in the friends list or form a guild. So you can always play vs. same players...

    Really see no need for lobby.

    Only big difference which I dont miss is that in lobby there were always those VIP = locked games which I guess Stroom is missing the most.

  • You don't miss the lobby because you don't even try to play a 4 player game. It takes too long so you go back to play with 3 players. Matchmaker is only quick for a few game modes. For anything else, it is impossible.

    If you have to start adding friends to play list and actually organize games out of the matchmaker system to even get a 4 player game going (without a lobby!) then the matchmaker has lost its purpose. You can not play a 4 player game vs strangers, only people in friends list. It should not be like that. You should get friends to play together NOT get friends to play at all.

    It is really much better is people see all the game modes people would like to play. Matchmaker hides all that data from the players. You log in and you do not see how many people are online, how many people are trying to find a game and how many are just idle. Also you can not talk with other people in the lobby to find out if anyone wants to play a 4 player game or some specific expansions. You are completely cut off from everyone else. No community inside the game.

  • @Administrator said:

    @Stroom , @PersonAD

    I'll try to get you some recent stats from the team. I'm currently filling in for our CM, who is on well-earned vacation, so please excuse if I repeat things he might already have posted.

    Still waiting :)

  • @Stroom said:

    @Administrator said:

    @Stroom , @PersonAD

    I'll try to get you some recent stats from the team. I'm currently filling in for our CM, who is on well-earned vacation, so please excuse if I repeat things he might already have posted.

    Still waiting :)

    @Administrator - Can we get statistics of how many people are playing on Catan Universe and how many games are created and finished successfully?

  • @PersonAD Meeting your favorite players in the wrote it would be unrealistic to know other players. But that is not true. After a while, you know with whom you like to play. On PlayCatan, I joined games I did not think of before, just to play with folks I like :heart: and vice versa: Sometimes folks joined a scenario they did not even know, just to play with me. Others hate my style :weary: and would like to avoid me, if there are enough other options. It is not practical to put everyone either on a friends- or hatelist. If enough players are online, we want to follow our preferences - and why shouldn´t we? :ok_hand: Lobby works very well on PlayCatan!

  • @PersonAD I think it would be beter to be able to choose the pace for each game (like in lobby). When I am tired, I play slower than usual. With some folks I like to chat, and we want more time. Or sometimes you want a quick game because you are on a break.

  • I really don't like three player games. This will be a short post. Please make the default four player games. I will be playing them every time I go on instead of the having to choose between 3 three player and playing with the AI in four player games.

  • Join 4 player game guild, will hopefully get going with 4 player games soon / as soon as enough people are online at a time.

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