After the May 28th patch, WvW matchups will get some good randomness added.
One of the new changes announced as part of the May 28th update in Guild Wars 2 was a change to how WvW matchups work. The lack of additional information had some people worrying what this would do to WvW. Would the top servers end up completely overwhelming the low ranked servers creating completely unbalanced matchups? Yesterday, ArenaNet released a new blog going over what exactly we are going to be seeing with the new matchup system.
The way WvW matchups work is by sorting worlds by their precise rating then matching up every set of three worlds going down the list. This has caused the matchups to stagnate quite a bit with players seeing the same three worlds facing off in every matchup. ArenaNet explains that as this trend continues the precise rating became less accurate and therefore less useful in deciding the matchups. To fix this problem they are going to scramble up the matchups a bit.
After the change, Worlds are still going to have their precise ratings, but it will no longer be just their ratings that determine the matchups. To do this they are including a World's deviation (one of the stats listed on the leaderboards) and plugging that along with the precise rating into a formula to come up with the new deviated rating. Check out the blog for all the in-depth information on how they are calculating the new deviated rating (including the formula itself!).
But what does this mean for matchups? It means we are going to see more than the same three worlds in any matchup, and because there is a random element in the formula we won't know who we are matching up with until the new WvW week begins.
So there really will be the top servers dominating the lower ranked servers? No, there is a limit to how far the game will go to get a new matchup. The formula kind of works like picking a number between 1 and 10. Servers have their rating and the deviation is a range around that rating that is potentially the true ability of the server. Instead of taking that true rating like it does now, the formula is basically creating a range of possible ratings around the current precise rating and randomly picking a number out of that range. Now say that 10 times on a rollercoaster.
What this means is that the rating used to match worlds is going to be a lot more random, but that range also keeps servers from going too far up or down the list.
In the example matchup list that ArenaNet ran and uploaded, it had the #1 ranked world matched up with the #8 world because the random numbers dropped the tier one world down to tier two while the tier three got boosted to tier three.
As you can tell, this makes tiers a really confusing matter. To alleviate this ArenaNet is adding a new column to the WvW Leaderboards just to show which tier a world is currently in. The leaderboards will still show a world's precise rating and rank them according to that, but this new tier column will allow players to sort and easily see which servers are matched up that week.
In closing, ArenaNet also said that these new matchups could have a huge play on the strategy in WvW. Will that #1 ranked world get owned from a tier 3 tactic that they have never seen before? I guess we will find out soon.
Matt "Mattsta" Adams