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2v2 (and other multi Rank) Pairing Exploit

AuthorMessage
Survivor
Aug 23, 2011
19
I really like PvP in game, and play it more than the regular game lately even. Alas, it seems an exploit in the way the system matches teams in Rank PvP can result in matches so off balance that I feel I can't even play any other than 1v1 at this time until it is addressed. I am creating this post to not only pose a problem many of us have faced, but also solutions that I hope may gain traction in this forum. If you think this is a problem I hope you will reply, so that the Wizard101 Team can take note and hopefully address it. If you agree with one of the solutions, or have one of your own to propose, please do so.

The Problem
Matches generated in Rank 2v2 PvP have resulted in two of my four Rank 2v2 battles being composed of a match like the following:

My Team
Level 22 Commander & Level Level 22 Captain

Opposing Team
Level 70 Knight & Level 1 Private

While I understand why the system generated this match, it goes against the spirit of generating fair and balanced opposing teams, but there are potential solutions to this, more on that later. To break this post up a bit I am going to post it in a few sections, next: Current Functionality

Survivor
Aug 23, 2011
19
Current Functionality

Those of us who play Rank PvP all know that opposing Teams (1v1 through 4v4) are matched based on the Level and Rank of the characters on each team. That is the system will generate a score based on characters Level and Rank for the entire team and try match that score with an close or even equal one for both teams to make as fair a match as possible. I'll refer to this process as the Rank Team Matching System, or RTMS, for simplicity in this narration.

The RTMS use an equation to determine a score for each team based on character's Level and Rank. I'll refer to this score as Level/Rank Score, or LRS. We can know the Level portion of this equation, and we have a general feel for the Rank portion (though this is hidden in the equation). For instance, as a Level 22 Commander, I may get paired against a Level 40 Private by the RTMS in 1v1. From this example we can loosely assume that the LRS is computed something like as follows:

Level 40 Private
Level Score: 40
Rank Score: 0 (for Private)
LRS: 40 + 0 = 40

Level 22 Commander
Level Score: 22
Rank Score: 18 (for Commander) (approximate and assumed)
LRS: 22 + 18 = 40

(Please note: I am specifically not addressing whether the current system of Rank Score calculation in the LRS is equitable or not - that may be an issue, but not one for this discussion.)

This works fine in 1v1 (though some of those Privates can really be a LOT higher level than me XD ). You would think it would work fairly in 2v2 through 4v4, but as demonstrated in The Problem we can see that this isn't necessarily the case and the RTMS can be gamed. It seems that the LRS generated for that match would look something like this:

My Team
Level 22 Commander
Level Score 22 + Rank Score 18 = Individual LRS: 40

Level 22 Captain
Level Score 22 + Rank Score 14 = Individual LRS: 36

Total My Team LRS: 40 + 36 = 76

Opposing Team
Level 70 Knight
Level Score 70 + Rank Score 10 = Individual LRS: 80

Level 1 Private
Level Score 1 + Rank Score 0 = Individual LRS: 1

Total Opposing Team LRS: 80 + 1 = 81

These Rank Scores are approximate as we don't really know exactly what value they are assigned by the RTMS, but the general point can still be made: the RTMS matched fairly close the LRS of my Team at 76 with our opposing Team of 81. And while this doesn't seem too out of whack, the result of putting a level 70 that can one shot in the third round two Level 22 characters in a 2v2 Rank match sure feels like the RTMS can be and is getting exploited and gamed.

And while this is a good starting point for the RTMS to generate mostly fair matches, this loophole definitely needs to be addressed and closed.

There are several possible solutions for this, some better than others, and I will address some pros and cons to a few of them below, next: Potential Solutions

Survivor
Aug 23, 2011
19
Potential Solutions

Level Spread Limit

An obvious solution could be to impose a Level Spread Limit on Rank Teams. For instance, imposing a 10 Level Spread Limit would limit a Level 30 character to only be on a Rank Team with Level 20 to 40 characters. I should add that a vast majority of other players I have proposed this "simple" solution to have had a favorable reaction to this proposition.

But there are not insignificant problems with this supposed "simple" solution. For one, the system doesn't currently have any process in place to validate and reject Teams attempting to create a team that would violate the Level Spread Limit. This would require a significant coding effort and would make the PvP Team creation process even more cumbersome. Secondly, this would also be a significant change in policy by placing limits on players on what teams they could form, a restriction that I suspect would get a fair amount of (just) opposition from other players.

In short, it seems more like throwing the baby out with the bath water. A seemingly simple solution, but probably not a good one.

RTMS base Team LRS solely on Character with Highest Individual LRS

This one seems to come closer to the mark. You take the highest Individual LRS on a team and make it the Team's LRS for RTMS matching purposes. This wouldn't prohibit any type of pairing, and would encourage teams to form more closely based on LRS. But it may be a bit too prohibitive. Under this solution, a Level 40 Private and Level 30 Private on a team would have an LRS based on the Level 40 Private alone (40) and could be paired against two Level 40 Privates. Not exactly equitable. Sure, it would greatly discourage Level 70 and Level 1 Teams in 2v2, but players very well may become too concerned about trying to get as close as possible in LRS with other characters on their team, and that's no fun either (I can already hear [see?] the chat, "Sorry you're too low/high level for me to team with you.")

This potential solution, while I think is on the right track, may prove to be too onerous and punitive. Another seemingly simple solution, but again probably not a good one.

---

What we really need is a RTMS that allows for the current flexibility in Team formation that isn't so punitive on fairly close Team Members as to make it a factor in Team formation, but also discourages Teams like Level 70 and Level 1 pairs.

To that end, I have a Solution I'd like to propose. It's not a simple algorithm like the ones above, but I think it addresses all of these concerns fairly. I hope you will bear with me on this and reply with support or even your own solutions so we can fairly address these inequities, next The Solution (?)

Survivor
Aug 23, 2011
19
The Solution (?)

Level/Rank Score Spread Penalty

A Team LRS (Level/Rank Score), can be calculated using a more sophisticated algorithm that would still use the aggregate Individual LRS of all Team Members but also discourage onerously wide LRS Spreads between Team Members with a LRS Spread Penalty.

This Penalty would become greater, the greater the distance in LRS is among Team Members, but remain relatively small for closely grouped LRS Teams so as not to be a factor. The Base Team LRS would be calculated the same as it currently is, but the difference in LRS from each Team Member would be added in as an effective penalty to the Base Team LRS. It would be calculated as follows:

A 50% penalty on the difference of LRS from each Team Member to each other Team Member divided by the number of Members on the Team would be added to the Base Team LRS. That really, really needs some examples to explain how it would work!

Let's take the scenario I faced from the initial post and run it through this algorithm, to refresh, here is the scenario:

My Team
Level 22 Commander
Level Score 22 + Rank Score 18 = Individual LRS: 40

Level 22 Captain
Level Score 22 + Rank Score 14 = Individual LRS: 36

Total My Team Base LRS: 40 + 36 = 76

Opposing Team
Level 70 Knight
Level Score 70 + Rank Score 10 = Individual LRS: 80

Level 1 Private
Level Score 1 + Rank Score 0 = Individual LRS: 1

Total Opposing Team Base LRS: 80 + 1 = 81

This resulted in a My Team LRS of 76 and Opposing Team LRS of 81, but let's now consider those the Base LRS values that need the LRS Spread Penalty added in and let's calculate that now.

My Team:
Level 22 Commander LRS of 40 - Level 22 Captain LRS of 36 = LRS Spread of 4

LRS Spread of 4 / 2 Team Members = 2

2 x 50% Penalty = 1

More succinctly,
40-36 = 4 / 2 = 2 x 50% = LRS Spread Penalty of 1

My Team LRS is calculated by adding My Team Base LRS to My Team LRS Spread Penalty:
76 + 1 = 77 My Team LRS (a LRS Spread Penalty of only 1.3%)

Note: This isn't much of a penalty at all! And the reason for that is because my team mate and I are quite close together in our Level/Rank Score.

Now let's take the Opposing Team:
Level 70 Knight LRS of 80 - Level 1 Private LRS of 1 = LRS Spread of 79

LRS Spread of 79 / 2 Team Members = 39.5

39.5 x 50% Penalty = 19.75

Again, more succinctly,
80-1 = 79 / 2 = 39.5 x 50% = LRS Spread Penalty of 19.75

Opposing Team LRS is their Base LRS plus their LRS Spread Penalty:
81 + 19.75 = 100.75 Opposing Team LRS (a LRS Spread Penalty of a judicious 24.4%)

With My Team LRS under this new methodology of 77 we'd never get paired by the RTMS to the Opposing Team LRS of 101 (rounded). In fact, to get an idea of just what type of team they would get matched against just take the LRS of 101 and divide it by the number of Team Members in the match, in this case 2. In this instance, a Team of two Level 50 Privates would have a Team LRS of 100 (just add the levels together since Private Rank has a 0 score) and would more likely get paired against the Opposing Team. Or, a Team with a Level 35 Commander and Captain would have a Team LRS of 102 (ie., (35 + 18) + (35 + 14)) and more likely get matched against the Opposing Team - still a tough battle, but a much, much fairer fight than My Team of Level 22 Commander and Captain.

This method also has the virtue of not disallowing the Opposing Team from creating a Level 70 & Level 1 Team, but it would certainly help discourage such practices by pitting them against opponents who actually have a chance to beat them. All the while having only a nominal impact on Teams with more closely grouped Individual LRS (like My Team).

I've run this algorithm through several examples to demostrate this, more than I could or should list here. But I need to include a few more to drive this point home. To keep them simple I will mostly use Privates.

3v3 Rank, with a bit of LRS Spread:

Level 70, 50 and 40 Privates:
Team Base LRS = 160

LRS Spread Penalties
70-50 = 20 / 3 Team Members = 6.67
70-40 = 30 / 3 Team Members = 10
50-40 = 10 / 3 Team Members = 3.33

Team LRS Spread Penalty of 6.67 + 10 + 3.33 = 20

160 + 20 = 180 Team LRS (a LRS Spread Penalty of 12.5%, an appropriate amount)

Under this new algorithm, instead of expecting to face a Team of 3 Level 53 Privates, they could expect to be matched against a Team of 3 Level 60 Privates, a fair trade off for a Team with Members that are up to 30 Levels apart.

4v4 Rank, with a LOT of LRS Spread:

Let's take the previous example and add in a Level 1 Private!
Level 70, 50, 40, 1 Privates:
Team Base LRS = 161

LRS Spread Penalties
70-50 = 20 / 4 Team Members = 5
70-40 = 30 / 4 Team Members = 7.5
70- 1 = 69 / 4 Team Members = 17.25
50-40 = 10 / 4 Team Members = 2.5
50- 1 = 49 / 4 Team Members = 12.25
40- 1 = 39 / 4 Team Members = 9.75

Team LRS Spread Penalty of 5 + 7.5 + 17.25 + 2.5 + 12.25 + 9.75 = 54.25

161 + 54.25 = 215.25 Team LRS (a LRS Spread Penalty of 33.7%, certainly high, but justified)

In this example, instead of getting matched against 4 Level 40 Privates, as they would expect, they would more likely get matched against 4 Level 54 Privates. Certainly a fair bit higher, but justified for their use of a Level 1 Private to get matched against a lower Level Team while having levels as high as 70 in the Team, and again, a much fairer fight.

3v3 Rank, with a small LRS Spread:

Ok how about a real world scenario, to show that this method wouldn't be punitive against your more typical Team. (Rank amounts are roughly estimated.)
Level 30 Commander, 25 Warlord, 45 Private:

Level 30 Commander = 30 (Level) + 18 (Rank) = 48 LRS
Level 25 Warlord = 25 (Level) + 22 (Rank) = 47 LRS
Level 45 Private = 45 (Level) + 0 (Rank) = 45 LRS

Team Base LRS = 48 + 47 + 45 = 140

LRS Spread Penalties
48-47 = 1 / 3 Team Members = 0.33
48-45 = 3 / 3 Team Members = 1
47-45 = 2 / 3 Team Members = 0.67

Team LRS Spread Penalty of 0.33 + 1 + 0.67 = 2

140 + 2 = 142 Team LRS (a LRS Spread Penalty of just 1.4%, effectively nothing)

This Team could expect to face a Team of 3 Level 47 Privates under both the current and proposed methodologies, demonstrating that when you try to team up with more closely grouped LRS characters you will not experience any effective penalty.

4v4 Rank, with a bit wider LRS Spread:

Hmm, that last one looked rigged, lets get a little more leeway by switching the Ranks of the highest and lowest Level Members in this one and see if the penalty gets onerous.
Level 30 Commander, 25 Private, 45 Warlord:

Level 30 Commander = 30 (Level) + 18 (Rank) = 48 LRS (same as above)
Level 25 Private = 25 (Level) + 0 (Rank) = 25 LRS (a fair bit lower than above)
Level 45 Warlord = 45 (Level) + 22 (Rank) = 67 LRS (a fair bit higher than above)

Team Base LRS = 48 + 25 + 67 = 140 (same as above)

LRS Spread Penalties
67-48 = 19 / 3 Team Members = 6.33
67-25 = 42 / 3 Team Members = 14
48-25 = 23 / 3 Team Members = 7.67

Team LRS Spread Penalty of 6.33 + 14 + 7.67 = 28

140 + 28 = 168 Team LRS (a LRS Spread Penalty of 20%)

Here we see a huge difference in the LRS Spread Penalty (20%) from the previous scenario (1.4%), even though both scenarios started with the same Team Base LRS of 140. And while at first glance a 20% LRS Spread Penalty may seem high, bear in mind this Team has a Level 45 Warlord grouped with a Level 25 Private - not an out of the question grouping, but it's certainly pushing the bounds. And, correspondingly, it effectively raises the expected Level of match against a Team of 3 Privates from 47 (as demonstrated above) to 56 - a fair bit to be sure, but definitely not onerous given the LRS Spread in the Team.

Conclussion

I hope this demonstrates a fair solution to this problem; my apologies if it got a bit technical, but, alas, it was really the only way to describe a workable solution. I do hope this post will get commented on, whether you support this solution or another, so that the Wizard101 staff recognizes this as a very real issue they have with 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 Rank matches, one so onerous that I simply refuse to play those matches until it is addressed.

My only request to Wizard101 would be if they would be kind enough to drop me a line letting me know if/when they have addressed it so I can try 2v2 out again - would love to do that!

Thanks for taking the time to make a better game experience for us all.

Survivor
Jul 26, 2008
22
Being a level 40 life, i 2v2 my balance friend level 41.We're captains and usually get A level 70 with a level 30-10. It might seem a unfair match but anything is possible. If pvp limited with level restrictions, we'd have to wait hours to get an exact team with same levels and ranks. The high level with a low level adds a spice to pvp. Without them, pvp would be boring. No adventure, no challenges. Of course , other high ranks would be hard to defeat but there's no fun in taking down same levels. Taking the risk of getting legends or even transcendes can be fun.

Survivor
Aug 23, 2011
19
Starz wrote:
Being a level 40 life, i 2v2 my balance friend level 41.We're captains and usually get A level 70 with a level 30-10. It might seem a unfair match but anything is possible. If pvp limited with level restrictions, we'd have to wait hours to get an exact team with same levels and ranks. The high level with a low level adds a spice to pvp. Without them, pvp would be boring. No adventure, no challenges. Of course , other high ranks would be hard to defeat but there's no fun in taking down same levels. Taking the risk of getting legends or even transcendes can be fun.


I agree, and I'm not proposing to employ level restrictions, only to match those who Team up with wildly different Level/Rank Scores against more appropriate (ie., a bit tougher) opponents.

Survivor
Feb 20, 2010
1
I have too have a lvl 16 Myth and it recently got put ranked down from Warlord to Commander. All because of rank 0 and a legend, if I 1v1 I end up getting Privates and when I lose it -21 points + K.I please fix this Pvp Problem its Extremely Unfair.

Survivor
Jun 09, 2010
13
the best solution obviously would be to take a certain level of 2v2 teams and have only them and lvls above them pair up against level 70 teams (ex lvl 70 and lvl 1 vs lvl 30 and lvl 35) like below lvl 29 teams cant vs lvl 70, and lvl 1 teams but for kingsisle not to tell the lvl 29 people this.

this is my preffered example level 30 to 50 2v2 teams can be paired up against level 70's and lvl 1 people.

a captain level 30 and knight level 35 could fight a captain level 70 and a level 1 private rnk 0.

I hope this helps a lot

Defender
Apr 26, 2009
103
If you are so worried about this problem I have three suggestions you can do. 1. Don't pvp, if you don't pvp you don't have to worry about the unfairness. 2. If you stil want to pvp then I would suggest 1v1, you don't have to worry about unfair matches. 3. And the last option I would suggest is to wait until you are transcended, and then start to pvp. FYI there more options than these, but I figured that there were the most logical.

Delver
Oct 05, 2010
248
I'm sorry but you decided to do low level PvP? What the system gives you isn't KI's problem. I understand the problem at hand but you know what chances are they just as easily get someone else using the same strategy.

Survivor
Aug 23, 2011
19
lilycat1111 wrote:
If you are so worried about this problem I have three suggestions you can do. 1. Don't pvp, if you don't pvp you don't have to worry about the unfairness. 2. If you stil want to pvp then I would suggest 1v1, you don't have to worry about unfair matches. 3. And the last option I would suggest is to wait until you are transcended, and then start to pvp. FYI there more options than these, but I figured that there were the most logical.


Well yes lilycat, the point is I'd like to 2v2 - 4v4 Rank PvP with my level 22 Commander. Alas, the way it's setup, a puppet team can have a level 70 one shot you in a few rounds with no recourse, hence the algorithm to more fairly match teams in 2v2 - 4v4.

Defender
Apr 26, 2009
103
digemm wrote:
lilycat1111 wrote:
If you are so worried about this problem I have three suggestions you can do. 1. Don't pvp, if you don't pvp you don't have to worry about the unfairness. 2. If you stil want to pvp then I would suggest 1v1, you don't have to worry about unfair matches. 3. And the last option I would suggest is to wait until you are transcended, and then start to pvp. FYI there more options than these, but I figured that there were the most logical.


Well yes lilycat, the point is I'd like to 2v2 - 4v4 Rank PvP with my level 22 Commander. Alas, the way it's setup, a puppet team can have a level 70 one shot you in a few rounds with no recourse, hence the algorithm to more fairly match teams in 2v2 - 4v4.

Well you made the choice to 2v2, so just come up with a strategy to win. Think of the solutions, rather that all of the problems.

Squire
Jan 05, 2010
548
digemm wrote:
lilycat1111 wrote:
If you are so worried about this problem I have three suggestions you can do. 1. Don't pvp, if you don't pvp you don't have to worry about the unfairness. 2. If you stil want to pvp then I would suggest 1v1, you don't have to worry about unfair matches. 3. And the last option I would suggest is to wait until you are transcended, and then start to pvp. FYI there more options than these, but I figured that there were the most logical.


Well yes lilycat, the point is I'd like to 2v2 - 4v4 Rank PvP with my level 22 Commander. Alas, the way it's setup, a puppet team can have a level 70 one shot you in a few rounds with no recourse, hence the algorithm to more fairly match teams in 2v2 - 4v4.
I agree with you digemm, and feel as if you put allot of time into your post. It's these type of matching system exploits that keep me and most of my friends from playing group pvp at lower levels. The people arguing here obviously need their puppets to get to warlord.. Sad really but some people can't do it without cheating strategies. You offer some positive insight here. For now until they change it just leave group pvp to the exploiters and let their rank 0 puppets ruin it for eachother

Squire
Dec 21, 2008
563
The level 70 and the level 1 being on the same team isn't an exploit, they set the team up to be that way.

Survivor
Dec 09, 2008
49
Rihanna12 wrote:
The level 70 and the level 1 being on the same team isn't an exploit, they set the team up to be that way.


It's exploiting the match-up system to get lower level opponents.

Or would you like the Level 70 and Level 1 team to pair off with 2 Level 70's? Maybe the match-up should be based on the highest level wizard.

Defender
Dec 25, 2008
120
Of course it's an issue and KI is aware, but there are not as many people who pvp as in other MMOs. you cant restrict the lvl of people on the same team due to the very fact that you would very rarely get a match with lets say people within 10 lvls of you. This is why pvp is made for all lvls to be on eachother's teams.
KI is definetly aware of the issue and is more than likely trying to figure out a solution, but remember the other tasks they need to attend to. Is this top priority?

Sean Fireblood lvl 70 Fire

See you in the spiral!

Champion
Jul 30, 2010
441
I am sorry but no one is going to read all of this, you have to much detail. and its not an "exploit" it is the current way pvp works. it avarages out the rank and lvl. IT IS NOT PERFECT. DO NOT EXPECT IT TO BE. Sorry if i sound rude but i think you and some other people are wanting something that is impossible to be accomplished by KI at the moment.

Defender
Jan 02, 2011
138
hanable33 wrote:
i think you and some other people are wanting something that is impossible to be accomplished by KI at the moment.


It's not impossible to be accomplished by KI. There are several ways to fix it. Some are suggested in this thread, and there are others.

It's not fixed because KI doesn't want to fix it.

Survivor
Mar 02, 2009
48
Personally, I agree with Digemm in almost every way, shape and form.

To those of you complaining strongly: best get as many ranks in with your lvl 70 and their lvl 1 counterpart before you can't anymore. You call it fair, I call you a coward.

You have explained yourself thoroughly, Digemm, and have solicited my support at least. I have not been in a ranked 2v2 match in about a year, and probably never will until this 'puppet' issue is fixed. I have great hopes that KI will listen to you and instigate the ideas you have so thoughtfully provided for us. However, on the idea of a level range, I suggest expanding it to within twenty levels of one another. The wait for matches would be abominable with that kind of time. This isn't World of Warcraft, where millions of people are PvPing at once.

Sincerely,
Christopher Waterwraith~Level 47 Veteran Sorcerer
Christopher Stardust~Level 32 Sergeant Diviner