Episode #86: Number One Rule

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Episode #86 of Stormcast: Number One Rule  is ready for Download! The Heroes of the Storm Podcast for Noobs, Gank Masters and everyone in between is BACK with another episode covering Blizzard Entertainment’s MOBA Brawler! Welcome back everyone to another awesome Podcast episode where we talk about the game we all love, Hereos of the Storm! This episode is full of some great Heroes of the Storm discussion!

This is a episode,  Mick Montgomery, Dills, and Notch are back to talk about Heroes, the game you want to play all the time!

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STORM WATCH: This week we covered the top news items for Heroes of the Storm:

  • Xul is Here!
  • Blizzard drops some new Features, and some folks are happy about it!
  • Heroes won a Dice Award
  • According to Blizzard, Match-Making is Better!

LEVEL ONE: This week we cover two things in our LEVEL ONE segment! First we discuss the first rule of Heroes of the Storm, can you guess what it is? Then we cover the Heroes who have certain advantages on Infernal Shrines! Notch didn’t enjoy that last segment.

GAME ON: This week we examine the latest AWESOME Matches and Victories in the Heroes of the Storm eSports Scene! This week we covered the North American Spring Regional Finals which saw Naventic take on Cloud 9!

We also get into some Listener Questions and Comments!

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  1. Marcelo Takeshi Fukushima

    Warning: really long block of text incoming. Also, I hope I don’t offend anyone, but I have to make sure you guys know this before going into deep discussions about MMR.

    Hey guys, absolutely love your show, but I feel like you guys don’t know exactly how MMR works and I will try to explain a little bit.

    All of the known MMR systems (hotslogs, lol, dota, hon, mtg, etc) are a derivative of TSR (true skill rating), which in turn is based on Elo (a side note, it’s based on an interesting theory if you’re a math person) and basically works like this: each player is assigned two values: the number which we call MMR and an uncertainty level. For each game you win, you gain a certain amount of MMR based on your team’s average MMR, the enemy team’s MMR and your (individual) uncertainty level. If you lose, you would lose the same amount of points. Each game you play, however, lowers your uncertainty level until it reaches the floor, at which point the system is confident on your skill level in relation to the rest of the field.
    The reason why you gain more points and lose more points in the beginning is that your uncertainty level is high at that point, which in turn is based on the uncertainty that your mmr represents (the ‘system’ is not confident on the value it assigned to your mmr hence it allows it to fluctuate more with each win / loss).

    Blizzard most certainly uses the same system as hotslogs so it is very accurate if you upload all of your games (or if all of your games are uploaded by somebody else), so it really can be used to estimate your blizzard MMR (at least in relation to the other active players) and it will be probably accurate in relation to the average player. The placement matches that we had to do (and newer players will have to do) served to put everyone in their ‘correct’ ranks, according to the rank ladder and to estimate the MMR of newer players (its a calibration step to lower your uncertainty level), but your uncertainty level may take up to 100 games to lower it to the floor. When Dustin Browder says that they are thinking about a soft reset, they mean to reset everybody’s uncertainty level, so people will climb up or down faster.

    Now, when Mick says that he cannot climb in (hotslogs) MMR even though his win rate is better is probably due to three things (I did not see his hotslogs profile so its a speculation based on the math behind MMR):
    -his uncertainty level is zero-ed so he gains the minimal amount (10 for the completely balanced matchup)
    -he loses the games that are unbalanced but his team was a little favorite (greater average MMR)
    -he wins mostly when his team is supposed to win (his team has greater average MMR) and gets less points than usual.
    This means one thing: you’re really close to where you should be MMR-wise. In order to climb up the MMR ladder, you have to win the games you are not favorite (and hence, prove to the system that you are, in fact, getting better at the game). Also, keep in mind that climbing up from there means you should get better at a faster pace than your peers (the people you are playing with and against are likely getting better as well).
    All of these factors combine to give you the odd feeling you have that, even though you are improving and your win rate is getting better, your MMR (and possibly Hero League rank) is not improving.

    Lastly (sorry again for this long letter), sometimes I see Notch complaining about his team mates, but I think it is because his perception of what a skilled player should be / do is different from other people. There are players with great mechanical skills that will climb up ladder / rank / mmr due to that alone and there are people that, while mechanically weak, are good at the big picture strategy and will manage to climb up too. Now, for the people in the first group, the people in the second group suck and the second group think the same about the first group, but the reality is: they are about the same level of skill, but in different fields (for instance, I think Notch’s mechanical skills are not rank 1 material, even though his strategy / timing / grouping is).

    I have more points to add, but I think this is already long enough. Again, I love the show and hope you guys don’t take offense in what I’ve said.

    • Mick Montgomery aka Snarl

      Thanks for the really well thought out and well written comment. Thanks as well for the clarifications on how MMR works.

      I think your point on ‘what it takes to climb in MMR’ is probably very accurate and makes sense. “All of these factors combine to give you the odd feeling you have that, even thought you are improving and your win rate is getting better, your MMR (and possibly Hero League Rank) is not improving”.

      That would make sense if my Hero Rank had not drastically improved since placement. I.E. I started after placement at rank 50. Now I am in the mid twenties. Granted that’s not world class. However, I would expect that climbing 22 – 25 ranks would improve my over-all MMR. Regardless it has stayed even since July 2015 with little to no change. Win Rates are up slightly.

      I would also wonder that since MMR carried over from Alpha to Beta to Live for those players who played that long, if the issue is unique to my account or other players in my boat. What leads me to believe this is true, is that we have heard from nearly every other Podcast Host who has rolled a Smurf in the last four months, that their SMURF account ranks Much higher than their original account.

      Perhaps the only way for me to TEST that theory is to just break down and role a smurf account. Something I have wanted to avoid.

      • Marcelo Takeshi Fukushima

        It may very well be that the current MMR system does not accommodate for quick improvements on skills, in which case creating a smurf could help, but I think the current system is somewhat fine (most people do not improve at a rate that this needs correcting, so it should be working for most).

        But like I said earlier, winning more than losing could net you ranks but will not necessarily rise your MMR (they are just loosely related). To be sure that you are winning more in the underdog situation, at some point you will start getting bonus poins (in the ranking system) and them you can be sure you are rising in MMR faster than your peers.
        That said, if you are indeed wining more than losing, you are probably doing fine and don’t have to worry about your MMR too much – just keep rocking and it will rise organically. I was in the same boat as you are just a year ago, started working on my game and after 500+ matches I got rank 1 and a reasonable MMR (2700).

        Lastly, regarding MMR reset (be it hard or soft), I have mixed feelings about it. While it may solve problematic cases (for instance, if your MMR carried over from alpha), it will make match making a living hell for at least a couple of months, possibly shrinking the player base. Most people think that they should be higher MMR than their skill allows it (I’m not saying its your case at all, but I would bet that it is so for most of the players).

        Anyway, keep up the good work and thanks for putting out quality content

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