Really? Another League post Viral? Yes its another league post. I can't help it if I really like the game and am impressed by Riot Games' constant push to evolve the game and how people play it.
This time the folks over at Riot are attempting to fix an all too common matchmaking problem. Let's say you queue up for a ranked 5v5. You wait the queue time, get into the lobby and you see something like this
Too bad called it first
Nope 3 called it first on my screen
The argument either escalates from there into a full on verbal war for the lane assignment, or one of the players drops from the champion select screen, thus forcing everyone to go back into queue, among many other plausible outcomes. This is a very frustrating part of any team based game as I'm sure DoTA players or anyone looking for a raiding party in an MMO has encountered. Players want to play the role they are most comfortable with and the one they feel they are the best at. And when playing with people you don't know, a player will usually not trust others to play the role they beileve to be their own.
Now I am not going to say that I have never fought over a role, but I am usually the one that just says "Fuck it." and lets the other player take Top lane (my desired role) while I am relegated to one of my other two roles.
So in order to maybe quash some, if not all of this team infighting even before the game starts, Riot is introducing to their Public Beta Environment (or PBE) what they call Team Builder.
According to Riot Lead Social Systems Designer Lyte, Team Builder is "a new feature coming to PBE... where you can queue up for a specific role, champion and position and get connected with four teammates that also preselected their preferred role. The goal is to build a balanced team where everyone’s in agreement on where they’re going and what they’re playing, and in doing so help lay the foundation for good teamwork. "
Lyte goes on to say that "An ideal champ select is one where all five players get their preferred role and feel like they’re all on the same page for the upcoming match."
And the loftiest of promises made by Lyte in this forum post is as follows "With Team Builder we’ll also be rolling out a smarter matchmaking system that can dynamically account for your experience with a given role, position or champion. First time playing Ahri? Learning how to be a solid Marksman? Venturing into the jungle for the first time? Team Builder’s matchmaking will take all of these factors into account." I have no idea how Riot thinks they can pull this off, but with the amount of data they have on a player both internal, and external (thanks to site like lolking.net which track every player in the world) they might be able to pull at least some of this off.
Now all of this sounds well and good, might even be a huge step in a direction that leads to less team infighting at champion select, better team makeups and overall more competitive matches. But this is all in its early stages and won't hit the PBE until the "near future" if you want more information you can head on over to Lyte's forum post
and follow the discussion there.
I for one hope this works, because it would make matchmaking a whole lot less stressful when going into games with randoms.