In the last year, Dota 2 received more than one update which affected how matchmaking works. The January 16 patch partially brought the old system back. So what does this mean?
The fast queue is gone
Where the fast queue used to be, now there’s just the ranked roles. The slow queue has been replaced by the good old ranked matchmaking without roles. You might be asking yourself: Why? A couple of reasons. The so-called “fast queue” was never that fast to begin with. If you dared to select a popular role (meaning anything but support) you’d still spend a good amount of time waiting. That may have varied over what MMR you’re standing in, but generally people didn’t want to play support so and that led to a lot of waiting.
In the end, you often made the sacrifice of playing something you didn’t want wasn’t worth it. Additionally, the quality of Dota 2 games dropped significantly over the last few months mainly due to the slow and fast queues. The latest matchmaking update seems like a step in the right direction. It provides both ranked roles and role-less matchmaking but it also raises a few concerns. People will now have to play a role they don’t want to in order to get Ranked Roles games. Whereas before, they could simply enter the slow queue and wait it out. Chances are we’ll see plenty of players not playing the role they signed up for which makes the whole thing rather pointless.
MMR gains have been adjusted
You’ve probably enjoyed the feeling of losing 40 MMR from a single game only to win the next one which brings you 10 MMR. Well, that nightmare is no more! The variability has been rebalanced so games will now only vary between 20 and 30 MMR.
Solo queue is more impactful
Just like it always should’ve been, playing Dota 2 alone is finally better rewarded. The MMR gain/loss while playing alone is set at 30 MMR. Meanwhile, playing in a party will have a base of 20 MMR. An important thing to note is that Ranked Classic will affect both Core and Support ratings, so it’s definitely a quick way to climb when compared to playing with friends. In Valve’s own words:
“We have more confidence in the impact of a player on the game when they are solo compared to in a party, and thus we are willing to move a player’s MMR faster/slower depending on that.”
As usual, only time will show us the outcome of this update, but in any case, Dota 2 is always enjoyed more with friends.