Ludia Forums

Sandbagging

Much has been said of Event vs. Battle matchups, so that isn’t what this is about. Sandbagging, which I think the matchup algorithm was intended to offset, has reached extreme proportions. If I wasn’t paying to do events in either time or money, I could tolerate the endless unbalanced matchups. Sandbagging now seems to have become the meta for the game. Players are very disheartened.

I suggest Ludia run an analysis of matchups and take a close look at how it is that so many matchups become so uneven and find a different approach to offset the sandbagging. In the current event I found my characters, all 14 or less, in a matchup with a team of all 20 level characters. In fact, all but two of all the characters on his roster were 20’s. He happens to be the leader of a top guild. What prompted this post was that I ran into a member of his guild just now with 17 level characters, in Battle vs. Battle, throwing the game. Coincidence or knowledge of the master on how to nerf the system?

Free wins that push a player’s characters over their heads in matchups are no favor, especially when the player throwing the match is setting himself up for wins later which screw up the matchmaking where it matters, in events. My guild has a large discord of active players, a few hundred anyway. The complaints are endless. Why would I, or anyone, participate in a key draw of your game just to reward sandbaggers?

How about adding a report button for a player when he runs into these situations? Seems to me that would give you plenty of data to look at.

When learning how to cheat becomes a requirement for success in a game vs, just playing the game, something is terribly wrong.

I think all but perhaps 10 or 20 players agreed significant matchmaking changes should have been made to WoW while it was still a viable app. There are many (more than 100) threads on the topic. Unfortunately, it seems avarice has led the developer to intentionally sandbag all League players at the start of each season. Players have no choice, we are all sandbagged, there is no way around it. The developer has no interest in balanced matchmaking.

I know this has been a devastating weekend for WoW, with disappointing sales of Coliolis, but it is in poor taste for Ludians to blame players for tanking, when the matchmaking issues and related player distaste all originate with the developer. Its unfortunate tunnel vision prevented the developer from seeing where the matchmaking algorithm was leading the app, despite the grumblings and warning available in these numerous threads.

My experience is not limited to the current event and myself and many players constantly run into this.

  1. We all see thrown games far too often.
  2. What kind of algorithm matches a player with a high of 2900+ trophies against a player with a high of well over 25,000? I have obscured the actual number for obvious reasons.
  3. I sandbagged a bit last season, only until the very end when I leveled up, just to see what I could see. The strength of players 2500 to 2700 was surprising. Once above 2700 I sailed to just short of 3000 running into a surprising number of players of equal and surprisingly weaker strength. I surmise the weaker were victims of “free” wins from sandbaggers as I saw many strong players “losing” their way down along the way. Those players, who were not deciding to lurk at the bottom of the league, were on whole though equally matched.

We’ve had similar conversations about many players who mistake a characters strength with his level. I’m not talking about those matchups. Nor am I talking about any bias in the matchmaking system. I am talking about the inability of the system to recognize the strength of a players characters when matchmaking. I assume the program attempts that when picking characters for teams, but there are obviously limits to what that mechanic alone can accomplish. Perhaps the system needs to also include an evaluation the strength of a players characters before it simply matches based on the current criteria alone.

The dilemma is that in other pvp games a player can work to avoid the kinds of mismatches we are compelled to face in this game. Sure, there are players who gank weaker players in all pvp games, but those games most generally have legitimate mechanics that allow players to avoid that once they learn the game. Newer players to games simply have to learn to play. Not here. We don’t get to choose.

While I agree with you, Orloch, and the 100 other posts about sandbagging being a problem - I will say the beginning of a new season is always a cluster regardless. Everyone is forced back into very tight quarters in the few leagues that exist, and it takes time for folks to disperse again. Sandbagging is bad and exists, but the first 3-4 days of a new season are horrible for other reasons.

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Just to add my two cents, I do believe there is some level of sandbagging, but there also is the new season scrum that usually happens when the players are reset to a new trophy level. For example, I don’t do much pvp as I like grinding pve better, so I’ll basically do my 40 kills a day or 10 pvp battles to grind the 20 kill boxes unless there’s a pvp event I want to do. Meaning I do less battle pvp and earn less trophies during those events as the events fill up the 40 kills for me.

So since the reset I haven’t lost a single game yet, but I’ve seen loads of unbalanced games where I’m getting matched against lower level teams. That eventually will sort out as I keep climbing the ranks and the only thing I can do is keep winning to increase my trophy count and eventually I’ll stop seeing those lower ranked teams. Except even if I’m at the very top of the leaderboard I’ll still see some when I’m in battle and they are in a pvp event. Nothing, I can do about that as that’s Ludia’s matching making scheme.

But I’ve also seen this season a continuation of ghost games. Haven’t lost yet (keep mentioning it to show even someone continually winning will still get unbalanced games), but somehow I lost my streak and my trophy count when down because it went below a threshold I just crossed and I noticed it. When that happens it means the game matched you with another player but you aren’t seeing it. Happens ever so often and once had it happen where I was playing a live game with one player or bot and another guild mate was playing my ghost at the same time. Discovered because we coincidentally happened to be in chat right after at the same time and ended up talking about it—he thanking me for the win and me going what win? That looks like tanking from the other player’s perspective. It drove Greemage crazy for months these ghost games because he was religiously tracking his trophy count for a long while and saw just how many trophies he was losing to ghost games. I don’t think it happens as much now as back then, but still happens a fair bit.

The top player may just be playing nice with you. I’ve seen Standing Warrior, Fiz, and some other top ten players bemoan the mis-matched games and expressed at times the desire to just give the lower ranked player the win to be nice, particularly when there is a gem costing event going on or at the very beginning of a season. If you look for it, you’ll see their posts to that effect. You still end up seeing mainly bots as a top player, so you can give a few wins here or there and still climb the ranks.

That all sums up to several reasons causing the mismatch in pvp battles or games that look like tanking:

-Ludia matchmaking system
-Battle versus event pvp
-Season reset
-Ghost games
-Intentional tanking (what the original poster is complaining about)
-Players not doing a lot of pvp battles and so therefore taking more time to climb the ranks
-Loading error issues where you can’t reboot and get back soon enough and pvp game is playing and you can’t
-Player being nice giving you a win
-Someone getting distracted before a game (you wait for a game, it takes a few seconds, something draws your attention that you need to attend to, you don’t notice you’ve been matched and pvp finishes before you can get back to game)

I do believe some level of tanking does exist, so I’m not disputing the poster’s concerns. But I am pointing out that there are other common reasons too for some of these mismatches.

Happy gaming all :grinning:

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Well said, @CPXZ. I see a lot of those same causes you described, and agree that while the end outcome is to say, there are definitely a few contributing factors.

Can I just say - I really wish a battle event was not running at the start of the season - it really does mean that the top ranked players end up just steamrolling a lot of folks who are paying gems to get through their events, and it really does feel terrible to do that. At the same time, Ludia is offering faster battle chest opens to encourage players to get out there and pvp.

Last season was the first time in ages that there was not a battle running right at the same time - and it was amazing. I genuinely had the most amount of fun I’d had in ages. I lost more battles than I won, but I basically fought real players repeatedly. Saw Jimbolya 3x, TTT repeatedly… and ofcourse old friends like Fizbanius and Greenmage. Playing humans reminds you that there is still variability in strategy at the top, and different play styles can still compete effectively.

I just wish that such matchmaking could somehow occur all season long, instead of just the first few days.

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Yes Running a PvP event at the same time an Arena reset happens is Nutz. If the matchmaking algorithm for events goes off our highest trophies earned. And then You reset the arenas now the ppl that were in some of the highest leagues are sitting at the trophy numbers that are our Highest trophy count. For example my highest trophies is 3350 and the reset puts people higher than under dark league at 3250 trophies at the reset so the ppl I face in event matchups are as the post above describe 4-6 levels higher than my entire squad. So players that are already much more well equipped get free wins in an event and get the event upgrades for way less gem cost and less time involved making them even stronger… seems very like a very illogical mechanic to inhibit the sandbagging of normal PvP…

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How else can super players brag about 100+ win streaks? They have to sandbag their way down several hundred trophy points.

I know pretty much every player posting on the who has the highest win streak post. None of them had to sandbag there way down first and it’s truly a misunderstanding of how the game works to think they’ve got to sandbag to get a high streak.

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@wise1_forsure You couldn’t be more wrong, they’re at the highest tier of gameplay and generally working their way through bots - because the vast majority of the time that’s all that’s available to them being in the upper echelon.

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I do not blame @wise1_forsure for this misunderstanding. This myth has been propagated for a long time, despite numerous efforts to explain what is actually occurring.

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Too funny.

I am at the highest end and havnt sandbagged at all. When all you play are bots it is easy to get a high win streak. I dont pvp constantly to raise my score i do just enough to finish events and keep a chest always active and thats it. Last week there were 4 SH events going on needing 15 wins. I went 60-1. total amount of real players played = 1. All of us at the top have zero reason to sandbag and its something that mostly happens in the mid level of gameplay. When a top end player lets someone win its always because they were afk, or felt pity for the players spending gems on events and getting terrible mismatches.

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I’ve tried to find the Dev’s original post re Event Matchmaking and their algorithm. I can’t find anything in the Games’s help, Announcements, or via Search. Can anyone point me to that?

All I’ve found is this, but not what it was:

What’s new in the Holiday Update (version 2.4.24)?

Matchmaking Fixes: Test of Might

**• Matchmaking for the event is based on the players’ best Battle Mode (PVP) Trophy Score during the previous season. **

• Winning or losing a match in the Test of Might adjusts the players’ Event Trophy Count normally, and the adjusted value is used for the matchmaking for the next match.

• The Event Trophy Count is not the same as the player’s current trophy score in Battle Mode. Participating in a Test of Might event never affects the current trophy score, arena, or league ranking.

• The Event Trophy Count is recalculated at the start of each new event.

——————-

when players intentionally fight at a lvl far below where they finish at seasons end, simply to gain an advantage throughout that season.

Fix your game.