**Introduction:**
The fundamental balance issue in PVP is poor matchmaking. Some players experience 1:1 win:loss ratios, while others experience unbreakable losing streaks. The solution to this problem is a rating system that improves matchmaking.

The rating system would be based on player skill/prowess, in the form of participation points that account for all abilities: damage, shield repair, hull repair, buffs, debuffs; both given and received.

Fundamentally, queues would need to be separated between individuals ('PUGs') and registered ('premade') teams, with different ratings for each.

Please post any and all feedback here. Support is especially welcome. Falkoren (Cryptic QA) made it very clear that ideas like this cannot be implemented without tangible player support.

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**Participation-based Ratings:**
In order to make this work, the ratings need to be calculated per individual player and not per team. There should be a separate rating for team, but only if the team 'registers' for it.

Personal ratings should be based off participation (accounting for: damage dealt, hull repair, shield repair, buffs/debuffs applied, and AOE; also objective-based scoring), so it encourages support as much as kills. It should not need to record win:loss, since we all know that win:loss is determined far more by teamwork than individual participation.

Team ratings should be based off total participation as well as win:loss ratio vs. other teams' ratings.

How is participation calculated? The fundamental components should be damage and healing, but these two components could be split in the following ways:

- Damage = (DamageDealt / DamageReceived)

- Healing = [(HullRepairGiven + ShieldRepairGiven) / (HullRepairReceived + ShieldRepairReceived)]

Next, how do we account for buffs, debuffs, and AOE?

- Add a DamageAssist component to Damage, to account for damage buffs (non-self) and resistance debuffs. Whenever an ally scores Damage points while damage-buffed from another ally, the player who applied the damage buff (non-self) gains those Damage points as well.

Whenever anyone scores Damage points against a target with a resistance debuff, the player who applied the debuff gains those Damage points as well.

- Add a DamageMitigation component to Healing, to account for resistance buffs (non-self). Whenever an ally resists damage received, the player who applied the resistance buff (non-self) gains Healing points.

- CC abilities can count toward Damage Assist or Damage Mitigation, if approximations are used (e.g., base weapon stats = Damage Mitigation; power drained = Damage Assist). Otherwise, CC abilities should be ignored.

- Points received from DamageAssist and DamageMitigation could be weighted lower than base Damage and Healing points, if these points are the result of non-CC buff/debuff (or buff/debuff that require the output of other allies in order to generate points). Rather, the Damage and Healing points received would be reduced if from these DamageAssist and DamageMitigation components.

Thus, DamageAssist and DamageMitigation are weighted equally with the other components (output/input) of Damage and Healing:

- Damage = (DamageDealt / DamageReceived) + DamageAssist

- DamageAssist = (coefficient * DamageDealtByAllies) + EnemyPowerDrained

where coefficient is a fraction, most likely (1 / totalNumberOfAllies)

- Healing = [(HullRepairGiven + ShieldRepairGiven) / (HullRepairReceived + ShieldRepairReceived)] + DamageMitigation

- DamageMitigation = (coefficient * DamageReducedOnAllies) + EnemyDisabledWeaponDamage

where coefficient is a fraction, most likely (1 / totalNumberOfEnemies)

Lastly, how do we account for objective-based scoring (e.g., capture-and-hold scoring)?

- Add a third component, of equal weighting with Damage and Healing, called ObjectivePoints. Thus, the total participation score can be affected by ObjectivePoints without biasing all participation scores (for non-objective maps).

myParticipation = Damage + Healing + ObjectivePoints

- In order for ObjectivePoints to be consistent with the order of magnitude of Damage and Healing, they would need to be generated by players (just as Damage and Healing are generated by players) instead of taken out of an already existing points pool.

This means that the influence point scale (and overall system) on the current capture-and-hold maps needs to change. For example, the new victory condition would be that the first team to reach 1200 influence points wins (instead of the current victory condition, which is that the first team to reach 0 influence points loses).

- Create arbitrary values, based on approximate/comparable Damage + Healing, that could be considered equivalent to scoring an objective. ObjectivePoint value units would be the same units used in Damage and Healing values, so there would be no difficulty in conversion or scaling.

For example in capture-and-hold:- For the moment, let's keep the system simple and say that an area is either captured or neutral; anything in between does not matter.
- 1 ObjectivePoint = 100 DamageDealt + 50 HullRepairGiven + 50 ShieldRepairGiven
- It takes 60 ObjectivePoints to capture an area from neutral standing.
- Each player generates 1 ObjectivePoint per second, only while within a certain range of an objective area that they do not own.
- Once an area is captured, each player of the same standing generates 2 ObjectivePoints per second, only while within range of the objective area.

Individual un-ranked rating is then calculated as a ratio of individual participation to everyone else's participation (total). So my individual (un-ranked) rating would be calculated as:

myParticipation / totalParticipation

This would need to be modified to account for all player ratings, in order to provide relative scaling rather than absolute inflation. A simple scaling system with ranked ratings might look like this:

myRating = (myParticipation / totalParticipation) * (AvgParticipationOfAllPlayers / totalParticipationOfAllPlayers)

which is the same as

myRating = (myParticipation / totalParticipation) / totalNumberOfRatings

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**Ratings Brackets and Matchmaking:**
Ratings should be bracketed based upon the average participation possible per tier.

Normalisation to 50% win (or loss) does require a large population. However, matchmaking in general -- and the operation of the ratings system -- does not require any particular population (above 10 total, of course, if 5v5 is our most basic unit).

More accurately, we do not need to constrain players to their ratings brackets.

Matchmaking will first select from within a ratings bracket, and then move outward if there are not enough players available within that single bracket.

While it is true that there may be situations where PVPers from one bracket might be matched up with and against PVPers of other brackets, this will happen only if it becomes necessary to create PVP matches (i.e., quality-of-service oriented, instead of best-effort oriented). In this scenario, ratings are still calculated normally and largely unaffected, as long as we also apply weights to the different brackets.

For example, a scenario where a PVPer from Bracket 3 is forced to play with and against PVPers from Bracket 1. Without bracket weightings, the participation calculated would be extremely high for the player from Bracket 3, which would temporarily inflate that player's rating. To compensate, we can then apply weightings in the form of a (fractional) coefficient applied to the participation component, where the coefficient represents a ratio of the brackets' average participation.

So my individual (un-ranked) rating becomes:

Participation = (myParticipation / totalParticipation) * (AvgParticipationOfHighBracket / AvgParticipationOfMyBracket)

And the ranked ratings formula becomes:

myRating = Participation / totalNumberOfRatings

By applying the bracket coefficient to the participation component and not the entire ratings formula, players from lower brackets are rewarded slightly for competing against players from higher brackets, while the ratings calculation (in that situation of mixed brackets) would be largely unaffected for the players from higher brackets.

In order to account for bracket-jumping at the margins (high-end and low-end of each bracket), we could impose a constraint that limits backwards movement. In other words, it would be easier to move up in ratings and brackets than it is to move down. This could be accomplished by applying a weighted additive to all ratings calculations, where the additive represents a weighting of my new rating relative to my previous rating.

So the weighted ranked ratings formula becomes:

myNewRating = additive + myOldRating

where additive = (myNewRating - myOldRating) * (myNewRating / myOldRating)

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Continued in the next post.