Skill based matchmaking is generally how we generally try to address imbalanced matches. If there’s a massive skill imbalance, the more-skilled player will quickly “graduate” out of the pool of potential players in the skill cohort and be placed into a higher-skilled group of players to compete with. As time passes, players should (in theory) eventually reach an equilibrium point where they advance to a skill pool where most matches have roughly 50/50 results overall.
This solution generally works overall, but can break down under certain circumstances. For example, when a game has just launched, nobody has been sorted into their proper skill rankings yet so everybody is placed into the same pool and lopsided matches occur. Similarly, when highly skilled players decide to “smurf” by starting fresh accounts, they get a limited time where they get to fight less-skilled players before they get promoted past them. It is also possible for such players to throw games to tank their own ranks so as to get demoted and get to play their lopsided matches.
Another common problem is that matchmaking is inherently trying to optimize for several factors at once - you want a good match, but you also don’t want to wait for a really long time to find one. The longer a player has to wait, the looser the requirements for a “good” match must become. A lopsided game might be considered a better option than no game at all.
We try to prevent lopsided games for a variety of reasons. It feels really bad to get curbstomped, as you’ve mentioned. It’s also not that great an experience for the player doing the curb stomping - it might feel fun initially, but playing on god mode tends to get dull pretty quick. The longer (and better) the ranking system has been working, the less common lopsided matches tend to happen and that’s usually better for everybody who plays.
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