Valve continue to do some pretty big tweaks to the matchmaking system in Dota 2, with another blog post and update talking about all the improvements they're implementing.
This is following on from all the other changes recently like the ban waves and sounds like they're really pushing to make the Dota 2 community and gameplay better for everyone.
Ever played a game of Dota 2 by yourself and get matched against an entire team of people? I have, it sucks. They're all forming a strategy, while half of your team are telling each other they're going to report them. It happened for a lot of others too and Valve have finally put a stop to it. In the latest blog post, Valve said that now a five-player team will only be matched up against other five-player teams. For Solo players, they will now only be matched up with a party maximum of two, so Solo players will either now be against an entire team of other Solo players or possibly three solo players and one party of two.
That's not all though of course. Valve also adjusted the post-game screen to show the average and max queue times for players in the match "to help you determine if we formed a bad match too quickly or not", there's also a behaviour category summary for the match to help players see if the matchmaking was doing a bad job. The post-game survey they had a long time ago has also made a return with a similar feature, giving some players a chance to rate the match experience to help Valve see where they're doing badly.
Naughty players are in for a shock now too. While they've banned the most terrible players, they're also now tweaking in-game features for players who are still a nuisance but not enough to be banned. If your behaviour score is below 3,000 you can no longer use chat or voice chat until the behaviour score rises. Valve think this system "will be valuable for both protecting the larger population from outliers and as a warning system for players who are moving in the wrong direction".
Sometime soon Valve will also be revamping the new player experience, which it badly needs. Dota 2 is a very complicated game and the interface is pretty noisy when you're new to it. Seems they're waiting to get matchmaking properly sorted and dealing with smurf accounts first to give new players a better start in their first lot of games. Nice.
With all the changes Valve are doing, that I genuinely like the sound of here I might just start playing it regularly again.