I posted here a while ago about the Season 1 results for Yomi, and how the ranking system works. While Puzzle Strike is also available on fantasystrike.com and now has all TWENTY characters with ranked matches, this post is about Yomi's ranking stats.
Season 2 just ended, and these results are in ranked matches from June 20th to December 6th, 2011.
DeGrey 786 / 1430 55.0% Midori 712 / 1329 53.5% Argagarg651 / 1220 53.4% Rook 836 / 1613 51.8% Geiger 702 / 1405 50.0% Grave 833 / 1672 49.8% Lum 482 / 992 48.6% Setsuki 1066 / 2253 47.3% Valerie 706 / 1483 47.6% Jaina 920 / 1986 46.3%
Again, the balance has held up remarkably well, and is closer than any known fighting game. In season 1, the surprise was that Midori was claimed to be the worst, yet he had the highest win rate in the end. DeGrey is the other character clamed to be worst, and this time he posted the highest win rate, with Midori at #2. It's important to keep some perspective though, as these are razor thin differences anyway.
Now let's look at those stats ranked by popularity instead by win-rate:
Setsuki 1066 / 2253 47.3%
Jaina 920 / 1986 46.3%
Grave 833 / 1672 49.8%
Rook 836 / 1613 51.8%
Valerie 706 / 1483 47.6%
DeGrey 786 / 1430 55.0%
Geiger 702 / 1405 50.0%
Midori 712 / 1329 53.5%
Argagarg 651 / 1220 53.4%
Lum 482 / 992 48.6%
Just like in season 1, Setsuki is the most popular and has the worst win-rate. All those noobs dragging down the stats! Jaina has the same effect. She's believed to be very strong, though she's showing the same signs, given that she's #2 in popularity yet last in win-rate. I think her last place here will surprise to a lot of people. Lum is still hard and still less popular, Midori is still strong but less popular. Characters shuffled around the win-rate list a fair bit, which is what we'd expect for a game where characters are very close in power level.
Some people correctly pointed out last time that the matchmaking system would make even really imbalanced characters appear 50-50. While that's true, it's only true for a perfect matchmaking system. Ours is so far from perfect right now, that it hardly matters. You're basically matched with whoever most of the time. Speaking of that, how about we make it a whole lot easier to get a match? Read on....
Best of 3 Matches vs. Best of 1 Matches
Season 2 was a best of 3 format, meaning when you quckmatch, you play more than one game until someone has two wins total. Season 3 will revert back to best of 1 format (just one game), because the players are asking for that change, and the data supports it.
One thing in favor of best of 3 matches is that the more games you play in a match, the more fair the result is (less swings from randomness.) During the Dreamhack Starcraft 2 tournament, they mentioned that 85% of best of 5 matches were won by the player who won the first game. I thought that was pretty interesting. Here is Yomi, we'd expect the best of 3 format to magnify any character imbalances...but it didn't. It's a tight spread either way.
Another effect we'd expect is that characters who have higher variance in their gameplay (like Makoto in Street Fighter 3s) would do "unfairly" good in a best of 1 format. Best of 3 would "fix" that by making them get lucky twice to win a match. DeGrey is such a character, and yet he managed to top the win rates in best of 3 anyway while not topping them in the best of 1 season!
Really all that stuff about fairness of best of 1 vs best of 3 doesn't add up to much. In both formats, the best players are rising to the top and the character balance is holding. But there is something that matters A LOT. And that's the length of time that a match takes. There were fewer quickmatches this season, even correcting for it being shorter than season1. Many players complained that they would use quickmatch more if only it was a shorter time commitment. Well now it is. Season 3 started last night, and it's best of 1 format. Matches are fast and quickmatch will be more popular.
Quickmatches also give you "gold" now. The exact amounts are being adjusted and the gain rate is way high right now just for testing purposes. All this gold is just fake anyway and it will be completely reset when this (short) season ends when we go to an actual launch. At that point, the gold will be an option for you to buy decks without using real money. You will also be able to buy decks directly, you'll be able to subscribe to unlock all characters in all games, and there will always be two different free characters available to everyone each week.
The site itself has going through a lot of upgrades recently. It now has much more "real" art for headers and interface. The forums have been completely upgraded recently as well. We've added the ability to record and playback matches. There will be another round of major graphical upgrades to the "play" page--the place where you quickmatch, see lists of available matches and so on. This will also include graphical upgrades to the pre-match "versus" screen, profile pages, and various popup windows. I'm really looking forward to this, and to your continued support after our launch that will allow us to improve the site more and more, keep the games updated, and to add new games like Flash Duel and our customizable card game someday. Oh by the way, Flash Duel is now in stock and ships starting tomorrow and monday, depending on when you ordered!
Oh, and congratulations to friiik, the Yomi Season 2 winner. Note that he didn't *just* place #1 on the leaderboard, but also dominated in tournaments. Top skills!