While we've already heard plenty of details on Heroes of the Storm's new heroes that were announced at BlizzCon, that's not the only thing Blizzard has in the works. At a "State of the Game" panel at BlizzCon today, game director Dustin Browder revealed that a new matchmaking system is on the way before the end of 2015.
In explaining the problems they've had with matchmaking, Browder revealed that Heroes of the Storm actually borrowed its matchmaking system from StarCraft 2, the real-time strategy game it was originally built on top of. While that made sense for them initially, Heroes of the Storm is actually an incredibly different game from StarCraft 2, so Blizzard has had to rebuild the Heroes matchmaking system from the ground up.
Browder said that the old matchmaking system was primarily built around creating games as quickly as possible and didn't take quality of those match-ups into account enough. It was a complicated system and would often hit dead-ends, which led to creating match-ups with players of widely varying skill levels.
The new system, Browder said, will focus on building games to be good. It will build a queue based on gathering people of similar skill levels. Time spent waiting will not affect match quality in most cases.
"If you're in Brazil at 4 in the morning, and you're one of the highest-ranked players in the world, maybe we don't want to wait 30 minutes to get you the best match," Browder said. However, he promised that would be an exception rather than the rule.
Blizzard has run simulations in the new system using live data, and Browder said those simulations show games being much better matched. The difference in ranks between players is much smaller, and character roles are more balanced between all the members of a group.
Browder reiterated that the intent is to launch the new matchmaker within the next two to three weeks, though he stressed that this is "an intent, not a promise."
"Anything could happen in software, but this is our top priority," Browder said.