Willing to play a couple “normal” matches to help us improve Factions balance?

We are looking for Summoners to help us with an experiment to improve Factions balance.

The Problem We’re Fixing

Factions matches are not always mirror-matched: sometimes it’s, e.g., Plat-Plat-Gold-Silver-Silver versus Diamond-Gold-Gold-Bronze-Bronze. This sort of match-up produces two problems:

  • We aren’t sure how to score it fairly. If the Plat-Plat team wins, should they get more points than usual? Fewer? The same amount?
  • We aren’t sure going into it how fair it’s likely to be. People aren’t sure if they’re signing up for a really hard game or a fairly even game.

Right now, we very roughly balance using a point system, in which we value Bronzes as 1 point, Silvers as 3, Golds as 5, Plats as 8, and Diamonds as 12. The bigger the point gap, the bigger the match point value adjust. That’s just guesswork, though.

How We’re Fixing It

We’re running some experiments to try to measure how much of an impact the different Tiers have in a mixed-Tier game. Which gaps are the biggest gaps for balance purposes? Gold-Silver? Diamond-Plat? Silver-Bronze?

We’re starting with an opening round of controlled experimental matches with the following configuration:

  • Team A: Silver-Silver-Silver-Silver-Silver
  • Team B: ______-______-Silver-Silver-Silver

with the blanks in Team B filled with a pair of Summoners from the same non-Silver Tier, e.g., two Golds or two Bronzes.

We’ll then run lots of matches with each setup, and compare winrates. For example, if GGSSS beats SSSSS 60% of the time, while PPSSS beats SSSSS 90% of the time, then that suggests there should be a bigger point-value gap between Gold and Plat than between Silver and Gold.

What You’d Need To Do

This involves playing non-Factions matches (all Champions unlocked) when available. These matches will generate the data we’ll use in our analysis.

Determine Your Tier

For our purposes, we’re defining your Tier as the higher of your S3 and S4 Summoner’s Rift solo queue rank.


If you were Gold in S3, and are now Silver in S4, your Tier for experimental purposes is Gold. (Use the higher of S3 and S4 Summoner’s Rift solo queue rank.)

We use end-of-season rank, so if you were (say) briefly Plat in S3 but then went back down to Gold and finished S3 as Gold, and are now Silver, your Tier is Gold for this experiment.

Join the Appropriate Chat

We’ll start matches when we have enough people available. For each match, we’ll need 8 Silvers and 2 from another Tier.

To help us get an idea for who’s available, join the appropriate chat:


and set it to auto-join on startup:

AutoJoinChat-SILVERThen, just forget about it. At some point, you’ll likely get a custom game invite from someone running a balance match. If you’re free, accept. If not, no worries; there’ll be plenty more.

How the Matches Work

Basically, pretend the match is a ranked match — play your best. (However, the /pause function can be used as normal in Factions: up to 5 minutes per side for d/cs and the like.) All Champions are available, and bans can be used however you think best. You are allowed to take the imbalance into consideration as you play, as you would in a Factions match; for example, you might say, “hey, their Diamonds are both Bot, let’s focus on ganking top a lot.”

Someone will need to submit a screenshot of the LoL Nexus page for the match to us. More on that below.

If You Want To Organize a Match

It would be awesome if you’d be willing to try to put a match together for us. We need all the data we can get.

Here are the main instructions.

  • Tournament Draft Summoner’s Rift. Create the match as a Tournament Draft SR.
    • Game name: FACTIONS – GGSSS vs. SSSSS (replacing GG as appropriate; also, toss a coin to decide which side is all-Silver)
    • Password: factions
  • Get some players. You’re going to need eight Silvers and two from another Tier.
    • Check the appropriate chats (e.g. SILVER). Invite those people.
    • Bump this GD thread.
    • Invite from this list of balance testers.
    • Copy and paste into Factions chat: Looking for Silvers to help with an experiment to improve Factions match balance. Join the SILVER chat if you’re interested. Thank you!
    • Invite friends.
  • Verify Tiers. You can use op.gg to quickly look up S3 and current Tier.
  • Randomize Silvers. Toss a coin for each Silver player. If heads, have them go onto the left-hand side. If tails, right. (Obviously, once one side fills up, just leave everyone else on the other side.)
  • Explain the rules. In short: all Champions available, play it like Ranked, yes you can consider the Tier differences when strategizing (e.g. their mid is Diamond, so play safe). Pauses can be used as in Factions if someone d/cs or afks, up to 5 minutes per side.
  • Screenshot LoLNexus on loadscreen. This nicely summarizes the matchup for analysis purposes.
  • Submit results. Once it’s over, click here to send in the results.

Thank you! Any matches you can run will be a major help to us. FOR SCIENCE!




We’re also taking a survey on balance. You’re all invited to participate and share your intuitions.


Caitlyn, you monster.

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One comment on “Willing to play a couple “normal” matches to help us improve Factions balance?

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