Update 188.8.131.52 included a change to the battle queue screen. Naturally some players asked us why we did that and how the new design works. Let’s get into details.
As you can recall, the old design showed a table that included the number of aircraft of each tier currently in queue. It seemed simple: if we wanted to start fighting quickly we should just have picked an aircraft from the tier that has the most players, or we could assess how long the wait time would have been based on the number of aircraft in the queue. In fact though these principles didn’t work sometimes. The table showed the number of aircraft without consideration of classes, while the matchmaker could put some of the waiting players on reserve and send others into battle. Large player count on a tier did not guarantee quick battle starts. Secondly, there are some settings in the matchmaker that can put a player on a higher or lower tier than their aircraft is, and there was no way to know that.
The new design uses timers that show approximately how soon the battle will start, instead of using the unreliable player count table that rarely had any meaning. Once a player clicks “Battle!” they will see the average time it takes the matchmaker to assemble a battle for their aircraft tier and class. This average time in queue is calculated from 10 previous such battles, excluding the extremums (battles that were started very quickly or those that took very long to start). Naturally since it is an average it does not guarantee that the battle will start before the timer reaches average value. Sometimes either over- or underpopulation of the queue by some class can happen, or it can lack players overall, or the matchmaker might need more flights to balance the teams. In such cases the average time in queue timer will change to maximum time in queue once it exceeds average. It is set to 80 seconds currently, so if the queue contains at least one player to put into an opposing team the free slots will be filled with bots and the battle will start once the maximum time runs out. Naturally if the queue contains only one player at some tier the waiting time will exceed even maximum limits because the matchmaker is prohibited to start battles without at least one player on both teams. If the server detects that average battle start time for 10 previous battles exceeds maximum value the queue screen will recommend changing the aircraft to a lower tier one and will suggest the most currently active tiers.
As a result in most cases the new design is much more intuitive, and our players can easily see when to expect the battle start or what to do if it takes too long.
NB: currently there is a bug with the screen that results in wait time indicators not changing from average to maximum occasionally. We will fix it as soon as possible.