[PvP-Guide] Gaining Arena Rating (MMR) (short summary)

85 Night Elf Rogue
7065
New: Teamswapping does help after all: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1820952130?page=11#209

Updated for patch 5.0.1

Introduction

The aim of this guide is to explain the current Arena Rating system and to answer any questions someone might have. Opposed to my other guides, I will try to keep this one very short so it will be easier to read and understand.

I noticed that many players don’t fully understand the current Arena Rating system, and I have answered many questions about it, until I finally decided to write this guide to put everything together in one thread.

To clarify the words I will be using: “Rating” is the number you can find in your PvP tab and the one that gives you achievements. MMR or Match Making Rating is the “hidden” rating which you can only see at the end of an arena fight.. Further explanation about that can be found below, but this is just to avoid confusion with the terms.

Match Making Rating (MMR)

The first question you might ask is: What is Match Making Rating? MMR is a “secondary” rating that changes every time you play an arena battle. Basically it comes down to this: Your MMR increases when you win, and it decreases when you lose. Quite obvious.

This MMR, using about the same scale as the actual rating, will then match you up against another team with about the same MMR. So if you have 1600 MMR, you will almost always fight against other teams with around 1600 MMR.

Let’s say you create a new team and it is your very first arena battle. You will start at 1500 MMR, and 0 rating. This means that you might actually end up fighting against a team with a rating of 1500 points higher than yours, but with the same MMR. Let’s say you win this match. In that case your rating will go up with an amount fixed towards the opponent’s MMR, and not based on their actual rating.
So in short: Your rating does not make any difference in which enemy team you will be fighting, and neither does it make a difference in the amount of rating you or your opponent lose/win. It is all based on MMR.

This is something that confuses many players. They see their rating of 1400 barely increasing when they win, while enemy teams keep gaining close to 100 points. The reason for this is that the enemy’s rating is actually very low, and that only their MMR is at 1400, and not the rating.
Edited by Canttouchmé on 22/09/2012 10:32 BST
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85 Night Elf Rogue
7065
You could say that MMR is an estimated rating you will reach in the future if you keep going the way you’re doing at that moment. The difference is that MMR starts at a higher number to make your first few matches more fair.

The great thing about this system is that no matter how bad a player you are, you will always achieve a 50% winrate, just like a player running at 2.2k rating. That way everyone can enjoy playing Arena at their own level.

To sum it up: MMR is your rating that displays the level of difficulty you’re playing at, and Rating change is based purely on the enemy's MMR and the outcome of the match. The rating itself, however, doesn’t really indicate anything, except for the fact that it displays that you played on that particular level for some time. However, it is the MMR that matters, and the rating just follows.

Questions and Answers

To clarify I will add a few questions and answers. If you have any more questions feel free to post them in a reply below and I will add them to this list.

- Q: Where can I see my Match Making Rating?

A: You can see your MMR in the score sheet after you finished an arena match. This screen displays amongst others the names of the players, the dmg and healing done etc, but at the bottom right corner it will display the average MMR of your team, and of the enemy. This will usually be a number somewhere in between 800-2500, where 800 is fairly low and 2500 very high.

-Q: Why do I only gain less than 20 rating when I win, while the enemy gains close to 100 rating every win?

That is because their teamrating is lower than their MMR, while your MMR and rating are already about equal. When you start a new team, you'll be at 0 rating but at a much higher MMR, meaning that you'll gain 96 rating every win until you start getting close to your MMR.

-Q: Why does my MMR go up or down so much faster/slower than that of other teams?

A: I gave some extensive answers in posts #103-104, but here is a short version. When you are new to a certain bracket, your MMR will change quite fast, so you don't have to play a lot of games at the wrong level of difficulty.
When you have already played quite a few arena matches, you will see it change a bit slower, because you have already proven to be worthy of the MMR you are at at that given time.
This is the personal MMR, so it doesn't matter whether you're new to a team. This only happens when you first start playing arena after MMR was reset, and that difference will be there in approximately your first 50 matches.
Edited by Canttouchmé on 29/01/2012 22:10 GMT
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85 Night Elf Rogue
7065
- Q: Why is my winrate 70% while you said the system should balance the game in such a way that I should reach a 50% winrate?

A: The system isn’t that instant. If you win a match, you will gain a certain amount of MMR. However, if your MMR is at 1400, and you win against a team with 1400 MMR, it won’t instantly go up by 100. It doesn’t go slow, but it doesn’t go up that fast either. You will see that if you play with the same setup etc and your skills stay the same, eventually your winrate will balance itself out again.

-Q: Why is my personal rating lower than my team rating?

A: This doesn’t have anything to do with MMR. This is because they don’t want to make it possible for someone to join a team at 2.2k MMR, buy the tier 2 gear and then to run off again. You are actually supposed to play in that team and reach a decent rating on your own. You start at 1000 personal rating and it will increase faster than your team rating, so in the end it will catch up.

-Q: If everyone starts at 1500 MMR, including people good enough to reach 2400 MMR, isn’t that unfair?

A: Yes, it is. But this can’t be fixed, because there will always be that difference. However, the system does try to fix this problem a little by saving your previous MMR when you join a new team. So if you already achieved 2400 MMR in one team, and you join/create a new one, you won't have to start all over again at 1500 MMR. Once again this does not involve actual Rating.

-Q: How come I lose more rating for losses than I gain for winning while I'm playing against a team with more MMR than myself?

A: In that case your MMR is lower than your teamrating. Whenever you lose for example 15 points for losing against a certain team with higher MMR than you, and after that you win against that same team and only gain 5 rating, it can only be because your MMR is lower than your teamrating.
However, Your rating might have gone down, but your MMR actually went up from those 2 battles. Therefore on the long term you'll actually gain some rating, because your rating and MMR will balance itself out (which is also the reason for losing more rating than you won in the first place).

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I hope this guide helped and answered your questions. If it didn’t please ask your questions in a reply below, so I can give you an answer and if it’s a useful questions I will also add it to the post.
Any feedback or criticism would be very welcome if it could help me improve this guide. And lastly, if you liked this guide don’t hesitate to press the thumb up button ;)

Thanks for reading and good luck in arena

Canttouchmé
Edited by Canttouchmé on 17/07/2011 20:00 BST
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85 Night Elf Rogue
7065
In my last guide I made the mistake to reserve just 1 post, so just in case I will reserve this one too. It probably won't be needed, but I refuse to make the same mistake twice ;)

Edit: and I'm happy I did that because I found a good use for this page. I will list every good question asked in this thread, and will tell you in which post(s) I answered it. This will hopefully avoid multiple identical questions, and it will keep the guide as short as it should be (I don't want to add all the questions in the Q&A because the thread would become too long. Only the most important ones are in there). So here goes:

-Q: Is there anything like an MMR penalty on teamhopping?
Answered in post #193

-Q: Will I keep my t2 gear after dropping below 2.2k rating?
Answered by Tayen, in post #36

-Q: Why is my team rating lower than my personal rating?
Answered in post #44

-Q: Isn't it weird that everyone gets a 50% winrate? It would be more logical if winrate displayed skill
Answered in post #46

-Q: Will playing good and skillful influence your MMR directly?
Answered in post #49

-Q: Would playing on 3 different characters make a difference in MMR?
Answered in post #49

-Q: Is MMR specific for each bracket, or are 2v2/3v3/5v5/RBG linked together?
Answered in post #51

-Q: Have they reset MMR in season 10?
Answered in post #65

-Q: MMR is cruel to newcomers
Answered in post #67

-Q: What is the reasoning behind the fact that you gain MMR faster while you're new to arena, while it slows down as you play more matches?
Answered in post #97

-Q: How does the MMR gain when you're playing your first few matches scale down as you play more matches?
Answered in post #104, including my very first TL;DR version!! ;)

-Q: How does the Rated Battleground rating system work?
Answered in post #8

-Q Has the MMR system been fixed yet to avoid people exploiting it?
Answered in post #151
Edited by Canttouchmé on 06/10/2011 07:30 BST
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85 Dwarf Mage
5510
nice guide dude!

Sticky please!
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85 Undead Hunter
6555
Nice post, requested sticky. Always people posting about this ;P
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85 Undead Mage
0
Hm..

I was excepting more like:

Gaining Arena Rating
1. Pick Warrior
2. ???
3. Profit


If you are a Warrior you might want to replace <class> as a Mage or DK.
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85 Night Elf Rogue
7065
Editing this to explain the RBG MMR system. I needed a post on the first page, so I picked this one, but it isn't as old as the sign on the right says. This post was made on 24/07/2011.

Rated Battleground Rating

In RBGs there used to be a fairly complicated system in season 9, which used only your personal MMR to determine rating gain/loss. This made it quite weird, and also very annoying for some players who simply couldn't progress due to bad luck.

This was changed in season 10, where rating gain now doesn't depend on your own personal MMR anymore. I'll try to explain:

Everyone has a personal MMR, and the personal MMR of all players together eventually gives the average team MMR. Once that number is settled, the personal MMR becomes irrelevant, and you don't even have to consider it anymore.
After that, the average team MMR becomes the only important number, since the matchmaking progress will start. The system will try to find another team with a similar average MMR, and once it found a team like this, the queue will pop up.

After that, the match starts, someone wins, and the rating gain/loss will be determined. From what I gathered, this rating gain/loss is based on your own team's average MMR compared to your own personal rating.

So, by that time it will use 3 numbers (your own MMR, the average MMR and the enemy's average MMR). These will be thrown into some kind of formula just like arena (post #186), and it will determine a personal rating gain/loss and a personal MMR gain/loss. For example, if your rating is 300 and you beat a team with 1800 MMR, you'll gain a high amount of rating, in this case 196. How much MMR you'll gain isn't something we know, and I wouldn't even be able to tell you whether this is based on your team's average or even just your personal MMR.

Another example, if you have a personal rating of 1800 and you win against a team with 1600 MMR, your rating gain will be very low, even if your entire team is at 1600 MMR. This means it can be quite punishing for higher rated players to team up with players who have a low MMR, since that means they can pretty much only lose. If they have a rating of 3k, but an average team MMR of 1500, they will gain 0 rating for a win and probably lose over 40 for a loss.

All in all, this avoids some players being punished for their low personal MMR, while also avoiding some players to reach 3600 rating. Rating will be much harder to get, and the cutoff for the end of season titles will be much lower.
This could be seen as both positive and negative, so I'll leave that to you to decide ;)
Edited by Canttouchmé on 10/12/2011 18:29 GMT
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85 Worgen Priest
1380
04/03/2011 10:25 PMPosted by Canttouchmé
-Q: Why is my personal rating lower than my team rating?


Can be ,if you joined later to team with like 1.3k rating ,you start with 1k ,or if you were on rating of same as team & you were offline for 2 days (example) ,while your guys in tam was carriing on rasing rating ,while your stays where it is :)
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
2940
Hm..

I was excepting more like:

Gaining Arena Rating
1. Pick Warrior
2. ???
3. Profit


Haha funny ,but me Retri/disc vs Warr/Disc ended up wining :D
Anoying thing is ,warriors always try to nuke & slow me down instead healer (anoying for me ,not my medic) ,while i'm on healer ,i got actually 2 on my back =( For some reason
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85 Undead Death Knight
wx
9930
Actually a useful posts on the PvP forums, sure caught me off-guard.
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85 Draenei Mage
3110
Nice guide mate!
This should have been stickied a long time ago, so requested for sticky! :)
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85 Goblin Shaman
2675
nice guide for people that are not famliar to the arena system.
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85 Night Elf Rogue
7065
Talking about making the same mistake multiple times...I posted this thread on Friday night

Not the brightest of ideas if you keep in mind that Blizzard employees have a weekend too
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86 Gnome Priest
9190
MMR is pure blizzard fail system.
Theres a hundrends teams manipulating the system. How?
first time they reach 2v2 1800+ rating with over 300+ played games they disband it. And start over again.
I have seen a teams infront SW while dueling played games 90 = 57/32 rating 1924.
Me and my buddy had 340 played games 185/155 and we barely reached 1600 .
We disband it and with the new1 = 27 played 23/4 wins we were 1750 already.
This a hole in the MMR system.
Edited by Nakata on 07/03/2011 09:36 GMT
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Reported for foul language and real life threats of violence... oh wait, I meant reported for sticky :P


EDIT:
We disband it and with the new1 = 27 played 23/4 wins we were 1750 already.
This a hole in the MMR system.


Thats not a hole xD that is half the point of MMR, when you are winning a lot more than you lose then you get more MMR... esp if you are beating people with good mmr.
Edited by Hikita on 07/03/2011 09:43 GMT
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86 Gnome Priest
9190
07/03/2011 9:41 AMPosted by Hikita
Thats not a hole xD that is half the point of MMR, when you are winning a lot more than you lose then you get more MMR... esp if you are beating people with good mmr.


ye i know this.Even with 30 games win diference on the old1 we couldnt reached it.
My point was they trying to reach at least good MMR with the 1st team.When they do it they start over again from 0 with MMR like 1600+ but team rating i 0 so they meet very low lvl teams at the beginning from there more wins more % more rating just like that.
I did this and i won.
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85 Night Elf Rogue
7065
07/03/2011 9:48 AMPosted by Nakata
My point was they trying to reach at least good MMR with the 1st team.When they do it they start over again from 0 with MMR like 1600+ but team rating i 0 so they meet very low lvl teams at the beginning from there more wins more % more rating just like that.


I'm doing my best to comprehend what you're saying, and I think you mean something in the direction off "if you're at 0 rating you fight other teams with 0 rating".
If this is not what you meant, please correct me.
If this is what you meant, please read the first 3 posts.
Edited by Canttouchmé on 07/03/2011 09:52 GMT
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85 Gnome Warlock
3605
Nakata is talking about MMR boosting.

From what I've read, this works (or used to work) by abusing a feature in the MMR system. The bigger the difference between your team rating and MMR, the bigger the gains and losses in MMR itself are for a single win or a single loss. Note that since you cannot see these changes, there's no way to verify them. But the way I understand it, this feature is in place in order to get your team quickly to the MMR (and team rating) level where the system thinks you belong.

To abuse this functionality, you create a new team whenever your team rating and MMR start to reach equal levels. This approach can backfire quite drastically, if you lose the initial few games after creating a new team, as then your MMR drops like a rock.

Please note that in Cataclysm, some changes were made to how the rating system works in general, so I do not know whether this still works.

EDIT: Oh yeah, good guide =)
Edited by Aziphrale on 07/03/2011 10:45 GMT
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86 Gnome Priest
9190
Aziphrale
85 Gnome Warlock
Finnish Brute Force
3490 Edited by Aziphrale on 07/03/11 10:45 (UTC)
Nakata is talking about MMR boosting.

From what I've read, this works (or used to work) by abusing a feature in the MMR system. The bigger the difference between your team rating and MMR, the bigger the gains and losses in MMR itself are for a single win or a single loss. Note that since you cannot see these changes, there's no way to verify them. But the way I understand it, this feature is in place in order to get your team quickly to the MMR (and team rating) level where the system thinks you belong.

To abuse this functionality, you create a new team whenever your team rating and MMR start to reach equal levels. This approach can backfire quite drastically, if you lose the initial few games after creating a new team, as then your MMR drops like a rock.

Please note that in Cataclysm, some changes were made to how the rating system works in general, so I do not know whether this still works.

EDIT: Oh yeah, good guide =)


agreed that all that you wrote is truth.
But still your chance to pop with few games at higher rating starting with wins at high MMR is high instead to continue useless brain teaser with 340 games hoping to get more rating.Thats why i mention some manipulating.
Edited by Nakata on 07/03/2011 11:01 GMT
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