The Steam Review

Comment and discussion on Valve Software’s digital communications platform.

3.0: In-Game Statistics

October 25th, 2005 :: Steam updates :: 4 Responses (Feed)
Matchmaking mock-up (unofficial)
The interview hints at a matchmaking service (unofficial mock-up shown).

Mod HQ have carried out an interview with Erik Johnson, which reveals another morsel of 3.0 news.

“We’d like to take a look at storing persistent data along with statistical information. It would be cool to know what is the most common class people choose in Day of Defeat for instance.”

This immediately suggests a new feature in Steam 3.0. Long-term readers may remember a series of articles on Steam’s latent potential, including the possibility of a matchmaking service. Giving Valve an overview of each player class’ popularity is all very well, but if any stats system is not also turned to also collecting kills, deaths, captures and other competitive values it will be an enormous waste. From there, generating a rank and comparing it to others’ when looking for a server is not a huge leap. With that said, it’s important to bear in mind while reading this that nothing is confirmed, and that reading from Erik’s quote research into stat gathering hasn’t even begun yet.

That last assertion does seem unlikely however. Ritual Entertainment’s community-based outcome feature for their upcoming SiN Episodes series takes anonymous statistics about player decisions and uses them as ‘votes’ to decide future story twists, character attitudes, and so on, in an overwhelmingly similar manner.

A slightly mixed message overall, but undoubtedly a positive one.

4 Responses to this post:


  1. Film11 Says:

    While your matchmaking service idea is good and it would be very useful if not for a very important way of life for gamers everywhere – cheaters.

    Mainly, I don’t see how Valve can accurately calculate the skill of players especially when solely based on statistics such as kills, deaths etc. We know that there are cheats out for Half-Life(2) and it’s mods so it would not be hard to trick the system into thinking that you were really skilled just by using undetected cheats.

    A fine example of this is BF2’s global ranking system where after the first few weeks some people were ahead by an obscenely large number of points – all due to exploits, and ‘point farming’. Although some of these accounts have been deleted, or their stats wiped, there are still exploits and techniques on the web and so the system can never be truly reliable, if it were used for a system like you describe.

  2. Tom Edwards Says:

    You could say the same about any matchmaking system. Cheating itself is not a big issue on Steam thanks to VAC (as I think I mentioned, the system would be limited to Secure servers), and even exploits and farming can be made less harmful with clever design. Steam would help in that regard too, as I’m sure you can imagine!

  3. DaF Says:

    I think the real value of sutch a system would be allowing players to enter servers were their evenly matched and not crushed by the elite. Shure there would be those that would fake their scores to be low so they would pray on the n00bs but all in all i’d think it would work.

    A good example would be Halo 2 multiplayer, maybe valve should take a look at that and maybe take some ideas from it…

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