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Modern "skill based matchmaking" is anything but. It's ruining muliplayer games. Is it worse than loot boxes? Can anything be done?

jigglet

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The system in MW2019 was terrible. Do well in one match? You're going to loose every match for the rest of the night.
Yup, MW2019 was the breaking point for me too. I think people have simply assumed that newbies don't like being stomped on and treated it as gospel and never, ever challenge this.

No, when I start a brand new game I expect to be shit on. I am not a fucking idiot that runs off crying cause I can't play like a pro in my first game. I only started playing Halo PvP 5 years ago...so I was up against people with 15 years of experience. I was also from COD, so I knew nothing of Halo and it was so radically different I couldn't get a kill for ages. But I chalked it up to being new and worked my way up till I was great at it.

This idea that newbies hate losing may be true in some cases, but not everyone is a spineless little bitch. In order to attract casual gamers who won't stick around for the long haul anyway, you alienate all the hardcore gamers who have stuck around for ages. Devs need to stop treating this "no new players don't like to die" as gospel. It's simply not true.
 
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01011001

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Dec 4, 2018
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Read the post, please. You can skip right to the two bold paragraphs, if it helps.

the thread title is terribly misleading to what you actually said, so I get why people don't read it and just rightly assume what you mean to say, as skill based matchmaking is a widely understood concept.

the theme of the thread should have been in the title... something like "modern skill based matchmaking ISN'T skill based matchmaking" or something along these lines.
 
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Jibran#one

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Isn't this basically ranked mode ? I honestly think it's a good system . U want a 30 kill streak every game ? Play against easy bots
 

Ozzy Onya A2Z

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Yup, MW2019 was the breaking point for me too. I think people have simply assumed that newbies don't like being stomped on and treated it as gospel and never, ever challenge this.

No, when I start a brand new game I expect to be shit on. I am not a fucking idiot that runs off crying cause I can't play like a pro in my first game. I only started playing Halo PvP 5 years ago...so I was up against people with 15 years of experience. I was also from COD, so I knew nothing of Halo and it was so radically different I couldn't get a kill for ages. But I chalked it up to being new and worked my way up till I was great at it.

This idea that newbies hate losing may be true in some cases, but not everyone is a spineless little bitch. In order to attract casual gamers who won't stick around for the long haul anyway, you alienate all the hardcore gamers who have stuck around for ages. Devs need to stop treating this "no new players don't like to die" as gospel. It's simply not true.

Given how many randos in Apex fly into the biggest death trap over and over it actually appears to be that they like to fight and die as quick as possible, irrespective of game outcome or skill matching whatsoever. Let them have at in a system catered to those that play more games and stick around longer.
 
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real1

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I ussed to play Overwatch (perm banned because solo queue made me toxic) it was very obvious that I was being forced to lose. I don't give a shit about reddit downvotes when anyone points this out, or any lies that players and devs come up with. It was fucking obvious.
 
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Bumblebeetuna

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Depends on the game. A twitch shooter with quick matches, yeah, SBMM is not that important, and I prefer the way CoD cycles lobbies between games. But something like Smite or Overwatch, etc? Yeah, give me some kind of matchmaking based on skill. Also, it's not always designed for maximum retention and money spending. Not every MP game is CoD. In fact, a vast majority aren't. In many MP games, matching people of similar skill is pretty much required to keep a healthy player pool.
 
Jul 6, 2015
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The only thing that should be taken into consideration when matchmaking is connection. SBMM has no place in online gaming, if you wanna play against people with your skill level go play ranked. There's a reason ranked has way fewer players than casual in almost every game, people just want to chill when they play a game after a long day they don't want to play in sweaty lobbies every game.
 

tr1p1ex

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Feb 18, 2014
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There's a reason ranked has way fewer players than casual in almost every game, people just want to chill when they play a game after a long day they don't want to play in sweaty lobbies every game.
lol.

YOu're basically saying let me into the kindergarten so I can dominate at basketball because I've had a long day and just want to chill.
 

bender

Candy Corn Aficionado
Apr 12, 2010
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lol.

YOu're basically saying let me into the kindergarten so I can dominate at basketball because I've had a long day and just want to chill.
 
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Arsic

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This is a subject I'm not really sure is completely on the developers or publisher. Skill based matchmaking as in Cold War puts me with people that are usually somewhere around my skill, rank, whatever, etc...

How complex and focused any of it is on retention vs just trying to avoid weak players from giving up is really just speculation. At least at this point, to assume a doom and gloom future because of it is faulty logic.

The increased calling out of skill based matchmaking, is almost exclusively done by youtubers and streamers. They absolutely hate to have to tryhard in order to get decent content. They figure if they can manage to convince enough people to raise hell, and get Activision to do away with it... They'll be back on easy street. Playing CoD is their job, and they do it often in excess of 8hrs a day. So it stands to reason that they're better than 90% of the playerbase. They just hate playing with that top 10%.

Literally this. SBMM is absolutely fine as is in 99% of games.

You've been watching too much Tim the fat man and Courage "mediocre at best" JD, OP.

These YTers and streamers need to look like God's or else they lose viewers. No one wants to watch Dr.D lose in bronze valorant, when they can watch pro TenZ slay every game. Same goes for CoD.

The only people who benefit from SBMM removal is them. Let them fade to obscurity. Jack is the biggest whiny bitch and awful at games/fake AF person that made it big. He is always carried and underperforming. He's also the loudest advocate to get SBMM removed.
 
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Deleted member 17706

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It's a computer algorithm that decides when you should win, and when you should lose, with the sole objective of keeping everyone online for as long as possible

Yep. It's a big part of why I just don't bother with modern competitive multiplayer stuff.
 
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First of all, life isn't fair. Second of all, you get better playing against better competition.
People like the rolling unfairness random matchmaking. Getting stomped by a random high level player was a better way to get new strategies for those who were interested.

But really, I don't want to get better. I want to play my style and have that work or not work. Both are fine. But in Modern Warfare, it didnt feel as though it was my tricks or ideas lining up to have a great showing. It was just how uber intense I was willing to play, and wether the opponent, who was just like me, was not as focused. Very boring.
 
Apr 20, 2015
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Nobody wants to devote time + money towards developing and implementing a SBMM system.

Everyone does it because they know how unhealthy random matchmaking is for the life of a multiplayer game.
I guess my teenage years spent playing nothing but Quake were an anomaly. How were MP games even successful back then? UT, Quake and CS all got big during a time were matchmaking was random.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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I guess my teenage years spent playing nothing but Quake were an anomaly. How were MP games even successful back then? UT, Quake and CS all got big during a time were matchmaking was random.
I dont know which COD game started matchmaking, but old games had zero MM and people played COD a ton back then just like now. You get thrown into a lobby of random players and you could play as many matches in a row with the same people until people leave on their own.

Is it truly random or SBMM?...... check the lobby leaderboard stats. Shows tons of gamers with shit WL and KD and after 5 matches they are at the bottom going 5-20 while the same people with good barracks stats do well going 20-5.

Looked random to me. No wonder the lobbies loaded fast.

Back then there was no social media for people to whine. So whatever server you got placed in or picked yourself would have whatever random people were in it. ANd people still played it. I played my share in Unreal Tournament and didnt give a shit if I did well or got destroyed. Now, you probably got enough people complaining they are getting destroyed and need SBMM or they wont come back.
 
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jigglet

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May 18, 2020
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I dont know which COD game started matchmaking, but old games had zero MM and people played COD a ton back then just like now. You get thrown into a lobby of random players and you could play as many matches in a row with the same people until people leave on their own.

Is it truly random or SBMM?...... check the lobby leaderboard stats. Shows tons of gamers with shit WL and KD and after 5 matches they are at the bottom going 5-20 while the same people with good barracks stats do well going 20-5.

Looked random to me. No wonder the lobbies loaded fast.

Back then there was no social media for people to whine. So whatever server you got placed in or picked yourself would have whatever random people were in it. ANd people still played it. I played my share in Unreal Tournament and didnt give a shit if I did well or got destroyed. Now, you probably got enough people complaining they are getting destroyed and need SBMM or they wont come back.

I feel it started getting really bad in COD Ghosts, then fell away in Advanced Warfare and BO3, then came roaring back in Infinite Warfare and has been in since then.
 
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Jibran#one

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I mean people crying about not staying in same lobbies again ?
Wtf u want to do drop 30+ nuke streaks on the poor fuckers again and again ?
It's not like they disband it parties , u can have the best player in the world in ur party but get ready for an asswhoop because 3/ 4 + kd lobbies in mw2019 and especially cold war are brutal
 
Oct 26, 2018
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I mean people crying about not staying in same lobbies again ?
Wtf u want to do drop 30+ nuke streaks on the poor fuckers again and again ?
It's not like they disband it parties , u can have the best player in the world in ur party but get ready for an asswhoop because 3/ 4 + kd lobbies in mw2019 and especially cold war are brutal
I have no problem playing with similar people. My biggest problem is the game bogging down as between every match it loads new players every time.

Just adjust SBMM into new lobbies every 5 matches so gamers can play a bunch of matches fast.

It would help out Activision's server load too as people dont have to be reranked every match.
 
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Yoshi

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Not saying there aren't any algorithms, because I'm sure there are, but it sounds awfully complex if it wanted to apply exactly this to all active players in one game. It would have to take multiple rounds between every time it actually affects/targets you directly, right?
It's egocentrism. The task of predicting win / loss for each individual player and then grouping the players available at a time precisely in a way to ensure win / loss for each individual is so fucking complex, there is no way this is happening. I am fairly certain that players are grouped by various performance metrics, some of which long term, some of them short term and based on those tiers, the players are matched. It's just that many people are bad losers and cry foul because (1) the performance ranking is not perfect (2) they want to win most of the time, but with skill based matching, they won't for a sustained period of time.
 

MaDBrute

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Jan 15, 2021
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NOTE: BEFORE COMMENTING, PLEASE READ THE BOLD PARAGRAPHS IN THE TEXT BELOW. This post isn't just about traditional SBMM.

---

When people think of skill based match making they think of good players being matched with good players, great players being matched with great players, and bad players being matched with bad players.

The basic idea is that you will be matched against and alongside players of your specific skill level. And even when that was the case, it's debatable if that really is "fair." Should players who put in the time and effort to become good at a game never get the experience of destroying less skilled players? Or is it wrong for good players to have fun at the expense of the less skilled?

For that matter, what is generally more fun? Is it a better experience to be matched with people of your skill level where every game is a hard fought battle that nearly ends in a tie? Is it more fun to win most of your games as you and a couple of above averagely skilled friends stomp 0.5 KD players all night long? There's really no truth here. These are subjective questions without any real answers. Different people are going to feel differently about all of this, and that's fine.

Where things become much more right and wrong is with what skilled based matchmaking has become. It's a computer algorithm that decides when you should win, and when you should lose, with the sole objective of keeping everyone online for as long as possible, and retaining the largest amount of people possible, so they can sell loot boxes or battle passes to the largest number of people possible.

It's you getting matched against people ABOVE your skill level, and with teammates below your skill level, when a computer decides you should lose. It's a game that refuses to allow any "random" group of players to stay together for longer than one match, because it wants to split you up so you can lose next time, or someone else on your team can win next time, all based on player retention. And it's indefensible to all but the shareholders.


I would argue that this is even worse than loot boxes, because loot boxes can be ignored. But despite the hate of loot boxes from customers, it really took a combined effort from both customers and the threat of government regulation before companies started to remove loot boxes from their games. It isn't very likely there will be such concern from any government regarding this newer breed of "retention based match making."

But what can be done? Is this really what all competitive multiplayer games will always be from now on, or can players demand otherwise? If a change happens, where will it come from, and how can it benefit all involved?



tl;dr: Just watch a minute or two of this video from the time stamp. Knowing this, what can be done about the situation?

I think groups are your problem here, the algorithm is trying fill loobys without splitting groups forcing it to shuffle.
It might be better to have 2 different lobbys, one for group and one for solo.
 

Jibran#one

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I have no problem playing with similar people. My biggest problem is the game bogging down as between every match it loads new players every time.

Just adjust SBMM into new lobbies every 5 matches so gamers can play a bunch of matches fast.

It would help out Activision's server load too as people dont have to be reranked every match.
I think it's a short term sbmm not like depending on ur profile and all time stats ,
It puts u in a match and then depending on how u perform puts u in the next one ,
How do I know this ? Just afk for 2 matches and dnt kill anybody the 3rd or 4th match would be the easiest match of ur life and a sure shot chopper gunner atleast
 

Whitecrow

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What's wrong with the people who need to piss on other players in order to get some satisfaction? Go play against bots you losers.
While you are there slaughtering all those noobs, those noobs are getting angry and frustrated because they matches are very unfair for them.

Go find fun in something else.
 

Shmunter

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What's wrong with the people who need to piss on other players in order to get some satisfaction? Go play against bots you losers.
While you are there slaughtering all those noobs, those noobs are getting angry and frustrated because they matches are very unfair for them.

Go find fun in something else.
I suspect it’s a German thing
 
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ChoosableOne

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Should players who put in the time and effort to become good at a game never get the experience of destroying less skilled players?
You should make that line bold too:)

I agree with you on your bold paragraphs though.

With classic SBMM on mind, games should seperate ranked and random matcmaking, if player pool is big enough.
 

Soulja

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I think matchmaking should solely be based on connection. Sometimes I'll get stomped and sometimes I'll do the stomping but at least I'll have the best possible chance at not being shot around a corner.
 
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Nico_D

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This is what turned me off of Splatoon. Thanks to skill based matchmaking it becomes increasingly more about luck than skill - in 4v4 games it is not possible that everybody is equally skilled. And then even one weaker or stronger player in one team can throw the balance off.

And if the game is decided before even starting a round, what's the point?
 
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Hestar69

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I tried blackout on ps+ and my best game was 5 klls and as econd place finish on the BR....The last team were just flying and zipping around and CLEARLY try hards on the game...


Uninstalled,no thanks. Give me SBMM anyday of the week even though its FLAWD and needs work. The guy in that video just sounds whiny he can't kill noobs with ease IMO.
 

Shelookdlvl18

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Nov 8, 2020
558
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Literally this. SBMM is absolutely fine as is in 99% of games.

You've been watching too much Tim the fat man and Courage "mediocre at best" JD, OP.

These YTers and streamers need to look like God's or else they lose viewers. No one wants to watch Dr.D lose in bronze valorant, when they can watch pro TenZ slay every game. Same goes for CoD.

The only people who benefit from SBMM removal is them. Let them fade to obscurity. Jack is the biggest whiny bitch and awful at games/fake AF person that made it big. He is always carried and underperforming. He's also the loudest advocate to get SBMM removed.
Who's Jack?
 

Shelookdlvl18

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SBMM just looks like the "Lag" V2.0. Based on the comments here alone, it's clear the math doesn't work. It's simply not possible for it to work the way the OP and many here suggest from an implementation standpoint, while also working the way they've claimed from their experiences side.

If it's a complex algorithm that's really designed for player retention, and to promote more microtransaction spending, while protecting new players... It can't also be placing everyone in lobbies with pro players with their life on the line.

The funny part is that experiences can differ from person to person. So while one person might feel like he's being matched with tryhards too often, someone else might feel like it doesn't work that way, and to him. It feels like the system is trying to protect new and casual players. Yet in a rush to make excuses... We've got people that are claiming both of these are happening. At the same time. As if that explained why they're bad at the game.
 

Shut0wen

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I get where op is coming from, one of the worst games for this is gears of war 5, once you have 2 mvps in a row you are automatically paired with worst players up againest players who are way above your level and skill, the game expects you to pick up the team which would of been ok if newer players stuck together but its not the case, according to gears 5 lead multiplayer dev at the time said its for newer players to take note of how you play but its not the case because you just get annihilated, something like that would of been great on gears 1, its easily possible to 1v3 people on gears 1 but incredibly hard on gears 5
 
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I must be in the small camp that doesn't really mind - just means the "run and gun" playstyle isn't the default anymore.

I've found with MW I've had to take a more methodical approach, mimicking CS at times.

Guy summed it up there - people want to dominate lesser skilled people hoping to launch YouTube careers.
 

RavenSan

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Should players who put in the time and effort to become good at a game never get the experience of destroying less skilled players?
Even your premise is douchey. "The experience of destroying less skilled players" -- how does one even enjoy that? Any time I've gotten into a COD match with friends and we have a match where we wreck the other team, none of us are high fiving and cracking beers because we're so proud we dominated the other team. What's the point of victory if you don't have any challenge in attaining it?

Or is it wrong for good players to have fun at the expense of the less skilled?
Yes, it is.

I read your bolded paragraphs, and I find it hard to believe you're serious. You think SBMM is only appealing to shareholders? I'd wager it's appealing to every normal person who's not a try-hard frat-bro. I say that as someone who's bought ONE battle pass, just cuz I wanted some skins that were there, and I was playing alot. SBMM does absolutely nothing to make me want to spend more money on their store. I'll concede that it does make we want to play more, because I feel challenged. When I lose in that close game, I want to get that "one more" match to keep going.
 
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ZehDon

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This kinda of stuff always felt like a race to the bottom at a casino, for me at least. With the instant gratification concept of modern games, multiplayer games today have one, maybe two, rounds to grab someone before they move on to something else if it doesn't immediately hook them. SBMM keeps better players away from the younglings, allowing that new player who might be the next loot box whale a few rounds to get hooked on the gameplay loop before they're thrown into the general population. It became a race to find the easiest on-boarding method using data as the guide. New players stopping too early? Force SBMM to get them easy matches. Hardcore players trailing off? Tweak SBMM to let them have a few easy wins to keep them hooked.

SBMM sound great in theory. But, in practice, I find most players settle towards the skill ceiling between good/great, and move back and forth in the eyes of the system. This leads to matches where one round you're the second coming of Christ, and the next round you feel like you're mouse isn't working correctly. Combined with the nightmare that is P2P Networking, and you end up with woefully inconsistent metrics to gauge your own performance. Did you do well because host advantage + SBMM thinking you're good? Did you do bad because no host advantage + SBMM expecting you to be great? Who the fuck knows.

Battlefield with a server browser, where I can play the same local Australian servers, get to know the usual players who frequent them, and build up a community, is just more appealing to me than COD's vast match making player pool with painfully inconsistent gameplay. With Battlefield, I know I'm not that great, and sure - one player in Heli can dominate a fucking server if they're really that good. But, I know what I'm getting when I click join.
 

LegendOfKage

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the thread title is terribly misleading to what you actually said, so I get why people don't read it and just rightly assume what you mean to say, as skill based matchmaking is a widely understood concept.

the theme of the thread should have been in the title... something like "modern skill based matchmaking ISN'T skill based matchmaking" or something along these lines.
This is somewhat true, but also sort of getting into semantics. It is grouping you by looking at your skill, but sometimes it's doing it with the intention that you will lose.

Aside from that, if someone can't be bothered to read the first two sentences of a post, or a couple of clearly emphasized paragraphs, then I have little sympathy for them not understanding the actual point of the conversation. To those people, thank your for your knee-jerk "lol just play against bots you loser" reactions and for bumping the thread.
 
Jul 6, 2015
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lol.

YOu're basically saying let me into the kindergarten so I can dominate at basketball because I've had a long day and just want to chill.
Lol what? How is being placed with random players based soley on connection the equivalent to wanting to play basketball against kindergarteners.
What's wrong with the people who need to piss on other players in order to get some satisfaction? Go play against bots you losers.
While you are there slaughtering all those noobs, those noobs are getting angry and frustrated because they matches are very unfair for them.

Go find fun in something else.
The noobs can go to ranked if they want to play people with their skill level. What is with you people acting like ranked doesn't exist?
 

Gamer79

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Apr 9, 2015
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Easy way to solve this.

NEVER BUY LOOT BOXES!

If you are playing a game that has that pay to win scenario then go play something else.
 
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Quasicat

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The only competitive game I have ever played was Fortnite, so my opinion is based solely on how that is handled.

I would imagine that the treasure chests are all predetermined at the beginning of the match and that all players are real people. More realistically, the treasure chests give items to certain players based on whether they bought the season pass and I’m sure I’ve played against my fair share of bots. The thing that makes this whole thing work is that the player does not know when these are the case. I suppose for most casual players, ignorance is bliss.
 

MetalRain

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Jul 27, 2013
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I wonder how SBMM works? Like yeah, I can imagine you want to maximize long term profit & userbase for your free-to-play game. But players are different as well, some play only short time, some play hours and hours multiple days a week.

For example in COD: MW I usually need match or two to "warm up", but is it just that I perform poorly two matches and then get matched up with people in similar skill level? Or do I actually get better playing round or two? Or is this just ploy to make me play more than two matches so that I can taste that sweet sweet victory?

Then there are matches that seem impossible, but MW microtransactions are cosmetic only so there is no incentive to make me feel bad to make me purchase, I think it could be actually more plausible that I would buy battlepass if I do well, want to show off and want to play more.
 
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TheAssist

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Jul 17, 2013
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For all the people thinking this is some weird conspiracy level shit. Thats the patent for Activisions matchmaking algorithms.
 
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Nov 25, 2020
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NOTE: BEFORE COMMENTING, PLEASE READ THE BOLD PARAGRAPHS IN THE TEXT BELOW. This post isn't just about traditional SBMM.

---

When people think of skill based match making they think of good players being matched with good players, great players being matched with great players, and bad players being matched with bad players.

The basic idea is that you will be matched against and alongside players of your specific skill level. And even when that was the case, it's debatable if that really is "fair." Should players who put in the time and effort to become good at a game never get the experience of destroying less skilled players? Or is it wrong for good players to have fun at the expense of the less skilled?

For that matter, what is generally more fun? Is it a better experience to be matched with people of your skill level where every game is a hard fought battle that nearly ends in a tie? Is it more fun to win most of your games as you and a couple of above averagely skilled friends stomp 0.5 KD players all night long? There's really no truth here. These are subjective questions without any real answers. Different people are going to feel differently about all of this, and that's fine.

Where things become much more right and wrong is with what skilled based matchmaking has become. It's a computer algorithm that decides when you should win, and when you should lose, with the sole objective of keeping everyone online for as long as possible, and retaining the largest amount of people possible, so they can sell loot boxes or battle passes to the largest number of people possible.

It's you getting matched against people ABOVE your skill level, and with teammates below your skill level, when a computer decides you should lose. It's a game that refuses to allow any "random" group of players to stay together for longer than one match, because it wants to split you up so you can lose next time, or someone else on your team can win next time, all based on player retention. And it's indefensible to all but the shareholders.


I would argue that this is even worse than loot boxes, because loot boxes can be ignored. But despite the hate of loot boxes from customers, it really took a combined effort from both customers and the threat of government regulation before companies started to remove loot boxes from their games. It isn't very likely there will be such concern from any government regarding this newer breed of "retention based match making."

But what can be done? Is this really what all competitive multiplayer games will always be from now on, or can players demand otherwise? If a change happens, where will it come from, and how can it benefit all involved?



tl;dr: Just watch a minute or two of this video from the time stamp. Knowing this, what can be done about the situation?

You have my vote! K/d ratio .9 - 1.1 . That's where the fun is.
 

avin

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May 19, 2021
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tl;dr: Just watch a minute or two of this video from the time stamp. Knowing this, what can be done about the situation?
Can you tell me what I'm supposed to see? I tried watching your movie, but I don't understand what the problem is supposed to be.

avin