Okay, feel free to (politely) shoot this one full of holes, with all the magical critical forum power. If it doesn’t stand up to rigorous critique, then it should die, just like any other community suggestion.
I spent a bit of time in the queues the past week, and in the rare event a Quick Match game was formed, I found myself witness to a lot of new player despair. Whether veteran players sandbagged or stomped, won or lost, new players seemed to rarely be having a good time, lost in a sea of mechanics veterans have had over a year to scrutinize, and surrounded by advanced combat maneuvers with no earthly idea how to join in.
We’ve talked, at length, about the issues of going into the Versus queues as solo players. Unfortunately, the matchmaking system still seems hell-bent on putting veterans on one side and newbies on the other. I craved forced Solo/Duo in the past as an attempted fix, but with the PC player population at sub-200 at all times, and that number further split between two ailing queues and PV matches, it’s clear Solo/Duo isn’t going to change much of anything. Not anymore.
So most of the veteran players of Battleborn on PC have established social access to each other, often used for the purpose of forming 10-man PV matches, a long-time solution to the inconsistent queues. I hear these matches can be lots of fun, and that’s great for those already involved. Unfortunately, the game’s design currently keeps F2P players from joining PV matches, and most new non-F2P players don’t seem to stick around long enough to learn said matches exist. As such, I’m not sure PV matches are a sustainable solution.
So what would happen if, say, instead of forming the usual evening 10-mans, the established Battleborn PC community made a coordinated effort to split into multiple groups of 3-player premade teams, all of which simultaneously entered the Quick Match queue? Matchmaking would, in theory, be forced to fill out those 3-player teams with two inexperienced players, be they F2P or otherwise. It wouldn’t be a foolproof guarantee, but the odds of creating this 3/2 setup should be rather high.
- Risks harm to new players that form premade teams larger than two players.
- Creates a severe imbalance if matchmaking decides to form a team entirely of new players.
- Players that prefer all ten players be at a veteran skill level will be forced to suffer four that aren’t, which may lead to social friction.
- Gives veteran players the best chance to meet new players.
- Gives new players a better chance to experience matches with the intended push-and-pull of territory control, instead of one-sided affairs (especially those that discourage players enough that they quit early.)
- Allows veteran players to play at or near their maximum skill level, knowing at least three of their opponents will provide worthy opposition.
- Keeps veterans from having to worry about the best way to spare an opposing team consisting entirely of inexperienced players from suffering a frustrating loss.
- Provides four fresh player perspectives per match, in hopes they might challenge predictable veteran strategies.
- Gives veteran players majority vote in a Surrender, that they might swiftly end any match that is identified as unfairly one-sided.
If few or no matches were formed, it would prove without a doubt that mingling with new players in the QM queues is a fool’s errand, and it’d be right back to the 10-mans, with a minimal waste of effort.
In the rare event that this idea seems viable to anyone besides me, I would like to see if the PC Battleborn community can come together over an upcoming weekend, and give this sort of widespread, organized manipulation of the QM queue a try. At this point, what do we have to lose, besides a little bit of our free time?