Hello folks –
First off, let me thank all of you for your patience and support as we’ve worked on improving our matchmaking. As I said in my post to you last week, these are often complex systems that aren’t as straightforward to change as they might seem. We have some constraints (in both time and current architecture) that limit what we can do, or what we can do quickly. Furthermore, some things can only be tested by trying them out with thousands of players and then measuring the results.
That’s what we did last week!
What We Tried
Last week, we replaced the Incursion, Meltdown and Capture queues in Versus-Public with Casual, Competitive and Spotlight Battle queues. Our main goal was to shorten the time to match for all players, but allow players some choice of choosing to wait longer for a more skill-oriented match (Competitive).
We knew that taking away choice is often a hard sell, so we tried out Spotlight Battle as a way to give you some choice on a scheduled loop.
What we hoped to see was reduced time-to-match and improved accuracy in skill-matching for Spotlight and Competitive.
What We Saw & Learned
Loudly and clearly, we learned that you–our community–values choice of what to play very highly. Many of you love one particular mode, and want the choice to play that mode exclusively. While Spotlight Battle helped with that, it wasn’t enough. Most of you also expressed a preference to wait a bit longer if that provided the mode you want.
Additionally, we learned that most of you who identified yourselves as “Competitive Players” really REALLY like Incursion – Overgrowth. So much so, that when we set Incursion – Overgrowth to Spotlight Battle, the queue times for the Competitive queue increased quite a lot. The day before Spotlight appeared, however, Competitive queue had longer (but reasonably longer) queue times and often resulted in good matches.
The Casual play queue did match fairly quickly, faster than before. However, given that no matchmaking was applied there, we saw an increase in the complaints about “bad matches” and “pub stomps” where pre-assembled teams of good players went on killing sprees versus less prepared teams.
Generally, the changes we put in last week did not result in the improvements we desired.
Where We Go Next
We are bringing back our old familiar queue friends – Incursion, Meltdown, and Capture, and we are sending Casual Plan and Competitive Play queues to the time out corner. I’m not going to say we will never try those again, but we would want to wait for much different circumstances.
We’re making a few small tweaks to the three existing queues to help improve your experience, though. We did have some issue before (mostly time-to-match) and want to keep working to address those issues.
With the returned queues, you’ll see them in an order related to mode popularity: Incursion first, then Meltdown, followed by Capture. As many players tend to click the top button first, we’re going to add some weight to Incursion becoming the default choice.
Secondly, we are enabling skill-matching again on all three queues, but are loosening the constraints on matches. You’ll see a bit more variance in the skill of players you match with, but you should also be able to find matches within a reasonable time.
Where We’re Going in the Future
Matchmaking is something that we’re always watching and working on improving. With the upcoming major patch, we will have some additional dynamic control over balancing quality of match with time-to-match to help handle long, outlier match times. We’re also investigating other possibilities, but I’ll wait mentioning details of those because the timeframe of those improvements is uncertain.
Finally – thank you again for your patience and your support of Battleborn. I’m extremely grateful for all of you who took some time with these changes and provided detailed feedback of your experience. I read through every post I could find, and I take all of your feedback to heart. We are dedicated to making Battleborn the best experience possible. Sometimes, not every change is a clear win. We’ll keep working, and listening.