As you say, there are different teams for different parts of development. And widely different skills. Analyzing play-data and making numerical and skill changes on characters is a vastly different skill set than refactoring the game’s ability to rank players, match players, build teams, and put them on servers. There’s not been a time, really since launch, where people capable of doing a ground-up re-work of matchmaking have been tasked elsewhere on Battleborn.
There’s been a progression, though I agree it has been painfully slow. Our priorities last year were to fix some major issues with the game and the performance before prioritizing any large work in matchmaking (though we did a few dozen smaller fixes, some of them which made noticeable improvements, at least statistically).
A matchmaking re-work is a huge undertaking that touches many many parts of the game. While I agree it would be very helpful in improving the Battleborn experience, we needed to improve general quality of the game first (Winter Update) and complete the things we had committed to with the Season Pass (the operation missions). There is also a truth that no matter how good the matchmaking is, unless the player numbers are at certain levels, it doesn’t matter. So, we’ve been pushing our company and publisher to do some things to help with that. Hopefully, we’ll talk more about those things soon.
All that said, I still think we need some work done to matchmaking. As we saw just after the Winter Update, higher population DOES make a big difference there, but it’s not the only thing that will make a difference.
On Playlists & Bots Battle:
We already run PC specific solutions. We’ve also tried a few different things. Some of them (Bots Battle) have been successful, and are being kept. Some of them (Versus Draft and Solo Draft) have been successful for some of the community, but we’re still tweaking them to try and find their best use. We watch the playlist activity weekly, and plan future adjustments to optimize them. We’ll continue to do that, and we do listen to feedback about the queues.
Bots Battle in Training is something that has come up a few times. I’m not sure what that accomplishes, though.
We actually did some statistical digging before making Bots Battle a permanent playlist, because we wanted to understand its affect on other queues. What we found is a large percentage of Bots Battle players were drawn from Story missions and private matches, and only a few were pulled from active PvP queues. Based on what we see, Bots battle isn’t the main problem with those queues.
Also, moving it to training won’t solve the problem. The people who like Bots Battle will find it whereever we hide it and will go play there.
Finally, while Bots Battle is more of a casual training experience, it’s still the same maps as the Versus playlists, and awards challenge advancement, like the Versus Public playlists. The Training and the Dojo do neither of those, so categorically it would be a weird fit.
So, not saying we won’t move it ever; we’re always open to changing things to best fit the community. But right now, when we spend time thinking about that re-arrangement, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to us.