Why do we only have one PvP queue?

While I personally prefer the ability to play all game modes, the latest queue change has been met with predictable results. The “Incursion only” crowd is dodging any mode than isn’t… you guessed it, Incursion. As a result of people queue dodging and the extra time it takes to wait out character select and find another match, queue times are possibly worse than they would be if we had two queues. Sadly, this is only a symptom of a larger problem. The reality is that the people jumping out of queues like this are doing it because as of now, the set up of the game is preventing them from having fun. I’m certainly not seeking to justify their actions, but at the same time the only answer seems to be having two queues so I ask, why don’t we have two queues?

The obvious concern is queue times. The overwhelming majority, and I will concede that there are some outliers stating otherwise, of console players seem to report really quick queue times. How much would that change if we had two queues? I don’t exactly expect to hear this type of answer, but I think it’d help clear up some confusion if we got an answer along the lines of “average queue times in Quick Match are currently X amount of minutes and if we had two queues they would be approximately Y amount in one queue and Z amount in the other queue.” I could certainly be wrong, but I think most players would prefer to wait another couple of minutes to have a more enjoyable game experience. How many minutes would they be willing to wait though? That’s where I’ll concede the decision isn’t as easy as many, myself certainly included, make it out to be. I do believe however that the increase in queue times would have to be very drastic from where they are currently to become a problem or at least more of a problem than the current queue offerings.

Maybe the decision is less about population numbers and more a reaction to the previous dead queue and a lack of understanding of why minimatch failed. Where Gearbox potentially saw “we tried two PvP queues and one died so we don’t appear able to sustain two queues,” the reality was likely more along the lines of “the minimatch queue was poorly balanced and had a ton of mechanics that would have needed a rework to make it a more enjoyable experience.” Two queues had worked just fine from a queue time standpoint for months prior to the latest update so unless there was an especially dramatic population decline lately, it stands to reason the issue was more about the quality of the content in the queue rather than the mere existence of it.

What if there truly was a dramatic population decline and console actually can’t support a second queue anymore? Well, let’s examine why that would’ve happened if it did. Maybe it’s just a simple natural regression over time and there isn’t much more to it. Maybe not. For months, players tried their best to explain to Gearbox what they wanted out of the queues. They pleaded with Gearbox to drop Minimatch and other various gimmicks that while fun at times, ultimately detracted from the game as a whole. Those pleas fell on deaf ears.

I’m not saying this is the only issue that has impacted player retention, bugs and a lack of regular balance updates are among other issues, but a failure to give players some general semblance of what they actually wanted has surely contributed to the decline. Where I’m going with this is, what do we have to lose by finally giving the players what they want? If the population is dropping, it’s because people aren’t being allowed to play the game in a way that’s enjoyable to them. Obviously no solution is going to appeal to 100% of the people, but I firmly believe the game can be made more enjoyable for a larger percentage of its players with a simple queue change. One response I anticipate is “if we split up the queues, then you’ll complain about queue times and people will quit because of that instead.” Maybe. What we have now isn’t working and is actually causing people to quit. Maybe that will also cause people to quit, but this current setup definitely causes it so let’s find out.

The are two proposals I believe make the most sense for an optimal queue set up although I’m happy to listen to suggestions. The first consists of a Solo/Duo Quick Match queue with all four game modes, much like how Quick Match is currently set up, alongside a Versus Draft queue in the manner it has been set up in the past (pick trading would be optimal although I’m not sure if it’s something that can be implemented. The other is simply a return to the old three mode Quick Match and dedicated Incursion queues.

tl;dr we need two queues to keep the player base reasonably happy or whatever decline is currently happening within the population is only going to happen at a faster rate as more people view the game as less desirable due to the inability to consistently play the aspects they actually enjoy

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Once upon a time … we used to have the 2.

1 Incursion only, 1 Meltdown/Capture.

And guess what …? The Meltdown/Capture was as dead as 3 vs 3 MiniMatch.

I e, everybody who wanted a match, at all, was forced to queue for Incursion.

Which, in it’s turn was the birth of, among other issues, the whole pub stomp drama.

So with your request in mind, what have we learnt from history?

I’ll let The Young Disciples answer that one:

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What platform are you on? I’ve been playing since launch and as somebody who has always been primarily in the Quick Match queue, that isn’t even remotely close to true about the queue on Xbox.

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The GBX forums archives holds all the info about what went down.

So should I assume PC then? Maybe PS4, I recall they were having some issues just before the Winter Update although “as dead as 3 vs 3 MiniMatch” is likely an exaggeration. On Xbox I can confidently say I never experienced queue times of longer than around five minutes in a second queue until Minimatch and even five minutes was considered a “long” queue time. The Meltdown/Capture queue was active. The Meltdown/Capture/Face Off queue was even more active. Just prior to the most recent update, my queue times in Quick Match were near instant more often than not. Was that not the case on PS4? Those I’ve spoken to seem to say it was. Unless there has been an absolutely dramatic decrease in population since then, and I’m not ruling it out to be fair, we can support two queues. If the numbers have dropped below where they were on PS4 just prior to the Winter Update, then maybe not.

Then, since you seem to question the facts, let me put it like this:

If those 2 queues (Incursion only + Meltdown/Capture) were healthy, can you, please, xplain why they were removed and replaced?

On Xbox, they weren’t if you’re referring to the period prior to the Winter Update. PS4 went down to one queue while Xbox remained at two. It was not healthy at that particular time on PS4. I’m not denying that. It was on Xbox which is why it was kept at two queues. The question is are we at a point where on all platforms the population has been reduced to pre-Winter Update PS4 numbers? If we are, I’m more than willing to concede that that’s the end of the conversation. If we’re not, then your question is exactly the one I’m trying to get an answer to. If that’s not the time period you’re referring to, I need you to be more specific so I can understand where you’re coming from since we went months with two queues with little to no complaints of queue time issues on console.

Also, can we drop the condescension? There’s really no need for it, I’m just trying to have a conversation and try to work toward a solution to improve a problem.

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You’re referring to Capture and Casual/Competitive?

With Capture we had three queues, not two. The Capture problem was reminiscent of the Minimatch problem where it was an issue of the majority of people simply not enjoying the option available in the queue. Even then, I can dig up some old Jythri posts on the Reddit if I really need to where he talked about how the queue was still active on Xbox but they felt it would be healthier to merge it with Meltdown nonetheless because at the time they were told to keep the platforms in alignment. Casual/Competitive was irrational by Gearbox’s own admission as they were two queues offering the same exact game modes with no actual distinctions. The game offered no incentive to to play in the competitive queue as it had no party limits on either. It was a poor decision, one they backtracked from extremely quickly. When Casual/Competitive was removed it was replaced by a different two queue system and since the entire basis of this discussion is the quantity of the queues rather than specific content, I’m not sure how that supports what you’re saying.

In the months after the Winter Update and prior to the most recent update, we had a stable two queue system. Did you not feel it was stable then? That doesn’t mean it would be stable today, we don’t know the exact population numbers today relative to then, but it feels as if you’re trying to frame it as if two queues has never been sustainable which simply isn’t an accurate portrayal.

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What if they had two ques, one with Incursion/Meltdown/capture/faceoff and the other with only Incursion?

I know it doesn’t make sense to have Incursion in both ques but it’s presence in QM might be the only thing that would keep it alive

The incursion only que would be for teams that don’t even want the chance of playing a different mode

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I think if Incursion were to be in both queues, it’d make more sense if there were party limits and/or versus draft just for the purpose of differentiating them a bit more and reducing pubstomp potential. QM was doing fine without Incursion in it prior to the update but there would definitely be a benefit to making the Incursion only queue the de facto “competitive” queue while still allowing more causal players access to the mode through QM. I personally felt like the couple of weeks after the most recent update when we had QM and Versus Draft was some of the most balanced matches I’ve ever had but I have played what feels like nothing but one sided stomps since the queue change.

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I feel like some people would be intimidated by draft and if they did bring it back it would probably contain MD and we’d be right back at the same problem

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That’s a fair point. The best compromise then might be to make QM have a two or even three man party limit and keep Incursion at a standard character select. The downside to that set up would be that people who want to play Meltdown/Face Off/Capture in a team get left in the cold. On Xbox, there’s next to nobody who fits that description as people who enjoy those modes aren’t really looking to play them as a team but my understanding is that teams are more interested in Meltdown on PS4 so that could cause problems depending on how widespread that demand is. There’s a lot of things to juggle with any queue set up and from that perspective I can appreciate the tough situation Gearbox is in trying to figure out the optimal set up but assuming the population allows for it, it definitely feels like two queues are needed in some capacity.

Worst case scenario with two queues is one of them dries up and we just go back to where we are now and where we’ve been ever since Minimatch came into play really. There just isn’t much of a risk that I can see.

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Party limits sound good on paper to prevent pup stomping, but in reality small groups just que up at the same time to get togther. Also, with the amount of strategy and skill that this game requires, coupled with the massive gap between players that have it and those that don’t, I really feel like pupstomping is just a natural part of the game, and there’s very little you can do to prevent it.

I am trying to come up with a suggestion of my own so that I am just not dissing yours, but I really don’t know what could be done to prevent the slaughter of new players. The amount of depth this game creates such a chasm between those who have knowledge and those who don’t.

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Fair points again, I didn’t interpret your posts as a diss on my suggestions. I think what you’re saying is totally reasonable and valid.

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I agree but I’d like to approach it from a different angle, OF ALL THE THINGS WE’VE SEEN THUS FAR in respect to ques, what seemed to typically lead to the most balanced matches?

Draft or solo/duo

And I’m no fan of draft either but I admit it’s true

But solo/duo que made it so the players wanting to stomp had to go the extra effort to que together though, so at least we could suspect the ■■■■■■■■ of being ■■■■■■■■. So yes the system isn’t perfect, but it at least limits the BS for the solo players

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I like that the special modes were kept in private. That was very smart, I am quite happy about that.

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I will agree. The most balanced matches I have seen were from Solo/Duo and Draft as well

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At this point I think that the best way to go is to give players the maximum amount of freedom possible. No permanent party restrictions, draft mode, or things that would limit how you can play the game.

I haven’t seen many people say that they actively dislike Incursion. 99% of the community seems to be split between “we want variety” and “we want to play the same map the same way every time.” I had the same idea as @lucasatlive to maybe have a variety queue with everything and an Incursion only queue. I’d like to see if it works, but at this point I think the safest bet is to go back to Incursion only in one queue and everything else in another.

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All I want is draft. Just give me draft.

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