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Skill based match making : Why it's broken and why it doesn't belong in CoD.


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Let's start with the obvious. If someone is uniquely skilled, they will be detected by a SBMM system and move up progressively. Think of it like the old fighting games of yore. You might have beasted level 1, but by level 6 you are struggling. The problem with CoD's SBMM is it just throws you from level 1 to level 99 because you maced the whole room. It has no progression, it has no sense of achievement. You just go from Hack to Wack in one game. This is not skill based match making, it's point based freakanomics. I score better than my team because I do objectives, suddenly I'm in the headshot only HC FFA deathmatch? No. That doesn't make sense.

Either tune your SBMM, or just turn it off. it's not making anything better.

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@Sejong TheGreat I think it has everything to do with a change in mindset of how to make money & the implementation of microtransactions. By (1) make people who are new not getting crushed by veterans and (2) keeping a game challenged for the hardcore players, people will keep playing the game and buy microtransactions to improve. Personally, as a player that isn't that great in MP, I don't mind the system and it gives me a better chance to reach a higher K/D ratio, slaughtering individuals that are equally as bad as me. However, I get where your complain comes from, and I totally understand it.

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No one cares about microtransactions in these games. They want progressive advancement. This current implementation of SBMM is broken. It's aggresive and it's not well attuned to players needs. It caters to the highest skillset and it makes everyone else feel like ass. It throws mediocre players up against players who are actually good enough to stand up against hackers in a matter of 2 or 3 games, and they spend 5 or more games in misery wondering why they're getting completely dredged.

SBMM has no nuance or any sense of what it means when players are just "bad" and someone isn't "Good" because they destroy trash players.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/15/2020 at 8:43 AM, Sejong TheGreat said:

Let's start with the obvious. If someone is uniquely skilled, they will be detected by a SBMM system and move up progressively. Think of it like the old fighting games of yore. You might have beasted level 1, but by level 6 you are struggling. The problem with CoD's SBMM is it just throws you from level 1 to level 99 because you maced the whole room. It has no progression, it has no sense of achievement. You just go from Hack to Wack in one game. This is not skill based match making, it's point based freakanomics. I score better than my team because I do objectives, suddenly I'm in the headshot only HC FFA deathmatch? No. That doesn't make sense.

Either tune your SBMM, or just turn it off. it's not making anything better.

That's actually a good way of thinking of it. Before I thought SBMM would be helpful but as you said, you could be godly for the first few levels, then SBMM places you in a lobby with players that are too good. It really does not belong in CoD.

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  • 1 month later...

I don't agree with this assessment of SBMM in this or any other COD.  I have seen people claim they get these wild back and forth swings in lobby difficulties, but with 20-25 hours played now, I can confidently say that this is at best a gross exaggeration.  

 

SBMM is a good and necessary mechanic in public matches.  Clearly there are business decisions at play here as well, and ATVI/Treyarch want to make as much money post launch as possible from battle pass sales and MTX sales in the store.  In order to make the most money, you need to keep as many people as possible having fun, and thus more people having fun consistently = more people playing consistently.   

 

A lot of people in the community act as if it is some COD Law that noob level players are simply cannon fodder for the experienced players to beat the crap out of repeatedly, as if they are entitled to that because of their skill level or time invested in the game, and that is simply nonsense.  There is no logical or logistical reason why high level players and low level players should ever be in the same lobbies, unless they are partied up in a group. 

 

It is even more important in warzone, since BR's are unique in that only 1 person/team wins out of 150 in each game.  If there was no SBMM, none, and I mean zero zilch none, of my friends would still be playing the game.  A game mode in which half or more of the players have simply no chance of winning before the game even starts, is poorly designed.

 

I get that pubstomping is/was fun (for one side), but it isn't a sustainable strategy for growth and player retention.  Not a popular opinion i know, but I believe it is the truth.

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I'd argue the system needs to be better. I am nowhere near as good as I used to be 10+ years ago. Which is a problem because I don't seem to get a middleground. I especially noticed that with MW at launch and in an extreme case with the beta, the very first (couple) of game(s) I did ok and then boom, I was constantly in lobbies with peeps probably using custom controllers etc and who just were multiple times better than me. Just cause I got lucky and had a chopper (in MW) getting kills for me in a match before.

That has started with BO2 mp as far as I can tell and ever since then I was mainly on zombies.

 

The only time I want to annoy people is when I am using a shotgun, but not by killing them over and over like in the CoD4 - MW3 days, but I actually feel like I have been on the receiving end ever since BO2 and it has gotten worse with every mp I seriously tried since that.

 

But not gonna lie, time has taken it's toll on me and like I said, I am not good anymore, but I am still in lobbies full of jumpshotting people who can hear me from miles away. Something is clearly not right, cause I sure as hell don't play like that. Like when I get one lucky game I am immideatly thrown into those lobbies. 

 

So aside from more fine tuning of the system, I'd also suggest to make the ranks visible, that way we'd at least know, where we stand.

Good to see you check in Clay. Hope you are doin good. ❤️

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I think SBMM is not the real problem

 

The game design is just horrible.  

 

The gunplay sucks, the maps are a joke; the time to kill is almost as bad as BO4 - the scorestreak system doesn't make any sense.

 

MW had the same SBMM and that game was fun - at least after some decent maps were added.

 

This game is just.... bad.

 

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2 hours ago, Slade said:

I think SBMM is not the real problem

 

The game design is just horrible.  

 

The gunplay sucks, the maps are a joke; the time to kill is almost as bad as BO4 - the scorestreak system doesn't make any sense.

 

MW had the same SBMM and that game was fun - at least after some decent maps were added.

 

This game is just.... bad.

 

 

See I respectfully disagree.  I have had loads more fun so far in Cold War than I did on Modern Warfare's MP.  The maps are miles better in Cold War so far.  The TTK isn't something that I consider because I play 90% hardcore modes, always have.   But yeah, MW multiplayer was very standard infinity ward.   Not interesting to me at all.

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2 minutes ago, The Clay Bird said:

 

Doing fantastic @Hells Warrrior, how are you??  It's been a while but I'm still out here grinding zombies, tried the Die Maschine EE last night for the first time, and got my ass kicked in the "boss fight" in like 15 seconds lol so I'm back for tips, and to see how everyone is doing!

 

Doing grand, like everyone else is just now - day by day, lockdown by lockdown. I haven't even touched a game of zombies in a long time. I lost interest during BOIII but I'm still open to getting back into it. We'll see. 

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2 hours ago, Lenne said:

I'd argue the system needs to be better. I am nowhere near as good as I used to be 10+ years ago. Which is a problem because I don't seem to get a middleground. I especially noticed that with MW at launch and in an extreme case with the beta, the very first (couple) of game(s) I did ok and then boom, I was constantly in lobbies with peeps probably using custom controllers etc and who just were multiple times better than me. Just cause I got lucky and had a chopper (in MW) getting kills for me in a match before.

That has started with BO2 mp as far as I can tell and ever since then I was mainly on zombies.

 

The only time I want to annoy people is when I am using a shotgun, but not by killing them over and over like in the CoD4 - MW3 days, but I actually feel like I have been on the receiving end ever since BO2 and it has gotten worse with every mp I seriously tried since that.

 

But not gonna lie, time has taken it's toll on me and like I said, I am not good anymore, but I am still in lobbies full of jumpshotting people who can hear me from miles away. Something is clearly not right, cause I sure as hell don't play like that. Like when I get one lucky game I am immideatly thrown into those lobbies. 

 

So aside from more fine tuning of the system, I'd also suggest to make the ranks visible, that way we'd at least know, where we stand.

Good to see you check in Clay. Hope you are doin good. ❤️

 

Hey @Lenne how are you!?  

 

Yeah, I definitely feel you on the skill erosion side of things.  I was a lot better at 25 than I am now at 35.  But overall I still have a lot of fun, and If it weren't for SBMM, I believe my friends and I would get our ass kicked so much we'd probably stop playing.  It doesnt' bother me playing against other competent people, even though it means I will probably have less stupid-good games.

 

I understand why great players don't like it, but I understand it is objectively a necessary element to a game that is played by such an enormous range and number of players

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8 hours ago, The Clay Bird said:

I don't agree with this assessment of SBMM in this or any other COD.  I have seen people claim they get these wild back and forth swings in lobby difficulties, but with 20-25 hours played now, I can confidently say that this is at best a gross exaggeration.  

 

SBMM is a good and necessary mechanic in public matches.  Clearly there are business decisions at play here as well, and ATVI/Treyarch want to make as much money post launch as possible from battle pass sales and MTX sales in the store.  In order to make the most money, you need to keep as many people as possible having fun, and thus more people having fun consistently = more people playing consistently.   

 

A lot of people in the community act as if it is some COD Law that noob level players are simply cannon fodder for the experienced players to beat the crap out of repeatedly, as if they are entitled to that because of their skill level or time invested in the game, and that is simply nonsense.  There is no logical or logistical reason why high level players and low level players should ever be in the same lobbies, unless they are partied up in a group. 

 

It is even more important in warzone, since BR's are unique in that only 1 person/team wins out of 150 in each game.  If there was no SBMM, none, and I mean zero zilch none, of my friends would still be playing the game.  A game mode in which half or more of the players have simply no chance of winning before the game even starts, is poorly designed.

 

I get that pubstomping is/was fun (for one side), but it isn't a sustainable strategy for growth and player retention.  Not a popular opinion i know, but I believe it is the truth.


It's because the system isn't progressive at all. It doesn't take into account the degrees of separation between someone who's sandbagging and who's legitimately trying to get better. It's so hyper focused on stamping out pubstomping that it accelerates players who have had a couple good rounds directly into gameplay scenarios where their heavily out classed because the SBMM is focused on making someone's experience who is consistently bad a more positive experience.

Even if SBMM worked correctly, it would need to be far more considerate about perhaps a player's "lifetime" (in game) progress towards higher skill matches instead of erasing positive trending progress as better players in a matter of 3-5 matches.

The variance for a player who sandbags and a player who is consistently playing at a skill level that shows some positive progress are wildly different. There's no reason to drop a player with poor skill or progressing skill into a slaughterhouse for 5 consecutive matches just because they had a good day, or a odd set of matches where opposing players experienced a bad match and were not on their A-game.

It doesn't have a standard for keeping players with consistent aim / K/d Ratio / balanced skill set in their skill bracket. It consistently becomes a all or none system.

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On 1/12/2021 at 10:37 PM, The Clay Bird said:

@Lenne how are you!?


Doin good. Haven't even bought the game (yet) since I want to give Treyarch some time to iron stuff out with their game, so I can probably join the discussion when the games life cycle is done.

I missed you tho and am glad you decided to check back in. Has always been a pleasure to read your posts. : )

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21 hours ago, Lenne said:


Doin good. Haven't even bought the game (yet) since I want to give Treyarch some time to iron stuff out with their game, so I can probably join the discussion when the games life cycle is done.

I missed you tho and am glad you decided to check back in. Has always been a pleasure to read your posts. : )

 

Thanks, I appreciate it, likewise to you and everyone around here I missed y'all!  Zombies wise the game is pretty solid, other than the usual little hiccups. Personally I haven't had any technical issues.  That said, you aren't really missing out on a ton yet since we're so early on in the season.  

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