Destiny 2 has been out for a couple of weeks now but Crucible (PvP) and Trials of the Nine have a horribly broken Matchmaking system.
Before you roll your eyes, this is not yet another article bitching about MIDA. Destiny 2 has been out for just under a month now and that means that I have had a LOT of time to play through the game and experience each and every aspect of it. From PvP in Crucible and Trials of the Nine, to raiding and attempting the weekly nightfall, I have experienced it all. I’ve got all my characters past the 300 power-level soft cap now as well. Having played from Destiny 1 launch, I believe I have a good enough background to address the title of this article.
The matchmaking system is fucked
I’m not talking about the “Quickplay” queue, I’m talking about Trials of the Nine and the Competitive game queues. Over 80% of the games I have played in the Competitive and Trials queues have been completely unbalanced. I will either get 40 kills and a 28-kill streak, or I will get absolutely stomped and not clear 10 kills. There’s no middle-ground at all.
Problems with the “Competitive” Queue
The way Bungie has said the two queues work is that “Quickplay” is matchmade based primarily in relation to connection and secondarily in relation to skill. “Competitive” games are supposedly based on skill and secondarily, connection speed. Of a sample of 13 consecutive games in the “Competitive” queue that I monitored, I found that ELEVEN of those 13 games I was on a team with no fireteam (not even a duo) but placed against a fireteam of three or 4. Just this gives the opposing team a MASSIVE advantage because one would assume that they will be communicating and working together.
Of the 11 unbalanced games, only 3 were what I would consider “fair” or “close” games. By “fair” or “close”, I mean we lost by something like 15% of our score – a balanced and competitive game. The other 8 games were skewed so far against me that I felt like just backing out to orbit. Now please understand, this is not a case of “git gud”. I am not bad at crucible, in Destiny 1, I was in the “Platinum” tier for all game types except control and Trials of Osiris.
This means that in the competitive queue, there is a 30.77% chance of getting a fair game (four of the 13 sampled). So that leaves us with 69.23% chance that I will end up in a game that is unbalanced past the point of broken. This is an absolute joke. Surely, when Bungie say that they are basing teams on skill more than connection in the “Competitive” game queue, those numbers should be the other way around?
Onto Trials of the Nine
For those of you who don’t know Destiny, Trials is the ultimate PvP challenge. It is a weekly event, starting at 6pm BST Friday and continuing on to reset at 10am BST on Tuesday. In this queue, you will play against the best PvP players in the game, so matchmaking to skill is something that you would assume is prevalent here. Oh, just how wrong you are.
In a series of games that a friend of mine recorded for me, a series of 14 games, their team only had the Elo advantage ONCE. That was the closest the matchmaking system would give them in a 5-hour period of playing Trials of the Nine. Fortunately for them, they won that match. The other 13 games, however, were so violently skewed that at one point, there was a canyon of 600+ Elo difference between then and their opponents. Bear in mind that (going by destinytracker.com) 600 ELO difference is almost like having an extra player on the opposing team. The differences in Elo were calculated between the average ELO for each team, so again one would assume that Bungie would configure the games so that there is ~200 Elo difference, not 600!!
That isn’t the only problem, there is also a massive issue with people offering “Trials Carries”, often for cash or subscriptions on Twitch. This out-and-out ruins Trials for the rest of the gaming community as it means that even a low Elo team could have one player so good that it’s just no contest. In one such game, my friends’ team only had a 6% chance of winning. How can Bungie just overlook this?!
How Can Bungie Fix This?
After many long rants and conversations with other friends and players, I propose that Bungie should make a separate queue for players that have already had a “Flawless” run (7 wins with less than 3 losses). If a fireteam of any size has a player in it that has already made it flawless once, then they should be placed into this alternative queue and play against other teams that have gone flawless already. This would gradually lower the average Elo level of games during the event, creating the possibility of going flawless for lower-skilled teams. In turn, this would make Trials a much fairer experience.
With the competitive queue, Bungie needs to make the range of skill levels that can be paired smaller. It should also matchmake dependant on the size of fireteam and the MAXIMUM Elo of said fireteam. Meaning that you won’t get people that are doing Crucible/Trials carries getting games where they literally don’t even die once. It would make it a lot harder to carry a team, in turn making the environment a much fairer place.
Check out my colleague Paula’s review of the game to see what she had to think.
What do you think? Disregarding the MIDA entirely, have you seen a fair balancing in matchmaking, or do you usually run with a team to avoid these kinds of issues? Sound off in the comments below.