The TL:DR is in the title.
I was going to make a saltmine rant about how players are so poorly matched together by skill and simple know-how, how it is ruining the experience of so many players, but then I realized a simple, obvious solution that SEMC might not like but needs to happen in some form: make a pro mode.
And by pro mode I mean this: Make mode where players are matched by their true skill, the stats that SEMC doesn’t release. The reality is that the rank system sucks. It is easily gamed, there is no clear correlation between rank and actual skill, between boosted players and smurfs, and nobody is having fun in their mismatched games. Leave the rank system for the people who want the glory of being on a leaderboard, and have a pro-mode where players are matched on their internal stats over whatever curve that takes. Don’t make it ranked in any way, provide no incentive for playing it other than having a proper skill challenge regardless of your rank, base it more heavily on individual stats rather than team wins.
That way, players who want the prestige can rank up and get higher through normal modes, and players who just want a real challenge against players who they better match up with, at any rank, can have it, or to put it in other words, so that people who know how to play can actually enjoy the game with other people who know how to play again, and people who don’t can stick with other people who don’t.
The benefits of this are largely for veteran players or good players who simply cannot enjoy their games because of the broken matchmaking, but also provide a way for players to more easily meet more players around their skill level to party up with and actually get somewhere, because the current rank system is not cutting it in that department at all.
Simple, and to the point. Either that or figure out something for matchmaking because the current system is not cutting it for literally anybody, and is the biggest source of frustration for almost all players, because rank has come to mean little but a number next to your ign to feel good about. It isn’t relevant to being matched with players around your skill level at all until you reach the highest ranks and even then, it’s still a clusterfuck between boosters and people who are high rank but simply outmatched by people with maybe one rank difference, but vastly different worlds of experience and technical understanding. Let the wait times suck for this mode if they must, with the promise that at the end of that wait, you’re more likely to actually enjoy a properly balanced game.
I guess ultimately this is another “fix your matchmaker” thread but I’m at least trying to offer a concrete solution to the sludge that is playing this game in either solo q or a party, because as a solo q’er it is always a gamble, and as a party, it is more likely to be a steamroll regardless of your actual skill, and that’s no fun for anybody, as the current state of the matchmaker shows.
Also ultimately, this problem is underlined by all the other ones: poor means of communicating strategies and basic important things without already being in a party, poorly chosen pings, the vast difference between picking this game up and becoming experienced at it, lackluster training for said experience. You are expected to read up on and watch videos on way too many things, and a lot of strategies, you are expected to learn as you go or slog through pro video after pro video. It’s clearly not working.
The other upside for SEMC? It’ll shut a lot of people up about their horribly tilted matches until more tweaks and improvements get to the general game audience and these issues are no longer a problem: for everyone.
This is a long read but hopefully this is a constructive solution or you guys are currently working on something because such a good game with so many interesting mechanics should not be so frustrating for so many people. It’s a symptom of many other issues that semc is working on but it would be a mostly painless bandaid until those fixes are made in totality.
In fact, another idea, a longshot one, would be to make rank more focused on actual player teams and guilds, making them more relevant, and abolishing the solo player rank altogether, beyond just showing a general solo score, because this is a team game, with your solo rank based as much on your team’s performance as your own, and the player experience for many is showing it clearly isn’t working out to base individual ranks on potential team performance when one misstep from one team member can stall or bring your own rank down constantly. It would be a fundamental shift in some way but it would just make sense, and this would even help establish pro teams better, as players with a better team rank will stick together and members who don’t make the cut will be dropped out, maybe by consensus, establishing all the pro teams SEMC wanted, but organically, based on a team progression system rather than individual, and de-emphasizing the solo rank altogether as it is again, all but useless in a game like this.
Hopefully I have covered every base and fleshed out the ideas as to have something to consider or work from, but the point is: make this game feel worth itself again.