In a previous article I discussed why skill-based matchmaking, or SBMM, is integral to a game like Fortnite and many others like it. The system is needed for battle royale games and competitive matches. However, how does that effect players when different skill levels collide?
Skill-based matchmaking is put in place to make the game as fair as possible. Players stick with their own skill levels so no one is getting bullied in game and eventually quitting because of constant loss. It can also keep many competitive players from getting bored by playing just public matches. They will always have plenty of competition.
But what happens when the high skilled player joins a party with their friends who play casually, which is a majority of the player base? In a recent reddit threat on the Modern Warfare reddit, there has been a big discussion about SBMM. The discussion includes Warzone, but in particular, the effect of the system in Modern Warfare is obvious in core multiplayer matches.
One user in the Modern Warfare thread wrote, "Moment you left the games got so much easier" that's what a friend told me after spending an evening playing with me. Sbmm ruins any friendship that could be made by players of different skill levels."
In my own experience playing Modern Warfare, I am a relatively high SBMM player. I'm not a professional, but I'm not casual either. My games tend to get sweaty whether I like it or not, which is fine if I run games solo. If I play with other friends though, the game becomes far more difficult for them to play. They are shocked by the change in pace of the game, and frustration takes over any of the potential fun.
Technically, SBMM is doing the job it was meant to do in Modern Warfare; make the game fair. But when it comes to playing in a party, it takes away the fun. It alienates players that are higher skill levels from what is a majority of the player base. Some players that are high skilled might not care as much about competition in Modern Warfare and would rather the SBMM gets removed, but that loops back to the idea that SBMM gate keeps those players from ruining the experience of other players.
If Modern Warfare multiplayer were like battle royale or MOBAs, making a smurf would be easy enough. The games are free and accounts are disposable. Modern Warfare multiplayer is in a unique situation where making a new account could cost the full price of a new game. So in the end, as long as SBMM is in core Modern Warfare multiplayer, high skilled players will be alienated.Published 05 Sep 2020, 04:04 IST