Allow me to paint a picture for you. The year is 2009, and “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2”just released. You pop it into your Xbox 360, and play a couple matches with some bad players and some good players.
Trash talk commences, but at the end of the day, it’s a random occurrence on who you’ll meet on the battlefield. It’s an equally random chance regarding how good they are at the game.
But it didn’t matter how good they were because at the end of the day, you were in your own bubble having fun.
Fast forward to the present day, and the semi-latest installment in the series, the reboot of “Modern Warfare” had implemented a very flawed algorithm.
Who you’ll be going up against is subtly chosen through an algorithm that can’t be turned off. This algorithm has been implemented in not only “Modern Warfare,” but many other multiplayer games as well, such as “Fortnite” and “Apex Legends.”
It’s a confusing and unbalanced algorithm that bases itself around how well or how poorly you perform in games, and it is always changing.
Skill-based match making is what that algorithm is called, and it is damaging my love for multiplayer games.
First of all, skill-based match making should be simple enough, but it’s not.
You would think that you’d start out fighting really bad players/people who’ve never played before. Then you would skyrocket into fighting the sweatiest people outside of e-sports the next match over.
Afterwards, the algorithm would then find a median where you would fit right in the middle and it gives players of all skill levels something to enjoy, regardless of if you’re a casual gamer or a frequent player.
That’s somewhat the case, excluding the part where it evens itself out. It’ll constantly wobble back and forth between boring matches—where we won easily—to matches where we’d get killed immediately after spawning.
It’s only sometimes we get even matches, and when that happens it’s usually pretty memorable. However, those are sadly rare.
It’s like the game purposefully builds you up to shoot you back down. Don’t get me wrong, I love “Modern Warfare,” but at this point it’s a love/hate relationship. Especially when the algorithm is so broken that it only applies to the host of a lobby.
My friend, who plays a lot more than I do, vouches to have me become the host of our parties since we don’t want to constantly play as hard as we can each match.
Of course, sometimes that backfires and we land in games that are absolutely ridiculous to play. Other times we’re just looking to have fun and hang out, not get super-competitive and sweaty.
Additionally, the algorithm it could potentially dissuade people from playing more or even buying future installments of the franchise.
This article is primarily about my time with “Modern Warfare.” I have only played the Alpha of the actual latest release “Black Ops: Cold War”after having a horrendous multiplayer experience in addition to skill-based match making being involved.
Like every other “Black Ops”game after “2,” I dislike the multiplayer. However, also like every other “Black Ops” game, the Zombies are what makes the purchase worth it in the end.
At the end of the day, the more I play “Modern Warfare”the more I miss the old days of not just “Call of Duty,” but multiplayer games in general.
Call me old fashioned, but nowadays every triple-A multiplayer game has a Battle Royale mode or a Battle Pass.
I understand the industry’s evolving, and not everything back then was good (remember online passes?) but there’s one thing that connects these games together that definitely needs to be changed, and that is skill-based match making.
Either fix the algorithm or erase it entirely. I’m tired of games being fixed for or against us.