The next Destiny Hot Fix will implement more matchmaking changes as Bungie continues their attempt to improve the stability and competitiveness of Crucible matches.
Since December, matchmaking has been a hot topic in Destiny. That’s when fans started speculating that Destiny had suddenly been switched to skill-based matchmaking instead of connection-based matchmaking—PvP matches had become more competitive (or “sweaty” as the Destiny community likes to call it) and the lag had increased dramatically. It wasn’t until the end of January that Bungie admitted they had stealth implemented skill-based matchmaking, executing a plan they had put in place with the launch of The Taken King expansion.
Since confirming to fans that the matchmaking settings had changed, Bungie has done a lot of frequent tweaking server-side to improve connection strength and reduce lag, while keeping some skill-based matchmaking in place in an attempt to reduce total blowouts in the Crucible. Next week, Bungie will issue the next Destiny Hot Fix, which will make continued changes to matchmaking in an attempt to stabilize matches more than ever.
Senior designer Derek Carroll said these new settings should keep latency (commonly called lag) the lowest it has ever been in Destiny:
If you’ve played Control or Iron Banner in the past week or so, you’ve sampled the newest search criteria. Our goal for matchmaking continues to be fostering a competitive ecosystem that works for everyone. First and foremost, that means we attempt to find matches with the lowest latency (read: lag) possible. As a secondary concern, we want to insulate players at each extreme of the skill curve from each other. That said, we do not prioritize skill over latency under any circumstances. The newest settings are more aggressive about keeping latency low than we’ve ever had in Destiny. Regardless of the playlist you prefer, you should be seeing high-quality matches.
Over the past month and a half, Bungie has been implementing matchmaking changes slowly, a handful of playlists at a time, but this Hot Fix will add the latest settings to every playlist.
Another tool Bungie has implemented is called the Damage Referee, which is designed to penalize players who have poor connection speed (“red-barring” as it’s called). Whereas previously red-bar players tended to teleport around the map, resisting damage while still dealing damage to players with good connections, Damage Referee is supposed to favor the good connection player instead. This Hot Fix will apply Damage Referee to all playlists.
This Hot Fix, 188.8.131.52 will hit next Tuesday, March 8 and is a required download for all players. Expect it to be released around 10 a.m. Pacific Time, as that is the usual time Bungie pushes patches to Destiny.
There could be other small fixes coming with this patch as well. The Destiny community has recently discovered some exploitable spots on a handful of Crucible maps, but Derek Carroll has said that those will be fixed in the next update:
It’s unclear whether he meant this Hot Fix or the upcoming Spring Update, but fans will find out for sure on Tuesday when Bungie publishes patch notes for this latest Hot Fix.
How has your experience been with Destiny‘s matchmaking lately? Are you excited for these new changes?