Bungie admits skill-based matchmaking was implemented in Destiny, confirming fans' rampant speculation after PvP matches have become extra competitive and laggy.
For the past month or so the Destiny community has been abuzz with a discussion about matchmaking in Destiny. That's because in recent weeks, matches in the Crucible have been extra competitive, hard to find, and exceptionally laggy—typical signs that a matchmaking system is a skill based system.
And in fact, fans were correct. In December, Bungie implemented a new skill based matchmaking system without informing fans. Bungie admitted to changing how Destiny finds matches up players in PvP yesterday in the Bungie Weekly Update.
The problem with skill-based matchmaking, gamers say, is that when putting players together, it prioritizes skill ranking over connection strength and availability, thus resulting in long waits between matches and increased amounts of latency, commonly referred to as lag. Bungie says that the reason the system was implemented in Destiny was to keep games more competitive, and to avoid total blowouts:
"One of the bigger complaints we received during Year One was that you could get into very lopsided matches in the Crucible. The long term solution was always to retool the entire skill matching system under the hood so players would have much closer matches. As some stop-gap measures, we added systems like Blowout Prevention and the Mercy Rule until we could do the real stuff with Taken King."
According to Bungie, the new system that determines each individual players skill was inside the code of The Taken King, and started gathering information in October. As of December (when players really started noticing the more competitive games and higher amounts of latency) was when Bungie activated the new matchmaking system across all Crucible playlists.
Bungie says it didn't tell Destiny fans about the change because "in order to really put [the new matchmaking system] through the paces, we needed the raw, unbiased data. That gave us great results that allowed us to learn how to make it better." Fans have expressed feeling a bit slighted over the fact that Bungie wasn't transparent about the change when it happened, but Bungie says they promise to be more open about the changes and improvements made to PvP in the future.
Bungie also said that one of the next changes to the Crucible will be an attempt to fix the amount of latency being experienced in PvP. Most likely, that will come in the February update, which will also bring with it the new live event called Crimson Days. It'll be important to get PvP working at its best by then, especially since the event will bring with it a new gametype called Crimson Doubles.
A similar controversy hit Black Ops 3 last month, which caused Treyarch to revert to matchmaking based on connection strength and availability.
What has been your experience with Destiny's new skill-based matchmaking system?