Fix this bullshit matchmaking system before it's too late
I think the general rule of the matchmaker is that it prioritises win rate and character performance over profile level, essentially SBMM. I think people lose a match, see that they have a player less experienced than them on their team, and use them as an easy target to put blame on. There's always more you can do to win a match, even in solo queue, to make that little bit of a difference. Whether that's switching up team compositions or mod loadout, or switching who your first target is. And some players simply don't have the competitive mindset to play like that, or just simply don't want to, and they just want to fly around on their hoverboard with their favourite character and have some fun. And that isn't exclusive to low level, inexperienced players at all. And that isn't always exclusive to you and your team either, the exact same player mindset could be present on the opposite team that just beat you.
There are several low levelled players that are better than some high level, experienced players. Skill level and player profile level aren't directly correlated to each other in many instances. But the community has pretty much made that connection themselves.
I don't like how frequently brand new players get pushed into experienced player's games in general though, regardless of individual skill. I think it has an affect on how long they're willing to stay around for sure. I think being eased in more appropriately would be beneficial to the playerbase overall. I mentioned something like a Casual Queue here: https://forum.bleedingedge.com/topic/1533/afk-players-and-griefers/3 , But,I just don't know if the numbers are there to support something like this, especially long term. There's enormous skill gaps in this game in general right now, and again, the playerbase just isn't there to healthily fulfill each skill base in the game currently.
Backfilling is a whole problem in itself and I have explained possible workarounds that I think would be beneficial to the game. I think the latest post I made is here: https://forum.bleedingedge.com/topic/1573/changing-the-backfill-for-players-who-dont-quit-matches/2
I know people tend to clown on the fact that no one has played the tutorial, but if you look at the Xbox achievements, 61% of players have completed ALL of the tutorials, which is more than the amount of players who have won a single game. Truthfully, I think new players are just easy targets to put blame on. Of course there are matches that are extremely unbalanced, usually due to just that 1 player who seemingly doesn't know what he's doing, but that's the same with most multiplayer games. New players make up a pretty large percentage of the overall playerbase right now so it is bound to happen occasionally.
Sometimes players just have poor matches as well? I'm sure you've had your fair share of bad performances like we all have. It's a team game at the end of the day. If one player on your team makes mistakes, that could be the difference between the two teams. Like I said in my previous post, you fundamentally have to rely on the contribution of the rest of your team. You don't win alone, and you don't lose alone.
Just my opinion of course
to protect their percentage
And that's a problem too. There are no other incentives in the game to set a goal and determine your personal growth by it. When we have a surplus of coins and gears, we come up with a goal to raise the percentage of victories - overall or for individual characters.
For example, Halo does not have any ratings and win / lose influence. Losing does not bother me at all, because the next one will be victorious. Players can change teams at any time if there is an imbalance. You can leave the lobby at any time if there are 2-3 guys who are too skillful in one team and they just farm a weak team.
WoTanks have a percentage and other things. And with all this, NOBODY leaves the battle if the team starts to lose, because even the last player can eliminate 3-6 enemies alone with the proper skill and luck, and win the game. And for completing the match, valuable experience is given, which are always in short supply, and is needed to open new vehicles.
I played in another tactical pvp 4x4 (Xcom-like) game where, being the last survivor, I could take down the 2 last enemies.
Well, I haven't played in moba, overwatch and everything else that Edge is compared to, but the balance here, where you can't do anything, even if 1 mate gets out of the game, even when I play DMC on DMD difficulty, it seems depressing.
Don't defend the bad matchmaking. It's bad, and the devs need to make it better.
So how would you make it better then? Taking into account the number of players that currently play the game as well as the several skill gaps?
Only things I desperately (and realistically) want changing are how backfilling works, and if possible, how group matchmaking works.
I want to add that until very recently, I thought that the matchmaking simply wasn't working due to limited playerbase to cover all the skill gaps or whatever and that most unbalanced matches with like a bunch of level 4s and 6s on one side and 80+ on the other side which lead me to assume, oh they're stacking and clearly there wasn't any similarly leveled 4 stacks at the time. However, now that I've actively started asking people on the enemy team if they are stacked in those situations, turns out that most of the time, they're just all solo. Makes it clear that the matchmaking could've put one of their high level players on our team and one of our new players on their team and that would have made a huge difference I think. So now I legitimately have a real problem with the matchmaking and I won't be defending it much anymore.
Also despite what @x-AmberPrice is saying about "Skill level and player profile level aren't directly correlated to each other in many instances" which I believe is very true, I still think that profile level should generally be what the matchmaking is based on. I don't care how good a level 10 is or how bad a level 110 is, seeing a combined level of under 100 vs a combined level of 300+ naturally makes the match feel uneven and those numbers really can effect one's mindset, especially mine even though I feel I know better.
Matchmaking doesn't take player profile level into account at all hence why there are a lot of games that are seemingly "unbalanced" in that aspect. I am absolutely not going to name drop but there are several low level players that are infinitely better than several high level players. It literally means nothing 90% of the time. If a level 10 matches vs a level 100 then it's because they have a similar MMR (win rate, KPL, character performance, etc).
What you do need is good chemistry and team coordination. You can't win alone. Sometimes there are really small margins for victory and I genuinely think going into a match with the mindset that you will probably lose due to a low level player on your team can be the difference between being on the winning or losing side, rather than that low level player performing badly.
I'd suggest NT block the ability to check players' profiles in game, I think it would help disprove the myth that player profile level = skill level as well as reduce general toxicity.
The game hinders on individual decision making and no matter your experience or skill level, you are going to make the wrong decisions occasionally. Especially when you've got 3 other players on your team to synergise your decisions with.
In Solo Q, there are many times where experience tells me that a certain player is absolutely making the wrong decision, however backing his decision and joining him can often lead to a successful outcome anyway, rather than leaving him to die and being pretentious.
I have said previously however that despite all of what I've just said, I still think generally speaking that low level players are thrown into more experienced players' matches too often/too soon and the matchmaker is a little too aggressive in that regard. However, the playerbase essentially dictates the quality of the matchmaker. If there's not enough new players for a "casual queue" of sorts, then they're going to be placed into matches to make up the numbers. Likewise if there's not enough "experienced players" on at one time.
More players = better matchmaking system IMO.
@x-AmberPrice - I definitely agree with the idea that more players would go a long way toward better matchmaking, but I think it's interesting to note that poor matchmaking is precisely the thing many posters higher up in the thread suggest prevents the game from retaining more players. So there seems to be a bit of a chicken and egg argument there. I don't know if there's an objective answer out there, but it seems like it could be framed as an empirical question.
I wonder if NT has done focus groups or any particular data analysis to assess reasons for the size of the player base. It certainly could be the way the game was marketed (as you suggested in contrast to Valorant, for instance), or just a couple of bad reviews, etc. But as much as I agree with your thoughts about the importance of gamer mindset and as much as I like your ideas about a casual queue, it does seem to me that the folks pointing out issues with matchmaking are pointing to very legitimate possibilities for why this game didn't stick for other gamers. They might be right that matchmaking changes would attract more players.
As much as I agree, too, that player level is not causally related to skill level, it may very well be the case that they're statistically correlated in this particular game. Or, (more likely IMHO, but I don't know details about how the MM works in BE) it may just be the case that a purely SBMM system, or too-heavily weighted SBMM system, is being tricked by a small sample size of games played into viewing lower-level players as more highly skilled than they actually are. In either scenario, folks looking at games with high disparities between player levels and complaining about that is precisely what you'd expect to see.
Maybe none of that is actually the case, but we can't rule it out without knowing the MM formula. If it is the case, then one fix might be your casual queue idea, which would be great. But if the player base is too small for casual queue it's also truly possible that weighting player level just a little more in the MM would accomplish the same goal. I'll bet NT is already looking at it, but if they aren't I at least hope they'll review the mechanics of the MM and crunch some of the data to find out if players here are pointing them to a real issue. It's worth review.