Matchmaking Systems vs. Community Servers


#1

Overwatch is poop.

Actually it’s decent but then I realized it’s by Blizzard so it’s going to be a good game with bad management. I figure it shares a lot in common with TF2, but to me the only thing that made TF2 fun was the fact that you could find your ideal server to play on. Either custom servers, finding servers that are usually balanced or only play on maps you like.

Overwatch will be built around the quick match feature which by FPS standards usually just means you’ll be tossed into horrendously imbalanced matches a lot. I don’t find easy wins to be fun nor do I particularly like getting stomped badly. It’ll be a popular game tho so who knows, competitive scene will probably be cool.

/mixedfeelings


noClue here! Greetings from MI
#2

Overwatch being good or not aside, I’m genuinely curious about this statement. Excluding WoW (because that’s a completely separate entity) what game(s) makes you think they have bad management? IMO, they pretty well set the bar for the industry.

I played in the last CBT weekend and had very few matches that just felt completely unfair either way, but that could just be because most everyone is still relatively new to the game.


#3

I’ve been part of the closed beta for several months. I maintained a near 50% win rate for the whole time. There were specific maps (King’s Row in particular, Hanamura and Volskaya sometimes) that were often hard for the offending teams to get beyond the first point. But I attribute that more to players being stubborn and wanting to stick with a single hero regardless if he is the right one for that moment.

Team composition is important in this game and it’s hard to get people to understand that. It might not be ideal to stick with a single hero for the entirety of a match.

Overall I probably had a relatively equal amount of easy wins, roflstomps, and matches that came down to the wire.


#4

Well Blizzard doesn’t have much to go off and it’s a pretty subjective viewpoint but I think it holds some ground with current state of their games. Blizzard was a fantastic company back in the day, I doubt anyone could really debate that. Every game they release was hugely successful. Plus they really pushed gaming forward in many ways.

Fast forward to today… I can’t really find anyone who thinks they’ve done anything good so far.

WoW is failing, and they’re currently attacking their own fanbase out of stubbornness. They completely believe 100% that all their decisions are right and that all the fans are wrong despite knowing their player base is dropping. Listening to the WoW devs during conferences is very depressing, they’re extremely rude to the fans.

Starcraft 2. I feel like this game was doomed to fail because of how successful BW was. When SC2 released Blizzard attacked all the BW tournaments in order to force focus onto SC2. They’ve had to undo countless problems with SC2 such as the horrid B.Net 2.0, horrible arcade issues and general gameplay problems. SC fans really wanted the game to succeed tho so they tried their hardest to push it. Now it’s just fading to staleness with each update. Remaining fans love the changes, all the older SC fans loathe them. Arcade damage hasn’t recovered, most of the dedicated mappers just moved on.

Diablo 3 is the best one so far. Although not to rag on fans of it… but only fans like it or people who haven’t played it yet. Everyone else seems to say it’s good but got boring. Game is just in a weird perma-grind spot? Despite stepping on fans to get to where it is now, I’d say they finally adapted to what their fans wanted. Perpetual grind.

I think the problem came with Blizzards success. They seem to manage all their games with a very “everything we do is correct because we’re blizzard” mindset. Plus with their focus is so heavily on instant access, ease of play, they’re missing out on the main focal point that made PC so perfect, which IMO was the lack of “matchmaking”. Digging for the perfect game room/server is what made PC superior. SCBW & Diablo1/2 multiplayer in particular were extremely successful because of this reason. With the removal of it we see more focus on “friends only” type multiplayer. Which seems to be hurting a lot of AAA games. Overwatch will definitely feel the effects of it once hype dies down, I’m just not sure blizzard will adapt to letting players manage servers. They seem to hate the idea of fans modifying their games.

I try to take a neutral stance when debating games and companies, I liked blizzard and now I hate them, but I’ll still admit when they do good. Their games are subjectively good/bad but I think management has been quite poor from them as of late.

Anyways, my brain tends to go wonky when I type a lot lol. Who knows if there is typos and if I made things clear lol.

The player stubbornness is why the game will be imbalanced. FPS games all suffer from it. That’s why matchmaking based games rarely succeed unless they’re already heavily established (COD).

EDIT: Just to add 50/50 is good for matchmaking, but take my TF2 experience. It was about 50/50 fun/bad experience until I found the perfect server. Then every single match I played on the server was down to the wire for both sides. Another server was always stuck in a stalemate in the center of a CP map, so joining that and seeing your team slowly push into the enemy base felt so incredibly rewarding. That 50/50 turned into like 95/5 after you find the good servers. Win rate was still 50/50 but it never felt bad losing during those super close matches.


#5

Select specific text and the quote reply shall appear. By magic.


#6

I love good discussion with valid points!


I personally hate WoW (and always have), but that’s so far removed from Blizzard prime at this point because of it’s scale and impact, IMO; the team working on WoW is literally the WoW team.

SC2 was a flop, no denying that; they tried (and failed) to capture the glory that is/was SCBW. They did make some “interesting” decisions regarding how best to get the major eSports converted over to the new, shiny title, and didn’t do a great job with it.

Outside of those 2 instances, though, I think they’ve done rather well.

Warcraft 3 was awesome and a great successor to the franchise. It’s old enough that I won’t linger on it, but the game was great all around, IMO, as was the competitive scene.

Diablo 3 was a hot mess at launch for a number of reasons (as was Diablo 2), but following the release of the expansion (as with Diablo 2) the game became amazing. Sure it’s a total grind-fest, but that’s all the Diablo franchise has ever been. If anything, the updates and changes they made with 3 have been nothing but pure, unadulterated progress. They listened to the community to address issues in the game and with systems therein. When they realized everyone loved season play in Diablo 3 (we did in 2, so that shouldn’t have come as any surprise) they’ve continued to improve upon it with subsequent updates and iterations. The multiplayer is 10^100 better than Diablo 2; I think we like to look back with rose-tinted glasses at the old days of LAN parties without remembering the networking nightmare that often ensued (also, I’ve long since moved away from a great deal of my IRL gaming buddies, so I welcome the stability of the online play these days over the old modem connect whatnot).

Heroes of the Storm may not possess the same depth as some other MOBAs out there, but it’s a great and diverse take on the genre and has been well-supported. Similarly, Hearthstone has gotten tons of updates and support and is the best online TCG available bar none (because WotC have never been able to make MTG:O do anything but suck total and complete ass).

I think they’ve made some mistakes, but I expect that of any company that also does awesome. The Borderlands series (not including the steaming shit-pile that is the presequel) are amazing, but damn near everything else Gearbox has put out has been lackluster at best (Battleborn seems poised to be an exception to this). The COD franchise (while not something I’m into) has very clear “good” and “bad” releases, depending on which company’s rotation is up. Battlefield, similarly, has had awesome titles (1942, Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3/4-after-a-bit-of-work) and turds (Vietnam, Hardline). EA is listed here without further comment.


I’m not a huge Blizzard fanboy by any stretch (several of their games I don’t play because I’m opposed to them on some level), but despite their missteps over the years, I still think they’re doing way better than basically anybody else, and they’ve been doing it for as long (or longer) than basically everybody (except maybe Valve; praise Gaben ;)).

Don’t forget about the Aussies; that lot is mental :wink:


#7

Well I didn’t include WC3 because it was before blizzard started to change, it was pretty much the last game of the “Golden Years” of blizzard.

HOTS I can’t comment on solely because I don’t like it and I’ve never followed anything about it.

Diablo 3 I agree ended up in the best state, but they made questionable strides to get there. I reluctantly say their choices turned out for the best, though multiplayer side of things is still really bad (which is what I’m focusing on). It’s one of the biggest love/hate games on their list I’d say. Depending on who you ask you’ll see widely different responses to their management of that game lol.

Hearthstone… I’m going to be that guy and say a big reason why Hearthstone is successful is because it works perfectly with their current management choices.

I still think in terms of making games they’re pros, one of the best companies. I’m just poking at how they seem to have no idea what their fans want or even what made their games so successful to begin with. Not to mention they’re very hostile towards anyone disagrees. If whoever is in charge of their battle.net / multiplayer design choices would get their head out of their rear, then by all means I think every game they have would again be the best in the industry. It seems hard to tell at the moment if their company is even successful now, they refuse to report numbers anymore. Dedicated fans are a potent bunch, when you have people who will buy anything you put out without any hesitation idk. I wouldn’t really say even Valve is successful anymore in terms of gaming, they haven’t really released anything since HL2. Games like Counter Strike and Left 4 Dead may technically Valve be games, but realistically all Gab did was recruit people who were already making games on their engine. Steam’s been fueling that engine for awhile now. Valve moved the industry forward, but those days are past now (or are they?!). Blizzard’s multiplayer pushed the industry forward as well… now I feel like they’re actually hurting it. I believe it’ll take many years to see the effects of blizzards mistakes because of how adamant their fanbase is.


#8

I’ve had 0 issues with the multiplayer over 820+ hours played (not counting characters that got deleted over the years; I rarely solo), so I can’t begin to fathom what is going wrong for anyone. The concession I could sort of understand would be the “always online” part, but then I’d point to the console versions that are ripe with hacked gear and say to the whiners “better always online than that shit right there” :wink:

Also, Valve is bigger than Gabe (praise Gaben) and has been for some time, so I absolutely credit them with TF2, Portal 1/2, HL2 episodes, and L4D 1/2, which are all post-HL2, even if the core or original Vale team weren’t the ones who made them.

Man if the HL3 and L4D3 rumors from the VR demo data mine are true…drools


#9

I stopped right here. I wish I had a product that was 12 years old, still had ~6 million users and it was considered to be failing. :poop:

Hearthstone just released a new card set yesterday. A single streamer had over 100,000 viewers watching him open card packs. Enough people to fill a football stadium. I’ll consider that a successful game.

I don’t think I have played a match of League of Legends in over a year. I still visit Heroes of the Storm on occasion. Heroes is much more enjoyable because people generally act nicer, in my experience. I may get a bad player on my team sometimes but at least people aren’t constantly degrading them.

If you watch the recent video about The Fall of Titan (3 part series on the making of Overwatch), the team discusses how they got carried away with the scope of Titan and trying to recreate another Wowcraft. They finally had to throw in the towel and create Overwatch.

Or maybe a game called DotA 2. But I hear it’s not very big. :smiley:


#10

Neat video!


#11


It’s failing. They lost over half their subs over the years. Just because it’s still the biggest MMO doesn’t mean it’s not failing. It’s going to take a long time for them to lose enough subs to matter. But, it’s to the point where they won’t discuss how many people are actually playing WoW anymore like they used to.

Hearthstone like I said is doing well, because it fits perfectly with how they’re managing their company. It’s a game that will always be around because of this. It’s impossible for them to mess this cash cow up unless they fuck up card balance.

I type a lot so I’m going to repeat this, I acknowledge their games are good. I’m trying to point out their their team behind bnet and multiplayer is bad.

Regarding Valve, again. Dota 2 is a pre-established group that got claimed by Valve. The “Valve Team” isn’t releasing games, Valve is taking the smarter approach and having small indie teams merge into them whenever they see a game with potential. The dev team there seems to just assist the indie guys,

I give Valve credit mostly for being a brilliant business team. I just give more credit to the indie dudes for the creation of games like L4D than actual Valve. Gabe seems to be focused on trying to continue to revolutionize the industry, but that’s an entirely different dicussion about how Valve wasn’t a company designing games so much as it was a company designing revolutionary game engines with amazing tech demos (their games).

If you guys can’t tell I really like long winded game industry discussions lol. Ludology #1.


#12

You’ll do just fine here :wink:


#13

Is reaching a peak and then seeing a downward progression actually failing? I have to agree with the sentiment @teh_ninjaneer shared - I think they’re pretty darn happy that the title made it as big as it did. And it’s pretty darn hard to maintain the standard they set, even for themselves.

It will be a shame when this post closes in 20h… we should’ve split this convo off as a topic long ago. :wink:


#14

Only within the realm of this discussion, yes. This all started because I was saying that I think Blizzards current management is very poor. I’m not trying to discuss whether or not their games are/were successful. They all 100% were successful games because they made a lot of money off them. I wanted to focus on the fact that when they changed their views on how bnet and multiplayer should be designed, their games started to take more downward spirals. Which is ultimately why I lost interest in Overwatch lol, because they seem to not understand what makes multiplayer games successful: the community.


#15

I think we should at least let Overwatch release first before judging how well/horrible it does.


#16

You’re not the police of me, @Ausylon; I do what I want!


#17

I’m not saying it’s going to do bad or well :(. That wasn’t the discussion!!! lol.

For anyone who missed the start of the discussion, all I said was I wasn’t interested in Overwatch because it doesn’t offer community servers like Valve games tend to have. Matchmaking is very hit or miss in terms of balanced matches because of the nature of FPS games. The best FPS games to me were fun because you could find good servers you enjoyed to play on. Like I found TF2 servers that were always very even matches where no one side would win in under 10 seconds.


#18

A game that’s 12 years old that’s losing players isn’t failing. Brink failed; Hellgate: London failed (good night, sweet prince); The Division is in danger of failing; WoW is dying.

All games die, and this one had one of the longest and most successful runs in the history of video games to date. The people who were in college when the game launched (I as 19 at the time, IIRC) are now in their 30’s; they have jobs, they have families, and an MMO (for most of them) is not something they can easily commit to. The things done to WoW over the years are the only reason it’s persisted for this long. Did they change things? Yes. Did it burn or ostricize some of their playerbase? Yes. Did it cause the current state of the game? Not in any significant, negative way.

The bigger issue at play with WoW is the next generation of gamers didn’t embrace it the way my peers did (I still hate the damn thing, for the record). Was there a mismanagement that caused this? Perhaps in some small part, but it also had to compete against all the new shiny stuff that’s come along since it released.

It’s really tough to sell an old game to new players, especially as PC gaming was going through a downturn in favor of the 7th generation of consoles (AKA the XBox 360 Bro Era). Kids grew up with the 360 and PS3 in the early 2000’s (because they’re a lot cheaper than a gaming PC and a monthly subscription to play a single title), so going to college they took those with them and joined up with others who played the same systems and games.

The changes made to WoW over the years were far less about retaining old players and more about acquiring new ones. The game’s been on the downturn for years, and having a positive gain of players for 5 years is insane. That’s also a very reasonable life-cycle for a successful video game, but it’s an impressive-as-fuck timeline for a game to only reach its peak; most games peak at or shortly after launch. Also, around that time the college kids that got into it would be getting jobs/families and newer, younger players would be less inclined to get involved in such an epic scale game with gobs of content already behind it when they grew up and were living independently (college or otherwise) in the Bro Era.

I personally hate the game, but nothing about it is a failure, and I strongly disagree that their management was anything but directly responsible for the longevity the title has enjoyed.


#19

I still have my game box in the closet. Couldn’t you have said Tabula Rasa instead?


#20

The feels :’(