Fortnite: Is the Time Ripe for Skill-based Matchmaking?Oct 24, 2018 | 1 Votes by Mikhail 10 rate With a huge gap in skill between the sheer amount of players in Fortnite, is the time ripe for skill-based matchmaking? How can Epic Games address the gap? Let’s check out some possible solutions.
Undoubtedly, there is an insurmountable skill gap between newbies and veteran players in Fortnite. This may not be a worry today, given that Fortnite is enjoying a huge amount of players worldwide, but it could be in the future. After all, this could mean that it would be hard for new players to get into the game, causing them to quit prematurely. Unless if they’re fully committed to improving, it’s just difficult to see noobs dealing with players who can build five-star hotels within a couple of seconds. With that said, how can Epic Games address this divide? Let’s take a look at a few possible solutions?
Games like DOTA 2, League of Legends, and Heroes of Newerth use the MMR system - or matchmaking rating - to match players with appropriate skill. The higher your MMR rating is, the more you’ll be matched up against stronger players. Would this be something Epic Games would want to adopt? To be frank, this could be an option. Skilled players and squads will be matched up against players with the same MMR rating. This enables players, from newbies, veterans who aren’t that good, and those with insane reflexes and skill to get the most fun possible.
The problem would be how an MMR could be calculated. Unlike MOBAs, it would be hard to get the MMR rating of players in battle royale games. Should it be determined through ranking, number of kills, or even the number of pieces built? There are just so many factors to consider, and a great deal of testing and calculations would be required on Epic’s part.
Epic Games has done a points-based tournament before, and they’re doing the same thing with the Alpha Tournament which is currently ongoing. In a nutshell, the points players earn is determined by how they place. For example, if they manage to take the top spot, they get a 100, while the player who died first will only earn one point.
This system could work. After all, they have done something like this before. However, Epic would either need to implement this without taking into account the records of all players today. Though each player’s stats are available, nobody remembers how well they did in their 564th game, right?
A newbie matchmaking mode is something newbies definitely need. For example, players who have freshly signed up will be matched against fellow newbies in their first 300 solo matches. Implementing this in squads or duos can be a little tricky due to matchmaking issues, which is why it can only be safely implemented in solos.
Though this sounds a little too far fetched and feels as if we’re giving noobs a hand to hold, this could have been important when the game was launched on the Nintendo Switch. You see, during the first days of its launch, new players were like headless chickens. They didn’t know what to do given that they hadn’t grasped the basics. Nobody was building when being shot at, and nobody was hitting anything. It was reminiscent of the first days of the game in other platforms. As a veteran (yet unskilled) player, I managed to get at least eight kills on average. It felt like facing off against horribly-made bots.
Although it was a fun experience (due to me notching numerous wins in the process), it stressed the must of a newbie-friendly environment. Though Switch player-base can now give other platforms a run for their money, newbies won’t be able to compete against masses of players who know what they’re doing. A matchmaking or game mode exclusively for noobs definitely needs to be a part of Epic’s plans.
All of the above should be OPTIONAL
Ranked matches and MMRs can change the way Fortnite is played. Unfortunately, things can end up for the worse: the appeal of battle royale is that players of different skill levels are dropped into a map. You could safely argue that players are all “equal” in this regard. With that in mind, if Epic wants to place MMRs or implement points systems to pit players of equal skill together and against each other, it has to be optional.
Although skill-based matchmaking may not be implemented any time soon, Epic has taken steps to ensure a newbie-friendly environment. Players can now easily practice and improve their skills thanks to the Playground being a permanent mode today. In addition, the LTMs, particularly the 50v50 ones, are fantastic modes for new players to get a grasp and feel for the game. In addition, the community support and content is massive: there are numerous Fornite tutorial videos online, particularly on YouTube, and players can learn more from streamers today.
So, do you think that Fortnite needs a skill-based matchmaking system in place today?