Destiny 2 players debated a controversial change to Trials of Osiris matchmaking that Bungie implemented over the weekend. The new rules are that once you are clear over a weekend, the game will then match you with other clear players for that coming weekend. You enter a fully separate swimming pool.
This does two main things that Bungie considers positive:
- This “cleans up” the normal pool so that the less good players can have a better and better time as the weekend progresses, progress further in a map, or become flawless themselves.
- It retains more of a challenge level for higher level players, keeping trials as an end-game skill-based activity, where at least after your first clear-cut, continuing to be clear “always means something.” , given the more difficult pool you are in.
But it has divided the player base in terms of opinion, with many more skilled players not appreciating the added burden and many less skilled players thinking it’s great. And yet, as Bungie continues to experiment with this new era of matchmaking testing, I think ultimately this idea is going to be killed for one main reason.
Destiny 2 has been all about opening up for the past few years. For a while, this was a cross-save, allowing players to switch between platforms. Then, the game became free-to-play, to attract even more people. Then this season we have cross play which means you can play with friends on other platforms. The easier it is to play with other people, no matter who or where they are, is a fundamental tenet of the game.
The problem? The idea of the Flawless Pool is a bit overwhelming in terms of testing.
The main problem I see here is that being faultless essentially “poisons” your card for the rest of the weekend. As such, I keep seeing people complaining that they end up in situations where they’ve gone flawlessly, but now they don’t want to play with other friends who have not yet passed flawlessly, as they drag them into a higher skill pool, and their games are going to be much more difficult, if not often impossible.
I haven’t gone faultless this weekend yet, but it’s easy to see how I could end up in this situation. Last week I played with some talented readers and passed flawlessly, but after that I would hurt my friends in my clan if I partied with them and played Trials, dragging them into the pool flawless. This is why you now see the LFGs saying things like “it doesn’t have to be perfect yet”.
Simply put, it divides too much. Players are discouraged from hanging out with friends who have gone off without fail due to the dramatic increase in difficulty this creates. Part of this is about wearing, of course, because I’m not sure why Bungie wants to make it harder to carry, as it’s something they’ve already embraced (it’s even part of the title requirement) , but even if you’re just trying to to play, I can see this split pool system getting in the way. You create a situation where someone is better off standing in line solo in the normal pool than playing with friends in the flawless pool.
Admittedly, last week was not perfect. And for me personally, I noticed an “easier” pool this time around in my lower skill bracket. But basically I just think it breaks a fundamental principle of testing by dividing the player base like that and separating the teams because of their flawless / not flawless status. As such, I don’t see it staying.
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