Strike of the Match

Yesterday, Andy Belford tweeted that  scenario matchmaking was coming soon to a server near you. A lot of people are excited about this. I don’t know if I fall into that particular group of folks quite yet. My initial response is “cool – better fights”, but when I sit and think about it, actually think about its reprecussions, I find myself sitting on the fence, with a slight lean towards the side of unease.

There is a thread on the official forums where Andy gave a fairly robust explanation, something that twitter’s limited message size couldn’t allow. He confirms the general concept that performance and skill will be used as a marker for how players are matched, and a very rough outline for how filling of scenarios will function, and he even went so far as to give some teases about the potential of cross-server scenarios.

Andy Beflord wrote…

I can confirm that it will be performance/skill based.

The feature that we will be introducing will attempt to fill Scenarios with players of similar rating. If there are not enough players of like ratings, it will continue checking outward until eventually automatically populating the Scenario regardless of rating.

Obviously with the decoupling of Scenarios from the Campaign, this frees us up to explore more options with this system in subsequent versions. We’re not quite ready to talk about what those options are, but some of them are frequently requested features.

And before anyone asks, no, they are not Premade vs. PUG queues. As we have stated before, we desire to offer a fair solution that will not compromise the frequency at which Scenarios occur. For now, this is the solution that we are implementing.

I’m quite pleased at the last paragraph. Premade v PUG is not something I ever want to see. I’ve detailed my reasoning before, but SCs are a place for highly competitive, small-group play. ORvR is where numbers, and large battles reign supreme. If you remove the challenge of playing with organized partners, then it diminishes the reality of what scenarios are. That itself is a bit of what has me concerned, the other biggie is seeing less frequent SC pops. Now, Andy assures us that it will be a cascading check so that there will be no diminishing of frequency, and I’ll take him at his word, but there is always that ever-present nagging doubt in the back of my mind that whispers incessantly that it won’t work that way.

As for the exact nature of how players are ranked, we don’t know. People are already asking for XML websites that show rankings, stats, and all other bells and whistles that would make it akin to WoW’s arena system. I’m not sure how much I want that, as cool as it would be on the competitive nature, there was a lot of e-sport pop and circumstance around Arena matches that I really found distasteful. Gaming the system was a common occurence, and is not something I want to see happen, I don’t want the purity of a good SC fight tainted people trying to artificially deflate their ranks, or any other strange actions.

People often forget, but Warhammer accomplished a huge achievement with their scenarios. They created instanced PvP fights where people wanted to keep fighting, and didn’t just go AFK till the end of it. One of the biggest worries coming into the game was that they would mirror WoWs battleground like Alteric Valley, with hordes of people just sitting in a cave, jumping every half-minute to ensure their place until the end. I don’t want to see anything take away from the culture of fighting in scenarios.

In the end, the flame has been lit, and as long as what is being said is how things turn out, this should be a change that I can happily get behind. Unlike speed boosts for real-life cash. Yes it’s minor, but no, I don’t care. I disagree with the concept.

So, go, enjoy your weekend of extra EXP and Renown, and try to get that 60 day event item from the consolatory weekend warfront.


About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

2 Responses to Strike of the Match

  1. Rikker says:

    Oooh, hadn’t seen this coming down the pipe yet. Thanks for putting it out there!

    I agree, I’m cautiously hopeful… and I also agree that cash for real in-game benefits is a BAD idea.

  2. Lyram says:

    Meh. I’m still going to solo queue and pug must of the time.

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