■ What's the problem?
In short, there are currently way too many playlists in Crucible that are dispersing the all-time-low player population across the various modes offered each week, effectively making it more difficult AND time consuming to match against other players and start a match.
For example, just by looking at the playlists that are available this week only, we have:
- Inferno Supremacy
- Classic 6v6
- Classic 3v3
- Classic Free-For-All
- Private Matches
That's 13 out of 32 playlists available at any given time during the week; this is discounting the monthly Iron Banner and Trials (which will replace Elimination over the weekend).
■ What does this mean?
By having 13 different playlists available each week – combined with the fact that we have a dwindling Destiny population – players are being thinned out across multiple playlists too much now to the point where we all probably experience the following issues consistently in some way or another:
- matches that start without full teams (e.g. 5v5, 4v4 instead of 6v6)
- matches that start with lopsided teams (e.g. 5v6, 4v5, 4v6)
- increased join-in-progress games because of the above issues
- matches that consistently take a long time to fill up and begin
- matches that don't even start, period, giving you an error because the game could not find enough players in time
All of these issues are even worse for those playing in less populated countries and regions like Asia and the Middle East; sometimes the Crucible is literally unplayable because there is nobody or not enough people to match with and we keep getting errors.
Then we have SBMM/CBMM as icing on the cake that takes all of this to yet another level – even MORE restrictions added to the aforementioned issues.
■ So, what can we do about this?
Well, I'm sure there are many ways this can be done, but for starters…
How about we simply narrow down the playlists to 4 basic modes plus 1 "special" weekly mode for a total of 6 modes offered each week?
- 6v6 (rotates between Control, Clash, Rift, Supremacy, etc)
- 3v3 (rotates between Skirmish and Salvage)
- Elimination (replaced by Trials over the weekend)
- Weekly Special Mode (one of the modes from Inferno, Mayhem, Doubles or Iron Banner when it happens)
- Private Matches
This will effectively halve the number of specific choices we'll have each week compared to how things are now (13 –> 6), but it should narrow down the playlists enough to combine players into bigger pools of matchmaking while offering the flexibility to select the basic mode of choice (i.e. 6v6, 3v3, 1v1, etc).
Private Matches will still be there for those who want to specifically play a particular mode.
It's definitely cool that Destiny offers 30+ playlists in Crucible to mix things up; 13 of those offered each week, among which some randomly rotate on a weekly/monthly or ad hoc basis.
But given the current low population in the game, paired with other restrictions like SBMM/CBMM, there just aren't enough players around anymore to offer a stress-free, balanced, consistent matchmaking experience.
Why play a 6v6 mode when the games start 5v5 or 4v5? Why play 3v3 or Rumble when the game takes up to 10 minutes to find you people to play with or errors out of the queue screen because it couldn't find enough people to play with? All of these issues seem to ruin the whole point of playing in the Crucible which is to have some fun.
With that said, it would be great if Bungie can narrow down the number of playlists offered each week to combine player pools that will allow for better matchmaking experiences overall for all players living in any part of the world.