Last month, Bungie accidentally disabled skill-based matchmaking for Destiny 2’s quickplay PvP mode, inadvertently creating more chaotic matches that value speed over balance. It wasn’t an intentional change, but Bungie agreed to “take no immediate action” and watch how things played out. And they played out quite well: quickplay was a mess, many agreed, but it was a fun mess. However, following yesterday’s pre-Forsaken update, the same quickplay proponents are suspicious that skill-based matchmaking has returned to ruin their fun.
Several prominent Destiny 2 PvP streamers and YouTubers are reporting dramatically longer quickplay queue times, which is a textbook symptom of skill-based matchmaking. And with the wild peaks and troughs seemingly evened out, many say quickplay has also been more sluggish, with most matches being called due to time before a team can reach the score cap. The Destiny subreddit is overflowing with similar stories, and while I’ve only been able to play a few matches since the update, I’ve also noticed this sluggishness myself.
I really think that the longer respawns ruins the Quickplay experience. Yeah you would have people spawning right in front of you that you just killed BUT…THAT WAS THE FUN OF IT AND IT ALLOWED PLAYERS TO MAKE CRAZY PLAYS AND IT’S GONE AND SLOWED DOWN AND BORINGAugust 29, 2018
Bungie community manager DMG04 addressed the situation on Twitter, insisting “no changes were intentionally deployed” in the update and adding that Bungie is “looking into” the perceived slowdown. “Whenever we purposefully alter the matchmaking ecosystem of the Crucible, we’ll talk to you about it, as we have been.”
Destiny’s relationship with skill-based matchmaking has been thorny ever since the Taken King expansion for the original game, when Bungie added skill-based matchmaking to all PvP modes without telling players. Queue times ballooned and matches slowed down, so suffice it to say people noticed the change. Bungie eventually promised to be more transparent about future changes.
Bungie has yet to confirm anything regarding this week’s hiccup, but seeing as how skill-based matchmaking was initially disabled by accident, it’s entirely possible it’s been accidentally reactivated. Especially when you consider some of the other changes that were unintentionally deployed this week, like premature Forsaken gear drops and a bizarre recoil bug that only affects one class of weapon, and only on PC. Nothing is certain as of yet, but at the very least it seems clear that something has changed with matchmaking.