Destiny 2 PvP players were up in arms that skill-based matchmaking was affecting their matches, but it turns out Bungie hadn't turned it on just yet. Oops.
The start of Destiny 2 Season of Plunder was meant to bring with it the first implementation of skill-based matchmaking, a controversial topic as many players believe this turns matches into a "sweat-fest" where every player is just as good as them. While this seems like a logical way to setup matchmaking - pairing up players of similar skill - it's a major point of contention in Destiny 2 PvP circles. Those who aren't as skilled as top-tier Destiny 2 players have long complained about unfair matches, and feel as if skill-based matchmaking will prevent those players from pub stomping with impunity.
A self-proclaimed solo player on the "upper end of the skill gap" wrote on Twitter that the new matchmaking "is definitively unfun and a net loss." Another Twitter user posted a picture of a match where the majority of the players were clearly from another country and wrote "Ah yes, SBMM has definitely kicked in." Except, it hadn't.
The latest This Week at Bungie (opens in new tab) stated that "loose skill-based matchmaking" would be implemented on all Control playlists at the start of the season, and it wasn't long before streamers and popular PvP players started complaining about it. It turns out, however, that there wasn't actually anything different going on behind the matchmaking scenes, because Bungie forgot to turn skill-based matchmaking on. I believe the kids call this "getting caught in 4K."
CLARIFICATION: Before we resolved this issue, we identified that the implementation of Loose SBMM did not go live in Control yesterday. We were able to send out a fix with the new matchmaking settings detailed in this previous TWAB: https://t.co/MsSkOiUiHM https://t.co/3UKi2zowsaAugust 24, 2022
Skill-based matchmaking is officially now a part of Destiny 2 Control matches, so expect there to be more grumbling about it. At least now, however, the grumbling will be rooted in facts.
After years of dismissing suspicion that PvP matchmaking would drastically change, Bungie announced it would be adding skill-based matchmaking to Destiny 2 last month. The goal is to ensure players will "regularly get matches where they can feel competitive and have a reasonable chance of winning/competing," which I can appreciate as a casual Destiny player who regularly gets stomped in PvP matches. "We believe that 90% of matches should have less than 20-kill difference between the best and worst players, and 50% should have no more than a 10-kill difference," Bungie wrote in the TWAB announcing SBMM (opens in new tab). Here's hoping the new matchmaking setup will benefit all players along the skill ladder, from the sweatiest of sweats to newbies like me.