competitive matchmaking suffers from multiple issues that create a very bad user experience at the moment.
What's the conversion rate for the competitive button? Why do people stop searching? After what amount of time etc. etc. All this information is important in order to create measures to help to raise the conversion rate. Here are some of the issues why players don't search/stop searching. This is based on personal experience and feedback from other players.
As a general rule of thumb: What's the purpose of the information? Does the represented information do a good job in regards to its purpose? That's the question you have to ask yourself and more importantly: you have to verify and test it.
Frustration is all over the place right now.
1. Players online indicator
The current implementation of the player-counter is bad. It doesn't exactly serve a purpose for Coop and Versus, but is damaging Competitive. The "chicken-or-egg" problem is very dominant right now. People don't search, because people don't search. There's a very well known psychological phenomenon called "social validation" which comes into effect here (and in other places) as well.
Frustration caused by:
- "13 people searching! Why don't i find a match!"
- "Only 5 people searching! I won't even bother..."
- "Why are only so few people playing competitive... maybe i shouldn't play either" (social validation)
Example question: what's the goal of showing "players-online"? If the answer is "to show how many people play a mode", then you are doing it wrong. That's information and not the purpose of showing that information.
Currently after getting put into the server you can't do anything, besides more waiting. The thing you've already done to get there in the first place. Some players do need quite some time to connect. Multiple times I've witnessed people leaving the server again, because of the infamous "x/10" situation. Some people don't have patience, in fact: most people don't. Easing the process of "waiting" is important. Not-doing-something while waiting is bad. Being occupied while waiting is good. CSGO is doing just fine with a 5 minute pre-match waiting period.
3. No public place to show-off
While it's nice and cool to get a rank, you have no public space to actually show-off. People like to brag and show-off. F.e. showing your competitive rank on the scoreboard will already be good. It allows people to:
- get a feeling of "companionship" ... "belonging" somewhere within the community
Those are both important aspects of online gaming communities.
4. More incentives
This is a tricky one. If you want to push competitive matchmaking -> you have to give competitive matchmaking more incentives. Special skins, more XP, more currency etc. etc. pp. Your choice. On the other side this might lead to a weird situation where some people think they are forced to play competitive matchmaking in order to get those incentives, despite the fact they don't like the mode, which is a legit opinion of course.
I think a reasonable approach would be to have certain "challenges" you have to complete in order to get certain things. You have to get people to at least try out the competitive matchmaking, in case they don't even know if they like it or not. Possible "challenges":
- Complete your placement matches -> get Item X/get X amount of currency
- Win X competitive matches -> get X (could be a daily achievement)
- competitive-only cosmetics, that can also be used in normal matchmaking
- more ideas here
Yes, bugs. Mainly:
- everything that prevents people from connecting
- spawn-bugs: sometimes you don't spawn initially/after capping on hideout/crossing insurgent side
Alright, I think doing this will be a huge step in the right direction. Some of the stuff can easily be implemented within a small patch, some will need way more work obviously.