Competitive Matchmaking in dire need of improvement

Hello,

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.

Current issues:

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.

2. Pre-Match

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:

  1. show-off
  2. 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":

  1. Complete your placement matches -> get Item X/get X amount of currency
  2. Win X competitive matches -> get X (could be a daily achievement)
  3. competitive-only cosmetics, that can also be used in normal matchmaking
  4. more ideas here

5. Bugs

Yes, bugs. Mainly:

  1. everything that prevents people from connecting
  2. 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.

Why should competitive gets special treatment but others don't? Competitive players are more privileged or what? And "No public place to show off" LMAO, seriously? What do you need to show off for, to compensate your feeling?
Also, you get butthurt because there are very little players in this mode, and the number shows the fact that competitive isn't popular? Not everyone likes to try hard in a video game. This is the most ridiculous thing I ever read.

last edited by ctbear1996

@ctbear1996 gj raging about things that won't even affect you.

@benz Who is raging? I'm just saying all these suggestions are hilarious, and Insurgency is never meant for these things, go play something else that you can show off your "video game ranks"

@ctbear1996 NWI have stated they want to push the competitive side of insurgency with sandstorm. I'm offering feedback for that. Pretty sure I'm at the correct place since this is the Sandstorm forum. If you don't have feedback in regards to the competitive mode of the game, stay out of the discussion. This isn't the place for you raging about competitive.

And I can also disagree with these suggestions, just like you against low ttk and almost everything else, not every one of your suggestion has to be implemented in the game, it's the decision of devs.
Plus I already stated my reasons why these things should not be added, they are useless and the first suggestion you made is simply because you are butthurt to see majority players don't care about competitive, devs have better things to focus on.

last edited by ctbear1996

@ctbear1996 so you don't have any valuable feedback for NWI on how they can improve the competitive matchmaking for this game. Gotcha.

Your feedback is not valuable, it's naive. First, like removing player indicator. People don't play competitive because they don't care, nothing to do with showing the correct information on the menu.
Second, show off for rank? devs can focus on better things than satisfying people who want to show off their video game rank publicly and brag about it.
Third, competitive should not get anything special because it's not a special mode, it's part of the game.
The only thing to improve competitive is to improve the game in general like optimization and bug fixing, the rest is pure garbage.

I think the "rewards for playing" aka the cosmetics are very boring and almost feel like an after thought in the current state.
If they were better, it would be easy to add incentives into the competitive play. I'm considering making a huge post on the cosmetics soon.

Also, they need to make some sort of informational or tutorial system so making the jump from being unable to kill bots into playing games where your choices actually matter is easier. People will be happier to jump in if they're comfortable in what is going to happen when they queue.

ctbear do yourself a favor and stick to your ttk thread before you embarrass yourself.

last edited by biass

@ctbear1996 So you have 0 feedback for NWI on how they can achieve their goal of pushing competitive insurgency, besides fixing the game. Gotcha again.

So basically you are only here to disrupt the discussion based on the fact you don't like competitive and your personal hate for me. Good job.

@biass Am I not allowed to comment here? Because? I already said, these suggestions are useless and waste of resources. So I don't why you are telling me to "stick to my thread before embarrass myself", I don't know how I am embarrassed, you seem to hate me a lot.

@benz Did I personally attack you? No, so I don't have any personal hate for you, tell that to biass

@ctbear1996 you already stated your opinion on this topic and have shown that you have 0 interest in helping NWI trying to achieve their goal of pushing competitive insurgency. Please stop disrupting this discussion.

@ctbear1996 Yikes at your delivery of your opinions haha, what's your issue?

The way you respond makes me think you are not here for a discussion but just to rant on Benz (maybe you have a personal vendetta against him or maybe it was a bad breakup 😛 ).

NWI obviously wants to push competitive to some degree since they put matchmaking in - so, whether you disagree or not - it is appropriate to try and discuss how to make competitive better. To think otherwise, would be... well... naive as you put it. The question and discussion still remains, how would YOU, ctbear1996, help promote competitive play?

That being said...

I think competitive ranks should show next to the regular ranks. I would also like to see special cosmetics given to competitive matches to give an incentive to play matchmaking. I wouldn't make it unfair to those who didn't play matchmaking but something a little to give an extra incentive to play. The rate at which you rank up right now is painful compared to in a public server. On top of that, you could do a "double xp" or "triple xp" competitive weekend to push for kids to play it more.

Benz makes some decent suggestions/opens the floor for discussion. I think some of these ideas are medium to low priority but in a few months could be higher priority.

#1 I think with the player online indicator is... low priority? I don't find it that bad. It usually updates pretty fast in my opinion. I wouldn't remove it though because I don't wanna queue if I am the only one haha.

#2 - I think this is good but not worded the best - I think i understand what you mean. I think 3 minutes is ample time to allow players to connect. I think what would be better is if you could run around a map while sitting in queue. Overwatch allows people to skirmish while queuing for a competitive match - this makes being in queue for 10-15 minutes not so bad and you get to learn the maps

#3 Commented on this above

#4 Commented on this above

#5 The main issue right now with matchmaking is the queue bug. Once that is fixed, a lot more people will play. It is extremely frustrating to get 2-3 lobbies in a row that never start because of the queue bug. On average I wait 10-20 minutes to get a game started and that's not because of low population but because of the queue bug. 50% of the time I am in game, I am waiting for a match to start.

The Hideout/Town River layout INS spawn bug is also frustrating and it's such a good map too!

@link Like I already said, there's nothing personal about this, when they came against low ttk and acting edge, I didn't tell them to "get out of my thread" or "don't comment here!" stuffs.
You want my opinion?
1: It has nothing to do with player's decision, it's simply not popular enough because most competitive mode is very limited to the gameplay.
2: Sure.
3: No point to give anything specials to competitive mode, it's a game mode, that's it. by his logic, should coop and casual get treated in a special way too? In INS2 there are lots of modes not getting many players' attention, tactical operation, VIP escort, hunt in coop, and competitive because people favour the one that suits their play styles, and normal push/ambush is just popular among players.
4: The point here? Does it give better gameplay experiences for competitive? No, if you want to add some virtual badge or medals or some shit, might as well add them for casual/coop because by your logic, only competitive players have right to brag about their virtual awards?
5: Sure, we all want bugs to be fixed.

@link said in Competitive Matchmaking in dire need of improvement:

I wouldn't remove it though because I don't wanna queue if I am the only one haha.

That's the problem though. People don't queue, because people don't queue 😛

@ctbear1996 said in Competitive Matchmaking in dire need of improvement:

1: It has nothing to do with player's decision, it's simply not popular enough because most competitive mode is very limited to the gameplay.
2: Sure.
3: No point to give anything specials to competitive mode, it's a game mode, that's it. by his logic, should coop and casual get treated in a special way too? In INS2 there are lots of modes not getting many players' attention, tactical operation, VIP escort, hunt in coop, and competitive because people favour the one that suits their play styles, and normal push/ambush is just popular among players.
4: The point here? Does it give better gameplay experiences for competitive? No, if you want to add some virtual badge or medals or some shit, might as well add them for casual/coop because by your logic, only competitive players have right to brag about their virtual awards?
5: Sure, we all want bugs to be fixed.

#1 What do you mean "it's simply not popular enough because most competitive mode is very limited to the gameplay?" I don't understand this. Are you saying that firefight is not a good game mode? or are you saying there should be a different competitive game mode? or multiple game modes for competitive? I think that you are saying firefight is not a good game mode. If so, why isn't it a good game mode?

#3 - There is a great point to give special things to competitive players. It's a good marketing tactic that plenty of other games do. The point is to help get people to try competitive. It sounds like you don't want there to be an unfair advantage for people who play competitive - which is a fair opinion but not a business minded opinion.

#4 There already are badges in the game you realize this? Everyone can brag about their awards that's what gamers like these days and that is what sells. It's business. If you want a competitive badge you should go play competitive. It's an incentive to play competitive. It doesn't affect anyone if they don't want to play competitive. You can still play just fine without it - doesn't affect anything it's just cosmetic. There are many steam awards for Insurgency Source that I never got. Why? Because I don't care about those game modes and I never played coop. Did I get upset that I didn't get those badges? No, I literally didn't care because it didn't affect me one way or the other.

@link 1: Because competitive takes out a large portion of stuff from the game, no fire support, limited number of players, it is not fun, well it's just my opinion, and a lot of people don't play it because of that.
3: I want the game stay same as INS2, no modes are special, especially with the added cosmetic system, I want all cosmetics can be earned through regular gameplay, not by a certain mode.
4: This is actually fair, but again it's a rather pointless addition because most people will never even look into other players' game profile (currently there's no way to see it, and will probably just stay that way like Day of Infamy) Plus there is already enough information about your kd, your accuracy and other in-game stats on the profile, they are very informative, and there are steam achievements, what else do you want?

last edited by ctbear1996

@ctbear1996 said in Competitive Matchmaking in dire need of improvement:

@link 1: Because competitive takes out a large portion of stuff from the game, no fire support, limited number of players, it is not fun, well it's just my opinion, and a lot of people don't play it because of that.
...

By saying this, do you suggest that the competitive mode should change and why do you think it would attract more players? Would your suggestion work?

This is about player retention. How do you get people to keep playing the game? Those who really enjoy coop and versus want to keep playing if those modes are great, do they need a competitive mode catered to them? But what about those of us who get bored by coop and versus too quickly? What can NWI do to retain us?

@snuffeldjuret Well, some people find it's fun to play 5v5 without fire support, but the majority is not, that's why it has a low player base.

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