December 2019 - last edited December 2019
As a new player, I felt that every kill was rewarding. I would get dominated by the better players and it would drive me to perform better and practice more. I knew that without effort, there is no reward. As I practiced, I started to kill more people and had better games, it was fun! In return, I was rewarded for my dedication and practice; I could tell I was getting better. I was working towards something (high kill games) and enjoying the journey along the way. Some lobbies would have some exceptional players that would destroy me, I thought at some point I could be that guy/gal with enough practice and the right lobby. Introduce season 3….. I noticed that all my hard work and effort was not pushing me towards being any better. I felt like I was just staying the exact same in skill… how could this be?
Skill based matching is the reason. This is the journey that people now take. As you start out you are bad your (supposed to be) but you get better! However, now when you get better other players get better along with you. No sense of progress, all the effort feels like it’s in vein. No super cool badges, trails or any of the other stuff like in ranked, just the pure salt that is casual games. This is the true issue with this system long term. People will burnout because without progress and a feeling that all your hard work is for a reason, why play at all? This issue is further compounded by that fact that as humans we have good days and bad days, in a true casual setting, bad days don’t feel nearly as bad. Now if you have a bad day… You will be PUNISHED, which pushes you into a wall of frustration, resulting in even worse game play.
As you get better these issues become even more difficult to deal with. Let’s say you are a predator with exceptional aim and reaction time. You enter a “causal lobby” and get matched with other similar skilled players… but there is a catch…. You are in server across the country with horrible connection. At that level of play milliseconds count, bad connections destroy your chances and the game forces you into those lobbies.