People aren’t thrilled with the way Activision implemented skill based matchmaking into Call of Duty: Cold War, but is it really that bad?
The simply answer is yes. Skill based matchmaking in Cold War has many Call of Duty loyalists and veterans upset for the right reasons. But why?
The Call of Duty franchise has been the king of shooters since it revolutionised the genre in 2007 with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Still to this day the original COD4:MW is revered as one of the best single-player and multiplayer first-person shooters, and it is not hard to see why.
Call of Duty 4 introduced a class and perks based system which made it one of the most unique and addictive multiplayer games available at the time.
CoD has the best shooter formula… ever.
Other Activision in-house studios built upon the successful formula by tweaking and customising the system for their own games. Although sometimes it’s a hit or a miss, the classic formula has proven to be a real winner as Call of Duty continues to sell like hotcakes with a new instalment every year.
Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War has obviously done something right. The YouTube Call of Duty community seems to have risen from the grave and popular content creators are thriving when they publish new gameplay content. It’s almost like 2009 all over again.
But crossplay + SBMM is kind of ruining it.
But as technology progresses the line between consoles and personal computers becomes thinner and thinner, so much — in fact — that crossplay is becoming ever more popular. Now the Call of Duty franchises fully embraces crossplay.
As a matter of fact Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War ships with crossplay enabled by default and when you try to disable it you’re struck with a message encouraging you to keep the mode enabled for the “improvement of the Call of Duty community”. Unfortunately, now that they’ve implemented SBMM, it is actually tearing the community apart.
The skill based matchmaking (SBMM) system in Cold War doesn’t necessarily always pit you against people your same rank, but sometimes people who end each game on a similar level to you. For instance, if you finish two matches in the top two positions you will get matched against people who also did. This sounds good in theory, but it is actually ruining Call of Duty.
Thousands are Reverse Boosting.
Call of Duty veterans have had enough and many are even considering de-boosting their stats to get a decent match.
Reverse boosting, or De-boosting, in Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War is when you deliberately lose some matches so that you get easier matches. And, unless you have a router that has geofilter capabilities, that is your only option to circumvent the SBMM system.
One of the problems with the current skill based matchmaking system is that it prioritises skill matching instead of server ping. Many people are getting thrown into high ping and laggy games. When you are playing at a high-level, latency really counts, especially if you have crossplay enabled.
Skill based matchmaking is broken.
Then again, crossplay SBMM is absolutely toxic as well. There’s a vast difference between somebody who ends up on the top of the ladder on console to someone who PC. Through lag into the mix and the console player doesn’t stand a chance.
There is no denying that Call of Duty has its fair share of cheaters, and it is even worse considering that the game really has no anti-cheat system. Activision employees manually review reported gameplay and decide, based on their own opinion, whether the player is cheating.
Someone who is cheating in Call of Duty is very likely to end up on the top the ladder so if you play well you might find yourself in a lobby with several script kiddies.
Get rekt every time.
If I have a couple of good games I usually find myself in matches where nearly every player is a master at 360 no scopes, dropshots and quick scoping, the likes of which you’d usually only see former pros from FaZe/OpTic clan do. Perhaps some of these people are really skilled, but there’s no doubt in my mind that some of them are cheating.
One of the last issues with Call of Duty: Cold War skill based matchmaking (SBMM) is that it makes partying up with a player much better than you incredibly frustrating.
I play on the Xbox Series X, my friend plays on the PC. They also have a much better rank than me, so when we party up I get thrown into games with other PC players of top prestige who I don’t stand a chance against.
The fix is easy. Add ranked play and remove skill based matchmaking from casual quickplay. The charm of Call of Duty multiplayer was always the luck of the draw. The game is all about those random lobbies. Getting matched with a super famous CoD YouTuber and getting spanked by them and then ending up on in their videos was all apart of the fun!