Competitive PvP views from a primarily PvP player.
I have been playing competitive throughout the season but have been playing lots this week in order to get the new ascendant emblem. I don't know what has been changed this season but the playlist is very obviously not the same in terms of the teams and skill level of players. The last few seasons I've actually enjoyed playing comp and reached ascendant, and I usually prefer the comp playlist to quickplay as it has somehow been more casual. However this season I have had the what is probably the worst destiny experience, and I would go as far as to say the worst gaming experience, of my life.
The first and most infuriating problem I have been having with the competitive playlist is simply the embarrassingly terrible teammates that are placed on my team, emphasis on the MY team part. Almost every time I queue up to try and gain rank I am landed with teammates who are clearly nowhere near my skill level and are clearly not taking the playlist seriously. They make some of the worst plays possible, run off on their own, throw every super they cast, peak sniper lanes only to die and never get a snipe, and almost never come out with a positive KDA. If the gamemode is survival they waste every respawn the team has, and if its showdown they never hold a downed enemy or get a revive on allies. This would be aggravating enough on a quickplay playlist but on one where there is rank involved it is infuriating to say the least. But not everyone is as bad as the teammates that are given to me, for example, the enemy team. Whether its a game full of solos or teams of two with 2 solos, without fail the opposite team is always clearly better and I mean clearly. The opposing team always holds reses, always play together, are obviously trying to win and generally do. Every time I see the results screen and loss of rank I feel incredibly let down by the games rank system and my team, and have found almost every loss and win to be unrewarding in any way. In general, no matter how well you play if your teammates are bad, you lose.
I obviously understand that not everyone is good at PvP and that there are varying levels of player, and that is not the problem at all and I have no problem with this, I myself used to be quite bad at PvP and only got better through playing and practicing. However I didn't practice in Comp or Trials, I wouldn't even enter these playlists as I simply knew I wasn't good enough. This is why its so important that the matchmaking and teams are balanced, as nothing is gained by people trying to get better when they are just getting destroyed by top 500 players, and nothing is gained by those trying to gain rank when they are paired with people that are just trying to improve rather than win.
I've had people actively throwing matches by jumping off the edge, just standing still, leaving and just emoting in spawn. When they aren't deliberately throwing they are unintentionally, for example using terrible weapons, armor, supers and stats. The amount of games my teammates don't even get their super is almost as shocking as what they do when they have one. Unfortunately I cannot 1v3 carry every match as much as I would love to be able to and I sometimes feel I would be better off if I was playing against 3 completely alone without 2 teammates losing respawns and getting each other farmed.
I feel that any time I do win a match its because I carried the team and whenever I lose a match its because they threw more than usual, with my KDA almost always being positive and my teammates always being very low and usually negative. My trials K/D is currently 1.75, my Quickplay is 2.09, Competitive is 1.54 and my overall PvP K/D according to Destiny Tracker is 1.95 (as of writing this). I am by no means a pro at Crucible but I know when to play position, when to push, when to play slow etc. which to me at least feels like second nature. Obviously I don't expect to be put with players that perfectly match my skill level but there is no way that the players I have been placed with this past week are anywhere near where they should be for a competitive playlist. As mentioned, I would say those on the enemy team fit this bracket but its very rare that my teammates come close and from what I understand the playlist prefers similar skill and is SBMM based. It certainly does not feel like it.
When I finally reached my first promotion series from Plat 1 to Adept 3, I won my first game lost my second and inevitably lost my third, no surprise due to teammates leaving the match in the first round.
One guy left and seconds later the second left too. I was hoping that my rank would be protected which I had seen pop up in a couple matches when teammates left before, which might I add is a brilliant addition to comp, however this protection did not count on my promotion game and I imagine this is the same for relegation series'. I then lost a huge amount of rank and started grinding back up, finally getting promoted to adept, and I have been having the most horrible experience since.
Whenever I do eventually win I get such small amounts of rep that I usually have to win like 3 matches in a row to equal out the rep I lose for one loss. I've seen scores as low as +9 this season and tend to see lower scores on matches that come down to 2-2 or final showdown. But when we completely destroy a team 3-0, I tend to see higher gains which is very counter intuitive, although this very rarely happens. I must admit that I have seen far less +5 reps which is nice to see but much bigger losses in rep when I lose a match.
Another thing I hate about the playlist is constantly being put into duo lobbies as a solo player, there is always what is obviously the better duo and they are almost always on the enemy team. I simply hate queuing as a solo player and getting put into lobbies with duo teams, sometimes even three stacks. Obviously there are some solutions to this like bringing back freelance or forcing teams to either be a three stack or solo but I don't see this happening, however I very much dislike the amount of games I am put in with duos/trios.
I cant help but feel that the current matchmaking and rank systems need a huge change and should be individual based. If I am clearly not the reason my team lost I don't see why I am punished and similarly if I am not contributing to a win I don't see why I should be gaining any rank. I would love to see something like Rumble ELO, where even if you didn't win you gain rank if your top three and obviously played well. I think that however teams are currently being decided is a very poor system at making them balanced, and I would love to know what the deciding factor is for who is put on which team, as it does not feel random nor does it feel balanced in any way.
There are plenty more minor problems I have with the playlist such as some of the maps, mainly the fact that multiplex is on the rotation and the fact that The Dead Cliffs and Javelin-4 seem to come up a lot more than others like Twilight Gap, which I can only remember playing on once. I could also complain about the Antaeus Wards, smg/shotgun titans for days on end but that is worthy of its own post. And as mentioned at the beginning, the fact that quickplay is often less casual than competitive and trials, when it is supposed to be the casual and chilled out playlist. The last time I properly enjoyed quickplay was when it was connection based supremacy during guardian games.
Overall I just wanted to write down my current thoughts and feelings towards the competitive playlist and highlight the big issues that are frustrating me with ranked crucible. Hopefully there are reasons for some of these issues and the matchmaking is not working as intended which it certainly feels like is the case. In brief playing comp this season and past week has been mentally draining. I hope others aren't experiencing the same feelings and irritation that I am experiencing when playing competitive as I wouldn't wish this level of frustration on anyone.
Thanks for reading,
I believe you have some valid criticisms here. I solo queue all the time and haven't made it past Platinum III. Then again, I'm a boomer who can't spend 12 hours a day getting good, and I accept that now.
One of my main points of agreement is that the matchmaking algorithm really needs fine-tuning. I pay for fast internet, so I am ALWAYS the host for any activity. People say that doesn't matter but I beg to differ. I'm almost certain it affects hit registration, TTKs, etc.
Next is lobby balance. I've also experienced the pain of watching teammates laneing when they should push, or walking flat-footed into sniper lanes, or failing to team-shot for easy kills, while the opposite team is stacked with double Flawless/Glorious players. My teammates get ESPECIALLY terrible during promotion games. It feels like the algorithm designer wants you to prove your skill by showing you can carry potatoes to the winners' circle. I know Destiny is supposed to be about teamwork, but not with this algorithm.
I haven't reached the point of gaining +5 after a win, but I am seeing +70 when my average was +140. But you better believe I lose 140 points after every single loss. This is especially infuriating when people realize they don't belong in Comp yet and back out, leaving me to 1v3 and hope I don't lose 200 points for my trouble.
In conclusion, I agree that Comp matchmaking needs specific changes to improve the experience. Hopefully, the PvP strike team gets us closer to that better experience.