The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the position of ZU Media or APU

Is our new call of duty to thrive or suffer from Call of Duty’s matchmaking decision?

You don’t have to be a gamer to recognize the name Call of Duty (COD). The COD series has been entertaining players since 2003 and their latest installment, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” and their upcoming title, “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War,” have been dominating the gaming scene.

However, everyone is wondering about the skill-based matchmaking games (SBMM). If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, skilled-based matching games place you in games with players of equal or greater skill level. Personally, I haven’t played a COD game in a couple of years, so my execution isn’t the best. The game would therefore do its best to place me with other new players so I can get comfortable with the game. 

Just like with everything in life, having this type of matchmaking system has both positive and negative effects, and the COD community has no qualms expressing their thoughts on the matter. 

Reddit user @u/Arkadans says in a post that competitive matching “kills the game for both competitive and casual players. The competitive players don’t get the competitive experience they want and the casuals get destroyed by those who play the game competitively.” 

On the flipside, Reddit user @u/Chipis08 shares how ranked matches can be seen as a good thing.

“There’s always a better player and it’s no fun to be in a game where it’s a consistent barrage of kill streaks by one team,” said user @u/Chipis08. “SBMM works because it’s applied to everyone. The best players get put up against the best players and it filters down after that.”

While you can spend hours reading through Reddit posts and watching Youtube videos about the matter, how are some of our Azusa Pacific Students and alum feeling about the topic? 

William Fike, senior business finance major: 

Fike discusses how having ranked matches can service and disservice a player. Having them can help the good player get better and help newbies build skills to eventually become professionals. 

“Well, the first reason I would say it’s a disservice is because it technically ruins the classic fun of call of duty lobbies. Before, it was a pleasure to know that you might be in a match with noobs, especially around Christmas when new players or players who couldn’t afford the game yet, hop on with no awareness of how the game works. Yes, this technically wouldn’t be fun for the newbies; however, it was always more of a benefit for the newbies because it made them want to get better and try more. This always made for better practice in getting new players used to the game or better at it. To piggyback on that, putting players who are more skilled and more aware of how the game works against other better players more or less ruins the fun for them. I say this because technically players are going to be having to try more just to play and try to have fun, which is completely the opposite result that a video game should be producing.”

Mitchelle Nobile, Azusa Pacific alum, Bachelor of Science in applied exercise science 

Nobile states that COD should introduce a separate section for ranked matches. Once a player feels confident or is at a high enough level, they can start playing ranked matches voluntarily.

There should be a mode specifically designed for players to enjoyably learn how to compete online without sweats [players who use unnecessary/complex strategies to win] spawn camping you with snipers from across the map and killstreaks. I guess you can say custom games are similar where you can play against bots but it’s not the same as playing online. They try their best to fit you against people with similar K/D’s [kill/death ratios], but anyone can cheat and intentionally lower their K/D to play against players with lower competitive edges.”

James Walmer, junior Christain ministries major

Walmer expresses in order for COD, or any game for the matter, to be successful, it needs to be balanced and close to perfect.

In order to have a game that is successful both competitively and casually, I think it ultimately needs to have systems that are balanced both in ranked and casual play. For the more competitive player, they simply won’t experience the same level of challenge unless they randomly match with good players. However, a more casual gamer might simply not want to put in the effort and focus that comes within the ranked mode. They might enjoy the game perfectly, but have no desire to necessarily ‘become a better player.’ Going back to ranked play, this is why it is essential that the matchmaking for ranked play must be as close to perfection as possible; to both ensure that both teams are fair as well as the overall skill of a player is well represented.”