After reading the latest blog entry for Starhawk I am now very worried about how this game is turning out. It's already shaping up to be Killzone 3 all over again. Which is the reduction of CORE features and functions that made the previous game work so well, in order to tailor to the 'less experienced' crowd of causal gamers. That reduction, in this case, is having matchmaking for the official ranked servers instead of letting us choose via a server list.
I posted the reply below in the blog and I am re-posting it here for discussion:
Good read, however I am EXTREMELY disappointed that there is matchmaking in this game. I had hoped by now developers would realize that matchmaking just does not work, and even when it does work it's still a subpar way of finding matches.
Warhawk was one of those games that had server lists instead of MM, and it worked tremendously well. Killzone 2 also had server lists and it worked out great (except the lack of standard ranked rooms). Then came Killzone 3 with matchmaking instead of server lists, and it is the biggest FAIL of all time. I can never get into full rooms, I am always being placed in the same lobbies over and over and over again, I never get the maps I want to play, the teams are frequently unbalanced and lopsided, I get thrown into a match that is nearly over etc etc etc. All in all KZ3's MM has many significant annoyances that makes the game nearly unplayable for me. Even the COD games have pretty terrible MM too, only reason they work at all is because there is so many people playing.
Which brings up my next point, MM only works when there is a TON of players from every region, country and state. Starhawk isn't going to have as many players as a COD game, and just like KZ3 the MM will be the weakest point of the game which may ruin it for a lot people. It doesn't matter how good you think it is, MM will NEVER be as good as server lists since MM replaces your own choice with a pre-determined set of parameters that are not universal among everybody's tastes and likes. I want to choose my own rooms, not leave it up to some imperfect and flawed server script deciding who I should play with.
So for the sake of your players, PLEASE include server lists for ranked games. You don't need to remove the matchmaking, just give us the choice to choose between MM and server lists. PLEASE!!! Leave matchmaking for the newbies who would rather lazily click a button than search through lists, but leave server lists for the more advanced players so we don't have to rely solely on failmaking for ranked official games. I BEG YOU, do not ruin Starhawk like GG ruined KZ3.
Anyway, I'm sure most of you will disagree but this is a serious issue that may end up hurting, if not crippling, Starhawk.
Warhawk changed the server types several times in the beginning the way they were named, how ranks were split up, even adding the ability to launch games from home. If something isn't working for the majority of it's players I imagine Lightbox will listen and do what it needs to do to keep the players happy.
I don't see it as a game breaker at all.
I've never had any problems with match making in most games that use it. It was nice in WARHAWK to be able to choose rooms but no deal breaker for 99% of the players here. They'll find something else totally different to nit pick and complain about.
Game play and the build and battle system is all that concerns me. Until the beta I'm not going to judge this game at all and even then I'll leave some breathing room for them. Warhawk was one of the best if not the best game for the PS3. No reason to think Starhawk won't be equally if not Greater.
Perhaps I have just had one too many bad experiences when it comes to MM, but for me MM has never done what I wanted it to. See Warhawk was my very first online game, I got the game just after it released (probably same day) and ever since then I have known server lists to be the best possible way to find games. Every game after WH I played that had MM (with COD4 being the exception) has been a subpar and annoying experience. The worst being KZ3 and to a lessor extent, MW2.
I usually play pretty late at night (12-4AM PST) so usually when I play not as many people are playing as they would be during the peak hours (2-8PST) and I always have problems finding the right games. This is most obvious with a game with not so many players (Killzone 3 for example) as it seems like there is only 10 people online when I want to play (due to the embedded filters in the MM system matching me with people only in my area).
Either way we can all agree that MM will never be as good as a server list. MM decides for you, while server lists leave the match selection entirely up to you. You choose a match with the right amount of players, maps and others options. With MM you have to rely on their system to find the right game for you. And if history teaches us anything, it's that MM cannot guess what everybody wants and just assumes based on some rules and parameters the devs set up.
Unless WH is one of those games that actually gets MM right, you can bet that it will impose a major negative impact on the game. All I want to see is that we get the server list choice when choosing the official ranked games. I am not suggesting they remove matchmaking but rather give us, the players, more choices. Who could disagree with that?
I'm with you leuk. I love that you can see exactly what's going on in the server list and choose what you want to join.
I guess it's just a way of dumbing down the whole experience to drag some of the COD fanatics to starhawk. I actually think it's good that there is no party system in warhawk too as it increases the probability of an even game.
that said, I have faith in Dylan and the Lightbox team to bring out something that works well and if the options in warhawk are anything to go by, I'm sure there will be lots of customisable matchmaking options.
Couldn't agree more with the OP.
Here is something I posted, by mistake, on the European forums. (I didn't realize it was the European Forums. )
Apologies if this had been brought up before, I did a search but couldn't find it.
Admittedly, it's been a while since I've fired up Warhawk, but when I played it was one of the best multi-player experiences I had ever tried. Part of that wonderfulness was in the way you were allowed to access and to an extant customize the game through the lobbies. Lobbies themselves have become a bit of a rare thing these days, replaced by what many consider more user friendly quickmatch, or matchmaking, systems.
I have no problem with quickmatch system in and of themselves, but I do have an issue with them when they are the only method for getting into a game, for a few reasons.
For one thing, they don't create communities. When you only have quickmatch systems, you get a collection of random people, who don't know each other, and never will, that play together a few hours at a time, maybe, and never come in contact with each other again.
Another reason is that they limit the way in which the players themselves get to play the game. There were tons of great, creative, original rooms created in Warhawk that were thought up by the players themselves.
While lobbies aren't perfect, and many will say they give cheaters and rank uppers a safe place to exploit the game, in my opinion, the freedom that lobbies provide goes along way toward creating and nurturing a game community, and they are an important reason that so many people played Warhawk for so long. Those benefits are more than enough to outweigh the potential shenanigans of a few, sad, exploiters.
People will always abuse freedoms, but I think it would be sad if that meant that the larger population was punished for it.
The list of multi-player games that have been seduced and eventually ruined by the success of Call of Duty continues to grow: Killzone, SOCOM (particularly painful for me, a long time fan of the series) and now, possibly, Starhawk. I say possibly only because I'm a "glass is half full" kind of guy.
Despite the fact that every other game that has tried Match Making has failed horribly at creating and holding onto a cohesive community, I still hold out some hope that Starhawk won't join that club.
What Dylan Jobe meant by "official games" is still uncertain. If it means "unranked," then yes, I think Starhawk is headed down a dangerous path. The majority of people will not touch unranked games. What this means then is if you want to create your own rooms, they will, for the most part remain empty, save for people from your friends lists.
Playing with no one outside your friends list is fine, for a while, but it is no way to create a community. To do that, you have to have places where people can go (not FORCED to go) to play with other people, sometimes over and over again.
Yes, people will stack sides, and create rooms to find exploits and flag toss, but here's a little bit of wisdom from someone I think has a bit of authority on the matter...
"... While there are compelling arguements for both Pro and Con perspectives, we have ultimately decided that removing individual player freedoms, to help protect against stat-padding was, ultimately, the wrong thing to do." Dylan Jobe
There are more effective ways to legitimize the rank and stat systems than limiting the players access to the game.
Who cares if someone has 100 kills more then they should. They should be more concearned about people flying under the map then the ones exchanging kills.
Well, you have to realize it's just "human" conditioning. Most people due suffer from some form of an inferiority complex or may be seeking gratification, and/or recognition. Even if it means obtaining it through a video game (of course you also have people who just enjoy screwing with other peoples at the cost of another's enjoyment.) They honestly do, not care though what happens and even "if" the attention is negative they will attempt to obtain this all by whatever means. Though of course it is just natural to want to be the best. However, if game developers removed the "leaderboards" as a whole and only allowed for personal stat viewing and peer to peer statisticals then most of the needs to cheat or the self gratification in annoying/harming others enjoyment or enviroment would virtually cease to a crawl leaving few a need to do so, and of course it should be noted that if developers, publishers and corporations such as Sony got together with the players and enforced a zero tolerence on cheating you'd see a drastic change within a couple of years.
However, this is so, out to the left field and just really seen as too much work. It will most likely never happen or come to fuitition. They'd rather go, for a simple and quick solution. Even if it is an unproven and horrible deterrent in preventing cheating as a whole. Matchmaking is what it is though. It should be there, but no more so, then say server selecting should. Both are good, and players will always lean more towards one or the other. I believe both should be options. Even if I am a huge fan and supporter of UCRRs and my server selecting.
Lets just hope this does not hurt the overal funtionality of the game. I'd personally like to see more enhanced clan support, and of course my UCRRs brought back, and not just unranked variations. Developers need to just stop letting the cheating hinder their game development. Which is becoming increasingly evident if developers light Lighbox, Zipper, and Guerrilla Games are all reeling back their games freedom and enjoyment in an attempt to hinder "cheating". (-_-")
-- "Server Listing" -- as coined by Dylan Jobe, will still be a part of the game as it was for WarHawk, and such as SOCOM, and KILLZONE alike with the exception of being totally "unranked" at this time. However, as a number of developer have expressed. Dylan, stated in that the reasoning behind this was to ensure that they could get a grasp on the rampant cheating that has been around since the dawn of "online" gaming experiences across the globe. My only fear is that that these developers are letting this "fear" stunt them or get to them on some deeper level then they realize. "Matchmaking" is not the answer to cheating and has proven to "not" be an affective "deterrent" in preventing rank-ups, general cheating and other various forms.
Zipper also came foward with these the same fears about "cheating" and as you can see it has affected SOCOM4 greatly. I hear that you are not even allowed to make "groups" anymore. Effectively making what little clan support they had even more redundant. In Call of Duty matchmaking has never slowed these people down. So, removal of UCRR (User Created Ranked Rooms) is only hurting the fans and player base as a whole. Especially for players who want to be "different", but to also make sure they are rewarded properly too (I.E. "ranked".) While "server listing" will be present it seems that it will only be there thus far as a way to enjoy the game in unranked rooms.
Personally as an old school gamer. Games such as WarHawk, SOCOM, and KILLZONE2 we're great in terms that they had full functional server listing and in that you could create UCRRs. It's a shame that in the past year or two really that developers and publishers as a whole are pushing towards a more unified and simple matchmaking server based gameplay. Whether it was marketed and/or geared towards casual players in general or simply because, they feared that cheating would hurt the game are only simple excuses at best. Personally I find it pushing players like me away, but as fan of Dylan, and his group and the success in my opinion that was and is WarHawk; I will be enjoying this game. I only hope that they realize it's a mistake to rely on "matchmaking" as an answerall, and push to give us back our UCRRs and again as Dylan, coined -- "server listing" -- back.
People are always going to cheat. If they are really ready to dedicate all that time into getting points instead of just enjoying the game then good luck to them.
I don't see the point in being a general with no skills?