Hey there Reddit friends! GernaderJake here, and It's been a long time since I've been on here. Maybe I should start swinging by more!
A quick Trials résumé to hopefully give a nod of credibility to my arguments: I'm not sure if there's anyone in the world who has spent more time playing Trials than myself. I have been Flawless over 1,000 times already in Destiny 2, carrying 900 individuals to the Lighthouse. In Destiny 1, I went Flawless nearly 3,000 times, carrying over 2100 guardians to the Lighthouse. (We don't talk about Trials of the Nine). It's important to note that I have seen Trials at its best, I have seen Trials at its worst, and I have traveled the road to the Lighthouse in many different ways, from easy flawless runs (stacked) to extremely difficult (double carries with new players). I know what this playlist can be like when it's at its best, and I want to do anything I can to help it get back there.
Alright so let's dig into it! CARD BASED MATCHMAKING DOESN'T MAKE SENSE ANYMORE AND SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE MATCHMAKING SYSTEM IN TRIALS OF OSIRIS. When card based matchmaking (matching other teams at or near the same number of wins as you on a Trials ticket) was first introduced, it was Year 2 of Destiny 1. At this point in time, Trials was still relatively new, and Bungie wanted to bring more "hype" to the idea of going Flawless by having teams match worthier and worthier opponents as they climbed the win total on their card. The idea was great! Imagine how fulfilling it would be to have the battles get tougher and tougher, leading to that final game, and then slaying one of the toughest teams the game has ever seen as you step your way into the Lighthouse! It'd be so triumphant! Little did we know that this was the start of making Trials a land of the "sweats", and a place where "casuals" feared to ever enter.
CARD BASED MATCHMAKING REMOVES ANY HOPE OF YOUR AVERAGE PLAYER GOING FLAWLESS. This statement requires little argument, as it's simple and logical in its nature. If winning 7 games in a row wasn't hard enough, trying to win against some of the best teams in the game on the last 2 or 3 games of the card makes the task nearly impossible for any team that doesn't have incredible players, or cheaters, within it. I've made this point many times to viewers of mine, and a consistent counter argument I've heard is "Well, going Flawless isn't supposed to be easy!" And that is true! Going flawless SHOULD NOT be easy, or the excitement and loot that comes with it loses all of it's flare. However, winning 7 straight games, REGARDLESS of the matchmaking system and playerbase will NEVER be easy. It takes skill, focus, and dedication to win 7 straight PvP matches. Getting to the Lighthouse will always feel like a monumental triumph, which is why we do not need card based matchmaking to make it even more difficult for us. It is difficult enough.
CARD BASED MATCHMAKING REDUCES THE PLAYERPOOL, OFTEN CREATING LAGGY MATCHES OR REPEATED TEAMS. Wow! We've fought hard through our first 5 wins and it's finally getting down to the wire, it's time for our big games! After 3 minutes of waiting to find a match, we load into a game against 3 Guardians from across the world. I guess they were the only others at this point in the card! After a tough and laggy battle, we lose by a hair, and have to go back into battle without our mercy. After 3 more minutes of waiting for a match, we load back in against THE SAME DAMN TEAM! This above sequence has happened to me too many times to count. Removing card based matchmaking would allow for a healthier matchmaking system, with more teams and better connections, regardless of how many wins you have on your card. CARD BASED MATCHMAKING SCARES PEOPLE AWAY FROM THE PLAYLIST, MAKING TRIALS SWEATIER AND FILLING IT WITH MORE ACCOUNT RECOVERIES AND CHEATERS. Why do so many cheaters and account recoveries exist? Well, there could be a lot of arguments here, but here's the one I want to make: Most account recoveries and cheaters exist because people don't have the confidence to go to the Lighthouse on their own. It's a bit of a snowball effect. Knowing those daunting games 5 6 and 7 wins were waiting at the end of Trials cards made it so casuals saw no reason for even wanting to attempt a flawless run, so they left the playlist. This left the playlist with a tougher playerpool. Then, your slightly above average players felt hopeless on their final games, so they gave up on their flawless attempts. Rapidly, the snowball effect gained speed, and nearly everyone who wasn't an insane player left the Trials playlist. So what happened next? Well, people realized their chances of going to the Lighthouse were practically non existent, without the aid of some frowned upon systems. This is why, I believe, cheaters and account recoveries are so damn prevalent. 95% of the player base has no chance of going to the Lighthouse in the playlists current state without either paying a team of Trials gods to sign into their account and get them their loot, or download hacks to do it themselves.
REMOVING CARD BASED MATCHMAKING WOULD ALLOW FOR OTHER UNIQUE IDEAS WITHOUT THE FEAR OF "LOW CARD FARMING"I've seen some really cool ideas, such as this idea from The Legend Himself Mr. Slayerage: https://twitter.com/sc_Slayerage/status/1363910859114840066 that would have the freedom to take form if card based matchmaking was removed. Card based matchmaking introduces the ability for stacked teams to farm tokens and drops at low wins on their card, gate keeping the playlist even more that it already is. If removed, these low card farming strategies would perish and the above idea, as well as others, would have freedom to flourish.
EXTRA NOTES TO ADDRESS: 1) The number one most important thing for the Trials playlist is population. The more players we get in there, the better experience it will be for all those involved. This idea of removing card based matchmaking is one of many ideas I have to help make the playlist flourish once again, but I believe it's one of the most important and one of the easiest to do for Bungie.2) I have had many complain to me about tough matchmaking at the beginning of their cards, saying "card based matchmaking obviously doesn't exist if I match stacked teams with 300 combined flawless runs on game 1 of my card." However, simple logic should point out that even the "sweatiest" and most "stacked" teams still have to cross games 1 and 2 in order to get to games 6 and 7 of their card. Matching these teams early in your card isn't because of poor matchmaking systems, it's because of a small Trials playerbase.
Now that I've run out of steam writing my first "essay" in 6 years, I appreciate your time reading through this! I hope I didn't miss any key points or fail to back up any of my arguments. I am passionate about the Trials playlist and simply want it to be a fun and rewarding playlist that welcomes all Guardians. We've got plenty of work ahead of us to get there, but I absolutely believe it's possible. Thanks Guardians <3
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