Warning, this post has LOTS of details. If your reading comprehension doesn't at least match that of a 6th grader's, do not attempt to read.
The biggest issue I have been having since the end of the Halo 2/3 era is how games match you up with other players. Since player skill is extremely varied among the population, chances are, you will either be versing somebody WAY better than you or WAY worse.
All currently popular multiplayer shooters have this problem except for Halo Reach, which has the problem to a lesser extent because the truskill system is broken.
The sole intent of this system is to IMPROVE EVERYBODY's gaming experience. Whether you are a pro, a casual, or somewhere in the middle, everybody benefits from playing with people in their skill range. A close match is much more fun and rewarding than a completely one sided match.
The way online games should work is that there is a level system from 1-50 (or 1-100 of the population is quite large). Winning matches give you xp to move up to the next rank. Losing matches take away xp to lower your level.
This doesn't mean that winning a match automatically means you level up or losing means you level down. This will be more of a progression where the higher the level you get, the harder it is to level up and the harder it is to delevel (the lower level you are, the more your rank is susceptible to change). Also, winning or losing multiple times in a row will add xp multipliers so that you rank up faster if you are way better than everybody else or lower your rank faster if you are not as good as other players in your skill range.
There is no REWARD for being a high rank other than self satisfaction (and bragging rights among your friends). The system is meant SOLELY to pit people against each other of similar skill
If you don't like seeing your rank (probably because you are a casual player in the lower ranks), you will have the option to make all ranks invisible. (if you are still irritated by people who brag about how high of a level they are, there is a mute feature)
Here are some general details about this system:
- You get extra xp for doing well in a match. Everybody on the winning team initially gets the same amount of xp for winning but the players on the top of the scoreboard that contributed most to winning (either by earning the most kills, scoring flags, or having the most points) will earn a bonus xp. It's not a multiplier but just additional points for being better. Likewise, if you did really well yet your team still lost, you will lose less xp for losing.
(For example, it is your first time playing Gears of War 3. You play a ranked match (at level 1) and you win the match. You will probably move up to level 2 (or level 3 if you ended up at the top of the scoreboard). You win the next three matches while being at the top of the scoreboard (obviously, you are talented enough to not belong in the current range). You move up to level 10. Now leveling up takes longer because it requires more xp. You don't quite win every match (you definitely don't go more than 3 matches in a row without losing). But you are still winning more than losing. You make it to level 20. Now you are playing with people who are about as skilled as you are. Most matches you play end with both teams having very close scores to one another, with one barely beating the other (50-45 slayer match on Halo, 5-4 rounds won on Gears of War Warzone, 750-690 in Call of Duty TDM). You have no reached your ideal rank. If you improve your skill and become better than other players in your current rank, you will make it to a higher rank)
- People will play with other people within their rank bracket. (example: level 1s will play with players leveld 1-5, level 6s will play with 6-10s, and level 48s will play with 45-50s) If the population is low in a game or a certain playlist, you may be ranked with people within 10 ranks of your level. If the population is really low (aka non existent mp games like Prey or even low population games like Call of Duty World at War), there may not be a ranking system.
- Group ranks are a slightly different story. Because you are playing in a group, you will be matched against other groups. Individuals in your group may have varying ranks (a level 1 and a level 46 could be in the same group). I
- If this is the first time playing with this particular combo of players, it will take 3 matches to identify what your true group rank is. Initally, your group rank will be an average of all the ranks in the group. (this may be inaccurate since a level 1 playing with level 30's and 40s may either be a new player or a veteran player on a new account). The first three matches give you major multipliers if you win or not. You may gain or lose 10 ranks on the first match (if you dominate or completely get dominated). On the second match, you may gain or lose 5 ranks (depending on if you dominate or get dominated). And on the third match, your group rank may gain or lose 3 ranks depending on if you dominate or get dominated. By then, your group should be within 10 levels of where it is supposed to be matched so matches will be closer.
- Individuals ranks still follow the same rules. A group requires a rank of its own simply because of the varying ranks.
There are many additional factors that would go into a system like this but it shouldn't be impossible for a developer to program. In the end, everybody benefits because everybody has the opportunity to progress and everybody will have many more "intense" matches.
If you really don't care, there is no reason to be against this. If you are extremely against "intense" matches and prefer one sided matches, please state your reasons.