- Activision explains how matchmaking in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Season 1 works, addressing concerns of the community.
- Matchmaking factors include connection, time to match, playlist diversity, skill, and more.
- Activision acknowledges the negative impact of skill-based matchmaking and plans to test new methods to address community concerns.
The Call of Duty developers explain how matchmaking works in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Season 1, as the team commits to more communication with its community regarding online play. Skill-based matchmaking is a controversial topic among hardcore players in the Call of Duty community, and Activision hopes to bring clarity and insight to the community into how this matchmaking system operates.
Season 1 of Modern Warfare 3 and Warzone began on December 6, 2023, with a slew of new multiplayer content, maps, and weapons. At the time of Season 1’s launch, the Call of Duty development team promised to have a “conversation” with its community about matchmaking. The Call of Duty community saw this as a sign that matchmaking changes could be on the way, since many players did not shy away from voicing their concerns and frustrations with skill-based matchmaking.
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Activision Explains the Call of Duty Matchmaking Process
A new Call of Duty blog post delves into the matchmaking process in multiplayer modes for Modern Warfare 3, and the development team hopes to work on improvements going forward with feedback from the community. Firstly, Activision explains that matchmaking involves eight different factors: connection, time to match, playlist diversity, recent maps/modes, skill/performance, input device, platform, and voice chat. Connection is the most critical and heavily weighted factor for matchmaking, with the time to match being the second most important factor in the process. Matchmaking works through connection and time to match, first since these factors ensure the player will have a stable experience with a consistent flow of matches while playing multiplayer in Modern Warfare 3. A connection metric known as the “Delta Ping” is vital for determining how a player is matched to a nearby data center, since it considers how fast data will travel between the player and the data center in a client-server process.
Meanwhile, the game’s netcode works to reduce latency as the matchmaking process prioritizes stable connections and low ping. Since matchmaking takes time, Modern Warfare 3 will work to place players in empty slots during active matches in order to reduce the time to match, ensuring that players do not need to restart the matchmaking process. Moreover, skill rounds out the top three major factors of the Modern Warfare 3 matchmaking process since it’s crucial for matching teammates and opponents for a match. A player’s overall performance, including kills and recent matches, determines the other players they will be matched with. This metric also ensures the disparity between the most and least skilled players in a match is not vast.
However, Activision understands that the skill factor causes skilled Call of Duty players to get in matches that are hyper-competitive or “sweaty,” leading to less variety in their overall multiplayer experience. The current process causes lower-skilled players to quit out of frustration, leading to a negative impact on the experience for those actively playing the game. These negative impacts were felt as far back as the Modern Warfare 3 launch in November 2023, with many players voicing their frustrations about skill-based matchmaking. Activision will continue to test new methods that will help mitigate the concerns of the community.
The Call of Duty technology team plans to publish a comprehensive paper detailing the matchmaking process and ping at a later date. What’s more, Activision will explain the matchmaking process for Call of Duty: Warzone and Modern Warfare 3’s Ranked Play modes soon. These future posts should paint a full picture of what the current matchmaking systems are for both of the current Call of Duty entries.
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