Arena Tavern Waiting Time Improvements

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    Good Morning Sea of Thieves Community,

    Jason Cross, Producer of The Arena here with a quick set of changes to the Arena tavern wait times.

    We have been reading your feedback every day here at Rare and wanted to improve the tavern flow so we can get you back into the action faster whilst keep matchmaking performing effectively.

    We have just implemented the following changes which you will experience right now:

    Reward Timer: 15 seconds - Down from 2 Minutes.
    Staging Timer: 1 minute - Down from 5 Minutes.
    Ready Timer: 1 minute - Unchanged.

    Descriptions:

    Reward Timer: Time spent in the tavern following a contest where rewards are given and the banners are unfurled.
    Staging Timer: Time spent searching for a 5th crew when you have 4 crews in the tavern. If this timer expires your game begins the Ready Timer.

    Ready Timer: Time spent when all crews are ready to go, the countdown music begins to play and your crew can prepare for battle!


    In most circumstances, your maximum wait time in The Sea Dogs Tavern will be 2 minutes and 15 seconds, where previously you could have waited for over 6 minutes.

    Your wait time will still be extended if you are matched with 3 crews or less as the optimal Arena experience is with 4-5 crews. We want you to have the best time possible!

    Thank you all for your feedback, each comment helps us make The Arena a better experience for everyone.

    See you in battle.
    'Cast Away Cross'
    Jason Cross

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    Guess its ok i can still go hot tub a little ill try it today thnx :")

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    Thanks a lot )

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    @moronicstraw
    What is the point of a Ready Timer? If all the crews are ready to go, why not just start the match?

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    @little-squash

    Get out the hot tub and put cloths back on :")

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    @ruigtand-nl
    Obviously that isn't necessary. The matchmaking in Arena is bad. Anything that makes it take longer to load a match while still allowing more time for players to quit out of the match before it starts is not going to help.

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    @little-squash

    Well we deserve a bath and we cant start arena undressed so i dont see the problem plus they cut our bathing time already says the op.. they should look into the open crew system its terrible to get a working crew no wonder they are hopping around to search a crew :(

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    @ruigtand-nl
    That's definitely part of the problem. I don't know why Rare seems to think that open crew players want to keep playing with the same crew and against the same other crews.

    Pre-made crews should definitely be kept together... But after a match is over, the matchmaking should restart at some point and everyone should load into a new lobby with new crews. This would cut down on people quitting lobbies looking for a new crew because that is what would be happening automatically.

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    @little-squash

    Yes everytime a crew wins big you all get back in tavern and most other crews will hop to a server with fresh chances.. not staying to get a second beating xD better as you say after rep etc get a server merge or mix make it a group hop everyone gets fresh enemy crews and new open crews.. could be fun to test maybe

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    Good changes overall when it comes to time.
    However, again, this is only part of the general problem with Arena still.

    There's still a few small/major things which could/can hopefully be touched on... soonTM

    1: Specific Muting of players
    2: Randomizing of Crews (Not Premade), but at the same time, maybe not since just because 1 Crew wins, may just mean they were lucky to be put together.
    3: Scoring could still be tweaked, especially for kills, of which they should be worth more in losing and gaining points.

    Probably other small tweaks I'm missing.

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    @little-squash If pre-made crews (I assume closed crews) are kept together and everyone else is always split up, that will create a huge advantage for closed crews (way bigger than now) and make random matchmaking ill-fated.

    I see no problems with entire crews all switching lobbies though.

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    @foxdodge said in Arena Tavern Waiting Time Improvements:

    @little-squash If pre-made crews (I assume closed crews) are kept together and everyone else is always split up, that will create a huge advantage for closed crews (way bigger than now) and make random matchmaking ill-fated.

    I see no problems with entire crews all switching lobbies though.

    I'm not sure I understand the distinction you are making between "pre-made crews (I assume closed crews) are kept together" and "entire crews all switching lobbies"...

    Maybe we are saying the same thing? I think everyone should be put back into matchmaking for a new server for the next match. But if you had invited your friends to be on your crew, your friends/crew should stay together when you transfer to a new server.

    As an example, when I play Arena as a closed crew with 3 of my friends, one of us will invite the other 3 and we will set sail and start the match. When the match is over and we load into the tavern, we quit out and one of us invites the other 3 as before and we start over in a new lobby. Not only has this been faster than waiting around for the old lobby to repopulate with full crews but we also play against all new people. This is what I think should be happening automatically.

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    @moronicstraw I love the Arena but the only issue I have is the cross play option has not been given. My crew and I have really talked about Arena and that's our only issue.

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    @little-squash said in Arena Tavern Waiting Time Improvements:

    Rare seems to think that open crew players want to keep playing with the same crew and against the same other crews.

    Pre-made crews should definitely be kept together... But after a match is over, the matchmaking should restart at some point and everyone should load into a new lobby with new crews.

    This, and "pre-made" crews lead me to think you were talking about everyone who is not in a closed crew.

    A closed crew can only be joined by invitation unless they are friends. If someone joins a crew through matchmaking, they are placed in a crew (is this what you mean by pre-made) but it is not closed.

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    @foxdodge
    I used "pre-made" to mean made before you begin the matchmaking process. I don't think "open" vs. "closed" works very well in an Arena matchmaking game mode. The "closed" option was basically a band-aid fix for problems with crews in Adventure mode. And technically, I think Arena should only have "open" crews.

    I guess to be more clear, I ultimately mean that anyone you personally invite to your crew before you start the actual matchmaking process (i.e. Set Sail) is the pre-made part of your crew.

    So, if you invite 3 other players to your crew to play together so that you have a full pre-made crew and then "Set Sail"... Then at the end of the match your entire pre-made crew of 4 should stay as the same crew and join a new server.

    However, if you only invite 1 other player to your crew then the pre-made part of your crew is only 2 when you "Set Sail"... When you"Set Sail", matchmaking should join you with 2 random players to make a full crew for that single match. Then at the end of the match the pre-made part of your crew (you and the player you invited; not the 2 random players) should stay together and join with 2 new random players as you join a new server. (Inviting 2 other players to make a pre-made part of 3 would work similarly.)

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    @little-squash It's roughly what I thought you meant, but the problem is, everyone who plays and is not "invited" will be at the disadvantage of having an unfamiliar crew every match.

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    @foxdodge
    I would argue that's not always a bad thing. If I go into matchmaking solo and end up on a crew playing with random players that are bad or AFK, I shouldn't automatically start the next match with them.

    Also, if I join a random crew and some or all of us want to keep playing together, then at the end of the match we can restart the matchmaking process with one of us inviting the others to form our own "pre-made" crew.

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    @little-squash If you have to restart to form a persistent crew then it's taking something away from matchmaking, and adding a further step to the ease of which a player can join and make friends with new people.

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    @foxdodge
    I think that's better than needing to restart in order to keep my persistent crew and not be stuck in the same lobby with the same half made crews that take too long to load because people keep quitting out and need to be replaced because nobody wants to keep playing against the same people over and over.

    (Sorry for the run on sentence 😬)

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    @little-squash Keeping players in a persistent crew, and then migrating that crew to another lobby is what I agree with.

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    @foxdodge said in Arena Tavern Waiting Time Improvements:

    @little-squash Keeping players in a persistent crew, and then migrating that crew to another lobby is what I agree with.

    Got it.

    And I think that sounds good in theory but my experience has been that "pre-made" crews of friends are more likely to want to stay together from match to match; whereas, random matchmade crews are more likely to want to split up from match to match.

    Defaulting to force those random matchmade crews to stay together causes problems when trying to fill a lobby with full crews because players in the random matchmade crews quit out. Now those crews need to be repopulated before the match can actually start. This is part of the problem with the current matchmaking process. I think it would make for faster match load times and a smoother transition if matchmaking didn't try to keep the random matchmade crews together.

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    @little-squash I get where you're coming from, but wouldn't the loading times take longer if everything has to be repopulated?

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    @foxdodge said in Arena Tavern Waiting Time Improvements:

    @little-squash I get where you're coming from, but wouldn't the loading times take longer if everything has to be repopulated?

    My experience has been that it works better doing a fresh repopulation because it provides more consistent matchmaking. I think matchmaking tends to get bogged down when it tries to make a match and then two people quit out of a crew and just as it replaces them three more people quit out of another crew, etc.

    But perhaps they could figure out a way for crews at the end of the match to select if they want to continue matchmaking with their current crew.

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    Change ready timer to zero

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    The new matchmaking system doesn't work right for open crews. I spawn over and over again on solo crews. I have to wait like 10 minutes to find someone joining my crew once the match started. Also there are too many AFK crews and people are using them to farm points by shooting their ships on the deck. This mode is everything I've been looking for months about this game but honestly it sucks at this state. Please fix this as soon as you can.

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    I see that people complain a lot about the PC vs Xbox being unfair, but I having played both believe that maybe if we could get a higher sensitivity option for controller compared to the mouse. Xbox players would then be able to keep up with the PC players in melee combat. I sometimes play with my xbox controller plugged into my PC, but it does frustrate me that I can't turn fast enough compared to my mouse setup in PvP situations. It doesn't seem like it'd be a hard fix to look into and I'd start using my controller much more often. -Clutchus

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    @clutchus said in Arena Tavern Waiting Time Improvements:

    I see that people complain a lot about the PC vs Xbox being unfair, but I having played both believe that maybe if we could get a higher sensitivity option for controller compared to the mouse. Xbox players would then be able to keep up with the PC players in melee combat. I sometimes play with my xbox controller plugged into my PC, but it does frustrate me that I can't turn fast enough compared to my mouse setup in PvP situations. It doesn't seem like it'd be a hard fix to look into and I'd start using my controller much more often. -Clutchus
    I say that it doesn't seem like a complicated fix to the imbalance of controller vs mouse because they've adjusted the max sensitivity since the release of the game so it's not something they haven't done before. The only thing I believe is it could just use more of a buff than what was given.

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    This is probably not the proper place to post this, but this has to do with arena mostly. I've been playing since the beta and I'm in the insider program and I really do love this game and the friends I've made on here. With that being said though, the amount of exploits and ability that PC players put forward absolutely ruins the PvP for the Xbox side of the community. Anytime you guys try to fix an exploit they use, another one arises, and that has nothing to do with the accuracy of using a mouse or the amount of hotkey options they have. Anyway, I could go on and on about the advantages that PC has over Xbox but I'm sure you guys are aware.

    I've been trying to get wins in arena with the hope that I could get to 240 and earn the special cosmetic. Unfortunately for the last couple days that I've played, when I join an arena lobby there is always PC players that double gun, don't take damage, quick scope, never let go of the ladder, ETC. And now its to the point where my friends don't even want to play anymore and frankly, neither do I. I understand you don't want to split the community with the ability to opt out if cross play but you guys are flat out losing players because the option is not available. So I'm sad to say but I'm hanging up my pegleg and eyepatch and moving on to different games until I can opt out of playing with these guys that clearly have the advantage. Please for the love of Ramsey, make the sea an even playing field.

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    @theeogcurt Joe Neate announced in the video below that an opt out option regarding cross platform play is something Rare are super keen to add to the game, and are working to introduce it first to Insiders soon. So please don't let your pegleg and eyepatch get too dusty; we need you in our crew. And frankly, regardless of the advantages pc players currently have, you still give a lot of them a run for their gold.