Post Contest - Arena Matchmaking update

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    Good Morning, all Arena Pirates!

    Jason Cross, Producer on The Arena here with another update.

    We have received a lot of feedback around Arena matchmaking and are working diligently on creating the correct matchmaking experience for our players. With today's update we have changed Arena matchmaking following a contest, details below:

    Old Matchmaking:
    After a contest, following the migration text, the game prepares you for the next contest with the same crews you had just battled. During this time, we look to fill any leaving crews.

    New Matchmaking:
    After a contest and following the migration text, the game prepares you for the next contest but instead throws you back into the matchmaking pool with your current crew (we do not scramble your crew) and looks for a new contest. This means there is a high chance you will start your next contest with a fresh set of rival crews, rather than the same rival crews as before. This will act the same as if you left the game and then re-joined.

    In addition to scrambling the crews post-contest, the new matchmaking will speed up the time it takes to match-make as we aren’t trying to keep any crews together.

    Coming in with today's release, this is the one of our first matchmaking updates and we will continue to keep creating a great experience for you. Thanks for all your feedback!

    See you in the Arrreeennnnaaa!

    ‘Cast Away Cross’
    Jason Cross

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    @moronicstraw Thanks for explaining the change but can we get an explanation of the reason for the change as well?

    If I remember correctly, I thought I remember Joe Neate saying in one of the behind the scenes videos or weekly streams that the old way was intentional because it allowed crews to try to get revenge in subsequent matches.

    I kind of liked the idea of being able to have a rematch against a crew that I know will be good competition.

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    While i can kind of understand how you decided to make this change i personally do not like it. Being able to get that rematch against a crew that just beat you or give them a chance at redemption on the next match is a big part of the arena fun. How about adding a voting table to stay in the current lobby for ships who do not want to migrate?

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    @druzil They are trying to make it easier to rematch without having to go back to the main menu and re-invite your entire crew, but also trying to eliminate the groups that are just farming commendations in Arena by agreeing to trade kills round after round because this just ruins those servers for people who want to actually play a competitive match. I don't think a rematch vote would fix this at all.

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    I for one am pleased about this change. Last night we left several sessions after one game because we were not feeling the other crews we were playing with. The last session we played, two crews formed an alliance of sorts and wouldn't go after each other. Don't want to have to deal with that. So it is nice that the work of finding a "new session" is done for us.

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    @moronicstraw
    Thank you! This was a much needed change!

    Now if something could be done about people quitting and AFK...

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    Reducing chance of ships teaming multiple matches, lowers the ease of this phenomenon. Thumbs up.

    Side note; I'm excited to see if this will hurt or mend the waiting between matches, the recent waitingtime was quite ok.

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    Great improvement for us random grunts.
    Just won my first two matches.

    The new patch makes it more natural for strangers to want to stay together if they are winning together.
    A full tavern has the promise of facing new rival crews, but me and my new comrades are fresh off a win.

    Great tweak in the matchmaking.
    First back-to-back victories in weeks. It's a good start, but we'll see how it works when the pendulum swings the other way.

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    @d3adst1ck I understand that but I still don't like not having the option to stay. some nights we can spend hours finding a competitive lobby. Also as stated above the rematch was originally presented as a feature. Commendations can still be easily farmed anyway since there is almost always one random boat with one or two crew members that aren't moving. Sometimes we will even anchor another boat and keep them floating while we farm kills so i'm not sure how much this will really slow down crews that want to grind commendations. Not to mention a fresh lobby each match still does not prevent you from making an agreement with another boat each time if that is what you are looking to do. It might even become more common than before. Personally i'd rather see them address the ppl who are farming arena completes without actually playing. I have ran into quite a few that are clearly afk and have some app making them constantly swing their sword or run a figure 8 so they don't time out. I'd also like to see some kind of penalty added for ppl leaving a ship mid match. But that is just my opinion.

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    I sincerely have never had an issue with the previous matchmaking method. There should be an option where the crew can vote to join a different lobby, but forcing every crew to go up against fresh opponents can be frustrating. And, as far as other crews teaming up, I have never seen that for entire matches. I've watched two crews with less points simultaneously take down teams with more points to get a better advantage in the game, but never for the whole match.

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    It would be great if you guys could update the game without forcing a complete download. I am on a slower connection due to geographical location, and it takes a full day to download the game on PC. I don't even play in arena due to my connection speed making PvP near impossible to compete, yet I have to wait a day to play again.

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    @uselessn3wb said in Post Contest - Arena Matchmaking update:

    (..) And, as far as other crews teaming up, I have never seen that for entire matches. (...)

    That's how it works, if several boats on one server are friends who share wins, you won't see them...

    For some reason I was always greeted with the change server message, followed by a long wait, waiting for more crews and when finally a new match started at least one crew member had left.
    I hope that now when everybody changes server, it will reduce those waiting times.

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    @recoilfreak said in Post Contest - Arena Matchmaking update:

    It would be great if you guys could update the game without forcing a complete download. I am on a slower connection due to geographical location, and it takes a full day to download the game on PC. I don't even play in arena due to my connection speed making PvP near impossible to compete, yet I have to wait a day to play again.

    I only had the 6 GB download, not the whole game.

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    @lem0n-curry Hopefully that is the case for me as well. I am sitting at 4.34GB and have been watching its progress all morning. It's a little sad how much not being able to play SoT has affected my day... Thank you for giving me a light at the end of the tunnel.

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    @recoilfreak
    From another topic:
    Windows 10: 6.3GB
    Xbox One: ?
    Xbox One X: 6.98GB

    Happy sailing after the download

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    So when we finally get a good lobby of competitive players we'll be forced out?

    I dunno, i hope this makes more competitive matches, but don't think it'll be better than knowing who the strong crews are and enjoying The challenge

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    @druzil I'm pretty sure this change is to try to keep player numbers up in Arena.

    If they are rematched after every round against different pirates, they might be more likely to stick around rather than be faced with having to go back to the menu, re-invite the crew or spin the wheel of open crews again.

    Having the ability to rematch is nice for the people in that lobby. Scrambling is better for the mode as a whole.

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    @d3adst1ck i understood your point but you are reaching a bit. I have played a lot of arena. If i only get one competitive match every 2 hours and then have to spend another 2 hours to find the next one I can promise you I am not likely to stick around longer. If you think the 30 seconds to a minute it takes to back out of a lobby and join another one is "too much for someone to face" then think how its going to be for those of us who aren't just trying to escape the crews that are better than us a few seconds faster than we could yesterday. Your statement in no way explains how scrambling is better for the mode as a whole and sounds more like a theory working backwards from your conclusion. Maybe we should just stop speculating and see if they elaborate on how exactly this is supposed to improve anything. If I get fun engaging matches more often I'll be the first to admit I was wrong even though I still think removing the ability to rematch is inherently bad for arena mode engagement. I am just really disappointed that so soon after this update core features are being removed like they were bugs when they are legitimately good additions.

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    @xcalypt0x it was because people were abusing a trick to get ship alliances into arena sessions together to farm wins and kills which by any competative game standard is boosting

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    So you didn't do anything we couldn't do ourselves by just leaving a lobby and joining a new match.....you know damn well we are waiting for an opt out of CROSSPLAY, not an opt out of controller vs. Keyboard. I feel like you guys don't care about the massive imbalance in arena..well the entire game, really...its like you guys are intentionally feeding us to the pc players. I haven't played in over a month, because I'm waiting for the opt out option, I'm tired of this game ruining my day. I really cant stress my disappointment without using every four letter word in the book.

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    @druzil And, what kind of agreement can you make now? Let us take 1st this time and next time... maybe someone else will let you take 1st? This disincentivizes alliances by removing the quid pro quo aspect. Yes, you can still farm kills, and, yes, you can alliance up in a match... but that alliance will be a one off and you will have to hope you find another ship amenable in the next lobby. Does it absolutely prevent exploitation of Arena? No. but it goes a long way to make it less easy to do.

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    @recoilfreak It isn't a complete download. It's a big download, but a complete download would be about 3-4 times bigger.

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    @xslim-pickenzx said in Post Contest - Arena Matchmaking update:

    So you didn't do anything we couldn't do ourselves by just leaving a lobby and joining a new match.....you know damn well we are waiting for an opt out of CROSSPLAY, not an opt out of controller vs. Keyboard. I feel like you guys don't care about the massive imbalance in arena..well the entire game, really...its like you guys are intentionally feeding us to the pc players. I haven't played in over a month, because I'm waiting for the opt out option, I'm tired of this game ruining my day. I really cant stress my disappointment without using every four letter word in the book.

    I can understand your frustration. However, I believe you can use a mouse and keyboard with the Xbox. I mean, I use a controller, for the convenience, but I also accept that I'm not the best pirate on the seas and I have a lot of short comings when it comes to pvp. Sure, I could change settings on my TV to get quicker response, and I could use the keyboard and mouse that I already have on the pc I already play other games on, but I simply enjoy chilling on SoT with 4K and HDR. If I get donked, so be it. Letting someone else ruin your day is completely your decision.

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    @rowdy-reid cool story, but you are missing the point. The game is highly imbalanced. From frame rates to game play, if you dont know this, then you havent been playing much. Its a simple opt out option that they said they were going to implement before arena came out, because they know its imbalanced. They have failed. Most games have this, its an easy fix.
    I'm not the greatest pirate in SoT, but I win more than I loose. A lot more than I loose. My crew is excellent, we sail together every day, I'm not playing with randoms. But it doesn't matter if your up against a mediocre pc crew, controller or keyboard...They don't have a delay between sword thrusts, there spawn rates are faster, they have twice the frame rates, I can go on and have video to back it up, and there's other Xbox players testimonials...Xbox players want the opt out, period. If you don't like it, don't opt out. But we should have the option.

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    The post game matchmaking system isnt working Im staying in the same lobbys still

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    Here's a good idea for arena matchmaking: Optional crossplay.

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    @moronicstraw Arena has been quite fun so far, but I think there are a few things that would very much improve the experience, at least for myself. I think the most common request is sloops being added- being able to do duos instead of fours makes it much more accessible and allows people like myself to play with people I know, given how random a group of three unknown folks can be. I wouldn't even mind going up against galleons as a sloop, makes it all the more fun if I choose that route!

    Secondly, I think the arena would benefit massively by the addition of rowboats to all ships. Having a rowboat allows one side to man the ship while another gathers the treasure and hauls it onto the rowboat, which then can be picked up with more ease(and can add some fun trying to pot shot it with a cannon as the enemy!) - I think rowboats would be wonderful for the arena, on any size ship.

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    @xslim-pickenzx I can testify that as an Xbox player we are at an extreme disadvantage.

    The arena mode in general is incredibly toxic. I’ve been brigged several times for doing absolutely nothing. I report the players but it doesn’t make a difference. Not only that, but hardly anyone actually goes for the treasure. Just take that aspect out and let ships go at each other.

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    @pomalotacusmk3 won’t happen. They want to buff up their numbers so they can see articles written in PCgamer. This is why they slap everyone together.