Author Topic: The MMR System is really killing my enjoyment of this game  (Read 15153 times)

Nemo

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Introduction

I've seen quite a few threads about players complaining about the MMR system right now, so I want to recount some of my experiences as well as my general impressions of this system, as someone whose MMR has generally been in the 80-90 range for the past few weeks, and who has almost reached level 150.

Typically, I'm usually playing with friends in a group, rather than in solo queue or playing as an Antagonist, so most of my experience is in that setting. However, I've played a lot of games in solo queue with randoms, as well as some Antagonist invasions at a high MMR, so I can talk about my experiences there as well.

I'll split this post up into a few different sections, but to put it succinctly, under this current system, having a high MMR is extremely punitive in both a PvE and PvP context, as both a Raider and an Antagonist, and if you play with randoms or with friends. About the only thing one can do to make the system a bit 'fairer', and to reduce queue times, is to deliberately lose games to drop your MMR back to around the 50-60 range, where I imagine most of the playerbase is.

Furthermore, scaling the difficulty of the AI enemies using the differences in MMR between the Raiders and the Antagonist is not a very well thought out system. I've currently lost three matches to AFK Antagonists because the AI enemies were extremely overpowered, and have had quite a few matches where a low MMR Antagonist was basically carried to victory by the AI. On the other hand, if I invade when I have an MMR that's in the 80-90 range, not only do I have to wait about 30-40 minutes to find a match, but the AI are incredibly weak and are hardly a threat to the Raider team, and bosses and objectives have extremely low health as well.


PvE Experience

In Solo Queue

Matchmaking is somewhat random here, as I sometimes run into friends or other veteran players who know what they're doing, but oftentimes, I'm being paired with lower level players who really don't know what they're doing at all, both in general terms as well as completing the objectives of whatever map we're playing. On certain maps that require some coordination to complete objectives, such as Short Fused, Low Blow, In Medias Res, etc, I'm often the only player doing the objectives and gathering Aleph, whilst the other players are usually just running around aimlessly. Moreover, because of my higher MMR, the difficulty of the map usually increases into the 50-60% difficulty range, even with lower level/newer players on the team. Whilst this difficulty is fairly easy for me, newer players are usually not used to the increased enemy damage, and tend to die more often, which sometimes necessitates me to have to babysit them, lest they keep wasting lives.

I don't really mind carrying newer players through matches, although it usually requires me to go play Konstantin or Kuzmann and clear enemies constantly, or play a character that can handle the objectives mostly on their own, like Ginebra or Hans. Overall, playing with randoms somewhat limits my choice in characters, and can be quite stressful and/or frustrating. Queue times can also be quite long. Losing on a blueprint roll that you've been farming for for a while, after you've pretty much carried a whole team, is also rather annoying.


Playing with friends

Whilst you do get instant queue times when you're in a squad of four players, if your friends are also at a high MMR, the PvE difficulty becomes very challenging, if not downright broken at times. I've had matches on In Medias Res and Weapon from the Past, at around 75% difficulty, where the AI enemies had greatly enhanced health and damage, and were dealing 96-106 melee damage in one Strike, despite my having 50% damage reduction to Strikes from all enemies. Perhaps this was some sort of bug, but even so, the fact that both enemy health and enemy damage go up as the difficulty increases just makes matches last even longer, and places more emphasis on weapon upgrades. Prior to the Hades update, only enemy damage increased as the difficulty got higher, but now enemies are even bigger bullet sponges, and take even longer to clear.

I wouldn't mind this increased difficulty if it actually led to increased rewards, but I've not really noticed a huge change in rewards as my MMR, and the difficulty level, have increased. Perhaps more annoyingly, the recent patch has reduced the contribution of the difficulty level to the mission score. So now, even if my friends and I slog through a mission of extremely tough enemies, because it takes us longer and we oftentimes die more, our score is usually below 8, and our rewards are even less than they normally were.


PvP Experience

In Solo Queue, as a Raider

Matchmaking is, again, somewhat random here. However, I have still had plenty of matches where a level 100+ Antagonist in the 50-60 MMR range has invaded, whilst two or three of my teammates were obviously new players, whose levels were in the single digits. Whilst the AI enemies weren't ridiculously overpowered in these circumstances, they were still a moderate threat, and were usually not getting cleared very quickly by my other teammates, if they weren't just outright dying to them. Such games usually aren't very fun for me, as I mostly have to do everything; clear enemies, kill elites, gather Aleph, do objectives, look out for teammates, and hunt down the Antagonist. I'm sure the newer players weren't having much of a fun time getting beaten down by the AI or by a higher level Antagonist, either.

Oftentimes, the Antagonist player in these situations is hardly a 'bad' player at all, but the system seems to try to balance things out by making the AI more deadly to compensate for MMR differences.


With friends, as a Raider

Perhaps my biggest frustration with the game at the moment, is when an Antagonist invades when I'm playing with friends who also have a high MMR. Even if the Antagonist has an MMR in the 70-80 range, the AI enemies usually remain just as tough, if not even more so, than the ones you'll find at around the +75% difficulty range. In these situations, the Antagonist hardly needs to do anything to win a match, as the AI enemies are so deadly they'll quickly kill any Raider that is caught unawares. I've had matches where the AI enemies were doing anywhere between 100-200+ melee damage in one Strike, despite my having 50% melee damage reduction. Their ranged damage was also much higher than usual, with even one rifleman being able to take down a 5th Council character within one or two seconds of focused fire.

It's pretty much either an automatic loss if an Antagonist invades when I'm playing with friends, or a very long, grueling match that hardly gives any good rewards even if we do pull off a win, due to the number of deaths and how long it takes to complete the mission.

I've even had lower MMR friends invade me from time to time, players who are skilled enough to have reached Rank 16-18 multiple times prior to the Hade update, who've expressed great surprise about how deadly their AI compatriots were, and how they were getting less kills than the AI.

As I've mentioned before, I've also lost matches to AFK Antagonists because the AI had so much health and dealt so much damage we couldn't make any headway in completing objectives. These Antagonists usually had an MMR around the 40-50 range, or lower.


As an Antagonist

I've done a few Antagonist invasions when I've been at around 85% MMR. I'd try to do more, but in my experience, queue times to find a match were routinely 30 to 40 minutes, or even longer. Of the invasions I've done when I was at high MMR, the main thing I noticed was how the weak the AI enemies were, in terms of their damage, their health and their spawn rate.

Wardog and 5th Council enemies were going down in one Strike by higher level Raiders, and in two Strikes by lower level Raiders. So, I'd estimate their health to be less than 80. Moreover, their damage was very low. I've seen shotgunners shoot Alien characters at close range and only do about half their health in damage. The enemies' melee Strikes were also very weak, doing around 30 or so damage to low level Raiders, who don't have much passive damage reduction. Elite enemies were also doing far less damage and had far less health. I saw Hades Snipers shoot Raiders and weren't even able to wound them in one shot, and Hades Brutes went down in about four or five Strikes.

When I've been invaded by Antagonists, regular Wardog and 5th Council enemies would take three to four 80 damage Strikes to go down, with Hades enemies taking about five to six Strikes. They were also quite capable of killing Raiders very quickly by themselves, without any real interference from the Antagonist, if the Raiders made any mistakes.

Bosses and objectives also had far less health and were far easier than what I normally experience in PvE, both with or without an Antagonist being present. On Breath of Hope, a Sturzenegger Ginebra did about 30% of an Orb's health with five shots, despite not even hitting the weak point. A level 3 Mikah shooting at an Orb's weakpoint with her default weapon, did about 80% of the Orb's health in one magazine. There were also hardly any enemy spawns during the boss fight itself, although the riflemen were hardly a threat anyway.

On In Shock, Kuzmann got taken down in about two or three minutes, and the Raiders had about 120 seconds to pull the levers when Shae was being electrocuted. When I'm playing against an Antagonist on In Shock, I usually only get about 40 seconds to pull the levers. We also once had only 34 seconds to get to the extraction point on Hanging by a Thread, when playing against an Antagonist.

Enemy spawns were also less frequent and in lower amounts than what I normally experience when I'm playing as a Raider, with or without an Antagonist.

Overall, trying to win a match as an Antagonist when you have a high MMR is an uphill struggle, and the AI enemies hardly contribute at all. This is pretty much the exact opposite experience of when I'm invaded by an Antagonist when I'm at a high MMR, as the AI enemies there are still very deadly.


Conclusion

I don't really see the point of having an MMR system when the playerbase is this low. Player numbers on Steam have gone back to around 40-50 players at peak times, and it was only at around 120-150 players at peak times during the beginning of the Hades update. Moreover, I don't see how raising your MMR by winning matches as a Raider in cooperative PvE play, should affect the AI difficulty when you invade as an Antagonist or when you're invaded by an Antagonist. Being good at PvE or PvP in this game requires slightly different skillsets, and this 'one size fits all' MMR system doesn't really appreciate this nuance. I would much rather the MMR system be tied directly to PvP interactions, but even so, giving a huge crutch to low MMR Antagonists by providing them with deadlier AI enemies that essentially carry them to victory, is not how the PvP in this game should be balanced. Having a high MMR doesn't really help you at all in PvP, as the AI will do nothing for you if you invade as an Antagonist, and will be just as deadly, if not more so, when you're invaded. Having a high MMR in PvE just makes the game even more difficult, and increases the grind. Moreover, trying to introduce new players into the game becomes even harder for me, as the matches are usually stuck at around 60% difficulty, and these newer players are not having a fun time trying to learn the game when the AI enemies just cut them down in an instant.

I would very much like a developer response to these issues. Prior to the Hades update, there was a 'hidden' MMR system that increased the difficulty level as you won more and more matches. This was done to keep the game 'challenging', but seems more like a way for developers to prevent players from grinding or farming efficiently, and as a way to artificially lengthen and pad out the game.

As it stands now, post-Hades update, being 'good' at this game, and winning matches consistently, is something the MMR system punishes you with both in PvP and PvE, by trying to make you lose. I'm not quite sure why the developers would use such a system that essentially penalizes its most enthusiastic players. I have put up with quite a lot from this game since its release, but this system is severely trying my patience, and is probably pushing a lot of other players away.

LordDraco3

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Just wanna add that I'm sure MMR was still "a thing" pre-Hades, it was just, as you said, hidden. Now we can all see it, which is something we all wanted, but it seems to affect the game far too negatively when throwing high and low players together, ruining any semblance of balance. You can place handicaps in the game to a certain extent, but being a powerful player only goes so far since pvp in this game is still all characters/players being basically equal. Passives count for very little, when applied to actual gameplay.

I definitely am in the group that purposefully lowers my MMR once I get around 60-70% because the game becomes a chore to play at that point, and is simply not rewarding for the stress (lol) it takes to play. At first I wanted to be hush about doing it because it felt a little bit like an exploit, but at this point I think we all agree that high MMR is a huge punishment hoisted upon hardcore players. The queue times alone are worth suicide to keep MMR low.

It doesn't feel like the scenarios you described were tested by the dev team, or even trying to play the game at 90% MMR difficulty with level 100-150 characters. Yes it should be hard, but it should still be possible, and should be very rewarding. In other games, we go into the high-tier dungeons and fight high rank monsters (or equivalent) because we want higher tier rewards. High MMR = high difficulty, but rewards do not scale appropriately. I do not want to see MMR as being a heavy weight upon the end of mission number, that number seems pointless, but the ACTUAL rewards, the gold, faction, and blueprints.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 12:38:50 AM by LordDraco3 »

Shoggoth_Poot

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You can get a 0.5 rank at the end of a mission and still get a rare blueprint.

Truth.

LordDraco3

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You can get a 0.5 rank at the end of a mission and still get a rare blueprint.

Truth.

And this should *never change*. It feels like blueprint drops on suicide were shadow-nerfed with the recent patch, but that could just be the RNG affecting my perception.

Level9Drow

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You can get a 0.5 rank at the end of a mission and still get a rare blueprint.

Truth.

And this should *never change*. It feels like blueprint drops on suicide were shadow-nerfed with the recent patch, but that could just be the RNG affecting my perception.

Draco did you just admit you suicide? ;)
I'm joking, I agree that it feels like they may have ninja nerfed it. But at least we can adjust are affinity now while admiring the scenery and cheering the Raiders on.

Imperium

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I think it also needs to be said that a "harder game" is not necessarily a better game. Especially when high MMR means bullet sponge enemies with high damage (knock you down or kill you in 2-3 seconds, or set you up to be finished by the antag).

That isn't a meaningful increase in difficulty that feels rewarding and challenging. It feels like a chore, where your options are limited and you have to play the game in the most inch-worm manner, fighting tooth-and-nail for the same rewards.

It isn't rewarding from a challenge perspective because the AI becomes a greater contributor than the players or their skill. You can be as good as you want, you're gonna run into difficulty when a swarm of enemies focus-fire on you, down you, and the antag calmly walks up and kills you.

I know MSE has acknowledged the game isn't balanced and that it's a work in progress, but this MMR system definitely feels like a band-aid fix.

As OP noted, it is also difficult to understand why the game has enforced MMR (longer queue times) when the population is so sparse.

You want to get in the game and try it out, make progress, get exp, unlock stuff. You don't want to sit down and hope you can squeeze in a match or two, assuming the MMR holds up, the playerbase is in the right ballpark, and you aren't shafted with AFK teammates or ultra powerful AI.

I'll say it again, the fact that antag mode can result in some hugely skewed matches against Raiders (with a low level antag getting pinned against high level and/or experienced Raiders) is largely a flaw of the antagonist system as it is presently structured.

Many people have constantly noted their dissatisfaction with the antagonist system, particularly the "you're gonna play this mode and like it" attitude that MSE promotes by locking blueprints behind it.

Antagonist mode seems like a mode for the type of people who would like antagonist mode. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. There isn't much effort to get players comfortable with the game, all the characters, the weapons, and then give them the option to do antagonist mode to really test themselves.

It feels like antagonist mode should be played by people who are inclined, of their own free will, without having rewards kept from them - or reserved for high level players with many options/weapons and experience at their disposal.

As it stands, antagonist mode can very quickly, and frequently does, turn into 4v1 beatdown that leaves many players either quitting the game or not liking the mode at all.

Figures that being thrown into a mode where you could potentially encounter people who already have the maps memorized, know all your spawn points, have stats buffing their characters, cards unlocked, weapons all stat'd out, and coordinating together would be exceedingly frustrating and serve as a impediment to enjoying an otherwise fun and interesting game.

Cutscenes? Characters? Style? Mechanics (ehhhh melee is really wonky)? Content? Good stuff.

Balance? MMR? Skin prices ($30, as much as all 3 DLC - just no lol)? Antagonist mode? Blueprints locked behind antagonist mode? No meaningful PvE? Come on, dude.

Level9Drow

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But muh Dark Souls!!!! It's de graytezt gaym evor!!! ALL GAYMZ shoold be like this!

Nemo

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Well, I've just ended up losing another game to a mostly AFK Antagonist, because the Wardog enemies had over 400+ health and were dealing about 150 melee damage in one Strike, through 50% Resistance. Their ranged damage was also way higher than 75% difficulty games.

This was despite the Antagonist having an MMR around 60%. Not quite sure why someone around that level would need such a huge crutch, but there you go.

I suppose I forgot to mention in my initial post, that sacrificing weapon stats towards Bounty Hunter, Treasure Hunter and Affiliation bonuses, just adds an additional handicap when you're playing in high difficulty matches. Which, again, just seems like a way to artificially lengthen the grind for people that win too much.

I wish I could just reset my MMR to 'Wood League' levels, without having to waste my friends' time throwing matches, or by being a peaceful Antagonist.

Level9Drow

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I try to keep my MMR at about 45% - 50%. Until they update you just have to throw every once in a while.

derhaifisch234

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until they update? you better have a saint's patience because i bet you anything they're too busy figuring out how to attract more players by fishing streamers to play the game and new ways to be able to sell mercury points to buy those "full game price skins"

Level9Drow

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Re: The MMR System is really killing my enjoyment of this game
Reply #10 on: May 18, 2018, 07:44:56 PM
until they update? you better have a saint's patience because i bet you anything they're too busy figuring out how to attract more players by fishing streamers to play the game and new ways to be able to sell mercury points to buy those "full game price skins"

Well I have some faith in them because they're an indie developer and have history working for much bigger companies like Konami. If they were interested purely in the bottom line only they would've stayed developing for Big Producer companies. But they chose to own their own IP and venture off with their extensive experience developing games and make their own games.

They're not Blizzard, EA or Bungie, they're gonna change things a bit slower. Give them time, they read feedback, trust me. They made a LOT of changes in the recent patch directly because of player feedback. Stick with them.

I use the time playing "peaceful antagonist" to lower my MMR. I use a character with maxed out TH and BH to make it a bit more worthwhile.

Whitebleidd

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Re: The MMR System is really killing my enjoyment of this game
Reply #11 on: May 18, 2018, 07:49:13 PM
But muh Dark Souls!!!! It's de graytezt gaym evor!!! ALL GAYMZ shoold be like this!

 If ppl are using darksouls to defend the antag invasions well, I’ve played every single souls game to date, never had an invasion, cause its optional…

LordDraco3

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Re: The MMR System is really killing my enjoyment of this game
Reply #12 on: May 18, 2018, 08:03:07 PM
But muh Dark Souls!!!! It's de graytezt gaym evor!!! ALL GAYMZ shoold be like this!

 If ppl are using darksouls to defend the antag invasions well, I’ve played every single souls game to date, never had an invasion, cause its optional…

Then it sounds like you played offline, alone, with no co-op.

Which you can technically do in Raiders, as well, there's just not much to do in that capacity.

Whitebleidd

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Re: The MMR System is really killing my enjoyment of this game
Reply #13 on: May 18, 2018, 08:35:26 PM
Not the same thing since as you know, you can’t progress in any capacity in this game in offline/singleplayer mode while darksouls was a fully functioning game in offline.

If this game had a fully functioning single player I would mostly stick to that, don’t get me wrong coop with fellow raiders is more fun, but if there’s a mode where I know I aint gonna be wasting my time id stick to that.

Imperium

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Re: The MMR System is really killing my enjoyment of this game
Reply #14 on: May 19, 2018, 01:45:45 AM
Just lost another game to MMR, not antagonist. Antagonist was getting stomped all game, but more and more enemy AI would spawn to the point that you can't reasonably take cover from everything and advance on the objective.

It ended on The Enemy Within. Those one-hit kill green guys overran the map to the point that nobody could do the objective without exiting the 1v1 fight into either a herd of those green things or enemy was waiting for you to exit.

We ran that whole round, then enemy AI completely overtook any skill gap and trivialized it for the antag.

Hugely unsatisfying matchmaking when MMR decides to compensate.

For a game about PvP, it sure does feel like a lot of shit is going on that has nothing to do with player skill and 'testing yourself' against the odds. It seems like a true test of skill would be to have no help against the Raiders.

Playing antagonist mode feels like a damn lottery. Pretty sure that antag thought they were done, since they spent more than half the game looking at a respawn screen.

It continues to feel wholly unsatisfying to play when MMR is doing this crap to the game and, you as the antagonist, feel like you're just some extra jackass running around the map taking advantage of MMR spikes and getting pounded when the AI goes to sleep.

Balancing feels way off and my desire to play Raiders is offset by the chance that I'll get destroyed by overcompensating AI.