PUBG’s matchmaking, new player experience, rewarding skilled players, bots, and everything

My Battlefield / Part 1

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PUBG has fundamental problems, that need to be fixed to ensure the future of the game (in all regions). Fixing bugs is important, but it’s also obvious, I won’t talk about them here.

This is going to be a long read because some of these ideas have already been talked about separately and I honestly think we need to look at it as a whole. Everything is connected.

What are the problems?

Learning the game is tedious for new players.

There are 3 ways to learn the game. Training mode, watching videos and jumping into the deep end. Most people go with a mix of these.

Having a training mode is nice, but honestly, I can’t see many new players using it for extended periods to learn how to shoot. Simply because it’s not a fun way to do so.

PUBG has started to release a video series on the mechanics of the game and there are many great tutorials on Youtube by various creators. These are beneficial, but they can’t replace playing the game.

Last but not least is jumping into a live game, where you could be jumping into a compound with an esport pro against you. If you happen to have friends playing too, you might go to a duo or squad game and if you die in the beginning, after a couple of minutes of gameplay you could be spectating your friends for 25 minutes in the worst case.

Player skill is not rewarded

The first chicken dinner is always magical and just seeing that text on your screen for the first time was awesome. However, while I still enjoy seeing it, after seeing it over 100 times this season alone I have to admit that it has lost some of its worth to me.

Part of the thrill of online gaming is the grind to a better rank. In PUBG we only get rewarded for the time spent in-game. Don’t get me wrong, seeing the “Survivor” season rating in the main menu on top of my character’s head is nice. However, that tells me nothing about how well or bad I am doing in the game. It doesn’t motivate me to play more.

After 2000 hours played, if I didn’t have a great group of friends to play with, I most likely wouldn’t play anymore.

Matchmaking queues are unsustainable for some of the game modes or maps, depending on regions.

Filling the games has started to become a problem in multiple queues and regions. North American servers had to be limited to a random map and in Europe, Miramar and Vikendi are struggling on solos and duos. 

The problem is even worse on the test server and was one of the reasons for recent audio problems since there wasn’t enough feedback given.

The upcoming new map(s) and game mode(s) will make the problem even worse if this isn’t handled.

How to change the game?

Adding casual game mode and bots.

The best way to learn PUBG is by playing it. It could be highly beneficial to new players if they had a casual game mode, that was partially filled with bots, instead of real human players. For example, 50-80% bots always. To limit the number of new queues this could be a single map and maybe even limited to squad/1-/2-/3-man-squad play. Also to limit the frustration of spectating for 20+ minutes, maybe there could be a revive mechanic. It could take 40 seconds or require a medkit or something like that.

Adding an actual tutorial to the game. 

I honestly think there should be an actual replayable tutorial added to the game. You could learn all the mechanics of the game in one place, all the way from picking up weapons to leaning, cooking grenades and changing fire mode. Yes, there already is the training mode, but no one there actually tells you what you can do in there. The map itself can work for this and the training mode should be also kept available as is, to allow more advanced players to still use. (Yes, some things could be better there too, but I’m not getting into that here)

Evolving the default game mode to a ranked game mode

Now that we have a place for new people to get a feeling for the game and people to fool around. The default game mode could be changed to a skill-based ranked game mode. We would have a skill-based rating that can actually also go down if we have a bad game.

The chance of a better rank will motivate people to play way more than a system that only rewards playtime because there’s a lot of people that have limited time to play the game.

Rewarding player’s based on skill

We want to be able to show off our successes.

First of all, connected to the last topic. After a competitive season, we should get a reward item skin(s) based on that rating. This is already working for the current season, so I wouldn’t imagine this being a problem. The designs could maybe show off the rank a little better.

Also showing off the current rank in-game serves as a motivator. This is something where the new PUBG ID system could help. I will not go deeper into this here since it’s already a WIP project.

There should be rewards for winning games and maybe also for the highest kill count individual or team. Maybe a dinner coupon that you could buy exclusive skins from the coupon shop.

Yes, people would be getting exclusive items, that everyone may not be able to get… But that’s exactly what would make them worth pursuing.

Make test server great again

When we have bots in the game, there’s no reason to have problems filling test server games. Games can be started for even one person if they have been waiting for long enough. This means that people who are willing to give feedback on the game can always get a game going and give that valuable information. Most likely this will also at least partially restore player counts since people know they can always get a game.

There also could be some kind of reward for the stable version of the game for participating in the test server and/or sending feedback.

Thanks for reading!

I honestly think that these are changes that need to be made to ensure PUBG’s longterm success. Regardless of if they are going to make it a free-to-play or not.

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