Through Beta, matchmaking seems to be based more around level than skill level, which kind of irks me due to running into players that were bad as hunters, or a REALLY good monster that the uncoordinated pub allies can’t seem to fight around. Let me explain a bit deeper with regards to Skill Level:
There are two skill levels; Skill floor and Skill Ceiling.
Skill Floor: This is the level of efficiency that players have to reach in order to know what they are doing and to progress. Until the skill floor is reached, players do not know what to do without having to think about the actions they are making.
Hunters: Hunters have a very low skill floor. Anyone that’s played an FPS knows hunters are more or less about pointing and clicking. When you work your way around activating and using your abilities, you can get an easy grip at how to play the hunter, and you eventually learn what you are doing in terms of objective and play around the 1st game. During a new player’s first game, they can easily ask for advice and get helpful responses to improve their gameplay. Also, if one hunter does poorly, other hunters can pick up their slack to a point.
**Monster:**The monster has a higher skill floor than the hunters. They have to keep tabs on not startling the birds, eating, avoiding hunters, keeping track of armor, and lots of other things. Their abilities require more accuracy due to them being ground-based AoE targeted. It takes more than one game to know what you are doing as the monster, and the hunters will be at an advantage until the skill floor is reached. Getting into their first game, they need to learn through their tutorial in the beginning, or through their own fault. If the monster makes a mistake, there is nobody that can pick up for him. He is punished much harder than hunters would be for a mistake.
Skill Ceiling: This is total mastery of the character. The steeper it is, the harder it is to get better at that character or role. And as players climb to the ceiling, they are capable of pulling off unique and hard-to do strategies, mainly high-risk high-reward.
Hunter: Hunters have a much higher skill ceiling than the monster. To perform effectively, they must communicate, coordinate, and they rely on each other. The hunters’ skill ceiling is combined together each game to make a total. If one hunter is below average, the entire team’s skill level will drop by that average difference. While teams can pick up slack for a bad player, it isn’t going to be enough as total and average skill goes up. Over time, a bad player will drastically skew the win rate of that team’s game due to it’s asymmetry.
Monster: The monster has a lower skill ceiling than the hunters, mainly due to the fact that he can only carry himself. When the monster learns everything in the basics, he can only go upwards…drastically. The monster can improve his gameplay without the need to rely on others, and this includes his total skill level and ceiling.
Now, let’s look at this and matchmaking. In the beginning (around 1-10) hunters will be more likely to win due to the skill floor for them being so low, and the ability to aid each other with advice and mechanical skill.
11-20, the hunters are still going to be at an advantage. Both teams have probably hit the skill floor due to so many played games, but hunters have one real objective, find and cap the monster. They get better at this as things go. The monster gets better as well, but they will still need to practice proper stealth, feeding times, sniffing, stamina balance, and picking fights.
21+ the monster is going to be at an advantage in terms of skill. Hunters and communication don’t seem to have blended well in Alpha and Beta. The monster doesn’t need to rely on communication, and his skill stays with him as he plays. No other player can hinder his ability to do well or hurt his strategy formulation other than himself, so his skill will start to shine because of this.
Max Level + will be hard to compare, because strategies and skill will vary with veterancy and gameplay skill. Things will begin to break even as time passes, and the monster will either fall into balance of skill level or the hunters will remain at fault, all varying on cooperation.
tl;dr If matchmaking is going to be based on wins and levels, then things aren’t going to go well for players throughout the early stages of the game. An MMR system needs to be set.