Remove Skill-Based Matchmaking in Fortnite Battle Royale (Make Pubs Fun Again)

Remove Skill-Based Matchmaking in Fortnite Battle Royale (Make Pubs Fun Again)

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Devyn Kipphut started this petition to Epic Games and

Epic Games decided to implement skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) at the start of Chapter 2 Season 1 (September 2019). Initially this was clearly done with good intentions, but it just doesn't make sense if you break it down. There are flaws with the system and simply needs to be removed.

As of now, Epic still hasn't released a statement on how the SBMM algorithm works exactly. One would think it's based on some combination of placement and K/D, but we have no way to know for sure. For all we know, it could be identical to the arena ranking system, just without the game showcasing our rank/points.

So what's the issue with SBMM? It's quite simple. There are two game mode options to queue into: public matches (pubs) and arenas. Both of them are ranked, but only one of them is meant to be competitive. With pubs having SBMM, this mode is almost identical to arenas, except for some significant differences. Pubs don't have siphon (health/mats per kill), moving circles endgame, or 1500 material cap. Pubs feel and play out like arena matches without these key elements which generates a frustrating feeling for the player. It has turned pubs into a competitive environment which has produced scrim-like endgames in some matches for higher skilled players which doesn't really work without siphon or moving zones.

What should Epic do to fix this? The first idea that comes to mind is to implement siphon into pubs. However, this idea won't leave the drawing board as they will never do it. A while ago, in April 2019, Epic removed siphon from pubs as they noticed "aggressive behavior" from players. They want to only have siphon in competitive playlists, such as arena, which in all honesty is justifiable. Even if they were willing to add the "competitive elements" (siphon etc.) into pubs, what would be the point? Pubs and arenas would be identical. Both would have a ranking system (SBMM), siphon, 1500 material cap, etc. The only difference would be the names of the playlists themselves. It would be completely redundant to make these changes as the game modes would be carbon-copies of each other.

So siphon is a no go, what else can they do? They could lower the ceiling of the ranking system and have it be open to all players after reaching the "top rank". Essentially with this idea, newer/lesser skilled players would still be able to have many games with "similarly skilled opponents" and the mid to high skilled players can have lobbies with a variety of skill levels in each match. The point of this system is to allow for players to have better chances at victory royales by queuing into easier lobbies for a fixed amount of games, then returning to open/public matchmaking.

How about a separate game mode to accommodate newer players? Epic could create a playlist where a player can drop into a game with only AIs. This would allow for newer/lesser skilled players to easily gain confidence, improve, as well as have the victory royale experience. Ideally, the players would eventually start queuing into pubs after playing/practicing in the mode for a certain amount of time. Obviously Epic implemented SBMM to allow for EVERYONE to achieve that winning feeling, but they've turned it into a participation trophy and it shouldn't be like that. A similar vibe was given off when they added mechs in Chapter 1 Season 10 as they made it laughably easy to get eliminations, regardless of a player's skill level or their opponent's. Timthetatman, a popular Twitch streamer, literally turned his monitor off and got 5 eliminations while in a mech.

The point I'm trying to make is that this is a battle royale. There's supposed to be a lot of RNG, including the variety of skill throughout the lobby. That's the beauty of it and what makes it special. Any player out of the 100 in the lobby can win the game, whether they decide to camp in a bush or w-key everyone they see. This is what makes fortnite fun and exciting. This is what makes winning a game special, especially your first time. A lobby full of players who play like they are trying to qualify for the World Cup is mentally draining and simply not fun. Epic needs to make a change to this horrid system. Pubs should be open for everyone, hence the name "public match". Personally, I love the game and have been playing since it came out. Nowadays, it's hard to play more than a few games before wanting to just get off. The sad part is that I want to play, but Epic have made pubs close to unplayable.

We can work to catch the attention of Epic Games and have them make the change we need. Together, we can make pubs fun again.

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