You're a legend for doing these. I'm really glad to know you've got a few solutions in the pipes!
It's incredibly encouraging to hear such insight and depth of understanding about the specific game design challenges and solutions. As a budding game designer I'm pretty inspired.
I'm interested in how the game handles low population pools, being from Australia. As such I had an idea:
What if the game, as soon as you logged in and started a lobby (even just by yourself) in the matchmaking section, already placed you in a hidden queue and started sussing out potential perfect and ideal matches, INCLUDING those who are currently in a game.
From this info could it not then predict out better and more perfect matches in a playlist? With a coordination system going "Ok so if we make this guy wait an extra minute here these other two guys can then join up and match this party of 3 which is of similar ping and similar skill".
Could it not also relatively accurately convey what it was doing, to the player, so rather than sitting there waiting for a match it would give you little tid bits, perhaps a traffic light system, just saying things like "expecting a great match for you in this playlist, just waiting to see if these guys finish, or you could get a great match in this playlist right away". It may require people letting the system know their intentions (aka if they're up for another game, while already playing this one).
I know there are branching and potentially exponential levels of complexity here but could it be dare I say a revolutionary improvement in matchmaking?
Another idea from the head vault borrowed from Heroes of the Storm:
End of game performance screen where the game highlights players from either team for individual skill or feats of awesomeness.
- MVP: overall best in game for reasons X (highest damage), X (most kills), X (Least deaths), (most captures) etc etc
- Flagrunner: ran X flags, stopped x captures, etc etc
- Momentum Shifter: killing spree to turn the game around after being down in slays or obj
- Teamshooter: most protector medals / assists etc etc
- Sharpshooter: Most headshots / sniper kills etc etc
There could even be some tongue-in-cheek ones - Goose, Breadstick, Coward (most times shield recharged), Power Weapon Hog, Betrayer, Hyper (most kills AND most deaths).
I'm sure there are plenty of others people could have fun coming up with.
I think this would benefit the game in two main ways:
- Provide satisfaction to a player who legitimately did well but may have lost the game.
- Identify and place importance on multiple roles that make up success in the game or, quantify and recognise performance which both directly and indirectly achieved victory. Often in Halo you can play really well and be a major contributor to your teams success only to be outshone by a main slayer, and only a very experienced eye will be able draw that out of the stats screen (or by observing the game). I think there are algorithms that could do this and present it to the player in an interesting and exciting way.
Hand in hand with this and your idea which I thought was super neat (the written english, "hey you just went against diamonds and did well, keep it up and you'll get to diamond!") is a little stat block after the match just saying "well done, you achieved X this game, more than your average of X, or more than similar players average of X".
Where X could be assists, damage, or any number of other stats.