It's the team balancer that prevents high skilled players from matching other teams. High skilled teams cannot find games unless searching on smurfs.
I know I'm a bit late but I wanted to put in my two cents anyway. This is what I think could be done instead of removing BTB to increase population.
- Remove/Loosen MMR - I can't help but think that part of the reason why it's impossible to find matches is because the MMR is too strict. It's too the point that it's almost laughable to suggest playing BTB with a group larger than 3 or 4.
BTB hasn't been using MMR for awhile. It hasn't helped.According to Josh, MMR has long been removed from BTB matchmaking. And it hasn't really helped the playlist's population.
And regardless of skill and the team balancer, I contest that the biggest threat to the BTB population remains to be an internal 343 issue that they have stated they are not willing to put the resources into fixing. The 15/16 pre-game glitch. WHO HAS TIME TO SIT THERE FOR 5 MINUTES STARING AT A SCREEN, MULTIPLE TIMES PER DAY?
What I what to know for sure is that they put the resources into determining whether or not it is a glitch.
I know that it feels and appears like one, but is it really?
I imagine the issue relates to how the matchmaker re-fires to search for additional people after a match was initially locked-in and progressing to match start.
It’s not clear whether the system is struggling to operate as intended or is operating as intended. I mean, basic matchmaking quality assurances should be up-held. And with those in place maybe there’s just no population currently available to fill the slots.
If it’s discovered to be a true glitch it really ought to take a top priority billing from most other projects. Borrow from the MCC team, hire independent contractors, and maybe grab some necessary member(s) from Infinite to get this solved ASAP.
If it’s discovered to be an issue with quality assurances becoming overly restrictive during the match-maker’s refiring maybe that could be looked at, but I would not necessarily assign it as the top priority for 343i.
I imagine that once a match gets locked-in a data center (dedicated server) has been chosen and if even one player has “Focused” selected it probably means it won’t reset to choose another “acceptable” data center option that may present additional population options based on ping/connection for all.
If everything is working as intended and population truly is the issue. Again, this is relative to the developer’s intended match quality levels. Then the “issue” for 343 is three fold.
1. They can debate lessening the match quality assurances which would be controversial, but perhaps there’s some room for long-term sustain improvement.
2. Focus more on sustain team efforts. Regular freshes can go a long way.
3. And perhaps consider some long-term sustain fixes for the UI and other system foundations for revisiting later when current in-house resources free up or become greater. Think of it as a TU refresh in similar vien to what the MCC is receiving.
These are all lower levels of priority for 343i on the whole, but priorities nonetheless as sustain efforts (from moment of release and on) are vital in building a special franchise.
I know something I’d like to see is better communication from the search process itself (in-game). When hangups occur like the “15/16” issue I want to more clearly see and know what is happening behind the scenes. I’d love to see a more descriptive representation in-game with regards to the systematic operations that ques in more players. I’d also like to see what’s happening in regards to the limitations I’ve placed onto the matchmaker via a preference selection (Focused, Balanced, & Expanded).
Also, for those who don’t want any quality restrictions at all they’re presented with the Customs Browser. People tend to underestimate the potential available to them with that featured tool. With it a player is capable of, at least, trying to create their own acceptable experience at any time given general public interest.