At the beginning of December, Sledgehammer Games integrated Ranked Play into Call of Duty: WWII, a component competitive fans have been crying out for to be properly integrated since its introduction in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Since then, the Call of Duty esports fan base has been given some questionable alternatives to Ranked Play – notably in last year’s iteration, Infinite Warfare, in which “competitive” matches were essentially public matches but 4v4 instead of 6v6.
This year, however, Sledgehammer seemingly listened. We were delighted to see that the developer has provided us with what looked like a well thought-out, MMR-based Ranked Play system that appeared to offer a clean, easy route into competitive Call of Duty.
Or so we thought.
What has actually been provided is an MMR-based Ranked Play system littered with bugs and issues that the developers have thus far frustratingly failed to address. You’ll find the key issues outlined below.
Random MMR loss
This is undoubtedly one of the community’s biggest gripes with Ranked Play in its current state. MMR, for the uninitiated, is a ranking system in which players are awarded (or lose) points based on their performance against opponents of a certain level. For example, if a Silver player wins a match against a team of Gold players, he will gain more MMR points than if he only beat Bronze players.
What is regularly occurring in Call of Duty: WWII, though, is players who win matches still find themselves losing MMR. In fact in many cases, they lose more MMR than they would have lost if they had actually lost the map.
The MMR system itself is also pretty broken in where it places players after their placement matches – as evidenced by two-time World Champion JKap415 being placed in Bronze, whereas most of his peers started in Platinum.
Thanks @SHGames, thank you so much. As if going up by 26 points each win wasn't frustrating enough already… Now I'm actually getting annoyed. How is ranked play this broken? Was it tested at all? pic.twitter.com/lKIPxt3jLx
— Jordan Kaplan (@JKap415) December 5, 2017
Lack of Party Play
When Ranked Play was first integrated into the game, players weren’t allowed to party up with their friends. This was understandable, as Sledgehammer explained that they needed to be able to accurately place people to make sure their system was working correctly (ironically), so solo play was the only option for a couple of weeks.
And although Sledgehammer have since introduced Duo play, it is not without its problems. One such problem is that most people aren’t actually close enough to their friends’ ranks to team with them in the first place. Also frustrating is how team play is limited to Duo queues. All of this takes away from the fun of playing Call of Duty, and these kinds of limitations are not popular in the community.
Matchmaking has long been an issue in Call of Duty, even before the release of WWII. Players are torn between wanting to play against random opponents despite skill level, or wanting to play opponents of similar ability. What this edition of Ranked Play has done is the former, despite attempting to do the latter.
For example, I play in Gold, but am often teamed with Silver, Bronze and even Unranked players. From experience, there are few things more frustrating than looking at your team when the match starts and seeing your name alongside a group of unranked players, going against a group that is a disproportionate mixture of Gold and Platinum players. It is instantly deflating. It then gets worse when one of your teammates leaves because they can’t seem to get a kill and look a little bit lost on the map. The experience becomes more of a chore than an enjoyable game. The simple solution would be to place unranked players in their own lobbies and not put them in against Gold, Platinum or even higher players. Sledgehammer, however, are seemingly unaware of this possibility.
In fact, it seems Sledgehammer Games haven’t come up with many solutions at all. But they should do soon, because the discontent in Call of Duty’s competitive community is growing by the day.