In Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Matchmaking, “Player Connection to the Host Always Takes Priority Over Skill”

“In an effort to be transparent with you all,” Sledgehammer Games Studio Head Michael Condrey went on their official website to discuss some of the bigger conversations happening within the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare community.

To kick things off, Condrey addressed matchmaking, confirming that player connection to the host is more important than skill:

First, and I can’t stress this enough, player connection to the host always takes priority over skill in the matchmaking process – always, no exceptions. Fast connection to a match hosted on our global dedicated servers is the most important component of our matchmaking system. And yes, to a lesser extent skill as a component of matchmaking is important, too. We believe that it adds a level of fairness in the mechanism for team balance and individual enjoyment. The system we have today is, to all intents and purposes, identical to what Activision has always had in place, with the same matchmaking parameters, as previous Call of Duty titles.

They’ll continue to monitor and optimize the matchmaking, but “the speed of connection is and always will be our first priority.” Because of this, Sledgehammer is seeing that, “almost universally, kill to death ratios are up, and people are playing longer, and that makes us happy.”

Moving to the subject of banning, Condrey brought up “reverse boosting,” which sees players in a match excessively killing themselves to help out their placement in the next lobby, effectively ruining their team’s chances of winning:

Call of Duty is both social and competitive, and we respect and honor that. Part of the competition that is core to our values is that players do not adversely degrade their team’s ability to compete fairly. It’s not dissimilar from the bans that cheaters and boosters receive, and we have increased our focus on reverse boost banning to combat the growing issue. No one is trying to restrict the fun factor of playing Advanced Warfare with this policy, nor are we actively banning against particular styles of play, like trick shots. However, we have a low tolerance approach to people who ruin the experience for others through cheating, boosting, reverse boosting or being caught with toxic emblems in game. We don’t like seeing any of these happen, and we’re pushing to eliminate these behaviors from the game.

Condrey finished up by saying, “We’re committed to making this the best experience for the remainder of 2015 and beyond.”

[Source: Sledgehammer Games Blog]