Playing the default game mode is a challenge now, and that can be a lot of fun. In order to enjoy myself for it I have learned that I need teammates who are at my skill level, willing to communicate, and also solid for team-play. My exact requirements for anytime I want to play Diamond games.
This post-SBMM game mode is actually more of what I hope Ranked mode turns into. The matches feel very much at my level. I really do enjoy the challenge as I know it will help me improve further. The problem comes when I want to play with 95% of my friends list. People who I have been gaming with for years and when it comes to the tough matches it usually ends up with me carrying a bit more than my own weight. Again, I enjoy the challenge.
That was up until this past week. I'm no longer good enough to play with many of my friends and have us do anything but lobby resets, aside from a rare match. I'm really glad they decreased the load time not long ago because without that I'd probably be even more frustrated. They get frustrated too. Not just a few other strong players in the match against them. Most people are strong players. Too strong for them. Our game sessions are getting cut down in length by at least half because of it.
The matching they are doing right now is really good. I feel like I am challenged in a way that is fun, competitive, and very satisfying. The problem with it is I don't really have an outlet to play with many of the people I enjoy playing with because they aren't capable of hanging with a lobby full of pretty talented gamers. Oh and my regular buds aren't exactly slouches either. I practice often and invite them into the routines that I use, we give each other feedback after games, and constantly look to build on our skills.
Respawn, I want the challenge. Your SBMM has given me a place to enjoy queuing into when I want to play an organized and strong game of Apex. They are more fun for me than ranked is as a Diamond player. The problem for me is that I can't play with a lot of my friends now, and I also don't always want to organize squad capable of tournament-style play. This means more often that we find something different to play.
My recommendation is to have:
– 'Public' match that is based on connection, filtering all but the newest of players (up to L10 or so).
– SBMM, still very connection focused though also matching on MMR (Skill rating).
– Ranked, if you really want to have two separate match types that are based on a skill marker then Ranked belongs here. If not, I think you could replace your Ranked mode with the SBMM matches that are here now and have only the two game-modes.
One of my favourite things to do later in the night was to join the LFG Discord here and find two chill and nice people to play with that were below the constant 'Must have 2k, 3k, or 4k-type' posts. They also just wanted to find some chill folks to frag out with. I had so many appreciative comments regarding how great it was to play with a skillful player that was nice and patient with them. We wouldn't win all of our games, probably just a few.
I don't think I can do this with the recent changes to matchmaking.