Eurogamer.net

The Destiny matchmaking debate rears its head yet again

As Bungie mulls future feature to "bring people together".

Destiny still does not offer matchmaking for much of its highest-level content, despite continued calls from fans for it to be added.

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If you don't have a strong team of Guardians then you may struggle.

The game's raids and weekly Nightfall strike require players to team up with friends or find other player groups using external websites and apps.

It's an inelegant solution, especially when these activities are the only methods to gain Destiny's best gear and raise characters to the online shooter's current level cap.

Destiny developer Bungie has always maintained that these high level activities are designed for groups of players who are committed to completing them - or at least giving them a good go - something encouraged by having to form groups manually.

For some players this response has always sounded a little stubborn, an attempt to force players to interact with Destiny in the manner that Bungie has prescribed.

As someone who played Destiny on Xbox One during the game's first year I can sympathise with this point of view - everyone else I knew was playing it on PlayStation 4, so finding competent raid groups was often a struggle.

Then again, moving to PS4 since The Taken King I have seen the flip side of the coin, and how much more fun these activities are when you are able to play with people you know.

And the need to play with friends has only become even greater since The Taken King's launch and addition of timed quests - such as the recurring mission where you can gain access to the game's exotic sniper rifle Black Spindle, a must-use gun in Destiny's latest raid.

But Bungie's argument is borne out in the activities which do include matchmaking. The game's matchmade strike playlists are plagued by player quitting - either because the players they are matched with are of a different skill level or because the activity/activity start point is not the one needed for a specific quest.

"I think matchmaking can make other players disposable to you," Destiny: The Taken King creative director Luke Smith has said in an interview with Edge (thanks, GamesRadar).

"The reason that people quit out of strikes is because there's no consequence to their departure, just a punishment for that disposable person on the other end of the line. It's pretty hard for me, emotionally, to want to subject groups of players to that."

But activity matchmaking remains something which Bungie is still looking to improve, Smith continued - it just may not be through direct matchmaking itself.

"What's not hard for me to think about is a version of Destiny that makes it easier to look for and find groups to go engage in difficult content with," Smith continued. "A version that helps bring people together in a way that the current software doesn't."

"A bunch of the stickiness of Destiny for me is that it's the bar I can go to when I get home, where I can wear my pajamas and shoot the shit with my friends. It's a game that's best played with others, and it's our responsibility to embrace that further in the game."

It's unlikely we'll see such a large addition in Destiny's current iteration, but it sounds like a feature that would fit better in the franchise's next full retail release, which is widely expected to launch in September 2016.

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