Nadeshot Appeals to Treyarch for Less SBMM in Black Ops Cold War


by in Call of Duty | Nov, 16th 2020

Skill-Based Match Making (SBMM) is a very touchy subject, in CoD and elsewhere. We wrote a piece on this topic a few weeks ago, with the pros and cons of SBMM, but Nadeshot feels that if Cold War doesn’t dial it back a little, it could be disastrous for the CoD title’s health in the long run. If all of the lobbies constantly put players against the same-skilled players, it could drive off content creators and regular players alike. 

Is Skill-Based Match Making Really So Bad?


SBMM is incredibly touchy when it comes to shooters like Cold War, and Nadeshot definitely understands it. In most genres (fighting games, card games, et cetera), you have casual lobbies to play in, as well as ranked, for when you want one or the other. This works just fine in those genres. Nadeshot does point out that he doesn’t mind playing people at his skill level; that’s not the problem. 

In games like Cold War, SBMM lets players who are inexperienced play against people at their level, so they’re not obliterated game after game. But personally, SBMM doesn’t belong in casual lobbies. This means that players who have a high level of skill have zero chance to have a relaxing, fun game. If every match is a taxing slog of high-skill players, it’s going to be mentally draining. Nadeshot put it this way:

“I know you’re probably tired of hearing about Skill Based Matchmaking, but I truly believe it is imperative that Treyarch dials back the difficulty of lobbies. We’re gonna drive so many big creators away, these games have been no joke. I’m dead after playing 9hours.

His follow-up Tweet goes into a little more detail:

“Call of Duty has created a hardcore True Skill system on the back end without any upside for players. I don’t mind playing against people that are similar to me in skill, but at least tell me where I stand in comparison to others globally. Give me a rank that reflects my skill.”

It’s hard to say where SBMM belongs in games like Cold War. Perhaps there could be a separate lobby just for people who want to play that way. Nadeshot also points out that while playing against people at his level in Cold War thanks to SBMM isn’t so bad, he prefers a ranking system to see where he stands officially.

There need to be matches in Cold War that aren’t soul-crushingly difficult all of the time. Sure, it’s rewarding to know that you’ve hit the top tier of players, but sometimes you just want to relax. If all of the Cold War battles are tedious and draining, streamers aren’t going to want to play as long. It’s supposed to be fun and challenging, instead of being frustrating after a few matches. 

No matter where you stand on this issue, it’s pretty safe to say that Nadeshot, CEO of 100 Thieves has a very reasonable argument. It’s not based on wanting his games to all to be easier. This isn’t just about him, but about the game’s health in general, so Treyarch ought to be listening. The last thing any of us want is for Cold War to be a chore to play.

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