I've been discussing a few ideas to improve annoying aspects of BO2 with Friends I play with on Steam, and we've come up with a few very simple ways to make the majority of the players happier.
Cheaters: First we've observed a very high probability of current cheaters with shady past records on Steam, namely Ban(s) on Record. Now while a few have indeed learned their lesson, well, many clearly have not an continue to cheat in one of many forms including but not limited to AimBots, Wall Hacks, Glitches, etc. Next, unfortunately not all hacks are blatant like Snap-on AimBots, Auto-Fire, etc but are still clearly present i.e. Wall Hacks, Macros, Recoil, etc so players tend to Report those folks rather frequently and no doubt sometimes erroneously; frequency still remains high and typically valid. An easy mechanism to track is RPD Reports Per Day. The Report Cheater button needs teeth, as it is right now and everyone knows it that it's a pacifier so make it a tool. Programming should be able to 'Heuristically Detect' hacks, and though the binary fingerprints aren't confirmed, hence no Ban, the probability is very high.
Parties: Parties and Clans are a fun and enjoyable way to play the game, pubstomp, however against an enemy team of unsuspecting Random's it's the opposite. The problem is in most cases Parties/Clans have an open mic and communicate positions, scorestreaks, etc to a clear unfair advantage to Random Players.
Ping Rates: A persistent complaint is 'lag comp' and laggy lobbies. In theory this can be adjusted to a point, but in practice a [highest ping] - [lowest ping] > 75 ms is where Lag Comps starts breaking-down. In addition, folks with widely swinging ping rates > 50~75 ms from their basis ping mid-game can also drastically effect Lag Comp making the game unplayable for the majority. Some folks deliberately 'adjust' the bandwidths in an attempt to gain an advantage.
(new) DLC: Matchmaking for DLC maps is becoming a new problem especially on the PC, many players have less than all the DLC so 'pools' of DLC further separates the players often resulting in foreign and domestic mixed lobbies. Example there are 8 combinations with (3) map packs; e.g. No DLC, DLC 1 or 2 or 3, DLC 1 + 2, DLC 1 + 3, DLC 2 + 3, DLC 1 + 2 + 3. Pre-Order DLC Maps additionally adds another layer of separation and in particular if it's a listed game type; e.g. Nuketown & Chaos Moshpit.
(new) Joining in Lobbies: Boosting, Lobby Hijacking, & Stalking (Trolling) are a problem especially when you have a lot of friends and or Clans. Boosting, folks think it's the Tactical Insert that's the problem, but in fact it's the ability to Join In-Game & Pre-Game Lobbies that's the real problem. Lobby Hijacking for both Boosting and large Clans and or Parties is another problem. One member gets into a Pre-Game Lobby and all others simply spam themselves into that new game lobby and within seconds the Lobby is Hijacked and 'if' there are other Random players the folks with control simply make it a miserable experience for the Random's and they leave within a game or two and the lobby is 100% taken over. Stalking and Trolling, either your friends or friends of friends can join into a game without an Invite with the explicit purpose of malcontent.
Now if you've read above nowhere am I mentioning KDR or SPM and normal Matchmaking should balance the teams.
- Cheaters: Past, present (suspected): RPD & Heuristic Detection are placed via Matchmaking into their own 'special' groups, and Prior Ban(s) Players are prohibited to create a Party, and most legitimate Clans already prohibit memberships of players with Prior Ban(s). Segregate those cheaters. For folks with prior Ban(s) well you should have thought about that beforehand and understand consequences. I/We are tired of looking-up Steam records in-lobby and/or quitting a game mid-game. Non-Banned but suspicious players have a choice to redeem themselves and uninstall Hacks, Macros, quit Glitching, etc thereby their RPD, Heuristic Detection would go down and their accounts moved back to the main group after a period of time.
- Parties/Clans: In Open Lobbies all Players in a 'Party' are color coded and Matchmaking first priority is to place Parties vs Parties and if needed Random's on both sides. This alerts Random Players to the presence of a Party and provides them the option beforehand to either leave the lobby or stay.
- Rage Quitting & Lobby Spamming/Slamming: After a game is > 25% over the lobby needs to be 'locked,' no one likes being Spammed/Slammed into a game that's unwinnable and often in a Spawn Trapped game in mid-to-end game. I understand this can leave 6 v 2 and often results in a forfeited game but in the long run again the vast majority of players slammed mid-to-end game on the '2' side hate it. Hopefully, the above solutions will greatly reduce its likelihood anyway.
- If the (S)earch function is failing to properly place folks in e.g. <100 ms lobbies per their preferences then in the pre-game lobby display the Player's Ping rates, Countries of origin. Most folks would have no problems to mix foreign and domestic players if there wasn't a lag problem, but simple physics dictates otherwise. Further, often domestic players Friend foreign players and the Search preference option fails for the other players in the lobby. Nobody wants their 50-80 ms pings matched-up with 300 ms players or visa-versa. Players with persistent huge swings > 50 ~ 75 ms should be locked into their highest peaked ping rate throughout the end of the game session. Capped ping rate adjustments is another viable option where folks with low-stuttering frame rates and/or > 150 ms simply are at a disadvantage where (example) 11 of 12 players' ping rates are 50 ms ~ 75 ms vs a single player at 300 ms.
- (new) DLC: Choices, there should be only (2) two choices: ALL DLC or NO DLC - period. In other words Season Pass or no DLC at least on the PC with its lower player base. All DLC maps including 'Bonus' map should be available for purchase, and the 'Bonus' maps (e.g. Nuketown/Nuketown Zombies) for sale from day one; Free Fall. Therefore the folks that failed to purchase the Pre-Order or are new to CoD can have access to all maps. Nuketown 2025 right off the bat split-off large numbers of players from the get-go. Solution charge e.g. $9.99 (USD) for the Bonus Map(s) for those that didn't Pre-Order.
- (new) Joining: Once in a Pre-Game lobby, including In-Game, Joining needs to be locked-out. If folks want to Party then that should only be allowed in the two Main Menu lobbies. Obviously, there's an option to change 'Party to Closed' but everyone constantly changing it back and forth is an unnecessary task and that won't solve these problems. A possible exception for argument is in Custom Games because the Host is setting-up the game, but the Host should retain the ability to Kick any player even where a player joins another player who's not the Host. All of the long laundry lists of 'bad' reasons isn't outweighed by the one 'good' reason e.g. connection/kicked and re-join, in that case the party needs to go to the lobby and reestablish the missing player.
As a note to those that disagree just know that you're in the minority, and what I've stated above is both logical and will ultimately keep more players in CoD, BO2 and future titles. This is something that should have been implemented some time ago. For those that have high KDR's you shouldn't have any problems with most seasoned players, and high KDR are also in the minority of players. For those wondering what Heuristic Detection is well it's the same mechanism to catch suspected viruses that have similar acting binaries which look and act like known viruses and are attempting to interact in areas that they shouldn't and are perceived and blocked as a threat.
Please feel free to comment.