Image via Ubisoft

XDefiant joke highlights serious matchmaking issue

A comeback is always possible.

XDefiant executive producer Mark Rubin had a perfectly executed joke locked and ready for a player who had all of their teammates leave a game, but the moment of fun also highlighted a troubling matchmaking issue that needs to get addressed.

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An XDefiant player posted a picture on Twitter disappointed that all of their teammates left mid-match. Rubin joked that the user should have worn deodorant, which garnered laughs from community members and the player themself. However, the ability to freely leave matches without getting punished has ruined the experience for others.

 XDefiant does not use skill-based-matchmaking, meaning players from all different levels of skill and experience can match up against each other. Overall, feedback has been positive, as it creates a unique experience and doesn’t punish players for getting better, and gives them increasingly harder competition. Ubisoft argued, “Skill-based matchmaking means every casual game is repetitive—constantly repeating matches that are just as stressful and matched as ranked.”

In saying that, having no skill-based-matchmaking does come with pitfalls. After a lobby is formed, teams are then divided based on a variety of factors to ensure that both squads are as effective as possible. However, there will always be the odd game or few where one team dominates another because of a large gap in skill level. In that case, it’s no uncommon that players will leave the match out of pure frustration. Some FPS titles punish players for leaving early and will even temporarily prevent them from finding a new match for a set amount of time if they leave too often. But XDefiant has no such penalty, which creates problems.

Not only does early match leaving hurt the teammates left behind, it’s also unfair to players who get added into a match late because they are put into an unwinnable situation. On June 9, Rubin responded to the concerns by confirming that the team is looking to implement a system that rewards players who stay more, meaning players lose out on an extra reward if they leave early. While this isn’t the penalty some may have hoped for, it could at least potentially cut down on the maximum exodus of lobbies.

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Image of Ryan Lemay
Ryan Lemay
Ryan graduated from Ithaca College in 2021 with a sports media degree and a journalism minor. He gained experience as a writer with the Morning Times newspaper and then Dexerto as a games writer. He mainly writes about first-person shooters, including Call of Duty and Battlefield, but he is also a big FIFA fan.