I'm Glad I no longer care enough about the blob of pixels that is MWO, they continue to dissapoint.
With the upcoming Launch Module, there are still questions on whether or not we will be dealing with group sizes that are over 4 and under 12. As already mentioned in the previous design
update for the Launch Module, those group sizes created a rift in how teams are balanced and having to try to determine an arbitrary number of players we would consider over powered in the public queue.
We have stated that 5-11 man teams will not be supported for the Launch Module and we are not changing that. However, it does not mean that the 5-11 man conundrum was dumped off the plate and into the trash. It meant that we do not have the resources at this moment to get the Launch Module out on time and include a special rule set for odd number 5-11 man groups. As the numbers indicated in the previous post showed, group launches, no matter what size, were always going to be a smaller subset of the overall game population.
Our design goal then became to ensure a much more even team build for the public matches and to add the private match lobby system for the competitive crowd. Even with that distinction, we added additional functionality in the private match lobby to somewhat address the needs for smaller group launches as well. It does not directly fix the issue of 5-11 man groups, but it does let them have SOME kind of option to play the way they want to play.
We have in our backburner an idea for the Group Only queue. This system will allow groups of any size match against each other. It would probably replace the current 12-man public queue. The problem areas come around the groups that are 11 in size. There will not be single player groups to fill that 12th slot so the Lobby is now soft locked and players will not be able to launch. Some of you may suggest that allowing solo players the ability to drop into the group queue would be the solution. A solo player would have MUCH greater success at winning in the regular public match than up against teams.
This leaves us with yet more restrictions: the Grouping interface cannot allow teams of 11 players, the Match Maker cannot create groups of 11 players (5+6, 4+7, 3+8, 9+2, 5+2+4, etc). An additional problem that arises is the exact tonnage matching that happens in the public queue. We will not know what Mechs players are bringing to the lobby. The 3/3/3/3 rule still works but we cannot ask the Match Maker to match exact tonnage per weight class when players are already in a lobby.
Now that you know some of the edge cases, let’s look at what we can do, but you need to keep in mind these problem areas.
Public/Single Player Queue
2-4 man groups. 1 group per team as it is now.
Allows 2-10 man groups.
Groups can only play against other groups.
No solo players.
Match Maker will not make a team of 11 players
Probability of longer wait times for teams to be built.
Cannot incorporate exact tonnage matching like the other queues.
2-24 players by invite only.
Can set game options/restrictions.
Used for competitive X vs Y players
Now that you see what is planned and the edge cases surrounding implementation of a group only queue, we’re still deciding when this important feature would fit into our development schedule.