Matchmaking for Endgame Content
Time and again, Bungie's commented on the challenge of implementing matchmaking for Destiny's raids, or suggested that they've "been thinking about that a lot," and still – here we are, using fan-made thirty-party apps and forums outside of the game to find groups willing to run the raids with us. What's most disappointing about the inherent difficulty of getting a fireteam together to play the endgame content is that we have such fond memories of the times we were able to successfully complete activities like the Vault of Glass – Destiny's crowning achievement. What's more, some players have never gotten to experience a raid at all, despite how crucial they are to the larger whole. The raids are a key part of the original game, and sometimes the best part – yet I have no plans to ever do one again.
Here's how Bungie could right this wrong and make me a lifelong believer: They could use the existing culture of Destiny's community to their advantage, and build a tiered matchmaking system across all endgame content that puts players who have never done a given activity into a fireteam made up, in large part, of players who have also never done that activity. When somebody goes onto Bungie.net and makes a post saying they're looking for a fireteam to do a weekly raid, they invariably include a list of prerequisites – conditions that, if not met, mean you won't be accepted. Must have emblem. Must have Outbreak Prime. Must be 400 Light. This isn't unreasonable, but it is a constant source of annoyance for people who have told me they'd like to do a raid but can't find anyone willing to invite them.
If the game knows what items you've unlocked in the emblem kiosk, then why couldn't a matchmaking system recognize your experience level automatically, matching you up with others of roughly similar ability? Your Destiny profile knows whether you've been to the Lighthouse by completing a flawless Trials of Osiris run – so why couldn't the game recognize that I've mastered the Vault of Glass numerous times, and place me in a group of likeminded Guardians for the sake of another fun jaunt through the dark corners of space-time? It's been too long since I've seen my old pal Atheon. I'm starting to worry we may never see each other again.