I really didn’t want my first post here to be so negative, but oh well, I feel like I have to make myself heard. I’m at level 20, have been in Aviary since the beginning of this year, and I am extremely unhappy with my experience in the arena ever since 1.7 changed the matchmaking.
I use a team that is considered highly unorthodox - I only use non-hybrids, and while it’s true that hybrids are simply better at the same levels, it has been fulfilling to see how far I was able to go with my team. My team is currently made up of Allosaurus (level 30), Kaprosuchus (level 29), Ornithomimus (level 28), Spinosaurus Gen 2 (level 25), Tanycolagreus (level 30), Tarbosaurus (level 30), Tyrannosaurus rex (level 29), and Utahraptor (level 30). Sure, some will question the logic and sanity of my decision to use non-hybrids, and it’s not the best team to deal with some of the creatures that I face (this team was formed back when the meta was focused on tanks), but the fact that I made it all the way to Aviary, and even managed to surpass 5000 trophies a few times (albeit in between tournament seasons) has to count for something. Some opponents are amazed at the wins I manage to get, and at the very least, regardless of whether I won or lost the match, they’ve acknowledged that going against me was interesting and something very different.
Not to mention that I’m mostly F2P; I’ve bought in-game cash once, but otherwise the only real-world money that I’ve spent on this game has been to open the incubator offered the last few times I managed to level up.
Having said all that, 1.7 has truly ruined battling in the arena for me.
Yes, there are the constant timeouts, battles timing out halfway, or the matches that appeared to have timed out but actually started without my knowledge. But it’s the matchmaking that has gotten me really upset.
Now that trophies and team levels are being taken into account (but not creature rarity), I am being matched repeatedly with opponents using Legendary and Unique hybrids that are at the same level. In the past, I wouldn’t have been matched with them because of their trophy count. But now, I keep facing them time and time again. Usually, these are players who have several hundred more trophies than me; one of them was nearly 700 trophies ahead. These matchups are simply unwinnable; my team has a decent chance of winning when it’s a few levels above that of my opponent. Throw in the awfulness that is winning 10 trophies but losing close to 50, as well as stat boosts, negating the natural speed advantage of some of my creatures, and it makes for a truly awful arena experience. From 4900+ before 1.7 started, my trophies have been in freefall.
Usually, after losing a few battles in a row, things are supposed to get a little easier, and you start to win some matches. But instead, thanks to the matchmaking, I’m consistently going up against teams that I would never have fought against before 1.7. Sure, there are unlucky streaks, but if you keep battling, you usually have a shot at climbing up again. Not me. Because I kept fighting (and losing), I’ve been kicked all the way down to Lockwood, to 4200+ trophies. Here, I’m still facing high-level teams that I just can’t defeat, and even when I face opponents with team levels lower than mine that I had a reasonable chance of defeating in the past, stat boosts completely destroy any advantage I might have had. In the past, battling even though I don’t have any empty slots for incubators could pay off, and let me climb back up again. But now, I’m actually being penalised for playing more. The few wins I get give me just a miserable 15 or so trophies, but for every loss, I end up losing 20 to 50 trophies at a time. It’s incredibly enraging, and I’ve told my alliance that I’m just about ready to quit if I don’t see any improvement in the next few days.
Taking a look at the matchups I’ve had today, every single opponent I’ve faced has been consistently at least 200 trophies above me. Combine that with the incessant timing out and RNG, and the last 24 hours have made me thoroughly lose all enjoyment with battling in the arena.
I feel like the matchmaking is punishing my team unfairly and excessively for being unconventional and not following the meta. I understand that my team is already at a disadvantage when going up against a great deal of other teams, but in the past, I was still able to win often enough to show that non-hybrid teams could still be viable, and was always among the top 10 in my alliance. Not to mention that in a bid to make deranking more difficult, the matchmaking has now made it so much more difficult for players who legitimately suffered losing streaks to regain their former position. I don’t understand why I’m still being forced to fight against opponents I can’t defeat when I’ve already lost 600 trophies.
I am very angry and disappointed that some of the most important supposed “Quality of Life” improvements in 1.7 did not actually improve my experience with the game (don’t get me started on the new darting system). In the release notes, Ludia said that “this score lets us match similar players together with more fairness.” There’s a part of me that keeps wanting to yell out that it’s a complete lie.
I’ve already sent feedback to Ludia expressing my dissatisfaction, although I’m doubtful there’s going to be any actual improvement. And as for the non-hybrid tournament, I’m not going to bother. It’s just not worth the potential aggravation, especially if the constant timing out is going to be an ongoing issue, and I’m frankly pretty much done with the emotional and time investment in this game.