Emergence Day (a.k.a. the Day Players Broke TrueSkill)

GoWGroup.jpgWhen we first heard about Gears of War‘s use of Microsoft’s TrueSkill system, we were told that this would put everyone on a level playing field as friends would not be able to join ranked matches and tip the scales in that team’s favor. Well, now that Emergence Day has come and gone, the potential for prizes brought out the creativity in those looking to increase their odds at winning, and I experienced it first hand.

In ranked Gears of War matches, players have the ability to join a quick match, find a custom match, or host a match. I’m not sure if Epic intentionally built in the “host a match” option to give players a way to bypass the TrueSkill matchmaking, but by choosing to “host a match” and then sending a message to all of your friends (or clanmates) telling that it’s available, your friends can then use the “find a custom match” option to find your game and jump in. This occurred in many of the games I played yesterday as when all eight spots were filled I would hear something like “Damn it, Bill didn’t get in. I’ll quit and try again.” The game would then boot me back to the menu screen as the host killed match. Three games in a row this happened to me as using the “join a quick match” option matched me with the same individuals who kept missing one of their friends from the final eight and would quit hosting.

For a system that was meant to prevent unfair teams and players on one team throwing matches for the other, why would Epic even allow such a simple method to bypass TrueSkill?

About the Author

Having over 25 years of gaming experience, Zach knows a thing or two when it comes to one of his favorite entertainment activities. Additionally, he has also written many articles previewing and reviewing titles which can be found in various places around the net, including VGBlogger.com.