With Season 2 underway, many players who are queueing for solo ranked are experiencing the wonderful experience of the queue sync. Did I say wonderful? I meant annoying, aggravating, and terribly frustrating. This can be found on multiple servers, on either faction, and is a population and matchmaking problem which is contributing to lack of interest in Ranked PvP.
What Does Queue Sync Mean?
At the most basic level, queue syncing is when multiple players queue for Ranked Solo at the same time. At the level players are experiencing it now, it's four players queueing at the same time, on an empty faction, and getting each other in every match. In the most extreme cases, these players are switching characters to make sure everyone has similar rating and switching back and forth between factions to take advantage of whichever fleet is less populated with PvPers.
I've been complaining about queue syncing for a while now. During Season 1 on the Bastion, the empty Pub side allowed for players to queue sync fairly easily in the same matter I described. I would play the exact same team of guildies over and over until I just stopped queueing. This season on the Bastion, a group of Imps went Pub side just to exploit this population imbalance. Did it work? Yes. These players jumped hundreds of rating in a day, going for huge winning streaks.
For many players, the queue sync epidemic has made Solo Ranked unbearable and they have stopped queuing. Or quit queueing for the day as soon as they run into a synced group. This just further perpetuates the population problem though, and pushes players to go to whatever lengths necessary to get their rating. I've often felt that the PvP community hurts their own case more than helps, what with the exploits and syncing, but I'm often scolded for my view by my PvP friends. The PvPers whom I usually play with are always the first to do whatever it takes and feel there is nothing wrong with any behaviour really. I get called a Care Bear a lot. The argument is that any player who pays their $15 should be able to play when they want and how they want. And while that is true, it's ultimately turning new players away from the content they want supported.
Can We Fix It?
The problem is, there isn't a way to stop it. In some cases, the people getting games together are the only ones queuing. My guild took a lot of flack the other day for queue syncing. We had finished doing PTS around 10 o'clock and a few of us decided to PvP. We didn't have enough for 4s, not that anyone else was queueing, so we started to queue for Solos. It became obvious, very quickly, that the only other players queueing were on the Republic side. We were getting the same people on our teams over and over, and of the three of us, two would always get a match together. As we started to brag about winning so much, more guildies started to queue. I did get 1-2 games with my whole team from my guild. Were some of us in voice ops? Yes. Some weren't though. Were we counting down to all queue at the exact same second? No. But were we always getting games together because there were no other PvPers from our faction queuing? Yes. Is this a problem? A big Yes.
Since we know cross servers aren't coming anytime soon (if ever), another solution has to be worked out. Something like cross faction arena queues, with Imps and Pubs on the same team. Arenas specifically are outside actual lore requirements. They are a sporting event, complete with gambling, and with semi legality. I mean, cheating is encouraged. I'm sure Giradda would actually enjoy the mixed chaos of throwing Jedi and Sith on the same team. That's all I have though, can anyone else think of a way to make players happy?