, 18 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Fortnite's team matchmaker is really good, y'all
In that it makes matches by taking the first X people to queue and putting them together in a game, yes, technically. In the strictest definition that is a matchmaker.
I did a Battle Royale where I finished 4th by just being really good at hiding and the people who were actually winning the match were building complex structures on the run at an inhuman pace.

This was my 3rd BR match.
The game itself is actually pretty shoddy with really uneven skill tiering, but it's an elaborate skinner trap that's available on every platform and dressed up in a compelling aesthetic, so of course it's popular.
It is, to me at least, a HUGE red flag that the game seemingly has zero weighting in the matchmaking. Competitive games typically rely on some sort of system to push towards a 50-ish W:L ratio purely as a retention strategy. That Epic/Tencent feel no need to have that is telling.
I don't even have words for how evil it is that the cosmetic store exclusively displays 10-14 items per day.

The many psychological exploits operating here are appalling.
Oh, they have them in the PvE side of the game!
Here's a thing that's kinda hard to describe succinctly because there's a lot of deliberate obfuscation, but I'm going to try.

The Free tier of the battlepass (a seasonal progression system) actually ends at tier 62. There isn't even a token prize of 100 v-bucks for capping out.
But the twist is that you're *highly* unlikely to ever get to 62 in a season because Tiers are unlocked every 10 Battle Stars, which are awarded for completing challenges or leveling up

(like I said: multiple layers of obfuscation)
Challenges come in two flavours: daily and weekly. There are 20 stars per week, and 5 per day, 10 weeks/70 days in a season, so 550 stars per season, which is Tier 55 if you accomplish every single challenge every day/week all season.
Then 2 stars per level, but levels scale arithmetically. The chart looks like this.

You'd need to get to level 30 to make up the difference, which is going to require 52,500 XP. You get ~400 XP for a pretty good match.
Now, you do get 500 XP per daily challenge, and you already need to complete 70 of those, so if you can get all 550 stars in a season the last 60 are kinda moot. But that's a big "if".
Realistically, due to various factors, you're going to stall out and/or feel a free-to-play squeeze, where your progress starts to feel *really* slow, in one of two places depending on how much you play: early 20s or early 40s.
Epic/Tencent has conveniently marked these spots with "epic" costumes to entice a pay conversion.
Really, though, the free-to-play track exists to emotionally lock in a large base of gristle, players who engage very little and would otherwise be turned off by getting constantly, humiliatingly trounced, but need to exist to keep queue times short for the "real" player.
This loops back. To even get to Tier 61 you need to both play a lot AND actually be half decent at the game.

That reward drought after Tier 61? That's punishment for being good and not paying.
That's the psychological mechanism at play. At that point they're not using the next thing to entice you, to keep you logging back in tomorrow for your little dopamine drip, they're starving you out for getting that far without falling into their pay traps.
Yes, most of the gristle players are 10.

Or younger.

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