Just my two cents for an improved match-making system. I know Dead by daylight is doing well and is probably the most successful title in this genre. They have a unique ranking, point and perk system implemented. It won’t hurt to look at the competition because something must be going well if they can attract so many players after being on market for that long. I also have to add that not everything about it is great but certain things are done right.
Thus, I was wondering if that could be utilized in a similar manner and adjusted for PHG to give players an incentive to progress in the ladder and ultimately improve the longevity of this game. Overall, such a system might attract even more players, as it offers a new path of progression.
Looking at PHG, both Predators and FTs should have a separate rank, which is shared amongst all (classes of) Predators and FTs, respectively. So, rank should be used by the matchmaking system to match Players with others of the same ranking under ideal circumstances. The search should be expanded in case not enough players are queuing.
It would be cool to earn unique badges/crests next to your name if you rise up as a Predator or FT respectively.
Depending on the individual performance players should be rewarded with ranking points which could be increasing or decreasing based on the actions during a ranked match. For the ranking system to work efficiently, a more sophisticated match point system is mandatory. This is required to enforce behavior that enhances the player experience while wavering behavior that diminishes player experience like rushing kills/objectives leading to short matches. So maximizing match points will be the ultimate goal in order to gain higher ranks.
A system where you start at a low rank (e.g. 20) and rise in ranks up to rank 1, similar to DbD seems suitable for this game. Also, I would call rank 1 to 4, the “Alpha Rank”, rank 5 to 8 the “Beta Rank”, rank 9 to 12 the “Gamma Rank”, rank 12 to 16 the “Delta Rank” and everything below 16 the “Gamma Rank”. The associated colors should be white for “Gamma”, blue for “Delta”, purple for “Beta” and gold for “Alpha”.
Alternatively, separate names for ranks could be introduced for Predators and FTs. FTs could follow something that is based on military ranks while the Predators can keep the aforementioned rank names. Also next to your nickname stripes and stars based on your ranking could be placed for FTs while the Predator will get a fictive Yautja symbol for the respective rank.
Obviously the choice of colors and names are subject to change and should only serve as an inspiration.
Unique rewards could be tied to the ranking system which might serve as an additional incentive for players to join.
All in all, a ranking system should serve as a mechanic to provide a more or less equal competition while enhancing the player experience. I suppose it is not fun for a new player to face a veteran with 600h of experience. It is also not fun to play with or against a team of inexperienced FTs when you are experienced. This leads to a bad experience which leads to more people quitting the game. I believe that players always seek a fitting challenge which can be provided with such a system.
Side note: I also think each DLC should have added a map themed around the Predator/FT being introduced with the DLC.