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Chivalry 2 pauses new skill-based team balancing because it was doing the opposite of balancing for some reason

The biggest Chivalry 2 update since they added horses is out now. Like the previous updates, Duel of the Fetes adds some new maps (three deathmatch maps, in this case) to my favorite first-person medieval warfare game, but it most notably comes with two major new features: skill-based team balancing and support for unofficial servers.

Wherever the words “skill-based” appear, you know there’s going to be discourse, although in this instance, the player feedback has less to do with arguing about the principle of the thing and more to do with it not working right.

Unlike skill based matchmaking, a controversial feature in many multiplayer shooters, Chivalry 2’s new system doesn’t try to populate entire matches with players of similar skill. Instead, it attempts to compose similarly-talented teams from whatever pool of players a match ends up with.

When players load into a match, the new system shuffles the teams while “taking into consideration players’ global ranks as well as their premade parties,” according to developer Torn Banner. It will attempt to keep parties together, and is “not solely trying to achieve a 1:1 balance according to global rank.” After that initial sorting is complete, players are only able to swap to the other team if its player count is equal to or less than their team’s.

That all sounds fine to me, but for some reason, the system apparently did the opposite of what it was supposed to. More than one player posted a screenshot on Reddit showing one team totally stacked with high rank players:

“Due to an unfortunately new issue causing the Skill Based Team Balancing introduced in Update 2.10 to not function as intended, we’ve turned off this feature temporarily while our team continues to investigate,” wrote Torn Banner’s community manager on Reddit today.

When it starts working like it’s meant to, the skill based team balancing system won’t be active in every match. It’s being applied to the 64-player objective and 40-player mixed mode matchmaking queues, but not standalone servers running those modes, which Torn Banner sees as “a more social space for playing Team Objective and Team Deathmatch.”

Speaking of servers, the new unofficial servers can be rented from Nitrado for $13-$79 per month, depending on the number of players supported. Hosts can customize map rotations, class limits, and other server settings—a full breakdown can be found in this FAQ. I poked around in the server browser today and found a few custom servers running already

Chivalry 2’s Duel of the Fetes update also adds a matchmaking region selection option, new cosmetics, and various bug fixes. You can see the complete patch notes here, and I’ll update this post whenever they flip the skill based team balancing back on.

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