Up For Debate - Should we have age-gated or OAP servers for PvP games?

Written by Jon Sutton on Fri, Dec 27, 2019 2:03 PM
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As the years roll by, it begins to come into stark focus that perhaps my gaming skills aren’t what they once were. My days of Battlefield tourneys are behind me, and while Battlefield Tracker reliably informs me I’m still hanging in the top 5% for score per minute, I can feel the slide. In particular, I can feel it games which are perhaps a little more reliant on lightning fast trigger fingers or particularly quick thinking.

My barometer’s probably Rainbow Six: Siege, to be honest, which has seen me gradually slide from a high Platinum player to Gold, and now sometimes even Silver if I have a particularly bad session. And don’t even get me started on Call of Duty. That franchise is so reliant on near-instant reactions these days that my performance fell off a cliff about a decade ago. 

Getting my ass handed to me with increasing regularity has pushed me off into different directions. I’m more likely to want to hang out and do some moonshining with the posse in Red Dead Online than I am to want to hop on and try out the latest Operators in Siege. It’s not because I don’t want to play the more competitive games, it’s just that co-op shenanigans has a far easier appeal to my tiring brain on a Thursday evening.

Which brings me around to the crux of this discussion, and a personal dream of mine - Age-gated servers for old fogeys. Now I know it’s a near enough impossible dream to have but just hear me out a bit. Imagine servers designed just for 40 to 50-year-olds, for example, who can play some COD: Modern Warfare without fear of being 360 no-scoped by a Red Bull-addled teenager from about 600 feet away. Like a gated community for gamers, where we can grow old and senile together, blowing each others brains out with some hamfisted shooting.

Those of you in your teens will probably snort with derision at this idea but come back to me in 10-15 years and let me know if you still feel the same way. The simple fact of the matter is, gamers are getting older. There are old Counter-Strike pros that are deep into their 40s now and they still love games. Soon there will be millions upon millions of over 60s who grew up shooting their mates in online games, thrown into the ball pool with sharks for company.

Now, the obvious workaround to all of this, and something which could probably solve these issues without resorting to fencing off those of us whose neurons surf our brainwaves using zimmer frames, is more comprehensive and reliable skill-based matchmaking. I’m getting thrown in with some absolutely lethal players in COD, so whatever they’re doing there definitely ain’t working. Rocket League though? My 50% win rate and ridiculously tight match-ups suggest I absolutely am being matched up with folks who are on my level.

What do you think then, as gaming becomes increasingly popular with older folk, do you think we’re going to start seeing OAP servers and the like? Or do you think skill-based matchmaking will do its job and filter the grey gamer army down to the lower rungs? Let us know your thoughts!

Do you think as older gamers become more prevalent we should have servers for old folks?

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15:48 Jan-07-2020

Caption for photo above: "It's me! ... What's my name again?"

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10:18 Dec-30-2019

This article is hilarious! Nice job. I think SBMM should do the job fine once they've figured it out. I mean, in Apex, I'm definitely having a blast with what they've done, though i know a lot of people are furious about it. I'm not getting my ass handed to me nearly as much as in earlier seasons, but that also could be because I'm getting better.

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04:58 Dec-28-2019

i think there should be a "casual" server for competitive game like dota and such where you cant be toxic at all where people that just go home from their 9-5 job can just play and enjoy the game without stressing i know theres unranked match or turbo match already, but people still try hard af on those

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20:44 Dec-27-2019

Depends on whether they can do it right, because everyone can be any age on internet. I definitely always agreed I am 13 or 18 when prompted, so it wouldn't be hard for me to say I am 40 or 50 or whatever. And of course people will do this just to get easy kills. I mean there are people who try all kind of methods to down rank themselves to play against less skilled players.

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20:47 Dec-27-2019

So dunno if it would actually do much. But yes, as we all age, we do lose our ability to react as fast as before. And trying to do pre-emptive actions, like aiming where you expect your enemy to come around the corner, can get you just so far, if it even can work. But I suppose if they could split community, I guess they could make more fair matchmaking in certain sense.

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20:50 Dec-27-2019

Though I dunno if I really want that. But then again, I am not really that much into competitive. And it is no secret that I am just not that great when it comes down to it. I always was mediocre at best, even when I did try hard. Still, I could see that becoming an issue, though I dunno if sacrifices necessary to privacy would be justified to having it.

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19:54 Dec-27-2019

Go back to your boomer hole, the future is now, old man.

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19:55 Dec-27-2019

Now, being a bit more serious, nah. It's a waste of resources and it splits the community. Not to mention how would you even regulate it in the first place. Has more problems than issues it solves, if these can even be called issues.

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19:48 Dec-27-2019

this whole thing is a boomer article.

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16:39 Dec-27-2019

One of the reasons I don't like multiplayer games is because I'm bad at them. Would be nice if the matchmaking didn't pair me with level420 pros, too. So I say yay for skill-based matchmaking, age-based is just weird, as Gandalf before me said.

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16:17 Dec-27-2019

I think skill based match making is way better than age based. Not every 20/30/40/50 year old is as quick as the other.


Skill based matches could often still be improved though. But if it's perfected, i think it's the only fair way. I still think it should be optional though, just so you can also play with way less skilled players if you want to feel good about yourself ;) , or way better players if you just want to see how good people can get.

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16:58 Dec-27-2019

i tend to agree but realistically for team multiplayer game we need to get rid of the ELO system used in so many team games. ELO is a provenly brilliant system for 1v1s hence why its been developed and used from chess and later brought into video games.

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17:01 Dec-27-2019

but take a teamVteam game like LoL for example, i am BAD at this game. like high iron/low brove kinda bad. however some of the people i play with are silver through to plat. now if i happen to get carried like a shopping bag through a game with them and go back to solo queue, i will spend the next 5-10 games in a row

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17:02 Dec-27-2019

being kerbstomped because i played with a higher ELO team that carried me. its now got to the point of i dont play with them because of how frustrating solo queue becomes afterwards

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13:35 Dec-28-2019

that's why there are other systems that that are not ELO based and they monitor many performance metrics not just wins and losses.

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15:19 Dec-27-2019

No real reason to do so, it's just splitting up the player base.

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