Ever since the rank reset, I’ve had horrendous queue times. This hasn’t occurred ever before for me, including from before the f2p update.
My suspicion is that restricting the matchmaking to within league is the culprit. This is especially true at Master’s where there are so few available to even possibly set up a match with, which leads to long queue times and matching with the same small (1-3) group of players over and over.
As such, it feels like ranked is punishing the player for being in the top percent of players at the game, as the higher I’ve climbed the more scarce and less varied the games become. The current system incentivizes players to grind for Masters and then drop off at some point with the matches drying up. In terms of having more Master’s available to play against, I understand that the problem will solve itself with time as more and more players make the cut, but it feels terrible to reach that level and then quit for months while you wait for other people to make the cut as well.
In this space where multiple games are vying for your attention, this is a real problem for Fantasy Strike. For my own experience, I have limited and erratic times available to play, and while I want to play in the queues, my time is “better spent” with some other game where I don’t have to shoot 50-80% of the time I have into waiting for a game to start.
A possible fix (aside from magically increasing the number of players dramatically) would be allowing Diamonds and Masters to match with one another again, back to the way things were before the f2p update. This would broaden the available player pools for the upper echelons of play, and similarly make reaching Masters all the more satisfying by having to beat some Master ranked players along the way. On the other hand, I don’t know if it would be worth the feel bad of players getting booted from Diamonds by repeatedly matching with Master ranks. I don’t really know the best solution to this, but I do think that the developers should take some time to think about it.