Call of Duty fans get nostalgic about noobs before SBMM

Call of Duty fans get nostalgic about noobs before SBMM
Images via Treyarch

Written by 

Joseph Kime


4th Sep 2023 16:31

It's true that Call of Duty has undergone a lot of change over the years. From standalone numbered titles to massively popular subseries with plenty of DLCs, or an instalment-based mega platform that makes way for even a free-to-play battle royale title, it certainly isn't in the same shape that it was 15 years ago.

Of course, some of these changes haven't been entirely popular, and one of the additions that has brought a lot of rage is skill-based matchmaking. Now, fans are getting wistful for a time before the new addition - back when SBMM was just a pipedream of developers. 

Fans are sad looking back on the before-times of Call of Duty

The introduction of skill-based matchmaking to Call of Duty wasn't initially detested, as the concept of being put into games that make sense based on their level, ability, and unlocks is a good one. However, though it's well-meant, there are some who don't have this concept in mind.

SBMM is a contentious issue and goes as far as those who create smurf accounts to enter the game on the ground floor and wipe out the noobs that occupy it. It's a shame for many, and now, they're looking back at the times when SBMM simply didn't exist in the game.

Way back when, even the franchise itself would poke fun at the fact that new players would have a hard time. A classic holiday message from Black Ops II has been shared to the Call of Duty subreddit, with Treyarch making reference to all of the new players that swarm the franchise's games every Christmas.

"Let's talk Christmas Noobs," reads the notice. "It's that time of the year again where thousands of new players join the online ranks for the first time. We'd ask you to go easy on the Christmas Noobs. but we know you won't." It's a reflection of a time that feels truly long gone - and fans are pretty sad about it.

Fans react to SBMM reminder

A player rocking akimbo pistols in Black Ops II.
Click to enlarge

Players are reminiscing about the before-times of Call of Duty - but there are also others in the comments that claim that the only people who want SBMM rolled back are those who want to feast on the power trip of smoking new players who aren't fully equipped for the game yet.

"Disagree," says a user in response to one such claim. "The strict SBMM in games now isn't needed since there's a ranked playlist. Looser SBMM creates more dynamic lobbies that actually don't disband and keeps the game refreshing."

"Honestly, I think this is true for most CoD players," adds another. "I personally prefer every game to be close/evenly matched. Absolutely stomping an enemy team that has no chance is relaxing, but the lack of competition takes away from the fun."

Some claim that SBMM has always been here, highlighting an interview with GDC where a Treyarch dev claimed it's been here since at least 2007's Modern Warfare. That's been someone debunked, and the SBMM melodrama continues. It doesn't seem as though we'll get any kind of respite from it any time soon. Sorry, noob-stompers - your time is up.

Joseph Kime is the Senior Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.

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