First off I'd like to praise Frogboy's decision to remove one of the auto-matchmaking options. Skirmish and pantheon cannibalized each other's participants and slowed the process down unnecessarily.
- Mini-tournament structure is a fun way gain recognition without the major commitment climbing the ladder entails.
- A UI already exists for the game format
- Forced map and game type rotation gives a reprieve from the cataract/conquest metagame and any future ruts the game falls into
- Auto matchmaking is a good alternative to the custom lobby system and has the potential to balance teams
- Overly frequent doubles. Most people strongly dislike doubles and the system forces them on you with great frequency. Even triples are quite common with the limited choice of 4 DGs and natural popularity of some DGs
- Team balancing is artificially limited. The light/dark distinction will place two strong players against two beginners instead of balancing teams.
- Overly long load delays. The game seems very, very reluctant to drop players while loading, sometimes resulting in 10+ minute delays which are only resolved by crashing the client.
- No one player has a meaningful effect on the outcome of the pantheon, the outcome is determined more by the AI players than by humans.
- Starting tomorrow auto matchmaking will be completely disabled for days at a time.
- AIs waste time.
- Many players/teams quit immediately when given an AI ally, which is oftentimes a good 5-10 minutes wasted for everyone, depending on queue and load times
- When players are pitted against full AI teams the game offers very little challenge, requires little teamwork, and gives virtually no experience because of the AI's poor or non-existent ranking
- Premades cannot fail. If you see your premade friend in the queue you will always be on their team, if you don't see them you can quit. Even if these games begin being attributed to your record it will be a moot point because people will rarely play past 5 and more than likely lose just to make sure the game saves to spite you for leaving queue.
- High ranked players on the same side never fight each other. The overall ranking is objectively hollow, and I don't mean in the sense that some people view all rankings as hollow.
- Six players in queue can result in... a 2v1 and 3v0? If the system's purpose is to match players against other players, then the system consistently fails. Just this morning I played against full AI teams multiple times and half a dozen games ended in the first 30 seconds because of poor 3v1 and 3v2 matchings
- Futhermore these crummy pairings take much longer to arrange than you'd expect because the system waits for human layers to fill those spots. This really falls back under point 1, but it bears repeating. AIs are wasting time and underme the validity of the system.
- The matching dialogue is opaque and unhelpful for determining wait times and likelihood of AI in your matchup. Unless you've got 10+ people waiting there's no way you can be reasonably certain you're going to have a legit game because it doesn't tell you the ratio of light to dark amongst the players in queue.
Just allow light and dark to play together, simple as that, with no other changes. Whichever side wins the pantheon is still determined by favor points, so if you have light/light/dark against dark/dark/dark there will be (hopefully) friendly competition to die less, get more kills, tag for more assists, buy more citadel upgrades etc.
This idea has a few obvious merits. You keep the mini-ladder season concept, which is a good one, you retain the competition between light and dark, albeit in another form, you open up a much broader range of DG combinations and you can now program the matching system to split up doubles if you want, the system is free to pit high ranked players against each other, AIs aren't needed to fill teams when enough players for a game are in queue but not enough from one side, and so on and so on.
I realize this could lead to griefing if people take the light/dark victory too seriously (if it were team A: light/light/dark vs. team B: dark/dark/dark the dark player on team A could purposely throw the game to give dark more favor points), but I seriously doubt most people would bother, as there's no real reward for your side's overall tournament victory.
This could be counterbalanced by rewarding say the top 20-50 players with an, icon, temporary avatar, bullet point, bonus favor points, or whatever cosmetic commemeration of your performance would be easy to make and lure someone who cares about that sort of thing away from caring so deeply about the overall light/dark competition.
Regardless of whether you implement my specific suggestion, I think the vast majority of players agree a change needs to be made.