I recently switch back to Hard from Warlord I. This was largely because I kept repeatedly getting matched with high lvl players who had the global kingdom bonuses (often doubled) and when Warlord I magnified those stats things just got silly. My little 4 lvl 10 kingdoms just don’t provide enough bonuses to compete.
What is interesting is once I switched back to hard, the number of high level players I got matched with tanked as well. Recently in my quest to rank 1 I have been skipping anyone who is over about 50 levels higher than me. In the final 5 ranks I tend to skip anyone who is over about 20 levels higher than me. Since 107 this has usually been a skip once every couple battles above rank 10, and between 2 and 7 skips per battle after rank 5. This run after changing difficulty I skipped a grand total of around 5 times (not per battle, total). I simply wasn’t seeing the higher ranked people. Hardly a statistical sample, but a very pronounced difference that doesn’t really seem to imply luck.
Does the difficulty we set the game to affect the matchmaker? Kind of a shame if it does. If I set it to hard, the battles are super easy as I get matched against peeps my level more often than not. If I set it to Warlord I I get more high level peeps AND their stats get magnified making the fights grueling if not impossible. Then I just end up skipping endlessly trying to get a relatively equal match.