Riot has finally decided on the state of the ranked system. In a dev update released today, a lot of the changes people were clamoring for are on their way.
SapMagic once again starts his update by acknowledging the many positives of the preseason updates. Primary position rates, positional matchmaking, and queue times have been improved across the board, he says. But we’ve heard all of this before, so what’s new and why is everyone so excited?
Ding-Dong Position Ranks are Dead
That’s right; position ranks are going away. Originally envisioned as a way to more accurately judge a players skill in each role, position ranks haven’t found much traction. Players in North America and Korea, who have had the system for six weeks now, still don’t like it despite several changes. In fact, that satisfaction has fallen 20-30 percent over the lifetime of the current ranked system. The main issues come from the ‘grindiness’ and teammates not taking off-role games very seriously.
That said, Riot is discontinuing position ranks on March 13th. Riot just haven’t found a way to keep the system and make it feel good for their players. There are a few things to take note of going forward. First, your highest position rank becomes your rank. There’s no need to worry, then, about being Bronze 1 in jungle, your Gold 2 in mid means you’re now Gold 2. You’ll also get to keep any rewards you’ve earned so far (hurray).
Reshuffling the Top
The second huge change is coming for the top of the ladder (diamond and up). SapMagic acknowledged that the introduction of Iron and Grandmaster caused some matchmaking bugs. Players were getting into GM and up with sub-50 percent win rates, causing a lot of negative feelings among everyone else. While they fixed those issues, the resulting LP gains/losses have frustrated players.
It turns out Riot was listening the whole time. They now have an answer: they’re resetting ranked. Now, before you go dancing through the streets, there are some things you need to know. Diamond players, except for Diamond 4, are getting demoted one division. Players in Masters and up will be set to Masters 0 LP. SapMagic noted that this will help reel in players who exploited the early bugs to inflate their rank. Additionally, Grandmaster and Challenger are once again locked.
It’s good to see Riot taking this kind of approach for things like this. In a world where communities praise proactive developers, Riot have been very informative about what they’re doing. They’ve tried to find a solution that combines what people want with what’s actually best for the game. As a result, the changes they’ve aimed at the lowest number of players possible. With a late March target, it will be interesting to see how the changes affect the ladder.