Major Castleman

Major Castleman

Major has been an avid esports spectator who lives and breathes competitive gaming for several years. He has seen how games evolve over time, loves to think critically about professional gameplay, both to understand it and improve his own. He combines this with four years of professional copywriting to share his ideas and insights with the broader community.

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New Riot Developer Update Outlines State of Ranked Play

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If you’ve watched the League side of Twitter for the past week, you may have seen some strange things. Streamers and pros alike are clamoring for a ranked reset on Twitter and discord.

 

Players in high Elo (Diamond and up) have consistently found themselves in-game with platinum players. These ranked discrepancies have created wildly imbalanced and unfair matches. But where did these problems come from?

The Beginning

At the end of the 2018 season, Riot began teasing new changes to how ranked would both look and work. The team added two new tiers to more finely and fluidly separating those at the top and bottom of the ladder. The community was cautiously optimistic. The more important announcement was the addition of positional ranking.

In past seasons, one number defined a player’s rank. With the new system, players must play games for each position. The ranks they receive for each position are separate and can vary greatly on an individual basis. To counter this, Riot implemented an “LP splashing” mechanic. For example, If I have a rank in jungle and play midlane, my performance will affect my other role slightly.

The Present

The changes have caused a ton of controversy. The apparent imbalance that resulted from the changes has made many top players frustrated. Many have highlighted that the new system has allowed players into the top tiers that don’t belong. As a result, there is a general feeling that game quality has suffered.

In response, the ranked team at Riot released a developer update post talking about the changes they’ve made and potential ones. The post acknowledges that there are indeed some downfalls to the new system: players don’t like the new grind, feel less rewarded, and feel like their games are less competitive. This is mainly a problem at high Elo due to bugs in the matchmaking system mixing players from Masters to Diamond into one pot.

The Future For Ranked

The dev post also talked about some ideas floating around the company about how to handle the current state of ranked. The first idea SapMagic, the Lead Designer of Meta Game Systems, mentioned returning to a single rank. This would lead us back to previous seasons. Now, one upside the positional ranking brought was a better positional matchmaking system. The League systems are able to matchmake games more effectively and balance games in mid and low Elos better. SapMagic did mention the possibility of resetting the ladder for Diamond and up. Now before you all go parading through the street, keep in mind that this reset is only as a last resort.

At the end of the day, whatever decision Riot makes needs to affect the majority of players positively. Regardless, some people are going to be upset, and that’s unavoidable. While performing a full reset of the ladder may be necessary, Riot hopes to avoid at all costs.


Image via: Engadget

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