Ranked mode is good, but could be better
There’s been a lot of good discussion about the ranked queue and the RP reward distribution since its debut, and whether or not we think the current system is good or bad, there definitely is room for some improvement. I personally find the current ranked mode somewhat enjoyable but lacking in a few specific areas, which I’ve tried to break down into sections for readability. I don’t expect people to agree with every single point but I still hope you read the whole thing and think about the points I’ve made. 🙂
Well of course this had to be the first one. From reading the posts on reddit, there’s generally two schools of thought:
Camping is rewarded too heavily for how easy and risk-free it is. Players are unfairly punished for looking for and outplaying other players since the reward is too low for how risky it is.
Camping and controlling areas of the map is part of the game and winning should be prioritized over getting kills. Players should play more strategically instead of running around.
I think the best way is somewhere in the middle and here’s why. There’s an important distinction I’d like to make first and that is the difference between camping and hiding. Camping is controlling strategic areas of the map and playing around the ring rotations, giving players who position correctly a massive advantage. In this case I think “camping” is actually a core aspect of the game, as some characters are designed to do exactly that (Wattson, Caustic, Pathfinder). Hiding on the other hand, is finding some remote area of the map that is hard to reach or hard to spot with the intention of avoiding other players completely.
I’d say the current system rewards both play styles equally, since points are awarded based on placement, and both are effective ways to get top 10/5/3. However I think rewarding hiding is unhealthy for the game. I’ve seen plenty of comments here saying that people were able to get as high as diamond by hiding somewhere and even watching Netflix. I was watching Ace’s stream in Predator Queue and he randomly ran past a Gibby sitting without moving in the back of a pickup truck in Artillery tunnels, with 10 squads left. While this is extremely hilarious I don’t think it should be possible in high diamond to do this… shouldn’t some mastery of game mechanics be necessary to climb to the top 5-10% of players?
I think the game needs a little more incentive, a little more forgiveness, for squads that actually can outplay other squads. Neutral objectives to fight over like Pathfinder beacons and random Care Package drops are already a step in the right direction. I think the range at which gunshots can be heard could be reduced a bit, and I don’t think kills should be capped. After all, the chances of scoring 10 kills or more is very unlikely unless you’re playing at a MMR much lower than your actual skill level, and in that case it does make sense to rank up very quickly. I don’t think more points should be rewarded per kill though, since the spirit of the game isn’t to be a deathmatch. I also don’t think that superficial statistics like damage done or players revived should be taken into consideration either since winning should be the main objective (and not farming damage with longbows).
Excessive hiding should be less rewarding than it is. Perhaps a “UAV” with an x-meter radius could be added to the game somehow. (For those of you who never played Call of Duty a player is rewarded, for kills, an activatable UAV that reveals the position of all nearby players for 30 seconds). For example for every 5 squad kills, a squad is rewarded with a one-time usable ability that reveals all nearby players on the minimap for 30 seconds. Or this could be added to Bloodhound’s ultimate, or some other future legend. Of course I’m not saying this is the solution or even a good solution, I’m just suggesting something with the spirit of making hiding a less effective strategy to illustrate my point. Which leads us to the next section…
No minimum requirement of mastery at any rank except Predator:
Like I mentioned in the previous section, it seems like anybody, with enough patience, could reach platinum or diamond at the very least. This is a combination of “hiding” being too dominant of a strategy, and the cost at lower ranks being too low. Not much can be said about bronze, even if I jumped off the map at the beginning or actively sabotaged my team’s chances of winning, I would inevitably climb out of bronze since there is no RP deduction for losing a game. In fact I think bronze is a waste of a rank… every player could get out of bronze without even touching his mouse and keyboard. Silver isn’t much better, if I left an AFK bot somewhere hard to find in the middle of the map, chances are I would make it to Top 10 and inevitably out of silver, too.
So it seems like at lower ranks, progression is a function of time spent, not skill level. I don’t doubt that anybody, with enough patience, could make it to platinum at least. I get that players need to feel a sense of progression, and anyone who’s played ranked ladder for another game knows how frustrating it is be to “hardstuck” at a certain rank. However, I think earning easy points like this (by hiding and playing a lot of games) is a “cheap satisfaction” compared to the hard-earned reward of achieving a certain level of mastery over time and having player rank reflect that. There isn’t any minimum requirement of core game mechanics (shooting, movement, legend proficiency, map knowledge) to be a certain rank… all you need is patience and a good hiding spot.
Team game but kill RP is rewarded individually:
Naturally if I wanted to rank up I would play characters like Wraith or Pathfinder with high mobility and small hitboxes that make them the best duelists. It is a team game, but completely ignores other supporting factors that contribute to a team’s success, like Lifeline packages or Gibraltar’s dome, etc. I said earlier that kills should be uncapped, but in addition to that RP for kills should be evenly distributed within teams, like an average. Then players wouldn’t be worried about who dealt the most damage or getting the most kills since they would just be working together. In the worse case, you wouldn’t have selfish teammates who try to “steal” the kills by dealing the last blow.
Some people have suggested awarding points for revives, respawns, etc. But I think doing those things is a reward in and of itself. Having a full squad at the end is a massive advantage, and you’d have to absolutely nuts to outplay another squad 1v3.
Controlling strategic positions is part of the game but hiding is rewarded equally. It shouldn’t be, since it doesn’t require any game interaction.
Lower ranks are basically meaningless because hiding is easy, ranks don’t reflect actual player skill, and bronze is not even a “real” rank.
Award RP for squad kills as an average, playing as a team makes more sense and playing support legends gets rewarded too.
All that being said, I’m just a typical player and I don’t claim to be an expert on game balance LOL. All I’m suggesting are some small steps, which I think, would be in the right direction.
Yo big shoutout to anyone who made it all the way down here