StarCraft® II

[G] Comprehensive Starcraft II Ladder Guide

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MVP - StarCraft
Posts: 2,118
Your MMR starts at some value. If you haven't played any games before, then it would start in the middle (since the middle is average and everyone is assumed to be average by definition). If you have played ladder before, say in team games, then that influences your starting MMR.

Your initial games have a dramatic impact on where you start. However, that doesn't mean that you can get "stuck" somewhere. Promotions operate by a moving average of your MMR. The period of the moving average is not known, but it means that games beyond that period are no longer counted. In this respect, the system only cares about your recent activity.

Generally, higher level players tend to stick with the game for longer, so you're right that Bronze players are quitting. There's an associated effect of this as mentioned in the OP, which is that as there are fewer low level players, skill will spread out across the ladder which means average players will get dragged down into Bronze over time. This has the effect of making it even harder to get out of Bronze.

The Bronze Zero bug should be addressed along with the ladder reset in patch 1.3, but we'll see.
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Dan you have worked your way clear of the 0 bug. For you to get promoted you need to win more. Your match history page shows you at 4-7 for 1v1. You need to reverse those numbers and it will start pitting you against silver players. When that starts happening you know you are getting close although it does not mean you will be promoted right away. You must maintain that level of play to get the promo. Don't get to hung up in the icon thing. Just be happy playing people who are close to you in skill so you have a challenging game with a 50% chance of winning.
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Posts: 160
Generally, higher level players tend to stick with the game for longer, so you're right that Bronze players are quitting. There's an associated effect of this as mentioned in the OP, which is that as there are fewer low level players, skill will spread out across the ladder which means average players will get dragged down into Bronze over time. This has the effect of making it even harder to get out of Bronze.


Well that certainly doesn't sound like fun at all. If a lot of bronze players are quitting, shouldn't blizzard look into why they're quitting? Maybe even making divisions not equal to one another and separate the lower players from the higher players so that they both move equally in proportions to their skill level? I somehow doubt that Blizzard will address the lower level players of the population and I only hope that they start addressing some of the problems facing low ranking players such as the 0 bug in future patches, but again it sounds like it's highly doubtful that they want to do this.

I'm going to spend approximatively 120~160 dollars for this game over time to get all the expansions and so fort. Shouldn't I have the ability to track or know my progress without having to "guess" how I'm doing? If a large population of bronze players are leaving, shouldn't blizzard address this by looking at the fact on how they're handling the leagues and try to create different divisions of players within the league?

I personally would find it a lot more fun if I can view my progress in a way that makes sense and is clearly visible than if I'm kept in the dark and constantly wondering where I stand.
Edited by Dan on 2/24/2011 6:14 AM PST
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MVP - StarCraft
Posts: 2,118
02/24/2011 6:06 AMPosted by Dan
Generally, higher level players tend to stick with the game for longer, so you're right that Bronze players are quitting. There's an associated effect of this as mentioned in the OP, which is that as there are fewer low level players, skill will spread out across the ladder which means average players will get dragged down into Bronze over time. This has the effect of making it even harder to get out of Bronze.


Well that certainly doesn't sound like fun at all. If a lot of bronze players are quitting, shouldn't blizzard look into why they're quitting? Maybe even making divisions not equal to one another and separate the lower players from the higher players so that they both move equally in proportions to their skill level? I somehow doubt that Blizzard will address the lower level players of the population and I only hope that they start addressing some of the problems facing low ranking players such as the 0 bug in future patches, but again it sounds like it's highly doubtful that they want to do this.

I'm going to spend approximatively 120~160 dollars for this game over time to get all the expansions and so fort. Shouldn't I have the ability to track or know my progress without having to "guess" how I'm doing? If a large population of bronze players are leaving, shouldn't blizzard address this by looking at the fact on how they're handling the leagues and try to create different divisions of players within the league?

I personally would find it a lot more fun if I can view my progress in a way that makes sense and is clearly visible than if I'm kept in the dark and constantly wondering where I stand.


The system already works like that. Divisions aren't equal and they're grouped by tight skill ranges. It's basically the nature of any game that players who perform better will stick with it longer. It's no coincidence that the average Brood War player is far far better now than he was ten years ago. It's not always discouragement that causes players to quit. Sometimes more casual players don't have a drive to improve and when a new game comes out they move onto something else, or sometimes people just play the campaign and only try the ladder for a handful of games for fun.
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Posts: 160



Well that certainly doesn't sound like fun at all. If a lot of bronze players are quitting, shouldn't blizzard look into why they're quitting? Maybe even making divisions not equal to one another and separate the lower players from the higher players so that they both move equally in proportions to their skill level? I somehow doubt that Blizzard will address the lower level players of the population and I only hope that they start addressing some of the problems facing low ranking players such as the 0 bug in future patches, but again it sounds like it's highly doubtful that they want to do this.

I'm going to spend approximatively 120~160 dollars for this game over time to get all the expansions and so fort. Shouldn't I have the ability to track or know my progress without having to "guess" how I'm doing? If a large population of bronze players are leaving, shouldn't blizzard address this by looking at the fact on how they're handling the leagues and try to create different divisions of players within the league?

I personally would find it a lot more fun if I can view my progress in a way that makes sense and is clearly visible than if I'm kept in the dark and constantly wondering where I stand.


The system already works like that. Divisions aren't equal and they're grouped by tight skill ranges. It's basically the nature of any game that players who perform better will stick with it longer. It's no coincidence that the average Brood War player is far far better now than he was ten years ago. It's not always discouragement that causes players to quit. Sometimes more casual players don't have a drive to improve and when a new game comes out they move onto something else, or sometimes people just play the campaign and only try the ladder for a handful of games for fun.


I believe you. Just that I think the system fails for people who start off really horribly and end up improving somewhat from where they started. I'm curious to try out the ladder again and see what happens but I'm still pretty upset over the recent attempts by the system to pit me mirror matches. I guess it's time to move over to random, I don't know. Whatever the case is I really can't do much about it other than to say that I think there is definitely an issue with the system. Even people here on the forum wishes to know why they're not moving or why it seems so difficult to move out of just 1 league. Even people are asking for simple knowledge on where they stand which doesn't appear to be given in this game. I don't think it's fair for a system to be designed in such a way especially one where they constantly make out like moving up a league is what is normally expected out of an increase in skills. I agree that as you do well in this game, you're going to keep playing but it's extremely hard when you think you've improved and the system doesn't seem to want to bump you just 1 simple league. By comparison, I'd have to play hundreds of games just to get out of one league seems to be unfair and not exactly understood. Having a diagram of some sort where I can view my progress would be a better option in the long run because then I can play and aim to improve rather than constantly guess where I stand and "hope" that someday I'll make it.
Edited by Dan on 2/25/2011 1:04 PM PST
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Posts: 160
I mean just to show you a perfect example, take Counter Strike. While it doesn't have leagues or promotions, it does have a form of "bragging rights" in game where you get a very high ratio. When I first started playing it in college, I barely got 1 point out of 20+ deaths but I kept going at it and I still play it constantly online and do really well. Started off horribly but kept at it until I got positives K/D ratio.

This game, there's no way to tell. I get positive, thinking, "Oh this is going to promote me soon." It doesn't and now I'm stuck in some sort of constant wonder about a system and its motive rather than enjoying the game itself.
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MVP - StarCraft
Posts: 2,118
I completely understand the frustration behind the system because yes, it's quite opaque compared to other ladder systems. There is more detective work that a player has to do to determine where exactly he stands overall, and all you can really see is your own division which only ranks by points, and in the majority of cases all you have to do to get to the top of your division is spend your bonus pool.
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Posts: 287
I'm trying to figure out my "spent bonus pool" do you know how to figure out what the current bonus pool is?
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MVP - StarCraft
Posts: 2,118
02/27/2011 10:47 PMPosted by Abishai
I'm trying to figure out my "spent bonus pool" do you know how to figure out what the current bonus pool is?


The easiest way is to take the remaining bonus pool from one of your teams which has placed but not won any games. For example, this team of yours: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/profile/1194426/1/Abishai/ladder/31722#current-rank

This shows the current maximum at 2865 (though note that sometimes the website may be off by 1, possibly due to system clock differences between user computers and the server).
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Posts: 50
this thread is very helpful; voted for sticky
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Posts: 614
bump
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Posts: 1
If each division is in a given tier within its league, is there a way to tell which tier your division is in?
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Posts: 239
Not directly, not yet.
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Posts: 1
i have a question which i did not at least see answered in the guide. how do you gain more ponts per game because at least for me a started out as a horrible player in starcraft 2 but now that im on like 5 winning streaks i gain 2 points PER game and when i lose 1 i lose all my points that i gain from my streak. so my question is, how does this work?
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Posts: 1,206
03/01/2011 11:52 PMPosted by caboose
i have a question which i did not at least see answered in the guide. how do you gain more ponts per game because at least for me a started out as a horrible player in starcraft 2 but now that im on like 5 winning streaks i gain 2 points PER game and when i lose 1 i lose all my points that i gain from my streak. so my question is, how does this work?
your MMR is currently below the point floor of zero, so in order to get points you either need to get your MMR above zero by winning games against better opponents, or wait for patch 1.3.
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MVP - StarCraft
Posts: 2,118
SoulWager is right, we call it the Bronze Zero phenomenon, and it is covered in the guide at the very bottom of the post in the bugs section.
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MVP - StarCraft
Posts: 2,118
Bump for visibility. Please continue to reference this thread for questions about the ladder system.
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MVP - Technical Support
Posts: 4,224

Generally, higher level players tend to stick with the game for longer, so you're right that Bronze players are quitting. There's an associated effect of this as mentioned in the OP, which is that as there are fewer low level players, skill will spread out across the ladder which means average players will get dragged down into Bronze over time. This has the effect of making it even harder to get out of Bronze.


So if I understand this correctly (and assuming bronze players leave at higher rates) over time there will eventually be more total bronze players (active and inactive accounts) than any other league?


This a very interesting phenomenon. Especially since it runs counter to what the bonus pool is supposed to promote. I am curious why Blizzard set the system up in such way. If you were playing at the same skill level for years and all the sudden the system drops you a league just cause other players quit. I imagine that would be pretty demoralizing. Might make you quit which would than start the cycle over again..
Edited by Archer on 3/10/2011 4:49 PM PST
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MVP - StarCraft
Posts: 2,118

Generally, higher level players tend to stick with the game for longer, so you're right that Bronze players are quitting. There's an associated effect of this as mentioned in the OP, which is that as there are fewer low level players, skill will spread out across the ladder which means average players will get dragged down into Bronze over time. This has the effect of making it even harder to get out of Bronze.


So if I understand this correctly (and assuming bronze players leave at higher rates) over time there will eventually be more total bronze players (active and inactive accounts) than any other league?


This a very interesting phenomenon. Especially since it runs counter to what the bonus pool is supposed to promote. I am curious why Blizzard set the system up in such way. If you were playing at the same skill level for years and all the sudden the system drops you a league just cause other players quit. I imagine that would be pretty demoralizing. Might make you quit which would than start the cycle over again..


The Bonus Pool is a decay system and nothing more. It's not used in any calculations nor does it factor into promotion eligibility.

As far as Bronze is concerned, we already see that in SC2Ranks parses: http://sc2ranks.com/stats/league/us/1/all As of right now, Bronze has 46.5% of all accounts. Back in Patch 1.0.3, it was 38.9%. Patch 1.1, 40.4%. 1.1.2, 43.4%.
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Posts: 206
As far as Bronze is concerned, we already see that in SC2Ranks parses: http://sc2ranks.com/stats/league/us/1/all As of right now, Bronze has 46.5% of all accounts. Back in Patch 1.0.3, it was 38.9%. Patch 1.1, 40.4%. 1.1.2, 43.4%.


Perhaps Blizzard hopes to increase bronze retention rates through the ladder changes coming in 1.3?
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