SC2 Ladder Analysis Part 1: <a href="http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/248296581">http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/248296581</a>
SC2 Ladder Analysis Part 2: <a href="http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/374718433">http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/374718433</a>
Comprehensive Starcraft II Ladder Guide: <a href="http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/2112234276">http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/2112234276</a>
Q: What do the different symbols, like the exclamation point, red arrow, and green arrow mean when viewing a division?
A: An exclamation point means that the player has been placed in that division but not played any games last week. A green arrow means that the player has increased in rank within the division since last week. A red arrow means the player has fallen in rank within the division since last week. A dash (--) means no change in rank since last week despite games played. You can hover over each icon in-game to view the player's previous rank or division join date from the in-game ladder browser.
Q: Will the ladder be divided into seasons?
A: Yes, eventually. The length of a season has not been announced by Blizzard, but all ratings are expected to be wiped at that time. MMR will persist across seasons.
Q: I'm only in Silver, so why am I being matched against Platinum players?
A: Two possible answers: either your MMR is too high for your current league, or your opponents' MMRs are too low for their current league. Look at your match history. Are you commonly being matched against players from higher leagues? If so, you have an opportunity for promotion. Look at your opponents' match histories. Are they commonly being matched against players from lower leagues? If so, they are at risk of demotion.
Q: If I've never played 1v1, but I'm 2v2 Diamond, who will I face in 1v1 Placements?
A: Your performance in other brackets is considered when initially seeding your placement matches. In this case, you'd likely be paired with a Diamond player to start.
Q: What does Favored/Slightly Favored/Teams Even mean on the loading screen?
A: Favored status compares your opponent's hidden MMR with your displayed rating. If his MMR and your displayed rating are similar, it will show Teams Even and the match will be worth 10-14 points. If his MMR is slightly higher than your displayed rating, it will show your opponent as Slightly Favored and the match will be worth 15-19 points for a win (5-9 for a loss). If his MMR is significantly higher than your displayed rating, it will show your opponent as Favored and the match will be worth 20-24 points (1-4 for a loss).
Q: Is it possible for both players to see the other as Favored?
A: Yes, because it compares the opponent's MMR to the player's displayed rating. This is common when both players haven't played many games, meaning their MMR is higher than their displayed rating.
Q: I'm in Bronze with 0 rating and a poor win ratio. I'm only getting 2 or 4 or 6 points -- including bonus pool -- for a win, but losing 22 points for a loss! Why is this happening, and how will I possibly get above 0 rating as long as this is happening to me?
A: This one was tough to figure out because it doesn't make a whole lot of sense on the surface. Point gains and losses that are that extreme can only mean that you're Favored in every single match, but how is that possible if you're already in Bronze with 0 rating? The answer is that your MMR can go below Bronze 0. Because your rating -- which is zero -- is higher than your MMR which is somewhere far below zero, you will constantly be Favored. Because of the way MMR gains work, however, as long as you maintain a positive win ratio, you will eventually find matches where you are Slightly Favored and ultimately Teams Even and beyond. At that point, you will start to gain more points than you lose.
Speculation: This may be a remnant from Beta, either from when Copper league was removed or when players started at 0 rating when they used to start at 1000 rating. It could be that Bronze 0 is equal to Beta's 1000 rating (and therefore Bronze 0 = 1000 MMR).
More info: Allowing MMR to dip below the minimum point value is one way to help ensure that inflation beyond the bonus pool does not occur. The player who loses will have his MMR dip below Bronze Zero, which will cause him to be Favored in every matchup and therefore, because points drift toward MMR, he will remain at zero. This means that any points that are gained are quickly taken away by any losses, thus vacuuming up any points that would have been not really "earned" by the points floor until his MMR rises above the equivalence of Bronze Zero. This stops the production of extra points from the floor of 0.