Idea for revamp of leaderboards

General Discussion
There is no TLDR way to post this information without losing a lot of information and resulting in excessive misguided and uninformed questions. If reading is not your thing, this post is not for you.

I like the idea of greater rifts, but I wish there was a different way to make a more fair and engaging form of competition. I saw the idea of competitive rifts somewhere in the forums, so I can’t take credit for the original thought. But, I really like this idea so I thought I would throw my opinion of how it could work;

It would cost one greater rift key, and you get matched up against a random person of (relatively) similar ranking and both of you (in separate games) play the same exact rift. The progression bar could be split (and reduced in size) to show how far you are, as well as your opponent. You could have the player’s banner emblems near their respective bars to help distinguish whose bar it is (but keep ‘yours’ on top).

If the other person beats you, you still finish the rift to obtain the RG drops and determine how your standings are affected. The time disparity will increase the winners standing, and decrease the loser’s standing based on each other’s initial standings (similar to ladder rankings in Starcraft). Clear times and standings also set what level greater rift you compete on. Before you start the rift, you will be able to see what level rift it will be.

A time limit should be set 2 minutes after the winning time. The loss in rank should be scaled with this as the maximum. The player is allowed to finish the rift, but the change in ranking will happen then to allow the winner to start a new game and not have to wait any longer for their competitor to finish. There should be the option to go back to town and ask Urshi to forfeit the rift, resulting in no reward and a loss in standings equal to a 2 minute loss. Single player death should not be on a timer, but instead add a penalty to your clear time, which increases with each death. Multiplayer death should be on the same increasing timer, which can be skipped by a teammate revive.

Starting a new rift should be based on a timer (observable at the obelisk). The timer will be the same for both competitors, and start when someone finishes the rift. The timer will be 2 minutes + death penalties. The timer ends early if the loser finishes before then. At that time, the standings of each competitor will change, and the option to attempt another leaderboard rift will be available. If a player forfeits a rift, they must wait for 15 minutes or the other player to finish, whichever comes first. The non-forfeiting player may take longer than 15 minutes, but the standings are changed at that time. Disconnects result in no change in standings (or instant maximum win/loss, see ‘Penalty’).

For party competition, you can enter what size party you want to compete in. Each character would have their own ranking for the 2-4 player categories (to prevent characters from showing up multiple times on the leaderboards). Each team would have their own temporary internal ranking for match ups, which is a weighted average of the team members (heavily weighted towards the highest ranking player). By not specifying the composition of the teams, it encourages other players to come up with their own teams, instead of just trying to imitate the top few.

Random matchmaking could also be considered, but the rank disparity and number of players may cause issues with long wait times to find reasonably matched partners. This could help people meet others, increasing the social aspect of this game.

There should be no legendary gem upgrade. This allows normal greater rifts to retain their function, ensures a method of reliable gem leveling method, and highlights that this type of play is fueled by competition. The reward for winning could be 1 greater rift key, some death’s breaths, and 1 ‘base’ crafting material. This ‘base’ material would be a generic material that could be turned into any of the 4 act materials you choose (have Haedrig the blacksmith craft them for you, with a gold cost associated with them). Limiting it to 1 base material keeps bounties as the primary, and most efficient form of farming act materials. The amount of death’s breaths are based off the level of the rift you completed, but the quantity should not be too large (maybe 1 per every 10 grift levels). The rewards are not much, but they should not be the focus of this type of gameplay.

To discourage random disconnects and prevent rift-fishing, a heavy account-wide probation time penalty should be put on any player that randomly disconnects from a game in progress. This could be very unfortunate for people with bad connections, or those unlucky with blizzard server stability, but I think is necessary. Also, it is not fair for the people you play against to be penalized (no change in rank) for your loss of connection as well. The other option would be that there is a set loss in rank for people who disconnect, but I think that is more of a penalty against people who legitimately disconnected. Multiple, or high percentages of disconnects in a set time period should increase the duration of the probation. Alternatively, the probation period could be solely based on the percentage of (recent) previous games that were disconnects, with little to no penalty for people with high completion percentages.

To eliminate the stress on paragon levels, a cap of paragon 800 should be implemented. This shifts the focus onto gear, build, and skill. Paragon levels still have a strong advantage in that the points remain in all other gameplay, which will help you gear easier and achieve higher level legendary gems. The number of points into any stat should be limited to 50. One way to achieve this would be to add a check box in the first paragon tab to toggle it to ‘Leaderboard Mode’. This will reset your points in this tab, and limit each category to 50 points. You cannot compete in a leaderboard rift without having this toggle active.

Now, this may cause some waves, but hear me out. The split player base of season/non-season play is hurting this game. If the paragon cap is implemented for competition, there is no reason to keep the current seasonal cycle we have now. For people that enjoy the fresh start, this could be allowed at any time in an era. It will act similar to the way it is now in terms of stash, artisans, and currency. The difference is that you can play with non-season people. You can end your seasonal journey at any time in the season, but once you do, you can’t go back. The only other necessary caveat is that if a season person and non-season person are in a game, you cannot run any type of greater rift. This prevents seasonal people from benefiting from the legendary gem bonus of the non-season people. Essentially, this character wipe is already happening to people that only like to play seasons. Each season can still introduce new items (non-exclusive), challenges, and achievements.

There should be separate leaderboards for the 1-4 player boards. There should be no need for separate leaderboards for each class, but you should be able to filter the highest solo standings of each class, as well as filter by seasonal accounts. This has the added benefit of highlighting class power disparity. Accounts that end their season early will no longer be considered seasonal. Info displayed in the leaderboards could be: Rank, Season (Y/N), Name, Class, Wins, Losses, Disconnects, Average rift level and clear time for last 10 games.

    -Changing/modifying builds may be discouraged, though they could be tested in non-leaderboard greater rifts prior to using them.
    -Grouping with less geared/skilled players may be discouraged in fear of losing multiplayer rank, and could result in some people having difficulty finding people to group with.
    -Mismatches may happen at certain times of the day if there aren’t enough people playing around the same rank as you. This is further exacerbated by the split of season and non-season player base.
    -The difficulty in programming and implementing a system like this, and the impact it would have on the servers.
    -Seasonal achievements aided by non-seasonal players.
    -Players finding gear on their non-season characters, dropping them to other party members, then switching to their seasonal characters to get the gear back.

If you have any suggestions, or see issues/problems with this setup, please post them with explanations if necessary. If you disagree, please provide some form of constructive criticism as to why.

Edited for grammar
Necro'ing this thread because I still think it's a good idea.

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