Comprehensive review of new HL Ladder system

General Discussion
First of all, I’d like to give kudos where it’s due. Congratulations on the launch of Season 1 for Heroes of the Storm. As a player that’s been in since Alpha, it’s great to be here. The game has VASTLY improved since Alpha, and has a great future ahead.

That being said, I’d like to mention a few things about the new ladder that are good and some things that need improvement. My hope is to start a discussion and give feedback on how we can improve Season 2, as well as the player experience as a whole.

The Good
  • I can’t mention the new system without mentioning Unranked Draft. It’s a great place to go while on tilt or if I want to unwind/do quests with friends.
  • Having divisions and the “Precious Metals” league system just feels right to me as someone coming from SC2. Being able to see where people are, and their points really paints a picture that the number ranking system just didn’t accomplish.
  • Restricting games to only people within the same 5 ranks is great, and does a lot to help keep people from carrying each other into ranks they don’t deserve. (This still needs improvement, as I’ll mention later).
  • Overall drafting. People seem to have more of a desire to pick Heroes that the team needs and are more open to coordinating. I believe this is a side effect of Unranked Draft being available.
  • Unlimited progression. With the old system, once you hit R1 you had literally nowhere to go. You couldn’t tell how well you placed within that MMR band or even if you were about to fall into R2. Now, there’s constantly something to work for, either a higher rank or more points in GM/Masters
  • The Bad

  • Promotion and Demotion games need work. Personally, I think making it actually 3 games to promote/demote would be the better system. Right now, having one game be that important isn’t working, especially if someone D/Cs and you are still impacted.
  • Diamond 3 is WAY too much of a bottleneck. The skill difference there is absolutely massive, making games feel like a coin-flip on who gets worse teammates. I cannot stress this point enough.
  • Right now, the only reliable way to get through the Diamond 3 bottleneck is to duo with a player of equal or higher skill. I don’t have a solution here yet, but something needs to be done to make this not a thing.
  • The 250 points after promoting/demoting makes no sense and feels like an arbitrary number. From what I see, people get between 195-205 points per game. The 50 points just makes you have to play a game where you only gain a fraction of the points you earned. These should either carry on after you promote or the number after promotion/demotion should be closer to 350. That’s enough to still make it take 2 wins, while giving you a slight cushion.
  • No control over the quality of games you get. I understand matchmaking is hard, but whenever I get a 10 second queue and dropped into a game where the skill difference is massive, I get upset. I will happily wait 5 minutes for a quality game. It sucks that somebody has been waiting a while, but if I’m playing a competitive match, I don’t care. I want a fair game with teammates of equal skill, and I’m willing to wait for it.
  • This is good but my perspective from the silver side of ranking has been a little different.

    At silver level, I found I'm one of the few people willing to step up and pick heroes good for the draft where I am at drafting.. A lot of other people simply don't get drafting and go for what they can easily play.

    Communication is limited to venting frustration... People that say nothing during the draft and pick whatever will pipe up in the last 10 minnutes of the game and start calling everyone "idiots" and "thanks for the demotion."

    Its rare you will see anyone not silver ranked playing silver ranked HL. unless they are a placement they normally one rank off of you in the same division..

    It take 200 seconds to start a Silver Rank 3/4 HL game.

    There might be no carry in HOTS, but there is a lot of feeding, and a lot of it happens at silver rank.. As someone that plays support, the only thing more amazing than having a game where I will regularly pull 75,000 to 100,000 on healing is the fact we still loose, and there will 30 to 40 deaths.

    Not as much trolling as I thought there might be.. Infact, in the past week or so.. I can't recall anyone trying to troll, nobody went AFK, and most things being understandable. This is one of the few good things about silver nobody is outright trolling or trying to AFK. people want to win.

    I personally am not very good at much other than support and do try to branch out a little but it's difficult and I don't have the time to practice all my heroes for any possible combo.. Hero league is really too hard for that kind of play from a more casual player like me and I really wish I could just play support in Hero league.. with that I have a chance to get out of silver and earn a mount. :-(

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