Features to reduce grind in comp play

General Discussion
I laud the longer seasons as a way to reduce grind in competitive play.

But the single number ranking really does have a grind aspect to it.

Psychologically, even if not statistically, it feels like a lot of work to go up and easy to drop back down. Whether this is true or not isn't the point (plenty of other threads debating that). But there are ways to make it feel less bad. So I'd request any one or more of the following:

  • a single loss should never cause a rank to be lost after you just earnt that rank
  • show your "season best rank" next to normal rank so that you don't feel so bad dropping rank
  • warn at the hero select whether the game could change your rank (up or down) -- pretty sure this is known in advance because it is based on existing skill rating
  • reintroduce tiers to give us something to aim for, even if you can always drop tiers so they are just symbolic


Edit: Just to be clear on the first suggestion -- I meant only that you can't lose rank in the very next game after you gain rank. If even that would still cause inflation of ranking then it is a no-go for me as much as anyone else. As that would certainly not minimize the feeling of "grind".
Good feedback, WeaponsGrade. We'll continue to make tweaks for next season. We do show you your career high and season high ranks, like you mention, but currently they are displayed in the rank up screen. Perhaps we can show that in more places.

Your first suggestion is a little tricky because Skill Rating is directly correlated to your matchmaking rating. To accomplish never going down in rank after ranking up, that would mean that Skill Rating would have to be separated from your MMR. This is possible but if we're not careful it can be inflationary. Inflationary systems worked when we had 1 month seasons because we could reset before the negative side effects would set in. We'll talk about it and see if there are some options out there for next season that might feel better.
06/30/2016 08:07 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan
Good feedback, WeaponsGrade. We'll continue to make tweaks for next season. We do show you your career high and season high ranks, like you mention, but currently they are displayed in the rank up screen. Perhaps we can show that in more places.

Your first suggestion is a little tricky because Skill Rating is directly correlated to your matchmaking rating. To accomplish never going down in rank after ranking up, that would mean that Skill Rating would have to be separated from your MMR. This is possible but if we're not careful it can be inflationary. Inflationary systems worked when we had 1 month seasons because we could reset before the negative side effects would set in. We'll talk about it and see if there are some options out there for next season that might feel better.


I Agree with the first one
06/30/2016 08:07 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan
Good feedback, WeaponsGrade. We'll continue to make tweaks for next season. We do show you your career high and season high ranks, like you mention, but currently they are displayed in the rank up screen. Perhaps we can show that in more places.

Your first suggestion is a little tricky because Skill Rating is directly correlated to your matchmaking rating. To accomplish never going down in rank after ranking up, that would mean that Skill Rating would have to be separated from your MMR. This is possible but if we're not careful it can be inflationary. Inflationary systems worked when we had 1 month seasons because we could reset before the negative side effects would set in. We'll talk about it and see if there are some options out there for next season that might feel better.


you know we have a european forum also a visit sometimes would be apriciated
I want skill rating to be an accurate reflection of how skilled I am. If they could speed up the rate at which I reach without effecting how accurate it is then sure, but the point is that some people will simply never get a high rank (unless they get better of course).
There's no grind. You're missing the WHOLE point of competitive play.

Competitive means you're supposed to playing to win. You shouldn't feel like you're grinding toward anything.
06/30/2016 08:07 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan
Good feedback, WeaponsGrade. We'll continue to make tweaks for next season. We do show you your career high and season high ranks, like you mention, but currently they are displayed in the rank up screen. Perhaps we can show that in more places.

Your first suggestion is a little tricky because Skill Rating is directly correlated to your matchmaking rating. To accomplish never going down in rank after ranking up, that would mean that Skill Rating would have to be separated from your MMR. This is possible but if we're not careful it can be inflationary. Inflationary systems worked when we had 1 month seasons because we could reset before the negative side effects would set in. We'll talk about it and see if there are some options out there for next season that might feel better.

Regarding WeaponsGrade initial point - From what I gather a loss has greater affect than a victory. In other words, I start at Rank 50, if I played 100 games, and went 50W-50L...I would actually end up a lower rank (45 or so). Is this correct and intentional?
06/30/2016 08:07 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan
Good feedback, WeaponsGrade. We'll continue to make tweaks for next season. We do show you your career high and season high ranks, like you mention, but currently they are displayed in the rank up screen. Perhaps we can show that in more places.

Your first suggestion is a little tricky because Skill Rating is directly correlated to your matchmaking rating. To accomplish never going down in rank after ranking up, that would mean that Skill Rating would have to be separated from your MMR. This is possible but if we're not careful it can be inflationary. Inflationary systems worked when we had 1 month seasons because we could reset before the negative side effects would set in. We'll talk about it and see if there are some options out there for next season that might feel better.


So I'm curious what the purpose of the placement matches is then, since your skill rating still reflects your MMR which should be fairly consistent by the time you hit level 25. Do these serve another purpose?

I do like the idea of tiers of some sort to feel like you're accomplishing something during the course of the season. It seems that those who put more time in playing games should see some additional benefit - even if they've dropped rank. And as OP mentioned, even if it's just symbolic.

A dual reward system would be ideal for all types of players, but I understand why you changed the tier system in favor of skill based rewards.
What if when you win/loose you get a "Win/loose next game to advance/loose rank" This way you need to wins or losses in a row to change rank, but if your alternating wins and losses you stay at the same spot?
06/30/2016 08:07 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan
Good feedback, WeaponsGrade. We'll continue to make tweaks for next season. We do show you your career high and season high ranks, like you mention, but currently they are displayed in the rank up screen. Perhaps we can show that in more places.

Your first suggestion is a little tricky because Skill Rating is directly correlated to your matchmaking rating. To accomplish never going down in rank after ranking up, that would mean that Skill Rating would have to be separated from your MMR. This is possible but if we're not careful it can be inflationary. Inflationary systems worked when we had 1 month seasons because we could reset before the negative side effects would set in. We'll talk about it and see if there are some options out there for next season that might feel better.


Wow thanks Jeff, awesome responsiveness as ever!

I have to say on the plus side, I am really enjoying the competitive games I've played -- I've had some great moments and most battles have been fierce. Meanwhile, Quick Play is as anticipated becoming more chilled and has more the fun atmosphere of brawls.

I know y'all are going to keep tweaking it so I am very much in the optimistic happy customer bucket :)
06/30/2016 08:07 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan
Good feedback, WeaponsGrade. We'll continue to make tweaks for next season. We do show you your career high and season high ranks, like you mention, but currently they are displayed in the rank up screen. Perhaps we can show that in more places.

Your first suggestion is a little tricky because Skill Rating is directly correlated to your matchmaking rating. To accomplish never going down in rank after ranking up, that would mean that Skill Rating would have to be separated from your MMR. This is possible but if we're not careful it can be inflationary. Inflationary systems worked when we had 1 month seasons because we could reset before the negative side effects would set in. We'll talk about it and see if there are some options out there for next season that might feel better.


I'd like to voice the opposite opinion, moving up and down feels very good. The closer to seeing the actual MMR number, the better. Inflation feels undeserved and is like giving everyone a trophy.

Maybe incorporate a hero mastery system that weighs your skill with "other factors" (play time, accuracy, k/d, whatever appropriate) so it won't bounce around as quickly as the standard MMR. A hero MMR if you will. That way if someone wants to play assualt Torb they have some proof of expertise. It'd also satisfy the people who are turned off from purely MMR based system.

As it stands I have a fair amount of Hanzo, but as soon as I pick him in ranked I get the familiar "no hanzo, swap pls".
06/30/2016 08:19 AMPosted by Integral
06/30/2016 08:07 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan
Good feedback, WeaponsGrade. We'll continue to make tweaks for next season. We do show you your career high and season high ranks, like you mention, but currently they are displayed in the rank up screen. Perhaps we can show that in more places.

Your first suggestion is a little tricky because Skill Rating is directly correlated to your matchmaking rating. To accomplish never going down in rank after ranking up, that would mean that Skill Rating would have to be separated from your MMR. This is possible but if we're not careful it can be inflationary. Inflationary systems worked when we had 1 month seasons because we could reset before the negative side effects would set in. We'll talk about it and see if there are some options out there for next season that might feel better.

Regarding WeaponsGrade initial point - From what I gather a loss has greater affect than a victory. In other words, I start at Rank 50, if I played 100 games, and went 50W-50L...I would actually end up a lower rank (45 or so). Is this correct and intentional?


It seems this way, but I imagine the wonky calculation of scores for KOTH is throwing things out of whack. It should be even either way, but the very imbalanced steamrolls are hurting more often than the easy wins are helping, and of course an even match (win or loss) would be the ideal. It seems like a lot of people are spread across skill ratings they probably don't belong at as well though.
06/30/2016 08:19 AMPosted by Integral
06/30/2016 08:07 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan
Good feedback, WeaponsGrade. We'll continue to make tweaks for next season. We do show you your career high and season high ranks, like you mention, but currently they are displayed in the rank up screen. Perhaps we can show that in more places.

Your first suggestion is a little tricky because Skill Rating is directly correlated to your matchmaking rating. To accomplish never going down in rank after ranking up, that would mean that Skill Rating would have to be separated from your MMR. This is possible but if we're not careful it can be inflationary. Inflationary systems worked when we had 1 month seasons because we could reset before the negative side effects would set in. We'll talk about it and see if there are some options out there for next season that might feel better.

Regarding WeaponsGrade initial point - From what I gather a loss has greater affect than a victory. In other words, I start at Rank 50, if I played 100 games, and went 50W-50L...I would actually end up a lower rank (45 or so). Is this correct and intentional?


More or less. It takes like 3 or 4 wins to go up a rank and 1 loss to go down. so yeah you would go down a lot with that win loss ratio.
06/30/2016 08:07 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan
Good feedback, WeaponsGrade. We'll continue to make tweaks for next season. We do show you your career high and season high ranks, like you mention, but currently they are displayed in the rank up screen. Perhaps we can show that in more places.

Your first suggestion is a little tricky because Skill Rating is directly correlated to your matchmaking rating. To accomplish never going down in rank after ranking up, that would mean that Skill Rating would have to be separated from your MMR. This is possible but if we're not careful it can be inflationary. Inflationary systems worked when we had 1 month seasons because we could reset before the negative side effects would set in. We'll talk about it and see if there are some options out there for next season that might feel better.


This confuses me. Is there a seperate mmr for quickplay and competitive? Does quickplay mmr influence your competitive rank?
06/30/2016 08:15 AMPosted by BestLucioNA
There's no grind. You're missing the WHOLE point of competitive play.

Competitive means you're supposed to playing to win. You shouldn't feel like you're grinding toward anything.


I'm not sure about that, ranks are there for a reason. And most professional sports teams work to go up in leagues tables.

But I know what you are getting at.

I try to take each game as it comes, that is the best way to avoid tilt. But I am not perfect. And I share the fun and anguish of my teammates. If I play with people who are getting frustrated with the ranking system, I want to see what can be done about that.

Most people are going to care about nursing their ranks, its just human nature. Blizzard have the unenviable job of making this "feel good" while being competitive and balanced. Good luck Jeff and team!
I like that skill rating is a direct representation of my skill. I have gotten tired of grinding, so things that make competitive ranks into a progression/grind would not be welcome with me. (Like not being able to de-rank)
06/30/2016 08:29 AMPosted by VexedHex
06/30/2016 08:19 AMPosted by Integral
...
Regarding WeaponsGrade initial point - From what I gather a loss has greater affect than a victory. In other words, I start at Rank 50, if I played 100 games, and went 50W-50L...I would actually end up a lower rank (45 or so). Is this correct and intentional?


More or less. It takes like 3 or 4 wins to go up a rank and 1 loss to go down. so yeah you would go down a lot with that win loss ratio.


This is part of an MMR system. It can also swing the other way.

Say your team has average 50 skill rating and plays a team of 45 average skill rating. For simplicity sake, your team would lose maybe 2 skill if you lose. But if the skill rating 45 team loses, they would only lose say 1 skill. Why? Because the higher skilled team is favored to win.

So if you played 100 games, 50% winrate, and ended up at a lower skill than you started, the system over-valued your rating, and through playing games you SHOULD have won, but lost, you lose more totally.

Imagine from your 100 games, in total, you lost 50 net skill and only gained 45 net skill back.
06/30/2016 08:49 AMPosted by Polaris
I like that skill rating is a direct representation of my skill. I have gotten tired of grinding, so things that make competitive ranks into a progression/grind would not be welcome with me. (Like not being able to de-rank)


I actually fully agree. I don't want a progression-based system or inflation. If preventing a drop in rank right after gaining rank would cause that, to any noticeable degree, then I don't want it either. Maybe a "decider" both for going up and going down in rank would be safer, I dunno if that also has some bad effect.

Its more about how people feel like they inch up in rank, then have one bad game and it drops back down.

Its tricky for sure.

This is why I made some cosmetic suggestions too :-D
One of the most hated things I experience is feeling like I'm getting nowhere with the rank system.

It's very hard on solo players (imo). Currently I'm dreadfully afraid every time I start a ranked game, simply because no matter how well I do, if my team is full of potatoes my rank will drop like a stone.

The system isn't capable of knowing if you know tactics/team comps/map awareness, which is pretty important in overwatch. I may be good in all of those areas, and average in skill, but if my team is bad and picks 4 hanzos on attack I will lose everything I worked for in previous matches.

It sucks and feels extremely grindy and luck based.

And yes, I'm aware I can just team up with people and form a group of friends. But I don't have friends, I have a huge difficult time socializing with people. It sucks but that's how my life is. I am on coms during ranked but very few people do that.
06/30/2016 08:07 AMPosted by Jeff Kaplan
Good feedback, WeaponsGrade. We'll continue to make tweaks for next season. We do show you your career high and season high ranks, like you mention, but currently they are displayed in the rank up screen. Perhaps we can show that in more places.

Your first suggestion is a little tricky because Skill Rating is directly correlated to your matchmaking rating. To accomplish never going down in rank after ranking up, that would mean that Skill Rating would have to be separated from your MMR. This is possible but if we're not careful it can be inflationary. Inflationary systems worked when we had 1 month seasons because we could reset before the negative side effects would set in. We'll talk about it and see if there are some options out there for next season that might feel better.


Or just show MMR and have that be your skill rating.

Jeff you need to be more trasnparent about what specific factors go into individual performance.

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