Features to reduce grind in comp play

General Discussion
another point worth considering is introducing buffer points similar to how people do it in starcraft 2, buffer points build up over time and they can help mitigate losses if you are playing bad one day or havent played the game in a while
There is a bug with KotH maps which is rewarding WAY too little experience and making it feel like it's harder to rank up (because it is).

PLEASE allow us to go up and down in rank. DO NOT cater to carebears, that's what Quick Play is for.
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.


Is it really intended that you lose a hole rank even when you're on fire most of the time in said game? i need 3 times as much wins than losses to rank up and I don't think it should be handled like that, especially in lower ranks. I could understand it if it was handled like that at rank 60+ but you only need one guy in the team who does what he wants, and he'll mess up your rank. And these people, who does what they want, happen sadly to often on the lower ranks.
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 that it would be nice to see the same load screen that displays avg skill of both teams during the match. I hit tab still hoping to see that as it is gone so quickly. I also can see the "grind" being discussed here, but in reality that is just the nature of the beast. Unless you want to have wins move the needle farther by default. Wait a second...that's not a bad idea! :)
06/30/2016 09:45 AMPosted by GreenSage
There is a bug with KotH maps which is rewarding WAY too little experience and making it feel like it's harder to rank up (because it is).

PLEASE allow us to go up and down in rank. DO NOT cater to carebears, that's what Quick Play is for.


Yes, agreed, that's not what I meant to suggest. Although guilty as charged, I am a carebear :-D
06/30/2016 08:56 AMPosted by Shunt
06/30/2016 08:29 AMPosted by VexedHex
...

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.

It seems like that's the case going if I'm reading Jeff's posts correctly -
http://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20745725697#post-2
http://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20745725697#post-12

Looks like the placement matches are just a rough "starting point" and then results from competitive matches are to "settle" your rank. It seems like it's a "perpetual" settling which is different from "progression"...maybe that's where the disconnect comes from - our rank is supposed to be a reflection and not a linear progression. Harsh but true system I suppose?
WeaponsGrade said about tiers again, I fully agree with him, not to change the current way of ranked, but just simbolic like a medal/portrait around the skill rating with the number inside of it, something like:

1~20 = None
21~40 = Bronze
41~60 = Silver
61~80 = Gold
81~100 = Diamond

It was just an example, you can create something better than that hahahahaha. I like how much different is the TOP500 icon, because of this I thought this "portrait/medals"
06/30/2016 08:01 AMPosted by WeaponsGrade
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".


Also how to decrease the grindy-ness of Competitive mode:

Give 2 Competitive Points for a win, 1 for a loss (assuming you didn't get that loss because of a leave).
06/30/2016 09:13 AMPosted by WeaponsGrade
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.


I think this is the idea behind having 100 ranks. It's so the smallest change (1 rank) is not a big percentage change. Imagine if we had 10000 ranks. Then we would change about 100 or so ranks with each match. Each individual rank is meaningless, so losing 1 rank doesn't hurt. On the other side, we can imagine it like Starcraft 2 where there's just 5 ranks. Then moving 1 rank is a huge deal. Blizzard added a bunch of safeguards to convert the skill ranking into a progression system because 1 rank move hurt too much when there's so few of them.

The idea is sizing it so that 1 rank has some meaning, but not so much that losing 1 rank feels like the end of the world. Maybe they could increase it to 1000 ranks. (we would probably adjust 5-15 ranks at the end of every match). But the difference between losing 4 ranks and losing 5 ranks becomes virtually irrelevant. A marginal 1 rank loss ceases to hurt as much. That's just a function of how small the smallest visible is. Right now it's 1%, which is already quite small. I don't think there is much to gain by shrinking it further- the reason it hurts is just because losing hurts. And no system is going to take the sting out of losing, unless it is a progression system.
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.

Here's an idea. Why not give people portrait frames like in Diablo 3? Not only that but special season portraits can be given to player for free that reflect the highest rank they achieved in that season. So even when they aren’t playing competitive, people can see at a glance that they’ve reach a certain level in competitive.
Actually, I thought the average match would end up moving our rating several places once it was over. Perhaps 5-10 depending on the outcome. I'm not sure why I ever decided that would happen, but I still like the idea of more dramatic moves up/down in a fairly short amount of time. It would feel that you were never really that far down and could turn it around with some good games. Also, much more would feel at risk vs. this very incremental process we have now.
06/30/2016 08:12 AMPosted by Mokum
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


Jeff Kaplan doesn't speak European :^)
I think the problem people are having is that "Skill Rating" sounds like it means the game is personally judging your skill and assigning a rating.

But the reality is that is not happening, there might be some small influence from your personal stats, but once you have a skill rating the only thing that matters is winning and losing. So it's not really a skill rating so much as a W/L rating. If you solo queue often and get poor teams you could have a rating that doesn't really reflect your actual, personal skill level. If you carry your team often as a solo player you could have a rating that just seems average since there will still be many losses out of your control mixed in. In comparison to players who queue premade only and get "carried" by 5 other players who have a near perfect W/L ratio, their skill rating may be inflated beyond the level they play at.

Blizz should just change the name or make it more clear what it's actually tracking.
06/30/2016 11:26 AMPosted by Werkshawp
I think the problem people are having is that "Skill Rating" sounds like it means the game is personally judging your skill and assigning a rating.

But the reality is that is not happening, there might be some small influence from your personal stats, but once you have a skill rating the only thing that matters is winning and losing. So it's not really a skill rating so much as a W/L rating. If you solo queue often and get poor teams you could have a rating that doesn't really reflect your actual, personal skill level. If you carry your team often as a solo player you could have a rating that just seems average since there will still be many losses out of your control mixed in. In comparison to players who queue premade only and get "carried" by 5 other players who have a near perfect W/L ratio, their skill rating may be inflated beyond the level they play at.

Blizz should just change the name or make it more clear what it's actually tracking.
I'm certain that individual performance always plays quite a bit in your ongoing skill rating. Many stories of players on the same team getting vastly different results despite being very similar in ratings going into battle.
06/30/2016 11:17 AMPosted by Nawa
06/30/2016 08:12 AMPosted by Mokum
...

you know we have a european forum also a visit sometimes would be apriciated


Jeff Kaplan doesn't speak European :^)


I know,. He's not as smart as to be bilingual just like most of you here. Only us Europeans can speak multiple languages. Talking about the master race. Come at me.
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.


The thing you guys got the most right was keeping Ranking directly based on ELO.

His first suggestion mandates we go off of that.

If you guys decide on a system like he suggests, can we get both?

Can we have it so your elo is a fixed number, but your skill rating is also shown?

I'd extremely prefer not doing it entirely, but i'd hate to leave behind known elo.
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 is intentional, but no losses don't all have greater impact.

If you're the underdog, or you have more premades on the enemy team, or you perform well, or all of those, you're going to lose less for the loss.

And the inverse is also true, if you're the overdog, have more premades, or don't do very well, you lose more.
06/30/2016 09:40 AMPosted by HotRocket
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.


They won't be because that would lead to people abusing it to artificially get a higher mmr than they deserve, and would change the objective of the game from 'doing whatever is most likely for us to win" to "doing whatever is most likely for us to win AND whatever sets me up to gain the most elo"
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.


What's the difference between "quick play" and "competitive play" then? Only showing the skill rating? What's the point then?
So last night I start my first string of matches at 43. Me and a friend play 10 matches. We win 4 then lose one......im Still 43 because the one loss cost me the progress I made with the 4 wins. So, we do it again. 3 Wins then 2 losses, Im now 42.

This is not gonna work in the least. It DEFINITELY feels like the placement matches are the most important of the season. The sheer amount of progress lost on a loss is........unbelievable. To see a loss of more than 50% of a bar then only a gain of like 8%, that is flat out disheartening in the extreme.

Its equivalent to starting on a 1000 mile drive, having to stop for gas once and realizing you are back where you started. I think I may wait until next season instead of "testing" this season. I'll give it a week and see where it ends up.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum