A consensus of those unhappy with Ranked?

Competitive Discussion
I want to get an opinion from all those unhappy with ranked.

Does everyone agree on this one point? Can we speak with one voice?

The main problem is that low ranks are super unstable. What I mean is that the lower the rank, the more wildly varying the game is and the more the skill levels are crazy unequal. High ranks seem like they may stabilize and represent something real, but low ranks, where most people are, have almost no reliability.

This leads to way more stomps and completely unpredictable team strategies because people's skills and their SR don't match nearly as well as at higher ranks.

It seems like people at the top don't understand the problem at the bottom because the system actually works better and better as you get to higher ranks. You are playing with people who actually belong where their SR says they do at high ranks, but at low ranks you have people from GM to "horribronze," all in the same games and it becomes a random mess you can't really influence.

How can you "carry" as a gold skill level player in bronze when there is a plat skill level player doing the same on the other team? What about when you belong in diamond your team is full of people who belong in silver and gold and there's one Master with a whole team that belongs in horribronze. Sorry, but the diamond is going to beat the master. Period.

TL;DR The vast majority of people who are ranked improperly because of low total game numbers are in gold, silver, and bronze. This makes the area where most people's skill level actually belong, be a chaotic mess of unfairness and a bad experience.

So can we all agree there is one single major problem that all of us (who are unhappy) are complaining about?

The problem is instability, variation, and unreliability of the area where most people play

============================================================
Now let's deal with the argument everyone happy with the system uses:

"But so-and-so climbed out of bronze, so there's no problem"

Unfortunately people keep citing bronze-GM series without considering some of the data around it. Tanking your win rate by screwing over team after team and getting down to bronze gives you a HUGE starting advantage... not only do you get placed with other people who are losing and losing, you also get an enormous rank boost advantage.

People who tank their scores are actually gaming the system and I've been considering doing it myself just to slingshot out of silver.

If you start with a brand new account, you're also starting with an advantage of not having the system believe it knows you and therefore try to hold you back to "where you belong."

Look at this data analysis of that crazy one-off series Stevo did. (why do people always cite edge cases when we're talking about a rule-of-thumb??)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1FLEzkX4AMFsO2tU2kNOxyqO4SCJ2kDYI8qa0QGk4V9A/edit#gid=0

There is a clear slingshot effect up to 1900 SR. The average SR gains and losses after that point stabilize to the 20-25 region afterwards, but I've personally noticed a huge shift in game play style and skill just past the 1700-1800 mark. I have to switch from Junkrat carry to Soldier right in that area. Now I'm wondering if there isn't a very specific reason for that transition point.

This shows that these examples are not applicable to most players. They are irrelevant.

Yes a GM player can get out of bronze in quick time... under the right circumstances... in the examples they show off... (not the ones they hide) sure, but what about a silver or gold player? Can they just jump right out of it or do they slog through a hellish up and down that goes nowhere and feels way too crazily varying to have any meaning? Is there a rewarding experience of reliable feedback of personal performance?

Is it fair to ask players to play 300 horrible garbage games to finally reach a place where the game is actually representing your real skill?

Our problem is slogging through. Slowness and crazy variation. We're not complaining that it's impossible. That is NOT the argument, so please stop "proving" that straw-man is incorrect. We don't care because we already agree with that.

TL;DR Exceptional people can do exceptional things. Some people put in more time than others and deserve more reward for it. Fine, great, sure. Now let's address the rest of us.

============================================================
What's an actual solution they could implement to make those unhappy... happy?

(what would solve the huge variation)

1) Something like the TrueSkill Through Time (TTT) mentioned in this paper:

http://www.ets.org/Media/Research/pdf/RM-15-03.pdf

By storing game outcomes and points awarded the system can go back and re-process games based on later outcomes to get more realistic scores with fewer games.

If you were playing in bronze with someone who ended up in GM, then whatever score they gave you was inaccurate because you weren't playing a bronze player.

This system fixes that!

2) Allow a player controlled manual reset of all historical game data on an account at least once per season. If I played only ten games per season in all previous seasons, the system is sure I now belong deep in bronze and will not allow me to climb quickly because it's using biased data.

Clearing your record and being able to start over is CRUCIAL for fairness.
I shouldn't be posting in the middle of the night so much, so excuse a bump? :D
Hey, glad to see you trying to fix the comp system.

1) I don't think TTT will be enough. For all we know they may already do something similar behind the scenes.

2) This would not fix anything and only destabilize the system, as the many reset players will be unknowns for a while. Especially TTT works better with a nice history.

While I agree, that the system is broken, I believe what it needs most is a per-group-SR instead of the current monolithic SR.
Here are some details how it would work: https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20758548036

What do you think of that one?
Instability:
~Comp is used as practice: "this is my x only account" because they don't want to 'ruin' games on their main so instead they ruin games with their alt account while they figure out how to play as a single character.

~Toxic allies: I already got 6 people marking me for death because I'm tank/support (well, I used to be); now I got my own flanking DPS angrily coming at me because their rambo attempts are failing.
09/20/2017 08:28 AMPosted by ntroPi
Hey, glad to see you trying to fix the comp system.

1) I don't think TTT will be enough. For all we know they may already do something similar behind the scenes.

2) This would not fix anything and only destabilize the system, as the many reset players will be unknowns for a while. Especially TTT works better with a nice history.

While I agree, that the system is broken, I believe what it needs most is a per-group-SR instead of the current monolithic SR.
Here are some details how it would work: https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20758548036

What do you think of that one?


1) Your rank would either change on its own while not playing, or if they tried to hide it, you'd suddenly have horrible huge SR losses and almost nothing gained, or the opposite after each calculation. This would really piss people off, so they would probably choose to expose it. Secondarily, I haven't seen datasets that look like this with streaks of reliable uptrends (regardless of win or loss) and downtrends (regardless of win or loss)

2) Which is more destabilizing? Players placed improperly (too high or low) with the system certain it's right and placing additional people based on this false information... or entities the system knows are currently unknown and therefore used as a less reliable guide when placing other players who interact?

I'm an old programmer so I do have some insight into systems design.

Unfortunately I think the per-group idea is infeasible. Every ad hoc group that forms is a new entity to store and try to score. I'm not sure I understand how you can argue that a data reset would mess things up and then immediately propose constant new entities being put into the system.

I see your response to Tankz and it makes even less sense to me. You say to calculate it like it is now. You've reached a mutual exclusivity. You cannot have groups be treated like new individuals and then ask that they be calculated from individual scores like they already are. That's asking for opposite things to exist simultaneously in the same place.

What Jake Lyon asks for in that vid is to have two totally different scores. How you play in parties and how you play solo. That's something different from what you have proposed. What he proposed is workable but I don't think your suggestion actually is possible from how I understand it.

I think you're asking for an immovable object to interact with an irresistible force: An error in compatibility of axioms.
Unhappy. I want role select. I want a reset of old MMR data - if they MUST keep previous MMR data, just keep the previous season. I want minimum hour restrictions per hero before they can be played in comp. I want in-game real-time visibility into entire team stats for competitive. I want a temporary avoid player functionality, even if it's just for a few games.
09/20/2017 08:35 AMPosted by Erebus
Instability:
~Comp is used as practice: "this is my x only account" because they don't want to 'ruin' games on their main so instead they ruin games with their alt account while they figure out how to play as a single character.

~Toxic allies: I already got 6 people marking me for death because I'm tank/support (well, I used to be); now I got my own flanking DPS angrily coming at me because their rambo attempts are failing.


Yes that's part of it. Another factor, however, is the total number of games played. It's simply statistically impossible to glean a meaningful ranking of a single person based primarily on the win/loss ratio of a team of 6 people in a game of this level of complexity, with fewer than a many hundreds of games.

A single person's impact on a game is nonlinear and is likely a maximum of ~3-5% in the positive direction and around 25-50% in the negative direction not the oversimplified apparent 16.66% in both directions. The fact that it's simple binary info with numerous degrees of freedom complicates the problem too much.

Brute force statistical win loss ratios are garbage for this purpose without huge sample sizes. Ergo, HUGE variations in accuracy of ratings at low rank and sample sizes.
avoid player would be a simple fix but it gets abused at the top of the pyramid... I miss being able to avoid people I don't wan to get stuck with :(
09/20/2017 09:03 AMPosted by Subflow
Unhappy. I want role select. I want a reset of old MMR data - if they MUST keep previous MMR data, just keep the previous season. I want minimum hour restrictions per hero before they can be played in comp. I want in-game real-time visibility into entire team stats for competitive. I want a temporary avoid player functionality, even if it's just for a few games.


Pretty much this. Unfortunately, Blizzard is obsessed with balancing a competitive game for casuals so this will never happen. Blizzard gives too many chances and leaves too many things open so people take advantage. There are so many game modes for people to fool around in but there is only one competitive mode. There should be zero tolerance from Blizzard toward people who ruin other players experiences in competitive. Plain and simple.
well marvist, if you look at ANY other game with a strong competitive scene they do in fact have a no tolerance approach. Blizzard wants to play ball with the big boys but won't take the necessary steps to get there. This game will slowly die the way things are going now. Destiny 2 will butcher their fan base for weeks or months... maybe permanently
09/20/2017 09:29 AMPosted by lol
well marvist, if you look at ANY other game with a strong competitive scene they do in fact have a no tolerance approach. Blizzard wants to play ball with the big boys but won't take the necessary steps to get there. This game will slowly die the way things are going now. Destiny 2 will butcher their fan base for weeks or months... maybe permanently


I hope it does. This game doesn't deserve the popularity it has. It's like the game blew up so the developers stopped caring. I don't care about or believe anything Kaplan says in any of his videos. He's been talking about punishment for toxic players for the past 6 months and NOTHING has improved. I respect Jeff. He's seems like a nice guy and he seems to be really into this game and the community but there is no substance to his claims. Nothing to show for what he says. So I don't know if someone higher up has his hands tied or what, but if nothing significant gets done soon a whole lot of people are going to stop taking competitive seriously or quit altogether. You are already seeing it. People don't seem motivated to win and most games feel like quick play with no communication or team comps that make sense. The game mode is becoming a joke and I want it to improve, but I'm finding it hard to keep caring because more and more it seems like a lost cause.
lol, agreed... I legitimately could care less about overwatch anymore... I try to have fun playing... I try my heart out in competitive... just to get matched with the worst of the worst 3 games in a row lmao... It really isn't a hard fix either... start handing out perma bans... stop with the temp bans and just completely ban them from comp for the season... its 2 months long... If they get their act together next season good for them... if not another ban... there are countless game modes still available to them and it would clean up competitive within a week...

[Edited for language - Moderator]
I have a dead horse, and I'll beat it as much as i will:

I agree with you that the mid-lower ranks are super unstable. And have gotten worse since the game came out. I'm in gold and people haven't gotten any more game sense or knowledge about positioning or tactics. Clearly something is fishy with this, as you'd expect people to get better at the game as it aged.

Game is more chaotic now than at say season 2 though.

Why?

Here's why: Blizzard keeps selling more game copies ofcourse. But instead of putting new people in bronze WHERE THEY BELONG they seed the middle ranks with new players that have absolutely no clue about any of the tactics and tricks of the game.

The result is that if you're in Bronze - Diamond you will NEVER get to experience anything but the chaotic mess that it is. Never will you get the consistent games that make it fun to lose a game - it's stomp or be stomped, or a chaotic mess where you only win because you're able to pull out some insane hero play.

Stop it Blizz - pls!
Some people keep believing in this system. To put it simple: The system is far from perfect and needs changing.

For me its proof enough that when i got my second account i got placed 800sr higher then my first account mid season. From 1550 +/- to about 2350+/-.

To put that in perspective, i was at about 1900 sr on my first acc. when i dropped to 1550. I felt like so many other players this wasnt all my own fault. So i got the new account just to see if it was me or the system. Now on the second acc i managed a season high at 2505? +/- soon as i hit that i dropped down to like 2100+/-. Then i started playing again on my first acc. which sat at 1550 sr and voila in 2 days managed to get into mid plat, i think it was about 2700sr. And guess what happened? yep soon as i had my season high i dropped down again.

I am pretty confident that if/when i get a 3rd account i will get placed into diamond. Why i am sure? 1st because it happened before ( 800 difference ) 2nd because every player that plays as much as i do or did will improve at playing the game.

I have always felt that using skill rating in team based games should be done purely based on skill and not match outcome. Simply because there is no I in team. And for the life of me i dont understand why they ( all games that use it ) implemented this system. I come from and old skool UT99 and Quake back ground where i played competitive. We had clans and websites like clanbase.com (dead) like now the good players would be in the good clans and so it trickles down the ladder. The only difference is that all players had an equal chance of getting in to the top 5 ranked clans. How? simple you played on public servers or pick up games ( basically a comp match with 10 randoms ) and people would see if you where good or not. You could lose 10 comp games in a row but if you would outfrag and perform every one you get noticed and end up higher in clans.

Here is some thing else to think about. Maps and game modes.
Some people may absolutely hate king of the hill, or maybe 2cp. The chance of that player playing his best is smaller then when he plays a map he enjoys. Now imagine this player gets a 2cp map 3 times after each other. This guy most likely is not gonna be as motivated as when he is able to play the map he like and is good at.
So why did game devs start to force us to play " random" maps and modes? I have thought about this allot and i cant think of 1 reason this is justified. Not 1

Lastly i want to add that even though up to now i love the work and effort blizzard puts into this game i believe its time to give us a serious comp and not the quick play with sr as it is now.

This means:
Role select ( i am sure people dont mind waiting a bit longer for a game when it gives a decent team comp )

Way smaller difference in SR ( i know there are exceptions, but some one at 2300 is not gonna be as good as some one at 3300 )

There are more things but this would be a great start.

thx for reading
We need a clan system /thread
I'm pretty happy with ranked. Now that Dva is nerfed there is no direct meta besides mercy, you can play whatever you want and do good with it. It's pretty fun.
I think this was an extremely well thought out post OP. Please excuse me as I get a little rant out of my system.

The SR system is broken and there are so many that defend it that it blows my mind. People stuck in bronze, myself included, are not trying to skyrocket to platinum. What we want is to play with players that are actually close to our skill level. I do not enjoy games that I stomp the other team, nor do I enjoy being completely stomped. This is not about winning or losing, it's about playing the game as intended.

I have played about 6 games a night for the past week. I am lucky to win one of those matches. Most responses are that I need more practice, or I need to carry. Let's break those down, shall we?

Practice - yes, you must practice to get better. I've been playing the game for 3 months now and am MUCH better than when I started, and yet my SR is lower than when I started.

However much I've improved though, I will never be as good as someone 100 levels (or more), or several SR tiers above me. These are the players that I play with every single game. I hit tab and can tell you from levels alone which team will win. It's not a matter of my entire team, or myself, being poor at the game; its a matter of not being placed in fair matches. This would be like throwing a high school basketball team on a court with professionals. No matter how much they practiced, they do not have the skill/experience of the higher 'ranked' players. Now, lets say that's the only games they're allowed to play now; games against these professionals. There is no way to practice a game if you can't even play it. In this example, the high school team would probably never touch the ball. How can they get better when they are being stomped every game?

My last thought on practice is that the game itself works against you. Characters are constantly being tweaked for balance, or their kits changed. If you have 200 hours on Mercy, but now her kit is different, you're essentially starting over. It feels like a one step forward, two step back situation.

So, lets talk about carrying. Going back to my previous analogy, imagine the high school team gets Michael Jordan (in his prime) on their team. Can he carry them? Why is it up to him to carry, when they shouldn't be playing professionals in the first place? If he were able to carry; who benefits? He doesn't learn teamwork and his team still are not practicing or playing the game as intended.

The retort to complaints is, 'It's not broken. You just have to play around the game in this underhanded way to raise ranks.' Um, if it weren't broken, you wouldn't have to carry.

Anyway, this got longer than I intended. I am only still playing this game until Destiny comes out on PC. 33 days and counting.
I appreciate and agree with the details and outcomes, but its not getting at the root. The root of the problem is expectations on solo Q. We are put in a game where the basic expectation presented to us is to jive with a team. The struggle is real the second everyone starts locking in...we all know it... and then expect to make plays in a coordinated manner at a certain skill level. Solo Q is just not a place to find these expectations fulfilled. Premade Teams with people we know are, and bring the above expectations to the table in their presentation. Blizzard needs to create a team ranked ladder. Solo Q becomes what it should be and gives us all a lot less headache with it's failed expectations. A place where the expectation matches reality, the reality that will usually persist when throwing randoms in a room together...

No ELO rigging can fix the root of this problem because the expectations and presuppositions do not match reality of practice.

On team ladder solutions:
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20759306240
Even Michael Jordan had to start playing in the little leagues, he didn't get put straight into GM by some MMR system after playing 25 levels and then placement matches.

He started out in Bronze and because he was good he went quickly up the ranks untill he hit top 500.

And he took all his experience and game sense with him through the rank.

The way overwatch does it is that it assumes that your skill in the game mechanics is equal to skill in a team based game, so it takes players with above average mechanic skils and puts them in the middle of the ranks.

In essense it takes Michael Jordan in his primary school state of experience and puts him professional team. He might have the mechanical skill but he still messes up his team because he's a noob. He wins the fight, but loses the battle and ultimately also the war untill his experience is ar with his skill.

MMR is anathema to a stable game, and makes SR a joke not worth repeating.

How to fix:
put noobs in Bronze, have them advance through the ranks, then make winning the only factor in gaining or losing SR, because it's the only factor that, ultimately,takes game sense and teamplay into account.

[Edited for language - Moderator]
09/20/2017 11:47 AMPosted by combofied
I'm pretty happy with ranked. Now that Dva is nerfed there is no direct meta besides mercy, you can play whatever you want and do good with it. It's pretty fun.


You're GM your perception of 1% of the games players is hideously incomplete.

Of course you're happy, you play in the games top where evolutionary pressure is soo high that the stupid inexperience based play you see down here in wood tier just won't fly.

[Edited for language - Moderator]

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum