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Arena Ladder Overhaul Compilation


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#1 Railander

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:19 PM

Everybody keeps asking for rating decay or similar methods to avoid people camping at glad ratings because frankly it really is annoying, specially if it was done on a season start with X comp being OP. The point of this thread is to come up with a massive overhaul on how our current Arena Ladder system works, not only to fix this specific problem, but every other that also annoys us to finally make arenas a fun and competitive ground (given classes/comps are also balanced). Just like Blizzard always says: "We want to do it but we also want to do it right."

Let's start pointing out all the little details that in one way or another make the ladders feel restrictive, unbalanced and/or unfun.

1: Although the rating decay system allows for people to not sit in a given rating, it doesn't fix the whole problem. The nature of the issue isnt whether people play all their games at the start or at the end of the season, its that they should be forced to play throughout the whole season. Rating decay alone doesn't offer a fix for that. Fixing this should automatically provide a solution for not only that but also many teams queuing up at any time and consequently a bigger variety of teams matched against each other.

2: It really is annoying to be stuck on any one team of each bracket at a time. I mean, couldn't we come up with a solution to allow playing on multiple teams at once without breaking the ladders?

3: Some people love the 5s, some hate it. Thing is its a fact there simply arent enough active 5s teams on each battlegroup, let alone teams queuing at any one time and the fact that its not as balanced as 3s, so should 5s still reward titles? What could we do to make it more attractive, balanced, or just drop it completely?

4: Let's not forget the 2s bracket. It definitely has more than enough active teams, but the very balancing of the game makes it a poor bracket. What should be done about it?

5: Rewards. Does Gladiator still mean anything? Are rank 1 titles even that meaningful anymore? Heck, lets not forget about Challenger, Rival and Duelist, what's even the point in these? Should there be other kind of rewards?


Please post any and all suggestions in this thread. It seems Blizzard actually reads this forum and is finally trying to fix the game, they just dont know how so a little push from experienced players might spare them a lot of trouble.

Spoiler

Edited by Railander, 20 September 2012 - 10:41 AM.

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#2 Zong

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:14 PM

Good thread, there are so many different ways to fix the ladders, and a centralized compilation of suggestions is a good idea.

I honestly think that reducing season lengths to 2-3 months would be a huge step forward. It keeps the competition ever changing and camping a rating would be next to impossible, you would have to constantly fight for your title and your place, which is how it should be. 9 month seasons are just ludicrous.

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2: It really is annoying to be stuck on any one team of each bracket at a time. I mean, couldn't we come up with a solution to allow playing on multiple teams at once without breaking the ladders?

I think this is an important one too, team switching is so punishing, and for what reason?  There doesn't seem to be a logical one to me. Even if PR just flat out didn't reset when you joined another team, where is the damage? as long as you earned that PR then you should keep it.

Edited by Zong, 19 September 2012 - 09:29 PM.

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#3 Miseryloll

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:50 PM

I like the idea and I agree with zinglah however queuing into other battlegroups instantly could be a problem

#4 Bloobungle

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:59 PM

1: Obtaining higher ratings isn't a problem if participation is high ALL around. You can't necessarily target teams that are camping on high ratings and expect this to solve anything (asides from rank 1 position). There needs to be incentives for players to continue competing whether it is at 1200 or 2400. Merging battlegroups helps to a certain extent but, competition still dies down.

Pseudo-seasons, as you suggested, make the most sense to implement. You'll at least be drawn back to retain your titles or test your skills on a montly basis.

2: I don't see this as a problem. Wasn't this implemented to prevent players from abusing MMR - accidentally or intentionally?

3 and 4: Scale PvP resilience and PvP power at different coefficients for these brackets. Even RBG's for that matter. If 3v3 is the ideal PvP balance, why not tweak the numbers so that these stats have more or less weight in different environments?

#5 Railander

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:16 PM

View PostBloobungle, on 19 September 2012 - 09:59 PM, said:

2: I don't see this as a problem. Wasn't this implemented to prevent players from abusing MMR - accidentally or intentionally?
im not 100% sure but i believe the current system already prevents that kind of exploit. as far as i know MMR is personal (duh), but as soon as you play a match in a team with partners that have a different MMR than yours, right when the queue pops your MMRs will be average'd together. example: i have 2k MMR, player B has 1900 and player C 1800. as soon as queue pops our MMR is average'd out and we all end at 1900 individually.

EDIT: i see you mean to purposefully lower the team MMR so you will be matched against lower teams and farm them.

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3 and 4: Scale PvP resilience and PvP power at different coefficients for these brackets. Even RBG's for that matter. If 3v3 is the ideal PvP balance, why not tweak the numbers so that these stats have more or less weight in different environments?
very interesting suggestion. i was actually thinking something along those lines but your implementation seems more reasonable and concrete than mine.

Edited by Railander, 19 September 2012 - 10:19 PM.

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#6 Domesauce

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:34 PM

Ratings just need to increase over time. Rating decay would make the deflation problem worse. Overall inflation is the only way to insure that the best teams currently playing have the best chance at having the highest current rating. Participation is not a controllable part of the problem, the system has to work so that it inflates regardless.

Edited by Domesauce, 19 September 2012 - 11:37 PM.


#7 Railander

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:39 PM

View PostDomesauce, on 19 September 2012 - 11:34 PM, said:

Ratings just need to increase over time. Rating decay would make the deflation problem worse. Overall inflation is the only way to assure that the best teams currently playing have the best chance at having the highest current rating. Participation is not a controllable part of the problem, the system has to work so that it inflates regardless.
Not really. Rating inflation promotes exactly the same kind of behaviour as decay, which is "only the end of the season matters. playing at the start = meaningless". beginning, mid and end should matter equally.

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#8 Domesauce

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:48 PM

View PostRailander, on 19 September 2012 - 11:39 PM, said:

Not really. Rating inflation promotes exactly the same kind of behaviour as decay, which is "only the end of the season matters. playing at the start = meaningless". beginning, mid and end should matter equally.

The goal is to have a ladder that always accurately reflects the current best teams.

In a perfect world, sure, there would be neither inflation or deflation. Since that's impossible, inflation is the answer. As close to 0 inflation as possible, of course, but absolutely not deflation. I'm not really convinced anything but the end of the season should matter anyways- that's when the titles are given out, after all. It's not like playoff games are dispersed throughout the season in sports. You can't really complain about camping ratings and then want to beginning of the season to matter at the same time.

Edited by Domesauce, 19 September 2012 - 11:53 PM.


#9 Railander

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:42 AM

View PostDomesauce, on 19 September 2012 - 11:48 PM, said:

The goal is to have a ladder that always accurately reflects the current best teams.

In a perfect world, sure, there would be neither inflation or deflation. Since that's impossible, inflation is the answer. As close to 0 inflation as possible, of course, but absolutely not deflation. I'm not really convinced anything but the end of the season should matter anyways- that's when the titles are given out, after all. It's not like playoff games are dispersed throughout the season in sports. You can't really complain about camping ratings and then want to beginning of the season to matter at the same time.
saying its impossible is ridiculous. in fact, my suggestion already accounts for that, so how come its impossible? also i dont see why only the end of season should matter. IMO the whole season should matter, if not whats the point in even having a ladder during the beginning and mid of the season?

View PostZong, on 19 September 2012 - 09:14 PM, said:

I honestly think that reducing season lengths to 2-3 months would be a huge step forward. It keeps the competition ever changing and camping a rating would be next to impossible, you would have to constantly fight for your title and your place, which is how it should be. 9 month seasons are just ludicrous.
now this touches an interesting topic. having shorter seasons would mean more abundant rewards, but a lot of people already consider the titles "meaningless" so wouldnt increasing the number of titles be bad?
that aside, i dont think shorter seasons would work at all because blizzard always times new seasons with new PvE content because there is always higher ilvl items involved in both.

Edited by Railander, 20 September 2012 - 12:48 AM.

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#10 Domesauce

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 01:39 AM

View PostRailander, on 20 September 2012 - 12:42 AM, said:

saying its impossible is ridiculous. in fact, my suggestion already accounts for that, so how come its impossible? also i dont see why only the end of season should matter. IMO the whole season should matter, if not whats the point in even having a ladder during the beginning and mid of the season?

Your suggestion does not stop rating from inflating or deflating within those time periods. It really is impossible to have an Elo or modified Elo rating that doesn't ever inflate or deflate, as there are always changing factors that are outside of the control of the system itself. A counter-example is, of course, welcome.

Fortunately, it doesn't matter, as long as deflation is avoided.

Your opinion may be that the whole season should matter, but really titles are only calculated at one point in the season. If your ridiculously complex system is adopted, which it won't be, then yes there will be multiple points. But, you still have to avoid deflation.

#11 Top

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 01:40 AM

People will want to play during the begining of the season for gear so that's a given.  You don't have to worry about motivating activity then.  It's the timeframe 2-3 months into the season when you need to motivate play.

It's worth considering lowing the cap on the amount of rating you can gain from a win too.  I realize this can potentially "punish" people who team hop but it's a small price to pay imo.  RBGs will take care of that issue for more people anyway, I just wish they'd lower the conquest cap earned from RBGs so conquest points meant more, and it kept people in arenas for a longer part of the season because they need gear still.

Capping the amount of rating you can gain from a win and resetting MMR every season are EASY to implement and should help a little.

Shortening the seasons sounds good on paper, but then you run into the issue of making new gear sets or keeping somewhat on par with current pve content.  I don't see an easy way to work around that if you're going to shorten the length of seasons.

It's been mentioned before that, you can make end of season rewards only matter for activity in the later part of the season like previously done on the ATR.  The first 75% of the season is for getting your gear, playing different comps with your friends etc and the last 25% you must make a new charter and only charters made after that point are elidgible for end of season rewards.

#12 Zong

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:21 AM

View PostRailander, on 20 September 2012 - 12:42 AM, said:

now this touches an interesting topic. having shorter seasons would mean more abundant rewards, but a lot of people already consider the titles "meaningless" so wouldnt increasing the number of titles be bad?
that aside, i dont think shorter seasons would work at all because blizzard always times new seasons with new PvE content because there is always higher ilvl items involved in both.

This is why it's in the compilation, obviously it's not a magical fix but I do think it would be a step in the right direction. I think that in combination these ideas would work well.

Why do seasons need to revolve around gear and patches? they simply don't need to, that is a choice Blizzard has made, and I believe it is one of the reasons the ladder is so flawed and ends up in such an awful state.

As for titles, Blizzard could possibly adapt a system similar to Starcraft 2(with leagues). How would titles be any more meaningless then they are now though? The only main issue i see here is rank 1, Blizzard couldn't just keep adding scary adjectives in front of Gladiator, or maybe they can..

Main point: Arena seasons and ladder should exist and be maintained completely separate from patches, gear and other outside influences. I think it's quite ridiculous that we've had seasons where you can literally say "well that persons title is meaningless because he got it during this season as this class", that shouldn't even be a thing, but it is.

Here's how I semi-envision this, I adapted Indead's idea a bit to my own ideas..

5.1 would start and we have two concepts: A Mega-season, and a mini-season.

Mini-seasons: Mini-seasons are approximately 2 months long, they run their course and everyone obviously fights for their place, because they only have 8 weeks to get it, this adds urgency to having to play arena, something long gone from arena, bar the first month and last 2 weeks of a season. At the end of the 8 weeks, the main ladders are wiped, MMR, PR, TR, everything. However, your finishing score is recorded and stored for later. Blizzard gives out challenger-glad, but not rank 1(this doesn't mean there can't be an acknowledgement of rank 1 players achievements at the end of mini-seasons)

Mega-season: The mega-season is your overarching achievements, it's an aggregate score of your past "mini-seasons", depending on your participation and performance over the past mini-seasons, you are awarded an even better title, something permanent.

Rewards: Rewards are why you play this game, it's the literally the driving force behind Blizzards "challenge for reward", this is what MMOs use as their model, whether you like it or not, WoW is a big carrot-on-a-stick.

The reward system for arena is stagnant, this is apparent. Challenger, Rival and Duelist couldn't be anymore worthless to most people, and that is all you are offered, a title. The high level gear is a recolor of the low level gear, how is this a good reward? It just fucking isn't. Challenge Mode offers the best looking gear I've ever seen. Compare the Hunter sets and try and tell me the same people who are passionate about PvE also give a shit about giving PvPers proper rewards? It's so clear their heart is not in the Art.

http://media.mmo-cha...finalHunter.jpg
http://media.mmo-cha...r/s12Hunter.jpg

Where did Blizzard get this attitude that PvPers don't care about frivolous or aesthetic rewards? Of course they do, many won't admit it, but status is what they look for in this game, you can achieve the concept of status through these rewards and yet all Blizzard offers are some measly titles. They stopped adding high level tabards...another dumb mistake, why?

Anyway, rant out of the way. To elaborate on the rewards I'd like to see driving a system like this, my first idea was some kind of massive server recognition for a player who achieves rank 1 and the end of a mega-season. Varian/Garrosh should scream across the server about what this person has done, give them a parade with fireworks and shit, make it an event, it's the same concept as turning in dragon-heads, why not?

Another idea: Banners. Give rank 1 players an item they can use which will attach a banner to their back proudly portraying their rank 1 achievement.

These are just ideas I've bounced around in my head and the system would need a lot more depth, but I think the point has been made.

MMO players are like a shitty girlfriend you have to constantly validate, but that is how you drive us, PvPers are NO DIFFERENT from PvE'ers in this regard.

edit: One important thing I forgot to touch on is the inaccessibility  and complete lack of reward for low level arena players. Who wants to play all season and be stuck at 1600 for Challenger? Even if that player is a challenger, there should be far more rewards. When was the last time a new achievement was added for arena? If anything more achievements have been removed than added. What's up with that? I can think of dozens of fun little achievements you could add for arena.

There are literally countless possiblities to add rewards, achievements, all sorts of little things that keep a player motivated, and Blizzard actually does this a LOT in PvE, but has completely ignored it for PvP.

Their attitude seems to be "well pvpers only really want pvp balance, titles and mounts they dont care about anything else". This just isn't true.

Edited by Zong, 20 September 2012 - 04:35 AM.

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#13 Hyuru

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:27 AM

Erza Scarlet

#14 Railander

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 10:51 AM

View PostDomesauce, on 20 September 2012 - 01:39 AM, said:

Your suggestion does not stop rating from inflating or deflating within those time periods. It really is impossible to have an Elo or modified Elo rating that doesn't ever inflate or deflate, as there are always changing factors that are outside of the control of the system itself. A counter-example is, of course, welcome.

Fortunately, it doesn't matter, as long as deflation is avoided.

Your opinion may be that the whole season should matter, but really titles are only calculated at one point in the season. If your ridiculously complex system is adopted, which it won't be, then yes there will be multiple points. But, you still have to avoid deflation.
now this is an impasse. even as of today I don't see any rating inflation. I mean, rank 1 ratings remaing basically the same from the 2nd month of a season through the end. its not that rating inflates, its just that more teams come to play at higher ratings. just because more teams are achieving it doesnt necessarily mean its an inflation but rather more equally good teams made their way, basically the absolute ratings still have the same value.

to your second point, not everybody cares about grinding gear that fast. i mean, gear only serves as a purpose to achieve the highest rating possible if you care about getting the gear asap. many (most i dare say) people dont really care about trying for 2400 rating for more conquest the next week, they simply play as normally and get the cap of the week. in fact, most people that DO care about getting gear asap will instead go for rbgs and ignore the competitive scene of arenas because rbgs simply give you a lot higher cap.
that said, i agree and totally understand whether we should play competitively through the whole season or only during the end comes to personal preferences. its just that i believe making the whole season competitively meaningful would by itself create better insentive. but anyways i think Zong's suggestion above is even better than mine.

Spoiler
i support of expanding this. so much potential.

Edited by Railander, 20 September 2012 - 10:52 AM.

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#15 Domesauce

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:56 AM

View PostRailander, on 20 September 2012 - 10:51 AM, said:

now this is an impasse. even as of today I don't see any rating inflation. I mean, rank 1 ratings remaing basically the same from the 2nd month of a season through the end.

Right.... That would be deflation... hence the problem.... I'm not really sure you've understood this at all

Edited by Domesauce, 20 September 2012 - 11:58 AM.


#16 Railander

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:43 PM

View PostDomesauce, on 20 September 2012 - 11:56 AM, said:

Right.... That would be deflation... hence the problem.... I'm not really sure you've understood this at all
i still dont see why it would be a deflation. its like a bigmac used to cost 5 bucks 1 year ago and still costs 5 bucks today.

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#17 Nycto

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 01:24 PM

I'm still baffled to this mmr drop people say they have...this has never happened to me on any of my characters from season 10 when apparently it started happening to people. I team hopped a lot and remade teams often on all of my characters, not once did i lose 300-400 mmr whatever crazy numbers people have come out with, i lost none.

A rating decay wouldn't work, nor would a bonus pool, the only way to stop camping is to increase activity, which i guess will only be done if you make the inter bg queues more lenient.

#18 Domesauce

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 01:37 PM

View PostRailander, on 20 September 2012 - 12:43 PM, said:

i still dont see why it would be a deflation. its like a bigmac used to cost 5 bucks 1 year ago and still costs 5 bucks today.

So it's not deflating, the current system is the first rating system to be perfectly balanced and it was just as easy to get R1 rating at the end of the season as it was at the beginning and middle?

Sounds perfect. Why would we ever want to change this


I'll be honest, I'm completely lost as to what you're trying to say the problem is here. First you say it is bad, that it's a problem that teams get their rating at the beginning and then camp, then you say the beginning should matter just as much as any other time? Totally contradictory. Then you say that the current system is consistent and does not deflate? Why is there problem at all?

All that matters is that deflation has to be avoided.

Edited by Domesauce, 20 September 2012 - 02:02 PM.


#19 Railander

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:23 PM

View PostDomesauce, on 20 September 2012 - 01:37 PM, said:

So it's not deflating, the current system is the first rating system to be perfectly balanced and it was just as easy to get R1 rating at the end of the season as it was at the beginning and middle?

Sounds perfect. Why would we ever want to change this


I'll be honest, I'm completely lost as to what you're trying to say the problem is here. First you say it is bad, that it's a problem that teams get their rating at the beginning and then camp, then you say the beginning should matter just as much as any other time? Totally contradictory. Then you say that the current system is consistent and does not deflate? Why is there problem at all?

All that matters is that deflation has to be avoided.
nono, what im saying is that you should play during the whole season. playing only at the beginning should weight the same as playing only at the end or mid, but playing on all beginning, mid and end should by far outweight that.

the problem is not the way ratings (and mmr for that matter) are distributed at the end of matches, its how a season as a whole plays out.
just like Nyctó said the best way to fix this is to promote activity through the entirety of the season, and not just "oh i need to get my conquest cap this week" activity but competitive activity.

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#20 JackBlackxx

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:53 PM

shit is crazy
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