Last Friday we introduced a new ranking system. Not only does it feature a 1v1 ranking, it also features separate rankings for the European, American and Asian servers. We think it is a great addition for 1v1 players, and it should also get more players to play on their own cluster.
In the beginning of CF 2 we made the ranking system. The FFA rankings, and later the Team rankings. They worked very well for a long time, but over time some problems crept into the ranking system:
To combat the problems, we came up with the solution we have now.
Simply said, we added 4! rankings: - FFA - Team - 1v1 - and Team hidden
for all our clusters: - EU - America - Asia
The reason to split it on cluster is very important: to make people play more on their own server, thus filling their own server with local people, and thus have less lags on the EU cluster.
I think the FFA, Team and 1v1 ranks are self explanatory. The team hidden needs some explanation. In the past we had unranked team games, which didn't add up to your team rank. Now we have a seperate ladder for unranked team games: hidden team ladder.
Ranks are meant to be a measurement of your strength. Playing games against people of your strength is much more fun than to play games against people who are way stronger or way weaker than you are. To facilitate this, we use the rank to determine who you are going to play against. Games of your level are suggested at the top of the lobby list.
Why do people cheat their rank? Not because they want to play against people of their strength. Having a high rank results in having a higher prestige. It is the only prestige quality you can't buy. ** When you have a high rank, people will stop calling you a n00b. They might even look up to you. To gain this prestige, people find ways to cheat. And cheating spoils the fun of the other players, who are cheated upon.
There are several ways to combat cheating. One of the ways to do this, is to hide the rank of a person. Most effectively removing the reason why they cheat. To make sure people still play against players from their own skill level, we did add a hidden team rank. The hidden team rank thus primarily functions as a match making mechanism.
The other thing hidden team rank can facilitate in the future, is to combat cheating in ranked team games, without removing the accessibility and fun that team games can bring to all the people.
Let me explain. I have to warn though, that the next paragraph is all speculation, and not decided upon yet. One of the thoughts we have to make cheating in team games tougher, is to make getting caught result in high losses: time or money. This would probably mean that team games would become less accessible for many (fake) players. With a separate rank for unranked team games, we make sure that the game mode of team play would still be accessible to all players.
Currently we have a big dilemma. By introducing a separate 1v1 rank, we didn't solve the problem of the 1v1 players being currently on top of the EU FFA chart. In the long term they would vanish away into oblivion by the weekly rank decay. If we would let it be, the current 1v1 players have 3 options to stay on top of the chart: 1. Start playing FFA like mad and thus loosing a lot of rank. 2. Play 1 FFA game a week and thus maintaining their rank. Most preferable in an unranked game to reduce their risk of losing FFA points. 3. Don't play at all The rank decay is about 1% per week. That would mean about 25 rank points per week. It would mean the current number 1 player would be able to stay on top of the charts for 3 more months, just by being inactive.
One of the possibilities to combat this, is to make a rank reset. A rank reset can be a lot of fun. Everybody gets a fair chance to gain a high rank again. We would also get rid of a lot of inactive ranks. However, people who spend a lot of time on their current position would not be so happy. If we are going to do this, the current top players would get an award for their achievements.
However, we are also considering other solutions. I am wondering though what you would think of a rank reset, or maybe have a better solution?
Now to show some statistics. That's why you read this blog, right? In this image we show some statistics about the EU FFA ladder: 1. Players/rank in blue. How many players are currently listed for their ranks 2. Plays/rank in brown. How many games do the players with their rank play 3. Plays/player in grey. How many games per player do players with a certain rank play
We can see very nicely that the normal distribution is not determined by the amount of players, but by the amount of plays the players play. Something else we see, is in order to gain rank, you need to practice. People who practice more will have higher ranks (on average). Also note that above 1400 the amount of people with a rank gets so low, that the spread in the plays/player becomes really high.
In the upcoming 2 weeks we will do something about.... Drums playing, Drums getting louder ... LAG! More specifically: - Making the game perform better - Reducing the effects of laggers - Fix desynchronization of lag (air deaths)
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 Note also that people cheat because they find it simply 'fun'
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