Gears 5 logo

Ranking – February Update

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been updating the ranking system to get it in good place for the launch of Operation 3. The system launched in a state we weren’t happy with. We’ve been making improvements from day 1 and we think that what’s running now is pretty good. We have a few more things in the works to make it even better. Below is a summary of the changes that we made.

Change 1 – Ranking Thresholds (Complete)

We moved all ranking thresholds towards places that would line up better with the point system and provide a better feeling of progression. Previously, the ranks were too heavily clustered towards the top end of the point system. Below are the new thresholds.

Change 2 – Win / Loss matters more than individual performance (Complete)

We know that going down on a win doesn’t feel good. Initially, we relied on an AI machine learning system to provide the most accurate weighting. While this weighting may have been accurate, it wasn’t always intuitive. This made the experience unsatisfying for most players.

To create a better experience, we have modified the system so the weighting of team vs individual performance now feels more intuitive and hopefully matches the natural expectations coming out of a game.

The win / loss is now the most important factor when deciding how many points to award for a round. Individual performance still counts, but it is much smaller than it used to be – while it doesn’t exactly work this way, individual performance counts for roughly 20% of the points (previously, this relationship was the opposite).

We think that this is a much more satisfying experience to more players. Based on our experiences online, this feels like a big improvement.

Change 3 – Preventing point loss on a match win (Complete)

Oddly, this is one of the most difficult things to get right. There are two circumstances where this happens

  1. Your individual performance is poor, and it drags down the points you get from the round wins. This is much less likely to happen now, but it still can happen.
  2. You lost rounds against an inferior team. This is more likely to be what you experience now. If you give up rounds against an inferior team, it is possible to lose more points than you gained for the rounds you won.

The solution – If you win the match, we prevent the total points from the rounds you lost to exceed the total points you received from the round wins. This means, that if you win a match against an inferior team that took rounds off you, you will at worst get zero points.  In this scenario, the numbers will always add up to zero as we are intentionally offsetting the negatives because you won the match.

Note: During the deployment there were a few bugs that caused all zeros to show up instead of the point values. And then it showed giant point values as another bug. Both of these bugs have fixes deployed against them.

Change 4 – Faster ranking up (Complete)

We found that there was too much overall friction in the system with the previous tuning and some players were getting stuck. The overall movement of the ranking system has been sped up so you should notice that you are ranking up faster than before.

Change 6 – Reducing the impact of quitters (Complete)

Rounds that start incomplete will no longer count for ranking purposes. If someone quits in a round, that round will still be counted. If they are still gone from the game at the start of the next round, then that round will be ignored and you can safely quit. Those rounds will show up as ‘0’ on the post-match results for both teams.

Change 7 – Further quitting punishments (In progress)

We will be applying an additional quit penalty for every round that the first player to quit isn’t present for. This means that on top of the normal points they’d lose for the loss, they will take an additional round based flat penalty. We hope that this is enough of a deterrent to reduce the motivation to quit a ranked game. In addition to the quitter punishments we will also be deploying our new ‘Community Service’ feature in the future.

Most of the changes have been deployed. We’ve been playing a lot to test them and initial feedback from the community is the results feel a lot more natural and satisfying.

As always, please give us your feedback. We know that it’s been a bumpy road to get here, and we wish it had gone more smoothly. We are pretty happy with where the system is now and hope you enjoy it.