3
\$\begingroup\$

I have noticed that CS:GO and Overwatch, two very popular competitive games, force you to play a rather big amount of unranked games and gain a certain "level" before you are allowed to play ranked. CS:GO aso limits the amount of ranked games that you can play per day until you have a rank, forcing you to wait even longer. Many other games do the same, but those two are different in the fact that they have a paywall, a huge one in case of Overwatch.

This means that for a long time a new player is forced to play in unfair teams (as making the teams fairly balanced is the sole benefit of ranked matches). Not only can one team be just stronger than the other, making the game predetermined and boring not matter which team is our newbie in, but there can also be a couple of very experienced players in each of the otherwise fair teams, and those veterans will really be the ones deciding the outcomes of a battle, making the newbies feel useless (as they will actually be useless in this particular match).

It also means that newbies who want to play seriously are mixed with people who want to play for fun (not to win) and troll.

Unranked matches also have an a bit different balance compared to ranked in CS:GO, which means that our newbie can also learn something that is not applicable in ranked matches.

What is the benefit of the game if new players are not allowed into ranked matches right away if they want to try them?

What is the benefit of making unranked balance even slightly different from ranked?

\$\endgroup\$
4
\$\begingroup\$

One benefit of requiring a certain amount of play to get into ranked is that you're certain that anyone playing ranked already knows the game to a certain extent.

Heroes of the Storm goes one step further: to play any hero in ranked, you must have advanced that hero to level 5. That means playing roughly 10 games with them. That's not a lot, but it's enough to get the basics of how to play them.

I know that when I hit LoL ranked (which required roughly 350 games at the time), I wasn't fielding questions about "what's a turret" and "what's botlane".

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ But if you had played those 350 games ranked, then you'd be with other players that had learned the same lessons you had and wouldn't be fielding "what's a turret" either. Noone is disputing the need to play the game to learn; we want to know why people are forced to learn in unranked. \$\endgroup\$ – Odalrick Nov 24 '17 at 15:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't agree with your assessment. I've been through this a few times in different games (LoL and Overwatch, mainly), and the quality of the game is completely different between ranked and unranked modes because of players' attitudes. I don't want people who aren't serious and are new randomly hitting ranked. I want them to earn access. Were I to design a MOBA, I'd implement the same thing. \$\endgroup\$ – Almo Nov 24 '17 at 19:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well you wouldn't get unserious and new hitting ranked (unless you are as bad as they are) when you play. What it says to me is that you don't trust yourself to make a decent ranked system, and you want to "fix" that by limiting the number of people that can use it. \$\endgroup\$ – Odalrick Nov 25 '17 at 16:46
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You just really don't understand the problem or how players function in these environments. \$\endgroup\$ – Almo Nov 25 '17 at 21:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Exactly, that's why I'm interested in a good answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Odalrick Nov 26 '17 at 20:52
3
\$\begingroup\$

I think this is actually a two-fold approach from what I've gathered.

One reason is to ensure that there is some level of experience and knowledge in the ranked queues. It would be pretty annoying if brand new players were mixed into the ranked queue having little to no idea about how the game is played (both from a mechanics perspective and a meta perspective.

Games like League of Legends also have a nice ramping aspect to the path to the ranked queues. All characters start out in a more 'neutral' play style. The game is a little more forgiving because there are no runes to polarize and amplify hero characteristics. Once you get to rank 30 and have full rune pages, the DPS characters hit much harder and die much quicker while the Tank characters can soak up much more damage. By letting the players grow into these roles as the roles are emphasized by the runes / masteries, it builds a much better experience.

The OTHER side of this is likely as a way to combat cheaters/hackers. This is especially problematic in CS:GO. By making a large time burden on getting into ranked, it acts as both a deterrent and a throttle to keep people from using hacks. The problem of people getting banned and making new accounts now has a monetary penalty (Buying a new copy of the game) as well as a time penalty (playing for days before being allowed back into ranked queues). This is even more of a problem for free games like League of Legends or Fortnite.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ That rune system is gone, but it's still relevant for a discussion of how it used to work. :) \$\endgroup\$ – Almo Nov 28 '17 at 21:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.