Suggestion: Reduce ladder ranking decay

    • Suggestion: Reduce ladder ranking decay

      Another idea for making the new player experience better through improved matchmaking is to significantly reduce the ranking decay between ladder seasons. Just because I haven't played constructed for a few seasons doesn't mean I'm suddenly a bronze player, and it feels bad for both players when I'm matched that way. Then I run into other bronze players that also shouldn't be there, I lose, and I'm stuck in bronze for that much longer. I'd like to see the rank decay capped at maybe one rank per ladder season to make sure that once a player has shown they can play at a certain level, they don't drop down again just because they take a little time off.

      This raises some concerns with rewards. Players currently earn all rewards for the ranks below them instantly at the beginning of the ladder season. This would be more problematic if people tended to stay at the top ranks, but I also think it causes some problems now. Psychologically, if I reach my "true" rank, winning roughly 50% of matches and never moving up or down, I never earn any rewards for winning. I just get a bunch of stuff handed to me at the beginning, which doesn't feel as rewarding. Both problems could be solved by making players earn the rewards below their current rank by winning stars (even if you're already Cosmic). Importantly, losing stars would NOT count against this. So if you played a few games and stayed 50/50, you would get rewards as you won, and eventually earn all the rewards up to your current rank. If you wanted to earn the top rank rewards, you'd still need to reach that rank.

      Since winning 50% actually tends to move you up due to the bonus stars, you might also have some frustration with people eventually reaching a rank where they lose 2/3 of their games and being stuck there. I'm not sure how to solve this, but reducing the amount of bonus stars and/or losing ranks more quickly due to repeated losses might help counteract this.