Ranking System is problemtic

  • Asprobourboulis's Avatar 280 70 Posts Joined 05/28/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    I convinced a friend of mine to start playing Hearthstone some time ago and for the moment he prefers being Free-to-Play. He plays a basic mage deck and with my "help" we managed to get to rank 17. He is not new to cards games (we played MTG together) so he has a good understanding of the mechanics and such.

    The problem is that as he gets a lot of wins, the algorithm matches him now with golden-portrait players with all-golden decks etc. He couldn't reach his Rank 15 goal, so I advised him to farm a bit in lower ranks, since he wishes to remain F2P for the time being. The problem actually got even worse at bottom ranks. Golden players farm wins and gold at these ranks apparently and ruin the experience for newer players. How are they going to love this game which treats them without respect? Would any of them stay or spend money to get bullied by dudes like them (trust me some of them are really toxic)? I do understand that as people play the game for longer and the skill cap of players get higher, we are going to see more and more of this.

    Anyways, I believe that if anyone has been to Rank Legend or has over a certain amount of wins (1500+ wins lets say), the game should not let them drop under rank 15. Maybe if some of them have returned after a long time, there could be some "outs" for them. What do you think of this? If you were new to Hearthstone, would you invest any time, effort or money in a try-hard-looking, overpriced game like this?

    EDIT: Apparently some clarification is much needed here. My friend is playing an almost all- basic Mage deck. Not just some basic net-deck. He started playing during summertime (a couple of months ago), so he didn't play consistently, meaning that his collection is non-existent. He ranked up from the first 30 ranks with ease and now faces the situation described above. He is not looking to win everyone he faces, but rather enjoy a card game and having something to discuss over while on break.

    "Git gud" kind of commenters fail to see the real problem. Even being a "pro" at Hearthstone won't cut it here, since an under-developed F2P collection is as good as it gets. I think it makes sense that, one would remain F2P if got bullied by top-tier decks (or ditch the game entirely). Spending money to upgrade their collection would feel a bad investment on their behalf; I know I would, but thankfully I started years ago.

    Golden players with complete collections farming that low, are a disgrace to the game and should be looked at more carefully by the developing team. That's the point I am making here: the matching system should not allow unfair matchmaking from happening in the first place and also try limiting the ranks in which old/pro/golden/2000+ win players can downgrade to. New players would lose their mind if those players prey upon them all the time. Would you return to the game after that? I don't think so..

     

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  • iWatchUSleep's Avatar 1085 819 Posts Joined 05/28/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    I haven't been at those ranks since forever but I'd check what type of decks they commonly use (if there is one) and try to counter that if possible.

    Hunter is generally better for budget players than Mage, so maybe play that?

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  • AliRadicali's Avatar 460 713 Posts Joined 06/06/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    I'd say rank 15 is absolutely doable with a budget deck; even if you're facing netdecks full of legendaries the average skill level is quite low at these ranks. Zoo Warlock is almost always a viable ladder deck and you usually only need a handful of commons and rares to update the evergreen shell of the deck to a playable version of the latest standard list.

     

    As for toxic a-holes, I'm afraid they're just a part of the game. Try to take their BM as a sign that they're really really upset about losing to a F2P player.

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  • zoobernut's Avatar Swamp 250 137 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago
    Quote From Asprobourboulis

    I convinced a friend of mine to start playing Hearthstone some time ago and for the moment he prefers being Free-to-Play. He plays a basic mage deck and with my "help" we managed to get to rank 17. He is not new to cards games (we played MTG together) so he has a good understanding of the mechanics and such.

    The problem is that as he gets a lot of wins, the algorithm matches him now with golden-portrait players with all-golden decks etc. He couldn't reach his Rank 15 goal, so I advised him to farm a bit in lower ranks, since he wishes to remain F2P for the time being. The problem actually got even worse at bottom ranks. Golden players farm wins and gold at these ranks apparently and ruin the experience for newer players. How are they going to love this game which treats them without respect? Would any of them stay or spend money to get bullied by dudes like them (trust me some of them are really toxic)? I do understand that as people play the game for longer and the skill cap of players get higher, we are going to see more and more of this.

    Anyways, I believe that if anyone has been to Rank Legend or has over a certain amount of wins (1500+ wins lets say), the game should not let them drop under rank 15. Maybe if some of them have returned after a long time, there could be some "outs" for them. What do you think of this? If you were new to Hearthstone, would you invest any time, effort or money in a try-hard-looking, overpriced game like this?

    Golden heroes are a product of time commitment not ability to play. I have one golden hero but have never gotten past rank 5. I also have met many gold hero players that make super shitty plays and I beat them easily. 

    Not saying that you are wrong about how match making works I am just pointing out that you are harping on people with golden heroes when that isn't the real issue. It is just easy to see so that is what you latch on to.

    Chaos, Panic, and Disorder, My work here is done. 

    Welcome to the thunder-dome bitch!

    4
  • Synesthesy's Avatar 240 142 Posts Joined 05/28/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    Just to say, having won 500+ games with a class doesn't make you "good" at the game. It only says that you have played the game a lot.
    The same apply to getting to legend: if you never hit it, it doesn't mean that you aren't a good player at all. It only says that surely you didn't play enough in one single month.

    Your friend only needs a better cardpool and to better understand the game. As soon as he will get a better collection with some legendaries, the problem will be over.

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  • Avalon's Avatar Content Admin Salty Dog 1490 1923 Posts Joined 06/12/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    It's been 6 months since the last time I was at rank 20ish with my main account, but from what I remember the situation is hellish there. Climbing from 16-12 is much (I can't stress it enough) easier than passing the 20-17 segment.

    I'm not talking about netdecking and I'm totally aware of the existence of Whizbang the Wonderful's recipes, but there seem to be an abnormal amount of experienced players farming at low ranks. Two weeks ago I tried some ladder with my adventures account and man, being new and with a deck full of niche/basic cards must be painful.

    I don't know if these are actually bots or real players, but if you're not good at the game (and you aren't supposed to be that good at rank 20, right?) you'll probably end up as fresh meat for this people, making your ladder experience terrible.

    Yeah, this doesn't happen with a 100% ratio (the golden portrait, as zoobernut said, is a product of time commitment more than ability to play), but still the rank 20-16 belt should be a protected environment, allowing you to slowly switch from the Rank 50-25 "how does the game work?" zone to the Rank 15- "let's start playing competitively" zone.

    Just my honest opinion: I don't have to deal with this situation nowadays, but it would be foolish not to acknowledge it

    Spice Lord and self-proclaimed Meme Master.

    • You can follow me on Twitter - I am always active and you can tag me to highlight your (or someone else's) 12 wins Duels run or really anything Hearthstone-related!
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  • RandomGuy's Avatar 430 614 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    Here's the thing about "farming" at low ranks: they are also conceding a lot. With win streaks and limited stars, "farming" that low is very inefficient.

    Indeed, I think it's likely that the majority of the "golden portraits" your friend is being matched up with are just bad/weaker players with good collections.

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  • KANSAS's Avatar Old God Fanatic 1745 2912 Posts Joined 03/25/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    They made ranks 50-26 just for new players for this exact reason. I haven't been below rank 10 in a long time so I don't know how things are going down there, but I would assume that 25 extra ranks should be enough for new players to get into the game. 

    Carrion, my wayward grub.

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  • Thonson's Avatar HearthStationeer 1690 1548 Posts Joined 03/24/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago
    Quote From Synesthesy

    Your friend only needs a better cardpool

    ^^^ This!

    While people farming at low ranks could be a problem, the specific problem isn't necessarily the ladder but the cards he's using.  While some basic cards have stood the test of time and show up in decks year after year, having a deck of ALL basic cards is tough to compete with on Ladder.

    I haven't seen a streamer do it in a while, but I know Toast would occasionally start a new account and see how long he took to get to legend on a brand new F2P account.  He may have done it last when they added ranks 50-26.  Usually what he and others did was disenchant anything they didn't need to make the deck they wanted to make, and craft things they weren't getting through packs.  Another possible strategy could be to save up dust and craft Whizbang the Wonderful, which will allow him to play various constructed decks without having a large collection.  Each possible deck from Whizbang is listed here, and if you use Hearthstone Deck Tracker on your computer it should display and track each deck properly when playing a random deck from Whiz.

    The Whizbang decks aren't always the strongest, but some are very close to top meta versions of the same decks, and should be enough to help power through to rank 15, or higher.

    *Sidenote*: If the Whizbang recipes look familiar, it could be that some of the all golden deck opponents you're facing are playing a golden Whizbang, which makes their random deck all golden.

    Quick!  Someone give me something clever to write here.

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  • zoobernut's Avatar Swamp 250 137 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    Golden hero's with all golden decks could also be playing the cloak thingy. That also gives you a random deck with all golden cards and a golden hero.

    Chaos, Panic, and Disorder, My work here is done. 

    Welcome to the thunder-dome bitch!

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  • EpicHercules's Avatar Jaina 270 59 Posts Joined 06/21/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    The biggest issue with the 25 extra ranks is that anyone with half a brain can fly through them. I started roughly a year ago and just playing occasionally, I made it through these ranks in less than two weeks. I hit the meta with little more than the basic collection and little better understanding of the game than when I'd started. One of the best things they can do is remove bonus stars and/or allow you to drop ranks during ranks 50-26. Unless you purposely lose every third game or so, you will climb those ranks right now and emerge little better than when you started.

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  • LyraSilvertongue's Avatar 360 383 Posts Joined 06/01/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    The issue with not having these players be able to drop below rank 15 is what do relatively newer players do when they do get to rank 15 or better and still don't have an amazing collection? Do you make it so that players don't drop below 10? Whenever you make it so that harder opponents don't drop below a certain rank is that it then makes those now peaceful ranks go by even faster when rank grinding for new players, which results in only a slightly longer time before new(er) players get matched against real opponents again.

    The fix is fairly flawed and very much a band-aid solution imo.

    If anything I feel a completely separate ranked system for new(er) and/or super casual players, with fewer rewards would be a better idea. A big obstacle to this idea though is how you filter experienced players out without accidentally filtering newer players with moderate collections in with actual opponents.

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  • Duke's Avatar 205 82 Posts Joined 05/31/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    The problem lies also in the power creep and massive inflation of formerly good cards. The game is pretty old already an millions of players grinded so much value for their collection over the years. Even if they paused for a while many players still overwhelm newbies in the "higher" ranks.

    It's very hard for budget players to compete with this. Blizz already made the start easier and more beginner friendly with more card packs at the beginning and the additional lower ranks. Maybe they should do it again so every beginner was able to craft at least one semi competitive deck once reaching the "higher" (<25) ranks. 

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  • drfelip's Avatar Dragon Scholar 365 289 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    I'm more concerned about casual not being casual anymore. I mean, whenever you play, you find strong netdecks all over the place, both in casual and in ranked. Of course, ranked is tough until you have a decent collection, but it's a "competitive" format, so it's as tough as the meta is; but in casual you should be able to play just for fun without losing 80% of your games to tier-1 decks, and that's not possible currently.

    Your friend did very well for somebody with a new collection, as you experienced, competition is fierce from rank 19 up, just keep playing and farming gold, try Arena from time to time, and use dust to craft some budget aggro deck; Zoo Warlock is always a good option, the last challenge of reaching Legend with a new account I saw used it. Basic Mage decks are good to start learning the game, but aggro is always the best bet to climb on a budget. You can always use HSreplay to find the best decks you can craft at the lowest cost, if you value results over creativity.

    The pleasure is mine.

    My last standard decks: nothing special right now.

    -3
  • RavenSunHS's Avatar Refreshment Vendor 865 1487 Posts Joined 03/27/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    You have to take into account that your friend is higher ranked than his collection would normally allow. Because he is more skilled than the average new player with same collection as his.

    It's not just veterans lower than 15. It is also your friend higher than 20.

    Because your friend is just as skilled as a player with golden portrait.

    The difference is in the collection, but that can't be properly measured by Ranks or past Ranks.

    It's just part of an incremental game with a collection: it takes time to farm, not just skill to win.

    PS: golden portrait or legend cardback is not a good measure for collection owned. In particular in Standard, where everything grows obsolete pretty fast with Rotations.

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  • SamHobbs494's Avatar Scrambled Eggs 385 245 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago
     
    Quote From LyraSilvertongue

    The issue with not having these players be able to drop below rank 15 is what do relatively newer players do when they do get to rank 15 or better and still don't have an amazing collection? Do you make it so that players don't drop below 10?

    Side note to this part, yes that is exactly how it should work, why should it not? I don't want to play people all month who are just trolling the low ranks before they do their actual climb.

    I thought that was the whole point in the rank floors thing coming in in the first place, is it only rank 20 that got this? I thought every 5 levels was a floor. so this exact thing could not happen. Grinding my way up the ladder to what I thought was the next floor and then dropping all the way back down the next month was not a pleasant experience.

     

     



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  • Alfi's Avatar Devoted Academic 1725 1303 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    You say that player with no collection and no dedication cannot get into top 25% of players?

     

    -=alfi=-

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  • Asprobourboulis's Avatar 280 70 Posts Joined 05/28/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    Do you know who else is stuck on the "75%" floor of this outdated image? Players who have abandoned the game for good and those who deserted or don't climb the ladder with their quest farming/"play-a-friend" accounts etc. That 100 million milestone that Hearthstone achieved some years ago, counts those accounts too. I know for a fact that, if you ever tried deleting your Hearthstone account, you would be asked for some form of ID to send them in order to process your demand. So, not carying anymore, they just leave and unsubscribe from mailing lists, having nothing to do with the game anymore and Blizzard gets to boast about their ever-growing, loyal fan base.

    What I care about, is the new people who hear about this popular CCG as well as the community that sustain it, the guides and support outside of it etc, and get super-hyped to start a fresh account only to have their expectations crashed by examples like these. I do want new people to join in and feel valuable, protected and treated with respect from the game itself most importantly. If they do feel like it, they are going to support both the devs and the community with any way possible and the game will flourish. I'm saddened to say that my friend is not going to be one of them; "To hell with him", right? "This must be a very particular case of a low-motivated folk". Or is it?

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  • RavenSunHS's Avatar Refreshment Vendor 865 1487 Posts Joined 03/27/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

    While I agree that new player experience should be improved, especially considering the increasing average cost of Standard decks, you can't expect a new player to have their chances to be on par with half the playerbase after 1 month of irregular play.

    That's just not how it works in a game with a collection.

    That's also why they made ranks 50-25, where beginners with just Basic collection belong. 

    Any higher than that requires time and dedication. 

     

    PS: your friend should try Wild Ranked, where reaching rank 15 is considerably easier than in Standard.

     

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  • Asprobourboulis's Avatar 280 70 Posts Joined 05/28/2019
    Posted 2 years, 10 months ago
    Quote From RavenSunHS
    That's also why they made ranks 50-25, where beginners with just Basic collection belong. 

    I do believe that too. The thing is that no one warns you about staying there for some time. I personally didn't even now, until I saw it when we played a little together. You just assume that "this is not your league" and try to find your match. Now there is no returning back to the "safe zone".

    But let's concentrate on the bigger picture here. Not only completely new players suffer from that, but also low-tier decks who just don't have the resources to build a competitive deck. Rank 16-20 should be for decks like these since you can't escape once you reach that floor, or even better the devs could unlock the low-tier ranks for those who feel they belong there. That way they won't fall prey to "seasoned" players and get bullied to no end.

    I hope I don't sound like I hate the game (although I hate some aspects of it), but now that I experienced that first hand, I confidently say that this situation needs some attention.

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