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Competition, New Players & Updates to Ranked

Creator: PsiGuard April 25, 2018 12:42pm
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Competition and New Players

Lead Producer New001 returns with updates on the state of the game and the upcoming release of Clash, as well as plans to improve the new player experience, and some details on Ranked in 2019.



Key Points:

  • Upcoming changes to empower individual players who gain a lead and play well. Shutdown gold likely loses its team-wide bonus so only the killer and assisters gain anything from shutdowns. More changes to come.

  • New players will have a better introduction to the client.

  • New tutorial! RIP Thornmail Ashe.

  • Changes to new player rewards.

  • Clash should be launching soon.

  • Upcoming changes to ranked in 2019 (explored below).


Updates to Ranked for 2019


New Provisionals

The current ranked placement matches provide virtually no feedback to the player until all 10 placements have been completed and the player receives their rank. To remedy this, Riot is introducing a new Provisional matches system which will dynamically provide feedback after each game until you're finally placed after the 10th match.

Upon completing your first game, you'll receive a provisional rank, visible only to you. This rank is the floor for your upcoming placement, meaning you cannot be placed below this rank. Each match you win will net you much higher LP gains and it will be impossible to lose LP during your provisional matches. You'll also skip any promotion matches. At the end of the 10 matches, you'll receive your new rank which will be publicly displayed on your profile.


Positional Matchmaking

The current rank system doesn't differentiate between a someone playing at their best on their main role or autofilled to their worst role. The LP and MMR they gain or lose from that match is the same as if they were playing their best position. Riot is introducing a new system that will include 5 separate solo/duo queue ranks per player—one for each role.

Each match played in a given position will contribute to the development of that position's rank. If you're a Platinum level support main, but you want to work on your mid lane play in a competitive setting, you'll be able to play with and against players of a similar skill level, and the result of the match won't negatively impact the rank of your main role.

Matchmaking will still try to give you your primary role, but for players who are autofilled or are given their secondary role, they'll be placed in a match with players of a similar skill level to their skill on that role and the result of the match will affect the rank for the position they played.


Riot has also stated that they are developing systems to detect role swaps, encourage competitive integrity and punish players who don't take off-role games seriously. Your off-role ranking will also not start from scratch, rather it'll take into account your overall skill level and place you in an appropriate division. A Diamond mid lane player should not end up in a Bronze game as a top laner. Likewise, it won't take a ton of grinding to rank up your off-main roles if you are equally skilled in other roles.

One plan to encourage competitive integrity that Riot is considering is to add rewards for the next game on your main role that are based on winning games on your off-role. If you are autofilled and try your best and win, your next game on your main role will have some sort of bonus. More details on this to come in the future.


Changes to Ranked Tiers

Bronze, Silver and Diamond encompass a larger range of skill levels than other ranks. This can cause some players to be "stuck" in one tier for a long time, even if they're able to improve their skill and MMR significantly in that time. To combat this disparity, Riot is planning on introducing two new rank tiers (likely located around Bronze and Diamond, names TBD). The new tiers should allow players to smoothly achieve higher ranks at the same rate that their skill increases.

At the same time, Riot is reducing the number of divisions in each tier from five to four, so every tier will start at Division IV and go up to Division I. With the addition of two more tiers, this will expose players more to the excitement of hitting new tiers without having to grind through more division promotion series.


Seasonal Splits

End-of-season rewards can encourage players to try their best to climb to their desired rank, but this often happens close to the end of the season. There is no difference in rewards between a player who plays 600 games in a season and finally makes it to Gold and a player who reaches Gold after 50 games and then stops for the rest of the season.

To encourage more consistent ranked play throughout each season, Riot is dividing seasons into three splits per year. Each ranked split will provide an opportunity to reflect on your progress, set new goals and earn better rewards. More details on the impact of each split to come in the future.


Ranked borders will also be affected by these changes. Rather than showing only the ranked border from the end of the previous season, you'll receive a new ranked border as soon as you finish your provisional matches and it will update throughout your season as you progress in rank. Your current rank will be displayed in the loading screen, player profile, hovercard and lobby.

Riot is still working on how to display ranks from previous seasons and asks for feedback on how to celebrate those accomplishments.

In addition to the ranked border, you'll earn rewards based on your rank that upgrade as you participate in each split of the season. These rewards may involve icons, ranked border upgrades, and maybe even some in-game flair.



Riot will be collecting feedback and iterating on these new features, so they are of course still subject to change. Over the next several months, they'll release more information on each of these designs. They're also planning on running tests on positional MMR in Normal Draft games in the future. Stay tuned for more details!
Thanks to Nyoike for the sig!

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