Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan on Overwatch’s ranked play philosophy

    
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Rank 17! I am SO important to the world!

If you were hoping that the latest development video for Overwatch from game director Jeff Kaplan would reveal the ins and outs of the game’s ranked progression system, you’ll be disappointed. But it’s not that he won’t reveal it, it’s that he can’t. There’s nothing to reveal yet. Discussions are still being had internally about the best way to handle ranked competitive play. Still, that doesn’t mean that he can’t talk at length about the philosophy behind ranked play and how that influences design, which is the focus on the video in question.

Kaplan frames the discussion as one where there are two extremes between players who are just shy of professional status and really want to rank players on one end, with players who are just casually goofing around at the other end. Many people fall somewhere in the middle; there’s a desire for distinct progression, but also a desire for enjoying play and not to get super-competitive. Check out the full discussion and the team’s musings in the video below.

Source: YouTube
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TheChaosPie
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TheChaosPie

dorn2 Congratulations, you just described capitalism. :P

Bannex19
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Bannex19

And yet here it is another non mmo on an mmo website ;)

Dystopiq
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Dystopiq

And yet here you are letting everyone know how uninterested you are.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

Well we already have reliable solutions to doing the math of ranking people in competitive play generally. The problems come in when developers think they have a better idea than the proven systems that already exist (they never do), or they try to implement a proven system and screw it up, or the system design works fine on paper, but the implementation is trivially exploitable. These aren’t philosophical issues about how ranking should work, they’re just problems you have when people aren’t good at turning system designs into working code.

carson63000
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carson63000

Bannex19 I’m interested in the game, but not interested in playing it (because I don’t like shooters).

Then again, I didn’t like MOBAs until Heroes of the Storm, so maybe I should be more interested.

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

Bannex19 Yeahhh I’m not really feeling any strong desire to pre-order it just yet.

dorn2
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dorn2

Here’s every blizz rank system:

1.  Rank everyone with a hidden rating.
2.  People who win steal rating from people who lose.
3.  A lot of bad people won’t even queue.  Some so-so people join, lose constantly, quit.

4.  Points filter up to the top.  People in the middle lose rating as people below them quit.
5.  Average players quit out of disgust because their rating is way below their skill.

6.  People at the top go up.  People in the middle lose rating because people below them quit.
7.  Above average players quit out of disgust because their rating is way below their skill.

8.  New players join but can’t progress far because remaining ranked players are amazing.

In the end the very bottom ranks get squished into this agglomeration of horrible and fairly good players. Everyone above the bottom ranks is extremely good.

Karl_Hungus
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Karl_Hungus

Bannex19

Bannex19
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Bannex19

Ah so where would one make the comment that he is not excited by blizzards current direction, more specifically their arena team shooter moba thing…

jesseschulkers
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jesseschulkers

Bannex19 This comments just not on topic. The only thing it has that relates to the game is that he doesn’t like it. The topic is ranked play and how it might fit / should be taken / just generally undecided.