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Is It Time To Get Rid of Ranked for Good?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > PvP
Is It Time To Get Rid of Ranked for Good?

sharkfishman's Avatar


sharkfishman
05.04.2019 , 06:29 PM | #1
It seems blatantly obvious by now that cheating/wintrading will never be eliminated from ranked. A large amount of players participate either blatantly or using more questionable methods to obtain scores. This results in a negative experience for almost everyone else.

My question is mainly for the devs, since I know the community will have strong feelings on the subject, in part for good reason and in part due to a romantic nostalgia.

Devs. What are you trying to do with ranked? Reward cheaters and wintraders along with a small group of legitimate players who are very skilled?

Reward and encourage subscribers to participate?

If you only want to reward a small few of the playerbase, many of whom (not all of course) act aggressively towards other people queing either to make wintrading easier or because the queues are so small that the "elite" get stuck with the "average," then understand that you're sending the message that casuals and "good" players (even if they're subscribers) aren't deserving of any significant rewards.

If your intention is to get as many of your subscribers into ranked pvp as possible to keep them queueing for rewards, then you need to totally change how you go about it. Stop making it about "skill" that everyone just equates with cheating and wintrading anyway. Make it about rewarding long-term participation.

My suggestion is as follows: Eliminate ranked queues completely. Goodbye ranked PVP, it was fun for a few while it lasted, but cheaters and wintraders and negligence ruined it for the truly good players.

Now, add the Ranked Currency rewards to every warzone played. 8v8s. 4v4s. Just playing grants a certain amount of tokens (10 for easy reference). Winning the match gives you more (+5). Scoring 8-10 medals gives you more (+2). Doing your daily gives you more (like now). And weekly.

Now the best part (but how can we keep ranked rewards exclusive to subscribers as currently?), limit this currency, just like command ranks, etc. to subscribers only. You can keep trying to make balanced matches using the invisible ELO if you want, or whatever, but make it all PVP.

What about players interested in fighting the best of the best? Keep Group Ranked, but change it from accumulating a "Top 96" ranked score to simply rewarding an increased amount of the currency. They can enjoy the challenge they're looking for legitimately without purposely queue dodging the elite to farm noobs and then claim they're OP, lol.
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TrixxieTriss's Avatar


TrixxieTriss
05.04.2019 , 08:35 PM | #2
Ranked isn’t the problem. Some of the same problems happen in regs and destroy people’s enjoyment. Removing ranked wouldn’t change anything because it would still be in regs,

If you wanted to use your argument for removing ranked, you may as well say, “is it time to get rid of pvp for good?”

The problem with the cheating in any form of pvp is Bioware policies. They have never been strong or a deterrent to cheating. It’s not that they can’t fix the problem, it’s that they are unwilling to change how they deal with it.

Many of use have been saying for 7 years, till we are blue in the face, that Bioware need to change the way they deal with cheats.
It’s the lack of deterrent, inadequate systems to catch them, unreliable or hard ways to report cheating and lastly, lack of transparency when they catch the cheats and what they do about it.

Other companies publicly announce how many cheats they catch. What they do to them and they often name and shame them. Not just the players character name, but their online persona outside of the game.
Bioware won’t even name their characters, which can provide total anonymity of their online persona. Unless they are streamers, in which case, they are just dumb and who cares, they have probably already outed themselves.

What needs to happen has been said so many times. But let’s list some of the steps again that Bioware need to take to combat this problem.

1. Make an easier system to report cheating
2. No warnings for hacking, lag switching, injecting code, bots or other more nefarious cheating. Just instant permanent bans.
3. More harsh measures taken against other cheating, like win trading. Remove all their achievements, rewards and currency from the game, give lengthy bans (more than a week), and don’t allow them to participate in ranked for the rest of the season on their account. 2nd repeat offenders have the ban length tripled and have all characters reduced to back to level 1. 3rd offenders are permanently banned.
4. Permanently banned players for any form of cheating, have their characters named and shamed.
5. Once a month or quarter, Bioware announce how many people have been caught cheating, even if they only get a small ban.
6. Bioware invest in better cheat detection software to make the process easier to catch people
7. Allow forum posts of 100% proof of people cheating. This is important because the whistle blowers are the ones who get punished for posting proof and not the actual cheaters.
8. Educate players what to look for and how to report a cheat to minimise false reporting
9. Fix the game’s bugs and desync that allows some of the cheating in the first place.
10. Publicly state on the forums what the penalty is for cheating and then sticky it to the top.

I think I’ve covered most of the ideas people have said over the years. I may have missed some. But even if Bioware did 2/3rds of those, it would help reduce the cheating because there would be a public deterrent with real consequences to back it up.

Lhancelot's Avatar


Lhancelot
05.05.2019 , 07:31 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by sharkfishman View Post
If you only want to reward a small few of the playerbase, many of whom (not all of course) act aggressively towards other people.
That's a big problem here.

We have an organized cabal of players that are controlling and ruining ranked for their own selfish desires whether it's to gobble up lots of top titles to sell or other forms of pixels, or simply for the purpose of collecting said pixels for oneself.

They just manipulate the matches with win trades and other methods of cheating. The problem is there's too many scumbags cheating, and the system is too easy to cheat. As long as a simple system of scoring is used for ELO ranked on this game will continue to be nothing but a swamp of scummy cheaters.
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sharkfishman's Avatar


sharkfishman
05.05.2019 , 09:10 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Lhancelot View Post
That's a big problem here.

We have an organized cabal of players that are controlling and ruining ranked for their own selfish desires whether it's to gobble up lots of top titles to sell or other forms of pixels, or simply for the purpose of collecting said pixels for oneself.

They just manipulate the matches with win trades and other methods of cheating. The problem is there's too many scumbags cheating, and the system is too easy to cheat. As long as a simple system of scoring is used for ELO ranked on this game will continue to be nothing but a swamp of scummy cheaters.
I agree completely.

I don't dispute that there are legitimate players who honestly want to play well.

Unfortunately, the large amount of other players who cheat/wintrade/take questionable actions ruins the experience for everyone.

The real question is: What is the purpose of ranked from the devs' point of view? Who do they want it to reward? What kind of actions do they want to reward?

After answering those questions, they need a system that actually rewards the players they want it to, and for the right type of play. If they want the rewards to go to cheaters/queue manipulators and others who look for every opportunity to mistreat others for personal gain, then I guess they can keep things as it, lol.
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guardianzor's Avatar


guardianzor
05.05.2019 , 09:24 AM | #5
i do agree about removing solo ranked.. but what i think they should do instead put solo ranked leaderboard on hold right now when they have notice the influnces of bots in the leaderboard right now.

go thru that and check who shall not even be there at all..

put the leaderboard's on hold till further notice, till they clear it out now.
or they just remove it completely till its playerbase of this game can behave and not use this **** of wintrade/bots.

sharkfishman's Avatar


sharkfishman
05.05.2019 , 09:25 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by TrixxieTriss View Post
Ranked isn’t the problem. Some of the same problems happen in regs and destroy people’s enjoyment. Removing ranked wouldn’t change anything because it would still be in regs.

I disagree. I think that the current focus of ranked (placing huge emphasis on WINNING at all costs, rather than actually playing) is a direct reason that cheating and wintrading occur. When is the last time you saw a team wintrade in regs?

The way ELO works makes it too easy to manipulate the system for rewards. With a different system that rewarded wins, matches played, medals and NUMEROUS factors simultaneously, put simply, the rewards for winning would be less than currently. Surely you can see the difference for wintraders forced to trade 20 matches for top rewards vs. trying to coordinate 100 matches+, right?


If you wanted to use your argument for removing ranked, you may as well say, “is it time to get rid of pvp for good?”

This is a strawman. The two are very different in environment, cheating levels, wintrading, focus, group composition, etc.

The problem with the cheating in any form of pvp is Bioware policies. They have never been strong or a deterrent to cheating. It’s not that they can’t fix the problem, it’s that they are unwilling to change how they deal with it.

This is true. The current system may have worked well with more stringent oversight (i.e. payed employees actively searching for cheating as their sole job). However, this has no impact on my argument, since this obviously isn't the case, and Bioware's past history has proven they're incapable of resolving this ranked problem with the resources they have available. Hence my suggestion.

Other companies publicly announce how many cheats they catch. What they do to them and they often name and shame them. Not just the players character name, but their online persona outside of the game.
Bioware won’t even name their characters, which can provide total anonymity of their online persona. Unless they are streamers, in which case, they are just dumb and who cares, they have probably already outed themselves.

There are many reasons why blacklisting is prohibited, so you can't state that including this would be entirely positive. In the case of blatant or perma-banned cheaters, however, I agree with you completely.

1. Make an easier system to report cheating
2. No warnings for hacking, lag switching, injecting code, bots or other more nefarious cheating. Just instant permanent bans.
3. More harsh measures taken against other cheating, like win trading. Remove all their achievements, rewards and currency from the game, give lengthy bans (more than a week), and don’t allow them to participate in ranked for the rest of the season on their account. 2nd repeat offenders have the ban length tripled and have all characters reduced to back to level 1.
4. Permanently banned players for any form of cheating, have their characters named and shamed.
5. Once a month or quarter, Bioware announce how many people have been caught cheating, even if they only get a small ban.
6. Bioware invest in better cheat detection software to make the process easier to catch people
7. Allow forum posts of 100% proof of people cheating. This is important because the whistle blowers are the ones who get punished for posting proof and not the actual cheaters.
8. Educate players what to look for and how to report a cheat to minimise false reporting
9. Fix the game’s bugs and desync that allows some of the cheating in the first place.
10. Publicly state on the forums what the penalty is for cheating and then sticky it to the top.

I think I’ve covered most of the ideas people have said over the years. I may have missed some. But even if Bioware did 2/3rds of those, it would help reduce the cheating because there would be a public deterrent with real consequences to back it up.
I seriously doubt many of these solutions would have much difference, simply because much of wintrading is difficult to prove electronically. Bioware can't monitor Discord conversations. How can they tell when someone plays ever-so-slightly less against teammates, giving them a narrow 1v1 victory? Oh, they tried so hard, they just didn't quite make it, right?

However, the biggest reason I proposed this change is simply this: Who are the devs trying to target with ranked? Does the current ranked setup actually reward these players, or does it in fact turn them completely away from it?

Also, does SWTOR want to invest significant development resources and rewards in what is basically an e-Sport atm? Or does it want to reward a larger portion of subscribers/players for participating?
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Banderal's Avatar


Banderal
05.05.2019 , 10:02 AM | #7
My favorite thing about this thread is that, right now, the one right next to it is to get rid of unranked.

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merovejec's Avatar


merovejec
05.05.2019 , 02:45 PM | #8
Yes its time.
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KendraP's Avatar


KendraP
05.05.2019 , 03:02 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Banderal View Post
My favorite thing about this thread is that, right now, the one right next to it is to get rid of unranked.
I mean, I personally think whichever thread was started later was likely a consequence of the first...

TrixxieTriss's Avatar


TrixxieTriss
05.05.2019 , 03:55 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by KendraP View Post
I mean, I personally think whichever thread was started later was likely a consequence of the first...
Most probably. But aren’t they both one and the same? The only difference is one poses a question and the other makes a statement in the titles.