Welcome back! Today we’re going to dive into Riot Codebear’s Quick Gameplay Thoughts 10/8 with both highlights and potential Improvements from Season 2021, as well as share some expectations for Season 2022! You can read the full article here, while we’re going to compress it a bit and share only the essential information. Without further ado, let’s begin!
2021 Season Light Review
Heading into 2021, we made a bunch of changes to Ranked, like improving placements for new accounts, softening season resets, and removing division promos, just to name a few. These were pretty huge adjustments, so we intentionally let the dust settle as we actively monitored the system.Riot Codebear
Here are some highlights from Season 2021:
- New accounts were ranked much more evenly and effectively
- Overall match quality improved, with less than one division of skill difference between teams for 99% of games
- Time to game (from queue start to match start) stayed the same or improved in every region
- We saw autofill reduced to less than 2% of games in almost every region. In some regions, autofill rates in popular roles like top and mid were brought to almost 0%
We also uncovered some less visible but still highly impactful opportunities for improvement:
- Rapid LP decay rates at high ranks resulted in volatile matchmaking for players returning to League after a break, causing unpredictable experiences
- Players returning to League after long breaks were also often placed in unexpectedly challenging matches because their MMR did not take into account the effects of being out of practice (a.k.a. “rusty”)
- Mid-to-high MMR players who started the climb later in the season were occasionally mismatched in their first few games due to a lack of similar players
- Ranked resets were too soft, unfairly placing our most engaged players in negative LP states early.
- We learned a lot from Season 2021 and are incorporating these into our plans for next year. Overall, we’re extremely happy with how 2021 is leaving off, and we’re confident that 2022 will be even better!
Season Start 2022 Expectations
In 2022, the team is going to be extra deliberate in their investments for Ranked. This is because the competitive systems we have today are in highly mature states, which basically means the “big problems”, have equally “big solutions”.
For the first few iterations, some of the most time-sensitive and highest impact opportunities are going to be tackled:
- Apex Decay: At high MMRs (Master tier and above), decay rates have long functioned like timers ticking away to keep the best of the best at the edge of their game. However, that clock may be ticking too quickly and pushing players into places where they really don’t belong. We’re taking a closer look at what decay does for our players and tweaking the system to ensure even fairer matchmaking over the entire season. This means some new decay configurations going into the new Season.
- Season Reset: The soft resets this year might have been a little too soft. Resets introduce some uncertainty to give players the chance to show their improvement since last year. Not resetting cleanly enough takes away the breathing room for players to showcase their improvement, pushing them into negative LP states very quickly. This year Riot is going to tune the resets to be stronger, which puts more uncertainty back into the system. This lets players push their skills to new boundaries and ensures more sustainable growth and accurate system feedback.
And that’s it for Quick Gameplay Thoughts 10/8! If you’re interested in more information about the Preseason and Season 2022 check out this article about the state of the game.