Warzone’s ladders will soon receive a refresh, marking the first time this has happened since they were introduced back in 2011!
Warzone has four ladders: The 1v1 ladder, 2v2 ladder, 3v3 ladder, and the seasonal ladders. They are designed to be competitive arenas where players can compete with each other at the highest level.
The ladder refresh is designed to keep the spirit of what the ladders have always been, while making them more accessible, more fun, and fixing some of their rough edges. This blog post gives an overview of what will be changing about the ladders in the next update.
New Rating System
The 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 ladders will change to use the TrueSkill rating system. Ratings in these ladders will now update immediately after the end of any ladder game instead of having to wait hours to see your new rating as you do today. The effect of each ladder game on your rating is shown in the end-game dialog for each game, as well as showing your new rank which will also update immediately.
This also means that games won’t “expire” anymore. Your rating will only change when you finish a game. Ratings will be a much more permanent thing — if you leave the ladder and come back later, your rating will be exactly where it was when you left, regardless of how long you were gone.
Ratings will now start at 100 instead of 0. As part of this refresh, the ratings and ranks of all players on these three ladders will be reset back to the starting point of 100. All players in these ladders were notified about this weeks ago, so this should hopefully not be a surprise to anyone who is affected by it. Everyone will still maintain their history, such as their best ranks and the graphs that show rating history.
Games will also be created more quickly so you won’t have to wait as long to get a game.
Today, the ladders only give out points as rewards because that’s all that was available to give out back in 2011. With this new update, all of the ladders will give a variety of rewards, such as coins, idle powers, artifacts, etc. Everyone participating will get rewards, but the rewards will get bigger the better you perform. Over 30,000 coins will be given out every week to ladder players, so the highest ranked players will certainly be rewarded for their skill.
There are two ways to earn rewards: Holding a high rank and achieving a new league (see below.) The rank rewards are given out every Sunday to all players who have been in the ladder for the entire week prior. In other words, if you leave the ladder and re-join during the week, you won’t be eligible for that week’s reward. This incentivises players to stay in the ladder long-term, rather than doing “runs” as was the case in the old ladder.
The gold trophies that can be earned for being #1 will also only be earned if you stay in the ladder for entire week prior to the rewards being given out on Sunday.
The 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 ladders will now have leagues, such as Bronze, Silver, Gold, and more. You can achieve a league by raising your rating to specific thresholds. When you enter a new league, you’ll be notified via the end-game window on that game, and you’ll also receive rewards the first time you enter each league. The rewards start weak for Bronze but get more significant as you rise up through the different leagues.
All of the ladder UI will now be available in the iOS and Android app, instead of only being available on the website as it is today. This means that you can join and leave the ladders via the app, as well as view leaderboards and ladder games and such.
Ladders are the last major feature that has never been integrated into the app, and having app/website parity has been one of Warzone’s long-standing goals. We’ve seen the list of website-only features shrink and shrink over the years, so it’s very satisfying to finally see the last major feature finally get checked off this list!
The 2v2 and 3v3 ladders today require you to join as a team with your friends. In the new ladders, you will have the option to join individually, in which case you’ll be matched up with other players who also joined individually to play as a team.
In today’s ladder, only the team as a whole has a rating, but in the new ladder each player will have their own rating. This is made possible by TrueSkill which natively supports having a team game where players on each team have different ratings.
It will still be possible to join as a team with your friends, but unlike today’s ladder, your rating won’t start over at 0 every time you switch teammates. Instead your rating is your personal rating which won’t go away just because a teammate changed.
The ladders will try to only match individual teams versus other individual teams, and fixed teams with other fixed teams, but if it can’t be done it will be possible (but should be rare) for a fixed team to be matched with an individual team.
Today, ladders use a 3-day boot time. This made sense back in 2011, but today we have internet-connected phones and the game is much more accessible. Therefore, boot times for all ladders are being reduced. The 1v1 ladders will use a one-day boot with an additional day of banked time (for a total of 2 days). The team ladders will also use a one-day base boot, but give three days of banked time (for a total of 4 days, which is actually higher than now) to help with teammate coordination. Join ladders when you’re ready to play, not to stall.
In addition, if any player is booted from a ladder, they will be immediately removed from that ladder. This is especially important for team ladders, where a boot can hurt your team. Booting should be rare in ladders as they’re considered the highest level of play.
The seasonal ladder isn’t receiving as many changes as the other three, but there are a couple small things changing.
First, the seasonal ladder will go back to 60-day seasons like it used to be before it was increased to 75 days.
Second, there will no longer be big gaps in between seasons, as the next season will always be started about a day after the previous season ends.
Third, rewards are being updated, but will only be given out at the end of the season based on your final rank (no weekly rewards or leagues).
For some time, Beren Erchamion has been in charge of picking seasonal ladder templates via community vote. This will still be the case after the refresh, but now that the seasonal ladder is on a more strict schedule, if he fails to pick a template in time it will fall back to Fizzer’s pick.
The templates are staying mostly the same as today. The 3v3 map will switch to the Europe Remake map, which is functionally identical but just looks slightly prettier. The boot times are being reduced (as outlined above).
I am considering changing the ladders to use Pure Skill, since I don’t think that the highest level of play should involve the use of randomness. This would just mean changing the move order from Cyclic to No-luck Cyclic, to eliminate the starting coin flip of who gets first pick. I’m interested to hear community feedback on this change.
Finally, the notifications that the ladders send are now much more useful, letting you know what rewards you’ve earned (or how to earn rewards if you didn’t qualify for any), congratulating the top players of the ladder, and announcing what templates will be next in the seasonal ladder.
The new ladders will go live when 5.24.0 is released, which should hopefully be in the next week or two. Hope to see you on the battlefield!
2 thoughts on “Upcoming Ladder Refresh”
NLC is damaging to odd-pick templates because players are incentivized to pick very fast. If you have same 1-6 your opponent will get 2,3,6 which is disadvantageous (I believe you recognize this on 1v1 ladder, where whomever loses 1st pick gets a slight rating boost). Also there are many other great templates to choose from. Ideally INSS should be introduced to the ladder since it is the highest level of play.
I am not a fan of no-luck cyclic. I enjoy taking my time with the picks, and it’s a nice extra aspect of the game to try and figure out (and prevent your opponent from figuring out) the move order.