How Ranked Should Evolve

@developers I’ll be honest, while Ranked is one of my fav modes in KI, I really dislike the direction it has gone. There are many factors that sort of invalidate the purpose of the mode.

Primary complaint: Killer means nothing.

In the past (speaking of S1), when I fought somebody who was a Killer (Killer was the top of the echelon at that time), I knew I was in for the fight of my life. There were certain expectations that I had going on and I was seldom let down. Now, everybody can be a Killer. Everybody can get a gold star, if you just play long enough. I’m now beating Gold Stars like they were noobs. I’m honestly not THAT good. It’s not even about consistent wins, but simply the right lucky wins.

Rising in Rank should be a huge milestone, like it was in S1. It doesn’t feel like anything special now.

Second Complaint: Requalifying = Smurfing
Smurfing, for those who don’t know, is when a skilled player purposely, places themselves in a much lower rank, so that they can troll lesser skilled players. There are several ways to do this. Requalifying is the easiest way, but I’ve seen people with multiple Xbox Gamertags. Generally speaking if you see a guy with a Rank 12 Sabrewulf in Killer with a Gamer score of less than 1000, I guarantee you that he’s no Rank 12 Sabrewulf.

Third: Match Making is bogus: For the last few days that I’ve played Ranked, I’ve fought mostly Bronzes, Silvers, and Golds. I’m in Killer. Out of twenty matches, I played against 6 Gold players. I’m sure Mr. Non-Smurf Button Masher Jago wasn’t happy to be paired with a Killer Sadira (he raged quit five punches in).

What needs to happen:

I really liked S1’s Ranking system. It offered 40 distinct Ranks with Killer, reserved only for the best of the best. What didn’t work with that it was too easy to Rank down. Fix that, and we’re gold.

I also think each character should have their own ranking, much like SFIV had. In short, each character starts out as a Button Masher, and then as you win with that character, you rank that one up. Example: My Sadira is a Killer, but my Glacius is only in Hungry.

This would alleviate the need to requalify.

Any other ideas?


I need to ask one thing first. The initial ranked system functioned like SFV’s ranked system? Also, was that when we had the jail system too?

The initial Ranking system didn’t function like SFIV’s. Your Rank was tied to your KI profile, not to the character as SFIV’s was. The Jail system was implemented a few months into KI’s life, but ultimately failed as it was never able to identify if who actually raged quit. Within the first few days of implementation, about 80% of KI’s populace was in Jail.

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Hold on, I was asking about SFV, not SFIV. I thought SFV did and does tie it to the player and not the character.

IMHO, there is only one thing I would like to see different, and that is to put some sort of highest rank mark on your gamer card. That way if you decide to “smurf”, as you put it, people will have a clear indicator as to what you have achieved in the past. That way if you see a bronze with a Killer marker, you know it’s not going to be an easy win.


Can we trade? I’m only low gold yet Killers were 6 of my qualifier matches, and well over half the other matches I currently face.

Matching people with others of the same rank would make things better for everyone. I’ve said it before, saying it again: I would gladly wait extra time for more appropriate match making.

To me there is not much difference between S1 ranked and S2-S3 rank. The only difference is that the 40 ranks were grouped into the four ranks. I fought people way above my skill back in S1 just like I do now. I do like that now I will not lose all my rank because I got mismatched several times.

I admit that I requalify alot. I do it to see how far I can get in ranked with each character. I like to see if I can make it to at least gold with each character. I don’t requalify just to beat up on new players with my main.

Now if some people need to make 4 or 5 live accounts just to beat me, then that is really sad. If that is the best part of their day, I feel sorry for them.

I would like to have a setting in ranked that would give you a choice. You could either select first avaliable match, or match by rank. It would be nice for players to move up in rank by fighing others in the same group.

No, in SFV your main rank (Silver/Gold/Platinum/etc) is tied only to your macro rank; it doesn’t care what character you are using. Characters do have individual ranks as well, but that isn’t taken into account when matchmaking.

While I like the idea of matchmaking by character level, I don’t think it works with KI simply because you don’t even select your character until you’ve been matched up with someone, which is the superior method of character selection anyway IMO.

While I sympathize with the “Killer is too broad” school of thought, I think the data probably doesn’t support the assertion given what the devs have said about how much of the player base actually makes it there. Ditto for the Top 32. There are certainly a few people who have stars who aren’t anything special, but I’ve lost games to non-starred opponents as well on occasion, sometimes badly. I think in general it’s at least a moderately good predictor of skill. If your matches against “bad” starred players have been recent, remember that there was a bug last month that gave a bunch of people stars who were nowhere near Top 32 - essentially there’s a lot of “fraud” starred players in matchmaking right now.

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I think they just need to put a tier between Gold and Killer (like Diamond or something) and make it a harder grind to climb the ladders. That’ll make ranks more pronounced.

Agreed on re-qualifying. It makes skill levels too unpredictable and hurts legitimate silver/bronze players.

Not really sure if it’s the matchmaking at fault for Killers going against Silvers/Bronzes so often or just the mode being too sparsely populated.

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If that’s the case, here are my 2 cents…

I didnt pick up KI until S3 so im not familiar with how it used to run. Excuse me if i misspeak.

The current system is pretty fair to me. I do recall there was outcry, which was adjusted, to lessen the penalty on losing a promotion match. Points got adjusted a little too at some point. So they’ve put work into editing and tweaking the experience.

The thought i remember hearing of S1 ranked was “grind” in a way. 40 something levels with Killer being the top. In order to maintain Killer, you couldnt lose a certain number of matches or you’d rank down.

I…think…id welcome that? The reason i asked about SFV because its the more similar system out, that im familiar with, to what S1 ranked was. From just watching the game, i dont think id mind that sort of system with KI.

Ok. Now quadruple the loss penalty for SFV while reducing the winning point swing, add another 10 gradations of levels so that you can really feel the promotions/demotions, and then add a giant skill desert between Super Gold and Master where you can’t find anyone to play with of equivalent rank.

Now you’ve got the S1 Ranked system.

After reading this, i reserve my right to think about what i said some more. :confused:

I really like this idea. I am a Killer rank with Fulgore, but I guarentee that with other characters I use, that I’d be no more than a struggling gold player at best. I think also what should happen is to create more ranks. I think the problem is that with so few ranks that as players that understand the game advance in rank because they are getting W’s, that it is leaving the lower levels just saturated with players that don’t undertand what they are doing. Basically, the Gold levels are not as strong as Gold when the ranks were completely reset for all players. Now Everyone is stuck at Killer, but there is no real way to sort between what level of Killer one player is.

I never knew this happened.

I remember that one day I went from level 13 to level 1. Couldn’t get a win to save my life. That was season 1 KI for you.

I would be really interested to know the stats as to what percentage of players are in what rank (but filtered somehow by “who were active in the last month” or something like that to not include completely inactive players in the stats).

As @Blacklash93 mentioned, I really think there needs to be a rank between Gold and Killer. Maybe even two. Add in a Platinum and a Diamond or something. It feels like there are so many Killers out there and that there’s a big difference between a “low” Killer and the true high-level Killers out there. The other ranks – gold, silver, and bronze – I have an intuitive feel for their general skill level (smurfing aside). But Killers seem to vary a lot all across the spectrum. Seems like there should be some distinction there within the Killers.

But again, I’d really be interested in the actual stats of how many active players are in each rank. I’m aware that it may just be the fact that statistically Killers play so much more than your typical Silver/Bronze that they show up disproportionately more when searching for matches, even if they might be a minority of actual players.

As a side note, plenty of times I see someone talk about how players less than Killers are terrible and that even some Killers out there aren’t very good. Usually such comments are in an good-natured effort to motivate people and not be afraid of rank. But as a Gold player myself who just cannot seem to break through, reading such comments make me a sad panda. :disappointed:

(hehe okay well not really… I know I’m not the best but I have fun with the game anyway :slight_smile:)

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Sounds like a very good idea to me.

I understand things are different in ranked as opposed to S1. I seem to remember tier progress points resetting every month, or was I tripping?

My experience with ranked S3 is definitely not a walk in the park for me. Some days it’s going up against qualifiers who are true qualifiers or they’re the trolls the OP mentioned, other days it’s consecutive top 32ers that are pretty much manual gods with the full compliment of resets, mix ups and truly WTF just happened moments.

Then they changed the policy with demotion for not playing for a month. Well thanks very much, can I please go on holiday for a family wedding without reprimand?

Maybe the TRUE top tier guys in ranked should get special recognition, like a platinum tile or a Halo on their character to show they’ve hit the milestone, but riding that struggle bus and then getting booted back out again is not the way to do it.

Please don’t eliteiscize the game any further.

Adding more ranks between gold and killer would not change anything. You still would get matched with people above and below your current rank. There needs to be a setting in ranked. Either find first available match, or first available in current rank.

Alot of players rank is based on when they play “time of day”. It can be alot easier to play and win on a Monday or Wednesday at 3-5 pm, and alot harder on a Friday or Saturday night at 9 -11 pm.

Being able to re-qualify is a huge factor in wanting to try/out learn other characters. I think it’s fine given the time restriction on it and your rank only being a general one.

I see this A LOT! Everyday in fact. What i dislike about it is I tend to not pick my main and try other characters only for this “smurf” to come out guns blazing with super Thunder Tech and then tea bag as if Im a scrub for loosing to a Level 2 qualifier. SO salty

I agree that Killer is pretty meaningless. I also greatly favored the S1 system despite never making it past like rank 16 or 17.

I think it comes down to having a steeper penalty and being able to lose rank. I know people hate to lose rank, but if it’s going to mean anything it needs to have some sort of indication of skill factor for the current time and meta. Ranked is supposed to be competitive, you’re supposed to tryhard and play your best characters.

I understand they want to cater to casuals and ranked currently is unique in that it easily gives you quick queing to play a variety of players and characters. But that shouldn’t be one of the pro’s of ranked that should be something available in exhibition any other game calls that “quick match”.

I also understand that casuals pay the bills, and truthfully I’m a casual player who just prefers a challenge. I think it happens all too often that the more competitive crowd gets ignored because they are the minority and the hugely flawed ranked system in KI is a prime example of that. I shouldn’t be able to get killer with Day 1 Broken Eyedol and maintain that rank permanently even though I have a 20% win and I’m just active. That’s a bit hyperbolic but it’s completely possible with the current ranked system.

Maybe I’m alone in this but to the cries of “Then I won’t be able to get certain achievements” or “I don’t want to lose my hard earned rank”, I say too bad, welcome to the competitive mode in the game.

Obviously this is all just my opinion. But I’d probably play more KI if I had something to strive for some indication that I’m getting better after I get killer. In dota my MMR is meaningful, in RocketLeague my rank is an accurate indication of my skill. If my rank or MMR value goes up in either of those game’s I can be relatively certain that I’ve improved my skill in them. The common denominator in both of those games, is there are no guaranteed values, you can just as easily lose what you previously earned.

Time investment and Skill should be two different values. There is no reason to the tie the two together. I believe in rewarding both.