The promotion match penalty is way too steep

The loss for promotion matches is far too steep.

Twice today I made it to promotion match for Killer rank, and twice I lost it.

It wasn’t the frustration of loss though that prompts me to make this point, but thinking about it, I do believe the penalty for losing a promotion match is way too much at the moment.

Basically, when you lose any non-promotion match you always lose about 30 or so points at most, unless to a very lower ranked player. For killer vs killer, gold vs gold, or killer vs gold, you lose about that amount. So when you get to the promotion match, you’re basically being put into the same caliber of matchup as stated from the three cases above, only to lose not 2x as many points, not 3x, not 4x, but 5x the normal amount of points to rank up. What happened that suddenly increased the stakes to facilitate this particular punishment for failure?

I understand there should be any entry doorway to which you have to prove you must enter to get to killer rank. I understand not just anyone should be let in, but this is a little overreached as a penalty. Even for a new title, this seems excessive for a punishment. I believe the grind to killer rank promotion matches are hard enough, but when you make it to where you can’t get back to promotion within 2 or 3 matches, and instead have to face 5 or 6 depending on whether or not your opponent is silver, bronze, qualifier, gold or killer, and to have to be under that kind of pressure, these stakes almost seem not even worth playing for, when the punishment you face far outweighs such a small prize. Not to mention, all matches at this particular level are almost always best of 3, further increasing the time to return to promotion match level.

That’s merely my opinion of course. While I’m glad there is a stronger barrier to prevent accidental rank ups beyond intended rank by accident, this punishment seems really harsh in comparison to the fact the killer rank is the only thing to be had at this point.

I’m not even mad at the players I lost to, but this penalty has about broken me for ranked. I get to the promotion match, which has taken long enough as it is, then I lose, at least another hour’s worth of grind, get there again, one more loss, and over another hour of grind.


I lost today my promotion match to killer (had to fight a sabrewulf with 2 top 32 stars…) and lost 150 points, then lost another match due to lag and lost like 40 to 50 then lost another one again and am now like at 770sum, when like 2 or 3 matches ago I was at 990 points…

I only get like 20 to 40 points per match so getting to that point again will take many many matches and that’s if I win them all…

I understand your frustration, but honestly I think it is fine the way it is. They just in most recent patch adjusted the numbers a bit for promotion matches to make things easier, and I think them making ranked tough is the right thing to do. Making promoting to the next tier easier kind of defeats the entire purpose for leveling up.

A much better and, importantly, more consistent way to make ranked “tougher” would be to simply extend the score needed to get to a promotion match. Instead of knocking people down with an artificially more important promotion match (or letting them win an artificially important promotion match - something which gets overlooked a lot) make them show that consistently over time they are winning in their league. But as it is, the current system doesn’t keep people from advancing (it’s essentially a coin flip - you might be paired against someone with zero points in your league or with a high point person in the tier above) it just frustrates people unnecessarily.

Think about it. If you win ten in a row and then lose the 11th match, you fail to get promoted. But if you lose one, then win ten in a row, you will get promoted. It makes no sense at all. The idea that inflating the score penalty for the promotion match is somehow a skill gateway is just false. If you managed to make it to the promotional round, over the course of 20-50 matches, then you WILL get there again. It’s just slowing you down.

Single matches should not be so important. This is the advantage of online ranking systems, they can determine your skill over many many matches online. Looking at your success across those many many matches provides a MUCH better measurement of your skill rather than looking at one completely random match and assigning it 5x the weight of any other match.

They relatively had the “extended score” thing before the S3 patch, in the form of getting less points for a win/lose, and people (still) complained about the road to killer being too easy. In S3 all they did was create the promotion match framework…which essentially “extends the score requirements” in a different way, but only if loose the match, as well as some other point tweaks (I assume). But forcing a “test” at the end of a tier, like a sort of ‘boss battle’, is probably the best way to enforce a “level up” as the climb to that promotion is generally not that hard to begin with.

The purpose of the promotion match isn’t to stop your progression, it is to test you. Your argument that the climb through the tier is the test has merit, but at the same time, that is the relative easy part.

In most of the tiers you can have a 50/50 win/lose ratio (even less than that in some situations) and still rise through the rank fairly easily. Winning 50% of the time means you are where you are suppose to be, and having a “promotion match” be that cap on the tier ensures that you are ready to move on.

FYI: In Gold tier, to move up to Killer Rank, you only have to have a 43% win ratio AGAINST ONLY Killers. That percentage is significantly higher against ONLY Golds and lower, but that should give you a little bit of perspective about the point system. If you struggle with Killers and Gold (loosing 60-70% of the time), but generally breeze through Silvers on down (winning 70-80% of the time), you WILL reach the 1000 point threshold given enough time…but does that mean you should be a Killer? Even if you don’t run even with them generally?

Having a promotion match doesn’t change this. All a promotion match is, is a test to get to the next level.

Actually, I gotta say, I really like your take on things Andy. I do think that a placement based on a performance record rather than individual matches actually is a pretty sound idea.

I understand making ranked tough on purpose, and trying to keep people from accidentally squeezing through to making Killer ranked and getting destroyed by higher ranked players. However, I don’t see why a promotion match carries as such a penalty as it does and why the punishment is so severe. As the system currently sits, I could see 100 points being a decent penalty, and maybe no less than 75, but 150 points is at least another 5 to 6 more matches and more grinding.

Honestly, the players who wouldn’t qualify for killer probably won’t make it past the middle ranks of gold, so making it to the killer promotion match should be tough enough in itself, and I like Andy’s suggestions of using aggregate data/ extending the point qualifications in sacrifice for a less harsh loss penalty.

By the way, as an update, I did finally make it to Killer ranked though, third time is the charm I guess, but yesterday afternoon was without a doubt a testament of frustration as I would win every match to the qualifiers and then one unlucky loss at the promotion match, twice in one day.

However, considering that dropping and requalifying within league play is now an option, it’s still an important factor to consider as I know some people would mostly likely want to try and continue to refine the system as much as possible. It’s something I do believe should be considered.[quote=“UncappedWheel82, post:5, topic:9338”]
Having a promotion match doesn’t change this. All a promotion match is, is a test to get to the next level.

But it’s still a valid question as to why this match is carrying about 5x more weight than any other match? The Killer rank may be on the line, but is the counterbalance to this really deserving of the weight it was given?

Before the formal “promotion match”, you’d loose about 100 points (something like that), and be put back 1 or 2 matches. Sure you didn’t have to win against and equal rank or higher, but you could grind to the top, loose, and just grind again as usual and then move up. The promotion match adds stakes, and actually add difficulty.

“In Gold tier, to move up to Killer Rank, you only have to have a 43% win ratio AGAINST ONLY Killers. That percentage is significantly higher against ONLY Golds and lower, but that should give you a little bit of perspective about the point system. If you struggle with Killers and Gold (loosing 60-70% of the time), but generally breeze through Silvers on down (winning 70-80% of the time), you WILL reach the 1000 point threshold given enough time…but does that mean you should be a Killer? Even if you don’t run even with them generally?”

It may take longer to run through Gold than the other tiers, but even a simply decent player can make it to the 1000 pt threshold.

Personally, I feel as though I suck. Lol! But even in this post patch, S3 era, I’m a Gold tier player. Using just Tusk I went 6/4 in the qualifiers, and then struggled through Bronze with a 48% win/lose ratio. But then I breezed through Silver with a close to 60% win/lose ratio (had a rough patch near the end), and I haven’t been able to sit down and play in Gold yet.

If getting into Killer is as easy as getting to Gold, then something is wrong.

Honestly, it all comes down to matchmaking, as you can get decent win streaks that can artificially inflate point totals, and push people into places where they don’t belong, just as easily as you can get bad lose streaks. Having the Promotion match feature is just another measure of control in the tiers.

Again, I get the frustration, I just feel it is necessary.

Bottom line is that they chose to make the Killer rank a more prestigious rank this go round. If you want to be in Killer, you should be willing to fight through the frustration to prove your worth (IMO).

It’s not a test. This is where you are fundamentally wrong. What about the promotion match is a “test.” They are just whacking an enormous penalty on this match and calling it a test - but it’s no different in terms of selection criteria than any of the other matches you just played trying to get to your promotion.

Let’s take an analogy. I’m going to give you a math placement exam. I will ask you a series of questions - all on the same topic and all of the same approximate difficulty. I will ask them in random order. The first nine don’t matter but if you get the tenth one wrong you fail. What the hell kind of test is that?

I’m sorry, I am not trying to be a ■■■■ about this. But nothing about the promotion match is in any way a test. This is true if you lose, and take the absurd penalty and it’s also true if you win. You didn’t get to the next rank because of that one last match - which objectively might have been the weakest opponent you faced during your entire time in the league. You got there because you rise through the ranks.

In order to call the promotion match a test, they would have to do something like ensure that you are fighting someone of higher rank or better win percentage or something special. Heck - I would even be okay with a system where you had to wait to be paired up with another candidate for promotion and then only the winner advances. It would be unfair in lots of ways but at least it would be some kind of actual promotion test.

There’s nothing wrong with the overall system. But the idea that having a single absurd loss penalty just because you happen to be sitting on 1000 points at the time is somehow a test, or barrier, or gateway to the next rank is just wrong. It’s simply untrue. It’s just an annoying delay when in truth you have already proven you will pass up because you have demonstrated that I we the course of many games you will win enough to rise to 1000 points.

Also, your math is wrong about fighting silver and bronze players in Killer rank. You would have to fight a TON more silver and bronze than gold rank players to get to the promotion match without a winning record against gold. But if that’s the problem you want to solve then you are MUCH better off adjusting the scoring so that people earn less points (or no points) from fighting lower tier players than to just whack on a -150 for that one match.

EDIT: the Killer vs Killer average win ratio is always going to be 50%. That’s a mathematical certainty. So absolutely you will, by definition, have to have people in Killer rank who won’t “run even” with all the other killers. If just one person has a greater than 50% win rate than at least one person has to be less than 50%. This is the kind of logic failure that leads you to believe things like the promotional match is a “test.”

Yeah, seriously, I breezed through Gold with a lot more ease than I expected. I have been leveling up my game with Cinder, but even I didn’t expect it to be this easy.

At any rate, I’m not saying the match penalty is completely without merit, but that the 150 point hit is bigger than necessary, and honestly, I didn’t usually get nearly as many points as the adjusted system they showed in the update says I should. I sure didn’t get back to promotion match level in 3 fights either, it usually required 5 at minimum, given I would play only golds or killers, and more if I played anyone under my level, which would happen.

No. We may disagree, but no.

That isn’t accurate. It would be more like you get a random 9 questions of similar difficulty, and if you get those right, then we will give you the 10th question, a question that will be drawn from the equal to more difficult pool. If you get that one right, then you can move on, other wise you’ll have to answer more random questions and earn the chance to pass again.

It may be a messy test, and granted, the math equivalent isn’t the smoothest, but it is a test. You may want to put more emphasis on the climb than the finale, but working in tandem they do far better at assessing your placement level than just getting the points.

Since you brought up math tests, have you ever had a test in school where the final exam was just another test? Not a comprehensive test, but just another test on stuff you learned at a particular point in the class? That is essentially what this promotion match is…rather it is a mixture of the 2.

The promotion match forces you to perform and be ready. Sure you’ve fought hard and earned the required points, but now you are put on the spot and have to perform. It may be the easiest match of the last 10 matches, it may be the hardest, that is the test.

I think you are just fixated on a test having to be hard. That isn’t what a test is…




noun: test; plural noun: tests

  1. a procedure intended to establish the quality, performance, or reliability of something, especially before it is taken into widespread use.
    “no sparking was visible during the tests”

synonyms: trial, experiment, test case, case study, pilot study, trial run, tryout, dry run; More

All that the promotion match does is “test” you against your betters / peers to see if you are ready for the next level. It isn’t meant to be a barrier against you, just a hurdle for you to jump over. The “something” that is in place to ensue that it is “worthy” is the fact that you have to face a player of equal or higher rank. I don’t really feel it needs to be any deeper than that.

I didn’t post the math for Silver and lower ranked opponents if you were in the Gold tier trying to get to Killer, I just said it was significantly higher that 43%. But yeah, if you were going to go through Gold ONLY fighting Silver and lower tiered players, you’d have to win like 90%+ of all your matches. That was why I said you could loose 60-70% against Gold and Killers tiered players (winning 30-40%), but also win 70-80% against everyone else and have everything even out. The math will be in your favor in the end.

When I have a final exam (had - I haven’t taken an exam in 15 years), if the final was just the last test, not a comprehensive exam, then it was not disproportionately weighted against all the other tests. If you lose your promotion match to a gold ranked player you lose 150 points. If the match before you lose the same test, fighting the same gold ranked player, you lose 30.

I’ve had last tests where they were disproportionately weighted as if it were a true final. Kinda just depends on the professor.

Tortured metaphors aside, I think I tend to come down more along @UncappedWheel82 's side on this. The KI method may not be the cleanest or most efficient, but it is in practice a final test of sorts. I think that forcing a little extra pressure on the promotion match as a kind of heightened tension scenario is actually a decent idea.

The Ranked grind in KI will generally pass you along (slowly) even if you scrape together a less than 50/50 win rate against your equals or betters, simply due to the fact that it is relatively common to fight someone from a lower tier who you can (in theory) beat up on. The system obviously isn’t perfect, but I do think the promotion match penalty serves as a final check on “should this player be in this next level up?”

I think the original version of it was probably too punitive (as you say @BigBadAndy, you’ve proven by rising through the ranks that you’re pretty good), but I feel like the newer version is about right. Because of the inherent randomness in matchmaking, a final spot check isn’t the most terrible thing in the world. And it is of course subject to its own randomness, but them’s kinda the breaks when you’re designing any skill-based matchmaking system. The goal here isn’t to weed out every outlying case of “this guy isn’t good enough to be in X tier” - so long as it helps establish a solid median skill level within a given tier it is probably serving its purpose.

I had a spiral trying to make it into gold. Got paired up with someone who very clearly out-classed me. Lost a few other games after that (some my own fault, others getting paired up with better players), and had to try my promo match 3 times until I got it.

That said, I’m fairly okay with the system despite it being stupidly frustrating at times. The rank isn’t going away now that I have it. It isn’t like I got Gold and then had to fight 5 much better players who pushed me into low silver or anything.

To be clear, I have no problem with putting a gate or test at the top of the tier. But sticking a punitive penalty on the final match ISN’T a gate or a test. It does nothing to establish a solid median skill level - that’s the point I’m making. Why would one fight do a better job of assessing your skill level than the 50 that came before it? This will not accomplish anything in terms of “making Killer harder to achieve” or any of the other assumed goals people keep talking about. I’m not going to spam the same stuff over and over so I will just let it go here.

If a test is needed than I rather have this test be something to this effect…

“Fight and win against a Killer in your promotion match” Or “having at least 3 wins against Killers out of your last 10 matchups against Killers” or something…

(But the system isn’t smart (?) enough and will easily pair you up with whoever is on top of the leaderboard or has multiple stars, lol.)

Frankly, if they really want to “gate” your promotion I think they should set you on a sort of “qualification” status once you reach the top of the tier. Mark you as under review for advancement and then track your performance over ten fights with Fighters in your tier. Then set a threshold for the number of fights you have to win to advance. 5, 8, 10. Whatever. It makes it much less random than a single match.

But ultimately, I would throw away the whole “gate” idea (because it doesn’t work) and just stop rigging the ranked ladders to advance people. Make a gold loss take away the same points as a gold win. Don’t count wins against lower tiers for points. If we really want to solve the problem of people “not earning” their rank then the idea that we are better off fixing this with a single random matchup is just nuts. I’m really baffled by the fact that people have such a hard time understanding something that is so unarguable from a statistics and probability stand point. The promotion match is doing nothing (nothing at all) to make advancing “harder” “more prestigious” or ensuring that only “deserving” fighters advance. The only thing it does is make some people, based in a single random matchup, take more time to advance.