The current way certain SSF-only vs. shared SSF vs. group-allowed leaderboards/features is implemented feels a bit strange to me.
There’s currently 4 sets of leaderboard types: GR leaderboards, Conquest leaderboards the Seasonal Achievements Points leaderboard, and weekly Challenge Rifts leaderboards. (The challenge rift ones aren’t relevant to this discussion, single player challenge rifts are always done solo with no assistance from things earned in group play, so they are always SSF anyway for single player, and group for 2p/3p/4p, so aren’t relevant to this discussion). Right now, only the GR leaderboards are separated for SSF mode.
There’s also some interesting things going on with the SSF season journey that seem relevant to this discussion.
They are completely separate for SSF and group-allowed. This is great! No discussion to be had here. I think this is what everyone wants and expects from an SSF mode.
They are combined for SSF and group-allowed, but the conquests are still tracked separately for SSF and group-allowed. You can earn each conquest four times, once in SSF SC, once in SSF HC, once in group-allowed SC, and once in group-allowed HC, but there are only two conquest leaderboards: SC and HC. Whichever mode (SSF vs. group-allowed) you complete the conquest in first will register it for the corresponding SC/HC conquest leaderboard. If you complete the conquest a second time in the other mode, it is registered as an achievement in that mode but not for the conquest leaderboard.
Personally, I think having 4 independently tracked sets of conquests but only 2 sets of leaderboards is a bit inconsistent. Ideally, I think most players who care about SSF would like to see separate SSF conquest leaderboards.
There’s already been a couple threads about this (not a complete list):
It’s possible there may be some technical UI limitations that prevent this, as the way the GR leaderboards vs. conquest leaderboards are selected/displayed in the leaderboard UI is different. But I feel like there’s a way to overcome this?
Either way, I feel like having 4 sets of conquests but 2 sets of leaderboards is odd. It should either be 4 sets of conquests with 4 sets of leaderboards (fully separate SSF leaderboards) or 2 sets of conquests and 2 sets of leaderboards (fully combine SSF and group-allowed conquests). The current split just seems odd. My preference (and I imagine that of most other players) would be for the former: fully separate SSF conquest leaderboards.
Seasonal Achievement Points leaderboard
They way it is currently implemented on PTR, achievements are completely separately tracked for SSF and group-allowed modes (this is actually somewhat related to the above point for conquests, as there are separate seasonal achievements for conquests in SSF and group-only modes). You can earn up to 1050 achievement points in each mode, then for the Achievements Leaderboard the points are summed between SSF and group-allowed modes and shown as a single total.
I guess this is fine, but it wasn’t at all intuitive to me what was happening, to the point that I made a bug report before BehindTimes pointed out it was actually separately tracking and then adding the achievement points for the two modes.
Personally, I think I’d prefer to see separate achievement points leaderboards for SSF and group-only modes.
BehindTimes had an alternate proposal that was also interesting, combining the base achievements but separating out the conquests for a possible 1150 points on the one achievement points leaderboard:
I suppose there may be some technical limitations here as well, both in terms of the leaderboard UI as well as achievements tracking for the different modes.
But I think the current implementation is a bit of a strange combination of shared vs. separate SSF tracking and it’s definitely unintuitive at first glance.
The season journey is currently tracked separately for SSF and group-only modes, but you can only earn the rewards (including Haedrig’s Gifts) in whichever mode you finish the corresponding chapter in first.
Normally you can only earn Haedrig’s Gifts once per season, even if you play both HC and SC. But in a normal season, the season journey progress is also shared between HC and SC, so you can complete some objectives in SC and some in HC and your progress is combined.
With SSF in S29, the journey is tracked completely separately for SSF and group only, but then within each mode is still combined for HC and SC. But then you only can earn the rewards once. There’s no indication in the UI that you have already claimed it in the other mode. If it goes live in it’s current implementation, I anticipate a large number of bug reports about missing Haedrig’s Gifts from players who play both modes in S29 and go to try and claim their gift in the second mode. It is not intuitive. If there is separate journey tracking, there should probably be a separate journey reward as well.
There’s already a couple of PTR bug reports about this:
I think the journey should either be completely combined (so progress and rewards are shared between SSF SC, SSF HC, group-allowed SC, and group-allowed HC) or separated with separate rewards for SSF and group only (so an SSF SC + HC journey + rewards, and a group-allowed SC + HC journey + rewards).
The current implementation is a weird combination of the two, and I think it’s going to be strange and unintuitive for many players who might decide to play both modes.
My Overall Thoughts
The GR leaderboards being separate is exactly what a lot of players would want from an SSF mode, that’s a great addition.
But please don’t neglect the achievements and conquest leaderboards! They might not be as popular with as many players compared to the GR leaderboards, but they still matter and deserve some consideration for SSF as well. I think the current implementation is a weird combination where some things are combined and some things are kept separate in an inconsistent and not always intuitive manner.
I think for simplicity, things should either be mostly kept separate everywhere (separate SSF conquest leaderboards, separate SSF achievement points leaderboard, separate SSF season journey + separate SSF Haedrig’s Gift rewards) or combined (only GR leaderboards separate, conquests shared, achievements shared, journey shared, Haedrig’s Gift shared).
My preference would be for separating every possible leaderboard for SSF.
I understand there may be some technical limitations that could prevent this in some cases, either for the leaderboard UI or some back-end achievements/conquest/journey tracking, but I think the SSF separate vs. combined leaderboards definitely need some more attention and consideration before S29 goes live. The current system is a bit of a mish-mash of separate vs. combined, it’s not very intuitive, and will almost certainly generate a volume of bug reports in season 29. I’d like to request the devs consider what their vision and intentions are here, what it’s technically possible or feasible to implement before S29, and try to rework it in a way that’s more consistent across the board. My strong preference would be for every possible leaderboard to be separately tracked for SSF, but if that’s not possible at the very least I think it should be more consistent across the board.