Blizz admitted it exists.
Blizz admitted MM is bad.
People on this board say 1 of 3 things:
- It’s real
- It’s not real
- Nobody but blizz can fix it so stop pretending you’re smart enough to make suggestions #TrustInBlizz #TheyKnowMoreThanYou
These facts are undeniable:
- There are people in high ranks with smurfs who can’t escape Bronze Hell. Long been cataloged by streamers and let’s players.
- There are common elements in every video I’ve seen on YouTube. These elements always fall under: “Toxic Players”
- Blizzard has had Bronze Hell for the last 5 years. DotA and LoL both figured out how to dispense with their “hells”, but Blizz hasn’t. In fact, Blizz has actually seemed to make it worse.
- AFK and Disconnects.
- New Players mixed in with players trying to level up who weaken the team. You can also argue people who speak another language that play on English servers.
- Bad Players who refuse to learn.
- Malicious Players Throwing the Game or otherwise always demoralize others .
Every Single ONE OF US - EVERY ONE OF US - has fit the mold for one of those four. BUT – I’m talking about 2 specific aspects of the above:
- The system FORCING pain upon the players through 1 and 2.
- Blizzard’s report system utterly failing to address how to properly handle Bad and Malicious gameplay.
Attempts to Rectify these situations:
- Blizz has done nothing to rectify the issues caused by 1 and 2. In fact, Blizz made it worse.
- Blizz’s reporting system is so bad that they are constantly sending questionnaires to players saying “OMG do you like it? If not why don’t you like it?!” It’s easily manipulated and the code isn’t worth the datastorage it’s saved on.
That leaves us with these questions:
- How do you resolve issues with AFKs and Disconnects?
- How do you resolve issues with new players holding others back?
- How do you resolve issues with Bad Players who refuse to learn?
- How do you resolve issues with malicious players w/o excessively punishing others through a system that is easily manipulated?
The answers to all of these questions can be resolved by looking at what other game companies have done. That requires Blizzard to admit it has failed and is NOT an industry leader.
The two biggest leaders are LoL and DotA2 have done the following.
- When a player disconnects, they are allowed X minutes to return, when that time is up, the others are allowed to leave with No Penalty, and there is no MMR adjustment.
Additionally, in DotA2: When a player excessively AFKs in multiple games, they are given a short timeout (just 15 minutes).
In LoL: Players can vote to end the current game, while reporting the afker for a short timeout and other decay based penalties.
What has Blizz Done: Blizzard punishes other players by refusing to say the game is a wash, in addition, they have a broken A.I. controlled by the computer, who is not even competent enough to beat newbie players. AFK warnings and punishments are almost NEVER given out, not unless the entire team excessively reports the AFKer and they are reported on in multiple games.
What happens in the REAL WORLD with Physical Sports: If you walk around dazed or just beweldered on the field, you’re not allowed to play with the better players. You are benched. If you are sleeping on the bench, you are not sent out.
- LoL and DotA2 have a more comprehensive ranking system, that does NOT overtly punish veteran players from losing games while grouped with newer, lower ranked players, who contribute little to nothing to gameplay. Such players who also have poor performance stats also don’t level up as quickly, not until their performance increases.
What has Blizz Done: forced everyone to adhere to the belief that new players will learn if paired with older veteran players, while rewarding and punishing everyone equally regardless of performance.
In the Real World with Physical Sports: Coaches force players to practice, run drills, train… if they don’t, they don’t play. HotS should probably have some practice drills or more comprehensive tutorial sessions than what is provided.
- LoL and DotA2 have a complex system allowing people to get out of their lower ranking hells. These systems are multi tiered, allowing players to have unlimited “blocks” to refuse to be played with abusive players, allowing players to vote to end games, giving a little more weight to personal performance when ranking up than Blizzard’s MMR, etc…
Blizzard: Blizzard made it more difficult to get out of lower ranked hells, by refusing to punish players for being bad, for doing things like “running in circles to avoid AFK detection, while doing nothing”, by refusing to “analyze to see if players falsely laddered their stats for the score screen”, by making it so players have to win multiple games in a row to exit a tier (such as bronze) but allow players to fall back 1 tier (such as from silver to bronze) in 1 single game, etc… Everything Blizzard has done has been to punish players, rather than to allow them to escape Bronze Hell and the abuse that comes with it.
In the real world with physical sports: Players who run in circles, who throw bs Passes, who make it so it’s hard for the other players to play while pretending to get in higher stats, are almost always ejected from the game.
- LoL actually pretty much fails hard at this, but one thing LoL does right is they actually tell players exactly what the report was about and who filed it. DotA2 has a better system where they notify players of the types of reports being placed on the player, why they should improve, and how many other players received similar reports. DotA2’s report system is actually pretty encouraging, asking people to play nice, saying, gotta cool down… I like it. Didn’t feel upset when I got nailed… I deserved it, dropped too many F bombs. DotA2 was right. “Dude take a break!”
What does Blizz do? Blizzard created a system where warnings don’t decay, they just continue to escalate in punishment. This system is also easily manipulated by allowing it to be an automatic application if 5 random people decide to just REPORT YOU for the FUN OF IT. Blizzard’s position is one of “we refuse to admit we did any wrong” so it’s next to impossible to contest these.
What do Real Life Sports do? Malicious people are wrapped on the wrist, but only in extreme circumstances are they banned for an entire season. Real life sports tend to do what DotA2 does.
Things Blizz can do to implement an immediate change, they are not deal breakers, just suggestions that can be used and can have positive effects. I am sure there are many more suggestions out there as well, esp ones better than mine:
Make pre-formated text and spoken commands heavier in the interface. I explained this in detail in another thread. By having an IN GAME CHARACTER appear on the screen to give people instructions, you have less confrontational tones between players and more compliance, while eliminating toxic chat for those who are not in the same group/friend’s list
Bad and Malicious Players will always have poor personal scores, whether or not they “rank up their stats”. Make early ranked levels rely heavily upon player stats, while phasing them into Group and Party stat performance at upper levels. Malicious Players will never leave Bronze, and rarely leave silver.
Do Away with the 2 wins in a row to level up nonsense.
Make past warnings decay and vanish.
Be more open about why people have been warned, while citing the exact section of the CoC, don’t just lazily say “Oh you did something bad but we’re not telling you and it’s in this web link somewhere”. Either you know or you don’t know, no more lazy umpiring.
Focus on positive community building on the website and with streamers and let’s players.
Institute no penalty leaving.
Experiment with vote to end.
Completely re-evaluate how player performances affects how games are won and lost, and adjust the end game scores appropriately.
All these things are basic ideas on how to move forward and to stop the players from leaving. HotS has had some serious issues as of late in regards to player base.
And no I am not going to follow this particular thread. Either people agree or disagree. There are plenty of other suggestions as well, which may be better than mine. The only thing I won’t agree with is the idea that nothing is wrong. A lot is wrong. A lot is very very wrong. Blizz should hire someone who recognizes this and immediately push for heavy fixes.
I definitely will like to see better suggestions than my own (actual suggestions not: “how about we keep it as it is” - because that is not working).