Dragonflight Season 1 Rated PvP Rating Discussion

Clarification on Ratings and Titles for PvP Dragonflight Season 1

We’ve seen a lot of discussion about ratings in the 2v2, 3v3, Rated Battleground, and Solo Shuffle brackets over the past few weeks and we wanted to clarify a few points, especially about “rating inflation.” We have alluded to a “rating inflation” system in rated PvP before, but we’ve never explained what it is, how it works and why we like it.

Rating inflation allows us to increase the “mean rating” over time. What is the mean rating? Well, it’s probably easiest to say that a player with exactly average skill will have a “mean rating”, due to how the math of rating calculations works. Players above the mean rating have above-average skill, while players below the mean rating deserve our love and support. Under the hood, rating inflation increases that mean rating over time, meaning that while at the start of the season an average player will quickly gravitate toward a rating of 1500, towards the end of the season their rating may rise to 1800. Originally, this system was developed to counterbalance the effect of players who earned a high rating early in the season then opting out of playing the rest of the season.

We feel like every PvP season has three stages:

  • Early season - When most players are earning Conquest on a weekly basis to acquire gear.
  • Mid-season – When most players are finishing their gear sets, gearing up alts, and trying out different classes.
  • End of season – When a lot of players are pushing for seasonal milestones or titles.

Rating inflation was meant to ensure that the real action for titles happened at the end of the season. However, it also benefited other players, who could feel progress over the course of a season as they pushed their rating. One downside of this system is that when the season rolls over, rating inflation resets, and players feel unable to achieve a rating that they had only the week before. Another variable here is the rate at which we inflate the rating. We’ve tried a lot of different numbers over the years. What we’ve learned is that increasing the mean rating at a rate of less than 15 points per week doesn’t allow people to overcome those early season ladder squatters. But increasing inflation at more than 20 points per week results in feeling like no rating is safe. It also can lead to super-inflated ratings at the end of the season.

Something we decided to do for Dragonflight Season 1 was to delay the start of inflation until week 10. We didn’t feel like inflation was necessary during the early season when players are playing to earn Conquest to complete their gear set. Chasing titles and end of season rewards isn’t entirely relevant yet. But now at week 10, players will be completing their Conquest sets, so inflation will kick in at 20 rating per week to help dislodge people from the top of the ladder and reach whatever their seasonal goal might be. Since we’re starting it later in the season at this aggressive rate, we won’t reach ratings that are highly overinflated. In retrospect, we think this delay was too long and we’re considering starting it earlier in the future, perhaps at a reduced rate.

While we have you here, we also want to address faction-specific titles. Originally, these were added to encourage players to play both factions and this was largely successful. Prior to cross-faction groups in Arena, social dynamics were the primary driver behind which faction got the most player in organized PvP. Players decided which faction had the racials they preferred and flocked to that side. If you wanted to play with those players, you needed to join that faction. Now, players can play whichever faction they prefer and cross-faction titles are no longer necessary. We’ve decided that end-of-season titles will once again be faction agnostic in Dragonflight Season 1.

Thank you and we hope this provides answers to some of the feedback you have delivered regarding this PvP season.


Idk but nerf dh


Thank you for the heads up! is this why Valor changes occurred?


This is good to know. And im glad youre talking to us. What are the chances we could have some form of “Mid-patch check-in” with the PVP devs so we could hear how theyre thinking about everything?


Horrible change. Should have made a post before the season began telling us from the start how it would work and that rating would be lower. The amount of people that quit doing 3s because of the lack of progress is crazy.


I think that this was simply them underestimating just how much participation solo shuffle would siphon away from 2v2 and 3v3. Like, shuffle is a few hundred points higher than either, on average, so unless you’re glad+ there’s no reason to bother with anything other than shuffle.


Thanks for the clarity. Agree should probably start a bit earlier. Although now I feel like people will only start to actively play once this rating inflation becomes active. Something to experiment with for sure.

While we are talking about ratings, can you please consider increasing the max PvE ilvl upgrade for PvP gear?

I know I am probably in the minority here, but it was also nice to supplement my PvE gear with some Elite (2400) PvP gear early or sometimes even late in the season. This season though, there is almost no crossover between gearsets. 408 ilvl is way to low to get into any kind of high lvl PvE, when in the past the 2400 upgrade level was at least equivalent to the highest M+ upgrade (currently 415 ilvl) and helped PvPers get into PvE or use a few PvP items in their Mythic gear sets.


im cheering greatly for the bills next season, mr holinka.

fantastic work and communication. this explains so much. i think waiting 10 weeks was a bit much however.

1 Like

We understood the risk here with Solo Shuffle and its impact on 2v2 and 3v3, but felt it would lead to more people participating in Arena overall. For many players, earning Conquest to complete a full set of gear is their primary form of progression and they have no aspirations of earning Duelist much less Gladiator. They queue up, cap conquest each week, then stop playing. Their presence in 2v2 and 3v3 lifted up the ratings of all of those people really striving for end of season titles. Now, those players are able to get their Conquest in Solo Shuffle instead. We’ll look for ways to make 2v2 and 3v3 worth queuing for that player type.

Fun tidbit: One of the surprising beneficiaries of Solo Shuffle has been Skirmish, where it appears players often spend their time while waiting for their Solo Shuffle queue to pop.


Yeah, I thought that shuffle was really cool for this. Like, a lot of people feel stressed about finding partners, or feel bad about sitting in LFG getting declined, and solo just let them pop in and play regardless of skill, exp or spec.

That’s cool. I’ve chatted with a lot of people in the various Discords who’ve had trouble finding people interested in playing 2v2 or 3v3 now that shuffle is available and just so much quicker and easier to push rating in.


I understand this and hear ya but its a really bad having friends quit due to them feeling they are hard suck at 1800 etc and dont progress at all even if it was 20 points a week.


I’m curious why you think this won’t result in people who typically play arena for duelist/gladiator to just not queue at all until later in the season. Wouldn’t a decay system be better at stopping ladder squatters while not feeling overly punishing for players that can typically achieve certain ratings in a normal season?

It definitely feels beyond demoralizing to be able to hit X rating in one season and then playing the same comp with the same players not being able to get close to that rating in the very next season. Even if it’s early in the season.


Yeah, the whole mid range of kind of scuffed. If you poke a friend to push 2100 3s but they’re already 2500 shuffle and have all the non-gladiator rewards it feels kind of…awkward. To have a lot of people be “done” this early.

Minus glad-r1 range, of course.

Shuffle is also really good for knocking out elite sets.


I wonder how a best of 3 would work for 3s 60 rating a win. This might be kind of how solo shuffle can get more then 24rating based off how many rounds you win


I find it hard to believe that an AVERAGE skill pvper is 1500 rating. More like 1200 maybe, especially this expansion.


I don’t think that model would work for normal 3v3 as you’re staying with your same team and keeping the same composition the entire time.

If you were to queue into a team that “counters” you it would feel terrible to lose 60 rating when you have a very small chance to win to begin with.

I would much rather queue into a team we have difficulty beating, and take the loss and then hopefully not queue into them again for another five or so games and continue to climb outside of that specific match up.

The current matchmaking also assists with this because it tries to avoid placing you against a team you just fought unless you’re sitting in a queue for a bit.


That’s where people start in terms of mmr. If they’re going even then their CR will quickly approach this number. Also just think of it as an example of where most people are kind of pushed towards.

Over the course of the season they can kind of nudge everybody up, with a notable example being Unchained where you’d mess around on an alt and be 2300 mmr.