Before we get started with today’s dev blog, we regret to inform you that there will not be a champion released in the late September patch due to a change in strategic and planning circumstances. This change aims to improve the impact of the F2P release. However, we have a big announcement on the 20th September which we are very excited to share with you.
Now, let’s take a look at what Shelt has to say about the changes coming for Season 5.
As we are getting closer to the F2P launch of Battlerite we are now heading into our final Season in Early Access, Season 5. This season will come with new requested features and major changes to the old system.
During the Early Access period we’ve been testing a lot of different systems and ideas to try and create a great matchmaking and ranking experience in Battlerite. We’ve gathered all the data and feedback we’ve received from our players so far and it’s now time to solidify the systems in preparation for our F2P launch. All of the following changes will arrive with Season 5.
Contender League will be removed
The way Contender League worked did not pan out the way we wanted it to. Grinding from the bottom of the League system was not fun and it caused unbalanced matches.
Divisions per League will be reduced from 8 to 5
Having 8 divisions per League was too much and made progressing to the next League feel tedious.
Higher Leagues will be more prestigious
It will be harder to reach the higher Leagues in the new system. Making it to a higher league is an achievement. With this new system more players will be placed in the Bronze and Silver Leagues. Don’t be upset if you find yourself in a lower league than before once Season 5 arrives.
Placement games will be re-introduced and improved
We understand the importance of being able to quickly reach the appropriate league matching your skill. Players and teams will only have to play a few placement games, and will then quickly be placed near their skill level with the new placement system.
Win Streak Bonus removed
With the new placement system and the reduced division count the Win Streak Bonus serves little purpose and will thus be removed.
New rating decay system
More players being active improves the matchmaking experience for everyone. We’re adding a new system requiring players to play at least one match per week to avoid a rating penalty. This will only affect players & teams in Diamond League and above. When we introduce the system it will still be in a test state. The system will be fully working and we will be able to analyze the data. However warnings and notifications to remind players about rating decay will not be implemented yet, so for now players will need to remember to remain active by themselves.
Due to all these changes we’ve decided to reset everyone’s rating to allow this new system to work from a clean slate. Resetting now also allows our current player base to stabilize before F2P launch, improving the experience for new players.
Third-party region ladder support
We are now tagging every match played with a region code, allowing third-party sites to filter players into different regions, hence making them able to create unique ladders per region. Currently we are using the following region codes; EU, US, South America, Asia and OCE.
Ending up in games with placement players all the time isn’t always fun, since these games tend to be less balanced. With Season 5 we are adding a restriction to make it less likely to have games with or against placement players several times in a row, unless you are also in placement. We are also reducing the possibility of ending up in a match with the exact same players you just played with or against. Both of these restrictions will have less and less of an impact the longer you’ve been in queue, so if you’ve been matchmaking for a long enough time they will be deactivated to increase the chances of finding a match.
On the Horizon
We will continue to keep a close eye on the matchmaking and ranking system. You can expect improvements every new season. I would like to share some of the potential features we are looking to implement at a later stage. I can’t at this moment guarantee that these features will be implemented as it is still early, but we want to keep you in the know about our future plans.
Warnings and notifications for the rating decay system
If the rating decay system works out as intended, we will add visual feedback to the system to allow players to easily track which teams are at risk of getting a rating decay due to inactivity.
Visual feedback while queuing
We are looking into giving players more feedback on their match status while they are in the matchmaking queue. This includes things like their time in queue and what they are queuing for, but also information on the progress of the matchmaking. For example, if you are queuing solo for a 3v3 arena game, we want to display that 4/6 players are currently suitable for a match.
Player controlled matchmaking
We have plans to give more control to the player when it comes to matchmaking. For example, allowing players to specify how much priority they want put towards getting balanced matches versus their priority on latency, etc. This would enable players to communicate to the system their preferences, so that those that don’t mind waiting a long time for balanced games can do so, whilst players looking for a quick game can edit their preferences to achieve this as well.
Adding more rewards and incentives for participating in a season is always nice. We are considering adding seasonal quests to create additional goals for players to participate and stay active throughout an entire Battlerite season.
We might look into the support of queuing as a random champion. It is a requested feature and it would speed up the matchmaking process significantly as the system wouldn’t have to consider duplicate archetypes and champions when matching players together.
Hope you are as excited as I am to see this new system in action. That is all I have for now and good luck in Season 5!