Hey everyone! Apex Legends™ Ranked designers here and we’re back to talk about Ranked Leagues Series 3 for Apex Legends. We’ll revisit our goals, talk about some results, and detail how Ranked Leagues will work when Season 4 – Assimilation launches on February 4.
- Moving to Splits per season, ~6 weeks of ranked play before a reset
- Adding Master Tier, Apex Predator becomes top 500 players by platform.
- Soft reset and scoring are the same, but soft reset is every split.
- Dive trails will be moving to a seasonal reward model, but Series 1 & 2 players are grandfathered in
Series 2 Results
We want to quickly review our four goals for Ranked and comment a bit on some of the Series 2 results so far. We’ll keep improving the ranked system as we go!
- Create a True Measure of Skill in Apex Legends
As of January 10, 2020 we have the following distribution among players who played more than 5 hours of Ranked (versus last Series):
- 3.9% Bronze (5.1%)
- 29.1% Silver (40%)
- 35.3% Gold (35.7%)
- 23.6% Platinum (16.8%)
- 7.1% Diamond (2.1%)
- 1.0% Apex Predator (0.2%)
This distribution shows it was a bit easier to reach Apex Predator this time, so we’ll be introducing Master Tier and reworking how the Apex Predator tier works. More details below.
- Reward competitive players for the time they invest in Apex Legends
We’ll be giving out gun charms, badges, and dive trails again based on the highest tier achieved this Ranked Series. However, from here onward, dive trails will be temporary for all future series. This is to help alleviate the visual space when everyone is dropping to the map, because as it stands now there would eventually be too many trails and they would lose their meaning. For example, if you place Apex Predator in Ranked Series 3, you will have the Apex Predator dive trail available for the duration of Series 4, then it will be removed. Players who earned any dive trail in Series 1 or 2 will be grandfathered in, and will keep the trails forever. We currently plan for a set of 4 dive trails that return in a cyclical fashion every year, so for example, players can get the chance to earn the same dive trails in Ranked Series 3 and in future Ranked Series 7 a year from now, while another set will be available to earn for Ranked Series 4 and Ranked Series 8, and so forth.
- Ensure competitive integrity through skill-based matchmaking
Matchmaking based on RP continues to work well for ranked ladder climbing. We may revisit matchmaking in the future, but for now this is working as intended.
- Let top-tier Apex Legends players compete at the highest levels of skill
We’re continuing to see the highest skill players reliably get to the top of the ladder given some time and with the addition of Master Tier, described below, we’ll have even more serious competition at the high end.
Series 2 Rewards
Here’s a preview of the Series 2 ranked rewards you’ll be earning when the Season changes.
What’s New in Series 3
Now that we have a bit of a look into how Series 2 went, here’s what to expect when Series 3 kicks off.
After the 3 months long Ranked Series 1, and the 4 month long Ranked Series 2, we have been looking at engagement on the ranked ladder and have decided to continue with a 3 month series, but divide it into 2 splits. This means that Series 3 will have two shorter splits, each with a soft reset. Split 1 will be played on World’s Edge while Split 2 will be back on King’s Canyon to keep things fresh. Ranked rewards will be granted for the highest tier achieved in either split of the series, but exclusive animated badges will be granted if you can make it to the same tier both splits.
The soft reset will stay the same for Season 4. At the start of Series 3 everyone will be soft reset on their ranked position by 1.5 Tiers down. That means if you ended Season 3 in Gold II, you’ll be reset to Silver IV. Players in Platinum IV will be reset to Silver II, and Apex Predators will be reset to Platinum II. This reset will now occur at each split as well.
At the top end of the competitive ladder we’re seeing many more players make the climb into Apex Predator. This means it’s hard to really showcase the skill between any two Apex Predators this season. So we’ll be adding a new tier between Diamond and Apex Predator called Master Tier. The RP required to make it to Master Tier will still be 10,000 RP as Apex Predator was. Apex Predator tier will now be exclusive to the top 500 players per platform. So it is possible to demote from Apex Predator back down to Master Tier as other players continue to earn RP ahead of you. We feel this should give more prestige to making and keeping your Apex Predator rank, while still keeping the tiers above Diamond very exclusive.
We do want to encourage people to play Apex Legends with their friends, but the situation with boosting in high level ranked is something we need to keep an eye on. Therefore, once you get to Platinum and higher, you can only party with players 1 Tier different from you. This should help keep matches closer in the higher skill levels.
Penalties and Loss Forgiveness
There are some changes coming to loss forgiveness to reduce abuse of the system. Loss forgiveness when a teammate leaves or fails to connect is unchanged, and is working as intended. We will be limiting the RP loss forgiveness when you leave to once per day. If you exceed once per day more than three times per ranked series, you lose all forgiveness for the remainder of that series. Once these limits are reached players will no longer receive RP loss forgiveness when abandoning a match, regardless of the reason for quitting. We will continue to display prompts that alert you that leaving will count, and now will alert you when you are about to run out of loss forgiveness games.The scaling penalties are the same as last Series.
As with last Ranked Series, players will be rewarded with badges, gun charms, and dive trails that match the highest tier earned that Series. One extra change to note is that moving forward, Dive trails will only be earned for the following season’s use, then they will expire. This will help ensure that when you see a dive trail, you know that player just hit that rank last season. The exception will be for anyone who earned a dive trail in Series 1 or 2, those players will keep those trails forever.
What’s Not Changing in Series 3
Entry RP Cost
Each Ranked match will use the same RP cost to play based on your tier, with Master Tier being the same as Apex Predator:
- Bronze matches are free
- Silver matches cost 12RP
- Gold matches cost 24RP
- Platinum matches cost 36RP
- Diamond matches cost 48RP
- Master matches cost 60RP
- Apex Predator matches cost 60RP
We won’t see any large changes to the scoring system. Master Tier and Apex Predator Tier will both use the same entry cost and reward the same points.
We have, however, adjusted assists. Firstly, we changed the Assist timer from 5s to 7.5s. Next, before Season 4, when a player finished using a healing item (e.g. syringes/shield cell etc) they would clear any assist credit. This was unintended and has been fixed. Mirage’s Decoy Trigger, Crypto’s EMP and Pathfinder’s Grapple now give assist credit for the standard 7.5s after activation, even if they deal no damage. Bloodhound’s Scan and Crypto’s Passive now give assist credit if a player dies while having that status effect on them; and for 7.5s after the status effect runs out. Kill scoring and placement scoring will remain unchanged.
We’ll continue to evaluate and improve Ranked Leagues, but we’re happy with the progress so far. A big thanks to all the players that grind the ladder and show us what high skill games of Apex Legends really look like.
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