Hey everyone! Apex Legends™ Ranked mode designers here and we’re back to talk about Ranked Leagues Series 2 for Apex Legends. We’ll revisit our goals, talk about some results, and detail how Ranked Leagues will work when Series 2 launches with Season 3.
- Ranked League Series 1 scoring system worked well, we’re making a few improvements.
- Ranked matchmaking created really intense games, we’ll continue to improve it.
- A soft reset of your rank is coming, along with some ranked cosmetic rewards.
Recapping Goals for Ranked Leagues
We want to quickly review our four goals for Ranked and comment a bit on some of the Series 1 results so far. Keep in mind that we’re trying to improve the systems with each update, and some outcomes will take longer to tune than others.
- Create a true measure of skill in Apex Legends. We launched Ranked Leagues with a score-based system rather than a hidden ELO-type system. So far, we’re pleased with the results. The system was easily understood by new and veteran players alike, and gave us a good baseline calibration of skill for future Series. As of 9/10 we have the following distribution among players who played more than 5 hours of Ranked:
- 5.1% Bronze
- 40.0% Silver
- 35.7% Gold
- 16.8% Platinum
- 2.1% Diamond
- 0.2% Apex Predator
This is a pretty solid distribution for a system with no demotion, and we’re using this as the skill calibration for Series 2.
- Reward competitive players for the time they invest in Apex Legends. As competitive players, we generally believe that the best reward for ranked play is your rank itself. That being said, we’re offering cosmetic rewards to everyone based on their highest score ranked. Badges, gun charms, and dive trails will be awarded to ranked players when the new Series kicks off. Watch for an alert on your first login after the reset! Scroll down to see the rewards in a video preview.
- Ensure competitive integrity through skill-based matchmaking. We made lots of changes to matchmaking across Series 1 to ensure that people were getting into games quickly and versus similarly skilled players. As expected, this was more difficult at the highest end of the skill spread, and we ended up having to match Apex Predators down with Platinum players in many regions depending on the time of day and player population. We’ll continue to monitor this and will make adjustments as needed. We’re hoping that Series 2 will more quickly calibrate players’ skills and will result in more evenly distributed matchmaking buckets.
- Let top-tier Apex Legends players compete at the highest levels of skill. Ranked Leagues has produced some of the most intense late game scenarios to date. We were very pleased to see some new high level strategies emerge from the high RP players throughout the season. To try and increase the intensity, and encourage more aggressive play – we’re introducing some new changes to the scoring system in Series 2. Let’s get into the details.
Now that we have a bit of a look into how Series 1 went, here’s what to expect when Series 2 kicks off.
What’s Staying The Same
Parts of the system are working as intended, and we won’t be making any changes to them. There will be no changes to the Tiers & Divisions in Series 2. The level requirement for ranked play will remain at 10. Playing with friends will continue to matchmake up to the highest ranked player.
At the start of Series 2 everyone will be soft reset on their ranked position, and the scoring system will be updated. The reset will be 1.5 Tiers down for all players. That means if you ended Series 1 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 means that players will need less time to climb to their true skill ranking, and will have more time to compete at their actual skill level and try to climb higher than before.
The Series 1 scoring system worked well, but we want to make some improvements. Here’s what we’re trying to accomplish, and how the new system works. First off, we need a bit more granularity in the point spread, so we’re 10x’ing all the points in the whole system. At first glance this may just look like point inflation, but in reality we need to be able to reward something in between 1 RP and 2 RP, so going to 10, 15, 20 RP gives us that flexibility. We’re also updating the match entry RP costs slightly.
Entry RP Cost
Each Ranked match will require RP to play based on your tier:
- Bronze matches are still free
- Silver matches cost 12RP
- Gold matches cost 24RP
- Platinum matches cost 36RP
- Diamond matches cost 48RP
- Apex Predator matches cost 60RP
Kills, Assists, and Multipliers
This time we’re also adding assists to the kill count score. Assists are defined as dealing damage to a player within 5 seconds before they are knocked down. If a player is revived, the assist credit is cleared. Assist credit is only given to teammates of a player who earns the kill. A player cannot get a kill and an assist on a single opponent. Previously damage dealt 0.75 seconds before a player is knocked down or before a knocked player was eliminated counted as an assist, so it was technically possible that you could earn 2 assists on one target.
The new combined kill & assist score is still capped at 5 per match, but with a placement multiplier. Although the 5 kill cap was initially controversial, we didn’t see many players actually hit the cap too often, and it did reduce hot-dropping as we intended.
Apex Predator Ladder Position
New in Series 2, Apex Predator ranked players will no longer just have their RP shown – but will now see their standing worldwide. This should create some intense competition among the most skilled players around the world.These ladder positions are split by platform, so we will have three players on Playstation, XBox and PC each claim #1 in the world respectively.
Cosmetic rewards for your ranked performance are coming! Once the new Series starts, you will get a notification on login that your rank has been reset and you’ve been awarded any earned cosmetics. Everyone will receive a badge that shows their highest level reached. Gold and higher players will receive an exclusive gun charm for their highest level reached. Lastly, Diamond and Apex Predator players will receive a custom dive trail for their highest rank reached, which can be enabled or disabled in the Loadouts section.
We deactivated leaver penalties in Series 1 to be overly cautious on false positives. This time we’re starting Ranked Series 2 with leaver penalties enabled. Players who abandon their teammates will be hit with a matchmaking penalty in both regular and Ranked matches. Penalties will result in a player being barred from joining a match for escalating amounts of time based on how often they have abandoned in Ranked. An abandon is defined as leaving the game before the match is over for you; this includes leaving during character select, leaving while you are alive, and leaving when you are dead but can still be respawned by teammates. Penalty times start out at five minutes, and repeat abandons will increase that time up to a week.
We introduced the Loss Forgiveness system when Ranked first arrived, and we’re pleased to report that it is working as intended. Players are not getting penalized RP for when their teammates drop from the game, or some other technical problem hits that is out of their control. We’ll continue to keep an eye on how players are unintentionally moving down the ladder and make changes as needed.
Overall, we’re really happy with how the introduction of Ranked Leagues has worked out, and we’re excited for what we can learn and adjust as this second wave gets out to players.