Various competitive games have a ladder that you can climb that after a certain period of time (often a month) resets so you can start again. I’m going to go over a few points why I think this would be a great fit for SF5, how it might be implemented (frankly, I’m going to be drawing a few parallels to Hearthstone because it’s a simple system that could apply very well to SF5) and cover some potential problems as well. Would love to hear your thoughts and start a discussion on the matter, too.
1) Players compete in battles to climb a ladder, a win rising you up the ladder and a loss knocking you down. The game already has a set of ranks in place that would work perfectly. You start at Rookie and work your way towards Master, with all the various ranks in-between (Bronze, Super Bronze, Ultra Bronze, Silver, Super Silver…) that’s a total of 17 ranks, a fantastic amount.
2) The current point system simply would not work for this, as the way that system works is overtime more points are introduced into the system making it easier to obtain higher ranks. At current we’re like 7 months into the game with 0 master rank players, no way that point system would work monthly with point inflation constantly being reset. This is where I draw a parallel to Hearthstone as it’s a simple to understand and good system for a monthly ladder that would fit perfectly for SF5. In Hearthstone when you win you get a star, when you lose a star is taken away (if you win streak, you get 2 stars) and if you get a certain number of stars (I think 3) you rank up. 3 wins or whatever is way too few for SF5, maybe 10 per rank would work better (perhaps 5 for Bronze ranks, 10 for everything beyond) which would lead to ~150ish points to go from Rookie to Master.
3) Every x amount of time (every month, every 3 months, etc. Personally I think every month is ideal) the ladder is reset and players are given rewards based on the rank they achieved. Fight Money and titles are fantastic, simple, already existing rewards for this. 17 new titles every month would be insane, but perhaps in terms of rewards all Bronze ranks are lumped together, all Platinum is lumped together, etc.
4) Another parallel to Hearthstone’s system, because it would fit very well. Once you achieve Master rank, you essentially enter a new category. You can no longer drop rank, but instead you enter a numbered ladder where you compete to be #1 Master primarily against other Master players. This gives top players who will hit Master rank in like 1-2 days each month anyways something to do for the rest of month.
5) Various things can be added to make the system its own. Maybe if a non-Master player gets matched up against a Master and wins they get bonus ranking points. Or, a potentially fantastic idea is some type of Capcom Pro Tour integration where the top __ Master players each month earn CPT points, and the player with the most points at the end of the season gets entered into the tournament. That could be tweaked to make more sense, but you get the basic idea.
Why I think this is a great idea:
1) It gives players a reason to come back every month. To have a new surge of excitement, a chance to start over fresh each month would be a lot of fun both as a player and as a spectator.
2) It not only gives a better reason to want to improve at the game to get a better rank, it gives you a better gauge. You can strive for a higher rank than you did last month, and this system is not subject to inflation like the current ranking is. The current ranking system is built so overtime more points are added to the system. 3 months ago there basically wasn’t any Diamond players, now there are hundreds. Long term, Master rank will be extremely common and there’s nowhere to go from there. They can add higher ranks, but it doesn’t really change anything.
1) It would be abused. This system would only work well after proper fixes for rage quitting and botting are implemented.
**2) **Long term ranking is cool. Personally, I think if a monthly ladder was implemented it should go alongside current long term ranking, not in place of.
3) The start of each month would suck for non-top players. While it’s true most good players will get out of those early ranks probably within the first couple of days, for true rookies those first couple of days would suck. The simple solution is a seeding system, have players who earned high ranks the previous month start slightly higher the next month (Master starts at Gold, Diamond starts at Silver, or whatever.) It might sound like an unfair advantage, but honestly high ranked players will just get through those early ranks on the first day anyways so it’s not a huge deal.
Would love to hear your ideas for such a system, or thoughts if such a system is even a good idea for SF5. Sorry for the wall of text.