Why personal rank adjustment system is a great example of EXTREMELY BAD GAME DESIGN


Note: For any game designers out there - do not do this kind of sht in your games. I`ll try to explain to the best of my abilities what is wrong with MMR system and how even its name is misleading and wrong.

  1. First of: what is Personal rank adjustment or the MMR system:
    Personal rank adjustment means your MMR value has deviated from your current rank and so you get points either added or subtracted to help you get back to where the system thinks you should be.

  2. In more simple words its an algorithm that uses some logic, to determine if you get more or less points from a win.

  3. What is the point in any feature or main mechanic in a game: to do the game better! If it doesn`t do the game better it does not belong in that game. There are countless examples of games that have become much better when the game designer finally stripped out their super awesome idea that actually does not work in their game, because they have forgotten what makes their game tick at first place.

  4. What is HOTS: It is a competitive 5v5 TEAM game, where 1 or more players teams up with other people to win over other 5 people. But at the end of the day every player receives individual points that represent their ranking and skills.

  5. How a player moves up the ranks? Pretty simple - you gain more skill you get 50+ % win rate and you move up and play with better players. Seams fair no?

  6. Ahhh wrong… After you get a win, instead of getting exactly the same points as the other participants of the team, you get a customized value depending on some algorithm. For example if a player gets 190 points (pretty common in this game) from a win, because the MMR algorithm modified the initial 200 value for some reasons that the player does not have any control over, he can have 52.5% win rate and never moves up the ranks. Same on the other way around - you have 50% win rate but you get 210 points for every win - Diamond league in no time :slight_smile:

  7. So what exactly is the problem - the problem is that the game designers decided that an algorithm can decide WHAT EXACTLY IS SKILL in this game. You can be a f general in this game - basically lead your team on every game event, choose all decisions - when to take camp, which objective to skip, witch targets needs the shield the most in the team fights, but no my dude - you need to accumulate more damage points, because other players are… Does it seams fair? Does it seams personal? Sheesh… the arrogance… If it was up to me I would personally fire the person who came up with the MMR idea at this very moment.
    I can go on with more example but their is no point - I think you get the idea.

For the game designers out there - learn from Blizzard mistakes - they are free, and you dont need to make them yourselves. :slight_smile:


You should write an article somewhere easily googled, or this post be archived for future generations of developers. It’s insane that this garbage wasn’t fixed. I struggled with this, promotion matches alone are (were?) a drag, with personal rank adjustment it’s hell.