Fresh Rants is a series of opinionated (often QOL) based text pieces. Largely me thinking out loud about how we could improve the game that we all play and love (or love to hate).
PROBLEM: GAME MODES
When Unranked was announced, I thought it was the saviour. I thought it would bridge the gap between casual and ranked, meaning a more enjoyable experience for all. The problem here is that the game mode has a weird blend of ranked players that are chilling out and messing around, blended with casual players dipping their toes in a competitive game mode. I'm not sure it works.
There is still the age-old problem that ranked is nowhere near competitive play - speaking from experience as someone who is involved with the competitive scene, spending hours and hours in comp rules to then move back into ranked actually is so frustrating. Imagine playing 3 scrims vs a top team, playing the game the way it should be to then get a ranked game attacking skyscraper 3 times in a row with ranked heroes jumping out on you more than you actually care for.
SOLUTION: BETTER GAMEMODES
I don't think its the gap between casual and ranked that needed bridging (thats why low ranks exist). Its the gap between ranked and competitive play. Something that R6TM's tried, but so far has failed, bridging. 10 mans is such a good idea - Pro 10's etc, making sure the game is played in the right way. I like it, but to be honest I don't think an external solution is particularly the answer.
Fear not, I have a solution, this solution involves 3 playlists as follows;
This game mode would be for the people who want to play in a competitive setting, essentially would be the same ruleset as the curren't competitive ruleset as ESL (for example no points). My idea for this is as follows:
5 man only - no Solo Q/Random team mates.
Comp map pool only - Currently Bank, Border, Coastline, Clubhouse, Consulate, Kafe and Villa
Ban phase - each team bans 3 until decider map is played. Team that bans first chooses starting side. If not then random map as is existing
Full competitive ruleset including Sixth Pick phase
First to 7 rounds, change roles after 6. Random OT side selection
No MMR restrictions, however matchmaking is set from the highest elo in that group. (To avoid boosting). IE if a 5 stack with 4 diamonds wanted to que with a bronze, they could, but accept they will likely be coming up against 5 diamonds.
This game mode would essentially create R6TM's, but integrated within the game rather than external.
Make ranked great again. Ranked is currently a BTEC version of competitive. Its trying to be more serious and I like that, however I think its become a jack of all trades, master of none. The playstyle between ranked and comp is so different, that it doesn't quite work. For me, ranked should be a better form of casual, with rewards for playing it. My idea for my version of the ranked playlist is as follows:
Allow any type of party, but have a visual indicator in game to show who's in a party (similar to Rocket League).
Ranked rule set
MMR restrictions as currently in place
Full map pool of all maps (like good old days) - I know this will be a controversial one, but think back to when you first really got into ranked and loved/grinded it a lot. The whole map pool was in and it was absolutely nuts. (Yes this includes having Tower, Skyscraper and Theme Park).
First to 4 rounds, attacker/defender swap each time as per previous itterations
Bomb only still
I know this is actually crazy, but give it some thought. I know your first question will be about rewards and why people would play ranked, but let me explain that later on.
Casual can be extremely fun, for everyone. I think Pro's/Ranked heroes/comp players lose sight of this a lot. I would have casual in because lets face it, almost all of the player base are casual players. The only rule I would change would be to mirror the round timer to ranked, time is such a huge factor in siege and actually having different time for different game modes feels so inherently wrong.
I would also keep the newcomer playlist, although the map choice baffles me. For example Chalet being in there is odd. Newcomer is bomb only etc for a reason, so I would have it as 3 only comp maps, changing which maps it is on a fortnightly basis.
PROBLEMS WITH MY APPROACH
"But Jack, what about rewards?"
I have a solution to this - separate rewards that you can actually show off. Siege is so weird that people grind to diamond (or now champion) and never flex those charms the following season.
I want to create a tiered reward system to encourage players to play both playlists and to allow people to distinguish the ranked Skyscraper heroes from the actual very good competitive players who are the best in the game strategy wise as well as skill.
Tier 1 (Rewards for Competitive playlist rank)
I want each season to have tags for the players to show off in game (on scoreboard view) - this can also incorporate the current comp scene. For example
SI 2020 World Champion - would go to the 5 players who win SI 2020
Season 10 Major Champion - would go to the current Empire Roster
Season 10 Pro League Champion - would go to the winners of Tokoname PL Finals
Season 10 Pro League - would go to all PL players in main 4 regions who played at least half of the season.
Y4S2 - Champion 1-50 - would go to the top 50 champions for each region and show the number in the tile.
Y4S2 - Champion - would go to all champions for that season
Y4S2 - Diamond - would go to all diamonds for that season
Y4S2 - Platinum- would go to platinums for that season
When you look on the scoreboard, you'd see the tag in a glow similar to the above rocket league tag. This would be a competitive playlist only mode and reward players playing the game in a competitive way.
Tier 2 (Rewards for Ranked playlist rank)
The tier 2 rewards would be the charms as seen previously. However I would base this off final rank achieved in the season, not the highest. This would be to keep people griding for that rank in that particular season, instead of getting platinum on day 1 placements and just stopping playing ranked for the rest of the season.
The T2 rewards would only be available for playing ranked. IE if a champion on the competivive playlist didn't ever play the ranked playlist, they wouldn't get the charm.
Tier 3 (Rewards for Casual playlist)
This is a slightly off topic one, but I would introduce a charm each season for X number of hours played in Casual - to still reward the casual playerbase who play this game on a casual only basis.
Overall, I think my changes to the playlists would make Siege an all round more attractive game, eliminating a lot of current issues. I accept it would create new issues, for example people who only ever solo que being unable to que the Comp playlist unless in a 5, but I actually think thats a positive (especially if they find 4 friends to play the game on - they'll have a much better experience)