With PvP League Season Two beginning on 23 February, it’s time to sit down and go through all of the changes that you can expect to see in the upcoming season. We’ve gone over several changes that are coming to season two already in one of our previous forum posts, but we’d like to reiterate those changes here—as well as go over some additional items that we haven’t touched on yet—in order to bring everyone up to speed prior to the start of the season.
As we’ve mentioned previously, Ranked matchmaking in PvP during season two will now be based primarily on your current division placement and a predetermined “pip range” that extends from that spot. We’ll search for other players that fall within your pip range (which can extend outside of your division depending on where you’re currently placed) and pair you up with teammates who have a similar skill level to your own. We’ll then find you opponents within that same pip range and pair them against you, regardless of their skill level. For players that queue as a pre-made group, the pip range that we’ll use to find you both teammates and opponents will be based off of the player with the highest division placement in your group (which, as a reminder, is a change that we’ve already introduced to the game prior to the end of season one).
There is an additional matchmaking change we’ll make that will affect a specific type of match-up:
- Five-person premade groups will never be matched up against a group made up of five solo players.
Only 1% of all Ranked matches played in season one were a full five-person premade group vs. a group of five solo players, and even then, the win rate for those five solo player teams in those cases was consistently at or above 50% throughout the entire season. That being said, even though the instances of this specific type of matchup occurring were actually very rare during season one, we still felt that matchmaking would be improved overall if we made sure that this type of match-up was simply no longer possible in future seasons.
Lastly, we’re pleased to report that matchmaking wait times have been reduced by an average of four minutes for both Ranked and Unranked play in season two.
Pip Distribution and Breakdown Changes
For this next season, we’ll be adding a breakdown at the end of each match that explains how and why players gain or lose pips. In addition to adding this pip breakdown, we’ve also made some adjustments to how many pips players can earn or lose in general. These changes are all being made in conjunction with the new matchmaking adjustments for Ranked play, which are all intended to make leagues much more reflective of individual player skill.
Beginning with season two, pips will be distributed in the following increments:
- A victory will award a player one pip.
- A defeat will cost a player one pip.
- Players who desert matches (such as by abandoning the match or disconnecting) will automatically be given a “desertion,” which counts as a defeat and will cost that player one pip.
- If a player from your team deserts the match, and your team is then defeated, you’ll lose no pips for that match (and the match won’t count as a loss should you be on a win streak).
At the end of season one, our data showed that the vast majority of all matches ended in +1/-1 pip distributions. When you combine this information with the various changes that we are making to matchmaking (such as no longer using MMR as the primary matchmaking consideration) then the former pip distribution table simply is no longer relevant. In short, these changes to pip distribution are just one part of the ongoing direction that PvP Leagues are taking, and these are changes that we feel will ultimately result in much better and clearer PvP League seasons moving forward.
Win Streaks and Comebacks
If you’re concerned about no longer being able to earn multiple points off of victories, then have no fear—we’re bringing a win streak system to PvP Leagues for season two! Here’s how it’ll work:
- After three consecutive wins, you’ll be awarded one additional pip for each subsequent win (including the match that you start a win streak on, too).
- If you lose while on a win streak, your win streak status will reset to zero, and you’ll need to win three more matches in a row again in order to start up another win streak.
- Win streaks don’t have a time limit to them, so if you log off while on a win streak and then log back in at any point later, you’ll still be on that win streak.
In addition to win streaks, we’re also going to be adding a system for comeback pips. If you find yourself on a particularly tough losing streak, then you’ll have a chance to gain an extra pip back as soon as you manage to break that streak. After three consecutive losses, you’ll be awarded one extra pip on your next win.
Minor Tier and Division Adjustments
For season two, we’ll also be making some minor adjustments to the sizes of some of the lower tiers and divisions. In particular, we’re planning on making the following changes:
- Changing the size of Amber tiers from five to three pips each.
- Changing the number of tiers in Amber from three to five.
- Changing the size of Emerald tiers from five to four pips each.
These are additional tweaks that we’ll be making in accordance with our larger matchmaking changes for season two, as we believe that there’ll be some particularly challenging matchups for players this season compared to season one. We’ve adjusted these tiers and divisions in order to bring this part of PvP Leagues in line with season two’s other improvements.
Counting Down to Season Two and Beyond
In addition to the changes above, there are several smaller updates that will be making their way to PvP on 23 February. To name just a few:
- Some minor balance tweaks will be coming for the start of the new season.
- All PvP Daily achievements will be able to be completed in either Conquest or Stronghold.
- We are officially replacing the PvP League term “points” with the more commonly used “pips.”
We realize that the weeks following the end of season one have left a bit of a gap for players who wish to continue to queue for Ranked play. We share your eagerness to jump back into the fray as soon as possible, and we’re currently exploring some ideas for how future off-seasons will work. In the meantime, the countdown to the start of season two continues—so keep honing your skills and experimenting with new builds, and we’ll see you all on the battlefield soon!