Riot Games' developer RiotIksar announced plans in 2024 for a full backend renovation to their popular online multiplayer game, League of Legends. The aim is to improve the ranking system and combat the prevalent issue of players getting stuck in what is known as ELO hell.
High-ranking players have a common practice of creating 'smurf' accounts once they reach a certain level in the game. This was initially for mastering new characters or game roles, but has since extended to a typical practice in several multiplayer games.
Lower-ranking League players have also taken to creating smurf accounts, primarily to dodge ELO hell - a difficult situation where players earn minimal League Points (LP) for victories and lose a significant amount for losses. For example, if a player wins two games but loses one, they gain only 6 LP, making progress practically impossible.
RiotIksar confirmed plans to introduce a new system that will change the way Match-Making Rank (MMR) is determined, aiming to curb the possibility of players getting trapped in ELO hell.
Revamping the Game's Ranking System in 2024
Creating a competitive multiplayer game like League of Legends, where the ranked climb feels rewarding and justified, is not simple. Only a fraction of players can reach the upper echelons, making crowded lower ranks a necessary aspect of the gaming experience.
Nevertheless, several players who were discontented with being stuck in the lower ranks ended up creating smurf accounts. They could gain more LP with their new accounts and thus rapidly move up the ranks, taking advantage of the lack of an existing stringent system for MMR.
In response to players' grievances and to reduce players feeling stuck, RiotIksar detailed the team's plans for multiple MMR system revamps scheduled for 2024.
While details are yet to be released, the new proprietary system developed by Riot aims to bring about immediate improvements and is believed to be a strategic upgrade from the current system.
Integration of Microsoft's Trueskill 2
A new system under consideration for later integration in 2024 is Microsoft's Trueskill 2, a skill rating system developed by Microsoft for the recent Halo and Gears of War titles. However, its role in League of Legends remains uncertain due to the difference in gameplay preferences and setups.
While Trueskill 2 partially determines skill rating based on statistics like KDA, it is yet to be seen how it would adapt to League of Legends where certain roles or champions traditionally underperform in terms of statistics but can still secure game wins. This ambiguity has led to Riot reconsidering Trueskill 2's inclusion.
However, despite the complications, Riot does not wish to delay the improvement process. While Riot's new system and its specific operations are still under wraps, its main aim is to help new accounts find appropriate ranks swiftly and to minimize instances of negative LP states.
No backend alterations may seem immediately apparent to the players, yet they act as critical elements in enhancing the overall gaming experience. Whether Riot's new system will indeed turn out better than the existing one is something only time will tell.