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GPG-Servo Explains 1v1 Ranking and Challenge Mode

By Polynomial - 10th April 2010 - 17:20 PM

Ranked 1v1

Starting with version 1.10, Supreme Commander 2 now supports Ranked 1v1 matches. Each player starts with a Ranked Rating of 1500, and each Ranked match increases or decreases your Ranked Rating. This rating determines your position on the Ranked Leaderboard.

The Matchmaking Menu is accessed from the Main Menu. Select Multiplayer, and Find Match. It lets you between choose two different kinds of 1v1 matchmaking: Ranked (1v1) or Unranked (1v1).

The Unranked (1v1) tab lets you pick your Victory Condition (Assassination or Supremacy), your Faction, and it matches you with a player of a similar skill level on a randomly selected map. These matches do not count toward any leaderboards.

Ranked (1v1) only supports the Assassination Victory Condition. Once you choose your faction, you can click "Find Match" and you'll be matched with someone of a similar skill level.

In Ranked mode, you can adjust the range of potential matches on the "Finding Opponent" screen. It defaults to finding an opponent who is within 32 points of your current rating. It will search for as long as you want to find an opponent within that range, or you can manually adjust the searchable Min and Max Rating of potential opponents by clicking the "+" and "-" buttons. You can cancel the Search at any time and return to the Matchmaking Menu.

Once a match is found, you automatically connect to a 1v1 match with your still-unknown opponent on a randomly picked map. The current Ranked map list is as follows:

Arctic Refuge
Clarke Training Center
Coalition Shipyard
Mirror Island
Markon Bridge
Fields of Isis
Seraphim VII Site


Challenge Mode
The biggest new feature for SC2 Ranked play introduced in patch 1.10 is the addition of "Challenge Mode."

"Challenge Mode" is enabled on the Matchmaking Menu. If both players who are looking for a match have the option enabled, they are able to "Challenge" each other at any point of the match in order to "Raise the Stakes."

What's at stake? The impact of the match's result on each player's final Rating.

A normal Ranked 1v1 game has a 1X multiplier, meaning it's worth 1 game when calculating your final rating. The change in the rating is based on the difference between two players; a player with a high rating will get less of an increase from playing a lower-ranked player, but a low-ranked player can move up quickly by defeating a higher-ranked player.

In "Challenge Mode," you're increasing the multiplier so the result will count the same as if you played multiple matches against the same opponent. In other words, the resulting change in ratings will be greater than it would be for a normal, 1X match.

A "Challenge" is issued from a button in the scoreboard, which is accessed by pressing F2 during the match. Players can issue up to 5 challenges per game, and the owner of the Challenge alternates between players.

Either player can initiate a Challenge at any time during a match. Once the initial challenge is issued, the match pauses and the "Challenge Mode" menu appears. For the player receiving the challenge, it tells them what's at stake and gives them 30 seconds to decide whether to accept or decline the challenge. For the initial Challenge, "Decline" is auto-selected after 20 seconds. If a player declines the first challenge, the match will continue as a standard 1v1, and neither player can re-issue a challenge.

If a player accepts the challenge, the match continues. However, the player who accepted the challenge has a new button on their scoreboard: "Raise Stakes." If they click on this button, they will "Raise the Stakes" on the match and increase the multiplier. The game pauses again, and the other player gets the Challenge Menu.

At this point, that player's options are to either "Accept" the newly raised stakes or "Forfeit" the match with the previously agreed-to multiplier. In fact, if you do not make this decision within 30 seconds, you will automatically forfeit and the match will end. In other words, once you're in Challenge Mode, you can't back out.

After the match is finished, each player gets the standard summary screen with new text that shows each player's Rating at the start of the match and their new Rating after it's been calculated.

A match with a 5X multiplier doesn't increase your score by five versus a 1X match. The math used to calculate the final rating accounts for the changes between both players' rating each time it's calculated, so the actual increase/decrease in high-stakes games is considerably less than the multiplier. The system can't be easily gamed, because matching is random and tied to an individual player's Steam account.

"Challenge Mode" increases competition by potentially increasing the stakes for each match. A lower ranked player can more quickly move up the Leaderboard, or a high-ranked player can more easily keep their leadů or feed their ego. Bold (or crazy) players can try to bluff their way to getting their opponent to forfeit a match, at the risk of tumbling even more positions on the Leaderboard. It's 100% voluntary, so players are free to disable the mode on the Matchmaking menu.