Ranking System

Discussion in 'Alakaram' started by Redless, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. Redless

    Redless Well-Known Member

    I think Alakaram's ranking system should have a different presentation than Auro's. Here are the problems I see with Auro's ranking system:

    Ranking is a bit weird, because on one hand it's good feedback for telling the player how well they're doing and how hard they can expect their games to be. But it's also a potent "extrinsic reward". People love to see numbers go up (in this context) and hate to see them go down. So there's this tension between the purpose of the system, which is to ensure that the player is always playing matches close to their ability level, and how the player feels like they should be interacting with it, which is to ensure that the numbers are always going up and never going down.

    This results in bad behavior: if I'm tired as shit after a long day at work and I want to unwind with a Dinofarm game, my options are to play Auro and lose ranking points (brain reward center says: nooooooooooooo!!!) or to not play a Dinofarm game (brain reward center says: ahhhh.). So I'm not always playing the game when I want to be, because I would lose those sweet shiny ranking points.

    I recommend hiding the player's rank from them, or at the very least just showing them a number, and not showing a big shiny bar that sparkles whenever it increases and turns grey whenever it decreases. A simple number, maybe obfuscated behind a few menus, would work well.

    Another solution, which is maybe better imo, is to have multiple "files" with their own individual ranks that the player can choose between when they play. So if they're having an off day, they can play the rank 5 "secondary" file, and level that up and get feedback as they play, even though they're not playing as well as usual due to circumstances. If they're having a great day they can play their "main" file.

    I think there also needs to be a shift in the way Keith thinks about this. In a past thread, I remember him saying something to the effect of "your goal in auro is to increase your ranking bar. sure you're winning games, but that's just to increase your rank". That's a problematic view and one you need to purge imo. There should never, NEVER be any sort of "goal" in the supersystems of a game, only in each individual match should there be any sort of goal.
    Aaron Lee, keithburgun and Hopenager like this.
  2. Hopenager

    Hopenager Active Member

    Another solution to the not-wanting-to-play-when-you-won't-be-playing-well-because-you-don't-want-your-rank-to-decrease problem would just be to have an option before each match to not have the match count towards your rank. Wouldn't have to be a big imposing thing, just like a little check box in the corner before the start of the match that the player can check if they're tired or drunk or something. Though I guess in that case the player would probably lose most of their games, which wouldn't be fun, and different profiles would fix that problem.

    Also, the game could just have a "practice mode" or something where you can just pick any rank you want to play on with no effect on your ranking. That would be kinda cool outside of the context of this problem anyways, since it would be fun to just to like level 25 or something and see how ridiculous it is occasionally.
    Aaron Lee and Xom like this.
  3. richy

    richy Well-Known Member

    Didn't Keith say at one point Alakaram would have a campaign mode - presumably that wouldn't be ranked in the same way as Auro, if at all. Maybe you'll be able to start a new campaign whenever you like on any difficulty, so that'd be practice/casual play sort of.
  4. BrickRoadDX

    BrickRoadDX Well-Known Member

    BrainGoodGames actually already do this, and it seems to have mitigated a LOT of negative player feedback with respect to this. I think it works as a good compromise solution.
    Xom and keithburgun like this.
  5. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Here's the current plans for how Alakaram will be different than Auro in this way:

    1. Alakaram will allow you to play the base game unranked, not to mention other game modes that also aren't ranked.
    2. You won't get feedback after each match. Like you won't see a bar move up or down right after each match. This is specifically to make it NOT like an extrinsic reward. Instead, you will get feedback only when you rank up.
    3. There will be some in-game experience points (like IP in League) that you just get for playing games (win or lose). That will be the extrinsic reward, and you'll get it from all game types.
    4. Multiple accounts would be cool but it's just a development cost thing if we don't do it. We always wanted this for Auro btw.
    5. We'll also do other stuff since it's hidden from the player with the rank. Like if the player is losing a shitload, we might de-rank them but not tell them about it. So the rank system is still in place and functioning normally but the player only gets told about basically their "highest rank" they have reached.

    I dunno what you thought I said, but here is my view, which as far as I know has not changed in 5 years: the goal of the game is to win (get X points). Of course, ANY skill based game also has a motivation to get better at it. Rank is just a reflection of how good you are at the game. It is not, and has never been meant to be a motivator of its own.
    Xom and Redless like this.

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