Here’s a leak from Babykim on the EU forums, taken from an RU dev source, which has since been suspiciously deleted. Someone got too excited to keep quiet, hmm?
The post from Babykim:
Participation in ranked battles will be restricted to players with at least:
1. level 11 account,
2. 500 PvP battles,
3. 45% win rate (in PvP).
Only fully trained captain (i.e. not half trained or untrained) will be allowed.
The MM will mirror the distribution of ships by nation, i.e. same number of Japanese ships, etc.
Even if you lose, you would get the star if you have at least 1000 points of base experience (i.e. without premium, flags or specials).
Even if you win, you would not get the star if you have less than 300 points of base experience.
In my opinion, these changes, if they go through – everything like this is subject to change, especially now that it’s a leak and people will start taking issue with it – are mostly good. The account level requirement is a relative no-brainer, having a minimum number of PvP battles is important, as is keeping out low winrate players. And, of course, having captains need to be fully trained (as in, not undergoing retraining, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need a max-level, 19-point captain) makes perfect sense.
I think 45% might be a tad too low; the sweet spot, in my opinion, ought to be 48-50% if the intent is to keep out genuinely unskilled players from what’s supposed to be a competitive game mode. On the other hand, all these requirements in terms of winrate and battles played will reduce the total number of players. I know some people have said they would actively play ranked if it genuinely required skill – and some have quit because of the current lack of this – but I don’t know if there would actually be a net increase. I find that unlikely, to be honest.
The MM change is interesting, it prevents lopsided teams (or should), but at the same time, like the 5.3 MM changes for random battles, could make things unfortunately more homogeneous, more than is necessary. Queue times for Random and Ranked will probably increase a bit from this change alone, and that’s not good for the population of either.
And then there’s perhaps the biggest, most often-requested feature: stars for playing well on a defeat, and no stars for playing badly/not at all on a win. This is a real controversy, as on one hand it allows genuinely skilled players to always or almost always progress. On the other, it puts a lot of emphasis on the single player rather than the whole team, and could perhaps promote selfish rather than cooperative play styles.
Lastly, I’ll be honest: if these changes were made, I wouldn’t be able to play Ranked season 4, because I only have about 280+ battles, quite far under the 500 battle requirement. This is sad, but I’m not angry about it, it can promote more serious Ranked play, and maybe by season 4 I’ll have enough battles. Maybe. I’m no battle-spammer.
What WG has to think about is if all of these changes are necessary, or only some. WoWs is a young game still, it’s only been out since Fall of last year, and Ranked season 1 basically didn’t even exist, it wasn’t very well-advertised and there were few rewards. Ranked has only been going on for effectively two seasons now, and it’s not quite finished the second of those, which isn’t a whole lot of a pool of experience and opinions to gather from.
I’ll be honest and say Ranked is in a tight situation: it can completely fail or really succeed at this point, because while if no changes are made it’s going to die off, if the changes are too drastic, it might end up like season 1 with few people at all playing. Perhaps there should be a Ranked Public Test event?
Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this; Ranked Battles is really fun when it’s good, and I want to see it continue, myself.