- April 3, 2021, 2:11 a.m.
Shadowlands has seen tremendous participation in Arena with the number of unique players and total matches exceeding those seen in recent seasons. As some have noted, this level of participation has had some unintended effects at the very top of the ladder. The nature of our rating system means that the more people that participate, the more likely it is that the very best players in the world will reach extremely high matchmaking ratings. In this case, a number of players have reached the upper boundary of our rating system and as a result, they may achieve victories that don’t result in rating increases. Since the number of players capable of playing at this level is limited, if they choose not to participate, it becomes difficult for those players immediately below them to also gain rating.
We have two solutions to this problem, one of which is already in place and the other will take effect with weekly restarts on Tuesday.
First, over the past 7 years World of Warcraft has had a rating inflation system in place that increases the mean rating of competitors at a rate of 10 points per week (note: This is the rate of increase for clarity but the number is actually increasing with each second). This means that the number that all ratings – including the highest rating possible – are calibrated at increases by 10 points each week, so players that continue playing throughout the season have an advantage compared to those who stop when it comes to end of season rewards. Ultimately, if high end players choose not to play, their rating will be overcome by those who do.
Second, we are going to increase the upper bound of our matchmaking rating system with weekly restarts this week. This should mean that players at the top of the ladder should have less matches that reward no rating change.
We appreciate everyone letting us know about this issue and hope that the upcoming increase the matchmaking cap will improve the situation for the few players affected.