Apex Legends™: July 2023 Ranked Dev AMA (2024)

Thanks for Joining Our Ranked AMA!

On July 21, 2023, the Ranked dev team for Apex Legends held a Ranked AMA following our July Ranked Update and Arsenal Ranked blogs. Whether you were able to attend or not, we appreciate your ongoing support and feedback around Ranked and look forward to seeing you on the updated battlefield next season.

We’ve compiled a list of all of the questions that the team were able to answer during our two-hour long session. Please visit r/ApexLegends for the full thread.

General Ranked Questions

What are your thoughts on [using] provisional matches to determine their new Season ranks like some games do rather than soft resetting? How would that work for Apex?

We added provisional calibration matches in Season 17. We believe it is more effective than flat soft resets and will continue to monitor to make adjustments as needed.

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What effect has the game seen from…the [updated] account level conditions for unlocking the Ranked mode (more challenging than before)?

Even with the level 50 requirement added we've seen very high levels of Ranked engagement across the player population. There have been more players that understand the fundamentals of Ranked play before jumping in to compete.

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What is a good queue time for the highest ranked lobbies, Pred only or very high Masters?

This depends on many factors.

Some examples: region, cross-platform enabled or not, time of day, etc. All of these variables matter a lot. For the vast majority of players our matchmaker is pretty darn fast, but as you're aware the preds can experience some really long wait times. It's always a balance of match quality vs wait time, and we'll be monitoring our S18 changes that target this.

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What is the target % of people able to reach that level? How are you going to make it so there's real separation?

Our target goal is to have Masters+ players represent 1% or less of the player population. We're not there yet obviously. The new stricter scoring rules for Diamond+ are one step toward locking in that separation.

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While you did say in the blog ratting is unfun, can you say more directly that [it] is still a legitimate way to play a battle royal?

We want the focus in Ranked to be playing to win. Part of winning the match is survival and being tactical in what fights you take. What we DO NOT want to happen is exploitative play. Hiding in positions and just refusing to engage to win is not good and healthy for the game. We want all players to run the race, and not wait for as many teams as possible to crash out.

We have a lot of work to do here and expect more changes to come season over season as we see player behavior evolve.

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Why are there no bonuses for Diamond+?

This was a tough one that we tried to explain in the Ranked Blog. TLDR players who had inflated LP would hit a no-bonus loop that felt not-so-good. We hope this will feel more fair in S18 with the seasonal reset, matchmaking improvements and ranked scoring tuning.

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Why does it feel like the Ranked changes affect the Pub matches? Is there a way to separate the two or are they forever linked?

You may remember from our matchmaking blog post, that we've got different ways to matchmake depending on the mode you are playing, as each mode has different matching algorithms and a different skill rating system.

That needs to end with our new matchmaking system. Moving forward, all matchmaking will use the same skill rating technology, but each mode will use different tuning values based on what works best for that mode. This allows us to improve Apex Legends' matchmaking more rapidly across the board. We've pushed these systems live in certain regions and modes for testing and have started phasing out the old system. We're conservative in our approach to allow us enough time to measure impact as the rollout happens.

Q2: The ring changes are not just intended to solve issues in Ranked, but broad gameplay pacing in all BR modes. The same mid-game lulls in action are present in pubs as well, and we want to address the BR in general.

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Why was the system…where you could see your opponent's rank by looking at their kill log discontinued?

Looking at someone's rank to determine their skill is not always accurate, as someone with a very high skill may have played very few hours of Ranked this season and thus shows a low rank. Because showing ladder positions is confusing players as to their teammates' or opponents' skill, we've hidden that information.

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With this ranked system are you trying to change the theme of Apex to a more tactical one, or was the new ranked system just a mistake you’ll correct?

The team agrees we swung too hard on our changes in Season 17. The blog does a great job speaking to this in detail (see: the crouch chart). My TLDR: we'd like to do a better job rewarding that fun/fast-paced BR gameplay that Apex is all about.

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If you frequently get matched with players above your rank, does that mean your MMR is higher than your current rank?

You're always matched with people of similar skill based on your hidden MMR. Your rank is a mixture of your skill and the time spent playing Ranked that season to date. So if you're Gold 1, and you're seeing teammates who are Diamond, you're all of similar skill, but they have been climbing the ladder because they've invested more time so far.

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"When a player’s ranking vastly exceeds their Matchmaking Rating (MMR) equivalent, the bonus system withholds the bonus. This limit is intended and used to dial in the correct rank over time." Does this statement imply that I don't vastly exceed my MMR? i.e., the game thinks I'm actually a diamond player?

This is a tough one to say definitively. If you're seeing high bonuses, there's a good chance you're engaging higher ranked players. That said, our intention is for bonuses to still "feel good" when you're playing close to your target rank.

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Why MMR? In the current system, is it not possible for 2 players to be in Masters-one with a significantly lower MMR, creating a disparity in skill within the same rank? Or is there a countermeasure for this?

There are two competing variables here: skill and ladder position. To create the best quality matches we need to create lobbies based on skill (MMR). Matching purely on ladder position creates a very uneven seasonal climb as players promote and immediately hit the "hard stuck" feeling. Aside from a top percentage of players, this frustrates all and many stop competing.

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Will there be a more transparent MMR mechanism for people to understand how much time they need to achieve a better rank? How was the elimination bonus calculated on players’ MMR?

We do not have any plans to make your MMR visible.

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Editor’s Note: For the elimination bonus, we touched on this in the Ranked blog's "Bonuses" section. We talked a bit more about how we know it feels bad to perform well and not see any bonuses. There will be changes coming in the next season.

On Ranked Rewards

[Are] there any plans on ever making the ranked rewards better?

Yes, we are looking at ways to evolve Ranked rewards. No timeline yet, we'll be sure to keep everyone posted when we're ready to share.

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Are there any plans to revamp the ranked rewards?

This is an ongoing conversation with the team and we're exploring additional ways to reward Ranked players, but nothing we can share at this time.

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Will animated ranked badges still exist since there is no ranked split?

We will only be awarding animated ranked badges from here forward since splits are removed.

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On Rings

Is there more clarification on Ring Timing updates? Is the update going to be like S14 which was not balanced on certain maps?

We have radiuses that target Olympus and Kings Canyon specifically and then a radius that targets World's Edge, Storm Point, and Broken Moon. Damage per ring will be consistent.

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Wasn't increased ring damage and faster ring closing walked back in the past because it was so unpopular with both the general playerbase and the top players and pros? How will these changes in season 18 be different from those earlier tweaks to ring damage and closing?

The ring tunings are trying to do two main things:

  1. Push players to move and stomp out exploitative passive play.
  2. Push the pace of the game overall. To drive excitement for both the playing AND watching experience.

Our goal is always to make a great game to play and watch. We want to inject drama, get players to move, and drive conflict. We are aiming to do that with these ring changes. We have been playtesting the changes internally and now it's time to go live. We get the best data and learn the most in the live game. Don't worry, you won't have to wait 90 days for any changes, we will be observing and gathering data, and making changes as needed throughout the season.

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What is the reasoning behind the ring timers and damage adjustments?

We are making some changes to rings with the goal of increasing the overall pace of matches. We are definitely challenging some existing play styles with our changes, but we are carefully watching outcomes and have the tools to make adjustments very quickly if needed.

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On Season 18’s Ranked

Can you explain why [the new ruleset to tackle rank distribution] applies to Diamond+ instead of possibly Platinum+ or Gold+. Please correct me if I’m not understanding this properly but won’t the same problem of excess masters players in S17 happen again in S18 but for the diamond rank?

The Ranked Blog is transparent with how many masters we have in S17...there are too many. You will also notice the designers do a good job balancing that curve across the other ranks. As mentioned in the blog, the goal is to see a SMOOTH distribution across LP and hidden MMR.

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[Will] considering endgame position[s] and holding "god spots"[...] still be viable? If not, could you let me know what the intended playstyle is?

Positioning will still be a big part of endgame play. We believe it is an important piece of the game, what drives players to smart choices, and contest for position advantages.

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On the Future

Are there any plans to change the LP consumption to participate in the Ranked mode?

It's always under consideration. As we collect data and learn how players are playing, we will make adjustments.

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Are there plans to allow players to see their own statistics…in a more comprehensive way rather than only showing them in banners/trackers (and expanding on what's already there, such as map specific kills for example)?

We'd love to give players more visibility into their own statistics and gameplay patterns, but we don't have any features to announce at this time.

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Do you plan to revert to the previous ranked system (S7-S11)? And why?

No, we are going to continue forward with this Ranked system at this time. We felt prior systems were too focused on racking up kills and not focused on winning the match. We want to put focus on playing to win and we feel the path we're pursuing now is headed in that direction. The current system is not perfect, but we will keep iterating on it to achieve our goal of putting focus on winning the match.

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Can you commit to publishing metrics at the end of [Arsenal] that show the quality of the changes you will make?

Given what we've seen this season with Masters, our goal is to communicate progress more frequently.

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Entry cost will scale by rank, but have you thought about also scaling the rewarded points by the rank of the lobby?

One of the major changes in Season 17 was a flat entry cost across Ranked tiers. What we did learn was that higher tiers could benefit from having a bit more on the line. You'll see some adjustments to this in the Season 18 but nothing as complex as Season 16.

The team tries to address your original question in the bonus system... which we're working to improve.

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Will there be a way for us to play with lower ranked friends? It doesn't make sense to me that if I'm 2 ranks higher than my buddy I can't play with them, while my mmr matches me with people 2-3 ranks above me.

We're testing several options here for the future. It is a complex problem to balance fair matches. Right now our priority is to create matches that you can trust are fair at a fundamental level, and then we will look at how we can get friends of significant rank differences to play together. We will always need SOME level of skill checking to stop "power carrying" people up the ladder by very high-skilled players.

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Would it be possible to maybe implement a public beta test of some kind, where it could even be a sign up type of thing, that way there is more feedback prior to the new season release?

We run a variety of preview and beta events, such as inviting ALGS pro players and outstanding community members with lots of playtime to our playtests sometimes. All of our feedback channels are important for gathering feedback and nailing our releases, however, at this time we have no plans for a fully public test or beta environment.

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If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! We’re looking forward to hosting more AMAs with various Apex subreddits and communities in the future. Stay tuned!

Apex Legends™: July 2023 Ranked Dev AMA (2024)


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