In the run up to the end of free world transfers we saw large population changes as people settled in to their home servers. This means that the WvW teams being fielded by many of the worlds are now dramatically different. In recognition of this fact, and in light of the increased population stability that comes with paid transfers, we feel that this would be a good time to reset the ratings of all the servers. A reset at this point will allow the rating & ranking system to more quickly and correctly rate these (effectively) new WvW teams.
Here’s how the reset will work:
1) We’ll let the current matchup play out. Since free transfers were available during the first part of this matchup we don’t want it to count towards the new ratings.
2) When the matchup rolls over on Friday, February 1st we’ll post the final ratings & rankings. The new ordering will determine the groupings for the next matchup as usual.
3) After the new matchup has started on February 1st we’ll reset all the ratings (and deviation & volatility) behind the scenes.
Because every world will have reset ratings the system will treat the February 1st matchup as the first matchup and will calculate the ratings accordingly. The new ratings will then be calculated normally in the way that you’re already familiar with. We expect several weeks of volatility while the ratings settle down but we believe that it will ultimately yield a more correct result more quickly than letting the current ratings persist. That also means that the coming month or two will be a fantastic time to fight for your world’s place in the rankings!
Additionally, we’re taking advantage of the reset to revisit some of the math behind the ratings. I’ll have more to post on that once we’ve crunched some numbers and made some decisions.
Here’s why we think this is a good thing.
As Habib alluded to in his post, we are also revising the math behind the ratings formula. Habib will be explaining the math in a later post, but for now, I can give everyone a glimpse into why we are updating the rating formula and resetting the ratings.
Over the last couple of months we’ve seen that when worlds experience dramatic changes in their ability to field a consistent fighting force for whatever reason, it can take quite a while for them to work their way through the ratings until they end up in a match that suits them better. In a lot of cases, some worlds took multiple matches to work their way through a single tier even after a series of blowouts. We really dont like that, so one of the goals for updating the math behind the ratings is to try and reduce how often we experience the repeated blowouts that can come from that sort of situation and get those teams through the rankings quicker.
We also expect that the large population changes that impacted a number of worlds and helped create a number of those type of blowouts should be much less common now that we are well past the launch period and free transfers are no longer available.
So, not only does world choice have quite a bit more meaning now that paid transfers are online, we also want to adjust how the ratings are calculated. If we redo the calculations involved with the ratings, then it’s much better to just reset the ratings and let the new formula do it’s thing instead of trying to carry the old data over from the old system and have those numbers pollute the new ratings.
In essence this gives every world a chance to start fresh now that everyone is on their ‘real’ team and will help protect against worlds in a state of flux being involved in consecutive blowouts for weeks on end in the future. For us, that means it is actually the perfect time to update the rating system and address some of the issues we’ve noticed with it since launch then reset the ratings.
If it helps, think of the last few months as the preseason games that determined the initial seedings for the season opener (to use a really generic sports metaphor that is in no way indicative of future plans).
Finally, matches are going to remain a week long. We feel that the 24 hour matches are not representative of what we consider ‘standard’ gameplay, and actually create a lot of incorrect data in the system because people play the game much differently when it’s a 24 hour match compared to a 7 day one.
I know many of you are concerned about what all this means and it might seem scary from the outside, but from our perspective this really is a great time to reset the ratings and improve how the math behind all of this works so we can benefit from more competitive matches in the future.
Hopefully this helps some of you feel a little better about why we’re doing this. We really think this is going to be better for the game in the long run, even if it may be a bit bumpy until we have a couple matches completed post-reset.