TSM’s Phillip “ImperialHal” Dosen expressed his displeasure with the current state of ranked play in Apex Legends in a tweet yesterday, citing recent changes to the points system as a possible cause of the “very boring” gameplay.
“I hope the ranked system is changed DRASTICALLY, or a lot of people will lose interest,” he said. Hal’s tweet was just the latest salvo in a long-running feud between pros who grind the ranked ladder for hours every day and Respawn developers who try to balance the game so that everyone can enjoy ranked play.
The insignificant number of players at the top of the ranked ladder have very different priorities than the average player, and even minor changes to the ranked system can have a significant impact on their lobbies. Experts, after all, bring a highly valuable perspective to the issue. At the same time, Respawn developers can’t cater solely to top-tier players, so these disagreements are, to some extent, unavoidable.
Hal’s complaint is most likely in reference to the most recent update to ranked play. The system’s scoring has been tweaked incrementally, and the newest season, Defiance, brought yet another change to the ever-shifting balance between players and teams looking for kill points and those looking to survive into the late game and earn placement points.
Defiance made an abrupt U-turn after increasing the number of points players could earn from kills the previous season. The kill cap was reduced to prioritize placement over kills. The reasoning behind the change was explained in the Defiance patch notes. “After observing the pacing of high-level ranked games, we noticed players were a little too focused on seeking out kills,” Respawn explained. “Players who concentrate on competing for higher placements and teamwork should be more faithfully rewarded.”
While that change should have lessened Hal’s impression that recent games have “glorified pubs,” it clearly hasn’t. Whatever happens to the state of ranked play in Apex, finding a happy medium for all players will remain a challenge.