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Published: 14/Jan/2021 7:00 Updated: 14/Jan/2021 10:48by Brad Norton
Warzone is winding down on its first full year on the market but the idea of a ranked playlist still seems like a distant dream. Here’s why the community needs to push for a proper competitive pathway sooner rather than later.
There’s no denying the enormity of Warzone. It arrived at the perfect time and quickly amassed millions of players on its ascension to the top of the battle royale genre. Though while the title makes billions in profit every few months, it often feels like key components are still missing.
Namely, any form of support for competitive play.
Battle royale titles at their very core are some of the most competitive games out there. Each and every player is vying to outlast their opposition through wit or aggression. Call of Duty’s frenetic gameplay only ratchets things up to a new level of intensity in the genre, yet Warzone seems years behind its counterparts in this area.
Beyond leaderboards that are often riddled with hackers, there’s really no way of distinguishing skill in-game. No Arena mode similar to Fortnite, no Ranked Leagues comparable to Apex Legends, and the list goes on. This has led to the community using third-party tools to gauge their opponents more often than not.
It’s somewhat of a call for help as players implore Activision to offer up any kind of in-game guidance.
We’ve reached a breaking point where some of the world’s best players are even stepping away from the title. A ranked playlist could alleviate many of Warzone’s critical issues and help the game thrive like never before. Here’s how.
First up is the controversial yet unavoidable talking point of Skill-Based-Matchmaking (SBMM). This has once again been at the forefront of the competitive scene lately, as new tricks have emerged and some wild accusations have been thrown around.
As much as the community might complain, SBMM isn’t going anywhere. It’s all too embedded in the Call of Duty franchise at this point. But when players are reverse boosting to get easier lobbies, it throws competitive integrity out the window.
I prefer the transparency tbh. Especially when tournaments are back in full swing. Stupid people are gonna say stupid things regardless of info being available or not.
— TeeP (@TylerTeeP) January 11, 2021
How can a $300,000 online tournament truly know that its winners didn’t reverse boost prior to their official games? Or that an elite Duo didn’t sneakily alter their IP address to negate the impact of SBMM and find easier lobbies from other regions?
Even without intentionally trying to manipulate the systems in place, players can sometimes still be thrown into baffling lobbies without reason. This alone creates a sense of imbalance with too many variables up for exploitation. Implementing a proper ranked playlist would be a start in trying to mitigate these issues.
Talk of ‘bot lobbies’ and ‘Bronze-tier’ games could be done away with if authentic ranks were introduced in Warzone. We could have clear-cut indicators of just how challenging a lobby really is.
Have a top 100 player in your game? Warzone should be able to feed us that information through a simple icon next to the player’s name. Trying to rank up from Bronze? You should expect to see more Silver-ranked players than usual in your next match.
From Bronze through to Diamond, having an official rank would help distinguish the caliber of any given lobby. Players can hop over into unranked games when they need a warmup or a breather. Though for the elite competitions, top tier lobbies could be the norm with a ranked system in place.
Utilizing the full potential of SBMM to force the best players together would only help Warzone flourish in a ranked setting.
Not only would it help improve the day to day Warzone grind, but it would be a major boost to the integrity of large-scale events. Rather than inviting players based on their standing in the community, tournament organizers could instead check the rankings and actually see the best players in the world.
There would be no more guesswork as to whether a player rose to fame by stomping ‘bots’ or if they’re genuinely one of the better players in the world. It would also pave the way for new talent to rise to the top.
Say the 30 highest-ranked players automatically earn a spot in the next Activision-backed event, for instance. It would give everyone a reason to play from the biggest streamers, to hungry up-and-comers.
Moreover, tournaments would feel more legitimate than ever before thanks to how effective a competitive ladder would be in Warzone. Winners would never have their efforts questioned again if they had proven track records among the top of the global standings in-game.
It goes without saying that a lot more still needs to be done to get Warzone into a fair and balanced state. Without any form of anti-cheat, the idea of a ranked playlist is still just a pipe dream.
With new game-breaking glitches popping up every day, and hackers trying to ruin things, the devs always have their plate full. The onus is on Activision to get a ranked experience off the ground and remind everyone why Warzone was one of the fastest-growing battle royales of all time.