Silver League

I still enjoy a round of StarCraft 2 every now and then. The max. 30 minute matches are great for small breaks… which then often turn into excessive breaks. Especially since it seems like I’m finally getting better at the game. I was just recently promoted to Silver League. That’s one notch about Bronze League, the rock bottom I initially qualified in. About Time!

Silver League


But there is one thing that bothers me. The way the league and matchmaking system works seems very obscure. From what I understand there are at least 6 different stats that express your rank.

  1. The league you are in (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond).
  2. The position you are in the division of your league. You are always compared to players from your division, which are random 100 players from the same league.
  3. The number of points you have, which also determines your position the division.
  4. The win / loss ratio, which the system apparently always tries to keep at 50%.
  5. Seemingly, a mythical, invisible ELO system very much like in the old StarCraft.
  6. The “favored” / “slightly favored” / “even” – indicator at the beginning of each match. God only knows how that works.

The frustrating part is that the different indicators show conflicting results and many relationships aren’t properly explained. So for example, as a bronze league player I’m constantly being paired by players from platinum or even diamond leagues. Actually, there were very few games I ever played against bronze league players. Doesn’t really feel like a “league”. Just yesterday I was paired with a player, who played 1000 games online. It said “Players Even” even though the other guy was clearly way above me in skill, points and in the league he was in.

Finally, the promotion to silver league was a complete surprise to me. The game doesn’t really explain when and why promotions happen. The official statement is that the player’s skill is monitored in regular intervals. It doesn’t even have anything to do with the rank in your division. This is a bit confusing since it makes the division rank a bit meaningless. Also, there seems to be no clear way to work towards being promoted. You just play one game after another and hope for the best.

The multi-player part of StarCraft 2 looks wonderfully polished and structured. So blind spots like these stick out even more.

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

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The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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