Adding leagues
January 24, 2023

1v1 games are now split into a few leagues, to ease the matchmaking process. Warzone 2100 doesn't provide an automatic matchmaking system to match yourself with someone about your level and play an interesting game. You can indicate which type of game you'd like to play by joining a game from a given league.

What's a league?

Players tend to play the game in different ways. Some are way more efficient than others, but not everyone is interested in playing the game the most efficiently as possible.

A league reflects your play-style, what you are looking for. Even if Battleplan was designed for a fast-paced and rather intensive short game, you are still right to play long and slow-paced games if you like it. You are also right if you want to go deeper in the game but do not have the time, energy or just the opportunity to play regularly.

When joining a game from a given league, you are expected to play accordingly. So you will have more chance of meeting an other player to play a game that both of you can enjoy. It isn't really about playing better or "the right way", it is about trying to let you enjoy your game.

Self-assigned rank

Some tools already exist to compute your rank based upon your victories and defeats. I've chosen to go an other way. Because they will include a lot of things to consider to make those ranks reliable, and because they still don't fill the purpose of matchmaking by themselves. You can choose to start a game or not based upon the estimated rank of your opponent, but not select a room to find other players from approximately the same level than yours.

It will take some time before players get to know what each league represents and in which league to play. And respect players playing in other leagues.

The assignment is not automated yet, but it is not mandatory. It will provide a few information before starting the game, and will indicate that this system exists. But the most important part should be which game you join.

This system can be abused, obviously, and it will be. Nobody will prevent you to estimate yourself a gold warlord, and lose against some silver skirmishers. But regular players will get to know each other and can either talk about their own estimation if it becomes an issue, or know who is just flattering their own ego. If you like to have a top-rank and not playing to keep it, it just costs less because you don't have to power-level your account. Other people will like to play in leagues that make it easy to crush their opponents effortlessly. This will be an other topic about moderation to limit abusive behaviors like this.

From my little experience, I felt that the best you can get from an automatic ranking is when you don't care about your rank, or when it is hidden. It becomes enjoyable once you are not afraid of losing some elo point, being demoted or trying to reach a higher rank and just play the game. Those objectives are good for marketing purposes. You are expected to play more to become better and be rewarded with a higher rank. But I think this process brings too much toxicity with it. You are supposed to make your best every time, and will be punished for being sleepy or being concerned about something else, or become frustrated because you think you can do better. You are not rewarded for playing interesting and fair games, you are rewarded for crushing your opponent and pushing yourself.

Objective rankings can still happen in the future within tournaments or seasonal ranked games. But this is an other topic.