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Ranked Rotationals Update

Portrait of Tashi, Esports Lead
  -  8 months ago

Since the beginning of the year we’ve been collecting feedback from ranked players and working on updating our strategy to start addressing some of the biggest topics. Today, we’re going to shed light on some key updates that we’re making to Ranked Rotationals specifically and what you can expect from them for the rest of the year. As always, our goal is to deliver the best experience that we can to you, the players – and so we will be continuing to monitor feedback and make adjustments as we go.

Note that today we’re NOT going to be talking about the Ranking System and Ranked Matchmaking, this will be mostly focused on the experience offerings and content.

To start, here are the key themes around feedback that we’ve been seeing:

  • “Rotationals are too short, I barely even have time to finish my placement matches and play a few games before it’s gone.”
  • “These playlists should just be permanent.”
  • “We want [Insert Playlist Here]”
  • “Ranked Arena should not be just HCS maps and modes”
  • “When are we going to see more Community maps in Ranked”

When we looked at all this feedback we knew that we weren’t going to be able to address everything all at once. We can’t just add 10+ more playlists, have them all be permanent, and then also instantly just add more maps to everything. So, in order to address as much of this feedback as possible, we’ve gone ahead of reworked our Ranked Rotational strategy in order to deliver the best experience that we can to players.

Updated Rotational Length

Starting with Season 4, we’ve updated the length of rotationals from 2 weeks to 4 weeks. What we hope to do with this change is provide more time for folks to sink their teeth into the experience, actually get placed and have plenty of time to rank up. Ideally by the end of the month, players feel like they got their fill with this experience, they’ve reached a high rank that they’re satisfied with, and are ready for the next rotational to be slotted in. Ranks will still reset with each game season.

Due to the length of rotationals, this also means that you’ll be seeing your favorite rotationals less often. We know this is already something are players are passionate about (see feedback above around more permanent ranked playlists). However, again, we hope 4 weeks is enough time to get your fill and then we can bring it back later once you’ve grown hungry for that experience again. And when we do bring it back, we are committed to ensuring there is always going to be fresh content for you to play so that the playlist offering is evolving over time.

Updated Rotationals

As part of our strategy update, we’re going to bring in some new rotationals into the mix and we are going to be saying goodbye to others.

Our first new addition will be Ranked Slayer.

Ranked Slayer: First to 50 kills wins. Assault Rifle primary, Bandit Rifle secondary. Radar is enabled. Friendly fire is enabled.

Maps:

  • Forest (New Map for Season 4)
  • Aquarius
  • Argyle
  • Bazaar
  • Behemoth
  • Detachment
  • Empyrean
  • Live Fire
  • Recharge
  • Streets
  • Starboard
  • Catalyst
  • Cliffhanger

This playlist has been requested for a while and we’re excited to announce that not only is this playlist on the way but is also the first rotational to start Season 4 starting on June 20. Our hope is that this playlist provides a fair and balanced home for players who like to compete but don’t feel like Ranked Arena is quite the experience they’re interested in. At the same time, we wanted the experience to scale up for when high skilled players are playing against other high skilled players.

Finally, many players just like to focus on getting kills and that’s why this playlist will only feature Slayer on a variety of 343 and community-made maps, which will expand over time.

Returning rotationals:

  • Ranked Doubles
  • Ranked Snipers
  • Ranked Tactical Slayer (SWAT)

Retired Rotationals:

  • Ranked FFA
  • Ranked Survivors
  • Ranked Lone Wolves
  • Ranked Elimination

Why are these being retired? There were a couple main reasons that went into our decision to retire these rotational playlists.

  1. From a population and engagement standpoint, these performed significantly worse than the others. And while we know there’s a passionate community that enjoys playing these, we need to ensure that there’s enough interest to maintain a strong matchmaking experience where players can find matches in a timely manner, play on lower ping, and against opponents of similar skill.
  2. At the moment, our strategy remains that there will be Ranked Arena and then 1 Ranked Rotational live at all times. Because of that and because of our increase from 2 weeks to 4 weeks in terms of length, we simply had to remove some in order for the most popular rotationals to come back around more often.

At the same time, we are working on ways where some of these playlists and experiences with cult followings can return, but do so in a way that brings more excitement to them than in the past (and thus more players) and fits into this updated rotational strategy. Stay tuned for more information later this year.

Community Maps

Starboard by PWN Jones

With regards to Community maps specifically, we are integrated into the main playlists processes so that we can also see what maps are being considered already for social matchmaking (like Starboard, for example). This will help us identify even more good ranked candidates, not just for Ranked Arena, but other playlists like Doubles, Snipers, and more. Over the course of the year, you should start to see more and more Community made maps entering the Ranked Playlists.

Be sure to follow all of the guidelines already established for social playlists HERE but also be sure to tag @RichieHeinz on Twitter who will be working on bringing more Community maps into Ranked.  

Ranked Leaderboards

If you weren't watching the Halo Infinite Season 4 Preview livestream on Friday, you may have missed that we just launched Ranked Leaderboards right here on Waypoint. Head to Halo.gg/Ranked to see it in action.

Some key pieces of info:

  • All Ranked Playlists will be tracked each on a per season basis.
  • At the moment, only Onxy players will appear on the leaderboards.
  • Each leaderboard will "refresh" on a weekly basis on Thursdays. This means that if you're in Onyx, you will not appear on the leaderboards until you play at least one game after each Thursday refresh. This is to ensure that people aren't squatting on the leaderboard but rather have to continue to play.
  • Sign in is not required to view the leaderboards

Best of luck to all players!

Conclusion

We’re very excited about the direction that Ranked will be going in starting with Season 4 and beyond, including a meta shift coming after the Halo World Championship 2023. As always, we here to listen to players and deliver the best experience that we can so your feedback throughout this year is very much appreciated.

See you online!

Thanks,

Tashi