To start off bluntly, I’m not a huge fan of ranked. One of the simpler reasons is I do not have the time to put into climbing the ladder so before I go on keep that in mind. Further, for the last 3 seasons, I have made it to at least Rank 10 and stopped. With that said the other reasons are as follows.
The static meta that has been the last 2 seasons of ranked does not bode well to my style of play. I prefer to be aggressive and make plays towards the objectives of the match and do damage to the enemy team. This does not mean that I won’t play more passively if I feel that’s what needs to be done, but that I still get bored sitting around for a target to be spotted.
This is a team based game with a mode that is strongly depending on team play and communication. At the lower ranks, this is increasingly difficult to find. Many play for themselves and pay little attention to the needs of the rest of the team, such as the need for smoke or the need for spotting. Further, the inability for players to acknowledge the need focus targets that have been called out is exceedingly frustrating, particularly when it’s a low health destroyer. I would expect that this gets better as you move up the tiers, but due to the fact that I get easily frustrated by this, I stop progressing and go back to Randoms.
Many players, particularly in earlier ranks, do not have the skills necessary to be assets to their teams. The main reason behind this is the ship tier required for Ranked is easily obtainable by even a novice player in a short time, and further there are many premium tier 6 ships that can be purchased with no experience at all. Though I consider myself to be an above average player, it would be a feat for me to be able to carry a team in a ranked battle to victory. As a result, I still rely on other members of my team to provide support and carry their own weight. If, however, those players lack the skills and knowledge necessary to be effective in the ship that they are in, then they are more of a hindrance than an asset – torpedoing from behind allies is a prime example.
The rewards to effort ratio is just not equal or beneficial in my opinion. Sure, the accolades that come with achieving Rank 1, and certainly multiple times, are quite nice, but the time to achieve that does not equal its cost.
As I tend to only play in the evening during the week and early mornings on weekends, if I play at all during the weekends, finding skilled teams is far more difficult. Many are ‘casual’ players who play to have fun or younger players. Though there is nothing inherently wrong with either they both come with issues. The casual players don’t put the efforts in to be competitive, something required for ranked, and the younger players tend to caustically spam chat. I can only deal with so many “Your mom…” jabs before I just get tired of it and run out of reports. Friendly banter is fine, spamming and raving are not.
As for the skill issues, I do understand that Wargaming wants to be more inclusive than exclusive, however, competitive gameplay requires competitive and SKILLED players. Personally, I think Ranked should be relegated to tiers 8 or 9. Tier 8 offers a better range of ships and certainly is less exclusive than tier 9, though it still has the issue of several purchasable premium ships, with no game time required. Tier 9 is far more exclusive with only one premium ship, the Missouri. Due to the ‘cost’ of that ship though, any player with one has at least a working knowledge of the game and its mechanics. Most of you are likely against having ranked be only tier 8 or 9, especially if you have yet to obtain one which is why I’ll mention Option 3. Wargaming should go back to the split tiers in ranked. For ranks up to rank 15, players can use Tier 5 or 6, and after rank 15, the only option is tier 8. This will help with the skill gap and help prevent players from riding on the backs of others to achieve the higher ranks.
Keep in mind, these are my opinions, if you share them great, if you don’t, that’s fine too. I know some will not have had the same experiences with ranked as I have, but I would assume most have had some of the same observations, though your conclusions may differ. So should you feel so inclined to comment, please keep it civil…