Designers' Corner: Ranked Ladder

Hey there friends, Ben Stoll here to talk to you about a new DC Dual Force core feature that I’m personally very excited about, and that’s our Ranked Ladder!

Until now, the primary way to play PVP in DC Dual Force during our Beta has been to build a deck and then either directly challenge a friend, challenge our AI, or to enter the Unranked Queue. Those options will still be available (and of course more and more Comic Adventures are on the way for those who prefer PVE play!), but now you’ll also have the opportunity to test your mettle in Ranked Play...on the almighty Ranked Ladder!

First of all, there is no cost or barrier or risk to engaging in Ranked Play. It’s simply a free game mode that allows you to test your deckbuilding skill, play skill, and endurance against the rest of the community, by matching you up against other players of a similar “rank” based on your wins and losses for that season. The Ranked Ladder resets every month for a fresh season, so the idea is to see how high of a rank you can achieve in a month’s time before starting over to prove yourself again in a new season.

In this post I’ll be talking about how ranked seasons work, how ranking up works, the rewards you get for ranking up, and other various details. The basic idea is that you start at a given rank with the goal to progress to higher ranks. The more games you win, the higher you climb on the ranked ladder, and the more you lose, the more you fall. Every three Rank-Emblems earned will cause you to “rank up.” Every game win will award two Rank Emblems, and every loss will cause you to lose one--so dedication as well as skill is tested when it comes to seeing how high you can climb. Those who are particularly on top of their game, and achieve a win streak of 3 or more, will be awarded DOUBLE Emblems starting with their third win and continuing until their first loss.

Assuming an appropriate opponent is available in a reasonable amount of time, you will be paired against a player of identical or at least similar rank to yourself. In other words, the higher you climb, the more fearsome your opponents will be!

Let’s take a look at what the entire Ranked Ladder progression looks like:

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You’ll start at Rank 80, at the bottom of the Sidekick Tier, or what we sometimes refer to as the “Pre-Ranks.” The Sidekick Tier pre-ranks are comprised of ranks 80-51. Throughout Sidekick Tier you never lose progress, but you’ll still need to achieve wins to make progress. Think of this tier as training for the “actual” Ladder. After completing rank 51, you will never need to complete the pre-ranks (ranks 80-51) again.

Once you hit Rank 50, you’re officially a competitive DC Dual Force Player! Welcome to Bronze Tier, the first official tier. Bronze Tier is comprised of ranks 50-41. At Rank 40 you’ll be Silver tier, Rank 30 is Gold, Rank 20 Platinum, Rank 10 Diamond, and after that you’ll be part of the World’s Finest. More on that in a minute.

As I mentioned earlier, ranked play exists in monthly seasons—at the start of the month, the ranked ladder will “reset” and players will lose 25 ranks from their current rank, but will never fall below the base rank of 50. In other words, if the season ends and you’re at rank 7, you will drop 25 ranks and be at rank 32. If you’re at rank 44, you would only drop six ranks to the minimum reset-rank of 50. If you were still in Sidekick Tier at rank 65, you would not drop any ranks. This rewards heavy progress in a given season with a little head start for the next season, and also helps minimize the amount of time that consistently top tier players spend in the lower ranks.

As you hit certain milestones on the ranked ladder each season, you will unlock rewards, including unique cosmetic rewards that are EXCLUSIVE to that season’s ranked ladder! For example, players who hit GOLD tier in a season might be awarded with an exclusive emote, while hitting DIAMOND will additionally award an exclusive cardback. In between those milestones, you’ll be earning more basic rewards, like cards, Dual Coins, and card packs.

So where does it all lead? What lies beyond Rank 1?! After you complete Rank 1 (the final rank of Diamond Tier) you will enter our World’s Finest Tier, the true mark of competitive greatness for a DC Dual Force player. Once in World’s Finest Tier, you cannot be dropped back down to Diamond Tier for the remainder of the season, regardless of win/loss performance. Beyond bragging rights, players who have reached World’s Finest Tier will earn double gold from all match wins until the ladder reset (increased from 100 to 200), and will also have their daily cap doubled proportionately. We have something even tastier to replace this bonus for our World’s Finest players a bit down the road, but it won’t be ready for a bit so I won’t say more at this time.

If you’re indeed scrappy enough to reach World’s Finest Tier, you’ll be given an individual global rank amongst the world’s finest players. This rank will increase or decrease based on your wins and losses. While normally we hide each player’s individual rank/tier from their opponent in-game, those players in World’s Finest Tier will display the fact as well as their individual global rank in-game, so that their opponents may see that they’re up against a fellow titan (or tremble in fear if they’ve been paired up against you from a lower tier).

That should pretty much cover all of the broad details of Ranked Ladder! If you aren’t used to competitive game modes it might sound scary, but I promise its not. You’ve got nothing to lose, and plenty of rewards and bragging rights to gain! Good luck and have fun!