Hey everyone, Ed “SapMagic” Altorfer here on behalf of the Ranked team. Last week, we kicked off Season 2019 with new tiers, a reworked placements system, split rewards, and—for North America and Korea—a preview of position ranks. Today I want to give you a quick update on how things are going so far, let you know what we have planned for the next few patches, and talk a bit about the things we’re investigating.
You can find the key information below. If you want all the details, read on!
Season start was relatively smooth, but we encountered and resolved a few issues already. Here were the big ones:
##Issue: Some players were unable to queue together when they should be able to.
Early in the season, we discovered some players were unable to queue together, especially if either player had lost their season rewards as a result of punishment. We also uncovered some other issues with premade restrictions, so we fixed them.
We determine [premade restrictions](https://support.riotgames.com/hc/en-us/articles/204010760-Ranked-Play-FAQ#h1q3) like this:
* For position ranks, we use your **_highest_** provisional or non-provisional position rank
* For other queues, we use your provisional or non-provisional rank
* If you don’t have a provisional or non-provisional rank, we use your past rank
* If you’re new to Ranked, we use **Iron IV** to determine restrictions
We will continue to monitor and investigate any reports of premade restrictions not working properly, so hit us up if you feel like you’re encountering issues.
##Issue: Some players were experiencing abnormally low LP gains.
With the introduction of Iron and Grandmaster, and the season reset, some players—especially players who were high Diamond in Season 2018—were getting lower LP gains than expected. There were a variety of reasons for this, but we believe we’ve corrected most of them now.
Based on the feedback we’ve received so far, we have some updates planned over the next few patches. Standard disclaimer: Any of these are subject to change if we encounter bugs or need to prioritize more important work.
* **New Loading Screen/Borders —** We’ll roll out the updated loading screen and dynamic borders which reflect your current rank
* **Dynamic Split 1 Emote —** The Split 1 emote will become dynamic and evolve with your current tier. It locks in at the end of Split 1
* **Clearer LP Splashing Visuals —** The amount of LP splashing will be displayed more prominently on the scoreboard screen after a game and doesn’t disappear
* **Splashing Can Trigger Promo Series —** We’ve heard a lot of feedback from players that you should be able to enter a promo series when you splash to 100 LP so we’re doing it. You’ll still get a free win from Promo Helper if you’re eligible, which should cut down on the grind
* **Autofill Protection in Promo Series —** We have heard feedback that it’s pretty frustrating when you get a position into a promo series, queue up for it, and then get assigned something different. After this change, you’ll be guaranteed* your primary selection if it’s in a series
\* There may be some extreme situations where we can’t 100% guarantee you’ll get your first choice. We’ll update you again as we get closer to having this ready.
In addition to the work we already have planned, we’re investigating a few other potential changes to the system based on the feedback we’ve seen so far:
##Increasing Autofill LP Bonuses
Position ranks and splashing are tricky to balance. On one hand, we’ve seen feedback that many players appreciate how the new system makes losing off-position games feel like less of a setback. On the other hand, we’ve heard feedback that it doesn’t feel good to win off-position games.
In patch 9.3, we’ll make splashing more prominent on the scoreboard screen. Many players don’t realize they get bonus LP for their main position when they win while autofilled and we think clarifying the current incentive will help.
Having said that, we’re also considering additional changes to make those games feel more rewarding, like buffing the bonus LP you earn for your main position when autofilled. We’re _also_ looking at ways we can reward players for hitting Gold or higher in multiple positions as part of season rewards.
##Increasing LP Penalties for Throwing Off-position Games
We’ve heard from you that negative splashing isn’t visible and in some cases it doesn’t punish players hard enough for throwing off-position games. While we haven’t seen a measurable increase in players throwing games, we’re considering tuning negative splashing so it ramps up faster. At the same time, we want to be careful not to punish players who just get unlucky despite trying their best to win.
##Removing Negative Splashing Between Provisional Positions
Part of the promise of the new placements system is that you’re protected from losing LP. This is generally true, except with splashing it’s possible to lose LP from a position that’s still in placements. Splashing in general is an important part of preserving competitive integrity, but we’re digging into whether it would be safe to modify the rules for this particular situation.
If you’re seeing other issues that aren’t captured here or you just have feedback about the system, let us know in the comments. Thanks for all your help and feedback, and we’ll see you on the Rift!