- Jan 20, 2019
- Reaction score
I’ve always thought and have said several times that the simple solution to decay is to not allow players to decay below a certain threshold.I'm gonna strike while the iron is hot and get one more kick in at Decay before anything in the new system is finalized.
I've already stated before why Decay broke the connection between Rank and Strength in the Rookie to low Gold ranks, but there's another, arguably much bigger issue with it.
It's causing the system to 'leak' points, which is why the cutoffs for the lower ranks are steadily decreasing over time.
I'm going to use some terminology from economics here, so bear with me. Put simply, think of every interaction where you gain or lose points as a transaction. Let's go down the list of possible transactions, and look at how they affect the point economy as a whole.
- A rift battle: One player wins and gains the same amount of points the other player loses. A net 0 transaction, no issues here.
- Decay: A player loses points over time. These points are deleted from the system, permanently. They aren't given to any other player, they are just gone, lowering the total amount of points in the the economy. With the numbers of players decaying at any given time, this is the largest 'leak' the system has.
- Finishing above 2000: Again, these points are just permanently removed from the system. Deleted. Gone. However, it's pretty small compared to the losses from decay, since so few players finish over 2000 each week.
- Finishing below 1000: Points are added in to get you back up to 1000, resulting in the system 'gaining' points, however there are some issues from the the fact that points are only added in right at the bottom. More on that later.
- A new player joins rift: A little complicated, but I would argue that they're not really adding points into the system just by existing, since they start out with only 1000, the absolute bare minimum baseline, but then try to get more from others through battles. Basically, they bring more 'demand' than 'supply' into the system, and result in the existing points being spread even thinner than before.
Put simply, the amount of points being lost by Decay isn't being balanced out by any other gains in the system, and the falling of rank cutoffs is a result of this, since all ranks are affected by Decay to some degree. The leak is happening all across the system, from Bronze to Diamond, and even though Dia folks are usually more active and less likely to let their rank decay they also remove points from the system if they finish over 2000, which is it's own little point leak.
The 'below 1000 bonus' does prevent the system from going too far, but it really only affects Rookie and Bronze to any large degree, an artificial stopgap preventing the system from bottoming out, but these points added right at the bottom aren't really carried too far beyond that before they're out-numbered by the points lost from Decay. This results in a large percentage of people being concentrated just barely above the bare minimum of 1000, with more people joining them each and every week as they decay down to Rookie.
Put simply, in order to get rid of this point leak either Decay has to be removed or it has to be balanced out by some new system which adds points in at all levels. However, if you add too many points in you might end up with inflation and the opposite problem, where a large chunk of folks are concentrated right at the top and only kept in check by the 'over 2000 penalty'.
Either way, it'll be a hard system to balance, but unless something is changed the new Rift will have the same point leak problem as current Rift, with all the associated issues that causes.
If a player goes on a hiatus and lets the decay kick in, that player should decay until bottom of their tier. Diamond 1 taking a break? Lowest you drop is D4. By the time you come back a lot of people would’ve caught up to you and you’re still strong enough to compete there. You get the idea.