Dear Blizzard….

Dear Blizzard..

After evaluating the Beta, considering the logic behind the decisions made by Blizzard for Battle.net specifically over leagues, divisions, rankings,  I have come to the conclusion that you have broken your Multiplayer in the upcoming release of Starcraft 2 and have designed it in a way meant to deceive players into thinking they are better at the game than they really are.

"Will the best case scenario be that I buy both the US and Asian versions, just to be able to play on both servers?

Mark Yu: Yes, when it releases on day one, if you want to connect with your friends in the US, get the US box or if you want to play with Koreans, then get the Korean box. However if you want to get the best experience out of your game here in South East Asia, you should get the local boxset. The latency, the community, those are the things are going to really define the experience, and you don’t want to miss out on that. "

As quoted, when Starcraft II is released,  you’re going to restrict it so players can only play with people in their "region"…  Which means that any league placement is based entirely on the skill level of players in their region..  We already know that certain places in the world have a higher concentration of highly skilled players.. Since I can only play against players in the area that I live, if I beat all those players, I’m going to be ranked in the highest leagues..  However, if I move to South Korea and I play against a completely different set of people, I could be ranked in the lowest leagues..   Which means that you could have two people with completely different skill levels playing in the same "gold league" in different regions who will never be able to compete against each other.. Not only is this misleading to players skill levels, it’s also deceptive..

 Your league system that you created to supposedly be an accurate representation of a player’s skill level simply isn’t going to work if you restrict players to only be able to play with people within their region.  This means, your entire league system cannot be accurately applied to a worldwide scale.

Let’s talk about Divisions..  Each league is broken down into hundreds of divisions. If I’m Rank #1 in Silver League, one would assume that I’m the best player in Silver League as one would assume the rank is out of the league..  Unfortunately, this is not true in Battle .NET and another reason why I believe Battle .NET is designed to deceive players.    Each division has up to 100 players… Being Rank #1 means that you are #1 in your division, and not in your league.. However, it’s also possible that your division may have just two players..  So "Rank 1" could mean that you’re only better than one other player in your league…   So what is my placement in the league?

Well, it’s going to constantly change based on the number of divisions in Silver league..  If there’s 250 divisions inside of Silver league and I’m ranked #1 it should mean I’m in the top 250 players in Silver league, but that’s not necessarily true either.. Again, if there’s only two people in my division, I may be only better than one other person in my league and I could in reality be the 2nd worst player in my league while still being "Silver Rank #1".   2nd worst player in the league is a LONG way away from the very deceptive title of "Silver League Rank #1" that you so give to these players…  In truth, there are 250 other players, one for each division, who are also just like me that are rated "Silver League Rank #1" and their ranking is of course, based on the number of players in their particular division, which may have just a small handful of people or it maybe have 100..

Please Blizzard, be MORE HONEST about your rankings of players..  You won’t hurt anybody’s feelings saying that I’m "Silver League Rank #250"..  When you have 250 people who are given exactly the same ranking "Silver League Rank #1" what is the purpose of having a league system with rankings?  Blizzard, please realize that leagues and rankings are for the purpose of allowing players to know exactly where they stand in relation to the skill level of ALL other players.  This is a generally accepted worldwide for competitive play, it is even accepted at the Olympic games… Why then would you give 250 players the exact same league and rank? It defeats the entire purpose of a league and ranking system!  

The only possible chance that giving 250 players the same league and rank makes any sense at all is if you could match any of those 250 players against each other and they would all win and lose an equal number of games against each other.. However, as you have now forced players to only be able to play within their region, the overwhelming majority of these players will NEVER play against each other so it’s impossible to make any such conclusions that these 250 people are all of exactly the same skill level.

Your "leagues" are an approximation at best, and your "ranking" in your leagues are nothing less than a complete deception as it is not a ranking out of a league, it’s a ranking out of a randomized subset of a league which can change in size at any time as can the number of subsets within the league.. This is not a valid substitute for an accurate ranking within a league by any standard that is accepted worldwide for any kind of competitive play..

I am now whole heatedly convinced that the entire league, division, and points system that was created for Battle .NET is meant to mislead players and make them feel better about themselves by providing them misleading information about how well they play the game.

 I’m sorry Blizzard, but I can’t take any league or ranking system that does this kind of thing seriously..  I really expected a lot better from Battle .NET  and I had a lot of hope that you would honestly rank players how they stand (Rank 400,000 of 2,000,000 players) rather than creating deceptive leagues and rankings "Rank #1 of Silver League"..   

In the Olympics a "Silver" is one step below "Gold" but in Battle .NET, Bronze is below Silver, Silver is below gold, gold is below platinum, platinum is below diamond, and diamond is below Pro… The sporting industry has established "Gold" to be the best, Battle .NET makes "Gold" to be only Half-way.

.  To me, this means that your leagues naming is deceptive as well !!  People can claim that they’re in "Gold" league, and by generally accepted standards set forth by things such as the worldwide Olympic games, that would mean that they are the best…  In Battle.NET, that is an outright lie. They are nowhere near being the best.. In fact, they’re not even HALF WAY to being the best…

When I first heard about Starcraft’s elaborate league and ranking system, I thought it was brilliant.. After understanding how that system works, I can say that it is so broken and deceptive that no matter what rank or league I am placed into, I feel that it really doesn’t mean anything…The reason I feel that way is because it’s mostly true, it’s only relevant to the region that I play in and as such is an incorrect ranking system to deploy on a worldwide scale.

Sorry Blizzard, but I will not be buying Starcraft 2, and I will caution anybody who thinks about buying it for the competitive multiplayer to completely disregard all leagues and rankings that they are given…

In other news, I am ranked 3,471 of 1,417,373 people in folding@home.. (1,417,373 – 3,371) =  1,414,002 people below me.. This means that of all the 1,417,373 people who made a scientific contribution to folding@home, I have contributed more Science than 1,414,002 people..  Blizzard, please take note.. This is a ranking system that works.. . Your rankings system on Battle .NET, it doesn’t work..  All you have to do, is give me a rank that says how good I am out of ALL BATTLE .NET players and I will be happy..  Until you do so, competitive gameplay on Battle.NET is a joke…   Every time I log into Battle .NET and see "Silver Rank #1" I cringe at how ridiculous this is and how little it says about how good I am compared to other players worldwide..
How you people at Blizzard can pass this off as an acceptable ranking system for competition is appalling..

Until you provide me with a ranking out of all players worldwide, I’m not going to buy your games.
 Sorry, but it’s just not worth my time or my money.

  I do give you credit Blizzard, you’ve done the impossible and created a league system for non-competitive players..The type of players who don’t really want to know how they rank worldwide, and those types of players who like to see "Silver Rank #1" along with the other 250 people who are given the same rank every time they log in..

The best of luck to you Blizzard, you’ve made some great games.  I had high hopes that you would be able to bring PC gaming up to the high standards of real sports and the Olympic games..  With the upcoming release of Starcraft 2, my hopes have mostly been ruined, but I still have a bit of hope that maybe, someday, you’re going to fix the mistakes you’re making right now with Battle .NET and it will be a different world.. A world where any player in any country in any town can play against any other player in the world with a ranking that is honest, accurate, and applicable on a worldwide scale.. A world where people actually have a shred of respect for gaming.. A world where you don’t assign 250 different people "Silver Rank #1" because you can.

Thanks for your time…

P.S. No I’m not going to buy half a dozen copies of your game just to be able to play with people from different regions of the world to learn new strategies..  Nice try though…

-David (Weiwei)

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