Traditional Ranked modes from other popular video games such as League of Legends or Overwatch do not work well for the average player's enjoyment in and of themselves, but it's even worse when they are cut and pasted into a completely different genre with no fundamental tweaks, and it is especially ineffective the fighting game genre. Most people don't play it past the initial hype waves because it is simply a bad experience.
Ranked modes in many fighting games is a bad experience for multiple reasons:
- Ranks are an inaccurate measures of skill:
- All players, whether veteran or brand new, are forced to start at an entry level rank, either the bottom or the middle. The former
- New players practice different sets of skills, and for different amounts before hitting the ladder
- Worse players benefit from snaking wins from good matchups or guessing games in the FT1 format
- Most ranked systems frequently prioritize you ranking up instead of ranking down in how they distribute ranked points, and in some cases you are even barred from ranking down past certain ranks at all if you were not initially placed there.
- Fuels frustration if you lose to someone at a lower rank than you
- Since ranks are an inaccurate measure of skill, ranking up is an equally inaccurate measure of improvement, and ranking down is an inaccurate measure of decline
- Segmented playerbase:
- Typically, ranked wants you to play with other people "within your skill level". Obviously flawed due to the previous point, but there's also the fact that it is effectively limiting the number of players you can find once you reach certain ranks
- You are also separating yourself from players who may be at a similar skill level to you, but choose to play casually in an unranked environment
- Fuels frustration at an inability to find a match in a timely manner
- One-and-done To leave immediately after beating someone once. This is traditionally considered impolite, for One-and-Done somewhat shows that one is intend to take easy win only. matches:
- It's hard, if not impossible to learn matchups at all in an FT1 format
- You get thrown back into a variable length queue to wait for another match, instead of playing continuously
- Fuels frustration if you lose to someone you may think you could beat if you had more matches to learn their habits
- No interactivity (plus Pluggers & Quitters):
- There's no way for you to get detailed feedback on how you played from a player who beat you (if you would like it), and vice versa
- Fuels frustration at a lack of proper guidance to improvement
- People rage quit bad matchups, and when they are about to lose to preserve their rank.
- People may also elect to not play against you when matched versus you, maybe because they already lost against you earlier or out of just plain disinterest. Not necessarily their fault, but this takes time away from another willing player who could have been matched to you instead of them.
- You can be matched against players with unstable and just plain poor connections.
- Fuels frustration at another inability to play the game properly or at all
Corroborative notes I have seen around regarding this topic:
DNFD Steam discussion forums: "Major design flaw in rank mode (similar/same rank queue)"
DNFD subreddit: "Why do i have to wait like a minute after a ranked match for the matchmaking to start again?"
Sajam video: "The Problems with Fighting Game Ranked Modes"
The comments are just as important to read.