Hate the victory path and how it has been designed. They need to adjust it to needing more trophies and drop the part where they remove one if you loose a match.

What this means for the player experience in Battlegrounds is probably not super-positive. If a player is never going to make it into the Gladiator tier, that’s one thing. Not everyone belongs there. But if many players find they cannot advance at all, if they discover that track progression quickly stalls out and the rewards for promotion are more or less permanently out of reach, I would assume the long term impact of this would be to deter most players from participating on anything other than a very casual level. Whether that's an issue, or a desirable feature is an open question. On the one hand, the mode does heavily favor higher skill players - at least on a relative basis. That's not a bad thing for a competitive game mode. But if it also discourages participation for all but the highest skilled players across differing roster strength, that does not bode well for a game mode that requires a minimum density of players entering the turnstile for the match maker.

A way to speed up progress and to make things a little kinder could be to double all the medals needed for each promotion, and make winning give you 2 medals, while losing takes 1. That way it’s less punishing and winning gives more than losing takes.

I’m not sure what that does to the numbers, but 500 matches for a 33% win rate is excessive. Even the 50% win rate is 6+ matches a day for 28 days, which isn’t feasible for anyone who wants to do any other content. Plus that’s only to get into the gladiator circuit. Leaving you with no way to progress there.

This is good confirmation to not bother with battlegrounds. It’s a game mode that you can’t win half of the time. Sometimes I just want to play mindlessly like arena but this is even worse.

I’ve just got into the Gladiator Circuit and it’s been a cross between extremely fun and extremely frustrating. I’ve not got the biggest roster so it’s been challenging coming up against the true beefcake rosters this game has to offer, let alone the whales that are also good at the game on top of it!

I think that @BitterSteel ’s idea of a 2:1 ratio would probably make it feel a bit more user friendly in terms of advancement for the more average players, and judging by the rank cutoffs the target is for most people to end up in the circuit.

That being said, in terms of advancement, it should get easier as time goes on as the better players/rosters advance out of the Victory Track.

I worry that given how it seems a lot of people are not impressed with this implementation of the mode that if it is the only source of relics they will make relics extremely necessary to force people to play/spend on Battlegrounds.

They marketed and placed out the rewards on this thing badly. This season format is very similar to the way Hearthstone does their seasons. Basically, the tiers are just supposed to separate you out over the course of the season. You are supposed to be able to relatively rapidly rise up to about the proper tier where you'll win about 50% of games. And then with some effort, improvement and luck, you can maybe scrap your way up another tier or two. You keep playing for that chance of improvement, because the game is fun, but also for the ongoing rewards associated with playing a few matches a day (which they've also kept here). But the big rewards are supposed to come at the end of the season, based upon the tier you were able to reach.

Hearthstone has a lot more tiers. And a lot more players. They also run their season longer. So I'm not sure exactly how it should balance out to be appropriate here, and I'm guessing Kabam hasn't worked that out either.

If its balanced properly, less than 1% of players should actually reach that Gladiator circuit. Less than 30% should probably get higher than Plat.

The big problem as I see it is just that they presented this thing like everyone is supposed to get to the Gladiator circuit. They loaded all the rank rewards up there, and like you've said, for most people its going to take a prohibitively long number of matches to get there. What they should have done is trusted the tier system to separate people out, and loaded the rank rewards on the various tier levels. Gladiator shouldn't even be a thing anyone thinks about except for the most massively skilled players.

But I think if they can figure out the balance on the rewards, it really could work well.

There's also the "paid tier" rewards issue associated with the marks, but that's another problem for another post.

You have a huge assumption... You list one probability for the whole jouney.

One "would think" that your win rate would start a bit higher in bronze against a likely more mixed to lower difficulty field, and by the time you hit platinum and diamond, would lower as you face a field strong enough to get there... so it may be that you start with a 75% win rate, but it declines say 10% per tier as you progress.

I recognize this is an assumption... and my coefficients are totally made up... but I think its more realistic than say being the same percentage the entire journey (unless of course you are some godly player or a modder where the probabilities are like 99% decreasing to 90%)... but even modders eventually face other modders, and will sometimes lose.

I wish I understood the math😂 But In my personal experience of a TB roster 16 months in had no trouble smashing to gold division. I had a win streak of 12+ matches when i reached platinum III. After that the rosters are so thicc😂 ; its pretty hard to progress further but after many matches and a bit good luck I finally made it to diamond III.

What's your prestige? It sounds like you might be in the high skill/lower roster group so racking up wins is pretty easy.

So a couple of corrections. As previously mentioned, I was initially unaware that Diamond shifts from 3 to 4 trophies at Diamond 1. The other error spotted by that other lunatic MCOC math head was that I accidentally used the four trophy calculations for Vibranium instead of the five trophy calculations. The corrected numbers are:

Thanks to MCOC Kam (or Kam MCOC) for being brave enough to double check these calculations.

The rewards for the Gladiator Circuit goes out to 9,999,999 spots. I’m not assuming Kabam is expecting that many to reach there. But if we take at least the previous range above this of 1500 spots and apply to the final bracket this would mean they would assume at least 10,000 players can make it into the Circuit.

I seriously wonder if they expected to try and control it to around this number or want more to progress into this bracket. If I were to play this mode and I couldn’t make it out of the Victory Track at all over 4 weeks I would be extremely discouraged to play this in the future.

What this means for the player experience in Battlegrounds is probably not super-positive. If a player is never going to make it into the Gladiator tier, that’s one thing. Not everyone belongs there. But if many players find they cannot advance at all, if they discover that track progression quickly stalls out and the rewards for promotion are more or less permanently out of reach, I would assume the long term impact of this would be to deter most players from participating on anything other than a very casual level. Whether that's an issue, or a desirable feature is an open question. On the one hand, the mode does heavily favor higher skill players - at least on a relative basis. That's not a bad thing for a competitive game mode. But if it also discourages participation for all but the highest skilled players across differing roster strength, that does not bode well for a game mode that requires a minimum density of players entering the turnstile for the match maker.

A way to speed up progress and to make things a little kinder could be to double all the medals needed for each promotion, and make winning give you 2 medals, while losing takes 1. That way it’s less punishing and winning gives more than losing takes.

I’m not sure what that does to the numbers, but 500 matches for a 33% win rate is excessive. Even the 50% win rate is 6+ matches a day for 28 days, which isn’t feasible for anyone who wants to do any other content. Plus that’s only to get into the gladiator circuit. Leaving you with no way to progress there.

One option I suggested to the devs (inspired by a discussion with Brian, aka ContestChampion) was to award two trophies with a 2-0 win, one trophy with a 2-1 win, keep even with a 1-2 loss, and lose a trophy with an 0-2 loss. You might need to adjust the trophies required under this scheme, but not by much. I would do the math for this:

But I think this would be a good opportunity to consider a discussion of the finer points of Monte Carlo Markov estimation. Or actually, the simulation inverse of that, but let the math Ph.Ds worry about that. Let's let the computer do all the work, in other words. We simply write a program that implements the trophy state and the win probability for each fight, and iterate a couple million times to estimate the average matches required to reach a particular amount of trophies before promotion. The advantage of doing this is that not only can we analyze much more complex scoring systems, we can also attempt to determine how strategic choices influence the outcome. For example, what's the best use of shields? We can attempt to calculate this directly, or we can just let the computer try every possible option until we find the best one. Fun is fun, but I vote the computer.

You have a huge assumption... You list one probability for the whole jouney.

One "would think" that your win rate would start a bit higher in bronze against a likely more mixed to lower difficulty field, and by the time you hit platinum and diamond, would lower as you face a field strong enough to get there... so it may be that you start with a 75% win rate, but it declines say 10% per tier as you progress.

I recognize this is an assumption... and my coefficients are totally made up... but I think its more realistic than say being the same percentage the entire journey (unless of course you are some godly player or a modder where the probabilities are like 99% decreasing to 90%)... but even modders eventually face other modders, and will sometimes lose.

That's why I show the per tier numbers and the overall numbers (and even the individual promotion numbers). Of course assuming someone will have the exact same win percentage throughout is unlikely, but it is more likely that a player's win percentage will drop as they move up rather than rise. So knowing what your win percentage is now, these numbers are a reasonable *lower* estimate for how much you have left to go, at least statistically.

Also, random chance means no one is going to see these numbers precisely, some players will see shorter journeys and some will see longer ones. The idea behind these kinds of numbers is to give people an idea of the average cost, not predict what their own journey will cost. We can't make predictions like that, neither in the game nor anywhere else in life, but people still have to make decisions based on probability and risk, not on certainties.

I think it is important to state explicitly that calculations like this don't "assume" what a player's win rate will be, or how it will change over time. That's a misconception of what numerical analysis like this does, or is intended to do. If I say that some mutual fund averages a 6% return on investment, what does that actually mean? Mathematically, it means a lot, but unless you actually know a lot of math, that meaning is hidden from you. If I were to present a table that says that this means if you started with 1000 dollars, you'd have 1060 in a year, 1338 in five years, 1791 in ten years, and 3207 in twenty years, I am *not* assuming someone is going to hold that fund for twenty years. I am trying to show what the *meaning* of "6% return" is, by projecting that meaning over longer periods of time. A 6% return per year is, in some sense the same thing as a 220% return in twenty years. Six sounds small, two hundred sounds like a lot, but those are the same return just examined over different time windows.

These kinds of analyses attempt to show what certain numbers mean in other contexts that might have more intuitive context. The context is designed to be illustrative, not predictive.

Season is 30 days long. 188 matches is then 6.3 a day. Match takes what, 8 minutes on average? Makes about 50 minutes of playing this game mode every day. Can do 4 matches from a full charge, so unless you are using items or money, you'd need 2 sessions. Using about 94 energy every day.

I do not want to grind this game that much. For me, about 60 ish matches in a season would be ideal. Roughly 2 a day, pretty close to what gets me the full bi-daily 5 match rewards. If I could get near-ish to my equilibrium point by 50 matches, and the reward I get to at that point is decent enough to make it worthwhile, this thing is golden, it'll become my favorite mode. If I can't get anything useful by that point, I probably won't play it. I'm a decent, maybe a bit above average player, looking at the maths I think that'd get me about mid-high gold.

Season is 30 days long. 188 matches is then 6.3 a day. Match takes what, 8 minutes on average? Makes about 50 minutes of playing this game mode every day. Can do 4 matches from a full charge, so unless you are using items or money, you'd need 2 sessions. Using about 94 energy every day.

I do not want to grind this game that much. For me, about 60 ish matches in a season would be ideal. Roughly 2 a day, pretty close to what gets me the full bi-daily 5 match rewards. If I could get near-ish to my equilibrium point by 50 matches, and the reward I get to at that point is decent enough to make it worthwhile, this thing is golden, it'll become my favorite mode. If I can't get anything useful by that point, I probably won't play it. I'm a decent, maybe a bit above average player, looking at the maths I think that'd get me about mid-high gold.

Well, if all you want is to get higher, just increase your chances to win. You may still want to lower your deck pi, I believe. The matching is super shady, but at very least you know strongest players move tiers up (and never go down, right?). That means that the later you play, the weaker your opponents would be, to some extent. That's also the reason this math may not fit here, as the probability to go from one state to another is actually dependent on time basically. If people could play for some long period of time, we'd end up with all players but N in the top tier, and 1 player for each of N tier that is not top. Wich is actually another great reason to go back to common leaderboard, wich I like better for many reasons

Also, 60 energy is enough for 5 matches, as first 4 would usually take enough time to get back some energy for one more fight.

Warning: this post has real math for the nerds who like that stuff. Like the for-realsies stuff. Not into a ton of math? Skip to the TL;DR section near the end... ... ... ... [TL;DR readers should jump to here]

If your win percentage is 75% or better, promotion is likely to be a relatively straight forward process. But at 50% it starts looking like a pretty significant chore. At 33% it’s approaching hopeless without expending ludicrous amounts of effort (or getting extremely lucky).

In theory, matching by ELO (rating) seeks to find even matches for opponents: the goal is to achieve a roughly 50% win rate for most competitors, because the intent is to match players of comparable win percentage. Eventually winners face winners and things roughly equalize. Every beta of Battlegrounds used an ELO based match system. However, the current system appears to use a match system that heavily weights roster/deck strength. This means there’s no attempt (or at least a difficult to notice one) to match equally strong players in terms of win rate. Instead, if you have a stronger roster than players of comparable skill, you have a permanent disadvantage in Battlegrounds, because you’ll tend to get matched against players of higher skill. Conversely if you have a weaker roster than players of comparable skill, you have a permanent advantage in Battlegrounds, because you’ll tend to get matched against players of lower skill. This means there’s no reasonable assumption that players can expect to win about 50% of matches. Instead some players are likely to get far higher win rates, owing to their high skill (relative to roster strength). Conversely there must be players that will experience significantly lower than 50% win rates, likely semi-permanently.

What this means for the player experience in Battlegrounds is probably not super-positive. If a player is never going to make it into the Gladiator tier, that’s one thing. Not everyone belongs there. But if many players find they cannot advance at all, if they discover that track progression quickly stalls out and the rewards for promotion are more or less permanently out of reach, I would assume the long term impact of this would be to deter most players from participating on anything other than a very casual level. Whether that's an issue, or a desirable feature is an open question. On the one hand, the mode does heavily favor higher skill players - at least on a relative basis. That's not a bad thing for a competitive game mode. But if it also discourages participation for all but the highest skilled players across differing roster strength, that does not bode well for a game mode that requires a minimum density of players entering the turnstile for the match maker.

PS: this is a lot of math, and I'm not as sharp as I used to be, so I double checked my calculations with Wolfram Alpha where possible. This is WA double checking my three trophy algebra:

But there's still always the chance for an error. If anyone wants to double check any of this, by all means have at it. I welcome any corrections to errors someone might be able to spot. Good luck using WA/Mathematica to find the closed form solution to Vibranium, however. Unless you're a Mathematica god, you aren't going to get the result you are hoping for.

You know it's a proper @DNA3000 post when the TL:DR section is longer than most people's entire threads 😂

The rewards for the Gladiator Circuit goes out to 9,999,999 spots. I’m not assuming Kabam is expecting that many to reach there. But if we take at least the previous range above this of 1500 spots and apply to the final bracket this would mean they would assume at least 10,000 players can make it into the Circuit.

I seriously wonder if they expected to try and control it to around this number or want more to progress into this bracket. If I were to play this mode and I couldn’t make it out of the Victory Track at all over 4 weeks I would be extremely discouraged to play this in the future.

There’s currently only around 1000 players in the circuit as of right now. Obviously that figure is always going to rise and there’s a fair few profiles that are obvious modders floating around in there too.

Season is 30 days long. 188 matches is then 6.3 a day. Match takes what, 8 minutes on average? Makes about 50 minutes of playing this game mode every day. Can do 4 matches from a full charge, so unless you are using items or money, you'd need 2 sessions. Using about 94 energy every day.

I do not want to grind this game that much. For me, about 60 ish matches in a season would be ideal. Roughly 2 a day, pretty close to what gets me the full bi-daily 5 match rewards. If I could get near-ish to my equilibrium point by 50 matches, and the reward I get to at that point is decent enough to make it worthwhile, this thing is golden, it'll become my favorite mode. If I can't get anything useful by that point, I probably won't play it. I'm a decent, maybe a bit above average player, looking at the maths I think that'd get me about mid-high gold.

Would be interesting to see how many units that is in arena for the same effort.

## Comments

6,958★★★★★15,993Guardian282★8,860★★★★★I’m not sure what that does to the numbers, but 500 matches for a 33% win rate is excessive. Even the 50% win rate is 6+ matches a day for 28 days, which isn’t feasible for anyone who wants to do any other content. Plus that’s only to get into the gladiator circuit. Leaving you with no way to progress there.

1,101★★★★6,958★★★★★338★★What did I just read, Professor? 😂

373★★★3,825★★★★★I think that @BitterSteel ’s idea of a 2:1 ratio would probably make it feel a bit more user friendly in terms of advancement for the more average players, and judging by the rank cutoffs the target is for most people to end up in the circuit.

That being said, in terms of advancement, it should get easier as time goes on as the better players/rosters advance out of the Victory Track.

1,209★★★★1,151★★★★18★They marketed and placed out the rewards on this thing badly. This season format is very similar to the way Hearthstone does their seasons. Basically, the tiers are just supposed to separate you out over the course of the season. You are supposed to be able to relatively rapidly rise up to about the proper tier where you'll win about 50% of games. And then with some effort, improvement and luck, you can maybe scrap your way up another tier or two. You keep playing for that chance of improvement, because the game is fun, but also for the ongoing rewards associated with playing a few matches a day (which they've also kept here). But the big rewards are supposed to come at the end of the season, based upon the tier you were able to reach.

Hearthstone has a lot more tiers. And a lot more players. They also run their season longer. So I'm not sure exactly how it should balance out to be appropriate here, and I'm guessing Kabam hasn't worked that out either.

If its balanced properly, less than 1% of players should actually reach that Gladiator circuit. Less than 30% should probably get higher than Plat.

The big problem as I see it is just that they presented this thing like everyone is supposed to get to the Gladiator circuit. They loaded all the rank rewards up there, and like you've said, for most people its going to take a prohibitively long number of matches to get there. What they should have done is trusted the tier system to separate people out, and loaded the rank rewards on the various tier levels. Gladiator shouldn't even be a thing anyone thinks about except for the most massively skilled players.

But I think if they can figure out the balance on the rewards, it really could work well.

There's also the "paid tier" rewards issue associated with the marks, but that's another problem for another post.

583★★★One "would think" that your win rate would start a bit higher in bronze against a likely more mixed to lower difficulty field, and by the time you hit platinum and diamond, would lower as you face a field strong enough to get there... so it may be that you start with a 75% win rate, but it declines say 10% per tier as you progress.

I recognize this is an assumption... and my coefficients are totally made up... but I think its more realistic than say being the same percentage the entire journey (unless of course you are some godly player or a modder where the probabilities are like 99% decreasing to 90%)... but even modders eventually face other modders, and will sometimes lose.

930★★★★★15,993GuardianThanks to MCOC Kam (or Kam MCOC) for being brave enough to double check these calculations.

520★★★I seriously wonder if they expected to try and control it to around this number or want more to progress into this bracket. If I were to play this mode and I couldn’t make it out of the Victory Track at all over 4 weeks I would be extremely discouraged to play this in the future.

15,993GuardianBut I think this would be a good opportunity to consider a discussion of the finer points of Monte Carlo Markov estimation. Or actually, the simulation inverse of that, but let the math Ph.Ds worry about that. Let's let the computer do all the work, in other words. We simply write a program that implements the trophy state and the win probability for each fight, and iterate a couple million times to estimate the average matches required to reach a particular amount of trophies before promotion. The advantage of doing this is that not only can we analyze much more complex scoring systems, we can also attempt to determine how strategic choices influence the outcome. For example, what's the best use of shields? We can attempt to calculate this directly, or we can just let the computer try every possible option until we find the best one. Fun is fun, but I vote the computer.

15,993Guardianmore likelythat a player's win percentage will drop as they move up rather than rise. So knowing what your win percentage is now, these numbers are a reasonable *lower* estimate for how much you have left to go, at least statistically.Also, random chance means no one is going to see these numbers precisely, some players will see shorter journeys and some will see longer ones. The idea behind these kinds of numbers is to give people an idea of the average cost, not predict what their own journey will cost. We can't make predictions like that, neither in the game nor anywhere else in life, but people still have to make decisions based on probability and risk, not on certainties.

I think it is important to state explicitly that calculations like this don't "assume" what a player's win rate will be, or how it will change over time. That's a misconception of what numerical analysis like this does, or is intended to do. If I say that some mutual fund averages a 6% return on investment, what does that actually mean? Mathematically, it means a lot, but unless you actually know a lot of math, that meaning is hidden from you. If I were to present a table that says that this means if you started with 1000 dollars, you'd have 1060 in a year, 1338 in five years, 1791 in ten years, and 3207 in twenty years, I am *not* assuming someone is going to hold that fund for twenty years. I am trying to show what the *meaning* of "6% return" is, by

projectingthat meaning over longer periods of time. A 6% return per year is, in some sensethe same thingas a 220% return in twenty years. Six sounds small, two hundred sounds like a lot, but those are the same return just examined over different time windows.These kinds of analyses attempt to show what certain numbers mean in other contexts that might have more intuitive context. The context is designed to be illustrative, not predictive.

18★Season is 30 days long. 188 matches is then 6.3 a day. Match takes what, 8 minutes on average? Makes about 50 minutes of playing this game mode every day. Can do 4 matches from a full charge, so unless you are using items or money, you'd need 2 sessions. Using about 94 energy every day.

I do not want to grind this game that much. For me, about 60 ish matches in a season would be ideal. Roughly 2 a day, pretty close to what gets me the full bi-daily 5 match rewards. If I could get near-ish to my equilibrium point by 50 matches, and the reward I get to at that point is decent enough to make it worthwhile, this thing is golden, it'll become my favorite mode. If I can't get anything useful by that point, I probably won't play it. I'm a decent, maybe a bit above average player, looking at the maths I think that'd get me about mid-high gold.

2,989★★★★★That's also the reason this math may not fit here, as the probability to go from one state to another is actually dependent on time basically. If people could play for some long period of time, we'd end up with all players but N in the top tier, and 1 player for each of N tier that is not top. Wich is actually another great reason to go back to common leaderboard, wich I like better for many reasons

Also, 60 energy is enough for 5 matches, as first 4 would usually take enough time to get back some energy for one more fight.

327★★★4,375★★★★★1,195★★★★Doesn't help when you're entering the fight with 37 seconds left.

3,825★★★★★74★But in general though, it’s getting so much tougher to get something out of this now.

12,428★★★★★