Riot is going to implement some QoL Ranked Changes for LoL season 14, patch 14.1
League of Legends season 14 is only a couple of days away. Yet, the news of changes keeps coming. Riot released the Season 2024 spotlight a while ago, with massive map changes, 3 barons, void objectives, mountable shelly, and so on.
Other than the main gameplay, Riot, in their latest dev video, has revealed their plans about anti-cheat, new champion Smolder, upcoming Arcane champion, VGU, Esports, and most importantly, ranked changes.
For a long time, the rank players have had an increasing amount of frustration with the game’s competitive environment. Riot’s failure to accurately identify the player’s true skill is known to all. Then there are matchmaking issues with Smurfs ruining the game for others, new IDs somehow having higher MMR in a short duration, a large skill gap among players in Emerald, etc.
Riot has finally opened up about these issues and has promised to address them. In this article, I will brief you on how they intend to do that.
All the Upcoming Ranked Changes in Patch 14.1
Fixing issues with Emerald Tier
Emerald Tier was introduced by Riot last year to minimize the skewed rank distribution in LoL. More than 60% of the population used to be Silver or below. With Emerald, they were able to make Gold the median rank by pulling players from Platinum and below almost a tier up, with a focus on Silver and Gold distribution mostly.
This objective was fulfilled. However, another issue arose. It turns out that to make the rank distribution more spread out. They unintentionally made it so that Emerald had a population with a high discrepancy in skill level. You could see people belonging to Silver, Gold, Platinum, and even Diamond MMR in the same rank.
To abate this, Riot intends to increase the loss LP higher than LP gains for Emerald and above tier exclusively. For example, gains will be closer to +- 20 LP in Emerald and above while maintaining the old +-25 LP below Emerald. Since Emerald+ ranks are supposed to have some sort of high status, making it more difficult to stay or climb from there makes sense.
Narrowed Visible Rank Differences from Patch 14.1
This is something that even I personally witnessed a lot of the times during my 400-match rank grind last year. When I was playing Emerald matches, I could see Silver, Gold, Platinum, Emerald, and Diamond players all in the same match. Sometimes, I would even see a Master rank player.
It could be the case that they somehow had the same MMR, especially since a lot of people could have a big win streak on their way to climbing. One possible reason for this is Riot’s decision to increase LP gains and LP losses last year. You could get around 25-30 LP on wins last year while sitting on a 50% win rate. This was a huge step up from the previous years’ LP gains, which were usually around 18-23 per win. The fact that demotion was not made easier exacerbated this issue.
This season, they are going to work on that issue by reducing this visible rank disparity. They will make demoting easier, as in you may now demote with fewer losses on 0 LP while at a ‘IV’ rank. Therefore, Platinum matches won’t usually have silver players in them.
They are also going to address the feeling of being stuck in the Smurf queue by tweaking the matchmaking algorithm in a way that prioritizes less visible rank differences a bit more. With better identification of MMR, this step will enhance the quality of matches from the next patch.
Riot also mentions that players will be able to start their ranked journey this season with a starting rank very close to their previous season’s ending rank. This is done because there will be 3 splits from season 2024, and having a reset like before would have made it strenuous and demotivating to start the grind.
Different Process for New Players Placement
I remember playing my first-ranked matches at level 30 with a team full of gold-ranked players. This ruined the match not only for me but also for them. Not to mention, the following few matches were still trying to gauge my true skill level. Due to those unbalanced matches, the first rank a player gets usually doesn’t capture their true skill level.
This is why Riot intends to bring more adjustments to how a new player’s placement is done this season and moving forward.
Lol Patch 14.1 Release Date
All of the changes mentioned will take place starting January 10, 2024, with the release of the first patch of season 2024 (14.1).