Being the Elite
While many fighting game players love the thrill of testing their skills and mettle in online battles, it must be said that playing almost any fighting game’s “ranked mode” can sometimes be a frustrating, deflating, and even stressful experience.
Certain fighters (I’m looking at you, Kombat League) put ridiculous emphasis on keeping your score momentum at terminal velocity, with the very worst punishments reserved for those at the top of the chain – despite the potential for online lag, disconnections, or the dreaded “off day.” For many ranked players, the need to maintain that W/L percentage becomes paramount, superseding the desire to experiment in battle, or simply enjoy themselves. This is a mindset Arc System Works is hoping to change with its incoming fighter Guilty Gear Strive.
Speaking in an interview with Famitsu, ArcSys directors Daisuke Ishiwatari and Akira Katano explained that GG Strive will not feature a traditional “blind” ranked matchmaking system. Instead, players will enter into a tiered lobby system, which will allow the individual to select the “floor” that contains groups of players equal to – or exceeding – their own personal skill level.
The idea is that rather than chasing rank, players will aim to improve at their own pace, only moving on to the next “floor” when they feel their own abilities merit it. It is hoped that this will remove the stress of battling and gambling for points, instead allowing players to focus on self-improvement, experimentation, and simply “enjoying the fight.”
Details on the system are still a little sketchy, so we might have to wait and see it in action before we find out how effective it is. But as someone for whom “The Struggle” is very real, the idea of not suffering a string of losses and then feeling completely deflated at some arbitrary sense of “lost time” could prevent discouragement, thus lengthening the lifespan of the game in question. Of course, your mileage may vary, champ.
Guilty Gear Strive launches April 2021 on PS4, PS5, and PC. You can check out its newest character, the super-cool secret service agent Giovanna, in our previous article.