The Flawed Functionality of the Ranked System in Dark and Darker


It's become increasingly apparent that the ranked system in Dark and Darker operates in a counterintuitive manner, ultimately fostering an environment ripe for exploitation and frustration. As someone who recently ascended a new character from level 1 to pathfinder, I can attest to the glaring flaws inherent in the current system.

One of the most glaring issues plaguing the ranked system is the prevalence of experienced players utilizing new characters to pubstomp lower ranks. The lower one's rank, the more prevalent this phenomenon becomes, creating a disheartening cycle wherein seasoned players transfer their high-tier gear to new characters for the sole purpose of dominating novice opponents. This practice essentially renders lower-tier lobbies akin to pre-gear cap normal lobbies, devoid of the balance and fairness one would expect from a ranked system.

Moreover, the ranked system has inadvertently incentivized unfavorable behaviors such as teaming in lobbies, particularly at higher ranks where players are more inclined to prioritize AP farming over genuine PvP engagement. The rapid ascent through the ranks via AP grinding undermines the integrity of the system, reducing ranks to mere reflections of time invested rather than skill or proficiency.

The prevalence of smurfing—where experienced players create alternate accounts to capitalize on their superior skill—further exacerbates the imbalance within ranked matches. This practice not only distorts the competitive landscape but also discourages players from exploring different character classes, as the allure of dominating lower ranks with familiar gear proves too enticing to resist.

In light of these issues, it's evident that the ranked matchmaking system requires a comprehensive overhaul or removal altogether. The current iteration fails to accurately reflect players' skill levels, instead rewarding time investment and exploit-based strategies. One potential solution could involve merging all players into a single matchmaking pool, irrespective of rank, to foster a more balanced and competitive environment.

Furthermore, the discrepancy between the stringent division of ranks in matchmaking and the lack of flexibility in map selection is a glaring inconsistency. Allowing players to freely choose their preferred maps could alleviate some of the frustrations associated with pubstomping, providing newer players with the opportunity to acclimate to the game without constant domination from veteran adversaries.

Ultimately, the ranked system in Dark and Darker must undergo substantial reform to address the myriad issues plaguing its functionality. Whether through a complete rework or removal, the aim should be to cultivate a more equitable and enjoyable gaming experience for all participants. Only then can the true potential of Dark and Darker's competitive scene be realized, free from the shackles of exploitative practices and imbalance.

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