Hearthstone Guide: Learn More About The Battlegrounds Personal Rating

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Hearthstone officially joined the auto battler genre with Battlegrounds. This is not that surprising, considering a number of other games have released their own versions before Hearthstone could release Battlegrounds. The open beta started on November 12 and so far there is no update as to how long that's going to last. If you've been playing Battlegrounds, one of the things you'll notice is the rating. Today we look at this feature.

Ratings & Variance

The rating is more than simply a number, as it represents your skill level in Battlegrounds. The main objective of this rating is to ensure that a player is matched against seven other players having the same level of skill. This results in ensuring that each game played is as fair as possible. According to Blizzard, if you have a rating of 4200, this means you're better than 77% of the game's players. A 5000 rating, meanwhile, means that you're better than 99% of the players.

The question then is how is the rating updated after each match? Blizzard revealed in a post that one factor involved is known as variance. While not shown to players, variance is a number associated with their rating. This figure relates to how confident Blizzard is about your skills. Thus, if you're a new player, you'll probably have a high variance amount since the game doesn't have that much data on you yet. As you play, the number is likely to go down, meaning Blizzard is now more confident of what your rating really is. There is also another scenario in that the variance of a player can increase after a particular match if the result is not what was expected. For instance, if a player with a high rating loses to players with lower ratings, then the former would likely have their variance increased.

Once the game has the ratings and variance of the eight players, the chances of each player winning against the other seven are then computed.

Updating Ratings

That said, how are ratings updated? There are a number of factors that are taken into consideration like a player's current rating, rating of the opponents, the place finished after the match, and variance, to name a few. The general rule is that the bigger the variance, the higher the chances that the rating changes. As mentioned earlier, if you're new to the game, you'll have a higher variance meaning that you're going to see bigger rating changes. This is because the game wants to put you in the correct rating range as fast as possible. Once the game has the data it needs, you'll probably get your correct rating and it's not going to change that drastically.

However, Blizzard did say that they are trying to make sure "the ratings don’t swing too wildly and end up putting people in the wrong rating groupings, and we also want to ensure that you are getting closer to your correct MMR each time you play a match.” Thus, the rating gains and losses were updated in order to increase once a player's rating has been established when they've played enough games.

Here's a good example on how everything works. In the original rating, getting first place on your first game lets you get 240 points. You then get 24 points on a first-place finish on your 150th game or onwards. With the new update, the points you get on a first-place finish in your first game is now 195 points but getting first place on the 150th game or onwards now nets you 98 points. Blizzard revealed that computing the rating involves a lot of factors.

Blizzard also said that they made a rather small progression adjustment to a player's rating after each game of Battlegrounds. This is applicable to players that are below 6500 rating. For this adjustment, the lower the rating, the larger the adjustments. What this means is that playing more games gives players a small advantage when it comes to boosting their rating. This is true whether you win or lose.

For many people this may be a bit technical. Hopefully this gives you some idea of why your ratings go up or down.

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