Ranks, are they really all that?

Ranks….great to show off in video games and in reality. In reality you would battle through many different situations and dangers to get each. On video games you simply sit on your comfy couch with a trusty tube of pringles by your side and play continously, praying you earn enough points or XP to advance to the next rank. Spot the difference?

In reality a person’s rank would determine their ability, skill and thinking down to the bone. Possibly they were awarded it for a specific job they completed or an act of heroism. Fact is, their risking their lives against terrorism and war to earn their ranks.

Then we have our virtual world, where even the little guys can pack a punch. Everything about a player is judged on their rank in their game of choice. Entering a lobby to find a Private usually causes higher ranked players to errupt in fits of laughter. Only for them to shy away with their tails between their legs at the end of the game. Beaten and lost of all their dignity. I’ve been there in the lobbies, as my fellow teammates chatter anxiously about the General on the opposite team. Only for that General to finish last, according to the ending scoreboard.

What I’m saying is, you really cannot judge someone by their virtual rank in a game. There are many ways in which someone with the actual ability of a Private could get to General ranking. Playing the game non-stop is one way, you’re sure to rank up even if you play awful (well except in Halo 3 that is). Finding yourself a team of highly-skilled players, this can make you rank up fast if you’re constantly winning matches. Having a friend play for you is another-perhaps you have a god of gaming next-door to you.

Think about it, ranks really aren’t an accurate way to show a gamer’s ability. Kill / Death Ratios are probably the most accurate you will get to a player’s real skill level.







13 responses to “Ranks, are they really all that?”

  1. Pete avatar

    Well said. I completely agree. It would be nice to see a rank system in a game that actually took into account K/D ratio, kills with weapons, time between deaths and other factors.

    The wii fitness scores are a good representation of skill.

    I’ve noticed that in games like COD 4 when people who are low rank join a game and do well seem to get banned from the servers fairly quick for “Hacking”, which is silly really. While I’m on the subject of COD 4 the ranks aren’t even stored by Activision like EA do with Battlefield they’re local which means a lot of the time people just copy each others profiles and change the names.

    I think the main problem with the rankings is that for ea and other companies to store and calculate them it takes a lot of server power and bandwidth. I’ve run stats on Halflife based servers and the loss in performance is considerably noticeable.

  2. Shaz avatar

    I see gamerscores/achievements in a similar way. Those numbers don’t determine the good or bad gamer.

    Nah. Seeing is believing!

  3. eric avatar

    great write up!!!

  4. Paige avatar

    Yeah I also view gamerscores/achievements like that. But I see more people judging a player’s ability on Ranks. Really frustrates me to be honest.
    And thanks for the comments.

  5. Laura avatar

    People take rankings way too seriously sometimes. There are sellers on eBay who will level you up to 50 skill on Halo 3, they are making themselves a fair few quid too!

  6. City avatar

    I agree, I found that ranking up in CoD4 was pretty easy, a combined lot of just over 24 hours online play and my boyfriend was the top rank, and I mean he is good at FPS’ but that’s just ridiculous, at least with BF2142 it was a bit more challenging.

  7. Kirsten avatar

    It’s mad to judge someone on their rank however I do think that everyone who shells out their money for a game should get the chance to experience all the parts of the game including ranking up.

    CoD4 was a good example I think. I constantly felt like I was getting somewhere online despite not having a lot of free time to play the game and being pretty average at it. I only ever got to about the 35th rank or something but I felt I was a part of things. It must have been great for the more casual gamer who only gets to play on a Saturday night for a few hours to get new ranks and abilities in the few short hours they got to play.

  8. David avatar

    Sounds like loser talk to me.

  9. Jason avatar

    Great read, and I do agree, many “top ranking” players appear to be easy to beat. Ranking systems can have negative effects on a game some times, like in CoD4 and it ruins the aspect of much challenge with out showing a Trueskill ranking.

    I am am all for someone with a Private rank, and 40 GamerScore to be good at a game, even if its a FPS or not, all games will carry this same effect. An unknown new player outplaying you, at elite rank. Its a great article, could go on for a while. 😀

  10. Martin avatar

    Have to say though, with regards to COD 4, it’s good to join a room with a low rank and wipe the floor of the upper rankers, huuuuuge satisfaction gauranteed!

  11. Michael avatar

    I like the ACES system in Rainbow Six Vegas 2 – now I know that isn’t strictly a rank system but I like it because it is a handy way of showing me where my strengths lie in gameplay terms. I can see it being really helpful for individuals in clans… so long as they play honestly rather than force themselves to be an all-rounder as opposed to gradually trying new tactics, approaches etc

    Personally, I think rank is more a matter of persistance than skill. Though, when playing Call of Duty 4, I varied my gameplay (essentially via the challenges) by changing weapons – the one I’m using now is a bit of a pain but I’m sticking with it! I also found I crouch quite a bit in that game…

  12. TM Brock avatar
    TM Brock

    I do agree with this but i suppose it is your own chioce if you wish to play for ranks or to play for fun. Thats why we have our zones (Pro, recreation, underground etc)

  13. Michael avatar

    Acctually there is a game that ranks you up thanks to K/D ratio. Socom Confrontation,takes a about a month to get to corporal if your lucky.

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