The Universal Tool

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The process of improvement always comes with it’s set of obstacles and hardships. Fortunately there are a lot of tools that you can employ to help you succeed. Today we will focus on one that you may be over looking. It goes without saying that an effective practice routine is a necessity for improvement. Depending on where you are skill wise in your career plays a factor on what kind of practice you will be looking for. We could outline all of the different scenarios but, for this post we will highlight a tool that can be used by all classes of skill.

That tool is the universally accepted game type “Ranked mode”. In it’s most basic form, ranked mode is used to measure a player’s skill level and match them up against other players of similar skill level. This is done through various methods such as, Elo, MMR or Divisions to name a few. This system typically gives immediate result feedback through the use of points, stars or other currencies. It provides gratification through rewards and rank promotions. It also gives you a snapshot of your current ability and provides the framework for improvement and growth. Ranked mode serves as one of the absolute best sources of real time practice given the diversity in each game that you play.

Before there was a ranked mode you had no way of truly measuring your skill or setting goals. The best you could go by was the words of others or the rare opportunity to test your skills at a tournament. Now, not only can you reasonably guarantee the necessary competition that can help you grow, but game developers are adding tools to help players improve their performance.

Slightly dated stat screen

Developers have accomplished this by increasing the amount of feedback at the end of each game or round. Player profiles are keeping track of overall statistics for games won and loss, character kills and deaths, even map or stage related information.

Champion stats on profile page

This has also opened the door to 3rd party analytic resources.,,, to name a few. All of these tools revolve around player development and for the solo player, it revolves around their ranked performance.

So what is stopping players from utilizing Ranked Mode to it’s fullest?

There is a misconception that playing more equals more skill. This can be true when comparing someone who has 1 hour of time played to a player who has 10 hours played. But as the hours increase the amount of skill gap decreases. There is also an intrinsic behavior associated with immediate gratification that comes from winning and losing points.

Instant gratification

It can be very easy to get caught up in your points or ranks and miss out on valuable practice. Couple these two things together and you can end up with a lot of time spent, with very little improvement. Obsession with climbing ranks is blinding.

It takes all of the time and effort you are spending and boils it down to the screen that shows you how many points you gained or lost. Time required to reflect is interrupted by the need to hit next game as fast as possible to seek redemption or continue a feeling of accomplishment. That blindness makes it very difficult to learn from losses, or identify that sometimes you have to lose as you work on a new mechanic or a new mindset.

The truth is there are plenty of valid reasons to want to be in the top ranks. But, there is one specific one that holds more weight than the others. The higher you climb, the better your competition is, which means the better you become. That is the best reason to want to gain points at the end of matches, or go from one division to another. Ultimately if you are capitalizing on your time played. Using all the resources that you have access too, you will eventually climb those ranks, over and over and over again.

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