I want to talk about the Ranked Map Rotation (RMR) they introduced recently. I'm breaking this talk up into a couple sections:
My issues with it
What I like about it
Where I think it can go
1) My issues with it
The RMR right now just takes maps out of the ranked gameplay pool for what feels like no reason. It also seems that they don't plan to swap out all 4 maps out of rotation each split meaning you may not play those maps in ranked for months on end. This feels bad, especially if a map you like is out of rotation and ranked is your prefer game mode. Further, in professional/esports play, they don't have a map rotation, just a map picks and bans, meaning the map pool creates a further divide between ranked play and esports play. Ideally, these two should be as close as possible.
2) What I like about it
I like that with the RMR, there are fewer maps being played so it's easier to learn all the strategies for the maps in rotation better. I feel like in terms of positioning and map play, I have noticed an improvement to prior seasons where people had to juggle nuances of 14 maps in their head at once. 10 is more manageable, and I could honestly see that number go lower. I also like that with the RMR, you see the existing maps in the pool that you enjoy playing more often.
3) Where I think it can go
I think RMR can be a really good thing for ranked and esports play. I would like to see it joined across both, however. Assuming it stays, I think having a more restricted RMR, say around 7 maps, could be beneficial. There would no longer be a need for map bans in esports. The developers could tailor nerfs and buffs of champions and meta concepts around the played maps in the RMR. They could even use the RMR as a balancing mechanic! For example, maybe snipers are overtuned one meta, so the next split they take away maps where snipers are dominant while they figure out the fine tuning of that balance. Or maybe tanks are too strong so they try to put in more DPS-centered maps into the rotation.
Either way, I think a more restricted RMR would raise the level of play in both ranked and esports by focusing in a little on how much people need to know at a time. Teams would not need to keep track of 14 different maps and their strategies and nuances and strengths at once. Similarly it might encourage some types of champions over others, keeping the meta more varied and more developed split to split. Other competitive games don't have so many maps being played all the time in esports, and I think Paladins could follow suit. If they do introduce a more restricted RMR, however, I think they would need more splits for the PPL/PML to separate each RMR as its own split. (They don't need to have a major playoff each split, but maybe make a new scoring system where split placing get compiled, rather than just one massive Win/Loss and game differential calculation like there is right now.)
What do you all think about this? I wouldn't mind seeing the rotation be made more intense rather than what it is now- turning into a meta/gameplay focusing feature from an arbitrary, ranked only, unnecessary archive feature for random maps.