Leaderboard & Rating System

Hero Mages uses the skill-based Elo rating system based to rank players on the leaderboards. In addition, the leaderboards also factor player activity to determine the current top players.

The purpose of the rating system is twofold:

  1. To provide a means of fair competition. The most fun and engaging games are the ones where both players have an equal chance of winning. Chances are if you play games against opponents with ratings close to your own, you will have a fair and enjoyable gaming experience.
  2. To provide a means to assess personal progress. Players should consider ratings as a positive way to measure their abilities and to set goals for improving their game performance.

About the Elo Rating Rating System
Popular in chess, sports, and online games, the Elo rating system is a tool that assesses player skill level using statistical estimation. Two players of equal ratings are expected to win an equal number of games played between each other. When one player wins more or less than expected, their rating is adjusted to reflect their new standing. Players that win frequently end up with higher ratings, but higher rated players gain little (if any) points for defeating lower rated players. To continue to gain rank, these players must win against other high rated players.

Benefits of the Elo system:

  • New players start at a rating of 1000. As you win games against equal or higher rated players, you earn rating points. If you lose games against equal or lower rated players, you lose points.
  • Over time, your rating will accurately reflect your playing performance in comparison to other players regardless of your win/loss records.
  • Higher rated players gain little (if any) points from lower rated players. Also, if a higher rated player loses to a low rated player, they will lose much more points than if they had won the game.
  • As Elo rating measures skill (not number of wins), it doesn’t take long to place yourself on the leaderboard. A new player can quickly take the top leaderboard position after winning only a few games against high rated players.

Active Player Leaderboard System
In addition to rating each player’s skill level, the leaderboard also looks at player activity to determine the top players in each game category. The leaderboard only lists active players for each game type in order to ensure that each player's rating and position are meaningful.

To be considered an active player, your last rank game played for the selected game type must be no longer than two weeks ago from the current date and time.

Having an Active Player Leaderboard helps eliminate the following issues:

  • If a player reaches a high rank and refuses to play further ranked games as a means to “horde” their points and maintain their position, it doesn’t carry the same sense of achievement as a player who actively plays games, proving time and again consistently that they are the top player.
  • If a player plays only 1 ranked game and wins it does not necessarily mean that they are a better player than a lower rated player since their score is only based on 1 game.
  • If a player retires from playing their rating may not be consistent with the skill levels of those actively playing the game and their leaderboard position may no longer be valid.

Your rating is never lost or reset. If you haven’t played Hero Mages in awhile and were removed from the leaderboard, you will resume your rightful place after playing your first ranked game upon returning.

Leaderboard Types
There are 3 leaderboard types: Player, Hero, and Member. The player leaderboard rates players in four categories: Duel Rating, FFA Rating, Team Rating, and Overall Rating. The hero leaderboard rates individual player units (heroes) against other players’ heroes by total highest kills for as long as that hero has been playing. This leaderboard only lasts heroes that have been played in the last two weeks. Finally, the member directory lists all Hero Mages members and can be sorted by player id, player name, last online, time played, and number of games played.

Duel Rating
Your duel rating represents your skill level playing one-on-one matches against other players. Two players of equal rating are considered as having an equal chance of winning. Whoever wins the game will earn a certain amount of rating points (16 points for players of equal ratings below 2100) and whoever loses will lose an equal amount of rating points. If lower rated player wins against a higher rated player, they will gain more points than they will lose if they had lost. If a higher rated player loses to a low rated player, they will lose much more points than if they had won the game.

FFA Rating
In free-for-all games, rating points are distributed based upon the order in which players are defeated as well as the respective ratings of the players who were defeated.

Let’s say we have a game between four players (A, B, C, D). Player D is eliminated first, followed by Player C, then Player B, leaving Player A the victor.

The last player left standing (Player A) always gets first place, and will receive rating points for defeating each of the opposing players (B, C, D). The second-to-last player left standing (Player B) gets second place, and receives rating points for defeating players C and D, but loses rating points for being defeated by Player A. Player C gains points for defeating D, but loses points to A and B. And finally, Player D loses points to A, B, and C.

Points are awarded based on how your FFA rating compares to the FFA rating of opponents you defeat. If your FFA rating is close to equal or lower than your opponent’s, you will gain more points; whereas if your rating is much greater than your opponent’s, you will gain little (if any) points for defeating that opponent.

The dynamics of Free-For-All games makes the FFA leaderboard the most challenging to climb, while the potentially high points gains for winning also makes it the most exciting.

To succeed at Free-For-All, keep these tips in mind:

  • Play as frequently as possible – To maintain position on the leaderboard, you must play at least 1 ranked FFA game every two weeks. It is good to play even more, however, as this will increase your skills and familiarize yourself with the dynamics of the game.

  • Invoke Social Politics – In contrast to the other game types, winning FFA games depends as much on your diplomacy with the other players as it does on your playing skills. Recognize situations where one player’s actions could hinder another player’s goals and offer temporary alliances to help them out.

  • Defeat the Highest Rated FFA Players First – By doing so, you stand to gain more points, if you only defeat that one player.

  • Play games with at least one player with equal or higher FFA rating – By doing so, you ensure you stand to gain points. While it may seem good fun for a higher rated player to trounce a group of new players, doing so puts you at risk to lose a lot of points for little gain.

  • Place as high as possible – While first place will win you the most points, you can still make excellent progress coming in second. If your situation looks bad, try offering to ally with the leading player. You can make a friend by helping them get first AND walk away with points instead of taking a total loss.

  • Never Surrender – While your situation may seem hopeless after losing your mage, don’t give up! Typically, most players see lone-guardians as a lower threat and will typically go for the remaining mages. By persisting, you stand a good chance to take a higher place and walk away with a positive points increase OR even win the game! More often than not, FFA’s end with a band of lone guardians from players with defeated mages banding together to take out the last surviving mage and then brawling for first place.

Team Rating
In team games, you earn points for defeating players on each of the opposing teams you defeat, even if you are personally eliminated before the end of the game. For instance, if Players A and B play as a team against players C and D, and Player A is defeated, but Player B manages to beat Players C and D, both Player A and Player B will be credited rating points for defeating Players C and D. In games with more than two teams, the FFA rating rules apply for each team.

Overall Rating
Your overall rating is the average of your duel, team, and free for all rating. To progress on the Overall-Rating leaderboard, you must excel at all game types, as a low rating in any one game type will bring your overall rating down. User profiles in the chat and game lobby panes always show players’ cumulative ranked wins and losses and their overall player rating.

Unranked Games
From time to time, players feel the need to experiment or play for fun without having to worry about how their competitive rating will be affected. For this, we offer the option to play games as “Unranked”. The game host has the ability to select this option when creating the game. If you’re joining a new game, be sure to check whether the game is ranked or unranked so you know whether or not it will affect your rating.

Only ranked games are counted towards your rating and show up as wins/losses on your mini-profile in the lobby. Likewise, hero stats are only affected by playing ranked games. However, unranked wins and losses are tracked separately on your user profile and also count towards your total number of games played and total time played.

Guests and Rating
Since guests have no track record, ranked games always require at least two members, each on an opposing team. If a ranked game includes guests, your rating will only be affected by whether you place higher than (win or lose to) other members. Wins and losses against guests do not affect your rating, though the game will count on your profile as a ranked win or loss. Games involving only guests are always unranked.