The "wall" new players hit at rank 20 isn't because ladder climbers are getting kicked back too far each season. It's created by the players who want to smurf for various reasons. A better fix would be not taking stars away from players who concede right away. Kinda like not giving credit for a win when challenging a friend and conceding right away.
I realize this could be exploitable to allow players to climb the ladder more quickly by conceding until they're matched up against decks they counter. Is it possible to make this apply to specific rank ranges? 15-20 or 10-20 maybe?
Can anyone think of another mechanic to make it harder for players to smurf?
Maybe a star loss lockout similar to rank 20-25 based on the % of legal standard cards in a player's collection? For example if you have 90-100% of the cards, you can't lose stars till you're below rank 5, if you have 80-90% of the cards, you can't lose ranks till you're below rank 10 etc?
Why should you not take away stars from players who concede right away? This is one horrible idea... the game isn't meant to give you the chance to nitpick and choose your enemy. That's not how ladders, leagues etc work...
And let's not begin with cardpool as a factor. This idea is even more horrible, a simple punch to the face of f2p and new players. Why punish the majority of people for a small pool of smurfs. Smurfs aren't even a problem in CCGs, even less in HS because of the comparably low skill ceiling.
I think that players shouldnt lose stars due to disconnection. The winner should still get his stars but the "you lost your last ranked game due to disconnection" massage should also read - "no stars were lost".