This post has been on my mind for some time, and in light of the recent nerfs to aggro it felt pertinent to make. Much of this will be old news, but I hope to shed some insight into why Blizzard has not taken any steps to address the situation.
The Problem: The ladder system inherently favors aggro decks. The reasoning is as follows:
All victories are worth the same on ladder
Shorter games give you more opportunities to win (and lose)
Over the long run the greater number of games played results in faster leveling
This effect can even outweigh an inferior winrate if the games are fast enough (e.g. a 53% win rate aggro deck is better/faster for leveling than a 56% win rate deck that is slower)
This is not a tirade against aggro decks. If the opposite were to occur, and control decks were inherently favored by the system, this would also be a problem. The issue is that factors outside of the actual game dictate which type of deck is best to play, regardless of personal preference, collection size, or the meta.
The "Solutions": This is where the crux of the issue is: my goal is to demonstrate that even though there is a problem, there is no easy solution.
Let us then assume that if we want to counteract the bonus of short games that we should reward longer games more to compensate. So how do we measure the length of a game? There are at least three distinct possibilities: time spent in game, number of turns, number of cards played.
Time would clearly an utter failure. It would make people rope every...single...turn to maximize their returns. This would be a miserable experience. We can safely discard it. The second and third I am going to discuss together, because while they are appealing on the surface, they both share the same drawback: they change the way you play for rank.
In Hearthstone there is one surety: if you have lethal, you take it. It does not take much effort to find clips of people who thought they could BM, only to cost themselves the game. But now imagine that your reward for victory depends on the "length" of the game. Now there is a new question: "How long is it possible to draw a game out safely to maximize rewards?" Just think about that for a second. Not only are you constantly asking yourself how to win, but also asking yourself if you are sure enough to win one turn (or three cards) later. In this case you are no longer playing the game, you are playing the system.
This is far worse than aggro simply having a statistical advantage, because it invades the way people interact in the game. The savvy Hearthstone player will be encouraged to milk victories, never ending them until the opponent is forced to concede. And speaking of those who concede...they would reduce their opponent's potential rating and so make it easier for them to climb. Conceding would be an act of spite and expedience. Again, take a minute to imagine this. People, if they aren't feeling generous (and let's be honest: this is Hearthstone) would be encouraged to give up early just to make somebody else's victory worse. This is an ugly dynamic, where both winners and losers are fully vindicated for their toxic behavior.
In summary, I know this post has not covered all possibilities. I did not touch on the challenges of converting the current star system to a Legend-like ranking or of even more dubious suggestions to judging the "length" of games. I merely wanted to give a bare discussion of why the commonly-suggested alterations to the ladder system would likely have unintended negative consequences, and hence why Blizzard has not adopted them. Thank you for those who read this far.
most ppl play aggro deck because no time player. IE: Take 5 min rest in work to play HS. Length of games will encourage the roping abuse
it it quite normal vs roping guy in hearthstone. Even aggro deck player can take 10 min to think the move. Imagine when they play control deck, how much time will take? 30 min! 1 hours only 2-3 games. How casual player suppose to climb?
game length not the good solution for ladder . Player with a lot of time will abuse the system.
protection & prevention of drop is another solution. The player can try gimmick and fun deck. The problem now is I wan try xxx deck however if I loses , I can drop from rank 1 to rank 20 in 1 days. Why not I play aggro to reach rank 5 and legend 1st in short time. Then I can do whatever I wan. You can see more fun deck in legend. Only the pro HS player play try hard deck to reach 100. But most of them also player Reno deck.
I enjoyed reading through your thinking and agree with it. As long as shorter games has value while holding winrate steady they have a tough constraint on their hands. A "free-market" answer has always been to let meta shifts constantly course-correct, as in more players will play control decks that wreck the aggro decks of the moment. But when that doesn't work, you know you have to nerf. It's kind of a nice guiding principle as to when to nerf or not.
Still, that said, rock-paper-scissors metas still don't tend to make people that happy either and I think the answer has to be in more or different game modes. Love reading all the ideas here.
I believe we need bigger win streaks and bigger rewards for them.
Aggro is cool for ranking because even if you lose you can get in track again FAST. With control is not as cool even if you are really good.
If you have a higher win rate with a slower deck is just fair to give those people more stars and allow them to rank faster, sure, Aggro decks will use it as well if they are powerful, but that is another issue that can be solved in different ways, the important thing is to make it efficient for slower decks to rank up as well as faster decks.
I've come to the consultation that all these different ranked systems are allot like different forms of government. Each one having pros and cons some more than the next. Where one fixes some issues it also creates more. I've never heard of a form of government that was perfect. Personally, I think team 5 should just do whatever causes the least drama at this point. It's funny because if team 5 just did random updates or buffs/nerfs more often it would keep people entertained enough to not care. LUL
I don't really see if there is a way for ladder to reward slower decks better (more) stars or climb as efficiently as faster decks do. If anything, I think it is a bad discrimination for Blizz to ever announce: oh, if you play the game for more than 10 turns or take > 1 min per turn, that means you are playing a slower deck and you get more stars / rewards, etc....
IMO, it is very hard to develop an algorithm to determine if player A is playing a Control, Aggro, or Midrange deck and since he has > 50% win rate playing this Control deck XXX; therefore, he gets one more star for every win streak or jumps three stars instead of two....
You can't really change the ladder based on individual games, it will be very obvious whether Blizzard wants to push for faster or slower games. Maybe they could do it arbitrarily? Like if you could win only but not more than 3-4 games per hour while continuously playing, you get extra star on ladder? Still, the public could see the favoritism there.
Honestly, the only solution is the aspect of card design: - stop making small-cost cards with powerful effects and other tools for Aggro decks. Regardless whatever nerfs Blizzard makes, there is always a solution to find good cheap cards from the pool of existence cards for Aggro decks to merge back into the meta, while it is very hard for slower decks to do so.