How Sledgehammer Games can improve Ranked Play in Advanced Warfare

Keshav Bhat

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare features the Ranked Play playlist, which was a big fan request. Sledgehammer Games delivered a playlist for the competitive fans that wanted a ranked based playlist, that was separate from public matches, but there’s a lot that they can do to improve this playlist. Sledgehammer Games has tried a little too hard to merge the casual and competitive community together with Advanced Warfare, and it’s not working for either communities. Keeping the two separate works best – as demonstrated by Black Ops 2.

Here’s some of the ways we feel that Sledgehammer can improve the Ranked Play experience:

  • SHGames needs to make Ranked Play a separate menu in Multiplayer. It needs to be separated out – with it’s own create a class, and own menu screens. Doing this allows for classes to be made tailored to Ranked Play play style. In addition, all of the items need to be unlocked regardless of levels. That makes the playing field fair, unlike how it currently is.
  • Rule set: the current rule set is a good start for eSports, but there’s one thing they should change: ban supply drop-based custom weapons. As Sledgehammer Games have said themselves, supply drops are random. As such, many players don’t have the best ASM1 or the best BAL. Restricting those would make it an even playing field as all players now have access to the same weapons – regardless of your supply drop variants.
  • Probation Time: Michael Condrey has confirmed that this is coming and that’s the right step forward. Too many players keep leaving out of matches, and even though you do lose double points, there’s no in-game message or alert that says that. Many players don’t even realize that they are being penalized for leaving a match, so they leave freely. A probation time and in-game message alert would help reduce the number of rage quitters dramatically.
  • Display ranks in the lobbies – this isn’t a major feature, but it’s something that does help players know who they’re up against.
  • Better communication: this is a big one for those on Xbox 360 and PS3. Ranked Play is full of bugs on these two platforms, and it’s still Season 0 on those. Plus, the two last-gen consoles are still a month behind in in-game feature updates (there’s still no daily challenges, etc.) and there’s still no indication as to when Season 1 or the updates will come. Considering the fact that the NPD data says the Xbox 360 version was the most sold version, there needs to be more open communication on updates for those players as well.

The reason why Black Ops 2 was so successful and continues to be successful (player counts hit 160k some days) is because Treyarch didn’t force eSports and casual together. League Play was completely separate mode for those who wanted to play, and the regular matches were catered to casual playing style. Ranked Play is basically Call of Duty: Ghosts’s Clan vs. Clan mode, with just ranks and divisions. It doesn’t work as well as we expected it too. The best way to win is to not force competitive and casual gamers – it becomes a lose-lose situation when they do.

About The Author

Keshav Bhat is the Co-Founder of, the world's largest Call of Duty news site. Based in Atlanta, Keshav also serves as the Head of Social Media for Dexerto network, running a network of over 10 million social followers. Keshav can be contacted for tips at [email protected]