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PvP ladder forumula seems grindy and a bit wonky, is it working as intended?

So is it just me, or is the PvP ladder system really a points over time calculation? That is, how many points can you make over time… and sustain for a week? Also, is that a good thing?

I spent more time this week, than I normally have running an experiment of sorts I guess. I wanted to level up my kingdoms to 10 (requiring massive gold amounts…) and I wanted to see how much I can play in a week and how well I can do on the ladder as a result… thus garnering me the gold I needed along the way. I also wanted to see how long my tier / rank progression lasted on the ladder. What effects it had when I went to work (taking several hours break) when I eat dinner or hang out with fam (taking a break) and then going to bed in evening after a long play session. It seems you can lose rank in the ladder far faster than you can make up the points.

You pick from three opponents and move up between 10-60ish in total tier points for a win. Conceptually, I like this pick from 3 idea, easier, mid and stretch goal… but I got to say, when you are level 200-ish and your stretch goal becomes the guy who is level 1000 with full traited mythics, the matching system isn’t doing you any favors…

Now, a loss will cost you between 1 and 10 points. Not terrible you think… accept that’s not the full story. You are also losing the time vested into that loss, while others are gaining on their own tier rank numbers… so in the race, you actually lost far more!

If someone else won two matches in the time it took you to lose one, while you tried to hold on for dear life… then they moved up perhaps 100 teir points, while you lost your own 1-10 on top of that… and now, you are both fighting to gain more, and so - you need them to lose or preferrably take a break so you can make real gains.

The net result is minuscule gains per hour on the ladder… unless you can ridiculously lower your time to kill / time to finish a match… and, it’s hardly worth ever staying in a match if it’s taking to long… you are better to drop out and get back to a match you can win fast… vs, taking double or tripple time to win. Thus gaining more points per hour than the competition.

Now, stop playing for an hour… or even a night to get some rest, and boom, you can drop ~700 to ~2000 places based upon others gaining points in your absence. Wow… that’s alarming to see considering how long it takes to move back up.

This system seems to encourage grind and non-stop play. Is that really what they were after? Is anyone who doesn’t play pvp for 20-60 hours a week having fun with this concept? Have many tried this to see what it takes in the current PvP? What are your thoughts I wonder… maybe I’m just doing something wrong or not working at it as efficiently as I could… but, really? Should this equate to work? Bleh…

Even if you do get into the top 100, the moment you break to do anything in life, boom, you drop hard again. This seems like a horrible hot mess of a system in a game like Gems of War… or maybe I’m just in the minority here…

Outside of the rewards I get from PvP, which I admit the gold, class leveling and very small glory rewards do help and are appreciated match to match… I’m thinking the whole thing is kind of a train wreck on the whole when you consider the ladder rewards and time to get / maintain that level. The arcane trait stone carrot isn’t really worth chasing to anyone who has a life, family or job as implemented is my best guess. I would love to see the TIME played and games played data for those who get into the top 100… hell, even the top 1000 by the time the week ends. My guess, it’s alarming data for the vast majority.

Unless I’m missing something, and I can only speak from my experience, this system and time expectation from the devs is rather astonishing… if not a bit atrocious. The time needed to get your ladder numbers up in the first place are worthy of a job… next, once you hit the 90s or the 70s in tier, you are facing all mythics and fully traited teams. I like the challenge of the optimized teams, its neat to see how they play out… but then you consider you need to think a bit more about your moves, how the AI will respond, etc… all which slows your game times down, and also can drop you in ladder pretty quick because you are not accumulating points fast enough compared to others on your heels.

Taking a break for an hour or two means an effective loss of ~700 rank some times and that equates to 4+ hours of work to move back up at the higher end.

Again, unless I’m not doing something right - this has to be one of the single most time intensive exercises I’ve seen in a game like this. Moreover, it seems that this game mode rewards only those with more time than anything else. As I gather, it doesn’t even reward based on your best tier achieved during the week… it only awards at a snapshot in time, at weeks end, right? If I understand correctly, it means even if you did put in the time to see your name in lights for all of the briefest moments as you venture into the triple, double or single digit tiers - however fleeting it may be… well, you don’t get paid at all if you stop the grind and fall from those graces… really… and they do this each week?

It reminds me of that Robin Williams “Golf” skit… just search for it on youtube, you’ll get the analogy quickly!

As folks gain an appreciation for the time investment, it seems like this system is going to be a love / hate real fast. I’m sure the SISTER, DHJL or whatever short list of folks that are regularly in the top spots are enjoying the arcane loots weekly and clearly have the time to vest in it, so are all over it. For us mere mortals though, it’s a haves (time) vs. have nots, more than anything else. You could have all the cards in the game at mythic fully traited, but don’t expect to get to the top wrung without a healthy dose of time weekly… and staying there is a whole different time sink.

It seems they could make a number of changes to improve appeal to a far broader audience… just a few ideas come to mind, such as:

Tier rewards could pay out as soon as you hit them, vs. waiting till weeks end…

Another option, the game could track the highest tier you achieved DURING the week and pay based on your best progress during the week, not where you are at PRESENTLY, when the week ends… this would be similar to how Hearthstone allocates their monthly chest system. This means all effort you put in just to get to “wherever” is not lost because you have a life on the weekend when the event ends.

Awards based on best tier rank earned alone wouldn’t fix it though… there’s still a massive time investment with the current system. That needs to be calculated and addressed I feel… assuming my experience is reflective of the norm / average that is.

Lowering time investment to rewards could be done a number of ways, but the easiest might be to introduce divisions between the ranks. Each division has it’s own ladder for example… and each ladder pays out (again, when you hit the tier, or at the end of week, based on your highest tier achieved.) Your division is determined by your level at the beginning of the week perhaps. So you could have a level 0-100 bracket… a 101-200 bracket… etc all the way to the 901-1000 level bracket. That way, the pool of gamers is smaller in your bracke that you compete against, and match ups are more close to what you might also have access to.

I’m not sure if ladder point losses are doing near as much as time not played are in the current math. It just salt in the wound after losing a match as the points over time mechanic is far worse to your overall progress in reality.

In the end, the PvP, especially as implimented, isn’t even what draws me in or why I play this game. I like the mini-games, the quests, the progression of cards system, the occasional surprise bonuses at the end of a kingdom quest line - like war and peace or class quests, etc… Levleling up the classes has been very enjoyable as well, and another nice carrot to chase. Once I get my last city to 10, my PvP time is going to greatly diminish, as I just don’t see the point in trying… and two, the time I put in this week, even to break the 100 barrier a couple times, is not sustainable for a working husband / father even if I did greatly enjoy the PvP game type… but again, perhaps my experiences are not reflective of the norm… perhaps I’m doing it wrong. I’m sure someone will enlighten me.

For my enjoyment, I hope additional, non-pvp game types are on the horizon. I always look forward to new kingdoms, their quests, challenges and new troop types. I hope arena is not left in the dust. More arena like mini-games would be greatly appreciated. Here’s hoping they have a few lucrative mini-games in the works!

Sorry for the wall, and thanks for taking the time,


Just moved this to the PC discussion for you since this feature won’t be on consoles for several months (2 updates away at the earliest).


Simple question: what leaderboard in any game differs from this one?


It’s a fair question if you seek or expect this game to be like those other experiences. However, PvP in this fashion, is new to Gems of War, and it attracted a non-competitive base as it’s initial appeal. So, should Gems of War seek to be like other competitive PvP focused titles?

Some games tie Leaderboard progress with badges, status, non game impacting rewards to their ladders. Gems, in its present state, ties the most precious end game rewards to their ladder’s top spots requiring 40+ hours of weekly commitment.

I guess if they removed the Arcane Traitsones from the top few, and simply awarded badges, and NON-progression impacting emogy or whatever… then I wouldn’t care at all…

Perhaps impliment the progression needed Arcane Traitstones to other Non-PvP aspects of the game… then, those that wanted to get to top ranks could, and enjoy it for what it is - name in lights, earn the medal, whatever… then PvP could be just like so many other ladder boards out there, to your point.

In addition, the hard to obtain Traitstones would not be synonymous with job equivalent time in PvP.

Alternatively, they could leave the traitstones as rewards, and impliment other changes to make them more accessible.

If they wanted to really streamline the rewards system and desired to really keep folks playing… they could just say - if you get in 500 pvp games a week and at least 80 hours of play, you get tier 1 rewards too… but, who would find that goal enjoyable… ironically, that’s probably not too far off from what it takes… as is.

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As Koolbiird said,every ladder is exactly the same,just reach rank 1,its around 3 hours maximum,ladder is for the competetive ones,who have a lot of time,and i mean a LOT.

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If that’s the case, and the goal, then to me, that’s unfortunate. Does this game need that kind of competition? Maybe it does… maybe folks are really playing it because they need the gold and don’t care about the top ranks? I guess the data behind how many hours folks put into it would be telling. My guess is a rare minority put anywhere close to the time needed to even have a chance at the top rewards… so what did they create then? A mechanic to farm gold, glory and level up your class for the majority, and for a rare few - access to guaranteed traitstones? Seems like an odd waste of dev time and energy if that was indeed the goal. That’s a dev decision, not mine.

Maybe I have the wrong perspective of this game… I don’t see it as a Call of Duty type ladder game… but again, maybe I’m wrong in my thinking.

Gems of War seems like an immersion, fantasy, questing, leveling and reward based game. Always a carrot to chase, always improvements to make, resource gathering, latest kingdoms to find and troops or classes to unlock, multiple games found at multiple kingdoms seems like the vision and what attracted many casuals to the game… self included.

Gems PvP in its current format, seems like a gigantic detraction to that audience or I would dare say ‘base.’ So, if that’s accurate, why lock the greatest progression asset behind the PvP play wall?

I guess they could move the arcane trait rewards elsewhere in the game as this is akin to rpg, leveling and progression genre, not a PvP competitive genre. Then, rewards for ladder and seeing your name in lights could be badge and non-progression impacting… arcane traits could instead be reserved for elsewhere. Majority could use it for gold, glory, leveling with no hopes for the badges… and the time intensive could go for the badge.

…or they could leave trait rewards where they are at, but also place those same rewards elsewhere in the game as rewards for folks that just have no interest to climb the ladder, regardless of time investment.

I realize arcane traitstones can be found in the TH mini-game and they can be found in the 1 in 40 or so grind of challenge modes, but wow… neither is really enjoyable if you are looking for any kind of means to obtain them and progress… it’s back to inordinate amounts of time in either activity… Who wants to grind away at challenges or farm for maps just so they can suffer the TH game and hope they get an arcane drop? They seem far to random and rare in the non-pvp mode for a game like this, which best traits require so many of them.

Perhaps they leave PvP as is, and add the arcane traitstones out to something like an arena game or equivalent, where they are farm more accessible.

Its not an entitlement / participation award thing, as many don’t see something like Gems of War as a competition at all… but it is more of a customer awareness and time vs. enjoyment thing.

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I don’t believe that is correct. The leaderboard has shed light into individual players that play a lot. Arguably, too much for their own good. Anyway, if you look at the leaderboard and look at the guilds (not the players); you will see mostly top 10 guilds. The same guilds that put up numerous trophies week after week.

This is a business. You are playing a free-to-play game. Your frustration is how they make money, The trait stones are their main source of income. You can farm for these trait stones, play PVP, or simply pay. The brown arcane stones are in the shop this week.

Who would find that enjoyable? This is subjective. Only you can answer that for yourself. Video games are inherently fun. Whether they are really fun or moderately fun is based on the individual. A video game is designed as escapism, and you have a “real” life and “real” responsibilities a video game should be the last thing on your short list anyway.


I’m glad I can get my Tier 1 rewards without needing to hit a top 100 ranking.

Do I wish I had a better way to access Arcane Stones? Sure. I don’t have the time to play 1K games per week, either in PvP or to grind challenges.

Do I think we should get the top players addiction counseling? I sure do.

I’m just glad top 100 isn’t giving out bonus trophies or I’d feel I had to push for it for my guild.

Free2Play games are designed to promote some level of frustration so you spend money on them. If we didn’t have access to the 2xtraitstone glory packs, just imagine how much more aggravating this game would be. At least with them, you have a chance to trait your favorite troops.

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I don’t have access to the data, but my guess would be the same guilds that end up top on leaderboards weekly, are made up primarily of those players who have large sums of time to commit. However, I’m not sure time spent in game or the regulars at the top of leaderboards are what any business would consider it’s “base” either.

I would further guess that those who are keeping the business afloat, are the newer players, or the regular players, who have more money that time. Thus, they are buying weekly packs, or traitstones, or gems and the alike to feed their progression in game, making up for time they do not have.

My guess is also that this game, coming from the likes of Puzzle Quest and Puzzle Quest 2, has a player base in the non-competitive side of gaming. After all, we are talking about a gem match game… not exactly MLG audience that MOBAs and FPS draw.

If any of that above is factual, then it would be mean PvP, is not the primary concern for the “base” of this business model. Regardless, its all speculative…

Indeed, it’s a business and I’m quite aware that this free-to-play game is anything but in the end to a very large portion of the game’s consumers. As a fun side note, I would love to see the data on how many accounts are VIP 0-10. I am VIP 10+ heh…

Successful titles in the genre are micro-transaction intense. I don’t know what Gem’s of War’s main source of income is. Playing both on PS4 and Steam, but now soley steam… and knowing around 6 others who play the game, my guestimate is gems would likely be the number one money maker… followed somewhere by souls, weekly special transactions and yeah, traitstones but probably far more distant from the pack leaders of profit. Speculative again, don’t have the data, just basing it on personal experience. I’m sure gems deliver quite substantial amounts if not at the top. Whatever it is, updates come out regularly, they have the game supported on multiple platforms, and the fiction is ever expanding… so, they don’t seem to be hurting for dev hours or cash flow from this free to play title.

Who would find ‘X time critiera equals Y rewards for PvP’ is the question for the paying consumer indeed. You are correct, only I… we… the players can answer that question. That’s why I asked the above. In effect, are folks at large enjoying this experience? Is PvP tier system working as designed? How about as intended? It’s why I started this thread and asked the questions I did.

I’m not talking to the elite few guilds at the top each week… those are the die-hards, they are here for the long haul no matter what… I’m talking about the other volumes of guilds and players out there world wide. Those are who I wonder if the mode has any appeal to, as designed… or if PvP is just scrating the itch for a much smaller audience in the grand scheme. I’m not sure how many guilds of 30 players top the boards regularly… but how many guilds of 10-30 players never or rarely do? I’d like to know just how many play… and how many never see the top 1,000 pay-out spots (used to be top 500).

Maybe I’m way off in my thinking though. Maybe its a feature that is truly embraced by most… Maybe it doesn’t matter and its just a means to an end for gold, glory and leveling with the majority never trying or having any hopes of obtaining top rewards… and maybe in either case, it’s perfectly fine to the business model… as long as folks are still spending $.

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@Tactica You deserve a Nobel prize for literature.

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meh, I’ve been in IT for over 20 years… I type fast.

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You would need some hard data. You are posing your questions to the minority of this game. The few…[quote=“Tactica, post:9, topic:8790”]

as you so eloquently put it; but since I am in a high ranking guild…

my opinion does not matter to you anyway. But I have my own inquiries.

The Tier system maybe. The Ranked system is where you have your contention. Once again, you would need hard data. Which begs the question, what would you do with this data? What would this data mean for you? If most casual players are playing Arena, are you going to play Arena?

@Koolbiird, your points are well met. I doubt we / I will see any hard data. However, one assumes the business decision makers are very interested in the data and designing / tuning in a direction which further’s business goals.

Sometimes though, a developer puts vision ahead of data, or puts too much emphasis on Intellectual Property visions vs. consumer base realities. In the gaming industry, we see it all the time… Diablo III, Destiny and Division all come to mind in recent past. In each case, the dev had to reaccess earlier actions taken. I’m not saying it applies here - but genre of this game doesn’t seem to directly align with MLG type audience attributes you would find on their short list… but, perhaps that is the intended direction too…

That potential misalignment question is at the root of my thread’s original post. Is the current PvP structure in Gem’s appealing to it’s wider audience / consumer base? Sure, I posted it here on the forum, where perhaps the very active and possible minority, are in the majority… good observation. So, is the topic as posed pointless? Perhaps.

What I would do with the data, as a consumer, is review it and see if it justified current directions. If it did, it would satisfy the larger question of are folks generally enjoying this content. If it contrasted with latest developments, I would point out to the vendor the disparity in base vs. direction of PvP and ask them to realign. It’s my understanding that its been a long standing request to add more of the Arena-like mini games to this game map. If they are not already, maybe its time to put more development hours into that activity.

No to your last question. What others are doing in mass would not guide my enjoyment of the game. However, you assume I do not enjoy Arena, I do in fact enjoy it. However, it’s rewards are not favorable for time spent in game. There are better ways to achieve the same deliverables. Therefore, the only reason I play Arena from time to time is the experience, not the rewards or progression which are at the heart of this game’s carrot system.

If they improved the rewards, I would absolutely play more Arena, but it is not the sole game type I would play.

On the contrary, I see the PvP in this game just as a means to an end. It’s a relatively efficient resource tool, and that’s its value to me. I prefer the kingdom quests, the collection and leveling of troops, the various mini games, and pursuit of all kingdoms at 5 stars. That’s the real appeal to this game for me, not leader boards of any type.

I hope in the future, they definitely consider adding more PvE game types… team events… boss / raid type battles, global environmental effects based mini-games, mini-games etc could all be quite interesting.

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I totally agree with this point. I’m one of the players that likes PvE elements the most. I think I’m in the minority though. So, I assume the PvE elements are low priority for the devs.


No. Definitely not pointless. There are many forum members among us that have not shared their views.

No assumptions here. I was only using that as an example because of your disdain for the leaderboard, which has had an ill effect on your PVP experience.

I agree! There are many of us that want more PvE content.

Finally, as a gamer, this is the best free-to-play game I have ever played. I could have played this game without spending a dime, but I wasn’t in a good guild. This game rewards those who actually play the game. I have logged in 1000+ hours in this game, and it is still updating, changing, and evolving.

As a consumer; this game has been well worth the cash that has been invested. The game doesn’t stop me from playing the game, there is no limit on my playtime, and I am not bashed over the head with incessant deals in the shop. This is a game that wants you to play it; and, judging from the leaderboard, a whole heck of a lot.

What in getting from this is that you are frustrated with the avenues available to attain arcane traitstones add a part of this conversation.

There IS a much easier way to get them, but it does involve paying some money. Get to VIP 5 and open vip chests. When I open 50 of those guys I get TONS of arcane stones.

Gem chests can provide them at a decent rate as well. If you are in a good guild that has gold requirements, gems and keys should flow in at a pretty decent rate!


I was thinking of a “retune” to the leaderboards as well, I made an effort to rank in the leaderboards once and played 6-8 hours a day for 3 days and still was only in 4000th rank, I gotta sleep and work cause as with the most of people in this world, I got bills to pay.

I was thinking of a new high end tier based Ranking ladder where for every 5k or so PVP points a person gains will net them a single stone, if the amount of rewards given out is closely monitored (maybe even 7.5-10k per stone) it won’t cause a lot of harm to the game economy and the developers can still give a (top X) reward for the people who do put in the “unable to get back” time invested and the players who grind to 10k PVP points not sitting in the top 1000 can still get a decent reward for their efforts (1-2 stones) the only thing preventing me from grinding is knowing that there is a good chance I can grind 10k+ PVP points and still not make the low end of the rewards, this way the rewards you receive are proportionate to the time you put in and you won’t lost a potential reward because someone else (not you) has the ability to play GoW for 14 hours a day.

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I play on console, so my information on this subject has only Bern obtained through the forum. However, with that being , I believe the ladder was made specifically for end gamers to have something else to work towards every week. On consoles our tier rewards aren’t as “rewarding” as pc mobile, nor do we have the ranking to chase after for arcane stones. So the way I see it, with better tier rewards you can just get to tier 1 and if you do not enjoy PvP you can move on to arena, or quests/challenges to kill time. The die hard players at the top are taking nothing from the more casual player base.
The PvP rewards as a whole seem to have been improved with your latest update. So even if you are not inclined to grind your way towards the top your rewards are still better than they would have been pre-patch. However, as I have said before I’m on console so if I’m wrong then I apologize for intruding.

This is essentially my stance on the subject.

Ranked PvP rewards are merely a huge carrot at the end of an impossibly long stick. If you do not have the mind frame to play countless hours, dedicated solely to GoW, then simply pay it no mind and move along.

We already receive greater Tier rewards. Ranks are merely gifts as thanks to those who play much longer than most of us can hope to.


Fixed. :wink:

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