So right now, outside of 3hrs of NA primetime, it's essentially a free for all between players from Gold1 to Legendary on NA.
There's a huge skill divide between players on the same teams in PvP, from off-meta specs at Gold1, and the players gaming every advantage available at a rating of 1750-1850. As a result, the purpose of rating is devalued, it's just a random free for all. This is your average simplified ranked queue:
Player 1: 1804 (Duo Queued)
Player 2: 1740 (Duo Queued)
Player 3: 1500
Player 4: 1400
Player 5: 1400
Player 1: 1700
Player 2: 1600
Player 3: 1500
Player 4: 1500 (Duo Queued)
Player 5: 1450 (Duo Queued)
Glicko does a great job of making sure both teams have a really balanced matchmaking rating.
But what it does not take into account is what builds the super-outlier 1400-1450 rated players who get pulled in are using. If these players happen to be running ultra high risk specs, their team will have no chance. If these players happen to be running builds that are inherently hard to dispatch for high end players often using high kill speed pub-stomping builds, it's an instant win.
To put it in other words, the losing outcome is heavily focused on which team has the lower end player(s) running high risk/experimental builds. This is the main win/lose condition, and it's not curated at all by the matchmaker. From the perspective of all players in Platinum I've personally known, this is the main problem with PvP.
It's not super helpful to just bring problems to the table so I can list off many possible improvements off the top of my head. All the improvements will revolve around re-populating the pool of platinum quality players queuing at any given time, and create higher quality fights & matches. We really need to keep platinum players grinding queues at all hours in order to keep the match quality stable across all tiers - keeping 1400 rated players away from 1800 players is the goal that will restore the meaning of rating.
Incentives that kick in when completing a game at platinum, these could be combined or cherry picked, not all of these incentives at once of course.
1.) Accelerated reward track progress & gold rewards.
2.) Accelerated Byzantium chest pips.
3.) Byzantium chest now includes a Black Lion Key.
4.) Most importantly: Ascended Shards of Glory vendors added so players can spend this currency on a wider and more exotic array of skins & conveniences, even if the Ascended Shard cost was outrageously high - a grind fits the mission here. If you could just recycle any of the current game's rewards in exchange for Ascended Shards, the sky's the limit - you could even put a release cycle on older MaT Gizmos, infusions, black lion skins, with appropriately large costs of course, and I bet a large amount of the playerbase will grind PvP for it. The key to this idea would be to really make rare cosmetics extremely grindy, spanning months or more.
These are all just ideas off the top of my head. There is a lot of incentives that could be made to keep competent players on the ranked queue treadmill, which doesn't sound glamorous but would be infinitely better than suffering low-pop issues.
Forum Lord Chaith