Season 2 of Apex Legends goes live today, and with it a Ranked league that promises progression and skill tracking to determine rankings among the legends. But a more welcome addition is that in this new Ranked league, those who abandon a match will get penalized, saving their unlucky teammates from a disappointing match.
The ranking system in Apex isn't all that different from other competitive games. Using an escalating set of tiers, from Bronze up through Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and finally the Apex Predator tier, players can compete to move up and ascend the ladder towards their desired level of skill.
What makes the setup interesting is that each match, you're risking Ranking Points. Every Ranked match will cost an escalating number of points to enter, so you have to at least break even to maintain your RP cache. During the match, you can earn RP for kills (one point apiece up to a maximum of five), as well as for placing in the top 10, five, three, or winning outright. While you can move up between divisions, you cannot ever dip below a tier-basically, if you reach Platinum, you can never dip back into Gold, and so on.
With stakes like this, it makes sense that Respawn would want to enact some sort of penalty for both griefers and for those who bounce out after a botched drop or unfortunate engagement. Players who abandon a match will be hit with a queue timer for both Ranked and normal matches, and it grows in size for every abandoned Ranked match, from five minutes at the start up to a full week. Abandoning a match, by the way, is defined as leaving during character select, while you're alive in-game, or leaving while you're dead but still able to be resurrected.
There is loss forgiveness built in as well, for those who end up with an abandoning teammate, as well as for players who receive an abandon for reasons outside their control, like client errors. Loss forgiveness would essentially negate the amount of RP spent to buy-in to a match; while you can still gain RP from staying in the match, you won't lose any. This only works towards losing RP, though. If you stay in a game and manage to get five kills, but spent four RP to get in, you would only receive a net gain of +1.
It's an altogether solid system that I hope gets somehow implemented into the broader Apex ecosystem. I don't expect to spend a lot of time in Ranked, unless it becomes obvious that's the better experience compared to normal matches, but having leaver penalties helps ensure that even if I'm not totally in sync with my matchmade drop partners, we're still in it together.