ROCKET LEAGUE Ranked Rumble and Ruined Me

Visitors play Rocket League, developed and published by Psyonix Inc., at the Legends of Gaming Live event in London, on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. The Sterling suffered the sharpest turnaround of any developed-world currency over the past month, tumbling against its Group-of-10 peers and posting its longest stretch of declines versus the dollar in almost a year. Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In the most recent update to Rocket League, game developer Psyonix made the move to provide rankings for its extra game modes, leaving casual players only the standard game mode with which to play online.

Rocket League Changes Extra Game Modes to Ranked

New Cosmetics

The season nine update comes loaded with new content and changes to the three-year-old game. Rocket League continues its long-standing love affair with Hot Wheels, unveiling a new flag, wheel set and player banner that celebrate the 50th anniversary of the wildly-popular toy car line.

The brand new area, the Hot Wheels Rivals arena, has been introduced across all game modes, both online and offline.

Along with the new Hot Wheels drops, Psyonix has also reaffirmed its relationship with Canadian EDM juggernaut, Monstercat. Monstercat will provide its fourth EP to soundtrack season nine. Psyonix also introduced a Monstercat car topper and a line of nine new Monstercat flags.

Ranked Extra Modes

But I need to talk about Rumble. I’m somewhat of a Rocket League anti-purist in that I almost never play ranked matches and I almost never play in standard game modes. I almost exclusively play Rumble, Rocket League‘s chaotic, power-up heavy game mode. My heavy reliance on power-ups more than makes up for the fact that I’ve played 1,500+ games and still haven’t learned how to aerial successfully or haven’t recorded a single bicycle goal.

Psyonix has made the decision to allow ranked playlists for all of Rocket League‘s extra modes: the 2v2 basketball mode, Hoops; the 3v3 hockey mode, Snow Day; and the 3v3 volleyball-esque mode, Dropshot.

As such, extra modes no longer appear in the Casual playlists tab when playing online. Extra modes are exclusively competitive ranked games online.

For folks like me, the extra game modes were respite from the online toxicity of competitive play. These modes were equalizers, the niches where a Semi-Pro player could sneak into the MVP slot with a couple of lucky boxing gloves or a haphazard dodge into a flipping puck. Now, playlists are loaded with competitive hearts looking to spoil those of us that come to the extra game modes for five minutes of chaos and chats that consist of anything other than “What a save!” “What a save!” “What a save!” “What a save!” … “What a save!” “What a save!”

I fully understand how competitive rankings work and that I’ll eventually settle into a tier full of players around my skill level, but we’re quite a few games away from that point and I love complaining.

The Silver Lining(s)

These modes were also a crutch for players like me. Previously, I had no motive to learn the game’s advanced mechanics. The competitive matches bring an influx of players looking to establish themselves as the top Hoops or Dropshot players. This ups the ante for the players that were relying on the unconventional mechanics and ball physics to make up for their lack of talent.

Also on the bright side, the influx of players from other game modes has made the queue time significantly lower. Whereas it may have taken up to a full minute and a half to get dropped into a match (and even then, getting dropped into a match down 5-0), I’ve yet to wait longer than thirty seconds to get into a match since the update was released.

And maybe finally, now that extra modes are competitive, Psyonix will buff the Rumble magnet. Or eliminate the tornado. Or eliminate the teleport. Or nerf the spikes. Or provide regular support for the extra modes servers. Or fix the goalposts. Or add a second arena for the Dropshot mode that’s been out for over a year.

Last Word on ROCKET LEAGUE’s Season Nine Update

At the end of the day, Psyonix is doing what they feel is best for the game and for the players. Whether these updates are actually going to improve anything had yet to be seen, but the whisperings on Reddit aren’t all positive.

I support a lot of the moves Psyonix has made in the game recently, like awarding tokens during games to be used as currency to buy cosmetic items or introducing the season pass with real, tangible goals to work toward. I just want to know how many keys I have to buy and how many updates I have to sit through before they allow players to play full seasons in extra game modes.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. As a champion ranked rumble player, please do not ask for a magnet buff or removal of any power. They’re very well balanced you just have to learn the techniques.

  2. If you’re starting your argument with an appeal to ethics that references your status as a highly ranked Rumble player, you’ve missed the point of the article.

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