@blackyps said in Proposal - degradation of rating over time:
you also will be placed in a slightly lower division when you play again
It is just a cosmetic change
How can both of these be true? Can two people with the same rating be in different divisions?
Small changes don't matter because the range you can get matched with in 1v1 is about 200 rating. If I as a 1k queue up it depends on who else is in the queue. If a 1150 joins I will get a hard game, if a 850 joins I will get an easy game. It makes no difference if some rating degradation places me 50 rating lower on paper.
Small changes do matter. If a person returns after not playing for a long time and is better or worse than they used to be, their rating can adjust to match their current skill level more quickly with an initially higher sigma. So, if a player had gotten worse at the game after not playing for a long time, this would help them to start with a lower displayed rating iniitally and get to a more accurate rating more quickly without having to go through the frustrating process of losing numerous games in a row. In the case of the matchmaker, a rating difference can still have an impact. I'm not saying it always would, but it's not like it never would either. If, for example, a potential opponent would be in the upper end of the range that a player would match with, then a reduction in the player's rating could prevent that match.
A sigma increase is definitely bad because now your first games after a break have an unusually high impact on your rating. Let's say you do lose your first four games in a row. You now lost even more rating than normally and you now need more games to climb back even though your skill has returned rather quickly
Let's not use false certainty. You personally think a sigma increase would be bad. That does not make it definitely bad. I didn't claim it was perfect, but there are clearly both pros and cons, and I believe the pros outweigh the cons. If a person's skill has decreased to the point that they lose 4 games in a row upon returning, I think their rating dropping a bit as a result seems quite reasonable, and it's not like their sigma would just insantly drop to 0 after that. If you think sigma decreases too quickly at like 150 sigma to be accurate, then perhaps some settings should be changed regarding that. However, sigma is basically just rating uncertainty divided by 3. After a person doesn't play for a long time, there is more uncertainty regarding their skill level than when they were playing regularly. Having a sigma increase to match that actual uncertainty makes sense to me.
Let's not force the people who do get a lot worse after not playing for a while to lose so many games in a row to get their ratings to be more accurate again. That is a hindrance for players returning to FAF after not playing for a while, and it results in additional players not returning.
A sigma increase over time would also help with some of the people who manage to get overrated and then don't play many/any rated games afterwards because they don't want to lose that high rating, since the sigma increase would result in their displayed rating decreasing over time as a result of inactivity. This would apply to both custom and matchmaker players who reach a peak rating and just hold it indefinitely without having as much incentive to keep playing as they would if sigma increased over time (a lot of players care about rating rather than or in addition to their listed vs unlisted division status).