The Altitude Ladder is a community-run rating system developed by Maimer, Eth, and Nobodyhome that ranks players based on the results of 5v5 TBD and 6v6 BALL games played on the four dedicated ladder servers. The idea behind ladder is to give players a chance to rank their competitive ability and then challenge players of approximately equal skill.
The Altitude Ladder webpage can be accessed here, it is currently in its second season.
It is important to be familiar with the rules of ladder before playing, as ignorance in this area may result in a temporary ban.
The Official Ladder Administration Thread can be found, but there are 12 basic rules.
- 1) Leaving in the middle of a game and not returning.
- 2) Playing in a maxPing=300 server when you know your connection is too bad to not get continuously disconnected in the middle of a game, causing repeated disruption.
- 3) Spectating for an extended period of time because you didn’t know you were supposed to be in the game (obsolete since Patch ####, your name now corresponds to your team's color)
- 4) Spectating as a player for any other reason, either repeatedly or without giving warning.
- 5) Any vote initiation that disrupts a game in progress unless there is a technical reason or consensus (i.e. too many leavers, everyone wants a different map, etc.)
- 6) Acing in the middle of a game you are in.
- 7) Playing a ladder game while under level 13 of any ace rank.
- 8) Spectators not using spectator-chat after being asked to. All-chat is fine until someone asks them to spec chat (note: this rule is rarely punished for unless the spectator spams the chatbox and disrupts gameplay).
- 9) Racism/bigotry, general immaturity, excessive or unrelenting trash talk targeting specific players.
- 10) Playing custom of full random.
- 11) Playing on multiple accounts (i.e. smurfing). Alternate accounts are subject to a permanent ban (the main account will receive a regular ban).
- 12) Any activity not listed above that can cause a negative experience for others while playing ladder (the catch-all rule).
The ladder uses a live updating system that allows for concluded games to be recorded in real time and displayed on the website.
The ranking system used is a modification of the Elo rating system originally used to calculate relative skill levels of players in two player games. The modification allows for teams to play each other while the rating of each player is calculated individually. Each player has an individual profile page that tracks numerous stats of the games they have played.
A Word of Caution
With every competitive game there is always a negative side-effect: nerd rage. Altitude is no exception to this. As people work tirelessly to try and obtain the highest ranking possible, they often blame other people for negative outcomes. Sometimes this is justified, btu other times it's just them being upset and looking for a scapegoat. Regardless, if you are starting off, chances are you will come under attack. As with any other online argument - the best thing to do is to mute the offensive player and move on. Getting involved in long and drawn out arguments will only hurt your online experience.
That being said, some of the rage can be helpful as long as you can filter through the cuss words, hatred, etc. There might be something you hadn't considered or a new style of play you should try. Maybe you should even consider going back to official 1, 2, or 3 for a little bit to hone your skills. If you wish to continue to play, remember that you can't be banned solely because of how bad you are.
In addition to its original creators, the ideas behind the overall scope of the Altitude ladder as well as its creation and implementation were the product of many more individuals who frequent the Altitude IRC channel on Quakenet(#TL.Altitude).
- tec27- technical support and advice
- pig_bomb- graphics work and design
- Stormich- ideas and troubleshooting
- Colin Hart- ratings system and autobalance code
- King!- coding
- cipso- coding, website improvements
Maimer, Eth, and Nobodyhome can be seen in all their glory in the accompanying image. It is not recommended that players of average skill attempt this flying formation.