The famed Super Smash Bros. developer Masahiro Sakurai took to his Famitsu column to talk a little bit more about “Global Smash Power,” the unique ranking system in place for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. No longer will it be your goal to be at the top – now its about being the furthest from the bottom.
This new ranking system will represent players online, but will draw its data from offline play. These scores will denote where you rank in relation to the number of players in the Smash Bros. population. Those looking for a more standard leaderboard or ranking system will not find it here. You’ll only be able to see how many players are below your rank.
“You could call it a ‘reverse ranking.’ It counts how far you are from the bottom instead of how far you are from the top. It’s simple, but in solves a lot of the problems with conventional ranking systems!”
While Sakurai plans to have a kind of matchmaking system in place to pair off similarly skilled players, this system will draw the focus away from being the best of the best. Friends and enemies will instead compare their Smash “power”, though nothing will determine true skill like an actual fight head-on.
“I believe it’s a very versatile system, but what do you think? It’s not just about encouraging competition.”
Though competition can certainly be fun, Sakurai doesn’t want the focus to be competition primarily. Surely this will resonate with casual and less-skilled players, but how effective will this system truly be at creating a fun online environment?
It’s a bit odd. In the Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct, Sakurai comments that traditional ranking systems are too broad, that finding your place within such a mass population isn’t much fun. However, the Global Smash Power system seems to accomplish almost the same thing – players will likely find themselves lost in the sea of players as they’ll only know how many players they’ve outscored. And without divisions or leagues, its hard to know how good you are compared to people with similar scores.
We’ll just have to wait until release to see how this new system works out for Smash Bros.