Let me preface this “suggestion” by saying that I have only been playing here intermittently, and I have only recently renewed my membership. So while it’s good to be back, my “suggestion” may have been previously proposed or may be altogether irrelevant or inappropriate. But I still thought I might put it out there.
I just joined a ladder, and I am indeed discouraged at the amount of time it would take me to reach a place on the ladder at all representative of my skill level (which I would humbly argue my rating does not reflect). So I thought I might propose a way to side-step some of the waiting time.
Why not turn the system into more of a tournament bracket? For example, let’s say that the top fifty players within each ladder timeout division would remain unaffected. After that, the next 100 people on the ladder would be divided into two branches (50 players each) that would split off from the original ladder, and the next 200 people would be divided into four branches (50 players each) that would split off from the two original sub-branches. This process would continue until all players had been randomly distributed along the ladder. (See my attempt at illustrating this below, where each line segment represents 25 players. Also, please excuse the periods, but I needed them for formatting purposes to keep the lines in the right places.)
Players would continue up their branch until they reached the top 10 of that branch, at which point they could challenge any player at the bottom of the branch above them. This would allow for a player at the bottom of a branch effectively to advance anywhere from a few hundred to a few dozen places by playing concurrently with players at the same “height” of the bracket but in different sub-branches. Thus, the playing field would have width as well as depth, and as a result would be better served with a name such as “King of the Hill,” in my opinion.
Also, as a bonus, I would suggest that players not be allowed to challenge players ranked more than 150 points below themselves, and in the case that a high-ranked player not have any potential candidates to challenge because of the 10-rung limit, the next-available candidate for challenging within 150 points would override the 10-rung limit.
I am sure some of my thoughts are unclear, in which case I would be happy to elaborate. Furthermore, I’m sure some ideas could be improved upon. But I still wanted to make the suggestion.