This is another page from the DiabloII.net archives. The information presented here is purely of historical interest, and this page was written back in 1999 and 2000, before the game's release. (And before the features discussed here were removed from the game.)
Player Ranking System and Battle.net Statistics
This page covers topics that are still in the planning stages, but those that will be of great importance and interest to virtually everyone once they are implemented in the game. The Player Ranking System will track the results of duels in Arena Games; In theory, it will probably include 1 on 1 duels only. The Player Stats are simply records of your character's actions on Battle.net. Such things as monsters killed, time played, times killed, and more seem likely and illuminating stats to track.
Battle.net Global Player Ranking System
There will be a ladder ranking system for Diablo II, though exactly how it will work is unknown. Without Arena Games, PvP play can't be too heavily weighted, since it's so exploitable, in terms of the ladder ranking. Especially without any sort of death penalty to punish players who lose repeatedly to let a friend get a higher ranking.
So a large component of the ranking will have to e experience, or Clvl. But it's almost pointless to have the entire ladder system be just based on which character has the most experience. That does more to reward the person who has more time to play, rather than the most skillful player. One major reason to have a ladder ranking system in the first place is to help in selecting people to play with on Battle.net, and since you can already see what Clvl they are, having a ladder ranking that was identical to that, and didn't give any indication of their actual skill, would be totally superfluous.
What would be measured in this ladder isn't known, but could include: number of deaths, experience divided by time played, bonus to ranking for difficulty, bonus for killing bosses or completing the game on higher diff levels, and more. The whole point is to give a higher ranking to the deserving players, and to weed out players who aren't very good, but play 10 hours a day, and also hand-me-down characters, who start off with lots of very good equipment donated by higher level characters, and thusly-equipped proceed to tear through the early game.
Battle.net Player Statistics Tracking
This is an aspect of the game we had high hopes for. The initial concept was to track tons of character stats in games on Battle.net. Levels completed, monsters killed, PK's, difficulty levels played, bosses killed, time played, etc. These records would have been quite extensive, and would have provided an interesting display about your character. The information would have been for you to look over and analyse, and also there would have been an option to allow other characters to see some or all of it. This would have been excellent to see and helped to pick playing partners based on equal ability.
Unfortunately, Blizzard North isn't currently planning to include this sort of stat tracking, either for you or for others to see. They are considering some sort of a pk counter, which is good news for duelists, and bad news for back stabbers, but none of this is finalized yet.
DiabloII.net Player Ranking Report
These are just a few of the examples and until we get more info on this aspect of the game from Blizzard, we're really just making guesses from our own reasoning. You can see a lot of the very early ideas we came up with for this aspect of the game in our report from last year. At E3 we were told by numerous Diablo II Team members that they had read and really appreciated a lot of the ideas in the report, though obviously we won't know how influential (if at all) it was for some time yet.
Arena Game Rankings
This was one of the first announced features for Diablo II, and, for the people out there interested in PvP and competitive play, this is a very interesting and exciting aspect of the game. The Player Ranking System will be derived entirely from a character's performance in Arena Games. It's hard to get into too much detail at this early stage, since Blizzard has released very little information about this aspect of the game. However, there are a lot of things we can speculate about.
One of the main things that will be worked on during the Diablo II beta test is getting the character classes well-balanced for PvM as well as PvP play. It is doubtful that they'll be able to do this perfectly, since the task seems nearly Herculean. Imagine the variables and complexities in making each of the five characters, with their widely varied skills and playing styles, able to kill roughly the same monsters in about the same amount of time while taking equivalent risks? Then on top of that, you must also get all five different character classes close to evenly matched in head to head battles against each other. Very challenging and complex, and we'll cross our fingers and see how it goes. At the very least, the five classes in Diablo II will be much more evenly-matched, while all being very unique in playing technique, which will make the game much more fun, perfectly-balanced or not. (Compare to the totally unbalanced PvP and PvM gameplay in Diablo, for example.)
One of the probable drawbacks of the Arena Game is that eventually they will all be taken over almost completely by specialised duelling characters. Characters that are not at all well-balanced for the variety of resistances and tactics needed to excel in PvM play, (Quest Games) and instead have specialised equipment, and a few very powerful skills overloaded in points, likely with very high vitality to take more toe to toe damage. (For example, in a Quest game a character would need to deal damage in a variety of magic types, and also have well-balanced resistance, as well as a nice balance between hit points and stamina and to/hit. For a duel, only max resistance to say fire or lightning, depending on the opponent, would be required, and that could just mean switching a ring before the duel, depending on the character class of the opponent. Lots of hit points would be nice, to stand in there toe to toe and deal out damage. Only one extremely damaging attack would be needed, since likely a character will have no way to become immune. That lvl 20 Meteor that all the fire-immune monsters don't even notice will never be useless against another character.)
As for how the rankings will work, that is totally unknown. More than likely, it will be something like StarCraft or BroodWar, where a player has to win a number of matches to qualify for the ladder. Points will probably be awarded to the duel winner on a sliding scale, depending on the relative rankings of the two combatants. (In other words you will get more points for defeating better players, and not so many for beating unranked newbies).