What.CD's required ratio system is intended to reward users who are willing to consistently seed torrents but have difficulty uploading torrents or data. With that aim in mind, we have repeatedly adjusted the system to aid such users, and today we'd like to announce another such adjustment. Until now, the ratio watch system has counterintuitively penalized leech-disabled users by not factoring their seeding percentages into the required ratio calculation. If a user failed to achieve an acceptable ratio by the time ratio watch expired, that user's required ratio was automatically set to the maximum requirement (as if they were seeding 0% of their downloads), leaving the user in a possibly insurmountable ratio hole. To rectify this, we've instituted the following change:

When a user in ratio watch fails to improve their ratio by the time ratio watch expires, that user will lose leeching privileges and have their required ratio temporarily set to the maximum possible requirement (as if 0% of torrents were being seeded). In order to adjust the required ratio so that it reflects the actual percentage of torrents being seeded, the user must seed for a 72 hour period. After 72 hours of seeding occur, the required ratio will consistently update to reflect the leech-disabled user's current seeded percentage, just as it would for a normal user. Leeching privileges will be restored once the user's required ratio has dropped below the actual ratio.

This change prevents the unintended double penalty suffered by users unable to meet their required ratio in the first place, vastly improving their chances of restoring their leeching privileges.

We have always intended that responsible users with bad connections could rely on the required ratio system in order to avoid ratio watch. Yet when these users lost their seeding capabilities for more than 2 weeks—by going on vacation or dealing with an emergency, for instance—they ran a real risk of falling into ratio watch and losing their leeching privileges. This change protects those users by preserving their ability to take advantage of the flexible required ratio system.

In addition to this change, we have reformatted and clarified the entire Ratio Rules page. While there are no other changes in policy to announce today, we hope that the new version of our ratio rules is easier to understand in general.