The Martial Rating system is in effect in several AFK Arena game modes. The purpose of its existence is to balance out the vast power difference between new and old players, whales and F2P players, etc. It sets the starting hero level at 240, and from there on, it provides some extra levels to stronger players, which still make a difference but as much as they originally would.
What is Martial Rating?
All of a player’s hero ascension tiers will remain the same and start with a hero level of 240. Hero levels may be additionally increased, based upon the player’s Resonating Crystal level.
Formula: New level = 240 + (Crystal Level / 10)
So a new player plays these events at level 240. My current Resonating Crystal level is 349, so without Martial Ratings applied the level deficit would be 109 levels.
With the Martial Rating system my new level is adjusted to 240 + (349/10) = 275.
An old whale at level 480 would get an adjusted level of 288.
These levels are far closer than the original ones and that's the benefit or the Martial Rating system. Restoring some balance.
Gear: All hero gear (including unadorned parts ) are Mythic T1 and include Faction Bonuses but are un-enhanced. If a hero is already equipping Mythic T3 gear, their Hero-specific Bonuses will be retained.
We see here that Lilith Games tried to balance the gear too, but also wants to reward players that acquired T3 gear.
Signature Items: All signature items and their abilities will be retained.
It would be hard to balance out Signature Items without those investing on them complaining.
Elder Tree: Players’ current Elder Tree levels and Virtue attributes will be retained, including all of their effects.
The logic here is the same as for Signature Items.
Oak Inn Furniture: All the effects and abilities granted by a hero’s furniture are preserved.
Once again Furniture pieces are a massive investment in AFK Arena so it would not be fair to removed the benefits.
Artifacts: The effects of artifacts will not be retained.
Unions: The effects of hero unions will not be retained.
Thoughts on the Martial Rating System
The Martial Rating system is a good idea overall, but if we are being fair it's not enough to balance the game in the game modes it is used. I think it's a decent effort by Lilith to close the gap, but the impact of Signature Items and Furniture is what makes the real difference. Let's not forget though that this is a gacha game, so massive power differences are to be expected.
I think the use of a balancing system is a sign of the developer caring about keeping both F2P players and customers happy. They make money from both anyway.