Archive for the ‘WoT’ Category

Putting stats in context

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been playing quite a bit of World of Tanks lately and trying to improve both my winrate and my wn8, WoT’s skill rating system made by the game’s community. Wn8 is calculated by measuring various factors like cap points, enemies spotted and most importantly, damage done to the enemy. The statistician overlords behind the metric claim that damage done is the most direct contributor to a team chances of winning. In order to be more precise, each tank has their own expected value which means that in order to get a good rating you need to do more or less damage depending on the tank.

So for the past two weeks I’ve been making a conscious effort to try to improve my damage done in the game by reading up on strategy guides and trying to apply what I learn. Pretty similar stuff to what you’d do if you wanted to improve your Dps in WoW for example. After two weeks I was expecting improvement but when I looked at my stats they were pretty similar to what they were when I began which kind of sucks  when you apply yourself and try to get better.

Yesterday I was chatting about this with one of the trainers in my clan to see what I could do to start getting better and not get stuck at my current skill level. He listened to me for a while, went to look at my stats, asked a few questions about how I approached the games and what I felt I was doing better or worse and then he asked me a few important questions.

Him:  “What was the tank you were playing the most before the holidays?”

Me: “T-44” (a tier8 medium tank)

“What is your main tank now?”

“T-54” (tier 9 medium, the one following the T-44 and one with relatively high win8 expected values).

“I see you also have a Auflkl. Panther that seems recent. Did you buy that recently too?” (Aufkl. Panther is a tier 7 light tank with a reputation as a bad tank that is very hard to do well in).

“Yeah got it during the holidays”

“So, you’re getting similar stats playing the T-54 who has higher expected values and see tougher opponent more frequently and also while playing an Aufkl. Panther which is an awful tank.”

“….. crap I’m dumb.”

So a big thank you to my clan mate who reminded me that improvement is not just measured by a number and that it’s also important to put said numbers in context.

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Challenging yourself in MMOs

Back in October 2014 I started playing Word of Tanks again after a rather long break.  In the past I would play it by spurs of a few weeks and then leave it alone for a while and I figured this time I’d probably play until Warlords launched and not drop it again. But this time around the game seems to be sticking with me. I did play a lot less during WoD launch and the holidays but I’m finding myself playing a fair amount these past two weeks. I believe that this is mainly because back in October I had set for myself the goal of improving my play and this has kept me interested in the game more than trying to get new tanks.

Which leads me to today’s topic, wanting to improve your gameplay in videogames, something that I find is most relevant in competitive games and MMOs. For example, I’ve been trying to improve in WoW to keep up with my raiding guild which raids at a pretty high level. I’ve had to improve my healing in FF14 to get through Extreme Ifrit and Bahamut Turn 5. And now in WoT I’m trying to get in the  “bluenicum” range which equals roughly to the top 5% of players (blue is the color given by mods to the players in that range). There are also traces on this blog of my attempts at getting better at SC2.

Now these are all pretty high goals and I know that to enjoy these games I don’t need to raid at a high level, I don’t need to do extreme modes or be in a particular league or be a top tier player. For me though, it’s a matter of challenge and let’s be honest, pride. I play a ton of games and most of time I play on the harder settings. Games like the Soul series (Dark Souls, etc…) just appeal to me and I love playing them. Beating a hard game not only gives a great sense of accomplishment but most of the time I find them more interesting too. A lot of game mechanics are often not apparent on the lower difficulty settings and playing on a harder setting often allow you to appreciate all the depth a game has to offer.  In an MMO being able to play at a higher level often gives you access to more challenging content version of raids and boss fights which I find more interesting.

And let’s not forget pride. After playing games on harder setting for long I want to be able to keep doing so and when I find a game where I struggle it becomes a matter of pride to be able to “beat it”. In my mind, there’s no way I’m going to be beaten by mere lines of codes. I’ll figure out the solution and come out on top. When translated to MMOs or competitive games I know fully well that I’m not a pro player but I’m not satisfied if I can’t play at a high enough level. It might not be the best reason for wanting to improve but here it is.

Sadly I’m not always able to reach those goals especially when it comes to MMOs and games like World of Tanks.  Time commitment, opportunities and skills don’t always line up. When I tried to get better at Starcraft 2 I did manage to get in Platinum league which was my goal but by then it had become a source of stress and I’m not sure how much better I could have gotten even if I wanted to. Likewise, I can’t put in the time required by a lot of serious raiding guilds and even then, to improve to the required skill levels I’d probably have to put in way more time than is reasonable.

In the end though, I want to keep setting myself these kinds of goals. They keep games interesting which is doubly important for games likes MMOs who have no clear ending to them.

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WoT I’m up to: Fly Casual

Short World of Tanks post today.

So I’ve been playing WoT on and off since beta mostly doing a few games every other day or day either when I come home from work or just have a moment to kill. For the most part I’ve been playing by myself and just doing public matches, sometimes in a platoon with a friend.

Lately though it seems the clans (guilds) are in recruitment mode and I’ve been pestered a few too many times with offers from preteens to join their awesome guilds full of kids. Not interested.

So I did what I always did in WoW, started my own guild so I’d be left alone and thus Fly Casual was born and now I’m extending an invitation to anyone who wants to join a World of tanks clan mostly to be left alone and sometimes play with mature people.

Fly Casual is not a hardcore guild, it’s not a clan war guild and we expect nothing from our small membership (all three of us at the moment!). If that sounds like something you would like then feel free to go to the WoT website and apply, which consists of clicking on a link in the page, no essay or anything required.

Also, since I’ve been asked before, if you’re looking to try out the game and want some company to learn the ropes this would be a good place too so feel free to come even if you don’t know anything about the game but have been curious to try it out.

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Been a while since I did a friday World of Tanks post but I’ve been playing some recently so here I am. If you play WoT for any decent amount of time you’ll notice victory or defeat often hang in the hands of a few players. A great player in a good tank in a top of list position may win you the game all by himself and a bad one can lose you the game just as easily.

WoT, like any team PvP game has that famous 80-20 split. Only 20% of the players in any given game will really make the difference. When those players are in the opposite team you need to be able to identify them quickly so you can stop them and if on your team, supporting them in their actions might just assure you victory. Today, I’ll look at 3 types of players you have to watch out for.

The line breaker

This guy is usually driving the biggest tank around and has little to fear from enemy shells. He also knows that wherever he goes it’s likely a number of people will follow. Unlike the dumb big rusher who just rushes across field thinking himself invincible, the line breaker knows where to go to maximise his damage. Generally, his plan involves breaking your battle line, ravaging your rear and then mopping up the survivors.

Stopping the line-breaker: Sadly, the very nature of the line breaker makes him difficult to stop since he knows little can damage him. His plan hinges though on keeping moving and that’s his weakness. You need to stop him moving and hold him still as long as you can. By doing so you’ll also stop his following force (they never keep pushing) and it will give time for your team to either isolate the big guy by destroying the followers or just pound the big one enough to destroy him.

The pro scout

This one has one goal and one goal only, spot key members of your team so his team can engage your team at very long-range. What makes him different from the suicide scout? He stays alive and he doesn’t try to spot your entire team, just the right people.

The pro scout plays off the fact that most early games consist of the two teams staying hidden in the hopes of scoring easy kills. By spotting one or two members of your team at a time and by not dying, he directs a lot of fire on your team and weakens it slowly until you can’t fight back.

Stopping the pro-scout. Kill it!!! Kill it now!!! Seriously, this guy will make your team lose quickly if he’s not dealt with rapidly. If you can manage to kill him safely do so but if needs be this is one occasion where a sacrifice might be needed. Think of it this way, would you rather do a 1 for 1 tank trade or wait until you lost 3 tanks to finally kill him.

The ambush base defender

Bases defenders usually come in two flavor, the weak one who was afraid to go up front because he couldn’t do much… and the powerful one who was waiting for the softened targets to show up.

This guy strategy is pretty simple. Either his team win without his help or he wipes out the remaining attackers who defeated his team. Often when a team break through the main line, they rush the back disorganised and weakened from their previous battle and this is what the base defender plays off. He simply picks them off one by one.

Stopping the ambush base defender. The solution is simple but requires a bit of guts. When you do break through the opposing line, keep organized and if you get shot at or your buddy explodes next to you, keep moving forward. Ambush defenders are often alone and can’t destroy all of you at the same time. Keep pushing and you’ll win with sheer numbers.

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WoT: The truth about artillery

Today I have something a bit more unusual from my usual posts and I have Danslate to thank for it. Not so long ago I was playing a lot of World of Tanks, most of the time as artillery, and one of the running themes was people getting really pissed off at me for killing them.

As with any pvp game, some people take it very personal when they die and artillery especially can lead to situation where you feel the game was unfair. In the grand picture of the battle, artillery is pretty nicely balanced but when you’re on the receiving end it can feel really unfair.

Over on the forums and in the game, a lot of people complain all the time about how OP artillery is. This is my answer to them.

(please click for full size!)


I really want to thank Danslate for taking the time to draw all of this and make my idea come to life. Please check out his blog and leave comments below for him.

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