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About DukeTestudo

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  1. DukeTestudo

    Azur Lane collection: Warspite

    One thing to remember though - the range on the plot is only as good as the range transmitted from the rangefinder. Optical rangefinders usually have an error of several hundred yards by the nature of their design, especially at the ranges being discussed in the article - that's why ship designers want their guns to be reasonably accurate, but not too accurate - the dispersion helps account for errors introduced through the fire control process. (Quickest figure I could find - Navweaps.com states that an Iowa class BB in 1984 achieved shell to shell dispersion of 120 yards at 34,000 yards range during a test shoot - much greater range, but with 1980s quality control, fire control and in peacetime.) So, the plot on a range table IS an empirical measurement, but, it's not an exact range. It means this is the range with a margin of error of the rangefinder AND the guns AND every other source of error in a fire control system, which is almost always significant. So, the real question is whether the 28,000 yard or the 26,000 yard figure is accurate. (I'm going to stick to yards here to avoid any more unit confusion.) If there was a translation error at some point, and the range was actually 26,000 yards, margin of error means we'll never know whether Scharnhorst or Warspite had the longer hit. If the figure was 28,000 yards, then it's obviously Warspite - but I can't find any other online source to collaborate Roskill. I even found a claim that Ballantyne claims 26,000 yards in the 2013 edition of his "Warspite, From Jutland Hero to Cold War Warrior" book. (I don't have either, so all I can do is check tertiary references online while playing hooky from work. :) ) Throw in the fact that Warspite's maximum theoretical range was around 29,000 to 32,000 yards (depending on ammo loaded), and the 26,000 yard figure seems more likely. On the other hand, Cesare opened fire at a range over 28,000 yards about 10 minutes (approx) before Warspite opened fire, and so if the range stayed open then a 28,000 yard hit is at least possible. All that being said - the one thing I would love to see (and i haven't been able to find at all after a couple of hours of Googling, as this question intrigued me) -- I would love to see an Italian range plot. It would certainly add evidence one way or another what the range was at 1600 when Warspite landed her shells - especially since, based on the account of the battle I was reading, Cesare managed a near miss just before Warspite scored her hit. Somebody was asking for independent collaboration - unfortunately, there's very little 'independent collaboration' in history. Trying to apply science to history inevitably fails because history is created solely by human being and expressed through their flawed works. We can determine quite accurately what a person thought reality was, especially if we have good primary sources -- but whether that perceived reality was the real reality? We'll never know. This whole discussion is an example of that -- all we can do is find sources, try to quantify biases and sources of error the best we can, and then draw your conclusions. And there's so much data out there, it's harder than ever to figure out something that even closely approximates Truth. All of that being said, something else that could be done - ask Ian Ballantyne through Twitter, what his take on it is. I don't use Twitter very much, and I don't bother people I don't know with questions if they weren't looking for them - but, that would be a pretty definitive source.
  2. +1 for both Grandad's Donuts and Warplane Heritage. If the weather is good that weekend, some of the warbirds might be flying -- Warplane Heritage offers rides in some of their planes.
  3. DukeTestudo

    [PSA] Giulio Cesare testing and premium ships status

    There's an old marketing saw that says "There's no such thing as bad publicity." The entire gaming ecosystem - streamers, bloggers, game companies, gaming audience - we're all part of the publicity whirlwind. Because one side effect of all of this - there are a whole bunch of people now who would have overlooked the Italian line, will now pay a ton of money to get the GC. I bet it's appearing in a loot box at New Years. And I can't blame WG - because a) in the end, they're going to try and make money, because that's what companies do and b) if they DON'T offer it, a whole bunch of people are going to scream about how WG isn't listening to their community, they need to make these ships available more often, etc. etc. I am so glad that I do all my software development for internal clients.
  4. DukeTestudo

    [PSA] Giulio Cesare testing and premium ships status

    Only if they haven't destroyed Tier 5 game balance in the process of getting a bunch of people to quiet down. I haven't played Tier 5 in a while, and I've only played the GC once (got it out of a loot box pull at New Years, played it for the snowflake, haven't touched it since), so I don't have an opinion as to whether the GC is overpowered or not. But if it is OP (and a 58% win rate at Tier V is pretty damned suspect), and they left in the game because a bunch of people complained about not being able to pad their stats -- that's a really good way to destroy your game in the long run. In the end, the long term survival of a F2P game is maintaining the pipeline - new players coming in to replace old players who have gotten tired or gotten fed up with the game, and convincing those new players to buy stuff. It's a lot harder to convince people to keep with a game if they get to Tier 5/6 and then get murdered. It's already hard making that jump because all of a sudden, you have to pay attention to things like angling, ammo selection, visibility, etc. to get any sort of consistent success. Throw in seal clubbers using OP ships to stat pad? Whew. Yeah, I don't like seeing Premiums change drastically after they've been put into the game. But I hate game balance being destroyed for short term enjoyment even more. It's a digital game with digital goods - if people aren't going in from the get go understanding that everything is subject to change and that, one day, all this stuff people have spent thousands of hours on and hundreds of dollars on will disappear like dust on the wind, people are going to be really disappointed. Nothing lasts forever, but game services definitely don't.
  5. DukeTestudo

    [PSA] Giulio Cesare testing and premium ships status

    It's cosmetics. You can't buy things that have any game effect, because everything is just a skin. And it's not like Fortnite hasn't had bad mis-steps either - the Infinity Blade fiasco comes to mind. They still have balance problems and people who rage. And cosmetics aren't a cure all -- if you go cosmetics only, you still get massive rage fights over drop tables and whether a certain cosmetic piece is worth $50 US. The problem is, it doesn't matter how hard the game designers try to balance something - when you throw 20,000 people at a problem (as opposed to the 5 or 10 you might have on a QA team), exploits are going to get through because the only thing that travels faster than gossip is a new meta that guarantees high damage. Given some of the crap I've run into out there, Wargaming isn't actually all that bad. They could do a better job, but, you look at some of the mobile games out there -- THAT'S the real Pay 2 Win.
  6. What I'm waiting for is to see what the CV count drops to after the initial excitement is over. I think you can still have meaningful DD gameplay with one CV, because the new setup means they can only watch one part of the map at a time. (And I'm hoping they reinstate the one CV limit, once the need to get the CV players up the tech tree goes away.) But, if you have three CVs, each one of them permaspotting a single cap - you're just left to spamming torps from range and hoping the enemy team is lazy and won't chase you when you do inevitably get spotted. But right now, it's really hard to be aggressive in a DD and get meaningful results.
  7. DukeTestudo

    I'm sick of unbalanced teams

    They are unavoidable by design, but not by design of the matchmaker, it's by the design of the nature of naval conflict itself (and games in general.) A lot of books touch on the subject - quickest reference that I could find and remember: http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-076.php It's called the "N-squared" law. Any game that involves multiple actors where each actor can eliminate opponents without respawns follows this idea to one extent or another.
  8. DukeTestudo

    I'm sick of unbalanced teams

    Designing a way to balance something against an arbitrary score in isolation is pretty easy. Doing it load balanced across a dozen servers and thousands of players, much trickier, but it's a known problem and coders have been handling that for years, in one form or another. Doing it in less than a minute? That's where it gets REALLY exciting. But the part you hand wave away, determining that arbitrary score, that's where it all goes to hell. No game does this in a way the audience likes (even the skill based ones like Dota2, LoL, SC2, etc.) because people are great at finding patterns where none really exist, and people tend to remember negative events more than positive ones. And as I said, just because somebody has skill, doesn't mean they would perform TO that skill level - at which point people start screaming the MM is unfair, because we had the unicum on our team, how come we didn't kick butt? So, I'm not saying that wanting skill based MM is wrong, I'm saying that implementing skill based MM is a lot harder than it seems - and that it won't solve the problem you're trying to solve, because that problem ("How the hell do you get people to not go banzai and drive their ship into a crossfire") is pretty much unsolvable - because no matter how much you educate or threaten, some people will always be bad, some people won't care, and some people are streamers or trolls who think it's funny to wreck things for everybody else, and no matter what measure of "skill" you come up, those people will always get through.
  9. Honestly, I think people are making a mountain out of a molehill here - a lot of people didn't notice when the change got put in, and I bet if WG had just fixed the original bug without telling anybody, nobody would have really noticed it going back to the old way. If you're a good player, you'll adapt and find another edge. If you're the type of player who always fires HE out of a BB, this change is the least of your concerns.
  10. DukeTestudo

    I'm sick of unbalanced teams

    To paraphrase a certain Jedi master: "Almost every word in that sentence disguises a multitude of complexity." Okay, let me spend the time and go into this in detail. Maybe it's a waste of time, maybe somebody will learn from this. If you want a much more entertaining discussion, the GDC You Tube channel is filled with people explaining how they get their matchmaker to work. If you're a software engineer/coder, it's fascinating. If you just want to play the games and don't care how the sausage is made, it's not. So, to start: I'm not a video game programmer. My specialty is Internet publishing systems and websites, mostly custom crap for startups and smaller companies you've never heard of. My background is devops (I was a devop back before devops had a name). I lead a dev team now, but we're a small team -- last night, I was looking at Apache server logs trying to figure out where the hell 10% of our network performance had gone, for example. In other words, I'm one of the [edited] that has to turn a magical statement like "Oh come on... you have to read 24 player ratings out of the database, and then distribute the players to the teams in a way that the teams will approximately have the same player strength in sum. The only thing to consider is the ship classes." into reality. So, first part: "You have to read 24 player ratings out of the database". This is actually the one relatively easy part - assuming WG has engineered their system correctly and the complexity of their DB setup is encapsulated behind a set of appropriate classes / function calls. Distributed databases are complex and cantankerous beasts, especially when they need to update and return results extremely quickly but, that should be out of scope for this discussion. And remember here we're trying to CREATE matches, not pull data for a SPECIFIC match. So, you're not pulling 24 player ratings out, you're pulling maybe a thousand player ratings (if not more at peak), and then running calculations trying to create optimal, fair and balanced matchups as fast as possible. If you have any sort of computer science background, you know this is something that we have trouble doing in algorithmic fashion, even now. (Though machine learning is taking this to weird places... -- but that's a different rant.) The second part: "and then distribute the players to the teams in a way that the teams will approximately have the same player strength in turn" - the devil here is in the details. It's one thing to hand wave and say "yes, yes, determine skill", but how the hell do you determine skill? Straight win rate doesn't work because of seal clubbing. Straight damage doesn't work because it undervalues support classes and over values DPS. Base XP might work, but then you have to factor in tier, since you get lower base XP at lower tiers. I haven't paid attention to any sort of rating arguments in the WoWs community, but over in the WoT community, you can see the bloody flamewars over WN7/WN8/WN9/Efficiency/whatever else they've come up with since I stopped paying attention - if the community as a whole itself can't agree what's a useful measure of skill, why would we expect the community to accept any judgements based on whatever "measure of skill" WG decides to adopt? (For non-video game examples: Wade into an argument over whether Michael Jordan or LeBron James is the GOAT, or how good Wayne Gretzky, Dale Earnhardt Sr., or Tom Brady is. Hell, look at the bloody arguments over the World Cup and FIFA rankings, though, given corruption allegations, that's cranks another factor into the discussion.) And what does "approximately have the same player strength" mean? What's your measure here? There are plenty of examples out there where straight up statistical approximations of equality lead to wildly divergent setups - consider "Anscombe's Quartet". And that's not even counting for situational cases - do we account for map design? Can we match 3 people at 5500 versus 1 person at 6000? How do we account for tiers i.e. does 1 person at Tier 5 with a rating of 6000 match against a Tier 7 player with a rating of 5500? How much slop are we going to allow for? What happens when we don't have enough players to fill the pool? And remember, no matter how complicated your algorithm is here, you need to put a match together within a minute or people start complaining the matchmaker is too slow, we need to play NOW. (That's one of the genius game design decisions that both Fortnite and PUBG have, they disguise their matchmaking routine with their entry lobby -- but that's also a different rant.) The third part: "The only thing to consider is ship classes." The only thing people in here can agree on is that different ships are better than other ships. But then the screaming starts again. People can't even agree whether DDs are OP or are the [edited] step-child of WG -- if we can't even agree whether a SHIP CLASS should be overweighted or underweighted in the matchmaker, how do you take all the skill questions above and then balance it within the ship types? Does a 6000 rating player in a BB match up against a 6000 rating player in a DD? Do we care about ships themselves: does a 6000 rating player in a Colorado balance the same as a 6000 rating player in a Nagato? What happens with you crank carriers into the equation? Do we even consider ship roles - if a Harugamo is one side, is it fair to match it against a Shima, or does it always need to be something that counters the gunboat? But the biggest problem about measuring skill: And one thing to remember - even if we hand wave all of the above and assume we can come up with a system that we can actually determine to be objectively fair and balanced, it will ultimately fail. The moment you bring that system into existence, people are going to start gaming it. That's one reason why people seal club - it makes them look better than they actually are. If you could actually determine a way to measure skill, it would inevitably fail because human beings are in the equation. People try to game their grades, their SAT scores, their Twitch viewer numbers etc. They would game this as well, and so, any skill based system for this type of game is doomed to fail - no matter what you come up with, people would end up skewing the results any way they could to make themselves look better than they actually are. (Even if it's something as simple as everybody playing the OP ships - how the hell do you MM when 50% of your pool are Kamikazes, Kitakaze's and Stalingrad's?) The conclusion: I'm not saying the matchmaker is perfect. What I am saying is that the matchmaker is complicated, it's tied into game balance and game design and monetization and it's not as simple as flipping a switch from "Suck" to "Awesome". If it were that easy, then everybody would be doing it, it being whatever your favourite solution to the MM issue is. You're entitled to believe that WoWs would be a better game with some measure of Skill based MM. But don't do the coders a disservice by claiming it's an easy change, and don't expect it to stop the arguments over battles being unfair. "Fair"/"Unfair" is not an objective measure - it's a human perception, and no matter what MM system they come up with, people are going to scream that it's unfair, because there will always be blowouts (as LWM and others have discussed), and yeah, sometimes you're just going to get rolled, no matter how good you are, how good your team is. If nothing else, no MM system in existence can account for people having a bad day or doing something crazy. (Once again, the WoT example - the games where somebody like Quickybaby or Circonflexes are on point, playing to the top level of their skill -- versus the games where they take a AMX 13 57 out loaded only with HE because they think that would be funny.) Sorry for the wall of text, but, contrary to popular belief, in a complex world, sometimes you need complex explanations. We can always improve things (I'm still not a big fan of being the only Tier 8 in a Tier 10 match, even if the meta is way different that WoT for example.) But anybody who believes that MM can be fixed easily to be perfect to all people at all times - your faith is admirable, but, you will eventually be disappointed, no matter what system is adopted, what game/sport/competition you watch.
  11. DukeTestudo

    I'm sick of unbalanced teams

    If you're really an IT project manager, you should know that you never say "simple to program, quick to calculate, and generate a minimum of server load" until you've either a) seen the source code or b) spoken to somebody who knows the source code well. If I had a dollar for every time somebody from Marketing came over to my team and I and said "Oh, this should be easy".... And matchmakers are HARD, because they scale weirdly but have to scale well, they have to account for a bazillion different edge cases, they need to return results rapidly, AND they always have to be "fair" - not by any mathematical, objective, statistical definition of fair, but fair as perceived by the people in the match -- and there's enough research out there to show that no matter how "fair" you make it, there's going to be a loud, vocal group of people who declare it to be "unfair".
  12. DukeTestudo

    Friend quitting over torpedo hacks

    Almost certainly server-side, since none of WoWs weapons are hitscan and therefore require a consistent server state to register hits fairly (unless WG is doing something really funky with their game architecture.)
  13. I'm not a big fan of the rework, but I think they should deploy it anyway - because they're at a point where they need feedback from everybody, they need to see how the meta evolves, they need to know if this will work or not with the community as a whole, they need to see if they can make it work in the long run. I'm also wondering if it's tied to the console releases as well -- the old system would have been very hard to play with a controller. This setup makes it much easier. Which means they can't delay for too much longer either if they want something in place for the 'official' console launch. Personally, after playing the CV rework betas and thinking hard about it, I'm now in the camp that it's impossible to balance CVs and they should just ban the class, and then re-balance all ships accordingly - but I give them credit for at least trying something, as opposed to hiding under the blankets. Balancing 'carrier' versus 'ship' is HARD. Out of all the game systems I've seen and played, I'm not sure any game system manages to achieve a decent balance except maybe Starfire, and that's because Starfire treats fighter squadrons as specialized ordnance, as opposed to a unit.
  14. My big concern here is that, at least in WoT, exceptions to the MM tiers (Light Tanks, Premium Matchmaking) have created so many headaches that they got rid of the former and had to buff the latter. And now it looks like they want to introduce exceptions to the MM here. Now, WG has access to metrics that the average user doesn't have, and people always mistake "it's not good for me" versus "it's not good for the population." So, I'm still inclined to see this through and see what they've come up with. However, my experience so far is that the changes don't really fix the core issues with CV gameplay - high skill floor, extremely high skill ceiling, mechanics that are hard to explain without pages of text, and impact on the match that far outweighs any other class. It's certainly a more active experience, but, personally, I still don't feel a strong desire to play carriers. I guess we'll see what the latest test looks like.
  15. The WoWs team (and Wargaming in general) has been more likely to ditch an idea if it's unplayable ever since the Rubicon fiasco. I guess we'll see. But yeah, I don't think this should go out into the general pool, though I do think there are people who would enjoy this type of gameplay. Personally, I'm pretty meh on it so far... like, it hasn't radically altered the way I play my surface ships, but it doesn't want to make me play carriers either -- if anything, this makes me less likely to play carriers, because, at least with the current system, I can visualize myself within CIC launching strikes. Actually driving the planes? If I wanted to do that, I'd be playing WoWp or War Thunder. I think the problem is that this refresh doesn't address issues with the current playerbase -- CVs when they appear are dominant (especially in the hands of an excellent player), but the learning curve is so steep and the actual game experience so different that they hardly appear at all. This makes AA builds almost irrelevant except in Clan battles or other specific situations where you know there's definitely going to be a carrier on the other side. (And yes, having a game with too high a skill ceiling can be bad, especially if it's a game that requires constant refreshing of the player pool. Too much seal clubbing shrinks the player pool, makes the game unsustainable.) So, in other words, it pisses off the CV players because it nerfs their God-tier weapon, but the rest of us still don't want to play carriers. I'm starting to think the only solution here is to remove carriers entirely. The CV experts will scream bloody murder, but I honestly don't know how you can balance CVs at this point. The problem is, in real life, CVs totally changed naval warfare. They made surface combat largely irrelevant, and almost totally irrelevant when large surface combat units are involved. After several years of trying, I'm starting to think you can't fix it within the WoWs game design / historical inspiration - I don't think you can build CVs within historical expectations and still have a meaningful surface combat game. The airplane changes the equation too much. Or, maybe, if you really need CVs, make sure in randoms and co-op battles each side is guaranteed a least a Bot CV so you always know you'll have to deal with aircraft. This doesn't solve the dominance issue, but it at least makes doing a AA build in randoms a viable option, which might at least buy time until some other solution appears. And this also would add some justification for a 'night' battle environment condition, because that allows situations where carriers are banned. This would play into the historical side as well - there's a reason why almost all significant surface actions happened at night in the Pacific.