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Lert

We were all wrong about Sigma!

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Including me.


Sub_Octavian explains what Sigma is / does in the latest Warships Podcast. These podcasts are always worth listening to, interviews with promiment floaty boats players, developers, etc. A few weeks ago he had a retired USN Admiral, who was fascinating to listen to.


In this podcast Kelorn asks Sub_Octavian about Sigma at 6:47 into the podcast. Basically, Sigma influences the likelihood of the shells landing towards the center of your dispersion area.


So it's basically like this:

 

U40Pny3.jpg
(exaggerated example)


On the left we have low dispersion values (Small dispersion area, IE, 'accurate' guns) but low Sigma. You can see that even though all shell splashes are in a smaller area than on the right example (IE, low dispersion) they are spread out more (low Sigma).


On the right is an example of high dispersion (Large dispersion area, IE, 'inaccurate' guns) with high Sigma. You can see that even though the dispersion area is much larger (IE, high dispersion) the shells are more grouped towards the center (high Sigma).


"So what is better then? Low dispersion or high Sigma?"


Neither is 'better' than the other. They work together to create the accuracy of a weapons platform. Lower dispersion with the same Sigma is still more accurate than higher dispersion, higher Sigma with the same dispersion is still more accurate than lower Sigma. The two values work together to make up the accuracy of the guns. Dispersion determines the outer limits of your shell fall area, Sigma influences the grouping within that area.


"So what does this mean for the average player?"


Well, nothing really. Low dispersion still means your shells won't deviate much from your aim point, high sigma still means that the better you are at aiming, the more hits you'll get. It's still a balance between dispersion and sigma values. It just means that we all (Including me, mea culpa) need to stop parroting that sigma is vertical dispersion. It's not, it's grouping.


"So you were wrong then, Lert?"


Yep! I fell hook line and sinker into the 'parrot what everyone else is saying' trap, for lack of evidence written or by experience to thoroughly disprove the common held consensus that Sigma = vertical dispersion. That is wrong, I was wrong.

 

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I was wondering why the praised Yamato sigma was letting me down so often in the vertical department. Thank you for confirming my suspicions.

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That's something to know... Welp, guilty as charged of Misinformation. I need to take a look at that. 

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One of Sub_Octavian's other interesting revelations is that there are two separate dispersion values per tech-tree line.  The one we see in port is the horizontal dispersion value.  There's another vertical dispersion value that's completely separate.  Vertical dispersion describes how far the shell may overshoot or undershoot a target.  Here's an example of two dispersion areas.  Japan, for example, has good horizontal dispersion but he mentioned that it had rather large vertical dispersion.

 

2iaq3kh.png

 

 

 

Edited by LittleWhiteMouse
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Was sigma=vertical dispersion a consensus view? Sigma corresponds to distribution pretty much jives with my understanding of it.

 

Sigma in statistics is one standard deviation from the mean. If you cram more standard deviations into the same area you get a much narrower normal curve.

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One of Sub_Octavian's other interesting revelations is that there are two separate dispersion values per tech-tree line.  The one we see in port is the horizontal dispersion value.  There's another vertical dispersion value that's completely separate.  Vertical dispersion describes how far the shell may overshoot or undershoot a target.  Here's an example of two dispersion areas.  Japan, for example, has good horizontal dispersion but he mentioned that it had rather large vertical dispersion.

 

2iaq3kh.png

 

 

 

 

​But I did not know this existed; I had some suspicion but no knowledge of it. Mille Grazie!
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TBH, I never paid much attention to what people thought sigma was supposed to do in WoWS. I just figured it was the same as WoT.

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Dispersion, Sigma, Distance, Target Camo, Accuracy Upgrade, and toss RNG in there.

Between that and the Chili-Dog I had for lunch makes for a lot of splashes around the target.

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Was sigma=vertical dispersion a consensus view?

 

It should not have been, for months now.  Sub_Octavian explained this very thing last fall.

 

http://forum.worldofwarships.com/index.php?/topic/96327-dev-qa-about-the-game/page__pid__2363595#entry2363595

 

Question #3.

 

3. Sigma value affects the density of salvo relatively to the center of shell dispersion. We don't use Sigma very often, but do sometimes for balance puproses.

 

To be fair, information about this game isn't very well centralized, but there are still "consensus views" on some things that have already been refuted previously.  I guess sigma was one of them?  I thought most people who care about game mechanics had paid attention to those early Sub_Octavian Q&As pretty thoroughly.

Edited by Mesrith
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It is actually kind of funny how the theory of dispersion went. Initially when it was discussed it was said it represented how close to the center the shells will fall, which is what Sub_Octavian revealed to be true in the interview. Then everyone got caught up in the idea it was vertical dispersion and this narrative stuck. Now we're back to the original line. :teethhappy:

 

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Interesting, this means a whole new thing to be considered and talked about by CCs and such when reviewing the guns on ships too.

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Honestly don't see what the big revelation about this is.  The first explanation in the OP has pretty much been my understanding of Sigma ever since first learning that it was a thing, and I had assumed most everyone else was on the same page as well. :amazed:

 

Edit  Question since I can't listen to that podcast at the moment: did Sub_Octavian happen to mention any plans for displaying more information than just maximum dispersion at maximum range in port?  Would be greatly appreciated to have a means of comparing accuracy at specific ranges that actually tells the whole story.

Edited by DoomStomper

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As soon as this was known as Sigma I pretty much knew what it was due to playing and keeping up with World of Tanks in the past. Exact same stuff.

 

Sub's/Mouse's news on vertical dispersion is news to me.

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To be fair, information about this game isn't very well centralized

 

It really should be, though.

 

but there are still "consensus views" on some things that have already been refuted previously.  I guess sigma was one of them?  I thought most people who care about game mechanics had paid attention to those early Sub_Octavian Q&As pretty thoroughly.

 

A problem with not keeping it centralized. Plus the fact that one 'throwaway' line in one of many long Q&A's is easily missed or forgotten about.

 

You are entirely right in bringing it up, though.

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So thankful to see that there is something other than the "RNGesus hates me" claim that everyone can now take in.  The cumulative effect of multiple factors (including player aiming) is what is truly at play.  Thanks Lert for posting this.. definitely worth the 30 second read for the added knowledge.

 

That is all!:izmena:

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View PostLittleWhiteMouse, on 28 April 2017 - 08:52 AM, said:

One of Sub_Octavian's other interesting revelations is that there are two separate dispersion values per tech-tree line.  The one we see in port is the horizontal dispersion value.  There's another vertical dispersion value that's completely separate.  Vertical dispersion describes how far the shell may overshoot or undershoot a target.  Here's an example of two dispersion areas.  Japan, for example, has good horizontal dispersion but he mentioned that it had rather large vertical dispersion.

 

He's previously said this:

 

Vertical dispersion is calculated based on horizontal dispersion. Dispersion ellipsis, of course, gets larger and larger with range.

 

Combining the two statements, it would seem to me that each nation has a multiplier value for vertical dispersion, rather than an actual value.  For example, USN could have 0.8 of horizontal while IJN has 1.2, or something similar.

Edited by Mesrith

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We were not all wrong, I called sigma when the values were first posted on the forum: http://forum.worldofwarships.com/index.php?/topic/80011-battleship-sigma-values/

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I thought we already knew this. SIGMA performs the same role as gun impulse in World of Tanks. That is to say, the chance of the shell you just fired actually flying straight and true is better with a higher SIGMA/impulse value.

 

I don't know anyone who understands the game mechanics properly that actually thought SIGMA controlled vertical dispersion.

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Intresting... So how does the sigma actually work in a quantified manner?

 

I admit I also fell for the consensus view, but about a month ago I was toying with an opposing idea that I think, now, might not be wrong as I assumed then.

 

If sigma is standard deviation, than a higher number of deviations away encompasses a greater area of the distribution, no?

 

Let's take 2.0 sigma. 2 std-dev's away from the mean encompasses 95% of the values. So, perhaps in WoWs, what a 2.0 sigma means is that 95% of the shots land relatively on target, or something like that, while 5% are totally at the whim of dispersion and will rarely, if ever, land...?

 

Just a theory, feel free to shoot as many holes in it as you want! Stats is really not my strong point, so I doubt I've actually got something correct here.

 

I'm fairly confident that sigma has something to do with the proportion of values encompassed by the deviations, but other than that I'm not sure how that translates into where the shots land. Perhaps it limits the influence of RNGesus on the shots?

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Now all we need is this info in game and we're good. :teethhappy:

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Great, now I have to take another look at the Colorado with fresh eyes.  That ship still has issues with accuracy.  Oh, and another look at the Myogi.

 

 

Thank you Lert for posting this, it was very informational.

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