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MikeC_81

Aeroon's Weekend Warriors, more ranked play, Matchmaking records

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Expectations
Aeroon's weekend warrior video found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siU73R0Nvqk got me thinking about what makes a good multiplayer environment, how to cater to different players of different experience and expectations, and how to relieve a lot of stress and raging all around.

Aeroon's core point in the video is if weekend warriors are bad then weekday players should be happy since they should be able to win more.  I think he is wrong and he has missed several points.

1. Each game in WoWs can be treated as a series of actions with each player adding or subtracting from his team's ability to chances to win.  It takes the form of landing shots, minimizing damage taken, playing for objectives, doing team things like spotting, good smoking, radar, hydro etc.  When player's feel like their actions have agency, or weight to the result of the game, it is satisfying to win and to lose.  If you win, you can clearly feel your play helped your team win and you feel good.  When you lose and its obvious you got outplayed, (most) players will accept that they [edited] up or played worse than their counterpart and deserved to lose.  Weekday players form a reasonably tight skill band during weekdays where a player's actions feel impactful and the games feel satisfying.  There are a few outliers most games like super skilled pros or really bad regs but most players I have looked up fall in the 1300-950 WTR range on weekdays.  

Weekend warriors as Aeroon points out are just bad because most of them lack experience or consistent enough play to get better.  Or maybe they don't care.  WTR ratings on weekends fluctuate widely and can drop as low as 600s.  When there are teams made up of such huge gulfs in skill level, the average player loses a lot of agency within the game and random variance takes over.  You can only be in so many places at a given time, your guns can only fire so fast, and you can only tank so many shells before your ship explodes. You have only so many actions available to you to cancel out the series of essentially random actions both teams are making.  So unless you are a Unicum level player (15% of the playerbase?) you probably aren't good enough to carry a super bad team and your fate feels largely tied to a matchmaking system which does not seem to take into account player skill at all.  This is a major source of discontent against "weekend warriors".

Weekday games have a much tighter spread of skill. Teams win and lose by much closer margins, there is less AFK and super slow loading players. A lot of times even if you are the worst player on the team, you only need to be slightly better, derp slightly less, DPS slightly harder than your corresponding counterpart in skill to tilt a game in your favour. There is less inherent variance to fight through to be part of the winning solution. 

2. A lot of ships are good based on team play mechanics. Radar, Smoke and Hydro are 3 mechanics that inherently favour team play and require your teammates to actually use these mechanics you provide in order for it to become a force multiplier. Ships like the Belfast are retardedly overpowered especially in ranked because most ranked players know how to use and abuse these mechanics. They will shoot that DD that radar spotted, they will be able to dodge the torpedoes that Hydro alerted them to and use the smoke to prevent damage. When crapplayers show up and don't use these advantages, a ship like the Belfast really is only slightly better than the Yorck which brings far less to the table.  This is again bad for weekday players.

3. While you might be more successful over the long run if you are super skilled enough to fight through the variance, the quality of games inevitably declines by a huge margin. While I hate normal random battles compared to ranked (I am a tryhard scrub at heart), At least on the weekdays most of the team can be counted on to do something reasonable with respect to objectives. Or they value the game enough not to simply sail to the map edges en mass and snipe while ignoring all other facets of the game. On the weekends there are players who literally loaded up the game so they can sail around in their battleship randomly and listen to their guns go boom.  

And there is nothing wrong with those players, but they should not be mixed in with the pool of players that want to take the game a little more seriously.  The weekend player that just wants to sail around and shoot things feels bad when they get yelled at for doing something suboptimal and the more serious player also feels bad when they watching their game devolve into team deathmatch.  Inevitably both sides get upset and friction arising from this is what causes verbal abuse, raging, stats shaming etc etc etc.

Solutions 
Almost all multiplayer games find ways of dividing their player base into tiers of skill.  WoWs already has one, Ranked play.  Too bad it comes around only once in a blue moon.  

Its pretty obvious why ranked play is 7v7 and the top player on the losing team doesn't lose a star.  They want to reward players who actively helped the team by reducing the variance and allowing each individual player more impact on the outcome, and reward the 'best' (even though XP is not always an accurate indicator) player on the losing team.  It generously rewards teamplay (capping, spotting, tanking damage) so it attracts the more serious players and also actively directs the Weekend Warrior away by clearly indicating this is a more competitive form of gameplay.

So it begs the question, why doesn't ranked play occur more often???  I stopped playing WoWs for 2 weeks after the last ranked season when I realized how bad it would be to wander back into 11 v 11 random battles.

If WG doesn't want more ranked play and wants to keep it as a special occasion with special rewards, then at least have a competitive or ladder game mode with a matchmaking record kept and displayed so that the system can match similarly skilled players up with each other on a more consistent basis.  As Blizzard found out, the very nature of displaying a skill rank is enough to deter the casual player who doesn't care for competitive play simply by the virtue of "ladder anxiety" as most player cannot handle the ego of seeing how bad they actually are with respect to the general populace in the game.

Its the entire reason why most people can't deal with stats shaming.  They simply cannot psychologically deal with being told they are not very good.  We can use this inherent facet of human psychology to help with creating more even teams and separate the player base so that more people can have a better game experience more often.

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Alpha Tester
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/shrug

 

Weekends are more unpredictable, but I don't see any huge overall changes in my own play -- even by win rate.  My general attitude is that if I can contribute meaningfully on a team full of good players then it should be possible to do so on a team full of total muppets and in fact this is a situation where I can really help and be a hero.  New or inexperienced players tend to be fairly receptive to suggestions in chat if you communicate.

 

I go on streaks where I win non-stop for a week and streaks where I can't hit 50% for days, this is what happens when you do anything enough.  I don't worry about a 2 day streak even if it correlates with a weekend.  Law of large numbers and whatnot.

 

If anything my main observation is that certain times of day tend to be more oriented toward team play than others.  There are plenty of players with thousands of matches who are complete jerks who don't co-operate and don't try to learn.  Go look at the top games played list on Warships.Today, very few of them are unicum level performers.

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Wow, so out of touch with reality....

You think 15% of 230k players in this game are unicums? :facepalm:

that's around 34,000 players....:teethhappy:

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Yeah teamplay ain't what makes the Belfast good. While Hydro and Radar are useful in team play it is entirely possible to play the ship selfishly in random battles and still excel. If you're doing as well as it in a Yorck you're doing something wrong.

 

Beyond that all the weekend environment does is make things more chaotic.  So you have to adapt.  As with all online casual modes, it is always prudent to assume the enemy is good and your own team sucks until proven otherwise.

 

Most online games have a casual mode and random battles is this one's.  It does no good to sign on to play with all other players and then complain that that's exactly who you're matched up with.

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Speaking just for myself, I think the game is really limited without a regular competitive mode being available. I've been playing for about 8 months now and while I have steadily improved in that time, my average competition has not. Punishing players for the same mistakes over and over does get boring, same with watching your own team throw away wins in predictable ways. Queuing up for random battle is not as fun as it once was. I'm sticking around though as I'm holding out hope for clan wars.

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I like Aeroon since he speaks to the point and isn't an arrogant or a nerdy dooooosh as many other streamers/youtubers.

 

Also his voice reminds me of John Candy playing Yosh Schmenge on sctv - 

 

 

 

 

 

Twitch clip  :trollface:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by yUPPatriots

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That's like, your opinion, man.

 

I much prefer 12v12 randoms over ranked.

 

Every game is the same, competitive queues always move towards a level of caution that's no longer fun, because only skilled players know how to exploit any mistake to score a win.

 

That kind of environment by it's very nature forces players to be risk averse, and risk averse gameplay just isn't as fun as taking the risks to go for the big payout.

 

Imo, you NEED lower skilled players to keep the game fun, to make sure games are unpredictable.

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