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Ensign_Cthulhu

19 point captains - noob thoughts on the Long Grind. Advice sought.

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Starting position:

Relatively unskilled player with limited playing opportunities - perhaps 4000 XP yield a night at most, including a few fun games relaxing in co-op at low tiers (because my job is stressful enough, thank you) once I have picked up my first container.

Free to play with occasional lucky dips into the premium XP pool (at WG's pleasure), and not that many camos.

Tends to get blown up early in some matches, especially when uptiered; therefore loath to use up precious camo and flag bonuses.

10 point captains in Fiji (rose up from Black Swan) and Svietlana (4-star operations bonus captain). Currently completing retraining in both these ships, so either of them basically still has as close to a million XP to earn (EDIT: 1.7 million seems to be the correct figure; adjust math as appropriate) as makes no difference. Other ships available include Danae, Emerald, Leander, Bogatyr (with original guns).

Currently has just over 60K free XP, most from supercontainers and mission crates; a few K in spare change earned in battles (that latter portion tends to get spent on ship modules).

Other lines in play - US destroyers (IV, Clemson, over halfway to the Nicholas); British battleships (III, Bellerophon, not quite halfway to the Orion), Commonwealth (III, Vampire); Japanese destroyers (III, Wakatake, played in co-op for fun). UPDATE 18 Jan: Now on the Nicholas, working towards B hull and guns.

 

Thoughts and intended strategy, based on the system as I understand it:

0) This is going to take quite a while. Slow and steady does not even BEGIN to describe it (see Implications below).

1) Moving my captains (the ten-pointers unless otherwise clarified) up into higher tier ships costs me many thousands (12,500 if I pay the half-training fee) in wasted retraining effort each time. Therefore they will stay in their current ships until further notice (this is not a problem in the Fiji, as I still have over 80K before I reach the Edinburgh).

2) Flags and camo are in relatively short supply; therefore, flags and camo should almost universally be my container bonus of choice.

3) The Fiji at least is high up enough to participate in any special ship-winning mission WG cares to present us. The Svietlana, had I had her a few months ago, would have been high enough for the Vampire missions.

4) The Fiji is AFAIK preferable as a grinder, as the XP gains are likely higher at Tier 7; this seems to be some sort of sweet spot, further supporting my decision to stay with the Fiji for the foreseeable future. Against this, the Svietlana's uptiering is not as vicious (AND she can farm fire damage), but her potential earnings for the same accomplishments may be lower. The Svietlana is therefore my go-to ship if I'm sunk early and waiting for the Fiji, provided there is not a mission available in which choosing (for example) the Leander or even the Emerald would enable me to earn XP towards a concrete reward (because of tier restrictions).

5) Once the container is earned, that quota is filled and the priorities then become getting my most advanced destroyer and battleship lines to Tier 5 (at which point they should cover me for most if not all ship-earning missions and enable me to bypass bottlenecks for which the Brit cruisers are simply not suited, e.g. fire damage).

6) First game of the night should be the Leander in co-op or an operation, as a warm-up for the Fiji in Random. I rationalise this on the basis that her play style is more or less the same - she has the same peculiarities and the same module availability - and having warmed up for the evening and got my shooting eye back in, the Fiji has to be played in Random first up to make the most of the first-victory XP bonus.

7) Risks may need to be taken - once that container is in hand, suicidal pressing forward into the cap so I can get practice at gunning down enemy DD's fast may be in order.

 

Implications:

If I grind the Fiji every night until I win the first container, that's 2000XP a night, 500 days of play until I reach the million. This is the long-term, long-haul goal. It will be modified by a two-week stretch later this year when I will be away from my WOWS rig, but can be compensated for by other occasions on which I stay in her longer and earn more. 

This time is expected to be reduced by:

1) Steady accumulation of XP flags and camo, to the point where I'm not afraid to risk them on a regular basis.

2) Steady accumulation of playing skill, resulting in less hesitation in using flags and camo, and therefore bigger gains per night.

3) A repeat of certain of the 2017 Halloween mission conditions, in which we were loaned 19 point captains for the mission ships and allowed to keep the Elite Commander XP they earned. In this case I would grind the Halloween missions incessantly, building up as much Elite Commander XP as I possibly could before the event ended (something I failed to do in 2017, because I didn't realise the potential benefits until far too late).

4) Bonus periods where 100% or 200% first-victory XP bonuses are granted.

 

Yes, I know it could be done faster. But this yields an achievable, measurable goal towards which to work, which is expected to grow shorter with time. If anyone can think of anything I've missed, which would either invalidate my conclusions or introduce more favourable conditions, I'm more than interested in hearing them.

Edited by Ensign_Cthulhu

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I got my first 19pt captain in one weekend.  (10pt - 19pt)

I'm pretty sure that weekend had some sort of bonus, WG had given out a bunch of captain flags(Dragon) and I got the 3-day premium plus the XP flag bundle.

Just make sure you like the ship you are playing because you'll then just keep playing that same ship to earn XP for another captain.

Before, I decided to earn a 19pt captain, i just played any ship at random, it was all fun.

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a premium ship of the type that you intend to use the captain for is also a good idea. Preferably in the T6-T8 range.

Campaigns are also good for this. The Yamamoto and Honorable Service Campaigns get you a 15pt, and 11pt captain, respectively. There will be a similar thing for a French captain, and if they repeat Dunkirk this year, Jack will return. In addition, campaigns can net you elite Commander XP as well as free xp awards for completing certain stages.

 

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Playing primarily in CooP will take forever as the gains are minimal if you are FTP.

I applaud your effort and perseverance. 

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10 minutes ago, SgtSpud said:

Playing primarily in CooP will take forever as the gains are minimal if you are FTP.

Co-op? Hell, no - just the first game as a warmup, then straight over to Randoms to get that crate ASAP. Then continue in Randoms for as long as I have the energy and the will (and my OH doesn't want me to do other things).

Co-op in fun ships as a wind-down.

12 minutes ago, LancerUlysses said:

Campaigns are also good for this. The Yamamoto and Honorable Service Campaigns get you a 15pt, and 11pt captain, respectively.

This depends on ship eligibility, I think, and here is the department in which I was to be found lacking.

 

17 minutes ago, Gerbertz said:

I got my first 19pt captain in one weekend.  (10pt - 19pt)

And this took up how much of your waking hours? I'm a married man with two kids, and spending time with my family comes first. Also I have other hobbies and interests. WOWS is not my be-all and end-all, which I made clear in my starting conditions. I'm sure it's possible, but not with the sort of lifestyle I lead. I'm not criticising you, just mentioning the limitations I have on my gameplay time and the choices this forces on me. :Smile_Default:

Edited by Ensign_Cthulhu

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3 minutes ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

Co-op? Hell, no - just the first game as a warmup, then straight over to Randoms to get that crate ASAP. Then continue in Randoms for as long as I have the energy and the will (and my OH doesn't want me to do other things).

Co-op in fun ships as a wind-down.

This depends on ship eligibility, I think, and here is the department in which I was to be found lacking.

 

And this took up how much of your waking hours? I'm a married man with two kids, and spending time with my family comes first. Also I have other hobbies and interests. WOWS is not my be-all and end-all, which I made clear in my starting conditions. I'm sure it's possible, but not with the sort of lifestyle I lead. I'm not criticising you, just mentioning the limitations I have on my gameplay time and the choices this forces on me. :Smile_Default:

Sorry, I misread your statement. Good luck.

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2 minutes ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

And this took up how much of your waking hours? I'm a married man with two kids, and spending time with my family comes first. Also I have other hobbies and interests. WOWS is not my be-all and end-all, which I made clear in my starting conditions. I'm sure it's possible, but not with the sort of lifestyle I lead.

Well, I think I was making at least 15,000+ Captain XP per game (even with a loss), but I forgot to mention I also had a whole mess load of a special Captain XP camo.

I'm pretty sure the numbers can be much higher because I've seen people with 15000 normal XP which would make the Captain XP doublem aybe someone can confirm.

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if your only at a 10p fiji cap you probably wont see a 19p if you dont start playing more random battles more often. at the 64ish battles youve played the past week (32 coop 32 random) i would say another 5 months???? it takes a long time to get a 19p especially if your playing pure F2P. without camo, flags, premium time your going to be realllllllllllllly slow at the game. but if you reach tier 10, get some camo, flags and premium time its very easy to get 19p captains. hell i grinded one out in two week for my montana (note it took me about 300 battles) but it can be done. once you get two or three of them they start coming in faster then a mino shoots at a yamato.

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Just now, Gerbertz said:

I forgot to mention I also had a whole mess load of a special Captain XP camo.

Yeah, well, that helps. My thoughts on using such camo I have already made clear: I don't have enough of this to splash around ATM when my limited skill level means it might be wasted through dying early. So I plan to accumulate camo and flags in containers, and then use them regularly when the rate of accumulation or the size of the stockpile (or both) make wasted games (early death and/or team ROFLstomped) an acceptable gamble.

I have on occasion been lucky enough to score premium time at a point where I could pull stupidly-long all-nighters to make the most of it. That got me most of the way through the Leander, and my OH was very forgiving in allowing me plenty of time to butcher my way through countless bots on my way to the Vampire (which was what got me INTO the Leander; I unlocked her and the Vampire on consecutive nights).

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3 minutes ago, Gerbertz said:

Well, I think I was making at least 15,000+ Captain XP per game (even with a loss), but I forgot to mention I also had a whole mess load of a special Captain XP camo.

I'm pretty sure the numbers can be much higher because I've seen people with 15000 normal XP which would make the Captain XP doublem aybe someone can confirm.

eh im getting nearly 40k commander xp every time i play missouri........... especially if your getting unicum games in her. with camo/flags/premium time/WG Events. it goes flying by. yesterday for example i started out at 160k elite commander xp now im at nearly 600k

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1 minute ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

Yeah, well, that helps. My thoughts on using such camo I have already made clear: I don't have enough of this to splash around ATM when my limited skill level means it might be wasted through dying early. So I plan to accumulate camo and flags in containers, and then use them regularly when the rate of accumulation or the size of the stockpile (or both) make wasted games (early death and/or team ROFLstomped) an acceptable gamble.

I have on occasion been lucky enough to score premium time at a point where I could pull stupidly-long all-nighters to make the most of it. That got me most of the way through the Leander, and my OH was very forgiving in allowing me plenty of time to butcher my way through countless bots on my way to the Vampire (which was what got me INTO the Leander; I unlocked her and the Vampire on consecutive nights).

again dont expect to get too many rewards from the coop battles........ overall it was the original training room

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1 minute ago, RiverTheIdiot said:

especially if your getting unicum games in her.

That's the biggest IF about the whole business. I am a seal-potato hybrid! :Smile_teethhappy:

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1 minute ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

That's the biggest IF about the whole business. I am a seal-potato hybrid! :Smile_teethhappy:

yehhhhhhh i looked at your stats.... i wouldnt think you will be getting to many of those games :/

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1 minute ago, RiverTheIdiot said:

again dont expect to get too many rewards from the coop battles....

This was my calculated strategy during my grind for the Vampire, where the only ships I had which were eligible were the Danae and Emerald. My survival in Randoms in those two was so miserable that grinding out the wins, the 20 kills and even the 750,000 damage were more profitably done in co-op. For the XP grind, yeah, I gritted my teeth and did it in randoms.

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Here is a thought.

Throw out everything about your strategy.  Concentrate on enjoying the game and getting good in one type of boat, while maintaining experience in all the others (except CVs because who gives a damn...).  Enjoy the game for what it is and concentrate on learning and progressing.

If you do this you know what will happen?  Without even trying you will be up to your armpits in flags, camos, XP and credits.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by JCC45
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1 minute ago, JCC45 said:

Here is a thought.

Throw out everything about your strategy.  Concentrate on enjoying the game and getting good in one type of boat, while maintaining experience in all the others (except CVs because who gives a damn...).  Enjoy the game for what it is and concentrate or learning and progressing.

If you do this you know what will happen?  Without even trying you will be up to your armpits in flags, camos, XP and credits.

 

This ^

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2 minutes ago, JCC45 said:

Here is a thought.

Throw out everything about your strategy.  Concentrate on enjoying the game and getting good in one type of boat, while maintaining experience in all the others (except CVs because who gives a damn...).  Enjoy the game for what it is and concentrate or learning and progressing.

If you do this you know what will happen?  Without even trying you will be up to your armpits in flags, camos, XP and credits.

 

or just do what i did and go full wallet warrior pumping nearly 2k into the game......... it is nice when you have 65 premium ships but only 24 non premiums

 

 

edit: i have no life. i am mearly patient zero of WG's money zombies

Edited by RiverTheIdiot
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3 minutes ago, RiverTheIdiot said:

or just do what i did and go full wallet warrior pumping nearly 2k into the game......... it is nice when you have 65 premium ships but only 24 non premiums

 Image result for Happy face

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Just now, JCC45 said:

 Image result for Happy face

yeh not to mention i have a s*&% ton of camos and falgs from NY............. Musashi coming tomorrow.... oh that will be a total of $2,378 i spent on WG (just checked on paypal)

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If you are going the entire “free” route then Fiji is a pretty strong tech tree ship to grind out a 19-point captain on.  Use any of the free camo you get to lever up the captain experience, when you can.  If you want to spend a little get some doubloons and buy premium time on weekends or when you are  going to power out some randoms.  Spending a bit more and getting at least one premium that can help the captain grind is recommended, too bad the Belfast is no longer available to pair with the Fiji - could use Cambeltown (cheap) since concealment build works on both. Good luck, just takes time

 

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19-point captains aren't really "scheduled" for people to get until they're at Tier X. If you add up the XP it takes to get a tech tree line to that point, I believe you get the ship before you get enough Commander XP to reach 19 points. And that's fine, it's just the order that things go.

Here are some tips that I didn't see listed in your OP:

  • Now that you have a T7 ship, try to accumulate credits with it. This will allow you to take the 200k credit retraining option in the future, and save A LOT of Commander XP over time. T7 is the sweet spot for credit earning on a non-premium account, as maintenance costs rise for T8+ matches (and you'll likely lose money on many T10 matches without premium).
  • XP earning is significantly faster on higher-tier ships, so once you can bankroll it, you will see better gains by playing higher tier.
  • You might as well use some of your reward camos. It's always a risk, since you can have a bad game in one, but you still get more value out of it than letting them sit in your warehouse indefinitely. Again, higher tier for most efficient results here.

Finally, as you have said, you're an adult with priorities outside the game. Your time is valuable, and so you might want to consider picking up a weekend pass or other Premium offer from time to time so you can get the most out of your limited play hours. I just figure it's about the cost of a movie ticket, but you get a whole weekend's worth out of it.

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1 hour ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

Starting position:

Relatively unskilled player with limited playing opportunities - perhaps 4000 XP yield a night at most, including a few fun games relaxing in co-op at low tiers (because my job is stressful enough, thank you) once I have picked up my first container.

Free to play with occasional lucky dips into the premium XP pool (at WG's pleasure), and not that many camos.

Tends to get blown up early in some matches, especially when uptiered; therefore loath to use up precious camo and flag bonuses.

10 point captains in Fiji (rose up from Black Swan) and Svietlana (4-star operations bonus captain). Currently completing retraining in both these ships, so either of them basically still has as close to a million XP to earn as makes no difference. Other ships available include Danae, Emerald, Leander, Bogatyr (with original guns).

Currently has just over 60K free XP, most from supercontainers and mission crates; a few K in spare change earned in battles (that latter portion tends to get spent on ship modules).

Other lines in play - US destroyers (IV, Clemson, over halfway to the Nicholas); British battleships (III, Bellerophon, not quite halfway to the Orion), Commonwealth (III, Vampire); Japanese destroyers (III, Wakatake, played in co-op for fun).

 

Thoughts and intended strategy, based on the system as I understand it:

0) This is going to take quite a while. Slow and steady does not even BEGIN to describe it (see Implications below).

1) Moving my captains (the ten-pointers unless otherwise clarified) up into higher tier ships costs me many thousands (12,500 if I pay the half-training fee) in wasted retraining effort each time. Therefore they will stay in their current ships until further notice (this is not a problem in the Fiji, as I still have over 80K before I reach the Edinburgh).

2) Flags and camo are in relatively short supply; therefore, flags and camo should almost universally be my container bonus of choice.

3) The Fiji at least is high up enough to participate in any special ship-winning mission WG cares to present us. The Svietlana, had I had her a few months ago, would have been high enough for the Vampire missions.

4) The Fiji is AFAIK preferable as a grinder, as the XP gains are likely higher at Tier 7; this seems to be some sort of sweet spot, further supporting my decision to stay with the Fiji for the foreseeable future. Against this, the Svietlana's uptiering is not as vicious (AND she can farm fire damage), but her potential earnings for the same accomplishments may be lower. The Svietlana is therefore my go-to ship if I'm sunk early and waiting for the Fiji, provided there is not a mission available in which choosing (for example) the Leander or even the Emerald would enable me to earn XP towards a concrete reward (because of tier restrictions).

5) Once the container is earned, that quota is filled and the priorities then become getting my most advanced destroyer and battleship lines to Tier 5 (at which point they should cover me for most if not all ship-earning missions and enable me to bypass bottlenecks for which the Brit cruisers are simply not suited, e.g. fire damage).

6) First game of the night should be the Leander in co-op or an operation, as a warm-up for the Fiji in Random. I rationalise this on the basis that her play style is more or less the same - she has the same peculiarities and the same module availability - and having warmed up for the evening and got my shooting eye back in, the Fiji has to be played in Random first up to make the most of the first-victory XP bonus.

7) Risks may need to be taken - once that container is in hand, suicidal pressing forward into the cap so I can get practice at gunning down enemy DD's fast may be in order.

 

Implications:

If I grind the Fiji every night until I win the first container, that's 2000XP a night, 500 days of play until I reach the million. This is the long-term, long-haul goal. It will be modified by a two-week stretch later this year when I will be away from my WOWS rig, but can be compensated for by other occasions on which I stay in her longer and earn more. 

This time is expected to be reduced by:

1) Steady accumulation of XP flags and camo, to the point where I'm not afraid to risk them on a regular basis.

2) Steady accumulation of playing skill, resulting in less hesitation in using flags and camo, and therefore bigger gains per night.

3) A repeat of certain of the 2017 Halloween mission conditions, in which we were loaned 19 point captains for the mission ships and allowed to keep the Elite Commander XP they earned. In this case I would grind the Halloween missions incessantly, building up as much Elite Commander XP as I possibly could before the event ended (something I failed to do in 2017, because I didn't realise the potential benefits until far too late).

4) Bonus periods where 100% or 200% first-victory XP bonuses are granted.

 

Yes, I know it could be done faster. But this yields an achievable, measurable goal towards which to work, which is expected to grow shorter with time. If anyone can think of anything I've missed, which would either invalidate my conclusions or introduce more favourable conditions, I'm more than interested in hearing them.

In co-op it's going to take forever.  Put it out of your mind.

Also, you don't really need a 19 point captain for co-op.  The gains are marginal and only really matter that much against an equally skilled opponent who may or may not also have those bonuses.

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Zath's rules of commander xp:

 

1.  Move captains up from tiers 1/2/3/4/5/6, but stop doing this at 7.  After T7, retraining is simply too expensive xp-wise (even accounting for 200,000 credit 50% retrain option).

2.  [edited] captains out on premium ships.  Prinz Eugen, Scharnhorst, Tirpitz, Konig Albert all work well for training BB/CA captains because the captain skills are similar enough.  Same for other pairings like Cleveland/Atlanta/Sims or North Carolina/Alabama/Missouri.  Swap'em to these ships for first-win bonuses.

3.  Your first 19 point captain comes out to play every commander xp event (like last weekend).  His job is solely to gain elite commander xp.

4.  Use said elite commander xp to immediately retrain a captain (do the 50%/200k credit option, THEN click the + icon and finish retraining).  Otherwise, best use of ECXP is to train a new captain from 1 point (pay the 7,500 credits) to 10 points (that's when diminishing returns start to come in).

5.  NEVER dismiss ANY captain.

6.  ALWAYS respec your commanders for free when WG offers it.  Or respec at a discount.  NEVER respec for full commander xp (190,000 for 19 pointers) unless it's deemed absolutely necessary.

7.  Experiment with commander builds in Public Test.  Write'em down and apply them on live.

8.  During events like in #3, run max camo, max economic flags to gain as much ECXP as possible on your 19 pointer(s).

9.  NEVER use free xp to boost a captain unless it's deemed ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

10.  ???

11.  PROFIT!

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Get one 19 the rest just keep coming.

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