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Ace_04

Ranked Season 11 Arms Race - A Retrospect

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Good morning everyone,

After experiencing Ranked Arms Race for the first time and finally (I potatoed a bunch around R5) ranking out, I just wanted to share some thoughts on this season:

  • First of all, Ranked is a slog no matter which way you spin it.  But I'll admit that the Arms Race take on it made it a much more enjoyable experience.  It was quite a bit of fun, and outside of the recent snowflake event, some of the most fun I've had in WoWS in some time.  The buffs and battling for those objectives kept the action up and made for (mostly) fun and evolving gameplay, compared to the standard stagnant Ranked meta.
  • T9 was an interesting choice for ship choices, since this was the first time using T9 ships in a competitive arena.  Unfortunately, there are some downright broken ships at T9 that dominated the matchmaker.  The Kitakaze and Musashi spam was very strong, and I hope WG takes a long look at the data from this season with regards to these two.  Kitakaze, while somewhat counterable, was very strong and I'll bet many players ranked out with her who may not have otherwise had the skill to do so (no offense to those who pulled their weight to earn it).  Musashi, with complete overmatch ability and supreme tankiness (20k hp more than the next battleship) was basically the go-to for most BB players.  Just park, reverse, and absorb damage for the team.  Not very engaging, but effective.
  • Z-46 was my go-to ship that carried me most of the way.  That German AP was just devastating to Kitakazes and Jutlands who were foolish enough to linger broadside too long.  The hydro was a great safety net for all the torpedo spam and for hunting those pew-pew ships hiding in smoke.  I vehemently refused to use Kitkat or Mushi due to them being so broken and OP.....I didn't want to "easy mode" this season.  However, I've gained a great new appreciation for Z-46 now, so she'll likely move up the priority list in my port moving forward.
  • Love the different types of buffs, but I believe the stacked heal buffs may be a bit much.  To get a ship down to 10% hp and have it return a few minutes later with 75% hp could be pretty frustrating.  In one match, I swear I killed a Musashi with torps  2x over, but like a zombie, it just wouldn't die.  Maybe limit the heal buffs to a max of one or two per side, per match?
  • Matchmaker, for the most part, was pretty decent at balancing things.  I don't recall too many teams off-hand that I recall being overly uneven.  The occasional radar vs. no radar team would be annoying, but still wouldn't guarantee a win for the former.
  • Would really like to see an Arms Race mode applied to mid or low tier maps.  It was interesting how much more fun the shifting objectives made otherwise boring maps enjoyable to play.  Imagine the same play style on maps like Two Brothers or Solomon Islands?

All in all, good job WG on making this Ranked season a pretty satisfying experience.  It was also a nice refuge from the CV rework drama going on as of late.  I'm kind of sad to be done with it, but hopefully it will return again soon in a similar format, whether it be Ranked or part of Randoms as its own game mode.

What are your thoughts on this Ranked season?

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The most broken thing I saw wasn't the heal, but obtaining 5/6 concealment and the enemy at 0/6. Twas quite fun. 

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Heal buffs scale disgustingly well with BBs, concealment with cruisers and DDs. Got bored personally at Rank 5 so didn't bother.

The limited time (I think quite shorter than the former seasons) and the lack of any irrevocable Rank between 12 and 1 also ended up being quite annoying. 

Finally the lack of real capture points and the emphasis on damage farming to keep a star made me feel often worthless for all the effort I put in a DD. 

It was an interesting season and relatively fun, but to me at least also had some glaring issues.

Won't even bother talking about ship balance, whoever had more than 10 battles this season knows whats crazy strong by now.

 

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I was not a fan of Arm's Race game mode when it first came into the game, but I must say it grew on me during this past Ranked season.  It created dynamic capture points to fight over and spread things out, but then capturing the circle at the end was so critical that it created very fluid play and movement - rather than the usual 'Camp, Cap, Hold' style of play.

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Honestly, I had fun with the Arms Race mode. Like you said it forced both sides to be active in order to win and prevented the stale play that could bore you to death from previous seasons. As far as the team play went I'll reserve my comments, but I potatoed too. For the future of Arms Race mode I would love to have it as a regular mode for different tiers as long as I can grind missions/Legendary Upgrades. It would be interesting to have a Clan Wars with this same concept (maybe bad idea). Overall, even though I don't have time to rank out, I think with some tweaking and balancing the future Ranked seasons will be a lot of fun!

Edit: As OP said the gap between ranks 12 and 1 is a little ridiculous and I think all ships should get more credit for capping buffs so that it's not just about damage. 

Edited by Ivan_Namirettov

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Lack of additional irrevocable tiers wasn’t an issue for my—after my initial free fall to rank 12, I’ve lived between 4-6.

 

i wish it were longer, and the heal buff needs to be lessened.  I would like to see this mode mixed into the random battles format.  I would also like to see smaller team sizes (9) for this format in random battles.

would like to see thos mode return as a part of future ranked seasons as well (mixed in with domination)

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I was one star away from ranking out... now I am at rank 4. 

 

I think it should be more of a grind than the luck of the team. Maybe save stars on achievements too, or win 2 and lose 1 kinda deal. My ranking out shouldn't depend on one terrible Jutland who decides to sit broadside in smoke. But ranked will always be ranked. It's a roll of the dice 

 

Arms race is a blast I must say. No other time could I recover from being at 1/4 health, or be in an intense firefight and finish the game with full HP

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Yes Arms Race was great experience.

I didn't like that it was tier 9 tho and the season could be little longer.

There is not enough time for casual players to rank out unless.. that's WG's intend.. to leave out casual players with skills to reach rank 1

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Still trying to decide if its worth coming back for ranked. Probably haven't played in about 2 months. This was my primary game and I loved playing it, but I just lost interest / frustrated, etc... Ranked rewards any good?

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Just now, Kevs02Accord said:

Still trying to decide if its worth coming back for ranked. Probably haven't played in about 2 months. This was my primary game and I loved playing it, but I just lost interest / frustrated, etc... Ranked rewards any good?

your a little late to the ranked party. only 4 days left. GL with that. 

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I don't have as much experience as most of these posters...I'm at tier 9 and will likely not push my luck any further

Loved the arms race.  Fun action.

Damage farming to save a star, favoured the BBs.

The irrevocable tier structure is terrible.  Would prefer to see 1 Win for a Star, 2 losses to lose your star, or the top two ships on the losing side keep a star. 

Rewards were good.

I played the Kitikaze exclusively and I felt inferior to the Fletchers with their smoke and torps.

 

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1 hour ago, Ducky_shot said:

The most broken thing I saw wasn't the heal, but obtaining 5/6 concealment and the enemy at 0/6. Twas quite fun. 

Yea that kind of stuff was another thing not very well thought out...go figure?

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3 minutes ago, Hali_greg said:

I don't have as much experience as most of these posters...I'm at tier 9 and will likely not push my luck any further

Loved the arms race.  Fun action.

Damage farming to save a star, favoured the BBs.

The irrevocable tier structure is terrible.  Would prefer to see 1 Win for a Star, 2 losses to lose your star, or the top two ships on the losing side keep a star. 

Rewards were good.

I played the Kitikaze exclusively and I felt inferior to the Fletchers with their smoke and torps.

 

Damage farming and damage tanking were very beneficial attributes to a ship like Musashi.

You felt inferior to a Fletcher in a Kitakaze?  Something doesn't seem right there.

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14 minutes ago, skillztowin said:

your a little late to the ranked party. only 4 days left. GL with that. 

lol oops. I thought it ended the 27th?

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1 hour ago, Ace_04 said:

Good morning everyone,

After experiencing Ranked Arms Race for the first time and finally (I potatoed a bunch around R5) ranking out, I just wanted to share some thoughts on this season:

  • First of all, Ranked is a slog no matter which way you spin it.  But I'll admit that the Arms Race take on it made it a much more enjoyable experience.  It was quite a bit of fun, and outside of the recent snowflake event, some of the most fun I've had in WoWS in some time.  The buffs and battling for those objectives kept the action up and made for (mostly) fun and evolving gameplay, compared to the standard stagnant Ranked meta.
  • T9 was an interesting choice for ship choices, since this was the first time using T9 ships in a competitive arena.  Unfortunately, there are some downright broken ships at T9 that dominated the matchmaker.  The Kitakaze and Musashi spam was very strong, and I hope WG takes a long look at the data from this season with regards to these two.  Kitakaze, while somewhat counterable, was very strong and I'll bet many players ranked out with her who may not have otherwise had the skill to do so (no offense to those who pulled their weight to earn it).  Musashi, with complete overmatch ability and supreme tankiness (20k hp more than the next battleship) was basically the go-to for most BB players.  Just park, reverse, and absorb damage for the team.  Not very engaging, but effective.
  • Z-46 was my go-to ship that carried me most of the way.  That German AP was just devastating to Kitakazes and Jutlands who were foolish enough to linger broadside too long.  The hydro was a great safety net for all the torpedo spam and for hunting those pew-pew ships hiding in smoke.  I vehemently refused to use Kitkat or Mushi due to them being so broken and OP.....I didn't want to "easy mode" this season.  However, I've gained a great new appreciation for Z-46 now, so she'll likely move up the priority list in my port moving forward.
  • Love the different types of buffs, but I believe the stacked heal buffs may be a bit much.  To get a ship down to 10% hp and have it return a few minutes later with 75% hp could be pretty frustrating.  In one match, I swear I killed a Musashi with torps  2x over, but like a zombie, it just wouldn't die.  Maybe limit the heal buffs to a max of one or two per side, per match?
  • Matchmaker, for the most part, was pretty decent at balancing things.  I don't recall too many teams off-hand that I recall being overly uneven.  The occasional radar vs. no radar team would be annoying, but still wouldn't guarantee a win for the former.
  • Would really like to see an Arms Race mode applied to mid or low tier maps.  It was interesting how much more fun the shifting objectives made otherwise boring maps enjoyable to play.  Imagine the same play style on maps like Two Brothers or Solomon Islands?

All in all, good job WG on making this Ranked season a pretty satisfying experience.  It was also a nice refuge from the CV rework drama going on as of late.  I'm kind of sad to be done with it, but hopefully it will return again soon in a similar format, whether it be Ranked or part of Randoms as its own game mode.

What are your thoughts on this Ranked season?

Hey Ace,

Thanks for your feedback on the current ranked season. 

Glad you had some fun enjoying ranked+arms race. 

What would you like to change/see if this combination returned?

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I quite enjoyed the season, although I also bounced around R4-5 area an embarrassing amount before I finally found my ship.  I liked using the arms race mode to encourage teams to move in and face off over objectives, it didn't feel as stagnant to me as previous ranked seasons.  I agree with your point regarding the heal buff stacks, at a point it made it nearly impossible to kill certain ships because you just didn't have the DPM to outrace the heal.  This made it especially challenging if all you had left were DDs and the enemy still had battleships left, barring some good torps or giving a broadside to Jutland AP, the only ship that could really out-DPM the heal was the Kita.

I started with Jutland/Kita, and I was putting up really solid numbers with them, but I had a stretch there where the situation broke down into 2 cases.  1) Each team would have 3-4 DD, and I'd be the only DD left alive 5 minutes in to deal with multiple enemy DDs, and those kind of games are hard to pull back if the red DDs don't get stupid, or 2) the enemy capital ships positioned properly to support their contesting DD while mine just wanted to sit way back and not exert any pressure on the objective or enemy positioning.  So yeah, I could put up good numbers and save stars once in a while against a backline Musashi, but other than that, trying to run in the meta didn't really work for me.

I actually ended up using an IFHE secondary build FDG to run counter to the DD/Musashi meta.  I initially was using an Alsace for that role, to put stress on weak flanks, root people out of their spots and generally make life uncomfortable for Musashis to force them to decide who to angle to.  At some point I realized a Freddy could do it better just by virtue of having more tanking ability, and the IFHE secondaries all pen 32mm armor so I could beat up Alsaces, JBs, and pretty much any cruiser pretty easily without even needing to get good shots with my main batteries.  Having the ability to overmatch cruiser bows compared to the Alsace was a big boost as well.

Edited by Deviathan

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50 minutes ago, Deviathan said:

I quite enjoyed the season, although I also bounced around R4-5 area an embarrassing amount before I finally found my ship.  I liked using the arms race mode to encourage teams to move in and face off over objectives, it didn't feel as stagnant to me as previous ranked seasons.  I agree with your point regarding the heal buff stacks, at a point it made it nearly impossible to kill certain ships because you just didn't have the DPM to outrace the heal.  This made it especially challenging if all you had left were DDs and the enemy still had battleships left, barring some good torps or giving a broadside to Jutland AP, the only ship that could really out-DPM the heal was the Kita.

I started with Jutland/Kita, and I was putting up really solid numbers with them, but I had a stretch there where the situation broke down into 2 cases.  1) Each team would have 3-4 DD, and I'd be the only DD left alive 5 minutes in to deal with multiple enemy DDs, and those kind of games are hard to pull back if the red DDs don't get stupid, or 2) the enemy capital ships positioned properly to support their contesting DD while mine just wanted to sit way back and not exert any pressure on the objective or enemy positioning.  So yeah, I could put up good numbers and save stars once in a while against a backline Musashi, but other than that, trying to run in the meta didn't really work for me.

I actually ended up using an IFHE secondary build FDG to run counter to the DD/Musashi meta.  I initially was using an Alsace for that role, to put stress on weak flanks, root people out of their spots and generally make life uncomfortable for Musashis to force them to decide who to angle to.  At some point I realized a Freddy could do it better just by virtue of having more tanking ability, and the IFHE secondaries all pen 32mm armor so I could beat up Alsaces, JBs, and pretty much any cruiser pretty easily without even needing to get good shots with my main batteries.  Having the ability to overmatch cruiser bows compared to the Alsace was a big boost as well.

I got to Rank 1 using the FDG as well - it is a very underrated ship, especially in this kind of game-mode.

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59 minutes ago, iKami said:

Hey Ace,

Thanks for your feedback on the current ranked season. 

Glad you had some fun enjoying ranked+arms race. 

What would you like to change/see if this combination returned?

I have very much enjoyed Arms Race for Ranked. It was a breath of fresh air compared to past seasons.

Suggestions,

More irrevocable ranks. As it is right now you can fall too far once you get past the last hard stop. 

The save a star system needs to be improved. To many players exploit it hanging around in the back to be the last ship standing which usually means you save the star. Though more hard stops would greatly reduce the save a star impact.

The buff's often seemed to be less than random in terms of the types that appeared. For example you would have 3 or 4 of one type of buff up at a time. That system might need some tweaking. Also the placement of the buffs wasn't always such that neither team was advantaged. For example when  the mid buff was such that one team had Island cover seizing it and the other didn't

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2 hours ago, Ducky_shot said:

The most broken thing I saw wasn't the heal, but obtaining 5/6 concealment and the enemy at 0/6. Twas quite fun. 

Isn't that the point of arms race?

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2 minutes ago, Ski206 said:

I have very much enjoyed Arms Race for Ranked. It was a breath of fresh air compared to past seasons.

Suggestions,

More irrevocable ranks. As it is right now you can fall too far once you get past the last hard stop. 

The save a star system needs to be improved. To many players exploit it hanging around in the back to be the last ship standing which usually means you save the star. Though more hard stops would greatly reduce the save a star impact.

The buff's often seemed to be less than random in terms of the types that appeared. For example you would have 3 or 4 of one type of buff up at a time. That system might need some tweaking. Also the placement of the buffs wasn't always such that neither team was advantaged. For example when  the mid buff was such that one team had Island cover seizing it and the other didn't

Thank you for your feedback and glad you enjoyed ranked! 

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I think they messed ranked up this season with the timing . I pretty much played it to stay away from randoms and cv's. I would of played ranked anyway but not exclusively. also at the start of ranked they had the free captain and module reset so I was using that to test builds out in ranked pretty much playing every t9 I have . I don't think I was ever truly a detriment to my team but some builds were bad. when the captain respect event was done I started to focus in ranked , and its been going well I like this arms race better then when it was its own option since everyone gets the buff not just those within 8k or whatever it was. The buffs were also equal so that was cool too.  As far as it being tier 9 I don't think there was any ship to OP or that couldn't be easily countered.  Did have issue with kitakazes on my own team though its play style dictates that they don't spot . id rather have pretty much any other dd on my team. 

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I had't played Ranked since Season 2 ... but, then I took a year off.  And I really had no interest in it at Tier 10 ... just don't like what I've seen of the high tier meta.

But Arms Race intrigued me ... as did Tier 9 with ACTIVE ships ... so I gave it a try and am glad I did.  It was fast and fun!

Stopped at Rank 10+ ... may play a few more games before the end.  But I don't like the idea of working for Level 5 and maybe getting knocked back to Level 12.

Not my idea of fun.  You know the old saying ... "I'm just not that mad at 'em anymore."

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2 hours ago, iKami said:

Hey Ace,

Thanks for your feedback on the current ranked season. 

Glad you had some fun enjoying ranked+arms race. 

What would you like to change/see if this combination returned?

Outside of specific ship balancing issues, not too much.  

I'd keep the 6v6 format (or 7v7 at most), which allows for games to not be too drawn out or overpopulated by any particular class.  Perhaps reduce the number of available heals per team to only one or two, as stacking those, along with concealment, becomes incredibly powerful for the team who has it (and incredibly detrimental for the team that does not).  

Would be cool to see Ranked Arms Race re-introduced at a tier that isn't so radar saturated, like T6 or T7.  Plus, the low and mid-tier maps tend to be a lot more interesting and engaging that the oversized high tier ones.

Edited by Ace_04
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8 minutes ago, Ace_04 said:

Outside of specific ship balancing issues, not too much.  

I'd keep the 6v6 format (or 7v7 at most), which allows for games to not be too drawn out or overpopulated by any particular class.  Perhaps reduce the number of available heals per team to only one or two, as stacking those, along with concealment, becomes incredibly powerful for the team who has it (and incredibly detrimental for the team that does not).  

Would be cool to see Ranked Arms Race re-introduced at a tier that isn't so radar saturated, like T6 or T7.  Plus, the low and mid-tier maps tend to be a lot more interesting and engaging that the oversized high tier ones.

Thanks for your constructive feedback. 

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It was odd, yet nice, not seeing very many cruisers in the matches....was a almost all BB and DD. I am not sure why that was, that may be something to look into...perhaps making the "Ranked" mode where there are only a certain amount of options available as far as ships to actually play, kind of like in Clan battles. Make the ships available to play at the start of ranked then swap them mid season to something else but make it to where "Everyone" has only the same options available so as to keep the playing field even as possible and then it really only would get down to who can play better in specific ships. As you can clearly see by the results many MANY ships had really crummy advantages over most ships which makes it lopsided if you did not own one of them...so don't feel to great about those who ranked out, and don't feel too bad if you could not, you pretty much were playing against a stacked deck.

Edited by C_D
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