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Lord_Zath

Zath's Ranked Season 12 Thoughts/Experiences MEGATHREAD

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....  What a season.  Compared to the last few, it was far more grindy...  far more challenging.  Here's what made this season so different:


1. CVs and the rework.  Whether you like or dislike the CV rework, it's here.  And it's a part of Ranked.  I found CVs to be just as frustrating this season as in previous seasons.  The only difference is previous seasons CVs could one-hit drop a target.  This season, that's still possible, but far less likely.  So why are players frustrated?  Because instead of a one-shot strike where it's easy to tell the player "you should've paid attention to the torp bombers" or "why weren't you running DFAA?," this season there's really not much to tell players.  DFAA isn't anywhere near as effective.  Dodging...  well that might work for the first strike, but CVs have 2 or 3 more strikes coming.  And then there's the next wave!  Besides, you may end up showing a broadside to an enemy BB...  in which case, "you should've paid attention to the BB."  On top of all this, it's easier for a CV to save their star now than previous seasons.  So your 1/7 chance of saving your star just became a .25/7 because you never know that CV could potato or you could have an amazing game.  There's one other aspect about CV games that few people talk about - the fact that CVs add an extra layer of complexity to the game.  You've already got enemy radar, hydro, your consumables, islands, capture points, game points, a battle timer, concealment, shell reload, shell type, torpedoes, and six other people to coordinate with.  Why add ANOTHER layer on top of all this?  So I found myself DODGING them in queue.  I was pretty successful, but still ran a ship that had good AA (Grozovoi and Kremlin were my go-to ships).  


2. Rentals.  I've seen a lot of people complaining about rentals.  My response - "meh."  Does it mean they haven't played the game as much as you?  Probably.  Does it mean they're a liability to your team?  Maybe.  I played a game today, one of my last four to rank out, with a [Montana] and a [Hindenburg].  NO rentals on the enemy team.  The Hindy died trying to support me when I had already decided to ram the opponent...  oops.  The Montana sailed HARD into C-cap on Sea of Fortune and nearly got killed....  nearly.  The player limped along for the rest of the battle but still made a very satisfying hit on an enemy Des Moines, ending that poor guy's game.  We won that game, partly due to that player's efforts.  When I see a rental on my team, I assume they're not quite sure what to do, so I offer them suggestions about positioning, angling, what to look out for.  IMO, rentals are just a way to identify players who MAY NOT BE as experienced and therefore draw the ire and blame.  Very easy to do.  WG might as well auto-add new players to a [N0OB] clan.  More on this later.


3.  Redone star system.  This is often overlooked.  There are fewer "early" ranks now.  As for the star setup, let's be real here...  players can easily trip and fall their way to Rank 12.  It's not a challenge.  Rank 10 for most is also not a challenge.  What IS a challenge is going from 10 until 6.  An even greater challenge is getting from 5 to 1.  Why?  Because Wargaming wants you to think you're progressing well up the ladder early so you'll keep playing.  Ever notice how the XP bars in the container screen are way off scale?  That 3rd container is FAR more than twice the xp of your 2nd container.  The same applies to ranks.  To get from Rank 10 to Rank 6 takes 4 stars each.  That's 16 stars.  But at Rank 5 there's another star required for each rank.  So that's 20 stars.  That's right - even though you're playing through 4 ranks (5/4/3/2), you still have to earn MORE stars than it took to slog through Ranks 10 and 6.  Add to that the fact that the last irrevocable is 16 or more stars behind you (an awful lot of frustrating games no doubt), and you're suddenly going from "Hey I just got to Rank 5 I'm almost done" to "Why am I investing so much time on this?"  Why do I advocate an irrevocable at Rank 6 or even 5?  Because when you look at the star progression system, there's simply too many stars between Rank 12 and 1 (36), especially compared to the previous irrevocable, Rank 15 which had 6 stars.  A bit of a difference, eh?  More on this below.

So keeping all this in mind, I have some suggestions for those of you who are slogging it out.  A bunch of them can be found in my Rank 1 Celebration video at the end of this post.  But in case you prefer to read rather than watch/listen, here you go!


1.  DOOOOOOOODGE!  As stated above....  do your best to avoid CV games.  If you're a CV player, this doesn't really apply to you I suppose.  Sure, you can spec AA, but what's the guarantee the other 5 surface ships on your team have AA builds or know how to handle the added layer of airpower?


2.  BUDGET!  This season I budgeted my time.  It was no longer "I'll just play as many games as I feel like it."  This time, I set goals for each day and worked my way towards that goal.  It was incredibly important because even as I type this, I'm on my way to the airport to visit family.  The last thing I wanted was to be thinking about Ranked when there are so many more important real-life things to deal with.  Take some serious time and think about how many games you can play...  5 games takes about an hour and a half (or shorter if you don't CV dodge).  


3.  CELEBRATE things that work well.  I got in the habit of complimenting the top player on my team whenever I won the battle.  I also complimented players who communicated positively and helped ensure a good victory (see below).  I also THANKED players for working with me or were a tremendous asset to the team via in-game chat.


4.  COMMUNICATE with your teammates.  You can't control who's on your team, so you might as well make the best of it.  "Oh, that guy again?  What a _____."  Yep, you've just told yourself you're going to lose the game.  Self-fullfilling prophecy time!  Instead, talk to the player and give them suggestions for this battle.  Don't know English?  Have a Spanish/Portuguese teammate?  USE THE F-KEYS!  That's what they're for.  Double-click the map, look at the player, and "Teammate, I need your support!".  Someone's pushing too far up?  "GET BACK!"  See a target that needs to die ASAP?  "ALL STATIONS!  PRIORITY TARGET!"  Someone kills someone who was about to kill you?  "WELL DONE, COMMANDER!" or "THANK YOU!"  Double-click a radar cruiser, followed by "TEAMMATE!  I NEED YOUR SUPPORT!" and then "I NEED INTELLIGENCE DATA!"  If they figure it out, they'll pop radar.  I had a Des Moines in one of my games refuse to go anywhere near the middle on Epicenter.  We yelled at the player for being on the 9 line.  At the end of the battle, as we were about to lose, the player tells us they aren't running radar.  EPIC FACEPALM MOMENT.  Had the player just informed us at the start "Hey I'm doing the 100% maximum teamplay spotter plane build," we could've adjusted our tactics accordingly.  The next game, I asked the player to consider announcing their different build next time.  "Jeez, get over it!"  Was the response...  if only people were willing to listen!  I would like to take a moment and THANK all the Minotaur players who inform their teammates if they are running smoke or radar.  Same for YueYangs (yes I saw a few).


5.  DON'T OVERCOMMUNICATE with your teammates.  I struggled with this one heavily.  Yesterday I played 20 games and went NOWHERE but backwards.  Very frustrating, but I thought to myself why.  I got so involved in the game that I was communicating too much.  I was typing too much and I was expecting people to understand what I meant.  For example, I told a Minotaur player s/he was probably safe to move after a DD had passed.  "OK" he says in chat.  "Cool," I think.  The player proceeds to do a full 90 degree turn-out south past the island, revealing the ship to an enemy DM who had AP ready.  I simply meant for the player to move up to the next island so they were in radar range of the enemy DD.  UGH, I WISH VOICE COMMUNICATION WAS POSSIBLE.  


6.  Going along with the above, focus on YOUR game.  Let go of the team.  Sometimes the team asks you for advice and placement.  Give it.  But know yourself - if you have a 45% win rate, you probably shouldn't be telling people how to play.  My favorite thing to do is highlight the areas on the minimap that enemy radar cruisers are likely to go.  You learn this over time if you don't know already, but it's always nice to remind players what to be anticipating.  I found MY game was getting messed up because I kept watching the minimap and kept trying to help other players fix positioning or targeting errors... but while doing so I'd miss a key salvo or take a torpedo/citadel that I didn't have to.  I stopped doing this today and hey I ranked out so....  I will need to remember this next time.


7.  DON'T GIVE UP!  Ever.  I've had some amazing throws (usually my team UGH) but there were times the enemy team threw as well.  Live for those moments.  My last game of Ranked this season started with my Gearing getting obliterated by enemy Shima torps even though the player wasn't sitting in smoke.  My Yamato didn't like the original placement of our ships.  Our Shima took an enemy Gearing torp and was plodding along on 4k health (both enemy DDs were 100% healthy).  Yet we still managed to win because we communicated about threats, isolated enemies, and fortunately, when one Yamato player pinged the minimap and said "wth is this Hindenburg doing?!" we were able to assure the player that the Hindy was just farming BBs from safety.  The Yamato responded "AFFIRMATIVE!" and proceeded to face-tank two enemy Yamatos while the Hindenburg slowly but surely whittled away 1.5 of them - enough that the other Yamato chose to run.  Point is...  I could've easily said, "Crap, it's time to save my star."  I didn't.  


8.  TAKE YOUR TIME.  Do you have a ship ready that excels at killing destroyers?  WHY WOULD YOU GO INTO A BB/CA ONLY GAME?!  Check the queue and pick your battles.  There were a number of times in my Grozovoi that I looked at the queue and said, "Nope!" because there was only one other DD in the queue.  I'm a DD assasin, but there's no guarantee I'll run into the enemy DD...  and every chance I'll run into enemy radar.  


9.  TAKE BREAKS.  3 losses in a row?  Take a break.  5 games played?  Take a break.  6 game winning streak?  KEEP GOING until you lose one.  Know yourself.


10.  MUSIC!  Listen to your favorite music or at least music that helps you relax and maintain focus.  For me, that was AMBIENT WORLDS on YouTube or my own MP3s.  Fun story, Tub Thumping came on right as the Rank 1 screen popped up.  "I GET KNOCKED DOWN, BUT I GET UP AGAIN" DAMN RIGHT!  


11.  COMMANDER SKILLS should be chosen by YOU because YOU are the one using that commander.  I'm happy to share my build, as are many other players...  but ultimately, use what works best for YOU.  I ranked out using a somewhat unusual Kremlin build which suited MY playstyle best.  


12.  OWN YOUR MISTAKES.  We all make mistakes when we play.  It's easy to blame losses on other players, especially when you're dead.  Rather, reflect on what happened and WHY...  and think about what YOU could have done differently.  Not sure?  SEND ME YOUR REPLAY!


13.  STOP FIGHTING YOUR TEAM.  You're losing.  You're dead.  Someone's being dumb.  DON'T TAKE THE TEAM OUT OF THE GAME by yelling at them.  You're just pulling them to the grave with you.  Instead, start trash-talking the enemy team in All Chat.  Once again, I'd like to share my story of a previous season of Ranked where I progressed from 5.4 to 4.0 by literally TALKING the remaining TWO enemy players into a loss while our ONE remaining player focused each one down (I got them to fight over the best ships/commander builds for the season).  It was hilarious.  Any Babylon 5 fans?  Ivanova taught me this trick!  "I got them to fight over which one of them gets to blow us up first."


Things I noticed this season:
- A lot of players understand the initial positioning of their ship, but have no idea how to adapt/react to the changes that occur.  So many games were thrown away because we had the advantage, we said not to push, and someone decided...  to push.  REALIZE this and use communication to help prevent this from happening.  Sometimes all it takes is a "Guys we're doing well but there's no need to cap B...  hold defensive positions for now.  Expect them to push us soon, probably from A."  


- A lot of players will do everything they can to not die...  even if that means they don't engage an enemy or push a cap, ultimately costing the game.  It sucks but hey...  what can you do?


- Audacious can work for players, but Hakuryu and Midway are far better....  Hak for AP bombing cruisers and torping battleships, and Midway for rocketing/torping/dive bombing everything.  


- As of yesterday, there were only two players who ranked out using mostly destroyers.  


- More cruiser R1's but battleship by far.


- Kremlin is 100% THE best BB for this season.  Dispersion in close range, penetration, tanking armor....  add the special captain OPZov and...  yeah.  Watch my video for tips on how to use him!


- Maps severely PUNISH misplays early on, especially by cruisers.  Cruisers need to go WIDE, like directly sideways or even away from the mid as well (120 degrees right/left of start position), then turn in to the center to where they want to go.  This is especially important for Russian cruisers Moskva and Stalingrad, but also important for Des Moines/Worcester.


- Farming BBs to save a star is a thing.  Like it or not, if you see an Henri on your team, expect that player to do that... and only that.  If you're playing an Henri and have another Henri on your team, it's a race to do HE damage.  Sail with the other and stack fires for super fast melty melty, or split off and try to farm faster.  *shrug*.  If you wanna be a REAL jerk, wait for your teammate to open up on the BB, the BB to DCP, THEN open up and get those fires.  But you're not playing Ranked to compete against your teammates, right???  RIGHT?????


- Good DD players win games.  Z-52 is the king of caps.  So if you're playing a Daring, and your enemy Z-52 is in a cap, DON'T CHARGE IN unless you have backup.  Go around and torp BBs or go to a different cap even.  


- With how "easy" it is to save a star in CV, I'm surprised we haven't seen a lot of complaints about CVs sync-dropping.  Think about it.  You go into the queue w/a friend, are guaranteed to have that player on the opposite team, and now the two of you can just farm independent ships.  One saves their star...  the other wins a star.  EZPZ.  DO NOT DO THIS IN GAME.


- Also, I'm surprised we haven't seen any teamkilling complaints.  After all, TK the CV and they can't save their star, amirite?  How hilarious would it be if both teams TK'd their CVs and just went about their business?  NOW I AM NOT ADVOCATING THIS.  Just sit, think about all the times you wished you didn't have a CV on your team, have a chuckle and a smile.  BUT DO NOT DO THIS IN GAME.  Thank you :).


If people are seriously triggered about this, please let me know and I'll delete the above sections.


Thoughts/Suggestions for next time:
- I really REALLY wish we could div up.  I miss playing with my friends.  NO, I'm not going to sync-drop to do this.  "But Zath, then it's too easy for divs."  I don't care!  I have someone to enjoy the game with.  "But Zath, this is a solo PvP mode."  Is it?  If so, then why are players put on TEAMS?  "But Zath, you'll rank out faster."  Umm...  maybe?  Don't forget, if the div loses and one member is MVP, there'll be a star mismatch.  I encountered this during Ranked Sprint and there were times when my friends had to play solo or with someone else b/c one of us had moved to the next bracket.  Regardless...  make it the same mode but require 50% more stars I don't really care.  I want a friend to play with.  I almost went to the lengths posted above but didn't....  man I missed being able to talk through games.  A couple times I would be on the same team as a streamer and I'd check out their stream so I could listen in and I told them in-game so they could just talk to me and I could respond.  It REALLY helped with communication... speaking of which:


- I wish there were more options for communication.  Voice comms would be amazing.  "But Zath, people will be mean to me."  THEN MUTE THEM!  Easy to do.  "But Zath, I don't want to have a mic to play this game."  You don't need one!  Every other major competitive multiplayer game utilizes voice comms...  why should WoWs be any different?  Besides, you can make some really great friends through voice comms (a few of which from my Bad Company 2/BF3 days found me about 6 months ago...  miss'em).


- If voice doesn't work, I'd love the ability to at least draw on the map.  There's the TeamAware mod that we use for Clan Battles so we can draw lines showing RPF (two players draw together and where they cross = enemy DD).  We can draw paths for players to take so they understand EXACTLY what we're looking to do.  Remember that Minotaur I mentioned earlier?  Man it would've really helped to just draw a line for the player indicating to move up to the NEXT island and not "turn 90 degrees and lose half your health for no reason."  "But Zath, people will write nasty things!"  Ummm...  so?  I've started many games drawing penises or writing names or drawing symbols.  It helps take the edge off the game.  Does this really offend you that much?!


- I really think the pacing/timing needs to be reduced or the season extended by two weeks.  I got LUCKY this season...  with the school year over aside from Summer School, I was able to budget 15 battles for most days (about 3-4 hours).  Not everyone can do that.  4 weeks just isn't enough time.  What would I do to fix this?  Remove about 5 stars from the Rank 5-2 bracket, and maybe 3 from the 10-6 bracket.  OR bring back irrevocable Rank 5.  "But Zath, then all the bad players will be flooded in R5."  SO?!  There's plenty of bad players in Rank 5 ALREADY.  Why is this a problem?  "But Zath, these bad players don't deserve to rank out."  Why not?  I have a ton of respect for a player who's willing to put in 1000 games to rank out.  That's a level of dedication far beyond my capabilities.  Rank 5 irrevocable means you can get to Rank 5 and not have to worry about one of your teammates throwing the battle forcing you to fall back to 10-6.  It gives you time to learn stuff....  AT LEAST add a bonus star for Rank 5 so players can have at minimum TWO battles to learn the meta.  "But Zath, Ranked means something special and only so many players should rank out."  Why does this bother you so much?  Does a bad player with a Stalingrad beat a good player in a Stalingrad?  So.....  what're you afraid of?  Steel comes in so many ways now, this whole "I'm special" thing is just silly IMO.  What do you get for ranking/clan battling out now?  Copper and Molybdenumenumenumenum.  What's it good for?  Camouflage.  Which provides the EXACT SAME BENEFITS as the default camo.  So....?  Black and Flint are the only ships with camo that is actually an improvement over the others.  The rest are cosmetic.  So again, I ask....  what does it matter to YOU?  


- Timing this season was terrible...  why go from Clan Battles, a rather stressful team-based mode which REQUIRES careful and dedicated scheduling in which you are forced to ignore your family...  to an INDIVIDUAL game mode which is an even more stressful team-based mode which REWARDS individual behavior?  IMO, Ranked Sprint should be between each and act as a buffer.  Give us a chance to unwind after Clan Battles and do stupid things in low tier ships and have fun before throwing down the Ranked gauntlet.


- CVs in Ranked.  I wrote a lot above.  Are CVs broken right now in Ranked?  I honestly don't think so.  Why do I dodge them?  Because I don't want to compete with them for star saving and I don't want to have to think so much.


- CVs in Clan Battles.  BRING.  IT.  ON.


- A Personal THANK YOU to streamers who went to the extent of blocking their minimap.  Sure, stream sniping is still a possibility, but at least blocking the minimap is helpful for your teammates.  @Hyf1re, @generaldort, @Mejash, I'm talking about YOU!


- WHY ARE YOU STILL READING THIS?!  GO PLAY RANKED AND RANK OUT ALREADY!  Video below:

- Reddit thread referenced - if you're not sure how to use the graph, watch the above video.

DISCLAIMER - These are all the views of ME MYSELF and I, and DO NOT represent the views of Wargaming. 

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Also, I'm about to board my plane....  so I'm NOT ignoring anyone's responses...  just unable to respond to them for a few hours!

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I don't do any of this so probably good tips for ranked lol I do agree that Ranked this season requires far too much time, especially once you hit the T10+ range. Overall, good read

Edited by 10T0nHammer
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25 minutes ago, Lord_Zath said:

CVs in Clan Battles.  BRING.  IT.  ON.

zath pls don't give them ideas ;-;



On a serious note, this is a phenomenal thread, and absolutely should be linked to if anyone wants to get better in ranked.

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This season i think has been the worst for team play. 

Players come equipped to save a star, Conq, Henri etc. Damage farm at range and if your DDs/BBs do well then push/ flank. 

There have been several games where I've lost in the 5-2 bracket in a des moines, including 150k damage, kills and solo caps but the full HP Henri still saves his star. 

Id love to see this mechanic reworked otherwise its less team based and only farm based. 

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Thanks guys hope this helps ya :)

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On 6/10/2019 at 9:52 PM, Lord_Zath said:

Kremlin is 100% THE best BB for this season.  Dispersion in close range, penetration, tanking armor....  add the special captain OPZov and...  yeah.  Watch my video for tips on how to use him!

UU Conq has been the go to ship for me. I've been playing her like a cruiser.

The climb from 6 to 5 has been painful. Of of the games I've been in, there were two games where a ship was AFK. 

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3 hours ago, Bill_Halsey said:

UU Conq has been the go to ship for me. I've been playing her like a cruiser.

The climb from 6 to 5 has been painful. Of of the games I've been in, there were two games where a ship was AFK. 

Good luck!

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Advice from a average player.

Don't beat yourself up if you can't rank out. Just do your best. If it stops being fun, then STOP. Don't ruin your day over ranked. Not everybody can slam dunk a basketball. I set a new personal high of 8. Usually reaching 9 is "ranking out" for me.

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