Armatus

Plateauing

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Greetings.

I'm not really sure if this is the correct section to post this in so please forgive me if it's not.

To start this off, the problem I'm having is that my stats have recently hit a ceiling, with recent being at around 1800 WN8, and my win-rate not improving at all.

Here's some background; I started playing February of this year (2015), and being a history nerd decided to go for the Germans first (yes I'm aware that German armour was pretty much of equal or inferior quality to contemporary designs, but I digress). In the months since, I've always seen steady improvement (with temporary dips that come when I try something new to see if it works) in both recents and overalls which come from (in no particular order);

  1. Observing better players and applying it to my own game
  2. Getting more familiar with game mechanics (vision/camo, armour, etc.)
  3. Learning the maps/vehicles I drive better

I'm aware that watching streams of some of the purples here are one of the best ways to improve quickly and drastically, since many of them provide play-by-play commentary with explanations/rationale behind their moves, but due to my time zone/real-life commitments I can rarely find the time to watch these. I do try, however, when I manage to scrounge up the free time.

To help you help me, I'm mostly a 'stand-off' type of player. I have never done well at twitch-based games (I play mostly RPG's/strategy or tactics games) and this translates to my performance in-game where I'm forced to deal with situations that require 

More specifically, these are the questions I'm asking;

  1. How do I continue improving (if I can even continue improving?). I believe I have most of the basics down; armour-angling; vision/camo; HP use; terrain use; gunnery etc. I believe the thing that's holding me back is consistently being able to put in those two or three penetrating shots so it mostly boils down to situational awareness? I make the right decisions sometimes, and other times the wrong decisions, so is there a way to make it a process that I can internalise over time?
  2. At the same time my WN8 has seen a steady improvement since I started playing, my win-rate has more or less remained static, if not dropping. IIRC, I started out with a 52% win-rate, and my current hovers around 51.8%. What is the reason for this?
  3. I play mostly lights (RU-251) and mediums (Leopard 1), yet I seem to have a lot more success with my lights. I consistently put out more penetrating shots of damage in my RU than the Leopard. Now these two tanks, as I understand, have largely the same playstyle with miniscule differences (Leopard 1 has worse camo and size, with better gun, pen and shell velocity). I usually play my RU in this way; early on I grab spots then do mid-range sniping/poking, then transition to hunting down wounded tanks late. I have tried playing the Leopard in the same aggressive manner I play my RU, yet I seem to get fired down very quickly when I try it and usually have worse games than if I wasn't trying to actively alter my Leopard play.

I don't save replays currently, but will be happy to provide them should it be required to scrutinise my play.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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I think you actually answered most of your questions i.e. watch streams seek others knowledge etc...Im in the same position as you I feel like my play is stagnated even to the point of slight regression. The hard answer I believe is, figure it out for yourself. By that I mean unless your dumb (and you don't appear to be that way) you have the tools to identify areas of improvement, then make those changes. If you typically solo, consider platooning, also tank selection, IMHO its hard to carry in a light tank, choose brawling types of mediums or heavies.

One of the things I have started doing is to track each round. I play 20 rounds in the same tank, track tier, damage, kills, W/L etc... so so I have something to look at and see how I contributed to a win or contributors for a loss.Some games are simply unwinnable, those you write off, I don't feel there is anything to learn when you lose by 10 tanks. But you will find there will be several games that could've been won, and I consider only if myself played better they could've been won. For example a recent session of 20 games, 50% w/r we clearly won 10 games, 7 unwinnable (loss by 8 tanks or more) and 3 that were close. Those three are what I focused on, watched replays etc... If I would've played better we could've won those three and ended up with a 65% w/r.

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I believe I have most of the basics down; armour-angling; vision/camo; HP use; terrain use; gunnery etc.

having those basics down would literally make anyone hit 3k recent.

you think you know those well enough but you don't,at least not enough to make something out of them.

 

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  1. How do I continue improving (if I can even continue improving?). I believe I have most of the basics down; armour-angling; vision/camo; HP use; terrain use; gunnery etc. I believe the thing that's holding me back is consistently being able to put in those two or three penetrating shots so it mostly boils down to situational awareness? I make the right decisions sometimes, and other times the wrong decisions, so is there a way to make it a process that I can internalise over time?
  2. At the same time my WN8 has seen a steady improvement since I started playing, my win-rate has more or less remained static, if not dropping. IIRC, I started out with a 52% win-rate, and my current hovers around 51.8%. What is the reason for this?
  3. I play mostly lights (RU-251) and mediums (Leopard 1), yet I seem to have a lot more success with my lights. I consistently put out more penetrating shots of damage in my RU than the Leopard. Now these two tanks, as I understand, have largely the same playstyle with miniscule differences (Leopard 1 has worse camo and size, with better gun, pen and shell velocity). I usually play my RU in this way; early on I grab spots then do mid-range sniping/poking, then transition to hunting down wounded tanks late. I have tried playing the Leopard in the same aggressive manner I play my RU, yet I seem to get fired down very quickly when I try it and usually have worse games than if I wasn't trying to actively alter my Leopard play.

I don't save replays currently, but will be happy to provide them should it be required to scrutinise my play.

Thanks in advance for any help.

1. The fact that you're asking this is a good sign, its the first step. You can of course improve further, but it's not going to happen overnight. Contrary to what you may believe, good players weren't good from day one (Unless you're Garbad) and it can take a while depending on your learning curve. I have screenshots lying around of me with a 48% wr I think. What it comes down to is just constantly thinking about whats happening in the game and on the minimap whilst also been able to react accordingly to each situation. This isn't something that can be taught, you just have to 'teach' yourself as such. 

2. By looking at your stats, it isn't the damage thats a big problem (not that it couldn't be improved,) but your wr. After every loss (and win where you feel you didn't contribute enough,) ask yourself if the damage you were doing was actively helping your team win. Instead of farming the LT on an abandoned flank, move towards the thick of the fighting and start supporting your team. Your only tier 10 is the second fastest medium at that tier, which means you can quite easily switch flanks several times in one match if need be. Don't feel obligated to sit in a stalemate achieving nothing if the other flank could use your help.

3. My advice, don't play the Leopard as aggressively as you are. Only take hits if it's beneficial for your team or you can trade 2/3 for 1. If you take an aggressive spotting position at the start, hold your fire, spotting one tank and then firing subsequently getting spotted means you're the first person on your team that the enemy has seen and that rarely has a good outcome in the Leopard/RU.

 

IMHO, and many others would agree with me, saving your replays is an excellent idea, you can go back and rewatch close games where you feel you could have done more. Or even rewatch games where you felt you did everything right and thus try and understand why you made those decisions and why they worked. It also helps with your epeen posting exceptional carries :^)

 

having those basics down would literally make anyone hit 3k recent.

you think you know those well enough but you don't,at least not enough to make something out of them.

 

Also this, you can never know to much about this game, if you think you know everything about spotting and angling, go and read all the articles about them again and in 3 months read them again. You'd be surprised at the little things you missed or forget about over time.

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Wow, you are very methodical. I looked at your wotlabs profile, it it appears you have ALL the German tanks! And no others....

You are doing very well with certain tanks, and you really know your style of tank. You will find similar tanks that might fit your style down other lines too. Based on your described play style and success in like tanks, I might suggest you would do very well in T54, T54 Lt wt and the tier 10 Russian hover meds. They all have great guns, great mobility and camo. PLUS armour.... You just might find a new play style with these tanks that will break you into a higher wn8 tier.

Personally, I think that some of the tanks you are playing well are VERZy difficult. Your skills may translate well to other not so technically difficult tanks.

But what would I really know. I just a scrub who loves this game... So much fun!!

Edited by FleshG

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I'm aware that watching streams of some of the purples here are one of the best ways to improve quickly and drastically, since many of them provide play-by-play commentary with explanations/rationale behind their moves, but due to my time zone/real-life commitments I can rarely find the time to watch these. I do try, however, when I manage to scrounge up the free time.

Make sure you check out the "Past Broadcasts" tab on Twitch.

For example: http://www.twitch.tv/zeven_na/profile/past_broadcasts

This way you can watch the streams at your leisure, on your time frame. You don't have to watch them live.

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The funny thing for me is that my performance goe scrazy all the time. It's like I have 2000wn8 "recent" for two days, then the hext day forsome unknown reason it start off with 500, goes up to incredible 1400 and stays there. Then it goes back to 2000. I don't even know what I'm doing anymore. It's also highly tank dependant. The M46 is my paddon, the M48 is kinda okayish, and all other tanks are very .. incosistent for me. 

I think it's my positioning. I often find myself in bad positions; too passive or too aggressive, but seldom in the right spot for the right time. I struggle with maps like South coast (I hate this map so much), Redshire, and El Halluf is just stupid. All Tonks to A1 huerr derr!

I'm a bit clueless what to do. Oh yeah and I'm also bad at trading shots.

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1.Escape 1 versus 2

2.Avoid 1 versus 1

3.Engage in 2 vs 1

4.Caution in 3 vs 2

 

1)never stick around for a collapsing flank, the ability to recognize accurately whether a flank will fold and being able to get out of a folding flank is crucial if you want to consistently contribute to your team.

Don't feel bad for those who get left behind, those with enough speed and didn't run chose their fate, those too slow to run are contributing by buying time for you to win the game.

2) No armor means any trade will be a Pyrrhic victory at best, in a 1 vs 1 you opponent will always know and be able to anticipate you because you are the only thing they are focusing on, avoid 1 vs 1 unless you absolutely must to win the game.

3) Never hesitate in a 2 vs 1, always engage actively if you are one of the two who has more health, but preferably 2 tanks can easily permatrack/turret jerk a single tank to death, but be quick, because enemy reinforcements could arrive at any moment.

4) Always be careful in a 3 vs 2, as a bad poke could easily turn the scale of battle around if you charge into the open and gets killed, leverage the fact that your opponent must stick together( or else face a 1 vs 1+ a 2 vs 1), and encircle the target while making favorable trades.

 

Thats my general rule of engagement while in a light weight.

It may sound easy, but all of these things require judgement and map awareness. How do you know you didn't escape from a advantaged position and left your teammates to a disadvantaged situation? Do you know where is the nearest possible enemy that could turn your sweet 2 vs 1 into a 2 vs 2 or worse? When encircling an outnumbered enemy group, are you moving yourself into an arty firing line or a camping TD that would of otherwise not have shots on you?

Play more games, don't make the same mistake under the same circumstances, and always have an open and flexible mindset.

And to expand upon the open mindset, if you think something might work, whether its a spot on the map, or crew/module configuration, don't be afraid to try it out, whether it succeeds or fails, objectively note the circumstances of its success and failure and make note for the future, WoT is a game of perfecting and mastering the basics, the road to success is paved with failures, but when you have failed in every manner possible, all you have left is success.

Edited by CarbonWard

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Might consistency be an issue?

My sentiments agree with what _Scrublord_ pointed out. Back when I was plateauing about 1600-1800, I too thought that I had the skills and knowledge down pat. However, head knowledge is one thing, applying them consistently and deliberately every moment of every battle is quite another. When I forced myself to start playing in a more mentally disciplined manner my WN8 and WR started to rise again, and I found myself performing in tanks which I had previously detested.

Also, like what Va1heru mentioned, your WR stagnating while your WN8 rises is probably because you're not dealing damage in the places that are more crucial to the outcome of the battle. Watch your replays and apply your knowledge in hindsight to them. Map awareness and staying on top of the flow of the battle is very important - and coincidentally it's something I didn't see you mention when you talked about stuff that you're already okay with. That was and continues to be my biggest struggle.

From a fellow learner, still improving. Let's plat if you're available from time to time.

Cheers.

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Might consistency be an issue?

My sentiments agree with what _Scrublord_ pointed out. Back when I was plateauing about 1600-1800, I too thought that I had the skills and knowledge down pat. However, head knowledge is one thing, applying them consistently and deliberately every moment of every battle is quite another. When I forced myself to start playing in a more mentally disciplined manner my WN8 and WR started to rise again, and I found myself performing in tanks which I had previously detested.

This and This so much. Consistency. I will have 3 3k+ Wn8 games in a row and then 5 potato games totally negating anything I gained. In fact I find my Wn8 falling because I got a little to overconfident in my skills this weekend.

Strange observation, I seemed to do better solo than platooned. Normally it's the other way around.

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also, platooned team mates are extremely unpredictable and never ever put any faith in them :P

And good lord, I know keep saying that disabling the battle chat is a must but I am a sinner and turn it on from time to time.. just to get aggravated when General Patton's ghost, speaking through dead team mates, tells me what a retarded noob I am and what I have to do next. It's so distracting and stupid.. I literally NEVER got any good advice or something positive from that toxic thing. When someone calls a still-living team member idiot / retard/ noob or "uninstall WOT pls", how positive can this be for the outcome of the battle?

As for learning maps.. I have, as I said, issues with certain maps. South coast; I know exactly what I want to do from the south spawn, but the north spawn is just so unpredictable for me. I have a mental checklist of maps and certain situations that I want to train with a friend in a training room, just to play around with approach paths and transit times from position to position and so on - no idea if this will help me but at least it'll be interesting..

Watching good players doesn't help me at all. I watch replay of super unicums and think "well a-duh, of course that's the right move, it's pretty obvious". The pressure of battle screws with your mind, it's a difference between armchair research and "get your hands dirty". Also I noticed that it's really 1) map awareness and 2) positioning that holds me back.

What helps me the most at the moment is: Stay alive, and then play aggressively. It's a mindset. Every trade that feels a bit iffy before I even start it - I shouldn't do it. Also, I peek-a-boom too much in general - but when I know that the enemies are going to be in a bad situation when THEY start attacking our position, that's good because we're indeed holding a flank, and there's no need to give them free damage just because I'm impatient, right?

Staying alive recently lead to: okay wn8 (2000), high win rate, and much more satisfaction - but I still play aggressively (securing positions very early, I can't stand background lurking)

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My biggest tip is to be disciplined in reflecting on every game you played. Don't be in a rush to hit "Battle" again. Go examine close games if you have to.

Identify one big screw-up and one good play for every game you play. Jot it down on a note if you have to. That ensures you conscientiously recognise your mistakes and strive to avoid similar situations in the future.

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I think you actually answered most of your questions i.e. watch streams seek others knowledge etc...Im in the same position as you I feel like my play is stagnated even to the point of slight regression. The hard answer I believe is, figure it out for yourself. By that I mean unless your dumb (and you don't appear to be that way) you have the tools to identify areas of improvement, then make those changes. If you typically solo, consider platooning, also tank selection, IMHO its hard to carry in a light tank, choose brawling types of mediums or heavies.

One of the things I have started doing is to track each round. I play 20 rounds in the same tank, track tier, damage, kills, W/L etc... so so I have something to look at and see how I contributed to a win or contributors for a loss.Some games are simply unwinnable, those you write off, I don't feel there is anything to learn when you lose by 10 tanks. But you will find there will be several games that could've been won, and I consider only if myself played better they could've been won. For example a recent session of 20 games, 50% w/r we clearly won 10 games, 7 unwinnable (loss by 8 tanks or more) and 3 that were close. Those three are what I focused on, watched replays etc... If I would've played better we could've won those three and ended up with a 65% w/r.

Hm yeah I think I should probably try applying a more empirical approach to improving. I certainly don't belong to the play4fun brigade (I have loads more fun when I'm winning) but I'm probably gauging my own progress off of impressions rather than outright analyzing things. Will give this a try.

having those basics down would literally make anyone hit 3k recent.

you think you know those well enough but you don't,at least not enough to make something out of them.

 

Well I probably expressed myself with the wrong words there. Let me clarify. When it comes to micro-skills (angling/shooting weakspots etc. etc.), I know what I'm supposed to do (ie. preserving camo while firing behind a bush). It's just that it doesn't come as second nature to me (yet) which I believe is a large part of the difference between a green and a blue. That'll come with time (I hope). As for macro-skills (map tactics etc.), it's probably the difference between a purple and a blue and I'm working on it, though it's (imo) the hardest thing to learn and I'm trying to internalise things and the rationale when my caller asks me to do something in CW/SH.

Wow, you are very methodical. I looked at your wotlabs profile, it it appears you have ALL the German tanks! And no others....

You are doing very well with certain tanks, and you really know your style of tank. You will find similar tanks that might fit your style down other lines too. Based on your described play style and success in like tanks, I might suggest you would do very well in T54, T54 Lt wt and the tier 10 Russian hover meds. They all have great guns, great mobility and camo. PLUS armour.... You just might find a new play style with these tanks that will break you into a higher wn8 tier.

Personally, I think that some of the tanks you are playing well are VERZy difficult. Your skills may translate well to other not so technically difficult tanks.

But what would I really know. I just a scrub who loves this game... So much fun!!

At the moment I'm trying to improve my play in heavies (which I'm very average at, even more so than at other classes). I detest TD's (especially casemate, though I haven't gotten to a high enough tier to reach the turreted German TD's) and the only reason I play arty is to try to get the female crew members (even so I haven't even tried for the past few months cos it's just so boring).

Make sure you check out the "Past Broadcasts" tab on Twitch.

For example: http://www.twitch.tv/zeven_na/profile/past_broadcasts

This way you can watch the streams at your leisure, on your time frame. You don't have to watch them live.

I can't believe I didn't know about that. Derp. Thanks for the heads-up.

1. The fact that you're asking this is a good sign, its the first step. You can of course improve further, but it's not going to happen overnight. Contrary to what you may believe, good players weren't good from day one (Unless you're Garbad) and it can take a while depending on your learning curve. I have screenshots lying around of me with a 48% wr I think. What it comes down to is just constantly thinking about whats happening in the game and on the minimap whilst also been able to react accordingly to each situation. This isn't something that can be taught, you just have to 'teach' yourself as such. 

2. By looking at your stats, it isn't the damage thats a big problem (not that it couldn't be improved,) but your wr. After every loss (and win where you feel you didn't contribute enough,) ask yourself if the damage you were doing was actively helping your team win. Instead of farming the LT on an abandoned flank, move towards the thick of the fighting and start supporting your team. Your only tier 10 is the second fastest medium at that tier, which means you can quite easily switch flanks several times in one match if need be. Don't feel obligated to sit in a stalemate achieving nothing if the other flank could use your help.

3. My advice, don't play the Leopard as aggressively as you are. Only take hits if it's beneficial for your team or you can trade 2/3 for 1. If you take an aggressive spotting position at the start, hold your fire, spotting one tank and then firing subsequently getting spotted means you're the first person on your team that the enemy has seen and that rarely has a good outcome in the Leopard/RU.

 

IMHO, and many others would agree with me, saving your replays is an excellent idea, you can go back and rewatch close games where you feel you could have done more. Or even rewatch games where you felt you did everything right and thus try and understand why you made those decisions and why they worked. It also helps with your epeen posting exceptional carries :^)

 

Also this, you can never know to much about this game, if you think you know everything about spotting and angling, go and read all the articles about them again and in 3 months read them again. You'd be surprised at the little things you missed or forget about over time.

Yeah I got told once (by someone in DPS, I can't remember who) that my win-rate will naturally go up as my DPG (taking into account tiering) does, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I'm not farming damage intentionally but as you said I'm probably not doing damage at the right time and right point on the map so I'll have to work on that.

Regarding playing less aggressively in the Leo, I usually do a lot of research on the games I play and having read a lot of things, my conclusion is that the general consensus is that you need to play proactively and aggressively to win games. My problem is probably the fact that there is a fine line between aggressiveness and recklessness and I cross over to the wrong side pretty frequently.

I don't save replays because I'm playing on a really old laptop (a 4 year old Alienware from my student days that has had multiple hard disk swaps/dying wifi card/heat issues) and I already have FPS issues (playing on an average of 15 with occasional stutter). I'm not using this as an excuse because I know I can play better even with this FPS and it's really my own damn fault that I'm too lazy to go down to the shop to build a new desktop. Not to mention I'm on a really fast and stable connection which some of you don't have. I'm not even sure if saving replays impacts performance but yeah.

The funny thing for me is that my performance goe scrazy all the time. It's like I have 2000wn8 "recent" for two days, then the hext day forsome unknown reason it start off with 500, goes up to incredible 1400 and stays there. Then it goes back to 2000. I don't even know what I'm doing anymore. It's also highly tank dependant. The M46 is my paddon, the M48 is kinda okayish, and all other tanks are very .. incosistent for me. 

I think it's my positioning. I often find myself in bad positions; too passive or too aggressive, but seldom in the right spot for the right time. I struggle with maps like South coast (I hate this map so much), Redshire, and El Halluf is just stupid. All Tonks to A1 huerr derr!

I'm a bit clueless what to do. Oh yeah and I'm also bad at trading shots.

I struggle mostly with heavies. I'm not good enough to identify when a flank is going to fall even before the fighting's begun, and when the position is collapsing, I don't have the speed to run from it. I can usually disengage in a light or medium, but in a heavy most of the time I'm just going down fighting. I already know not to hold a flank alone etc. etc., but meh.

1.Escape 1 versus 2

2.Avoid 1 versus 1

3.Engage in 2 vs 1

4.Caution in 3 vs 2

 

1)never stick around for a collapsing flank, the ability to recognize accurately whether a flank will fold and being able to get out of a folding flank is crucial if you want to consistently contribute to your team.

Don't feel bad for those who get left behind, those with enough speed and didn't run chose their fate, those too slow to run are contributing by buying time for you to win the game.

2) No armor means any trade will be a Pyrrhic victory at best, in a 1 vs 1 you opponent will always know and be able to anticipate you because you are the only thing they are focusing on, avoid 1 vs 1 unless you absolutely must to win the game.

3) Never hesitate in a 2 vs 1, always engage actively if you are one of the two who has more health, but preferably 2 tanks can easily permatrack/turret jerk a single tank to death, but be quick, because enemy reinforcements could arrive at any moment.

4) Always be careful in a 3 vs 2, as a bad poke could easily turn the scale of battle around if you charge into the open and gets killed, leverage the fact that your opponent must stick together( or else face a 1 vs 1+ a 2 vs 1), and encircle the target while making favorable trades.

 

Thats my general rule of engagement while in a light weight.

It may sound easy, but all of these things require judgement and map awareness. How do you know you didn't escape from a advantaged position and left your teammates to a disadvantaged situation? Do you know where is the nearest possible enemy that could turn your sweet 2 vs 1 into a 2 vs 2 or worse? When encircling an outnumbered enemy group, are you moving yourself into an arty firing line or a camping TD that would of otherwise not have shots on you?

Play more games, don't make the same mistake under the same circumstances, and always have an open and flexible mindset.

And to expand upon the open mindset, if you think something might work, whether its a spot on the map, or crew/module configuration, don't be afraid to try it out, whether it succeeds or fails, objectively note the circumstances of its success and failure and make note for the future, WoT is a game of perfecting and mastering the basics, the road to success is paved with failures, but when you have failed in every manner possible, all you have left is success.

Thanks Carbon. This is some very good advice and I'll try to keep it in mind as I play. I suppose WoT is kinda like sports in real-life, where teams try to gain an advantage by overloading certain areas of the field and creating advantageous mismatches when contesting positions.

Might consistency be an issue?

My sentiments agree with what _Scrublord_ pointed out. Back when I was plateauing about 1600-1800, I too thought that I had the skills and knowledge down pat. However, head knowledge is one thing, applying them consistently and deliberately every moment of every battle is quite another. When I forced myself to start playing in a more mentally disciplined manner my WN8 and WR started to rise again, and I found myself performing in tanks which I had previously detested.

Also, like what Va1heru mentioned, your WR stagnating while your WN8 rises is probably because you're not dealing damage in the places that are more crucial to the outcome of the battle. Watch your replays and apply your knowledge in hindsight to them. Map awareness and staying on top of the flow of the battle is very important - and coincidentally it's something I didn't see you mention when you talked about stuff that you're already okay with. That was and continues to be my biggest struggle.

From a fellow learner, still improving. Let's plat if you're available from time to time.

Cheers.

It's probably consistency. I know the general distinction between 'good' and 'bad' damage (bad damage=clean up damage/damage you get when your team has already died). I don't think a lot of my damage comes from bad damage (we've played together a few times and I usually get stuck in, sometimes over my head, right at the start) so it's probably that my damage isn't 'good' enough or it's a problem of output.

This and This so much. Consistency. I will have 3 3k+ Wn8 games in a row and then 5 potato games totally negating anything I gained. In fact I find my Wn8 falling because I got a little to overconfident in my skills this weekend.

Strange observation, I seemed to do better solo than platooned. Normally it's the other way around.

I do better solo than platooned as well. I'm not good enough to carry people weaker than I am (so I rarely play with them because I like winning), and when I plat with people better than me my personal contribution goes down because they farm all the damage. I don't like being a burden on the plat either. And to be honest I don't think platting with unicums help your game much. Sure, your win-rate goes up, but unless you yolo early and die you can't really learn anything by platting with unicums. I do plat quite often nowadays but it's mostly due to the social aspect so I guess I should start playing solo again more often.

also, platooned team mates are extremely unpredictable and never ever put any faith in them :P

And good lord, I know keep saying that disabling the battle chat is a must but I am a sinner and turn it on from time to time.. just to get aggravated when General Patton's ghost, speaking through dead team mates, tells me what a retarded noob I am and what I have to do next. It's so distracting and stupid.. I literally NEVER got any good advice or something positive from that toxic thing. When someone calls a still-living team member idiot / retard/ noob or "uninstall WOT pls", how positive can this be for the outcome of the battle?

As for learning maps.. I have, as I said, issues with certain maps. South coast; I know exactly what I want to do from the south spawn, but the north spawn is just so unpredictable for me. I have a mental checklist of maps and certain situations that I want to train with a friend in a training room, just to play around with approach paths and transit times from position to position and so on - no idea if this will help me but at least it'll be interesting..

Watching good players doesn't help me at all. I watch replay of super unicums and think "well a-duh, of course that's the right move, it's pretty obvious". The pressure of battle screws with your mind, it's a difference between armchair research and "get your hands dirty". Also I noticed that it's really 1) map awareness and 2) positioning that holds me back.

What helps me the most at the moment is: Stay alive, and then play aggressively. It's a mindset. Every trade that feels a bit iffy before I even start it - I shouldn't do it. Also, I peek-a-boom too much in general - but when I know that the enemies are going to be in a bad situation when THEY start attacking our position, that's good because we're indeed holding a flank, and there's no need to give them free damage just because I'm impatient, right?

Staying alive recently lead to: okay wn8 (2000), high win rate, and much more satisfaction - but I still play aggressively (securing positions very early, I can't stand background lurking)

Yeah I struggle with certain maps (esp. Fisherman's Bay). Other than going mid for early spots and damage on heavies crossing field, I have no idea what to do if opposing mediums/lights contest mid. 1/2 line is a campfest which I refuse to participate in. I usually do fine if mid is uncontested but I usually come off second-best if I do have to contest mid. I really have no idea why. Maybe it's becoming some sort of mental block which I need to overcome.

My biggest tip is to be disciplined in reflecting on every game you played. Don't be in a rush to hit "Battle" again. Go examine close games if you have to.

Identify one big screw-up and one good play for every game you play. Jot it down on a note if you have to. That ensures you conscientiously recognise your mistakes and strive to avoid similar situations in the future.

I just had a game two nights ago in the RU where I carried the game with a Top Gun (6 kills), Kolobanov's, Defender and 3k damage, winning the game with 7s left. After the thrill had died down (it was my first Kolobanov's and I had somehow tracked myself in front of 2 arty WITH NO MORE REPAIR KIT FML. The longest 9 seconds of my life.), I realised it wouldn't have come down to 1v5 had I been less passive in mid-game (I was holding my fire keeping Tortoise lit up so arty could kill him). In retrospect I should've made use of terrain (it was on Steppes and they were pushing on our cap) and would probably have taken only one shot (I had enough HP) before I could've eaten him for lunch. Another mistake was in persisting on using HE on a Chi-Ri even after I failed to pen two HE on him (I have no idea how I didn't pen him to be honest, I made sure I didn't hit the mantlet/tracks so probably bad luck with pen rolls) so it took me A LOT more time to kill him (while my allied CDC died, leaving me 1v5). Also, it left me with insufficient HE to deal with the arty still on the map.

So yeah, while it was fun getting my first Kolobanov's, it probably needn't have come down to that and I could've saved myself a lot of stress.

Edited by Armatus

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So, in response to the advice I've received here so far, I'll be starting a blog on here tonight regarding each of the games I play etc. It's mainly for myself to keep track of progress (as some of you have pointed out, some things can only be learnt, not taught), but anyone is also welcome to critique my gameplay. It does mean I'll probably be saving replays from now on, although I'm still dubious about the effect that will have on my already poor PC performance. I should really go get that new desktop built, but it's an hour away by train and trains here are like sardine cans.

It does mean I'll probably be playing solo from now on, since I don't want to keep platmates waiting while I jot down notes and whatever. I'll update this post later tonight with a link when I get back home from work and get stuff started up, and I'd appreciate it if any of you could pop by occasionally and offer some advice.

Once again, thanks for the help.

Edit: blog is up (http://forum.wotlabs.net/index.php?/blogs/blog/42-the-house-of-flying-pubbies/). No content at the moment though, though that'll change once I get some replays up.

Edited by Armatus

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I do better solo than platooned as well. I'm not good enough to carry people weaker than I am (so I rarely play with them because I like winning), and when I plat with people better than me my personal contribution goes down because they farm all the damage. I don't like being a burden on the plat either. And to be honest I don't think platting with unicums help your game much. Sure, your win-rate goes up, but unless you yolo early and die you can't really learn anything by platting with unicums. I do plat quite often nowadays but it's mostly due to the social aspect so I guess I should start playing solo again more often.

I rarely do well solo, that's why I usually platoon and I platoon with blues so I can watch and get better. I find tho, that they know what to do and soak up most of the damage and I tend to get relegated to clean up duty or support. I don't mind doing the dirty work I find my WN8 suffers.

For example, this morning I had a 4.7K WN8 game in my T29. Did everything right. Map was cliff, I got to the edge of the cliff (by myself I might add) and held the corner. PZ4H spamming HE at me, took him out. Then a Church VII spamming APCR at me, took him out. Then an O-I, got a lucky shot on me and penned. Circled the cliff and worked out a Tog who also penned me with regular AP.

The point is, I did well. I didn't forget how to play, I just played. If I would have hit battle again, I know it would be a potato loss.

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Just a small update; completed my first night and posted my first review. Can't tell whether it's just luck by MM, but it seems like I'm seeing some results with regard to win-rate already.

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Regarding platooning - I was worse than your level (well, worse WN8 but slightly better WR) when I became friends with prolix and began platooning with him. I think he didn't mind me 'pulling him down' so to speak. It's not that much of an issue if you're willing to listen and learn. The benefit of platooning with him was that he could tell me about my mistakes - decision-making, positioning etc - immediately after, or sometimes even during games. That helped me to think through the mistakes and learn when the battle was still fresh in my memory.

Of course, the synergy won't be there immediately. Don't expect to have really good synergy with anyone at all at the get-go. However, in my case, as I improved slowly there began to be more and more battles where we could work together pretty effectively, and that number is still rising as I keep getting better. I'm still quite far behind in terms of decision-making, and that's my biggest problem still.

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Regarding platooning - I was worse than your level (well, worse WN8 but slightly better WR) when I became friends with prolix and began platooning with him. I think he didn't mind me 'pulling him down' so to speak. It's not that much of an issue if you're willing to listen and learn. The benefit of platooning with him was that he could tell me about my mistakes - decision-making, positioning etc - immediately after, or sometimes even during games. That helped me to think through the mistakes and learn when the battle was still fresh in my memory.

Of course, the synergy won't be there immediately. Don't expect to have really good synergy with anyone at all at the get-go. However, in my case, as I improved slowly there began to be more and more battles where we could work together pretty effectively, and that number is still rising as I keep getting better. I'm still quite far behind in terms of decision-making, and that's my biggest problem still.

It's not really that much of pulling down the plat that I'm concerned about. It's more that even if you're working together, I feel during the course of the game both you and him are going to be concentrating on doing your own thing within the game that it's not easy to pick out the finer points of gameplay. Ronin (I'm sure you remember him) picked me up in game when I was sub-1k battles and probably not even yellow (I don't remember because I hadn't discovered stats at that point) and I don't recall ever picking up much from him when platooned. I was just being carried, plain and simple.

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It's more that even if you're working together, I feel during the course of the game both you and him are going to be concentrating on doing your own thing within the game that it's not easy to pick out the finer points of gameplay.

That really depends on how adept one is at observing, analysing and articulating those points. There are plenty of people who are great at something but are absolutely hopeless at explaining concepts in an accessible/coherent manner (*cough* uni lecturers *cough*). When I play with sundanceHelix and I call for a push and it fails, we are often able to identify our shortcomings tactically (e.g. not setting up a wide enough crossfire) and strategically (e.g. not focus-firing or bad target selection). 

Edited by prolix

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I rarely do well solo, that's why I usually platoon and I platoon with blues so I can watch and get better. I find tho, that they know what to do and soak up most of the damage and I tend to get relegated to clean up duty or support. I don't mind doing the dirty work I find my WN8 suffers.

For example, this morning I had a 4.7K WN8 game in my T29. Did everything right. Map was cliff, I got to the edge of the cliff (by myself I might add) and held the corner. PZ4H spamming HE at me, took him out. Then a Church VII spamming APCR at me, took him out. Then an O-I, got a lucky shot on me and penned. Circled the cliff and worked out a Tog who also penned me with regular AP.

The point is, I did well. I didn't forget how to play, I just played. If I would have hit battle again, I know it would be a potato loss.

I don't want to be mean or anything, but you're not going to learn much by playing with some blues.  Vast majority of them have no clue what's going on anyway, but on average they will get an extra shot or two of damage off per game (hence blue).  If your intentions are to platoon for the reason of improvement, you're much better off finding a mentor around here.

And for the OP, the game essentially boils down to map awareness and positioning.  It requires very little twitch skill which is something people like to cite as some inhibiting factor.  The way I learned it was just by watching streams but not ones where they explain their reasoning.  When a streamer is explaining his reasoning it will slow down your rate of improvement.  You will learn much faster if you're watching someone 10x better (say skylex for example) who doesn't say anything.  Why? It's forcing YOU to come up with the right question, Why did he go there and do that?  And it's forcing YOU to work out the answer.  That's teaching you to think like them.  Otherwise you'll simply be imitating what someone else has already explained which will not help you grow and understand the game.

Now keep in mind, that approach doesn't work for everyone, more than likely it works for a small amount.  It's not my intention to be demeaning of those streamers who explain everything, in fact, often times they will help a lot of players.  But those are players who honestly have absolutely no idea about how to play this game and the whole mental aspect that goes on behind it (look at Carbon's examples, stuff like that would never be explained in one of those streams).  From reading your post it seems like you have a general idea of what the game is really about so I think my suggestion above could potentially benefit you a lot.  Now, of course, everyone is different and everyone learns differently so maybe it won't.  Try different things and approaches until you start seeing improvement and just work off that.

Edited by KillerTiger

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I don't want to be mean or anything, but you're not going to learn much by playing with some blues.  Vast majority of them have no clue what's going on anyway, but on average they will get an extra shot or two of damage off per game (hence blue).  If your intentions are to platoon for the reason of improvement, you're much better off finding a mentor around here.

And for the OP, the game essentially boils down to map awareness and positioning.  It requires very little twitch skill which is something people like to cite as some inhibiting factor.  The way I learned it was just by watching streams but not ones where they explain their reasoning.  When a streamer is explaining his reasoning it will slow down your rate of improvement.  You will learn much faster if you're watching someone 10x better (say skylex for example) who doesn't say anything.  Why? It's forcing YOU to come up with the right question, Why did he go there and do that?  And it's forcing YOU to work out the answer.  That's teaching you to think like them.  Otherwise you'll simply be imitating what someone else has already explained which will not help you grow and understand the game.

Now keep in mind, that approach doesn't work for everyone, more than likely it works for a small amount.  It's not my intention to be demeaning of those streamers who explain everything, in fact, often times they will help a lot of players.  But those are players who honestly have absolutely no idea about how to play this game and the whole mental aspect that goes on behind it (look at Carbon's examples, stuff like that would never be explained in one of those streams).  From reading your post it seems like you have a general idea of what the game is really about so I think my suggestion above could potentially benefit you a lot.  Now, of course, everyone is different and everyone learns differently so maybe it won't.  Try different things and approaches until you start seeing improvement and just work off that.

This is some pretty good advice. Every game turns out differently (due to team composition etc. etc.) after all, and I don't want to imitate some streamers by going to a position then not knowing what to do when the situation changes.

I think watching streamers is a start, in that they give you a good base by helping you learn positions/firing lanes etc., but to be winning consistently at unica levels you have to be able to adapt to the unique circumstances of each battlefield. Teach a man how to fish, so to speak.

And re. twitch skills, I think they only don't start to matter when you've reached a basic level of proficiency. I don't think I've attained that yet since I find myself thinking 'I could've taken that shot just now if my reaction was faster', I just have such low confidence that I rarely shoot in arcade mode or take that one exra second to line up a shot that costs me some HP. This is usually compounded by my FPS, though as I've mentioned earlier I think I can still perform better at this FPS and it's entirely my own damn fault my PC sucks (note to readers: don't use your laptop in bed for gaming; there WILL be heat issues down the road).

As Val pointed out earlier it's mostly my win-rate that's the issue so when I'm going through replays for my blog I mostly focus on map actions/positioning.

Edited by Armatus

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I struggle mostly with heavies. I'm not good enough to identify when a flank is going to fall even before the fighting's begun, and when the position is collapsing, I don't have the speed to run from it. I can usually disengage in a light or medium, but in a heavy most of the time I'm just going down fighting. I already know not to hold a flank alone etc. etc., but meh.

 

Take what I say with a grain of salt, because I'm not that great of a player...but in a situation like this I find its good to try to stay aggressive. Don't yolo into a group of 4 tanks, but don't back off too much either. People tend to be reluctant to push even when they have a numbers advantage. If you see someone about to nut up, make them pay for it. Track em, damage them. Fight as hard as you can and make them pay dearly for your tank. If you let them push without a fight, they are going see that you are basically a free kill and that is when your situation becomes lost. If you can delay their push for a bit, you may get lucky and have some backup arrive or get an arty shot on one of them. I'm sure someone here can give you better advice, maybe this is part of the reason I'm a shitter blue lol but sometimes this is all you can do. I suppose the best idea is to learn how to not get into this situation, but over the course of thousands of games, I'd imagine it happens to most players from time to time.

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I rarely do well solo, that's why I usually platoon and I platoon with blues so I can watch and get better. I find tho, that they know what to do and soak up most of the damage and I tend to get relegated to clean up duty or support. I don't mind doing the dirty work I find my WN8 suffers.

For example, this morning I had a 4.7K WN8 game in my T29. Did everything right. Map was cliff, I got to the edge of the cliff (by myself I might add) and held the corner. PZ4H spamming HE at me, took him out. Then a Church VII spamming APCR at me, took him out. Then an O-I, got a lucky shot on me and penned. Circled the cliff and worked out a Tog who also penned me with regular AP.

The point is, I did well. I didn't forget how to play, I just played. If I would have hit battle again, I know it would be a potato loss.

Actually, I think my problem with heavies is that I'm a tad too aggressive with them. I've played most of my games in tanks with armour not worth mentioning (German Leopard line, German LT line) so when I get into my E-75 I get a bit overconfident in my armour and get myself riddled full of holes. I've noticed this myself and have been trying to rein this impulse in though.

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Actually, I think my problem with heavies is that I'm a tad too aggressive with them. I've played most of my games in tanks with armour not worth mentioning (German Leopard line, German LT line) so when I get into my E-75 I get a bit overconfident in my armour and get myself riddled full of holes. I've noticed this myself and have been trying to rein this impulse in though.

I'm always too aggressive. I lived through the 12 Minute camp fests in 2011-2012. They were boooooooring. I try to not camp per se, but evaluate where I'm going to put my gun prior to pressing the W key.

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