Snoregasm2

Discrediting Smooth Ride once and for all

46 posts in this topic

I am like a lot of you. Despite playing this game for years, I have always given my Driver the Smooth Ride skill. Sometimes it was the 2nd skill, sometimes the 3rd, but I would nearly always have it and all my tier 10s had it too. 

The reason: I, like most people, thought that it made the benefit gained from Vert Stabs 4% better when moving the hull. 4% isn't much, but it's still nice, right? Anything to help you shoot faster. Combine it with the Gunner skill Snap Shot and you basically improve your Vert Stab in whatever situation you're in. What's not to like?

Well, it doesn't do what it says on the tin.

In fact, it only applies when you're using your 'W' or 'S' keys i.e. going backwards and forwards. So as soon as you turn left or right (such as when you're angling in a heavy, circling in a medium or avoiding everything in a light) you lose the benefit. It only applies when you drive forwards - or reverse - in a completely straight line.

Think about that for a second. How often do you drive in a completely straight line and shoot? Not often, I'd wager. So why pick this skill? The simple answer is, for the vast majority of tanks, you shouldn't.

Driver skills are generally pretty shit, but I would rather take Clutch Braking or Off Road Driving over Smooth Ride, and I would take Reparis/Camo/BIA over any of them, maybe even Firefighting if I ran Food.

So don't be ignorant like me and give your Driver Smooth Ride because you always have done, or it seems like it's good. It isn't good, and you're wasting a skill.

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This will cost me a lot of gold in an impuls move to retrain some crews.

I do tend to straighten out while driving to shoot medium to long distance targets while moving though... Plus, when moving on and over a ridge, you also tend to move only "w" or "s".

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Yeah, I'd wager there's actually a lot of times where I'm only moving straight forward or back. Playing corners, peeking over hills, shooting over berms, etc. Usually I have my shot pretty well lined up and just W-S taking my shot in between.  So I think it still has uses. I probably over-emphasize a bit too much and run it on tanks that already have good enough gun handling. But I really like gun handling...

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The only problem with BIA is that it only comes into effect once all your crew has the skill at 100%, at least these are active the moment you select them.

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For tanks that have mammoth bloom issues (like the 50100), I already engage enemies only with the W-S keys the majority of the time.  Seems like a no brainer for such autoloaders.
Also, for fast tanks like the cromwell, you can bob and weave, but revert to a straight line for a brief period to let the turning bloom dissipate before each shot.  
Any time I'm playing hull down ridge games in tanks with soft turrets, the ideal position is one where you can engage and disengage without turning, or else your exposure time is too long for any kind of aimed shot.

My driver got it 4th on the Obj 140, because I don't like trusting the thickness of the turret alone in hull down fighting.

It does seem useless if you aren't disciplined to engage without turning.

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Huh, I thought everyone knew this. That's why I could never understand the reasoning behind putting smooth ride on arty and casemate TDs.

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What is the evidence that it only applies when moving in a straight line?  I'm pressing my W or S key most of every match.  If it applies when I'm pressing those, then how does it stop applying when I add in the A or D keys?  

When I added it to my IS-3, I definitely hit more of my on the move snap shots than before, and I wasn't always driving in a perfectly straight line.  

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What is the evidence that it only applies when moving in a straight line?  I'm pressing my W or S key most of every match.  If it applies when I'm pressing those, then how does it stop applying when I add in the A or D keys?

It probably doesn't. Bloom sources are compounded with the formula sqrt(1+a^2+b^2+c^2), so reducing any single source (movement bloom, traverse bloom, turret bloom etc) reduces the total.

It's possible that Smooth Ride only operates when the other bloom sources are zero, but I'd be very surprised.

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I find it interesting how much opinions on crew skills have changed over the last couple of years.  This is still good to know.  I've always preferred CB because of its universal utility, but SR was usually first on tanks like bromwell and 50-100, so this is valuable knowledge.

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I hadn't considered ridge-poking, which is a valid point, but as weesh mentioned, you have to be disciplined to not turn left or right to negate the benefit.

I still do not see how you could take Smooth Ride over:

  • Repairs;
  • Camo;
  • BIA; or
  • (if you run Food) FF.

Yes, there are heavies which have no camo. But Clutch Braking or Off Road are as viable, if not more viable than Smooth Ride in these instances. I understand wanting to improve gun performance - as mentioned, all my tanks pretty much STILL have Smooth Ride as I haven't logged on since the discounts - but a 4% increase that is so situational is not worth it until the 5th skill most of the time.

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Why would it only work if you move in a straight line, that makes no sense....

I always assume it only works if you move the hull, i can also get into that it wont work when you pivot in 1 place, like only pressing A or D, but only when in straight line? thats nonsense (and wot wiki was / is filled with nonsense also, low level devs dont know crap about mechanics, so using them as source for any info is also bs)

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The problem with the "well I dont traverse most of the time anyway" argument is that it does very little even when it does work. It's almost a complete waste of a skill, throw on repairs/clutch/camo/ord.

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Why would it only work if you move in a straight line, that makes no sense....

I always assume it only works if you move the hull, i can also get into that it wont work when you pivot in 1 place, like only pressing A or D, but only when in straight line? thats nonsense (and wot wiki was / is filled with nonsense also, low level devs dont know crap about mechanics, so using them as source for any info is also bs)

This

Your dispersion when moving forwards/backwards and turning are two separate values, smooth ride is always reducing the value for forwards/backwards. Therefore a tank with smooth ride will still have better dispersion when both moving forwards/backwards and turning than a tank that doesn't because the skill's reduction of the forwards/backwards dispersion value still improves the total dispersion.

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Here's how it actually works:

There are 3 different dispersion coefficents, moving (forwards/backwards) per km/h, track traverse and turret traverse both per °/s. All those get jumbled together in some formula with the current km/h and °/s values to give your overall aim circle size. Smooth ride will only effect the moving value, snap shot only the turret traverse one. It would be very interesting to know how that formula actually looks like, since it doesn't seem to be a simple "multiply by their respective km/h / °/s values and add it all together" type thing, since for example the 13 90 moving in a straight line at full speed has about 6.6s effective aim time, if turning track and turret at the same time it only goes up to 7.3s, so it looks more logarithmic (which would actually discredit anything that only effects a single one of those values).

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I hadn't considered ridge-poking, which is a valid point, but as weesh mentioned, you have to be disciplined to not turn left or right to negate the benefit.

I still do not see how you could take Smooth Ride over:

  • Repairs;
  • Camo;
  • BIA; or
  • (if you run Food) FF.

Yes, there are heavies which have no camo. But Clutch Braking or Off Road are as viable, if not more viable than Smooth Ride in these instances. I understand wanting to improve gun performance - as mentioned, all my tanks pretty much STILL have Smooth Ride as I haven't logged on since the discounts - but a 4% increase that is so situational is not worth it until the 5th skill most of the time.

 

 

The problem with the "well I dont traverse most of the time anyway" argument is that it does very little even when it does work. It's almost a complete waste of a skill, throw on repairs/clutch/camo/ord.

 

I don't get where this idea that Smooth Ride is situational is coming from. Based on what RichardNixon posted above, the only time it wouldn't improve your dispersion is when you are sitting dead still or pivoting in place. So the in the vast majority of engagements (corner peek-a-booming, hull-down peeking, side-scraping, yolo snapshots), Smooth Ride will help you get your shots more accurately down range.

 

As far as comparing the magnitude of benefit of Smooth Ride  to other skills, you might be overestimating how impactful other skills are.

  • BIA isn't a fair comparison as it's 3-5 crew members vs 1
  • For a 62a on the move, going from 80% -> 100% camo gives you an extra 7.5m vs something with 400 VR
  • I wasn't able to find a comprehensive repair time guide/calculation/database. I'm interesting in testing this as I'm not sure that the curve is linear (ie going from 0-25% is a bigger time reduction than 75% to 100%). As a rough guess, I would say that the last crew member might be one second in track repair time.
  • Off-road Driving is only 2.5% improved resistance on medium terrain and nothing on hard terrain. Considering most good players avoid soft terrain like the devil (Lakeville valley, deep-ish water), the 10% improvement for that is going to be rarely used.
  • Clutch Braking is hard to quantify. I don't find myself wanting for hull traverse in all but the worst heavies (I don't play casemate TDs). The biggest advantage is probably in scouts/fast mediums, where the additional traverse reduces how much speed you bleed off in turns/maneuvering.
  • Firefighting. I hope you joking when you said this snoregasm. To call Smooth Ride situational then suggest firefighting, something that gets used maybe one in every 50 games when running food?

 

I think posting such an absolute, hard-line opinion/suggestion without any proof (or it appears, any inclination of how the game mechanics actually work) is extremely foolish.

I am very interested in testing these skills/perks out in-depth next time the test server is up as your underlying point may very well be correct. But I'm not blowing out my gold stash on re-skilling base on mere opinions.

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Why would it only work if you move in a straight line, that makes no sense....

Thats how it works in AW - I tested it, so I wouldnt be surprised that it works the same in WoT.

 

 

  • I wasn't able to find a comprehensive repair time guide/calculation/database. I'm interesting in testing this as I'm not sure that the curve is linear (ie going from 0-25% is a bigger time reduction than 75% to 100%). As a rough guess, I would say that the last crew member might be one second in track repair time.

http://forum.worldoftanks.eu/index.php?/topic/537831-tanking-w-science-repair/

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  • BIA isn't a fair comparison as it's 3-5 crew members vs 1

On the evidence of the Berlin tanks and general crew skill->performance scaling, BIA has a pretty strong argument for second skill in almost any tank. Still, you do need something to put the points in before it gets to 100%.

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There are obviously some dedicated mathematics contributors in this thread, so I will defer to their workings and accept that Smooth Ride applies whenever you press 'W' and 'S', even when you also pressing 'A' and 'D'.

However, as breeze helpfully noted above, front/back dispersion is 1/3 of the overall dispersion on a tank (yes, it may not be 33% of the dispersion, but it is one of 3 'movements' which effect gun dispersion, together with lateral and turret). I think 4% reduction in bloom from this particular movement is actually very small indeed. Say equal weight is given to turret, forward/reverse and lateral movement. A 4% reduction in forward/backward dispersion would only be a 1.33% reduction in overall bloom, correct (I am a lawyer and lawyers deal in words, not numbers, so please do not hesitate to shit on my maths if it is incorrect)? Surely that isn't worth it, when you can have BIA, Camo, Repairs and FF.

@dustygator, to respond to you directly: I do not currently have any 1 tank with more than 1 crew member with FF. But I sure as hell will soon. Being able to run food and reducing the RNG of getting shit on by arty with fires is totally worth using a full set of crew member skills on, as you are gaining indirectly 10% boost across the board. If anything, put in this (expensive context) FF is the best skill you can train, and I fully intend to spend about half of 4k gold retraining various crews where I run food to this effect.

I myself have only woken up to the fact that Smooth Ride is, in fact, shit in the last month. As stated above, all my crews currently have it, but I am going to change that as soon as possible. I believe that a lot of people did not realise - like me - that Smooth Ride offer so little as a skill. I was not extolling the virtues of Clutch Braking or Off Road - yes, they are both shit - but I think they are both slightly less shit than Smooth Ride.

 

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A 4% reduction in forward/backward dispersion would only be a 1.33% reduction in overall bloom, correct (I am a lawyer and lawyers deal in words, not numbers, so please do not hesitate to shit on my maths if it is incorrect)? Surely that isn't worth it, when you can have BIA, Camo, Repairs and FF.

That isn't a valid comparison, because BIA has to be on all crew members and Camo/Repair/FF only gets 1/x value unless it's on all crew members.

 

The comparison would be Smooth Ride vs any other driver skill (ORD, CB, etc) or [Smooth Ride/Sit. Aware/Snap Shot(?)/Shitty Loader Skill] vs camo/rep/FF.

 

Being able to run food and reducing the RNG of getting shit on by arty with fires is totally worth using a full set of crew member skills on, as you are gaining indirectly 10% boost across the board.

Same thing here, the better comparison is two players that both run food.  Running FF helps out when you get caught on fire, so if that is infrequent (1/50 battles) then at maximum it has an effect at all in 2% of your battles.  How is that less situational than smooth ride which will probably affect at minimum a few shots each game?

 

I have always felt that players place too much emphasis on the skills, especially when they first start trying to improve.  It would be hard to find the impact that it has on the game of a top player, and for everyone else it's just noise compared to more basic gameplay improvements.

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However, as breeze helpfully noted above, front/back dispersion is 1/3 of the overall dispersion on a tank (yes, it may not be 33% of the dispersion, but it is one of 3 'movements' which effect gun dispersion, together with lateral and turret). I think 4% reduction in bloom from this particular movement is actually very small indeed. Say equal weight is given to turret, forward/reverse and lateral movement. A 4% reduction in forward/backward dispersion would only be a 1.33% reduction in overall bloom, correct

It's arguable. Maximum turret traverse bloom is usually around half of the others so it would end up as a 1/9 factor in the output, although you could argue that it's easier to hit maximum turret traverse. Maximum speed & traverse blooms are often quite similar, but when driving around, you generally travel constantly but traverse occasionally, so the speed bloom may be more important.

Did anyone actually test what Smooth Ride applies to, or is this thread based on an assumption?

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He is correct, it only applies to one of the three bloom factors (and so does Snap Shot), in this case on movement/speed.

 

In my opinion Snapshot is nice because the turret bloom is what makes a gun feel either derpy or dependable, for example the T49 has decent movement and hull traverse bloom (identical to Ru 251) but horrible turret bloom while the IS-3 has less than amazing movement and hull traverse bloom but excellent turret bloom.

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That isn't a valid comparison, because BIA has to be on all crew members and Camo/Repair/FF only gets 1/x value unless it's on all crew members.

 

The comparison would be Smooth Ride vs any other driver skill (ORD, CB, etc) or [Smooth Ride/Sit. Aware/Snap Shot(?)/Shitty Loader Skill] vs camo/rep/FF.

 

Not really, you always have imbalanced crews anyway because of 6th sense.

So it often goes something like this:

1st: Commander 6th sense, everyone else repairs

2nd: (when levelling) camo, repairs commander (when done) everyone BIA

3rd: Repairs commander, camo everyone else

4th: Camo commander, snap shot gunner, w/e you want for the others safe stowage sometimes, for drive though I will be using FF without fail from now on except maybe Clutch now and then and Smooth Ride on stupidly bad dispersion tanks, like BC or STB)

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