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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/31/2013 in Articles

  1. 44 points
    Analyzing Purple Players I see a lot of frustration these days from in game chat, mostly when a player sees a good player on the enemy. They look at XVM, see the WN8, look at the win percentage, then type "gg" before the timer even runs out. The problem that this creates is a negative mentality for you and your team. While it is true that a purple is statistically better, it does not guarantee that he will as well as his stats say in any given match. In this article, I will explore how purples tend to play, and give average players tips on how to play with/against better players. Characteristics of a Purple First, let's explore the general characteristics of a purple player. They play good tanks: Purples generally will play a tank that is good in at least one category: damage, armor, burst, mobility. Usually the tanks they drive will excel in two of these categories. So, it should be established that these tanks are formidable, and should not be taken lightly. They excel at dealing damage: There's really only one way to achieve purple status: high damage numbers. Through good mechanics, tactics, or a combination of both, purples excel at dealing more damage than they take. Their damage ratio will usually be above 2, and really good players won't lose any health until late game. They have good situational awareness: From my experience, players that have a strong grasp of tactics and strategy tend to be at least dark purple. They know when to relocate to avoid taking damage while also dealing better damage. They know who needs to be taken out first, and know when to use their hp to push. These players will punish you heavily for any mistakes you make. They think that they're better than you: This is a general assumption. Statistically, this is true, but in practice, anything can happen. A lot of the time, their arrogance can cause them to make mistakes or tilt because things aren't going their way. Purples on your team There are two kinds of purples that you will see on your team. One wants to win, the other wants to do damage. There are two philosophies among purples that I've seen on forums. The first is: focus on winning, and the damage and stats will come afterwards. The other is do a lot of damage, and the win will come from that. I won't bother arguing about these two opinions, but I'll talk about how you can cooperate with these two kinds of purples. Support your purples just like you would any other teammate. I'm a big supporter of increased teamwork in pubs, since keeping others alive usually leads to better results. However, you shouldn't try to save anyone who has overextended and doomed themselves to die. Aggressive purples may attempt this often and then rage at their team for not following them loyally. Most of the time, their death is entirely their fault. Either they're tilted, or they couldn't read the battle correctly. It's not your responsibility to babysit a purple the whole game. After all, he is only one tank of 15. Even if he pumps out 4k damage, it still would be worse than 3 other tanks doing 2k damage each. Passive purples are the worst kind that you'll find. They'll sit where TDs sit, farm useless damage, and have terrible winrate compared to their damage per game. Consider these players equivalent to green/blue players. He won't help you, so don't bother helping him. Purples as Enemies Probably a worse situation is when you meet a good player on the enemy team. However, don't be intimidated just by their color in XVM. While their skills should be respected, it shouldn't pressure you into making irrational moves. Even the best of players aren't immortal. There are many different exploitable habits that purples tend to have. They love to farm damage: Some purples get enjoyment out of the game from farming, so much so that they get antsy when they aren't able to deal damage for extended periods of time. If you lock down the firing lanes of a good player, they will become impatient and make mistakes. They are stubborn: Some purples decide at the beginning of the game to take a certain position whether or not their team supports them. Some also refuse to fall back, then blame their team for not supporting them. As a general rule, if you know a player is isolated, whether it be a purple or red, don't hesitate to jump on it. They think that they are better than you: Remember, a tank is a tank. All it takes for you to land a shot into him is for your gun to be loaded the moment he pokes over. Good players poke when either the enemy is not looking at them, or the enemy has just fired. If you're sitting with a couple of teammates in an alleyway, stagger your shots to keep the good player guessing your reload times. Assuming you have equal alpha, trading 1 for 1 with a better player will lower his potential carry ability in late game. Remember that purples can recognize and punish mistakes harder than average players can. So, if you're careful and consider all angles of attack, you negate the purple's ability to take advantage of you. Let him be the one to overextend and get nailed by TDs/arty, not you. Another thing good players sometimes underestimate is the power of platoons. I cannot count how many times a platoon of top tier heavies/mediums on my opposing team has ruined my team either by blitzing early positions to prevent our team from moving from base or rolling an entire flank faster than the other can react. It's very easy to win in platoons. If you give the purple the time to find the right angles and flank shots, there's a chance they can carry. However, a fast push will effectively negate the enemy player's ability to do more damage by shortening the overall game time. Of course, don't push like idiots. Some maps require patience, like Prok. A lot of purples I speak to LOVE Prok when it has no arty. That's because they can take their time and farm the map slowly, rather than have to worry about flanks collapsing. Conclusion Better players should not be feared, but treated with caution. Anyone has the capability to have a good game. Purples just happen to know how to be more consistent. Teamwork always beats a pubstar. Always. Some purples are obnoxious and rude, others are nice and friendly.
  2. 37 points
    I present to you, the first of hopefully many new collaborative articles produced by the Purple Poster team here at WoTLabs. Today's article is about how one goes about improving and developing their skill in the game and ultimately increasing the levels of enjoyment. @weenis Wrote: I'll start off, and make some of the paragraphs shorter than the response I made to the "skill stagnating" topic. I'd also like to state that it isn't something that happens overnight. This shit takes time, I'm talking thousands of games here. When I first started playing WoT, it was with 2 RL friends, we didn't know anything about mechanics, we just grinded Pz1c's and yolo'd arty. This was fun for about 500 games, at which point I started on the american heavy and TD line. I can't remember much more details, other than the fact that I was bad (really, really bad!). I kept playing, and joined a clan with some green players. In the beginning I stuck mostly with triple platoons with friends, and focused on enjoying the game. I wasn't worrying about efficiency/wn6/winrate/younameit. I guess I kept up this approach until reaching "green/blue" stats, at which point I wanted to improve more. I did this using a combination of the below points: Watch streams. This is how I got better. You start off with streamers that explain what they're doing(learn sidescraping/weakspots/map layout - can also be done reading forums), eventually move onto streamers that simply play the game. Really high-end streamers will do shit that average players don't even notice. Analyze your own gameplay. After a few thousand battles, everyone knows the basics such as leading shots, aiming weakspots, knowing where to start off on each map etc. The next step is figuring out when to play aggressive and when to play passive, learning map development, when to fall back, when to camp, when to push etc. Minimap/general awareness. Keep an eye on your minimap every few seconds. Try to spot openings and attempt to predict enemy movement. After a while you will start to correctly predict enemy movement, being able to deal with issues before they even arise. I.e. if you anticipate an enemy can pop up from your right whilst you're engage with a tank already move your tank to a position that has cover from crossfire. Just little things really. Tank selection has a strong influence on your stats, but at your current level I wouldn't worry too much about it. Play tanks you enjoy playing, and try to maximize your effectiveness in each class. Play the different classes, and figure out what you like. Most unicums prefer mediums due to the meta, and the fact that they have the highest impact on the game due to speed. You can easily flex all over the map, whether this involves flanking into enemy base, running back to reset cap, or pumping out damage from a double bush position to take out enemy heavytanks/td's. Finally, if you really want to tryhard, watch all your replays and analyze if/when you made a mistake. After 23k odd games I usually know what I did wrong the second I did it, but that may not always be the case. Always think "How could I have avoided that" or "What did I do wrong there" or "Could I have done something different". Sometimes it's as obvious as not rounding the corner into the waiting JPE100, but other times it may be harder to decide. A final point that I didn't add in my previous post, is that until very recently I always platooned. I tried to platoon exclusively with better players (and learnt a lot from those games). This can be kept up indefinitely, but once you reach a certain point, you realise that you need to play solo to give you the highest chance of consistently doing 3.5/4k dpg. In a platoon your platoonmates (especially if just as skilled as you) will effectively cripple your games. @Kolni Wrote: I spent my time just casually goofing around in tanks for about 12k games, being shit at the game and not having a care in the world. My only friend that played tanks were exclusively playing low tier prems (tier 2 and 3 with the occasional Churchill III) so we played that a lot. I got kind of good at maneuvering and I knew where tanks would go. so I was stomping tier 2 for my first year at the game, slowly doing doubles on other stuff and grinding up shit. Then I went on the official forums one day after I learned about XVM and WN8, and poked around for a bit. I saw that the T49 (now T67) and the Hellcat were godly for it and for improving your vision gameplay. So I pretty much spammed 1k games straight in the Hellcat, during which I learned that the higher tiers were much more of a challenge and honestly a lot more fun. I was still pretty bad at the actual game and I started to get frustrated when things didn't go the way I wanted. I met an EXNOM platoon that I whined at because they were always in the enemy team. They told me about the tank channel "stronk plutons" where I started hanging out and play with people. I remember the first guy I played with. Draz_H, a S3AL player that's now retired completely. The first game we played was a tier 8 pref game where he did 6,5k damage in the Type 59. I was a green and he was purple, so he made quite the impression for that first game. Seeing as I'd never played with someone that good before. I started reading up information about the game in general, mostly on the official forums but I started to find some useful stuff on WoTLabs as well. I started putting what I had read about into practice and noticed a slow improvement, and I decided to go at it at tier 10. I got my BatChat and started yoloing around like a complete idiot for a clip a game. It was 2k damage roughly so I didn't feel like I was performing poorly but I noticed that I lost a lot. My survival rate was incredibly low as well and this is a remnant that's still around today. I kept getting better and got a blue recent after eliminating stupid mistake after stupid mistake, one by one. Then I started watching EJ. This was probably the biggest change as I saw him play areas I've never really considered before. I was blind to matchmaking and kept going at it at areas I just knew how to play, regardless of what I played or what I might have faced. I noticed that he went about as aggressive as I did, but he stayed alive for much much longer. He didn't do one for one trades and instead focused on eliminating exposure and sink damage in where it was for free. I started putting this into practice and I got myself a 140. It was a bit rough at first but I quickly ended up getting better and better games. My winrate was positive even at tier 10 and I got some decent games pretty close in between eachother. I guess the biggest reason here was that I could finally see how the really good players did what they did and I tried to replicate it to the best of my ability. It mostly resulted in either being too passive or overextending but I got closer and closer, and am still approaching it. After this I became active here on WoTLabs. I started playing CW with ZER0 for the second campaign and I finally got myself a purple recent. I was so satisfied. Thinking I was good at the game. However quickly realising that I still did mistakes that made me lose out on having even better games. So I kept trying. I joined KITTY and got around to playing with some of the better players and eventually I became dark purple recent. This is probably where I grew the most as a player in analysis and getting more consistent. I learned the way of E 50 and M46 there and I really had fun learning, doing it and actually three marked them eventually. This was still on a shitty macbook that crashed every third game. Summer last year (pretty much a year ago) I joined LAVA. I knew WaterWar from KITTY and he asked me if I wanted to join post leaving KITTY, and I took the offer up. Now, I finally got around to buying myself a PC and it just had a massive performance boost for me. I bought the T32 and 3marked it in 75 games. Thinking that crash eliminations and better FPS would help my game even more. I started getting really good at tier 8. Almost as good at it as I am now, but tier 9 and 10 was still a problem. Mistakes kept getting the better of me and I didn't know what to do to help it. With the death of LAVA I joined S3AL and stayed there pretty much until a week ago. I got better at T10 here, learning the ropes by players about as good as me, yet better at T10 but worse at lower tiers. I noticed I had some 3,5k DPG sessions and strived to keep them coming, ending up roughly around 3k and feeling just fine with that. SHs became a thing and I noticed I could start using a bit more gold and prem consumables while still being able to keep up my credits. Now this probably sounds bad but goldspam actually helped me limit my exposure by nature and in turn taking waaaaaaaaay less damage. I got better at micromanaging and fighting face to face and that's pretty much how I ended up where I am right now. Forever improving but for different reasons. I joined FAME a few days ago which was the last goal I had for tanks. Now I felt like I could shut off and finally just enjoy the game for what it is. Bullshit. Game isn't worth anything to me without playing to play my best and that's where I'm currently in limbo. With the increase of skill came more and more frustration about the game, whether it be arty, the playerbase, meta, balance issues or map changes. I'm honestly not sure if it was worthwhile all the time I've invested into the game. I'm really glad that I was able to join the best clan in europe for game that I really do care about, but now I think it's more about the community here, the people I got to know and less about stomping pubs and feeling superior. @Joyrider216 Wrote: You need to forget about stats. Right now, just drop it. See your long term stats as a wall, each brick is a game. How many of you take care of each and every brick, aiming to achieve complete perfection with each one you lay? The percentage we're looking for here lies smack bang in the middle of 99.8 and 100. Being good isn't your padded DPG on a specific tank, nor is it you 75% win rate over 11k games. Being good is taking care of every game that you enter, striving for success in it, taking/creating opportunities to get ahead and thus having a great influence on the game in your teams favour. @Gashtag has said it better than I ever will be able to, but being good isn't the numbers, being good is a mindset and a set of skills. Those pretty numbers come as a result of that skill. 1. Mentality: As with anything requiring any sort of skill, adopting the right mentality toward WoT was essential to improve for me. For a while my question I asked myself was "how can I do the most damage in this game". With this in mind, I sacrificed my winrate and platoon-mates for my damage quotas. What I came to realize was I asking the wrong question. What I should have been asking is this: "How can I influence this game enough to swing it in my favor and make it a victory" 2. Awareness: This is something I still struggle with, but being able to use my minimap and be aware of my surroundings was the first step. Once I was in the habit of looking at my minimap, I realized I wasn't doing anything with that information. It is not enough to just be aware of the battle and your map, but you must act on this awareness to make the biggest possible impact on the game. 3. Analysis: Whether it is you looking over your replays, or someone else providing feedback, there is no way to improve if you don't identify where you are weak. This falls into these general areas: 1. Mechanical skills (aiming, leading, penetrating, movement) - 48%+ 2. Tactical skills (angling, camo, vision, positioning) - 53%+ 3. Strategic skills (map control, awareness, analysis) - 58%+ 4. Tank selection/loadout (proper equipment, gold rounds, consumables/prem consumables) - 48%+ 5. Platoon or solo; platoon composition (complimentary tanks) and quality of platoonmates - depends 6. Mental state of player (tired/drunk/awake/distracted) - depends 4. Watching Others: There will always be a bigger fish, there is always someone better than you are. The cool thing is that you can learn from them and improve yourself. This ties in with the last point. You now know what you are doing wrong, but you don't know what to do right either. By watching streamers (Like Zeven, Anfield, Straik, Vetro, and Weenis to name a few) you can see and get inside the heads of these players and apply what you see to your gameplay. Platoon with someone who is willing to call you out when you screw up, listen to that advice and learn from it. A big thanks to the authors @weenis, @Kolni, @Joyrider216.and @Gashtag
  3. 32 points
    Hello reader! If you don't know me, I'm Patient0, a player of clan BULBA. Quick Bio: I started playing 4 years ago, and improved from a lowly 800 WN8, to 4k+ recent WN8 today. When I joined the newly created BULBA back in 2014, I had a little fewer than 10k battles. I've always found enjoyment in performing my best while playing the game, never settling for what my current proficiency. I enjoy coaching others free of charge, but can't find enough time in the day to service everyone, so I'm starting this semiweekly article series dedicated to helping anyone of any skill level improve at the game. I won't go into specific tanks, since there already are dedicated guides. Rather, the information in the article can be applied to most tanks you play in the game. This article will go over what you should think about when starting a pub match. How to Suck Less #1: Getting Started So, you've found the courage to finally hit the random battle button. You should already be familiar with your tank's characteristics, its strengths and weaknesses. It is now your job to apply its strengths, and hide its weaknesses. A lot of you may wonder, "I know, but how do I do that?" Well, that's what I'm here to explain. Good players will always consider every single bit of information available to them from the start of the game. I'm going to assume that you are driving a reasonably fast tank (can go 40-50 kph consistently), has a gun that isn't complete trash, and has ok armor. Map Analysis First, consider the map. Where will there be optimum cover but also easy access and angles to all parts of the map? I won't go over specific maps, since the viability of positions vary heavily depending on the deployment of your enemies and teammates. Your intuition will improve through practice, so start thinking about which positions offer more angles to damage enemies, and less angles for them to damage you (i.e. places where you can hull down, windows, hill, etc.). Exo's Map guides are a good place to start from. Start from there, then practice and adapt. Analyze Lineups Second, consider the enemy lineup. How many mediums, heavies, TDs, and arty do they have? Are you top tier? Bottom tier? More mediums - Watch out for aggressive fast pushes that will wreck your flank in seconds. Lure them into some heavies who can take the punishment, or regroup with your teammates and over-match them. Just don't let them isolate you. More Heavies - slow down; pushing into them is what they want you to do. Find angles from which you can shoot their sides and rear. Facing them frontally means that they will use their superior health pools to out trade you. This is the best scenario because you know that they won't be going anywhere anytime soon, so take your time and farm to 7k damage. More TDs - Recognition of popular firing lanes is important. Generally I would play cautiously, as even one mistake could end up with you at half or 0 hp. Dealing with TDs should be about the same as dealing with heavies. they have low mobility and even worse firing rate, so take advantage of this and hit them after they've fired or flank. More Arty - For me, 1 or 2 arty is bearable, however, arty has a multiplicative effect where any number above 3 means that you are unable to time their reloads, meaning you aren't able to have moments of aggression in between reloads. Make sure to play carefully and not be spotted often. Control who they focus on. I might write more about reading, predicting, and influencing enemy movements in another article. Top Tier - You're top dog, so play like one. Don't be afraid to push with teammates. Not like an idiot though. Bottom Tier - You're weaker relative to everyone else, meaning that enemies will be more comfortable yoloing you if they want. Therefore, take a supportive role, stay behind the big boys, and farm that damage. Taking Early Positions One of the most important things you should do in any game. Taking early positions sets the tempo of matches, and early game damage influences the game the most. Catching that slow top tier out means that he will have less hp to work with for the rest of the match. Early damage is important, but it's also risky. For one, if you don't position yourself correctly, the enemy might get cocky enough to rush you and if you don't have sufficient support behind you, you will die. You will probably also be the first spotted, so it means that arty's first shot will be aimed at you. If you've ever played on Lakeville and you see players asking for the scout to passive spot mid, it's for a reason. Typically, it's wise to go with the majority so that you can win the flank rather than spend a hard time defending the other. Most maps only have two to three viable locations to go to, so make sure you have enough teammates with you before you go there. Some maps like Prok and Lakeville allow scouts to get really good initial vision on where the enemy is going, so when that happens, take advantage of the new information and adjust accordingly. If they are rushing a flank, don't go there. Take a position where you can punish their push from the side and from afar. Putting It All Together Image 1 I'm going to use a replay of mine for an example. The map is Himmelsdorf and it is Encounter. We're South spawn. I go down in my E5. I typically don't go hill from South because there is no way to retreat from it once you start losing. Also, it's Encounter so even the heavies will go up a lot of the time. Lineups are about the same, no irregularities. There is a large number of low tiers, meaning that the game will be largely determined by what the top tiers do. I check the 8 line alley, don't see any big players there. This means that either they all went hill, or took a detour and went 1 line. The most probable event is the former. After about 20 seconds I start going west on D line. Why? So I can get shots into hill. Excellent plays result from reacting to information quickly and accurately.Image 2 Here you can see me shifting quickly to Western D line at the 13:30 mark. This allows me to shoot up into the hill and deal out damage. In hindsight, if I had moved even earlier I could've reached where the Cent AX was and gotten even better shots into hill and better cover. Anyone on D line becomes trapped once the enemy is done fighting on hill. Something to note is that I could've gone hill in the beginning, and brawled with the everyone. Each player has their unique playstyle/opinions, and you will develop your own through experience and practice. TL;DR : Practice reading the information the enemy gives you at the start of every battle. They will help make the mid and late game easier. Afterword Grats on making it down here! This is my first article, so suggestions are welcome. If there are any topics you want me to cover in the next article, feel free to post in the thread and I'll get to it. I stream sometimes. Support me by following the stream: Twitch
  4. 25 points
    Introduction: For how popular of a game as World of Tanks is, I haven't seen many benchmarks comparing different graphics cards/GPUs to the game performance. You might see one popping up every year or two with limited info about testing methods. When I read that 9.14 was going to move the sound processing to another CPU core, I decided that after 9.14 was released, it would be a good time to compare different GPUs. I'm going through the process of using different GPUs with the same replays to compare their performance. For smooth game play you want to keep your minimum FPS(Frames per Second) above 30 FPS. Games can start looking like a slide show below 30 FPS. Games tend to look smoother and are easier to play when you keep your minimum frame rates higher. Generally 50-60 FPS is where games start to look much smoother to most gamers. Some people with 60 Hz monitors prefer to have their minimum FPS never drop below 60 FPS then enable V-sync to reduce the visual effect called screen tearing. Other players have monitors that are capable of 75, 100, 120, or 144 Hz refresh rates and want higher average FPS in game. Minimum and average frame per second are a matter of both game play quality and personal preference and can be limited by the hardware. Maximum FPS isn't as important for game play as minimum FPS and average FPS. There is a myth that the human eye can't distinguish any difference above 30 frames per second, so that having more than 30 FPS is useless. In scientific testing, it has been proven that the human eye may be able to see differences in frame rate at over 200 frames per second. Other tests have shown that computer gamers can see a difference between 30 frames per second, 60 frames per second, and 100+ frames per second while playing computer games on newer monitors that have the capability of using refresh rates above 100 Hz. Also, some people say that television and movies are shown at approximately 30 FPS, so more than 30 FPS isn't necessary. However movies and television shows often use motion blur to hide what would seem to be jerky movement due to being played at 30 FPS. Another advantage of higher frame rates is less input lag and less game lag. You may have a great ping and no packet loss, but if you are averaging 30 FPS it may feel that you have higher ping when you play because there is more lag in the game itself. For example, if you play at 30 FPS, each frame is about 0.0333 seconds. If you play at 60 FPS, each frame is 0.0167 seconds. If you play at 100 FPS, each frame is 0.0100 seconds. To many players, having higher frame rates feels and acts like having a better in game ping. Some players feel that higher FPS in a game makes it easier to hit moving targets in game and to hit smaller targets in game. Methods: Replays: I downloaded quite a few replays from WoTReplays.com and found a few to find what I was looking for. I ended up using three different replays that I downloaded from WoTReplays.com. Two replays were used more than the third replay. The first replay is a Comet on Serene Coast. Link: http://wotreplays.com/site/2546813 The second replay is a Type 64 on Abbey. Link: http://wotreplays.com/site/2536214 The third replay is an IS-6 on Kharkov Link: http://wotreplays.com/site/2544611. I used the Comet replay because a large part of the battle occurs near the water, has tanks driving through water, and it is a good replay to see how the water quality settings affect game performance. The Type 64 replay was used because it has a wide variety of game play events, game environments, and was stressful to even higher end GPUs giving the lowest average frames per second and lowest minimum frames per second of all the different replays I tried. I also used the IS-6 replay because I wanted to see how stressful on the graphics heavy tank play is around buildings. It ended up that heavy tank play in the city is not very stressful on the GPU for most mid and high end GPUs. Several other replays of heavy tank play on city maps showed that it seems to be less stressful and yielded higher FPS than other types of replays. The IS-6 replay is more of a best case scenario instead of an average or demanding replay. Because of this I didn't use the IS-6 replay to test many of the GPUs. Computer systems used: Desktop: i7 3770K overclocked to 4.4 GHz and water cooled. 32 GB RAM (8GB x 4 sticks) 1 TB Samsung EVO 850 SSD Seasonic 650 Watt power supply Windows 10 Pro The overclocked i7-3770K was used to reduce any limitations of the CPU performance in frame rates of the replays. Also the 3770K allows adjustment of CPU speed to see what effect CPU speed has on frame rate. Graphics cards tested in the Desktop and their manufacturer's part numbers: GTX 970* (04G-P4-3979-KB) GTX 960 (02G-P4-2968-KR) GTX 660 ti (02G-P4-3664-KR) GTX 750 ti (02G-P4-3751-KR) R7 370 (R7-370B-CDFR) R7 260 (GV-R736OC-2GD) 8800 GTS 512MB (512-P3-N841-A3 512MB) Intel's HD 4000 integrated graphics on the i7 processor *The GTX 970 was borrowed and returned to its owner. Testing time was limited. The Nvidia GPUs were all tested with driver version 364.51 except for the 8800 GTS 512 which was tested with the latest driver for that GPU which is version 341.92 Laptop: MSI GT60 i7-3630QM GeForce GTX 680M 4GB DDR5 12 GB RAM 500 GB Samsung 840 SSD Windows 10 I used the Fraps program to record minimum, maximum, and average FPS. Each replay was measured by FRAPS for 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Measurement of the frames per second started when the countdown timer reached 00:00. The replays were measured three times in a row and the averages of the three replays with the same settings were used. Each replay was run three times to be sure there were no unusual reading of the FPS measurements and to ensure consistent and accurate results. No game mods were installed for the test. The results were very consistent for most of the GPUs with the usual variation of average and minimum FPS being 1 FPS or less. I noticed when comparing to previous tests of GPUs I performed using FRAPS and replays on the GTX 680M and the 8800 GTS 512MB that the minimum FPS results were less consistent in patch 9.14 than they were in patch 9.13 and earlier. However the minimum FPS rarely varied more than 3 FPS on the GTX 680M and 8800 GTS 512MB when running the same replay three times in a row or when running the same replay on different days to see if I'd get the same results. To do testing on your own computer, you can purchase Fraps here: Fraps Web Page In addition to the effect of different GPUs on frame rate, different graphics options and different CPU speeds were tested for their effect on frame rate to determine what options have the highest effect on frame rate. Test Results: Effect of CPU speed on FPS: Even though sound processing was moved to another core, World of Tanks still depends on single threaded performance to determine FPS. However, less of the CPU's single threaded performance is used for sound. I tested WoT at "Full Maximum" graphics and varied the CPU speed. As you can see, there is a point where increasing the CPU speed doesn't yield much better frame rates. This is most likely the limit of the graphics card if increasing the CPU speed doesn't have a significant increase in FPS. I'll be doing further testing with other GPUs to determine if the CPU speed that no longer makes a difference is FPS is similar or if it varies on different GPUs. On lower graphics settings there is also an issue where the average FPS and minimum FPS seem to vary little between GPUs because many of the GPUs spend a large part of time at the game maximum of 120 FPS. Effect of Nvidia PhysX on FPS: The Bigworld Game engine is listed as one of the game engines that support Nvidia PhysX. I've seen players ask, "When I upgrade my video card, should I save my old one and use it for a dedicated PhysX card for World of Tanks?" I put the GTX 750 ti in the second PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot in my motherboard and went into the Nvidia Control Panel and set the GTX 750 ti as a dedicated PhysX card. Then I reran the benchmarks for the GTX 960 on the Abbey and Serene Coast replays. The results are below. You can see there was no significant improvement in minimum or average frame rate by using a second Nvidia GPU as a dedicated PhysX card. It looked liek the average FPS was actually slightly higher in both replays by not having a dedicated PhysX GPU. However, the slightly higher frame rate is well within the margin of error. If you are interested in more detailed FPS info with the Type 64 replay on the Abbey map, you can click the link below. More detailed info PhysX vs No PhysX. In summary, it looks like World of Tanks does not benefit from a dedicated Nvidia PhysX GPU. Full Maximum Graphics Benchmarks: The in game "Maximum" graphics setting does not turn all the graphics sliders all the way up. Also, the in game "Maximum" graphics setting does not enable AA. For the first benchmark comparison, I turned all the sliders all the way up, enabled TSAA-HQ, set the FOV to 95 degrees, set 3D Render Resolution to 100%, and turned off Dynamic Adjustment and Dynamic Changes of Effects. This increases graphics and effects quality and is more demanding on the GPU than the in game "Maximum" setting. Screenshots of the settings used are below. Results of the currently tested GPUs at 1920x1080 resolution and full maximum graphics: At 1920x1080 resolution, all the the GPUs tested with full maximum graphics settings used between 1.7 GB and 1.9 GB of graphics memory according to MSI Afterburner. The 4 GB memory GPUs did not use more than 1.9 GB of graphics memory at either resolution. MSI Afterburner was run separately to the FPS benchmark tests to see the graphics memory used. GTX 970: For players who don't want their FPS to drop below 60 FPS in game at 1920x1080 resolution at this graphics setting, the GTX 970 works very well. It was the only GPU tested that was able to maintain a minimum FPS greater than 60. Because of the high minimum and average FPS the GTX 970 is capable of, it offers very smooth game play at this graphics setting. You can see that the GTX 960 did similar in minimum frame rates as the GTX 970. However the GTX 970 had much higher average frame rates at this graphics setting. The GTX 970 Graphics cards with similar specs to the one used here currently sell for $295-$380 in the US market. GTX 960: If you play with V-sync enabled on a 60Hz refresh rate monitor and no game mods or minimal game mods, the GTX 960 will be adequate for most game situations at 1920x1080 resolution with this graphics setting and offer very smooth game play. The GTX 960 costs over $100 less than the GTX 970 at current US market prices and has a minimum FPS that is only slightly below 60 FPS. The GTX 960's with similar specs to the one used here sell for $165-$185 in the US market. One thing to consider with the GTX 960 is if you play other games that require more graphics memory, a GTX 960 with 4 GB of graphics memory and similar GPU speed to the one tested here currently sell for $185-210 in the US market. GTX 660 ti: Considering that the GTX 660 ti is a GPU released in the summer of 2012, its performance is still very good in World of Tanks. With an average FPS greater than 60 and a minimum frame rate slightly less than 50 FPS the GTX 660 ti can offer smooth game play at this graphics setting. Also, fully functional GTX 660 ti graphics cards are selling for $65-100 on eBay in the US depending on the model and included accessories. The GTX 660 ti s a very good deal for World of Tanks if you have under $100 to spend on a graphics card. However, a four year old, used GPU usually doesn't have a warranty if that is a concern to you. R7 370: The R7 370 couldn't hit an average of 60 FPS in game at these settings. However, the minimum FPS stayed above 40 which would allow for mostly smooth game play at this graphics setting without game mods installed. The R7 370 I used was a factory overclocked model and is one of the highest overclocked R7 370 graphics cards on the market at 1050 MHz. There are a few R7 360 models with slightly higher clock speeds available. I tried this R7 370 overclocked to 1100 MHz and the FPS results were almost the same as the factory overclock of 1050 MHz. The factory overclocked R7 370 models with similar speeds all currently sell for $125 to $160 in the US market. GTX 750 ti: The GTX 750 ti was able to maintain a minimum of over 30 FPS at this graphics setting. While the game play wouldn't be as smooth as a GPU capable of 60 FPS minimum, the game is playable if the minimum FPS doesn't drop below 30 FPS. I could see a difference between the GTX 750 ti and the GTX 960 while playing the game with both GPUs back to back. If you install game mods, your minimum FPS will likely be below 30 FPS and that will be noticeable. The GTX 750 ti used in this test is a model that uses power from the PCI Express x16 slot. It does not require external power. You can buy half height GTX 750 ti video cards that can be used in slim and small form factor computers. There are faster GTX 750 ti models that use a 6 pin external power connector and are overclocked well above factory specs. I did not have one available for testing. The overclocked GTX 750 ti graphics cards that require 6 pin external power currently sell for about $130 in the US. At $130 you can buy a video card with a faster GPU. The GTX 750 ti graphics cards that don't require external power sell for $95-$110 in the US market at this time. GTX 680M: The GTX 680M is a mobile GPU that was released in the summer of 2012. The GTX 680M on the laptop still maintained a minimum FPS of about 30. This allowed for the game play to be smooth, but I could see a difference between the GTX 680M and the GTX 960 while playing the game. If you install mods, the GTX 680M will most likely need lower graphics settings to maintain a minimum of 30 FPS in game. The GTX 750 ti and GTX 680M offered similar performance with the GTX 750 ti having a slightly higher minimum frame rate while the GTX 680M had a slightly higher average frame rate at this graphics setting. Both the GTX 680M and GTX 750 ti use different methods of achieving similar results. The GTX 750 ti relies on faster clock speeds, while the GTX 680M relies on a higher throughput due to more processing cores. R7 360: The R7 360 couldn't maintain a minimum of 30 FPS and struggles to maintain 25 FPS at this graphics setting. During the replay and while playing the game with the R7 360, the game didn't appear to be smooth in many occasions. I noticed instances of the slide show effect and my mouse movements making the aim point move where I didn't want it to be. I wouldn't recommend the R7 360 at this graphics setting for smooth game play. The R7 360 graphics cards sell for $90-$130 in the US at this time. If you are playing World of Tanks without mods or maybe with minimal mods and using the "Full Maximum" setting described above, the two GPUs that will allow for truly smooth game play are the GTX 860 and GTX 970. The GTX 660 ti is a close runner up with an average FPS of almost 64 FPS. The R7 370, GTX 750 ti, and GTX 680M were playable and maintained above 30 FPS. I would not recommend the R7 360 at this graphics setting. If you only had $100 to spend on a graphics card for World of Tanks and were not interested in buying a used graphics card, I'd recommend the GTX 750 ti over the R7 360 based on the results of these tests.. Maximum Graphics Benchmarks: The game preset "Maximum" was selected. Other setting included, AA was turned off, FoV was set to 95 degrees, set 3D Render Resolution to 100%, and turned off Dynamic Adjustment and Dynamic Changes of Effects. No game mods were installed. Results of the tested GPUs at 1920x1080 resolution and maximum graphics: GTX 970: For players who don't want their FPS to drop below 60 FPS in game at 1920x1080 resolution at this graphics setting, the GTX 970 works very well. The GTX 970 averaged over 100 FPS and its minimum frame rate was slightly below 70 FPS at the Maximum graphics setting. The GTX 970 will likely keep the minimum frame rate above 60 FPS with a few minor mods installed such as XVM and cross hair. GTX 960: The GTX 960 offered a minimum frame rate that was only slightly below that of the GTX 970. However its average frame rate was slightly above 90 FOS instead of 100 FPS. The GTX 960 has more than enough performance for playing World of Tanks with no mods if you want to never drop below 60 FPS. At this graphics setting the GTX 960 might even keep the minimum FPS around or above 60 FPS with a few game mods installed such as a basic XVM config and cross hair. GTX 660 ti: The GTX 660 ti continued to perform well for an older GPU. At this graphics setting the average frame rate was above 70 FPS and the minimum framerate was 55 FPS. Overall, this GPU is capable of keeping the FPS above 60 most of the time, so that playing with V-sync enabled and not dropping below 60 FPS often is possible. R7 370: The R7 370 performed similar to the GTX 660 ti at this graphics setting. The average FPS was slightly higher than the GXT 660 ti. However, the minimum FPS of the R7 370 was lower than the GTX 660 ti. This is another GPU is capable of keeping the FPS above 60 most of the time, so that playing with V-sync enabled and not dropping below 60 FPS often is possible. GTX 680M: The GTX 680M continued to perform well for an older mobile GPU. The average frame rate was just below 60 FPS and the minimum frame rate was above 40 FPS. Overall game play was smooth with this GPU. Installing game mods might bring the minimum frame rate close to 30 fps depending on what game mods you install. Adding XVM and cross hair might allow the minimum frame rate to stay above 30 FPS. GTX 750 ti: The GTX 750 ti was still smooth and playable at this graphics setting. The average frame rate was 55 FPS and the minimum frame rate was a little below 40 FPS. Just like the GTX 680M, installing game mods might bring the minimum frame rate close to or below 30 FPS depending on what game mods you install. Adding XVM and cross hair might allow the minimum frame rate to stay above 30 FPS. R7 360: The R7 360 managed an average frame rate just above 50 FPS and barely managed to keep the minimum frame rate above 30 FPS at this graphics setting. Installing mods and using this graphics setting will make the minimum frame rate drop below 30 FPS and have an effect on game play. Based on the results above, both the GTX 970 and GTX 960 work well for a player who wants to keep the minimum frame rate above 60 FPS. The GTX 660 ti and R7 370 also both worked well for players wanting smooth game play with their minimum frame rates being around 55 FPS. The GTX 660 ti continued to be a good value for a used GPU for World of Tanks. Again, I'd recommend the GTX 750 ti over the R7 360 if you only had $100 to spend on a new GPU for World of Tanks. High Graphics Benchmarks: The game preset "High" was selected. Other setting included, AA was turned off, FoV was set to 95 degrees, set 3D Render Resolution to 100%, and turned off Dynamic Adjustment and Dynamic Changes of Effects. No game mods were installed. Results of the tested GPUs at 1920x1080 resolution and High graphics: With the graphics at the "High" preset, the GTX 970, GTX 960, GTX 660 ti, and R7 370 all were able to keep a minimum FPS above 60 FPS at 1920x1080 resolution. If maintaining a minimum of 60 FPS at 1920x1080 resolution is important to you, then all three of these cards will get that done as long as you don't play with game mods installed. Even on the "High" graphics setting we are starting to see similar minimum FPS and average FPS results from several GPUs. Both the GTX 970 and GTX 960 were hitting 120 FPS in several areas of the replay. Both the GTX 660 ti and R7 370 were hitting a maximum FPS of just under 120 FPS in several areas of the replay. GTX 970: The GTX 970 started to hit the frame rate limit in World of Tanks at this setting with parts of the replay were capped at 120 FPS. At the High graphs setting, the GTX 970 should be more than capable of maintaining a minimum frame above 60 FPS even with some mods installed. GTX 960: The GTX 960 was occasionally hitting the frame rate limit in World of Tanks at this setting. The minimum frame rate was slightly below that of the GTX 970. However the average frame rate was about 5 FPS less than the GTX 970. That might not be an accurate representation of the performance difference between the GTX 970 and GTX 960 because of the GTX 970 being capped at 120 FPS for larger parts of the replay. The GTX 960 should be able to maintain a minimum of 60 FPS at this graphics setting with soem mods installed. GTX 660 ti: The GTX 660 ti again showed itself as being a good value in a used GPU for World of Tanks. The minimum frame rate was similar to that of the GTX 960. The GTX 660 ti should be able to maintain a minimum of 60 FPS at this graphics setting with some mods installed. R7 370: The R7 370 had a similar average FPS to that of the GTX 660 ti. However it minimum frame rate was consistently a little lower. The R7 370 continued to be a good value for a GPU in World of Tanks. The R7 370 should be able to maintain a minimum of 60 FPS at this graphics setting with some mods installed. GTX 750 ti: The GTX 750 ti performed well at this graphics setting. Overall it offered smooth game play with its average frame rate being close to 75 FPS and its minimum frame rate being a little less than 55 FPS. If you play with no mods installed and want your frame rate to stay above 60 FPS most of the time the GTX 750 ti will do that at this graphics setting. With mods installed, the average frame rate will probably stay above 60 FPS. GTX 680M: The GTX 680M offered smooth game play at this graphics setting and did well for an older mobile GPU. The average frame rate stayed above 60 FPS and the minimum frame rate was just under 48 FPS which allows for smooth game play. With some game mods installed the GTX 680M should be easily capable of keeping the minimum frame rate above 30 FPS at this graphics setting. R7 360: The R7 360 was able to maintain an average frame rate equal to the GTX 680M. However, its minimum frame rate was lower than the GTX 680M at 41 FPS. Overall, game play at this setting should be smooth at this graphics setting. With some game mods installed the R7 360 should be easily capable of keeping the minimum frame rate above 30 FPS at this graphics setting. Again, if your budget for a new GPU for World of Tanks is $100, I'd recommend the GTX 750 ti over the R7 360. Medium Graphics Benchmarks: The game preset "Medium" was selected. Other setting included, AA was turned off, FoV was set to 95 degrees, set 3D Render Resolution to 100%, and turned off Dynamic Adjustment and Dynamic Changes of Effects. No game mods were installed. Results of the tested GPUs at 1920x1080 resolution and Medium graphics: GTX 970: The GTX 970 was not completely tested under the "Medium" graphics setting. Under the "High" graphics setting, the GTX 970 spend parts of the replays at the game's limit of 120 FPS. There is a game engine limitation that doesn't allow faster frame rates than 120 FPS in World of Tanks. Testing the GTX 970 under "Medium" would not yield accurate results because the average FPS would be skewed by the game's limitation of 120 FPS. One test of both the Type 64 replaya nd Comet replay were done with the GTX 970 at the Medium graphics setting and the Fraps log file showed large parts of the replay's frame rate capped at the game's maximum of 120 FPS. GTX 960 GTX 660 ti R7 370: The GTX 960, GTX 660 ti and R7 370 all ran into the issue where they hit the cap of 120 FPS for portions of the replay using the "Medium" setting. This caused all three GPUs to yield similar results for average and minimum FPS. I'm not sure if its due to a CPU limitation or a game engine limitation due to the single threaded nature of the game or a combination of both. The GTX 960, GTX 660 ti, and R7 370 all have different pixel fill rates and texel fill rates according to benchmarks. Also, the GTX 960, GTX 660 ti, and R7 370 all give different benchmark result in WoT at other settings and in other games. Therefore, its probably not a GPU issue limiting the performance on the "Medium" setting. All of them also offered smooth game play at the "High" setting. Unless the use of mods decreases your frame rates significantly, I'd suggest using the GTX 960, GTX 660 ti, and R7 370 at the "High" preset. GTX 750 ti: The GTX 750 ti maintained a minimum frame rate of almost 73 FPS and an average frame rate of over 95 FPS at this graphics setting. This allows for very smooth game play and also would allow for some game mods to be installed without the frame rate dropping below 60 FPS. R7 360: The R7 360's minimum frame rate at this graphics setting was 59 FPS. That's more than adequate for players who want keep a their frame rate of 60 FPS. The actual amount of time the frame rate would be below 60 FPS is rather low. Of course installing mods would drop the frame rate below 60 FPS. Again, I'd recommend the GTX 750 ti over the R7 360 if you only had $100 to spend on a new GPU for World of Tanks. The difference of 12 FPS in the minimum frame rate between the GTX 750 ti abd R7 360 is a significant difference. GTX 680M: The GTX 680M should offer smooth game play at this graphics setting with an average frame rate close to 75 FPS and a minimum frame rate of 50 FPS. However, the GTX 680M didn't quite have the ability to keep the minimum frame rate close to 60 FPS at this graphics setting. 8800 GTS 512: The performance og the 8800 GTS 512 at the Medium graphics setting isn't adequate for good game play. It was definitely noticeable when the frame rate dropped and replay did spend significant portions of the battle below 30 FPS. If you are using an older GPU, you should either use the Low" graphics setting or play at a lower resolution. Older GPU in World of Tanks: I was able to test World of Tanks with an 8800 GTS 512 and also compare its game performance to the Intel i7 integrated HD 4000 graphics. The test was conducted at 1920x1080 resolution. The 8800 GTS 512 offered poor performance using the in game "Medium" graphics setting at 1920x1080 resolution. The minimum FPS was consistently 25 FPS and the average FPS was below 40 FPS. The lack of smoothness was noticed while playing the game. If you are using an older GPU, I' suggest a resolution much lower than 1920x1080. At the "Low" setting the 8800 GTS 512 was very smooth and playable. The 8800 GTS 512 made high frame rates in World of Tanks at 1920x1080 resolution on the "Low" setting. I tried the 8800 GTS 512 at 1600x900 resolution and achieved a minimum of 35.33 FPS and an average of 49.49 FPS with the Type 64 replay. This frame rate is playable and won't give you the slide show effect when the frame rate drops below 30 FPS that will happen with this GPU at higher resolutions. With older/slower GPUs I'd recommend lower resolution settings if you don't want to use the "Low" or "Minimum" graphics. The 8800 GTS 512 is a GPU that was released in December 2007 and has 512 MB of video RAM. I was curious if it offered better performance in World of Tanks than the integrated HD 4000 graphics on the i7 processor on the in game "Low" setting. As you can see at the in game "Low" setting an older GPU is still an improvement over the Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics. Effect of Graphics Options on FPS: Using the "Full Maximum" graphics option explained above, the graphics settings were tested with them being turned down to "Low" or "Off" to see if they had a significant change in frame rate. Most fo the settings had a minimal effect on minimum or average FPS in the game. However there were a few setting that when turned to "Low" or "Off" had a significant effect on frame rate across multiple GPUs. As you can see, turning shadows off consistently improved FPS among many different GPUs. Turning Lighting off also significantly improved FPS on most GPUs. For some unusual reason turning lighting off actually decreased the minimum FPS on the GTX 970 while increasing the average FPS. This was verified after the computer was rebooted and the replay's FPS was measured again with both the "Full Max" baseline settings and Lighting "Off" in graphics options.. Turning off Extra Effects Off in both regular mode and sniper mode had a significant improvement on FPS. Turning off Anti-aliasing (TSAA-HQ) improved the FPS on less powerful GPUs the most. On the GTX 970 and GTX 960, turning AA off didn't change minimum FPS. In testing the replay with the Comet on Serene Coast, turning the water quality to "Low" resulted in a 0 to 3 FPS improvement in minimum FPS and average FPS over water quality being set to "maximum" on all the GPUs tested. Using other benchmarks to predict World of Tanks GPU performance: As an experiment, I ran each GPU through a series of benchmarks after the World of Tanks FPS testing with each GPU to see if there was a correlation with any other benchmark and World of Tanks performance. I tried the following benchmarks to see if there was a good correlation between performance in those benchmarks and World of Tanks average FPS or minimum FPS. Passmark 3D GPU benchmark 3DMark Fire Strike 3DMark Sky Diver 3DMark Cloud Gate 3DMark 3D Mark 11 3DMark 3D Vantage 3DMark 3D Vantage Extreme Texel Fill Pixel Fill There was no strong correlation between relative performance in those benchmarks and relative performance in minimum FPS or average FPS in World of Tanks 9.14. Unfortunately, you can use other benchmarks of GPU performance to estimate World of Tanks FPS performance of different GPUs. Conclusion: Using the different graphics settings can vastly improve game play performance in World of Tanks. You can customize the settings on most newer graphics cards, including ones that cost about $100 new, to achieve smooth game play. Overall, the faster the GPU, the higher the FPS will be in World of Tanks. However, you don't need to spend $600 on a GTX 980 ti for World of Tanks to get good performance in this game. Even a GPU form 2007 will play World of Tanks on Low settings or lower resolutions very well and integrated graphics on some newer CPUs will play World of Tanks at a playable level. If you play games other than World of Tanks, take a graphics card's performance in those other games into consideration in addition to World of tanks performance. Notes: I received no free hardware for testing or evaluation from any retailer or manufacturer of computer hardware for this comparison test. I previously purchased Fraps to test other games. I owned some of the GPUs used in the test, borrowed the GTX 970(and paid for overnight shipping to send it back to its owner), and purchased a few other GPUs for testing when I found them on sale for below average prices(Used, demo models sitting in a display case at a hardware shop, last one in inventory, etc...). I will be buying other GPUs to add to testing of World of Tanks version 9.15. If you appreciated my work and want to help support future World of Tanks hardware benchmarks, help me out in any of the several ways listed below: If you buy a Graphics Card or any other product made by EVGA please use use my EVGA affiliate code when you purchase from the EVGA.com web page and/or register the product.on EVGA.com. My EVGA affiliate code is: JW8SNWHOB4 If you would like to donate to fund future hardware testing you can use the link below: <form action="https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr" method="post" target="_top"> <input type="hidden" name="cmd" value="_s-xclick"> <input type="hidden" name="hosted_button_id" value="WFMV4N64JSXY4"> <input type="image" src="https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_donateCC_LG.gif" border="0" name="submit" alt="PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!"> <img alt="" border="0" src="https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif" width="1" height="1"> </form> Neverwish, is it possible to add the HTML PayPal link be added to the end of the Wotlabs article? This post has been promoted to an article This post has been promoted to an article
  5. 18 points

    The Batchat 25t.

    I'll start off by saying that this is a difficult tank to play well. The bloom and time between shells really kills any quick opportunity to deal a lot of damage that every other autoloader gets except for the Foch 155. What it does get in return is more mobility and a higher potential clip damage than the rest of the autoloader bunch (except for the Foch, once again) and that's what you have to play for, every single time. Crew: The crew is small and the tank is fragile meaning you'll need a good crew to stay alive. I personally recommend camo over repairs if you're playing SH/CW as a batchat player but the other way around for randoms. Spotting means squat in randoms anymore so my suggested order of training goes something like this: Repairs + sixth (survivability in general because getting tracked means that you're dead) Camo and respec to BiA once it's full (one could use gun skills or situational awareness but I don't see how they're more important at the moment this early) Camo once again (you could do the last repair skill for the commander if you want to) Situational Awareness/Snap Shot/Smooth Ride (even if the skills have surfaced as somewhat useless the gun is shitty enough for them to worth it, especially if you use it SH/CW where you'll have to run AFE instead of food) After that you can go with whatever you wish, I went with firefighting because I run food in randoms. Loadout: You have a few options here. 30/0/0, 25/5 or 20/10. I personally run 20/10 as of now but I've been running 30/0/0 for ages and it's perfectly fine too. The point of this is simply the low ammo capacity and split clips. Running 15/15 (50/50 like I run in most of my meds that don't have 50+ shells) is simply too split when your ammo actually runs low. You'll have a clip of 4 shells and one with 1 when you needed them all. Your DPM goes trash tier from already shit tier. The playstyle changes as well with the HEAT rounds. Lack of them means that you'll have to spend more time using the map to get shots you can actually pen instead of just engaging a E 100 frontally when he's on reload for 2K damage. 20/10 is the most flexible one in my opinion. I usually only fire 4 out of 5 shells before my shootable targets get safe and that adds up to an extra 4 shell clip simply by using experience on my end. 10 HEAT rounds means that you can shave off 4K HP off of the bulkier heavies frontally when there's situations you wouldn't otherwise be able to shoot them. (BC on Mali hill shooting early on an E 100 or any japanese heavy moving for example) so you don't have to constantly keep target selection at the back of your head wasting time thinking on what to do. I know some of the better players run 25/5 because they fire that HEAT clip early and always fire them, then just switch to APCR for the rest of the game since they already sunk in 2K HP early in a heavier engagement before just rotating elsewhere. Equipment: Vertical Stabilizer is an obvious choice, I don't think it's necessary to go deeper into why. The remaining contenders are vents, optics and GLD. I've seen every combo possible out of these three and none of them are actually wrong and it mostly comes down to how you play your batchat and if you do competitive play or not. Optics are arguably useless in randoms (although I've personally been getting bang for my buck running them lately) but at least they'll keep you up top on the spotting game. I reach 488 meters of viewrange in my BC running optics, food, BiA and situational awareness which is more than enough to always stay on the edge of spotting. Camo piercing might not seem like much, but if you ever get camosniped that extra viewrange will help you out more than you'd think. It'll also let you actually spot tanks at max viewrange. Every tank has camo values which means that spotting an O-I or a Maus at 445m (max view range) won't happen at exactly 445m away because of camo. Now this is probably just a few meters but when it comes to other tanks like TDs, the extra view range helps you spot them through piercing them at large distances. The most notable map I noticed for this is Fishermans Bay. With a VR specced BC I can spot the the northeastern corner from the middle when they fire and net myself and my team early damage. Now this might sound very situational and anecdotal but it's just an example of when optics actively contribute to winning games. Vents are vents, small boost to everything and hardly noticeable (food is twice the boost). Good for people who play the BC for 100% gun or want to boost their VR even more (hardly necessary breaking 500, ever) GLD is what I run combined with optics. You'll actually make use of this because of the terrible aimtime and sitting still while dumping your clip quite often so the GLD will actually kick in more often than you'd think. Vert. Stab/Optics/GLD Gun: This gun is both good and bad. The clip potential is high and has the potential to kill some mediums in a single clip and shave 2/3 of any T10s HP pool, but that incredible strength is balanced by atrocious gun handling and long exposure to get those shells out. (It's about 10 seconds given aiming the first shell). The reload is long and renders you weak but at least it gives you decent downtime to look around and find new opportunities for the best way to approach an engagement. You'll be rotating a lot around the map simply because of the gun and running away like a little bitch whenever a flank might fail whenever you're on it. The ammo capacity is low which means you'll have to think hard about how you load it. I recently switched from 30/0 to 20/10 because of increased SH/CW play where I'll need it but I personally didn't find the HEAT to be worthwhile in randoms. I always find myself running out of APCR before switching to HEAT now anyway in any given random battle anyway. The HEAT does give you the opportunity to engage heavies frontally whenever you'd need it (Malinovka hill is probably the only time I ever load HEAT because E5s are a thing) but it comes at the cost of split clips. Having 3 HEAT shells and 1 APCR makes for terrible late game cleanup possibilites (if you've fired that many shells you're probably having a decent game anyway, but it sucks to lose games because of this). I personally found APCR alone to be more than good enough for randoms since you'll spend more time deciding on what to attack than actually attacking so I end up with roughly the same damage anyway. For competitive play it's a completely different story. The gun becomes a lot more dangerous here and it's a high risk tank. Missing a shell can kill you if you're playing a spotting game against another BC which is pretty goddamn easy to do considering the aimtime/bloom. But it can also shave off 2K HP of the enemy team in less than 10 seconds making it possible to enable pushes and allows it to solo scout/freeplay better than any other T10 in the game. Armour: In actual thickness it's non-existent. The UFP angle can bounce a shell once in a while but never something to rely on. What it does have as pseudo-armour is speed and decent camo. Engaging at range (sending mixed messages here with the terrible gun, but once you let it aim in fully it can hit pretty well at longer ranges as well) allows your camo to work if you'd be down on HP, in the clan CHAI or simply think it's the best course of action. The speed helps you dodge shells and move in close quickly or simply get out quickly if things went south. Mobility=Armour in this case. Strengths/Weaknesses: The strength of the tank lies in the gun and mobility, one of them also being its weakness. It can put in quite a bit of damage in a short amount of time which makes it possible to turn games around. Autoloaders always have the lovely advantage of mitigating damage taken when clipping since people can't really deal enough damage back at you unless they're grouped up. Finding lone tanks in the endgame is easy prey for a BC and incredibly easy to outplay. If it's anything short of another autoloader you can pretty much just yolo in, clip fully and either kill them from scratch or simply just run away afterwards. I find it very rare that anything that can actually chase your BC down after clipping is usually too low on HP for it to really be worthwhile if you clip fully. Combine it with your 5 shots in 8 seconds for their 1-2 (maybe 3 if they chase you a bit). In the case of an E 50M or a 907 that can survive your clip and probably will you'll still be able to get out anyway or just simply hang back until support arrives. You should also try to engage backwards as much as possible. You expose less and driving forward will be quicker to get away from corridor pokes than backwards (small thing but still useful). Driving backwards will also benefit more from terrain as you can use rubble and stuff to drive onto to get better depression angles. The newest strength that completely breaks some maps: Climbing! Climbing sure as hell is useful. Mines gets completely destroyed by a single guy on the 0 line from either side and it also adds another layer of depth in the game. While it's mostly micromanaging it takes some time to figure the climbs out and climbing doesn't really get useful until you can do them consistently. The weakness is pretty much the the long aim time that forces you to rush a shot or two because it simply won't aim in fast enough for the opportunities of damage to yield any fruit. Once again we have the long downtime between reloads and no armour whatsoever which means that you die if people catch you on reload. How you prevent this is by simply playing well guarded areas and making sure that you can actually run away and that anything chasing you will die trying, or simply playing passive for most of the game while seizing any overextensions done by enemy tanks for 2k damage. You could also argue that the fragility of the tank combined with the speed is the cause for a lot of overextensions and while that is true it's not really a weakness itself, it's also easily preventable. Playstyle: I simply play this is a very opportunity seizing TD/LT. Whenever maps allow for it I'll try and be somewhat active for spotting (middle on Sand River for example) but I hardly see anyone having trouble on open maps with a BC. Problem's most likely city maps anyway. I simply pay a lot of attention to the minimap and try to figure out where I can deal the most damage while taking as little as possible. It shouldn't be too hard considering the reload times while clipping anyway. You have about 40 seconds before you even get to shoot again and that's plenty of time in a mobile tank like this to rotate if your current engagement won't pay off anymore. I'm very patient and once someone goes in the open I make sure that I'm there wrecking him. In a bit more concrete example I'll take Himmelsdorf as an example. I rarely ever play the hill anymore because it's such a hit or miss engagement. I play the 3 line. I almost always just sit around waiting for people to expose themselves on the lower side around the castle. With the engagement range at 400m only T10 meds will be able to spot me back and actually put damage into me. I also have a 40 second downtime anyway that I can just waste waiting on people to show themselves. From the north this is a bit more viable since you can further up the 3 line without exposing and get sideshots on heavies crossing in the 8 line as well. From the south it's not as good but still a lot more consistent than playing the hill. You can simply poke early to get spots on people crossing so you get a general idea of how many people are playing the railroad and what to expect on the hill. You're also free to move into the middle windows for shots at the enemy windows. You can simply move up, rotate, and go wherever you want. It's my initial play for that reason. It's a low risk opening play with a decent reward. TL;DR is probably keeping engagements at range early on so you can use your HP diving in later on. Applying this on other maps haved worked very well too. It's all about knowing what a favourable engagement is anyway. Overall Rating: I'd give the BC a solid 9/10. It's stupid good for a tank that really hasn't been taken into consideration of the tier 10 powercreep and it still remains one of the strongest T10s in the hands of gods while being absolutely terrible for worse ones. Mines Boosting video for reference
  6. 9 points

    The STB-1 - Panzer Vor!

    Original article by @Assassin7 The STB-1 - Panzer Vor! The STB-1 is the Japanese tier 10 medium tank. It is renowned for being extremely gorgeous to look at, having extremely high DPM, and shells that seem to enjoy hitting the ground on fully aimed shots. This creates a very strange tank, one that purely revolves around a gun with extreme strengths and weaknesses, therefore making the STB-1 a challenging tank for many players. The STB-1 was the first Prototype for the Japanese Type 74 Tank, a Japanese version based on the same chassis as the Leopard 1, the tank also has the same 105mm L7 gun common to all tier 10 NATO medium tanks. However, while being similar in design to the Leopard 1, it has several significant differences that define the tank as a unique tank to drive from the Leopard. Firepower: As has been already stated, the STB-1 has the best DPM (Damage per minute) of any 390 alpha medium, and the second best DPM in class - falling just short of the Russian Object 430. At its most optimal setup, it has a reload of just 6.32 seconds. When coupled with your 390 alpha, this is a tank that can really lay down damage quickly. This often allows you to get up to 3 shots into tanks like the E100, or some tier 10 TDs, before they are able to reload one shell. The damage numbers stack up quickly: up to 1170 alpha damage in return for only one 750 damage shot from an E100. This is an advantage that other L7 armed tanks do not have, most often their reloads being 7 seconds or longer. The extra second means that they are likely to only get two shots into an E100 before he reloads, and sometimes not even two into tanks such as the IS-7, while the STB is able to get two into an IS-7 before he reloads. Of course, this advantage is not without its consequences: the gun has very poor handling. This does not show up on the ingame stats alone, the gun handling issues are in the soft stats for the gun. What this means is that when the tank is moving, or turning its turret, the reticule blooms to a much larger circle than other tanks. This in itself may sound fine, after all it only has a 2.3 second aiming time, however that is not the case. Since aim time actually shows the time the reticule takes to reach one third of its maximum size, this still means that when those 2.3 seconds are up, the gun is still much less accurate than most other tier 10 medium guns, even on tanks with the same aim time, since they have better soft stats for their gun. In practice, this means that the gun still has to aim that last third. making it very slow to aim and often not fully aimed in when the player fires. this leads to shells missing quite often, earning the tank its reputation for having a very derpy gun. Its not all bad though, when fully aimed in the STB is actually fairly accurate. it won’t win a sniping war with a Leopard or a Centurion Action X, but it’s accurate enough to hit the lower plates of heavies at longer ranges. - to an extent in fact that when set up with Vents, food, and BIA, the STB-1 is actually slightly more accurate when fully aimed than the Object 140. (0.32 vs 0.33) The STB-1 has one other party piece to bring to the table in the firepower department: Gun Depression. At -10 degrees this tank has extremely good depression, giving it a strong edge in ridge combat: when you poke a ridge you can expose only your turret, which is very small, to enemies to fire at them from over a ridge. This is an extremely useful advantage. but there will be more on that later. To sum up the firepower, it’s good. The gun is most effective at short-medium ranges where it can put the DPM to good use, but not have to spend ages aiming in on weak spots Protection: The STB-1 is a medium tank, so by definition it is not going to have amazing armour. This is even more true when it is based on the chassis of the Leopard 1. However, unlike the Leopard, the armour is actually able to bounce a few shots. the upper front plate is only 110mm thick, but it is also angled at an extremely steep angle, allowing you to promote bounces if you angle the armour. The side is a rather terrible 35mm thick, making sidescraping difficult, though not impossible, the STB can get some pretty troll bounces in an effective sidescrape, but as a rule don’t expect to bounce much off the hull in general. The Turret is far stronger than the Hull, and an extremely welcome upgrade over the previous tanks in the line. while only being 132mm thick, it is sloped at extreme angles making it very effective. there is however, an armor hole behind the gun meaning that shooting the STB directly where the gun is can do damage. the Turret is also very small, meaning that when sitting hull down abusing that glorious gun depression, enemies trying to shoot you back will have very little in the way of turret to shoot at, making them miss more often than hit. Even when they hit, the turret is armoured enough to bounce them frequently. The turret can still be penetrated; it is nowhere near as reliable as an Object 140s turret for example. But it is good enough for medium range engagements due to its size and angle, with its weak spot being small enough for enemies to reliably hit. The DPM of the tank also makes it so that even when most tanks penetrate your turret you should be able to return at least 1 shot. To Sum up: its a medium tank. It is not supposed to rely on its armor to keep it out of trouble, but it is able to bounce lower tier shots if well angled and the Turret is strong enough to keep you safe in hull down situations, which is a very important aspect of the tank and a large fix to the problems earlier japanese tanks had. Setup - Crew, Equipment and Consumables When setting up a tank with crew and equipment the general idea is to either maximise the tanks strengths or minimize its weaknesses. For example, when setting up a light tank its main strengths are its camo and view range, so crew and equipment choices will reflect that – camo and view range skills, with Optics for equipment. For an IS-7 its main strengths are its strong armour, mobility, and high alpha damage on its gun. These things cannot be improved per se, meaning that crew and equipment setups will be based on minimizing its weaknesses – being the terrible gun accuracy, reload, and aim time. It is not very common that you can enhance a tanks strengths while also minimizing its weaknesses. Luckily for us the STB-1 is one of those tanks where this is possible. The STB-1s main advantage is its incredible DPM, while its main weakness is bad gun handling. This means that the tank can be setup in such a way that capitilizes on the DPM while also attempting to negate the issues with the gun handling at the same time. This also makes, for myself at least, the STB a rather unique setup in terms of crew, equipment, and consumable choices. Crew The crew on the STB, in order to work effectively off the bat, needs to be at least completed the second skill and working on the third. Here is how I have it set up: Commander: 6th Sense, Brothers in Arms, repairs, Camo Gunner: Brothers in Arms, Snap shot, Repairs, Camo Driver: Brothers in Arms, Smooth ride, Repairs, Camo loader: Brothers in Arms, Safe Stowage, Repairs, Camo I said this was a unique setup for me. the reason for this is I generally don’t think BIA is a necessary skill until the fourth skill at least, as a medium player preferring gun skills, repairs, and camo as the first three. but when I retrained my type 61 crew to the STB, which was at the time just on its third skill, I picked BIA as the first skill. this is why the STB works best with 2 full skills at least, allowing you to use BIA and 6th sense. My reasoning behind BIA is again, maximising strengths and minimizing weaknesses. Its also there to compliment other setup choices I have made as well. Second skill, quite obvious, gunnery skills. Snap shot and smooth ride, very useful skills, also very much needed on a tank like the STB. I don’t feel as if I need to explain choosing sixth sense, as for the loader he obviously has a fairly limited number of useful skills, so safe stowage is always a welcome addition. Third skill: repairs. This is a very, very valuable skill. If nothing else, being able to get your tracks repaired and moving as soon as possible after being tracked is very useful. I generally train repairs as the first skill on most tanks, the fact I have it as the third skill here is a good indication of how much the STB’s crew has broken my trend. We are back to normal for the fourth skill: camouflage. the tank is a medium tank, and since it has low armor the best other way to stay safe is to stay hidden. If you can spot the enemy before he spots you, you gain the advantage of a free shot into him. If you can stay hidden AFTER firing, you have an even bigger advantage as the enemy cannot fire back at you. Equipment Most tier 10 medium tanks use the standard Gun rammer, Vertical Stabiliser, and coated optics for their equipment setups. I do know players that use this setup on their STB, but I don’t think it is the best setup for the tank. I replace the coated optics with Improved Ventilation: My reasoning for this is again, maximising strengths while minimizing weaknesses. the Vents will help with the gun handling for the tank, while also improving the reload further. This effect stacks with Brothers in Arms, giving more reason to use that crew skill. neither of these are very effective on their own, but together they can make a noticeable difference on the gun handling, while lowering the reload from 6.9 seconds to 6.6 seconds. it also has the added bonus of increasing the often overlooked 410m view range the STB has, again stacking with Brothers in Arms. Consumables Following the trend of unique set-ups, my consumables for the STB are not very different from the crew and equipment setups: This is the only tank I run large repair and medkits in random battles with. I didn’t start off running them, but I got into many situations where the tank got ammo racked and tracked in the same shot, so to avoid having to choose between the two to repair (which usually ended up in the track being repaired due to reflexes) I instead put a large repair kit on. the Med kit was kept off for a rather long time, but the tank kept losing its driver twice in a row during games, so in order to diminish this effect I used a large medkit to get the bonus of giving crew members more durability that it gives. The third slot is also interesting; I run Onigiri as the third Consumable. I do this, once again, in the interest of minimizing weaknesses and maximizing strengths. Food gives a flat 10% bonus to all crew skills, aiding the gun handling while helping the DPM. With the combined effects of a Rammer, Vents, BIA, and food, the reload on the STB-1 is down to an astonishing 6.32 seconds. the difference between running food and not is actually very noticeable, so much that it surprised me how more accurate the tank felt. Food also gives the added bonus of taking the view range from a low 432 to the max VR (Not including camo burn) of 445. Obviously, this makes the tank very expensive to run. Fortunately for me, when running a premium account I am still able to break even on most games playing the STB, but it is perfectly understandable if you are on a budget and cannot afford to run this sort of setup, I recommend just running the standard Repair kit, med kit, and fire extinguisher. But if you are able to blow some cash, Food is the most important to pick, in all honesty the other two large kits are not essential and more for convenience purposes. I do find that the STB does not catch fire very often, if it does catch fire it is only through the back of the tank, and in general if you are exposing your rear to the enemy you are probably doing something wrong, so the most common way I get set on fire in the tank is from arty hits that go through my engine deck. For ammo loadouts, fairly simple. 33 AP, 15 HEAT, 2 HE. The HE is for emergency cap resets and Armourless tanks (such as the Rhoomba, WP4, and Grille 15). I Don’t actually fire much HEAT at all in my STB, even less than my other tier 10 mediums due to the fact that at longer ranges there’s a higher chance of the shell derping into some spaced armour. Gameplay In Gameplay terms, the STB cannot really be compared to any one tank. Its a medium tank based on the Leopards chassis, but does not play like the Leo. The STB has much more holding power than the Leo – Holding power being the ability to stay in a position and fight it out before having to retreat to safety. The reason for this is not only because it has much more reliable armour than the leopard, but also because of its extremely high DPM. The fact it can get shots off far more frequently give it the ability to suppress enemies in a way tanks like the Leopard cannot. The Leo is also more of a scouty medium, the STB is far less effective at scouting than the Leopard. It can scout, like all mediums can, but is not as good at the dedicated scouting role. It has less overall camo, and is not as fast. The STB is very much a combat medium, it works best getting stuck in and putting its gun to work from hull down positions, compared to the Leos style of Shoot ’n’ Scoot. The Leo cannot brawl to save itself, the STB can, and it is the key difference between the two. I have been going on a lot about hull down. That is because the STB is very, very good at it. Hull down, poking over ridges or hills at medium range is the single best thing the STB can do. You keep yourself in cover from direct fire, and can kill stuff on the other side of the hill that more often than not cannot hit you back. Brilliant examples of excellent places to use this are the north hills of Westfield, on top of the hill on Mines (especially from the south spawn) and the North of Pearl river, where you can get hull shots on most other tanks on the top side whereas they have to overexpose themselves to shoot you back. Here is an example of how you would use the gun depression: You can see me here cresting the hill in the north of westfield to get shots on the enemies. I spy a T-34-2. I very easily have a shot on him, in fact I have poked over a bit more than I need to. Easy shot, yes? But if he was looking at me this is what he would be seeing: There really is not much at all for him to shoot at there, and what there is to shoot at is either my turret or my upper hull at an extreme angle. If he fired at me the only way he would penetrate is to get lucky and go through the armour hole behind the gun. But because I could easily peek up above the ride, snap shot him, and back down with an absolutely tiny amount of my tank visible the window he would have with which to do that is very small. Later in the same battle, the poor guy in the T-34-2 tries to poke over to get a shot. Look how far he has to expose himself to even hope to get a shot on me: Hill crest 3 The difference is, he is absolutely nowhere near able to get a shot on me yet, he would have to expose himself to my team behind (most notably the T110E3 sitting on the hill behind me) in order to have a hope in shooting at me. These are problems the STB just does not have to deal with, and are extremely useful advantages that should be abused whenever possible. here is a short Video demonstration of what can be done with the STB-1s gun depression. From the middle area on cliff, this is one of my favourite spots to use this tank in. the STB is always wanted in Clan wars for Cliff because of its ability to take this position and abuse it. there is also small demonstration of the DPM of the tank, as I cut down the Jagdtiger, the video also shows how well the STB can snap shot with This crew setup, it is surprisingly good at it at these sorts of ranges. I also have another video showing a full battle in the STB-1, on mines. being lucky enough to get into a game with no Artillery, I was able to get up on the hill and use the gun depression and DPM of the tank in order to harass all the enemy tier 10 heavies trying to take the hill. Please note that I am not a professional, or even amateur Youtube Commentator and my Microphone is also not very suited to this sort of thing so my Commentary is not the best in the world Replays: for the Replays used in this review, they are here if you want to watch them: Cliff: http://wotreplays.eu/site/2066526#teams Mines: http://wotreplays.eu/site/2066528#stats Westfield: http://wotreplays.eu/site/2066531#stats – Yes I did get a little bit mad at our M53 for shooting me, though it was more the fact he said “deal with it” than shooting me himself, I don’t advocate reacting the way I did. Thanks to @MagentaPanda for Proofreading and Minor edits
  7. 5 points
    Original article by @TheMarine0341 Basic Scout Overview Perhaps no other class in the game of World Of Tanks causes players as much frustration as playing Scout Tanks. Often featuring guns well under-powered without the use of a lot of premium ammunition, and now facing up to 3 tiers higher than its own (i.e. tier 4 Luchs fighting tier 7 Heavy Tanks) these tanks are often rushed through or played poorly just to get through them. A better fundamental understanding of how scout tanks could operate at a very fundamental level, however, will ease the pain and frustrations these tanks can cause. Light tanks should not be confused with Scout Tanks in terms of match-making. Light Tanks do NOT see the same match-making that Scout tanks do, as they can only see +2 matchmaking. The British Light Tanks and the French Light Tank AMX 40 are examples of Light Tanks, not Scout Tanks. These tanks will have the additional benefits of standard matchmaking (+2) and will keep their camouflage on the move. The Japanese line also features Light Tanks instead of Scout Tanks. If you would like to know what your tank’s camouflage rating is while stationary or on the move, please visit WOTInfo here. Where to Start: The Garage Matchmaking and its Implications First, we need to understand Scout Tank Matchmaking. Scout tanks from tier 4 onward have +3 matchmaking. As I stated earlier, a tier 4 Luchs Scout Tank can see up to tier 7 tanks, which feature tanks such as the American T-29, Russia’s IS, and the German Tiger for example. Tier 5 Scout Tanks can see up to tier 8 tanks, such as the Russian KV-4, Germany’s Tiger II, and China’s 110. This continues for each tier: Tier 6 scout tanks can see tier 9 tanks, and tier 7 & 8 scout tanks can see tier 10 battles. I highlight some of these tanks on purpose to show some of the heaviest armored tanks you might face and need to engage, as your scout tank may need be able to penetrate at some point in the battle. What this means is, you need to be willing to shoot a lot of premium ammunition. Some scout tanks such as the American T37 do not need as much premium ammunition as the American T21, based upon gun characteristics. Scout tanks such as the PZ 38A (Tier 4 German Scout) which feature very low penetration standard ammo but good premium ammunition will be forced to carry more premium ammunition in order to be successful with greater frequency. Be aware of the tanks you may face, and prepare accordingly Equipment Current Scout Meta and Equipment Implications With the slough of recent map changes to more of a “corridor” setting, the ‘good old days’ of bush camping (i.e. “passive scouting”) are fewer and further between. While I was grinding out my T21 scout tank a long time ago, it could see tier 10 battles pretty frequently and the map “Malinovka” was ALWAYS in rotation. 10k spotting games was the norm! This often meant that using a camo net and binoculars were acceptable for the majority of scout tank players. With the map changes, this thinking of equipment use needs to be changed. Active scouting is much more useful with the current meta, which means different equipment. I recommend, as a rule, using this equipment in order of priority: (Personal Holy Trinity scout setup) Coated Optics (+10% spotting range at all times) Vertical Stabilizer (20% reduction in accuracy penalty or the bloom of the reticle while the tank and/or turret are moving) Rammer (10% reduction in loading time) Some tanks cannot use this setup, such as the French Scout tanks such as the AMX 12t, AMX 13-75, and the AMX 13-90 which cannot use a Vertical Stabilizer. Here, I use for the French Tanks: Coated Optics Gun Laying Drive Vents The new USA Scout tanks feature auto-loaders as an option, which means a Rammer cannot be used. If a Rammer cannot be used on a Scout Tank, I recommend Improved Ventilation in its stead. An unique tier 8 scout tank is the American T49, a tier 8 scout featuring a 152mm HE cannon. This tank is… well, hilariously frustrating. To minimize the frustrations I use this equipment setup with my T49: Gun Laying Drive Vertical Stabilizer Rammer Consumables include Cola instead of an Auto Extinguisher. Another notable exception, personally, is the newest German Scout Tank, the RU-251. With this tank, I run Vertical Stabilizer Rammer Vents Furthermore, for consumables I use Chocolate with the RU-251. Without Brothers in Arms, I have a 4.91 second reload, and with my current crew skills I have vision out to 444 meters, or 1 meter short of maximum spotting range. Why Not Camouflage Net or Binoculars? Camouflage Net: +10% Camouflage rating when sitting still to Scout Tanks Binoculars: +25% View Range when sitting still. Scout tanks, as a class, have some of the highest camouflage rating in the game. A camouflage net is ONLY active when the player has been sitting still for 3 seconds, and the bonus disappears as soon as the player moves. Meanwhile, per WOT Info.net, having a 100% camouflage skilled crew will add 81% effective camouflage at all times, whether shooting, moving, or sitting still. The ability to train camouflage as a skill improves the tanks ability to go undetected without a camouflage net. Crew skills such as Recon, Situational Awareness, and Brothers In Arms along with Coated optics which are always active outweigh the benefits of +25% View Range while sitting still. Add Cola, Chocolate, or any other food item for another 10% crew skill (leading to around a 5% increase in actual view range), there’s simply never a need to use either a camouflage net nor Binoculars. Let’s do the math, using the RU-251 as an example. The RU 251 has a base view range of 400 meters. With binoculars (+25% view range when sitting still), this means a player can effectively see out to 500 meters, being capped at 445 meter which is the max spotting range in the game. The player can spot most enemy tanks which might be moving in their view range. However, as soon as they start to move their view range shrinks down to 400 meters again, not assuming any crew skill or consumable bonuses. Lets now factor in crew skills in use with Binoculars. We will use Brothers in Arms (+2.5%) and Situational Awareness (+3%) and the use of Chocolate (+5%). While moving, the RU-251 will have an effective view range of 400 + 10 + 12 + 20 = 442 meters. While sitting still for three seconds and the Binocular Bonus, this becomes 400 + 10 + 12 + 20 + 100 = 542 meters. This is certainly excellent, but again you must be sitting still. Now we take the same RU 251 which has a complete 3 skill crew consisting of these skills and perks on the commander: Brothers in Arms (+2.5% to view range), Situational Awareness (+3% to view range), Coated Optics (+10% to view range), and Chocolate (+5% to view range). These all stack upon one another, meaning 400 + 10 + 12 + 40 + 20 = 482 meters view range, which is active whether or not the scout is moving or sitting still! In my opinion, having 482 meters view range at all times outweighs the benefits of 542 meter view range when sitting still. While the max spotting range in the game is capped out at 445 meters, having effectively 482 meters spotting range at all times allows a player to “see” through an enemies camouflage much more effectively at longer ranges. This can mean the difference between spotting an enemy Tank Destroyer at 430 meters instead of 400 meters, which does make a difference in the game. Personal Mission Note: As some missions require the use of a camo net or binocs to be used to complete the secondary mission, just for those missions I would drop the Rammer or Vents. Scout tanks often feature excellent DPM to begin with, and a Rammer can be dropped temporarily in my opinion. Consumables As a rule, I always start any new tank with this setup for consumables: Small Medical Pack (Number 4 on Keypad) Small Repair Pack (Number 5 on Keypad) Auto Extinguisher (-10% chance of catching fire, automatically stops a fire after 1 ‘tick’) If my driver dies, which murders a scout’s mobility, tapping ‘4’ twice allows for a very fast healing of the Driver. With ‘5’ being repairs, if I lose my tracks I can rapidly hit ‘5’ twice and heal the tracks. As I become more familiar with a tank and its ability, my consumables set-up will also change. The new USA scouts are not likely to catch fire in my experience, so dropping the Auto Extinguisher for Cola is a viable option. You’re far more likely to be ammo racked for full health then you are to catch fire. As well, the French Scouts can benefit from using Strong Coffee if they’re going to be used in an active engagement roll. French scouts have very POOR gun handling, and the Strong Coffee helps a LOT in this area. However, the Chinese Scout tanks will catch fire with seemingly regularity in my experience, so I tend to stick with the Auto Extinguisher. Be willing to experiment with whatever works for your tanks and your ability to make credits. Some personal setups for Consumables: RU-251 Large Med, Large Repair, Chocolate AMX13-90 Large Med, Large Repair, Strong Coffee WZ-132 Large Med, Large Repair, Auto Ext M-41 Walker Bulldog (Autoloader) Small Med, Small Repair, Auto Ext With Single-Shot Small Med, Small Repair, Cola T37 American Scout (Single Shot) Small Med, Small Repair, Cola WZ-131 Small Med, Small Repair, Auto Ext. Awful Panther (Tier 7 German Scout) Small Med, Small Repair, Chocolate Crew Skills Camo. Camo. Camo. Camo. Oh, there’s more? Ok! Crew skills and their management will make your scouting life just all that much easier. Screw these skills up, and you’re going to regret it later. I will break this down in stages, using a 4 crew tank as an example. After the 1st and second skills are trained, I will no longer retrain for credits and will use Gold to reskill. I will go over this first, but I will cover how I would train my crews using only credits afterwards. Stage 1: First Skill All camo. This is where your tank makes its money. While the camo values of your tank are already pretty high, this skill improves your tanks camo abilities significantly. When you reach 100%, retrain your commander for 6th sense for gold, and your loader for Safe Stowage. This then leads to the next set of crew skills. I would then start training the next set of skills as such listed here: Stage 2: Commander: 6th Sense, Camouflage or Situational Awareness (prefer camo, but view range is important) Driver: Camouflage, Smooth Ride Gunner: Camouflage, Snap Shot Loader: Safe Stowage, Camouflage I would train these skills to completion, and then start training my 3rd skills. I tend to start training repairs on most crew members, and camouflage or situational awareness depending upon what I decided to train as a 2nd skill for the commander. Once you’re about 50-60% into your third skill, in my opinion it’s time for a complete re-doing of skills for Gold instead of credits (waiting for crew retraining to be half off is a great idea here!) Stage 3: This is the time to break out the gold once more. Losing 10% of your crew’s experience at this point is a BAD thing, as it’ll take quite some time to get that experience back even in a premium tank. Commander: Brothers in Arms (BIA), 6th Sense, Situational Awareness Driver: BIA, Camo, Smooth Ride Gunner: BIA, Camo, Snap Shot Loader: BIA, Safe Stowage, Camo Stage 4: Very often, unless you’re actively playing a lot of scout tanks you’re not likely to progress beyond 3 crew skills. However, if you do make it to the 4th, I would set up my crew as the following Commander: Brothers in Arms (BIA), 6th Sense, Situational Awareness, Camo or Recon Driver: BIA, Camo, Smooth Ride, Repairs Gunner: BIA, Camo, Snap Shot, Repairs Loader: BIA, Safe Stowage, Adrenaline Rush, Camo I value safe stowage over repairs in the case of the loader in most situations, as I have found that healing tracks is more important than healing an ammo rack which is damaged. I like to mitigate the threat of being ammo racked in the first place and saving my repair kit for my tracks. However, not all players are able to use nor want to spend in-game gold for crew retraining. This will require much more foresight and planning. If I were going to skill a crew without the use of gold, I would go about as follows. Stage 1: Commander: Camo to 100%, select repairs as second Driver: Camo to 100%, select Smooth Ride as second Gunner: Camo to 100%, select Snap Shot as second Loader: Camo to 100%, select repairs as second Stage 2: When repairs reach about 60%, I will drop for credits (20,000 credits when not on sale, 10,000 credits when on sale) Commander (Re-skill for Credits): 6th Sense, Camouflage, Situational Awareness as third Driver (No need to re-skill): Camouflage, Smooth Ride, Repairs as Third Gunner (No need to re-skill): Camouflage, Snap Shot, Repairs as Third Loader (Re-skill for Credits): Safe Stowage, Camouflage, Repairs as Third Stage 3: By now, your grind should be complete and you should have Accelerated Crew Training turned on. When your 3rd skill gets to about 90%, I would now re-train my entire crew skills for Credits to the following. Please note, retraining for credits mean a loss of 10% of the crew experience. Commander: Brothers in Arms, 6th Sense, Camouflage, Situational Awareness as 4th Driver: Brothers in Arms, Smooth Ride, Camouflage, Repairs as 4th Gunner: Brothers in Arms, Snap Shot, Camouflage, Repairs as 4th Loader: Brothers in Arms, Safe Stowage, Camouflage, Repairs as 4th Beyond this, the loss of 10% of your crew Experience to continue to retrain for Credits is just too massive. I would try to save gold through Wargaming Events such as Password Changes for 300 gold, or find a semi-successful Skirmish Team. On the US Servers, finishing in the top 50% of all teams will net a player 250 gold, and another 250 gold for participating in the Alpha playoffs. Waiting for crew retraining to be half off, and you will then be able to easily re-skill a crew for no crew experience losses. Basic Battle Mindset I personally break down the match into three separate stages: Early Game, Mid Game, and Late Game (I lightly broke down these stages with my T37 review found here). I will expand upon this further. Early Game: Vision Control/Denial , Opportunistic Damage Dealing, Deployment to Key Terrain Features, and Anti-scouting Mission One is vision control, and map knowledge is the key. There are a few maps currently in rotation with great frequency such as Prokhorovka/Fiery Salient and Malinovka which have either *obvious* passive or active scouting runs/locations. These areas can enable a better early team deployment, enable early damage, and allow you to get some early “safe” damage as well. These locations can sometimes be used in Medium Tanks as well for early spotting/damage. Definitions of Active and Passive Scouting, per WOTWiki: Active Scouting Active scouting is very aggressive in nature, where the scout has to keep moving. This can take place anywhere on the map, which can be peeking around corners, driving on ridges, or just doing circles. The goal here is to try and keep the enemy spotted long enough for allies to hit them. A form of this is Half Court scouting, in which a scout runs several half circles around their side of the map, while not crossing the middle dividing line. Some maps are suited for this while others are not. For light tanks with good maneuverability and speed but poor view range or radios, active scouting is superior due to the bonus that designated scouts receive, namely that they keep the same camo values while moving and stationary. I will add to this as active scouting: Taking a position which will enable you to observe the enemy, while your tank is being “lit” by the enemy as well for a split second. Peeking over a small hill or ridge on many maps is active scouting even if only for a very short moment. Remember too, your commander’s hatch or view ports are always on top of your turret and that is all that needs to crest the ridge. This means that you can expose very little of your tank, and while you might not get a chance to shoot an enemy, you make yourself a very difficult target to shoot. Passive Scouting The opposite of Active Scouting. This is where a scout will sit in a location (usually concealed by bushes) waiting for enemies to move into their view range. It is best to find a position with a wide area that you can see without obstruction to get the best out of this. A passive scout should avoid firing in all but the most dire of circumstances as this will dramatically lower your camo values. Relatively unmaneuverable light tanks and fast medium tanks with good view range are considered ideal passive scouts Color Code: Light Blue = Active Scouting Grey = Passive Scouting Prokhorovka/Firey Salient Malinovka (Standard Mode) Please Note: Per “For The Record”, there are bushes in the game which are “fake.” Meaning, while they show up on your screen, they actually do NOT provide any additional camouflage to your tank. If you notice that you’re being spotted consistently in a certain bush, regardless of situation, it is probably a fake! Scout tanks are also typically the fastest tanks on the battlefield, meaning you’re able to rush to key terrain features VERY early into the fight to deny the enemy the ability to safely deploy to this location, and deny other scouts the ability to have a justifiable impact early in the game. Such examples are an active field run on Malinovka (deny scout tanks the ability to bush camp), Karelia Hill (especially from the south spawn) Color Code: Light Blue = Active Scouting Grey = Passive Scouting Karelia Because you’re often the first tank to deploy to key areas of the map, you’re often in position to do damage much earlier than most tanks. Early damage will make the enemy more tentative in their approach to battle. Even if you fail to penetrate several of your shots, just the simple fact that the enemy is being engaged can cause them to stop, look for the source of fire, and get struck by allies with better guns. Heavy tanks are very notorious for doing this as a class, as they will stop and attempt to orient their armor towards the source of fire. There is very little more satisfying than stopping a Heavy Tank in its tracks, getting them to attempt to engage your scout, and watch them be struck by Artillery and Tank Destroyers. Visions Denial Vision Denial is similar to vision control, but slightly different in its application. Instead of attempting to establish vision over a certain area, you’re instead denying the enemy from being able to establish vision of their own. Swamp, one of my favorite maps, is a great map for utilizing this concept both in medium tanks and light tanks. The West spawn has a better opportunity for this early, while the East Spawn is better suited late game. You deny by proximity and presence, rather than utilizing your view range. Denial By Proximity: If you are within 50 meters of an enemy tank, both tanks become “Visible” on the map and to other players. This is useful in City maps, where a scout can tuck in near a corner, and detect tanks without needing to expose themselves. This also works very often near a ridge line, where a scout can quickly run up near the ledge, without needing to expose themselves completely. Sand River is a great example of this,the ridge lines on Redshire and as I mentioned earlier, Swamp provides this opportunity as well. Denial By Presence: Enemy tanks will sometimes be afraid to move if they’re being detected every time they attempt to. This method is similar to “Passive” scouting, as a scout will attempt to not be detected, but their presence is known. A scout making an active run on a map like Redshire, will sometimes be able to “lock” tanks in place, as they wait to get another shot at the scout or they’re afraid to move. Even if you end up in a different area of the map, on the NA sever tanks will often deploy to one area and remain there for 2-3 more minutes waiting for your tank to re-appear. You’re effectively locking that tank in location, just by previously having a presence in this area. Also, please always remember that you have a VERY small health pool! Conserve your hit points as strongly as possible this stage of the battle! Mid Game: Positioning for Damage, looking for Opportunities to Assault While continuing your mission of vision control or denial, you should now look for opportunities to break a flank or destroy isolated tanks. Mid game is where scout tanks should really start to shine. Their mobility exceeds that of all but tier 10 mediums, but maintain their camouflage while moving unlike tier 10 mediums. This allows a scout to very quickly change flanks and angles, and gives them the opportunity to utilize their DPM (damage per minute/Rate of Fire) or their burst damage (Auto-loading scouts), and wreck heavy tanks and Tank Destroyers. I do NOT recommend trying to solo attack medium tanks of equal tier or higher without support from your team, they’re very low on health. Building this skillset requires a growth of the “Map Awareness” muscle, which will come only through practice. A Scout tank attempting to ambush an enemy tank needs to be aware of firing lanes (Is the enemy really isolated, or do they have Tank Destroyer backup?), aware of how many tanks are recently spotted (this tank seems alone, but three enemies have not been lit for over 2 minutes now) and aware of the tank they’re attempting to ambush/destroy. A scout player will quickly learn which tanks are easy to address and attack (i.e. Most turretless Tank Destroyers) and those which are difficult (215Bs, T110E5’s, tier 9 and 10 medium tanks). Preserving your health is still vital here. Take risk, but do NOT over-commit! Late-Game: Slowly/Quickly bleeding the life out of the Reds! Late game, with a mostly full-health Scout Tank, you should be the most feared tank in the game regardless of match-making. You’re more than capable of showing up at an unexpected angle and flexing across the map in a very short time. You’re equipped with a very fast firing gun, camouflage on the move, and the rage inducing ability to permanently track almost every tank you might face while doing damage. You’re able to get stealthy cap-resets, or cap the enemy base yourself if needed. Especially in lower tier scouts, you’re often equipped with better view range than most of the opponents you may face as well. And, if you’ve been careful, now is the time to maximise your risk taking for the win with your Hit Points. The end game scout tank is the ultimate vulture, picking clean the bones of the enemy tanks. Various Scouting Tips: -Light tanks aren’t the only scout tanks. Medium tanks or even fast heavy tanks can act as impromptu scouts during late-game stages if your team’s dedicated scouts have died. Remember that you won’t have as much camo rating and you will lose some of that already lacking camo rating on the move; abusing bushes is your best bet. -Learn to aim in the third person: This can make tracking shots while driving MUCH easier! -Auto-aim can be your friend. While working on learning how to track an enemy in third person, using Auto-aim and angle from your opponent can improve your chances of tracking an enemy on the move. You’re also better able to control your driving, which can increase your survivability as well. However, please be aware that this can lead to sloppy shooting, especially with Autoloaders. Use at your own risk, but certainly learn how to use it. Although an obvious tip, refrain from shooting if auto-aim points the gun at an enemy tank’s front armour; bouncing any shells may cost you dear HP. -If spotted, do NOT use the same location to immediately attempt to spot the enemy. Situation can dictate, especially if you do not use that location again for several moments and were spotted in a different area. But as a rule, don’t. -Utilize the enemy’s desire to rush your scout tank to pull them into range of your supporting allies. If you’ve been playing scout tanks long enough (i.e. 1 game with a tier 5 or higher scout tank), you know that the “Scout hard-on” is real! -It takes 10 seconds to drop off the radar once you’ve been spotted and break the line of site. As a rule, double this time (20 seconds) to ensure you’ve dropped off. Again, situation can dictate but if you think you’re still being spotted, you probably are. -Get a feel for when you’re spotted, regardless of 6th sense. I’ve ground out several scout crews without any sort of crew skills, knowing that you’re spotted is a life saver. Additional Useful Links: WOT Battle Mechanics WOT Camo Value Calculator WOT Wiki Discuss this article on our forum.
  8. 4 points

    T-62A Sport Review

    T-62A Sport (Do mind that this was written 13th of June, 2014) The T-62A Sport is the prestigious tank that you’ll get to drive in the Himmelsdorf Championship. This is the epitome of Russian bias, but sadly for you Americans, it carries no gold whatsoever. But how do you maximize your performance with this thing, in the beautiful sport of Football? Himmelsdorf Championship: This 3vs3 gamemode is based upon the greatest sport on earth after skiing; Football, or soccer for the uneducated, living on the other side of the pond. Both teams spawn in a triangle formation, with random positions every game. The ball obviously spawns in the center. The main and only objective of this gamemode is to get the ball into the enemy’s goal, which should be self-explanatory. Each time you score, the ball will magically move to the center again, so don’t expect an easy recovery. The game ends either by 7min timer (The ingame description is lying), or by scoring 3 goals. The team with the most scoring goals wins the game, otherwise it’s a draw. You’ll be rewarded 500xp for participation and 500xp more for victories, as in 1000xp total. The Tank Itself: You have the most communistic armor possible in the game, so nothing will harm you, but expect getting tracked… a lot. Like, half the game. With a 1500 horse-powered engine and weighing about 37tonns, you’ll get around 40HP/ton. This will allow you to reach that top speed of 60km/h pretty quickly, though the tank has a very shit reverse speed, so it’s better to turn your front towards the target, than reversing. Add the consumables, and you’ll get 46HP/ton. The gun itself has most soft stats as the normal T-62A, except 8 seconds reload speed, without skills and equipment. Everything else not mentioned is standard T-62A values. Gearing Up: The equipment/consumables setup is could be done 2 ways; Maximum recovery or maximum harasser. The last one is probably the worst of the two, but it suits the goalkeeper. For maximum recovery, this would be the best setup; Sure you can change the lend-lease oil with extra combat rations, but that’ll hurt your wallet. If you have a spare, or want to waste money, use Vertical Stabilizers instead of Torsion Bars. And as a harasser you basically just use the rammer instead of the repair box. (Not exactly a big change, but fuck you, that’s not the point.) Also, engine module health is more or less infinite, so you can keep that removed speed governor on for the whole match. And the vehicle carries only HE. Finally a gamemode where Xen can enjoy himself. With skills, go for repairs. Or go full retard and retrain one of your existing commanders. And exterior camouflage isn’t required, as you’re going to be spotted all the time. Behavior, Roles and Tactics: The First Attack: I would first advise to get a 3-man platoon, as playing alone is like stabbing yourself continuously in the thigh, and this whole section is not written towards that purpose. The first thing you do after that timer has ended is to activate your speed governor and start going fast. The first approach on the ball is crucial, as you could easily take the lead by abusing a slow responsive enemy. Going full ram on the ball, trying to align yourself with your platoonmate, so that the ball hopefully flies towards the enemies turf. You could also try blocking the opposite approaching enemy tank, to allow your team to sneak by their first line of the defense, but has to be decided quickly, and tends only to work if he’s not going as fast as you. The person spawning in the goal area can be very useful as a sniper, either going for enemy tracks or helping out with the ball’s momentum by shooting it. He could also assist with the early rush, but it is not advised. Goal!: If you see that your platoonmate is about to score, or that the ball is about to go into the goal, quickly recover yourself back to the center of the map, as the ball will drop in the center just a few seconds after the goal has been made. Most equalizers are done this way, and it’s a broken feature that can easily be abused by both teams. “Goalkeepers” can easily take this to their advantage, by shooting the ball towards the enemy goal, and helping the team with another easy goal. The Rest of the Match: Your behavior throughout the match is obviously very important, but very different from normal public games. Instead of going in straight lines towards your target, approach in curves. This gives you higher chances of tracking your target, or changing the direction of the ball by shooting it or gently touching it with your sides. It might also help your platoonmates by giving them more space to drive in. Be careful going full frontal ram, as ball physic has its own RNG that will never work in your favor. Try instead to track him before impact and creep past him while he gets mad. If you’ve scored once, one cheeky tactic is to have 2 vehicles defending the goal, while shooting enemies tracks, and the 3rd going for the ball. This will certainly make some people go ballistic, and throw some kurwas your direction. If you ever find yourself in a huge clusterfuck against the wall, which will happen frequently with these bootlicking pubbies, give them the space and concentrate on firing at the ball instead of sharing paint. Wallkissing is just time consuming and you won’t score any goals this way. Also, remember to stay on the move as much as possible, as your tank is as much as a weapon as your gun. Ram the fuck out of them if it can help your teammate. You might also get some nice air, if you’re pro MLG enough. Replays: (WoT v0.9.1.0) Here is a 60MB package of 62 replays that includes good plays, and some really sore defeats. - Note: Package was sadly deleted. Summary: Fun gamemode, if you don’t mind taking a break from statpadding, golden showers or endless grinds. I actually decided to start grinding the Russian mediums because of this tank, but of course I need my six sense first! For EU, 50 victories would give you a “free” Gun Laying Drive, which took me 79 games. 50/13/6, as final score (Victories, draws, defeats). It should also be know that I in total played liked ~120 battles in this gamemode. So say hi to Kositsyn, my ever first Russian commander; Totally worth it.
  9. 3 points
    Original article by @Garbad Kewei, NA's favorite damage whore, recently wrote a guide about how to improve. In a nutshell, solopub in tier 10 and sink until you start swimming. This has generated a lot of discussion, both in favor and against. Accordingly, I am writing this guide to help those people who have already tried the sink or swim method, who have already read the wikis, watched the replays, and so on. In short, my goal is to give greens a roadmap to being bluer, or maybe even purple. GREEN IS THE COLOR OF ENVY For example, I take it as a given that the average green can: Fire accurately, including hitting moving targets consistently Knows and can use weak points Knows and can use angling and hull down tactics Understand the vision system and how to use it Know the maps, including how pubbies move and a few good places Have proper gear, including good platoon composition / gold ammo / etc Have a good generalized knowledge of the value of flanks, crossfire, and so on In short, they know how to fight on a dang high level. In fact, in terms of actual combat skill, greens are usually almost as good as unica. This is why many greens can watch unica play and think to themselves “I can do that.” Because they can! The key is that unica do it more consistently and deliberately. PURPLE, THE COLOR OF ROYALTY So given that the difference is not combat skill (ie, the minutiae of aiming and angling) or gear, but instead the activity, consistency, and deliberateness of unica, let's look at a few specific things a green can do to bump up their level of play. ACTIVITY: 1. Fire a very high volume of shots. Perhaps the most measurable area where unica dominate greens is shots per game. For example, take a look at my KV-5 on vbaddict.net. Notice that my accuracy and penetration rate are no better than a typical green. I also take about the same damage in return as a typical green. Yet my shots per game are vastly higher than a green – I fire 16 shots per game where a typical green fires only 10. That, and that alone, explains why I put out 2.4k DPG when a typical player puts out only 1500. My replays will confirm this – I am reloading almost all the time, constantly staying active and in the fight, trying to make a difference. 2. Constantly be moving to find a good situation. Part of getting lots of shots means ALWAYS being in the fight. No sitting back defending base – at a minimum, your gun needs to be in range to fire at all times. The practical reality of this means unica usually open up with a move to the middle of the map, then flex to the area where the action is most decisive. On a more general level, it means just not being passive – constantly think about what you need to do, where you need to be to keep your gun hot and having an impact. 3. Don't rely on the enemy making mistakes/coming to you. Find reasons to force them into a fight on your terms. Greens often pick a good spot, and then sit there. Unica always advance until they meet the enemy, and then fight them on favorable terms. If they don't immediately find the enemy, they keep moving until they do. This means having the ability not just to memorize a few good spots, but instead to be able and look at a field and where the enemy is and find/create a good spot where you need it. This also means you are free to be the aggressor, where greens often find themselves unable to attack until the enemy derps into them (which to be fair happens a lot, but not always). CONSISTENCY: There is some irony in me writing this, as I am perhaps the most inconsistent and derpy unica in the game. In fact, due to space constraints I think I'll skip this one for now. Ideally sela or someone will write about this. For me, just realize that if you are a top tank in a T-54 on campinova, you shouldn't gamble on a field scout run. Save your HP, play conservatively, and let your tank carry later. On the other hand, in a tier 10 game scouting the field is probably the best play you can make. The key is risk against reward, and what your team needs to win. This is the consistency you seek – not in always doing the same damage or whatnot, but instead in consistently finding ways to make a major contribution to winning, giving your tank / matchup / map and other constraints. DELIBERATENESS: By deliberateness I mean tactical skill, ie, deliberately considering what it will take to win, then putting a plan in effect to reach that goal. People often talk about map awareness and so on, or the importance of flank attacks. A better way to think about it is to realize what is happening in a game, what is driving victory, and how to counter it given the tools you have. I'll give an example. Last night I was playing on this map: I was in an E-100 and platooned with two mediums. We were the only t10s, and our team was full of soft, crappy tanks driven by retards. Against us was a platoon of greens in T-57s, and various E-75s and such -- a major heavy advantage in town, we had a major medium advantage. I waddled right up to E7, put myself into sidescrape position, and started fighting. Sure enough, soon the platoon of T57s saw me and engaged with a E-75 and some other tank. I deliberately put myself into position where they could blast on me, getting constantly tracked and sometimes taking a little damage. I peekaboomed back, and did a little damage. After several minutes of this, I had taken maybe 1k damage and dealt maybe 2k damage... ...yet that was the game winning play. Because I locked ~5 of their top tanks into position beating on me to no effect, my medium blobs were able to blast through the fodder and sweep in. This was the difference -- I didn't necessarily do a better job peekabooming or sidescraping than they did (considering the tank advantage I had), but I realized in the larger context simply preventing those T-57s from murdering my lesser tanks would inevitably result in a win. All I had to do was keep them interested, so I let them chew on me, even knowing it would cost me some HP now and then. And that's the difference. I was thinking about how my actions would drive home a win, they were just trying to find a random spot and play well. My platoonmates won the glory (high DPG stats), but my contribution was just as key – I was the anvil who fixed the hostiles for the flanking hammer. I was the rock that allowed them to flow around and find weak points. And that was deliberate. Here's another example, which I link to largely because of my man crush on Scipio. MENTORING: Lastly, mentoring. Many people want to be mentored, because they hope its a more gentle way to improve without as many false starts. I personally do not think mentoring works; however, if you are willing to plop down a little money several high end unica offer mentoring. I've done it myself, and although the pubbies said they learned something from it I honestly don't know. But the option is out there. If you are poor, another good alternative is watching my or Kewei's solopub challenges – a few hundred replays and you can get a good sense of how we react in a wide variety of circumstances. CONCLUSIONS: Kewei says to sink or swim. Hopefully this gives you something a bit more concrete, a bit more digestible. People ask every day what it takes to be a great internet tanker. Truthfully, no one can really answer that. Its a process, founded in large part on your own efforts and talent. Furthermore, there is no one set path – I am proof of that. My playstyle and methods are quite different than the typical unica. But I think this will show some things that all unica have in common and that can be worked towards by anyone. This may not make you a unicum, but I believe it will help you improve. Now, as for me, I must go and attend to my legions of internet tank fangirls. Until next time... DISCUSS THIS ON WOTLABS
  10. 3 points

    The GW-E100

    The G.W.E100 The GW-E100 is based on the chassis of the E-100. The E-Series was an attempt to standardize the German tank production late in the war. The goal was to create an easier and cheaper to produce line of vehicles for different purposes. The GW-E100 never reached the prototype stage. The GW-E100 has the following main properties which also greatly influence skills and equipment: Worst mobility of all tier 10 artillery (but not by much since the arty nerf in 0.8.6) Good amount of HE damage per hit (3rd place amongst the other t10 artillery) Mediocre accuracy Can absorb more HE damage than any other t10 SPGs (not sure about British CGC though) The G.W.E100 is more or less a jack of all trades but only achieves the top scores when it comes to ramming enemies, something nobody is really interested in when playing artillery. The accuracy is good enough to hit quite consistently (0.84 and 7sec aim-time) and the splash radius is also ok, which allows you to damage tanks hiding behind cover. A hitrate of 40% is possible with this SPG, but in every discipline you will find artillery pieces that perform better. Before we can spread our love in form of 21cm HE presents on the battlefields, we have to outfit this juggernaut with the right equipment and teach the crew some tricks. Useful mods will also be mentioned. Equipment and consumables for the GW-E100 To increase the mobility and overall performance of your G.W.E100 play with chocolate. It increases overall crew performance by 10% including accuracy, aim-time and mobility. The choices for equipment on artillery in general are quite clear: Enhanced gun laying drive for faster aiming and rammer for faster reload. Now you may ask optics - WTF? The one who spots first, will shoot first or can run for cover ... and sometimes it even happens that artillery has to scout. In the second half of the match some tanks are also driving around with a dead commander. With BIA, optics, chocolate, recon and situational awareness the G.W.E100 reaches ~447m viewrange. Furthermore camo on many SPG's tier 7 and above it's mostly useless (see camo values below). This SPG has a camo value nearly as bad as the Maus, so there is absolutely no sense in wasting a slot for a camo net (every hull movement negates the effect by the way), and if you 're spotted, your team f***** it up in most cases. Camo values for tier 10 SPGs in % for standing/moving/firing - source: G.W.E100 - 1.7 - 0.9 – 0,1 -> Camo as a skill is useless for this enormous artillery. Your main sources of concealment should be bushes and hard cover anyway. Here is an example of how you can use your view-range: Optics + arty (Note: The replay function/xvm is slightly bugged - blue circle should be at 445m and damage counter is also incorrect) I have also seen some players who mounted a spall liner on their SPGs. This is a really bad idea, because it decreases your mobility even more. It weights 1 metric ton for a GW-E100 and makes avoiding incoming counter artillery fire or infighting more difficult. By simply moving right after you fired, you're pretty much safe from counter fire. Crew skills and Perks The first crew skill for the whole crew should always be BIA (in a SPG), it increases every aspect of crew and vehicle performance by 5%. After that you are going to pick individual skills and perks for the crew members. Commander – he should take 6th sense a his second skill. Repair makes a good 3rd skill followed by Recon and Camo. Gunner - Snap shot right after BIA as the 2nd skill. The aiming circle doesn't become that big while moving the hull, so less time is wasted with aiming, even a fraction of a second will make the difference sometimes. This is followed by Repair and then Camo (useless as it is). Sadly there arn't any other options that make much sense, Dead-eye only works with AP + APCR and the accuracy and penetration of the GW-E100 isn't good enough to fire AP at tier 10 tanks on a regular basis. On the other hand I might switch Dead-eye with Camo when reaching the 5th skill. Radio Operator - Aside from Situational Awareness there arn't that many useful skills, so stick with BIA, Repair and Situational Awereness., which increases your view-range by 3%, or ~12m, camo as the 4th skill. The skills that extend the radio range are fairly useless because the maps are to small. Driver - As 2nd skill take Smooth Ride followed by Clutch-Braking, Off Raod Driving and Repair. Smooth Ride also "makes sense" for artillery as it works like a Vertical Stabilizer, reducing the reticle bloom a little and saving some aim-time. Another important aspect is the re-positioning after u fired your shot. Clutch Braking and Offroad Driving skills in that order improve your mobility. It will make it harder to counter you even if you re in a G.W.E100, proper terrain utilization and evasive action right after you fired is needed of course. Loader - Safe Stowage should be the 2nd skill for one loader because artillery are prone to ammo-rack explosions when hit or splashed. The other loader specific perks (adrenaline rush and intuition) are also usefull from time to time so one should use them. With 0.8.6 AP shells on GW-E100 became more useful with a buff to 303mm pen (+60mm). That's why I recommend putting Intuition on both loaders now. Intuition is the only perk which is cumulative giving you 34% chance (if both loaders have it - 2x17%), to switch to another shell type without losing your loading progress. Aside from that just take repair and after that camo. Regarding Repair - It's also makes sense for artillery. If enemy artillery or a tank in close combat tracks you, it often helps you to survive these tricky situations by getting them up faster. First time you will use your repair kit of course but after that this skill can save you. I often encountered enemies that where really surprised how fast I had my tracks up and started to turn the 21cm of doom into their face. It won't help against good players but the less gifted ones are in for a surprise. The following mods can really help you to become a better arti player: Reload timer and shell travel timer zoom mod (original source - Russian WoT forum) XVM shows who is really dangerous in the enemy team and should be taken care of first and the minimap mods included are also helpfull* The old serverside crosshair (original source - Russian WoT forum) from 0.7.4 and before („caps-lock+0“) is also a must have in my opinion. The difference between client and server can be really big especially for players with ping above 70ms or an unstable ping. So I strongly advise to use it for better accuracy. The current implementation by WG leaves much to be desired. It's too jumpy for playing tanks or even aiming with artillery in close combat. *A few words regarding XVM-stats: What I 'd like to address is how some arti owners try to use especially the stats in XVM. No one is arguing the fact, that it is usefull to take out the most dangerous enemies, the question is at what cost? Not to long ago I had a memorable game in one of my artillery. The whole game some red scrubs tried to counter me, they didn't even manage to damage my tracks. They were so obsessed with that purple color in XVM and countering, that my team had more or less nothing to worry about from their direction. On the other hand, I did damage by shooting enemy tanks. And the same can often be observed with tanks. Sure it's easier to harass a tank instead of playing counter arty, though the result will often be the same. You don't help your team with such nonsense. If that blue or purple player is as easy to hit as other targets go for him, but focusing on 100 m² of the map 80% of the game, because some purple over target marker is grinning at you , won't increase your chances to win, in most cases the opposite is true. A unicum without a team to support him or acting as meatshields is pretty easy to kill, if your team has a few players left. Even Emu87 (EU server pubstar) managed a Kolobanov medal only every ~2000 games. Another benefit from looking at the colors in XVM - check out the enemy artillery player when the counter runs down at the start. Is he red or yellow? If that's the case you have a higher the chance of countering him yourself, if the game allows it. These guys tend to go to their favorite spot and never press "W" or "D" the entire game. Playing the G.W.E100 ... isn't that much different from GW-Tiger. The most important thing for me is to position these slow moving and turning giants in a way that doesn't hinder acceleration or even support it. That means stay on solid or at least moderately soft ground. Areas on the map that have a high ground resistance will make you an easy target for enemy counterfire or approaching enemy tanks because it slows you down even more. You can improve your mobility by parking these artillery on small bumps in the terrain which gives you a nice speed boost when moving down from them after your shots. Don't park your artillery in terrain depressions unless they are big enough for unhindered movement after every shot, climbing out of there is a really a time consuming operation. After you gained some speed also turn slightly left or right or even move backward right after your shot. Movement patterns make you predictable and easier to counter. Also avoid flattening trees, walls, fences or other stuff as it gives away your position. Otherwise you might end up like the poor noob in the pictures below, he got "countered" before even firing his first shot. Shooting and aiming with the G.W.E100 is similar to the GW-Tiger except that you have a bigger gun traverse, 6° to each side compared 5° on the G.W.-Tiger. Most of the time you have to use HE shells, nevertheless some AP can also come in handy from time to time. Don't worry you can carry 30 shells so you won't run out of ammo. The G.W.E100 sadly „only“ has 303mm penetration with AP and the accuracy on greater distances isn't that good either, which makes HE the ammo type of choice. You can try to shoot the sides of E100s and Maus with AP but all other tier 10 tanks are ether hard to hit or have to much armor to penetrate them reliable from greater distances (AMX50B is of course also easy to penetrate but quite mobile). AP on the GW-E100 works good in in-fights or city fights when you can suprise your enemies or against mediums in close range sometimes, but that is often like Russian roulette, so better stick with HE there and maybe ram them if you managed to track the them (~87,5 t is your weight, don't forget that). If you 're getting rushed by tanks and you can't run away, which is most of the time, park the rear of your vehicle on a slight bump in the road or ground to compensate for the bad gun depression (0°). Aiming with the GW-E100 … well there is no way to describe it properly, it comes down to experience and practice. I can only give some hints. The german „21cm Mörser 18/2“ takes the 2nd spot in the arc of trajectory*. While the Obj 261 has a flat trajectory often resulting in shells that fall short, the G.W.E100 after 0.8.6 has the 2nd highest firing arc. What does this mean for aiming? When you shot a stationary target lets say a King Tiger or E-75 the upper front plate or turret front where the gun emerges from the turret are probably the best spots to aim. The Obj 261 on the other hand will aim at the turret roof. And always keep in mind the difference between server-side cross-hair and client-side. The server-side cross-hair is lagging behind the client-side in most cases at least for people with a higher ping (50ms+) or when there was a packet loss or lag spike. And what about that battle assistant mod you might ask - well, it's s***. There is only one situation where this mod is better compared to WG standard aiming, shooting at tanks standing still on flat terrain - the easy shots. The perspective used in this mod makes it very hard to judge where to aim when the tank is moving especially when it isn't directy into your direction or perpendicularly to your aim. There are two other negative aspects in regards to the mod, that are ignored mostly: It compresses and warps the aiming circle compared to the top-down view, which otherwise can give you hints where to aim by the form of the ellipse/circle (terrain depression, bumps, hills and so on) When only parts of the target are visible and the rest of it is hidden behind some rocks or other hard cover, the ability to easily point at these open parts of the tank often misleads artillery players into taking shots they shouldn't take in the first place. With low tiers artilleries and reloads under 20 sec it's not that bad, but if your reload is 40 sec or longer it becomes a problem. In these cases it's often good to check if other targets are available or wait with that shot. The first video is one of my best rounds, in terms of experience earned, in the GW-E100, scoring more than 1800XP and 7 Kills on Swamp in a random battle from February 2012 The second video is one of the notorious "PTS-Arty-Parties". It was really fun to take part in those, as long as you are in the right team. The replay is pretty old from beginning of 2012, taking place on El Halluf – enjoy! The two videos are from the game version. Sadly I wasn't able to capture the in-game sound there. Something more recent - 0.9.0 - with some commentary from me (sound volume is very low). As I don't have an internet connection fast enough to upload YT videos, I don't have something else to offer. Though that way you can compare pre and post 0.8.6 GW-E gameplay. https://youtu.be/7AwVGpJHPuA A word regarding the arti rebalance that happend with 0.8.6. Overall the G.W.E100 didn't suffer that much from it compared to other top tiers SPGs, the thing I noticed is a slightly worse aimtime and a little longer reload. On the other hand the buff to ~300mm AP penetration was something usefull. As it is now arti accuracy is slightly worse as before 0.8.6 at least for the top tier SPGs - can't comment on lower tiers in general, I don't play them. Beside the bad mobility the G.W.E100 is a good allrounder, but not really suited for CW. Specialists like the CGC or 261 are often more usefull there. And what about the german SPG line as a whole? In my opinion it has two "highlights" the Grille and the GW-Panther. Both are excellent SPGs for their tier, especially the GW-Panther is a must have for the SPG-Missions in my opinion. And what about the Hummel, I heard it is a beast?! Well that was probobably an oldtimer remembering the WoT beta. The Hummel after patch 0.8.6 is only a shadow of it's former glory: inaccurate, long shell travel time, relative flat trajectory and with +3° of gun "erection" useless when it comes to close combat. About the german tier 8 and 9 artis ... I don't want to speak about them, it's wasted time - get yourself a M40/M43, M53/55 or a FV207 instead. So should you go down the german SPG line to tier 10? If you are looking for a SPG to use in CW - no. First get the CGC, the Obj. 261 and the M53/M55 (the T92 is a desater after 0.8.6). If you want to have some arti fun, it's best to stop at the GW-Panther for most people. Me and my 2000 battles in the G.W.E100 is a different thing. It was my first tier 8 (now 10) arti back in 2011, researched it initially for CW and I got used to it's limitations by now. I hope you gained something from this write up. A big thank you to PityFool [NA] for spell checking this - your inner grammar nazi rocks! If you like you can leave a small tip below - thank you. Folterknecht [EU]
  11. 2 points
    Original article by @A_Chodeful The Method One of the things that I'm often asked by purples and blues is how to become better, and I could never find a decent response to that question, and always left it to others to give canned advice and tips - this is because these players from my first-hand experience, already knew the basics of the game, they knew how to abuse vision range, camouflage, game mechanisms, and the vast majority of good map spots. In short, they just knew how to play their tanks, very well in fact. So why did it seem that they were stuck in a rut? Because they simply haven't been putting themselves in punishing situations nearly as often as they should be, and this can be seen by the canned advice they're given when they ask for help: Watch the replays of other, preferably better players to watch how they play Go back to the lower tiers to master what you've already learned Platoon with better players or have them review your replays Though there are many varieties to the responses, these three are the most common, and all are flawed: Watching the replays of other players is not the same as being in and having to make the decisions they make in that situation - it's easy enough to say you'll do this in this situation and that in that - but the problem here is that only basic situations remain the same (i.e. team goes to these spots in this map and that map), the details almost never duplicate themselves - so you have to develop a sense for the situation that simply watching won't develop - this is the equivalent of reading a math solution to a complex problem that you couldn't crack, then thinking you now understand it and can do it all. Going back to the lower tiers to master what you've already learned is a horrible idea, not only are the meta-games different for each and every set of tiers, such as T10/9 being dominated by alpha damage and vision range, and T1/2 dominated by fast game-speed and disproportionate damage-dealing capabilities where tanks have ten times their HP in DPM - the players also get worse the lower you de-tier, so any jump in performance you see in lower tiers is only the result of you seal-clubbing deaf-mute zombies who run the worst possible set-ups while grinding through the tech tree, and not you actually improving. Platooning with better players doesn't work well at all, all that happens is that you're able to maximize your win rate. For the most part, you'll be too busy bothering with your flank or fights to pay much attention to their actions, and in the end, you're just riding along their coattails as they carry you to a win you don't really understand - since they'll be too busy padding their own stats or thinking/fighting to tell you their thought process and what they're thinking in each situation. So, how do you improve in the fastest, most brutal, efficient, and stats-damaging way possible (unless you plan to follow my advice on an alt account)? You go straight to the highest tiers as fast you can and stay there, solo-pubbing in average tanks - playing next to no games outside of the double digit battle tiers other than to take a break or to grind some credits. This advice also applies to yellow and green players as well, though they should read through the game mechanisms article on the WOT WIKI at least once just to make sure they have the basic mechanisms understood. But why does this approach work? Taking an average tank like the M46 Patton or M103, and jumping straight to solo-pubbing in T9/10 battle tiers? These tiers represent a high where everyone is more or less on an equal footing, everyone's finished their stock grinds for the most part, they have equipment, consumables, crews with multiple perks and skills researched, and know at the least, the very basics of the game, so least the base quality is as high as it can be in pub games. It should also be noted that the occurrence of blue players and unicums are very frequent in T9/T10 battle tiers, a quick look through my high tier replays with XVM on will show this. The extreme accuracy of the guns and view ranges also contribute to the harshness of which punishment is dealt to mistakes in such a tier - any mistakes you make in an average tank in one way or another will be punished - typically by a brutally accurate barrage of shells coming from invisi-tanks that either cripples or outright kills you. Consider that platooning makes you complacent and prone to making mistakes that your platoonmates cover - what do you think happens when you take away that bit of insurance? Your mistakes are punished even more heavily - thus driving you to make even less mistakes and better calls. To sum it all up, go straight to the highest tiers (T9/10) and solopub there for hundreds or if you have the time, thousands of battles, preferably in non-overpowered tanks to force yourself even more to make even less mistakes and even better calls - this is all a first-hand experience as well, all application, little theory involved. Anyways, this experience in the high tiers will do damage to your stats, so I suggest keeping it all to one tank that you can write off as a training tank, or an outlier in the sea of high performance T9/T10 tanks people will find in your statistics when they check. An addition as well, to constantly be seal-clubbed as you try to get better can be tiring, and can burn you out, so I recommend finding another person's account to sockpuppet or dick around in. Supporting the Claims This is how I went from being a running a 45% in my Lowe to running a 58% in my E50 in less than a thousand battles when I first started the game (I free-EXPed to the E50 with the EXP I grinded in the Lowe), while the ability to pick things up quick helped, the fact I didn't go through the tier advancement process probably helped me the most, where I was routinely punished by players who had come out of closed beta for my dicking arounds. It’s also worth mentioning that as soon as I started platooning with other unicums or players, I hit another rut, which I climbed out of again one to thousand battles ago when I started pure solo-pubbing again (i.e. taking up requests to do challenges, and then moving on to solo-pubbing outside of challenges) - now I find myself hitting and exceeding 70% win rate easily, and doing 4000-5000 DPG for T9/T10. Also, if you look to the other servers, you'll notice that the very best of the RU/EU servers do something like to this, emu87 for example, solopubbed almost exclusively - Luciquell and Straik/Kirilloid often solopub in T10/T9 games as well, only getting together for special streams. These are the people who top that damage-output boards in their servers while maintaining win rates in the 70s, and in the case of Kirilloid and Straik, also participate in and win multiple competitions a-la-Ural-Steel. This experience will also make you a supreme clubber in tiers lower than 9 and 10. Ever notice how seal-clubbers like Autism_Speaks and Marxist can perform on unicum levels in low tiers, and some Hellcat-padder can pull off great numbers in the mid-tiers but never the high tiers? Then notice how people who perform exceedingly well in higher tiers also perform exceedingly well in mid-tiers and become literal gods in low-tiers? This is because everything you learn in highest tiers can be used in lower tiers, but only part of what you learn in lower tiers can be used in the highest tiers.
  12. 1 point
    Original article by @TheMarine0341 Level: Yellow/Green The phrase OODA Loop refers to the decision cycle of observe, orient, decide, and act, developed by military strategist and USAF Colonel John Boyd. Very often, we'll see actions and behaviors which eventually lead to losses and a TON of frustration with how the game plays out. We then ask "What to do on map XYZ?" and often get the reply "Its situational." What this should imply to the reader is that they need to improve and be aware of how to make decisions in the thick of a fight. I've based my YouTube channel off the concept of decision making and how it can lead to wins which might have otherwise not taken place. Today we're going to look at a few "decision" situations: What decisions were made, how this lead to a win or a loss, and what could have been improved. 1st: Initial Deployment What is your tank’s role? Are you a well-armored heavy? Are you a soft medium? Are you a well-camouflaged tank destroyer? When you pick your tank and hit "Battle," you should already know what kind of environment you should look for. For example, if I select my German Heavy tank, I know I generally need to find a choke point and anchor that. If I select a Scout tank, I know I can either make an active initial scouting run or remain passive to start the battle, and/or setup for an early ambush. A lightly armored Medium tank? I need to find an area where I can establish vision over a large area and take "safe" shots. Knowing what your ideal terrain, cover, and role are will help reinforce positive results for establishing early damage, early lights of the enemy team, and reinforce key terrain features needed to win several maps. I will go over several examples later. 2nd: Avoid Over-extending Early in my WOT career, this was (and sometimes still is) my largest weakness: I knew the key areas for my tank, and would go there regardless of what my team was doing. HUGE no-no! At one point I had a well-under-25% survival rate. Wow. And the larger the map, the harder that is to recover from. A classic example is the map "Highway”: Only a few mediums and you're the south spawn? You know the A1 corner can be important for winning map control. But, by the time you get to E1, it's plain to you by the minimap that the other medium in your line-up is going to the city area, the scout is rushing down the river, and your only backup will be a bottom tier TD. You have two choices: Continue to A1 and die rapidly and do only 1 shot of damage, or initially light the enemy from the bush at the bottom of D1. You should quickly realize that pushing onward is the wrong choice. Getting two or three shots from D1, and relocating will be the better choice. Slowly bleeding the enemy instead of a reckless dash for key terrain can be a deciding factor ultimately in whoever wins the fight. At this point, slowing a potential advance is more important than losing your tank in a helpless fight over the corner of the map. Here is an example of this happening exactly as I describe here. I do wish the battle results had been different, but instead of doing 1 damaging shot before I died I was able to at least slow the enemy force before dying T-20 Highway 3rd: Taking the Correct Risk/OODA Risk needs to be taken to win a fight. The Roman poet Virgil writes, “Audaces fortuna iuvat - Fortune favors the bold.” Deciding what is the correct risk and the wrong risk can quickly turn the tides of a battle. Describing such situations is much harder to do, but a very boiled-down version of this comes to a simple point: Will the damage I do or enable my team to do win an engagement, or will it cost more? Damage tips the scales of a fight. Allowing too much damage to you or your team can lose you a fight and, ultimately, the battle. This stage of the battle is now where the OODA Loop comes much more into play. Observe: We now know (about 2 minutes into the battle) where the majority of their team is deployed. You can tell by the mini-map display that your flank is weak or strong, or that their flank is weak or strong as well. Orient: The most subtle of the 4 steps, often coinciding with the next letter D (Decide.) As you make your next decision, you're orienting your tank to accomplish the next step of your mission. Decide: You decide that pushing or retreating is the best course of action, or perhaps staying put. Act: Following through with your decision. You're repeating these four steps constantly. These steps should NEVER stop happening. When you feel yourself tiring of this, you really should stop playing for a bit and take a break until you're refreshed. Otherwise your immediate in-game performance will suffer, you will go on-tilt, and will continue to play very poorly until you're able to reset. Examples of Initial Deployments: Karelia Standard From the South, we have the "White" zones. These areas are either key features which must be won, or areas which can enable a push or a win. Zone 1, White: Heavy tanks which are quick ( i.e. T110E5 or 113) or Mediums which get a bad spawn. Not Recommended for slow heavy tanks or TDs. From this area, a tank can get shots up at H8 (right and below Yellow Zone 2) or engage tanks at H9, just above Yellow Zone 1. While this area will not "win" the area per-se, it’s still a good or great area to get damage and help your hill force. Zone 2, White: Medium tanks or fast heavies with a good spawn (i.e. AMX 50B, slower mediums). Not Recommended: Slow heavies or TDs. This typically turns into a brawling area, which is NOT arty safe but is vital for winning the hill. Zone 3, White: Fast Mediums and light tanks (i.e. BatChat, AMX 13-90, RU 251) Not Recommended: Any tank which cannot make it past White Zone 2 without being spotted This area is more of a high risk/high reward, depending upon your team’s composition. This forces the north spawn to attempt to defend themselves from three lines of fire, which is just beyond overwhelming in a public battle. Personally, my favorite zones for South deployments are 1 and 3. I feel these areas can have the largest impact early in a fight, bringing the battle your way. Now, why not anything North for the south area spawn? Well, because Wargaming has made this one area, the Hill, the dominate feature on the map. You do NOT need a heavy tank presence on the north side, you only need an acceptable vision presence there to keep them honest. Same goes if you're in the north spawn. Now, for the Yellow Zones Unfortunately, the south has an advantage when attempting to win the hill. Too often, this map can be pre-determined as a win for the south if they're gifted a medium lineup with skilled medium players. However, an attempt still needs to be made to win the hill. So, Zone 1, Yellow: Tanks with turret armor, but too slow to get up the hill (i.e. T110E5, RU medium with a bad spawn) Not recommended: Soft tanks While I have not played this area too often myself, it can let you put out some great damage and allows you to support teammates on the hill. Unlike White Zone 1, it’s a "bit" safer to advance earlier, at least in my experience, to attempt to shoot up into White Zone 2. However: unlike White Zone 1, there is only hard cover, so assume that you’ll be spotted as soon as you move out. Zone 2, Yellow: Fast Mediums or Heavies (ie E50M, STB-1, AMX 50B with good spawn) Not Recommended: Any tank with a bad spawn I don’t recommend any tank with a bad spawn attempt to force themselves into this area. It’s not arty safe, and if you back down even slightly, you’re vulnerable to fire from White Zone 1. You really need overwhelming force to win this position, and unless the south spawn sends very few tanks up the hill, even your faster tanks (BatChat, Leo 1, Lights) cannot make it to the top of the hill before being engaged by tanks from the south spawn. North spawn MUST overwhelm this position in order to win it. Zone 3, Yellow: Mediums, after zone 2 is won. Not recommended: Tanks without camo (i.e. Heavy Tanks) Thanks to map design, this area is harder to get to early in a fight, but can be vital later in the fight to winning the hill and map control. Example of Risk-Taking: This process will continue throughout the entire battle. A constant state of "OODA" is vital for understanding the flow of a battle and recognizing key moments. Again I want to stress that taking risk is needed to win a fight, but do not take a risk that will destroy your chances at winning a fight. A great example of taking such a risk happens here with SirDerpsABit from Villian, an "Awesome Replays" poster from the WOTLabs Forums. We are north spawn on Mountain Pass, and Derps and I are both in brand new WZ111's with poor crews. I looked at the lineup and note that both teams are fairly heavy, but I felt there was a good chance that their Heavy Tanks would deploy to the 1-2 line areas, expecting a brawl with us. Instead of playing the map as I normally would and going to the typical area, I ask if he would like to push the Ice Road. I would never make this move solo, but with Derps with me, I felt there was a strong likelihood that we would find a lot of tier 7 tanks to feast on, and 1 or two heavy tanks which we could quickly dispatch. So, what led me to believe this? 1) The power of XVM. Most of their heavies were yellow players, meaning to me they would predictably go to the typical brawling area on the 1/2 lines. This happens 95% of the time, why should this time be any different? 2) Many of their lower tier tanks were yellow/shades of red. To me, this meant they would try and snipe up the Ice Road if they deployed to this area, as they would usually only deal with tanks at long ranges, coming from 1 angle. RNG might or might not help them. So, I decide that we can risk going down from the Ice Road. The WZ111 is a fast heavy that can get down low and change the engagement range in our favor. The terrain in that area favors a relatively short tank like the WZ111 that can hull-down, and if there had been artillery, only an FV304 would have had any chance of nuking us. Derps and I had played about 10 games at this point, and we've done an excellent job covering for one another as our HP dropped so I know we can rotate well. If we meet heavy tanks, I’m certain we'll be fine. If we meet their tier 7s, I’m even more certain we'll roll them hard. We get to the base of the road, and indeed find lightly armored tanks. We quickly move in and overwhelm them. Nothing challenges us from the mid nor bridge, so we push on. We then work down a T34 who was too slow to respond to our initial engagement. I do take too much damage, so I let Derp get the first shot before I take my own. We then move to their cap area, where now another T34 and Super Pershing have left the mid, and again Derps and I work together to focus them down. I only have about 500 HP when we start this engagement, but as you can see... I end up with 3495 damage with 3 kills, and Derps ends up with 3494 damage and 2 kills. We make a bold, but educated, move which enables us to quickly dominate a flank, forcing a response and a weakening of the other flank. Im sure if we had gone the other flank, we would have still won but not as decisively nor quickly. Bold but educated choice, dominate and win. Replay Mountain Pass (ver 9.5) Conclusion Battles are a constant cycle of OODA decisions. Knowing your tank’s role, being aware of your position (battle extension), and taking proper risk can and will improve your Win Rate dramatically. Far, far too often a fight is lost simply because a team is reactionary and over extends. Be aware of your tank, be aware of your teammates, be aware of the enemy. Reviewers: Mordator Xylenes Chiefofops Warrends Johnny_Wishbone Proofreader: Sorphius Discuss this article on our forum.
  13. 1 point
    Original article by @Garbad Several months ago I posted an E-100 replay where I did very little damage, yet I claimed I carried the team. Some scoffed, so I explained how I won the game by letting my E-100 get shot up for a long time against a hostile T-57 platoon, which allowed my teammates to flank in and win. That got a lot of interest, and people asked for other examples of when I had a large, positive contribution to winning a match that doesn't show up in the stats. Winning by outthinking the opponent, not by outfighting them. I tried to find a few replays where I contributed almost nothing in dpg/kpg/spotting yet still played a crucial role. Most of the time my impact is a combination of high damage combined with good tactics, but I wanted to find games that stripped away the damage to show only the tactics – how positioning, game flow, and so on can turn battles regardless of my individual performance. This is easier said than done, as these games are the exceptions. And as a disclaimer, some might try to use this article to claim that damage doesn't matter. That is not my intent – damage clearly matters. The best and primary measure of a player's contribution is in their overall damage stats. If you aren't putting out at least your HP in damage in large samples, you aren't a good player no matter how good your tactics seem (in your mind). That said, all damage is not equal, and the hidden impact of tactics is far too often ignored. Unlike virtually every unicum in WOT, I play aggressively. Most unica play a game of attrition – they try to sit back and let the pubbies flail against each other as they snipe into the blob, wearing down the hostiles while conserving their own strength. When the field is weakened, they move in and mop up with a fresh tank and superior skills. I tend not to do this. Instead, I frequently scout first, engage first, and fight on the front until I die. But although I am often described as reckless, I don't fight blindly – I always 1) have a goal in mind – I don't just pick a random strategy, I pick a strategy that will help me leverage my strengths into a win – and 2) try to fight on my terms – I pick a place and means to fight that gives me an advantage, or at least equal ground. I always keep an eye out for the decisive moment – a key flank, a flex, a crushing attack that can turn the tide of a battle. My goal is usually straightforward – to destroy the hostile tanks by fighting in a place/manner that I can win....but sometimes its more subtle. Let's take a look. WINTER IS COMING: [replay] As I load in, I note the enemy team has a platoon of blunicum rerolls in top tanks. Particularly with only four t10s in a game (and mine being of inferior skill), this is a very serious threat. But like all blunicums, I expect they will avoid a brawl in town, preferring to sit back and snipe. This is not an unreasonable choice, seeing as our team has mass E-100 and E-75s while they are Tds and meds. Accordingly, I move north to engage them. Click for large Sadly, I am very much alone. My team dogpiles into town, leaving me and two T34s north. As the battle is joined, its clear much of their firepower is north, including the blunicums. This should give our town team a major advantage...if we can just win the north...and by win the north, I mean just not lose the north. I know we need not defeat the enemy – simply not dying quickly will ensure their tier 10s are out of the battle as their team gets rolled. I begin to fight, killing the foch and doing a glorious 800 damage (my only stats of the game). Click for large And then I pretty much just sit there. I occasionally fling a wild shot in their general direction and peek so they know I am there, but I accomplish nothing statistically. They continually peek at me, waiting for me to fight...and the clock keeps ticking as my pubs overwhelm their pubs. Click for large Three minutes tick by, as their northern team does nothing. By the time they finally acted the battle was lost. The blunica make a heroic last stand, managing to get their DPG at acceptable levels for the fight, but note that when the battle was up for grabs they each did less than 800 damage and sat idle, isolated, and irrelevant. This was not chance, or at least, not purely chance. Despite the fact that 3x tier 10s and assorted pubtrash could easily, easily overwhelm me and the T34s, they don't attack. This is partly because of the tease – I kept ALMOST poking around to let them blap me, making them continually stop and aim, hoping for the free shots and partly because of actual threat – an IS8 and two T34s could have bled them fairly badly before we died. But regardless of their thinking, it worked out poorly for them – their town team desperately needed help and they failed to provide it or take advantage of their local strength. Our team was severely damaged even as it was – had they rolled the north two minutes faster they would have likely been able to encircle our town team and crush them, or maybe even capfast. But my IS-8 cockblocked that, and thus, had a big impact on the win despite crap statistical play. BATTLE OF THE LAKE: [replay] This is a classic matchmaker blunder – they get two more tier 10s, we get tier 9s to their tier 8s. We have more heavies and better peekaboomers, but they have better snipers, as well as some very hard tanks. Click for large I yoloderp to the middle quickly, trying to seize the building before they can set up. I do this because if their meds get their first, my heavies will stop and start peekabooming them from the lanes...which means they are more exposed to the waffle/clicker while trying to fire at well angled IS-7/Maus/etc. By taking the church, we can first sweep out the tanks right there in a peekaboom that favors us, and then swarm the hard tanks from all sides. Click for large ...or such is the plan. In reality, I get shredded by snipers and my pubs still hold back. I sit forward as bait, drawing out their fatties, luring them into a crossfire...but it doesn't go well for me, at all. I get hit repeatedly from all sides, and still my pubs sit back. My friendly E-100 first shoots me in the ass, then waddles up beside me. I note they are swarming to the south, however, and will soon be able to curl around if I can just stay alive. So I...do nothing. I just sit there for a few minutes, proxy lighting the meds. The E-100 sits absorbing a few shots and firing back on them to little effect. But because I am tucked in and hard to kill yet still have a gun facing forward, no one wants to peek out and aim at the E-100s weak points. Instead they just sit around uselessly, and after a few minutes help arrives from the south. Click for large Once the outer ring is controlled, I rush forward, killing the last few tanks before they can fall back. Although I die, even pubs will follow a surge, and this ensured we had enough numbers to win. So in this battle, I did a few things that mattered – first, I took key ground. The simple act of controlling those 10m of space up to the church gave us much better fighting position. It also kept eyes on the tanks, preventing unseen peekabooming. Next, I protected the E-100 from his own stupidity. Had I peeked with him, I would have surely been killed...which would have left him alone...with a very long reload and easy to hit weak points. They likely would have slaughtered him, and who knows how the battle might have turned then. But because they did not, we held, the pubs pushed south, and we routed them. CONCLUSION: This is a difficult subject to write on, but I hope this has some value. Questions or comments are welcome, and if people are interested in more I'll try and find some better replays to demonstrate why I do certain things and if they work. Discuss this on WoTLabs
  14. 1 point
    Original article by @rocketbrainsurgeon A lot of people wonder: how can I get into that top clan? I have a little experience, but I wanted to see how other people got into their good clans too. I'm not interested in what people say to do to get into a good clan, I'm interested in what they actually did. People often give the advice of "get good and then good clans will want you", but there are so few people that actually do it that way! WHAT IS "TOP-TIER"? My definition for "top-tier" or "good" is: Clan is frequently holding land in Clan Wars, receiving gold income Clan wins Clan Wars campaigns and the resulting premium tanks from them (note: this may change in the future as Wargaming is moving to a system of play more = more points in the campaigns, thus the clans that win tanks will probably just be spamming battles and not actually winning any of them) BUT CLAN X IS JUST A BUNCH OF SCRUBS! THEY AREN'T GOOD! The North American server has around 30K players online at any given time. I'm spit-balling, but that would mean there are probably 1 million active users on the North American server. How many clans win the campaigns or are on the global map at any given time? 30-40 clans, 100 players per clan: 3-4 thousand players. So out of a population of 1 million players, 3-4 thousand players actually get the prizes. That's 0.3% of the population. So bash that "scrub" clan that's barely holding onto land in the great arctic all you want: statistically, they are still part of very elite company. OVERVIEW I asked the community at WoTLabs about how they got into their clans, and if you want to read the entire stories people had, go for it: they are great reads. Inspirational. I apologize to those who submitted their stories, but I have to edit for space. Each snippet will include a link back to the full story the player shared, and there are more great reads in that thread that people should check out. Also, these aren't just elite players posting how they got into top clans. There are many that have merely good stats. You don't have to be purple to get into one of these clans, but green is probably a requirement. GETTING INTO A TOP CLAN DOESN'T ALWAYS START OFF WELL... Some think that the lives of others are charmed and that success comes naturally to everyone around them. That's rarely the case! Nearly everyone starts at the bottom. Joined my first clan L501R by baddie in-game spam message, top tier tank was an m41(tier 5 arty). It was so bad a clan that it wasn't even good enough to fail in Africa, it was the clan that fought and lost landing battles in Europe with half teams... - Meirzin[REL_3] I started as one hell of a scrub player, so full of myself, that I did not understand how terrible I was until I reached about 6-7K games. (at which point I had a winrate of about 47% and a WN7 of 700 or 800). - blackzaru[TYR] I started out playing with my son as a horrible, horrible 45%er or worse. Discovered reddit.com at some point around the same time and /r/worldoftanks. Joined RDDT6 (social clan) and started platooning. - Dlur[RELIC] I was about an average pub (~50% winrate) with about 6-8k battles that was playing for the grind and didn't care much for stats. My first CW experience was being raped in a stock tier 9 T34 by an E-100 on Westfield in a clan that obviously didn't have much business on the map. - tomego[HAVOK] DOING TOURNAMENTS TO GET NOTICED One of the interesting things that came out a lot: people gained connections, exposure, and increased their skill through tournament play before going into clan wars. A deliberate decision to get into a gud-clan while simultaneously breaking into the WoT tournament scene got me first into a 'training' sub-clan (NOVAC), then a 'tournament' sub-clan (SNRK), and finally a main clan (SIMP), though I suspect the last step was in error since I happened to be in a chat channel with some of the guys they really wanted to recruit. - kilpanic[SIMP] PLATOONING ON UP "Networking" is one of those words that confuses most: how does one "network"? Really, it's just a buzzword that means "talking to people". Everyone you've enjoyed platooning with: add them to your friend list and invite them to platoons later. As your friend list grows, so does your network. Started off in a social clan from an invite spammer in game. Figured it would be fun to meet some guys and toon up after 2-3k solo games. Met several guys I consider friends and moved clans a few times together. I had almost 1500 efficiency, but only 47% WR and realized I had been losing alot due to the people I played with. I found 2 buddies at 53% that didn't mind playing with my 47% ass. Worked my way up to 53%. - Driftin[SIMP] So i just soloed my way for quite a while, then hopped in the WotLabs in-game channel when it got created and soloed/platooned my way through the game for another while. Then one afternoon i tooned with jostie and cryo (a officer in UNICA). Cryo ... offered me to move to a clam a friend of his was creating. I trusted him and so transferred to PUR3. And i'm pretty happy about it. - SWG112[PUR3] IT'S WHO YOU KNOW, NOT WHAT YOU KNOW I had seen Allurai playing his T49 in some YouTube video's, and had got into a few platoon's with him. At this point, I had a 51% wr, and ok stats. That influential friend I had made, turned out to be Allurai, who got me into TMPRL's... - ArrogantWorms[REL_3] As the medium/champion TCs were starting at that time, I started running with Badfish1080 in TCs, and he invited me to join Likely to Rage, which was just getting started. [...] Badfish went off and started ELVIS, which I subsequently joined. [...] Shortly after leaving ELVIS, PBKAC invited me in, as I had played with some notables in pubs and TCs previously. I had also been posting on the forums, and PBKAC has always been a forum warrior clan. Nisae was instrumental in bringing me to PBKAC. - sr360[PBKAC] SUB-CLAN SUCCESS Many clans have sub-clans that are made specifically for developing players for the main clan or working towards clan wars themselves one day. There is always churning: players leave the clan or game constantly and need to be replaced. Find a sub-clan, and work your way up. Go solopub for a while, make post on clan recruitment, overall was 1300ish and 53% WR, AntiVibe recruits me into REL-A (RBS: a clan wars training sub-clan). I get pulled up (RBS:to REL_2) with a T110E5 because I had 100% attendance for 60 days. - Migizikody[REL_2] SELF IMPROVEMENT Truthfully, you're going to have to have develop some skill at left-clicking on pixel tanks to get into the best clans. After 7k games I got into a semi-casual clan with some really good players that inspired me to become better. [...] Stayed there for a month or two, left because my ambitions got greater. [...] Built my stats for a while until they got up to 1750 WN7, which was the "minimum" to join my next clan, EXN0M. Now I effectively have enough tier 10s and stats to join any clan I want. - Oneechan[SAKI] Its basically the same formula for me for any multiplayer game ... Decide you want to be competitive. Practice and learn from others. I still suck, but much less than before. - Sarzan[D-O-S] I was like fuck, I'm gonna get better at this and join them one day. Got better - joined EFE-X - got even better - was transferred to EFE. Now field commanding cw. - Moukka[EFE] Keep in mind when I was an aspiring unicum I always wanted to be in a clan like G, Enjoy, PBKAC, or Havok. I had always wanted to be in a clan that made tons of gold per day and surround myself with insanely good players. I knew in order to join a top clan I had to show what I was made of. I had to take the game seriously and improve my stats to show that I was worthy of being in a top clan. - Aquavolt[PBKAC] ADD VALUE TO THE CLAN OTHER THAN JUST FIGHTING Shooting is only part of the battle. Diplomacy, recruiting, battle calling, and funds management all take a lot of time. Sometimes the best players don't always want to be the best diplomats or recruiters. There's opportunity there. Started battle calling in nightly Medium and Champion TCs by being nominated randomly, sought to improve myself after the thrill of winning (luckily) my first ever TC battle that I called. It all started there with pred being the 73%er Spiritual Leader and his one and only battle caller (myself lol) and our 7/42 team with a few of PBKAC SEA's best. - comix[DPS] Join Africa Clan due to me doing medium TCs with them. [...] Turns out I am decent at calling. Stay as a caller for a while winning most of the battles I call. Apply to numerous clans under the ruse of being a good caller and get accepted by a few, PBKAC being the most notable and best in my opinion. - Cod_[PBKAC] I made a smart ass remark to a recruiter asking why were recruiters always so much lower than the minimum stats for joining. - Driftin[SIMP] (RBS: officers typically have lower requirements as they are harder spots to fill. It's a tough job keeping a clan running!) INSTALL GAME, ACCEPT WAITING INVITE TO BEST CLAN, EZ GAME EZ LIFE BETTER LUCKY THAN GOOD Some random dude asked me to platoon with him, which I did. He asked me to join his clan as he needed chips for Clan Wars and didn't even care if I showed up. I joined just for giggles (becoming the ~4th member), and that "random dude" was Exploit. The clan I had joined for giggles was PURPL, and became a consistent landholding clan within a month and narrowly won the M60 in the first campaign. - rocketbrainsurgeon[OTTER] UNIQUE WAYS TO GET A GOOD CLAN SUMMARY There are tons of different ways that people have gotten into their top clan that makes them happy... and all of them are different! Go read through the stories in full and realize the breadth of skills that people cite to get into the best clans: it's not just being the best @ tanks. Share your story in the thread if you like. If you don't have that story, log onto WoT and make it! Discuss this on WoTLabs
  15. 1 point
    Original article by @KraftLawrence Let’s start with a game. This is called the 30 circles game. To set up the game, you take a pen and paper, and you draw 30 circles, 5 rows of 6. Then, the game is that you have 60 seconds to fill in as many circles as possible. There are a few conditions though. First, you can’t cheat. After 60 seconds are up, you must be an honorabru gamer and put your pen down. Second, each circle must have something different in it. See picture below. Someone drew a character from Mario, music notes, etc. You get the idea. When you’re ready, set up a timer and begin. When you’re done, move on to the next paragraph. How many circles did you fill in? Was it under 30? There really should be no excuse for it to be under 30. If it was, you let assumptions poison your ability to be unicum at the 30 circles game. This game had 1 goal and 2 rules. The only goal was to fill in as many circles as possible. The ONLY 2 rules were that every circle had to have something different, and that you could not cheat. You didn't have to put in as much detail as the example sheet in the picture. That was something you assumed. You could've easily just written down the numbers 1-30 in each circle and be done with it. Or wrote the alphabet in lowercase then start writing it in uppercase. It didn’t matter. The goal of this article is to help you eliminate such assumptions that are holding you back in World of Tanks. The Competitors Before we continue, I’m going to introduce 3 types of players in WoT based on their mentality towards the game: The scrub – The scrub is someone who has lost the game before he even presses battle. He is someone who is so poisoned by his own assumptions of fairness that he imposes unnecessary constraints on himself to lower his performance. These are the people you see in pub matches who like to complain about random stuff like “wow you shot gold at my French heavy” or “lol you can’t win without a platoon” or even “I’m a TD and should camp behind other tanks”. But of course, people will shoot the scrub’s E-75 with gold over and over again, until he learns to play in such a way to counter it. The pro – This is what we strive for. The pro clearly understands his objective in the game as well as the tools available to him. He selects the right tools for the goal and is not poisoned by assumptions. The faux-pro – This is an interesting category. The faux-pro is someone who is convinced they get it, convinced that they’re good at this game, but that there’s something out of their control stopping them from succeeding. They often see their skill plateau at somewhere between green and light purple and can't seem to get higher. Faux-pros are those who go on the forum and make posts like “I’m currently a 55%er, but I actually play like a 60%er. It’s just that matchmaker keeps giving me un-carryable teams, and that’s why I can’t seem to get my winrate higher.” I think the faux-pro is probably the most dangerous category to find yourself in, and it’s very hard to break out of this shell to actually improve. It’s important that we have the pro player mentality, and be very sure we don’t fall into the faux-pro category – since I know there’s no scrubs reading this . Common Assumptions that Keep YOU from Getting to Superunicum Alright, let’s talk about some common groups of assumptions that you may face on your road to becoming a superunicum in World of Tanks: Knowing secrets is skill. These are things like “If I go to this bush on Malinovka, I’ll spot all their tanks.” Sure this is good knowledge to have, and you may go there and get good results many times. But this sort of secret is not skill. What if they change the map – do you just suddenly have no idea how to play tanks anymore? Does your skill just go away? You need to understand the reason why certain spots are good – what terrain features are you abusing to gain the advantage you’re gaining? Once you understand the reason for your actions and why what you’re doing works, you’ll be able to pioneer new spots – spots that super-unicums aren't spamming about on forums. Perhaps no one else even uses that spot you’re using – but you are, because through your understanding, you think this spot has similar qualities as other spots. Solidify your understanding of why your current secrets work, and you will no longer need to rely on them. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is the worst logic that has ever come into existence. This phrase makes no sense. You can often improve on what currently works. For example, if you’re a medium tank and you’re spotting things, you could poke out, see stuff, then drop back to cover. It may work most games. But how can you improve this? You could learn that if you spot a tank, it appears a bit after you actually spot him. Then you could peek out and immediately pull back behind cover – see if he lights up afterwards. This way, you’re less likely to get shot. Can we improve this again? Sure! If you have 6th sense, you can poke out, shoot in the air, and go back behind cover. This way, you lower your camo to rock bottom, and if your 6th sense goes off, you know for sure something’s there before without even seeing them. Always question what you’re currently doing for optimality. The system is flawed. We hear this all the time. Ranging from “wow arty is so broken” to things like “matchmaker put 3 extra tier 10s on their team”, these are statements that imply the system is broken. Sure, you can make these statements outside of the game, or after you’re dead, but you should never be thinking this during the game. During the game, these things don’t matter. These are things you don’t have the power to change, and therefore should not affect your decision making. Your goal is only to optimize your play given the constraints of the system. In the competitive space, the system is always assumed to be perfect. The word “counter” I hate the word “counter”. The simple statement of saying “A counters B” implies that there’s such a causal relationship in WoT, which is not true. I’m sure all of you have seen charts while playing WoT like Heavies > Meds > TDs > Heavies. But there are many situations that heavies are just plain better than TDs – where you can abuse their lack of turrets. Or many maps where field commanders in CW will bring mostly mediums to win against beefier heavies. You need to assess every situation individually to see where your advantage lies. The word “counter” often hinders such critical thinking. I answered the right question. Basically, the goal you may currently have in mind may not be exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. Let’s return to the example in assumption #2 about scouting. You may need to ask yourself exactly what your goal is. Do you want to know exactly which tanks are down this line? Is this the right question? Or is your goal really to know whether it’s safe for you to push down this line? Depending on what you’re exactly trying to accomplish, a different play may be optimal. If you need to know exactly what’s down there, you may want to peek your turret and intend to bounce a shot, just so that you can use your received damage announcer to know what tanks shot you. Maybe you only need to know whether there’s anything there at all – so you only need to poke, shoot, and return to cover to see if your 6th sense went off. It’s important that you make sure you’re explicit with yourself and correctly identify the right questions during the game. Thanks for reading. Hopefully you learned something through the 30 circles game, the competitor types, and the actual assumptions portion of the article. Discuss this on WoTLabs
  16. 1 point
    Original article by @Intumesce Crew skills are an important part of the game. They can do anything between extending your view range, to letting you know you're spotted. I'm gonna go through all the crew skills in the game and rank them from best to worst. I'll also tell you which tanks benefit most from which skills. My ranking is based on their usefulness, and I'll be ranking them on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most useful. Let's start off with the 4 crew skills available for every crew member. Firefighting - usefulness: 3 Firefighting does two things: makes you take less damage from each burn tick and shortens the duration you're burning. Sadly, firefighting doesn't have much use as a skill. Catching fire is rare, unless you're driving a German heavy. Reducing the damage you take from fire sounds neat, but you can just bring a manual or automatic fire extinguisher instead of wasting a skill slot. Repairs - usefulness: 4 or 7 Repairs is still useful for most tank types. Tank destroyers need the repair time so they don't get flanked, mediums need it to pull into cover without getting shot again, etc. Usually it's a priority skill on heavies as they have very long track repair times. For mediums, it's more of a second or third skill. Camouflage - usefulness: 9 or 2 Camouflage is essential to mediums, lights, and tank destroyers. These tanks rely on not being seen as a fundamental part of their gameplay. While any tank class benefits from not being spotted, self-propelled guns will often not be in spotting range and heavy tanks will usually be brawling in obvious locations and thus practically be spotted all the time anyway. For a medium or light, however, their job is to be flexible and invisible. And for that, they need this skill. Brothers in Arms - usefulness: 7 Brothers in Arms, or BiA, is a general skill that does the exact same thing as the Improved Ventilation equipment piece. However, it takes up multiple skillslots (1 for each crewmember, ALL have to have the perk at 100%) instead of an equipment slot. It's a priority skill on heavies and self-propelled guns. The former needs to squeeze as much as possible out of their tank, the latter just needs to aim and reload faster. So that was all the skills available for every crew member. Next up is the crew-specific skills. Commander Sixth Sense - usefulness: 10 One of the most crucial (and dare I say, gamebreaking) skills in the game. Sixth Sense lets you know, with a 3 second delay, when you are spotted. Not only can you find out if you're spotted or not with this skill, you can kind of reverse-engineer it to find out if there is an enemy within spotting range of you or not. This is a must have on every tank, regardless of class, and is a priority skill for all classes save for self-propelled guns. Mentor - usefulness: 4 Personally, I consider this a waste of a skill. It increases the crew XP your crew (minus the commander himself) earns, but only by a slight bit; by up to 10%. While I see the practical application of it on a crew you're gonna train for a long time, you could just fill it up with an actual skill. Recon - usefulness: 7 This skill increases your view range by 2%. Its other useful side is it helps your view range when your optics are destroyed, but that is relatively useless as they repair automatically after some time. This skill has priority on tanks that rely on camouflage or are scouts. Any boost to the view range helps. Though generally because the commander has so many useful skills, this isn't a skill you usually pick until your 3rd or 4th skill unless you're one of the aforementioned tank classes. Jack of All Trades - usefulness: 5 This skill lets the commander jump in for a dead crewmember. So say if your loader dies, and your skill is trained at 100%, you will have the commander working as a 50% (stock crew) loader. But if your radioman dies, the commander will now split his efficiency between the 2 and act as a 25% radio operator and a 25% loader. While it's better than having a 0% crewman when they die, it's also better to have a medkit when they die, to bring them back up to 100%. This skill does have use on tanks where the crew dies a lot, though. Eagle Eye - usefulness: 2 This skill sucks mainly because of conditions required for it to work. After 4 seconds, if the enemy tank was spotted by your own crew, you can see which models are damaged if you're aiming at them. So yeah... not gonna be useful unless you know the enemy has a damaged ammo rack, which is a once in a blue moon event if they don't repair it. There are much better skills to use than this. Gunner Snap Shot - usefulness: 8 For each 1% of this skill, you benefit from 0.075% less dispersion bloom for a max bonus of 7.5%. Any tank can benefit from gun bloom, no matter how small the bonus is or how good the base stat is. This is a priority skills on self-propelled guns, heavies, and just about any tank with bad dispersion. Armorer - usefunless: 3 Your gun getting damaged is a rare event, unless you're an American heavy. Rarely will you need something to fix your damaged gun if you have already used your repair kit on something. Though after a while, you run out of useful gunner skills, and this should probably be your first pick over one of his perks. Deadeye - usefulness: 4 Contrary to what you might think, this skill actually works better with high-caliber guns rather than smaller calibers. Since 3% is a very small chance for an entire perk, this is not a very useful skill to have unless you have nothing better to put on and you have a 100% skill ready. This is a viable 4th or 5th skill, however. Designated Target - usefulness: 6 This keeps a target you're aiming at lit for 2 seconds longer. Useful on tanks that fire a lot or a little. This perk has some priority on light tanks and tank destroyers. Anything else won't benefit from it much. Driver Off-Road Driving - usefulness: 7 For every 1% of this skill, your terrain resistance decreases by 0.1% for a max bonus of 10% decreased terrain resistance. This skill helps a lot on tanks with bad terrain resistance values such as the E-50M, IS-7, or 113. It will effectively make them accelerate faster and keep their top speed more easily. Mostly a priority skill on heavies thanks to their poor terrain resitance values Clutch Breaking - usefulness: 6 Increases your traverse speed by 0.05% for every 1% of the skill. Max bonus of 5%. Best used on tanks with high traverse speeds, but also helps compensate on slow-turning tanks. Priority skill on tank destroyers and self-propelled guns due to their limited gun arc and some priority on heavy tanks to make them more agile. Mediums and light tanks get the biggest bonus but paradoxically benefit the least from this skill. Controlled Impact - usefulness: 2 One of the less useful driver skills, Controlled Impact relies on your opponent being stationary and your tank moving to have any effect. In other words, the most powerful rams where you and the enemy both hit each other head-on will be unaffected by this skill. The 15% increase of damage to them and 15% decrease to you is neat to have, but there are a grand total of 4 tanks I can think of where this skill is relevant. And on none of my crews do I have this skill trained. Smooth Ride - usefulness: 6 Decreases your dispersion while your tank is moving. Doesn't affect stationary turning, however, so tank destroyers and self-propelled guns get no benefit from this skill while moving in place. Sort of a priority skill on high tier medium tanks, but also useful for heavy tanks. Preventative Maintenance - usefulness: 4 Why this couldn't be a skill instead of a perk, I dunno, but it's not really that useful to begin with. It increases your fuel tanks' hitpoints by 25%, but it has no effect on transmission (engine) fires. So German tinderboxes can go choke on a flame. Loader Safe Stowage - usefulness: 7 Increases your ammo rack's hitpoints by 12.5%. Not a huge bonus, but it will make a noticable difference on tanks with exposed ammo racks, and will often prevent you from being one-shot-ammoracked by tanks with huge caliber rounds. While it's not a must, I do recommend using it on every tank you can spare a skill slot for. Priority skill on specific tanks with poor ammo racks (Soviet mediums and heavies, for one.) Intuition - usefulness: 3 This skill means every time you switch ammo there's a 17% chance it will instantly switch to the shell you're reloading to. It's too much of a gamble. If you're switching ammo, you should do it in a safe location instead of betting on a 17% chance to work in your favor. It being a perk doesn't help its case any more. Adrenaline Rush - usefulness: 4 When you're at less than 10% health, you reload 9% faster. This in theory sounds useful, but you have to be within a very specific amount of health for it to start mattering, and might lead to your death if you become overconfident in the skill. It's a neat bonus to have when you're about to die, but I wouldn't use it as anything short of my 4th or 5th skill. Radio Operator Situational Awareness - usefulness: 7 Sadly the only useful radio operator skill, this increases your view range by 0.03% for every 1% of the skill for a max bonus of 3%. Priority skill on light tanks and medium tanks. Relaying / Signal Boosting / Call For Vengeance - usefulness: 1 or 6 Rather than making a subsection for each of these skills, I will describe them all at once. 2 of these become irrelevant at tier 6 when everyone gets so powerful radios that radio range is no longer a thing you actually have to keep in mind. As such this skill is only useful in tier 1-5 when tanks have weak radios and these skills are sort of useful. Call For Vengeance has very little use since it relies on you dying to have any effect. And again, it's a perk rather than a skill. Basically, if you have a tier 8 heavy tank and you're forced to pick between these skills or firefighting or camouflage, get one of the latter. Radio Operator skills, save for Situational Awareness, are completely and utterly useless. That about does it describing the useful skills and perks for each crewmember. Now let's go over how an average crew skill loadout should look for each tank class. Keep in mind these are not specialized, and what works for one tank might be radically different for another. This is just to get the general idea. Lights Commander: Sixth Sense, Camouflage, Recon Gunner: Camouflage, Snap Shot, Repair Driver: Camouflage, Off-Road Driving, Repair Loader: Safe Stowage, Camouflage, Repair Radio Operator: Camouflage, Situational Awareness, Repair Mediums Commander: Sixth Sense, Camouflage, Repair Gunner: Camouflage, Snap Shot, Repair Driver: Camouflage, Clutch Breaking, Off-Road Driving Loader: Safe Stowage, Camouflage, Repair Radio Operator: Camouflage, Situational Awareness, Repair Heavies Commander: Sixth Sense, Repair, Jack of All Trades Gunner: Snap Shot, Repair, Armorer Driver: Off-Road Driving, Repair, Clutch Breaking Loader: Safe Stowage, Adrenaline Rush, Repair Radio Operator: Repair, Situational Awareness, Firefighting Tank Destroyers Commander: Sixth Sense, Camouflage, Repair Gunner: Camouflage, Designated Target, Repair Driver: Camouflage, Clutch Breaking, Off-Road Driving Loader: Safe Stowage, Camouflage, Repair Radio Operator: Camouflage, Situational Awareness, Repair Self-Propelled Guns Commander: Brothers in Arms, Sixth Sense, Camouflage Gunner: Brothers in Arms, Snap Shot, Camouflage Driver: Brothers in Arms, Smooth Ride, Clutch Breaking Loader: Brothers in Arms, Intuition, Camouflage Radio Operator: Brothers in Arms, Camouflage, Situational Awareness Discuss this on WoTLabs
  17. 1 point

    Angling Armor

    Original article by @rocketbrainsurgeon It's possible to get super in depth about angling armor, but here's all you really need to know. BASICS OF HOW ANGLES HELP ARMOR Here is the wiki entry on the specifics of armor angling, but I'll try to simplify it here since it contains some things which aren't as useful to know. Angle of Impact (degrees) - Increase in Armor 0 - 100% 10 - 101% 20 - 106% 30 - 115% 40 - 130% 50 - 155% 60 - 200% 70 - 292% 71+ - Auto bounce According to the above chart, just by angling your tank 30-40 degrees you can increase your effective armor by 15-30%. What does 30-40 degrees angle look like? Roughly it's when the gun is directly over the right or left front wheel: This is roughly a 30 - 40 degree angle BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE The above chart is only for one direction of angles: armor is typically angled vertically, so it gets even tougher! Example time (simplified): the KV-1 has 75mm thick armor listed on the World of Tanks website. But the upper front plate is also at a 70 degree angle on the vertical, giving it 106% armor according to the chart above resulting in 80mm effectiveness. That's not impressive, right? All the tanks at tier 5 have 110mm of penetration! But now angling the tank as shown in the image above gives even more armor: using the armor calculator of a KV-1 angled gives 97mm effective armor protection! That will bounce a lot of shots from tier 5 opponents just for twisting the tank slightly sideways. FURTHER READING ON EFFECTIVE ARMOR VALUES If you want to see the exact values on any specific part of the tank, wotguru.com has a great weakspot guide with amazing images of effective armor values of any part of the tank. I don't think it's required reading, because the idea will always be the same: angled armor is harder to penetrate than non-angled armor. HOW TO ANGLE PROPERLY Flat front tanks are tanks with armor layouts similar to the Tiger, KV-1, or T29. The benefit of these tanks is that they are very easy to angle: just slant the tank sideways to increase the armor value. The downside is when pushing forward into the enemy the armor is at its' least effective. These tanks are very common. Pike shaped tanks have layouts similar to the IS-3, 110, The blue square represents cover of any type: rocks, dead tanks, buildings, hills, etc. It's very important to hide the front road wheel behind cover, otherwise the enemy can shoot through the wheel, damaging AND tracking the tank! Pike shaped tanks can have some problems with standard frontal angles around cover such as buildings since it blocks the gun. SIDESCRAPING / REVERSE ANGLING Whatever you want to call it, this is a way to provide what is usually an auto-bounce angle to the enemy. Recall in the chart above that angles over 70 degrees are auto-bounce, and this situation sets up those angles. CAVEAT: there's a small mechanic called "overmatch" where if the side armor is too thin compared to the shell hitting it, the shot will penetrate. The short story is this: don't try sidescraping with scout tanks or super light armor tanks such as the Leo 1 or Batchat. I've done it successfully with both heavies and mediums of all varieties, even with such paper tanks as the FCM 50t. Taken from the wiki: SUMMARY While it's possible to get a lot more complex in both information and technique, the above examples are 90% of what is needed to best use your armor. When you know that you're going to take damage: set up an angle for the enemy. It might not bounce every time, but it's giving yourself the best odds.
  18. 1 point
    Original article by @rocketbrainsurgeon "OMG YOU HACK!!!onE!1!!" is shouted practically every game, but if people knew these tricks they'd think a bit differently. SHOOT EVEN IF HE'S NOT ON RADAR, BUT WAS LAST SEEN IN THAT LOCATION If the enemy isn't moving and goes off of radar when stationary, take another shot or three. There's a large chance the enemy is still there. REDUCING RETICLE BLOOM "Bloom" is when the reticle gets larger through movement, but it gets larger in two ways: turret movement and track movement. Try to keep your turret stationary when moving your tracks, and that will improve your on-the-move accuracy considerably. SHOOT IF YOU DON'T NEED THE SHELL IMMEDIATELY Take low percentage shots if it won't endanger you. For example, when spotted running to cover, it's fine to snap shot into the distance as there's a lot of upside and no downside. NOTE: losing credits isn't a downside. POINT TURRET IN THE DIRECTION OF INCOMING FIRE OR DIRECTION OF POTENTIAL INCOMING FIRE The mantlet is the toughest part of the tank, and will frequently bounce/eat shots that the rest of your tank can't take. It won't do it every time, but it's so much better than showing the side/rear. Ammo is frequently stored in the back of the turret. It's better that the ammo doesn't get hit. DON'T EXPOSE YOUR SIDES, EVEN WITH PAPER THIN FRONT ARMOR The tank is made to take hits from the front, not the side or rear. The vital things like ammo/engine are in the side or rear of the tank. The driver/radioman frequently sits in front, especially in Russian tanks, but losing a driver is better than exploding. SIDESCRAPING Offering poor angles for your opponents to shoot at. I show examples here. DROP OFF RADAR BEFORE EXPOSING YOURSELF Wait in safety for about 6 seconds before peeking back towards the enemy. You'll be invisible again by that time. SHOOTING MAKES YOU VISIBLE Shooting reduces your camouflage rating to 0. Don't wait for 6th sense to to tell you that you're spotted: just shoot and move into cover immediately unless you're over 445m away from the nearest enemy (generally). AUTO FIRE EXTINGUISHER ACTUALLY SAVES YOU MONEY It reduces your fires by 10% just by equipping it, reduces your repair costs even over the normal fire extinguisher, and keeps you alive longer to deal damage which makes more credits. Put them on every tank.
  19. 1 point
    Original article by @rocketbrainsurgeon I've grown up playing console games: Zelda, Mario, and Madden games of many systems and decades. Transitioning to computer games, I was top 20 worldwide in Starcraft and top 100 worldwide in Starcraft 2. Playing chess for awhile took me to the top 5% of tournament players in the US. In Magic: the Gathering, I was in the top thousand or so players by composite Standard/Limited rating. I started playing poker on the side, and after awhile I was good enough to spend several years as a professional online poker player. Over the years I've been a programmer (8 different languages, dozens of frameworks), and now I'm an online marketer (SEM, SEO, Social, Affiliate). I've played hundreds of different games, mastered quite a few, played professionally, and have come to the conclusion: From a game theory perspective, it's all the same. Starting out, learning the ropes, making a name for yourself, competition... there's nothing unique about any of them. Even the business world follows these rules. Here are the steps to master pretty much anything. Seek out those who have come before you, and learn what they know Don't think that you're going to immediately turn the community on its' ear with your "radical" approach. Often, you'll just be stumbling down the wrong path until you finally learn in 1000 hours what you could have learned in minutes. Someone else had to start from scratch too, and they often write about it or produce some other educational content. Standing on the shoulders of giants is a saying that appeared for good reason: learning from previous efforts is extremely effective. Use the Pareto Principle whenever possible Also known as the 80/20 rule, the Pareto principle states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. That means that there are very few things you should be concentrating on, and throwing away all the rest as the cost isn't proportional to the reward. For example, in games like Starcraft where resource gathering is a prime objective, often just having more resources outweighs all other factors. In chess, tactics are used on every move while strategy often comes and goes. That means working on tactics will yield a bigger payoff for your effort. In business, your income is determined by others if you work for a company whereas you determine your own income if you work for yourself. Aim to win, not lose slower If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight, even though the ruler forbid it; if fighting will not result in victory, then you must not fight even at the ruler's bidding. Sun Tzu The quote, while it looks really stupid on the surface, actually carries a lot of truth to it: people actually choose to lose slowly rather than win most of the time. Common examples are many situations in American football, such as punting on 4th and inches or kicking a field goal on 4th and goal. Statistically speaking, these decisions make absolutely no sense! But people whose job it is to play a game routinely mess them up. People who don't game for a living almost always make the wrong decision. Measure yourself constantly and concretely Always re-evaluate yourself after a performance, and make sure your evaluation is based on something definitive like damage/points/money/etc. Not performing this step is the reason why people struggle with mediocrity forever: they never give themselves a chance to realize that they need improvement, or base their skill level on nothing but their feeling of superiority. Practice constantly, but also let time pass to let your brain work on it "alone" Spending a lot of time doing something helps to increase proficiency (but only with reflection and study!), but there's something else I've found: learning subconsciously is key to most endeavors. With chess in particular, I'd spend weeks practicing my middle-game skills or tactics, without seeing any real progress. After getting frustrated and moving on to other areas or dropping the game completely for awhile, I would come back to the problem with vastly improved results! This process repeated itself with other games and endeavors: either the brain really does work on the problem subconsciously, or it just needs time to "sink in". Whatever the reason, I've found that there are skill plateaus where you can't speed up the process without old fashioned time passing by. When it comes to our personal success, we as humans are our own worst enemies. We need to look at our performance objectively, learn what it takes to succeed, cut out all crap we don't need, and then spend time on it. But looking at ourselves and admitting we suck isn't all that easy...
  20. 1 point
    Original article by @rocketbrainsurgeon Guys, we're losing. DEFEND HERE! *pings the map* *watches as your team speeds to defeat, when all it took was one person to take 10 seconds to fix the problem* GAME OVER We've all been there: having a great individual game, only to lose because the team just folded like laundry. If only they responded to your instructions! Here's some advice on how to get your teammates, in any game, to be more receptive to you. YOU take the risk. Don't ask your teammates to take the risk Human beings are risk averse: we biologically and fundamentally hate taking risks if there's a chance of losing. Yes, even in video games. If you ask your teammates to do something dangerous and/or uncertain, they're going to refuse you nearly every time. Ask them to do low-risk activities and assume they'll always refuse high-risk ones. Think about what's in it for them Humans are fundamentally selfish, and the internet hasn't really helped that phenomenon. If you are asking them to forgo a chance at personal glory so they can do the dirty jobs for you, you're in for disappointment. If you're asking them to score the points / get the kills while you do the inglorious dirty work, your success rate will be much higher. Become a community icon Post on forums, write guides, make sites or videos, etc. Be a "known" person. Your teammates will see that as a sign of authority and be more responsive. Scale back your expectations on how many people will do what you want No matter what you do, there will always be people that just march to their own drum. That's fine. If you can alter the decisions of 1-2 people into doing something useful, that's more than you had at the beginning of the game. Ask, don't badger No one likes to be berated or bossed around, and people hate it even more in a game. I've never seen people respond positively after turning down the first request, so don't ask more than once. To sum it all up: Don't ask your opponents to take risks Give them the glory jobs Be a community expert or personality Be realistic about how many people will respond to your requests Ask once, Ask nice
  21. 1 point
    Original article by @rocketbrainsurgeon We hear it all the time: "THIS TEAM SUCKS SO BAD" "I can't win with you clowns" "Why do I always get the bad teams?!" The people saying these things are typically, but not always, poor players. Better players do cry out in frustration sometimes, but more often than not they are doing what they do best: carrying the team to victory despite the efforts of their teammates. Let's meet a typical teammate, BOB: BOB works pretty hard at failing and according to his win percentage, he "succeeds" at it most of the time. Here's just a small list of the ways BOB is going to fail you: Gets single digit frame-rates because his computer is awful 500ms ping because he's torrenting a whole lot of porn in the background Is high or drunk Gets distracted by his wife/kids/job, so he's AFK most of the time Uses the start of the game to go and grab a drink or go to the bathroom, rather than do it between games Has no theoretical knowledge whatsoever of the game, yet believes he's an expert Believes he can't make a difference on his own The outrageous caricature of a drunken, porn addicted, hill-billy aside, it's actually the last two that are the most detrimental to BOB being actually good at the game. These two beliefs are what holds the vast majority of people in mediocrity. Yes, even you. Remember the statement above: "Why do I always get the bad teams?". If you've ever said this statement, you're part of the problem! You're denying your involvement in the outcome, instead of trying to change the outcome. Because we all get the same garbage teams, over and over again. Sure, some of the teams will be better than others. But over time, the good and bad teams even out for everyone. Unless you're talking about small sample sizes, luck has absolutely nothing to do with it. Let's look at the myths surrounding team games. One person can't make a difference. All of recorded history disagrees with this statement, on every level. Singular people have and continue to change human history on a consistent basis. Whereas they are struggling against hundreds of thousands or millions or billions of other people to create a difference, someone in a game has to struggle with far fewer: often 5-15 opponents. How do you make a difference? By contributing more than the next guy. Everyone would say the team with more players has an advantage (everything else being equal), so create that advantage! If the game is 15 vs 15, but you contribute as much as 3 players on your own, the game is actually 17 vs 15 because you contribute as much as three people. Will you win every time? No, but you have a very good chance each game. I always get the bad teams. Flip a coin 10 times. Theoretically, it'll come up with 5 heads and 5 tails. Realistically, it'll come out something like 6-4 / 7-3 / 4-6 / etc. That's just how statistics and variance work. The more times you flip the coin (this is called "sample size"), the more likely the percentage will move towards 50/50 heads/tails. This is known as the law of large numbers. Heads is getting a good team, tails is getting a bad team. Sometimes you will definitely get screwed with the bad teams, sometimes for many games in a row. Sometimes you'll get rewarded with good teams the same way. You don't remember the good stretches because humans see losses as twice as powerful psychologically than wins. Good teamwork wins over a group of talented individuals. Take 5 NBA players and 5 college basketball players. The college guys can plan beforehand, have a coach, make plays, talk, etc. They can use everything at their disposal to coordinate. The NBA players can't talk, gesture, or even meet beforehand. Now have them play a game against each other. It won't even be a contest: the NBA players will completely annihilate the "team" of college players. What people commonly fail to realize is that there is communication going on all the time: the talented individual is constantly re-evaluating the situation and doesn't need explicit prodding to be productive. That's a large part of what makes them talented: recognizing the situation at all times and responding accordingly. Poor players often suffer from a severe lack of game awareness. How to be on the favored team, all the time, every time The first step is to believe that you can make a difference, and the next step is learning how to make that difference. Study up on the game, ask questions, try different things to see what works. If the average number of points scored is X, you'd better be putting in 2X or 3X. Always rate your performance as "Needs Improvement". And whatever you do, don't blame the loss on your team. There were steps you could have taken to turn that game around.
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