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How much RNG is acceptable?

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I’m not a great player, or even good most of the time, but I’ve played a ridiculous amount of a games. And after 30k games I think I understood it:

 

World of Tanks is foremost a broken slot machine, dominated by random number generators (RNG) that can be manipulated in your favor. I seriously got WAY more calm once I had accepted the fact that there are a LOT of elements you can’t influence in each game.

 

You have no control over:

 

·      the players.

 

Every player falls into all kinds of categories, ranging from

·      aimbots,

·      a busy father, changing his baby’s diapers which is why he is AFK for the first 3min,

·      bad computer performance and/or ping issues

·      different cultural backgrounds (RU/EU!)

·      not the smartest knife in the drawer

·      drunk unicum

·      and so forth.

 

An endless number (well, 20-30k on NA) of humans playing this game at the same time you do.

 

Hence, you have no control over:

 

·      the teams.

 

29 randomly chosen players, which make every game different. Because it brings together these player kinds with specific tank types which again you have no control over:

 

·      the tank composition.

 

Often balanced, but too often it looks like 10 heavies versus 10 mediums. How this turns out in the end depends on the above (players driving them), but as importantly it depends on the map, which you have no control over.

 

·      Himmelsdorf and all the mediums win is the hill and lose to E3s and E100s, or

·      Malinovka with medium tanks ripping apart the 2 Maus and tier X TDs

 

…and in each case you are driving a light tank.

 

There are 30 (!) maps in the game, so getting Malinovka is like a 3% chance every time you click ‘Battle’. The recent change to corridor maps also increases RNG somewhat, because it funnels players together into a smaller playground, with more interactions and hence more chaotic outcomes than an open map with long firing lanes and smaller local stand-offs.

 

 

Whichever tank you pick, in the engagement itself you don’t control whether RNG allows you

 

·      to hit (when the perfectly aimed shot flies right to edge of the aim circle)

·      to pen (those 10% of the time when the gold round just doesn’t go through)

·      to damage (“Fucking low roll”)

·      to kill (“Lol. 1HP left” [which is intentionally done by WargamingTM]).

 

 

Did I mention artillery yet? The biggest nuisance, worst accuracy, extreme damage rolls (either way). And balancing good players driving one-shot mediums with bad players, that ‘point & click’, hence added randomness to the entire battle.

 

Once you accept all these notions, is there really a reason to freak out when

·      arty one-shots you

·      you have 2 bots on the team

·      your top-tier heavy goes valley

·      your Object 140 says ‘Look, we bring an extra light tank’ and platoons with a Loltraktor.

·      a heavy tries to cap because he’s doing HT-7, which costs the game?

 

Because it is all random. Rinse, pick the next tank, hit ‘Battle’ and repeat.

 

Yes, over a large sample you WILL at times lose 20 games in a row, but you also will WIN 20 games in a row. Hard to not freak out, but really, there is no point to.

 

So, where is this slot machine broken?

 

Each time WG introduces a new tank, there is a great chance it is (slightly) imbalanced, resulting in better RNG or RNG compensation compared to its peers. Tanks may be OP for some time (and you see good players leveraging this for improved results), or are just blatantly good in the hands of a great player (T-62A). In other words, there are some tools that work better than others given the overall randomness. An E100 on Malinovka is worse than a T-62A on Himmelsdorf. Similarly, maps are not flat square fields, but have their own (inherent) imbalances, which may or may not favor one side. Knowing these maps give a player (and his team) a huge advantage from the get-go.

 

In addition, platooning takes 2-3 random players out of the equation, which has multiple times been shown to improve winrate (or drive it even further down if it is a triple-43% platoon). But even playing solo, picking the right tools and knowing the maps is a huge asset that will result in an above-average WR over time. A great player finds ways to ameliorate RNG working against him.

 

In a way, the slot machine is broken to keep your hopes up. As long as there is a chance of winning the next match, you will play the next game. Even 40% players will most of the time win every other match, and that makes them continue to play.

 

60% WR: you made the difference in 10 out of 100 games

40% WR: you made the difference in 10 out of 100 games

73% WR: you mostly defeated RNG, Sela.

 

On a more serious note, it seems a large number of purple players have quit WoT, for various reasons. A lot of it sounds like increased frustration over 'WG catering to the masses', increasing RNG, 'nails to the coffin'.

 

But my question is:

 

Which game do you want to play? Broken game mechanics that are fundamentally imbalanced are a common complaint, but welcomed by good players abusing Hellcats, Waffles, Fochs before the nerfs. With all the randomness that is intrinsically to WoT it still stands that a great player finds ways to work against RNG. It may just be more difficult. Why does this seem to be less motivating to play the game though? How much RNG do you find acceptable?

 

 

TL;DR Freaking out over randomness is like crying over spilled milk. It won’t affect your 60D WN8 in any way. Or does it?

 

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There certainly is a lot of RNG in this game. Whether you are a good or "bad" player it affects everyone. For me, I think that the games RNG isn't all that bad. The way I look at it is, I just have to take what the game is giving me at the time. WG hasn't gone to far with RNG, yet.

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If I have no control over the other 29 players, who are those two guys in my platoon?  They seem to be following me around...

If I have no control over the tanks I face, how come I never see an Obj 140 when playing my T-34?

If I have no control over shot distribution, how come it always falls within the reticle?

If I have no control over pen, how come my FCM 50t AP shells routinely shred cromwells?

 

Skill gives you control.  It allows you to limit the influence of RNG.  Fortunately, it doesn't allow you to completely negate it, because RNG is what makes the game interesting.  If 100% of the time that I faced a team better than me I lost (and vice-versa), going through the motions would be boring.  

 

25% is acceptable.

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I don't think most unicums quit because they feel like the game is getting stacked against them, I think they quit because they're bored of the same gameplay for years on end.

 

We haven't see any new mechanics to spice up gameplay since the french were introduced. Chinese tanks were copies of Russian tanks. UK tanks brought a few very unique vehicles (see: alecto, at-2, 183, pre-nerf 215b) but also brought a lot of very generic & boring tanks (see: churchills). Japanese tanks were barebones, utterly boring, and just terrible vehicles in general, introduced after the meta in which they'd be good in ended. Years of development was focused on things that do little for the top playerbase - the amount of time spent on artillery rebalance/extensions/french and uk additions along with the amount of time spent on things like HD models just ended up choking the rest of the game out.

 

The game is in a good spot, especially for newer players, but WG knows they haven't done much to retain their long-time customers.

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In retrospect, some things probably do need less RNG:

  • Fires are way too crippling.  Either they should degrade faster and cause less module damage or a single firefighting skill (driver only?) should all but eliminate the problem, or keeping your front to the enemy should prevent fires.
  • Ammo racking is too crippling.  Damaged rack should increase loading time by 50%.  Destroyed ammo rack should increase loading time by 100% (for the current level of module hitpoints), or Safe stowage should all but eliminate the problem, or keeping your front to the enemy should prevent it.

RNG should matter. RNG should change the outcome of games.  RNG should allow a weaker player to have a chance (small though it may be if the skill gap is large).  But Ammo racks and fires can be completely disgusting to the person who experiences it, and as an empathetic individual, I feel bad when I cause them.  

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In retrospect, some things probably do need less RNG:

  • Fires are way too crippling.  Either they should degrade faster and cause less module damage or a single firefighting skill (driver only?) should all but eliminate the problem, or keeping your front to the enemy should prevent fires.
  • Ammo racking is too crippling.  Damaged rack should increase loading time by 50%.  Destroyed ammo rack should increase loading time by 100% (for the current level of module hitpoints), or Safe stowage should all but eliminate the problem, or keeping your front to the enemy should prevent it.

RNG should matter. RNG should change the outcome of games.  RNG should allow a weaker player to have a chance (small though it may be if the skill gap is large).  But Ammo racks and fires can be completely disgusting to the person who experiences it, and as an empathetic individual, I feel bad when I cause them.  

You have control over fires too... use an auto extinguisher or use 2 if you get shot in the ass a lot.... or even train your crew for fire fighting.

Getting ammo rack damage is irritating, but that's what safe stowage and repair kits are for.  I do agree that a damaged rack should probably be 50%.  But you're still fucked if you're brawling.

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.... or even train your crew for fire fighting.

 

have you seen how anemic a job a 100% firefighting crew is?  The experiments I've seen make it look like a complete waste

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have you seen how anemic a job a 100% firefighting crew is?  The experiments I've seen make it look like a complete waste

No, can't say I have.  I'm not sure I have any crew trained in FF.  I just carry autoextinguishers on everything that has a chance to burn, except for the Cent 7/1, where I run food and have burned to death, but that's usually my fault for getting caught in the open.  Plus all it means is that I die a little quicker instead of being shot to death.

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IMO RNG hurts esports the most. Sure there is hearthstone where you can get "top dicked" but appart from that and some other games, the large successful games which have succesful espots have little or no RNG involved whasoever. Some examples include SC2, league, dota, cs go, fighting games, ect.

 

From what I can tell, wot esports is for the most part decided on strategy rather than soley on individual player skill. So in what fucked up (is this word banned? idk, is there a list of the banned words anywhere?) world can a game with 25% RNG have a "competitive esport" aspect. What is the point of a competivite aspect of the game if you can make EVERY correct choice and action, but end up losing if RNGesus says no? Would people still care about football (hand egg), soccer (football), basketball, baseball, rugby if every time you tried to score or complete the objective, you had a 25% chance of failing? (yes i realize its not actually a 25% chance of failing, just let it slide so I can continue to rant)

 

Do I think esports in wot makes any sense? No.

 

Will I play strongholds or tournaments or team battles? Yes, I see the rewards of these modes worthwhile of the effort that you have to put in.

 

Will I ever watch wglna? No, watched it a few times, never again. I've read that wglna in particular has had a pretty bad record, specifically in season 2 or whichever season it was. In my eyes, WGL is a complete waste of time and a failure. I don't doubt that wargaming is trying to push it because many people believe esports is the deciding factor in if a game survies for more than a few years or not.

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RNG might be an issue if every game was the superbowl, but when we're talking about thousands of games as a sample size the affect is sufficiently minimized by players who understand the mechanics to the point where it's a non-issue. You knew ahead of time your shot could low roll, plan accordingly, don't curse RNG after the fact.

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In retrospect, some things probably do need less RNG:

  • Fires are way too crippling.  Either they should degrade faster and cause less module damage or a single firefighting skill (driver only?) should all but eliminate the problem, or keeping your front to the enemy should prevent fires.
  • Ammo racking is too crippling.  Damaged rack should increase loading time by 50%.  Destroyed ammo rack should increase loading time by 100% (for the current level of module hitpoints), or Safe stowage should all but eliminate the problem, or keeping your front to the enemy should prevent it.

RNG should matter. RNG should change the outcome of games.  RNG should allow a weaker player to have a chance (small though it may be if the skill gap is large).  But Ammo racks and fires can be completely disgusting to the person who experiences it, and as an empathetic individual, I feel bad when I cause them.  

I agree with you that a damaged ammo rack should only be +50% loading time, but a destroyed ammo rack is destroyed, so...

 

Also, having been the victim getting my ammo rack blown before, I feel delighted when I cause an ammo rack to blow. Especially when it's a hit like the first shot I make here:

http://wotreplays.com/site/1674569#lakeville-chiroptor-object_704

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Basically I'd like to see a reduction from 25% to 10-15% in most cases.

 

This seems to be something armoured warfare has cottoned onto as well, plus their 'less damage for hitting non critical area' plan sounds sensible as well.

 

The fact for example that my T30s gun can with bad luck roll as low as 207 penetration and as low as 563 damage is bull sh*t to be honest. 

 

You can mitigate it the best you can but at the end of the day sh*t like loses (and wins) games through nothing more than luck. 

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I like the RNG part. It makes the games more interesting to play. If your its always did the average dmg there would be no ups and downs. People always complain about low rolls, but when the get a high roll they somehow feel like they deserve it for being so nice guys. To have one you have to have the other. It also makes the game more fun for bad players since they can get great games, I'm really sorry your ass and pride have to take the hurt for that. If bad players can't have good experiences the game will die out a lot faster than by unicums leaving because of RNG or arty.

 

 

 

IMO RNG hurts esports the most. Sure there is hearthstone where you can get "top dicked" but appart from that and some other games, the large successful games which have succesful espots have little or no RNG involved whasoever. Some examples include SC2, league, dota, cs go, fighting games, ect.

 

From what I can tell, wot esports is for the most part decided on strategy rather than soley on individual player skill. So in what fucked up (is this word banned? idk, is there a list of the banned words anywhere?) world can a game with 25% RNG have a "competitive esport" aspect. What is the point of a competivite aspect of the game if you can make EVERY correct choice and action, but end up losing if RNGesus says no? Would people still care about football (hand egg), soccer (football), basketball, baseball, rugby if every time you tried to score or complete the objective, you had a 25% chance of failing? (yes i realize its not actually a 25% chance of failing, just let it slide so I can continue to rant)

 

Do I think esports in wot makes any sense? No.

 

Will I play strongholds or tournaments or team battles? Yes, I see the rewards of these modes worthwhile of the effort that you have to put in.

 

Will I ever watch wglna? No, watched it a few times, never again. I've read that wglna in particular has had a pretty bad record, specifically in season 2 or whichever season it was. In my eyes, WGL is a complete waste of time and a failure. I don't doubt that wargaming is trying to push it because many people believe esports is the deciding factor in if a game survies for more than a few years or not.

 

Sports that don't rely on physical prowess(running or jumping) but doing goals has lots of RNG. Who the fuck knows how the puck is going to bounce? Or are you going to say that the wind is arranged in sailing competitions?

 

Why would RNG hurt esports?  I'm not really into Dota or that genre, but if I'm not completely mistaken there are critical strikes that are decided by RNG.  I agree that the old 7/42 format was really boring to watch, but the new format has a lot more action. I really don't see why RNG in itself would make it uninteresting to watch. I consider poker and other card games skill based. But they involve lots of RNG and still have large audiences. You just have to perform as well as you can, the RNG will even out in the long run. 

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RNG is RNG nothing more nothing less.  In a match you can influence RNG but that is the skill.  Aiming in on fuel tanks, ammo rack areas, crew areas, etc gives you a certain chance of affecting that machine. Past that RNG is RNG.  

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I only really have 2 gripes with RNG.

  The first is scaling because it's a percentage. 25% isn't enough to make a huge differrence on something with 50 pen and 50 damage. It makes a huge difference on something with 300 pen and 750 damage. As an example, a gun that does 100 damage can range for 75-125 dmage. The 750 gun can range from 563-938. With an almost 400 damage difference, it's kinda hard to plan for it because the outcome is so different.

  The second thing is the streakiness of it. It just doesn't seem random. I rarely see the ups and downs or RNG in a single game. It feels like you are either god like or doomed for entire games. It seems like RNG is on a per game basis, not each shot most of the time. I seem to low roll, bounce, or miss for an entire game or high roll, pen, and hit every shot even if I'm not aiming. It is so noticable sometimes, I have commented to buddies after my first or second shot that we either win or lose the game based off of how those first shots worked and I am rarely wrong. I also look at the after battle reports and check out the entire team. In the games I can't seem to make anything work, the rest of the team had the same issue almost everytime. After seeing it so many times, I just find it hard to believe that 15 people got the same bad or good luck at the same time randomly. It would be like an enitre row of slot machines all winning at the same time or not a sinlge one of them winning at all. It just doesn't seem probable.

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Regarding random number of series, I was curious to see what my longest winning streak was, and how often these series occur. http://www.vbaddict.net/wot.php is such a wonderful resource. I've been collecting my battle results there since Dec 2012, and it allowed me to download all of them and look at these series. 

 

Here is the distribution along 20,500 battles (~56% win rate among these battles; series includes winning AND losing streaks):

Series 1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17

#   4998 2478 1265  620  307  169   86   56   30   14    7    2    3    4    1    0    3
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IMO RNG hurts esports the most. 

 

It's not even accuracy/damage rolls most of the time.

 

It's more like

"sorry guys I have a dead gunner".

"guys i got ammo racked twice"

"wtf double fire"

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It's not even accuracy/damage rolls most of the time.

 

It's more like

"sorry guys I have a dead gunner".

"guys i got ammo racked twice"

"wtf double fire"

Since I came back last week, every time I get shot it "seems" like I am losing something important on my Churchill 1.  If the enemy took time to aim, and did a crit, I could understand, but when a tank moving at full speed, at range, across my field of vision, snapshots me, and takes out my gun and ammo rack with one shot, it gets a bit offputting.   I hadn't played for 6 months, but I rarely would lose anything other than my tracks, and the occasional fire or two, but since I have been back I cringe when I take a hit, because I know I am going to be handicapped the rest of the game, after my repair and health kits are used.  Having been away for so long, I am not sure if they changed the RNG for criticals or if I have just been having a run of bad luck with my crews and modules.

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The players as RNG is fine.  No different than any other team game, in real life or reality.  I can not control Kobe's choices, his are unknown to me and while not random (and neither are the other WoT players), they are independent from mine.  There is math around MM, crappy, questionable math.  So MM is also not completely random, thus the tank makeup of the other players is not completely random.

 

I wish wargaming would put a test server out there with NO rng on pen and damage, or dispersion.  Instead they handled aim-time as a focusing into the enemy.  Especially with rangefinding at significant distance.

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The game still suffers from horrible spotting mech which multiplies all other problems. I consider it the root of many evils. Random appearing and disappearing tanks beyond all logic creates situations for which nobody can account, regardless of rng or personal skill. Not much you can do when the client takes 5 seconds to show you the fucking tank 100 meters ahead in an open field.

 

RNG ideally should be no more than 10%.

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