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Altorax

The Correct Mindset to Improvement?

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Having spoken to a number of people in the Wotlabs in-game channel, I seem to get the impression that the mindset of "playing for stats" (that originally belonged to purples and such) has started to take effect on green/blue players that are still looking to improve. It makes sense, considering that stats like WN7, WR, efficiency and DPG are commonly used as indicators of skill and improvement nowadays - especially important if said players are looking to join clans that have minimum stat requirements. Personally however, I'm of the opinion that such a mindset will be detrimental to a player's improvement. Here's why:

 

Stats are not the absolute indicator of player skill. This has been said many times already and it's been pointed out that all the metrics are flawed individually. So for a player that's looking to see him/herself improve by watching their stats increase, what they're really doing is either consciously or subconsciously searching for ways to bolster these stats instead of identifying areas of weakness in their gameplay and improving upon those. Of course, players will still develop their gameplay while doing this but when you're simply trying to farm damage/defense points/whatever, are you really improving as fast as you could be?

 

Compare these two hypothetical players:

  1. Player A is a green and plays for statistical improvement. His long term goal is to hit purple at 1.8k WN7. He reads discussions and guides on Wotlabs on how to play different tanks, how to make better decisions, etc. for the purpose of doing higher damage to increase his stats and hopefully win more games.
  2. Player B is also a green and is focused on personal development. He knows stats are a good indicator of player skill but he's more interested in improving his gameplay than watching his WN7 number slowly increase. He goes over his replays and asks his platoonmates to help identify his areas of weakness. He then spends time to develop each individual area, experimenting with what will and will not work with no regard to whether he ends up potatoing from time to time.

So who do you think will improve faster?

 

This question is open to debate, but personally, I'd conclude that the answer would have to be Player B. By knowing the limits of what his tank and his tactics can do; and by turning his weaknesses into strengths, Player B will develop his gameplay much faster than Player A. And as a reflection of that, Player B's stats will also increase rapidly. That's the difference between a mindset focused on personal development and a mindset focused on stats. Remember, it's YOU that comes first, not some numbers that represent artificial improvement.

 

Q: "So Alt, if I were to try and focus on personal development, what areas of my gameplay would you recommend me to take a look at and brush up on?"

 

A: "Good question! Here are the areas that I feel every player who aspires to be purple should familiarize themselves with:

 

  1. Tank knowledge. Research the armor layout of every tank, the alpha damage of their gun, reload times, gun depression, mobility, EVERYTHING.
  2. Mechanics. This translates to being able to kill stuff and not get killed. Practice hitting weakspots quickly and reliably, angling and reverse-angling, peek-a-booming, shooting on the move, shooting moving targets, pre-aiming on areas where tanks will commonly be lit and of course, learn the camo system.
  3. Map knowledge. I say "map knowledge" and you damn well better say "chokepoints and firing lines". Know where to deploy your tank, know the terrain (hills, ridges, even windows) and put it all together to devise attack and escape routes.
  4. Situational awareness and tactics. For the love of God, if I ever catch any of you in-game with tunnel-vision, I swear I'm gonna shoot you in the side turret and take out your loader/rack and make you cry. Make your map as big as you can and look at it every time you get a chance. Bind auto-aim to some key that you'll never use and practice holding down that right mouse button to scan around you every once in a while. Once you've got that down, use everything you've learned in points 1-3 to plan your strategy. Majority enemy force pushing north on Karelia? Take the doughnut and pop them all. Abuse your tank and map knowledge - that's all there is to it.

There's a lot to remember and it'll require a lot of work. Hope you're up to the challenge."

 

Footnote: I know a lot of people will already know this but I hope this will be helpful towards those that don't. Discuss and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

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Altorax,

 

Thank you for this. I whole-heartedly agree with you. I am of the mindset if I increase my knowledge and apply it to my gameplay, then the numbers will take care of themselves. At this point I'm spending more time outside my tank so I can maximize my efforts (hopefully) when I get in my tank.

 

Looking at your areas of development I've been hitting 2 and 4 really hard. I need to start working on 1 and 3.

 

Great post.

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