Goodbye, dear readers!

This blog started on Sept 6, 2008 with the goal to give goldmaking advice to World of Warcraft players. Back in the day people were farming gold, aka killing monsters in large numbers for their drops. Their income was ridiculous. I could make much more money on the AH and I wanted to share my ideas.

Later, I realized that the reason people were poor wasn’t simply being unaware of techniques but having a wrong mindset. They spent too much time helping bad players. They knew nothing of opportunity cost. They considered “buying low, selling high” evil. I coached them for the better. The blog thrived, new readers were picked up by the hour.

Then I took this idea to raiding and did what most players considered impossible: raided current content in blue (low item level) gear. That was a definitive answer for those who carried morons and slackers, blaming their gear, not their low performance.

But times started to change. Game companies realized that money comes from bad players too, so they started to nerf their games. First, the developers and the community despised this way dictated by the suits. “welfare epics” was the name of the easy-to-get gear. Then the old guard died out and the new people considered this “right”. It happened together with the rise of the “social justice” crazies in real life, who preached that all kind of failure is the product of some weird imaginary oppression.

World of Warcraft, the most popular game was spearheading this pathetic change. In the meantime I played some World of Tanks and found that their “random battles” were anything but random. They set everyone’s win chance to 50% to keep the baddies play – therefore pay. Finding this was a huge traffic spike and wide recognition for my blog.

As WoW becamse worse and worse, I left for EVE Online, then Black Desert Online, then Playerunknown’s Battleground, finally World of Warships. But it was like the Indians moving west to escape from the growing civilization. It kept coming and I’ve reached the western ocean coast. All games became like this. Easy rewards are now celebrated. Strike that, they are sold. In gambling boxes. “Rigged” matchmakers are now advertised as vehicles for “more fun”.

Players no longer need to be any good to progress. They just have to log in and open their wallets. The morons and slackers who couldn’t clear Karhazan back in the day, now clear all the content, because it’s tailored for their pathetic performance. They don’t have to learn anything to succeed, so learning became “tryhard”. They became the dominant culture in gaming. Being any good became “elitism”. “Gamers are dead” is the new slogan among developers. And don’t even get me started about mobile crap.

As a result, any kind of good information is rejected and actively hated. When I found how to get to the toplist of PUBG, all I got were downvotes and hate from the “community”, for ruining their “fun” of mindlessly killing each other. When I disproved the bizarre conspiracy theory that baddies made up in World of Warships to explain their defeats, I got banned from the game’s subreddit. And let’s not even mention CCP Falcon and his antics.

There is no more point in trying to play well, so there is no point writing about it. So people stopped doing so. There were no one left for inspiration. The remaining gaming blogs are personal adventures and maybe game reviews, but not teaching anything about games. Blogging in general went nosedive, giving way to “streamers”, acting in clown (or slut) costumes for money.

I tried longer than most. I hoped that the tide will turn. But it’s time for me to accept that my hobby went the way of television: once an intelligent entertainment, now targeted to the lowest common denominator.

There is no point continuing this blog, so I stop. I will keep playing games, for my own entertainment, using self-imposed (scrub) limits to challenge myself, but there is no value writing about it.

Take care, dear readers!

bye

Ranked out in a Yügumo

According to the ship statistics, Yügumo is one of the worst winrate ships. It’s completely alien to the “contest caps against other destroyers” meta, dominated by Jutlands and Blacks.

Yet, I’ve ranked out, playing only this ship. It took me 237 battles, but only because I was unaware of the most important advice I can now give. In retrospect, my winrate was over 60% for the battles where it was kept.

Still, considering all battles my stats are way over the average. Not only the total ship averages. The ship leaderboard can be sorted by battle count and let’s only consider those who have more than 80 battles to discard those who just played a few games while drunk at rank 17. The 80+ battles players are a better comparison:
yugres

How did I do it? The in-game strategy is simply: flank. I mostly ignored caps and started the game going the side where the buffs were not. Using RPF I avoided enemy destroyers and got to the battleships (and Kronshtadts) sinking them. Not too complicated, exactly what you’d do in random battles. If I got located, I either ran back to the team and hoped to get carried or yolo-rushed the battleships. But it was rare, as most enemies were close to the middle, locating each other.

The general Yügumo gameplay isn’t hard and I think a tolerable player can rank out using this strategy, assuming he follows “the advice” that makes or break this strategy. What is that? Don’t play in peak times or weekend! Play only at late night or in the morning at weekdays. Why? Because “weekend-type” players can’t adapt. They keep rushing mid, engage outnumbered and die, while busy typing insults to me. Or just yell, try to teamkill and throw. The off-time players realize that they can’t fight for mid buffs and play defensively. In these games the first blood is usually mine (or me, followed by a “just a flesh wound”) around 13 mins, because other destroyers are extra careful. The enemy doesn’t know they could press mid, since they assume we are all lurking, while I’m already approaching their battleships.

I don’t have to sink the enemy battleships to destroy them. After they get a torpedo salvo, even if they weren’t hit, they panic and start running, giving broadside to the friendly battleships. Their destroyers run back to hunt me down, not realizing that even if they succeed, they remove themselves from the battle while they chase me to the corner, while I’m still launcing torpedoes while running.

So this is how I ranked out in one of the “worst” ships.

Subnautica isn’t bad, it’s just a bad game

I left subnautica quite disappointed. I realized that the game can be completed pretty fast and vast majority of its content is cosmetic. You don’t need the complicated base building system. You don’t need to visit most of the landscape or interact with its items or creatures. You need to be really careless to die. The story is fixed, every replay is the same, there is no reason to play again.

Then for some reason I was recommended the sequel. It’s early-early access, so I won’t play it. But it was interesting enough for me to reinstall the old game. And it was fresh, interesting and fun. Also, long bases are still fun to build:
dega2

How? Because I forgot where the things are and had to re-explore. I was inefficient again, so I had to think how to solve problems with my limited knowledge. I made mistakes I had to fix.

Exploration is fun. Problem solving, optimizing is fun. Subnautica is fun. I like it, just as I’ve liked it back then. Too bad that once you’ve completed it, you can’t replay with any of the fun of the first play. There is no endgame to challenge yourself, besides building “beautiful” structures. People on Subnautica reddit show their “artwork” and funny or beautiful screenshots, not gameplay.

Subnautica isn’t bad, but it’s not a game. It’s an unstructured toy. It’s like building a sand castle, just because you like building stand castles. You can’t really win, you can’t compete, you can’t challenge yourself. Yet people build sandcastles and “play” Subnautica.

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PS:
yugout

Capturing takes 3 minutes

In the current World of Warships ranked battles you can win 3 ways:

  • Kill all enemy ships
  • A circle arrives about mid-game. Capture it by staying in it while no enemy is in it. If you succeed, it gives you 10 points per second. Reach 1000 and win.
  • The match ends after 20 minutes playtime, whichever team has more points wins. Points are awarded for killing enemy ships and capturing minicircles that provide buffs.

Understanding how the capture mechanic works is obviously a crucial knowledge for competitive players. For example knowing that a single player needs 3 minutes to capture the big circle should be well known. It’s not:
capping

This isn’t an exception. In most games where points are relevant instead of one side dies, I see statements and behavior obviously betraying the ignorance of the players. I screamed a pair of idiots to run from the circle because the game is won if they don’t die, but they kept guarding the circle. One died, the second survived with a few points of HP left when the timer ran out. Or the idiot battleship who kept eating torpedoes in the circle with me telling him to get out as I’m already blocking it with my very low HP destroyer behind an island. Or … every game where destroyers were fighting for the circle, the one side ahead in points is stupid to be there.

These are not first day newbies. They are players who reached rank 5. They are the top 5% of the players. They can pull really good play to get to the gate of the victory. Then throw it away because they don’t know that you can’t capture a circle faster than 3 minutes. This is what I’m talking about when I point at “bad” players who play at peak hours. Despite they have thousands of games behind them and can aim perfectly, they fail to understand anything about the game than “see red, shoot red”. Any kind of strategical play must exploit the stupidity of the enemy players like this and somehow mitigate the stupidity of the friendly morons. One way is to not play competitively in peak hours when they are swarming.

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PS:
rank2

The goal

Some commenters questioned what is my goal currently. Simple: what it was always with my blogging of more than a decade. To create a method in a game which isn’t “doing better” or “doing more” than the other successful players, but “doing differently”.

In WoW raiding people were hell bent on gearscore which is gained by grinding gear. Then I paid a bunch of raiders to clear Ulduar in blue gear. In World of Tanks I got to the toplist with well-chosen newbie tanks (and proved that the matchmaker is rigged, making an even bigger traffic spike). In EVE I transported implants instead of killing rats and got as rich as whole alliances. In Black Desert I hoarded toplist-worthy money without killing mobs. In PUBG I got to the top 100 with 0.1 kill:death. All my actions could be copied by a newbie, all of them were different

In World of Warships I want to create strategies that does not involve aiming guns. It’s a very complicated task, because – unlike most shooters – it’s easy to get a non-damaging hit. Overpenetrations, shatters, ricochets and “AA-mount down but no HP loss” hits are common. To have actually damaging hits, you need to know the armor structure of all ships. This is a central part of the game, as it sells ships, so they need to be different, but they want to avoid “ship X is just better than Y” situations, because then Y won’t sell. So one of them have higher citadel, the other has “better angles”, the third has a lower superstructure and so on. You have to learn how to damage each of them, to be effective.

Well, not me. I’ve ranked out in every season and miniseason since I’m having a ship for it. All of them were torpedo destroyers, AA destroyers and aircraft carriers. I simply ignored these complexities of the game and want to create more strategies of the same kind.

If they make torpedo destroyer play irrelevant and aircrafts too skill-based? I’ll find something else. Some other way to play that needs no practice, but understanding how others act and figure out a ship and build that defeats them. We’ll see what I’ll find next season or miniseason. But it will never be “practice with guns and learn what other ships do”. Hell, without my printout next to me, I wouldn’t know that Saint-Louis has no radar.

Yügumo in ranked

Statistics shows that Yügumo is one of the worst winrate ships in this ranked season. Why do I stick to it? Because “playing the meta” always means that your results aren’t from thinking but from better mechanic skills. The highest winrate ship is Jutland. Why? Because the current meta is that destroyers fight each other in the middle and the one with better aim wins. I never play the meta, because that adds nothing to the community but one more “skilled dude” who does what everyone else does, just better.

Instead I do the opposite of what other destroyer players do: flank wide, run from other destroyers and sink battleships. With that I have 53% winrate, 8% higher than the average Yügumo and I expect it to rise due to finally collecting all necessary knowledge to do it well, including peak time – off time. I have 64K average damage instead of 44K, like the ship’s average.

Why does it work? Because unless the teammates are braindead, they do not engage outnumbered. Sure, you sometimes get a “special needs” Kitekaze who contests the middle buff all alone against a Black + 2x Jutland, but most of the time the fellow players just resort to insults for “not helping” and avoid engaging outnumbered. The enemy is expecting all of our destroyers to play by the meta, so they don’t push aggressively, despite they could. Most enemies don’t have radio positioning, since they use all their points on more gun power. But even if they have, the nearest of us will be someone in the middle. Cruisers aren’t particularly popular this season, so the usual radar threats aren’t there. So – played well – a Yügumo can flank the enemy and get to the battleships at the back.

How to start? I wait for the buffs to arrive and go to the side with no buffs, because the side with buffs will likely have volunteers. There are exceptions, like when friendly destroyers want to go that way, but mostly it’s safe to turn towards the empty side. Especially if the first far side buff is concealment which the destroyers love. This doesn’t mean I won’t make a U-turn immediately if I see lemmings behind me.

RPF is mandatory for the Yügumo. Other captain skills are concealment, torpedo reload, +HP, last stand, adrenaline rush and preventive maintenance. Forget smoke, if you’d need it, you’re already cornered. Have torpedo reload booster, those extra torpedoes at the best moment are great. Throwing 16 fishes to unsuspecting battleships has great results.

Also you can fire spread torpedoes if the enemy is maneuvering use torpedo reload booster (8 seconds) count 8 more and fire another spread. If you are lucky the first spread caused flood, he used DCP, it has 13 seconds duration and the second spread will flood him for full time.

Your goal is not flanking, it’s sinking undefended battleships. Flanking is the tool for the goal. Ergo, keep doing it, until you

  • Find and sink battleships
  • Notice that the battleships are moving away from you
  • You are radio-located and keep being located after going a bit wider.

If any of these happen, just abort flanking and return doing what destroyers are generally doing. A Yügumo is bad at trading shells, but are still better than being useless, away from everything. If you get hunted by enemy destroyers, get back to the team, or if that’s impossible, steer towards an island, hide behind it, watch his angle via RPF and torpedo rush him.

While hunting battleships, reist the siren song of buffs. Don’t wait for more than 20 seconds for a buff, unless you want RPF to clear or torp to reload or something. If you have somewhere else to be, don’t delay that for +5% whatever. Don’t forget that if the enemy is playing the meta, your team will be fighting outnumbered when someone engages. By the time it happens, you should be sinking battleships, not counting buffs.

Don’t yolo-rush battleships! The problem isn’t that it often ends up with a dead Yügumo. Trading one for a Missouri or Mushasi is great. With some practice, you can do it with acceptable results. The problem is that rushing doesn’t need torpedo range or concealment, therefore Yügumo isn’t a good pick for that tactics. If you want to regularly rush, play absolutely anything else because they all perform better than Yügumo. Especially Z which can Hydro behind islands and can move to action in the perfect moment. With Yugumo, only rush when cornered.

Watch the pre-game building numbers, if it doesn’t have at least 2×2 battleships, don’t join!

Don’t give up early, just because the team is behind. There are comebacks, work on them. One thing an RPF Yügumo is good at is blocking the final capture circle behind the little islands in it. RPF constantly tells where the enemy will come from and you can either keep running or turn and torpedo-rush.

Afternoon defeats and victories at night

I wrote in previous season how losses predicted losses and wins predicted wins. Now I had a more sophisticated method to analyze patterns, because I was thinking about the “why”. I recorded the times of the battles. I’ve reached rank 5 at the end of Sunday, so this week I only recorded top bracket battles. 84 of them, I was somewhat busy, and that’s just Monday to Wednesday (I wrote this post before playing on Thursday).

I had 41 games in the “afternoon” defined as noon-9PM. I had 22 defeats, 4 star save defeats and 15 victories. That’s mere 34% winrate, the performance of AFK-ers.

I had 43 games at the “night”, defined as after 9PM and early morning. I had 16 defeats, 2 star save defeats and 25 victories. That’s 58% winrate, very good.

There are no actual patterns inside, no full streaks. The reason seems obvious: in the peak hours the random players are unable and unwilling to play strategically. They curse at me for “not helping” and attack the enemy outnumbered. The more dedicated and experienced players at off hours realize that they cannot win head on and try to save their star, not losing ships before I complete my flanking and sink the enemy battleships. What I realized is that I usually get first blood, somewhere around 7 mins after start (13 mins left).

But I can be wrong, but it’s irrelevant. What’s relevant is that I should not play in the afternoons and should play in off hours.

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PS: it seems I wasn’t wrong. On Thursday I started playing late and:
night