Random vs Ranked: the power of meta

I played ranked battles exclusively with one ship, the Kagero (I don’t have T10 ship yet, so no lower rank than 10 for me). My stats are 64.3% winrate, 49K damage, 0.93 frags. My stats on random with the same ship, same captain: 51.4% winrate, 33K damage, 0.86 frags. Considering that most players are not ranked higher than 10 (just check the players on your random battles, most of them aren’t ranked at all), this is surprising. I’m supposed to play worse against “serious contenders” than randoms.

The solution to that is not in me, not even in the ship, but in the meta. If you look at the ship statistics, between tier 7 and 9 (the battles I mostly get into with a Tier 8 ship), destroyers together have 42.1 M battles. Carriers have 9.4M. Battleships have 72.8M. Cruisers have 67.4M. The 9.th season statistics give direct percentage of ships. There T8 only plays against T8. From these data, let’s draw the populations of random and T8 ranked battles:

There is significant difference in the number of carriers (who are absolute bane of destroyers) and the number of cruisers (who are serious danger to them). It’s clear that ranked battles are more destroyer-heavy. But there is more. The maps have the same size, but ranked battles are 7v7 instead of 12v12. Also, the teams are spawned in one block instead of in a long line. Therefore most of the map in ranked is not covered by ships, while most of the map in random is.

So in ranked a stealthy destroyer has no problem getting behind the enemy lines and torpedo backtracking battleships. In random, it’s often a problem finding an opening. It’s more likely that you bump into another destroyer or cruiser instead of a battleship.

But, but the statistics don’t differ! I mean the random battle Kageros have 49.9% winrate, 29.6K damage, the ranked Kageros have 49.1% and 28.5K! The problem is that most players don’t realize the difference between the metas of the random and ranked battle and play ranked Kageros wrong. They go to contest caps, because that’s what they learned in randoms and that’s what the team expects them to do. This is OK in random, because there isn’t much alternatives in a map without openings to the rear. But in ranked, they could play as I do: ignore the caps at start and get behind enemy lines. My random stats aren’t much better than the random stats of average players. My ranked stats on the other hand are top 1%, not because I suddenly learn to shoot (actually I barely ever fire my guns), but because I play differently, adapting to the “large space available” meta. As the ships are packed at start, battleships and cruisers can only cover so much space. Destroyers are usually in the cap places. The rest of the sea is all mine.

Author: Gevlon

My blog: https://greedygoblinblog.wordpress.com/

9 thoughts on “Random vs Ranked: the power of meta”

  1. The difference of 2% for carriers doesn’t appear to me as a significant difference. One could calculate the expected enemy team composition (for example, 0.21 carriers in ranked vs 0.6 carriers in random) and try to draw conclusions but your mentioned freeness of map should have a higher impact on battle income.
    Why did Excel (or whatever spreadsheet program you are using) think that the formula for ranked is wrong?


  2. @retsep: there are 7 players in ranked, that means 21% of the ranked battles has a carrier in it. There are 12 players are in a random battle, meaning 60% of the games have a carrier. A game with a carrier is a complete suck for destroyers, as they have no counter to being spotted by planes.

    The triangle doesn’t mean “wrong”, it means “inconsistent with the next cell”. This is because the site had different data (number of games in random, % in ranked)


  3. Sorry, you have no clue.
    Your late and low-rank career into Ranked matched you against positively bad players, thus the good results.
    If you tried “getting behind the enemy lines and torpedo backtracking battleships” in a game with competent enemies you would instantly die while achieving exactly nothing. One of their gun destroyers would radio you, tell his teammates, chase you down and kill you with ease. The battleships would know you are there and would make evasive manoeuvres. Your torpedoes were killers against poor players sailing in straight lines but aren’t good enough on their own normally. Plus, the DD on your tail would spot them for the team. All the while the enemies get free points because you refused to contest caps.
    On top of that, caps in Ranked are easier to take and give more points.
    Look at the average win rates of destroyers. Loyang is the absolute king of caps with its great hydro. Akizuki and Kidd barely even have torpedoes (single launcher each) but are extremely good in cap fights due to massive DPM or massive health combined with AA, respectively. All 3 have 53% win rates, Kagero has 49%.

    You didn’t break the meta nor devised a great strategy. You played against some very bad players. You are, likely, a rather poor player yourself, considering the low number of games. This means that playing the “correct” meta of contesting caps could give you worse results because you don’t know how to play it and you picked the wrong ship for the task. Poor DD captains die a lot in caps cause they don’t know how to approach them safely.


  4. @Stawek: unless one comes up with the assumption that the late ranked players are much worse than random battle players (most of them not having any rank), this is nonsense.

    Your radio scenario would need them to have a destroyer which is closer to me than any of my teammates, which is unlikely because these destroyers are at the cap and my teammates are close to that. He’ll first radio our other DD, then the cruisers. And even if he somehow manages to radio me, I also radio him, so I can just abandon my strategy or just run to the corner and fight him there. At least then I wasted his time (he is not contesting cap or spotting while he is running after me) and died 10 mins into the battle instead of 1 min.

    Battleships doing evasive maneuvers are battleships not shooting my team. Most of the results of flanking comes not from killing them but forcing them to turn. Not a single one could do bow-tanking.

    I fully agree that IJN destroyers are useless in cap fights. Which means they should not be used in cap fights.

    Finally, playing any meta that puts one to fight his peer (DD vs DD) comes down to “skillz” which is an always avoidable situation. Sure, my results are not concluding since I didn’t reach rank 1, due to not having a Shima yet. But somehow I predict that I will next season and then we’ll see who has no clue.


  5. I think you’re wrong on a couple accounts. Stawek is wrong to a degree. Ive reached ranked play yesterday, I don’t have many games behind me yet, but a few conclusions coming from them are as follows. The most important thing in ranked is the 7 v 7. That means, that Im rarely in a position as a DD, where more then 1 or 2 enemy ships can target me. That’s what kills me in random, while contesting caps. If I make even a small mistake and get spotted or located by a consumable, I get 4-10 ships gunning for me. I’ve been radioed in ranked and been able to run away every single time, becouse the enemy could not put enough firepower on me. That’s the biggest meta diffrence. It’s not being able to flank. It’s the enemy not being able to kill me in seconds after spotting, becouse there are only 7 ships on the map.

    As to Stawek’s point, he’s definetly right about the skill level of enemies. I find it’s a lot easier to land torps in ranked on BBs. Hell, I’ve won every cap I contested (and I do contest them from the beginning) in a Kagero, which shouldn’t really be the case (Im not really good yet). One time a Kidd beached himself while setting smoke on an isalnd that sheltered me from he’s mates. I was 4 km from him then and of course torpedoed him. Something like that didn’t happen to me for a looong time in random.


  6. It’s not an assumption, it’s an observable fact. Your own stats are evidence.

    People who have no ranks simply didn’t play Ranked. It says little about their skill, only about their game mode choices (with possible correlations).
    People who are at the bottom ranks 4 weeks into the season are either very infrequent players (thus inexperienced), new arrivals like yourself (thus noobs) or simply terrible beyond belief. Particularly this season, any semi-decent player with a bit of time could easily rank out by simply getting to Rank 10 and removing themselves from the bottom rank player pool (in previous season all games were played at the same Tier and rank 12 was irrevocable). Most of the decent players were long gone before you even started playing.

    DD vs DD isn’t twitch skills, it’s strategy and thinking. Sure, artillery duels in the same ships are pointless, as you always want to get into a fight with an advantage. You do it by being closer to your team, by having better concealment, by having better guns, by having hydro or radar, by having a better smoke, by having third-party spotting, by having more HP, by having radiolocation, by having better torps, by having a smaller hull. There are plenty of opportunities to use other than APM.

    You stumbled upon a good tactic by accident. Bad players try to cap, get their asses radared and die. You tried to avoid “skillz” and at the same time avoided the death trap. It is only good in the low-skill environment, though, as even average players would punish you. They’d also punish your teammates for not having a spotting DD and your team by taking free caps and victory points.

    Also, at T10 Shimakaze fares no better than Kagero, at sub-50% win rate. YY, on the other hand, a DD hunter with weak torps, is at the top of the charts with 53%.


  7. Sorry for the double post. @Gevlon are you aware that Kagero can shoot it’s guns without being detected when fully kited out? I don’t use my guns very often, but in DD v DD battle they’re essential. You can’t really torp another DD outside of point-blank range. Also firing from outside detection range or from smoke can set fire and force a BB to use his damage controll, which leaves him exposed to flooding. A single torpedo can do almost 50k damage to such a BB practically sinking it. In essence, don’t underestimate your guns 🙂


  8. @Stawek: you are circular. You declare that “low rank players are worse than randoms” and claim that my better results against them are proof of that, while it can also be proof of the opposite (my strategy works). However I will provide statistics on Friday to decide it.

    The team has a spotting DD, I spot, just not from the front, but behind. I’m fully aware that Shimakaze has bad stats, but that’s because people use it to contest caps. I’m not planning to do that.


  9. It isn’t circular logic. Your tactics work at the low level because it is better than instantly dying in caps. Your strategy being somehow useful is not opposite to claim of Ranked (in low ranks at the end of the season) players being worse than Random players.

    Your claim of “Shima is weak because people play it the wrong way” is easily refutable. Wows-numbers shows that the best top 5% of Shimakaze players scored 67% wins while at the same time top 5% of YY players scored 77% win rate. Nothing changes as the skills get better – Shima is still on the bottom.


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