Without goal, playing becomes a chore

I’m leveling up captains in World of Warships while waiting for the next season. Sometimes I die early and just stare at the screen and realize that I did something incredibly stupid to die before the random morons. Hell, even the literal AFK-er is still alive, well done!

Why? Because I’m not playing. Playing implies a goal, preferably a challenging one that you must achieve by playing well. Without that, you are just wasting time with a toy. In a ranked battle, the goal is to win. It’s not possible to always win, so the metric of achieving the goal is having a positive winrate, increasing your rank. But such goal cannot be achieved in random battles, because the game matchmaking wants to keep your winrate near 50% by giving worse and worse teammates or putting you among 2 tiers higher players. So why bother playing well? It’s like pushing the rock of Sysyphus.

Sure, some people beat the system, the infamous carrier + AA cruiser duos. Their trick is simple: since most games have no carrier, fitting your cruiser against aircrafts is a mistake. You can’t use your abilities without aircrafts around. The matchmaker always gives a carrier to both teams, so if you are queuing with a carrier, you’ll have planes to shoot. The matchmaker can’t find an AA cruiser to the other team because there is no such thing as lone AA cruiser. So unless an opposing duo is found (rare), you have a field day: the AA cruiser massacres the planes of the enemy carrier, letting the friendly carrier sink whatever he pleases.

But other than that, your winrate will eventually reach 50%, so you stop caring. This is another reason why players quit. Why play if the outcome if random. You might win this game, but at the long run, you’ll have your 50%.

This pointlessness leads even me to play recklessly. I mean why shouldn’t Sysyphus spice up his day by willingly pushing down the rock to create a mud avalanche, preferably on someone’s head? So I more and more often try to torpedo something from point blank range. Which is a last ditch effort when you can’t run and not something you should willingly try. But hey, hiding behind an island and popping out of the nothing right front of his nose is fun, right?

Bad behavior sticks. It carries over to ranked battles and create losses. I must not play stupidly even if nothing matters in random battles. The rock of Sysyphus must travel in optimal path up the hill!

Of course Wargaming would be better off not designing their game after a punishment in hell according to the Greek mythology.


PS: I can explain this! I couldn’t leave the corner without it! The game was already won! He was shooting our cruiser!

Mudslide right on the head of Hades! It doesn’t do anything, I’m still in Hell, pushing rocks that fall back, but it’s damn funny!

Author: Gevlon

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

11 thoughts on “Without goal, playing becomes a chore”

  1. So you start to realize how incredibly “fun” your play2win is for us play4fun plebs, being essentially an ability to score more points in an arbitrary ruleset, which may or may not include those actually fun parts of the game, right?


  2. But even in a 7v7 with equal skilled players, aren’t you only going to be the deciding factor in 1 out of 14 games? isn’t that the problem of every team game where you play with and against equal skilled opponents?


  3. @Kring: this isn’t the point. The point is that there is something to strive for (regardless of its size). In randoms, you are deciding factor exactly never over a long period of time.


  4. “goal cannot be achieved in random battles, because the game matchmaking wants to keep your winrate near 50% by giving worse and worse teammates ”

    You have no evidence to back it up.

    Here is a project for you:
    Install a stats monitor and write down the main stats of all your teams across 100 or so games. Analyze the average win rate of your team or their average damage (the latter being unreliable cause it depends on the class of the ship).
    If MM is deliberately producing “equal” games then the average win rate of each game should be close to 50-50. If not, then each game will be more variable but they will average over a higher number of games.

    From my experience, it is just random. WG officially stated that they do not match people based on any stats, only on their ship tier, class and ship nation. I see no evidence and definitely no proof to call them liars.

    I got my R1 this season as one of only 3.6% of players who played ranked, I also had a low number of games played (162) and extremely high frag average. That puts me into top 1% of Ranked and probably top 0.3% players overall. Yet, still “only” 55% win rate in randoms. Stats in this game are simply flat, that’s how it naturally plays.

    It is also possible to game the stats a bit, mostly by divisions with other good players and by playing only good and optimally configured ships (using free xp to skip poor hulls and upgrading ships before playing them). Sticking to lower tiers and playing a large number of games in a single ship can also increase win rate significantly. You wouldn’t believe the plays a seasoned player can pull off in T4.


  5. @Stawek: your own 55% winrate is a proof. Ranking out in 162 battles mean something like 60% winrate. This means that you are more able to defeat a team full of high ranked, top 3% (that’s rank 10+) players than a bunch of randoms, AFKers, stock ship noobs, trolls and yolo-cappers.

    Or, that the MM is rigged.


  6. Or that it’s easier to carry 6 decent players than 11 morons. Half the Random games are lost due to sheer idiocy and cowardice of the players rather than their lack of skill or winners’ good plays.


  7. @stawek: no doubt. But shouldn’t idiots be on your team just as much as theirs? Shouldn’t you be slaughtering their mindless ones? Don’t tell me you never had the feeling that your teammates are all idiots and the enemy is not.


  8. I had that feeling many times but I also had many games where we steamrolled the enemies way too easily.
    When half of both teams are total idiots the outcome is heavily randomized by their stupidity. If, say, 3/4 of the games are won or lost so badly that your contribution isn’t enough to change the outcome then all your good stats have to be produced in the remaining quarter, making 55% win rate into 70% (75/100 games are meaningless and the whole 10 win difference was created in the 25 games where it really mattered, making it 17.5:7.5 stats after “normalization”).
    Besides, I played YY in ranked and my YY stats in randoms are actually similar (63%) but I only have 128 games played. My advantage in Randoms is much larger (also I get to slaughter T8s every now and then) but it’s more diluted, too.


  9. Check these battle results:
    Do they look like MM trying to equalize the teams? Colours of the clan tags indicate their league in the last CB season, Pink being the superleague, Green the first league (with all the rewards). We have 4+2 in top leagues, they have 0+2. We have 4 R1s, their best is R8.

    Funny thing is none of our players did anything special (the Tirpitz got a lucky salvo at the end to get that much XP). We just waited while the enemies were slowly being outgunned or murdered after making a positional mistake. They actually took 2 caps at the start (which is how we managed a 12-0 win without them running out of points earlier) while our DDs went wide around to dodge all those radars.


  10. I’ve never claimed they “equalize” the teams. I mean that they rig the games, pre-selecting the winners. They meant your team to win.


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