Do random battles matter?

The post was motivated by a debate with Stawek about the Warships randoms that are “ruined” by Hakuryus. But we can talk about League of Legends normals, World of Warcraft random battlegrounds and any similar stuff.

My position: their balance and outcome doesn’t matter, because you can’t lose anything. In a ranked Warships, League or WoW rated BG you can lose rating if you lose a game. Therefore any glitch or unbalance that makes you lose is rightfully causing player outrage: you want to compete play the game as it is, but you can’t, because the devs screwed up. Please understand the distinction: the game is still fun to play, but it can’t be played competitively and that’s frustrating.

But if defeat has no consequences, than you have no reason to care if you lose. Especially if your winrate remains near 50% anyway. If the game by itself fun, then go play it. If it’s not, don’t. Simply stop playing until the patch or forever if it never comes. I quit EVE after they allowed nullsec entities to take over highsec markets. Not all games are made for you.

Because of that I had no problem with Hakuryus racking up stupid amount of damage in randoms. Neither I had any problem with me massacring them with my Grozovoi. It was all a pointless fun and everyone, including the sank battleships got their XP and credits.


About the current state of warships. I’d see a problem with 8.0 going ranked, but it didn’t. I see even more problems with the hotfix that is aimed to silence the outrage instead of considering the whole game health. They made even more problems than they solved. Why? Because with the hotfix changes, the Grozovoi went from “laughably overpowered” to “game-breaking overpowered”. If it goes T10 ranked as it is, it’ll be “AA Grozovoi or 6x report” for destroyers. The constant AA was buffed which was already the main tool of Grozovoi. It has 180% sector reinforcement (150 for cruisers) and 3x powered DefAA and it has 5 consumables!!! An AA Grozovoi and a CV can easily push a side facing 2-3 surface ships. The CV can sink the big ones, permaspot the DDs while the smoked Grozovoi kills them while the enemy CV can’t go anywhere near it.

My solution would be to remove defAA from all destroyers, make them unable to reinforce sectors, but decrease their air detection range and remove rocket planes. This way DDs and planes couldn’t touch each other.

Author: Gevlon

My blog:

9 thoughts on “Do random battles matter?”

  1. Instead of devolving into a debate about “fun”, why can’t the debate be centered around the learning curve and the amount of time it takes to become properly acquainted with the myriad of ships available? I highly doubt that players of the Grozovoi simply “luck into” choosing it from out of the blue and are able to be successful with it immediately, so either the ship is OP to begin with, which would make it more fun to play for many – or it’s more fun to play in the beginning, which would hook more players into playing it initially, with it only becoming OP after time is spent learning it and earning/performing upgrades. If the ship is OP from the start, you know as well as I do that the players who play the Groz won’t be crying for a fix. They will enjoy it until it is fixed, then they will move on to the next OP ship.


    You do realize that there was a time in WoW when those with Gladiator rating would boost/carry guild mates/friends with much lesser skill? They would then reset their rating to 1500 and queue up and crush those with lesser skill. It was only after Blizzard added a -hidden- “MMR” variable that allowed Blizzard to prevent players from doing this. One has to wonder how WG handles such hidden variables, and if there is any “decay” used in the match maker.


  2. @HotsPlayer: doing SOME pointless fun is … fun. Devoting your gaming time to pointless fun is being a pointless person.

    @NoGuff: Grozovoi is OP for one role only. That role was barely existing before the carrier rework, as barely anyone played carriers. After the rework they became common and Grozovois became OP every battle. While there is a learning curve, if you played enough other destroyers, you’ll manage.

    Yes, there were players abusing ranking systems. However we are talking about random battles here.


  3. Simple fact – what Matters is what is played most.

    There is nothing even remotely close to the importance of random battles for WG. If they screw this up long term, the game will die. If they screw up a season or two or delay it until fixed? Nobody cares.


  4. @Chewiecide: maybe I wasn’t clear. Can you “screw” random? How? By making some ships OP? Everyone has 50% winrate, so they are objectively not OP, while Gulio Cesare had 56% winrate in ranked sprint.

    By players crying over Hakuryus? When they were not crying? Were they NOT perpetually offended by something, like radars, sniping battleships, Conquerors, Stalingrad or whatnot?


  5. You can screw ransoms by making it an “unfun” experience.

    Which is exactly what happened. They wanted to reduce permaspotting > more spotting than ever. They wanted to reduce the indirect gameplay experience from “pve “ to “pvp” feelings for CVS > more Arcady pve than ever. Skillgap? I can barely hit with these as I did not train enough yet: CVs will stay Unikums = bashing left & right without issues. Or they will Nerv them to the ground that only min max + cancer divi players are interested in them. Grats, same status as before patch.

    Additionally the new AA system with flipping AA sides is very negatively perceived, too. Players in ships just want to shoot and maneuver. Any plane will enrage them. Even the scope of increasing CV popularity was damaging ransoms inherently.

    Your fix proposal is exactly the same: DD players don’t want to be touched by CVs. But you simply cannot balance Rock Paper Scissors with four classes. You need either 5 or 3.


  6. Random is the mode of choice for the majority of players. Particularly those who don’t have time to play for hours a day, as such time constraints cut them off Ranked and Clan competitions. Sure, they can participate in theory, but in practice, they’d never have a chance to achieve a good result nor even compete with the good players. (though the latest ranked is shorter and makes sub-100 game R1 very possible).

    Those same players with little time on their hands also don’t have all the ship lines researched. For the same reason. I have all but 2 non-CV T10s and I have enough FXP to get them immediately if I needed. They don’t. If they have only a few ships and those become obsolete overnight, they are rightly pissed. It will take them months to research new meta ships and by that time those may be obsolete, too.

    Random doesn’t matter in the same way that no game matters unless it’s on a pro level. Pro meaning you can make a living out of it and not just being good at the game. And then it’s not a game anymore, it’s a job.

    Within a random game, players can very much lose something.
    First, it isn’t a case of losing games because of CVs (because your own team CV can do the same). It’s a case of not being able to play at all. If it isn’t at least entertaining, why bother? You are simply losing time doing something unenjoyable.
    Second, they lose credits. A lot of credits, particularly for non-premium accounts. It takes a reasonably good game to come out silver-neutral in T8 + game.
    Third, there is permanence in Random games in the form of player stats. Those are no different than your Ranked badges. If you’re playing Ranked for rewards (signals and such) then you’re a moron by your own standards – because you’re working for probably $0.1 per hour. Good stats will let you into good clans and those will let you play high-level games with or against good opponents. Much more important than 2500 doubloons for R1.

    There is always whining about games because some people are just whiners. They will complain to Hotel management that their shower made them wet. A natural base level of crying idiots is expected, especially in a place as badly moderated as WoWs subreddit.

    However, in the case of CVs, it’s actually good players who make complaints. They predicted exactly the outcome well before the patch hit. Those players try to play optimally and at this time, the optimal strategy is to not play at all.
    Games are entirely not worth the time to play them because the new CVS completely broke the existing strategies replacing them with idiotic lemming trains and sniping from spawns. There are no possibilities for flanking actions and strategies, which is a bit of an issue for a strategic game like WoWs.

    Would chess be still chess if you replaced all the pieces with pawns? “It’s just a new meta, adapt or you’re a moron and a slacker”. Sure. I can adapt by playing a different game. So far Ranked was still fun but that’s gone for me after getting R1.

    CVs were severely nerfed though, so now they can’t really do much. By the time the changes are finalized we will get more “hotfixes”. The grapevine says the new CVs were created not to improve WoWs but to retain some good customers from World of Warplanes once they shut down that product (as it isn’t successful enough on its own).


  7. @Gevlon

    But not everyone, nor everything has 50% winrate. Noone, except WG, can know for certain just how much “balancing” there is in the random (how much it tries to keep you WR close to 50% by stacking the odds for or against you). However, everyone can see that there are 60% WR people in random. If we look at their stats, we can quite clearly see that they usually also play better by other metrics (damage, kills, scouted and so on, depending on the preferred style). So those people can still prove that they are “better” at random game. Even against the MMR/odds or whatever (you can call it WG cheating, someone can call it balancing) they can still play and win much more than 40% imbecile. And sure, the difference of skill between 40% and 60% is astronomical, which might no be evident by this percents (they are not 0% and 100%). But that’s just how multiplayer games work (1 imbecile can be still carried to 40% by randoms).

    So, what I am saying is, if one ship/tank/aircraft has 55% winrate, it is a huge game-breaking thing, because the difference between effectiveness of a ship with 45% and 55% WR is not linear. It’s not a small gap. It’s a gap between “your senile grandma can push a button and win in this thing” vs “only a very skilled person can be even somewhat effective in this ship”. And this is imbalance that harms both the customer (no one wants to have an inferior product) and the developer (average Joe will stumble on 45% ship while progressing and will accrue huge ammounts of dissatisfaction with the game). It is simply bad balancing. And it doesn’t matter, if those are stats from random or competitive.

    If you look at a site called wot-news (maybe other World of Tanks places have the same stats as well, dunno), they do not only have average WR, they also have winrate curves, that show a correlation of “average WR of a player” to “WR of a player on this tank”. Normal balanced tanks have a 1:1 correlation. However many premiums have a “bump” in between 45 and 55% (by 2-4%), that either shows that the tank is imbalanced (and is easier to play than average tanks) or they simply “help” those tanks with “balancing”.

    I am firmly in the “they are imbalanced” group, because not all of their premiums have such curves and some of them are directly opposite (that is better at high skills, than at low skills). I just think that WG are shit (might be intentionally shit) at balancing, and that it is quite important in randoms as well.


  8. There really isn’t that big red line separating “serious” content from “fun” content. People that are in it for the competition will want it everywhere, including in “unfun” randoms, as they will see it as “training” (obviously, the actual training value of randoms is close to nil, but nobody cares).
    So while i do agree with the general sentiment that randoms are a mode for wacky and unbalanced hijinx, it will also always be a breeding ground for the kind of conflict you see when you put together people with different motivations.


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