Two short things that are definitely worth of your attention

This isn’t a real post, rather two short notes. But I must share them. The first is a browser idle game. Like all idle game, its “gameplay” is unworthy of your attention: you gain levels by letting it run on your computer for no reason. But this one has a story that unfolds in the first 6 hours of “play”. If you don’t fall out of your chair laughing when the “eat and sleep” perks arrive, you’ve never played an MMO. But the rest is also hilarious and definitely worth your computer’s time.

Corrupt developers are a long time pet peeve of mine. Of course goon propagandists attacked and ridiculed this (I wonder why?). Now a guy got arrested for doing exactly what I told they are doing. I can’t wait for Pearl Abyss to send auditors to Iceland.

Could it be skill that I ranked out?

Stawek accused me of ranking out only because of skill. His point is that I have lot of practice with the Shimakaze, I simply became a good Shima player, that combined with lot of grinding results win in mostly every game.

To evaluate this, I separated the games into 7 groups and calculated the winrate and my position in the XP table (1 being top earner and 7 being bottom). XP table is designed to measure skill by the developers and the top XP earner on the losing team saves his star:
skills2

My position on won and lost games is somewhat different. In all, but the ranking out segment, I got better position when I won than when I lost. My overall position got better over time (the first group includes the 11+ bracket which has bad players in it). These indicate that my skill increased and also that I won the games where I expressed better skill.

However in my best group, the one I actually ranked out, I won games where I was “less skilled”, which would indicate better meta or strategy. I used Grozovoi for carrier games with 6/8 wins. My Grozovoi never earned good XP, because it barely did damage to enemy ships. Its job was to flank, capture undefended points (in carrier games the teams stick together at one point) and to waste the time and planes of enemy carriers. I also put back the 20km torpedoes which are best not to do damage, but to force distant battleships to emergency turn, losing DPS and showing vulnerable side to our battleships.

winpos
Winrate correlated properly with position (=skill). The better my position was in a group of games, the better the winrate. However the correlation was weak.

So there is definitely something in Stawek’s claim, and this is why I didn’t post any strategy guide: because I’m unsure if my strategy really works, or simply I was stumbling around the map aimlessly and won only because I did well in random encounters. We’ll see in next season.

World of warships losing streaks

I wrote about losing streaks earlier, but I recently realized a methodological error. I treated the games as a stream, one game after the other, while games take place in sessions. If I play a game in the evening, go to sleep and play the next one in the morning, it’s not really the “next” one. So my early data is noisy. It’s not useless, because a game is either followed by the next or a random game, so the signal is still there and there is no anti-signal. However at the last 280 games I properly recorded session limits.

sessions

There is an agreement between the two methods in that if we look at the previous game, it predicts the next one. It gives 54-57% winrate after a won game and a 43-47% winrate after a lost game. They also agree that Win-Win predicts Win and Lose-Lose predicts lose. They disagree with the Win-Lose prediction though. Finally, the proper method says that the first game of the session has the same winrate as the games after wins. Ergo, there is no downside interrupting a “winning streak”, it seems there are no winning streaks, just losing ones. The win-chance after a win is just the win chance.

From this I take away a very simple rule: one hour off after a defeat. It helps if the problem was me (tired, distracted), if the problem was the immediate team (hating) or if the problem is the meta (too many destroyer players for example). As the above result shows, there is no downside of taking a break.

Let’s see the intersession correlations. There were 60 sessions recorded with 280 games. Their outcomes are:

  • 19 times a loss session was followed by loss
  • 7 times a win session was followed by a win
  • 9 times a loss session was followed by a win
  • 7 times a win session was followed by a loss
  • Sessions could be neutral (like WWLL) and those aren’t counted
    • .
      Again we see clearly not random amount of loss-streaks. These mean longer, whole-day trends, so as an auxiliary rule, if two sessions ends in negative outcome, a much longer break is needed.

      I’m sure that such stop-loss methods will greatly increase my winrate.

Culture is downstream of economy

Philosophy post warning!

At the beginning of the 2000’s, – like most people – I was sure that history is on a largely linear track. While I didn’t believe in “the end of the history” per se, I was sure that any changes will happen gradually and for the benefit of all, like the industrial revolution slowly replacing feudalism with capitalism.

I was completely sure that the time of backtracks is over. There won’t be anything like Nazis or communists in my time or ever: an ideology that makes the World significantly worse than it was before, because sure the Weimar Germany wasn’t the best of places, but was heaven compared to the Nazi Germany and its World War 2.

I wanted to contribute to this slow and steady improvement by showing young people the value of trading and the workings of capitalism trough the video games we play. I wanted to show them how investing, buying/reselling works in an overly simplified setting.

Fast forward almost two decades and the World was on the brink of a nuclear exchange. Crazies in large numbers roam our streets babbling about white privilege and patriarchy and demanding to punish those who were born white or male, like the Nazis wanted to punish anyone who was born Jewish, even if he had nothing to do with the religion or culture. And they are not some fringe crazies like a few dozen neo-Nazis we always had. These lunatics could implement similar policies in university admissions and hiring what the Nazis did in the early 30’s. Back then you couldn’t admit more Jews than the quota, now you have a limit on whites (and recently, Asians). Then came censorship, first in the form of peer pressure (yelling), then in formal bans on “hate speech” (anything the crazies didn’t like). Then came the migrants: uneducated, unskilled masses, the underclass of third world countries was welcomed with open arms by the crazies because they were not white.

In less then a decade my dream of a steady growing society turned into a time travel into 30’s Germany or 50’s Soviet Block.

How?

I don’t believe in conspiracies, magic, voodoo, evil spirits or anything like that. But I was completely unable to explain where these lunatics came from in huge numbers.

The answer came quite randomly, like a lightning strike, when I was watching a chart showing how median wage doubled in 8 years in Hungary and was so glad that I live here, sheltered from all this madness. These people went mad in the West, because the 2008 crisis and the horrible “recovery” took away their hope. These blue haired lunatics rightfully believed that their future is screwed. That they will never earn as much as their parents did at the same age. That they will never go to college like their parents, or if they do, they’ll never repay the student loan. That they will never have a decent home, with a family in it they can support.

Their reaction was of course maladaptive and childish, but exactly what psychologists would predict: anger and rejection. They hated those who had what they’ll never have. They identified them as “straight white males” for some reason, probably because the old culture placed straight white males to the visible positions. They believed that if they defeat those who have, they can take for themselves. They also rejected what they couldn’t have, as a coping mechanism: “I don’t want a home and a job and a wife and kids because I’m genderfluid and woke and I’m above these patriarchal systems”.

This isn’t new: Nazis grew from the desperation of the Germans coming from the lost WW1 and the unfair peace treaty. Communism grew from starving workers and peasants in Russia where classic feudalism was still alive. Desperate people easily turn into lunatics if someone tells them that the lunacy will provide.

This revelation fills me with peace I long wanted. As the economy fixes, as the record low unemployment gives jobs and decent salary to the people, these crazies will disappear as they came. One by one they’ll get a job and with it hope that their life won’t be horrible. They will put down their pink hair, their pronouns and their crazy signs, they’ll find someone to love, they’ll get a home, start a family. Their craziness will vanish, like the hippies vanished when they were no longer sent to die in Vietnam and they could get jobs instead.

Culture is downstream from economy. If the economy goes well, people get ahead and adapt views that upkeep the system that provides to them. If the economy malfunctions and people are desperate, they’ll join subcultures that demand radical changes and turn these fringe groups into powerful ones. This of course can create a vicious cycle, just like the recovery was so bad in the USA, because the crazies elected a dumb community organizer just because he was black. But the cycle is now broken, both in the USA and in Europe. Those who still had something or at least had their hopes voted for leaders who returned to simple capitalism and the ideas that were common sense just 2 decades ago (like you can’t walk over the border as you please; or the statement of the young aide of the governor of Galifornia).

The economy is rapidly recovering. Soon nothing will be left from the blue haired crazies just some shameful internet posts that they’ll desperately try to delete before their kids reach teen-age and could learn that mom was demanding death to all men and dad identified as a demiboy and told that having kids is white privilege.

Warships ranked ups and downs

I posted my first batch of ranked battle results. Here are the rest, click if interested.

Below you can see my rank changes (moving average to decrease noise):

trends

  1. 11-15 bracket, I passed it very fast
  2. 6-10, I passed it in about 100 battles, relatively fast
  3. Bouncing at the edge of 5. I lost lots of battles in the 2-5 brackets, throwing me back to the 6-10, only to climb back. This was the longest phase, practically learning the current 2-5 strategy
  4. Winning my way up to rank 2
  5. The cursed weekend when the strategies were suddenly useless
  6. Ranking out

It’s clear that if I didn’t play that weekend, I could rank out about 150 games earlier. Also, next season I won’t have to re-learn the strategy, so #3 will be missing. So even without further improvement I predict 200 games to rank out next season.

But there is more to see here: the huge ups and downs. These aren’t random noises, but results of weekend-weekday differences and other shifts in the strategy. While they cannot be predicted before playing, they can be found after a few games, allowing effective stop-loss mechanisms to be designed which use nothing but the results of recent games to predict upcoming game results.

What’s relevant is that these long-term shifts prove that winning and losing streaks aren’t because of the player himself (being tired or upset) but the playerbase as a whole. In weekends the games are always chaotic but the shooting skills of the players is better. In off-times the games are more orderly, but more misses happen. There are other trends I cannot explain, like why there are 4-4 destroyers in one evening and 1-1 on the other. But I don’t have to. All I have to do is stopping playing when the stop-loss criteria is fulfilled.

WoW goldmaking agony

I read Azuriel’s farming guide. It’s exactly what you’d expect: circular routes to find herbs or skinnable monsters. Most offer 25K gold/hour, he wrote 46K/hour to one, but I guess now that the guide is out, more farmers will go there and as he wrote “If you don’t see any Riverbud within about 100 yards, that means someone is already farming the route ahead of you, and you should either wait in place for respawns, or go somewhere else” and neither waiting nor moving gets you gold, so let’s settle for 30K/hour.

You can buy a WoW token for 180K gold or $18. Ergo, your $30K/hour is $3/hour. Not just in opportunity cost, you can buy a token for $ and sell it in-game for gold. So if you are looking at goldmaking only as a means to get gold, running in circles in Drustvar is probably less effective than flipping burgers or cleaning toilets.

I blame botters and children for this devaluation of in-game time. Also the simple fact that if the activity involves no more intellectual effort than running in circles in Drustvar and clicking on pixel herbs, then you can’t really expect more.

Anyway the point is that if you just want gold, you should grab your wallet and not your herbalist. Of course if you find making gold some form of in-game challenge, go nuts, but if you choose to do what every kid can do, you’ll probably won’t fare better than a random kid.

And even if you find some method that makes much more gold (in EVE I could get $20-30/hour equivalent, which is pretty nice), you’ll still face the problem that gold in WoW is barely useful by necessity. If it could buy you meaningful progression, there would be serious screeching about pay-to-win.

So while getting gold while playing is great, having some elaborate method to satisfy your need to design elaborate methods is also great, making WoW gold in itself is rather pointless.

Actually doing anything in WoW is rather pointless, because everything you get will be outdated in a few months and the best way of getting anything in WoW is still not logging in but waiting until that item becomes baseline.

9 games in World of Warships

last9
rankout

Sure, some luck was needed, but I was “unlucky” for weeks. What made the difference is that I damned everyone’s advice, put back the unique upgrade and the 20km torpedoes. Also, I started using a new strategy on Hotspot:
hotstrat

I have lot of data to analyze. I also realize that 14 pages worth of players ranked out before me (out of 340 pages of participants, 1300 pages of total EU players), and I needed bizarre amount of battles (686), so I’ll probably need one more season before I can show that my new Shima (+anti-CV Grozovoi) strategy works and permanent page can be made.

Using the 12km torpedoes, while giving me a rank loss in general, was beneficial as I learned how the “usual” DDs work and what just seemed luck earlier with 20km is now based on knowledge and can be reproduced.

For now I will make posts to discuss elements of the future guide. Later. This was quite an adventure.

.

PS: after I wrote and read and did chores, I had to log back and play a random battle with my newfound love, Grozovoi. I once again found evidence that random battle players are not less skilled than rank 2-5 ones and bringing an AA specced Grozovoi into battle isn’t the best idea:
littlegro