Stats For Noobs Part II: The Case Study
So I’ve set myself the goal to git gud at playing my tier X Mediums. And in doing so, I’ve started caring a little more about my stats than I usually do. Let me tell you, they’re not fantastic.
There is a lot of information out there, and I thought I’d go through some of it that I’ve found helpful in my quest towards Medium tank nirvana. A sort of case study, if you will.
So let’s see; following my previous article, what do the numbers tell me?
Playing tier X is harder in and of it self than palying other tiers, so I should expect to be struggling. That means I can’t compare my stats at tier X to my stats at lower tiers, because I’ll just be disappointed. And although variety is the spice of life, sometimes you have to focus on the specific.
The reasonable thing to do would be to drive my Foch (155) at tier X. That has the highest winrate, highest damage output, and I’ve driven it quite a bit. But that’s not what I want. I want to drive Mediums at tier X, and so the obvious choice for me is the E50 Ausf. M; my beautiful Spear of Destiny.
The E50 M makes sense in a lot of ways. There is the deep emotional attatchment of course, but that doesn’t always translate into decent performance statistics. Looking at Jylpahs delta winrate calculations, and Wargamings balancing statistics, the E50 M is actually one of the better performing tier X Mediums, likely because it has armour. Damage output is slightly low, but that is to be expected. The E50 M has the second lowest DPM at tier X I believe, and Mediums aren’t supposed to deal the bulk of the damage.
So what does this mean? Well, the problem is obviously me. The tank itself is a solid performer when driven correctly, and unicums do like 2300 average damage.
How am I doing?
I do almost 1600 average damage in the E50 M, which doesn’t sound so great, but it’s pretty good for me. My top damage dealers with a decent amount of games on them are the Foches around 1800 average damage.
In terms of actual gameplay, that means I need to land one more round every game on average for the E50 M to be my top damage dealer, and two more rounds every game to get my damage output up to unicum levels. That doesn’t sound so impossible?
Following my previous article, the winrate doesn’t look great either: 45%. But that’s the global or career winrate, and if I look at my recent winrate, things look a lot better. Over the last 50 games, I have gone from 42% winrate to 45%; that’s a pretty substatial increase.
Curiously, over the same period, my average damage has actually gone down a bit. It’s not a lot, but it could mean I am not contributing to the wins as much as I could be, and probably that I still play too agressively and get killed early with no damage.
Spots per battle can be a good indicator of aggressive play, and I can see my spot rate has increased over the last 50 games. Coupled with my damage output being down, likely I am doing something wrong here, like taking too much damage when I am spotting.
The 105 mm L/52 on the E50 M is renowned for its accuracy, and I do actually hit 85% of my shots. With the snap shots, blind shots and speculators, I think that’s pretty good; not a case for concern.
Getting curious, I had a look at my survival rate. 23%. That means I survive less than one in four battles, which isn’t good. It’s on the same level as the Foch (155), and that doesn’t even have a turret.
So what have I learned? Well, there is room for improvement, and I have some indicators of potential problems. In order to improve my stats long term, I need to work on my damage output and my survival rate, and if I am going to keep spotting like I do, I have to do it better.
But my stats also tell me I am on the right track, my winrate is increasing, and with a few adjustments in terms of playstyle, I am sure I can keep improving.
Never Give Up!
Statistical information provided by:
I’ll take the opportunity here to relate this to my first article. As you noted, the battle count on my Type 61 is really low, and it’s been a while since I drove it. What happened was, I was really digging the STA-1, and so I gold-noobed the STB-1 for my birthday. That means the few games I’ve driven in the Type 61 were during the “honeymoon period”, and I had all the modules and 100% crew, full equipment, tier X pre-nerf penetration and also binocs. As I wrote, anything with less than 100 battles you should be slightly suspicious about, and in this case, it’s practically a fluke. If I started driving the 61 today, I am positive my results would be much worse.
I get caught out and outnumbered, and I take big hits from Tank Destroyers; those are my two main problems. Both can be seen in my relatively low damage output and low survival rate. And the solution isn’t to do more damage, but to stay alive so I can do more damage.
I had a look at my press account stats in the E50 M, and it turns out I do the same average of damage on that, over a couple hundred games. It’s fair to say I take more risks on that account, I often put myself in difficult situations for what you might call “research purposes”, and of course it suffers the same bias of driving maxed-out tanks. But I always play to win, and so even if my average damage stays the same, I should expect to win a bit more by concentrating on my positioning and survivability.
Returning to my main stats, I think I broke 46% today. I need to win like 15-20 battles more than I lose to break 50% global winrate. And of course, stuff like platooning and playing fewer games in a row could accomplish that no problem, but remember I am not actually interested in stats for their own sake, but as indicators of performance. I want my winrate to be higher, of course, but what I am aiming for is a steady increase over time; not hitting an actual number. It’s not about hitting a 60% winrate or whatever, but maintaining that winrate once I get there.
And it’s going to take a while. That’s OK. What happens, children, when you get old and jaded like uncle Irma here, is that you focus more on what the numbers mean than what they actually say. If that sounds obtuse, I just mean that I respect any player who has purple stats across the board. That is a clear indication of skill. But I respect a player more who has purple stats across the board and has driven tens of thousands of games to get there and is still playing and maintaining those purple stats as the game and the maps and the meta changes.
Another reason it’s going to take a while is that sometimes all I want to do is just drive my E50 M. And if your puny Russian Medium looks at me funny, or tries to shoot at me when I’m driving by, I might just want to drive it into your face for the sake of it; I don’t care if you have your team right beside you. Or if you park your stupid Heavy tank at the bottom of a hill or under a ledge, I might just drive off it and land on top of you, because why waste 60 km/h once you get those 62 tonnes going that fast?
Sometimes, you just have to pay the “noob tax”…
I have a problem with general map awareness. Part of this is because I don’t drive a lot of the tanks I face; Heavy tanks especially. So I don’t know the usual positions by heart, so to speak. I try to pick up on that when I look at gameplay videos: where are people going? What positions are they using, and where are they getting shots? But it is something I struggle with; good positioning.
The other part is I just don’t look at the minimap enough, and I don’t keep track of enemy positions well enough. I think it’s because I like the faster tanks; I don’t give myself enough time to maintain proper situational awareness. That’s partly because I’m just sloppy, but also because I am struggling. I have to spend more time concentrating on doing basic things, and so it gets harder to keep your eye on the overall situation.
It’s also about mindset. Driving tanks like the Foch and the E50 M, it’s hard to be unassuming; they’re just not conductive to modesty. Everyone always said the E50 M was a “sniper tank”, but it was always a big, beautiful bruiser to me. A brawler tank. Same with the Foch. And when I go into battle with that idea in my head about the tank I am driving, I am more likely to just dive into a situation than to hold back and make sure I know exactly what it looks like, because I have a bit of armour and I know I can get a bounce or two.
And this is, after all, what I like about the E50 M: the playstyle. The ability to put thought into action. And here’s where tank driving becomes more art than science. Making the tank dance.
I like to say that Medium tank driving at its best is like impressionist painting. Casemate TDs, by contrast, are more like cubism. Trying to draw a flower with a ruler. But as expressionism, that can still be a pretty good flower; you don’t have to know anything about art movements to know art when you see it. The problem is doing it yourself.
But the great thing about art is that being an artist isn’t something you happen to be, it’s something you learn to be. Once you got the basic techniques sorted, you need to make it all come together to produce something greater than the sum of its parts. It’s OK if your work is derivative; it can still be really good. But if you skip on the basics, the result, however great, won’t be very convincing.