WOTBB 19 – The Problem with Stats

Original date of blog: March 31st, 2015

Every time I write this blog, I end with the battles I have fought, and the winrate I currently have. The first blog on December 4th, 2014 (just realised; that’s the day before the noob-infestation began!) ended with:
Battles fought: 2,531
Winrate: 55.16%

Blog 18 (and this one) end with 5,085 battles and 60.94% winrate. I have doubled my amount of battles since that first blog. My winrate has gone up over 5%. I’m pretty proud of that. But it doesn’t actually mean anything. Jaguar has stated before that winrate doesn’t measure a person’s skill at all, and the more I think about it, the more I realise that’s true.

I platoon a lot, so usually even when I completely noob, there’s still a good chance my team will win, because there will be another player in my team that knows how to play. So the winrate I have doesn’t really tell you anything about my playing skills. It’s only recently that I started to think of myself as a non-noob. I’m by far no expert, but I usually manage to hold my own now, if there aren’t too many people on my team infected with the Virus of Noob.

Until two weeks ago, I didn’t even know what the term ‘sidescraping’ meant, and I still don’t know how to angle my tank to up the values of my armour. Sometimes, I do both of those naturally (didn’t even know that, either), but it’s not something I do consciously yet. Once that happens, I reckon my ratings will make a steep climb.

And despite me saying that it doesn’t mean anything, I hate that my winrate was above 61% before, but it keeps dropping back when I get there. It is a kind of performance anxiety. Every time I get above it, I’m happy, and feel that I must not let it drop again. Thus I tense up, and noob, instead of relax and play well. And at the same time, I fail to keep in mind that having a winrate above 60% at all is quite a feat already.

But there it is again. Quite a feat? It’s not the statistic I should be looking at. According to Jaguar, the one to watch is average damage. Mine is currently at 1,381, which, according to Statler, makes me quite average, if nearing a little above average. But average damage is very dependant on the tiers you have played in, and that makes it hard to use as an anchor. And since I’m only just working on my third line of tanks, most of my battles are still in the lower tiers.

In tiers V to VII, you have a -very- decent game if you manage to do between 2k and 3k damage, which means you’ve taken out 3 to 4 tanks all on your own. In tiers IX and X, that kind of damage would mean you’ve only taken out one and a half tank, so would not be exactly great. So how does average damage measure skill?

The only way, in my opinion, to measure skill by average damage, means looking at the average damage for all tiers individually and judging by that what it means, and whether you are good or not. And you’d have to take into account that as a heavy or a TD, you generally do more damage than you would while driving a medium.

Then there’s the personal rating, which is a number you are given with everything taking into account – the battles you’ve driven, damage, winrate, whether you platooned or not, the XP you earned, etc. But the amount of battles I’ve driven mean even less than my winrate on its own, and if winrate isn’t something to measure by, that means there’s two values already that proof the Personal Rating to be absolutely useless.

In order to join LOCA, players must have a winrate of at least 60% in tiers VII and higher, an average damage of at least 1,800 in tiers VII and higher, and players must have driven at least 3,000 battles in tiers VII and higher. Of course, they also need to receive an invitation to be able to get even close to joining. But do those values make them decent players then? The answer is still no, but it does lessen the chance of them noobing by a very large margin. Because even if it doesn’t measure skill, the chances of you having a winrate of 60% when you don’t know how to aim and shoot are slim to none.

And yet, even while knowing all those really don’t show what kind of player I am, I still hate it when they go down, and love it when they go up. I work hard for a better winrate. There are some nights that I really don’t care about my winrate, though a lot of losses do leave me feeling frustrated. But if I lose a game while doing more than 4k or 5k damage in my Object 268, I know that the reason we lost is definitely not me. On the other hand those same kind of matches can make me so angry at all the noobs carrying the Virus.

If things get too bad in a battle and I die because no one else in my team knew how to play, I tell them that I bet they use android. It’s the biggest insult I can think of in regards of Blitz. Not that there’s anything specifically wrong with Android. Just 99% of the players using an Android device to play Blitz are very deeply infected with the Virus. There are some gems out there though, such as Hydra. Apparently having a lot of experience on the pc-version of the game acts as a counteragent against the Virus. But he’s a very rare exception.

All things said and done, I have no clue what to look at to see if I’m a decent player or not. When I compare my own stats to those of the general public in Blitz, I know I’m above average, but I think that points more to there being a lot of noobs than it does to me being good at what I do.

I have a feeling that I’ll keep pondering about this for some time, and might never get a definite answer. In the mean time, I will be working hard on my winrate still, and, in order to somewhat impress Jaguar, work hard on my average damage too.

Battles fought: 5,085
Winrate: 60.94%
Average damage: 1,381

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