Friday, June 03, 2011

When discussing World of Tanks on this blog, several commenters stated one of the oldest myths of team-based gameplay: If they win it is because they are so good, if they lose, their team was bad. The same thing is often being said about pickup groups in World of Warcraft. But it is extremely easy to show mathematically that a "bad team" is so extremely unlikely as to be a very bad excuse for losing.

Imagine you could classify players as either good or bad (which as discussed earlier is a myth by itself). Now randomly draw 14 teammates for your World of Tanks team. What is the probability that you end up with a completely "bad team", with 14 bad player team mates? It is 1/2^14 = 0.006%, something which only happens once in over 16,000 games. And then of course you have to assume that the enemy team has all the good players. What are the chances of that? 1/2^29 is a one in half a billion chance!

Mathematical fact is that if you draw random team members, in 95% of the cases you get a team which is average, plus or minus 2 sigma (standard deviations). The overwhelming majority of battles in World of Tanks pitches two completely average teams against each other.

It is unfortunate that some people have so little real world achievements that they consider their skill in video games to be the source of their self-worth. These are the people you see arguing all the time about how valuable video game achievements are, and how games should have systems that favor the elite gamer. But of course if you believe that your greatest achievement in life is being an elite gamer, a perfectly balanced PvP game is the last thing you want. The myth of the bad team is needed by these people to preserve their illusion of self-worth. They could never admit that sometimes in a game you just make a bad move and lose, because that would go to the core of their being. Fortunately there are now specialized psychiatric clinics for people with this sort of mental defect. Until they seek help I'd advise them to stay away from team-based games. A team-player by definition works well with the other people on the team, and doesn't just need them as an excuse for losing.
This post makes a lot of assumptions about what constitutes a "bad" team or a "bad" player.

-The whole is not the same as the sum of the parts. A bad team isn't necessarily composed entirely of bad players; it is possible for a bad team to contain many good players.

-Players do not necessarily break into a neat 50/50 distribution of good and bad.

-In an otherwise close match, a couple of bad players can upset the balance to a degree that is not proportionate to their fraction of the total group makeup.

That said, the discussion of self-worth seems to be out of place here. It's an attempt to construct a complicated psychological profile of somebody that you interacted with for ~10 minutes over a low bandwidth (at least where communicating motives/goals/desires are concerned) connection.

Maybe the prevalence of bad teams is overstated, but I don't think there is any evidence that they are a myth. To the contrary, I've noticed in competitive team-based games (both online and otherwise) that some teams are not just worse than others but are objectively bad. In the absence of bad teams, how do you explain crushing defeats and overwhelming victories in battles where participants are randomly selected?

Morale is what it is about. Once a team thinks that it is losing a lot of its players start to concentrate on their own fun and accept the lose.

When you want to win a seemingly lost match the most important thing you can do is raise morale - Especially with 30 players on each team.

Preach the word, Brother Tobold. And I would clarify to say that it isn't the people who do the MATH at places like Elitist Jerks that ruin games. I find the math geeks who run the numbers and crunch the spreadsheets to genuinely have a passion for finding that perfect solution. That is where they derive their sense of enjoyment from the game, and all the power to them for that. They aren't the ones complaining about "bad teammates."

It's the people who GO to sites like Elitist Jerks, skim for the latest FOTM build, and proceed to tell you that is the only way to play or you fail at life. These are the folks who make us miserable, who wave their epeens and link the meters and talk down to the "baddies." And you're also absolutely right that these kind of players are not interested in balance at all. They WANT to be as overpowered as possible to try and justify their existence somehow.

I much rather play against average teams where sensible play and strategies (rather than second-perfect precision) can turn the tide of a bg than be in a game where I felt forced to join a hardcore team and practice together as if it was some kind of religion in order to get a good game.

ie. I think it's more fun to be in a diverse team and play other similar teams than to be pressured to form an elite team.

Given that the average skill level of your random group is unlikely to deviate much from the global average it is useful to think about the impact of having a single very good or very bad player on you team.

In traditional mmorpgs a single bad player can wipe a whole raid by aggroing the wrong mob or by failing to run away when they have the "eye or death" etc.

I only started to play World of Tanks yesterday but from my limited experience of the game bad players don't seem to have nearly as much impact. Short of shooting their own team mates they have relatively little impact. On the other hand I suspect that a single good player can have a disproportionate impact either by racking up kills or by strategically attacking or defending bases.

I think we can do better analysis than this.

Your own previous analysis was correct to say that it is not a 50/50 split of "bad" and "good" players, but rather a bell curve of almost entirely average players. A selection of 15 completely random players is most likely to yield 12-14 "average" players and 1-3 "exceptional" players. Sometimes your team will have 2 or 3 exceptionally bad players, or the other team will have 2 or 3 exceptionally good players (while your team has none).

So while say you are right that players almost never get teams where "everyone else is horrible," I do not think you can make the claim that nearly all teams are exactly average or equal.

Of course, this also assumes things are completely random. The imbalance of various battlegroups has shown that to be untrue.

There is also the issue of "pre-mades." If you queue up for a random by yourself, you are perfectly likely to FACE a pre-made, but very unlikely to be placed ON a pre-made. This will negatively skew the results of an individual, whereas players who only queue up with their guild or arena buddies will nearly always win.

The post was a reasonably sensible discussion until the final paragraph. I have no idea why you wrote that, very bizarre.

You could hire a psychoanalyst to find out, Dave. ;)

Any player, regardless of skill, is capable of becoming a ‘bad player’.

-Going AFK
-Acting without communication (ninja pulls)
-Being rude or aggressive
-Repeatedly failing to execute the strategy (due to ignorance, lack of concentration, inebriation, poor knowledge of class and abilities, slow reaction times)

The frustration with PUGs is that:

a) Someone will often do one or more of the above
b) Progression content is generally tuned to penalise the group for this happening

One of the reasons why Dungeon Finder was popular in WoTLK is you could be successful whilst still having a couple of people playing 'badly'.

As per usual, you only tell half the story.

Personal skill isn't the absolute measure of success when working in a team. Shockingly, you can have a bad team if the people in it are good, but they feel utterly to function as a unit.

Example: football (soccer.) There's a reason why Manchester City and Real Madrid perform consistently worse than their rivals (Manchester United and Barcelona respectively): simply buying up talented players quickly doesn't guarantee success. Failure to work together as a team and overlap weaknesses with strengths will absolutely override any individual skill a player may have.

It is entirely possible to have a bad team composed of good players, and a good team composed of bad players.

I won't bother making up some ridiculous equation to prove my point, since it's about as arbitrary as putting a hamster there instead, but suffice to say it's hardly a myth and it's a much more common occurrence than you make it out to be.

Personally, I think that the myth is very close to truth - actually replacing one word would yield a true statement: If I win the game, it's because my team was so good, if I lose, my team was bad. Even someone might argue I have an inevitable bias that stops me from seeing my failures that were the cause of the losses, it still wouldn't explain my team stomping the other when I do very badly.

On the other hand, that doesn't explain the "high" (they're not that common but not as rare as expected) number of one-sided matches I seem to experience, so you do have a point: Either the opinion I said in previous paragraph is wrong or a single bad/good player has not a big influence, but just a couple of good/bad ones can have quite an influence on the outcome of the matches.

I'm pretty sure mbp has the right of it. At least in WoT, bad players die instantly, and then nothing much else happens. Sure, if you get 2-3 bad players on your team, you're down 2-3 tanks, but usually numbers like that don't have a major impact.

The bigger concern is when a bad player makes a poor strategic choice and the average player next to him doesn't know the player is bad. In group games, it's good to stick together, so if your buddy starts to advance, you do too. Until you both walk into a death trap.

Games like League of Legends or Wow BGs (and most other MMO BG variants) let dead players respawn, meaning you're constantly having to rely on them. I think that increases the impact bad players have (especially in MOBAs, where the other team grows stronger the more times they kill the bad player).

In short, I really like the fact that you only have one life in each WoT battle. I think it really helps to ensure that the end of each fight is mostly between solid players (and any arty camped in the corners).

@Lujanera:

It is also possible for a "good" team to be composed of many "bad" players, for specific definitions of good and bad.

I have a 'clan' in CoD of a sort that's all over-30 gamers; individually, if we just jump into a game and try to mesh, we're pretty much solidly average to below. We tend to fail in situations where reflexes matter more than planning. On the other hand, when we pop onto a map as a group, all of that notion of wisdom and age makes much more of a difference, and we tend to dominate matches.

The point being, of course, that individual "skill" (skill being in quotes as this is a video game, and while there are skills involved, they aren't of a level that most believe them to be) doesn't matter all that much in a team dynamic.

In WoT, the team that wins is invariably the one with a better strategy - even if the differences in strategy are marginal for a PuG. As an anecdotal example:

On one map, there are three firelanes: left ("town"), center ("the hill"), and right ("the beach"). Basic losing strategies involve "flooding the beach" - tanks that take the beach route are slowed dramatically by the water, and become very easy targets with not a lot of cover. Putting your whole team on that side is a terrible notion. You could also lose by "flooding the town" - the chokepoints and streets are narrow and travel is difficult and obvious for a large group.. plus it leaves the easier-to-traverse center open. Note that you will also lose if your whole team floods the center! Despite the strategically-important hill there, flanking tanks that have chosen either the beach or the town will, in various ways, muck past you and either snag your flag or snipe your heavies in their vulnerable flanks.

The winner of this map is determined by the best group strategy: do you send some snipers to the beach to take out those heavies? Do you try to push one heavy through the town to crush the flag? Can you get some fast scouts to the hill before the other team so your arty has an advantage?

The best players in WoT are guys who can analyze what the rest of the team is doing and then make a solid contribution to it. On this map, if the vast majority are crushing the center, as I play medium-to-light, longer-ranged tanks, I'll head for the beach and see if I can snipe along the flanks, using my team's spots to blast off treads and shoot engines. When it works, I pull 3+ kills. When it fails, I die in a couple of seconds to a crush up that flank.. but at least I identify it!

The point is that team-based gameplay tends to largely negate differences in individual skill across an entire team. I don't think bad teams do exist, in that sense; you get a team you can't work with, or a team that can't work together.. but a team filled with five or twenty or fifty bad players isn't statistically common.

Overwhelming victories happen because your team 'clicks', for whatever reason: I've had them in random PuGs even when I've played for crap 'pon an evening. Overwhelming defeats happen even when I'm playing like a mad fiend. My team didn't gel, and thus, we lose.

Again, it seems, I'm mentioning planetside - 133 people on a side, 400 people on a continent, and the biggest random PuG in history.. and you'll see both of those dynamics. You can have the best op team in history, and your side will still lose if you can't seem to coordinate with the other Outfits out there. Just how it goes.

@Samus & Christian:

... I think it may be fair to say that "bad" players have considerably less impact than "good" players in most WoT-CoD-Planetside-Brink-style, respawning-team-competative games.

One or two people who can see the strategies and execute while everybody else works in the consistent average does and will truly swing an outcome; five guys who "lolshoot" their way through a match will only make accidental contributions.

However, I think the definition of "skill" in the case of these games, and why you see "good players" get trounced and teams when even when you're playing badly, is based more on objective than personal ability.

In a came of Capture the Flag (CTF), would you rather have 5 rank newbies that focus on capturing the flag, or a dozen people focused solely on kills? In the end, who contributes, directly, more to winning?

PVE games set a minimum capabilities "bar" to pass - like WoW and the Dungeon Finder.

Wherever that bar is set relative to average player capability will determine challenge - in WOTLK, the bar was (admittedly) set fairly low by the time I joined in.

Currently, in Cata, the bar is actually somewhat high. Thus, it doesn't take much to suddenly be a "bad player" by the metric of "you must do this much to survive". Zig when you should have zagged and you'll cause serious problems.

If it's helpful, then, you can in PVE themepark play, determine a 'good' player or a 'bad' player by the external metric of meeting the standard set by the encounter and the strategy used to face it. This doesn't apply in any PVP matchup beyond a simple 2v2.

I have no idea why you wrote that, very bizarre.

Ongoing project of mine to insult the leet until they stop visiting. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to work very well. Oh well, I don't feel bad about saying bad things about people who say nothing but bad things about others.

Most of the time in WoT, it seems like the results depend on the mostly random way that people go. 80% of the team goes left, only a few of the other team goes left, you win, that kind of thing.

One time I was rolling in the high tier tank by myself. I killed 4 much lower tier tanks at a chokepoint. I wasn't awesome; they just couldn't hurt me very much and I could kill them with two shots. Because I took out the bottom of their team, my team outnumbered their team and won easily. Just their bad luck.

Unfortunately the idea what your successes are based on your merits and your failures are based on circumstances beyond your control (usually other people) is fairly widespread in life, not just in video games.

Even if we accept everything you wrote as correct, which I don't, you are still admitting that with 95% "not bad" that I will end up on a mathematically bad team every twenty matches, on average. That would mean that I've already had at least 60 failsquad teams.

More importantly, I am likely to end up on at least one every single day.

Phelps: If you have a 50:50 win/loss and out of every 20 games you play you think, "Yikes, that was a pretty bad team," then I don't think you are targeted by this post.

After all, in this set of circumstances, 90% of the time that you lose you do not blame it on a bad team. Perhaps you think about what you could have done better next time, or analyze the strategy or luck elements and see how they came out on top. If you really do that when you lose then occasionally you'll go through that thought process and come to the conclusion that it really was just having too many players who played badly.

Also, about 10% of the time you win you should be able to say, "That had nothing at all to do with me having any merit, my team would have won if I had done nothing at all."

The 95% figure might not be right on, but rationally we all know it can happen occasionally that the average skill level of your team will be lower than that of the other team and you'll get rolled. Recognizing this is very different from the attitude expressed in the first sentence of the post.

The other thing to keep in mind, at least for WoT is the combat weight of your vehicle. If you are that IS-3/King Tiger/Ferdinand in that tier 8 game where the enemy has only 2 guns that can penetrate you frontally, and you, likewise, are one of the 2 guns on your team that can put harm on their heavies (and everyone else!), you have a significant impact on the outcome of the match.

Phelps: If you have a 50:50 win/loss and out of every 20 games you play you think, "Yikes, that was a pretty bad team," then I don't think you are targeted by this post.

I don't think that. It's more like about every fourth game. And about every fourth win, I think, "geez, the other team was just terrible."

I rarely see the scenario that Tobold describes, where one team is full of leets and the other team is full of failsquad. What I normally see is average about half the time, and half the time one team or the other being failsquad, with about a 50% chance that I'm on it.

After all, in this set of circumstances, 90% of the time that you lose you do not blame it on a bad team

More like about half. I can tell about half the time that we are going to lose before we ever have contact on the map, just based on how the team is moving on the break. If everyone is going to one side, most of the team is camping in the base, or there are common lanes completely undefended, we are the failsquad. It has nothing to do with tiers or individual skill, just with not being stupid about how the game works.

And I'll point it out as soon as I see it. "This is undefended." "We need more left." "If you are a heavy, you need to move out of the base and up to the line." 3 out of 4 times the response is either "stfu" or "f u". That's the preferred method of communication in failsquad.

Also, about 10% of the time you win you should be able to say, "That had nothing at all to do with me having any merit, my team would have won if I had done nothing at all."

More like about 20%. Those are the times when the enemy didn't even attempt my lane (failsquad on the other side.) If I'm anything other than a wasted spot that never needed defending, then I consider myself as contributing.

To be clear, I don't disagree with the concept. I disagree 100% with the weighting given by Tobold. I think that bad players have a much greater impact than good players (in that doing everything exceptionally well gives only a minor boost, but doing one thing horribly bad can throw the entire match) and that with these game mechanics, it is much more important to not be bad than to be good.

This is also my only real complaint about the premium tanks in WoT. About 3/4 of the Lowes I see are obviously guys who never played anything else past Tier 3, and decided they wanted to be a big bad heavy -- and then not having the skills to play it, get burned in their first few matches and decide to sit back and play TD at the base. Those people are not only wasting a spot out of the 15, they are wasting a disproportionate number of matchmaker points that could resulted in us getting a T32 or IS-3 with a pilot who knows WTF to do.

What a misleading post. That's really all I can say about it.

A team-player by definition works well with the other people on the team, and doesn't just need them as an excuse for losing.
That assumes that all the other players are actually willing to cooperate and listen to directions (or are capable of executing them). A team-player by definition works with other team-players. A team-player cannot do anything if everyone else just splits into lonewolf style.

In WOT good or bad is largely about ones skill at playing or possibly ones patience to not charge. One player has a hard time screwing stuff up, though if half your team lemmings into a meatgrinder, you're in trouble.

In most PVE MMOs though (WoW, Rift), good or bad is largely about attitude. A single rude or demanding player can poison a group and make it impossible to succeed.

I only started to play World of Tanks yesterday but from my limited experience of the game bad players don't seem to have nearly as much impact. Short of shooting their own team mates they have relatively little impact. On the other hand I suspect that a single good player can have a disproportionate impact either by racking up kills or by strategically attacking or defending bases.

That's true at the lower levels. Once you start moving up into higher tier battles, though, cohesion is much more important. When you need at least two tanks to cover four lanes of approach, that's half the team just on defense, and with two or three on arty, you are only left with 4-5 tanks as a reserve to attack with.

So if those 4-5 tanks are pushing on a place that isn't defended by at least two tanks, then the bad players who ignored those lanes are letting the others get mowed over. Usually this happens because a bunch of tacticool geniuses decided that if you take eight tanks on one push, it's unstoppable!

Well, yeah. After you have ten or twelve minutes to push with it. If you push faster than that, it's very stoppable, by those two tanks defending that lane and the four reserves that come up to help them.

And if you do take the ten minutes it really takes, then the ones defending the other three lanes are going to realize that there isn't any real defense opposite them and they are going to push up and wipe out the support those eight tanks need. Then they they either hit the eight tanks in the rear and mop up, or just cap.

It's like soccer. For the eight year olds on recreational, it's no big deal if everyone just runs around in a pack trying to kick the ball. When it gets to the fourteen year olds playing high school soccer, though, that bunchball group is going to get eaten alive by an average team.

And when you tell them to stop bunching up, they'll just say f u and stfu.

In WOT good or bad is largely about ones skill at playing or possibly ones patience to not charge.

I would disagree. Not being bad is mainly about knowing where to go and how the cover on a map works.

Being good is mainly about knowing how the camo/sighting system works and realizing when to seize initiative.

In World of Tanks I have yet to hear any people complain (even after a brutal loss) about the "team" being bad. Well, ok, once or twice.

Rather, most complaints are about the team COMPOSITION being bad, as in a team with no heavys or artillery against a team with 3 heavys and some artillery. In unbalanced matches like that, it's possible for the underdog team to win (I've certainly seen it enough times) but it's much harder.

In this context a "bad" team is simply one with a comparatively poor mix of tanks.

I am going to describe a match I had yesterday which I think was the worse performance as a team I have ever had. It was not the result of everyone on the team being bad. I place most of the blame on 5 bad players but even they were what I consider common bad players not really exceptionally bad.

The first 2 were “scouts” who have no idea how to properly scout but instead just rush to the other side of the map. They are quite common it is just unfortunate to have 2 on your side in one battle. They both died within the first 30 seconds of the match. The worse thing was this was a match with no arty plus a city map so absolutely no one had a shot through the buildings to hit what they scouted. What they did find was a large mass of 9 tanks all moving together.

Over clumping of the other side is usually a good sign for a strategic team because we can then use other routes and flank. Someone on our side decides they have to ping this clump of players multiple times as if the huge mass of red dots was not obvious already. This lead to the other common bad player. The ones that soon as a red dot shows up on the map they have to drive directly at it no matter if that means moving out of cover and exposing yourself to everyone on the other team. 3 players drove directly at these opponent 9 tanks and were killed in the next 30 seconds. So one minute into the battle it is now 15 on 10.

I think the tank ranges were tier 3 to 5 with half 5s on both sides. From what I could tell from the map it looked like our KVs tried to play it smart from that point by sticking together. However the enemy forces do a smart but somewhat unusual thing of splitting up and flanking our heavies. I see this happening and conclude I have to get over and help the heavies by taking on some of the flankers. Unfortunately I am too far away and before I can get into position to shoot, both are surrounded and killed. I then realize I am in a very bad position because before I can get to the corner I was going to shoot at they are going be headed for it and have multiple tanks shooting me. I turn around and start moving fast as I can down the street back to the next corner. I shoot the first tank around the previous corner before I can make it to new corner but get tracked and obliterated by 4 tanks.

Final result was 15 dead on our side and 0 dead on their side in just 3 minutes thus making it the worse performance I have seen on a team (not the only 15 to 0 I have had but shortest amount of time). It took just 5 players to initiate failure cascade.

There are 2 primary ways to approach playing on teamS. Whether it's a softball league, a bowling league, a committee at work, or WoW raiding.

1. Be the head honcho, the leader, the CEO who gets to call all the shots, decide who's on the team and who isn't, who gets to play when and where, and takes personal responsibility for the success or failure of the team.

Or

2. Be ON the team. Focus on your own performance, try as hard as you can, realize that the success or failure of the team is not your personal cross to bear, and try to enjoy yourself. Help others if they ask. Above all, resist the temptation to be an asshat and tell others how to play, as it's not your responsibility, and they don't care what you think.

If the team you find yourself on irritates you too much (i.e. a "bad team"), spare yourself some stress and junior high drama, and go find another team.

If the team you find yourself on irritates you too much (i.e. a "bad team"), spare yourself some stress and junior high drama, and go find another team.

I think you have a fundamental understanding of how these teams work. In WoT, you are put on a randomly formed team. That match lasts no more than 15 minutes. At the end, your team is disbanded and you are formed into a new team. You can only premake a platoon with up to two other people -- the other 12 people on your team will always be random.

In other words, your strategy / axiom doesn't apply here.

Now that I have a little more time to develop a full post:

Mathematical fact is that if you draw random team members, in 95% of the cases you get a team which is average, plus or minus 2 sigma (standard deviations). The overwhelming majority of battles in World of Tanks pitches two completely average teams against each other.

Mathematical fact is that you're probably going to have one team that is better than the other. I don't know the exact statistics of it, but I'm assuming that chance is somewhere around 50%. "Completely average teams" is a misleading statement that assumes that the teams will be of equal standing. It's not true.

It is unfortunate that some people have so little real world achievements that they consider their skill in video games to be the source of their self-worth.

I think you're mistaking the source of one's self-worth with the urge to play to win. I don't think myself as a lesser person if I lose, but I don't like losing regardless. I like to win. I think that's quite a common perspective among everyone.

The myth of the bad team is needed by these people to preserve their illusion of self-worth. They could never admit that sometimes in a game you just make a bad move and lose, because that would go to the core of their being.

Certainly delusions might be needed for bad players to think they're better than they really are, but if I'm playing LoL and I went 15-0 but my teammates are feeding 0-10 in the first 10 minutes, I think there's enough rationale that my teammates might be bad.

Honestly, it seems like you're just trying to push the premise that there aren't really any good players, just the average Joe and the average Joe who's delusional and think he's all that. Isn't it just possible that there are better players that do actually know better?

Until they seek help I'd advise them to stay away from team-based games.

The real solution is the same as in WoW: make the people who are good play in organized teams (i.e. hardcore raiding guilds) while the people who just want to play for fun play in PUGs (i.e. casual guilds/PUG raiding).

You know what the worst feeling is in team-based game is? When you feel like the team is so bad that nothing you can do will save the team. But when everyone is playing optimally and awesome, you might still lose, but as long as the team played great, the game is a good game. I've played very competitive scrims in DoTA where I've lost, but the feeling afterwards is one of the best, because my organized team gave it all against their team.

That assumes that all the other players are actually willing to cooperate and listen to directions (or are capable of executing them).

Why should the team listen to YOUR directions and execute them? That is another typical behavior of the "leet" player, believing that he is the boss, he knows best, and everything would run much better if only people followed his instructions. Another misconception.

What I normally see is average about half the time, and half the time one team or the other being failsquad, with about a 50% chance that I'm on it.

You are attributing the "failsquad" label to a team that lost horribly, after they lost. That is exactly the misconception I'm talking about: Losing is not proof that your team sucks. A strategy game is full of people making decisions, and many of these decisions have to be made without there being an obvious right or wrong answer, because you don't see the enemy and don't know what he is planning. Thus the one move that wins the match in one game might well be a complete dud in the next.

Most horrible losses are not because the strategy or skill was bad, but because it just happened to be the wrong decision in view of the invisible strategy of the enemy.

Why should the team listen to YOUR directions and execute them? That is another typical behavior of the "leet" player, believing that he is the boss, he knows best, and everything would run much better if only people followed his instructions. Another misconception.

And the alternative is... what? If only there were some source we could consult -- how about this:

A team-player by definition works well with the other people on the team, and doesn't just need them as an excuse for losing.

Oh, yeah, so if I want to be a team player, I should do things like suggest strategies to the team, and if they are team players, they will consider them rather than saying "stfu" or "f u".

But then, that sounds like some guys believing that he is the boss, he knows best, and everything would run much better if only people followed his instructions.

A strategy game is full of people making decisions, and many of these decisions have to be made without there being an obvious right or wrong answer, because you don't see the enemy and don't know what he is planning.

This is absolutely wrong.

There are objectively bad strategies on WoT maps that only work when the other team is also executing an equally bad strategy. As an example, on Abbey, sending 12 tanks down the low road is an objectively bad strategy. If the other side is using one of the standard strategies (like 4/3/4 with four reserve) then they will not push through before their weak/undefended flanks are overrun. That strategy can only win against other bad strategies that leave common lanes open.

That is what I am a talking about with bad teams. Five bad players can swing the battle. When there are twelve people all committed to a bad strategy, you are on an objectively bad team.

I'm sorry, but it's looking like your definition of "team player" is "someone who doesn't care if he wins or loses" and I fundamentally disagree with that.

Look Tobold you want to make a point you have beat around the bush with repeated posts in this area.

Just admit it. You want to state that computer game activities have no objective worth therefore have no basis in prompting elitist behavior or concerns about performance.

Make a post about that and have done with it... all this "a team player is this" "bad player probability is X" just distracts from the point you apparently dearly want to make.

The L33T fanbois ruined your Wow experience and you appear to be concerned that this will bleed over into other MMO/Games. Just post about this... make your case this fuzzy thinking about bad team probability just appears to be muddled.

Points I would take away from this discussion:

1) A lot of players expect to have a disproportionate personal influence on the outcome of a match. Even if you are a rock star tank commander, you're only one out of fifteen people on your side - and can be counterbalanced by the other team having a rock star too. Your personal skill level doesn't matter nearly as much as your team's average skill level.

2) There's very little CONSCIOUS cooperation between players in most matches. People tend to do their own thing - if you're lucky, they're players with an understanding of the map tactics and objectives who will see what other players are doing and go where they're likely to do most good. If you're unlucky they are newbies, slow learners, or wannabe hotshots with ADHD. This approach probably works better in WoW/WAR/Rift battlegrounds, which are all pretty simple maps with simple 'best' strategies that most players quickly pick up and automatically follow every time. World of Tanks maps are more complex.

3) Where someone DOES try to take charge and direct strategy, they are often ignored by other players. Part of this is an individualistic "you're not the boss of me" mentality thatr some players have. Part of it is that the would-be commanders don't have any track record that commands respect, and lack the influencing skills needed to get others to follow them without having direct authority. There's a definite talent needed to get strangers to follow your lead, it's rare, and it's even harder to do through the WoT chat interface.

4) Angry Gamer is off his meds again.

You want to state that computer game activities have no objective worth therefore have no basis in prompting elitist behavior or concerns about performance.

Why would I need another post about that? It's what I've been saying all along!

Why should the team listen to YOUR directions and execute them? That is another typical behavior of the "leet" player, believing that he is the boss, he knows best, and everything would run much better if only people followed his instructions. Another misconception.

That's just silly. One should be a team player, but do nothing of the sort to facilitate teamwork? And then there's just suggestions to improve another person's gameplay. I see medics all the time in Brink who have no idea what their job is and hoard all of their supply points to heal themselves, while the rest of the team is lying on the ground dead. I see engineers who don't use turrets/landmines/buffs (at which point picking the class is completely pointless!)

So my suggestion for them to play a little bit better is completely a misguided perception? That's just idiotic.

And how is it a misconception to think that there are people who know better than others? That's like saying that all teachers are all a bunch of bullshitters who students blindly listen to because they have "credentials". No, you should actually realize that there are people better than yourself, and learn from them, just as I learn from others.

Why would I need another post about that? It's what I've been saying all along!

Nothing has any objective worth. That doesn't stop people from applying their own subjective worth to it. Just like people can find meaning in doing meaningless things (doing things for fun), people can be affected by meaningless wins/losses. Denying this is just being hypocritical.

I had a fun fight this morning on Westfield. I was playing in a VK3601 as lowest unit (T6-T9 fight). We had 4 meds that went up from NW corner up on ridge by the bridge. While there we killed some other meds while our heavies was killed off. We then just ran for the cap unopposed (5 vs 10 or something) and hid on the building there at the cap bunched together real close all of us and thinking we had no chance to win this. Because we were so tight and all arty was killed off the other team (most of them I think standing around blasting us) couldnt hit one or two of us so we actually managed to win by capping :) Actually survived this one with a King Tiger standing nose to nose with me firing at me :)

I've noticed that happening more and more on Westfield. I capped that way this weekend, but in my scenario is was down to two mediums (me and another guy) capping the north base, with two heavies up on the ridge trying to shoot down on us.

I was right up against the building, and my teammate got the idea. I don't think the heavy could even see me -- he had LOS on me, but when my teammate would duck out of his LOS, I would just see his barrel searching around me but not landing on me.

That is a fun game, even if he had caught me and I lost. I had a few of those this weekend -- where we had two competent teams, and it was tactics and reaction that carried the day. I also had a lot of maps where it was the standard, "need more left", "weak on the left, they need help", "left has collapsed, need D", and finally, "way to lose it guys."

I realize this is an older thread, but I couldn't let this one slide as I strongly disagree with you on this.

In all human activities, there is a power curve distribution of talent: sports, acting, business. The good are not just somewhat good, but they're ridiculously good and the majority are below average (because the good throw off the distribution curve).

In a MMO like warcraft, that power curve becomes accentuated due to the nature of various encounters. Having played a healer, tank, mdps, and rdps, it's clear that certain fights are X role fights. That is, if you have an outstanding X, the fight becomes so much easier.

When we combine these two concepts, what we find is that the luck of getting a bad group or good group (as I believe people are interpreting it) is reduced to "Do I have an above average player in the key role for this encounter?".

For ZA/ZG, the single role that has the most impact is the tank (imho). My reasoning here stems from my experiencing solo queueing as tank, dps, and heals (on different toons ... all geared in a mix of 359/353 gear). As a tank, I rarely wipe. As a healer, I feel like I wipe more often. As dps, I feel like it's very hit or miss, but in general, I wipe way more often.