Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Remember Gearscore?

I was reminded of the bad old days in World of Warcraft where players used the Gearscore addon to judge other players and insult them. In World of Tanks that score is called WN8, it is supposed to measure skill instead of gear, but inevitably the reduction of a player to a single number leads to the same judgmental crap. Players with a bad WN8 are shown in various addons in red, and then get insulted as "tomatoes". I actually was in a tier II (that is beginner level) battle in which one player complained in chat that there were too many tomatoes on his team. Well, where else did he want the inexperienced players to play if not in the low tier battles?

The bigger problem with WN8 is the way it is calculated. Damage dealt affects the score very much, other contributions not so much. In particular for light tanks that is a huge problem: A very good scout is rewarded in the game, because the game counts the damage you contributed to by scouting and showing your allies where the enemy tanks are. But that value isn't accessible in the database, and so doesn't go into the WN8 calculation. Thus the world's best scout has a lower WN8 rating than a mediocre player of heavy tanks or tank destroyers. While I am not the world's best scout, I am reasonably good at it, and just finished the light tank 15 mission campaign. But as I have been playing light tanks a lot, also in earlier years, and 40% of my battles have been done with light tanks, my overall WN8 rating is tomato red. Looked at separately, my SPG (artillery) WN8 rating is a respectable blue, but with only 10% of my battles in SPGs that doesn't do enough for my overall score.

In spite of the occasional insults by other players, I wouldn't let that change what tanks I play. However the fact that I finished the light tank campaign also encourages me to move on and play other tank types. Which will automatically improve my WN8 rate, although that isn't the purpose of the exercise.


My experience the WN8 system depends heavily on Win rate, which is basically not only a judgement of your skill but that of you + the 14 other players.

My final issues with using WN8 overlays is that it ruins matches.

> Damage/Kills are king which in turn leads to awful gameplay, causes players to hang back to try and get more hits/kills, usually at the expense of team-mates and the match goals.

> As soon as a match starts, so does the WN8 toxicity, but then they often play recklessly or just abandon the match, leaving the remain players instantly at a loss, this exacerbates the Win rate issues.
Rinse. Repeat.

I recently went back to playing WoT but this time decided not to use a WN8 overlay, as I felt that it caused me to play differently when I knew who was on my team and the enemies.

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