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A Guide to Influence.

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Super Tester
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Since I have been bugged about this more times than I care to remember about this very topic, I’m going to now reveal what it is that sets the ones who win more often than they lose apart from the ones who do not: influence; how, when and where to wield it to give you the victory in a game.

 

What is this influence that I am talking about? It is, basically, the ability to control a game, dictating the tempo and thus giving your team (and you) the victory. The strategy of such a philosophy is to get the match to a stage that favours your team and keep it there until a decisive advantage can be exploited, giving you the victory. This means getting your team to timings where they can win, and keeping your enemy away from timings where they can win. Examples include getting your opponents to fight when they don't want to, slowing down their advance by forcing them to take the long way around, applying your firepower at a vulnerable position in the enemy’s line, and so on. People have heard this term being used many times in different games, across different genres: Magic: The Gathering, Defence of the Ancients, League of Legends, football. The list goes on. World of Warships and World of Tanks, perhaps due to their core nature of being team games, is to a surprising degree a game about timings. Every ship has an ability to shape the tempo of the match, although not every ship can affect every part of the game equally.

 

It is convenient, even simplistic, to think of just damage being what this influence is. This is understandable; after all, if your team can destroy the enemy team faster than they can, you curtail the enemy’s ability to influence the game and win, thus increasing your own chances to win. However, such slogging matches rarely end up being decisive victories. Set-piece battles require tactics to succeed, something that is generally up to the individual player instead of the team as a whole, and perhaps is not necessarily the best and most efficient way to win a game.

 

What most people do not realise, however, is that damage is not the be-all-and-end-all. Just because you did 100,000 points in damage to the enemy does not mean that you will win. What matters more, in my opinion, is movement and decisiveness. The ability to identify and strike at the critical point in the battlefield is indispensable. Sometimes, this requires you to not do damage and instead requires you to move, stealthily, to a flanking position for you to pump shells into the sides of the enemy. This means, perhaps, stealth-capturing the enemy’s base. The list goes on.

 

Most players do not have this ability, missing their timing and will never have the effect on the game that they could have had. Games where, had the player just done X instead of Y, or if the player had not missed that one shot, the outcome would have been different. Good players making good decisions come out on the right side of those situations more often than bad players making bad ones. The very best players are able to take this and transmute it into an art; players like Trumz on World of Tanks, who are able to read the game effortlessly and know when and where to apply themselves to win them the game to such a high level that it is breathtaking to watch them in action. Players who are able to see the situation, determine where the enemy is weakest, get themselves there and smash the critical point in the enemy's line.

 

As a guideline, battleships and carriers wield the greatest influence early-game with their ability to destroy enemy ships in one fell swoop if used properly. Mid-game, when the sides have committed and are busily slugging it out, cruisers, with their balanced package of firepower, speed and manoeuvrability, wield the greatest influence. Destroyers are late-game specialists with their concealment abilities if they last long enough to get to that stage. Note, though, that this is not a rule: there are players out there who are equally adept at reading the game and applying themselves in stage in the game, and as such transcend such guidelines, be it defensive or offensive, regardless of the ship class that they are playing, just as there are players who do not have the insight to see this.

 

I would like to end the article with this: dictating the tempo is something that is open to manipulation. The various timings at play in a particular game is an extremely rich framework with which to understand what is going on and why one team is winning and the other losing and how likely (or unlikely) this is going to change. Keen players will probably have the easiest time of understanding what to do, although I use the term "easiest" very sparingly. Not every player has the mentality to do it, but it can at least be taught so that it can be manipulated and wielded to a competent degree. What is for certain, though, is that the player who unloaded the most, who dealt damage, who got the most kills is not necessarily going to emerge victorious.

 

Edited by Haku

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Member
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the wall of text is stronk in this one

11/10 "tl;dr" -IGN

 

*ehem*Just kidding,I did read the entire thing. Thanks for taking the time to write this awesome guide,  :honoring:

 

Here,have some cookies as a reward.It's made by Vadim himself.

08PdtaR.jpg?1

 

 

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Super Tester
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Adding on to Haku's post on influence, NEVER DOUBT that 1 small action or 1 minute can change the entire game.

 

I've seen games that on one hand we're winning but due to 1 small action by the enemy or a mishap by our team in the space of one minute, changed the whole game.

 

Happenings like the team gets held up by torpedo attack or takes too long to neutralise 1 enemy unit or simply enemy CV keeps on harassing the team.

 

For CV players especially, every second counts and if you have second thoughts on attacking or not or stack your planes together for the attack, the whole entire game will change.

 

So to all ship captains, regardless of class and tier, I say study your past battles, see the patterns and also exploit any opportunity given by the enemy. For all you know, that action could save the team or even reverse the tide

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Super Tester
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I like to dictate the tempo

 

at least when RNG says I can

 

Sure, but you and everyone else suffers from RNG. Good players make the best out of bad rolls and roll with the good ones. Bad ones do not.

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Beta Tester
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Doing the right thing at the right time is critical, but it unfortunately do not reward you, at all in most of the times.

 

Thus why it's rather wasting time posting this here as.... well 99% of the people who would read this had at least some sort of sense on this topic. (Not to say this is not an excellent post)

 

We always consider ourselves first. It's a natural thing, and it's hard to motivate one to sacrifice for a team without a way to reward them.

 

Sure there will be people willing to do it (Myself EXcluded - because I am a noob and I know it), but the time it happens..... well I can count the amount of time it happened during the time I spend on this game with one hand.

 


 

I still stood by my stand on CV - they are still the most influential class in the Battlefield.

 

The ability to decide who, when and how to attack is absolutely insane for such a slow pace game. Sure they can't cap (which is another thing that lacks reward other than Air superiority), but keeping a ship spotted constantly is already an extremely powerful tool to help your team out (And yes, this is another reason why higher tier DD are pointless).

 

You may argue it lacks normal ships' ability to continuously attack your target, but if you are in a ship you probably won't get the opportunity to even have the opportunity in the first place.

Not to mention the insane spotting ability, which I had (so many times) experienced in a close game when I am trying to do hunt the CV/ Cap a point stealthy/ launch surprise torpedoes.

 


 

Everyone likes to controls the game, as why not? It makes you feels like you are in control (duh) of everything.

 

I always feel lackluster in a DD, as either I need to do something that gives you crap, or sit at 12 km doing invisi-firing (Or torpedo attack if you're a IJN DD) that (IMO) not useful to your team.

 

Thus you will see how I often complain about it. It is a problem IMO although apparently the devs consider that fine. (They said it's a game, then if it is it should be balanced - And then suddenly they go all historical accuracy "DD is a support class..." K whatever.)

 

However I feel like RNG isn't a big factor in this game except the BB accuracy and the MM (Which are both understandable). Most of the crucial things can be controlled by you, things like angling, damage, accuracy on most guns, etc...

 

And I agree with Haku.

 

A "Great" player is better than a "Good" player because they can handle bad situation as an opportunity for them to carry.

A "Good" player is better than an "Average" player because they will fight their way out with their personal skill.

An "Average" player is better than an "Underwhelming" player because they know it's somewhat their fault.

An "Underwhelming" player is underwhelming because they think it's the problem of RNG instead of themselves.

 

I am getting sidetracked. :sceptic:

 

Anyway, excellent post Haku.

Edited by Alvin1020

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Super Tester
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Because I threa- I mean 'persuaded' Haku for this, I'll add my bit since we chucked about this before:

 

At most, this aspect of influence ain't all on how many rounds you unloaded, how many kills you railed, how much whacking you did like in tonks where one man can have a chance to carry the entire team or shift the initiative. Now the argument of "that can only be achieved by those really gritty players" at most won't totally apply to this notion since a typical match, if one looks at it on multiple sides, can be akin to a rousing game of chess. The battle begins with the opening move and ends with how many pieces are still left standing, that's the run we see here. 

 

Domination mode is one such example of this since you need to chug points and your ships into account. Ever wondered some runs have unusual stuff like:

 

- your team still has a moderate amount of capital ships from the initial skirmish yet you lost by points

- your team has surviving carriers but very few battleships yet lost to a much weaker force consisting mostly of cruisers and destroyers wiping you out

- the enemy has a stronger yet slower force against your smaller and weaker force yet still you guys won

 

Now this ain't saying squat that skill is thrown out the window since you need a hefty amount of that but this is saying WHERE and WHEN you should apply them. Its like giving you a stiletto and telling you to stab someone in plate armor. Now you know you can deal cuts with a slash on a stiletto but that doesn't mean its effective, you can stab with it and it does some good, knowing where to stab the enemy will very likely give you the match.

 

Huehuehue.

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***Snipped for brevity***

 

As a guideline, battleships and carriers wield the greatest influence early-game with their ability to destroy enemy ships in one fell swoop if used properly. Mid-game, when the sides have committed and are busily slugging it out, cruisers, with their balanced package of firepower, speed and manoeuvrability, wield the greatest influence. Destroyers are late-game specialists with their concealment abilities if they last long enough to get to that stage. Note, though, that this is not a rule: there are players out there who are equally adept at reading the game and applying themselves in stage in the game, and as such transcend such guidelines, be it defensive or offensive, regardless of the ship class that they are playing, just as there are players who do not have the insight to see this.

 

I would like to end the article with this: dictating the tempo is something that is open to manipulation. The various timings at play in a particular game is an extremely rich framework with which to understand what is going on and why one team is winning and the other losing and how likely (or unlikely) this is going to change. Keen players will probably have the easiest time of understanding what to do, although I use the term "easiest" very sparingly. Not every player has the mentality to do it, but it can at least be taught so that it can be manipulated and wielded to a competent degree. What is for certain, though, is that the player who unloaded the most, who dealt damage, who got the most kills is not necessarily going to emerge victorious.

 

Always coherent and intelligent Mr. Haku. I've bolded the area I'd like you to further discuss.

Personally, I think too many players take the "Destroyers are late-game specialists..." a little too literally and sit too far back in the pack. This is not particularly useful with regard to the slow movers and when Carrier planes are not scouting vast areas of the map. The fast, light and not-so-well detectable Destroyer can be a real asset (early to mid game) in providing detection of enemy formations without too much risk to their survival don't you think? (In the lower to middle tiers)

Regards,

G'David

Edited by GDavid

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Super Tester
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Yes, that is true, but in general, the taller the ship the higher its view range will be. Hence, battleships tend to have very long view ranges (in excess of over 20 km), while destroyers usually have shorter view ranges than other ship classes. This leads to situations where the first thing that spots a battleship is generally another battleship or cruiser, giving you the situation where the battleship gets the spotting experience, not the destroyer.

 

Basically, destroyers are not as good as scouts as you think. They are good for screening the fleet, but I personally do not believe they are good for scouting unless in late-game situations.

Edited by Haku

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Senior Moderator
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Always coherent and intelligent Mr. Haku. I've bolded the area I'd like you to further discuss.

Personally, I think too many players take the "Destroyers are late-game specialists..." a little too literally and sit too far back in the pack. This is not particularly useful with regard to the slow movers and when Carrier planes are not scouting vast areas of the map. The fast, light and not-so-well detectable Destroyer can be a real asset (early to mid game) in providing detection of enemy formations without too much risk to their survival don't you think? (In the lower to middle tiers)

Regards,

G'David

I tend to agree with you here GDavid.

 

Personally - DD play falls into 3 phases (much like a LT in WoT).

Phase 1 - early game.  Quick sortie out to find and catch the lone wolf BB who is stuck in #BBMasterRace mindset.  Get cap points if safe etc.  

Phase 2 - mid game.  Watch the mini-map for opportunities to exploit.  BB's/CA's too busy shooting each other to watch for torps, give some gunnery support (ninja HE keeping the enemy on fire etc.).  Always on the lookout for the break in the enemy lines and just as importantly looking for the break in your lines and moving to cover it to stop enemy DD getting through.

Phase 3 - late game.  Holes in the lines everywhere!  This is when you do some serious hunting.  Start with the remaining BBs.  Your team should be pounding on these by now so they have no attention left for torps.  You can use your torps to herd then enemy into a more advantageous position for your team to shoot at them.  

 

At all times try to stay away from CAs.  A smart CA player will switch target to you to remove that long range threat from his BBs.

 

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Thanks for your replies, I have been interstate working...

@ Haku

Interesting views, will read some more on view mechanics. Do the destroyers not spot crow's nests?

I tend to scout fairly actively and aggressively in destroyers so even if it is another ship spotting it would more often than not result in torpedos being launched or a safe distance to maintain target lighting.

 

@ dead_man_walking

We are begining to go off topic, but without going on too much: Personally, also try to smoke cover allies, use torps to "guide" enemies into crossfires and manouvre limitations not to mention "Torpedo paranoia", distraction techniques are also helpful to teamplay when other players actually "get it" rather than playing with themselves. (pun intended)

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Super Tester
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Thanks for your replies, I have been interstate working...

 

Thank you for your support; be careful working on the inter-state.

 

Do the destroyers not spot crow's nests?

 

If we did make it realistic, planes would spot ships as soon as they are up in the air (in this game, with the ranges that we are talking about).

 

This is a game balance thing.

 

I tend to scout fairly actively and aggressively in destroyers so even if it is another ship spotting it would more often than not result in torpedos being launched or a safe distance to maintain target lighting.

 

Fair enough; everyone has their own play style. It just does not make much sense at this point in time to give additional XP for scouting when the mechanic would benefit the bigger ships more than the destroyers.

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Senior Moderator
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Actually, you need to spot more than just the masts, funnels, etc. To determine the class of ship, their range and speed, you need to see a whole lot more than just the top bits. This is assuming everything is done by visual only (no fancy radar or similar).

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[SIF]
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Actually, you need to spot more than just the masts, funnels, etc. To determine the class of ship, their range and speed, you need to see a whole lot more than just the top bits. This is assuming everything is done by visual only (no fancy radar or similar).

Ah......nope!

 

a ship can be identified by the top bits, and you can also do course and speed based on the little information as well.

 

 

 

 

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Ah......nope!

 

a ship can be identified by the top bits, and you can also do course and speed based on the little information as well.

 

 

 

 

 

to elaborate - certain classes of ship have a very distinctive superstructure layout.

For example you could pick a FCPB at night just from the navigation lights layout - you haven't even seen the ship at this stage!

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Yeah - although given how similar WWII ship masts/superstructures may look at hull-up distances, there's times where commanders have confused ships. Like Fletchers for Baltimores, for example...

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Or a Clemson being mistaken for Omaha class. Which actually did happen. Granted, it was a misidentification from the air, rather than from surface. Their silhouette viewed from the surface is still very similar though.

 

There's plenty enough cases of misidentification during the war to support the idea that you need to see more of a ship to properly identify it. So it's reasonable that you might have trouble identifying a ship just by its top half of the superstructure. You might be able to identify it when you can see the whole superstructure, until you finally get to see the hull for more reliable identification.

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