Horrific, fantastic, superb architecture, visually amazing, utterly involving, depressing, don't watch this if you are young, easily upset by scenes of horror. Appallingly negative storyline with a visualisation that sucks you in regardless. The man whounderpinned the creation of this game is a genius. Watch at your peril. Children, do NOT watch, do not take part. LEaVe noW.
A combination of very attractive girls, long hair, short costumes, War of the Worlds, Jeff Wayne's music, steampunk and superb performances, what is there not to like? I often post a musical interlude here just for the sake of it and in this case I could not resist.
The following video has been around for some time but it is rather good so it is worth putting here. Very moody but visually enchanting the imagery works well with the music, in fact the two would be far less without each other. I do hope you find this musically appealing.
Hopefully soon I'll have some new/updated widgets for you. My old Yahoo CPU/GPU Thermometer Widget is being updated..
new graphics and new functionality including working graph and new use
for the gauges. Updating and improving the Yahoo widget now and then
will start to convert it to an Xwidget.
was the second widget that I created and it was little rushed in parts
and as a result I probably didn't think it through enough. It was still a
lovely functioning widget though which has sat on my desktop doing its
job well. The current version shows up to four sensors and displays a
running graph of two of them. When I have the new version rewritten and
updated I will have the thing in my head and I'll be confident to
translate it to the Xwidget engine.
Whilst I am working on the
CPU/GPU Thermometer Widget for Yahoo/Xwidget engines occasionally an
idea comes to mind and if it is worth pursuing then a dalliance is
allowed. In this frame of mind I have opened an old icon PSD file that I
had earlier created and have organised it so that it can be made into a
widget. The idea is that each drawer on the filing cabinet can be
hovered over or clicked upon and the drawer will open and inform you
which folder each drawer refers to. A double click will open the
respective folder. Think of it as a replacement for Explorer, a
steampunk version of a file explorer.
gauge may display CPU as an aside and the bulbs on the top will glow
according to the network adapters that are present in the system,
glowing in strength according to the signal each adapter receives.
Ethernet adapters being permanently connected will glow brightly whilst
wireless adapters may glow dimly. That's it, just a germ of an idea at
the moment but I have knocked up the initial widget and it sits on my
desktop as I write this.
For the Christmas season I have revamped
my Christmas Bauble widgets. The first version was a set of 10
individual widgets, each of which showed a different Christmas image.
That was it, nothing special.
The next revamped version acts more
like an old-style advent calendar. The advent season encompasses the
time from the first four Sundays before Christmas up to Christmas Day.
Those old-style Advent calendars allow you to open a little door that
shows a different Christmas scene every day. My new baubles will allow
of multiple widgets each showing a different bauble there will be just
one widget showing multiple baubles that can still be moved around
individually on the desktop. Each bauble has a door that can be opened
when clicked upon but only when the appropriate date is reached. Each
door has a musical surprise contained within. It is really rather
Christmassy and very pleasant to use. Each bauble can be individually
So what do I have to do to complete it? Add ten
existing bauble images, find thirteen more appropriate bauble images,
create twenty-three glass doors in open and closed states. Find
twenty-five musical elements and convert them for use in the widget. Add
the resizing code, test and tidy up. Package and distribute. A fair
Need to do it before 30th November which is the first day of Advent.
So to answer that question, World of Tanks - is the matchmaker rigged? Well,
I can't actually answer that question as I have no access to Wargaming.net's
code that defines what the MatchMaker does and how it does it. There is no
published and impartial definition of what the MatchMaker is actually doing.
Wargaming has given out ideas and hints as to how it operates (RNG, random) but
if you've played the game for several thousand games (and if you are an
observant person) it should start to become clear as to how the matchmaker
really achieves its aims...
I maintain that the Matchmaker is consistent. It consistently controls your win
rate by the simple expedient of dropping you into games with more noobs (noob =
new player), placing your tank in a non-preferential side of the map or
alternatively by placing your tank in a game with more highly skilled opponents.
This is all conjecture until you use one or more of the statistical analysis
sites that have sprung up with World of Tanks that have access to WoT's
historical data. These sites allow you to view graphs based upon various
performance metrics and it will soon become apparent that your win rate is
Who am I to propose this analysis of World of Tanks? I am neither a noob or a
unicum (expert player). I have played 17,000 or so battles in exclusively low
tier (sub tier 6) light and heavy tanks. Unlike most WoT players I typically play one type
of tank consistently, I don't jump from nation to nation, tank to tank and I do
not play the best, most highly successful tanks. My overall win rate is 55.5%
and climbing (over time) consistently but slowly. My win rate fluctuates from
65-70% to 45%. My average WN8 score is 1,300 but for the last 1,000 battles I have had a WN8 of approximately 1,700. That currently puts me into the light blue range, which is actually the top 5% of players. I am not the best player but these stats show I am not at all bad.
I play WoT on an 8 year old laptop with a 2.5ghz core2duo cpu
and a 256mb Nvida 8400m GPU. It maintains a frame rate of a mere 19-25fps so it
should be clear that I have limitations imposed upon me by playing on hardware
that is far from being optimised. I am not a dedicated gamer but I enjoy playing
My analysis must be taken in this context.
The first time you will start to ask yourself questions as to whether the MM
is rigged or not is when you find yourself playing losing battles for extended
periods of time - ask yourself these additional questions:
o Why do you lose consistently (for tens or hundreds of games) at a rate
that is the ALWAYS the inverse of your previous winning rate (eg. 40% vs
o Why does this occur when you reach a win rate of 50%, 55% or some other
o Why does win rate suppression stop suddenly and subsequently improve
meteorically at 60% WR for an equal period?
o Why are so many players experiencing this?
o Why does this up/down oscillation in win rate occur against a measurable
background using other metrics (WN8) that improve gradually over time?
o Why does Wargaming have a patent that describes exactly these sort of methods
for "putting down" players that reach a pre-determined level of win rate?
If these questions seem familiar to your experience of playing the game then
this articles serves the purpose of stating for the record what many have
I'll give you a typical short term example: Playing in the Crusader with four skilled
2,500 game crew, I can play consistently with a WN8 of 2,700 (unicum) and an 80%
win rate - this can go on for 60 games for a few days. Then suddenly after a log-out and
re-login to WoT the next day, the win rate drops to 38% as my team (and myself) are all killed within 2 and half mins in
every game for the next 60-100 games. Logging into another account on another
server and my win rate is restored!
Fig1. If your WN8 and kill/death ratio are rising continuously and you see a win
ratio like the above then perhaps you are being
For my analysis I used the website
noobmeter.com to view the data provided by Wargaming.net. I played the
British Cruiser MKIII and MkIV tanks consistently for approx 1,000 games at a
time (I believe that playing lots of tanks of different types/nationalities as
most people do, obscures the cycling effect from showing on a personal win rate
graph). I switched between the two tanks almost consistently for 8,000 games.
When it seemed that my win rate was being suppressed I then abandoned one tank
and switched to another to see if it would occur there too. I did this analysis
specifically to see if these cycles of win/loss were consistent and were caused
by something within or without of my control. When the downturn occurred I tried
beating it with all the tricks at my disposal, using premium rounds and doing
all I could to optimise my game play. On occasion I deviated from these two
tanks to alleviate the boredom but still the cycling persisted. The tanks I used
in their stead were also low tier British Cruisers... Covenantor and Crusader.
Note: this is not a statistical analysis, this is an observational analysis
based upon gameplay and experience and observing the statistics as provided by
noobmeter, wotstats and wotlabs.
I chose low tier as I should be able to make a much bigger influence on the
outcome given that my three skill crews in a couple of brawler tanks should be
able to consistently cause more wins. It isn't what I found.
Regardless of any improvement in my own play (or changing between these two
tanks) I found I was bouncing between two win rate thresholds, the upper limit
that I battled to break was 55.10%. I would be playing consistently at a current
65% WR for several hundred games and then as soon as the upper threshold was
reached the suppression of my win rate would start. The drop in my win rate
could not be stopped, better gameplay on my part would simply slow or extend the
drop for hundreds of games until the lower threshold was reached. During the
period of downturn it seemed as if the majority of the teams I was inserted into
were consistently losing teams. On the upward swing the opposite, all winning
teams seemed to be on my side providing a consistent WR of 65%.
I could not account for this behaviour in my own mood swings, skill levels &c as
my Win8/7 ratings all climbed consistently during the periods of continual loss.
It was only the win rate that swung wildly.
Result: My analysis of playing WoT in
version 0.8.5 - 0.8.11 seemed to confirm that the MM has an arbitrary win
'limit' set in % that seems to be defined by tier or type of tank. My win rate
turned out to be 55.10%. When I reached that limit all subsequent teams were
losses until a lower threshold was reached. This caused a cycling effect of wins
followed by losses. The aim
seems to be to keep a player within a narrow win-ratio band.
Now imagine that my chosen tank(s) will have lost consistently for eight
hundred games in a row achieving a win rate of only 45% - As I am only one
player in a team of fifteen I assumed that I personally cannot have had that
much effect on the overall win rate of my teams, if I had been playing
consistently badly I could have contributed to the loss of one or two games
perhaps but not consistently for hundreds of games, my ego isn't that big - I am
not that important in the scheme of things. To lose so consistently I have to
assume it must be an external influence on the teams I have participated in
(especially so if all other metrics are improving).
Fig 2. The graph above showing the cycling effect on win rate (created from
See the massive troughs of thousands of games losing/winning, losing at 40%
and then winning at 60%. Statistically it does not make sense that I could lose
consistently like that as my gameplay and style simply does not change.
Note:- In the graph above (Fig 2.) the peaks and troughs were originally much
sharper and more defined. WoT has a habit of modifying the historical data that
is provided to 3rd party sites such as Noobmeter.com, in particular removing the
peaks and troughs and smoothing out the graphs. If you were to analyse the same data
from WoT in noobmeter today (Fig 3.) the peak and trough that occurred at 4,400
games has been completely removed from the data... which makes no sense. It is
as if the historical data has been deliberately massaged to remove the absolute
peaks. Look at the graphs in the two examples above and below, see the dramatic
fall at approximately 4,400 battles, in the later version below, that whole
cycle of 500 games has simply been removed. The peak did occur and the only way
to know it has occurred is for you (or myself in this case) to retain your own
data or the graph image for later analysis. I have maintained my own copies of the
graph since I noticed this medium-term smoothing of the data.
Since the final flattening out of the data (from 8,100 games onward) the
changes have been:
1. I have focussed on playing tier III/IV mid-tier cruiser tanks.
2. WoT 0.9 series has been released.
In the above graph you will note a change in the periodicity of the cycles at
the point at which the 0.9.0 patch was released. The graph peaks have smoothed
out considerably but the drop was still inexorably downhill. Either of the above
two changes could have had the effect of removing the pronounced 'cycling'
previously experienced in 0.8.nn. What seems to be the case is that since 0.9
the upper and lower thresholds seemed closer together higher but just as in
0.8.nn as soon as the upper threshold was reached gameplay became distinctly
harder and losing teams were more regularly encountered - same as in the 0.8
(Note for all the forum trolls: These graphs weren't made up, just taken straight from noobmeter as explained. If you want to disbelieve them, that's fine, simply do your own analysis before commenting.)
The analysis of win rate does not take into account other metrics that also
indicate performance independently. WoT has a performance rating that is
calculated according to an algorithm owned by Wargaming.net. Two independent
metrics are also maintained that supposedly give a more accurate estimate of
your performance, they are WN7 and WN8, the latter being the most up to date.
My supposition is that if my win rate is controlled solely by my ability to
play well within the game, then my other performance metrics (average damage, no
of kills, experience &c) should all fluctuate in synchronisation with the
cycling win rate. However, this does not occur, indicating the cycling is
clearly artificial. My performance as measured by all metrics including WIN7/8
are consistently climbing despite all the win rate peaks and troughs. In fact,
prior to the nerf starting my win rate consistently rose and rose until it
reached 55.1%. At approx 2,000 games then it simply stopped climbing and stayed
just below 55.1% WR and then cycling up and down. That isn't statistically
possible if the MM is even-handed. It indicates an algorithm coming into play. These sorts of heavy losses can only be achieved by the match maker
putting me against tougher opponents or simply put, dropping me into loser teams
or manipulating the outcome of the battle in some other way.
Fig 3. The other performance metrics showing a steady climb - (graph
extracted from noobmeter, no modifications to the data other than adding my text
and an average win rate over time)
On average the win rate graph does show an average climb (the blue line that
I have drawn myself onto the win rate graph). That climb equates well to the
other metrics showing that overall my win rate is improving consistently and
inline with expectations. The trouble is the massive cycles up and down just
should NOT be present unless they are artificially induced by the matchmaker.
Remember, some of those troughs are six or seven hundred games long, that is far
too long to play consistently losing matches. Conversely, in the upward climbs
it seems as if I am playing like a 'god' with a 65-70% win rate for hundreds of matches, both are
This cycling only seems to show its head when you play one or two tanks
consistently. If you play many different tanks you may not notice the effect. With all statistical cycles if you have multiple sources it tends
to flatten out to a curve when all the cycles are combined - as each occurs at a
different frequency. IF you want to replicate this analysis, simply play two
tanks of the same type consistently for thousands of games, the cycling effect
will then show. On the forums it seems to be known as the saw tooth effect. I
like to call it "cycling".
Just as a reminder to all who see this thread, here's Wargaming's patent on
the MatchMaker and how it operates, supporting observed behaviour:
"According to another aspect, the matchmaking server may store a win/loss percentage for each user (or vehicle) at a given battle level. As the player's win/loss ratio decreases, the player becomes more likely to be placed in battles having battle levels at the lower end of the allowable range, whereas as the player's win/loss ration increases, the player becomes more likely to be placed in battles having battle levels at the upper end of the allowable range. Thus, when a player has been repeatedly put into too many difficult battles, the balancing is done in favor of easier battle sessions, thereby encouraging the player by providing an easier game environment. Similarly, when the player has been repeatedly put into too many easy battles, the balancing is done in favor of harder battle sessions, thereby keeping the player challenged instead of letting the player become bored with easy games."
Note: You only patent your most precious intellectual resources. The work to
patent something is not inconsiderable. Why does the patent match real-life
observation? Well, I would suggest that it's in use - otherwise why bother to
patent it? Occam's razor states the solution with the fewest assumptions should be selected, ie - as the patent exists, it is much more likely that it is in place in the game - than it isn't.
Also, Wargaming admits that the patent is IN place in World of Tanks. In the court case against "Beijing Gamease Age Digital Technology
Co., Ltd. (“Gamease”)" for copyright theft against their clone game, Project tank, Wargaming states in a legal statement that the patent is in operation. To quote Wargaming's own petition to the United States District Court Northern District Of Illinois Eastern Division:
44. Wargaming.net also has intellectual property protecting one or more innovative nd novel features that upon information and belief are utilized within at least the most recent version of World of Tanks®. For example, Wargaming.net is the owner of United States Patent No. 8,425,330 (“the ‘330 patent”), issued April 23, 2013, and entitled “Dynamic Battle Session
Matchmaking in a Multiplayer Game,” a copy of which is attached as Exhibit B.
45. The ‘330 patent is directed to methods and systems for matching client devices based on a permissible range of battle levels for each vehicle based on vehicle type and vehicle
you mention any of this on the World of Tank's forums you will receive a lot of
counter feedback, some of it rude and some of it very persistent. It seems that
there are some that appear on every discussion of the matchmaker putting down
any possibility that the matchmaker is 'rigged' in any sort of way. They appear
to want to suppress discussion on the matter. These trolls state that the patent is not in operation when Wargaming itself says it is. Other posters on the forum have
suggested that they are 'shills
' whose role it is to provide disinformation and to rubbish other's suggestions
as to the extent of the rigging of the Matchmaker. I won't comment except to say
that it does seem strange that they appear on every such thread where the
Matchmaker is mentioned. I do wish they wouldn't as it reduces the effect of
their contribution and often turns any discussion to a mud-slinging argument.
The Match Maker conversations on the forum
could be generally more appreciative of the other's opposing opinions and less
dismissive or insulting. I find the US forum is quite a trollish place and not
the most receptive place for discussion. If you do post there do not expect much
more than invective and trollish one-liners as a return, especially from those that we all suspect to be known-shills.
There is a suggestion that these veteran trolls are put in-place to cause arguments and foster insulting behaviour. In this way they can cause the moderators to shut down threads or simply embroil the original posters in invective, essentially smothering any logical argument.
Regardless of their reasons, what I cannot believe is how many are prepared to continually argue the point as to the veracity of people's claims to Matchmaker fixing. From normal gameplay I witness and experience the peaks and troughs occurring on an almost
continuous basis. How some other players do not see it occurring themselves, is beyond me. The cycling is part and parcel of playing WoT on a daily basis. For those few to not see
the patterns? Well, that tells me they are seriously blinkered, playing another game
with the suppression somehow magically switched off or could it be they are paid
by Wargaming.net not to see it at all?
For these trollish people I have a snippet of information, an email from a
Wargaming.net employee to a WoT player that refers to the patent. In the email the employee admits that the matchmaker's patented function is in operation in the game itself today (the game you are playing right now) and
how it places in you in progressively harder matches, where teams of
harder opponents simply 'challenge' you to do better (his words). He states that it is perfectly normal for this practice to be in place and
that is exactly in line with all the other MMO games out there. I will not and cannot include the actual text of the email here as it simply does not belong to me but the above explanation is the gist of the thing. The original owner of the email has other uses for it.
Further confirmation that this cycling is artificially induced and is not
attributable to your own state of mind, poor mental health or environmental
factors (!) can
be found by taking the following actions:
o Leaving a particular server unplayed for a period of at least two months
o Logging onto an alternative server, EU, SEA &c (a re-roll).
If you leave a game server entirely and stop playing for two/three months,
when you return you will find that the MM has forgotten about you, the
suppression of your win rate has been curtailed and that your win rate will be
back to the levels that is was pre-suppression. This indicates that the MM looks
at your win rate values over a period of time to determine whether to suppress
you or leave you alone. If your current win rates are low (or you haven't had
any for a while) then matchmaking is switched back to normal or 'preferential'.
When your win rate rises consistently and surpasses the threshold for a period
of time then it switches the suppression back on.
When you log into another server (EU, SEA) you may find that your win rates
are similar to what they were prior to the suppression. Give this course of
action a go and see if it helps your win rate and report back here please.
Note: Some recent testing shows that Wargaming appears to suppress win rate
not only by account ID but also by IP address to prevent people from doing a
re-roll - so I suggest changing your ip address regularly.
The current observation on using a re-roll account on the EU server is that
this solution definitely works, at least in the short term. My current Win Rate
is 65-70% over the last 200 games and averages 56% over the total 500 games
played in each tank used (limited to two). I need to do more analysis on this
proposition over a longer period of time (4,000 games or so) to state that this
latter course of action definitely works in the long term.
CONCLUSION WITH REGARD TO CYCLING:
Looking at the extreme cycles that could be found in 0.8.nn. It seems obvious
that the MM can only achieve this perceived threshold win rate throttling by
placing artificial limitations upon a player. IF you agree that this is being
done then you must ask yourself why do they do it? Well, one answer might be
that Wargaming.net is a commercial organisation and it can make money by giving
you the incentive to play using a premium, paid account or by using enhanced
resources bought using real cash (in-game gold). I believe this win rate
threshold limit is designed to encourage you to do exactly that.
It has been stated on the forums that this cycling
is the result of Wargaming.net averaging out your win rate "in the long run".
I am quite prepared to accept that statement yet I am not quite sure what it means. Due the continuous nerfing my win rate has been steadily
climbing throughout all the cycling but it has been slow and the result is yet another
example of the long and painful grind that is World of Tanks.
The fact that win rates do climb
progressively is not actually in dispute, it is the method by which Wargaming
achieves moderation of the win rate over time that is.
There appears to be a difference in the way the cycling operates between the
0.8 series and the later 0.9 series. During the 0.8 series the upper and lower
thresholds were farther apart meaning that the wild swings in win rate were
highly pronounced, lasting for hundreds of games. The controlling mechanism
appears to have been changed in 0.9. The upper threshold seems slightly higher
(still arbitrary?) but the lower threshold is much closer to the upper. This
means that losing/winning cycles appear much shorter, you may now have losing
streaks for only 50-100 games or so. The length of these cycles depends upon how
well you play and how long you take to be suppressed down to the lower
It appears that individual tanks are being suppressed rather than the whole
account as before. For example, if you have been playing at 65% win rate
(current) for an extended period of time in one or two particular tanks then those tanks
will start to experience a 40% win rate for a period, whilst another very
similar tank just one tier up, may still receive a good win rate. Even your
favourite tank, one that you play well, may be affected. (Note: This is
unconfirmed and still under analysis).
The observation of 0.9.n is limited as the number of games/cycles I have
experienced in 0.9 is simply far less than in 0.8. The win/loss cycling effect
is still present but perhaps slightly less pronounced? I am still performing
limited tests on different servers to see how the suppression is being
implemented and will update this article as more information is discerned.
Matchmaker changes are never announced to the general public in Wargaming's
brief release notes. Changes to the MatchMaker are expected in any one of the
near future releases as it has been suggested that even Wargaming.net's devs
realise that the MatchMaker is broken in some way (not admitted officially) and
it has been mooted that changes are underway. To many, the MatchMaker does seem
broken in many respects, uneven teams and broken platoons (failtoons) are oft
quoted as being examples of real failure. I doubt that any potential changes will
remove the cycling but we can assume that the process will be modified somewhat
without informing the community.
NERF CUT-OFF POINTS:
Not only are you 'nerfed' according to your win rate but there also exist some arbitrary nerf points at which games will start to get tougher. Serb has already admitted that new players receive preferential treatment for the first 80-100 games. So, we know the first nerf point is approximately 80 games, you can test this by playing the medium MkI on a new account. You should be able obtain a win rate of 67% until the 80 game cut-off point then you'll see the win rate drop.
The second nerf point is at 1,000 games. Up to this point it should be possible to attain a 67% win rate on a re-roll account playing by a reasonably good player on a few good tanks. From 1,000 games onward things will toughen and the games will harden.
It has been related that the MM 'nerf' also comes hand in hand with an
accuracy/penetration/damage 'nerf'. I cannot state that I have encountered this
nor have I tested for it in my analysis. Personally, I do not think it is
required as the MatchMaker is able to control your win rates more effectively by
simply putting you into teams with slightly more low experience players. An
accuracy nerf would seem be too obvious and too easy to discern. I am not saying
it doesn't happen, for the purposes of this analysis I am simply not taking it
into account (if it exists) nor have I been looking for it.
I believe it may be possible to defeat the cycling. Switching to your very
best tank appears to be a potentially successful tactic but only in the short
term. Choosing one of the very best of the OP (over-powered) tanks that suits
your own personal style seems to be one tactic. Some of the best Russian tanks
(KV1 &c) seem to be good places to retreat to when the 'nerf' starts.
So, not only do you need to beat your enemies but you also need to beat the
MatchMaker. Another way of achieving this is simply to abandon a server for
two months or so, it seems to be a good and workable tactic. You simply have to
be able to recognise when a nerf has started... that is the sign to stop
playing. For example, recently, I played 373 games at an average of 58% win rate
running just three lower tier (II-V) British Cruiser tank. After a series of
65%-100% evenings consistently able to carry the game I began to experience a
severe downturn, playing 30 games but winning only 10... with one continuous
losing streak of 15 games in a row. This was the start of the downturn.
You can tell when the MM has decided to put you down in that it selects
losing teams for you consistently. You'll find that even at tier 2/3 it will be
very hard to win, that your enemies will consist of teams of 'sealclubbers',
seasoned players in platoons and groups that will wipe the floor with your team.
You will be placed consistently into higher tier games where your newly adopted
light tank status emasculates your ability to influence the game. You will find
your chosen tank playing in consistently higher tier games where it is simply
unable to contribute as effectively. You may do well personally but you still
won't be able to win the game. You'll be doing more damage than everyone else
but you will still be losing.
You'll be just as stunned by your opponent's steamroller capabilities as you
were when your own teams consistently played like 'gods'.
If you continue to play you may find that downturn lasting for tens if not
hundreds of games. At this point the only thing to do is to abandon the game and
stop playing that particular account for approximately 8 weeks. I suggest that
instead you simply open an account on another server, reset your ip address so
that Wargaming does not know it is still you, and play there instead. Use a
different username and if possible an unrelated email address. It may take some
time to train another crew to 100% experience but when you do, sit back and
watch your win rate magically restore!
Don't think you can simply open an account on the same server - that
does not seem to work. Initially, you may get the positive preferential
treatment that the MM gives to new players (50-80 games or so) but as soon as
you start to do well (high win rate overall) you may be nerfed once again.
If you do open a re-roll on the same server, it will take about 50 -80 games
playing at high average and current win rates before the nerf starts. I have
tried this option and it does not seem to be of great benefit unless you change
your IP address at the same time. To achieve this simple reboot your router -
pull the plug!
AN EXAMPLE OF A RE-ROLL ACCOUNT:
To show you how the re-roll works an example would seem to be best:
I have two accounts that I have available for testing. Account 1 is an old
account that has seen some hard wear from one of my older children, 2,200 games
@ 51% win rate. This account was one that I deliberately set up to be 'nerfed'
so that for the period of this test it is currently under suppression from the
MatchMaker. To deliberately achieve this suppression I played 100 low-tier
cruiser games at a 65% current win rate until it reached an overall 51%
win rate for the account. At that point the Matchmaker noticed the high win rate
and the 'nerf' was imposed. For 100 games all subsequent matches for this
account hardened and I was unable to achieve a win rate above 38% no matter what
To prove that my tanking skills were not in question, I had previously opened
a second re-roll account (account 2) and obtained the same low level British
cruisers to fight and use there. I had trained two crews up to 100% standard
with one perk and had left that account 'fallow' for some months so that it was
invisible to the Matchmaker. I played this account instead, participating in 85
games. As expected, the games encountered were standard games with
normally-skilled opponents, normal gameplay, no
ROFLstomps by the enemy, no collapsing paper-bag teams, just normal games.
On this account, (miracle of miracles) I was able to restore my win rate and
obtain a consistently high 75% win rate throughout - seal-clubbing as expected.
Finally, just to confirm the 'nerf' was still in place on account 1 - I
returned to account 1 to play another 50 games and sure enough the suppression
continued at the very low 38% win rate. Conclusion: One account was nerfed, the
other was not. For me, simple gameplay with results like these are proof enough.
Note there is nothing different between the two accounts, my skills are the
same. Average damage, no. of kills, WN8 &c over the period are pretty much all
the same on both accounts, the only difference is the win rate. If I had been
tired, playing badly or if some other environmental factor had been influencing
me then the issue should have affected both accounts. As I was able to play well
on one account but not on the other then this implied an obvious manipulation of
my win rates by the MatchMaker.
The above example is not made up. I have just completed this mini-analysis
and it still stuns me how easy it is is to defeat the Matchmaker simply by
opening and playing another account on another server. I wish someone had told
me this 10,000 games ago. This I believe, is the reason why Wargaming prohibits
users having multiple accounts on the same server. If you do create multiple
accounts, whatever you do, don't admit to it.
WHY IS ALL THIS IMPORTANT?
It is important because it is a game that is designed to draw players in, it
entices you to pay money to perform better, ie Wargaming.net's profits are tied
to your ability/inability to win. The more you lose the more you will want to
tip the balance in your favour by paying money for premium shells and accounts
in the hope that you may find your win rate improves. That is the idea. It
affects you as it extracts real cash from the wallet of many an unsuspecting
player in the most devious manner - by statistical manipulation.
What it has told me is that the only way to win at WoT is to follow the grind to
the upper tanks. You can't build up your skill level at tiers 1-6 and expect to
win more and more as you improve and become more efficient. At some point you
may simply stop winning and find yourself on massive artificial losing streaks
due to crumbling teams.
Once you know this is in place, you may be able to relax and enjoy the game,
play to have fun - but whatever you do don't follow win ratios unless you want a
serious battle with the matchmaker. For me, the realisation of rigging leads to
some disenchantment, I know that other seasoned players are also disillusioned
and look around hoping to find some reason to continue playing WoT but not
WHY DID I WRITE THIS ARTICLE?
Well, I am hoping that it will open your eyes to what seems to be Wargaming's
sharp business practices and stop you from
wasting your time and your hard-earned cash when you are bashing your head on
WoT's losing brick wall. The fact remains that
the MM appears to be fixed,
rigged, manipulated, managed, whatever you call it. Wargaming.net
appear content to take your money but at the same time possibly fool you into
thinking you can play well and still win.
In actual fact, in the long run you
probably can expect a slow increase in win rates but do not expect those
short-term high percentage winning streaks to be reflected in the longer term.
It just won't happen.
It would be preferable if these
sharp practices could be curtailed and WoT be transformed into a more
open and less manipulative game.
Ultimately you must decide whether the MatchMaker is rigged or not. It may well be rigged for you or it may not.
It is up to you to determine how the game is treating you personally. I clearly
believe it is rigged for the accounts I use and my analysis seems to support that belief.
However, rather than believe or disbelieve anything I have written here I
suggest you do your own analysis and then make your own determination.
Now that I have realised the game is rigged I no longer spend any money
on it. To quote from the forum: "People pay while under the spell, then stop when they see it's a sham."
Occasionally I still play WoT but as the experience of winning then losing continuously is so down-heartening I now play very seldomly. As soon as the
losing streak returns (which it always does) I abandon the game and do something
more fulfilling. I wish Wargaming understood that the poor and rigged Matchmaker is the main reason why many of stop playing altogether. If the Matchmaker was done away with I would play this game all the time and I'd be willing to invest in it.
WHAT AM I DOING NOW INSTEAD?
There are few alternatives, one was
War Thunder another was Project Tank. This latter alternative was so similar to WoT that it was quashed by
Wargaming.net for being an intellectual copyright theft of World of Tanks. War Thunder shows promise but is not a direct alternative as the mechanics are far more realistic. It also uses more GPU resources and is unplayable on the lower performance laptops that can run WoT.
Project Tank evolved and became
Ground War Tanks but there is a good chance that it may be feeling Wargaming's claws next - we
Armored Warfare is coming but supposedly it will solely cater for Modern
tanks and I imagine it will be built for the higher spec machine generally used for gaming in the US - Modern tanks are not really my interest but they may interest you.
Games like these are cheaper to play and while WoT has this awful Matchmaker
I cannot justify playing as much as I used to. I certainly cannot justify
spending any money there.
World of Tanks does have some good alternatives if the genre tickles your fancy. Most of these are single person PC games, some have multiplayer options. The following videos might whet your appetite for what the competition has to offer!
Video 1: Steel Armor - Blaze of War - You can buy this one on ebay - dirt cheap. Runs on your PC locally.
Complex, not an arcade game. A very good looking simulator with high
graphics, good sounds and ultra realism. Requires a good quad core
machine of 2.6 ghz or more and a decent graphics card. Not a game for a
standard core2duo, i3 or i5 laptop. There is NO similarity whatsoever with WoT. The controls and gameplay
are alien to any WoT-er, you'd have to spend a lot of time mastering
the controls and the result is utterly different to WoT. Change your
expectations and you'll have a interesting time but don't pick this game
up and expect to be able to play it in an hour. It will take a few
hours just to get familar with the controls and the method of operation.
It is almost not a game.
Video 2a: Iron Front Liberation 1944 - You can obtain this game on steam or ebay. Runs on your PC locally. Multiplayer is available.
More complex than WoT, a cross between a simulator and an arcade game. Allows you to access and use any weapon not just tanks. If this appeals to you then you might well have fun.
Video 2b: Iron Front Liberation 1944 - Another one showing this fine game.
Video 3: Ground War Tanks - This is the one that Wargaming does not
like, online and accessible now.
Basically you can leave WoT and play GwT and use such skills and
familiarity that you have with this new game - It is almost a clone of
woT. It has lower graphics, fewer enemies/allies per team, smaller maps,
tech trees for only a limited amount of nations, identical controls,
very similar interface. Easy to play and
available to download and play within 3 mins. It will never be a real
competitor to WoT as is it is a bit rubbish. Lagging and late-starts to
the game mean that you always seem to be one step behind your enemy. A
different spotting mechanism seems to make tanks appear from nowhere,
regular crashes will soon disenchant you. Think of it only as a WoT-Lite
for kiddies and you won't be
Video 4: War Thunder- an amazing online tank game. A realistic
competitor to WoT. Needs a powerful GPU and multicore machine to run
smoothly. Don't expect to do well at War Thunder just because you are a
unicum in WoT. A shot that penetrates armour will do serious simulated
damage and not just reduce your pool of HP. Expect to be one-shotted.
The spotting and camouflage system is completely different. Foliage is
extensive and actually blocks your LoS (Line of Sight) to the enemy
meaning all tanks are invisitanks here.
Video 5: Panzer Elite
Panzer Elite PP2-X is a reskinning of Panzer Elite SE and it provides gameplay that is not so far from what is offered by WoT. The controls though are keyboard-based and vastly, and I mean vastly
different from WoT. A dyed-in-the-wool WoT-er will have severe control
transfer problems. You simply have to forget the arcade style of WoT and
start with a completely new game and method of control. The PE maps are huge, the graphics generally inferior but they do the
job. Realism is better but it is hard to play. A good diversion though.
Any PC will be able to cope with the graphics. Panzer Elite runs on
your PC, you'll need to buy a copy on ebay, the game needs the 1.2 patch and
then the PP2X mod to be downloaded in order for the game to be playable. End result is quite good though.
Video 6: Panzer Elite Dunes of War - a completely different game to the
original Panzer Elite as shown in video 5. This version is definitely an arcade game with
gameplay similar to WoT. It will feel at home to WoT-ers but the aiming
is arbitrary and the one-shotting of enemies happens too often. Your
tank is pretty much indestructible. too much of an arcade game to keep
your interest but a diversion nonetheless. It has a good multiplayer
Runs virtually on any half decent PC. Found on ebay aplenty. Requires Windows XP to run well.
Video 7: T-34 vs Tiger
I've not been able to try T-34
vs. Tiger as it is not readily on sale anywhere except occasionally on
fleabay. the company that created it went bust shortly after it was
released. Expect to pay full prices for this game. With regard to
graphics it looks to be the dog's testicles, and even more attractive. Certainly
more of a simulator and I expect it will need a decent PC to get the
best from it. Looks easier to play than Steel Armor Blaze of War but
possibly the same level of complexity as Panzer Elite SE. Notice the GUI similarities to WoT, the minimap and the rotating tank
in the same positions as WoT. Looks as if the layout has fast become
Video 8: Steel Beasts Pro
Wargaming has to realise there will always be a tank game out there
to compete with it in one way or another. There is a current simulator,
Steel Beasts Pro, that has been going for a few years now, that provides
an advanced simulation of modern tanks. Used by some military types to
evaluate the effectiveness of certain tactics it conveys the idea of
real tank to tank warfare. Not an arcade game in any sense, does not
compete with WoT in any manner whatsoever. Some Steel Beast players
might play WoT as light relief.
The GUI has no
comparison with WoT, the controls are unique and the audience has no
commonality. Nothing for Wargaming to worry about there. This
simulator is expensive too at over $100 for a single dongle-protected
licence. In the past this would be considered very expensive for a game
but the way that WoT sucks in players into the whole tanking experience
makes $100 quite cheap nowadays. The average premium WoT-er probably
spends this much on the game yearly. In this context Steel Beasts Pro is
quite a bargain.
I can't imagine this simulator taking
any of WoT's cash so there should be little for Wargaming's lawyers to
worry about nor much for them to sink their teeth into. Very little
commonality other than the tanks themselves and they are too modern for
WoT to compare. So what would Wargaming.net's
lawyers have to work with? GUI infringements - nope, gameplay, nope as
most games use the mouse point and shoot method for control. The tier and purchasing infrastructure - nope as it is part of the GUI and a reflection of reality and history, the game-tiering and matchmaking (possibly due to the patents they have in place with regard to the matchmaker - but which they say they don't actually use), which leaves the in-game 2D and 3D resources such as images, sounds &c. Not much to go the courts with I should imagine.
I'm not sure what effect this article will have on you, some will
disbelieve it saying I have fabricated parts - I haven't. Some will talk
about it for days but there is no need. Rather than go on and on
discussing it on Matchmaker threads simply do your own analysis.
Play on, play up and play the game! (or not as maybe).
If you are even slightly into the genre known as Steampunk then Iron Sky is definitely a film for you. This video has almost everything you need, steampunk, almost gothic technology, airships in space, Nazis in full uniform being very very nasty, hauntingly beautiful music. What's not to like?
Well, up to two minutes the song from the original Iron Sky film teaser is both haunting and beautiful, hinting at more deep and meaningful music yet to
come. However, I was deeply disappointed in the unoriginality of the
remaining three and a half minutes, merely a repetition of the main
theme and discordant notes to deliberately alienate and disturb the
listener. I had hoped for new music, a more lyrical theme with perhaps
an occasional repetition of the first two minutes as some sort of
chorus. An exploration of the original theme perhaps but what we finally
received was a sort of padding-out to fill a five minute track. I
really still do like the first two minutes but the rest... not really
worth listening to. Disappointing.
Some more War of the worlds imagery, a render that was not shown here
before: The Thunderchild prior to battle. Complete with music.
Officionados of Jeff Wayne's War of the worlds music will appreciate
I don't think I ever managed to post this version here
before, a reinterpretation of HG Wells/Jeff Wayne's thunderchild. Just a render of a scene
with some animation tools used to make the scene come to life. No real
animation yet of the Tripods nor the ship but some nicely performed
music added to give the scene some depth and emotional appeal.
An image will do as a taster:
The video was a germ of an idea, a low res short period-shot movie based on 2D and 3D models. Note the low quality period-film effect is
deliberate, there are a few errors, long range smoke visibility and the prow of the
steam packet but please ignore these.
were originally thinking about a kickstarter to get it off the ground. A
very short film sequence, a couple of minutes long, Pathe-news style,
sound effects, moody music, somewhat similar to the more moody bits in
this Jeff Wayne reinterpretation. What do you think?
Whether or not it will develop is all down to time (and money) It is
quite difficult to make progress on a project unofficially unless it is
all done by one man and that simply takes a lot of time. If it was real
project with defined goals, cash to spend &c it could be done
relatively much quicker.
The idea was that it would start on a
sailor's desktop with orders requiring his immediate return to ship for
sailing, the scene would then zoom into the photo on the desktop and
then it would come alive and open to the scene of the Thunderchild in
action against the Martians.
date was to be 1921-25, the time of the second Martian invasion where
they come equipped with the same technology (realising the overwhelming
superiority of their machinery) but fitted with bacteriological filters
allowing them to survive in Earth's germ-laden atmosphere. This time
they come in fewer numbers having almost exhausted their resources in
the first invasion and of course, this time the human defences are
better-prepared. In this timeline we get to see Thunderchild II in
action. Anyhow, that was the vague idea.
We also had an idea of an old stamp album showing this stamp with the following description:
is a stamp created by Eric Gill in 1924 for the British Empire
Exhibition with the emergency overprint "under martian rule" for a set
of stamps which were produced in that portion of the British Isles still
allowed to function - whilst operating under the yoke of the Martian
Empire subsequent to the second Martian invasion in 1925.
many items survive from this period and this is reflected in the
condition of the stamp. The bottom right hand corner is severely burnt
as the stamp was recovered from the remains of Plymouth Post Office
destroyed during the battle for the Tamar Bridge at Saltash. Approximate
value £26 guineas."
I have been watching the progression of Joomla for years now and I am of the firm opinion that there is room for a CMS that Joomla used to be. I mean, of course, Joomla 1.0. A pretty, good-looking, easy to use, straightforward CMS with no frills, none of the later features that grown-up Joomla has today. Most of the core hacks have been discovered and locked-down. There are still a lot of extensions available that need no re-engineering to function.
It could suit the purpose well. It would have no overlap with the core mainstream Joomla, so no disturbance or friction would be caused between the two. JoomlaLite might require minimal development and simply just maintenance. It could become the feeder project to its bigger brother. As people require more functionality then they simply migrate upward.
Mambo and Joomla 1.0 were both good CMS and as simple website-building tools they are still unmatched. I recently visited a few of my old websites (totally secure and hosted under PHP 5.3) and was amazed at the speed and functionality of the things. The back end flies in comparison to the current Joomla offerings, the front end is practically instant, with no cacheing. All the tools work beautifully.
Big grown up Joomla is not a tool I would use now for small sites nor for bigger ecommerce sites. I would use a blogging tool or any smaller lightweight alternative for a simple site. For an ecommerce site the combination of VM and Joomla 3.0 is too risky due to potential unscalability and the slow running of Joomla. My experience of the new Joomla back end has been unsatisfactory (slow and weird-looking). For ecommerce Magento or OScommerce would be my target of choice.
Do you remember those days when you had a fairly simple shopping cart in a fairly simple CMS? It all ran quick and was easy to knock them out? I want something like that.
Resurrect Joomla 1.0, give it to a smaller team with a mandate to maintain, only develop within strict defined boundaries to avoid duplication of effort and competition (tools only) and call it JoomlaLite.
I know that others have tried and failed/succeeded in making a Joomal 1.0 clone (Joostina and Elxis) but that was due to them taking the wrong path (Russian language CMS rather than an International CMS) but the work they did on the improved tools proved that it can be done and their best work is available to port back. They also didn't have the Joomla name, a guarantee to success for a 'lite' version of Joomla.
At last I've managed to get the steampunk orrery into a reasonable
shape, good enough to release in any case. The memo taker which worked
in the old version does not work in this one, it is still waiting for me
to finish re-skinning that part of it. However, the animation and the
general 'prettiness' of the thing have been enhanced somewhat to match
the functionality that you will see in this video :
is the orrery plasmoid - The functionality isn't quite the same but it
pretty much brings it up to scratch and it is now on par with the
plasmoid. I will post a new video soon, same music but showing the
enhance functionality in the yahoo/konfabulator version of this widget.
you install all three of these they will work together and will allow
you to look at the moon phases in an animated fashion, good grief the
thing is actually useful! The Moon widget will automatically position
itself on top of the orrery widget when it is called into operation. The
Underwidget needs to be layered underneath the Orrery and then the
Orrery's glass panel needs to be made translucent using the opacity
slider. You'll then be able to see the underwidget showing through the
Please try them out and test them and if you have any
problems do let me know. If you like them all working together do also
let me know as this stuff has taken a long while to do. I've taught
myself a lot in the process and I do love designing these steampunk
My collaborator, Harry Whitfield is like a Victorian steam-powered brass
coding engine, you only have to feed him a good idea and a method of
doing it then all of a sudden he's done it. The result is compact,
perfectly ordered and logical code, beautifully done, no spaghetti, all
created with years of experience and wisdom.
I had a simple
magnifier widget that did nothing at all. I was disappointed with it as I
could find no function for it other than to run a command to initiate a
utility of some sort, a simple launcher, a big icon as it were. When I
created the magnifying glass image I had intended to add code that would
allow the widget to identify what was beneath it and give an enlarged
version just as a real magnifying glass would do. However the widget
engine does not give the widget the power to identify what is beneath
it, it does not interact with the windows desktop in any way so that
idea was gone. We cannot magnify the Windows desktop.
thought was to magnify the other widgets in the Konfabulator engine,
However, the widget engine does not give the widget the power to
identify any other widget above or below it so it cannot interact with
or magnify any other widget in a graphical sense. There is some
inter-widget communication allowed but it would not be fast enough to
allow real-time magnification of another widget, it would also be
horrendously complicated, so, that idea was gone too.
I sat on
the idea and deliberated with Harry and he confirmed all the above, in
fact he confirmed it several times but the idea would not leave my head.
The magnifying glass sat there on my desk saying "use me, use me! but
only for magnification purposes..." and I absorbed what it was saying
but unable to do anything about it. It also said "Twiddle the basset
pipes" - but I ignored that as it was rubbish.
So, the day before
yesterday, a germ of a thought grew into an actual idea as to how to
overcome this problem and then I had it. It could be done. Simply put,
if the magnifying glass and the image it needs to magnify, sit within
the same widget, they can find information about themselves, size,
position &c and the therefore the magnification can be achieved. All
that needs to be done is to drop an image into a window and then the
magnifier can interact with it as they are all within the same widget.
was the idea, I put it to Harry and a day later the widget was designed
and coded and released for testing. Crikey he's fast. Using the
graphics from my widget and the code from one of his previous image
display widgets he banged in his new code and hey presto! we have a
lightbox into which we can drag/drop any image. The magnifying glass is
slidable and moves around the image by dragging the handle. The glass
lens magnifies the image underneath! It is done, it works.
Testing it now. Adding some steampunk controls and completing the functionality. We have a new widget.
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Steampunk Yahoo Widget
How about something special for the weekend sir?
Lightquick have a nice little Yahoo widget for you to download. Click on the image above.