CoC: Season 3 stats

(Write-up and stats by Delpez)

Supreme Cream Performance – Season 3

Season 3 is done and dusted – here is a link to the Excel spreadsheet (for best viewing open it as an Excel file):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1TPRzXrSjCvWVNvcmpFZXZ3bzA

An explanation of the metrics again:

Wars: The number of wars a player participated in.

Attacked: Was the player attacked or not? This is a yes/no trigger (1 or 0).

Bleeds: How many times a player was attacked over and above the first. So if you are attacked three times in a war, you score two bleeds. This is an indication of how many attacks were wasted on your base.

Holds: How many stars did the player manage to hold onto – if your base was 2-starred at the end of a war you score one hold. If you were not attacked you don’t get any holds, but you’re also not penalized in the normalized numbers.

Overall Closer: The first player to score the highest number of stars against a base will get the closer stars for that base. For example, if player A scores a 2-star and later in the war player B scores a 3-star, B will get three closer stars and A none. However, if B also scored a 2-star, A will get two closer stars (he was first) and B none. Overall Closer just means that all attacks are considered, whether the player attacked up, down or sideways.

Overall All Stars: Adds all the stars a player scored – doesn’t matter if it’s closer, up, down or sideways.

Overall 3 Stars: The total number of 3-stars achieved, irrespective of up, down or sideways.

>= Same Level Closer, All Stars and 3-stars: This tracks exactly the same metrics as before, but you don’t get credit for attacking down.

Attack Down: Tracks the number of times a player attacked bases below his TH level.

MIA: Missing in action – the number of attacks a player has missed.

These numbers are normalized by using the attacked trigger (for defensive stats) and war participation (for offensive stats).

Here are our best performers in each category for Season 3. Note that you had to participate in at least five wars to be considered.

DEFENSE: BLEEDS PER WAR

TH8 Bleeds

MattyC 3.00
Nitzerebb 1.71
Ralex 1.70
HelixPenguin 1.50
Redshirt 1.33
RogerRabbit 1.13
Jon 1.00

 

These are all the TH8s who achieved more than one bleed per war. In other words, are attacked at least twice per war. We have a new champion in this category – opponents really struggled with MattyC’s base. His Bleeds are almost double the next best!

 

TH9 Bleeds

Alistair 1.70
Saate 1.40
Syn Alt 1.29
Animal Al 1.17
Claud 1.00
SOBGrunt 0.90

 

This shows all the TH9s with more than 0.8 bleeds per war. It’s getting harder to make this list – previously all the TH9s with more than 0.5 bleeds were on it. Also interesting to note that our TH8 and TH9 bleeds are getting closer (if you disregard MattyC). In the past our TH8s scored a lot more bleeds than the TH9s.

DEFENSE: HOLDS PER WAR

TH8 Holds

Zelazny 0.38
Sunette29 0.33
RogerRabbit 0.25

 

These numbers are much lower than in Season 2. RogerRabbit is the only player on both the Bleed and Hold lists. The Hold numbers suggest that opponents are finding it easier to 3-star our TH8s. This probably corresponds to Dark Spell donations and the extra attack time that provided a huge boost to TH8 war attacks.

TH9 Holds

Delpez13 1.00
Mikrakov 0.89
Jonneh 0.80
The Trufflepig 0.78
Kryss 0.70
SOBGrunt 0.70
Syncaine 0.67
JHO 0.63

 

These are the TH9 players with 0.6 or more holds per war. The numbers are also lower than previous seasons, which seems to indicate that attacks have become easier. SOBGrunt is the only player who appears on both the Hold and Bleed lists.

OFFENCE: TOTAL CLOSER STARS PER WAR

TH8 Total Closer

MattyC 3.90
Sunette29 3.50
Gormn 3.00
Zelazny 2.63

 

TH8s who scored more than 2.5 closer stars per war. Note that a number of new TH8s were excluded (they spend most of the season at TH7). Also, Caldazar averaged 5.0 closer stars per war, but only participated in three wars. Not only did MattyC top the Bleed list, his also our #1 as far as TH8 closer stars are concerned.

At TH9 I use the attacking down statistic to separate players who do a lot of cleaning up from those who predominantly attack other TH9s. For this season the cut-off is at 20% attacks against lower level bases.

Rookie TH9 Total Closer

Lui Klea 3.30
Vorash 3.10
Alistair 2.80
Animal Al 2.50

 

The table shows TH9s who hit down more than 20% of the time and scored more than 2.5 closer stars per war. Well done Lui!

Veteran TH9 Total Closer

Ranez 3.43
Jonneh 3.40
JHO 3.25
Syncaine 3.22
Kryss 3.20
Saate 3.20
Delpez13 3.17

 

TH9s who don’t hit down often and scored more than 3 closer stars – Ranez takes the honors here.

OFFENCE: STARS/ATTACK – SAME LEVEL BASES

TH8 Same Level Stars/Attack

MattyC 2.53
Sunette29 2.42
Ellroy 2.25
Gormn 2.00
Zelazny 2.00

 

TH8 players with an average of more than 2 stars against TH8 bases. The same three players also topped the Closer table, with MattyC taking the honors again. As stated before, you really should be able to average 2 stars against other TH8 bases, or TH9 will be really tough.

TH9 Same Level Stars/Attack

Ranez 2.31
Jonneh 2.10
Malcolm 2.10
Delpez13 2.08
Lui Klea 2.07

 

Players who average more than 2 stars against TH9 opponents; well done to Ranez for also topping this list!

BENCHMARK:

A comparison of some important numbers for Seasons 1, 2 & 3. First up the TH8’s:

TH8 Benchmark

S1 S2 S3
Bleeds 1.54 1.37 1.16
Holds 0.24 0.33 0.11
Closer 2.15 2.33 2.70
Ave Stars against TH8 1.80 1.90 1.97
Ave 3-stars against TH8 0.32 0.37 0.40

 

Defensive stats have declined quite a bit, probably because offence was boosted. This might also have influenced our offensive stats. It’s worth noting that the active TH8s are getting fewer as they graduate to TH9. With less players these numbers might not mean much in a season or two.

The TH9 comparison between Seasons 1, 2 & 3 looks as follows:

TH9 Benchmark

S1 S2 S3
Bleeds 0.53 0.40 0.71
Holds 0.61 0.64 0.50
Closer 2.78 2.61 2.58
Ave Stars against TH9 1.54 1.65 1.74
Ave 3-stars against TH9 0.12 0.17 0.22

 

Bleeds are up and Holds are down, meaning that our TH9s are being attacked more and are hanging on to fewer stars. Closer stars are down a bit, but that is probably a function of the big increase in TH8 closer stars – our TH9’s don’t have to attack down as often as before. Average stars against TH9 bases, as well as the number of 3-stars are still on the rise. Next season should give more clarity on whether this is a result of the changes to the game, or if we are really improving.

Congratulations to everybody who made these lists. Please remember to follow the link to benchmark your performance against the top players at your TH level.

Posted in Clash of Clans, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

XCOM 2 thoughts after 15 hours

Xcom 2 report based on 15 hours or so with the game. In a nutshell, Xcom 2 is basically more of Xcom. A lot, lot more, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Releasing a sequel to a very successful game is always somewhat difficult. What do you change to make it feel fresh? What do you keep to make it a real sequel and not a totally new game? How heavily do you cater to players of the first game, vs making design decisions around the assumption that someone is totally new to the game?

Xcom hits the sweet spot for me on most of these questions. The story for instance is somewhat a continuation of the first game, but it assumes you lost the first time around and its now 20 years later. Additionally, there are references to older enemy types from the ‘first war’ when you encounter them this time around. It’s a minor detail, but one that rewards having played the first time.

The combat is the same in terms of basics, but you now have a lot more toys at your disposal, the number of enemy types is WAY up, and the sheer variety of missions and goals is huge compared to the first time. What has remained is that feeling of frustration or joy when a shot misses or connects, and how that builds to eventually determine the success of a mission. I do like how this time around, there is a bigger emphasis on using a larger pool of soldiers, because this plays into having more customization options for them (weapon mods, soldier mods, the two-choice skill trees, etc).

I think the biggest change to the game is its overall ‘world’ structure. It no longer feels nearly as ‘on-rails’ as the first, and you almost always have multiple missions or objectives you can be working towards. This also aligns well with the revamped base building, which seems to fit the game better this time around.

Overall right now Xcom 2 feels like a better game than Xcom 1, which itself was fantastic. The formula wasn’t broken, so a fix wasn’t needed, and instead we just got a lot more of the first game’s goodness. Certainly worth the launch price IMO.

Edit: The only bugs I’ve run into so far are related to the camera, where sometimes during an action shot it puts itself behind a wall or something and you can’t actually see anything. Annoying for sure, but zero impact to gameplay. Another minor annoyance is that sometimes an overwatch attack has a 5-8second delay before the animation plays. This seems to happen most often when multiple overwatch attacks are being chained together.

Posted in Random | 4 Comments

CoC: Significant changes lead to significantly more fun

Clash of Clans has changed somewhat significantly recently, and IMO is a more fun game now than prior to the updates. The big changes that effected everyone was the reworking of how village shields work, and how you get loot from raids. Combined, these changes have resulted in normal farming attacks being far more interesting, and on the flip side this means having a solid setup to your village defenses is more important than ever (plus you get to see how it does vs full attacks, so you should always be tweaking weaknesses).

The village shield change works like this: prior to the change as soon as you attacked, you lost your full shield. Now when you attack you lose 3 hours off your shield, which means off a single shield you can get 2-3 attacks in if you are active (shield are typically 12-16 hours long). It also means you don’t feel a negative sting if you have time to attack and still have 5+ hours on your shield. Under the old system it might have been better not to attack, while under the new system attacking is almost always the correct option. A game improving to make playing the game NOT the wrong choice, imagine that!

The loot changes are also significant. There is now a ‘daily’ task (it’s not really daily, as the 24 hour timer starts when you finish the task, regardless of how long it takes to do so) that rewards you with bonus loot when you get five stars (a full base destruction is 3 stars, 50% and the town hall is 2 stars, and 50% destruction OR the town hall are 1 star). Additionally the bonus loot for a successful attack (based on your trophy count) also scales with destruction, maxing out at 80% destruction of the base. This means if you only destroy say 50% of the base, it will count as a successful attack, but you will only earn one star for the daily, and a reduced amount of league bonus loot.

The loot changes (along with a few other tweaks) have resulted in the elimination of “Town Hall sniping” (a base would have its town hall undefended, the attacker would kill just that. Defender got a shield and didn’t lose much loot, attacker got a win without using a lot of troops), meaning both attackers and defenders now contend with full attacks. In a way, normal Clash gameplay is now similar to Clan War attacks, in that you prepare fully for them and do your best, rather than relying on putting your town hall outside (for defense) and only hitting derpy bases (for offense) or sniping town halls.

The downstream effect of all of this is that Clash is now a ‘harder’ game as you progress. Since its more important now to protect your loot with a solid base, those who don’t design them suffer more, and those who can’t make proper attacks don’t earn as much loot, slowing progress. I think this is good because it pushes everyone to become a better player, and to explore the depths of Clash strategy, which are very deep indeed. Plus the lower town hall levels are still rather easy, so new players aren’t hit with the full depth right away. It’s just no longer possible to progress at a rapid pace in the upper TH8 and above space if you just derp it up.

Programing note: We have 2-3 spots open in our clan. Ideally you should have a near-maxed TH7 or above, are able to war twice a week, and have the capacity to learn and improve. Clan is “Supreme Cream!”, mention the blog when applying.

Posted in Clash of Clans | 6 Comments

Darkest Dungeon is another example of KS and EA working

Moving from Sunless Sea to Darkest Dungeon is a really perfect gaming transition, in that I think DD and Sunless are so similar in what they want to accomplish, but DD just does it so so much better.

Both have rogue-like gameplay with incredible story/setting/presentation, but where the story/setting in Sunless are mostly presented in text, DD tells its story mostly through gameplay. Once you watch the intro video and know why you are back in the hamlet exploring the dungeons, almost everything after related to what is happening (how the exploring is going) is gameplay driven. Characters die because you got them killed, not because a quest finishes with said character dying, stuff like that.

DD is also another poster child for Kickstarter and Early Access. I did my review of DD back in June, and most of what is written is still true (bonus meta points for the comments discussion being about Sunless Sea), but even since that time DD is now a better game. Information is more clearly presented, the difficulty has been ironed out a little (still super hard), and there are now more dungeons and classes. In short, Early Access really did help to make DD better, and Kickstarter made the creation of the game possible in the first place.

Both EA and Kickstarter can be abused, whether its H1Z1 sitting in ‘early access’ status while the company behind it says its released, to Smed asking for money on Kickstarter for a game he is going to make regardless, but overall the platforms are a major plus for gaming, especially when gamers correctly wallet-vote.

If you played DD in the past, I strongly suggest giving it another spin. The core is still the same, but the edges are even smoother and the gameplay still a brutally fun time.

Posted in Kickstarter, Random, Steam Stuff

Sunless Sea Review

I don’t know where I saw this (Reddit?), but the following is a PERFECT description of Sunless Sea and its main problem: It has the gameplay of a rogue-like (play a bit, die, replay earlier bits, get a bit further, die, repeat) and the story structure of a graphic novel (read once).

That’s… a bit of a problem, especially because gameplay-wise Sunless isn’t awesome. The ship combat is actually terrible (sit behind a dumb AI ship, shoot, win. Shoot creature, it ramps you, repeat until you or it dies), and the collecting/trading aspect is somewhat poor (there isn’t a ‘quest tracker’ so you either sail around somewhat blind, or take a ton of notes on paper). Then you have the fact that, for long stretches of time, especially further into the game, you’re just sailing with nothing to do and nothing happening other than occasionally dodging a ship/creature. Double ‘fun’ when your ship is slow due to lack of crew, or you go from a faster ship back to the starter ship/engine.

The writing and setting are very good, as is the art/sound presenting everything. The game captures the madness aspect really well, without going too far down the pure confusion or nonsense side. This is what will make you want to keep playing. To open up the next step in a quest, or finally open up a certain area of an island because you now have the required item.

However even this is spoiled somewhat by the gameplay. Multiple times I finished a great quest lore-wise only to be rewarded with less ‘stuff’ than it took to complete the quest. That’s a huge fun-drain, and tarnishes the writing and story progression. Also the game only half-works in terms of repetition. The location of certain islands will change, but others won’t, and enemy spawn locations never change, nor do quest objectives or results.

The result is that the more you play, and the more you die and repeat the early game, the more you are skipping text you have already read, leaving you only with the gameplay. And again, that gameplay isn’t great. Grinding out stats or money in Sunless is a really poor use of your gaming time, and because of the somewhat random nature of the game, a death and restart is somewhat common (to be fair, its not as random as most rogue-likes, and on the 3rd or 4th captain I was basically able to stay alive if I didn’t push things. However not pushing means you sail back to port more, which just increases the bad parts that much more).

What is funny/tragic about the whole thing is the game pushes you not to disable the ‘one save only’ system, but if there was ever a game that should be played with the reload option, its Sunless. There are enough stories and islands to visit here to get your money’s worth even with just one captain, so I highly recommend you turn off the one-save system and reload whenever you die.

All of that said, I’d still recommend Sunless, especially at a discounted price. It’s flawed in some pretty major ways, but even despite those flaws the setting and stories, as well as the sense of discovery as you sail around, are worth picking it up and spending a weekend/week with. Don’t expect greatness, but do expect to be entertained.

Posted in Random, Review | 6 Comments

Sunless Sea is free this weekend

Sunless Sea is free on Steam this weekend. Highly recommend you give it a shot. Its a rather small download and getting into the game to see what it’s about is quick (short initial learning curve). Full thoughts about it likely coming on Monday, but so far I like it enough to recommend the download.

Posted in Random, Steam Stuff | 7 Comments

Good try, good effort Smed

Since the upset loss by the Patriots, I’ve been a bit down of late and needed some good news to cheer me up. And wouldn’t you know it, right on time Smed delivers.

It continues to amaze me that an ‘industry veteran’ like Smed continues to make such basic mistakes, whether it’s telling a lie he knows is going to come out sooner rather than later (H1Z1 being a ‘home’ for SWG players), to everything related to Landmark, to now this, starting a DOA Kickstarter campaign for his new company/game. I think the only thing more surprising than Smed’s track record of mistakes is that there are still people with money giving him yet another chance, but I guess that’s why the lottery and carnivals exist, right?

Posted in Kickstarter, SOE being SOE, Uncategorized | 3 Comments