YoMama2

Think you're always Uptiered? Take a deeper look.

After arguing ceaselessly with the guys who insist they are always "uptiered 8 out of 10 times" regardless of what BR they play, I finally decided to do something to prove that this wasn't the case.    Sure, the saner and more mature individuals among us know that this isn't happening frequently, that most of the time it's a pure case of observer bias.   These guys aren't actually keeping records, they're just going by their faulty memories and selectively fixating on the bad matches, while forgetting the good ones.

 

Then there are the guys who don't really even know what uptiering is.   They think that ANY time they see a more powerful tank than themselves, they've been "uptiered".    They don't realize that only four MM possibilities are open to them:   "Runt" - where your tank is 1.0 below the top tanks, "Low Placement" - where your tank is .7 below the tops, "High Placement" - where you are only .3 below the tops, and "Top Dog" - where your rack's BR is the highest in the game.   These second group of guys think that anything but Top Dog is uptiering.  In reality the two lower placements are "bad" and the two upper ones are "good".

 

But even this doesn't tell the full story, because to really know if you've been shoved into an Uptiered or difficult match, you have to look one level deeper at the meta data associated with the match -- you have to look at the BR's of all the enemy players in the match.   This doesn't give you all the data you might want to gauge match difficulty, but it gets you past the false impressions that just looking for top dogs will give you.

 

In order to compare match difficulty of all tank AB matches at all BR's, I built a metric formula.   Here's how it works.   Count all the BR's of all the enemy players in your match, log them in spreadsheet and multiply the numbers of players at each BR by 0 if they are your same BR, +.3 or -.3 if they're one notch above and below you, +.7 or -.7 if they're two notches, and +1.0 or -1.0 if they're 3 notches up or down, etc., then add them all up for an average each game.   If the match is exactly balanced around you, the average will be 0.   If a match is favorable for you, you'll see a low number like -8.2, if the match is truly uptiered badly against you'll see a positive number like +6.5.   The worst reasonably possible match would be about +12.5, the best reasonably possible match would be about -19.6.

 

Then all you do is play a buttload of games and tally up all the matches, looking for an average of averages.   This is what I'm attempting to do at three different BR's that are reputed to up or downtiered viciously.   Let's examine my data to date.

 

First, I'm not disputing that some BR's are uptiered or downtiered more heavily than others.   If you play 8.3 tanks, you're down or evenly tiered 100% of the time.   If you play 1.0 tanks, you're uptiered all the time.   And in the middle you tend to get a mix.    What I'm disputing is the anecdotal rumor offered by whiners.    Until we put some data behind things, anecdotal rumor is rampant, but it's worth diddly squat.    The first 3 BR's I'm considering are 4.7 American (rumored to either be Top or Runt, nothing inbetween for a general trend towards uptiering), 3.7 Russian (Rumored to be heavily uptiered), and 3.0 British (rumored to be heavily downtiered).   While compiling data on these 3 BR's, I never changed the vehicles in my rack.   I tried to minimize the variables in my inputs.   I also tried to mix up my play times because I have seen trends based on playtimes.   Certain nations are awake at different times of the 24 hour cycle and they favor different tanks.   In order to have meaningful data, you have to play at least 40 of these games with a static rack, changing nothing else but times of day.   I'm not there yet and hopefully I'll get there before another patch changes everything.    But what I do see is eye opening.  

 

Consider the 4.7 American rack first -

5951499592c88_uptieringstudy47.jpg.270c5

 

If we were judging by the old method, this rack would have 11 out of 20 matches uptiered, so slightly unfavorable.   But scrutinizing with the deeper look method reveals something very different.   Over 20 matches it has an average of -2.59, which is very favorable.   And counting all the players above and below my BR reveals the same thing:  149 playes below, only 83 above.   These deeper look impressions correspond with my general feeling that American 4.7 vehicles do quite well.    Two other things jump out when looking at this data:  1) very few players at 4.0 and 2) a bunch of players at 3.7.    These observations have deeper meaning, namely: your odds of up or downtiering placement are heavily dependent on the POPULARITY OF VEHICLES ABOVE AND BELOW YOU.   You are pushed and pulled by the masses wanting to play around you.

 

Now let's look at that "popular" 3.7 BR with a Russian Rack.  It's rumored to be heavily uptiered.

 

59514c2ab2639_uptieringstudy37.jpg.e2330

 

The old method says this rack was uptiered 13 out of 15 games -- about the worst you can expect.   We should be getting slaughtered.   Yet this wasn't the case.   Russian 3.7's do quite well anyway.   Is this due to Russian bias or something else?   I propose that it's "something else".   A deeper look reveals only a pinkish +2.53 average rating, disfavorable, but much less than you'd expect.   Why is this?   Because most of the vehicles carry my exact same 3.7 BR rating.   110 of them out of 240.   And many of the games (like games 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, and 15) which should be uptiered games, actually have more players at or below my BR than above it.

 

Once again, I note that 3.7 has the most players, and 4.0 is empty most of the time.   Interesting.

 

Now let's look at the rumored "downtiering" at 3.0 British.

 

59514e637fd43_uptieringstudy30.jpg.48f5b

 

The old method says that this BR level is heavily downtiered with only 6 out of 15 matches uptiered.   But once again, the deeper look paints a different picture.  It shows VERY FEW tanks at our same level, with 132 below and 73 above.   Again 4.0 seems to be an unpopular BR so few matches get fully bumped up to it and once even, there were NO 4.0 tanks present in a 4.0 match!    Lots of 3.7 tanks are around, and a fair number of 2.7's as well.   Here's what happens when you play 3.0 -- you get downtiered a lot, and when you do, you rule.   When you see 3.7 tanks, they wipe you out.   Why does this rack get a lower average score than the 4.7 rack above it?   Because even though it has proportionally more tanks below our BR level, the aren't as far below us.  The popular BR level below us is only .3 below, not 1.0 below as in the case of the 4.7 rack.   The 4.7 rack saw more tanks that were proportionally much weaker than themselves.   The 3.0 rack sees a lot of tanks that are barely weaker than themselves.

 

Conclusions -   A superficial look at just the BR level of the top tanks present in match does not give an accurate picture of relative uptiering upon sorting.  A deeper look at the BR levels of all the enemy tanks present in the match is needed in order to calculate uptiering upon sorting.   Those deeper looks reveal that match uptiering is rarely as severe as it seems at first glance.   They are usually more balanced towards the middle.

 

That said, a study of the deeper data can reveal sweetspots and dryspots at certain BR's which can be exploited.  

 

Hypothesis: 4.0 tanks are rarely played, as are 5.0 and 3.0 tanks.    With this in mind, a player playing 4.0 tanks might expect to see 4.7 and 3.7 tanks frequently, but little at the extremes.   If he sees few 5.0 tanks, he would then expect the 4.7 tanks to be top dogs who are capped frequently and thus he will enjoy a slight advantage over his 3.7 brethren below him.

Edited by YoMama2
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Statistics. Simply amazing what you can find out. There's also an non-measurable factor of player skill. There's currently no possible way to measure a team's skill level which can easily throw the odds against your team. I find the outcome of most match wins based on the skill of the team and level of teamwork regardless of BR range. Well done YoMama2 :good: 

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43 minutes ago, YoMama2 said:

guys who insist they are always "uptiered 8 out of 10 times"

actually im always uptiered  cuz i take loltanks to higher BR battles:P (but i do this on purpose:P)

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1 hour ago, Hugo_Stiglitz_Jr said:

Statistics. Simply amazing what you can find out. There's also an non-measurable factor of player skill. There's currently no possible way to measure a team's skill level which can easily throw the odds against your team. I find the outcome of most match wins based on the skill of the team and level of teamwork regardless of BR range. Well done YoMama2 :good: 

 

Oh there are LOTS of deeper layers of factors that determine the OUTCOMES of games.   But we're not really interested in those.   We're interested in the difficulty of the match upon SORTING.   Whether you're uptiered or not, NOT whether you win or not.

 

In truth, I wouldn't really even need to play these games I'm tracking, because I only want to see the strength of the enemy player's racks, not the tanks they actually chose to use, or their skill levels.  I don't even look at the strength of my team and of course the sides are not sorted for balance.   And thanks to Gaijin's current horrible erasure of meta data from the end of game scoreboard, to get this info I have to pause IN GAME and count the enemy, greatly affecting my own score since I'm out of game for a couple of minutes each time.

 

You can use this formula to compare relative difficulty for any BR level.   Here's the actual formula printed out.

 

(-1.3 x # enemy players <-1.0 below) + (-1.0 x # players 1.0 below) + (-0.7 x # players 0.7 below) + (-0.3 x # players 0.3 below) + (0 x # players at your BR) + (0.3 x # players 0.3 above) + (0.7 x # players 0.7 above) + (1.0 x # players 1.0 above) = Average difficulty of match

Edited by YoMama2
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27 minutes ago, YoMama2 said:

You can use this formula to compare relative difficulty for any BR level.   Here's the actual formula printed out.

 

(-1.3 x # enemy players <-1.0 below) + (-1.0 x # players 1.0 below) + (-0.7 x # players 0.7 below) + (-0.3 x # players 0.3 below) + (0 x # players at your BR) + (0.3 x # players 0.3 above) + (0.7 x # players 0.7 above) + (1.0 x # players 1.0 above) = Average difficulty of match

 

The -1.3 comes from calculating squads by their actual BR and not their squad BR right?

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4 minutes ago, blastedryan said:

 

The -1.3 comes from calculating squads by their actual BR and not their squad BR right?

 

Nah, I just had to give some value to those who are WAY below standard.   Often players and bots come in that are much more than 1.3 below you, sometimes they are 2.0 or 3.0 below.   But since these players and bots have virtually no affect on the game or in weighing the difficulty of the game, I settled on -1.3 value for all of them.   I did not want to skew the rating too steeply toward the easy side.

 

BTW, you notice right away that since there is a CAP on what you can see above you, but no cap on the numbers of players below you, the scale is automatically skewed towards Downtiering, not uptiering.

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5 minutes ago, YoMama2 said:

Often players and bots come in that are much more than 1.3 below you, sometimes they are 2.0 or 3.0 below.

What I'm saying is, the only way someone can end up that far below is if they get dragged up by a squad. So the MM thinks they are a higher BR(and possibly contributing to the 'top dog cap') despite the low BR of their actual lineup.

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Enjoyed the read, covered everything we had personally talked about a bit tho, especially my brits at 3.0 :p

Can u look into 3.3?

 

I plan on redirecting people who complain alot to this

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The key to finding a good line up is to find something that can be good against a 0.7 uptier (most common) and adequate for 1.0 (you'll only face a few). When you find lineups like these undertier games are total blowouts where you rack up a dozen kills while you can still do plenty in an overtier, just have to be careful. Its usually lineups that are overly dependent on undertiers that end up being not fun/nasty. There are also some tiers where large overtiers are rare such as 6.7 or 5.3. Its not a bad system but it does greatly benefit only a few lineups per nation and makes everything else irrelevant.

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5 hours ago, blastedryan said:

What I'm saying is, the only way someone can end up that far below is if they get dragged up by a squad. So the MM thinks they are a higher BR(and possibly contributing to the 'top dog cap') despite the low BR of their actual lineup.

 

Of course... unless they are bots.   Bots are rare, but they do get inserted.   Regardless of how scrubs or bots get dragged into a match, they're largely useless, and they don't contribute to or "reset" the top dog cap.   At best their presence in game merely fills a slot, preventing another higher tank from coming into that slot.

 

4 hours ago, SneakySausage said:

Enjoyed the read, covered everything we had personally talked about a bit tho, especially my brits at 3.0 :p

Can u look into 3.3?

 

I'll get around to it (or someone else could using my formula) but right now I've added the hypothesis test of 4.0 and it's proving to be VERY interesting.   This leads me to think a bigger chart could be mined for even more sweetspots while we avoid the death-traps.

 

9 minutes ago, inset_judgement said:

There are also some tiers where large overtiers are rare such as 6.7 or 5.3. Its not a bad system but it does greatly benefit only a few lineups per nation and makes everything else irrelevant.

 

Large and frequent uptiers are completely dependent of the popularity of the tanks being played 1.0 above your chosen rack.   If you choose a rack that is 1.0 below a known BR where few tanks are available or popular, you'll see .7 uptier most of the time.   This is the theory behind the 4.0 hypothesis.   Conversely, if you play 5.7, and the 3 most popular tanks in the game sit at 6.7, guess what you're gonna see all the time?   Knowing the popularity of the tanks in play is key.

Edited by YoMama2
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10 minutes ago, YoMama2 said:

Large and frequent uptiers are completely dependent of the popularity of the tanks being played 1.0 above your chosen rack.   If you choose a rack that is 1.0 below a known BR where few tanks are available or popular, you'll see .7 uptier most of the time.   This is the theory behind the 4.0 hypothesis.   Conversely, if you play 5.7, and the 3 most popular tanks in the game sit at 6.7, guess what you're gonna see all the time?   Knowing the popularity of the tanks in play is key.

Yeah I am aware, its why I generally avoid 5.7. The power leap from 5.7 to 6.7 is huge. Killing 5.7's in a KTH is seal clubbing. 

Edited by inset_judgement
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Well, nice work again as usual YoMama. The question I have sort of relates to this. Numbers aside, what do you consider an uptier (up-BR actually but everyone says tier so...)? Curiosity for curiosity's sake but there's a point in here some where.

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This is all good if you accept that definition of being uptiered.  Only problem is, I'm not fighting the entire team at once.  And the +1.0 BR tank that's killing me doesn't care one whit whether or not his team mates are a full BR lower.  So the weighting may be good for stats, but if I'm in a 4.7, it only takes one enemy 5.7 to kill me quickly. 

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Good to see some real analysis in this thread. More like this please ?

I would guess that players feel  more upset at being at bottom 2 of the 4 possibilities, than they do happy at being the top 2.

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4 hours ago, Predatorr13 said:

Well, nice work again as usual YoMama. The question I have sort of relates to this. Numbers aside, what do you consider an uptier (up-BR actually but everyone says tier so...)? Curiosity for curiosity's sake but there's a point in here some where.

 

I guess I'm trying to nudge people away from the whole notion of "uptiering" by only looking at the top tanks since it's a false indicator.   And I'm trying to push people towards the concept of "advantageous MM placement" that considers all the players in the game.

 

Certain BR's get placed well thanks to holes in the BR ranks.   Combine this with a certain potency in some of the tanks you can put in your rack at those BR's and you can roll-stomp.

 

Likewise, certain very good tanks (t-34-85) have no business even playing right now because they get constantly placed against King Tigers.

 

2 hours ago, TheXinTX said:

This is all good if you accept that definition of being uptiered.  Only problem is, I'm not fighting the entire team at once.  And the +1.0 BR tank that's killing me doesn't care one whit whether or not his team mates are a full BR lower.  So the weighting may be good for stats, but if I'm in a 4.7, it only takes one enemy 5.7 to kill me quickly. 

 

Of course you'll probably lose to a stronger tank.   And in other breaking news, the sky is blue, dogs have wet noses and Miley Cyrus ain't a virgin.

 

Would you rather bump into one top dog tank, or four of them plus eight slightly weaker helpers?   That's what this thread is about.   Having a map to avoid the killing fields.

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I've recently found KV-1 ZiS-5 / KV-1S (Sport) / SU-85 and Pz. IVG / Pz. IVJ / StuG IIIG at 4.3 to be a pretty decent spot. I guess a lot of the potential 5.3 competition is getting fed to the big boys (so IS-1s etc. rarely make a show) but you do see a fair few Jumbo/Cobra King to give you something to think about.

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My take on this is that the MM is rigged to cause the most "pain" for the most people in matches.  I have a hard time believing MM would come to a screaming halt if the spread was lowered to .7 or even .4.  Just look at the speadsheets posted to see how many people are with in those ranges.  Are you to tell me that there weren't a few more players complete the match with say a .7 br spread?  Or the player base would have abandoned the queue had they waited 30 or more seconds or so?  In fact, I believe MM is programmed to make up games with +/- 1 BR regardless of the amount of players in a given BR.  That is, even if there are 32 + players in the queue at all BR ranges, MM will still select players from multiple BRs to ensure some are top dogs while all others are bottom feeders.

 

And why do you think its this way?  to keep everyone grinding to get higher in that false sense "of once i reach x.x br, I'll get to be top dog".  Well, it aint gonna happen until you are at 8.3(9.0 in planes).  

Edited by Cpt_Sum_TingWong
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My conclusion to this data is that people general beliefs that tanks are either up or down tiered is shown to be correct. Perhaps not to the same extent. But it shows that people do get a feeeling as to what is happerning to their tank.
Also this data does show that the Matchmaker does not correctly fairly deal out a balance of games for some tanks. Therefore people will look for the tank that is most "Top Dog" and play that for either Seal Clubbing, Credit grinding, or Stat manipulation.

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3 hours ago, Catskinner said:

I've recently found KV-1 ZiS-5 / KV-1S (Sport) / SU-85 and Pz. IVG / Pz. IVJ / StuG IIIG at 4.3 to be a pretty decent spot. I guess a lot of the potential 5.3 competition is getting fed to the big boys (so IS-1s etc. rarely make a show) but you do see a fair few Jumbo/Cobra King to give you something to think about.

 

I would agree based on my un-logged play at this BR and the data from the charts indicates the same thing.   They used to do MUCH better when they were prohibited from meeting tier IV tanks if you only used tier II 4.3 tanks.

 

If we wish to super-simplify down the various charts to rule of thumb advice for which BR's to play, I can't much argue against the concept that currently (until they change everything again) that "playability" is shaking out according to definite "bands", based on the over-popularity of certain vehicles that are found at certain BR's.   See the following chart to see what I mean. (I haven't filled in the ends because I can't speak with any confidence about what is happening there.)

 

banding.jpg.ffe6c866867e7d5a4ec5573a23ab

 

However, this does NOT mean that crowded BR's are death to play at, or that sparse BR's are necessarily advantageous.   4.7 is crowded, but American tanks can do well there.   3.7 is crowded, but Russian mediums do well there.   For now, just be aware that there are certain crowded and barren stripes in the tiers.

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4 hours ago, Cpt_Sum_TingWong said:

My take on this is that the MM is rigged to cause the most "pain" for the most people in matches.  I have a hard time believing MM would come to a screaming halt if the spread was lowered to .7 or even .4.  Just look at the speadsheets posted to see how many people are with in those ranges.  Are you to tell me that there weren't a few more players complete the match with say a .7 br spread?  Or the player base would have abandoned the queue had they waited 30 or more seconds or so?  In fact, I believe MM is programmed to make up games with +/- 1 BR regardless of the amount of players in a given BR.  That is, even if there are 32 + players in the queue at all BR ranges, MM will still select players from multiple BRs to ensure some are top dogs while all others are bottom feeders.

 

And why do you think its this way?  to keep everyone grinding to get higher in that false sense "of once i reach x.x br, I'll get to be top dog".  Well, it aint gonna happen until you are at 8.3(9.0 in planes).  

 

I can't say that I agree with much of this statement at all.   And I'm not trying to tell you anything about queue times, whether they would get better or worse with a slimmer spread.   Nor do I much care, because I've never found AB GF queue times to be much of a problem.   That's decidedly off topic.

 

I can state pretty confidently, however, based on the data posted in my existing charts, that the MM is not trying to intentionally rig up 1.0 spread games even when enough .7 spread people were available.   I've seen too many instances where they were forced to let run a .7 spread game when they couldn't find a player available who might have stretched the spread to 1.0.   There are at least 5 such games among the ones I've posted so far.   Likewise there are another 7 some odd games I've logged with "holes" in the middle of a 1.0 spread match, where the MM couldn't find any available player at the "barren" BR's ready to play, so it had to stretch an extra .3 to grab ready players.   And I can say that when I play at a barren BR, queue times are much shorter.

 

One thing that my data does indicate, is that the MM very often does NOT fill a match with Top Dogs.   The cap is four, of course.   Just go down through the charts and see how many times there are less than four present.   If the MM were seeking to make us suffer, there would be 4 every time, especially if the Top Dog BR was the full 1.0 above us.

Edited by YoMama2
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3 hours ago, RiotLightbulb said:

My conclusion to this data is that people general beliefs that tanks are either up or down tiered is shown to be correct. Perhaps not to the same extent. But it shows that people do get a feeeling as to what is happerning to their tank.
Also this data does show that the Matchmaker does not correctly fairly deal out a balance of games for some tanks. Therefore people will look for the tank that is most "Top Dog" and play that for either Seal Clubbing, Credit grinding, or Stat manipulation.

 

Lots of self-evident truisms here, with which I can't much argue, but none of it leads to a deeper understanding of anything.  Of course, good players play the best tanks that favor them the most.   There's a reason why you'll never see a Pro100 player spawn camping in a Kingfisher.  

 

In general, smart experienced players develop a "feel" for which BR's are working and which aren't, and this changes as the patches and ratings change.  I played the krap out of the T-34-85 when it was 5.3, now I never touch it at 5.7.   Sneaky Sausage came to me and said, "Check out 3.0 Brits, it's a feast."   I never played Brits, so I never thought of this, but I looked and you can see the chart that resulted.   But a smart player can't be everywhere, so he either has to get tips from his buddies, OR he can have a system based on something concrete which he can use to test and predict.   This thread is attempting to do both.

 

What I detest are the newer players who are loath to take responsibility for their own choices and who whine about an unfair MM or "I'm always uptiered", transferring the blame onto some other factor besides themselves.   These guys are less likely to have such an innate understanding of what they are seeing and their vocal protestations are more likely to be red herrings confusing other players.  

 

There are reasons behind all these trends we see, my goal is to quantify the data so I can discover the reasons, then use them to my advantage.

Edited by YoMama2
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On 26/6/2017 at 8:46 PM, Hugo_Stiglitz_Jr said:

There's also an non-measurable factor of player skill. There's currently no possible way to measure a team's skill level which can easily throw the odds against your team. I find the outcome of most match wins based on the skill of the team and level of teamwork regardless of BR range.

 

This.

Examining unbalancing just by the point of view of BR uptiering/undertiering is just a part of the whole and it seems to me not the most important one.

Things such as player level and especially crew level should be taken into account.

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As a follow up to my stated "hypothesis" at the end of the OP, you might be interested to see how the data for the 4.0 Russian chart is shaking out.   If you'll recall, I thought that 4.0 would be a very good place to play since 5.0 was sparse and 3.0 was also a good place to play.   I reasoned that even though 4.7 would be crowded, it would be capped at 4 players or less because few 5.0 players would be found for the MM to put in game.  I also thought that many 3.7 would have to be put into my matches since 3.7 is crowded.  Look at what I'm seeing.

 

5952dca0e291a_uptieringstudy40b.jpg.1e16

 

This is basically the SAME MM placement as 3.7, except that I'm now bringing slightly better tanks into the match.   I have not encountered a 5.0 match yet.  Since 5.0 is rarely played, I didn't think I'd see many.  That means that 4.7 is capped.  Hallelujah!  Under the "old" method, this would be 13 of 20 matches "uptiered" and the whiners would be whining.   Yet is there actually something to whine about?   NO.   The old method is deceptive in this case.

 

The Average battle difficulty score is close to zero, on the advantageous side.   There are 172 tanks BELOW, and only 117 above, and most of those are only 4.3 tanks.   This is a VERY advantageous BR to play at.   Most of the tanks you face are 3.7 tanks. 

 

Once again, notice how few tanks are present at 4.0.   The indicator that we spotted from the data in the previous charts holds.   4.0 is a "barren" BR, as is 5.0, as is 3.0.   The reason why all of our battles were clustered between 3.3 and 4.7 is because of the dominant popularity of 3.7 and 4.7, and the unpopularity of 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0.

 

Conclusions -   If you can find a good rack to play at a barren BR and the tanks above you aren't scary, you can have a field day.   If you have been playing 3.7 Russian tanks, move up to their 4.0 siblings.   You can't do this with the fine German 3.7 tanks, because they don't have good 4.0 siblings.

 

Hypothesis -   What will happen at 4.3?   Looking at the charts, we can surmise that 4.3 tanks will still see tons of 3.7 and 4.7 tanks.   They will see few 4.0 and 5.0 tanks.   They are out of reach of 5.7 tanks.   They will see a fair number of 5.3 top dog matches, because 5.3 is played a fair amount.   It will probably still be a good BR to play at with the right (Soviet Heavy) rack, but it won't be as favorable as 4.0

Edited by YoMama2
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