World of Tanks Replay Analysis: Matchmaking Spread
Many thanks to everyone who sent me their replays for analysis. With over 66,000 replays there is a tremendous amount of data to analyse and it quickly became apparent my replay analysis would require multiple parts. The initial aim was to look at the matchmaking spread, but with the data I have I can expand this to other areas. If you would like to send me your replays, you still can, and I can use them in future analysis. More info here.
What is my aim?
To present the analysed data in a black and white manner: I don’t want to present a statistic and then make an assumption based on the data. It would be all to easy for me to say “this is the data, and this is what it means” when actually, the meaning could boil down to opinion rather than fact.
I would rather present it and allow you to discuss the possible meaning behind data. A prime example of this would be the frequency of the matchmaking spread between EU1 and EU2 servers. With the data I have, it appears if you want to be +2, you are more likely to get it if you play on the EU2 server, but the validity of that claim could (and should!) be scrutinized and discussed. It would not be possible for me to think of everything and I would run the risk of presenting an opinion as fact, which I don’t want to do.
With that said, I will at times pose a question which intended to get that discussion started.
How does the analyser work?
If you right-click open with notepad a .wotreplay, you see long strings of text – the replay reads this text and sorts it into csv format to be readable. Version 0.3.0 of the analyser reads several different data points:
0.3.0 Data points - click to expand
- Player Vehicle, Name and ID
- Client Version
- Region and Server
- Date and time of the game played
- Map name
- Gameplay type (assault, bootcamp, encounter, grand battle, domination, frontline)
- If the player had mods installed
- The vehicle the player was playing, it’s tier, and tier position (spread)
- Duration of the battle
- Battle result (victory, defeat, draw), including how many of each team survived
Incomplete and rouge data
Many replays are incomplete. The most common reason for this is the player left the battle before the battle had ended. As a result, some data points, such as the battle result, duration, and survival are undefined. Also, special events (The Last Waffenträger, Mirny-13 etc.) and team battles may throw the data off. (It is possible to be -5 in a team battle!).
Also, one player sent in ~18,000 replays, mostly played in Tier 10 SPG’s on the NA server.
I have decided against ignoring this data completely, as when grouped with everything else, many elements are still viable. As such, for each data point talked about I’ll be sure to say how many replays were analysed to receive the results – this is why the number of replays analysed may be different when discussing the battle result compared to discussing the average tier of all replays analysed.
For those of you who want to see the raw data, I will provide a spreadsheet link once the analysis is complete, where you will be able to view the many pivot tables and their filters to better understand exactly what was being read for the data.
As promised, player names will be anonymous – this isn’t about the individual, it’s about the data as a whole. The playerID column from the data sheets will be removed and the playerName will be randomised and renamed Player 1… Player 2… Player 3, and so on…
How do I define Matchmaking Spread?
There are six possible spreads: -2, -1, -1/+1, =, +1 and +2. At all times during the analysis, -2 means in the replay analysed, the player was bottom tier by two; -1: bottom tier by one; -1/+1: mid tier; =: same tier; +1: top tier by one; and +2: top tier by two. For example, -2 could mean the player was in their Tier 8 vehicle matched with Tier 9’s and 10’s and = could mean the player was in their Tier 6 vehicle matched with only Tier 6’s.
By coincidence, there are six main colors in XVM: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Cyan and Purple. In the infographics, the spreads will be colored the same for continuity: -2: Red, -1: Orange, -1/+1: Yellow, =: Green, +1: Cyan and +2: Purple.
Unique Conditions and filters
In Random Battles, it is not possible for:
- Tier 1 to be +1
- Tier 1, 2, and 3 to be -2, -1/+1, or +2
- Tier 10 to be -1 or -1/+1
- Tier 9 and 10 to be -2
Recon Mission was only available for Tiers 8-10. All recon mission games are excluded from the analysis, unless I am specifically looking at Recon mission, as they have the potential to skew the data (e.g. it is not possible to be -1/+1, +1 or +2 in a Tier 8 in Recon Mission).
Low tiers do not play on every map. Wargaming change the map rotation every so often and don’t shout about it, making it very difficult to separate these games from the data. However, I feel this is not vitally important, as the focus is likely to be on Tier 6 and above.
Reading the data...
Of the 63,555 games...
With a focus on Tier 6 and above:
27.33% of Tier 6 games were -2,
34.92% of Tier 9 games were -1,
26.58% of Tier 9 games were -1/+1,
59.13% of Tier 10 games were =,
27.74% of Tier 9 games were +1, and
26.02% of Tier 10 games were +2.
18.79% of Tier 7 games were -2,
19.57% of Tier 8 games were -1,
5.39% of Tier 8 games were -1/+1,
0.22% of Tier 7 games were =,
6.37% of Tier 8 games were +1, and
2.82% of Tier 6 games were +2.
Tier 1: =,
Tier 2: Equally -1 or =,
Tier 3: =,
Tier 4: -1,
Tier 5: -1,
Tier 6: =,
Tier 7: -1,
Tier 8: =,
Tier 9: -1, and
Tier 10: =.
Tier 1: -1,
Tier 2: +1,
Tier 3: +1,
Tier 4: -2,
Tier 5: -1/+1,
Tier 6: +2,
Tier 7: =,
Tier 8: -1/+1,
Tier 9: =, and
Tier 10: +1.
What data stands out to me?
- Of 3,215 Tier 7 games, only 7 were of equal spread.
- Tier 8 was (almost) equally +1 or +2 and -2 or -1.
- 43% of Tier 8 games were of equal spread.
These statistics are fascinating - be honest, how many times have you sat there complaining that you've been bottom tier every game? The data contradicts this statement!
Reading the data...
Not including Province and Widepark, as they are exclusive to lower tiers...
-1: Pearl River,
-1/+1: Safe Haven,
+1: Ruinberg, and
=: Empire's Border,
+1: Murovanka, and
+2: Pearl River.
On all maps, the most common spread was =.
-1/+1 is least common on most maps. The exceptions are:
(The less common spread was:)
Pearl River: +2, and
Safe Haven: +2.
Reading the data...
- =, +1, and +2 were more frequent on NA than EU and -2, -1 or -1/+1 were less frequent.
- 30.17% of Tier 10 games for NA are +2, but only 13.17% are for EU.
- Tier 8 games were = almost the same between regions (42.62% for EU, 42.16% for NA.)
Reading the data...
- Of the 35,679 replays on the EU servers, 20,899 were on EU1 and 14,780 were on EU2.
- More games were =, +1 or +2 on EU2 than EU1 and less were -2, -1 or -1/+1 than EU1.
I would very much like to increase the data size and out of all of the statistics I have discovered in this analysis, this is the one I find most interesting - to the point where I am now routinely playing on EU2 (EU1 was my preferred server simply by habit). I have noticed more top tier games on EU2, but the mere notice of these games is likely influenced by seeing these statistics!
Thank you for reading. This concludes Part 1 of the replay analysis. I will probably make a separate post focusing on the matchmaking spread for the vehicles played, but I need to spend a little more time deciding how to present that data before moving on to look at things other than the matchmaking spread. I do not have an ETA for when the next replay analysis post will come - I must prioritise my degree over pixel tanks!