Wednesday, 23 February 2011

KB:Death Ratio - Now & Then

Some very valuable feedback in the comments from my last post has spurred me into further analysis.

My results last time showed that those folks with RR90 scenario weapons scored a disproportionate number of killblows for their rank and my hasty conclusion was that this is proof of the power gap.

The feedback I got was... did I consider that the very same people who are RR90 are also the most skilled and experienced players and therefore dominate regardless of gear.

I did think about this angle whilst putting those last numbers together but I can be blamed of making the common statistical mistake of confusing correlation with causation. Here's an example of what I mean copied from t'internet:

"Consider school students' shoe sizes and scores on a standard reading exam. They are correlated, but saying that larger shoe size causes higher reading scores is as absurd as saying that high reading scores cause larger shoe size.

In this example, there is a clear lurking variable, namely, age. As the child gets older, both their shoe size and reading ability increase."

The omitted lurking variable in my case is player skill.

So, accepting the assumption that the most skilled of players will always dominate, has the new gear in 1.4 made the best players dominate even more? Do these players kill more whilst dying less?

Cconveniently I have a combat log saved from May 2010, 9 months ago. I am using the ratio of kill blows : Deaths as my measure and this obviously "rates" DPS classes above Tanks & Healers.

Below is a table showing the top 20 players ranked by KB:Death ratio from one night in May 2010 compared to one night in Feb 2011 on Karak Norn.

As can be seen the "best" players, or those in the best groups, were just as dominant on that night back in May as they are on the night in Feb. Extending this to the top 50 rather than top 20 gives an average of 6 KB:Death now compared to 5 KB:Death in 2010.

This analysis suggests that the top players are running amok but only to the same degree as they were 9 months ago. Statisitically the two data sets are very similar.
There is not an overwhelming power shift.

Of course these very skilled players will dominatae over low RR players even more in their new gear than they did 9 months ago and I can understand more and more why Mythic's repsonse to the power gap has been to adjust the lower level armour sets.

Feedback is extremely useful and warmly received :) Sorry for the error (see edit)

EDIT: First time up this post detailed a slightly better KB:Death ratio in May 2010 than nowadays. I forget to fully calculate some of the numbers. New results suggest KB:Death ratio is slightly better now than then but the two data sets are very similar. My conclsion is the same h, I think, that skill does prevail over gear, but I will take some extra time to mull this over. Please draw your own conclusions :)


  1. Great follow up.

    Now what a lot of people tend to forget is that the Renown System changes happened this patch. Would you say that this has any influence on the current "gap" people are experiencing? Why or why not?

  2. Well that's something I've not even thought about. The new renow system has brought greater options for the player and therefore of course an organised group of players can take advantage of that in many ways that an ordinary player won't.

    Whether that is by using renown abilities to cover weaknesses in a given group make-up or simply coordinating group/WB wide Resolute Defense for 15s CC immuntity.

    I always tend to think warband-scale but even whilst solo the renown abilities are v.popular. You only have to look at Blog The Witch to see the use Taransula makes of Cleansing Wind and Res. Defense.

    So, yeah, on the face of it, I'd say the new renown system widens the gap between the elite and the rest. By how much though, who knows?

  3. Oh man, now you've gone and done it. I'm not a math man by any stretch of imagination, but it looks to me like you've introduced a whole lot of new variables. :D

    Consider that 9 months is a long time and that WAR changed a lot. Back then it was a lot more AoE based than it's now, due to the lower pop numbers and the spreading out of the campaign. Consider that TTK was different back then because of a number of changes that occured since (carrer balance changes for one).
    Consider that a lot of the "elite" will have gotten bored and either left or rerolled to other games (many guilds have). What if we're left with mostly crap players compared to 9 months ago?

    You just can't take KB ratios in combat logs 9 months apart and try to draw a conclusion from comparing them without considering the time difference and everything it brings. Not to mention that those are KB ratios of 2 evenings, not a lenghty duration. A lot of variables and can determine KBs in one evening, while KBs in a lenghty stretch of time will eventually even out.

    I can't imagine the KB ratios in the post telling any kind of story. They just aren't fit to.

    Keep up the good job though, eventually you'll find a way.