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At the start of this tournament, not feeling the rewards, not feeling the drive, and really don't like the Thursday end or end time. So I have no large plans for this tournament.
I am doing 5 fights a day, maybe more if the mood strikes me. But, competitive, high level PVP? Don't see the point.
1- Fantomex will require an immense amount of time investment... or 135 CP. I could probably make the 135 CP in a week.
2- I don't really love the armor. Feel like the melee reduction from the power armor I have already is better than the Aegis armor. Does anyone want to talk me down from that?
3- The weapon solves a problem which I wasn't really feeling... the astral agent and Kitty Pryde. If Vision becomes more prominent, then yeah, that makes sense. After thinking it through, this is the spot to aim for. You don't know what the next meta will bring, so it's good to be ahead of the meta. Chain Tonfa, anyone?
4- The Gold. Worthwhile with the level of effort required to collect the daily reward roulette spin.
So, that's about it. Low breakpoint if you don't want the armor, so low goals.
All that said, I find myself enjoying the meta and getting a fairly low volume of attacks. So, while my goal has been to lay low and make gold or diamond and not stress, I find myself, with not much effort hanging around the top 5%, and parking at the top 1%. It's very early, but I could see myself working to get the white lab coat. Maybe.
So, I'm running different stuff. P5 Emma (tact), Swashbuckling Nightcrawler (Inf), Grey Black Widow (tact), little bit of Punisher. Tweaking some agent setups. AFK is a nightmare in terms of results, but volume is small. Develioping my feel for the meta. It's still heavy Emma, with Quicksilver and Nightcrawler rounding out the top 3. I think Nightcrawler still has shiny newness to him, so people are liking using him. I am, but I'm kind of back to Emma/Widow, as it's just muderously effective.
The end date and time are not enchanting me at all. Ruins my usual plan of doing a heavy volume on the Saturday/Sunday before the final day. Now, I do that, I'd have to defend it for a week. Not ideal. Any rate, we'll see, but I'm calling it Diamond as the goal.
Still pretty easy going. I'm doing about 2 attacks for every defense. It's still Emma World, with frequent stars Nightcrawler and Quicksilver and cameo appearances by all sorts of people. With this volume of attack, it's not hard at all. 2 fights short of qualifying for vibranium.
I should point out that the results of the data call were that volume is somewhat correlated with level, but had a large random factor. Sometimes your number is up (as mine will surely be at some point in this tournament) and sometimes you have a high draft number.
Current ratio of attack to defense is still tiled towards me, something between 2 attacks to each defense and 1 attack to .6 defenses. I have NEVER had volume like this. I'm guessing a lot of people at my level have burned through their reds last season and now, have few left, which they are hoarding. I can't get my exact numbers due to a server problem at Caslandr's site, but it's very tilted in my favor. I've seen Caslandr's number and, as much as I've complained about incoming volume, I've never been hit as often as he's getting hit. Now, he's in that great in between north of 260 but south of 300, where you are fair game for everyone from 5 levels below you up to 300. In fact, I smacked him a couple times. What used to be a really tough fight for me, back when we were close in levels was a lot more like a cake walk. There are benefits to being L300, but it's subtle, like never playing people higher level (I rarely play people on a lower level if I'm in Vibranium range, but it happens).
I'm adjusting my goal up to at least Diamond. We'll see. I'm reserving the right to go insane for the 11th in hope of getting Fantomex, but I see Diamond as a solid, easily doable breakpoint, the white lab coat only desireable for specific situations and aesthetics on a female agent, and Fantomex as debateable as a goal. Yeah, 300 has removed a lot of my motivation.
I hit adamantium today. And 120 offensive fights. The defense is starting to pick up a bit. Winning AFK is clearly not on the menu this season. I've won 8 total so far. Which just goes to show... if you do enough productive volume, you can get to whatever league you want without winning much in AFK. It's easier with AFK wins, but not impossible.
I have remained with my A:D ratio at 3:2, which hasn't taken much work as I've been very fortunate to have a relatively low attack volume relative to others at my level and ranking. I think this might be a makeup for Season 4, or a setup for another final day like Season 2, 4 and 5.. At any rate, I put it down for the night in the top 1000. And then promptly took a 20 point loss in AFK. The AFK remains brutal. To the point where I don't even think it matters what I run.
So, I changed the team. And I found a setup that worked overnight. Here's the new setup:
- Kitty Pryde
- Shadowcat Alt
- Infiltrator (not that important, but my meta has a ton of Emma and not a ton of Infs who she wouldn't target anyway)
- White Crown Alt
- Blaster (also, not that important, but my meta sees a ton of Bruiser agents who can be profitably exploited)
The operating principle here is something that I've been trying to work for a while. Strip the AI of it's ability to mess things up by using the wrong sequence. In this case, I have two items that have a 1 round coolup (SS and PF), one item that has a cooldown (PEW) and a quick action that could be misused, but not to any great defect (SoA). You can see how the AI will play it. Either lead with SoA and the PEW or just PEW. Then, second turn, either SoA-SS-PF or SS-PF or just PF. My unbuffed PF does enough to do about 50-70% damage to most opponents.
Phoenix helps keep the agent upright and adds a second Phoenix Flare like attack. Kitty is the logical choice for the AI to throw the mindlink on, and she generally will as Kitty will have the highest health. Kitty also gets combat reflexes as an INF from Emma, which jacks her damage, which is already jacked by Phase and by Phased Advantage on her L2 move on the second round. So, that's how you solve the enemy Phoenix problem.
At any rate, it went 11-18 overnight last night, keeping me in Vibro all day despite heavy volume. The only really odd thing is, despite me counting the wins by hand, my fight record is not showing those fights, holding me at 12 AFK wins, instead of 22. So, you can see the effectof this setup right there... 11 fights in one night, against what had been 10-154. Parking in Low Ada on <20 fights by me today, due to a trip to Michigan wine country (real thing).
So, the setup above has been working for me, at least better than what I was running. My AFK for the tournament is up from 6.1% to 10.6% winning. And for some reason, I got stiffed on 11 afk wins on my register, so it should be more like 15%. But whatever. The cost is about 3% of offensive fights as I learn to fight the team. 'Nix is the one that takes some actual thought. There's also the question of when to use the Scroll. At any rate, it takes time, for me at least, to learn a new team's strategic options, and that's part of the 3%. This is a slightly less aggressive build that what I had been running with Widow, Emma and Super Counter Agent Tank. But that was a failure in AFK, which reduced the equation to productive volume.
In other news, I am loving the expansion of the ranking to two decimal places. I don't know why, but people felt compelled to ask me about placing in the .5% and not getting X-23 last tournament. I don't know why, becuase I'm not well known for my empathy and, as you all know, I am not Playdom. If I were Playdom, there would be fewer CVEs for me.
While running some stats for the comments, I noticed that I could take a look at some fractional data, like my last 100. Since I changed to Kitty/'Nix 117 fights ago, this is a decent cross section of what my results are actually like:
Win ratio: 87%.
That's a bit substandard, but, I dunno that I'd be doing better at this level with Black Widow/Emma. Maybe. But the point of the exercise was to look at running a better AFK team on offense for the final day, so maybe I can win 5-10 fights AFK that I didn't win last tournament. I'm still not decided on pushing for Fantomex, but I'm having not much problem hanging in Ada overnight, which hasn't been the case in the last two tournaments.
Here's the meta up in L300 Vibranium and Adamantium:
|Emma Frost:||63 (63%)|
When I say I am seeing a ton of Emma and Quicksilver, I'm not kidding. Over 75% of the opposing heroes I am seeing are either Emma, Quicksilver or Phoenix. And it drops off pretty steeply after those three. If that's not your meta, maybe you want to look into running some combination of those three and seeing where it takes you.
So much to discuss, but no time right now. I had a rough go in the morning, decided to play for offense, switched my team back to what I was running at the begining of the tournament. It worked a lot better. I built up a buffer, I saw my rating go up. I saw it go down at the end, in the last two hour frenzy. It was crazy. But I built enough of a buffer to win all prizes.
Third Adamantium in 6 tournaments. First at L300. I'll take it. Now, to level X-23, Vision (gotten earlier today) and Fantomex (and probably Omega Sentinel before too long). Zoiks. It's like being mid level again. I will have the volume data. I stopped logging fights a week ago because it was just skewing more and more heavily to Emma and Quicksilver, so got more and more boring. But I have volume data up the ying yang, and will post when I find the time. Congrats to everyone who got what they wanted, better luck next time to the folks who didn't. Enough hard work and you can do it.
I know some people are going to ask this, so might as well just get it out there. I know I wrote, "At the start of this tournament, not feeling the rewards, not feeling the drive, and really don't like the Thursday end or end time. So I have no large plans for this tournament." So, what changed. Well, first, I saw my volume, and it was completely manageable in the early going. Then, I saw that I was hanging around Adamantium anyway, so may as well try and save 135 CP (the motivation to farm CP without getting levels and the associated free energy is hard). And lastly, I looked at a statement on how many vacation days I had left from work and, well, I had too many. A lot too many. So many that, if the year ended yesterday, I would have lost the day anyway. So, all that, and I went for it. The armor is still not as exciting as the power armor, the weapon is still meh and Fantomex can still be recruited in a month (but won't have to be).
This was strictly an exercise in applied volume. I did come up with an effective AFK team, but, looking at the volume, defensive losses could be overcome with offensive wins, assuming enough work. I know I didn't start out that excited about this tournament, but if you look at my early volume, you'll see how I got sucked in.
|Date||Rating||Ses ATK||ATK Win||ATK Lose||Tot ATK||AWin%||Ses DEF||DEF Win||DEF Lose||Dwin%||Total Def||A/D|
I normalized the volume chart to one observation at day. I used the last observation of the day, which lets you see my daily volume against what defensive volume I was seeing.
Some things I see when I look at it. First, you can see why I was motivated to change the team up. On the 29th, I had gone two days since winning an AFK fight, despite a large enough volume to win some just by luck. There aren't many incompetant players in L300 competitive PVP, so you just don't get free, accidental wins, even when the turn order breaks against the other guy. So, I knew that the Black Widow/Emma team was not an AFK winner. I knew that going in. I'd also come off a brutal day on offense with 7 losses in 42 fights (not acceptable to me at that stage), so I was compelled to switch. And you see some instant results, getting over my offensive lose percentage on about half the days. So, why the change back? Well, of my 28 losses on the final day, 5 or 6 of them came in my first 20 fights. That team just wasn't working at that time. And it had been tougher sledding the last few days anyway. So, I was thinking what to do and I just went back to a team I knew how to play well. And, played very effectively for the rest of the day, probably north of 88%. And, when you start in range of Adamantium, and can put on 160 fights, you can win the top prizes.