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Well, the wall of text got too long again, so we're starting another chapter, here on Monday December 3rd. This chapter will run from now through Sunday. I will attempt something interesting on Monday the 10th, the final day of the tournament involving Dragon, my tablet and a full day of play, which I will post at the conclusion of the tournament. The previous parts of this epic journey in obsessive compulsive PVP play:


Chapter 1


Chapter 2

For this chapter of epic awesomeness, I'm going to strip it down a bit. Daily play, not detailed. Just results and observations. I think that's in line with my time, ability and interest.

Day 20 - December 2nd

I kind of had a rough day on December 1st and was just grumpy all day. So, I didn't play much and didn't record results. No idea where I started this day. I do know where I finished though:

Day 20 Results

  • League: Adamantium
  • Rating: 1932
  • Ranking: 0%
  • Record: 722-596-5
    • 55% Win
    • Attacks: 591
    • Defenses: 732
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.24

Analysis

My attack volume has increased while my defending volume has gone down. That resulted in an Attack:Defense ration on November 26th of 1:2.2 being turned around to 1:1.24 by December 2nd. If the rate of change continues, I will have no one but myself to blame if I don't get the top prize. I cna live with that, but I think I'm inline for the top prize, even with an escalation of required ELO scores expected over the final week.

Finishing kick will be important. This was about where I made my move last tournament, but when I did, there were five days left. This time, I'm holding resources longer.

Day 21 - December 3rd - 1877 Elo

After 6 fights this morning (4-2... ugly losses because I confused my Sudden Support with my QJ while equipping), I stood at:

  • League: Adamantium
  • Rating: 1877
    • Ranking: 0%
  • Record: 730-606-5
    • 55% Win
    • Attacks: 597
    • Defenses: 744
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.25

I went 4-8 overnight, which, for me, is great. I also only lost 62 points, which is also great, as opposed to the 200 point 2-18's I was putting up last night. The new AFK team is:

The problem with my power suits for AFK (Tactician, Infiltrator, Generalist) is that the two with actual classes both trigger a counter class advantage with the Signpost. Tacticians give Infiltrators Combat Reflexes (they don't hit back against Signpost though) and Infiltrator gives Scrappers Close Quarters. So, my two best suits are on the shelf for AFK while using Signpost. And considering the rest of the strategy, Tactician wouldn't benefit except once every three rounds, maybe, and the infiltrator would get counter attacks, but no useful damage bonus since the Signpost doesn't do damage exactly. So, Generalist is the way to go. And really, for AFK, the next suit won't be useful with Signpost either, given Enraged.

End of Day

  • League: Adamantium
  • Rating: 1836
    • Ranking: 0%
    • 461st
  • Record: 779-647-5
    • 55% Win
    • Attacks: 647
    • Defenses: 784
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.21

Day 22 - December 4th - 1589 Elo

  • League: Adamnatium
  • Rating: 1589
  • Ranking: .4%
  • 4457th
  • Record: 783-667-5
    • 54% Win
    • Attacks: 647
    • Defenses: 808
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.25

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!

There's really not much more to say after a 200+ point loss. Whatever I tried didn't work. And because I was having trouble climbing yesterday, I wasn't as high as I'd've liked to have been. So, the <1600 was kooky bad. But it was still Adamantium by some points and I haven't been out of Adamantium since I got back from Thanksgiving. A bunch of attacks and I'll put it back together again.

End of Day

  • League: Adamantium
  • Rating: 1956
    • Ranking: 0%
    • 215th
  • Record: 857-699-5
    • 55% Win
    • Attacks: 730
    • Defenses: 831
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.14

I can outpace the attacking now, apparently. Or at least keep pace. Keeping pace might be enough, assuming the match engine doesn't do me wrong. But I'm leveling it off. What I'm finding is that I have no problem going from 1600 up to 1800 or even 1850. Then to 1900 becomes a slog, and above 1900 becomes a wall. Consider, in the whole realm of players, there are about 300 people above 1900. Out of something north of 1.9 Million players. So, you get high, you get hosed by the matchup machine. Nothing to do about it but volume play to rebuild and on the last day, volume play to maintain gains.

A quick inventory note. I am much better prepared for the final day this time than I was last time. Inventory stores of challenge points break out like this:

  • 90 single battles
  • 4 triple battles
  • 32 five battles
  • 262 total fights available

Much better situation than last time where I ran out at the end.

Day 23 - December 5th - 1683 Elo

  • League: Adamnatium
  • Rating: 1683
  • Ranking: .2%
  • Record: 859-716-5
    • 55% Win
    • Attacks: 730
    • Defenses: 808
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.16

Yep, that's a -273. In 23 fights. And I won a couple of those. Worst single day of loss EVER. Deep breaths * 10. Oh well. On the upside, I am 100 points higher than I was at this time yesterday. I'm still in Adamantium, and comfortably so. I have also completed the Special Op through task 22. All that's left is to pound Loki for a second time(4 UISO short), mop up what stars remain, do a run on 1, collect Val. But more importantly, today I picked up my Hoary Mace and my Old Man Don't Die Stick. So, it's a new day.


On the downside, I have much to do at work today. So, not much time to play. I will crank my fights when I get home and hope the new AFK setup works nicely. Going with Quicksilver-Strange-Power Armor Agent with Hoary Mace, Sinister Scepter, QJ and Odin Thingy. Seems like it has potential and QS and Strange have a lot of Turn Advantage that even the AI can't F up too badly. So, I hope to come back to >1700.


Have altered the AFK to something I like better. Emma-Tact Strange-PA Agent with Hoar Mace-QJ-P4-Signpost. The idea is that Emma really cannot be played that badly by the AI and she's so damn helpful with buff clearance. She's the Proc Star. Strange is the DOT-guy and the Turn Advantage guy. Agent is tanking (I know what I said about that, but the Mace changes the thinking somewhat, as do some of the changes to the meta... that was soo three weeks ago). And he's ideally tanking with this sequence:

  • Turn 1 - Signpost - Quantum Jump
  • Turn 2 - Signpost - Power of Four - Mace*4, SuperHeroic to all team members and maybe an extra shot of Mace.

End of Day

  • League: Adamantium
  • Rating: 1944
    • Ranking: 0%
    • 263rd
  • Record: 928-748-5
    • 55% Win
    • Attacks: 796
    • Defenses: 885
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.11

The gap between Attacks and Defenses continues to close. I think I will completely close it by the end of the tournament. I'd like to thank the devs at Playdom for putting the attack counter in the game. It makes measurement easier. And as you know, what gets measured, gets managed.

Day 24 - December 6th - 1851 Elo

  • League: Adamnatium
  • Ranking: 0%
  • Record: 931-759-5
    • 55% Win
    • Attacks: 796
    • Defenses: 808
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.13

I have never been so happy to come back to -93. Granted, low attack volume. But still, after losing nearly 500 points on the AFK overnights the past two days, this was refreshing. Starting from a high base. So of course, I'm getting matched up 25 levels above, 200 points below, 25K armory extra this AM, so, in 6 fights plus an AFK, tread water. Blech. Back on the defense.

End of Day

  • League: Adamantium
  • Rating: 1831
    • Ranking: 0%
    • 624th
  • Record: 965-785-5
    • 55% Win
    • Attacks: 833
    • Defenses: 922
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.11

I'm mentally fatigued and getting matched against people 10-30 levels above, with higher bonuses and 200 fewer ELO points. Takes me five minutes to win one for 8 points, while I lose one for 25. Or I lose one for 23 and lose and AFK for 15. Cannot make headway, so calling it a night.

AFK setup for this evening. P5 Bruiser Colossus, Mod Tact Strange, Power Armor agent with Odin's Staff, Laufey's Needle, Hoar Mace and Signpost. Got beaten by a weaker player in a ten minute fight with something similar (they used Construct Matrix instead of Signpost, but the agent never used C.Matrix). Maybe make some people rage quit. I've had enough for one day.

I played a bit after Project One-Way. So those aren't the real final numbers. I messed around with Gambit. He's perfect for the current meta except for one thing... Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider's AI is worth talking about. I have not played an infiltrator on my offensive team since he's been out. He will target them very aggressively. And he can get around a tank with Penance Stare, which gives him Close Quarters, so he can then do double strikes on the tank his next time out. There are, to my understanding, two scrappers who have the ability to get around tanks. Ghost Rider is the more destructive of them (Quicksilver being very disruptive as well). The AI will pretty much always run Penance Stare on your Infiltrator, whenever it's available. I'd hate to see what he'd do without a tank. OTOH, there's the idea of using the Agent for tank in the Inf Power Armor, and use WW2 Cap as the bankup tank. GR could target the agent with one of his other two attacks and get foiled into attacking Cap. Bruiser Cap then has an Enraged, and can really do some damage. Ah, musing.

Day 25 - December 7th - 1607 Elo

  • League: Adamnatium
  • Ranking: 0.4%
  • Record: 983-759-5
    • 55% Win

So, last night, as I struggled to sleep, I thought about the GR experience with running Gambit (Gambit does some great things, like strip 3rd Charm and strip Super Heroic. Oh, and he sets up Colossus. But I also decided that as interesting as the Infiltrator Power Armor is, it's a bad thing to wear on defense assuming the player plays Ghost Rider or Quicksilver as aggresively (or more so) than the AI. So, the Inf Power Armor is part of the problem.


Confirmed as I came back this AM. Changing the AFK strategy to be Tact Strange (for Ghost Rider, DOT and healing), Bruiser Cap (WWII) and Generalist agent with Signpost, Odin Staff, Power of Four and Pinion. I am not convinced this is the right loadout (like maybe the Pinion should be replaced with the Mace), but the generalist suit closes the Ghost Rider vulnerability.


I am getting very tired. New meta is evolving, which takes a lot of thought. So, I got up to a 170 point loss and was like... whatever... I stayed in Adamantium overnight. Which is an improvement from where I went to bed last night which was, "I don't even care anymore. I can farm Cable in a week, I don't like playing as a scrapper, so as long as I finish Diamond, I'm cool." Which got me thinking to the next tournament. My goal for the next tournament is to do less than 300 total fights. 285 would be enough to do five every day and 150 on the final day, assuming a 28 day tournament. 1000 active fights in a month is insane, but I'm headed for more (and I think there may have been more in the first tournament). It's a lot. And I'm feeling fatigued. Not rolling with the punches as much as I was earlier in the tournament. But then, I remember, I have all day on Monday to makeup whatever needs making up. I'm pretty sure that 1650 (which was my guess at the start) will be the jump off for Adamantium, 1700 will probably be safe, and I've been having no trouble getting to 1800 on demand. I might be too tired to make it to 2000. And I might not care enough to defend my spot in the top 500. Don't need to. There will be several thousand Cables to go around.

End of Day

  • League: Adamantium
  • Rating: 1824
    • Ranking: .1%
    • 693rd
  • Record: 1032-853-5
    • 55% Win
    • Attacks: 906
    • Defenses: 984
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.09

Harder time winning with the meta shifting as it has been. I've changed up my main setup to be agent with 2xQJ, Marksmans Spotter and Goblin Glider. I lose healing from the Signpost and Coordinated Attacks. I gain tactician advantage, something to do every turn when my agent gets left in an one-on-one, and a solid set of criticals. I dunno if this is better or worse, but fights are not getting as drawn out, and my agent isn't getting left waiting for his Coulson to recharge, hoping that the healing from the Signpost will carry him long enough without it's poison killing him. Thought about going with Fury to make the healing more effective, but with tanking back in style... bad idea.

Tanking is back, only it's the agent in front. I find that the Spotter makes the tanking agent much easier to kill. The changing of Super Heroic to whatever they call it now also gives me less pause about killing the agent. Agents do so many nasty things... they remain the top priority, even if it will boost subsequent damage by 50%.

Away Team is being Infitrator Agent (after saying I wasn't gonna do that earlier) with Signpost-Sinister Scepter-Mag Field Generator and Hoary Mace. I know this is completely backwards from where I was with this on the frontside, but MFG works better against the current meta, and the AI is using it more intelligently now. With Agent tanking, gives high probabilty of counters and combat reflexes with Sinister Scepter.

Have had a rough day at work. So in a foul mood. Sorry.

Day 26 - December 8th - 1689 Elo

  • League: Adamnatium
  • Ranking: .2%
    • 2690th
  • Record: 1038-868-5
    • 54% Win
    • Attacks: 908
    • Defenses: 1003
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.1

Not a bad night overall. I won a few with that setup, so we'll keep it in place. A word about that. This setup is almost everything that I said I wouldn't do earlier in the tournament. This is where the best thoughts come from. Do things that make you uncomfortable. That space where your instincts are challenged is one place where innovation lies. Yes, it doesn't take a genius to see that this stuff is the meta now. But, still, I had allergic reactions to playing this passively.

I played some this AM while my wife slept, but I spent today with her and haven't looked at PVP since this AM. I am expecting a big loss. I will make it up on Monday.

Day 27 - December 9th - 1355 Elo

  • League: Vibranium
  • Ranking: 2.5%
  • Record: 1065-918-5
    • 54% Win
    • Attacks: 927
    • Defenses: 1061
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.14

Did not play after my AM session yesterday, about 28 hours AFK. -452. Ten deep breaths did not cut it. But twenty did. I set about playing through my 5, the sixth I get by the time I've done five, the ones from my allies (who were a bit stingy today... random variation), and a couple of five packs. Goal, to get back to 1750 or beyond. Pace has picked up a bit (about 60 defenses in my 28 hours, which was higher than the 30 I'd been doing for most of the tournament).

The bottom of Adamantium (and probably the top of Vibranium) are backed very very tightly. Today, as of a few hours ago, 1608 is at the top of .6% and 1610 is .5% and in Adamantium. Then, 1635 is the .4%. 1665 is .3%. 1700 is .2%, 1729 is .1% That's 119 points between the bottom and the start of the top. Figure 1800 is still the 0%, so <200 from out to top 1000 or so.

There are roughly about 7500 slots in Adamantium at this moment. A 7.5x increase over the first season. For everyone who thinks Playdom are greedy bastards, there's this. And the expansion of Vibranium from 1% to 3% is a large increase as well. All other leagues expanded. In response, fewer people are playing. 7500 in the top .5% translates to 1.5 Million players. I think the first tournament had 2.6 million players, which makes this a marked decline over the first tournament, which could only be called an unqualified success in terms of getting people excited and spending on the game. This tournament, not so much. It's also possible they aren't pooling PD.com players with FB.com players, which seems likely. You need people to go up the rank with you in order to get a high elo score. And the PD.com players, on their own, might get more rewards if not mingled.

Today made the case for not starting early at all. Here are my closing numbers.

End of Day

  • League: Adamantium
  • Rating: 1759
    • Ranking: .1%
    • 1301st
  • Record: 1116-939-5
    • 54% Win
    • Attacks: 988
    • Defenses: 1072
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.09

I'm signing off with the Ghost Rider - Emma - Agent (forget which suit) - Mace-Scepter-MFG-Signpost load out. What comes, comes. I'll find a way to get back to the top, come what may. Or I'll farm the 135 CP for Cable and wait a month.

That's the end of this post. Tomorrow, the final 8 hours or so, get their own post. Then, some closing commentary to decompress what is liable to be a mentally taxing day.

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