The ‘Worthy Adversaries Leaderboard Contest’ is over! It saw some of the top players in the game grind out their best matches over a weekend to compete for MC and glory.
Now that the dust has settled we can start looking at the results and what (if anything) they mean.https://mwomercs.com/tournaments
The leaderboard doesn’t give us a huge amount of data to deal with, just weightclass, Clan/IS mech, player name, faction and score. However, what it does provide can allow us to infer ongoing issues with the game and its balance.
By drawing up a spreadsheet we can start to see patterns and disparities in performance:
In the “All Compared” tab, it is immediately obvious that the clan Assaults and heavies hold exclusive control over the highest scores, with clan mediums finding their way into the top 15.
Inner sphere mechs only start to make an appearance in 17th place downwards, even then, these are more like outlier players (1st and 2nd placed competitors). There is a clear pattern of performance segregation occurring. The only exception to this rule seems to be clan lights: 1st place clan light is 32nd place over all and even saturate the lowest 6 places, with the numbers (p-value >0.05) saying clan and IS lights perform to a similar degree.
Inner Sphere mediums are the next “biggest losers” the vast majority of IS mediums make up the dregs of the table.
IS vs Clan
Segregating players into IS and clan allows us to visualise and compare performance differences within the IS or Clan mech type.
Comparing players in this way draws a slightly different picture: internally the IS mech scores are pretty well distributed: Assaults, heavies, mediums and lights all make their way into the top 15 in similar numbers, suggesting player skill / determination is the key factor producing the results, although, like the “all compared” table, mediums are still underachieving for IS and assaults still dominate the top half of the table. Clans on the other hand are more segregated – the top 10 places are exclusively assault and heavy mechs, with the highest performing light only making 26th place!
While we don’t have good mech build / chassis data for all players, and we aren’t given damage/kill/assist stats, we can still try to draw conclusions from the data we have. Assuming somewhat even skill, the numbers suggest Clan assaults, heavies and mediums completely crush their IS counterparts, with only IS lights showing up their clan equivalents, and even then only moderately. Internally, inner sphere mechs appear somewhat balanced for damage/kill/assist capability, with the exception of mediums, while clan assaults and heavies are undeniably better (at least in the context of this leaderboard) than lights, and to a lesser extent, mediums.
So what action needs taking? That’s ultimately something PGI needs to figure out, but clans need more substantial downsides to get them in line with IS: XL engine and range nerfs are two popular options being discussed by the community. Mech quirks are another obvious avenue, and I personally don’t see the problem in lowering clan item or internal health, making them more vulnerable to crits. The timberwolf and direwolf are the stand out “problem mechs” Direwolf for its absurd firepower, and the timberwolf for its speed/agility and firepower while still being heavily armoured.
Low time-to-kill is a serious issue in MWO at the moment, and buffing mechs may lower it further, but the fact is that IS mechs appear for the most part internally balanced (apart from mediums): a buff to mediums would put the icing on the cake for IS balancing on a whole: increased internal health and agility boosts are all good ways of giving IS mediums some love.
A quick note in closing: Congratulations to all players that placed on the leaderboards, it was good to play with and against you (even if your presence gimped my score every time!).