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#GetBoat: Time Management6/13/2016 1:57:00 PM
Published By: LittleWhiteMouse
The Things we do for Boat
Hobby time is precious.  Real Life keeps trying to kick down the door with a series of imperatives and responsibilities that get in the way of letting me pickle my brain in front of the computer.  It's even worse when my leisure activities compete for my attention, be it with cool new movies I want to see, games I want to play, family to visit or just going to that wonderful world of 'outside' to enjoy some of that rare Canadian summer sun. So of course, just as things get busy for me, World of Warships launches Season Four of Ranked Battles.
 I'm a veteran of two seasons of Ranked Battles on the North American server.  I completed Season Two with 88 games played and Season Three with just 78, managing a 65% win rate.  (You can look up my results and just about everyone else's on ShipComrade's cool leaderboard tool.)  At an average of 20 minutes per game, including time in queue, playing the match and breaks, this amounts to 29 hours of commitment  in Season Two, 26 hours in Season Three.  Over a month, that's not too terrible.  It's logging in every day and playing three matches.  If only Season Four looked to be as gentle...
There's big incentives to reach Rank One this season.  While the rewards in Ranked Battles have always been generous, they're now dangling the offer of 2500 doubloons and the chance to earn yourself a free premium warship.  Veterans like myself are now setup to #GetBoat this season.  Many new players may find the prize alluring enough to step onto the path themselves and give it a go to set up for being eligible in subsequent seasons.  I certainly want to #GetBoat.  I made enough of a fuss over it that I'm certainly not wanting to miss out.
But have you sat down and budgeted how much time this will take?
Let's use my own account as an example.  As a returning Veteran, I get the added perk that I don't have to start at the bottom.  I'm beginning at Rank 14 with two stars already.  This means to cap out, there are 60 stars for me to collect to finish the season. Let's break out the math.

60 stars * 65% win rate = ~93 games.

That seems pretty reasonable, right? But it's forgetting one of the important mechanics in Ranked Battles. When you lose, you lose a star, so each loss requires another win (not just a game, a win) to claw back the star that went missing. Now, if I can finish first on my team when I lose, then I won't lose said star. So the best case scenario I can really hope for with a 65% win rate would be 93 games to finish the season. That would represent a heavier investment than any previous season. I'm looking at 31 hours worth of game play. But what about a worst case scenario? How many games would I have to play if I didn't come first on my team on any of the games I lost? Mathematicians out there, forgive me, I am not going to do this with an elegant formula.

 Well, if I had to play 93 games to collect 60 stars, that means 33 of those games were lost stars.  So that means I need to win another 33 games to get them back.  But I only win 65% of my games, so then...
33 stars * 65% win rate = 51 games.
Right!  problem over.  
Except it isn't.  In collecting those 33 stars, I lost 18 games.  So that's another 18 stars I have to collect.
18 stars * 65% win rate = 28 games
Do you see where this is going? This is where mathematicians will want to take my thumbs.  Because instead of using the formula, I'm just going to keep going out in long form.
10 stars * 65% win rate = 16 games
 6 stars * 65% win rate = 10 games
4 stars * 65% win rate = 7 games
3 stars * 65% win rate = 5 games
And once you get to the five game mark, you're just hoping for a two game win streak to polish the season off because it will repeat at needing 2 stars ad infinitum.
GRAND TOTAL:  93 + 51 + 28 + 16 + 10 + 7 + 5 + 2 = 212

So between 93 and 212 games roughly to hit Rank One this season. I'm looking at between 30 to 70 hours worth of playing Ranked Battles in World of Warships this month. I don't want to leave things to the last minute, so that means I should be budgeting around 2 hours to 4 hours of gaming in Ranked Battles daily depending on how good or how badly my progress appears to be going at a given time. This is not something I'm entering into lightly.  This is potentially more time than I spent on either Seasons Two or Three combined.  Goodbye, summer sun!

 And remember, kids, I'm doing this with the assumption of not only  a 65% win rate but starting at Rank 14 with 2 stars.  Drop the win rate by a few percentage points or start further back along the path and the worst case scenario gets even longer. 
 Now, I'm not the first to publish a doom-saying article like this about the time needed to play Ranked Battles.  This is, in the truest sense, and MMO grind and one that shouldn't surprise anyone that's a veteran of Wargaming's "free premium tank!" grinds from the On-Track missions in World of Tanks over the years.  But the last thing I want to see is that a bunch of players, excited for the USS Flint, endeavor to reach Rank One only to find themselves stopped not by their ability, but by not having enough time to finish.
I strongly encourage everyone to do a bit of time management budgeting now while the season is still new and calculate how much time it's going to take you to rank out and #GetBoat.