So, Frogloks. I'm an MMORPG whore. I can prove it if by pulling up my academic records. You can see when I got hooked on a new MMO because my grades would tank. For those who aren't an MMORPG whore like myself who has been playing them forever, allow me to explain what these little blighters are. This is a Froglok.
Taken from the Everquest wiki. Image belongs to Sony Entertainment.
"Wow, that's pretty stupid looking," you might say. Well, if you're an Everquest veteran, the sight of those cold, lifeless, low polygon-count eyes probably sends a chill through your spine. The closest analogue to more recent times might be the humble Murloc from World of Warcraft. But those gurgling cutie-pies have nothing when it came to the gut wrenching devastation Frogloks could instill. These things never came at you one at a time. They were often trained upon you by some hapless fool that bit off more than they could chew and then you got caught in their mess. And struggle as you might, use every trick and every skill you had to try and extract yourself from a losing situation, you were doomed to being unwillingly butt-secksed by a hoard of amorous toads.
"That's all well and good, Mouse, but what has that got to do with Ranked Battles in World of Warships? Aren't you a little far off tangent, even for you?" Yes, yes, I'm getting to the point.
The point is, when you died in classic MMORPGs, you didn't just have to run back and collect your corpse. Oh no, there was a penalty. For those unaware, World of Warcraft's gift to the genre was largely removing penalties from dying which was a welcome breath of fresh air. The penalty in Everquest was pretty steep. You rez'd without any of your gear and the only way to recover your hard earned loot was to make your way back to where your corpse was located and loot it. And good luck with that if those Frogloks respawned all around it cause you're naked now. As if that wasn't bad enough, you also lost experience. Yep, they ripped some of your hard earned time away too -- often as much as a day's worth of progress (or more!). All because some chowderheaded boob decided to piss off a bunch of clownish looking Anura and take you down with them.
Now does this sound familiar?
I've said it before, Ranked Battles is very much an old-school MMORPG grind. It's not just about killing boars. It's about killing boars and accepting that if you step wrong, you're going to have to start over again. It's about killing boars and knowing that your fate can be greatly influenced by all of those people around you that you have no control over. Team composition, team decisions and the insurmountable number of games that need to be played has made Ranked Battles this season more of a chore than in previous seasons. When you lose, that's not just one more game you have to play -- it's two, usually, unless you can claw out the top XP spot (and usually feel like a slimy git for doing so).
Sadly, there's no World of Warcraft equivalent coming anytime soon that will soften the penalty for losing in Ranked Battles. We've all got to tough it out and stomach the trains of bad teams getting our chances of reaching Rank One killed.