Friday 26 April 2013

Seal Clubbing

I came across this term for the first time a few days ago, while trying to find the formula for WN7, which sites like use for rating World of Tanks players. The term is used to describe experienced players who deliberately play in low-tier tanks to win lots of battles against noobs.

As a casual noob myself, I'm perplexed by this. Surely the whole point of the World of Tanks matchmaking system is to prevent battles where inexperienced players are pitted against experienced players? If I remember back to my early battles, everybody in the battlefield was a total noob. We would be shooting at each other, driving into each other, rushing across the field in Malinovka, doing everything noobish in the book. But as I improved, so did the quality of the rest of my team, and so did the quality of our opponents. Rushing was not so common, and when it was used, it was a deliberate scouting action by a fast tank that hoped to survive, rather than an attempt to overwhelm our enemies. That's as it should be. I was no longer a total noob, so I wasn't matched with total noobs.

Now, after 3000 battles at an "adjusted avg. tier" of 2.47, according to noobmeter, I never find myself in the same battle as "seals" (noobs relative to me), nor do I find myself in the position of a"seal" being clubbed by somebody with a lot more ability than me. I find myself in battles with people of about the same ability as me, with their tanks at the same level of improvement as mine. There is no way that I could get into a battle against genuine noobs, and there's no way a player with much more ability than me would end up in the same battle as me. After 3000 low-tier battles I cannot recall any examples of seal clubbing.

So what's going on? Why are the World of Tanks forums so full of talk about seal clubbers? How can they really exist? Is it, in fact, mainly a term used by players at the top tiers to denigrate play at lower tiers? Or have I noobishly misunderstood something?

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