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 Post subject: Top 100 - A Glance at 'Naut Usage
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:31 pm 
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This thread intends to keep an eye on which 'Nauts are being used by the top 100 players and to help the community gauge why certain 'Nauts are being used more than others.

When Awesomenauts arrived to PC back at the start of August I found it a captivating experience worth playing for fun but also to measure how much longevity the inclusion of new characters and look forward to people bringing the same interest from the original 6 to the expanded cast. In this I decided to do a check every week and record the characters getting used. I didn't start until Aug 17th because it was pretty evident back then Leon was so far ahead it wasn't worth making a list and didn't reveal it until today because of how the new leaderboards have showcased a better scale of credibility rather than the old leaderboards.

I'll start with the old leaderboards per week so you understand what this thread is about:

Aug 17th -

Lonestar - 12
Froggy G - 18
Leon - 50
Clunk - 6
Voltar - 5
Yuri - 6
Coco - 1
Derpl - 2

Aug 24th -

Lonestar - 13 (+1)
Froggy G - 17 (-1)
Leon - 49 (-1)
Clunk - 5 (-1)
Voltar - 4 (-1)
Yuri - 10 (+4)
Coco - 1 (--)
Derpl - 1 (-1)
Gnaw - 0 (--)

Aug 31st -

Lonestar - 12 (-1)
Froggy G - 19 (+2)
Leon - 46 (-3)
Clunk - 5 (--)
Voltar - 6 (+2)
Yuri - 10 (--)
Coco - 1 (--)
Derpl - 1 (--)
Gnaw - 0 (--)

Sep 7th -

Lonestar - 14 (+2)
Froggy G - 21 (+2)
Leon - 44 (-2)
Clunk - 5 (--)
Voltar - 3 (-3)
Yuri - 9 (-1)
Coco - 3 (+2)
Derpl - 1 (--)
Gnaw - 0 (--)

Sep 14th -

Lonestar - 14 (--)
Froggy G - 19 (-2)
Leon - 45 (+1)
Clunk - 6 (+1)
Voltar - 4 (+1)
Yuri - 9 (--)
Coco - 2 (-1)
Derpl - 1 (--)
Gnaw - 0 (--)

Sep 21st -

Lonestar - 14 (--)
Froggy G - 20 (+1)
Leon - 43 (-2)
Clunk - 6 (--)
Voltar - 5 (+1)
Yuri - 9 (--)
Coco - 2 (--)
Derpl - 1 (--)
Gnaw - 0 (--)

Sep 28th -

Lonestar - 14 (--)
Froggy G -19 (-1)
Leon - 42 (-2)
Clunk - 7 (+1)
Voltar - 6 (+1)
Yuri - 9 (--)
Coco - 2 (--)
Derpl - 1 (--)
Gnaw - 0 (--)

Now let's take a look at the brand new leaderboards to see how much of a change and impact it has made:

Oct 5th -

Lonestar - 26 (+12)
Froggy G - 20 (+1)
Leon - 23 (-19)
Clunk - 9 (+2)
Voltar - 2 (-4)
Yuri - 7 (-2)
Coco - 11 (9)
Derpl - 2 (+1)
Gnaw - 0 (--)
Skølldir - 0 (--)

In a strictly fair situation all 'Nauts would be used 10% of the time, which will change over time when more 'Nauts are included. At the very least some usage should be scaled more to others since newer 'Nauts shouldn't be expected to break into the Top 100 for awhile and quite a few top players like to play random. Preference is a case-by-case situation but one cannot deny people have their favorites and those who are at the top have favorites for the reasons which help them win the most often.

What's most notable about the new list is, for the very first time, Leon is not the most used 'Naut: Lonestar is now. I am sort of amazed Froggy G isn't.

Gnaw is looking worryingly in danger of never reaching the Top 100 and would like to bet firmly on Skølldir reaching it before Gnaw does.

Coco and Clunk seem to be the measuring stick of balance by their overall usage. I agree to how Clunk's relative ease of use is why so many Clunk AIs do well in competitive play. Same reason why so many Coco players tend to enjoy the game because it's a healthy challenge set mixed with good mechanics.

Healer types are definitely on the decline. It seems more and more often the only viable reason to play one is in a premade with a beefy tank like Clunk, Derpl, or to some extent Skølldir. Yuri naturally can be converted into a bomber class but the stigma of Voltar losing his bombs as they were in older patches has made him really fall from grace.

Froggy G and Leon will continue being popular choices because people like familiarity. I hope those who do main them will be open-minded to new characters rather than see them as obstacles for these 'Nauts to get around and not specifically designed to take them down.

If anything I ask you this: knowing which 'Naut is used more are you willing to use a lesser used 'Naut? If not why? I hope this encourages people to try out all of them!

I hope this is informative! I'll do another survey next Friday and see what can be gauged from the Top 100. Until then feedback is most welcome. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Top 100 - A Glance at 'Naut Usage
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:41 pm 
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Gnaw is insanely dangerous now that he can effectively use his spit to the degree of a Lonestar Trinamite, able to ramp up the damage and cooldown now due to not having the highest prices in the game.

It's definitely not my proudest moment, but a Gnaw carried my team in a very long game that we probably would have won, if our third hadn't been disconnected- resulting in Gnaw defending as I was forced to go it by myself to suicide dive their core essentially, and Skølldir isn't the best character for that. It probably would have helped if I hadn't prestiged just before this match as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Top 100 - A Glance at 'Naut Usage
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:48 pm 
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I like the idea, one has to be careful what to deduct from these stats though.

As an example, Lonestar, Froggy and Leon will always have slight advantages, because they are the first characters you can use and as far as I can see, the system just tracks how often you play which naut. Now, obviously the more games you play, the less impact the first few games actually have, but still.
Also, newly added characters are naturally at a disadvantage especially, when used by players who have a lot of games under their belt. Also if people play random and have played quite a bit of games, chances are it will always be one of the earlier nauts, or the one they used to main for some time.

Lastly I'd be very careful to try and decide which nauts are "op" from a list like that. As an example, Voltar showed up as my favourite naut for the longest time, even though I barely played him, when I actually managed to improve my leaderboard-rank. This might be more helpful if it showed the favourite naut since the last patch, but since that isn't the case, I don't see any justification in using these stats on discussions concerning the power of different nauts.


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 Post subject: Re: Top 100 - A Glance at 'Naut Usage
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:25 pm 
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I'm afraid this kind of statistic is near useless since the character emblem is not accurate at all. People could have picked nothing but Gnaw since 1.6, yet their favorite character icon would not reflect that -- in the Top 100, the sample is simply too large with an average of games played at around 600-800, especially when you consider how fresh Gnaw is. And this is not even accounting for the majority of players who play 2+ characters...

Also: Correlation does not imply causation. Even if one 'naut is represented on the leaderboards more than others, this suggests absolutely nothing about that character's power. There are so many variables you can't account for, down to subjective play style preferences. People also tend to gravitate towards whichever character is considered overpowered, regardless of whether or not they actually are.

(That said, Lonestar actually is the best character in the current build.)

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 Post subject: Re: Top 100 - A Glance at 'Naut Usage
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:29 pm 
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Niko wrote:
(That said, Lonestar actually is the best character in the current build.)

Which is actually surprising, considering he only recieved nerfs in the recent patch.

I do think he (still) is quite strong, but I wouldn't dare to give any opinion on that matter, considering I only played a couple of games so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Top 100 - A Glance at 'Naut Usage
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:59 pm 
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These icons have never been very accurate, sadly enough. (If I keep playing as much Gnaw as I have been doing since the patch, you should get at least one Gnaw icon in the top 100s though). The ones that are the most popular seem to be the choices that are safer when solo queuing, at least when having the skill needed to play the nauts with the higher skill celings, not necessarily the most powerful ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Top 100 - A Glance at 'Naut Usage
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:05 pm 
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Not sure if I was counted in this list, since I've dropped to 104 over-night, but I have actually pretty much only played Coco this patch, and as a result changed her to my main 'naut (I random a lot). I do think that the numbers show that coco has been rebalanced well, and I'm gonna be honest, those first 20 or so levels of the first prestige, where you don't have all 'nauts yet, aren't going to make much difference to favourite 'naut, unless the player truly does have no preference, and randoms every match.

It would be nice if the 'favourite 'naut' statistic put heavier weight on recent games though. To do this you would have to keep a record of all 'nauts used and what order they were used on a table, and use a logarithmic scale to apply points to each 'naut based on their position in the table (most recent = most points, 100 games ago = few points).

You could also keep track of the 100 most recent games, but the system would still need to know what the 101th game's used 'naut was in order to subtract one from its count and add 1 to the latest used 'naut.

And you could combine both systems, using a logarithmic scale of points, over the last 100 or 200 games.

But maybe someone else has a better idea. Or perhaps keeping a table of which 'naut was played when, client side, would not be too difficult? Of course keeping data client side leads to the possibility of hacking, but who would really hack to change which 'naut shows up as their favourite?

I feel like I'm rambling on now, so I'ma stop.


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 Post subject: Re: Top 100 - A Glance at 'Naut Usage
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:10 pm 
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Maybe resetting it after every patch and then just show the naut that the player used the most in all matches since the patch?
I think the stats would be worth a lot more then, since you can look from patch to patch.


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 Post subject: Re: Top 100 - A Glance at 'Naut Usage
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:05 pm 
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Knotsie wrote:
Maybe resetting it after every patch and then just show the naut that the player used the most in all matches since the patch?
I think the stats would be worth a lot more then, since you can look from patch to patch.


Resetting the "Favorite" every now and then would make looking at this list a bit more useful alright. Took me quite some time to replace Froggy with Clunk as my Favorite.

That said... Lonestar's a pretty solid character to have in a team. His pushing skills are *very* hard to counter if the Lonestar knows what to do. Especially so when he's got boots and two lanes to jump up and down from. He'll poke with Trinamite and Explode bull enough that at least one enemy will *have* to chase him down.

Rubber sleeve also makes him do a lot of in-your-face kills... so you don't want to get in his face. If he's in trouble, Rebooter can save his butt often enough.

Depending on what league you're in... he'll either be very good because most folks can't deal with his potent Rubber Sleeve Trinamite and Explode bull... or very good because the player knows exactly when to use the abilities, and switch quickly between killing/pushing.

I reckon Frog appears to be potent simply because of Dual Clocks Stun. It's pretty cheap to build up, makes frog able to be on defense or offense easily, and allows his team to build their burst first. A team oriented Frog spamming stun on multiple targets can be quite successful.

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 Post subject: Re: Top 100 - A Glance at 'Naut Usage
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:31 am 
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Knotsie wrote:
Maybe resetting it after every patch and then just show the naut that the player used the most in all matches since the patch?

A reset would make these icons appear to be even more random, depending on how often they occured. A better idea might be using only your last 100 matches played to determine your favorite character -- that way the shift would be more gradual and accurate.

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