Exercise description: In this article, we will analyze a gameplay video recorded during a war in which we participated in the game New World (Amazon, 2021). This is an example of a “VOD review”, which you can do individually, or as a team, and which aims to identify the strengths and areas for improvement of a multitude of factors that can influence victory in an electronic sports competition: strategies, tactics, communication, personal skills, group cohesion, etc.
Note: This article is a translation. For the original article, click on Français in the menu.
Based on the premise that I consider myself to be only slightly above the average player at New World and that there is a lot of room for improvement, this exercise has first of all a personal development objective.
Context of the video
The New World video game is an MMO with a multitude of facets that can have a competitive aspect: speedrun dungeons (Expeditions), 50 vs 50 player faction wars, 20 vs 20 player battlegrounds (Outpost Rush), duels, open world skirmishes (Open PvP), etc. The war in this video is between the TC Company (Guild) and the Pseudonym Brotherhood Company in Brightwood (Morrow) on January 2, 2022.
Each coach (or player) has their own way of doing things. Some will prefer to have the players on their team watch the video at the same time in a conference room, pausing as needed for discussion. Others will make video clips of key moments to be analyzed afterwards, or to make promotional video montages. There are even several specialized tools for VOD review (e.g. Enlyo, Insight.gg). The Enlyo platform is not free. Before using the 14-day trial, I prefer to gain more experience with this type of platform to be able to make a better comparison. Since the source video file is 13.7 GB, the upload takes 4 hours on the Insight.gg platform.
The method I’m used to using, and which I use in this article, is the same one I used to use for video editing about ten years ago. Since the event is relatively fresh in my memory, I already have a good idea of the highlights. So, I listen to it a first time by taking notes in a text document of some kind, noting the time and some key words. If a type of event happens repeatedly, then I create a category to pre-classify the scenes. It is important to note that it is not optimized in any way. This method is useful in a temporary context where the notes will not be reused far into the future, and there will be no follow-up (e.g. logbook). This method can also be useful in the context where the coach wants to organize a more structured VOD review with his team. Doing this exercise directly in Insight.gg would probably have been much more efficient.
Observations and discussions
The first striking observation is the lack of preparation: too heavy (00:03, 06:48), dexterity food at level 2 instead of 5 (00:08), quickly changing armor and forgetting to put on the right gloves (00:08), and not checking if the Teamspeak program was up-to-date before the war (02:21). This lack of preparation however is easily explained. On principle, I signed up for the war, but I didn’t think I would make it. Not being on the main team, I haven’t been to any major wars until now. At the last minute, while I was leveling my trades in lumberjack gear, I was invited to fill in for someone. Luckily, I always carry my PvP gear with me. If forgetting to check if the Teamspeak program, which is an alternative communication tool used by special teams, was up to date didn’t change anything since it was already up to date, the glove error is another story. Indeed, it made me in “medium” instead of “light”, thus taking away some of the mobility I’m used to and an extra 10% of damage. Moreover, it meant that I no longer had the 150 points in intelligence that allows me to have the 15% extra damage on the void damage I inflict. I realized this when we were already more than 7 minutes into the game (17:12).
The second observation is Rendolphe’s leadership in the preparation phase. Surprisingly, his interventions cover much of the important information I was evaluating from officer cadets doing their leadership training in the Canadian Armed Forces: assigning tasks to the group with specifics for me, as I was the only one not in their group regularly (02: 51 & 04:26), coordination and contingency plan (05:01), communications check (05:13 & 10:10), logistical support (09:07), reminding the person who is least experienced in war (me) of the mission (09:13), etc. All this while being open to suggestions (03:17).
The first skirmish (10:10), against a “tank healer”, first shows a problem with the UI in relation to the red square and the player avatar: there is a 0.5 cm lag when the enemy is running (10:25), then no lag, or almost no lag, when the enemy is close (12:36). Then, it is possible to see a lack of experience in hand-to-hand combat on my part throughout the battle that lasted almost two minutes (14:10). This lack of experience will be visible during the other duels, whether I win (26:20), or lose (22:00). Also, I noticed that my rapier was only level 16, when I thought it was level 20.
As a sentry, I had a lot of down time where I was just looking in the opposite direction of the battle to make sure no one was trying to get around us. Other than one alert that took a bit of time to make (24:07), I was able to warn every time there was someone or some group going around us (16:10, 17:02, 18:46 (with correction at 18:57), 19:32, 24:36, 24:50, 26:57, 28:13, 29:53, 31:07, & 35:20). Of course, I also offered a cover shot to harass enemies from afar (26:02).
In terms of harassing, although there can be kills (14:34 & 38:40), it is extremely difficult to hit a target that runs around in unpredictable ways (18:05, 21:01 & 23:23). The biggest problem here is the limit the developers added that prevents me from seeing players after a certain distance, preventing me from helping the farthest point, and finishing some people (32:10 & 39:22).
I would like to put forward one last scenario where there are several points to improve. During a battle to protect the point, I did not notice an archer in the mountain (29:57). After I was about to die, I frantically clicked my potion keys that were not accessible, and snagged the key for a “haste” potion (30:27). It’s not impossible that I mistakenly thought I had healed myself, causing an unnecessary death a few seconds later that could have easily been avoided (30:34).
Other positive observations:
- 00:10 Good thing to remove the in-game overlay from Discord
- 07:37 Acknowledged a weakness I have when trying to take my potions. I adjusted accordingly by separating the life potions on keys 3 and 4.
- 20:16 A lack of ammo in the middle of a fight; it’s better that I was there when the troop was protecting the point, rather than when I was all alone as a sentry.
- 40:32 I am surprisingly only in rank 68. Given my position and my much more passive role, I expected to be much lower than that.
Other observations of areas for improvement:
- 07:39 A misunderstanding of the food makes me not optimized
- 20:51 A few seconds wasted in the inventory to make sure it was the “haste” potion I was taking.
- 22:23 It would have been better to choose point A as the “respawn” point and not the fort.
- 24:26 A death I could have avoided, unlike this one (36:14).
- 29:04 Even though the game has various technical problems, always check that the “sticky bomb” ability has registered otherwise it makes a “hip fire”.
A scene near the end (32:37) sums up the sentry role I had: always have a view on his point, cover the angles of approach that his allies don’t see, then help by doing damage in the distance. There is obviously room for improvement, and this “VOD review” exercise will have helped identify them better.