My general impression reading the forums is that people expect to win nearly 100% of their battles. They’re concerned more with the speed at which they do so, with little doubt that they will win. And while the forums are not necessarily a representative sample of the whole playerbase, probably skewed towards the more knowledgeable and committed players, it wouldn’t surprise me if most people did win more often than they lose. Defenders have no inherent advantages, fielding the same troops as invaders, with the same skills, unless the invader is playing on a higher difficulty. But there are counters to every team, the defender effectively picks their team first, and the invader gets to choose which team to field against them. As long as the invader has the troops and resources, they can invade with the right team to beat any defense. And the invader can have a strategy, effectively using whatever synergy there exists between their troops, or simply making intelligent matching decisions, while the AI is relatively simple. While RNG can frustrate a strategy, and tip the battle in either direction, the invader still has an overwhelming advantage.
My own experience is that early on, I won nearly every battle, simply through playing well. While I didn’t have good teams, souls, or traitstones, neither did my opponents. As I progressed, I fell behind by making poor investments in teams that couldn’t compete, and dropped down to about a 70% win rate. Now that I’ve got the troops for a few good teams, enough gems to afford the Celestial armor, and built a Valkyrie soul farming team, my win rate has shot back up to nearly 100% again. I’m just over level 100, and rarely run into a defense team that I don’t think I have a chance to beat anymore.
If this is generally the case, then when the ranked PvP system arrives in 2.0, with defense losses penalizing your PvP points, my prediction is that PvP rank is going to primarily depend on the number of invasions versus number of defenses – effectively, playtime, rather than any measure of skill. It’s possible that win rates are currently skewed because the revenge system rewards players for fielding a weak defense team, but I think that battles will still be significantly biased towards the invader for the aforementioned reasons, even if players begin fielding stronger defense teams. As others have suggested, the dominant strategy is likely to be fielding teams that draw the battle out, to discourage people from attacking them in the first place. Unless the matchmaking system is biased to offer more active players as invasion targets, it seems likely that less-active players will simply lose more points than they can possibly make up. If gold rewards are based on uncollected gold, less-active players would presumably be more attractive targets for other players, if collecting gold is their goal.
Anyone have any data on win rates at various levels or progression? Thoughts on how this might affect PvP in the future, and how it might be best handled?