World of Tanks

Feedback for Wargaming and some thoughts (warning: long read)

WorldofTanks8 - Feedback for Wargaming and some thoughts (warning: long read)
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Context: Not even a blue here for those who may be curious. According to WOTCstats, pushing 1500 WN8 at around 9600 games but I do like the game. Not as much as I did in 2018 or 2019 and the way things are going, I'll likely like it less 2 months from now. Like the cross-play but don't like the way I'm being forced to play the game to do the season ops. While mercenaries contracts started this trend for me (stage requirements) and I often could tell which enemy players were doing the mercenary contracts given the different priorities: instead of helping their team win the game, they played for the contract. I'm guilty of that myself (both then and now).

Now I (and I'm guessing other players as well) try to be as "efficient" as possible for each op in the Season Pass. Get 200 kills? After 120 kills, I realized I could get on a tier III/II and get 2-5 kills a game. 750 hits? Get in my Lycan/HMH 1357/Captured-KV1/E25 and get those shots going. After a bit, I didn't care about penning; needed to get those 750 hits in given my schedule etc etc. (I rationalized this and other stuff in my head, so rest doesn't even matter). 300K damage in a platoon? Well, talked my buddy into playing his tier X arty and I got in mine to further the sky-plague and play like cowards. 10K damage per game? Easy-peezy so we could go back to playing our Chisel contract tier X heavies.

Now why did I go there? We'll get back to this in a few paragraphs and a wall of text. Bear with me.

The original intent behind this post was to capture my frustration after having played the recent Tier VII ranked battles. Ranked battles are in general an exercise in frustration for someone with my skill level and I usually get to Platinum (a stretch considering my modest capabilities) before I call it. For this particular tier, I called it at Silver. Granted, a good bit is on me given my lack of skill or enough of it, anyway. However, a few things stood out during that ranked battles weekend that gave me an insight into Wargaming's bottomless ineptitude and colossal incompetence. Perhaps this is a bit too harsh but I'll attempt at being objective. This isn't a post at being entitled. I have ~300 days of premium left, have spent a couple grand over the last three years around buying premium tanks and mostly play because it is (was?) a fun game. It's also a way to stay in touch with a couple of friends…one of whom I played around 50% of my played games with. Finally, I do get it that I don't have to keep playing or paying.

I digress. Again.

A few things stood out during the ranked games:

  • People queueing up for a game and not moving an inch. Now, could they have disconnected? Sure. Could something have come up causing them to toss their controller? Sure. But I did ping a few of them and their response was a "We won hahahah and I didn't do a thing". Paraphrasing because between their broken fucking English and lines that cause even Google translate to give up, I'm convinced there are enough assholes who just try to leech the system. Assholes are going to be assholes. What's WG doing about this? At the bare minimum, if a tank queues up and does nothing, penalize them with longer queue times? How much a tank that doesn't leave base but drives around the base yet does nothing else? Penalize them.

What does Wargaming do? Nothing.

  • Making the ranked bottles available to people with a bit of experience so people don't buy a premium tank and have 26 or 300 games under the belt before queueing up for this mode. Why not have a minimum of 4k games played and/or 800WN8 before subjecting everyone else to an army of people who don't know the first thing about playing this game? What has Wargaming done here? Nothing.

  • Match-making: We all know how terrible Wargaming can be and usually is when it comes to match-making. However, there's even less room for error in 7v7s. What does WG do here? As usual, nothing. Pilsen with 3 heavies, 2 TDs, 1 medium and one LT vs. 1 heavy, 1 medium, 1 LT and 4 TDs, 3 of which are glass cannons. What do you think is the most likely result scenario? Given that one person isn't going to leave base and 2 other folk have a combined number of games played of <5K. Haha. Hahahaha.

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  • Coaching folk given the steep learning curve: Perhaps WG is doing something about this but what have they done in over 5 years? Nothing?.

See a common theme here?

It'd be almost cathartic to hate on Wargaming here and say that their devs are likely hired from their player base. A short-bus picks up the worst of the gamers and drops them off at the recruiting office where they become WGC devs and continue to generate shitty gaming experiences. The truth (and speculating here obviously) is likely closer to the following:

  • They cannot fix the game. Given the console break-down (and likely the 360 garbage was to blame), it's borderline impossible for them to fix the game. They likely have so much technical debt now that it's hard to fix. They're just piling more crap on top of a structure with a questionable foundation and are doing their best to keep things working.

  • They do not want to fix the game. As long as asshats like me keep shelling out money for Premiums and premium time, they don't really need to fix the fundamental issues with the game. They make a prioritization call (like 99% of companies on this planet do) and are OK with a sub-standard experience. The current clipping text for instance? Or the fact that you lose *2 XP on a tank if you play commander's mode? Or the fact that if you're trying to communicate to your team-mates about your ammo-racked E4 reload time, accidentally hover over someone and say "Halt" Or the fact you have 3 team-mates left and are in constant communication using the radial wheel to try and win the game. However, the game (given the aforementioned colossal incompetence) cannot differentiate that versus some asshat or two spamming messages and mutes you because you need to keep the channel clear for others. There are tons of small gripes like these and what does WG do to fix this stuff? Ding. Ding. MOFO DING! Nothing.

Or the recent API change. WG changed the API end-points and what did they do to let the community know about the upcoming changes? You guessed it…

This leads to my biggest complaint of them all: It's OK (in my book) to not fix everything and to prioritize stuff but only when you acknowledge and be transparent to your audience/customers. Hence or otherwise, as much hate as WG devs get, if WG does have a Product Manager, he/she is the most inept PM I know of. The devs are an easy target but who's the one prioritizing and keeping a track of everything that's being delivered, all the current issues that plague the game (voice of the customer being one source) and has an end-to-end view? That person or that team is the weak link and deserving of the collective wrath that we're capable of summoning. Mind you, not letting the devs off the hook here but trying to generate a better picture.

I did promise that I'll get back to my initial mention around how WG forces me (and I'm guessing other players) to a play-style given their mercenary contracts and season passes. Now, why doesn't WG do the same to players who're new to this game? Force them to adopt a play-style (have ops specifically for players <1k games – couple that with highest tier, WN8 and other factors – doesn't take a genius) that leads to better customer retention, better player skill and overall, a healthier game? Could it be because they cannot? I choose to believe that they indeed can influence the path new gamers to WOTC take but don't because upselling these players with the current bullshit = more $ and that's what most if not all for-profit companies want. As in, I believe WG can do anything they'd like to or want to. They just choose not to. Why? Because $ and fuck you is why.

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