I’ll start this by saying that this is my opinion as a player who played this game extensively from 2012-2016.
Now, 2016 is when I started to hate this game. Before then, I could play this game all day, sometimes all I could think about was getting home from high school to play World of Tanks, but eventually I grew to resent the game.
World of Tanks started out as great fun and early balance issues aside (Like the matchmaker) there really wasn’t all that much “Pay2win” in the game. There were of course actual gold shells, but because they were such poor value, I don’t think I personally ever saw anyone using them. So, back when I first fell in love with the game it wasn’t the credit card warrior’s paradise it is today, but was that what made me quit?
No, I don’t think so. While the endless stream of increasingly overpowered tier 8 premiums from ~2015 certainly strained my love for world of tanks, it ultimately wasn’t what made me hate the game. Fast forward to this week and after an almost two-year hiatus I tried to give WoT another go. I got into my old favourite tanks and rolled into battle, but something just felt wrong. No matter how hard I tried It just wasn’t fun.
So I’ve sat here for about two hours wondering why I can’t enjoy something I used to love so dearly, and the conclusion I came to is that the problem with World of Tanks isn’t the excessive monetization and P2W aspects that some believe it to be (It certainly is a cancer that I believe will eventually kill the game), but the core gameplay mechanics that promote stagnant and predictable gameplay, match after match.
The mechanics I believe to be at fault are the spotting system, and artillery. Now, I think that the spotting mechanic can be fixed, because from what I can tell it’s simply because the hard limit (of 445m I believe?) is too short. It leads to excessive camping and the incredibly annoying “rock dance” endemic to World of Tanks. This makes matches a boring stalemate where the heavies and mediums jiggle behind rocks trying to trigger 6th sense to see if any enemies are near, and the occasional light or fast medium having a seizure in a ditch trying to spot without getting shot. The solution to this would be either just increasing the hard limit and all tanks view range by perhaps even just a few hundred metres, or maybe even a complete overhaul of the spotting system, whereby all tanks are visible, but the red marker only appears after a tank has been “spotted” in the current manner. I believe this would entirely remove the complaint of “ghost tanks” and the meta of ultra-sneaky tank destroyers just shooting you over-and-over again despite being within 400m. People would still be able to play “sneakily”, but it would be much more reliant on terrain and foliage. Well now you know what I think of the spotting system, but “what about artillery?” I hear you asking.
Artillery doesn’t have a place in the game, it’s as simple as that. Since the very beginning players have hated it and constantly pestered Wargaming to remove it, to no avail. Instead of removing it they “fixed” the problem by making it even more annoying. The artillery can no longer one-shot you from the safety of their spawn, but instead torture you with a slow, stunned death where you can’t even fight back or flee effectively. I’d much rather be sent back to the garage in 1 shot than be tortured for minutes. Artillery has always been a nuisance, but it’s now game-breaking, but what was the defence for artillery being in the game? It was a counter to the camping, which in-turn is a result of the spotting system.
The combination of these two mechanics created a feedback loop. The spotting mechanics made people more prone to camping, which necessitated the use of artillery as a counter, which then lead more camping and created the meta of the “TD bush camper”. The easiest way to not get shot by artillery was to never get hit, after all. Eventually they would be hit however, and with the old damage it was usually an instant death sentence, but now it’s still a death sentence, but an even more painful one (the worst failure of a nerf I’ve ever seen). So, by making artillery arguably more annoying… guess what? People camped EVEN MORE.
It is therefore my opinion that the only way to actually “fix” this game is a complete overhaul to spotting and artillery. All tanks should be visible, and spotting only marks them, and artillery should be aimed using a map that only shows spotted tanks as red dots with vehicle type and health. The overpowered premiums and gold shells are a problem, but the major issues are at the very core of the game itself (and I believe that they are a symptom of it, as people get more frustrated with the game, they are inclined to buy any perceived advantage, in the hopes that it will lead to eventual enjoyment).
Thank you for reading, hopefully you did before the mass downvotes I’m expecting for this post.
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