World of Warships

Business case for buffing old premiums

WorldOfWarships6 - Business case for buffing old premiums
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>>>SKIP THIS PART IF YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT ANALYSIS

There are a number of old premium ships that are essentially irrelevant due to powercreep, mechanics changes, or release of premiums that essentially supersede the old premiums.

Some examples are:

  • Blyskawica: Initially advertised with stealth firing, which was removed. She has been powercrept even by tech tree DDs (e.g. RN, FR, and PA DD lines), and the recent commander rework didn't help her much with the DE nerf. In general, her stealth isn't good enough to contest caps and her long range firepower isn't what it once was. Also, she has basically no AA despite it being part of her history and in-game description. It did get a recent (small) reload buff.
  • Alabama: Imagine a North Carolina with better torpedo belt, but worse dispersion. Or better yet, imagine a Massachusetts without fast-reloading heal or long range secondaries. But it is at the same tier, and costs just as much…. Yeah. That's Alabama.
  • Atlanta: Lots of guns, but short range and poor shell travel time. AFT used to be mandatory to get the range to a paltry 13.3km, but now it is 13.3km base range after AFT was removed from cruiser commanders. One of its primary gimmicks was its AA power back in the days of RTS CVs since it could defend itself (and friendlies) very well. AA skill/module nerfs have essentially removed all of this ability since the AA range is now limited to 5km instead of 7.2km for a whopping 50% loss in AA coverage area. Beyond the range nerfs, even Atlanta's ability to protect itself is vastly reduced with far more immunity periods and just lower damage dealt to planes. T7 becoming a bit 'cursed' certainly didn't help it, as facing T9s regularly really hurts Atlanta.
  • Scharnhorst: low-ish caliber, fast reloading guns on a fast battleship with torpedoes. Scharnhorst was only held back by lack of overmatch and poor dispersion, but its ability to brawl made it a community favorite. Much like Atlanta and Blyskawica, T7 went from being a 'blessed' tier to a 'cursed' tier, regularly facing T9s where Scharn's ability to brawl is mostly irrelevant while its lack of armor and poor long range gun performance are very visible.

Pros and Cons of Buffing Old Premiums

We as players want these ships to remain as strong as the day we bought them, but WG has a totally different set of priorities. Their priority is staying afloat as a business, and that means selling things.

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Buffing an existing premium ship might bring additional sales from new players, or players who didn't buy it on initial release. It might bring old players back to the game who want to drive an old favorite ship around, and that could translate to doubloon/premium time purchases. However, it won't sell already sold ships. If WG figures that the market has basically been saturated with an existing premium ship, they can safely ignore it. Buffing Blyskawica with a 50% faster reload might not sell any more Blyskas if everyone already owns one.

In fact, buffing an old premium might even hurt WG's sales. If an old premium (particularly one that is widely owned) is buffed to a level that it competes evenly with new premiums, players will be less likely to purchase the new premium. Similarly, if players start playing the buffed old premium instead of grinding new lines, they may be less likely to spend money on grind-reducing items.

>>>READ HERE IF YOU SKIPPED ABOVE

So how can we buff old premiums?

To appease WG's pocketbook, obviously it doesn't make sense to directly buff old premium ships that everyone owns. However, I think there is a middle path option: "expansion packs" in the form of new hull options.

Make additional 'hull' options available for purchase that present new gameplay options. These don't need to be strictly stronger, but perhaps fit better into the current meta. For example,

  • Blyskawica (B) hull could have the existing 100mm guns with increased AA and Defense Fire, possibly with better range but worse ballistics, fitting in as a sort of T7 Marceau.
  • Scharnhorst (B) hull could have improved (battlecruiser) dispersion at the cost of torpedoes.
  • Atlanta (B) hull could be closer to Flint (smoke) or swap the Gearing-style dual turrets for single-barrel Midway secondary guns with improved ballistics and range, at the cost of DPM.

All of these changes would be a relatively cheap option for players to breathe life into new ships, while the time required to develop the new hull models and playtest would be vastly reduced on WG's end. It would require an even hand to make sure that new players would be able to purchase the ship+Bhull for a reasonable price though.

TL;DR: Analysis of why it probably doesn't make sense for WG to directly buff old premiums, but making a case for them selling (B) hulls which provide new options.

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