World of Warships

Why you’re not just shooting pixel botes but instead are spending your time in an online casino..

WorldOfWarships6 - Why you’re not just shooting pixel botes but instead are spending your time in an online casino..
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Let me take the recent christmas loot box debacle as a pretense to maybe attract some attention to the matter and explain to you why I think some light should be shown on the design philosophy behind WoWs:

My personal background is in psychology (degree comparable to a masters) so I would like to invite you to have a look at the game through the lense of cognitive-behavioral mindset. Another background of mine is that of a veteran WoWs player who quit once more than a year ago, came back and did so again. This time it’s probably forever. What is this guy talking about? Well, I will try to keep it short because I don’t know how many people actually care and I am aware that I am preaching old news. Anyway..

Imagine two scenarios:

A: you got a mouse in a cage that can pull a lever and get sugar/cocaine/pick a drug everytime it does.

B: you got another mouse in another cage that can pull a lever and get it’s drug not everytime it does. This reward is unpredictable.

Reinforcing the new behaviour is called conditioning.

So which of the mice you think will become addicted quicker? It’s mouse B. It’s widely found that an unpredictable reinforcement is more effective at getting the mouse to learn the target behavior.

At this point you probably start wondering how this is all tied to addiction in general and yes, that’s something to talk about too, but let’s stay with the basics for a moment longer.

You and I we’re the mouse in cage B, except our personal skinner box is more pretty (insert praise fort he art department here) and made for humans, but in regards of conditioning new behavior, learning and such our minds work remarkebly alike.

Everything in WoWs is unpredictable reinforcement.

Many people are already aware of this, but let me just give you guys some food for thought:

  • match making. The spread of 3 tiers exist to randomly give everybody the opportunity to b in a hugely favorable position (MM is complex and there are other factors at play, they want to have people still playing lower tiers for instance, etc)

  • detonations (nuff said)

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  • fires

look at all the build-in randomness and unpredictability from my point of view for a second.

I mean intransparent lootboxes are pretty obvious by now, but how about the 3 daily containers? You ever wondered why the progress bar showing the progress to the third daily container in-game might be intentionably not to scale? Yes, it looks like it is three-times the distance to reach the third container, when it’s actually a lot more XP needed. (don’t have it installed, can’t check exact number)

Edit: thx for the gold thing. now I feel I should have spent some time on it to make an elaborate argument 😀

So what’s my deal? When I saw the christmas crate fiasco repeat for another year with people literally spending over thousand euros/dollars for the chance of getting a single, otherwise unavailable pixel boat I atleast wanna rant a bit on reddit:

you’re being exploited.

these mechanics are designed to use your brain against you.

this is intentionally trying to turn you into an addict.

WG is not the only game company applying these predatory industry standards to make bank. As a 33 y/o guy it saddens me to see how games have turned into cash machines when big money got involved in the last 10-15 years or so.

I feel lucky to still have grown up as a kid that just spend way too much time playing playstation and counterstrike 1.3 instead of these evil contraptions with their real world money in-game stores, skins, loot boxes, etc.

So if you’re still with me and think what is this guy on about I am not addicted. Then atleast ask yourself if you want to support that other people are being exploited, that minors are falling prey to a big corporation which keeps pumping out stellar numbers for share-holders while saving their taxes happily on cyprus.

Last time I checked minors were not allowed in casinos. To protect them. Atleast in the real world.

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