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Careful it might be learning - WG goes back on pref tanks changes

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Sounds to me like WG had this grand utopian vision- superheavies all over the place, tight corridors to funnel them into close combat, bottom tiers in total awe of all this armor they simply can't pen (desperately reaching for dad's credit card so they can free exp superheavies of their own), gold being loaded left and right, and every single shot bouncing. Every time a round is fired, cue cash register sound effect. And the players, they love it! Look at muh armuh! I am steel! I am invincible!

Just a minor hiccup along the way that those damn pesky players actually want to pen the enemy sooner or later. And they don't like being bottom tier? Heresy!

The one thing that's so odd in all this isn't the disconnect between WG's desires and ours, but rather that they have been in such utter disbelief that we didn't like 3/5/7. They were so sure that it was going to be a success, that being bottom tier was still fun, that taking away premium MM would be easy, et cetera. They just can't handle the idea that 3/5/7 is cancer, being bottom tier 80% of the time sucks, and that at the end of the day, potato and unicum alike want to put rounds on target and see positive damage numbers without breaking the bank.

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Truth be told, I rarely saw an issue in being the bottom tier in the old match-making. Few things gave me as much glee and fun as wrecking tanks that were supposedly superior to mine, because back in the day, you generally still could deal with top tier tanks' better performance parameters thanks to skill and knowledge (of weakspots mainly).

I've come back to playing the Chi-Ri for a bit recently and this tank is a good example of that phenomenon. 57% Winrate in it over a length of 227 matches. Mostly by playing it back in the day when the first iteration of Pearl River was still a thing, along with a today-rarely-seen friend of similar skill-level to mine (fuck reallife, really). We knew where to shoot and despite the many drawbacks and weaknesses of the tank, it wasn't unplayable as long as you knew what you were doing. Today though? No chance. The maps don't regularly give you the opportunity to ambush and outmaneuver the enemy anymore. It's a front to front slug-fest for the most part and here two, maybe three things count: Penetration, frontal armor and alpha. None of which the Chi-Ri offers, few to no ways to let skill compensate for raw number-advantages thanks to map-design, which puts it even further back and then you have to consider the tier differences and super-heavies on top of that. Tier progression was bad in the day already, but it only got worse between powercreep and abandoned balancing-attempts. Not even all T8s are on equal footing yet, about two years after they started to balance the T10s more properly to each other.

Same for the 59-16. I fucking three-marked that thing with the autoloader, simply because I had fun driving the tank and I never felt overwhelmed by the enemy tanks even if I had to drive behind them and ended up on maps like Ensk all day. In fact, some of my most memorable games in the little pest were on Ensk and Himmelsdorf, as the lowest tier tank in the match. Today? It has a better gun, better mobility, technically less punishing matchmaking and still, you just can not do anything good in it. In fact, driving a light tank is one of the most sure-fire ways to actually loose a battle. Just WTF?! I had more influence on the outcome of the battles when I was three tiers below the top tier tank for crying out loud... What is wrong with you, WarGaming?!

It's just a giant shitshow and it gets worse the longer they drag their feet about the glaringly obvious issues of the game and I am willing to bet, that 3-5-7 wouldn't be half as bad as it is, if they had come around and fucking balanced the entire line-ups better and not half-arsed it so badly. That it takes the better part of a year to even begin balancing the T8s after they powerbuffed T10 and T9 left and right was bad enough already. That they haven't come down to T1 after over two years, considering that this is where the long-term player-retention begins, is beyond belief. That they haven't even made it down to T7 by now, is just... I am at a loss of words.

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9 hours ago, Mikosah said:

The one thing that's so odd in all this isn't the disconnect between WG's desires and ours, but rather that they have been in such utter disbelief that we didn't like 3/5/7. They were so sure that it was going to be a success, that being bottom tier was still fun, that taking away premium MM would be easy, et cetera. They just can't handle the idea that 3/5/7 is cancer, being bottom tier 80% of the time sucks, and that at the end of the day, potato and unicum alike want to put rounds on target and see positive damage numbers without breaking the bank.

Did you ever work for a big company?

The guys actually doing the work like balancing, MM and such, are probably 3-4 level below the managers, who make the calls. If some information is misinterpreted/misrepresented on any of those levels, then they will make a bad decision. This can happen quite often. I can make a possible scenario easily just to illustrate what I mean.

Lets say someone made a case study right after the introduction of the 3-5-7 asking 1000 players if they like it or not. Lets say based on their answers one could conclude they like this MM if they are top tiers, and bad players like it more. The manager stored the information in his mind: "The majority of the players like the new MM."

A year later on a meeting

Data guy (joined the company 2 years ago): "Guys we are losing players since the introduction of the new MM".

Manager: "No that can not be. There was a study that showed the players like the new MM. It is because of something else."

Senior data guy (6 years in the company): "It is because of those pesky unicums. They ruin the game for the rest. Lets release a high skill floor tank. That always increased both the income and the number of active players." 

Data guy: "That is not a solution, and it will have a bad effect on the long run."

Senior data guy: "You weren't there in the past x years. It worked every time."

Manager: "That is it then, gj Senior data guy for figuring this out."

Higher level meeting:

Manager: "We lose players, because of the unicums. We have to introduce a high skill floor tank."

Bigger manager: "Good idea, but we also should make base camping spots on the maps and discontinue WGL to fight this unicum culture."

Manager: "That's it then I will give out the tasks."

And kids that is how big companies work. I am not even joking.

 

 

Edited by TAdoo87
words are difficult

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2 hours ago, TAdoo87 said:

Did you ever work for a big company?

The guys actually doing the work like balancing, MM and such, are probably 3-4 level below the managers, who make the calls. If some information is misinterpreted/misrepresented on any of those levels, then they will make a bad decision. This can happen quite often. I can make a possible scenario easily just to illustrate what I mean.

Lets say someone made a case study right after the introduction of the 3-5-7 asking 1000 players if they like it or not. Lets say based on their answers one could conclude they like this MM if they are top tiers, and bad players like it more. The manager stored the information in his mind: "The majority of the players like the new MM."

A year later on a meeting

Data guy (joined the company 2 years ago): "Guys we are losing players since the introduction of the new MM".

Manager: "No that can not be. There was a study that showed the players like the new MM. It is because of something else."

Senior data guy (6 years in the company): "It is because of those pesky unicums. They ruin the game for the rest. Lets release a low skill floor tank. That always increased both the income and the number of active players." 

Data guy: "That is not a solution, and it will have a bad effect on the long run."

Senior data guy: "You weren't there in the past x years. It worked every time."

Manager: "That is it then, gj Senior data guy for figuring this out."

Higher level meeting:

Manager: "We lose players, because of the unicums. We have to introduce a low skill floor tank."

Bigger manager: "Good idea, but we also should make base camping spots on the maps and discontinue WGL to fight this unicum culture."

Manager: "That's it then I will give out the tasks."

And kids that is how big companies work. I am not even joking.

 

 

I can confirm that as an analyst. My company isn't huge and my seniority is random depending on the day of the week but even if I lay out shit as clearly as possible people get brainfarts anyway. The larger the company the easier it is to hide incompetence unfortunately. I'm still fighting the notion of piracy being a huge treat for the movie business (seriously) and anything that confirms the idea 13-15 year olds like some shit even if it's like 1% of them is gold because we distributed Twilight a decade ago.  

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3 hours ago, MagicalFlyingFox said:

Where did Murazor fit in in that stupid hierarchy of retards?

Probably in the old days when WG was less stupid someone suggested "we should listen to experienced players more since they know a game more" and someone else understood "hire a random good player". He was confident so no on doubted his ideas even though a good player isn't always a good designer. Every company has this one guy producing idiotic ideas with confidence and some companies listen to those idiots. Hell I bet they even misunderstood him a couple of times which led to even bigger problems. 

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16 hours ago, Madner Kami said:

Not even all T8s are on equal footing yet, about two years after they started to balance the T10s more properly to each other.

dude not even all tier 10s are even close to being on equal footing lol. Hell, tier 10 balance was BETTER 2 years ago than it is now, by a large margin. You know something is wrong when the pre nerf E5 would be considered worse than the Super Conquerer if it was in the current meta, according to everyone I've asked. 

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I'll quote myself, as words make a difference when they are actually heard or read:

On 7/29/2018 at 9:45 AM, Madner Kami said:

about two years after they started to balance the T10s more properly to each other.

Note, I didn't write "flawless" or "perfect" or "masterful" or anything to that degree. I am quite aware that T10 balancing isn't a done business by any stretch of the imagination, but at least there's balancing there. The same can't be said for T8 vs T10 or T7 vs T8 or even, in many cases, T8 vs T8.

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14 hours ago, Assassin7 said:

dude not even all tier 10s are even close to being on equal footing lol. Hell, tier 10 balance was BETTER 2 years ago than it is now, by a large margin. You know something is wrong when the pre nerf E5 would be considered worse than the Super Conquerer if it was in the current meta, according to everyone I've asked. 

Pre nerf e5 would probably be better for bad players though so acording to WG metrics it would be better

1 hour ago, Madner Kami said:

I'll quote myself, as words make a difference when they are actually heard or read:

Note, I didn't write "flawless" or "perfect" or "masterful" or anything to that degree. I am quite aware that T10 balancing isn't a done business by any stretch of the imagination, but at least there's balancing there. The same can't be said for T8 vs T10 or T7 vs T8 or even, in many cases, T8 vs T8.

T10vst10 is worse than t8vst8. At t8 all you need to do is slightly dearmor VKP, buff the meds and maybe change few other tanks. t8 Prems are the problem. Not prems are ok. T10 on the other hand is a shit show. Compare 430U to 121, Compare IS4 to Type5, compare leopard to anything.

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I find it strange that so many people here praise the game from two to three years ago and still don't realize that the game back then being better and today being worse is an inbuilt core problem of the game - tiers.

The game is good for everyone if the number of players gets smaller and smaller the higher you go up in tiers AND high tier gameplay is very much NOT self sustaining.

This way, if you play higher tier, chances of having a good game because you are one of only a few high tier tanks is high. But even this would get boring if it would be easy (for you). But if tier X is very expensive and you either need to spend quite some bucks or, at least, play like 3 tier V to VIII games for every one tier X game, it is a self contained system.

And WG killed that out of necessity: "Play to win". That bullshit slogan heralded the end of WoT as the veterans knew it. Gaining credits got easier and easier and playing nothinbg but tier X is trivial nowadays, even for more casual players.

And thus the pyramid is on it's head. Tier X is no longer a reward, but mostly a necessity to avoid being shat on constantly. Add in the other frustrations of the game (tier power difference, prem ammo, arty, bad maps, super OP new tanks...) and the game looks rather in bad shape - especially because WG is way too reluctant to change anything about the game at all - prime example: crew skills - this system is royally borked and has been for years yet WG can't even change that sub system with an endless potential and almost no risk at all.

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4 hours ago, Jaegaer said:

I find it strange that so many people here praise the game from two to three years ago and still don't realize that the game back then being better and today being worse is an inbuilt core problem of the game - tiers.

The game is good for everyone if the number of players gets smaller and smaller the higher you go up in tiers AND high tier gameplay is very much NOT self sustaining.

This way, if you play higher tier, chances of having a good game because you are one of only a few high tier tanks is high. But even this would get boring if it would be easy (for you). But if tier X is very expensive and you either need to spend quite some bucks or, at least, play like 3 tier V to VIII games for every one tier X game, it is a self contained system.

And WG killed that out of necessity: "Play to win". That bullshit slogan heralded the end of WoT as the veterans knew it. Gaining credits got easier and easier and playing nothinbg but tier X is trivial nowadays, even for more casual players.

And thus the pyramid is on it's head. Tier X is no longer a reward, but mostly a necessity to avoid being shat on constantly. Add in the other frustrations of the game (tier power difference, prem ammo, arty, bad maps, super OP new tanks...) and the game looks rather in bad shape - especially because WG is way too reluctant to change anything about the game at all - prime example: crew skills - this system is royally borked and has been for years yet WG can't even change that sub system with an endless potential and almost no risk at all.

1. How is t10 a necessity to play to not be shat on? T10 only games (common at t10) are cancer. t9 i better, hell t7 mm is better

2. Sorry but 2-3 years ago there was less powercreep. Tanks in tiers were relatively balanced even if they were some examples of OP tanks. More players being at t10 has nothing to do with t10 alone being less balanced, maps being more coridory and 50% of the tanks being great hull down. 

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12 hours ago, hazzgar said:

1. How is t10 a necessity to play to not be shat on?

It isn't? I never said it would be. I said "chances are high that you get a good game" - thats entirely different.

WG purposefully widens the power gap with new tanks to keep the masses interested. This is normal and happens because WG can not or doesn't want to change other aspects of the game to keep it interesting for those with ten thousands of battles. Yes, this is not the best way to do this and it will at some time cave in, but thats just how WG handles things right now.

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3 hours ago, Jaegaer said:

It isn't? I never said it would be. I said "chances are high that you get a good game" - thats entirely different.

WG purposefully widens the power gap with new tanks to keep the masses interested. This is normal and happens because WG can not or doesn't want to change other aspects of the game to keep it interesting for those with ten thousands of battles. Yes, this is not the best way to do this and it will at some time cave in, but thats just how WG handles things right now.

Tier 10 actually lowers your chance to have a good game. it's much easier to have a monster game by playing t9 because it's basically pref mm. Or t7 which gets decent mm. I don't play t10 tanks outside of ranked and a few tanks I really like or when I want to stomp people with something OP.

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4 hours ago, Jaegaer said:

It isn't? I never said it would be. I said "chances are high that you get a good game" - thats entirely different.

WG purposefully widens the power gap with new tanks to keep the masses interested. This is normal and happens because WG can not or doesn't want to change other aspects of the game to keep it interesting for those with ten thousands of battles. Yes, this is not the best way to do this and it will at some time cave in, but thats just how WG handles things right now.

When the power creep gets too much, WG will announce a 'rework' and nerf tanks across the board, a la rubicon (if you remember that fiasco), and restart the process all over again. 

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2 hours ago, Hellsfog said:

When the power creep gets too much, WG will announce a 'rework' and nerf tanks across the board, a la rubicon (if you remember that fiasco), and restart the process all over again. 

They will not have money by that time so the rebalance will only work if by downsizing only competent people are left. Basically you are counting on luck.

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8 hours ago, Hellsfog said:

When the power creep gets too much, WG will announce a 'rework' and nerf tanks across the board, a la rubicon (if you remember that fiasco), and restart the process all over again. 

I am at a point where I would totally accept this idea of a total rework. Balance is a total mess right now. And they should start with premium amo and consumables. You can't create balance if some players are using it and some don't. 

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1 hour ago, hall0 said:

I am at a point where I would totally accept this idea of a total rework. Balance is a total mess right now. And they should start with premium amo and consumables. You can't create balance if some players are using it and some don't. 

I agree about the total rework. It is about time in this game's life cycle when it should be done.  The consumable thing, I'm on the fence about since it is tinkering with the game  economy which is designed to make players want to buy and play premium tanks. Without a replacement credit sink, why bother with premiums. 

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WG tried a total rework on their closed test server and it was not very wel received.

I think thius, above all, showed WG the dangers of such a thing. Right now the game may be slowly bleeding players but it is still at an impressive number.

But how many people will use a total rework to finally bail out and how many people will come back? Hard to say and thus quite risky.

And this is excatly why so many old games try to drag on as long as possible. But maybe we see WoT2 at some time.

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27 minutes ago, Jaegaer said:

WG tried a total rework on their closed test server and it was not very wel received.

I think thius, above all, showed WG the dangers of such a thing. Right now the game may be slowly bleeding players but it is still at an impressive number.

But how many people will use a total rework to finally bail out and how many people will come back? Hard to say and thus quite risky.

And this is excatly why so many old games try to drag on as long as possible. But maybe we see WoT2 at some time.

The problem is the game doesn't need a total rework. Yeah arty and gold are problems but really even if you don't want to change those people could be made happy easily? create 3 types of map - maps like Redshire and Malinovka, City Maps and Mixed maps and ensure the rotation is decent. Rework maps so that there is more than 1 strategic area. Tanks - just rebalance them so all of them have similar performance and if you want people to grind introduce slightly better than average tanks (not op wagons like bobject). Bring back weakspots, roll back some gun depression buffs, bring back sigma nerf. Done. It's all been in the game. People would be happy with it. Where can I get my money?

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2 hours ago, hazzgar said:

The problem is the game doesn't need a total rework. Yeah arty and gold are problems but really even if you don't want to change those people could be made happy easily? <snip> Rework maps

This in a nutshell.  A type 5 is a lot less horrible to face if have the terrain to put it at a disadvantage.  When you are forced to stare down the gun barrel from in front of it by 75% of the maps...not so much.

For me, the single best thing about Frontline was that, no matter what kind of tank you chose, you had a way to contribute.  You weren't a paper med or scout stuck trying to block a platoon of heavies, and heavies always had a way to use terrain not to get mobbed/surrounded.  And 30 tanks on a side with lots of space meant a lot less arty focus.  For me, big maps with lots of variety == moar fun.

I don't stress out about arty that much - I'm not remotely good enough to get focused, but even still.  I could literally live with pretty much any other aspect of the game if the maps were sufficiently big and varied to give everyone a chance to make a difference.

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5 hours ago, Tanager said:

This in a nutshell.  A type 5 is a lot less horrible to face if have the terrain to put it at a disadvantage.  When you are forced to stare down the gun barrel from in front of it by 75% of the maps...not so much.

For me, the single best thing about Frontline was that, no matter what kind of tank you chose, you had a way to contribute.  You weren't a paper med or scout stuck trying to block a platoon of heavies, and heavies always had a way to use terrain not to get mobbed/surrounded.  And 30 tanks on a side with lots of space meant a lot less arty focus.  For me, big maps with lots of variety == moar fun.

I don't stress out about arty that much - I'm not remotely good enough to get focused, but even still.  I could literally live with pretty much any other aspect of the game if the maps were sufficiently big and varied to give everyone a chance to make a difference.

Arty focuses lights now so I hate it but I have a problem with big maps. They gimp slow tanks too much. Map size is fine, map design isn't. Unless they expand the size by max 20%

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3 hours ago, hazzgar said:

Arty focuses lights now so I hate it but I have a problem with big maps. They gimp slow tanks too much. Map size is fine, map design isn't. Unless they expand the size by max 20%

I don't think size and "design" are wholly orthogonal concerns.  A large map only gimps slow tanks if control of defensible/CQB areas doesn't matter.  Again, not every tank has to matter for the entire game, but a good map can be large enough and provide enough terrain variation that mobility/vision matter, but while still allowing objectives to be placed that bone-crunching firepower and armor can matter as well.  But enjoyment matters a lot to me, and having scouting only be viable from The Bush (tm) is < fun, e.g.

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2 hours ago, Tanager said:

I don't think size and "design" are wholly orthogonal concerns.  A large map only gimps slow tanks if control of defensible/CQB areas doesn't matter.  Again, not every tank has to matter for the entire game, but a good map can be large enough and provide enough terrain variation that mobility/vision matter, but while still allowing objectives to be placed that bone-crunching firepower and armor can matter as well.  But enjoyment matters a lot to me, and having scouting only be viable from The Bush (tm) is < fun, e.g.

Bush scoutng no longer works anymore. Now it's active scouting or GTFO. 

 

As for slow superheavies - the problem is your idea "not every tank has to matter for the entire game" if you force a tank to drive for 3-5 minutes being useless that class will become boring and useless. Why would anyone play it? 

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2 hours ago, hazzgar said:

 

As for slow superheavies - the problem is your idea "not every tank has to matter for the entire game" if you force a tank to drive for 3-5 minutes being useless that class will become boring and useless. Why would anyone play it? 

So a reasonable solution to a number of the game's problems then... 

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