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This is another audience participation discussion that will be curated into an article.  I might not use everything that is written, but appreciate all comments.  I will attribute quotes to you.  The article will come out similar to this.

 

Write up a paragraph describing where you feel the game is at right now.  Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Balance
  • Premiums
  • Competitive play
  • Clan Wars
  • Stronghold
  • Maps
  • Nations
  • Tanks
  • Future releases
  • Competition from other games
  • Pubbies

I'll add my own, but I'm interested in what others think and don't want to steer it in any one direction.

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Lack of Proper Guidance for newer players leads to lower player base and lower overall quality of gameplay

 

I was quitting a different online game, and a friend of mine directed me to try out World Of Tanks. I had finally gotten a new computer which could actually handle playing it! So, downloaded the game. Tutorial pops up, giving me very basic movements: Forward, left, right. backwards. Sure, easy. Ok, go here and shoot this tank. Well, easy enough, theres something in my screen that looks like it aims! etc. etc. etc. Play this for about 10 minutes. Ok, get into a real game. Believe my first game was on Malinovka. I go into Call of Duty mode: WHERES THE ENEMY?! RUSH, FIND HIM! Wtf? Shot and died without spotting anyone? Um, why am I not respawning? Pretty much boils down my first 100 games. Quit for about a week. Continued to bang my head on the wall for about 3000 games. It wasnt until I found the official forums that I even knew about equipment. It wasnt until 4000 games that I understood what view range entailed. No where obvious was any kind of real guide for playing this game, The only guides out there were un-official, and not promoted by WarGaming. This lack of support drove several friends away from the game. Whereas with COD type games which are pretty intuitive, the bread and butter of what makes WOT so fun (most of the time) is anything BUT

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Maps

 

I feel maps are in a bad place right now.  We're seeing more closed off corridors; more forced brawling lanes.  This is a result of trying to cure symptoms, instead of curing the disease.  Getting invisisniped is not fun.  WG solution: destroy firing lanes.  Better solution:  camo/spotting rework.  Getting hit by arti is not fun.  WG solution:  (moderately) arti safe corridors, only suitable for heavies and heavy TDs.  Better solution:  Reduce arti alpha.  Lights are less and less viable.  WG solution:  more maps that are not conducive to light/light-medium play.  Better solution:  Larger maps, which allow speedy lights to actually scout out enemy movements, and sneak around large flanks.  It's still possible to succeed in lights and mediums, but with map design pushing further toward "World of Corridors", I fear for these classes.  

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Lack of Proper Guidance for newer players leads to lower player base and lower overall quality of gameplay

 

This all stems from the fact we have the worst in game tutorial that I've ever seen, forcing the players to do it for WG yet only maybe 3% even have a chance of seeing the guides. Lack of a proper tutorial and advertisement I guess is what I'd call it makes people have 0 guidance on how to play the game so people end up like me, thousands of games in and still have no idea what they're doing 

 

Balancing: they can't do it at all, have no say to handle power creep which is a massive issue, even when they do try to fix tanks that are massive issues they don't ever listen to the player base and fix the real issues, instead they say LOOK! WE'RE NERFING TANK X SO IT'S NOW COMPLETELY BALANCED! Then they go introduce a new line blatantly OP so people spend large amounts of gold to convert xp then to nerf it, it's ruining some older tanks, this greed is only killing the game throwing the game balance out of wack so they can make a few more millions to only then make people mad cause they nerfed the newest tank cause it was made op just to make them more money real fast 

 

Will add more later cause too much to type on my phone

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Pubbies

 

Pubbies seem to be an odd dichotomy.  The group think aspect is somewhat strong.  They largely flock to important areas (Lakeville valley pushes notwithstanding)  The awareness levels and reactions seem worse than ever, though.  I watch pubs continue to push on cap when the other team has been threatening cap for 3 minutes.  I regularly see heavies try to win frontal shootouts with TDs.  Light play is unspeakably bad.  Bots are around in high quantities.  The sub 45% tier 10 platoon makes an appearance in nearly every fight.  In short, they flock well enough, but utterly fail when forced to think individually. 

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Strongholds

 

Strongholds may well be the best addition the game has ever seen.  They seem to be a near universal hit.  Good clans love the populated, on demand competitive game mode (what company battles were meant to be.)  Not-as-good clans love the training tool, and the ability to fight at tiers below 10.  Everyone loves the laid back, stat free approach, and freedom from worry about locking.  They've died down a bit, as many clans have their upgrades done, but the promise of stronghold attacks in the future makes me think this game mode will continue to prosper.  Furthermore, the combination of fewer credit paying missions (no credits for On Track, most notable) and the 2 hour credit boots from strongholds will motivate people to collect resources for quite some time.

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Given that I play almost exclusively at tier 8+ nowadays, I suppose I'll talk about balance there. Tier 8 is still the most balanced tier, in my opinion. Each tank retains the unique characteristics of the line while still being relatively competitive -- there are no absolute turds. That being said, the devs originally balanced Tier 8 with the idea that they will occasionally see Tier 10s, not a large percentage of the battles. The removal of battle tier 12 really hit tier 8 in general quite badly; no one likes getting shit on by tanks with twice the pen and damage, but this is a growing reality. Perhaps a hard cap on the number of tier 10s on each side (when including tier 8s in a battle) to 4 would solve this issue and allow tier 8s to be competitive in tier 10 battles. Currently they are just fodder in the hands of anyone but the top players. Preferred 8 premiums are quite balanced, I see no issue with any of them. Those that need a little adjustment are getting it (see: 34-3). The issue is with the non-prefs: the Lowe and the T34. The Lowe would make a great pref 8 tank, no need for any tweaking. I have a feeling the T34 would be OP if it got pref 8 matchmaking as it currently stands, some changes would be needed. Tier 9 is also very well balanced, the only thing really needed is maybe a slight nerf to the E50, that's about it. Tier 10 balance has been covered in other threads -- it more or less boiled down to nerf 183's idiotic ability to oneshot, nerf the T57s clipping time, and buff the China tanks. Otherwise it's quite balanced. Stronkholds seem to be very successful and should see continued activity. If IOC_5's active playerbase ever grows to the point where we can run Tier 8 and 10 strongholds, I would be ecstatic -- it seems like a good atmosphere to try out new strats, new callers, etc and provides actual bonuses to the people who play them. There is incentive to play these, and one can't pad their winrate etc with them. Seems win/win. Maps are turning into brawlfests, but I think WG will release more maps likes Kharkov in the future; while still close-quarter fighting, there are so many avenues of assault that mediums will continue to remain viable. High tier lights are pretty screwed and will likely remain so while the meta stays as it is (you need to be a really good player to make them work). WG seems to be releasing a few new trees, I hope they won't be blatantly overpowered like the waffle was -- the new Firefly tree looks pretty damn nice. Thus far there is no real competition from other games; WT tanks didn't take off, and Armored Warfare looks like a blatant ripoff of WoT, just for moden vehicles... even some of the maps look the same in their trailer. The quality of pubs has sharply taken a nosedive, I honestly cannot remember a period where there were this many players running around at high tiers who cannot tell the front end of their tank from the back end. I hope this is more of a result of summer than a sign of what is to come.

 

Edit: I forgot to mention in my wall of text that I look forward to the implementation of the "Tree of Europe", whenever that might be. Will be an interesting tree, if a bit dyslexic.

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From what I've seen so far, World of Tanks is currently in a delicate state.  Artillery is the major focus I think that everyone is talking about, and right now starting to become popular again.  Although it was hit hard in 8.6, it has regained popularity to the point of which games are starting to become camp fests with each side to scared to break out of cover for fear of being reduced from over 60-70% of their hitpoints.  Of course, this only applies to Random matches because in clan wars, both teams will generally use artillery for support of pushes, defensives, etc.  This lack of balance I guess you might call is also attributed to TDs to a degree.  TDs have had their alpha nerfed a bit and there have been nerfs to specific TDs (183) to better balance gameplay.  It appears that TDs are cast into a negative light in random matches only when artillery is not present and that in itself is disturbing.  TDs are a pain, but they have to be in range of you, not across the map, and they have to be cautious with their low hitpoint pools as well.  They are fragile, trolly and can lose matches in the wrong hands.  On top of that, the camo system in game is redundant.  How can a tank the size of a house in the wide open of a map not be spotted after it fires even though a bush the size of a shrub is in front of it.  The camo system needs drastic rework if this game is to be completely balanced out in the end.  The balance issue is definitely a hot button issue with War Gaming, but for me, the only way balance can be achieved is to fix the camo system, and remove arty PERMANENTLY from the game.  Refund all the xp that players grinded and free xped back to them for use on another tank line.  Refund as well all the Credits used in buying the tanks so that way they can purchase another 10 if they so choose.  Lastly, their NEEDS to be a WAY better tutorial for newer players in the game if War Gaming wants to expand.  To many new players start this game and quit because there is SO much that needs to be taught to them before they can really do well in a match.  Angling, spotting, camo, crew skills etc, they are all learn as you play along and it really sucks overall for the newer player.

 

Honestly, this is the main problem IMO, the majority of the game from what I know so far is played in pub matches.  Competitive play in clan wars and tournaments is played by the few and I don't think it needs any changes.  Strongholds is too early in the game to make a decision about its future as of now, and the premium tanks war gaming has introduced recently have not followed the original OPness of the Type 59.  Maps are fine if you get rid of artillery period, because then we don't have that ever growing fear of being nuked. We have enough tanks in game already though some new ones would definitely wouldn't hurt at all, but NO new nations at all, we have 4 nations to build up at the moment (Britain, France, China, Japan).

 

Other than that, this is a solid game and is fun to play even with pubbies out there who unfortunately have no clue what they are doing.

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Pubbies

 

Pubbies seem to be an odd dichotomy.  The group think aspect is somewhat strong.  They largely flock to important areas (Lakeville valley pushes notwithstanding)  The awareness levels and reactions seem worse than ever, though.  I watch pubs continue to push on cap when the other team has been threatening cap for 3 minutes.  I regularly see heavies try to win frontal shootouts with TDs.  Light play is unspeakably bad.  Bots are around in high quantities.  The sub 45% tier 10 platoon makes an appearance in nearly every fight.  In short, they flock well enough, but utterly fail when forced to think individually. 

 

Screw pubbies.

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I'll refrain from addressing pubbies or balance issues and try to address the increasing market competition:

 

The game is emerging from its "golden age" into a period of increasing competition.  By being the first in the market, WoT has earned the right to be the standard by which other similar games are judged.  Now, they face a challenge in the market general: focus, or diversify?

 

WoT hasn't had a particularly unique career so far.  The game was able to draw in a relatively large audience to its unique content and style of gameplay.  This "golden" age consisted of a long period of expanding content, aimed at solidifying and maintaining the existing player base.

With the release (and upcoming releases) of competing games targeted at the same demographic, WG is finally forced with a challenge.  The newer games have the benefit of knowing precisely what WoT players like and dislike, and use that to their advantage when designing new games from the ground up.  WG is now faced with two tough goals:  Continue to expand new content, while still taking time to re-focus on some of the basics of the game design.  We see evidence of this everywhere from the fiasco surrounding the implementation of high definition models and advanced graphics, to the upcoming incorporation of the Havok physics engine, and the constant addition of new maps and vehicles. With regard to physics engines and game design changes, it is a particular challenge, because unlike the newer games, they ride a fine line as they attempt to endure without the benefit of large scale beta testing.  WG will undergo the same challenges, successes, and failures of implementing new game engines as any other company out there... except every time they screw up, they have a large body (lynch mob?) of paying customers just waiting to pull out the pitchforks.  On the other hand, they have an exponentially larger budget than most newer game companies, and if correctly managed should be able to put out higher quality content at a faster pace.

 

In order to maintain a competitive advantage in the PC game market, WG needs to focus on strengthening the core of their business, and taking steps to steer in a direction that keeps players interested in what they are doing next.  Bored players take their money elsewhere.  While many players bemoan the lack of functional improvements such as multi-core CPU support, or SLI/Crossfire support, the fact remains that the sheer volume of new players and repeat customers generated by new and improved content (vehicles, maps, physics) dominates all other aspects of the business, hence the focus on these areas.  

Interestingly enough, a significant amount of effort was also put forth into multi-platform gaming support, as in WoT Xbox and WoT Blitz.  This type of diversification is aimed at increasing the size of the target demographic, but does little for strengthening the core PC game business.

 

If WG can draw meaningful conclusions from their customer data and continue to provide new content that excites old players and yet appeals to new players while not deprecating older content (power creep), they will continue to lead the market for quite some time yet.  Excessive effort into diversification will only detract from this, and should be viewed sceptically by PC game players for this reason.  The recent new map, Kharkov, has been rated as a favorite by players according to WG data.  The upcoming changes to physics, as well as the new British vehicles and LT8 vehicles are generally viewed positively.  Focus on these types of future development, WG, and all will be well from a business perspective.

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Pubbies

 

Pubbies seem to be an odd dichotomy.  The group think aspect is somewhat strong.  They largely flock to important areas (Lakeville valley pushes notwithstanding)  The awareness levels and reactions seem worse than ever, though.  I watch pubs continue to push on cap when the other team has been threatening cap for 3 minutes.  I regularly see heavies try to win frontal shootouts with TDs.  Light play is unspeakably bad.  Bots are around in high quantities.  The sub 45% tier 10 platoon makes an appearance in nearly every fight.  In short, they flock well enough, but utterly fail when forced to think individually. 

One thing I am finding when it comes to my training is that awareness is a honed skill, not something you can just flip a switch and go "I am going to be more aware now."

 

It is difficult sometimes to consistently absorb all the information thrown at you and process what exactly it means at the same time. When you play for a long time you start to get really good at it, but people need to actively practice this in order to get a better sense of awareness.

 

And this is all before you even start processing this information being thrown at you and THAT is even before you start fully thinking about what you should do about it.

 

The point of the matter is that awareness does not come naturally. So one should not expect an average pubbie to understand.

 

Even after all of this, it is easy to slip on your attention to details on the minimap or scoreboard when you're being pressed

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  • Balance

Akin to the discussion started by Garbad, there are positive and negative developments in balance at the moment. A number of the grossest cases of balance brain farts are being addressed, such as the waffle, the 183, the kv-1s, and the hellcat to name a few. Others, chief amongst them artillery, are mired in traditional WG stubbornness and remain unaddressed, and will likely remain as such for the foreseeable future. These issues may often be febreezed shit piles - concealing other balance-related mistakes; an example of this would be that artillery is not subject to the current ban system.*

 

While action on the balance discussion is a welcome change of pace, there is some concern about the trajectory of these changes as Kraftlawerence pointed out. The risk at the moment is many balancing attempts are shifting towards uniformity, and unique advantages and disadvantages are becoming less and less pronounced. Vehicles that perform almost identically leaves very little differentiation on playstyle, which could bode ill for the future if this pattern continues.

 

Crew skills is one area that has frozen over and remains a blemish. A grouping of five to six skills confer any real advantage. Another group are next to useless, and the odd one or two are in ways harmful - call for vengeance giving the notion that suicide scouting is a viable method of gameplay. Sixth sense is impossibly unbalanced and, given the likely backlash from removal or serious rebalancing, will likely need to be made stock. Firefighting will likely need to confer non-averaged preventative bonuses to see real viability. Radioman and Loader skills are both in need of improvement . Lastly, crew position retraining is a common-sense addition still absent that penalizes certain lines and nations. 

 

UI Development  

 

Is still moving along at glacial speeds. Most of the favored improvements are mainstays of any modified clients, yet almost none of these have been hard-coded. One rare example to the contrary would be transferring crews, which saw implementation in XVM somewhere in the 7.x iteration, yet it wasn't until 8.11 that WG made its own attempt at the same. Minimap labels is likely the most prominent example of Wargaming failing to seize low hanging fruit - with the code already scripted and concept well tested, it remains off any firm timetable. 

 

 

*I've done some degree of testing, but due to it being prohibited, I'm going to remain vague on the exact nature. 

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XVM ruins the game harder than base mechanics right now

 

Thank you. That is seriously one of my biggest issues with the game as it currently stands. Giving people a tool to prioritize and target people who have put time into improving should not be allowed. People with good stats should not be penalized by a tool that allows them to be targeted, especially because arty remains in this game. 

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The point of the matter is that awareness does not come naturally. So one should not expect an average pubbie to understand.

 

 

 

A valid point, that I often do not remember.  Perhaps, it's simply the way the game is presented to new players.  The game is deceptively simple.  Just shoot tanks, right?  Until you look deeper, and realize that each tank has different armor levels in different places, and that angles matter, and that different points become strong or weak if you shoot at them from above or below.  Add in the base cap element, and remove the death = respawn aspect that is common to PC games, and you end up with a herd mentality trying to survive in a very complex system.

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I could not care less about HD vehicle models, they only mean that no one is going to live to see a Chinese TD line because by the time they're done updating all the vehicle models everyone here will have died.

WG should learn what a sunk cost is and enact the Final Solution.

gBP44Zf.png

 

Oh, and Tundra should be removed from the game, every time I get that map I want to slit my wrists.

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Lack of Proper Guidance for newer players leads to lower player base and lower overall quality of gameplay

 

 

 

this.

 

Ideally, I'd like to see grand turismo style tutorial -> licences which need to be passed before new tank class/tier can be unlocked.

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Competitive Play

Top tier teams are winning by camping the fuck out of maps. Watching the WGLNA streams has me frustrated at how attacking teams are at a disadvantage against full camp mode. Many times a team will win 1 match and then proceed to camp out the rest in order to secure a win.

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I realize Deus did it but I am gonna do a strongholds write up also. This is mostly from a PBKAC perspective so everyone else's experiences may vary.


Strongholds for PBKAC has basically been a fountain of youth. People no longer hate the game when logging on. From Turkey_Vulture's "I don't give a fuck what you bring just don't fuck this up" to IDDQD's "I need this exact amount of tanks I have studied for hours and found the perfect comp." Strongholds gives top clans the ability to simultaneously not care about the game and make tons of credits and experience. Plus strongholds does not require officers to play. PBKAC's current stronghold caller who is undefeated is 22dragons. For those of you who don't know dragons he isn't a caller. He freely admits to it. But he said screw it tanks go here and has done that for a while without losing a match so far. And yet here we are at the same brilliant fact about strongholds. It doesn't take stats into account, the people that you are playing are far and away mostly retarded, and you can literally fuck around and get a win. The best example of this last point was when PBKAC got tired of winning so we started going into battles in nationally themed tank comps. The best of which was when we stomped ARBOK on ensk in an entirely french lineup which included 6 FCM50Ts. Now I am rambling and I know. But strongholds is so good if you look at the overall pubs played for PBKAC since it came out they have dropped significantly. Strongholds even brought Ziddy back from the grave. Praise be to Strongholds may they reign now and forever. Amen.

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I realize Deus did it but I am gonna do a strongholds write up also. This is mostly from a PBKAC perspective so everyone else's experiences may vary.

Strongholds for PBKAC has basically been a fountain of youth. 

 

 

funnily enough, I'd say the same from the other perspective.  VNP have a 32% WR (mostly t6, some T8).  But it's still a breath of fresh air.  We contributing for a common good, players starting to care enough to get annoyed when they lose (vs just being about the lols when lose in 7s).  

Damn. we even having heated discussions about choice of tactics on TS :-)

Is nice that they starting to care (and nice for me that the 32%WR not bringing down my personal stats  8)  ).

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Maps

 

This aspect of the game has bothered me almost since day one and, really, little or nothing has changed since then. I guess you can hand it to WarGaming in that they are consistent. 

 

The bottom line is that map design is out of step with the general play style of the NA server, at least in my opinion. I feel as if the NA style is slanted towards vision control, dealing damage at stand off range, and movement and less towards the titanic collisions of fleets of land battleships that WG seems to prefer. With few exceptions, WG level design has overwhelmingly favored choke points and funnels, which emphasize frontal confrontation and downplay flanking and movement. Recent changes to maps show WG is leaning even farther in that direction with the removal of a lot of cover and the addition of even more funnels. 

 

There really is very little variety in World of Tank maps, when viewed from a gameplay perspective. It just doesn't feel as if WG places as much value on level design as they do on models or stat tweaking. 

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- Balance

 

The tier spread on random battles feels out of whack recently, to the point that I've stopped logging in (and certainly stopped spending money on the game). The +2 matchmaking doesn't bother me - I remember when it was much, much worse - but the distribution of some tiers makes them almost unplayable. I'd be fine with anything close to an even split on the battle tiers, but I'm not willing to put up with in when it skews to a 10/40/50 split for weeks on end. Anything outside of seal clubbing or stronghold battles feels like I'm there just to provide fodder for higher-tier tanks, being encouraged at cannon-point to cough up the gold to free-experience my way past the grinds. WG has admitted to deliberately placing bad tanks in the trees for just this purpose, and being on the receiving end of a skewed matchmaker spread for an extended time has made me less than enthusiastic about continuing my support of the game.

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Others have touched on this before, but this game has such a huge learning curve that it drives off first time players.  The only reason I stuck around after the first 2 nights was the promise of a friend that once you got to Tier 5 it was started getting really fun. 

 

They really should have mandatory in-game trainings you get before you can unlock a certain tank type of a higher tier.  Tiers 1-4, whatever.  But before you unlock your first tier 5 heavy, you have to do a game tutorial about angling.  Before your first tier 5 td, you do a in game tutorial about camo and bushes.  Before your first tier 4 light tank, you have to learn about camo/bushes/vision and how you'll be facing tier 7s in your tier 4.

 

It's not that people would understand it right off, especially the vision/camo aspect, but at least it would get them some very basic knowledge. 

 

Right now, Tiers 1-3 are a complete joke and the reason why so many people quit after 50 games. 

 

WG could easily make low tiers more fun for new people. 

 

1) Fix the damn matchmaking.  Tier 3 gets the worst MM of any tier in the game.  75-85% of games are in Tier 4/5 battles.  Maybe 1 of 5 games does tier 3 get a top tier game.  (this isn't just a feeling, either.  I looked at my vbaddict stats and my cruiser IV has an average enemy tier of 3.5.  Every tank other than scouts has an average enemy tier equal to or less than tier level.. T-34, Type T-34 and BDR all have average enemy tiers of 4.9 or 5.0).  Make tiers 3 and 4 similar to tiers 1 and 2.  So tier 3 can only see tiers 2/3/4 and tier 4 will only see tiers 3/4/5. 

 

2)  Split out tier 1-3 players who have less than 3k games played into a different pool of MM.    If you have more than 3k games played, you can still play your T1 or T18 to club, but at least you'll be clubbing more experienced seals.  

 

3) Tiers 1-3 can't mount vision equipment.  No binocs/optics.  Period.  This should at least help with frustration of new players getting shot by invisible tanks.

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