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Is WoT Dying?

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Obsidian has their own pile of issues, though I'd say they aren't inherently bad like WG has been for years now.
The main concern I have with them is a lack of communication between their employees (SilentStalker, for example, barely has any idea of what is actually going on within the game and such) and the current total lack of balance and consistency between the tiers. I'd say WG is better in some ways at balancing and can make vehicles feel more different from each other, but Obsidian can make vehicles more fun to play and are less reliant on minmaxing or a stock tank being very gimped. Though MBTs being as ridiculously overpowered as they are now with no immediate signs of a heavy nerf makes me very worried for the future of the game.

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1 minute ago, _WL said:

 Though MBTs being as ridiculously overpowered as they are now with no immediate signs of a heavy nerf makes me very worried for the future of the game.

Well they don't exactly have a supertesting program or really any testing program at all so they just have to put it into the lives and hope for the best. 

 

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Just now, Toasty_Kun said:

Well they don't exactly have a supertesting program or really any testing program at all so they just have to put it into the lives and hope for the best. 

Well... bit of bad news for you there.
0.11 was tested on the Russian server. It was up for about a week and a few tanks were changed, but even though people were calling this out on the English forums, threads were locked and everyone were told it shouldn't be discussed.
The same happened when everyone asked how these tier 9 MBTs are going to be balanced. They weren't. Threads were locked and people hushed.
Also, MBTs have been overpowered since roughly EA2 from what I've heard. They've tried small nerfs to them, but basically it was met with massive backlash and some bad stuff happened.
This thread is getting off track, so let's leave it there. You can start a thread in the AW subsection if you wanna keep discussing this though.

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I wouldn't say the game us dying, but some very tasty games have come out or are due to come out, so I'd expect a sudden drop in numbers due to this.

 

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It's virtually dead to me, which I'm sure will cause floods of tears.

Interesting to see that the usual summer exodus replaced by winter return is now being passed off as bad timing involving a lot of good new games at the same time.  Even if this was the case, anecdotally there doesn't seem to be that bounce back from summer when the NA servers were quiet and games full of oranges.

In my case it's having ground most of the tier 10s I want and some I didn't really but used as an excuse to keep playing.  WoWS and AW provide two new places to grind.

That and a lack of interesting end game that doesn't involve tier 6 lights, in opening up the end game for more people it diminishes the need to grind to tier 10 and makes you wonder why you bothered in the first place. 

I'm not sure what WoT can add to encourage those that burned out to return, maybe it's not a case of adding anything but fixing what's already there?  Still, if I've done all the grinds I want to and the end game is either a closed shop because of stats or opened to all at a meta I'm not interested in, fixing old content isn't going to make me return either.  Then WoT has to add new content or gameplay styles.  And so the circle is complete.

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It has had a drop in the past 6 months or so for two reasons:

Armored Warfare was released to the public

CW 2.0

 

AW would obviously take some population, but it will even out soon enough, a similar thing happened with WT:GF, only that turned out to be terrible. 

 

and CW 2.0 is killing the motivation for high end play, though WG are starting to introduce newer things now that are filling the gap. 

 

TL;DR its had a rather understandable drop in population but its far from dying yet

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5 hours ago, _WL said:

I think gaming in general is just dying and/or falling victim to even bigger giants, mainly more popular free to play games (CS:GO, LoL, and other supergiant games) are one of them, but mobile gaming is also killing the other markets. Back in the day if you wanted to play Tetris, you'd need to bring a Gameboy with you. Now you have hundreds if not thousands of Tetris clones, each one with a niche to suit your fancy, all battling for space on your phone rather than a dedicated gaming platform. And who needs to bring their DS around with them everywhere when they can have an internet browser, a camera, a clock, a game machine, and a communications device all in one?
Let's Play videos/streaming are also at least taking a small share of game sales/popularity. When there are thousands of people who can play a game and act as a one-sided conversation, some people don't even feel the need to play games anymore when the social side of it can be satisfied with a weekly release of videos.

Add that in with the fact phones are also getting more compact, lighter, and more powerful at a rate which consoles and PC hardware can't compete with. A phone doesn't need to be able to play Crysis to satisfy the masses who just want something mind numbing to play while on their way to work or during lunch break, it just needs to be strong enough to smoothly perform any task and run said simple games and keep the user entertained.

WoT also has some competition now and at least some players have jumped ship (I know I have for a fact) to other games worth their time more, namely AW.
That and some very popular games have come out/are coming out. The Binding of Isaac Rebirth, Star Wars Battlefront, Fallout 4, Black Ops III, etc. are all competing for time, which is something many people don't have a lot of these days.

You seem confused. On hand you say gaming is dying the on the other hand you list a bunch of ways it is expanding to encompass more people in its grasp.

Do you really feel that mobile games aren't games?

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Just now, OOPMan said:

You seem confused. On hand you say gaming is dying the on the other hand you list a bunch of ways it is expanding to encompass more people in its grasp.

Do you really feel that mobile games aren't games?

I should have clarified that traditional gaming is dying. And no, I don't like mobile gaming.

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1 hour ago, Crossfader said:

More of a slow decline to an eventual plateau were player # will remain stable.

Yeah, this seems likely.

5 minutes ago, _WL said:

I should have clarified that traditional gaming is dying. And no, I don't like mobile gaming.

Traditional gaming eh? Like Chess played at a table? Or maybe poker after work?

Honestly, when you look at history you'll see that gaming just keeps getting bigger and encompassing more people. It's naive to say things like "X is not gaming, Y is the real gaming". Gaming is something people do for entertainment and has been for thousands of years. The more free time we have to be entertained, the more of it that will be spent playing games. It's one of the great human traditions :-)

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4 minutes ago, _WL said:

I should have clarified that traditional gaming is dying. And no, I don't like mobile gaming.

LOL at traditional gaming dying.  It's at 64% of the gaming market.  It isn't growing as fast as mobile gaming, but that's because mobile gaming is relatively new.  Most of those mobile gamers are new gamers like moms who have nothing better to do. 

Newzoo_Global_Games_Market_2015_Per_Scre

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7 hours ago, weesh said:

is there any good way to quantify actual player activity and spending from data that we have access to?

You can fairly easily pull battle counts for all players on a server and watch them over time.  Not so easy to reference historical counts although there was a player (snib?) posting about that on the wot forums for awhile; general statistics for the servers, and you can compare the WG numbers although they might have been fudged or filtered some.

 

I noticed NA West was hit hard by Ramage, had over 2 minutes in queue just for randoms today.  The problem is once you hit a population too low to start battles regularly it rapidly falls off the cliff.  The NA servers just don't have the population to sustain from mistakes, and there is a much higher risk of diluting the already shallow player pool by different game modes.

 

We'll see how it goes, there have been a lot of games that were going to end WoT, but there is a lot to be said for the ability to play a 15v15 random at any point in time without committing to more than 15 minutes of gameplay.  It's up to them to make sure they maintain enough of a population to achieve that.

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I did a bit of a traffic analysis of WG's sites being spurred on by this thread. I put it in shenanigans as I didn't think it was all that appropriate in metagame.

You guys can make up your own minds on what the data means. http://forum.wotlabs.net/index.php?/topic/23017-is-wot-dying-20/

 

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WoT as a whole is still doing fine and will continue to do so for quite some time. However, their primary problems are two-fold IMO.

1) The game is slowly starting to reach the age where if you haven't tried it yet, it's most likely because it doesn't interest you at all. Basically, the potential market is shrinking because everyone who'd be interested in tank games have more or less been cycled through and penetrating the audiences from other markets is difficult. Just about the same thing happened to WoW around its 5 year mark, where it peaked at some 12 million subs and then slowly but surely declined over the years. Now it's down to some 5,6 million, which is still a huge number but dwarfed by previous success (IIRC, it started out at 2,5 million in comparison).

2) The game has real competition now, so mistakes are costly. Still interested in tanks but think WoT's issues are bullshit? No problem, just go play AW, which is similar and yet different enough to be interesting for most people in the same market. WG have been ignoring their user base for years and when you combine the failed patch 10 and CW 2.0, things aren't looking well at the moment. The casuals are harder to attract due to the potential market getting smaller and the best players are leaving due to failed CW, the exact players WG need to keep the game alive over time. E-sports and CW are supposed to be the two main reasons why you, as an average newbie, will want to grind out multiple lines to tier 10 and if there are no one to look up to or worth joining, long term interest drops.

TL;DR: WoT has gone through what would be a typical lifespan for this kind of online game and now needs to do something to keep itself at a high population. That would typically be a strong end-game with active CW, e-sports and some play4fun game modes (SH, missions etc.) but we all know how this is looking at the moment. Basically, WG has to wake up and start fixing shit before it's too late.

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WoT is doing fine on paper in terms of gross; the problem is that you don't drop 10-30% of that year over year in a business setting without shitting bricks.

They need to both focus on the basics (retain new and old players) and address issues that are driving older players away.

- Match wait times.  This is HUGE in NA.  Note that it's also the biggest single reason War Thunder never went anywhere.  Domination was very poorly timed, further dividing pools of players right in the middle of reduced server pop due to AW.  The Tier 3 and under kiddie pool was a monumental mistake for the same reason.

- New player tutorials.  The new bot stuff is a bit too little too late.  In game development terms, WG has the nearest thing you'll see to a practically unlimited budget.  They also have relatively easy access to many of the top players in the world.  There is no excuse whatsoever for not putting together a cutting edge tutorial and keeping it relevant to the metagame.   It would even help to expand it to additional tutorials as you advance in tier.   Not just some click-through; offer up a gold reward and make them work for it.

- Mittengard.  Holy fuck.  I had several friends new to the game quit almost immediately after that abomination showed up.

- Stop dumbing down maps and moving backwards - agent orange, World of Corridors, etc.  If your vision mechanics are frustrating people, then stop dragging your feet fixing shit (vision box vs circle, the long-promised 6th sense rework, Wafflecancer replacement, address the mechanics in tutorials, etc.)

- Stop pretending some maps and tanks aren't broken and do something about it in a timely manner.  Use all the free time you have after you stop monkeyfucking and/or removing perfectly serviceable maps.   And stop outright lying in statements about tank attributes; the average pubbie might not catch it, but the rest of us care enough to look up the values and don't appreciate horrendous fuck-you dispersion values, etc.

- Stop playing games with tank stats and mechanics.  I'm talking to you, Mr. "Hey let's use the rounding capability of the garage displays to provide misleading data to the player"

- Stop subjecting players to shit game mechanics simply because they solve other, unrelated problems.  Yeah, looking at you arty; the most direct solution to "hey, we need to lower our average match time, combat hard camping, and give gluestick eaters something to do to feel useful" literally amounting to randomly picking out tanks to smite on a single click basis.  This is the same sort of screwup that old school CounterStrike made with the sniper rifles and never effectively fixed, but WG did it intentionally out of laziness to solve something else.   There are plenty of other ways to make indirect fire rewarding and useful without turning it into a retard with a mallet waiting for you up in the sky and rendering large swathes of map space useless.

- Stop making unforced errors because competitors have you pissing your pants (cough, 10.0 emblems and AW, cough)

- Don't stop releasing premium tanks.  Stop releasing SHIT premium tanks.  Anyone with half a brain that you fleece is probably going to quit - and you're not replacing them fast enough while the new player experience sucks.  Then their friends quit because they have no one to platoon with. 

- CW.  That's a whole post by itself.   They got off on the wrong foot there from the beginning by caving to whining from players who never had, and likely never will have, the will to seriously compete.  Even if you give them something rewarding they'll always bitch about the green being greener on the other side.

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The problem which I see the most with this game is that WG is just so fucking slow in getting things done. Generally I don't even think the game is moving in a bad direction gameplay wise, it's just too slow. Take for instance arty: In the time it takes WG to acknowledge that the mechanic is fucked (that was like 1,5 years ago), the time they present us with a solution (rebalance even though they havent tested it yet) and the time they implement it there will be 2+ years wasted, that's just not acceptable for such a major issue even if you "plan to take it slow in order to get it right". In 2 years studios can produce whole games and you can damn sure test a lot and figure out things, they should have just brought various solutions to test servers and see how they were taken by the players to get an idea what they need to do.

The other similar issue like this is the high tier power creep. They know it's an issue for a long time now because battle times become too short and they tried a half hearted fix (med penetration nerf) but instantly rolled back and since then haven't came up with anything. 

The last thing is the XVM issue, it's affecting battles way too much. They know the fix, they have presented it already but they just don't introduce it. This mod has such a profound negative effect on most players that there is literally no reason to not do it right now. Yeah, some idiots will whine that they can't play the game without knowing who to yolosuicide first on the enemy team but those guys are toxic to gameplay anyway. It wouldn't change anything directly gameplay-related and you can easily keep the rest of it's features like the minimap circles, spotted indicators, more detailed garage stats and what else it currently has. Just remove it's toxic effect already...

Over time I'd say they do quite a number of things right: Strongholds and skirmishes, they started to remove some unfixable maps (fuck South Coast as recent example), this patch with the draw distance change has been very pleasant, they will remove the wafflecancer e100 (even though that also takes way too long already), they stopped releasing blatantly OP tanks (Cent AX is very good but not OP by any means imo, Type 5 is even shit^^). The map reworks are mostly bad and CW 2.0 is shit but if they would just speed up the development process people would realize they get more things right than wrong. By introducing things faster in general they would also give themselves more breathing room if they got something wrong because they could just fix it a patch or two later, right now they're so dependant on getting stuff 100% right because a fix takes them fucking years...

 

Edit: I'm mostly talking about randoms now. Personally I thought the rampage mode was a colossal waste of resources for instance but I haven't played that enough to really say anything about it, looks shit though from my little experience.

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I agree with above that main problem is slow reactions from WG, and would also like to add that maybe they are just too cautious to make changes. Like removing XVM stats ingame or rebalancing/removing arty would probably be really easy task technically so why not try it for one patch and see what players like it? Just remove arty completely for say 20 day test period and after that collect feedback. This approach would obviously not work for every change, but maybe for main problems that are pretty much commonly known: arty, XVM and maybe premium ammo.

I personally think that arty is much more of a problem than XVM, although it is exaggerated by XVM of course. In most games you just can't go to most placed in maps, it's not even that arty is that efficient in the end, but it makes playing just too stressful when you can never know when you are going to lose all your HP or die instantly. It feels unfair and is not fun and for me is the biggest reason for not playing randoms. In CW/SH it's ok but still not needed.

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Imo the direction the game is going is fine, WG are just way to scared / slow with nerfing buffing...

Good examples: new japan heavys and brit tds, the brit tds are not that bad, but with small adjustment they would be vastly better / less frustrating, give charioteer and conway some gun depression and a tad less ridiculous bloom and it would be fine, now? or the challenger, the concept as a whole might / can / will work, but not in its current shape...

Same japan heavys, O-I Exp is OP as hell, which is good for some crew training and money farming, but in terms of balance its stupid, all the tanks after that are however fairly poor, Type 4 is just a one trick pony and type 5 is shit...

French tds, the entire line is quite crap for like 3 years now, but a fix???

Fv-183, WTF-E100, 113, Foch-155, all tanks which need a real fix / buff / rebalance, but why does ti take ages?

The solutions are also simple, its not like arty where there are many opitions and possible failures / risks, remove Fv-183 for Fv 215B, and its doen, give 113 a 130mm gun, replace WTF for WTF panther and give Foch a autoloading 120mm + single shot 155mm

It might not be perfect changes, but its better as it is now, and it shows us, the players, that you are thinking about fixing stuff...

ps: for popularity, see here:

https://stats.wotapi.ru/stats/

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I partly agree with @X3N4, but I do not think that WoT is going in a good direction in every aspect. For example map changes and new maps.

The vision meta is almost completely dead, because of which sniper mediums and TDs suffer a lot, not to mention the massive nerfes TDs already got. The maps nowadays tend to have three tunnels with limited fire support capabilites through one tunnel to an other. We have our chokepoints for heavies, and a chockepoint for mediums and some spots for TDs. Not to mention Stalingrad, which only has two main tunnel. The usuable area of maps are nowhere near to 1 km2, probably not even half of it. That is just complete bullshit in my opinion.

Arties... I do not think that it needs an explanation why that is bad for the game. It is known to be broken for ages, yet we haven't seen any attempt to make it less of a frustration.

With the XVM part I fully agree. Although I like to use WN8 to measure how do I do lately, I don't like the fact that it can be shown during battles. Even with my okayish 2500-ish WN8, I get focused a lot more, not to mention the wankers in the corner of the map. They should get rid of the stat part of XVM but keep everything else.. or WG could actually implement a freaking hitlog after like 5 years or so.

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I disagree and agree with you @X3N4.

I like that WG is not rushing into changes cuz you remember how before big changes fucked game, and I am talking about gold ammo for randoms when all 105 derps become broken and introducing +2 mm when KV1S and Hellcat, 2 tanks who nobody played, become main padding machines.

But I agree that some changes are take too fucking long. 

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16 hours ago, KolniGotPTSDfromPTS said:

A rebalance of arty, removal of XVM, fixing CW2.0 and a rebalancing of too userfriendly tanks (Waffle, 183, O-I exp (will get rebalanced anyway) etc) will get the top end players to stay, which will be good for the e-sports side of things along with better clans and a more competitive CW scene again. 

For the remaining playerbase I'm not sure though

Well, from what I've seen, if the game is easy to pick up and it has a good competitive scene then it's bound to get popular. Right now wot is lacking in the scene department, wg is doing something to change it (format change) but it won't fix anything, since the game is too random (25%rng on almost everything). Well, if one of the better teams just leaves the scene, you know it's bad (was it virtus pro?).

 

After years of neglecting issues (arta is fineTM) trying to fix them now is like doing a make-up on a corpse. Corporate inertia, reworking, balancing, testing... It will take too much time. I might be a bit too pessimistic, but who cares.

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The game seems to have peaked. It's all downhill from here, but it depends on WG how fast it goes.

For example, WoW obviously never regained the playerbase after it peaked, but is in decline for a VERY long tme, is not dead, and it still has plenty of players around.

 

WG may start listening to the playerbase due to pressure from AW (which is terrible because the playerbase can never balance the game, it just twists it to a typical player's need: a casual cooperative point and click game) or they can fire that lame "balancer" Storm and speed up arty rework, which can buy them a year or two.

 

However, if they released WoT 2.0 at some point, imported tanks, stats, achievements, and just added another layer of conent (like modern tanks for instance), I'm sure they would regain most of the playerbase.

 

Time will tell, but I have very little faith in WG.

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Yuri, you shouldn't confuse listening to the players with doing what they say. Listening is important because if 10k people whine about something, it means there's a problem with it somehow. It's then up to you to either explain how to deal with their perceived problem or solve it with some sort of fix. That's how good developers make their games, whereas bad ones either take the WG route of ignoring everything or blatantly implement shit they shouldn't based on whining.

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Pick top 10 players from each server

Ask for their opinions on the game and possible solutions

???

Profit!

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2 minutes ago, orzel286 said:

Pick top 10 players from each server

Ask for their opinions on the game and possible solutions

Do you have idea how different is perception of the game between good and average player?

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