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KenyanWarlord

Artillery - The Bigger Picture

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Now, this isn't going to be your run of the mill artillery whining post. While there will be some whining involved, that is not the point of this topic.

 

This is gonna be a long read, but essentially, this will be me explaining why artillery is the source of many of this games problems.

 

Lets start with saying the main problems with World of Tanks (in no particular order), and see how they all are based off of two core issues.

1. Artillery is overpowered (for various reasons)

2. The maps are boring and repetitive

3. Tank Destroyers (and to a lesser degree other heavily armoured vehicles) have too much presence in high tier games

4. Having to rely on less skilled players

First, lets look at why artillery is supposedly in World of Tanks. The reason you always hear is that it's there to stop camping and to keep a game flowing - which is fair play. However, does artillery do this? Not all the time, due to horrid accuracy and all other things that could possibly go wrong. Have we ever stopped to think that maybe, if maps were designed better, the need to have a tank purposed solely on stopping camping would be unnecessary? We'll explore this idea later, but fist, lets look at why artillery (and in turn, poor map design) is an issue.

Fundamentally, artillery is broken. You've probably already heard this before, but in case you haven't, I'll explain why. Free damage is something gamer's will never be able to accept as a fair way of obtaining an advantage over your opponent. The problem is, most damage done by artillery is free damage, at least on a singular player vs. singular player basis (ie. not counting counter battery fire) due to the fact that majority of the time, artillery will be out of sight of the person they're shooting at, giving the recipient no chance of returning fire. It doesn't matter if it's 1 damage or 1500 damage. Damage is damage, and if you aren't given an opportunity to return the favour in the same way your opponent is, it is, plain and simply, not fair to you. The main response I've heard to this issue is to rely on your artillery to counter battery, or for your light tanks to go out hunting. Yet, as well all know, while World of Tanks may be 15 vs. 15, it's almost always just 15 people who happen to be the same colour against 15 people who are the other colour. You can't trust, let alone rely on, the tank beside you being able to know which end of their tank is the front. Either way, effectively and consistently, the only way to counter artillery is with more artillery, and if your artillery doesn't wish to counter battery, why not just remove artillery altogether? Get rid of the need for someone else to interfere just to save your own hide. 

"But Kenyan!" you say, "Artillery is meant to stop camping, so if it were gone, everyone would camp!" and yes, young fellow, you would be correct (at least most of the time). From the few lovely games we all have each day where there is no artillery, we do notice that they are a lot more campy and can reach a stalemate much more often then games with artillery included. This is because of poor map design, due to the fact that World of Tanks has taken the mainstream route of map design; three lanes, sometimes even two (Swamp) and suicide zones in between them. There is no issue with this style of design, for most games, but this is because most games don't have something like artillery involved. If we look at the Call of Duty series, famous for maps such as these, we see that the closest thing to artillery is kill streaks. Kill streaks reward players who are doing well, and most of them are not free damage. You don't get to see exactly where your opponent is when you call in an airstrike, all you get is a bigger version of the minimap on your screen that you click on, then you hope that there is a bad guy there. It's also a much more fast-paced game where dying once doesn't make much of an impact, unlike World of Tanks where once you die your game is over. So it works, for games like Call of Duty to have very similar maps and still remain fun and balanced for everyone involved. The Gears of War series proves that the usual three lane map design is not needed, and that provided the game is implemented well around it, you can get rid of the need for the suicide zones and three lanes we so often see. Unlike Call of Duty, Gears of War (at least the first two) don't have kill streaks or any sort of artillery-like impact on the game. Is camping a huge issue in GoW, like it is when there is no artillery in World of Tanks? No. Due to the fact it isn't your stereotypical three lane map design, it allows for many more flanks and much more movement across the map, keeping the game dynamic and constantly changing, hardly ever reaching a stand still.

Another, less vocal issue, is that tank destroyers (and other such highly armour vehicles) have a much larger presence and advantage in top tier games then any other class. While this isn't a very glaring issue, it's always made me wonder. Statistically, it makes sense for it to be mostly TD's in top tier games, due to the fact they have the thickest armour tier for tier, the best penetration and the best alpha damage. On paper, they seem fantastic. Due to the design of the maps, they are also fantastic in games. A little bit too fantastic, in some cases. Some of the maps that have the more defined three lane layout are prime examples of why TD's are the best possible tank to play. You have hardly any issue with getting flanked early, so you can set up shop and point the boom end down range and wait for an unsuspecting victim to waltz in front of your tank, giving half of their health to pad your stats. Luckily, however, artillery exists to set fire to the camp you've just set up. Yet, if it were possible to flank (without losing half your HP) from the start of the game, would it not make this issue disappear, without shells having to rain from the sky upon unsuspecting victims? If the game were constantly changing, camping wouldn't be an issue. As we see in games such as Call of Duty, campers never last very long. Eventually you weed them out, without the need for anything other then your trusty EVO. This would get rid of the issue people have with TD's, since they would no longer be forced to move in front of their guns, they could instead go around and outplay them.

All of these little issues point to the one bigger issue. All pieces of the puzzle fit together nearly perfectly. Who is at fault for the issues stated above? Artillery due to poor map design.

 

Let's break it down one final time, without all the words.

Three lane map allows people to camp, specifically TD's since they're much harder to weed out then most tanks -> Artillery stops people setting up shop -> Artillery one shots (insert tank here) -> Person gets angry (and rightly so) due to free damage being done to them -> Person then goes onto the WoT forums and wotlabs screaming blue murder about why artillery pieces are overpowered -> Gets called an angry, salty noob and is told to stop camping

 

And then the cycle happens again and again and again and again. It's been happening for years. It will continue to happen for years to come. While I am not asking for change, I do believe it would be best for the game if the need to have artillery was removed by changing the map design. 

 

Just to drill this idea home, if the need for artillery (stopping camping) was no longer a need, would there need to be artillery at all? 

 

This entire post is just food for thought. The puzzle pieces fit together perfectly in my head, but I'm curious what other people have to think about it. I know that it's extremely unlikely anything will ever change, but I think it's fun to think of the possibility of change in a good way.

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I really don't notice more camping without arty at all. If anything there's less. 5 arty games on the other hand frequently devolve into sitfests.

Here's another problem associated with arty (and it's related to the free damage issue): You cannot kill arty to sway the balance of the match. Arty almost never dies until one team has already won, at which point they're just free damage and XP. That means SPGs get to contribute for the entirety of the game and no one can do anything about it, as opposed to tanks which have to risk losing their influence since they actually get shot at.

Also TDs aren't necessarily good at winning games in high tiers, they're just annoying to fight against.

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2 minutes ago, M4A3E8sherman said:

I really don't notice more camping without arty at all. If anything there's less. 5 arty games on the other hand frequently devolve into sitfests.

Here's another problem associated with arty (and it's related to the free damage issue): You cannot kill arty to sway the balance of the match. Arty almost never dies until one team has already won, at which point they're just free damage and XP. That means SPGs get to contribute for the entirety of the game and no one can do anything about it, as opposed to tanks which have to risk losing their influence since they actually get shot at.

Also TDs aren't necessarily good at winning games in high tiers, they're just annoying to fight against.

It's not necessarily more camping, it's more so people just being ballsy and sitting in the open in hulldown positions, being less afraid etc is what I meant by that. And that's also a really good point.

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Artillery hits tanks on the move way more often than it should, so moving around does nothing to avoid artillery.

I camp less when there's no artillery because there's no fear of losing 1/3 or all of my health.

Fuck artillery and everyone who plays it.

I wrote a status update after having a carry shit on, but didn't post it because I felt it was cringe, but here's how I feel about artillery:

Quote

When you play nearly perfectly, win engagements against the enemy under unfavorable terms, and use game mechanics to your advantage, only to have your game shit on by someone who clicks their mouse once every ~40 seconds, and has no idea what the game mechanics even are.

It triggers me so hard. The thought of that piece of shit getting a victory for putting forth barely any thought or effort just burns me so much.

I can handle a defeat because I drove into a bad area, a defeat where I didn't react to the map fast enough. A defeat where I know the only thing at fault was my own decision, because I can learn from that. But when you lose a game because you tried to win? That's a load of shit.

 

 

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The biggest issue for me are

1.No in depth tutorials for new players

2. TDs are rare in top tier games on the ASIA server (Medium tanks are the most prevalent by far)

3. Map designs are shit.

4. Arty really has little to no impact on the game as it is today (pre 8.6 fostered the arty hate) 

If you are constantly being killed/raped by arty, you are doing it wrong tbh. Sure you will get xvm focused, and occasionally smacked for half your HP. But anything with high alpha can and does the same. (Also server metas are all different)

 

Do you rage just as hard if a TD/HT/MT stops you carry?

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Politx_Killer said:

The biggest issue for me are

1.No in depth tutorials for new players

2. TDs are rare in top tier games on the ASIA server (Medium tanks are the most prevalent by far)

3. Map designs are shit.

4. Arty really has little to no impact on the game as it is today (pre 8.6 fostered the arty hate) 

If you are constantly being killed/raped by arty, you are doing it wrong tbh. Sure you will get xvm focused, and occasionally smacked for half your HP. But anything with high alpha can and does the same. (Also server metas are all different)

 

Do you rage just as hard if a TD/HT/MT stops you carry?

 

 

 

I don't think you understood what I wrote. Never once did I say that I had any issue with artillery. All I said is that it's fundamentally broken. Sort of like the WT E100, which is why it's being removed. Nothing should be able to dish out that much damage in such a short amount of time.

You really just responded with the usual condescending tone that most players do, as I noted in my post. Think before you post. 

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We could remove arty and replace them with towers.

Wait.

 

My main issue with arty is that they shoot at you without you being able to retaliate nor outplay them. I don't give a shit about the whole prevention of camping shit, but at least I should be able to outplay/retaliate against the fuckers.

People ought to be playing World of Tanks to use wads keys, not some clicking simulator

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2 minutes ago, Serene_Potato said:

We could remove arty and replace them with towers.

Wait.

 

My main issue with arty is that they shoot at you without you being able to retaliate nor outplay them. I don't give a shit about the whole prevention of camping shit, but at least I should be able to outplay/retaliate against the fuckers.

People ought to be playing World of Tanks to use wads keys, not some clicking simulator

Yep. Exactly as I said. The premise of free damage will never pass with gamers.

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Your whole premise is based in the idea that TDs are prevalent and arty reduces camping. Neither of these are true at the moment... If you made this post c. patch 8.5 or slightly before you'd have something. You are correct that arty is a broken (not OP!) class though. 

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1 minute ago, Kitten said:

Your whole premise is based in the idea that TDs are prevalent and arty reduces camping. Neither of these are true at the moment... If you made this post c. patch 8.5 or slightly before you'd have something. You are correct that arty is a broken (not OP!) class though. 

I can confidently say that tier 10 tank destroyers are either the most or second most (by a close margin) played tanks in random battles.

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3 minutes ago, KenyanWarlord said:

I can confidently say that tier 10 tank destroyers are either the most or second most (by a close margin) played tanks in random battles.

til 2-3 per side is most played. You do realize it is TD week?

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14 minutes ago, RichardNixon said:

They're third place on EU by a distance. IIRC that's also true for NA.

Well what you took away from the topic is the wrong thing; I stated TD's and other heavily armoured vehicles, such as heavy tanks, mediums with thick turrets, et cetera.

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latest?cb=20140704100645

>MFW I see a purple in my SPG

>Be Me, Arty Fag

>TD Week is in full swing

>Have a chance to actually do my job

>itsaboutdamntime.jpg

>Scanning map for for TD campers 

>Suddenly see the most beautiful painted royal purple username ever

>Weaving seductively in his Digital Camoed Three-mareked AMX30B

>itssoprettyiamgoingtodie.gif

>zoom in to take a closer look of this majestic creature

>fleshlight falls onto the left maus button

> Enemy Destroyed 1900 HP

>Calls me a faggot

>maybeheisright.png

>Entertain the thought briefly

>Nah

>I console him with a friendly LOL in chat

>Chat bursts into flames 

>go back to trying to look at pretty username colors for two minutes

>Enemy TDs crush friendly pubbies 

>Lose 1-15

> ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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One of the bigger problems with arty is that it can only shoot what it can see. This naturally leads to the more aggressive players (the ones spotted most often) being "balanced" by something they can't really defend or retaliate against. Map design also clusters wads of hp in predictable shooting lanes, lining them up for arty to feast on. I don't know how I would change this but if arty's role is to prevent camping, it's current state doesn't allow it to fulfill that role.

The reason I don't like playing arty is that I find them far too team dependent. As I said earlier, arty can only shoot at what it sees so having a good team in front of you to light stuff and keep LT's from having their way with you is important. Oftentimes this is too much to ask from your random pubbies.

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2 hours ago, KenyanWarlord said:

I don't think you understood what I wrote. Never once did I say that I had any issue with artillery. All I said is that it's fundamentally broken. Sort of like the WT E100, which is why it's being removed. Nothing should be able to dish out that much damage in such a short amount of time.

You really just responded with the usual condescending tone that most players do, as I noted in my post. Think before you post. 

My reply was more directed at the post above mine. (The Fuck artillery crowd)

 

I know its a shit mechanic. But it isn't going away, so stating rehashed shit that has been talked about till death is not going to change it.

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3 hours ago, KenyanWarlord said:

I haven't noticed an influx of TD's if that is what you mean by that? There has always been a shit ton of TD's in tier 10 games.

Whaaaaaaaaaaat?

I haven't played in months, I logged in yesterday and after the first match asked "Is there some kind of JT88 rental thing going on right now?" to which the answer was "Yes".

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2 hours ago, Vindi said:

we don't need an article about arty every week, we need only to limit the number of arties to 1 per game and thats it

 

You'd need to do way more than that. You limit arties to 1 per game and you will absolutely demolish MM. Good luck getting into a match with a 1 arty limit.

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It starts and ends with map design: If the maps weren't so god awful bad and shitty designed, there would be no need for artillery/TD balancing. Take for instance Overlord

3b43f8c.jpg

A 46% guy in a Jagdpanzer E-100 can drive 150m from the base and hide hulldown behind a bunker covered with a bush. From there he can lock down more than half the map and is basically impossible do dig out unless you win the game by landslide or there is artillery in the game. Same goes with the hiding spots near the red line. Just god awful map design intended to reduce the influence skilled players have in a battle by granting terrible players huge positional advantages from the start.

Why does there have to be incredibly hard to dig out TD hiding spots on every map?

Why does there always have to be a 3 flank design of some sort with 90% of the fighting being frontal engagements?

Why does artillery always have super safe hiding places where they aren't in fear of being spotted/killed until the whole team is dead?

You could make this game so much more dynamic and better with just a single 5 point checklist of things when designing/redesigning every map but it would mean that good players could amplify their skill level and bad players would get absolutely destroyed every game. And that's how it should be because else there is no real incentive for player improvement which is something this game struggles with anyway, no guy should have 46% after 5k or 10k battles.

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54 minutes ago, Rexxie said:

You'd need to do way more than that. You limit arties to 1 per game and you will absolutely demolish MM. Good luck getting into a match with a 1 arty limit.

Why would it demolish MM? Besides for the arty players, games have 1-0 arty all the time at least for me. The decision would be OK do I spend 4-5 min in cue to play my cancer wagon or the 15-30 seconds for a normal tank.  Also MM doesn't give a fuck about balance anyways I see 6 heavy vs 1heavy all the time with no tds on the 1 heavy team. 

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13 minutes ago, Dangalang_time said:

Why would it demolish MM? Besides for the arty players, games have 1-0 arty all the time at least for me. The decision would be OK do I spend 4-5 min in cue to play my cancer wagon or the 15-30 seconds for a normal tank.  Also MM doesn't give a fuck about balance anyways I see 6 heavy vs 1heavy all the time with no tds on the 1 heavy team. 

It would demolish MM because MM would only ever be capable of putting one player per team into each match. If there are 70 arty players sitting in queue, the server will need to put up 35 games to accommodate them all. You might see a good number of only 1/2 arty matches, but some of that is also because 3/4 arty matches exist. Light tanks currently have a similar problem where the game has a hard limit on how many can be in a match. MM queue times for them can be quite long already, and they aren't being limited to one per side.

WoT's MM might be bad but it does have a few hard rules that it almost always follows.

We might see it as a cancer wagon, but your average joe will not understand being punished with waiting 10x as long for matches in his artillery.

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