Wednesday, August 24, 2011

15 v. 15 Has Got To Go...and Other Musings On WoT

My near-daily (nerd) rage "exit game" button mashing is reaching a fevered state in World of Tanks.

Okay, honestly. All joking aside- without malice or cruel intent- who are these people who rush off en-mass and leave entire flanks open? It's so disheartening to watch 12 or so of your team rush off to get held up by some cleverly placed TD's, and a single heavy, while the rest of the enemy rolls up your undefended flank, mashes your arty, slams into your 'main force' from behind and wins the match. I can see it coming within a few seconds of the start and my heart sinks every time.

I really don't understand why people don't learn (I'm talking about Tiers 7+ here), but what I do understand is that it is absolutely, without a doubt, killing the joy and excitement I once had for this game. Together with the matchmaking algorithm that I am convinced is written to ensure you lose 50% of your battles (I'll save that topic for another day) I am finding I can only log in for a few battles each night.

And it's a shame because this is a great game with a unique setting.

The 15 v. 15 arena battles, which are not only the heart of WoT, but all that's on offer (don't get me started again on Clan Wars), are frustrating for anyone who wants to do well, or who is experienced enough to know a few basic tactics for each map. Even in a platoon of guys, (as one of my Clan mates used to say) it's still a 3 vs. 27 battle. I realize that new game modes are promised, (and I am rapidly reaching the point where I will have to stop playing and wait for them) but most of them seem to be based around the 15 v. 15 format. The Super Platoons (3 squads of 5 vs. 3 squads of 5) appear to be the most promising and I almost weep with joy imagining how great it will be.

Even if they deliver other promised features such as choosing your tier spread, or different objectives within the game, it still will be 15 v. 15 and this is going to remain a problem. Where did this format come from? In a random battle depending on 14 of your fellow gamers to understand, communicate, and implement tactics is a little hopeful at best. Where are the 6, 9, or even 12 man teams? A platoon, or even a few tankers in a match who know what they are doing, and perform well, could make a real difference in a 9-man match. There is nothing worse than suddenly realizing that, although you and a couple guys beside you have played your guts out, your base is being taken, or your team has been annihilated. How many matches have you been in where you have 4+ kills (which means, for the statistically inclined that you eliminate 26% of the opposing force singlehandedly) and find yourself alone....waiting for the enemy to cap or kill you?

Yes I do realize that WoT is a casual game with a lot of different tankers logging in to have some fun. I do not begrudge anyone this, and I am not 'hating' on newbies. Part of the problem, I realize, is me. I am competitive in PVP games, and strive to learn and do better. It's less about beating others, and more about pushing myself , but the end result is that I get frustrated in random matches where I lose 50% of the time no matter how well (or poorly for that matter) I do. I also realize that the game is more enjoyable with a Clan and I am currently without.

I know that there are a number of ways I could improve the fun that I have in-game. This isn't meant to be an "I hate WoT" rant. I am hoping to open a constructive dialogue about the game mechanics. I mostly see "This tank sucks!" or "When is this tank coming?" or "This game is great because..." posts on the 'Gameplay discussion' area of the forum. I guess in the end, the forums will attract the two extremes of players. I am curious though as to what other people are experiencing.

  1. Are you feeling frustrated by the game mechanics?
  2. Do you think is focusing too much on grabbing some fast cash and not enough on actual game-play improvments?
  3. Where do you see WoT in 6-months?

As for me I really need to find a clan, but who wants an oft-annoyed tanker who is on the verge of rage-quitting in their ranks? I know I certainly wouldn't.

/ long until Red Orchestra 2?


  1. 1) Yes -Matchmaking, spotting, SPGs(splash,DMG per shell,accuracy, missing tracers) - these three aspects should be reviewed

    2) Yes and it is also reason why they dont want to nerf SPGs, because they are best money income for them, people just love god mods

    3) Dead if WG will not listen to community, personaly I will not pay sigle cent to them until they fix point 1)...and many other people which I know, so they are on the highway to hell atm...

  2. 1) Not really, since I've played all the tank classes other than TD, I've got a good sense for how things work and why they work the way they do. I try and play like I've been spotted and I know where to hide and how to rock to try and throw of sniping TDs and arty. Matchmaking is going to be a constant subject for them and I do agree that it needs some work at the highest tiers and in dealing with the >5min panic time mode. However, I treat it as a game, and a war game at that. Not every match needs to be perfectly balanced or "fair". I personally love being on the bottom or middle of matches as I get the most exp and credits usually. Its interesting finding ways to be useful to a team when you aren't going to damage most of the tanks and its fun to figure out how to survive.

    2) I'm a free to play player, I made 1 purchase last month purely to support the game because I felt like I'd had a great 6 months of enjoyment. I bought 3 half-price garage slots and moved 1 module and still have 2540 gold left from my 3k purchase. If WG is fixated on the cash grab, its either completely ineffective on me, or I'm just obtuse. With the way they are giving out premium tanks and free garage slots and discounted gold items, it really feels like a company that is trying hard to win over a player base and establish themselves.

    3) I imagine that WoT will have grown the average NA population by another 20% or so but the numbers will still fall far behind Europe and Russia. I think WoW is going to be interesting but I'm such a fan of tank games that I'll probably still play WoT by preference. I think the US, German, and Russian trees will be close to the release versions that are mapped out now and that we'll see super-platoons and tiered CW areas.

    4) Just because I can't resist an anti-SPG troll - everyone wants tracers back in the game, its a non-trivial problem with many potential side-effects. I would rather have a less-hacked game than a game where tracers made play completely trivial for people. Also, tracers were MUCH more useful in killing tanks than they were in counter-battery.

    SPGs exist in game as a way to make players think 3D and not purely 2D LOS tactics. Nobody wants to deal with 10-12 arty pieces in a match, including arty players, but at 3-4 per side they add significantly to the challenge and overall feel of the game. The whole "if I'm seen I'm toast" mechanic makes it a lot more interesting because otherwise the big dog tanks of each match would just roll with impunity thru open fields and devastate the opposing team.

    I have no idea why you think the best money income is SPGs, since they sell a heck of a lot of Ram IIs, Lowes, and KV5s and there is no premium SPG option (yet). Perhaps you think ammos sales, but I can tell you from the 4 clans that I've either been associated with or had friends in, the gold sales for tier 10 heavies are a lot higher and a lot more frequent than from the tier 8 SPGs.

    5) Gank, I said it in a previous comment, but you're more than welcome to jump in vent with my clan and platoon with me if you're ever looking for a group. The clan would welcome you as well, but since it sounds like you're on the fence I don't see much point in "inviting" you, but you could always just hang out and when/if ready ask for an invite. We're pretty casual with a definite interest in CW, but since we all have families and real jobs, its also a clearly RL first type of group. RXR is the clan, stormtrail is my tag.

  3. Thanks Stormtrail..I haven 't forgotten your offer. I'm in a game-funk atm and need to sort that out before I become 'social' again :)

  4. 1. Well, game mechanics is buggy, especially matchmaker part of it. I find it hard not to click exit battle when i see my KV-3 vs IS-7, Maus, and alike... Also some tanks are seriously underpowered compared to their counterparts. Not a problem until tier 6, but after that it gets...tricky. For some reason most often problem is with USA tanks, but I'm not getting into Russian OP tanks here. ;) Also great amount of Lowe/KV5 players are ruining the gameplay as they don't give a damn about rest of the team as they will earn really good money anyway.

    2. I don't really think SPG players pay premium more often than other tank players, as they earn more than they do. As far as tracers issue is concerned...well it makes game harder as arty is almost in god mode, but hey, one good scout and down you go. On the other hand this problem is more prominent in CW. It will be interesting to see how players will adapt once tracers are back.

    3. Depends what they do. If they start listening to community, add new game modes (Overlord said they are coming around New Year(?) as far as I recall?), add new maps and fix map selector so you don't play same map 10 times in a row, and most importantly fix spotting system so Maus can't dissapear on field 100m from my tank, they should do real good. If they keep pushing "buy Lowe" strategy...

    Greetings from Serbia and EU server group! :)


  5. Hello Serbia!

    I'm still sad they seperated the NA and EU servers. Would love to hook up with some Euros like I did 'back in the day' when I played Guild Wars.