Yes, rare for me but I wanted to post a comment I made on Overlords blog today regarding the (lack of) balance in WoT. It is, for those unaware, commonly accepted that the Russian tanks are overpowered and the general theory is that they continually nerf the German line because they are....well.....Russian (German Maus recieved a nerf as well as the new E-series soon to be released). Borderline racist, or perhaps ethnocentric, themes aside (ie: assuming the Russian hate the German tanks because they don't like Germans...wait, is that racist to say.....anyway, who cares), the German tanks play like crap. They need more crew, take more experience to grind, and are historically innacurate. There is no 'fear of the Tiger' in the game- trust me, I play one.
The fact that Russian developers cater to a Russian market- which is their largest customer base- shouldn't be a shock really. I've abandoned the American line and embraced mother Russia and am having a blast. I haven't gotten any better as a player in the last week so I have to assume it's the tanks I'm playing. In any case, here is my comment:
We may need to accept that because of the size of the Russian market the devs may always attempt to keep those players happy. It is, of course, short sighted and the fastest way to stunt their growth as a company but it will likely prove successful in the short term.
I had high hopes for the Tiger and was anxious to play it simply because I was facinated by it as a child. As with most people I've talked with it was very dissapointing. So too has my brief time with American mediums been dissapointing.
The bottom line is that no company will please everyone all the time. The biggest problems come when the company forgets why they began and what they are about.
You can focus on a good product and let the quality of what you offer shine through and attract more people, or you can cater to a specific group and end up with only them supporting you.
WoT offers something that no other game currently has- and I enjoy it. Long-term problems (including player retention) will see a significant contraction in their world-wide market- boosed by World Of Planes (likely)- but they will make money. Their business model is sound: I have never seen a game take in such large amounts of cash by individual players.
The bottom line for the devs is their bottom line. I am sure they care about this game and want to see it balanced and fun but at the end fo the day they have to chase the money and if that means leaving the National tank-choice of their biggest customer(s) over powered I am sure they will.