Wednesday, September 26, 2012

World of Tanks Physics Goes Live

Yes the much awaited physics patch is here and there was much rejoicing. Well, I'm sure there will be some rejoicing. Even after all the ballyhoo I'm not that fussed. I played only a handful of matches on the test server and was impressed with the graphics, but hated the new sounds and tech tree layout. I didn't play enough to comment on the new maps or physics as it will affect the game. I'm still playing the odd match but I've definitely lost that lovin' feeling for the game.

My WoT client is updating as I write this but, as I said, I'm not hyped to log in. I've been managing a match or two every few days but nothing more taxing than that. I've been thinking lately about where Wargaming lost me, exactly, and why. Good 'ole fashion burnout is one factor for sure. I'm just under 8k battles and that is a lot of PUG matches to plow through. I do, however, see people with 20k+ matches so for some there is a definite lasting appeal. I think that along the way Wargaming.net shifted their focus to the money, and as a result the game suffered. The 'grind' became the focus of the game because it could generate money. The fun of fighting was lost along the way.

Ultimately I think the lack of any meaningful purpose to game overall is what really killed it for me. Their insistence in adding new tanks and pretending that it was new content was both insulting, and disappointing. The rather obvious ploy of adding new tanks which were slightly overpowered and then nerfing them later (despite having tested them) when the newer (and slightly overpowered) tanks were about to come is also pretty lame.

The game is a lobby-based PVP tactical tank shooter (or at least that's what I call it) so am I expecting too much? Maybe, but as one of my readers once pointed out, as a paying customer Wargaming.net should be caring why I have stopped paying. Maybe not me specifically, but others like me. Clan wars didn't offer the casual (or anti-social) gamer like me anything to strive for and once you've played 30 or so tanks they all start to feel a little samey. All that was left was the fun of battle which, with time, is bound to fade- especially in PUGS where the average player was anything but.

What could have saved the game for me? I initially stated that the new game modes would be a breath of fresh air, but after testing them quickly realized they wouldn't. I also suggested faction based war with incentives and bonus' worked in but that will never, ever happen. My point, all these months, is that the game is lacking purpose, and thus, for me, longevity. I suppose I shouldn't complain as I did get well over a year of play out of it. It's just a bit disappointing especially since they are the only tank-game in town and they had done so many things right.

There are other games in the genre that are attempting to provide an over-all goal that I'm looking forward to seeing- namely Heroes and Generals. This is an ambitious FPS offering that sees infantry, tanks, and planes all in the same battle. You choose one of two sides (US or Germany atm) and the war lasts up to six weeks after which time there is a winner and you start it all again (you can then switch sides). Heroes and Generals goes even farther and lets you step away from FPS (if you want) and focus on the strategic side of the war. You can even play via your mobile device while away from home.

You see? It's possible to have a FPS-type game with some sort of over-arching purpose other than the grind to the next tank. WoT has offered nothing significant in terms of end-game content and likely never will. Oh, wait, you say, what about Clan Wars? Come on, really? It's still officially in beta, isn't it, and the game launched over a year ago. It's also extremely restrictive in terms of times, tactics, and tanks fielded and it never ends to the top clans dominate and that's it. They win- forever.

In any case enjoy your flying tanks, and I will see you on the battlefield from time to time!

2 comments:

  1. Every game boils down to carrots on sticks. It just depends on how good a carrot they found on how sturdy a stick. Seems to me like this time they gave players a rotten one on a splintered stick, and the chase quickly lost all meaning...

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  2. Every game or every MMO?

    This is the problem with MMO's- they are designed to keep people playing so they will continue to pay. I think it's a subtle difference to one that's designed to be good.... and so then you play it a lot.

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