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KarmaQU_EU

World of Warships lacks magic

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Beta Tester
803 posts
4,376 battles
 

Don't be alarmed by the title.

Spiritual successor to this post here, which is worse than even my usual standards. But as usual, most things take more than one post to gain headway.

 

The topic is a difficult one, and one I cannot readily fully devote an explanation about without going over some of my comfortable limits.

But onto topic. The problem I increasingly perceive as causing the drop in interest and morale (passion) for this game, especially for me, is that WoWs lacks something enduring and truthful which appeals to me at an innate level. Thus it may be generalized this is why it fails to appeal to many other players as well. We will temporarily label this "something" as 'magic; for the time being for the sake of the discussion. And it is assumed if WoWs gains this "magic", it will see substantial increase in its potency as both a game and a work of art.

I believe good "atmosphere" is one of the defining traits for this 'magic'. It may even be one of the factors directly leading into what constitutes 'magic', especially in computer games. (This may be why I chose it in the last post as an entry point, assuming it is the right approach.) Willing immersion, in return for the reward of an immersive, fulfilling experience, largely hinges on good quality representational assets and intuitively symbolic lines of logic used to construct the "set". It constructs an atmosphere that seems to present more than it does, that it hides sparkling mysteries behind the next batch of fog, that although there are many more things it does not, or rather cannot portray due to software or hardware limits, they are still there hidden from sight, yet existence justified, even confirmed, by smaller hints left behind in existing assets. And with what assets there does exist, it presents a pleasant surprise, a feast for the eyes, a carnival of quirks and detail which entertains you. Precise, decisive, yet not superfluous, as is art. In turn it gains your respect, instead of your favor ... and within this temporal balanced framework, does the player settle down to enjoy their game. (Without feeling the urge to disrespect and whine about the game over every little detail, cough*.)

Yet what is "atmosphere", and in such, 'magic'? Is it only high quality special effects? Is it technical ceilings and benchmark points, i.e. surround sound and dynamic music? Is it visual details, smooth shadows, 60fps of performance and volumetric post-processing? Is it necessarily active and interactive, i.e. only in games? Must it be incomplete and partially mysterious, as previously described? Must it be only on good, enduring, and truthful things, "beautiful" things, even if superficially so? The questions will be endless if asked from a lower level of focus. Thus I do not believe it is the right approach to "push" based from lower, more trivial details. Rather, "pull" based inferring from more overarching principles and triangulation from analogies with relevant logical signatures will do better to identify and reveal useful marks.

___________

Search in your memory for what springs to mind, when asked what entertainment-based trademark uses claims of "magic", the most? For me it was Disney, but I'm sure there are many other viable alternatives, including quite a few computer game companies. Otherwise, there should be many other physical-entity products which stress the "magic" in their products, think maybe Lego. But that's good for now. Do you agree with their claims to the "magic" within their products? Have you enjoyed that "magic" yourself? Do you think being a physical product helps to increase the presence of this "magic"? 

In case of the last question, it has to do with what telltale traits does "magic" require to function. Is it a fantasy setting? Does it have to allow creativity? Does it have to feel physical, weighty, corporeal? A low-level approach to 'magic' can start with identifying and tallying many traits and attributes which have to do with the perceived functions of 'magic', and simply bunch them together, pile them up, see if magic happens more or less. If something is lacking, then get something of that sort. This may be low-level but it is straightforward and very much used in reality ... how many products especially having to do with intellectual work, simply mimic their successful predecessors to the cent? And a lot of the times it even works to a satisfactory level. It is foolproof.

A slightly more advanced approach would be to identify the techniques behind the creation of those assets which bring a long the traits of 'magic', instead of the end-features themselves. Good art? Anime art? Then the focus should be on that subcategory of art, or just 2D art, and what makes good 2D papercut art. For Lego, it would be the logical signature of "blocks", pixelated representations easy to construct, yet highly representative, and very potent in their information capacity. Reliable, resilient, timeless. For Disney, it would be more generalized family-friendly fantasy, cartoonish yet harmless representations of high-profile contexts, mascots, carnivals and light humour, some capitalism and copyright claims, etc. But the point is it doesn't have to specifically be animal mascots constituting of a mouse, a duck, and a dog. The process behind making this image, or logical structure of how the product works, or the subcategory of profession their trade falls under, is capable of generating quality content under other precise specifications. This allows more control and more variety than direct copying of wholesale assets. Sometimes, a variable or small tweak will even make the alternative more potent than the original, perhaps in other ways or even holistically.

But more so if not, it is usually not better than the original. The original succeeds in such high-profile ways for good reason. It simply works out, in precise, minute, subtle configuration of detail. Changing those little details resulting in something different breaks the golden composition, and it is no longer "just right". It does not work anymore. Cough* copying WOT philosophy into 3 more games which all sorta fail cough*. 

Thus the ultimate approach is to identify the precise strains of why something works, in their pure, logic-only signatures. Cutting out the superfluous parts, which usually constitutes the vast majority of whatever is there. Tracing back the origins to even pre-production, before subcategories of trade and craft even come into play. (For games, that would be before all the technology comes in, even before the form comes in, into pure showmanship, pure entertainment, pure social interaction. I am pretty sure I have touched upon this before on forum, especially the "showmanship" part.) Trace it all back deep enough, and it will probably come to artistic representation. Intellectual expression and engagement. Logic triggers and forms, structures. Pure order. Mathematics. "Tracing back" is but a figurative expression, it is not necessarily tracing back as in de-advancing time, progression, it may be tracing deeper, or tracing purer, or tracing more formally as in utilizing analytic techniques of form and not necessarily having to do with any directional approach whatsoever. The crucial part is still the reverse identification of what parts did work, why it worked, even if only in that specific context. It can be either the means or the end. But ideally it is neither, it simply is, final, decisive, singular (as I have defined, before.)

___________

So what I seek in 'magic' for WoWs could possibly be dully and straightforwardly summarized as I simply desire it to work out, to be fun and not unfun, to be nice and not the opposite. But I could whine about that without having to make a thread for it. Or I could just point out what specific 'magic' WoWs is lacking and call it a day, but the truth is I don't know either. If I could do that in a few simple sentences with even above 50% clarity and certainty I already wouldn't be here. 

But just some hunches. 

In the beginning of WoWs, all was magical. The world was new, the form still incomplete, its workings partially mysterious. It was fun, it was entertaining, it was fresh. It held possibilities and in its uncertainty, the hopes for a better future. What did exist was largely pure, unadulterated, and showed the passion in work from the developers, players responded in kind with passion, largely respect, and patience. This all changed as the project advanced and was buckled down by HQ for stability and reliability over progression (which does not always reward). The slight, naturally occurring strategic regression as this happens towards stable commercial status was seen unkindly, though reasonably expected, by many players who had higher hopes for the plateau point of the game, and thus whom left the game.

See vs. perceive. The quote is something "the animals in the zoo sees their own plight, their environment, and the humans seeing them in return, but they do not perceive it all as the humans can do." Which leads to:

Larger, overarching logical structure, "glass sky", (a key theory in the notes). "The flies in the glass sphere gazed back at the scientists with more eye than them, but with far less understanding ... they would never understand why their little enclosed world rotated, moved, changed in environmental variables as the scientists dictated, much less invisible forces affecting them which were beyond their perception and understanding, such as magnetism." Sometimes it can be innate, such as a "world view" or "lore". It can also be functional, such as its competitive structure or progression system. But these are all subjugate beneath the "glass sky". They are not redundant, as usually correctly concluded, but what is also usually missed is that they are direct results of even higher and more overarching principles, sometimes with their own objectives and reasoning. This is akin to missing the dynamics of the entertainment industry, of the trade, and its place in civilization itself, for the minute details of the immediate game-only market. 

Lower denominator, masses, desire magic. While supposedly higher denominators desire the authenticity and respect to topic and context. In this view, WG is doing it both wrong, two-ways ... they are not satisfying the masses in their "dumbing down" the game into more gratification and stupidity, when those masses actually wanted magic, immersion, like fornite and zelda, without a care for its authenticity ... while almost completely ignoring the upper end of the spectrum, the engineers and the historians who have no appreciation for needless logistics and artificial tedium, but much appreciation for actual meat of the context presented in high efficiency. Of course this is still all subject to cross-influence in social factors such as de-saturated market or social oppression, market health, or more direct manipulation on human psychology or just operational (dis)efficiency and the opportunities generated by the gaps whilst, but generally those are but superficial cleverness, maybe even smarts, but just like the clever dog who can be trained, versus the intelligent human who can actually infer on higher logic, it is lesser. They purposefully engage in lower, dumber, more crude practices ... there will always be suckers to do in anyways. It is sad but there is nothing inherently wrong with it.

___________

I could have, and probably should have, utilized many video game examples of how they worked their own strains of "magic", even in "non-beautiful" contexts such as zombies, in sci-fi and fantasy, in both make-believe and theatric experiences, in multiplayer and singleplayer. That would have also helped to clarify perhaps what I mean by 'magic' and why it is different from 'atmosphere'. And why 'magic' can generate passion, entertaining, respect, and an enduring franchise the way 'atmosphere' and any amount of pure production cannot.

I didn't really want to write anything anyways and gave up halfway through that too. Sorry.

(link to something similar here)

 

Some argue that the game has enough "atmosphere" for its placement, I agree. But I guess I always desired it to have a bit more than its placement, to have more 'magic' and charm than just the immediate ships duking it out under an enclosed map and immediate concern, under such limitations of form and place. Just a bit more ideal, bit more "golden", and respectable. Just a bit more immersion, a bit more experience and enjoyment, than just seeing the immediate special effects of the ships duking it out under the limited sphere of influence of a single match. To have perhaps a larger sphere of logical structure "surrounding" all of that minute combat, maybe a culture, or a community, or something semi-progressing and semi-enduring. Perhaps even something almost magical due to its artistic qualities, such as an airy aerial sphere with different aesthetics, just as a different feel compared to the surface sphere. What the CV rework could have been, or a prelude to. Maybe to see a bit of the excitement, freshness, from when WoWs just started, again. This just feels like an old man reminiscing and mumbling nonsense because they are confused. The useless kind of mumbling because they cannot manage to and will not bother to mumble anything more useful (maybe write a newcomers guide). The kind one mumbles before they die. 

 

A disappointed departure.

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Beta Tester
803 posts
4,376 battles

sht editing can't even partial spoiler tag without enclosing the whole thing I fking give up on this forum

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Modder
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Finally we got our next chapter of the Lord and Saviour of WoWs! DramaQueenEU!

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More!

Give us more!

Praise him!

 

Spoiler

btw: tl;dr

 

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