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FixCVs_Nautical_Metaphor

WoWs flaws and how to fix them (maybe)

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Quickybaby, a well known World of Tanks (WoT) streamer and youtuber, put up a video titled "How I'd Fix World of Tanks" yesterday.

 

It may not be as critical for WoWs, whose player base is still growing, as it is for WoT which apparently lost 20% of players over the past 12 months. But still, some of his points are also issues in WoWs, at least to a degree. They resonated with me. These issues are more relevant for the future of the game than radar and the ridiculous new HE spammer ships combined. Possibly on par with the CV problem. Therefore, the following is my attempt to translate the most important issues and his proposed solutions to WoWs for discussion. It's a long post but I hope it will be worth it.

 

New player experience

* Garbage tutorial system

 

* Habitual sealclubbing.

Paraphrasing a tiny bit here. "I'm sorry, guys, but you [seal clubbers] do not deserve to have overwhelming advantages against low tier ships." -  "Isn't it enough that the seal clubber has his vastly superior gaming experience on his hands? Why does his [ship] also need to be vastly superior?" (In WoWs that would be mainly due to the maxed-out commander the seal clubber is able to put on it, and to a lesser degree due to the premium consumables he is able to afford.)

Solution: Create a true safe space where new players are still challenged but can grow - reduce the advantages that seal clubbers have in the low tiers.

 

At 5:56 in the video, QB states he initially pondered separate matchmaking for seal clubbers, probably based on a parameter like total number of battles played. This has also been frequently suggested for WoWs. In view of the dwindling server population though, this wouldn't even work for WoT, which still has a vastly larger player base than WoWs if I'm not mistaken. So that can't work for WoWs either. Wait times in the queue would skyrocket. They are already atrocious on Tiers I and II once players reach Account Level 13 and are thrown out of the initial protected matchmaking (with "dumb" bots even in random battles.)

 

So he dropped that idea and suggested a different solution: "It is more important that we arm the seals!"

1) Crew skills. In WOWs: Commander skills. I've frequently stated that experimenting with those is among the funnest things I've done in WoWs, and that it is bad and self-defeating of WG to abuse it for the sake of short-term revenue, charging doubloons aka real money for every commander skill redistribution. It's partially pay-to-win and partially pay-to-have-fun. Those that can't or don't want to pay, take the short cut to some youtuber's or forum writer's captain build, and miss out on some of the fun. Evidently, some people at WoWs came to a similar conclusion, so they went a different route in WoWs Legends, the newly released console counterpart, where experimenting with Commander skills is encouraged and where it does not cost real money.

But I digress. A similar solution for WoWs could comprise a commander skill cap for the low tiers, say max 1/3/6/10 point commanders allowed in Tiers I/II/III/IV. Alternatively, give players a ten-point commander on every low tier ship and completely drop any redistribution fees on Tiers I though IV (or charge credits instead), along with possibly locking those captains into the low tiers.

Or another idea, which QB introduces in the next section about consumables, would be to maybe couple skills to a tutorial system. Help new players understand how, say, spotting and concealment work by mandating they watch tutorials and possibly complete missions or even special tutorial operations in order to unlock a crucial skill such as concealment expert.

Now this would, on the other hand, delete the insane fun that can be had with maxed-out captains on low tier ships. Which would be a shame. However, this could easily be addressed with Ranked Sprint, which could be held periodically every quarter or so, each time on a different low-to-middling tier, and to which players could be allowed to bring any captain they have.

2) Consumables. Maybe less important for WoWs that WoT. But still. Generating enough credits can be hard for players that don't want to spend any money on the game or can't afford it (F2P). It might be worth considering to lower the cost and/or the benefit of premium consumables on the low tiers, or possibly even to abolish them altogether on the low tiers. Or make them free for everyone.

 

Next, he goes on about fixing the Matchmaking, which is not as big a problem in WoWs and they even recently made an earnest attempt to fix the infamous Tier VIII, so I just skip that whole part in favour of something much more important:

 

Overpowered premium ships
"If it was up to me, I would do one of two things. Firstly, nerf the overpowered premiums [here: Belfast, Gremyashchy, Kamikaze/Fujin, Giulio Cesare, Mikhail Kutuzov, possibly others.] Sure, a lot of people would be very unhappy, but at least I could continue to sell [these ships] in their balanced state. If that's not an option, then never sell them again."

 

Which brings us neatly to

 

Sales Tactics

As we all know, Wargaming is fully aware of the OP premiums problem. If any more proof was needed, they themselves provide it by dangling them as a carrot in front of players to make them buy Santa gift loot boxes and maximise their short term profits. Which is a crappy thing to do. Let me give a personal example. Even though seeing through it, and despising WG for it, I'm weak enough to let them manipulate me into spending almost 200 Euros on boxes so far. Others have spent more. Now in one way of looking at it, I absolutely got my money's worth of stuff, including eight premium ships, all of which are nice, and lots of flags and gold and coal and camos.

In another way though, most of the stuff is just nice to have, no more. From this perspective, they made me pay 200 Euros for the Giulio when that is not even the OP premium that I covet the most.

Paraphrasing slightly again, "Trust me, all of these [ships] are absolutely toxic for the matchmaker, and every single time they are sold, they make the game worse."

"Sure, Wargaming is making some money off of them now, but the worse you make the matchmaker, the more of your player base you make quit the game. So I would strongly encourage Wargaming to think about whether they want a quick buck now or whether it wouldn't be better to have a healthy game for the next five to ten years."

 

"The very least to avoid having your loot boxes condemned as gambling would be to make all of the contents available for purchase outside." The issue is perfectly illustrated by comparing the aforementioned OP premium ships to the likes of the T-61. Besides being not nearly as OP as any of the Notorious Five, the single thing that makes the T-61 so much less infuriating is that everybody who wants one can just go and buy one. And because it is well balanced, it doesn't make the MM worse and can stay on sale indefinitely, no problem. "Why not make more money and also give people more choice? Isn't that win-win?"


OP Tech Tree ships

They certainly exist in WoWs:

Clemson, Isokaze, Shenyang (still? I think it has been nerfed a little), Furutaka (as of the latest, unnecessary buff), Worcester, Kitakaze, Harugumo, Jervis, probably more.

"Not useful in the hands of a new player who does not know how to exploit its mechanics to be able to dominate (...) The reason why [ship X] is incredible is once you have a maxed out commander on it, and maxed out consumables and upgrades, you have an unfair advantage and/or are able to use its flexibility to dominate the game. For a new player, the [ship] has none of the attributes that give that person the chance of fighting back, or being successful in it." Sound familiar?

 

Economy

It seems a bit of a contradiction to the credit pinch mentioned above but somehow, both seem to be able to be true: things like lower credit prices of tech tree ships, combined with WG doling out special flags and camos left and right that give massive bonuses, "have now allowed people to grind through tech trees faster than ever. Now when people grind through tech trees more quickly, that means they actually spend less time playing the game and learning how their tech tree develops, and thus their skill is going to be less once they reach the top tiers."

"Also players are able to activate these boosters when playing their bad [ships] to be able to accelerate their progress in them. And so we see fewer "bad" [ships] in the matchmaker, you know, like the ones you want to meet occasionally. I don't know about you guys, but it's quite infuriating to constantly meet [this and that OP ship]. Where are all the [Izumos? Neptunes? Friedrichs? Farraguts? Yugumos?] They're all gone because the boosters enabled players just to free-XP them. In addition, players earn more credits than ever because of the boosters, and need less than ever because of the lowered prices, so they can afford all the [ships] they want without really having to play the game." Sounds like it might be a minor WoWs issue but the fact is the level of basic competence in gameplay at times does leave a lot to be desired and this might be a reason.

"I would argue that one of the best things about WoT is that it actually takes a substantial amount of time to grow from Tier I to Tier X. It was probably one of my favourite things about the game - collecting the tanks, slowly working my way up the tech tree, investing lots of time and effort in grinding the tanks out. I really looked forward to things like 'maybe next weekend I'll be finally able to get that last bit of XP to unlock [Tank x] and then get to play it.' Now it feels like WG skip you up as quickly as they can towards Tier VI even if you are a new player, throwing enough boosters at you to let you grind up to Tier VIII in just a few days."

 

Steel, other ressources and OP Reward Ships

What QB actually talks about here are Bonds in WoT, which he disagrees with because the only thing you can actually spend them on are advantages in battle like superpowered upgrades. Thus, players that are highly talented and/or put in an inordinate amount of effort are rewarded with things that reduce the challenge for them and make them even more daunting adversaries for the others. This of course immediately made me think of the Black and Flint issue, and the rat race for steel in order to get a Stalingrad. I can witness that now in my new clan, where many mates seem to be quite badly fixating on that ship. While it doesn't seem a big problem in WoWs, I still include it for personal reasons because there seem to be positive side effects. These include that my new clan mates seem to be quite happy to have me, despite my lack of skill, because I'm always there and usually willing to help out in Clan Battles, so they have a better chance at getting their steel. And even though I'm not really into high tier game play, CBs are certainly its most appealing form. Everybody makes a great effort at good teamwork. If I'm being made the stooge, or sacrificed as bait in my rental ships, my mates at least appreciate it. And you're never uptiered, and best of all, there are no carriers.

But I digress.

QB suggests to "completely change the ideology" of these rewards, away from giving the best or most dedicated players an additional edge over their opponents, and toward cooler cosmetics, which are a much bigger part in WoT anyway - a very wide range of colours, patterns, symbols and signage is available to deck out and individualize the look of your tank - but currently, you have to pay actual money for them. "They should never be sold for money but only be available through player effort."

 

So much for now, skipping the last part where he brings up issues he is still in the process of figuring out.

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59 minutes ago, ColonelPete said:

It would already help a lot if people were more careful with calling ships "OP" or "UP"...

But it killed me, so it must be op!

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Hmmmmm, Some of this I agree but not all of it. Ja there maybe some real ships that are over-powering, but for the most part its the fact is allot of players haven't a clue how to used there ships still or how to play the game effectly. Agree that more better tutorials could help, but again that if players actually watch them. No, U-tube community contributors mostly show all the good battles and less of the bad-ones whether its their bad-ones or other's bad-ones to give the novice a better understanding of the environment and what random play are really like from both sides of the spectrum. The good plays are good for that one environmental set played with everything is just right for that set. This what the novice sees and predicts his game is going to be like that also and then whines for nerfs and everything else.

 

Maps are also a big issue in Random Battles. The caps are in the same spot so most can assume where ships will show up, thus starts the sinking. This is no different on WOT with how there maps are sit up in alley fighting on a postage stamp where everyone knows what going to happen. That is why I quit playing WOT. The only real difference is that WOW maps on higher tier ships are not postage stamps.

 

20% leaving WOT is the fact is the sets never last over 10 minutes and if they haven't really change anything as for maps, alley fighting etc. Then I can understand why the players base has dropped that much and more than likely move to WOW because of this.

 

As for Seal Clubbing, doesn't happen that much on any team I've been on and if there is seal clubbing going on its not one game after another by the same person doing it or one game set right after another . Maybe by chance he was on the receiving end of the Seal Clubbing aspect of this or taking the word of others that were in this position by different players because of what ever ( to me more a whine section without crackers or kaas).

 

And for sale I partially agree the ships are to high in cost for a pack, but also look at how many players play WOW compared to WOT. There are more players on WOT and they can keep there price down for that, with what ever they put out, by just the numbers that do play WOT, which is allot more than WOW.

 

So all in all, it is his opinion. Some good points and other points well I'll leave that to the rest of You.

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2 hours ago, Nautical_Metaphor said:

Overpowered premium ships
"If it was up to me, I would do one of two things. Firstly, nerf the overpowered premiums [here: Belfast, Gremyashchy, Kamikaze/Fujin, Giulio Cesare, Mikhail Kutuzov, possibly others.] Sure, a lot of people would be very unhappy, but at least I could continue to sell [these ships] in their balanced state. If that's not an option, then never sell them again."

 

Well, no longer selling the OP ships* is what WG already does, isn't it?

 

And how would we define OP?

In my  Kamikaze I have 517 Battles, 56.09% winrate, 42k average damage and 1.37 average kills. Mostly done with my 19pts captain.

Then there is my Minekaze: 519 Battles, 56.87% winrate, 37k average damage and 1.16 average kills. This ship has been nerfed. I use it with a 10pt captain right now and some others with even less point before...

So... how "OP" is the Kamikaze compared to the Minekaze?

 

Yes, some ships are able to do quite well in the hands of a player who knows how to use them. But no ship transforms a Potato into a Unicorn. And no ship transforms a Unicorn into a Superunicorn.

So "nerfing ships" is in my opinion utter crap.

 

How to keep seals from being clubbed? Let them play in a protected area for longer? Don't let them buy high tier ships and take them to battle until they have more experience?

I don't know... not my job anyway, 'cause that should be in WGs interest to find out.

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Vor 8 Minuten, Deckeru_Maiku sagte:

How to keep seals from being clubbed?

Well, there are several suggestions on the table in the OP, so what's your opinion about those? Edit: The "arming the seals / levelling the playing field" approach.

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Everything you said was well written and prudent, a shame nothing of this will be implemented, I'm 100% sure.

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17 minutes ago, Nautical_Metaphor said:

Well, there are several suggestions on the table in the OP, so what's your opinion about those? Edit: The "arming the seals / levelling the playing field" approach.

 

I wanted to use the "if you can't say something nice about it, better say nothing at all" approach, but if you insist....

 

I don't really see any need to change anything at all. When I go "sealclubbing" I usually see more sealclubbers than seals in the battles, which usually go for clubbing each other first, so they can then harvest the surviving seals...

 

I see the problem not so much in the lower tiers, but in the atrocious gameplay that evolves, when potatoes manage to go further in the Tier structure than their skills should allow them to. And in my eyes that is a much more vital problem, because it turns experienced players away from the game, because the have to not only fight the enemy team, but also the incompetence of their teammates, which gets a tad bit boring after a while.

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I've switched from WOT over to WOWS 2 years ago and I have to say. Situation here, in wows, is not nearly as bad as in WOT. Sure, there are some issues, some things could improve, some bad decisions were made, but overall, WOWS is in good shape. Just my opinion, obviously. 

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