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KarmaQU_EU

The real competition for World of Warships 2, and Why.

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[FAME]
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From what I saw of youtube gameplay of Destiny 1, I would describe it as "overused lighting effects burning my eyes".

From what I read about the structure of Destiny 1, it was a textbook design of progression systems of farm, gearing up, and raid encounters. Just in FPS mode.

I've had enough of my share of farm, gearing up, and instance raiding through number crunching to last me a lifetime. Yes that's a long story.

So understandably, not only would I be able to recognize such things, but I would also have precisely 0 tolerance and enjoyment and flying cares to give in for these numerical progression systems meant to subject the player to needless tedium and psychological conditioning at a questionable degree bordering humanitarian concerns.

So no matter what they say that Destiny 2 is an "overhaul" of Destiny 1, I remain skeptical.

 

As some of you might know, I have been working on a design for a World of Warships "2", without prior commission from WG. It is almost of a satisfactory quality for finalization now, which means there will probably be no more major changes to the structure. But the remaining few sections which I have yet to perfect before a final consolidation of notes, are the toughest which is why I had to leave them to the end here.

 

So why am I mentioning Destiny 2 here? Because when it comes out, it will be expensive, pretentious, and time wasting. And people will still love it and flock to it. And it will be on pc, competing with WoWs for players. And to put it as simply as I can, some players who are potential customers for "World of Warships 2" will be drawn and possibly permanently entrenched in Destiny 2. Which is a problem for us, because up till today, there are few games which combine both "high class design", "shooter" and "MMO" together on the market for pc. But this is about to change when Destiny 2 reaches pc: the first AAA shooter MMO of the new generation of game design. To put it simply as well, the Gaijin folks will be losing a metric uber-ton of players simply because Destiny 2 will also offer a multiplayer shooter experience on pc, and unlike Gaijin, you don't suddenly get 1-shotted, or get 1-shotted by something which is so op it shouldn't even be able to shoot at you in the same match at the first place. And don't tell me the time and effort of which players put into the game will keep them there. It won't, because Destiny 2, in all its pretentious form, claims it can offer it all back, and more. Human nature is irresistibly drawn towards new things. It also doesn't help if this new thing is also, by simple number logic, half the price of your most expensive premium ship bundle, yet promises to offer more experience and enjoyment than the whole game combined. For maybe even less time. Easier. And even more pandering to your "egoistic" needs.

 

In a very worst case scenario, being the f2p game ourselves, it will perhaps lose us more players than help retain them, due to petty reasons such as "some people will perceive a price as a mark of quality compared to free entry f2p", and "precisely by being f2p, we lost a psychological chain called {I payed for this game I should enjoy it} to retain players to our game". No, paying for premiums and boosts and consumables is not an equivalent. If you would like to debate this precise frame of logic with me, we can do it afterwards so we don't turn the remaining of this post into a cross-discipline textwall. 

 

Even though Destiny 2, by simple grounds of being a shooter, will only be overlapping with the design World of Warships "2" at a low level, and even current World of Warships 1, for that matter, this, unfortunately, will not freaking matter. The very structure and design of MMOs, including the classical structures of the genre such as WoWarcraft, FFXIV, are engineered to draw in, retain, and forever chain players while reaping steady and scaling profits. The variables to the effectiveness of tactic include many aspects not directly affected by good game design, because for the players, they are unable to differentiate good, bad, and masterful game design in the specific sense which industry insiders can. Not to say that good design does not matter, but just saying, in extreme cases of application, it will hardly matter.

 

Because I'd taken a good'ol'sweety no-rush year off WoWs, wasted much precious time in formulating this design, and because there is no way on earth WG will be able to develop the game before Destiny 2 comes out even if I released the design right flying tonight (well, I don't know, maybe WG can. But still, lets be practical), Destiny 2 will act as a very potent blow to us, and more heavily so on some other competitors as well, when it comes out for PC, for reasons of which some I have outlined above.

 

If we were to simply accept that they will be able to put the product on the market, complete with all the perks of being the first-comer, then try to plan a strategy on that basis, it may still be possible to minimize damage, or even to cleverly gain some wayward benefits. If we really wanted to, we could even gain a strategic advantage on our competitors, though I will not elaborate on this point further, for various reasons. How so? Well, forgive me but this is really up to WG, and I cannot provide further comment.

 

What would help, obviously, is me releasing the design for WoWs so WG can start with it. However, this brings us back to the very beginning of this post, and the actual purpose for this post, a full circle. Which is, there is the toughest section of this design preventing it from being finished. Specifically, the new business model, and integration with the section responsible for the transition phase. How this game will actually be funded and nourished, is maybe "the most insignificant part of a design". After all, the design is only responsible for the structure and balanced mechanics of the game right. Yet, it is also "the most significant part of a design", because no game would exist if it never brought in money. Thus, the mechanics of a game are highly influenced by its business needs, and bad treatment of the tension between such factors will result in bad design for both mechanics and business model, compromising the effects of both. In other words, exactly how good, how balanced, how player friendly, and how much potential a game design has will be directly influence by how much reliance on the architecture of these mechanics the game needs to feed itself.

 

Now the way I approached this issue in the new design was to try to extract and separate them from each other. Balance is balance, business is business. No p2w because of business needs on the game design, and no compromises on due business process from the actual design of the game. There will be both good balance, and good business. It means a complete overhaul because the original WG design was designed in certain specific lines of logic. But here's the funny part, as much as I can categorize, extract, and apply treatment to these specific needs of a game, I cannot, by any means of good design, eliminate them. The need for business will always be there, and ever so intensive because I had almost designed it out of every other mechanic in the game, and condensed it into its own section (which is supposed to solve this very problem).

 

In one sentence: I need help with this section.

 

In an ideal world the game will be f2p forever for everything and gain money only from places where it is excessive (yes and no that's only partly a joke). Even if it could feed itself on donations (or similar reliance on goodwill) and server renting and sponsoring and tournaments and alchemy and whatever innovative ways it can and only it freaking can because our game has so many unique characteristics, there will always be the question of "well can it make even more money". This is akin to the engineers designing Yamato being told "we want it to be fast and strong and powerful and unsinkable and better than everything out there and all of that all at once and when you can finally manage to do it make it even better". "Oh, and it also has to be cheap". Now picture said engineer throwing a something, which may include himself/herself, out of a window, while the voice behind him keeps on yelling "...It also has to be something our competitors will never be able to replicate or redesign to their own benefit ... (trails off)".

 

So I release a tentative structure of a "free-to-subscribe" model which is quite supposedly fair (or so I think, because yes virtually anyone is able to "earn" a free premium in form of the Big M with free experience thus qualify for free access to the new game forever, or through friend and clan sponsoring, or you know, paying just a little money, or getting a little lucky in some event, or staying on a smaller version of f2p forever which does not actually prevent you from playing every feature of the full game) because as long as you know that in this world you gotta pay the price for something in some way possible be it your money your time your pride or your virginity (I jest), you will understand that some compromise must be made. And so it was met with very well placed criticism that basically sums up to "anything less than a free to play model will not be accepted". All the while people spend the equivalent to chunks of my rent on criminally bad mobile games, overpriced pc games, and not-very-cheap subscriptions on MMOs which have extra stuff for you to buy too, and other f2p games which may be of worse design! I understand that some games, regardless of how short, cliched, or stubbornly designed they are, are worth your money for the experience, so why not our game? If it actually was worth the price? Now I understand that for some people, they may really simply cannot be made to pay for this game without a massive inconvenience, and we do understand, in our world leading service attitude, so yes the game will be f2p forever for everything! I will not accept a single cent for the design of this game now later and forever because I will imagine this money was used to sponsor your gaming experience! But at this point, some of you should have detected the sarcasm right. Even if I was dead serious as I actually really am, just as the engineer to your project cannot simply say "yes well the bridge will simply stay afloat (in the sky), the ship pristine, and your wishful system secure, due to magic, wishes and my personal goodwill towards the project thus defying all objective laws of nature", I cannot say "the game will be perfect".

 

So to all you good fellows reading this post, of which some will, sadly, leave for Destiny 2 or similar and maybe even stay there, bare with me for one final sentence. WG, WoWs players, and observers, take heed. The CEO has already stated in an unambiguous quote that improvement is necessary. Some people will try to help you. Some people will not. Some will not care. And some will be bad at doing it. But even if all the material conditions were flawless, the final and deciding factor will always be human. With weak will and spirit, even the most unassuming factors can be our downfall, but in contrary, even the perfect adversary will fail to superior resolve. The real competition for World of Warships "2" is not some terminator version of Gaijin, Blizzard, Square Enix, Microsoft + Bungie, the government, time itself, etc. It is something that you probably already know understand by now from reading up to this point, and know better than I can describe with words. Take heed that we do not lose sight of the deciding factor, or be distracted by all there is out claiming otherwise. The only reason I myself have not run off a long long time ago is because I have perceived that WG, uniquely, and surprisingly, do care, and do understand this rule to a much higher degree than many others out there. They just have a very bad way of expressing themselves and handling it. So bad, that by doing it in half-assuredly ways, they make the situation worse than it was before, comedy style. How I do it, well, we can chat of this for even longer than any of the points above if we wanted to. So just please believe I can.

 

P.S. Also, assuming you people can forgive me for writing a post which completely went off topic, can someone please help me with coming up with an idea which will allow the game to be free to play forever (I honestly thought the free-to-subscribe model was quite fair) while retaining benefits of both a more "stable" business model (similar to the one I mentioned in the free-to-subscribe thread) and a classic free to play model, of which the unique benefits in all tangible and intangible forms are present. And able to make everyone happy. Thank you.

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Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters
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It will in no way be more of a treat to WoWs than any other game is. Every game is competing with every other game and movie, and comic book and so on and so forth for the available free time people have.

 

World of Warships (and WG products in general) have hit the gold mine in that they are generally easy to get in to, cheap to get in to (F2P model) and matches rarely take more than 15 min.

So I doubt WG fears anything right now. What will kill these games is not other games, but rather the games themselves, either by being too old, not updating content regularly or just screwing over the playerbase.

 

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[FAME]
Beta Tester
803 posts
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It will in no way be more of a treat to WoWs than any other game is. Every game is competing with every other game and movie, and comic book and so on and so forth for the available free time people have.

 

World of Warships (and WG products in general) have hit the gold mine in that they are generally easy to get in to, cheap to get in to (F2P model) and matches rarely take more than 15 min.

So I doubt WG fears anything right now. What will kill these games is not other games, but rather the games themselves, either by being too old, not updating content regularly or just screwing over the playerbase.

 

I apologize for writing something so cryptic. I can do worse. So I don't blame you. I actually meant, that the true threat of competition stems from "human" factors, of which form and nature may be gleaned from allusions I make in the main post. Rhetoric such as "everything is competing with everything" is true, but unnecessary.

 

Easy to get in, cheap to get into, and rarely take more than 15 min, this is not unique to WoWs. Overwatch (though not too cheap), CS GO, f2p mobile games, pirated games, board games, non-games, all meet this criteria. Gulfillment of this criteria alone does not guarantee a gold mine, nor is the current WoWs in a gold mine. To claim so would be too optimistic about the situation, I think.

 

WG has their fears, thus I tell them to take heed to these fears and face them in a positive and constructive way, which is apparently one of the main points of this post. I just did a terrible job of expressing it. Sorry, if I get serious about something, I get worked up, and my logic starts to go into non-reader friendly forms resembling this. I decided to get serious because it was the only way to actually face the design on my own terms.

 

Edit: For further elaboration, I had hoped that the main post would be able to, in some form, show things such as design flaws, competition, etc., and what I take from it, in a "human" perspective way, instead of as "data, statistics, logic", etc. Because the holistic, human, intellect is superior than external reliant logic. Which are to serve us, not dictate us.

Quote: "Take heed that we do not lose sight of the deciding factor, or be distracted by all there is out claiming otherwise."

Love your profile pic by the way. You probably chose it using human logic rather than logic logic too, though results could be explained and replicated either ... ah, sorry, here I start to go off again.

Edited by KarmaQU_EU

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