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KarmaQU_EU

If WG bias premiums, game will need overhaul

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It is simply put. If the new direction of WG is to make stock tech-tree ships "average", but try to compensate for that by adding more and more premiums which are noticeably more desirable, interesting, even superior to tech tree choices, such as the new Asashio and the upcoming Stalingrad, then it will need to consider the game-wide qualitative impact such a design direction will have on the game.

 

The game will be moving from "f2p" to increasingly "free to try, but not free to play (at high tiers), and definitely not free to enjoy". This is reminding me of the textbook "predatory" freemium design practices from last decade or two, focusing on whales and peer pressure, culminating in games which are all but unplayable without inputting money.

 

One way WG can avoid moving in that direction, by money-gating players away from better ships to enjoy the game with (or forever stay in the low tiers where it is "free to enjoy"), is to introduce more ways for players to earn doubloons. An insignificant amount, but allowing the player to buy 1 or 2 small to medium premium ships every few months (or a T8+ premium with about half a year), with regular play. Via completing missions, challenges, seasonal events, queuing up with "in need" ship classes to help with game balance, playing well and for the team, etc. Note this is a very different concept from the "lootbox" incentive, which has its flaws, and is more in line with most recent insights in next gen mobile development philosophies. I will not go into either the flaws of the current lootbox design, or all of the highlights of next-gen f2p design (unless someone asks), because that is WG's job, and not the focus of this post.

 

My main point is still that this design departure is concerning because it is the first major divergence from the WoT line of practices WG has inherited. WoT, while having lots of premiums, stayed away from premium bias for a very long time, and I would think this contributed to its popularity. Further adding options to earn gold via clan wars and other for example, made even the gold-fed premium ammo and other past issues much more bearable than without. But if WoWs becomes known as "the game where premium ships, whole ships, are better than tech-tree ships", then there is little possible to save it, even substantial improvements in graphics, gameplay, and polish. These qualitative issues simply have much more impact than technical or design problems ever will.

 

Thus, if WG decides to restructure the game around premiums, then it should consider a major revision of the game's core design philosophy, and core systems, so that the game is compatible with such designs. The upcoming CV overhaul is also a good opportunity to be the first of many more restructurings.

So please note that I did not say this "premium bias" is necessarily a bad thing, because nowadays there are more advanced gen designs which even make use of it, but still, keep in mind that for a long time in the past this line of design was nothing short of horrific. WoWs has come a long way since CBT, and design direction changes (more like updates) are inevitable, but given the precarious balance the game still relies on, it is best to not push thy luck, so to say.

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No one will bother to read all that crap that you wrote, but frankly I think this game only has maybe 1-2 more good years and then will become obsolete, so they try to milk it as much as they can while they can.

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I'm not sure what to say to this.

Not sure if this is even something to make a discussion about.

 

If you would like input, then pose some questions or something. Right now it just looks like an open letter to WG.

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And what about those straight-up garbage premiums, like Huanghe, Perth, Graf Spee, etc.?

There are actually very few examples of premiums that are straight up better than their f2p counterpart. Most are gimmicky, and/or situational ships that gain no real advantage because of being a premium ship. Atago, and Loyang should be nerfed though.

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1 hour ago, 22cm said:

No one will bother to read all that crap that you wrote, but frankly I think this game only has maybe 1-2 more good years and then will become obsolete, so they try to milk it as much as they can while they can.

You know what I think you are actually right, and it was not a mean comment either because it is spot on.

Let's close this discussion then ppl, I'm no longer interested in it.

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12 minutes ago, Infiriel said:

And what about those straight-up garbage premiums, like Huanghe, Perth, Graf Spee, etc.?

 

Just because a premium requires a specific play style doesn't make it garbage. Neither Perth nor Graf Spee are bad, they require however that the player adapts to their abilities.

 

PS: Atago and nerf? That ship is already on the struggle bus at T8 with some of the worst stats.

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1 hour ago, KarmaQU_EU said:

The game will be moving from "f2p" to increasingly "free to try, but not free to play (at high tiers), and definitely not free to enjoy".

 

Remember when they stated that premium ships will always be weaker than tech tree ones? Good times.

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10 minutes ago, El2aZeR said:

Remember when they stated that premium ships will always be weaker than tech tree ones? Good times.

I don't.

When was this and is this statement still available?

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1 hour ago, KarmaQU_EU said:

It is simply put. If the new direction of WG is to make stock tech-tree ships "average", but try to compensate for that by adding more and more premiums which are noticeably more desirable, interesting, even superior to tech tree choices, such as the new Asashio and the upcoming Stalingrad, then it will need to consider the game-wide qualitative impact such a design direction will have on the game.

You know what would have helped?

If you added a list of Premium ships that are clearly outperforming their tech tree counterparts in all (or at least most) roles.
And then a list with premium ships that are underperforming compared to their silver sisters.

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11 minutes ago, Terendir said:

You know what would have helped?

If you added a list of Premium ships that are clearly outperforming their tech tree counterparts in all (or at least most) roles.
And then a list with premium ships that are underperforming compared to their silver sisters.

Premium ships have discounted repair costs, and earn more. They do not require captain retrain, and sometimes have more equipment slots. That alone makes every single premium ship superior to their tech tree counterpart.

But in all seriousness though, I have quite a number of premium ships, and follow newly released premiums I don't have, and in my impression they all are rarely are worse than their tech-tree counterparts. 

I apologize for not having a list, I'm not one of those "good" posters, but that is not my main point. My main point is (hopefully) to discuss the implications of having more and more premium ships in the game. (and maybe, how to re-orient the game to not suffer as a result.)

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10 minutes ago, Nechrom said:

When was this and is this statement still available?

 

I believe it was in an early Q&A in the development blog that is no longer available.

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2 minutes ago, KarmaQU_EU said:

Premium ships have discounted repair costs, and earn more. They do not require captain retrain, and sometimes have more equipment slots. That alone makes every single premium ship superior to their tech tree counterpart.

But in all seriousness though, I have quite a number of premium ships, and follow newly released premiums I don't have, and in my impression they all are rarely are worse than their tech-tree counterparts. 

I apologize for not having a list, I'm not one of those "good" posters, but that is not my main point. My main point is (hopefully) to discuss the implications of having more and more premium ships in the game.

There are no implications with having more premium ships in the game. Unless you count variety, which is a positive aspect.

The only way there would be any implications is if you attribute something exclusively to premium ships which scales with how many there are.

 

Premium ships are a part of the revenue stream of the game. As the game continues to run and needs to be funded, there needs to be a maintained revenue stream. Old premium ships don't sell as well and obviously can only generate revenue one time per player. So new premium ships are added and need to be desirable enough for a certain number of players to invest in them.

That is the basic idea and so far I think there isn't any new trends which deviates from this which could become problematic. On the contrary, just recently we've started seeing longer test periods for premium ships to ensure that there are as few outliers as possible when it comes to level of desirability and balance. Which is important because as we all know once players get their hands on premium ships, WG is very reluctant to tone down their stats.

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10 minutes ago, Nechrom said:

There are no implications with having more premium ships in the game. Unless you count variety, which is a positive aspect.

The only way there would be any implications is if you attribute something exclusively to premium ships which scales with how many there are.

 

Premium ships are a part of the revenue stream of the game. As the game continues to run and needs to be funded, there needs to be a maintained revenue stream. Old premium ships don't sell as well and obviously can only generate revenue one time per player. So new premium ships are added and need to be desirable enough for a certain number of players to invest in them.

That is the basic idea and so far I think there isn't any new trends which deviates from this which could become problematic. On the contrary, just recently we've started seeing longer test periods for premium ships to ensure that there are as few outliers as possible when it comes to level of desirability and balance. Which is important because as we all know once players get their hands on premium ships, WG is very reluctant to tone down their stats.

There is still one unsettling part of your summary, and that is how singular the revenue model is, based on premium ships, and how even that transaction is one-off, and how it is also a diminishing-returns in that a player will only desire so many premium ships, and how old premium ships might not sell well when there are newer ones with more gimmicks.

Naturally, WG focusing on improving the balance with this revenue model is a good thing. But only catering to the players who are whales, or who cough up and buy premiums, is jumping to the conclusion a bit fast. Ideally players should play this game, love it, then buy a premium or two, not the other way around. But unfortunately, we are in the other-way-around state. So perhaps WG could also focus a bit on making this game lovable, enduring, and less about premium ships pwning the experiences of normal players playing normal ships.

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1 hour ago, KarmaQU_EU said:

 it was not a mean comment

It s not my fault you are so prolific. :Smile_teethhappy:

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11 minutes ago, KarmaQU_EU said:

There is still one unsettling part of your summary, and that is how singular the revenue model is, based on premium ships, and how even that transaction is one-off, and how it is also a diminishing-returns in that a player will only desire so many premium ships, and how old premium ships might not sell well when there are newer ones with more gimmicks.

Most F2P games feature this kind of single purchase items. It's not something new and it's also far from the only thing which constitutes the game's revenue stream.

 

14 minutes ago, KarmaQU_EU said:

Ideally players should play this game, love it, then buy a premium or two, not the other way around. But unfortunately, we are in the other-way-around state. So perhaps WG could also focus a bit on making this game lovable, enduring, and less about premium ships pwning the experiences of normal players playing normal ships.

I don't think we are in the "other-way-around" state.

Most examples of people "hitting the paywall" so to say are those who play he game regularly for enough time that they eventually reach high tiers. At that point I honestly think they should invest if they have enjoyed themselves and they think that they will continue playing.

I've yet to see anyone complain about the free economy prior to the point where they by design should consider investing actual money into the game they are playing.

 

It's true that some players do swap it around and start investing right off the bat, but I don't think it's even encouraged. Nothing at the start of someone's experience with the game makes me think of real money investment.

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47 minutes ago, Nechrom said:

Most F2P games feature this kind of single purchase items. It's not something new and it's also far from the only thing which constitutes the game's revenue stream.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I don't think we are in the "other-way-around" state.

Most examples of people "hitting the paywall" so to say are those who play he game regularly for enough time that they eventually reach high tiers. At that point I honestly think they should invest if they have enjoyed themselves and they think that they will continue playing.

I've yet to see anyone complain about the free economy prior to the point where they by design should consider investing actual money into the game they are playing.

 

It's true that some players do swap it around and start investing right off the bat, but I don't think it's even encouraged. Nothing at the start of someone's experience with the game makes me think of real money investment.

Some F2P game I read about the other day, I forgot the name, is experimenting with a thing called "premium servers". On these servers, all the F2P aspects are gone: miniscule drop-rate RNG-based lootboxes, grindy progression, pop-up ads, money-gated content, need for an auction-house kind of trade, all gone. Instead, it is subscription based, and the developers will let content be as easily earnable and enjoyable as a single-player game, or a subscription-based service-based game. Because it is a new server, all content is rolled back to the beginning of the game's inception, but because it is less grindy, updates will come faster, there is less delay between new content, and possibly, players will be less competitive, toxic, and friendly because of the more abundant resources.

 

Could you imagine if this succeeded, what implications it would have on the gaming industry? What conclusions the academics will draw from it? Hell, can you imagine a WoWs server that is subscription based, but the economy is less grindy, there is no bias between premium ship or not, and game is designed to be fun, not to facilitate competition and grind between players in some makeshift poor mimic of a battlefield that is but forced objectives? Basically a real-life CBT server, or perma-test server. Even the Battlefield series have "rent-a server" features for clans, groups, and even players willing to cough up money, to customize their own servers complete with game rules (e.g. increased vehicle spawns, or no machine gunes, or hide-and-seek or even zombie game modes). Even Starcraft has the "arcade" game option where player-created maps and modes are freely playable. Imagine training room, but full developers' suite, and publicly playable.

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Thus we are in the "other-way-round" state. The simple existence of a paywall is usually a grave concern in normal sense (some blame it killed Dead Space), but no no, not in our "F2P' game. Enjoy themselves ... pfff, most people don't know better. I tried to grind WoT, because I wanted to prepare some free exp for the upcoming WoWs. I "enjoyed" WoT, certainly, up to a certain extent, but I just couldn't bare the grind at about T5-7. I did not find it fun. I did not enjoy it. I did not perform remarkably. I saw no future in it for me. So I left.

And that, unfortunately, is also what happened to most of the people who tried WoWs.

 

And besides, "thinking of investing" should not come in at any stage of the game, ideally, be it early or later. Players will buy a game, own it forever, and forget about that part. Then they will play it in pure enjoyment. WoWs springs pop-up premium "personal discounts" at you shortly into the game. I call that "encouraging". Lack of free exp for obvious upgrades, grind-gating content, playing for grind not for fun or teamwork or objectives, everything screams of real money investment. I honestly simply cannot agree with your point on this one, sorry. Players see shiny gimmicky premium ships in their game even from early on, this too is an obvious ad-in-their face.

 

So I will reiterate. Ideally, players will play the game, burden-free, truly burden free, to indulge in its content, or context, and out of enjoyment or love for that, they will be willing to invest money, for equivalent returns, to expand and enhance on their experience, above and beyond the normal experience. Not to "complete" an otherwise crippled, sorry-state of a game experience of which end itself is the money, and then, offers nothing more beyond it.

Edited by KarmaQU_EU
Sorry I got a bit flustered. Don't take it personally.
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13 minutes ago, KarmaQU_EU said:

So I will reiterate. Ideally, players will play the game, burden-free, truly burden free, to indulge in its content, or context, and out of enjoyment or love for that, they will be willing to invest money, for equivalent returns, to expand and enhance on their experience, above and beyond the normal experience. Not to "complete" an otherwise crippled, sorry-state of a game experience of which end itself is the money, and then, offers nothing more beyond it.

so how does the game remain free if everybody plays the basic version and nobody invests, who pays for the servers, the support staff, the game development, the forum, the moderators etc etc...

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2 hours ago, Infiriel said:

And what about those straight-up garbage premiums, like Huanghe, Perth, Graf Spee, etc.?

There are actually very few examples of premiums that are straight up better than their f2p counterpart. Most are gimmicky, and/or situational ships that gain no real advantage because of being a premium ship. Atago, and Loyang should be nerfed though.

Perth and Graf Spee Garbage Prems.. You playing the same game as me???

 

Perth Graff Spee and HSF Graf Spee are some of the best performing Cruisers at tier 6

 

 

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3 minutes ago, T0byJug said:

Perth and Graf Spee Garbage Prems.. You playing the same game as me???

 

Perth Graff Spee and HSF Graf Spee are some of the best performing Cruisers at tier 6

 

Also, I don't really see why the Asashio would be better than Kagero or Akizuki :cap_hmm:

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14 minutes ago, KarmaQU_EU said:

Some F2P game I read about the other day, I forgot the name, is experimenting with a thing called "premium servers". On these servers, all the F2P aspects are gone: miniscule drop-rate RNG-based lootboxes, grindy progression, pop-up ads, money-gated content, need for an auction-house kind of trade, all gone. Instead, it is subscription based, and the developers will let content be as easily earnable and enjoyable as a single-player game, or a subscription-based service-based game. Because it is a new server, all content is rolled back to the beginning of the game's inception, but because it is less grindy, updates will come faster, there is less delay between new content, and possibly, players will be less competitive, toxic, and friendly because of the more abundant resources.

 

Could you imagine if this succeeded, what implications it would have on the gaming industry? What conclusions the academics will draw from it? Hell, can you imagine a WoWs server that is subscription based, but the economy is less grindy, there is no bias between premium ship or not, and game is designed to be fun, not to facilitate competition and grind between players in some makeshift poor mimic of a battlefield that is but forced objectives? Basically a real-life CBT server, or perma-test server. Even the Battlefield series have "rent-a server" features for clans, groups, and even players willing to cough up money, to customize their own servers complete with game rules (e.g. increased vehicle spawns, or no machine gunes, or hide-and-seek or even zombie game modes). Even Starcraft has the "arcade" game option where player-created maps and modes are freely playable. Imagine training room, but full developers' suite, and publicly playable.

I don't know your history with MMOs and online gaming in general, but these "premium servers" were the default at the inception of the MMO genre. World of Warcraft still uses them exclusively.

The reason why F2P rose from the ashes of the MMO wars is simply because games needed as small barrier of entry as possible. People weren't up for buying a new game they hadn't tried and paying up front. Only a couple of Pay2Play games could survive and maintain a healthy playerbase.

 

Having the base game be free but offering extra value purchases was a much safer option and turned out to be the making of many developing studios such as WG.

 

25 minutes ago, KarmaQU_EU said:

Thus we are in the "other-way-round" state. The simple existence of a paywall is usually a grave concern in normal sense (some blame it killed Dead Space), but no no, not in our "F2P' game. Enjoy themselves ... pfff, most people don't know better. I tried to grind WoT, because I wanted to prepare some free exp for the upcoming WoWs. I "enjoyed" WoT, certainly, up to a certain extent, but I just couldn't bare the grind at about T5-7. I did not find it fun. I did not enjoy it. I did not perform remarkably. I saw no future in it for me. So I left.

And that, unfortunately, is also what happened to most of the people who tried WoWs.

 

And besides, "thinking of investing" should not come in at any stage of the game, ideally, be it early or later. Players will buy a game, own it forever, and forget about that part. Then they will play it in pure enjoyment. WoWs springs pop-up premium "personal discounts" at you shortly into the game. I call that "encouraging". Lack of free exp for obvious upgrades, grind-gating content, playing for grind not for fun or teamwork or objectives, everything screams of real money investment. I honestly simply cannot agree with your point on this one, sorry. Players see shiny gimmicky premium ships in their game even from early on, this too is an obvious ad-in-their face.

 

So I will reiterate. Ideally, players will play the game, burden-free, truly burden free, to indulge in its content, or context, and out of enjoyment or love for that, they will be willing to invest money, for equivalent returns, to expand and enhance on their experience, above and beyond the normal experience. Not to "complete" an otherwise crippled, sorry-state of a game experience of which end itself is the money, and then, offers nothing more beyond it.

I honestly don't know what you are even trying to say with this.

To me it reads as if you don't want the game to be F2P at all, because everything you list as problems are core features of a F2P model.

 

If you think that getting reminded that there are premium items and services available for purchase is a problem, then I don't really know what to say. For me the important issue is whether or not you can play the game up to a certain point without feeling like you need to pay.

 

At the end of the day, if simply playing the game isn't fun, then that's reason enough to stop playing.

But I'm not buying your implication that the revenue model of the game impacts actual in-battle experience.

 

Maybe you want to go into more detail regarding how you feel the way the game handles premium content impacts the actual level of fun when playing.

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4 hours ago, 22cm said:

No one will bother to read all that crap that you wrote, but frankly I think this game only has maybe 1-2 more good years and then will become obsolete, so they try to milk it as much as they can while they can.

Do you want a dumbed down Marvel version for easier viewing, possibly based in a hidden African nation?

 

On a more serious note, every F2P game makes buck on box and item sale - and to sell there must be some incentive to buy - so premium ships must offer some benefit to the player. Currently bigger earnings and captain training are good enough, and premiums are generally hobbled in another way (reload, utility). Every premium has an effective counter.

 

The freeXP ships are not strictly pay ships, and they are currently the only ones that are basically same or better than silver ones - but even a player not paying cash can get them

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1 hour ago, lup3s said:

 

Also, I don't really see why the Asashio would be better than Kagero or Akizuki :cap_hmm:

I think I am more that qualified to talk about DDs and i have seen Flamu's Video.. Asashio is indeed broken but is will be a very weak DD. Yes those Deep Deep water torps will be amazing against BB and CV But.. She will be weak against every thing else. BB/CV make up only 44% of ships in tier VI to X. 

I have always been a Vocal advocate that the guns on tier VI+ IJN DDs are pretty good but the Asashio guns are just not as good as the Kagero in Avery way and without her torpedoes as a weapon against DD and CA/CL she is going to be found wanting in many engagements. and Akizuki is just an amazing DD killer

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3 hours ago, KarmaQU_EU said:

But in all seriousness though, I have quite a number of premium ships, and follow newly released premiums I don't have, and in my impression they all are rarely are worse than their tech-tree counterparts. 

Well okay so everything is just about your subjective impression and you are admitting that (which is good). That spares me time here because i can simply say:

I don't share your impression. While i think there are some individual Premiumships overperforming (but some silver ships do too), i don't think they are generally OP. There is no tech tree ship that has no chance in a 1v1 against her gold sister if played right (assuming both players have equal skill). Also, the Premium-Ship system is nothing bad for the game. It keeps the F2P game alive and fresh.

 

No one knows the number of sales but i guess, if the system would not be worth for Wargaming, it would not have existed all those years until now.

I also do not see any upcoming changes in Wargamings Premium-Ship policy towards a "Premium-Bias", like you are afraid of. Yes some of the upcoming russian ships look broken as feck, but almost all soviet paper ships do. Even some Nazi projects seem reasonable compared to soviet projects, just completely over the top stuff. But nothing is final, no one knows the true performance of those upcoming ships ingame. Looking at the most recent released Premium ships, i don't see any broken game changer ship either.

So i guess the conclusion is: my impression is just different from your impression.

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1 hour ago, Nechrom said:

I don't know your history with MMOs and online gaming in general, but these "premium servers" were the default at the inception of the MMO genre. World of Warcraft still uses them exclusively.

The reason why F2P rose from the ashes of the MMO wars is simply because games needed as small barrier of entry as possible. People weren't up for buying a new game they hadn't tried and paying up front. Only a couple of Pay2Play games could survive and maintain a healthy playerbase.

 

Having the base game be free but offering extra value purchases was a much safer option and turned out to be the making of many developing studios such as WG.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I honestly don't know what you are even trying to say with this.

To me it reads as if you don't want the game to be F2P at all, because everything you list as problems are core features of a F2P model.

 

If you think that getting reminded that there are premium items and services available for purchase is a problem, then I don't really know what to say. For me the important issue is whether or not you can play the game up to a certain point without feeling like you need to pay.

 

At the end of the day, if simply playing the game isn't fun, then that's reason enough to stop playing.

But I'm not buying your implication that the revenue model of the game impacts actual in-battle experience.

 

Maybe you want to go into more detail regarding how you feel the way the game handles premium content impacts the actual level of fun when playing.

 

@El2aZeR Mentioned that WG once promised to not allow premiums to overshadow be more op than tech-tree ships. Why do you think WG felt the need to promise something like that, at one point in the past?

Note I myself did not say premiums "more op" than those in the tech tree. In my original post I mentioned it is not even necessarily a bad thing. I am just saying to not allow premiums to "overshadow" other ships.

 

And as you yourself helpfully clarified in the other thread, a lot of it is about perception. We live in a society rife with "perception", and that's already putting it in a good way. Against upper, against lower, against each-other, and against others and outsiders.

The simple act of some premiums available to some but not to others has implications. The simple act of some premiums being desired in ranked over others generates perceptions. We are handling logic very fine and subtle, but very potent. Players expect the high-tier BB to tank, but are told BBs should not go frontline. So the lower ranged lower tiered ship moves up bravely to spot and contest and die. Players with premium ships may be expected to perform well or perform more dangerous roles, but no they are farming for credits with expensive flags or are training a rookie captain. Unless their premium ship is "not supposed to" handle a pressuring role, thus they are exempt from expectations, and also toxicity. 

 

Perhaps it is wrong of me to bring up such logic in this game. This game is not up to the standards warranting extreme handling of this level. But, and as part of my point, this is the standards some other developers strive to. Unsurprisingly a lot of them are regarded as "excellent", and thus do not have to rely on F2P games to sustain their revenue, and rely simply on excellence. That is what I wish for WoWs. To be excellent. To not have to rely on F2P gimmicks. To have features not just workable, but amazing. And premium feature is not exempt. However, neither the free experience of this game, nor the payed and "extended/expanded" experience, nor the combined and intertwined experience, and the perceived image of such, based on my conclusions, can be regarded as so. Thus I am disappointed. I worry for the game. My tone is impacted by my mood and yearning. 

 

Perhaps all the problems I listed are the core features of a F2P model. But I do not mean to outright criticize the F2P model, just as I said that premium, even when op, is not necessarily a bad thing. It just needs to be handled right. Handled with excellence. This excellence I yearn for, search for, and hope, in discussion with all you amazing people, to catch a glimpse of in idea, or clues. 

 

And, at the end, if some minor miracle, actually affect WG to make a nicer game for all.

  • Boring 1

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