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Why new gamemodes always fail


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9IBrownie #1 Posted 18 July 2017 - 11:35 PM

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For those who like it short, only read bold stuff, however you will miss out on alot of info.

German Version of this post: http://forum.worldof...tets-scheitern/

 

In order to keep the game fresh Wargaming has tried to introduce numerous new gamemodes into World of Tanks, that attempt to fill the gap between random battles and clanwars. All of them, with the exception of Strongholds failed miserably.

 

This includes:

  1. Historical Battles
  2. Rampage
  3. Steel Hunt

 

And I am absolutely certain, that the future gamemodes will fail in the same way as the previous ones:

  1. Frontline
  2. Ranked Battles

 

Before I try to explain main reason behind this, I want to examine what kind of gameplay Wargaming wants to cover with these gamemodes. The core philosophy is, to have a more action packed and dynamic experience that encourages fast and aggressive playstyles. Wargaming wants to leave behind the mostly restrained playstyle of random battles which often ends in camping, sniping and sidescraping and trying to counter the enemies positioning.

 

Wargaming has introduced a variety of features in order to encourage more action:

  1. free for all battles
  2. repair and rearm points
  3. objective type gamemodes
  4. respawns
  5. bigger maps
  6. more players per battle

They also attempted to shift the action in random battles by

  1. nerfing accuracy
  2. increasing armor penetration dropoff over distance
  3. enabling the option to use consumables multiple times
  4. decreasing the number of bushes on many maps
  5. introducing tier 10 lights
  6. etc.

 

Some of these new features were a great idea, some of them were terrible. But none of them could significantly change the behaviour of the players. The core gameplay always remained the same. Only recently I could witness a little shift which is probably a result of the new matchmaking and the tier 10 lights.

 

But all things considered it still happens extremely rarely that one team finds the balls to make risky, aggressive plays together which is pretty much the only way to ignite a battle that feels like the action packed brawls Wargaming always promotes in their trailers.

 

Many will argue, that the reason for this lays in a massive lack of teamwork, but this is only a very small part of the story. The real reason, why nobody of your team follows you when you try to make an aggressive push in order to take down one flank before you get roflstomped from behind, because the lemming train on the other side got demolished by a platoon of wallet warriors driving their favourite russian medium tanks, is because people are scared.

(Attention: This sentence contains sarcasm.)

 

They are scared to loose a little bit of their progress, because if you loose hp by putting your tank in a risky situation it will cost credits after the battle. Since you loose some of the key currency that you desperately need to buy new tanks, upgrades, consumables, improvements and ammunition this punishment feels huge.

 

And it doesn't get worse than in tier 10. And all new gamemodes were for tier 10 only.

 

*epic slow clap at Wargaming*

 

What I want to say is, being a teamplayer gets punished by World of Tanks. Because being a teamplayer often includes putting yourself in danger to support your team. And if you put yourself in danger you will eventually loose hp for it, which will get punished post battle with a loss of credits. Playing aggressively is one of these things that put yourself in big danger even if it can lead to an easier victory. That's why WoT players are used to avoid risks and dangerous engagements. That's why they tend to sit there and watch you die while fruitlessly trying to snipe from the secure distance. This results in the passive playstyle we can see in random battles on a regular basis.

 

Most other competitive multiplayer games don't punish you beyond the match for bad performance. For example:

  1. Overwatch does not even have a progression system. Nothing to gain, nothing to loose. (Except SR ofc, but thats no currency.)
  2. Counter Strike has a store, but you earn and spend your currency DURING the match and with the next match you get resetted to square one no matter how you performed.

Both of these games are played cautiously but at some point also aggressively and fast paced. People engage together as a team and try to cover each other. They wind up working together (even if the communication and teamplay might seem terrible), because they have nothing to loose from that and it makes winning easier.

  1. VEGA Conflict serves as nice example on how not to do it. It is what I call a RTS MMO. Each battle is a 1 vs 1, both players command 6 starships. After every batte you need to spend resources and alot of time to repair the damage that you‘ve taken. Consequently the players try to avoid damage at all costs and „dance“ around until either one of them has gained a ship advantage with long range fire or one of them looses his patience and attacks. If someone tries to attack he is in a huge disadvantage and can be kited, which means he will loose very much hp. Thats why battles often end with the timer running out and not a single shot fired.

The problem in WoT is similar.

 

Ok, one step back.

Why are people everything but aggressive?

Because they are scared to loose money.

How do we fix that?

By making sure nobody looses money ever.

Is that possible?

Not for random battles, because World of Tanks’ monetization strategy is founded on the fact that you tend to loose money if you perform badly or if you play high tier tanks.

 

But it is possible for any other gamemode, especially ranked battles. Just untie the whole progression system from these gamemodes. Make sure players don't earn or loose credits and experience no matter how good or bad they perform. Random battles would still be important for everyone because they are still the only way to grind experience. Enjoy watching the players finding completely new ways to play the game in the new modes just because they have been released from the endless grindfest that can be rewarding for several thousand battles but gets boring after that.

 

Additional thoughts:

The very least Wargaming can do, is opening up these gamemodes for all tiers up from tier 6.

 

Also, in ranked battles the players should pick their tank not before they hit the battle button, but after they already got matched. This gives them the opportunity to plan ahead, choose a tank lineup that fits their strategy and adapt to the tank choices of their teammates.


Edited by 9IBrownie, 18 July 2017 - 11:36 PM.


qpranger #2 Posted 18 July 2017 - 11:58 PM

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They all inevitably fail because teams are not balanced by skill.

WindSplitter1 #3 Posted 19 July 2017 - 12:11 AM

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View Postqpranger, on 18 July 2017 - 10:58 PM, said:

They all inevitably fail because teams are not balanced by skill.

 

SH is balanced by skill, but people don't want it to be this way. Because the community is very thorn appart in some areas and bonded in others, WG sees itself forced to flip a coin.

 

I have a lot of good faith on Frontline. This is a game mode that cannot fail or that cannot be introduced. It won't be the end of that but will be a punch from which WG will have a very difficult time recovering from.



HerraJUKKA #4 Posted 19 July 2017 - 12:18 AM

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View Post9IBrownie, on 18 July 2017 - 11:35 PM, said:

But it is possible for any other gamemode, especially ranked battles. Just untie the whole progression system from these gamemodes. Make sure players don't earn or loose credits and experience no matter how good or bad they perform. Random battles would still be important for everyone because they are still the only way to grind experience. Enjoy watching the players finding completely new ways to play the game in the new modes just because they have been released from the endless grindfest that can be rewarding for several thousand battles but gets boring after that.

 

Lol everyone will play like two days the new game mode out of interest and then stops playing it because lol no progression.

 

Let's be real. How about change the economy so that you can't go negative? Like it's really annoying that you can do 3k dmg with tier 8 vehicle only to find you lost money because you had shoot gold (steel monster top tiers/power creep premiums), lost a lot of hitpoints, used your med kit and repair kit and didn't have premium account or credit booster. Really rewarding guys. I've played many good games and if I had to shoot gold, it almost means automatically minimal credit income or losing crap ton of credits because I have no interest in spending any money on this farce after all op premiums and crap.



Gkirmathal #5 Posted 19 July 2017 - 01:07 AM

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@OP, sorry long post.

 

IMO the one part why most new modes fail, is down to how WG starts their development (this is from an outside perspective btw).

THEY think out a new game mod (a pilot stage), which they deem fitting (insert reasons) for WoT. Then initial development starts, go or no-go and a set release date. Followed by first internal testing stages and adjustments. Then it presumably goes to ST's stages and further refinement (then we get leaks).

Only after those stages come open player SB or CT testing. Followed by the release date.

 

Notice when the first and actual (larger scale) community feedback can be realized? Where they can see if something new could succeed or not, based on feedback from a large player pool (SB/CT), instead of a limited size ST group.

 

So WG invested themselves into a new shiny game mode project, which they think is good. But only in the end of the development process, nearing release, they will be getting actual player wide feedback. That's a cliffhanger!

So if the new shine game mode is ill received, all they can do is adjust it 'somewhat' via SB/CT testing stages, but that is how far it goes until that predetermined deadline for release arrives (that's how it mostly goes in large companies). Then only and earthquake can deter them from releasing, see Rubicon.

 

Now a new game mode is born and then it fails. All due to them not involving larger parts of the player base earlier in the development stage. Like a canary in a coal mine.

 

Now think of this: how they rework maps, or how they make new maps, or how they handle feedback regarding balance....what if some of those projects fail, due to a lacking dev process. That costs them tones of money anually....oh hey there Defender/Liberte/Patriot/etc! :hiding:

 


Edited by Gkirmathal, 19 July 2017 - 01:22 AM.


XxKuzkina_MatxX #6 Posted 19 July 2017 - 01:53 AM

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This is maybe the first productive topic i have seen in a while! Gkirmathal got a good point too which is the way WG handles and process the players feedback (too little too late).



Ankara_Aatu #7 Posted 19 July 2017 - 01:58 AM

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Interesting read, thanks.

 

I think there might be an even more basic reason why the idea of a fast-paced aggressive play seems to fail again and again outside organized play. It's because the players don't want it. A large part of the player base turns to WoT instead of a pure first person shooter precisely because WoT is slower. And even in the scale of WoT a lot of players tend towards the most static play styles possible: bush camping and sidescraping at the end of a corridor. This is not because these play styles are productive in terms of winning the matches or gaining credits and xp; they are notoriously not productive, yet popular because people like them and find them easy. Therefore people will tend towards these play styles regardless of the game mode (excluding organized play), and its rewards.



Bucifel #8 Posted 19 July 2017 - 02:03 AM

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why?

because are P2W !

 

so simply...;)

 

everything what is P2W in a F2P game will fail !


Edited by Bucifel, 19 July 2017 - 02:04 AM.


TankkiPoju #9 Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:12 AM

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IMHO the biggest problem with new game modes are the maps. Current WoT maps were designed for tier 1-8 game play anyway.

 

 

 



_Bundesheer_ #10 Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:14 AM

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As long as WG does not listen to the players and suggestions for improvement, those game modes will fail eventually.

ZlatanArKung #11 Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:24 AM

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View PostWindSplitter1, on 19 July 2017 - 12:11 AM, said:

 

SH is balanced by skill, but people don't want it to be this way. Because the community is very thorn appart in some areas and bonded in others, WG sees itself forced to flip a coin.

 

I have a lot of good faith on Frontline. This is a game mode that cannot fail or that cannot be introduced. It won't be the end of that but will be a punch from which WG will have a very difficult time recovering from.

 

SH was Randoms for clans before the Skillbased change. And it was great.

The reason why I stopped playing SH was skillbased change which made my clan meet other blue/purple clan in SH only. Clans much more try hard than my clan,  so they used Defender's on masse, which is very boring to fight against.

Before skillbased MM we could take whatever T8 we had into SH and win a good chunk. After, we can't, because Defender is to good.

 

Should other clan activities be Skillbased?  Yes. CW/Global Map should have a skillbased component into them. But not SH.

Just like TB and ranked TB should/could have skillbased foundations.

 

SH was a practice area for tactics and a notank so competitive for fun mode for Clans. Which the skillbased change ruined.

 

 

Ranked battles on the other hand failed because it wasn't skillbased. It was just random battles with 3 arty every battle and all being T10. And with current terrible T10 balance and arty. It was just not fun.

If ranked had been skillbased, then it would probably have been more successful.  AsweLloyd as if it had been if it was without arty and at T9.



Baldrickk #12 Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:05 AM

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Of all the game modes, confrontation was the only one that was well played, as another mode of random battles.

Of course it was doomed to fail because the nations are not balanced, so people would turn it off when playing certain tanks because otherwise they would have 70+% chance to lose each game in certain tanks.
It showed up the terrible balancing, so had to be killed off.

All the other gameplay modes deviate from the core gameplay, so there goes most of your playerbase.
Once again,these modes showed up the poor balancing, even at tier X, there were plenty of tanks you just didn't see because they are just plain bad for these free-for-all battles. So you needed the 'right' tanks in the first place.
It also suffered from the bribe tactics  (come play our game mode and we might give you T-22) and the reputation for people padding to complete the missions.
Not to mention that battles were more expensive than randoms.

Historical battles suffered from the same problem as confrontation (poor balance) but also the limited line-up.
Of course everyone wanted to be in the biggest, baddest tank.
Of course no-one was going to want to play the weaker tanks.
It really needed random tank allocation (maybe limited to tanks the player has actually unlocked) which would have solved the MM problems.  Maybe it could have been successful that way?

Spurtung #13 Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:11 AM

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View PostHerraJUKKA, on 19 July 2017 - 01:18 AM, said:

How about change the economy so that you can't go negative?

Because everyone would have a full premium loadout and premium consumables?



ZlatanArKung #14 Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:12 AM

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View PostBaldrickk, on 19 July 2017 - 08:05 AM, said:

Of all the game modes, confrontation was the only one that was well played, as another mode of random battles.

Of course it was doomed to fail because the nations are not balanced, so people would turn it off when playing certain tanks because otherwise they would have 70+% chance to lose each game in certain tanks.
It showed up the terrible balancing, so had to be killed off.

All the other gameplay modes deviate from the core gameplay, so there goes most of your playerbase.
Once again,these modes showed up the poor balancing, even at tier X, there were plenty of tanks you just didn't see because they are just plain bad for these free-for-all battles. So you needed the 'right' tanks in the first place.
It also suffered from the bribe tactics (come play our game mode and we might give you T-22) and the reputation for people padding to complete the missions.
Not to mention that battles were more expensive than randoms.

Historical battles suffered from the same problem as confrontation (poor balance) but also the limited line-up.
Of course everyone wanted to be in the biggest, baddest tank.
Of course no-one was going to want to play the weaker tanks.
It really needed random tank allocation (maybe limited to tanks the player has actually unlocked) which would have solved the MM problems. Maybe it could have been successful that way?

 

Historical could probably have worked with removed credit/xp gain/loss.

Maps which was from where those historical encounters took parts (special maps for the mode only). 

Ability to call in arty strikes if you played a lowere tiered tank (or done other benefits to play T-34 instead of IS).

 

And of course, balanced setups, 1 team attack other defend.

 

The only historical battle I played was on Erlenberg, and seeing that map in historical made the mode waaay less attractive for me.

 



Zoltan1251 #15 Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:16 AM

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AWESOME THREAD... WORTH READING!!!!

 

 

I will give you my experience why i play and dont play new modes

 

Normal Random battle:
i want that tier X tank to feel like god beating tier 8s, for that you need credits and grind, so you play tier8 premium tanks and grind through tech tree, there you find tank that you have fun in for their playstyle (huga alpha, dpm, whatever) and you can use all the statistics of the tanks to your advantage.... good is: sometimes you get great games against idiots on the enemy team, awesome bounces, great rng shots, funny moments; bad is: sometimes you get horrible games with idiots on your team, unlucky penetrations, bad rng shots, unfunny moments...... get it? what is good is also bad, what makes the game fun makes it not fun

Historical battles:

simply unbalanced.... you cant have two completely different tanks on each side.... that was complete disaster

Rampage:

players wanted action packed battles they get them aaaaaaaaand it was boring.... good: rewards... awesome rewards with very unique tank T-22 at the end; bad: you cannot use your tank statistics at all, you got yoloed by BC25 and you were done because you didnt have autoloader.... unbalanced as f**k, not fun for most tanks in the game, wins were even more based on luck than in randoms, you couldnt do anything of significance, only senseless shooting... cheating to finish impossible missions

Steel hunt: the same as rampage but without good rewards

Ranked battles:
will fail... no good rewards, credit sink for nothing....


CONCLUSION: Battle modes fail because there is no rewards in them... i dont mean tanks per se but new experience... by playing randoms you have vision of new experience in a new tank that killed you in your lower tier vehicle and you feel rewarded when you do the same to others....

on you point that ECONOMY AFFECTS GAMEPLAY IN RANDOMS: I think it affects it in a good way... people learn pros and cons of their tanks and dont yolo like morons dying.... that would be frustrating.... if you dont punish people with loss of credits for yolo the game will die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 



Baldrickk #16 Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:23 AM

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View PostZlatanArKung, on 19 July 2017 - 08:12 AM, said:

 

Historical could probably have worked with removed credit/xp gain/loss.

Maps which was from where those historical encounters took parts (special maps for the mode only). 

Ability to call in arty strikes if you played a lowere tiered tank (or done other benefits to play T-34 instead of IS).

 

And of course, balanced setups, 1 team attack other defend.

 

The only historical battle I played was on Erlenberg, and seeing that map in historical made the mode waaay less attractive for me.

 

You actually got more XP for historical battles. Not sure about credits.



ZlatanArKung #17 Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:25 AM

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View PostBaldrickk, on 19 July 2017 - 08:23 AM, said:

You actually got more XP for historical battles. Not sure about credits.

 

Maybe maybe.  But xp gain isnt really relevant and should imo be removed from 'special' modes like Ranked and Historical.

Just like credits should.

 

Maybe hand out a few crew XP. 



PowJay #18 Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:25 AM

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You say that players don't want to take damage, because they don't want to lose credits.

 

I don't want to die because when I do, there is a greater chance that my team will lose. I don't mean specifically because I am dead, but because there is one less gun in battle. I am a reasonable player, however, and in many battles we could have won if I'd survived- if just one more player had survived.

 

So, because I want to win, I don't want to take damage and be destroyed. Nor do I want to sit back and lose because I was too afraid to get my paint scratched!


Edited by PowJay, 19 July 2017 - 09:06 AM.


DracheimFlug #19 Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:43 AM

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View PostZlatanArKung, on 19 July 2017 - 08:25 AM, said:

 

Maybe maybe.  But xp gain isnt really relevant and should imo be removed from 'special' modes like Ranked and Historical.

Just like credits should.

 

Maybe hand out a few crew XP. 

 

Not relevant to you, but not everyone has elite'd all the tanks they desire to.

HidesHisFace #20 Posted 19 July 2017 - 09:04 AM

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Why did most of the new game modes fail? Simple - either overly fancy mechanics or restricting choice of tanks for MM.

 

Historical battles had restricted tank loadout - tell me, who would want to be a puny Panzer III when you are standing against bloody Matildas? Or in a standard Sherman against Tiger 2? Even with numerical advantage, you are screwed.

The national battles we had for a short while - again - certain nations had clear advantages over others on certain tiers.

 

WoT is balanced around random battles, where diversity of tanks available makes up for imbalances between specific tanks to some degree. Any game mode that interferes with this is bound to fail.

 

If map has repair and replenish ammo consumables - it would also break this balance - say... A Maus or Type 5 camping near repair point would be even more gamebreaking than it already is.






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