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Maps Balance Weak spots Design Rant State of WoT Gold ammo

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NL_Jens #1 Posted 04 May 2018 - 03:12 PM

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Hello fellow tankers!

 

Disclaimer: this will be LONG. Please spare me the tl;dr gifs. Just don't read if not interested.


I think it is safe to say World of Tanks is going through one of its worst periods as far as balance and design goes. I claim this not only based on my own experience, but also the amount of rage and frustration I see in-game, on YouTube and the couple of Discord channels I'm part of. And indeed, even here in Gameplay Discussion I see several threads about discontent with state of WoT.

There are two reasons why I am making yet another one - I want to go a bit in-depth, rather than just shout my anger and I actually want to oppose some the posters. The truth is, Wargaming is currently giving us exactly what players have been asking for for years now.

Many of those threads have been sharing common topics:

  1. Tanks should not have frontal weak spots. ("I play my heavy tank and people penetrate me, there is no point in playing heavy tanks, they are underpowered." )
  2. Corridors are bad and maps need to be open. ("Maps should be more like Malinovka, let's pretend I don't hate it, because I hate Himmelsdorf more." )
  3. Gold ammo has to go. ("I play my Maus and pay2win purple bots pay2win, WG pls halp" )

Another thing these threads tend to have in common are their posters, who simply lack skill. To support my claim, when I started writing this, there were two anti-gold ammo threads both made by people with 1500 average damage in their TX tanks. I am not saying this to hate on them or shame them, I just want to point out these people are too lacking in understanding of basics of the game that their opinion should not become the main voice in design and balance of the game, which clearly has happened.

Allow me to add a comparison with another developer, Grinding Gear Games. While I certainly don't want to glorify them, there's one thing they are mostly doing very well. If the entire community gets vocal about something, they'll looking into it and consider it. And more importantly, when high end players, top racers and/or content creators become vocal about something, they consider it highly important. Because these people know their stuff, they know a lot about the game and understand it well.

But back to WoT. Out of the three common threads I have mentioned, two things have already happened. Tanks are becoming increasingly invulnerable, a design trend ongoing for quite some time despite how much people hate tanks such as Chrysler GF (frontally invulnerable to T8s, no armour vs TXs), VK 100 (T8s struggle to even pen its side) or buffed Type 5 Heavy (invulnerable to "normal" shells, highly vulnerable to TX gold shells). Yet we have already greatly topped the toxicity of those by brand new additions such as Object 268 v4. We also see maps becoming more open while some of the more corridorish maps were taken out of rotation for rework and a rework of premium shells seems to be imminent.

 

 

That's it for whining, now I'm going to try to demonstrate some of the issues.

1. Maps - the vital role of corridors

An important note: I'll speak strictly about randoms, CWs change things up a lot on some maps.

Let's first talk about bad corridors. A map where the corridor hate is perfectly justified is Abbey.

The red circles signify combat zones, the orange crosses signify important chokepoints. If you win hard enough to safely push past a chokepoint (two in the 1/2 line case), you win the zone. The problem is that given the size and design of the map as well as amount of chokepoints, you end up with a lot of people in one place, locked in a staring contest. All of these combat zones give huge advantage to tanks with strong turrets. The amount of hull down cover discourages pushing, as you'd be taking damage without being able to deal some back, plus there'll be some big ol' TD guns involved. And light tank going to Abbey? If you meet and IS-7 in there, you're screwed. If you get spotted and shot by a Grille 15 from the base, you're screwed. The only two ways to win any of these zones is either a decisive overmatch or picking off the impatient stupids who actually try to push. Reminds you Airfield, doesn't it?

 

 

 

So how can be corridors good? Enter Kharkov, a big part of the reason why I'm even bothering with this post. As you might know, Kharkov has been taken out of the rotation and is undergoing a rework, which will make it, you guessed right, substantially more open.

I did not even bother with chokepoints. As you can see, Kharkov can be divided into six or even seven combat zones. As there are only fifteen tanks in a random game, so you're left with 2.14 or 2.5 tanks per zone. This makes it significantly easier to either have an overmatch or skillfully outplay an enemy. As tanks fall, these zones can be quickly pushed through and thanks to various connections and intersections provide flanking opportunities. In a game which happens to not be a 3 minute roflstomp, this creates a dynamic gameplay where a lot of action happens, a lot of reactions is required and it all rewards situational awareness. Insert  *AUDIBLE GASPS*, *SHOCK* and *HORROR*. Yes, enough corridors, routes and hard cover is what actually creates the flanking opportunities people mistakenly want to have open maps for. But how many times you get to see a rash player carelessly drive their T8 medium into a big ol' TX TD and then cry about "poop corridor map". And yes, I love Kharkov and it is basically the main reason why I even bother with this post, because it pains me to see Kharkov being ruined based on ill advice.

 

 

 

And now let's talk about open maps. MS Paint skills off the charts, please welcome Campinovka!

As you can see, there is one corridor (the hill in northeast), a usually unimportant corridor in the southwest and that's it. The grey/black spray is where padders are waiting for their team to lose in order to get farm. The bad news is that the map is designed so poorly that if inexperienced and/or bad player(s) are pushing into them, they can get rekt and the tides of battle turn. The green-painted-over-red zones are zones of instant death and the yellow spray is people whose literally only value for their team is making sure those green zones are indeed zones of instant death. There is absolutely no flanking involved, unless you wanna count pushing into sleeping TDs in the base who have their gun pointed some wrong direction as flanking.

 

 

 

"But that is Campinovka, everyone knows that map is bad." OK. Let's try The Pig.

It is the same thing.

And don't get me started on how terrible Province is.

 

Another map which got taken out of the game for a rework is Pilsen. That map is literally Ensk done right. The heavy flank features wider chokepoints, more spacious corridors and more/better cover for more comfortable brawling. Unlike on Ensk, the 1 line is also decently suitable for medium tanks. Not so useful people have a shootout in the middle, but the area becomes much more interesting if the game comes to a close endgame and the only problem of the 9/0 flank is that fishing for gun depression can be too difficult at times. It wasn't a perfect map, but there wasn't anything too wrong with it. And like I said, it is a strictly better version of Ensk, why don't we take down Ensk instead?

Another which got taken down was Stalingrad, which I considered more detailed and flavourful, but ultimately worse version of Himmelsdorf. However, I cannot say I have found the map terrible, unlike some maps which WG decided to have us play, such as the worse than ever Erlenberg or broken Fjords.

 

So what are my concluding thoughts on maps? Corridors can be good, but they need to be utilised well. The nature of this game tends to make open spaces into death zones. They need to be separated by ridges and buildings to the point where they are no longer really open.

Do not touch Kharkov. Let Pilsen be. If you have ideas on how these maps could be made better, use them in a new design. I'm sure there will be some players who are going to like reworked Kharkov. Why not instead keep old Kharkov, do some mild retexturing on the rework and release that version as a brand new map. Which would also enrich our map pool, something players have been always calling for. Everyone wins!

 

 

2. Tanks - the vital role of weakspots.

This issue goes hand in hand with the power creep, which is getting completely out of hand (JAZZ HANDS!) lately, but I'll only address armour profiles. The main point I want to make here is that INVULNERABLE TANKS ARE TOXIC AND HARM GAMEPLAY. And this goes beyond 268 v4, well beyond Super Conqueror.

Let's take a look at the T110E3. Unless you want to count the impossible pixel shot there is on the cupola, E3 needed very little to become invulnerable - hide its lower plate. But the tank paid dearly for it. It is very slow and very defensive. Due to its narrower gun arc, easy to pen sides and bad traverse and reverse speeds, the E3 is actually a worse assault tank than the T95. But it does have the perk of conditional invulnerability. The problem is that lately, Wargaming have been designing multiple tanks with conditional invulnerability with little to no tradeoff.

With the rise of 268 v4, we've been also seeing a rise in popularity of Object 263. This tank destroyer darn near made me eat my monitor during my T95 grind. any small bump on the road makes this swift tank invulnerable. Its gun is also highly accurate and has good alpha. All you can do when a 263 parks behind a bump on the road is either die or sod off. Counterplay? None.

Object 430U is another great example. This tank has completely killed the already dead 121 with quite well HEAT resistant turret and impenetrable cupolas. Because screw 113.

Super Conqueror - it's over if he has the high ground. Which would be annoying enough, but the most baffling aspect of it is that majority of the cupola is not part of the hitbox and only yields critical damage.

Object 705A - few days back I fought one of these on Glacier. He sidescraped. No cupolas, no overmatch plate, just good ol' "Make like a banana, here's Rasha!" Panzer VII is still crying in the corner. If only the plate on his turret was overmatchable, it would create a fair 1v1 where I could pen his weakspot, just as he could pen mine. Not "OK, let's load HE and shoot his tracks for quarter of my damage."

These are just few examples, but surely you get the gist

 

3. Ammunition

This obviously mostly concerns premium ammunition. The main schools of thought among the community are:

  • Remove premium shells -That is just dumb. How do you want T8s deal with VK 100s?
  • Have premium shells deal X% less damage - Equally dumb. You're literally saying tanks such as Type 5 should be taking X% less damage
  • Let's add many shell types doing many different things - This comes from Murazor and, you guessed it, I think it's dumb. At first I wanted to say the game does not need any added complexity,as it is complex enough already and if you want to do something for good players, we'd prefer reduced RNG, splitting players into 2-3 skill based categories for matchmaking or, you know, actually balanced game.But then you think about it some more and realise if wouldn't really add much depth to the game and rather burden it with added micromanagement based mostly just on guesswork. 

For a very long time now tanks have been being released with gold shells in mind. The two examples I clearly love so much, VK 100 and Type 5, were specifically designed to eat up HEAT. many weakspots in the game have values that make them very difficult or at least unreliable to pen with standard ammunition. Any big rework of ammunition would require an even bigger rework of armour profiles. Besides "I don't think WG would even bother doing it," I don't think I even want them to do it, because I do not trust them to do it right.

 

That's it from me, folks. Good luck on the battlefield and have a cat tax :-)

 

EDIT: Edited a couple of formatting fails.

 

EDIT2: I thought this would be good to have in the OP for those who would skip the discussion below. I do not oppose the thought of premium ammo removal entirely. If WG would first start working on armour values and once that is done and done well, they'd just remove gold ammo, that would be perfectly fine with me. Going one step at a time with correct priorities.


Edited by NL_Jens, 05 May 2018 - 08:50 AM.


WindSplitter1 #2 Posted 04 May 2018 - 09:00 PM

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9/10

 

Read your post entirely, and fully agree with it. You're not getting 10 out of 10 because of the nekochan (big fan of Japan and anime but... yuck).

 

Onto serious things, you made me realise WG does already take premspam into account in new tank designs. Explains a lot.

Although, I don't think there is possible salvation from that route. I thought Moor-azon was replaced as shown on the Wz. 51 video, but seems it has not. Not that it would mean the new guy would make it any better but a man can dream.

 

I decided to stop being masochistic and quit playing tanks with no armour. At least until some grinds are finished since if you don't, you're a credits and exp. piñata for the enemy team. No one likes losing... But it's part of the game to lose.

 

What bothers me, possibly you as well and other ones, is the way you are losing.

 

Losing because you fired a shell too early or you pointed somewhere on the enemy vehicle you thought it could drill through is one thing.

 

Losing because the team is facing a vehicle no weapon is able to inflict damage to it or because they receive 3X the damage they are able to inflict is another. And of course, steamrolls, 15-3 etc, that this disastrous matchmaker is responsible for. WG calls it a success, but wants to remove special matchmaking. No vehicle so far has been adressed, which means this MM is here to stay.

 

I've checked the forums, and I could open some 5 posts in the first page of people disbelieving in the game.

 

The evidence is there. No one responsible cares.

 

And now, they want to change premium ammunition and consummables. This is the final step in making heavily armoured vehicles invulnerable and anything without armour the favoured target. If WG's changes don't pan out, even if they break the Tier X barrier won't suffice the drainage of overpowered vehicles.

 

The new meta is that...

 

Join it.



juonimies #3 Posted 04 May 2018 - 09:05 PM

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Thank you for a good post, NL_Jens.

 

But now you probably shall become object of WG suppression methods.  



Strappster #4 Posted 04 May 2018 - 09:34 PM

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Thanks for a well reasoned post with examples to support your opinions. That shouldn't be notable but ... y'know ... :unsure:

 

I won't pretend to agree with you on everything but I would point out that WG have said repeatedly that they are trying to design a game that works for 95% of players, not 5%. You make a persuasive case about the maps but IMO the underlying problem isn't so much the maps, it's the players who dictate that there are rote ways of playing them.

 

How many times have you seen complaints such as "you have to go to the heavy corner" or "start scouting or I'll TK you" when the light is passive scouting? Elite players are just as guilty of that as the noobs. I agree that on some maps in certain tanks there's little reason to go anywhere else unless you want an early exit (e.g. El Halluf) but you're dismissing new Erlenberg seemingly on the basis that you don't like it rather than waiting to see what meta develops.

 

I've seen lights pushing up the central lines, I've seen heavies crossing to and from the castle but what I see most often is players trying to use tactics which worked on the old map. It's a new map with the same name. Damning it because it's not the old map is a waste of effort. 

 

You say that you like old Kharkov because there are options and it's not a heavy-go-here map yet you lambast Erlenberg because it's not the map you're used to. Old Erlenberg is gone - learn new Erlenberg.

 

On the subject of premium shells, this latest patch has seen the first real step to changing them. You can choose to be cynical and claim that WG won't do anything other than stop selling them for gold or you can choose to wait and see what they come up with. There appears to be a pervading feeling that WG only react to things in the immediate and there's no long-term planning but they're a billion-dollar company - to say they don't plan things is a stupid way of thinking.

 

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the current heavy meta was designed from the start to use up the stocks of premium ammo purchased with gold, further to the comment in the most recent patch notes. The next step will be more concrete as we should start to see what ideas WG have for re-balancing. We've seen that knee-jerk reactionism doesn't go down well with anyone, how about waiting to see what develops and forming an opinion once you've got a better idea of the big picture?



Dorander #5 Posted 04 May 2018 - 10:06 PM

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Mostly some good points though I don't agree with all the details... Erlenberg for example has a decent midsection now rather than just two teams on the hill camping and waiting for who has the better scouts or more overconfident players.

 

I think El Halluf would be improved if there was *less* cover on the "open field" side, at least, less hard cover. As it is, 90% of the action happens in the top left because there's always a few people fieldcamping and you can nearly never advance that line 'cause even if the camper gets spotted, the player can just retreat behind a rock and punish you for trying to drive up the hill. If they had only soft cover, it'd be possible to at least advance those lines. Perhaps move the campspots out of drawrange for the other campspots so you actually have to take some risk entering the open field if you want to fire at opposing campers. Also, I was completely unaware of the pig thing, thanks for that.

 

My main disagreement is with the premium ammo bit, though I know WG will never remove premium ammo, I'd still want it gone. And it's not because I'm a Maus driver. I think the Maus should be penetrable with regular shells as well, but only if you have the skill and knowledge to actually hit its weakspots. When I drive my Maus, and I face somebody who knows what they're doing (or rather, where to aim), I frequently have to choose: either I live, OR I do damage, not both. The problem is that if the opposing party loads HEAT, because the relevant weakspots are still hard to pen with non-premium shells, I can't really do either. I think that if the weakspots were penetrable with basic shells, premium ammo wouldn't feel like such a problem.

 

The Type 5 is a way worse offender, I know its frontal weakspots but I still have to load gold just to reliably pen those. And let's not even talk about how it deals damage.

 

 

Maybe it's rose-tinted glasses but I remember when I started this game, that was the standard: tanks had weakspots, if you knew where to aim, you could pen them even frontally (and I don't just mean the LFP), if you didn't, you'd likely bounce or have to load goldshells. That is still what loading gold feels to me, press 2 to compensate for lack of knowledge and aiming. And now we have tanks where you have to know, aim AND load gold to penetrate reliably. Those and their opposites, tanks that have insane damage output with goldshells (I'm looking at you, FV4005) seem, I guess, designed to compensate for each other in the field but in practice things seldomly work out this way. The result is two categories of, from my perspective, worst designs in the game.

 

There's nothing dumb about wanting premium shells to be gone. The "dumb" thing was when WG decided to introduce more and more tanks that you need those premium shells for. I'd love a game balanced around silver only, but for that, some tanks also need armor adjustments. Right now, I don't even agree with the idea that tanks are balanced around gold. Tanks are balanced around neither, the outliers are designed to be "iconic" to stimulate gold use.



Strappster #6 Posted 04 May 2018 - 10:16 PM

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View PostDorander, on 04 May 2018 - 09:06 PM, said:

My main disagreement is with the premium ammo bit, though I know WG will never remove premium ammo, I'd still want it gone. And it's not because I'm a Maus driver. I think the Maus should be penetrable with regular shells as well, but only if you have the skill and knowledge to actually hit its weakspots. When I drive my Maus, and I face somebody who knows what they're doing (or rather, where to aim), I frequently have to choose: either I live, OR I do damage, not both. The problem is that if the opposing party loads HEAT, because the relevant weakspots are still hard to pen with non-premium shells, I can't really do either. I think that if the weakspots were penetrable with basic shells, premium ammo wouldn't feel like such a problem.

 

The Type 5 is a way worse offender, I know its frontal weakspots but I still have to load gold just to reliably pen those. And let's not even talk about how it deals damage.

 

 

Maybe it's rose-tinted glasses but I remember when I started this game, that was the standard: tanks had weakspots, if you knew where to aim, you could pen them even frontally (and I don't just mean the LFP), if you didn't, you'd likely bounce or have to load goldshells. That is still what loading gold feels to me, press 2 to compensate for lack of knowledge and aiming. And now we have tanks where you have to know, aim AND load gold to penetrate reliably. Those and their opposites, tanks that have insane damage output with goldshells (I'm looking at you, FV4005) seem, I guess, designed to compensate for each other in the field but in practice things seldomly work out this way. The result is two categories of, from my perspective, worst designs in the game.

 

There's nothing dumb about wanting premium shells to be gone. The "dumb" thing was when WG decided to introduce more and more tanks that you need those premium shells for. I'd love a game balanced around silver only, but for that, some tanks also need armor adjustments. Right now, I don't even agree with the idea that tanks are balanced around gold. Tanks are balanced around neither, the outliers are designed to be "iconic" to stimulate gold use.

 

This is exactly what I'm talking about. We have no idea what WG are going to introduce in the rebalancing of premium shells, only that it's going to happen, yet you're making a case against it before you even know the first detail. How about if they introduced an alternative shell that had higher penetration but delivered less damage, enough damage less to make using it an actual decision the player has to make?

 

Weighing up "I could lol-pen that heavy but he'll be able to shoot me back twice" against "I could push him and use my regular ammo against his side armour and I might take a hit but I've got enough hp and will reload before he does" is a much more enticing prospect than, "hurr-durr I cant pen but it don' matter, time to mash the 2 key".

 

That's not to say I have any idea of what WG might produce but if it looks dumb, feels dumb and acts dumb, you can be sure I'll be there railing against it with the rest of you. I'm going see what it is first though.



Dorander #7 Posted 04 May 2018 - 10:53 PM

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View PostStrappster, on 04 May 2018 - 09:16 PM, said:

 

This is exactly what I'm talking about. We have no idea what WG are going to introduce in the rebalancing of premium shells, only that it's going to happen, yet you're making a case against it before you even know the first detail. How about if they introduced an alternative shell that had higher penetration but delivered less damage, enough damage less to make using it an actual decision the player has to make?

 

Weighing up "I could lol-pen that heavy but he'll be able to shoot me back twice" against "I could push him and use my regular ammo against his side armour and I might take a hit but I've got enough hp and will reload before he does" is a much more enticing prospect than, "hurr-durr I cant pen but it don' matter, time to mash the 2 key".

 

That's not to say I have any idea of what WG might produce but if it looks dumb, feels dumb and acts dumb, you can be sure I'll be there railing against it with the rest of you. I'm going see what it is first though.

 

This isn't reactionary. I've been making this case against premium rounds for a long time now, before WG was supposedly rebalancing anything in that area. I have, in fact, expressed my desire for a "silver-only" form of gameplay on this very forum in the past, except that might be hard to find/remember as it was somewhere in 2017... or 2016... or both. It has nothing to do with what WG is planning, nor do I believe it'll ever happen, it's just my wish.

 

I'm admittedly sceptical about any kind of rebalancing, and cynical enough to suspect the removal of premium rounds for gold was done to reduce pay-to-win accusations or potentially sell more gold (though I haven't checked if the conversion rate for gold to credits is worse than the rate of premium shell price to regular shell price) and/or premium tanks. This supposed first step in rebalancing premium rounds doesn't actually balance anything gameplaywise. I have never fired a premium round bought with gold in all my 17k+ battles. However sceptical is all I am, I am not claiming Wargaming will never do anything. They might, and we'll have to wait and see no matter what our personal predictions might be.

 

The important bit is that premium round functionality and armour design are obviously related, but (especially at tier 10) in no way balanced around anything. OP states that wanting premium shells gone is dumb because there are tanks, of which he mentions the VK1001 and Type 5, that people can't deal with without goldshells. I actually know that in the case of the VK that isn't entirely true but it's a tough beastie to pen so sure, okay. Your suggestion of a premium round that pens more but does less damage, which OP incidentally also discards as dumb, remains problematic with these kinds of tanks as long as they retain their armour values. I am convinced that many people will not press 2 every time if they could, with skill, penetrate these tanks with regular shells.

 

If they lack the skill to do so, I'd find such a reduced damage premium shell a pretty decent compromise, but OP does rightly point out that it's problematic without reworking the armour values as well, which is why I favour weakspots that normal shells can penetrate. You can't rebalance (or remove, for that matter), premium shells in a vacuum. We're talking shell penetration, shell damage (look at the FV4005 example, its premium shell damage is significantly HIGHER than its standard shell damage), armour values.... and this for every tank at every tier. Yeah, I'm sceptical, but unlike OP I'm not worried that they can't do it, I'm worried that they won't do it, or will only do it half-arsed. We'll see.



Strappster #8 Posted 04 May 2018 - 11:04 PM

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View PostDorander, on 04 May 2018 - 09:53 PM, said:

I'm admittedly sceptical about any kind of rebalancing, and cynical enough to suspect the removal of premium rounds for gold was done to reduce pay-to-win accusations or potentially sell more gold ...

 

That's not cynical, that's realism. Being cynical is thinking that the only reason they're no longer taking payment in gold is so that they can reduce the potential for refund claims for making changes to in-game items bought with gold because that's got a direct exchange rate with cash before they go on to make changes to the underlying mechanics of how shells and armour interact. Why else would they stop taking gold payments and then wait for stocks of ammo bought with it to be used up before giving any indication of the next step?

 

Obviously nothing's changed yet but they've taken the first step and shown that they've got plans to take further steps. I've still got enough goodwill to wait and see what they suggest rather than hang them for something they've not done before but have finally started now.

 

Like I mentioned earlier about long-term planning - WG are going to have a detailed plan for the next months, an outline plan for at least the next year and a road map plan for a couple of years after that. Billion-dollar companies don't become that without some degree of planning and they certainly don't stay there without it.

 

Blah, blah, blah, WG is good, all praise WG, please turn and face Minsk for evening prayers. ;)



Element6 #9 Posted 04 May 2018 - 11:12 PM

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We can pretend that mediocre players, of which there are many, thrive best on open maps. The less awareness and game mechanic knowledge you have, the more cover you need.

 

As Strapster said, the essence of this and all the points in the OP is that the game is not primarily intended to work to a satisfactory imagined level of the 55-60% player. It's just the harsh truth.



Bulldog_Drummond #10 Posted 04 May 2018 - 11:25 PM

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While this is more considered than the usual moans, my impression over the years is that WG as an organisation is a lot smarter and knows a lot more about the game than do the individual players.

 

OP is thoughtful but looks at things from the perspective of a Tier X player.  That is a tiny part of the player base.

 

And whatever one thinks of WG, the game has worked for a long time, partly because they have resolutely ignored the more foolish complaints we see daily (eg we want skill based mm, we hate arty, we hate gold, etc)

 

It's not a game I take very seriously but it has provided me with light entertainment in my spare time for 6 years and over that time I haven't noticed that it has changed noticeably for the worse.


Edited by Bulldog_Drummond, 04 May 2018 - 11:29 PM.


Captain_Kremen0 #11 Posted 04 May 2018 - 11:34 PM

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Do you lot have lives? 

I only read stuff like that in work, so if stays to only a few pages i will catch up.

 Ale Trail tomorrow so not likely 

 



NL_Jens #12 Posted 05 May 2018 - 12:12 AM

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I'll mostly direct this at Strappster. Forum epic editing skills managed to make me delete this first paragraph and I'm not sure what exactly was I saying in it, Imma try my best to recollect my thoughts well enough.

I'm not saying gold ammo isn't broken. What I'm saying is that there would have to be so much good work put into its rework and rework of armour values that (feel free to call me a doomsayer) I fear things would end up much more broken than they already are. But I do not oppose the thought entirely. If WG would first start working on armour values and once that is done and done well, they'd just remove gold ammo, that would be perfectly fine with me. Going one step at a time with correct priorities.

I am also excluding 183mm HESH from this prem ammo talk because I would probably start breaking things, let's just say I think buffing the Barn was a terrible idea.

Premium ammo usage also goes hand in hand with map design. A direct quote from your other post: "I could push him and use my regular ammo against his side armour." Dedicated heavy flanks and some maps in their entirety (i.e. Abbey) can be described as more or less narrow corridors where slow, monstrous beasts can just sit and duke it out against each other. Let's keep rolling with Abbey. The only thing that is going to happen if I decide to "push him to shoot his side" is that I'm literally gonna die in seconds. Not only does he get the free shot, he probably isn't alone. You'd have to go around. But around means one of the two other corridors where you cannot cross past a certain chokepoint. And this is not just the legendarily bad Abbey. Usually your options in such situation would be

  1. Press W straight towards this enemy and his buddies (probably won't work, as explained).
  2. Pick a different corridor to go through (with maps often having 1-3 corridors total, this can be a problem).
  3. Go through some open field (death zone problem).

Now I can go full circlejerk back to Kharkov, where you do have much easier time picking a fight which is good for you.

 

Another quote: "How about if they introduced an alternative shell that had higher penetration but delivered less damage, enough damage less to make using it an actual decision the player has to make?" I have briefly touched on this in the OP, I'll repeat the two main problems I have with this. 1) It is downright a perk that makes Type 5s (or Pz II Js, Matildas and such, it's not just a TX thing) take X% less damage. 2) There would be a lot of annoying pure luck situations involved that are already occuring anyway and this would just make them punishing. Let's say you are brawling in 3xTX MM on Mountain Pass and there's an IS-7 (a classic example of weak spot that is quite unreliable to pen with regular ammo, but feel free to imagine a different tank if you think slinging gold at IS-7s is lame) against you. You know you gotta carry and if you won't, he will. So you load HEAT to EAT through that russian SH.. OK, not. And before you get to shoot him with your newly increased skill, he takes a hit from a clicker or an E3 or something and starts cowering in the back while you have to waste your skill on some M4 Rev. 5 shots later you get tired of wasting credits, so you load regular AP/CR and at that moment, IS-7 comes back from his coffee break. I'm not saying this is what always happens, but such situations would every now and again add to the already large pool of "players being excessively punished for being simply unlucky."

 

Anyway, let's talk Erlenberg. You are in part right about Erlenberg, but you also seem to have misunderstood me a bit. I am nearly offended by you thinking I miss old Erlenberg. :D And I admit that as a Standard only player I perhaps see Erleberg less often than others and I might be misguided in my opinion about it, so take this with a grain of salt (I have plenty to share if you're short :D ).

I think the rework isn't working as intended and it's still a draw map if played properly. I think the issues only got changed up a bit, not fixed. In the old Derpenberg there were three chokepoints controllable from enough distance and enough cover you'd get shot to bits trying to cross them. The only change I see in 1.0 is that we no longer have three vertically aligning chokepoints of very none-shall-pass nature, but three horizontally aligning chokepoints of very none-shall-pass nature. Judging from the games I have played so far I'll even go as far as to say that if both teams deploy reasonably, the entire outcome of the battle is decided by people playing properly in F0. If they play well, it's a draw, if they don't, North spawn wins. The rest of the camps imo require megastupidity to misplay hard enough to get dug out. But I am not adamant on it yet, it's still early for that. Another problem I see (or at least I think I do) is that the reworked middle did the opposite of what was intended and instead ended up being bad for tanks who would want to deploy there.

 

 

EDIT: I gotta say I am surprised, I thought people won't bother reading a post this long. Thanks for the likes and replies. :playing:


Edited by NL_Jens, 05 May 2018 - 12:15 AM.


Balc0ra #13 Posted 05 May 2018 - 12:34 AM

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Well first of all GJ on a well written post that was not a rant post at least.

 

But for some things like gold ammo for instance. Who should you listen to? The game is split for sure on what to do with it. Some want's it removed. Some want it to get a damage reduction by still have it around. The 3rd don't want anything to change with it. Thing is, we don't know how big a % each of those 3 groups are. And it's the first group that yells the loudest about it. But that don't mean they are the biggest group. As ppl that are happy with something, usually don't post about it. So WG has to find out a solution that makes the least ppl leave, as players are still what keeps the game going. But finding out what works the best across all 3 groups is not an easy task I suspect. As the amount of ppl that plays the game, vs those that use the forum to say their meaning about anything is way off for WG to get a pointer on what's what.

 

As for frontal weakspots? Well issue is again.. the premiums that lack it won't get one. But as for normal tanks? Well some like the Tiger II had them all removed. And it's still not a strong tank. So IMO some should have their frontal MG port weakspot removed, and their cupola buffed. As lets be honest, the Tiger II is not a tank you fear, even in a tier 6, even after the weakspots was removed. But then you have the VK 100.01. That has 220 mm at the weakest part. That's a bit silly, when most tier 8 HT's still have sub 200 pen. 268 v4 would still be a strong TD if it had 200mm weakspot on the roof vs 250, or even 180mm. As it's not an easy target to hit at range. But gives you a chance close up.

 

Element6 #14 Posted 05 May 2018 - 12:48 AM

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View PostBalc0ra, on 05 May 2018 - 12:34 AM, said:

Well first of all GJ on a well written post that was not a rant post at least.

 

But for some things like gold ammo for instance. Who should you listen to? The game is split for sure on what to do with it. Some want's it removed. Some want it to get a damage reduction by still have it around. The 3rd don't want anything to change with it. Thing is, we don't know how big a % each of those 3 groups are. And it's the first group that yells the loudest about it. But that don't mean they are the biggest group. As ppl that are happy with something, usually don't post about it. So WG has to find out a solution that makes the least ppl leave, as players are still what keeps the game going. But finding out what works the best across all 3 groups is not an easy task I suspect. As the amount of ppl that plays the game, vs those that use the forum to say their meaning about anything is way off for WG to get a pointer on what's what.

 

As for frontal weakspots? Well issue is again.. the premiums that lack it won't get one. But as for normal tanks? Well some like the Tiger II had them all removed. And it's still not a strong tank. So IMO some should have their frontal MG port weakspot removed, and their cupola buffed. As lets be honest, the Tiger II is not a tank you fear, even in a tier 6, even after the weakspots was removed. But then you have the VK 100.01. That has 220 mm at the weakest part. That's a bit silly, when most tier 8 HT's still have sub 200 pen. 268 v4 would still be a strong TD if it had 200mm weakspot on the roof vs 250, or even 180mm. As it's not an easy target to hit at range. But gives you a chance close up.

The VK and 268 v4 are logical if you look at the number of tanks on the servers, if we presume that we can somewhat trust the Wot News numbers.

 

The v4 replaced the 263, which is listed to be owned by about 22.900 players in EU. That is after the release of the v4, so the number was most likely lower before that one was released. If we compare that to the 704 in the other line, it is owned by something like 203.000 players, about 10 times as many vehicles. Looking at the SU-122-54 that previously preceeded the 263, it is/was owned by about 59.000 players. One does not need to be Einstein to see which line people grinded.

 

So v4 is the carrot at the end of the stick to make people grind an unpopular line and make the tanks in the MM queue more diverse. The motive behind the tank is quite clear.

 

There are simliar pointers in the VK line if we look at Maus and E-100, though they are not as strong as with the example above.



Bulldog_Drummond #15 Posted 05 May 2018 - 12:59 AM

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View PostElement6_TheSprout, on 04 May 2018 - 11:48 PM, said:

The VK and 268 v4 are logical if you look at the number of tanks on the servers, if we presume that we can somewhat trust the Wot News numbers.

 

The v4 replaced the 263, which is listed to be owned by about 22.900 players in EU. That is after the release of the v4, so the number was most likely lower before that one was released. If we compare that to the 704 in the other line, it is owned by something like 203.000 players, about 10 times as many vehicles. Looking at the SU-122-54 that previously preceeded the 263, it is/was owned by about 59.000 players. One does not need to be Einstein to see which line people grinded.

 

So v4 is the carrot at the end of the stick to make people grind an unpopular line and make the tanks in the MM queue more diverse. The motive behind the tank is quite clear.

 

There are simliar pointers in the VK line if we look at Maus and E-100, though they are not as strong as with the example above.

 

Yes.  There is of course an easy way to avoid frustration and beat WG at their own game, which is not to bother to grind these things and just play a carefully selected mix of low/middling tanks.  One will have at least as much fun, less frustration, and it's a cheap hobby.

Element6 #16 Posted 05 May 2018 - 01:06 AM

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View PostBulldog_Drummond, on 05 May 2018 - 12:59 AM, said:

Yes.  There is of course an easy way to avoid frustration and beat WG at their own game, which is not to bother to grind these things and just play a carefully selected mix of low/middling tanks.  One will have at least as much fun, less frustration, and it's a cheap hobby.

The funny thing on my end was that I got the 263 at T10 when I had about 50k XP on the ISU-152, so it was a "free" v4 for me, in which I have played a whooping 1 battle. Currently trying to accumulate enough free XP to elite the 704 before I will start playing it.

 

Such is the life of a WoT oddball :B



Bulldog_Drummond #17 Posted 05 May 2018 - 01:15 AM

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View PostElement6_TheSprout, on 05 May 2018 - 12:06 AM, said:

The funny thing on my end was that I got the 263 at T10 when I had about 50k XP on the ISU-152, so it was a "free" v4 for me, in which I have played a whooping 1 battle. Currently trying to accumulate enough free XP to elite the 704 before I will start playing it.

 

Such is the life of a WoT oddball :B

 

It's a broad church, and a key reason why the game has been so successful, as it has no beginning or end, and goals are up to you, the player.  I find it very funny when people on the forum or in game insist that all must be arranged according to what they are pleased to call their minds.  My own goal, for now, is to get a decent win rate, and it is remarkable how effective that is in infuriating other posters who have a similar goal but who have essayed it with a less scientific approach.

Strappster #18 Posted 05 May 2018 - 01:29 AM

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View PostNL_Jens, on 04 May 2018 - 11:12 PM, said:

< snipped for brevity, quoted so you get the notification >

 

My point about gold ammo is that right now, none of us have any idea what's planned. We could speculate endlessly about what might happen or what we'd like to see happen based on what we know of the current way it works or we could wait and see what WG will come up with and then discuss their proposals. Personally I find it very difficult to discuss proposals that I haven't even heard. 

 

For all we know, they might be planning a massive overhaul of armour and ammo or they might take a slightly easier route of offering us different coloured shells and a free camo scheme. I mentioned some ideas earlier but please don't think they're anything other than spur of the moment thoughts I pulled out of my arse thin air. I didn't put any consideration into them beyond what would make a good comparison for the sake of an example.

 

While we have common ground on what we think of Abbey, when it comes to Erlenberg I think the jury's still out. I don't play the test server so I've only seen the new version since the 1.0 update and while I play most days, I still haven't played enough battles to have a firm opinion on it. We tell new players that after their first 1,000 battles, they might start to have some understanding of the game yet you're passing judgement on a map you've seen for a fraction of that in (presumably) a variety of tiers and tank types, all of which can impact how you play a particular map.

 

I'm not trying to say your opinion of the map is wrong, I'm saying that it's still too early to determine whether it's a particularly bad map because there hasn't been enough time for a random meta to develop. Passing judgement on it right now is evaluating it under the terms of what you used to do on the old map. Randoms are generally doing exactly what they used to and they're seeing where that works and where it fails. Give it time and I'm sure we'll see some movement.



Slyspy #19 Posted 05 May 2018 - 08:25 AM

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Personally I thought that the lack of isolated corridors didn't make Kharkov any more fun to play than older corridor maps like Abbey. However, like the op I'm surprised they removed pilsen but kept ensk when it should have been the other way around, especially at higher tiers. 

LordMuffin #20 Posted 05 May 2018 - 08:55 AM

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Erlenberg.
Personally I think new Erlenberg is worse then old one for a few reasons.
1: You can hold your side  (top/buttom) easily from the redline bushes and with 1 tank forward at the covered areas against a superior number of heavy tanks.
Men and a Löwe in a T8 battle alone killed 5-6 enemy heavy tanks that tried to get the Löwe (I was in a TD). And Löwe survived with quite some hp.
The mid area doesn't provide useful play to either side. You can go in, maybe kill the others inside, but you can't break out unless one side is won anyway.  The east covering of mid from the sides makes it a more or less useless area.
The current Erlenberg is promoting a camping playstyle way more then the old one.
And on Assault, new Erlenberg is more imbalanced then Mines encounter.

About player skill and who to care about.
If a company completely ignore the will of better players, these will just leave the game (and it already happens as seen by the decline in recent and average WR/wn8 of the active playerbase).
It kills longevity of the game, in most cases, players will improve over time and eventually get good at WoT, when that happens, and if the game is not intended for skillful play, then these good players will leave.

By not making the game a good experience for good players you also more or less remove the incentive to actually improve in the game.
'Get better, have a worse experience'...

And while good players are like 5% of the players, they represent like  99% of the cumulative knowledge about tactics/tank balance/game mechanic etc on this game.





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