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Big Alpha - The alternative to fast paced gameplay


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OnTheVerge #1 Posted 10 May 2020 - 09:27 AM

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I just wanted to share my thoughts on the big ongoing ever-present topic: Older players, and the pace of the game speeding up.

 

As one gets older, things slow down. You don't think as fast, you don't move as fast, you don't react as quick. It's a fact, and people know this, and have come to terms with it. But when you work towards something, and hone a skill, you can not only overcome the disadvantage given by aging, but also surpass the advantage that young people have. So, how do people with an absurd amount of battles struggle (or at least from what we've seen on the forums and in-game personally) in the 'new' environment, when they shouldn't actually be that worse off, considering how much practice they have? Younger audiences adapt quicker, and can both better play the wheelies, and better deal with them - because of their quickness, and adaptability; but more experienced players are just that - experienced. Why can't they compensate for the lack of reflexes with skill, planning, etc?

 

This is where the second things come in: personal preference, and habits. In this game, in huge majority of the cases, it doesn't matter if you're old or not, but rather what you expect from the game, and how you've been playing it for the past years (personal opinion). If you've played the game to relax, or to have some casual fun, with a semi-serious approach, you didn't develop the necessary skills to be competitive in the new era.

 

And that is true for the majority of the people. More relaxed approach, and desire for slower pacing exist, and in a game where putting in the time and long-term improvement is more important than in some other games out there (like any MOBA, shooter, battle royale, etc), people in their majority tend to slump down, and attempt to slow things down for themselves. It's the human nature: why stress yourself all the time by doing high-risk, high-reward plays, where you need to be aware of the environment at all times, while shooting every 3-4 seconds, when you can just sit in a bush/behind a rock, and actively participate in the game once every 20 seconds, for the similar results? It also has the added advantage of being able to think about your next action, adding to its value. Simply put, it isn't as rewarding, but it is a lot less stressful, doesn't burn you out from trying so hard, and can have the same results, especially if you haven't played aggressively all your career.

 

So this is the big idea behind this game that lets it have an older audience: kids and tryharders (no offence intended, I just mean people that take the game way more seriously than others, and want to improve at all times consistently) zoom around in their fast, lightly armored vehicles, doing risky plays, getting big rewards (or dying quickly because they hadn't executed the maneuver perfectly), while the more relaxed crowds sits back in their TD's, or duke it out in the cities in their heavies - having a lot more relaxed gameplay. And it can be balanced: the first group does great many things, and reaps huge rewards, but if they make a mistake, their punishment is not 10-20% of their HP, but a one-way ticket to the garage. This means that the apparent skill difference is overcome not through RNG, but through actual skill: the chap in his FV4005 has learned how to land shots effectively, as they have a lot less opportunity to shoot than something like the STB-1.

 

I believe this is the balance the devs accidentally stumbled upon. And this exact balance is now being negatively affected not by the introduction of new elements, but rather the interaction of the existing elements with the new variables.

 

Lets us take the EBR for example - on paper it can be balanced. For those that have adopted the quick playstyle, it can be the ideal vehicle, but their results are always leveled out by the second group, who want to try the new shiny thing, but don't have the mindset, or the necessary skill set to be effective in them.

So why the frustration? You're just not good enough in the vehicle, why get angry at it?

Simple - the RNG disproportionately affects the groups. The second group is much more affected by the RNG.  Let me explain.

There are many types of RNG in this game, but I will focus on the major ones, and how they can be accounted for/minimized:

1. Accuracy RNG - just get closer/get better precision vehicles

2. Penetration RNG - aim better/fire gold/flank

3. Alpha RNG - shoot more shots per minute/ pray

 

You see that? Every type of RNG can be more effectively countered by the first playstyle, and even when it happens it isn't usually as detrimental (unless a specific 'kill or be killed' situation occurs)

But for the second group, we have some problems they can't overcome without switching to the first playstyle:

1. Accuracy RNG - when targets are far away, even a Strv has less chance to hit than meds shooting each other in close/mid range

2. Penetration RNG - when the tank is far away, you can't exactly aim at its weak spots, especially when you're afraid shell will miss altogether

3. Alpha RNG - when you roll -25% on your 300 alpha med, it sucks, but you get to fire again in 5 seconds. When you roll -25% on your 1k damage tank, something you have no control of has decided to punish you, and there's nothing you can do about it in the next 20 seconds.

 

These are not the shortcomings of either group, but a bad design choice by developers. If I haven't been clear enough about any of my points, I'll gladly elaborate further. That said, here is my proposed change, to make everyone happy:

 

1. The Aiming: make it so that when standing and aiming, the more you aim (beyond your aim time), the more precise your gun gets, by reducing the aim RNG, up to a fixed +- 3%, meaning your shot should hit the center of what you're aiming in 97% of time. This shouldn't be given to all tanks, but rather should be introduced as a separate mechanic (like hydro-pneumatic suspension, or boost mode). Most of the german tanks should receive this, and long range sniper TD's and meds should also have it. JpzE100 and the like shouldn't, as it has its armor, and 400 pen for brawling in corridors. Autoloaders, extreme single value tanks, and such also shouldn't get it.

2. Server tick rate, and how aiming in general works. Either make the server update a lot more times per seconds, so that EBR's are properly handled, or change how aiming in general works so that it's not as server-dependent.

3. Tank balance. Set a role for some currently useless tanks, and give them special stats/mechanics to be proficient in such a role. Example: t110e5. Don't buff its armor, don't make it broken. Keep it as is, but give it some edge over competition, like (a bad example) personal inspire from frontline - for 30 seconds (with a 180 seconds cooldown)  the tank gets massively improved crew skills, and thus, better DPM, accuracy, and etc. Buff E100's turret armor. Give Type 5 an option to load a 1400 alpha HE shell once every 3 minutes. Something that will make the tank unique, and give it some strength, without breaking the game further by powercreeping armor and penetration.



24doom24 #2 Posted 10 May 2020 - 12:33 PM

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TLDR?

snowlywhite #3 Posted 10 May 2020 - 01:08 PM

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regarding point 1 - can see where you're coming from, but always though it's a very dangerous path. Being able to actually snipe at 400m I think is very detrimental. Even worse, the bad effect won't be noticed asap. It'll take probably 1 year or so till ppl adapt, but afterwards...

 

if 3 arty games are utterly stale, wonder how the game would look with such a change.

 

I have an alternative proposition to what's the game problem - constant buffs.

 

there are indeed various types of rng. But those are negatively impacted by the constant buffs. There are tanks that are almost immune to dmg in certain positions. Having 2-3 pixels to shoot at dramatically increases rng aspect of the game. Especially given there are 1-3 tanks in each team that can actually make a play in the key positions on a given map at the start of the game.  And if one team gets the rng to have the shell go right where it was aimed a couple of times while the other team doesn't... bam, steamroll.

 

tanks are overly pimped; both in armor and ability to snapshot. As long as that persists...



DaniulSims #4 Posted 10 May 2020 - 01:16 PM

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Why should the game change so drastically because you're getting older and you can't cope with change?

Also your idea of what's balanced and of "skill" is very skewed.

mani_GGr #5 Posted 10 May 2020 - 01:31 PM

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Ah yes, I'm too bad for the game so let's change the game instead of improving/adapting.

How about no?

The game already rewards camping, discourages active plays, and teaches absolutely nothing so we keep getting these 45%wr titans who are literally worse than bots. Tanks like Type 5 or Jagdpanzer shouldn't be in the game in the first place, because they are broken. What you are proposing would make broken tanks more broken. 



OnTheVerge #6 Posted 10 May 2020 - 03:04 PM

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Magical wargaming editor, making the whole post disappear.

 

In short:

@DaniulSims

@mani_GGr

I never talked about myself, I don't feel particularly old at 24.

 

also, mani, you completely missed my point, and I think you didn't read the post, so let me sum it up for your ADHD:

 

Game can be played fast or slow. Both used to be viable and had different skill sets associated with them. Now the game made one better than the other, frustrating part of the playerbase.

 

@snowlywhite

Interesting perspective, but I don't think much would change, as it didn't when swedish TD's were introduced (and they are literally the most accurate snipers in the game). Render range stays the same, and shells don't get any quicker, you just don't have to overbuff armor and pretend everything is fine. Also, it eliminates one aspect of the game that frustrates player for no adequate reason. It makes the skill ceiling higher, and makes the game more about skill, than luck.

 


Edited by OnTheVerge, 10 May 2020 - 03:17 PM.


DaniulSims #7 Posted 10 May 2020 - 03:38 PM

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I have read, your suggestions would make an already over-rewarding passive gameplay style even more. I'll pass.

 

If you want a slow, tactical game, play Chess. World of Tanks has never been that game for 60% of the tank classes in it.






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