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Variance, Gameplay, skill in World of Tanks

effect of change gameplay RNG

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Poll: Variance and gameplay (58 members have cast votes)

You have to complete 250 battle in order to participate this poll.

Do you think World of Tanks gameplay would become boring and less compelling if variance were reduced?

  1. Yes 25% variance is required as at present to add variety (10 votes [17.24%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.24%

  2. No gameplay would still be compelling if variance were reduced below the present 25% (33 votes [56.90%])

    Percentage of vote: 56.90%

  3. I am not sure what the effect on gameplay would be of reducing variance from the present 25% and I reserve my position (15 votes [25.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.86%

What would be the effect on gameplay if variance remained at 25% but there were fewer rolls relying on variance

  1. If World of Tanks became more predictable gameplay would become boring and players would lose interest (17 votes [29.31%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.31%

  2. Gameplay becoming more predictable would make the game more skill based and so better (24 votes [41.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 41.38%

  3. I am not sure and reserve my position until it is tested (17 votes [29.31%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.31%

A reduction of variance in World of Tanks is likely to make the game more skill based than at present

  1. Becoming more skill based with less variance is a good thing (21 votes [36.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.21%

  2. Becoming more skill based is a bad thing as good players will become more dominant and poor and average players might stop populating the servers, leading to a terminal decline in numbers (10 votes [17.24%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.24%

  3. It rather depends on the level of variance reduction and how much greater emphasis that gives to player skill. It needs testing (27 votes [46.55%])

    Percentage of vote: 46.55%

War Gaming has tried and failed to promote World of Tanks as an esport. In part this has failed as variance at 25% is seen as too high by professional teams

  1. If variance is reduced below the present 25% it is likely to encourage professional teams to engage in esports which in turn would bring in new players extending the life of World of Tanks (19 votes [32.76%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.76%

  2. This has been a successful game that I enjoy, reducing a winning formula, including variance reduction below 25% is likely to alter gameplay in a way I do not appreciate and I think chasing the esport crowd is a waste of time (13 votes [22.41%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.41%

  3. I approve of the reduction in variance from the present 25% but do not think it will make a blind bit of difference to esport teams avoiding World of Tanks (26 votes [44.83%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.83%

Vote Hide poll

arthurwellsley #1 Posted 14 September 2020 - 10:01 AM

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I posted comments below in another thread. But I have thought more about it and decided that I would make a poll.

 

WG state that the RNG element in certain rolls is 25%. One of (and a few other) reasons that World of Tanks has not become a successful esport is that the 25% RNG is seen as too high by professional players and teams. League of Legends is run by Riot Games. Riot do not use the term RNG, but they talk about input variance and output variance. Input variance is the unpredictability of certain spawns in LoL.

 

In World of Tanks input variance could be said to be the unpredictability of tanks in the lineup one, two or three SPGs, the numbers of lights or TD,s or the map randomly chosen from the rotation.

 

Output variance in LoL is the chance to crit. For awhile Riot has attempted to increase input variance to make LoL less predictable, but decrease output variance. LoL is a successful esport game. One of the effects of reducing input variance in World of Tanks would be less chance of getting an ammo rack. While ammo racks are enjoyable, and seeing the turret of an enemy tank fly of, how much effect would it have on gameplay and enjoyment if the chance of that happening were reduced. If War Gaming took the same approach to World of Tanks as Riot has taken to LoL:

 

  1. Would World of Tanks become any more popular as a esport?
  2. What would be the effect on gameplay of a reduction in RNG?
  3. What would the effect be if instead of 25% RNG rolls were reduced to 22.5%, 20%, 17% or some other percentage? What about leaving shell damage at 25%, but reducing the RNG on shot placement to 22.5%?
  4. What if RNG remained at 25% but certain things were no longer subject to an RNG roll? World of Tanks presently has a great many RNG rolls. What would be the effect on gameplay of reducing the number of things that were subject to an RNG roll?
  5. A reduction in RNG almost inevitably increases the importance of player skill. This results in good players becoming more dominant and average and less good players having a harder time. Would that be a good thing in World of Tanks? Is there a level where reduction in RNG in World of Tanks might be acceptable? If so where?


AeyT #2 Posted 14 September 2020 - 10:06 AM

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I think the main thing stopping WoT from becoming an esport is the team sizes. Who can name and care about 15 players in a team? competitive wot also feels way harder to watch than for example csgo or league of legends.

 



Gkirmathal #3 Posted 14 September 2020 - 10:29 AM

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View Postarthurwellsley, on 14 September 2020 - 09:01 AM, said:

  1. Would World of Tanks become any more popular as a esport?
  2. What would be the effect on gameplay of a reduction in RNG?
  3. What would the effect be if instead of 25% RNG rolls were reduced to 22.5%, 20%, 17% or some other percentage? What about leaving shell damage at 25%, but reducing the RNG on shot placement to 22.5%?
  4. What if RNG remained at 25% but certain things were no longer subject to an RNG roll? World of Tanks presently has a great many RNG rolls. What would be the effect on gameplay of reducing the number of things that were subject to an RNG roll?
  5. A reduction in RNG almost inevitably increases the importance of player skill. This results in good players becoming more dominant and average and less good players having a harder time. Would that be a good thing in World of Tanks? Is there a level where reduction in RNG in World of Tanks might be acceptable? If so where?

 

All good questions that deserve to be all tested in a Sandbox environment with a big enough number and diversity of players.

Only then you can have a good picture of what the effect would be on reducing RNG, whether it adds variety or makes things more boring.

 

I btw miss the formulation the suffix "...until it is tested." after every yes/no poll question. That's because it is asking for an opinion as no player truly knows what the actual effect would be in this game on the things being polled.

I also miss a question, or formulation, that adds uneven RNG reduction as one of opinions that can be chosen as an answer.


Edited by Gkirmathal, 14 September 2020 - 11:30 AM.


fwhaatpiraat #4 Posted 14 September 2020 - 10:49 AM

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Unpopular opinion: Imo the rng on rolls never really was the issue. Ofcourse it's mentioned often by the pros, but it never really made that much of a difference imo. An ammorack explosion has much more impact ofcourse, but even that didn't make such a big difference.

 

I always was quite interested into watching esl but often missed a few things.

1) It was hard to follow what was going on. The colors switched too often between teams, or the color of the teams (broadcost UI) mismatched the colors on the minimap (game UI). Very annoying. Casters said something in the likes of 'look what shot 'John' connects', but as a viewer it's very hard to see who's 'John' and you missed the action. Imo, the name of the player should be big above the tank, just like the big numbers on the backs of football players.

 

2) another imo crucial thing is creating strong brands/identities and heros. So ofcourse the teams must be recognizable and have distinct camo styles. iirc the teams sometimes had very bland colors and like I said the colors should match the UI on the screen and map. Also, people like certain football clubs because of Messi, Ronaldo or Lewandowski. So in tonkz, imo, the players of the team shouldn't switch all the time. From a player PoV that's ofcourse incredibly hard, but still. I think NAVI did this very well. Not too many switches of players, some of them could also be known from streaming and they always wore their yellow clothing. Each year one could see more or less the same NAVI players, but the others teams merged, collapsed, mixed, etc. and it was hard to get a connection (like with football teams) with them. Besides being NA, EU, RU.

 

And lastly, less important, imo the games became too fast. Might be because of powercreep, introduction of EBRs and such, but it becomes harder to follow because of that and it's just over too quickly. Not fun to watch because of that.

 

After writing all this I looked at the OP again, and I see how often 'RNG' is written there. I barely saw that as issue, as is shown above. Edit: didn't vote.

 


Edited by fwhaatpiraat, 14 September 2020 - 10:52 AM.


Bulldog_Drummond #5 Posted 14 September 2020 - 10:55 AM

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Interesting questions and I just voted

My background is in traditional board and tabletop wargames in which the RNG is huge compared to WoT so I am very comfortable with a high luck factor.  In some wargames you can get a 1 in 1000 or even less likely result on a combat roll

Although maybe not relevant to the game, my reading on historical armoured warfare suggests that the current RNG in the game is very low compared to the reality of most combat.  E.g. A Tiger went into battle with about 80 shells.  This was not because it was expected to fire 80 times and destroy 80 tanks.


Edited by Bulldog_Drummond, 14 September 2020 - 10:57 AM.


NUKLEAR_SLUG #6 Posted 14 September 2020 - 10:57 AM

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View Postfwhaatpiraat, on 14 September 2020 - 10:49 AM, said:

And lastly, less important, imo the games became too fast. Might be because of powercreep, introduction of EBRs and such, but it becomes harder to follow because of that and it's just over too quickly. Not fun to watch because of that.

 

I think this is actually your most important point.

 

It's fine following the commentators when they're talking about the plays and counterplays being made but when it finally kicks off its usually basically decided inside 60 seconds and it's virtually impossible to follow what happened to who in that time.



24doom24 #7 Posted 14 September 2020 - 12:49 PM

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RNG genuinely sucks most of the fun out of this game. Though I'm more annoyed about accuracy in WoT and just how awful it's all modeled. 

 

Penetration RNG does need to go, and be replaced by a more continuous pen drop of with range unlike now when it drops off in 3 stages. 

 

Making this game more skill based would be so good. Enough of just sitting there watching all my shots miss or bounce off green pen markers, completely out of my control. 



Slyspy #8 Posted 14 September 2020 - 01:33 PM

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Unable to answer the poll because of the inherent bias in question three and the potential supposition in question four. 

 

What I do know is that WoT deals in highs and lows and RNG is part of that. 



SovietBias #9 Posted 14 September 2020 - 01:36 PM

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I believe some aspects of what you named 'input variance' - in particular the tier spread- are actually the most impactful, compared to other RNG sources in this game. This is probably why e-sports matches are played (at least from what I've seen) in single tier mode and maps are pre determined. 

 

On the 'output side', players are given special accounts (?), and mostly play with maxed out crews and full premium loadout. Variance is already severely mitigated in e-sports, compared to its casual version.

Also remember that, unlike other games, you mostly don't need to account for balistics (bar the occasional long range lead time) when taking shots, as the game compensates elevation automatically and shells travel reasonably fast. Part of the reason you have more RNG on the 'output' is because one source of 'player error RNG' is entirely absent.

 

As it was already said here, the reason e-sports failed is elsewhere, probably because watching a match play out usually feels like watching a game of handball that ends when someone scores. It's just too fast and pretty difficult to get back from a losing position.

 



malachi6 #10 Posted 14 September 2020 - 01:41 PM

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Surely, the reasonable answer to all of the questions is, I do not know until tested?

WingedArchon #11 Posted 14 September 2020 - 01:55 PM

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My background mainly comes from RTS games and there there no such thing as RNG on unit stats (less than 1% anyway). Each unit functions in what it does and is reliable in its output. Variables that create dynamic gameplay is what the player decides to do. Now I know that in this game you control the one tank. But there's so many aspects in play from that single tank alone that creates all the variance you need really.

I can perfectly live with some RNG being present. Its fine. But 25% is waaay to much imo. Specifically if you look at some of the base values. It creates too big gaps between the lower and upper treshold values if you ask me.

So for me, if the output were more reliable I would enjoy the game much better.

Getting outplayed by a better player is one thing. But being screwed over by a randomfactor is not



pihip #12 Posted 14 September 2020 - 02:51 PM

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I said it in another post - +/-25% RNG is there to curb pro players and prevent them from dominating every aspect of the game at the expense of the rest of the community.

 

As it is, RNG is not a good thing. It is, however, a necessary evil that most of us learn to deal with. If pros can't be arsed to adapt to this that's on them.

As for esports, IMHO the problem is not so much that pro players don't adapt (as said above), it's that not many would enjoy the show. Never mind that the presence of premium ammo and premium food disqualifies the skill element (at least to an extent), but who would like a campfest where the first side that loses initiative gets stomped in a couple minutes?
 



geoff99 #13 Posted 14 September 2020 - 05:30 PM

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Good questions OP, but difficult to answer, hence I didn't complete the poll.

 

My thoughts:

 

1. I'm not sure what would happen if RNG was reduced. Presumably your 25% refers to pen and alpha but the principle would also apply to shot dispersion?. I don't know how it would affect gameplay or reward 'more skilled players'. My intuition is that RNG is fine as it feels like a balancing mechanism across all skill levels, but I'm not sure if that is true. It is difficult to predict changes in individual and meta gameplay. Certainly I'm happy with the current RNG (as I am with the +/-2 MM) as it introduces variety and adds to the complexity and therefore appeal of the game.

2. Arguably a skilled player is someone who can play the game best in its current incarnation. If the game has high degrees of RNG, then a skilled player will know that and adopt strategies to fit. I think there should be a different adjective for someone with very good hand and eye coordination who can place shots accurately and consistently, which may be more appropriate for your questions above.

3. I play far too much of this game already. I have no interest in e-sports and no interest or understanding of what the game would need to become more attractive to professionals. (Having said that I am interested in learning how to get better, so could be interested in e-sports or spin offs if there was some sort of teaching or learning component).



Bulldog_Drummond #14 Posted 14 September 2020 - 06:32 PM

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View Postpihip, on 14 September 2020 - 01:51 PM, said:

I said it in another post - +/-25% RNG is there to curb pro players and prevent them from dominating every aspect of the game at the expense of the rest of the community.

 

As it is, RNG is not a good thing. It is, however, a necessary evil that most of us learn to deal with. If pros can't be arsed to adapt to this that's on them.

As for esports, IMHO the problem is not so much that pro players don't adapt (as said above), it's that not many would enjoy the show. Never mind that the presence of premium ammo and premium food disqualifies the skill element (at least to an extent), but who would like a campfest where the first side that loses initiative gets stomped in a couple minutes?
 

 

I don't know anything about esports but top Bridge players, Poker players and Backgammon players cope with and manage massive RNG and still win.



Bordhaw #15 Posted 14 September 2020 - 07:42 PM

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View Postfwhaatpiraat, on 14 September 2020 - 09:49 AM, said:

And lastly, less important, imo the games became too fast. Might be because of powercreep, introduction of EBRs and such, but it becomes harder to follow because of that and it's just over too quickly. Not fun to watch because of that.


Fun to watch? it's not to fun play either. 



frange #16 Posted 14 September 2020 - 07:47 PM

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View Postgeoff99, on 14 September 2020 - 04:30 PM, said:

1. I'm not sure what would happen if RNG was reduced. Presumably your 25% refers to pen and alpha but the principle would also apply to shot dispersion?. I don't know how it would affect gameplay or reward 'more skilled players'. My intuition is that RNG is fine as it feels like a balancing mechanism across all skill levels, but I'm not sure if that is true. It is difficult to predict changes in individual and meta gameplay. Certainly I'm happy with the current RNG (as I am with the +/-2 MM) as it introduces variety and adds to the complexity and therefore appeal of the game.

The main problem I find with the RNG today is that taking a shot feel like rollig a dice. It doesnt matter wetheher you aim full or just snapshot - it is just up to the RNG to decide if you hit or not.

When you can roll in your RHM/Skorp/PTA/Strv 103/Conq/SU130PM/whatever with 0,2x accuracy and laser gun - in one match and miss shot after shot while fully aimed at center mass/side of a E100 from 200meters - and the next match you can snapshot from 400+ meters with your KV-2/M4 105mm derp/Oi/SU152/t28E F30/whatever with 0,4x-0,6 accuracy - and every single shot hits perfectly, over and over again.

 

Thats just make it ridicolous and doesnt really encourage you when it is just the roll of the RNG-dice wetheher you is gonna hit or not.


Edited by frange, 14 September 2020 - 07:50 PM.


fwhaatpiraat #17 Posted 14 September 2020 - 10:10 PM

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OP left the chat? :trollface:

TheDrownedApe #18 Posted 15 September 2020 - 06:30 AM

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View Postfrange, on 14 September 2020 - 06:47 PM, said:

The main problem I find with the RNG today is that taking a shot feel like rollig a dice. It doesnt matter wetheher you aim full or just snapshot - it is just up to the RNG to decide if you hit or not.

When you can roll in your RHM/Skorp/PTA/Strv 103/Conq/SU130PM/whatever with 0,2x accuracy and laser gun - in one match and miss shot after shot while fully aimed at center mass/side of a E100 from 200meters - and the next match you can snapshot from 400+ meters with your KV-2/M4 105mm derp/Oi/SU152/t28E F30/whatever with 0,4x-0,6 accuracy - and every single shot hits perfectly, over and over again.

 

Thats just make it ridicolous and doesnt really encourage you when it is just the roll of the RNG-dice wetheher you is gonna hit or not.

 

Yup this. The only RNG I abhor is accuracy. It makes a mockery out of skill and needs addressing



Obsessive_Compulsive #19 Posted 15 September 2020 - 06:41 AM

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View PostBulldog_Drummond, on 14 September 2020 - 10:55 AM, said:

Interesting questions and I just voted

My background is in traditional board and tabletop wargames in which the RNG is huge compared to WoT so I am very comfortable with a high luck factor.  In some wargames you can get a 1 in 1000 or even less likely result on a combat roll

Although maybe not relevant to the game, my reading on historical armoured warfare suggests that the current RNG in the game is very low compared to the reality of most combat.  E.g. A Tiger went into battle with about 80 shells.  This was not because it was expected to fire 80 times and destroy 80 tanks.


I think they carried a fairly well balanced load of HE and AP rounds. Leaning towards a larger number of AP. The targets were buildings, bridges,tanks, artillery, carriers of both troops and mounted weapons and of course buildings and any other hard cover. Given Tigers were usually deployed against superior numbers I think the ammo count speaks for itself. I have no idea on the kill per shot ratio of a tiger tank but I do know that at 1000-1500 m a tiger tank tended to hit what it aimed at.

 



dUG1 #20 Posted 15 September 2020 - 09:30 AM

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Personally do not care about esports (but I can imagine it left quite a butthurt among WG clueless managers), but I do care about "predictive fun".

 

And 50% (-25% / +25%) difference for each shell you shoot is simply not fun if you know what you are doing and plan your battle ahead, as it will inevitably lead to RNG is rigged negative emotions.

On that note, I still believe some RNG should be present to keep the game attractive to less skilled players making occasional omg shots and giving them fighting chance.

 

If we take 120mm AP shell for example:

Damage: 400, 10% deviation: 360-440 (now 300-500)

Penetration: 259, 10% deviation: 233-285 (now 207-323)

 

10% would, imo, be ideal and I would honestly like to have a test server just for that, instead of that failed ammo re-balance mess.

It would most likely lead to less HEAT/APCR spam and more consistent damage (no more 5hp surviving shots on 305 HP enemy) and that probably gives the answer why we will never see it. :sceptic:

 

One can only hope, though.






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