The Insider – Part IV
This is part four of a series of four. If you missed it, here’s Part I.
And now, the conclusion of The Insider
EWOT: Well, it’s never any sort of war we ever intended on winning.
X: Yes, it is. By telling the truth, you’re standing up for those who cannot. You’re combating ignorance, oppression, bullying, abuse, sexism, exploitation and more and you’re doing it all in one go. It’s an important war to fight. What’s the old saying about good men doing nothing?
EWOT: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” – Edmund Burke
X: Right. That’s it. And with their (Wargaming’s) policy of cover it up, ban everybody that speaks out, push on with the same old thing and sweep it all under the rug, you’re the only site I’ve come across telling it like it is. People hate you for that. But like the good Mr. Burke pointed out, somebody has to do it.
EWOT: Well, there’s only a few of us, but we do what we can. So how about you? What’s with you now where you are?
X: It’s a completely different environment. It’s still in gaming, but the attitude is just totally different. Part of what we do is surf fan sites looking at idea threads.
EWOT: No shit!
X: No kidding. We have 3 guys that do nothing but that all day long. It’s so refreshing to have someone come get me and say, “You’ve got to hear this! What if we…” and it turns out to be a brilliant idea and we start immediately trying to incorporate it. It’s early days yet, but it’s so exciting to really be in that kind of environment rather than one where people are called idiots for not understanding how a 70 ton tank can vanish into thin air as if it were equipped with a Romulan cloaking device.
EWOT: *laughing* That has been one of my pet peeves since day one.
X: Yes, it’s been one of everybody’s pet peeves since day one. Do you know why so many of the shrubs and trees were removed from the maps?
EWOT: It was to help sort out the cloaking device effect, wasn’t it?
X: Yes and no. It was done because the employees and their hangers on, who make up the power clans, were having problems with it as well. So certain shrubs and bushes were removed while others were left in place with their camo values modified. Now, they all knew of course where those “best bushes” were, so they could set up behind them and be nearly invisible all the time while everybody else started sticking out like a sore thumb.
EWOT: You have GOT to be shitting me!
X: Nope. That’s how far gone they are. They even modify the rise right at an opening to negate gun depression if it’s an opening they don’t use. That way, they know full well anybody appearing in that area has to pull way the hell out over that low rise before they can aim down at them.
EWOT: So that player, unknowingly, is a sitting duck for them.
X: Absolutely. The entire game is done that way. It’s all set up specifically for them, the one percent.
EWOT: It’s like fucking Wall Street!!!
X: It’s actually worse. Wallstreet has the inside information, but they’re still at the mercy of what happens to that information over the long haul. In Wargaming’s case, not only do they have the inside information, they control the outcome more times than not.
EWOT: I’m not following you.
X: Do you really think anybody can WASD, mouse click and WASD THAT much better than anybody else on earth?
EWOT: With very few exceptions, no.
X: Exactly. So how can you explain one select group of people all having that success, almost to the point of exactly the same results and stats across 100 players in a single clan? And then duplicate that success with sister clans all the way down the line?
EWOT: No fucking way!
X: *laughing almost uncontrollably* Yes way! They program it that way.
EWOT: The patent?
X: Yes and no. Now, the patent has been in use since day one, but it originally was only used as a sort of skill based match maker. That’s something everybody has missed since day one with that.
EWOT: Wait just a god damned minute: the patent is actually a skill based MM?
X: Yes. And it sort of worked until the powers that be got sick of it and modified it. Originally, it was made to level the playing field. If you started winning a bunch of games, it matched you up against harder and harder competition…and vice versa of course.
EWOT: So that’s why there weren’t nearly as many wipeouts in the beginning.
X: Exactly. It was, sorry to say this, “Working as intended”.
EWOT: So what the hell happened?!
X: The employees and their hangers on got sick of it. They didn’t want a level playing field. They wanted to absolutely dominate completely, so they changed it. They made it to where it largely benefited them and only them.
EWOT: How the hell do you do that?
X: You’re familiar with, say, server software? Users, groups, permissions, etc.?
EWOT: Yes, of course.
X: That’s what they did. They built a system exactly the same. If you’re a user assigned to a certain group you get a certain MM – usually one that screws you over. If you’re a select group, you get not only great MM, but lower levels of dispersion and RNG as well.
EWOT: Holy Shit!
X: I told you, there is no limit to what they do. And what really adds insult to injury is that they vehemently defend this system even in the face of people leaving in droves and sales figures falling off a cliff.
EWOT: I just don’t get how anybody can let that happen.
X: Ego. When you’re all ego and no brains, this is what happens. I hate to draw this comparison, but it’s a lot like Hitler: it was his generals that really were responsible for those vast early successes, but it all went straight to Hitler’s head. Soon, he actually believed that it was all down to him as to why things worked out. What’s more, he began to believe that anything he would ever do would always work, and it would work his way.
EWOT: Yea. I see how that relates.
X: But it gets worse. Like in Hitler’s case, the hangers on see that as well. So, they tell him what he wants to hear: that they can do it their way, that they don’t have to change, that they don’t have to listen to “them”…
EWOT: Them being the customers in our case…
X: Precisely. And he drinks the cool aide and things go on and on. It’s precisely the same effect.
EWOT: That’s horrible.
X: It’s a travesty. As I said before, with a rational, thinking, empathetic individual at the helm, World of Tanks would have been bigger than Pokeymon Go.
EWOT: That’s a bold statement.
X: One I’m not the least bit afraid to make.
EWOT: So is it fixable? At all? Is there any chance?
X: The optimist in me says yes. The realist in me says absolutely not. You just can’t get past that group. About the only thing I see ever changing anything would take an act of God.
EWOT: That’s not going to happen. *laughs*
X: I’m speaking figuratively, of course. It would take an epic meltdown, but of course by then it would probably be too late…so I’m going to go with no.
EWOT: What about the new patch, the arty stun, the new MM? Any chance there?
X: No. That’s going to really piss off SPG players for the most part. Their ability to kill, unless it’s been changed, has pretty much vanished. All SPG’s can really do now more than anything is annoy. Now, if you enjoy that, you’ll love the new stun mechanic. If you want to “blow people clear to Mars”, then arty will be, in effect, completely worthless to you.
EWOT: What about the MM?
X: Again, it depends on what they have or haven’t changed. Originally, it went a lot further than what they put on the site. It not only better balanced the vehicles, it balanced the talent. For instance, if you had a three man platoon with a 60% win rate on one team, they would sit in the queue until another three man platoon with a similar win rate could be put on the other team. The problem though was that especially in North America’s case, those folks would wind up sitting in the queue for a long time…so I’m pretty sure they would have gotten rid of that.
EWOT: How long are we talking about?
X: Two, maybe three minutes.
EWOT: That’s nothing!
X: I’m well aware. But once again “that group” sells them on, “the players will go mad if they have to sit that long in the queue”. Of course, that’s completely false as they represent less than 1% of players, so it’s not going to effect anybody but them.
EWOT: I’ve never heard of such complete, systematic, narcissistic failure.
X: Sure you have: The Third Reich operated the same exact way. They had their moment in the sun, but it didn’t last very long before the rest of the world came down on them like a ton of bricks. This will end no differently for Wargaming.
EWOT: But don’t they have other things in the works?
X: Effectively? No. They ruined the one really good thing they had going with Masters of Orion. They were really in the drivers seat with that one. It was a turn key win.
EWOT: So what happened?
X: They ruined it. What did you expect?
EWOT: What happened?
X: The same, exact thing: those same people said, “who cares what that loyal following of players have loved for years? We know more than they do! We are better gamers than they are! We’ll do things our way for us and they’ll love us for it!”
X: They hated it. It was a complete flop. It was the deal of a century, an absolute sure thing, and Wargaming flat out ruined it. They took a game they bought out of a bankruptcy filing for pennies on the dollar, immediately set about getting rid of everything that made it a great game that loyal players had followed for years, put some bling on it, and tried to flip it for a huge profit.
EWOT: So did they make anything on it?
X: No. They’re still several million in the hole on it. I’m still shaking my head over that one.
EWOT: So what do they have left?
X: Not much. They’re hurling vehicles hand over fist at Tanks and Ships, that’s keeping them afloat for now, but it’s certainly not a long term solution to their plethora of problems.
EWOT: What is?
X: Bankruptcy. I don’t think any of them have the ability to change. I honestly have absolutely no faith in that at all. I think, like Hitler, Victor will wake up one morning, be told the inevitable is happening, and then be looking around for a phantom army that doesn’t exist, hoping against all hope that it will show up and save the day.
EWOT: And it wont.
X: No…no it wont. And it’s a crying shame.