Wargaming and the reason they fail in North America
In the Interest of Full Disclosure:
For those of you who know me, you know I’ve not played World of Tanks actively now for a little over a year. For those of you who don’t, I don’t play World of Tanks on this account. I was put on a hit list like so many others and constantly harassed by several power clans to the point I had no option but to quit. Entirely.
I created this account originally so I could still take part in discussions on the forum without being constantly harassed, but it wasn’t long before I decided to give World of Warships a try. I figured I would use this account since it had no history, so it would be a fresh start with no bias either for or against me when it came to name recognition.
The Post in Earnest:
All of that said, that brings us to where I am now: A guy that uninstalled both games a couple of months ago and went on to other things.
I miss World of Tanks. Truly, I do. It was the most fun I had online since the original Age of Empires and Grand Prix Legends back in 1997.
Yeah. I’ve been around a while. So sue me.
At any given rate, walking away from World of Tanks was tough, but given the absolute crap the game had become, what choice does one really have? I mean, for the casual gamer, which represents about 80% of all gamers on earth, World of Tanks is simply unplayable. When you’re expected to put in over a year of time, 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, and rack up 10,000 games before you can even remotely come close to being able to compete, then you just wrote off 80% of the player base immediately.
New players sign up, log on, get in a T1 tank and are immediately pummeled by rerolls that have everything there is to have and seal clubbers that take pleasure in nothing but pummeling new players with 5 skill crews, gold consumables and advanced equipment new players can’t possibly hope to match.
And so that new player tries hard to stick with it for a few days, maybe a week, but hell…it’s just no fun not being able to compete at all. It’s no fun not being able to even remotely compete. So they too log off, uninstall the game and move on to something else.
From the beginning, World of Warships didn’t feel that way at all. They installed some protections shortly after I started playing to help protect new players, giving them a chance to figure out things and learn the different classes of ships before getting into two tier spreads (which is still ridiculous by nearly any standard) and fighting advanced equipment they could not yet afford.
What’s more, World of Warships provides a Player vs. Environment option, so you really don’t have to play against anybody at all if you don’t want to.
I stuck to PvE for a while before moving into PvP. Imagine my surprise when I was able not only to compete, but to win. Regularly. For months, nearly a year in fact, my longest losing streak was 3. That is not a typo. 3. Three. Drei. Tres. Trois.
It was glorious!
But then, around the start of this year, that all went down the tubes. For some odd reason, everything went south. They started hurling ships into the game at break neck speed. The balance went off along with that. Premiums were introduced several at a time and at break neck speed.
Then, the streaks started.
It was if the entire development crew at World of Warships was fired, the same complete failure of a team from World of Tanks was brought in, and they were ordered to run the game into the ground as rapidly as possible.
I lost 15 straight.
Then I lost 12 straight.
Then I lost 17 straight.
In less than two months.
In over a year, my record losing streak was 3. Suddenly, I rip off double digit losing streaks routinely. Not only that, those close, down to the wire games vanished and became complete wipe out, lopsided games that were over in less than 10 minutes.
Where had I experienced that before? You got it. World of Tanks. It wasn’t similar. It was the EXACT same thing.
So, I quit. Until last month. I decided to try an experiment to see how a truly casual gamer is treated by the Wargaming machine. I hadn’t played in a couple months, so MABYE that losing stuff was over with. I made a deal to play one game only, win or lose, and log off. Then I would wait a few days and do it again just to see what kind of results I would get. Well, the results are in and they’re not good at all. Granted, it’s a very small number of games, but that’s not the point. We’ll get to that later. Here are the games:
Game 1 – July 16th – Gut Wrenching Defeat – My Ranking: Best on team
This game wasn’t actually bad. It was very hard fought on both sides. Both sides had their worthless bot player, obviously. But in the end it came down to running out of time. Had I had more time, and been a bit quicker, I could have carried this battle. So, in the grand scheme of things, I was pleased. It took everything I had to NOT hit the battle button again to avenge the loss…which is why we play games to begin with, is it not?
So I waited 5 days and tried again with a different ship.
Game 2 – July 21st – Wipeout, Record Time Defeat – My Ranking: 2nd on Team
This was a complete, total, epic blowout. It wasn’t at any point a game. It was a slaughter. Most of our team didn’t even move at all from spawn. Some never fired a shot at all. The disparity in scores suggest that it was, in fact, a team of bots with 3 live players vs. a team of all players. It was the same as all those wipe out matches in World of Tanks, and one of the reasons I quit playing both games to begin with.
Needless to say, I had absolutely NO PROBLEM logging off and walking away.
I also had no problem waiting 3 days to try it again.
Game 3 – July 24th – Wipeout, Record Time Defeat – My Ranking: 5th on Team
This game was just like the previous game. Me, the Ranger and the Belfast got caught going the wrong way. By the time we got back to start fighting, the game was over. Took less than 8 minutes to lose this one. For those who don’t play World of Warships, that’s about the same as a 3 minute game in World of Tanks.
Needless to say, I had no problem logging off and walking away.
Four days later, I would try again.
Game 4 – July 28th – Gut Wrenching Defeat – My Ranking: 2nd on Team
This game was very similar to the first: A very hotly contested battle with both teams having some rather potato players on them. But that is to be expected at low tiers: lots of folks are just learning, and just entering the fray after testing themselves in PvE, so they’re not used to PvP strategy. That’s perfectly fine. Once again, it took a lot to log off and walk away without avenging the loss.
But then the thought occurred to me: Would it make any difference at all? I thought not. So it wasn’t very difficult to wait a week to try it again…which brings us to yesterday.
Game 5 – August 4th – Wipeout, Record Time Defeat – My Ranking: 2nd on Team
Frustrating game all the way around. It was if me and the Fuso were the only humans on the team with the rest bots. It was over the instant it started just like the other two games with the enemy team taking all objectives and timing us out in less than 8 minutes.
During the first year of playing this game, I never had that happen. Ever. I had also never lost more than 3 in a row, and here I’ve done that again playing only once every few days while performing above and beyond the call of duty most of the time.
Doesn’t matter. You have no chance. At all. Zero.
Pissed off, I thought, “To hell with it! Let’s do it again and see what happens!”
I walked off for a few hours, then came back and gave it everything I had. The result was easily predictable.
Game 6 – August 4th, Game 2 – Wipeout, Record Time Loss – My Ranking: 2nd on Team.
I went full blown yolo on this game in absolute desperation. Somehow, I survived the first charge, sank a Destroyer that tried to get clever, then teamed up with the Atlanta. The two of us weaved back and forth with him hiding slightly behind me and to my right as I had the much tougher ship and we let them have it.
Unfortunately, we were the only ones letting them have it. It was a pretty revolting display just like the others.
So this brings us to this: Why does this happen? Is it just poor match making, or does it go beyond that? To hear the forum trolls tell it, it’s all your fault if you lose. If it is, then how is this even possible? If you are constantly out performing pretty much everybody, then how is it that you always lose?
Well, the short answer to that is that you’re the only one of the team, or nearly the only one, that’s even trying. If that’s the case, then how can one explain that happening not once, not twice, but 6 times in a row over the course of two weeks at various intervals in different ships?
The odds of that are simply astronomical. In fact, they’re so astronomical as to be completely improbable.
That being the case, why would any developer create a system like this? There are several ideas I have:
- To control the outcome and insure the hierarchy of people they personally select to remain on top. (This is highly, highly unlikely…but given some of the recent developments, not out of the realm of possibility.)
- To pressure people into spending money to succeed. (This is more probable, but there are no gold rounds in Warships. There are flags, but those can be earned with relative ease in game without spending money. Not even premium ships help you according to this experiment, so that isn’t a motive either…so what could you possibly spend money on to help you?)
- Wargaming are using bots to fill up vacant spots due to a lack of players and that is causing all the lopsided loses. (This is where I’m leaning towards heavily. It’s the most sensible hypothesis of them all other than the next one.)
- Wargaming simply have no idea how to fix the MM because they fired the people that created it. (Here is the one that is, in all likelihood, the answer. It shouldn’t take this long to figure out why your game is creating these constant, horrible, wipeout match-ups.)
What’s even more confusing is that this didn’t happen when I first started playing Warships, but suddenly did around the first few months of this year. Why? What changed?
Well, this happened: https://www.polygon.com/2017/3/7/14834044/wargaming-ceo-interview-world-of-tanks
Odd. Right about the time he makes that statement, everything MM wise in Warships goes straight to hell in a hat box.
Folks, if you can figure all this out, you’re a wiser man/woman than I am. None of it makes any sense at all. The only thing I do know is that I really miss World of Warships. I want badly to log on a play it right now.
But what’s the point? It’s just going to be loss after loss after loss no matter what I do. It doesn’t matter if you play well, you lose. It doesn’t matter what ship you have, you lose.
When your game makes people ask these questions, you have a major problem. This, folks, is why Wargaming never amounted to anything in North America. We’re the second largest gaming market on the entire planet, and you’ll not here one single mention anywhere of this game, or any Wargaming title for that reason.
That is all down to one problem: Wargaming.
It’s not you. It’s not me. It’s not us. It’s just them. It always has been. Odds are, baring a miracle, it always will be.