Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
This looks more like the real game to me

In World of Tanks I am currently concentrating on the current Top of the Tree event, which lets you work through a particular tank line faster. This month it is the French heavy tank line leading to the AMX 50B. So I was looking for videos on how the tanks of this line play, and for once ended up on Twitch instead of on YouTube. I found Quickybaby's AMX 50B Tech Tree Showcase, in which he plays through all of the tanks of the line in a Twitch live stream (you need to fast forward to the 2:00:00 mark of the video to see it).

Now YouTube videos, including those of Quickybaby, are often carefully selected replays showing the players having great results. I find them a bit depressing, because they make it look so easy to have constantly big wins, and my reality in World of Tanks doesn't correspond to that at all. So the Twitch live stream made me feel much better. Sure, Quickybaby is a far, far better player than I am. But even he gets into games (at 2:38:00 in the video) where his French ARL 44 heavy tank is bottom tier, the rest of his team is just plain incompetent, and he gets annihilated by artillery without being able to do much. And his win rate on that particular day wasn't exactly great. Welcome to my world, Quickybaby!

I still believe that World of Tanks is deliberately unbalanced and designed to give those very inconsistent battle results. On the positive side it allows average players like me to occasionally have these great battles where we seem to carry the game and end up with a purple WN8 rating and tons of medals; on the negative side only few players in a 15:15 game can possibly have this experience, and so you need to sit through a series of bad games in order to have these occasional great battles.

Thus the challenge becomes to have fun in battles that aren't going your way. The good news is that I am now at tier 8 in the French heavy tank line, which is where the heavy tanks with auto-loaders start. That means I can shoot 6 shots in quick succession, and then have to reload for a very long time. In losing battles, this is a great feature. A World of Tanks battle frequently starts slowly, with people trying to hide and not expose themselves. At the tipping point the winning side then frequently rushes in and overwhelms the losing side. In a typical tank you might get one shot in at that point, and die before you reload. In an auto-loader tank you might possibly be able to empty your whole clip into the onrushing horde before going down. That makes you feel a bit less useless, and greatly improves the result in terms of WN8, credits, and experience for the losing battle.


Not to come off as too snarky, but I wonder how many psychologists they have on the team to fine-tune the intermittent reinforcement schedule. It sounds like they do a great job of it.
I still believe that World of Tanks is deliberately unbalanced and designed to give those very inconsistent battle results.

You don't need to believe it, if my memory serves right, this was very clearly stated by developers during interviews in the beta period. The matchmaker ensures that around 1/5 of your games put you in a top-tier tank (= you have weaker opponents), to give you the possibility of "feeling powerful" (of course, if you just bought the tank and it's stock, it more or less guarantees a loss for the team....). This means that the other 4/5 of games, it's someone else who has been put in that position and you are potentially cannon fodder. Upgrades and skill will play a role, but the fact that the matchmaking is not random was known from the start.
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