Tobold's Blog
Thursday, June 06, 2019
World of Tanks ammo revision

Wargaming announced that on the test servers you can try out the proposed changes to premium ammo. In a great example of obfuscation the change to premium ammo is that premium ammo doesn't change at all; instead everything else changes. So instead of lowering the damage of premium ammo, tanks get higher hit points, and regular ammo gets higher damage. The overall effect is the same, but it looks less like the nerf it really is.

I foresee some unintended consequences of this. One is the WN8 rating, because in the formula damage is the biggest factor. Basically the formula tries to measure your "skill" by dividing the damage you do to the damage that the tank usually does. Deal more damage than the average and you are a good player, deal less damage and you are a bad player. The idea never really worked, because it ignores lots of other contributions that a player can have to a win for his team, most noticeably spotting and assisting. But if you increase the hit points and basic damage of all tanks, you also increase the average damage with which to compare your performance. So all the battles you fought *before* the changes will look as if you had done rather badly, and everybody's WN8 will drop. The more battles you have fought in the past, the harder it will be to get back to your previous WN8 rating. A "reroll" account, where an experienced player starts over with a fresh account or has his account reset, will have much higher WN8 rating than veterans of equal skill who keep their accounts.

Now not everybody cares about WN8, and because it isn't an official Wargaming rating, the developers might just ignore this problem. Another unintended consequence however will be harder to ignore: Tank balancing. So tanks in World of Tanks simply have guns with relatively low penetration. So the use of premium ammo isn't the same for different tanks: I have tanks which never use premium ammo, because the regular ammo is already good enough and cheaper; but I also have tanks which *only* use premium ammo, because the penetration with the basic ammo is just too bad, and the gun not accurate enough to reliably hit weak spots. Tanks that had to rely on premium ammo previously will effectively be nerfed. And that includes a bunch of premium tanks, while previously the policy was to never nerf tanks that cost real money. Somebody who spent 100 Euros on a Pz. II J will not be very happy if his expensive tank is now effectively nerfed by 25% compared to the other tanks.

I won't play on the test servers, as I don't really have the time for that. But I will keep watching the premium ammo development, because it could change World of Tanks very much. Maybe mostly to the better, but there will be some collateral damage. 


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