Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Top of the Tree
I've been playing World of Tanks a lot since I came back from holidays. As a result I reached the tier X tank of the August Top of the Tree event, the STB-1, already yesterday, just two weeks after having started working on that tank line. Which is just as well, because I didn't really like any of the tanks from tier IV to IX. The tier III tank is still one of my favorites, and the STB-1 is pretty good. But I am not sure whether I will end up playing it a lot. Because I am not really sure why I should play a tier X tank in World of Tanks. I'm at the top of the tree and wonder where to go from there.
Of course the underlying question here is what your personal win condition is. Curiously the tier X tanks don't tick a lot of boxes of possible win conditions. Playing a tier X tank doesn't advance you towards other tanks, unless you pay a lot of gold to convert the xp you gain to free xp (which I admit doing). They are also lousy credit earners, you often lose money playing them, and would be better off playing a tier VIII premium tank instead. The only personal goal that tier X tanks are really good at is if your goal is to challenge yourself. The average WN8 in a tier X game is noticeably higher than the average WN8 in lower tier games. However for me that is just a reason to not play tier X games, because I am not really skilled enough for the top league. If your personal goal is to improve your WN8, you better keep out of these tier X games.
World of Tanks does a really bad job at matching people with other players of the same skill. It simply doesn't regard past performance, or how well equipped a tank is, at all in the matchmaking. As a result I am often in completely unbalanced games, where one side just roflstomps the other in under 5 minutes while losing under 5 tanks themselves. I don't find those games much fun, even if I happen to be on the winning team. I would imagine that the best players also don't find it much fun to play with mediocre players like me, or worse. So it seems that tier X developed as a sort of refuge for the better players to be able to play among themselves. But from a game design point of view that isn't optimal, because it makes a goal that is perfectly attainable for the average player, reaching the top tier, rather unattractive in the end. Why would I want to strive towards tier X tanks, if I then don't play them?
On the positive side World of Tanks has a lot of tank trees. So I can do those top of the tree events, and then move on to another tank line while waiting for the next event. The middle of the tree is more fun than the top.
Labels: World of Tanks