Tobold's Blog
Saturday, September 21, 2019

I was watching a YouTube video about a new tank in World of Tanks. At the start there was a discussion that they didn't want to call that video a "review", because they thought that you can't properly judge a tank in World of Tanks by playing it 10 times (roughly 1 hour). I agree. And the reason why I agree is actually kind of my problem with World of Tanks.

Is World of Tanks a fun game to play? My answer to that would be yes, no, yes, yes, no, yes, no, no, no, yes, yes, ...

Fact is that World of Tanks is probably the most inconsistent game I know. I am not just talking about winning and losing, because you can have fun in a game you lose, or not have fun in a game you win. It is everything. Whether you win, whether you have fun, whether your tank does okay, whether your team is supportive, all of this varies wildly all over the map. You can drive your favorite tank and get ten games in a row where you aren't happy with how they turn out, and that can be extremely frustrating. Or you can play a tank you just want to get through the grind because it isn't very good and suddenly all your shots hit and you end up with an ace result.

This makes it very difficult to start up the game and decide "oh, let's just play something for fun", because you just can't predict whether a game will be fun. If you play for progress you'll always make some progress, but with all the xp boosters in the game for winning the span between a good game and a bad game might be over 10 times the xp. So any evening you play could be either great fun, horribly frustrating, or something in between, with very little you can do about it.

Note that this is also why watching World of Tanks on Twitch, where you see all games somebody plays, is giving you a far better idea of the game than watching it on YouTube, where you often see only the great games. Even great players can have frustrating games or streaks of games. That might make you feel better about your own experience, but to me it mostly says that the inconsistency is inherent in the game, and not a function of the player.

Now there are other games which have parts that I like and parts I dislike. You can play a MMORPG and end up with an frustrating evening or a fun one. But that is mostly a function of what activity you chose to do in the game, maybe fishing is more fun to you than PvP arena mode, or the other way around. In World of Tanks the inconsistency touches all modes, and you can't simply move to your "safe space" in the game where you know you'll have fun.

So will I keep playing? Yes, no, yes, yes, no, yes, no, no, no, yes, yes, ...


> So will I keep playing?
> Yes, no, yes, yes, no,
> yes, no, no, no,
> yes, yes, ...

I'm a veeeery long time reader of your blog and by "long" I mean "since day one" more or less. By reading you on a daily basis I came to the conclusion that you're simply growing old(er) and you now have a hard time having fun with (vide)ogames in general.

This is a trend that I've been noticing since months, let's say an year or more at least. Your posts speak for you, that's what I mean: they lack that "emotion" or "good feeling" that you showed us years ago when writing about videogames in general.

This is not a rant nor a critique of course, it's just something I've been noticing and I wanted to share it with you :-)

I would say that over the years all gamers become more discerning, having more points of comparison to judge new games. But for example I am having a great amount of fun with Fire Emblem: Three Houses, 90 hours in, and on the second playthrough, with few complaints. So I certainly can't say I'm not having fun in videogames in general any more. The bar is just getting higher every year.
That's the problem with team based pvp, even sometimes pve, games. Developers often try to balance the games to a point where no one player can carry an entire team. This typically will achieve a close to 50% winrate for everyone, but creates the problem where the amount of fun someone has depends a lot on others.

And when you play solo those others can really bring you down.

Even with ranks and skill based matchmaking there is always a chance your fun will be ruined by a bad player or someone trollng.
On a simpler note this is exactly the same phenomenon with Fortnite. My son and I play it (not as much in the last season, I'm just kind of tired of it), but the game at time manages to infuriate me to hate gaming in all its forms and then a few sessions later I will have a serious victory and think about what a great experience it was. The bottom line with Fortnite though is it's limits on grouping players. You either get in to a game filled with "normal" skill players and have a shocking moment of success or you get stuck in a game with one or more (usually more) extremely high-skill gamers who dominate the game with ease....there seem to be very few middle-ground cases.
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