Tobold's Blog
Sunday, September 08, 2019
Pseudo skill-based

If you are an average player like me in World of Tanks, you frequently run into a situation where you get outspotted and killed by an invisible enemy tank which you never even see. As the game tells you which player killed you, you can then frequently see that they have a very high win rate and WN8. Thus they are "skilled players" and outplayed you? Well, not so fast. To some extent they certainly play well, know all the good positions on all the maps, and don't make as many stupid mistakes as the lesser players do. But chances are that their tanks also simply have better stats.

There is equipment in the game which is bought with bonds, and unless you have been playing for years, you won't have any or much of it. Also crew experience accumulates rather slowly, so again having played for years and having a crew with several skills helps. Finally the player who already has all the tanks can play the best tanks in the game, while the newer player will often play a not-so-good tank, sometimes not fully researched, in order to climb up a tech tree.

Spotting in World of Tanks has relatively little to do with skill. A skilled player can certainly outplay me in a short-range brawl. But over a distance who sees whom depends solely on stats, view range and camouflage, modified by things like bushes. Some positions on some maps are simply impossible to assail if they are being held by a tank destroyer with high view range and camouflage stats. Not much skill required on the part of the tank destroyer player, he just sits in a bush and waits.

In terms of game design this isn't ideal. Basically it gives an advantage to the players who, being veterans to the game, already are more skilled. Newer players can't catch up; even if they are fast learners they can't get all the veteran reward advantages that fast. Given how the matchmaker doesn't even try to match higher skilled players against each other, and less experienced players against each other, the result is a game that isn't very friendly towards new players. And that is always a bad feature in an online multiplayer game.


Did they would patch broken premium tanks, it would be already a step up.
For a while there in like 2010 I was a solidly above average player. Came back for a bit, and while sure I was certainly rusty I was terrible and I stayed terrible. It felt like I was playing the same way--- minimal patience, always wanting to be up front scrapping, but it was way less successful.

To me the problem with WoT isn't that it's inherently unbalanced, it's that the proper playing strategy is tedious. I'd honestly prefer Rocket League at this point, which is actually, you know, fun.
@Tobold : I fully agree on your analysis on WoT : [personal anecdote removed in proof reading ;-)]

It is frustrating how a good game such as WoT is rendered less fun by the matchmaking. The mix of FPS gameplay with slow paced is something I love. I could have lived with high Tier being too difficult and too grindy by just ignoring them. But lower tier is more and more invaded by Veteran, and I clearly tested that spending money to buff my tank made a clear difference.

Birth of my daughter prevent me to be any longer part of the issue for beginners ;-)

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