First of, I need to make a small amendment to my last blog. Almost everything still stands from that, but WG did get back on tankfest and has invited a few of us CC’s after all. So there will be some form of representation of Blitz there after all. How much and in what form I don’t know, but I’m grateful for the invite – and even more for what it symbolises. It gives me a glimmer of hope, in any case.
Last blog I already mentioned the upcoming update and what they’re going to do to the equipment we have in Blitz. Now, a few changes have been made to it, but overall, the whole equipment section, and the response of the community to it deserves an entry on its own.
One of the things WG changed “because we listen to you, the players” is the fact that you won’t get the currency you need to equip your tanks (called Spare Parts, SP for the future) just from missions, but that every battle, there’s a 50% chance you’ll get some too. Mind you, the chance is 50% – that does not mean you get SP every other battle, it means that every battle you have 50% chance of getting some, like a coin is flipped after every battle to see if you’ll get some or not.
The other change that they made is that the battles you’ve had will be taken into account too. So, for every battle you’ve played in tier I, you’ll get 28 SP, and for every battle you’ve had in tier X you’ll get 71 SP. All the SP you’ll go into one giant pool of it, and you can use it on whatever tank you want.
The new system will have 19 different kinds of equipment, made available to you in slots of two, where you get to pick one of the two per option. It comes in three levels, and each level has three slots. Now, you’ll notice (I hope) that 19 can’t be divided into two. So why 19? There’s tanks that you can’t equip vents to – such as the tanks with an open turret (think Grille, for instance). Those tanks will have a gun rammer as option. And there’s tanks that can’t have a rammer (such as autoloaders), which will have vents as an option instead. All of that so far, doesn’t sound too bad. Compensation, gettig SP in battles instead of just through missions, but also in missions, and 19 pieces of equipment of which you can have 9 on one tank!
But then you learn about the rest of it…
The first level of equipment can be unlocked with credits – this will cost you 2k credits in tier I, upto 300k credits in tier X, and since you have three slots, you’ll need to spend 900k in total to open the first level of equipment in tier X. Level II is where the SP comes in. you need 10,900 SP for tier I, and 29,300 for tier X. Level III requires 12,100 SP for tier I, and 32,600 for tier X. Still with me here? Still doesn’t sound too horrible.
And then you realise that every time you open a slot, a timer is activated and you have to wait. For the first level, this is 5 minutes in tier I, upto 1 full day in tier X. So, to equip your tier X tank for level I, you’ll need three days, because you can only have one timer activated per time. But that’s not all. Level II will take 15 minutes for tier I, up to 3 days for tier X. Level III will take 20 minutes for tier I, up to 4 days for tier X.
So think for a moment. To unlock all equipment on a tier X tank, you’ll need 3x 1 day, 3x 3 days and 3x 4 days. That’s 3+9+12 = 24 days (!) before you can have a tier X tank fully equipped. I personally never drive a tank before it’s fully equipped – because otherwise my tank will be less competitive than the ones I’d be meeting in battle. That’s not going to change with this new system, so tier X will be unavailable for me for 24 days – at the very least, after the update.
But that’s not all. Think about the players that play only tournaments and rarely venture out in randoms anymore because the game, quite frankly, blows at the moment. I don’t think any self-respecting tournament player would enter a tournament with a tank that’s not properly equipped, because in tournaments the competitiveness of your tank counts ten times more than in randoms.
WG thought of this of course. You can skip the timer – with gold. The shorter the time left on the timer, the less gold you need. To skip the timer in level I on tier X, you need 250 gold. If I follow that (this isn’t confirmed, but my own guess), it’d be 750 gold for level II and 1k gold for level III – meaning that if you want to skip all to get it instantly equipped, it will probably cost you around 3×250+3×750+3×1,000=6k gold to fully equip 1 tier X tank without timers. So, in effect, this is just another way for WG to get us to spend money on the game, if you want to be in any way competitive. Sure, the game is still free to play, but only if you’re willing to draw your wallet and pay for things.
For the rest, I’m sticking with tier X for this one example. For the equipment you currently have on your tanks, you’ll get SP in exchange (hence why I keep telling everyone to keep all their tanks equipped), and level I of equipment will already be unlocked for you. Timer-wise, that means that for the tier X tanks you have now, you’ll “only” need 21 days to get your tier X tank fully equipped and it means you won’t need to spend credits to unlock the first level of equipment for all the tanks that you have equipment on when the update comes.
If you have rammer, vents and vertical stabiliser equipped on your tier X tank, you’ll get 22,500 SP. If you have less expensive equipment, you’ll get less SP, obviously. To unlock a level II slot, however, you’ll need 29,300 SP. So, the full equipment you have on your tier X tank now, won’t even be enough to get 1 level II slot unlocked, let alone 3 of them, and let alone any slot on level III. So unless you’re willing to spend a ton of money, you won’t be competitive for weeks.
In total you’ll need 900k credits, 185,700 SP and 24 days to fully unlock the equipment of one tier X tanks. And, as said, if you’ve got your tank equipped right now, you don’t need the 900k credits and you’ll have 3 days less to wait, and you’ll have 22,500 SP already, so you’ll only need 163,200 SP more. Don’t we all feel mighty lucky now that WG has been so generous and thought of this amazing way to improve the game? And I mean that in my best possible sarcasm.
This, of course, has a lot of people talking about it. We have a discord for the Blitz clan leaders, which was used to address the new profitability last year. Now, it’s been renamed Blitz Community Coalition (BCC), and it’s being used to address this. The wonderful thing about this initiative is that it’s not server-based. It’s for all servers, so for the whole world. It’s been pretty quiet for the last couple of months, but since a few weeks, it’s completely rekindled.
They had a meeting this week with one of the people from WG, mostly to address the problems we’re facing now, and there’s several people from WG on there now. Even though they’re -very- quiet I have a feeling that’ll keep a keen on eye on all that’s being discussed there.
One of the NA guys on there made an excelsheet that people can use to see how much SP they’ll get after the update. You can find that here:
In my case, right now that’s 1,224,388 SP from games played and 1,322,813 SP from my current equipment. So, 2,547,201 in total. That’s enough to equip 13,7 of my 12 tier X tanks (meaning, I’d have around 300k SP left for my other 140 odd tanks). Of course, I’ll prioritise the tanks that I’ll need for cw and tournaments, and probably several prem tanks. The fact that having 21k games, decent stats, and so many tanks fully equipped is not enough to equip even half my tanks, irks me. Then there’s the fact they’re only looking a games you played, which means that someone like wojteklaskowsi82 (an EU legend, look him up here; http://www.blitzstars.com/player/eu/wojteklaskowski82 )will get more SP than I will as compensation.
My fellow CC’s Sk8xtrm and Martindogger made videos explaining the new system. I’ve never seen any of their videos gain so many dislikes in one go. And that’s not for the videos, but for the game and the changes. They were the first videos of the update I’ve seen (not posted by WG itself that is), and I like that they’ve not waited to see what the general public thought before posting a video about it themselves, with their own personal opinion. Throughout his whole video, Sk8 just sounds incredulous about it all, unwilling to believe this is actually really happening, and listening to him, I get the same feeling.
Since news about this update started leaking, multiple initiatives have started to come out.
One is this petition which you can find at https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-blitz-38-equipment-changes which I think is a grand initiative, because with very little effort, people can show their dislike for this whole thing.
Then there’s this initiative:
Now, the English of that post aside, I really do think it’s a good initiative, as long as enough people join in. I for one have no qualms about not spending money on the game anymore. And I hope that a lot of people will heed it and join in enough to make a proper community statement of it. We’re about done being treated as we are. I’m also considering holding not just a Paystop, but a pLaystop, as things are just getting ridiculous now. But that’d be a lot harder to enforce.
Next month, ICE (my Inter-Clan Event) will have existed for 2 years already, and still going strong. I absolutely adore organising and hosting it still. But instead of making it into a party as I want to, I’m turning it into a protest of my own. This May, ICE will be held entirely in tier I. I’m going to invite the good people of the BCC to it too (as starting a new account on a new server will automatically get you a tier I tank, that should be fine). Who knows, we might have some fun while we protest against what WG is trying to pull now.
All in all, I’m very curious what’ll happen now. It will be interesting to see if people can actually complete the boycott, and can get themselves to not spend money, for one, but I have a feeling this new system will make way more people quit than any of the previous updates. I can’t say I’m positive about the game, but I am about the community. I love seeing the players pull together and basically rally together, and I really hope that we can get some changes done that will give us back a game we actually enjoy again.
But as it is, I think one of my clanmates said it best: