No, I’m not quite done writing about this subject yet, so I’m hoping you’ll tolerate me writing about it a bit more. Since I last blogged, we’ve had two updates. One with the planned equipment overhaul, and one which was pretty much rushed through to make things appear a little less bad. And things are more annoying than I thought they’d be and yet, in some ways, not as annoying as I expected.
The conversion of old equipment to spare parts, along with my battles being taken into consideration as well, gave me a total of 2,448,814 spare parts. So, with that in mind, I started upgrading some tanks. We have a truly amazing sale of 90% if you want to skip the timers. But doing that would still mean spending gold/money on the game, so that’s a no-no. The 21 days of not being able to play my tier X tanks has officially begun.
Either way, since I didn’t really know how to go about spending my spare parts on my tanks, I made a selection of tanks. I picked 19 of my 180 tanks, just to see if I’d manage to equip them all with the spare parts that I’d gotten. Amongst my selection is 1 tier I tank, 1 tier III, 1 tier VI, 4 tier VIII, 1 tier IX and 11 tier X. With those 19 tanks, I’d already be short around 600k spare parts. Mind you, I’m only talking about equipping 10.5% of my tanks. And that shortage is not going to change soon when you get roughly 4k to 6k of SP per mission reset, and the 50% to get a max of 271 SP in a battle. Let’s say that I get 5k per mission reset, which’d equal 10k per day, and get 271 SP per every second battle and drive roughly 20 battles per day (all very optimistic for me, as that’s roughly two hours of play time per day), that means I’d get 12,710SP per day. That’d equal 43 days of playing tier X missions and at least 20 battles per day of which 10 would give me the max of 271 SP in a battle.
That doesn’t sound too bad. But wait – I couldn’t/wouldn’t play my tier X tanks because they’re not competitive without equipment, so had to wait 21 days before I would even be able to start doing that. I’m really not willing to spend money on this game at the moment, tempting though it may have been with the 90% discount on skipping the timers, especially in tier X.
The sale was great, to be fair, and it’s a somewhat nice gesture. But it doesn’t solve the problem in any way – the discount only lasted until the next update, and that means that it won’t be there for new tanks that you grind. And when you can finally research that tank, and have played prems exclusively for some days to muster the credits needed and you can finally buy that tank, then you can wait for another 24 days (since the first level won’t be equipped already like with those you had equipped before we got the new system) before you can actually play it, unless you want to spend money on the game.
The thing is, I’m not even against the new equipment system itself. I don’t see why it had to change that much, since the old system worked fine, but okay, it’s something new. I don’t think it will give much variation, as with most options, you will still use the same set for most tanks with only one or two slots where you’d pick another option for certain tanks, so that reason is mute. I even don’t mind the new currency being introduced, or even a bit of a timer. But it costs way too much – both in SP and in time, and that remains the problem.
Since update 3.8, there’s been a meeting on ts with people from all servers, where several people shared their opinions and we basically stated our problems. It was there that I also heard from someone that apparently WG is willing to lose 40% of their player base over the changes they’re implementing. I don’t know if that’s real or not, but when I asked the staff, I was asked if that was a real question or not. When I said it was, all that followed is radio silence.
Initiatives like the meeting, the BCC, the petition, the boycot and whatnot are all good, but if WG isn’t willing to listen, they’ll get us nowhere. There’s only so much we can do, and mostly all we can do is to keep trying to enter the dialogue with WG to get some changes, but it depends on WG’s willingness to hear us, and their ability to listen. For me, the best thing I’ve heard yet is the idea to have prem tanks earn more spare parts like they do credits. It was said as a joke, but I think it’s brilliant, because it solves a lot in one go. People can earn spare parts more quickly, and because they’d have a reason to buy prem tanks again, WG wins too.
Myself, I’ve not spend a dime on my own account for quite a few months now and unless things change, I don’t see that changing either. And it’s not even all that much about the boycot for me, even if at the moment, I do definitely still feel screwed over by WG and don’t feel they deserve my money in any way. But at the moment, I don’t see anything entering the game that’s worth my money. I’ve prem tanks in all tiers but tier IX, as there’s no prem tanks there, and I’ve different types of them too in pretty much all tiers as well. The tanks that are being rolled out in the store are tanks I already have, or tanks that offer pretty much nothing new that’s in any way even remotely exciting. And I refuse to skip the timers with gold. It’s just not worth it.
Just three weeks after we got the equipment overhaul, WG rolled out update 3.9. Since this supposedly had some ‘fun stuff’ in it, I think they rolled it out early to pacify the playerbase. We got our global chat back in the game, and the ability to speak after we died.
Along with that, we got a rating system. You can give 3 positive votes to people in a day, and two negative ones. One positive thing that has brought is that people generally seem to be more polite in the game, and people greet each other more. So that, I dig. But just like with most new things we get in the game at the moment, the rating system is fairly useless. It’s easy to do countdowns and basically farm ‘likes’ for specific people. And when you want to downvote an enemy for the language they use, the only option you get is voting that the guy was inactive in battle. While you can downvote your own team for being rude.
The ratings people with better standing give weigh more than those with less or worse ratings. And the ratings that you get, good or bad, will disappear again over the period of three days or so. Not to mention that a player with 14 up-votes and 60 odd down-votes, can, according to WG, still be an ‘impeccable player’. Insert the Jackie Chan ‘just wtf’ meme here.
But the biggest change we got was the nerf of premium ammo. As of update 3.9, premium ammo does less damage than normal ammo. And while it does less damage, it’ll also cost less. Now, that’s not even that bad, because it means people will take more care, generally, what they’re shooting at the enemy. So I’m not actually against it. However, the way WG advertises it is plain wrong, and it doesn’t work out for all tanks. Some tanks rely on their premium to pen things. WG says that because it’s cheaper, you’ll actually save credits. But, what they forget when they say that is that you do less damage. So in order to do the same amount of damage with prammo as before, you need to fire more of it. Ergo, in the end, you spend -more- credits on it, instead of less.
And aside from all of that, we got one of my favourite -and I mean that in my best possible sarcasm- kind of events in the game again. A grind event! This time, the prizes are a tier VI, a tier V and a tier IV prem tank, all anime-based tanks. But, here WG is making some improvement – everyone gets to start the event in their own time, and once their timer starts, it will last 12 days. The only thing is that the timer is activated when you login into the game, regardless of whether or not you can actually play for 12 days. But it’s a start.
From what I’ve heard, the grind for this event is ridiculously easy though, so that means it’ll generally not be half as frustrating as the previous grind events, and it’s not like only the ones that have all the time in the world and can do all their missions every single day will be able to get the tanks. You need to collect three different kinds of ‘currencies’ for the tanks, which you get through missions, just playing (battle xp) and by platooning. Especially the last one, I actually like, as it encourages people to play together. But, one thing WG didn’t think about was the fact that, since I was out of the country last weekend, that meant that since the start of the event until now, I actually haven’t been able to login to the game, because otherwise my timer would start. So no, it’s not perfect yet, but as far as grind events go, this is definitely a decent one, imo.
And, one other thing WG gets massive brownie points for is the Edu-tog. In 3.9, we got a new map, and like with all new maps we’ve been getting, it has an easter egg. But this time, the egg is really special – it’s a tribute to the friend I blogged about before that went by the name Edurace in game. On the new map, they placed a little tog with the text ‘to Edurace’ on it.
But overall, the game still sees more negative than positive changes, and a lot will need to happen for it to actually become a truly fun game again. I really hope WG is willing to make the effort – and to actually start listening to their community. The creative director of Blitz apparently quit, so maybe the next one has a vision that the playerbase can actually agree with a lot more. Fingers crossed. Next week is Tankfest. I’m going to be there, and we’ll probably have another feedback-talk with the staff. And I really hope we’ll get -somewhere- this time. Fingers, toes, arms and legs crossed.
I don’t know yet where this game will end up, or how long I’ll still be a part of it all. Especially with a lot of good players taking these last few updates as ‘the final straw’ and leaving the game for good, there’s people I’ve always enjoyed hanging out with that are now gone. But at the same time, I’ve not been playing all that much either, for months now. Since I couldn’t start the grind event just yet, it’s now been 12 days since I last played at all. Tonight will be the first time I login again. We’ll see how it goes.