One would expect that after seven years, Tankfest would start to be boring. Anyone who believes that, then they do not love tanks as I do. 2017 is a very special year because it’s my first year at Tankfest as a Wargaming Community Contributor, and we don’t just get here for two days. Oh no! We get an extra day with a lot of different activities.
Today I was at the Tank Museum with a massive group of Community Contributors, Wargaming Staff and Wargaming Developers: Thaine Lyman, Paul Barnett, Maxim Chuvalov, Anton Pankov, Slava Makarov, Danylo Parashchyn.
But why would all these big Wargaming names come to Tankfest? I can’t disclosure what was talked about in two meetings we had with them, but I can talk about a few things.
I’m still new to the Community Contributor Program, but I’ve talked with a few of these people before, mainly Thaine Lyman at Wargaming Fest. And one of the things I like the most about him, is the fact that is his honest, straight forward and to the point. If you even have the pleasure of talking with him, you will notice he doesn’t give you any bullshit, no. If you ask him something, show what your concerns are, he will genuinely consider your feedback and have an honest discussion with you.
And today during these two panels we had an honest and open discussion with Wargaming Developers, where we could present them feedback, our concerns and they gave us a ton of information about what their current plan is and what they are trying to achieve. Now, you might ask, did you believed them?
I did. I honestly felt that Wargaming finally has a plan, knows what they need to do to improve communication, gather better feedback and get the game into the right direction.
It might be a little bit difficult for you to understand why I did believe them, without me disclosing information, so I’ll try to point you with a few hints. Wargaming is a massive corporation, they are not a small corner office indie company anymore. Any changes they want to do, or need to do, it can take months for it to happen due to several factors: they need to collect more data, before they can make a decision; they can be already working on the next patch, meaning they need to take some resources out of this so they are able to make these changes, and that sometimes is just not possible.
Wargaming openly admitted they have make several mistakes, that they buffed/nerfed to much some tanks, that they didn’t listen to players feedback, etc.
But here comes a tricky situation when we talk about feedback: it’s different from region to region. How come? For example, Type 4 and Type 5 current situation is a problem for the European player base, but it’s actually not a problem for the Russian player base. Another example is the Russian heavy tank Object 252, while Europeans think the tank is overpowered, the Russians actually thing it’s a mediocre tank, if not a terrible tank.
Can we say the Russians don’t think Type 4 and 5 are overpowered? No, it’s just that the data in the Russian Region is different, while for example a tank performs well in Russian, it might not in Europe, or North America or Asia. While some regions experience problems with certain tanks, others don’t, and this is due to a single factor: player skill.
I’m not saying there isn’t a single overpowered tank in the game, there are a few cases where they overpowered and others who are underpowered, Wargaming knows about this. So why don’t they fix these issues straight away? Because it takes time to gather data, digest the data, research and make a decision on what it needs to be changed, and then test it again, before it comes out to the Live Server. Currently it takes Wargaming about four months to be able to fix a tank with a problem, and this fix is not guaranteed that while it will fix a particular issue, other issues might arise with a different tank in result of these changes.
As you can see, Wargaming collects a lot of data and it needs to go through everything before they make any changes, and while they are a big corporation they need time to be able to get this right, because believe it not, feedback and data does really change and varies from Supertest up to the point it reaches Live Server, and once in the Live Server it takes at least a couple of months to get solid data.
Where does this leads to?
There will be a global effort to improve communications and there will also be changes to the Community Contributor Program. While I can’t discuss this right now, all I can say is that Wargaming wants to enable us to give more feedback to them, and that enables players to give feedback to Wargaming using us, Community Contributors.
I know I’m not sharing a lot of information here, but unfortunately I’m not allowed to talk about it at the moment. Again, this was my experience today and my opinion about it, as you are all aware, I’m not trying to force an opinion on you.
All I’m asking is, if you do really love World of Tanks, do be a bit patient with Wargaming. While we did have a couple of bad years, there has been a genuine shift towards the right direction when Thaine Lyman came into Wargaming, and now even more with Slava and Paul getting more involved with World of Tanks.
I hope you liked my small digest of the first Tankfest day, let me know your thoughts in the comment section.