So I took a break from EVE this weekend to duck into World of Tanks and take advantage of the sale on camouflage and try to make more progress towards finishing the SU-100 and earning enough cash to buy the ST-1. And I ran out of ammo.
You see, my hunch is that the real limiting factor for progression in the game being regular credits is a whiff of design genius. Grinding cash is more difficult than grinding XP to advance. And so to lower that difficult ramp you can subscribe to a premium account, buy a premium tank that gives you a built in bonus, or pay a severe premium to directly convert real cash to in-game currency. Not only that, but the amount of currency you need is directly tied ot how much you are playing – its a scalable resource. The more you play, the more lines you open up, the more tanks and equipment you can advance, the more silver you need. But then if you are only playing a little in one line, there is less to buy – and far less incoming to buy it with! The end result is a nice smooth variety of options to get you the new shiny you want, all of which are useful regardless of whether you play the game casually or hard core.
And the move to make premium shells available for silver – well, all that did was open up a new sink in an already thinly stretched resource. It was a profitable move for Wargaming, while looking to be generous. Very coy. And in some respects, very admirable. Smart companies are rare, and the success is to be applauded. But how smart are they really?
There is currently a bug in the game that kicks in an interesting way. If you have your tank set to auto-reload after a battle, and you shoot yourself out of premium shells, sometimes the computer will buy the new shells using Gold – even if you had the drop down menu set to regular silver credits. I’vehad it happen to me, so I can verify this. Wargaming claims it is a bug and they are working on fixing it – but, it seems like good conspiracy fodder.
After all, your choices for avoiding the bug are interesting. First, you can hand load your shells after a battle. This can be tedious, and even veteran players can forget to reload between battles. So even smart people like me can end up in situations like this:
We lost by the way. I rammed the capping T71 a few times, but it wasn’t enough, and they ended up finishing off our two wounded tanks that were capping before finally hunting me down and killing me (bloodthirsty apparently). I started the match with just 5 regular AP shells, along with my standard load of 5 HE shells and 5 premium shells. The end result is that it cost me a lot of silver, between the lost potential earnings, and having to reload premium shells I wouldn’t have otherwise had to fire to give my team a sporting chance. Just to save some Gold, that probably would have amounted to between 25 and 50 cents of real money.
And of course, the other ways to handle this would be to stock at least one more premium than normal to make sure the bug doesn’t kick in…but then how often are you tempted to use it to sway a match? Or you can just not use premium (difficult to get away with, now that everyone is using them). Or you can roll the dice on losing some Gold on occasion. Great.
That’s not to go full on conspiracy bore and claim that Wargaming implemented this bug on purpose. Realistically lets face it – too much work for too little return. But I do wonder if it will be one of those bugs that lingers for a long time, never seeming to get fixed, since it doesn’t really hinder game play (the above lost battle is, after all, my fault for forgetting to reload) and is in fact in some way profitable for them to leave in the game.
The bug has already survived one patch. I’m betting the over under on this is about three patches. So I’m going to say it will be 8.6 before it gets fixed, may 8.7. So put a bookmark here and check back later. Maybe I will win a cookie.