The Journey Back to WoT, Part 1.
So it was around 10 months ago that I declared that Armored Warfare (AW) had World of Tanks (WoT) on the ropes with their incredible launch and game play push.
As it turns out I didn’t know how wrong I could be. AW is dead. Like dead dead. Like, can’t get a match dead.
For those playing PvE this isn’t a problem – matches are still available, though the queue is slow in the morning or late night hours, and often generates odd teams because of the low population.
I’m…well, I’m not entirely sure what killed AW. I think it was going good I think up until they released the tier 9 and tier 10 vehicles. So I’m going to call that the high water mark. We could make arguments about balancing (there were real issues there ), about gameplay (it became pixel hunting on steroids, where even a .01 accuracy rating couldn’t help), or population (already split between PvE and PvP and now spread across 10 tiers instead of 8). But really that’s not what I want to talk about.
I really want to talk about this from an MMO perspective, and the unique role reversal that AW and WoT have gone into since last December. You see, the strength of AW back then was a dedication to say “yes” to all the things that WoT had said “no” to – reducing RNG, reduced cost for premium tanks, turning regular tanks into premiums for real life currency, a +/-1 matchmaker, incorporating popular mods into the UI. The result was, essentially, the game that WoT players had been asking for – clamoring for – for years. This was a good move both in terms of commercial/popular success and gameplay success.
But somewhere along the way, AW started a dangerous inversion. They stopped saying “no” to all the things WoT said “yes” to. For example, WoT liked to package their rare tanks, for sale with real money on the website, with lots of other things to inflate the cost. A tank that should, in their paradigm, cost $20, might be in a package costing $40, and include in game currency to make up the remainder of the value in the package. Well, one of the primary uses of a premium tank is to make in game currency. With a premium account you make it fast, and without one, its really the only way to make it at all. So I’m buying a tank to make more money, and also paying twice as much and all you are giving me is…more money. Which I was going to make anyway.
AW swore never to do it, then swore they would only do it in package deals that favored the customer, and then just went ahead and did it all the way WoT would do. Except that…WoT finally listened. They stopped doing it. Or more accurately, they listened to everyone and now offer multiple package levels from just the tank to the tank + other valuable goodies. AW has cluelessly continued their gaffe, while WoT improved their system in a win-win solution.
I could give you another half dozen examples like this – of places where AW has gone back on their word, or reduced their high bar down so low as to provoke some of the same complaints we used to make about WoT!
And people were just absolutely fed up, because they had just ran away from this problem. And when they found out “hey problem is solved back at the old place” – well, that’s all it took. I played on for awhile, but unlike Warplanes, there’s just not enough of a draw or advantage to keep playing. And like a certain MMO company, AW has decided the answer is to completely gut the combat mechanics of the game and change them whole sale. Classes disappearing, being simplified, blunting skill ceilings, lowering floors. All in ways that the remaining players never wanted or asked for. Any of this sound familiar?
So that, in a nutshell, is why I left. But why would I go back to a place I was so soiled on? Nostalgia? The positive changes? A free gift? More on that in Part 2.