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Stock guns are too weak


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Pyro93735 #1 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 17:30

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There's a number of ways I'd like to walk the World of Tanks community through as to why stock guns are too weak, weak to the point where the World of Tanks experience suffers from it. Starting a tank off with a gun that makes it at least able to be effective against tanks of its own tier would greatly improve the World of Tanks experience for everybody; but let us consider a few points.

 

First, as most people should remember, stock tank grinds suck, with some suffering a lot more than others. For example, the ARL V39, a tier VI TD starts stock with a tier III gun that would struggle to penetrate a Matilda two tiers below it. The upgrade requires the tracks to be researched before a marginally decent tier V gun can be equipped. This is in stark contrast to the tank it upgrades from, the S35 CA who's stock gun is popularly recognized as its strongest. The T29 starts with a tragic 128 penetration gun in Tier VII, able to upgrade to an okay gun inherited from the M6, while players upgrading from the M4A3E2 have even longer to go having to research that gun first. Let's explore why this is unacceptable.

Consider a teammate driving a tank mounting stock guns (who didn't luck out with a Bathtub-like stock experience); what you can expect that tank to be able to do is going to be widely different than what it is able to deliver on. Citing the aforementioned T29, a fully upgraded T29 is a veritable powerhouse, capable of a daunting hull down position that can sometimes defend points that feel indefensible. However, with the stock gun the T29 loses it's signature ability to hold practically any hilly area - the quick calculations a skilled World of Tanks player makes when deciding where to go at a start of a match will be biased, as the T29 will be unable to perform to the norms of what a T29 should be able to. One can say that each gun looks different on a tank's model, and a skilled world of tanks player will recognize a stock T29 and correctly anticipate his likely contributions; but is it interesting gameplay to simply know that your stock T29 teammate is doomed wherever he goes and to count on it accordingly? Ideally I'd want a non-stock T29 on my team, but I'd be happy if I knew that he stood a chance against whatever tanks he would face.

 

As an opponent, playing against stock tanks is misleading at best. As most World of Tanks players who have had the joy of facing a hull down T29 knows, there are certain ways the situation has to be approached considering the power level and pros and cons of the tank. However, a T29 that is stock will most likely not uphold any of the pros traditionally outlined for the tank; eventually the bluff will be called, and the T29 will fall, and as an opponent it'll feel like a waste of time following correct engagement procedure against a toothless enemy. One can argue that the ability to bluff in that situation is in itself a strength of the tank, even stock; however, can that experience possibly be better than having a tank with an adequate gun on it? There are many interesting bluffs that a skilled World of Tanks player can make, such as baiting an opponent out into the open to attack you, or forcing somebody to over-commit to take a final shot at you. Driving a tank that should be feared, and is in fact, harmless, is not an interesting bluff.

 

Furthermore, let's consider an important aspect of any RPG-like system; the grind. It's been established from a long tradition of games, especially MMO's, that some grind is good - it keeps players motivated to play to achieve progressively better stuff, and RPG and MMO structures flourish in a social setting, as anything that requires significant time is best done with friends. However, while some grind is good, more grind is not better; World of Tanks is in a state where the amount of grind required to get a tank to a playable state leaves a bad taste in the mouth for players. As a truly hooked player, I'm most likely going to muscle through it; some of the most fun I've had in a long time has been driving my IS-3, and it has kindled a drive to become a better player that's going to keep me playing for a long time to come. But what about players who aren't hooked yet, or players who are on the fence about World of Tanks? I just had a friend of mine quit after I'd persuaded him to come try it out; after several hundred games (a pretty astounding amount for an on-the-fence player, a testimony to how fun World of Tanks can be) after reaching Tier V it became evident that all that will happen as the tiers increase is more time will be spent stock before your tank becomes useful. This problem is only made worse by the role of premium in World of Tanks; I've habitually thrown cash every time my premium's worn off, so I've enjoyed 50% less grind than most players, but is that reasonable to expect of every prospective player? All I had to offer as consolation to my friend who quit was that premium could give him 50% less suffering, and that eventually if he stuck through the bad stock tanks there are some truly wicked tanks to enjoy later on; he didn't buy premium, and now he's not playing, and I can only imagine that if tanks were more fun to play stock Wargaming wouldn't have lost a potential customer. This should be a sticking point for Wargaming - having better stock tanks will lead to a more enjoyable experience, leading to more players, which is good for World of Tanks in every aspect; more players means more paying customer, more paying customer means more money for the developers to keep pushing World of Tanks to being an even better game than it is now. One could argue that Wargaming doesn't care about the stock grind, as the money is in the competitive scene at the top - that would be a rather shortsighted approach however, as all pro players started out in stock tanks too, and I wonder how many potential pro players aren't being convinced of the worth of World of Tanks due to terrible experiences early on. One could say that having a bad stock grind provides incentive to convert free experience using gold, or buying premium to shorten the total time spent stock, but a player who quits instead pays nothing, and there are many good games on the market worthy of a player's time right now. One could say that premium tanks circumvent the stock grind by offering fully upgraded tanks, but this is only a bandaid to a more systemic problem; with no upgrade potential, premium tanks generate credits and free XP for players to use on bad stock tanks. Furthermore, it's not very persuasive to say to players that the answer to the problems in the base game is to put more money into a game that they don't entirely trust; walking away is free.

 

Playing a fully outfitted tank is a joy, and feels very rewarding; however, playing a tank fresh off the purchase screen is one of the worst experiences World of Tanks has to offer. I would argue that you can preserve the former without needing the latter. Make guns better stock; it's okay to upgrade from good guns to better, but you shouldn't have to pay to upgrade from awful to adequate to good to better. I've recommended World of Tanks to everybody I know, but the stock grind is indefensible - I only hope some of my friends are willing to stick through it with me, and that some day we'll be playing because it's challenging playing against better players, not because it's challenging to upgrade my tank.

TL;DR - stock guns are bad enough that as a system it will drive prospective players from World of Tanks.


Edited by Pyro93735, Jan 21 2014 - 22:33.


Jeb___Stuart #2 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 17:32

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 Although i don't mind reading the text ( being of an older generation ).

Be prepared for the incoming barrage of negs about  "wall of text " .



Lert #3 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 17:37

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Yes, stock guns are weak. That's why you don't spend your free XP on tanks, but save it for modules.

 

That said, nothing needs to change, stock tanks being weak is one of the ways WG 'encourages' people to buy gold. God forbid a for-profit company actually encourages their customers to spend money ...



dirtythedawg #4 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 17:38

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one word answer, GOLD.

 

Must use gold to free exp the better gun, gold = money for WG.



Decos #5 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 17:39

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That is why you have free xp.  It's there so you don't have to have stock guns.  Unless your new tank was foolishly researched with said free xp instead of the modules.

 

ninja'd again...


Edited by Decos, Jan 21 2014 - 17:40.


Geophage #6 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 17:40

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Nirvana fallacy - " Comparing a realistic solution with an idealized one, and dismissing or even discounting the realistic solution as a result of comparing to a “perfect world” or impossible standard.  Ignoring the fact that improvements are often good enough reason."

http://www.logicallyfallacious.com/index.php/logical-fallacies/135-nirvana-fallacy



Vinscizoclam #7 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 17:40

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What Lert said, use free xp to get better equipment, you should gather enough after each grind to get 1 or 2 modules on the stock tank, plus other free xp you've gotten from other tanks.

Sorphius #8 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 17:40

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Weak guns don't *really* become an issue until you get up to t5-6, by which point people are usually pretty well hooked.  Tanks in those critical first few tiers generally have weak enough armor that the mediocre pen values aren't game-breaking unless you auto-aim and spam .50 cal rounds into the mantlet.

 

And even so, as others have said... free XP that sh!t, yo.



Pyro93735 #9 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 17:40

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View PostLert, on Jan 21 2014 - 17:37, said:

Yes, stock guns are weak. That's why you don't spend your free XP on tanks, but save it for modules.

 

That said, nothing needs to change, stock tanks being weak is one of the ways WG 'encourages' people to buy gold. God forbid a for-profit company actually encourages their customers to spend money ...


Well, I did address this in my post - Wargaming stands to make more money by having an experience that's fun and encourages players to spend money to get more out of their game. Using gold as a crutch for poor mechanics encourages players to walk away, not to spend more money.



Trailer_Tank_Boy #10 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 17:42

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View PostJeb___Stuart, on Jan 21 2014 - 17:32, said:

 Although i don't mind reading the text ( being of an older generation ).

Be prepared for the incoming barrage of negs about  "wall of text " .

 

The 'sin' is that it's a wall of text on a subject that's beyond old and dead.  In short, the poor OP wasted a lot of time and energy people with 10x his battles have already put out there a half a hundred times.  In short.. few will read it through.  In short.. blah blah blah, NEXT!!!



Pyro93735 #11 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 17:44

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View PostTrailer_Tank_Boy, on Jan 21 2014 - 17:42, said:

 

The 'sin' is that it's a wall of text on a subject that's beyond old and dead.  In short, the poor OP wasted a lot of time and energy people with 10x his battles have already put out there a half a hundred times.  In short.. few will read it through.  In short.. blah blah blah, NEXT!!!


It's not a sin if it's still true - the only way to show that the community cares is to keep reminding Wargaming that stock outfits for tanks is not in an acceptable state, and that they're losing a lot of potential money from it.



Wolfpack_0313 #12 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 17:45

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Your wall of text instantly melted my eyes.

 

Yes, agree on points, but as a counterpoint sometimes life is about the journey, not always the end! I remember my countless hours spent grinding to my ISU152 just drooling at the thought of achieving my precious BL10.

 

Alienating new players is a bad thing, but everyone has to start somewhere!


Edited by Wolfpack_0313, Jan 22 2014 - 01:38.


Rorek_Ironblood #13 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 17:47

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View PostLert, on Jan 21 2014 - 11:37, said:

Yes, stock guns are weak. That's why you don't spend your free XP on tanks, but save it for modules.

 

That said, nothing needs to change, stock tanks being weak is one of the ways WG 'encourages' people to buy gold. God forbid a for-profit company actually encourages their customers to spend money ...

 

 

You forgot to also mention that by eliting tanks, and researching modules on the previous tank you may more then likely have access to the next cannon up. More often then not. So really in a lot of instances, you should not be fully "stock." Gold is not necessary, but can help accelerate the process (greatly).

 

My advice to anyone; fully research your tanks, and elite them. In the long run it is easier on your grind more often then not.

 

 



Pyro93735 #14 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 17:55

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View PostGeophage, on Jan 21 2014 - 17:40, said:

Nirvana fallacy - " Comparing a realistic solution with an idealized one, and dismissing or even discounting the realistic solution as a result of comparing to a “perfect world” or impossible standard.  Ignoring the fact that improvements are often good enough reason."

http://www.logicallyfallacious.com/index.php/logical-fallacies/135-nirvana-fallacy

It's a bit fatalistic to say that it's a "perfect world" scenario for stock tanks to be buffed isn't it? I think it's very plausible for stock tanks to be buffed given the right incentive, and the fact that Wargaming can stand to make more money by having more interested players should be a fairly decent incentive. Many users are turned off by systems perceived to be Pay to Win, and if players feel like converting free experience is mandatory to having a good time, it's easier to pick another game than it is to reach for their wallet.



steelreserv #15 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 18:04

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Couple of points.  A fully upgraded tank should be competitive in its own tier, thats the general theory at least.  At the same time, having a system that emphasizes researching modules, players must notice the difference that each improvement the modules offer.  If you take away the element of improvement, it takes away the desire for the player base to research all of the components before moving on to the next tank. This hurts everyone.  It hurts WG's business model ( "Premium" accounts fuel the company), it hurts the player base because the less matches you play in a particular tank, the less matches you need to que for.  The less matches people que for, the longer the que times for each tier.

 

To a certain degree, stock tanks are supposed to be highly inferior, but as soon as you get the top gun, your gaming experience will improve.  So much so that when you research your next tank, your desire to be more competitive by researching modules, should override the stock experience.  In MMO pvp based game, players also have to be rewarded for the amount of time they play, not just given the keys to success right off the bat.

 

There is a huge misconception for new players when they first download this game.  It is the misconception that you are driving an armored "tank", making you able to shoot and still be protected from most attacks.  This simply is not the case.  This game is a game of teamwork, tactics, terrain, knowledge of the enemy and knowledge of your own capabilities.  This is what makes the game fun/interesting for its player base.

 

Im sorry to say, if you feel like your friends will be unwilling to enjoy this aspect of the game and would rather "pwn" with little effort.  I would suggest single player NPC games, not pvp MMOs.

 

 

 



Mekata #16 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 18:07

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    Slightly off topic, but going up multiple tank lines of any tree also makes the stock grinds much easier, and if you already have the topgun unlocked. you can mount it without grinding the tracks by equipping torsion bars/suspension. cavet - most of the top-guns require a turret to be unlocked so save that free XP

 

For example the 90mm topgun of the hellcat is also the top gun of the jackson, the 90MM earned on the M6 also fits the easy8 and the jumbo as top guns and the mid gun for the T29 - Edit apologies the 90mm does not fit these tanks, instead they go to the T20 as topgun, and the pershing as mid

 

The Topgun of the Proto is also the Topgun of the T28, the grind for the gun is much easier on the T28 as it sits low to ground making the lower glacis of your opponents much easier to hit. 

 

The base engine of the M103 is also the top engine of T54E1 

 

I know there are a bunch more, but these are the few that spring to mind.  


Edited by Mekata, Jan 21 2014 - 18:33.


madogthefirst #17 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 18:10

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You don't need free exp or gold. Yes stock they are weaker and certain tanks' name carries a lot of weight but you just got to learn how to over come this obstacle by flanking and/or gold rounds. I say everyone should play their tank stock at least once.

insanejecke #18 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 18:10

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The waffle stock gun is better then the upgraded( really a down grade) and the RHB well I think the 128 is better then the 150

Pyro93735 #19 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 18:11

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View Poststeelreserv, on Jan 21 2014 - 18:04, said:

Couple of points.  A fully upgraded tank should be competitive in its own tier, thats the general theory at least.  At the same time, having a system that emphasizes researching modules, players must notice the difference that each improvement the modules offer.  If you take away the element of improvement, it takes away the desire for the player base to research all of the components before moving on to the next tank. This hurts everyone.  It hurts WG's business model ( "Premium" accounts fuel the company), it hurts the player base because the less matches you play in a particular tank, the less matches you need to que for.  The less matches people que for, the longer the que times for each tier.

 

To a certain degree, stock tanks are supposed to be highly inferior, but as soon as you get the top gun, your gaming experience will improve.  So much so that when you research your next tank, your desire to be more competitive by researching modules, should override the stock experience.  In MMO pvp based game, players also have to be rewarded for the amount of time they play, not just given the keys to success right off the bat.

 

There is a huge misconception for new players when they first download this game.  It is the misconception that you are driving an armored "tank", making you able to shoot and still be protected from most attacks.  This simply is not the case.  This game is a game of teamwork, tactics, terrain, knowledge of the enemy and knowledge of your own capabilities.  This is what makes the game fun/interesting for its player base.

 

Im sorry to say, if you feel like your friends will be unwilling to enjoy this aspect of the game and would rather "pwn" with little effort.  I would suggest NPC games, not pvp MMOs.

 

 

 


I agree entirely with your point that the point of the grind is to have a constant stream of improvement - the initial scope of my post was going to be on the state of stock tanks as a whole. But after thinking about it, you can rely on teammates for having a poor view range, you can limit your ambition of getting to points and circling enemies when you have a weak engine or tracks, and you should avoid scouting with a poor radio - but there is really no interesting gameplay elements that revolve around having a very bad gun. The stream of improvement stops, as without an effective gun, you're unable to penetrate enemies, which leave you unable to get more research to iteratively improve your tank.

 

Having a good gun on a tank isn't a luxury - I wouldn't call good sight range a luxury either, but at least it can be compensated for. The only compensation for being unable to damage the enemy, move effectively OR see the enemy is hoping that your team will carry you, which I can't imagine is very rewarding.



TinCanTourist #20 Posted Jan 21 2014 - 18:18

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View PostPyro93735, on Jan 21 2014 - 11:30, said:

... This should be a sticking point for Wargaming - having better stock tanks will lead to a more enjoyable experience,....

 

Using your logic they would improve the UI of the game as well, negating the need for 'mods' and such but, who am I kidding...