Jump to content


Sandbox - New Balance - Implications for Newcomers


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

MiddleAgedNoob #1 Posted Feb 14 2020 - 17:55

    First lieutenant

  • -Players-
  • 20015 battles
  • 798
  • [MARV] MARV
  • Member since:
    10-29-2016

Hello Tankers,

 

As you have no doubt seen, WG is testing a series of fundamental changes in what they are calling 'New Balance'.  https://worldoftanks.com/en/news/updates/sandbox-0220/  The proposed changes are lighting up the General Forums (this is the best overview: http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/620778-sandbox-tech-tree-changes-screenshots/ , but I haven't seen much talking about the implications for Newcomers.  The changes proposed are pretty wide in scope, including how different ammo types, particularly HE, will work, but I want to focus here on changes to the tech tree at low tiers, which I think would be of the most interest to Newcomers.

 

The key point here is that the tech trees are being greatly simplified and a large number of tier II-V vehicles are being moved from the tech tree to a special 'Collectibles' category.  You will still have access to these tanks, but only once your research any tier VI vehicle of the corresponding nation.  Once you have done that, any tier II-V vehicle of that nation found in the Collectibles can be purchased in a stock configuration for credits, without having to research it, or preceding tanks, first.  If you have the tank in your garage at time of implementation, you will keep it, along with all equipment and crew and unlocked modules.  If you buy a vehicle from the Collectibles, you will still need to equip it, supply a crew and perform research to unlock and purchases modules just as you do now.

 

In effect, this will greatly reduce the amount of XP required to fill out your tier II-V tank collection, but narrows your choices on how to get to tier VI.  It is important to note that all current vehicles will remain in the game, only the process for acquiring them is changing.  For example everyone that already has a Pz1C will still have it, but those that don't and want it will have to unlock a tier VI German tank first, at which point they can simply buy it.  The same goes for the US T67.

 

The simplified tech trees will also affect the grind route you might plan, as many of the 'cross overs' between lines have been eliminated.  For example, those aiming for the US heavy T29, will no longer have the option from jumping over from the medium line through the Sherman Jumbo.

 

At tier VI and up, tanks removed from the tech tree are being moved to a 'Special/Reward' category.  Like in the case of the Collectibles, if you already have a tank, you keep it, but its configuration may change.  Tanks in the 'Special/Reward' category will not be available for general sale, they will only be available through special events, and they will be changed to be like other 'Special/Reward' tanks.  That means that they will only be available in the 'top' configuration ( to the great consternation Jumbo derp-ers as they prefer the stock turret and the 105mm howitzer over the top turret and the 76mm).  It also means, however, that they will earn extra experience (crew and combat), and any crew of the right class and nation can be used in them.  They will be, in effect, premium tanks, but without the credit making bonus of premiums.

 

Newcomers might want to acquire some of these before implementation, so as to effectively pick up a few premium-ish vehicles for free.  On that list, I personally would include the VK 30.01 D, KV-85, T71 DA, T21 (which you need to go through to the T71 DA anyway), and the Firefly,  I exclude the Jumbo as its appeal was the derp.  Having these vehicles in your garage at time of implementation will also mean that the tanks that follow them in the current tech tree (and stay in the new tech tree) will be automatically researched.  For example, having the T71 DA in your garage will unlock the T69 automatically.

 

A couple of big caveats - these changes are a long way from being implemented, months at least and maybe longer, and all of it is subject to change.  But you might want to start thinking about what it might mean to you.

 

GLHF

 

PS - I said I wouldn't go into it, but the proposed changes to HE will have large implications for the derpers, like the Hetzer, Pz IVH and the Sherman.  Another thing to think about.


Edited by MiddleAgedNoob, Feb 14 2020 - 18:11.


dunniteowl #2 Posted Feb 14 2020 - 19:37

    Major

  • -Players-
  • 31544 battles
  • 9,400
  • Member since:
    09-01-2014

Thanks, MiddleAgedNoob for posting this!  I do think that this will (if implemented as it is now, which may not be the case) drastically change the "Newer" player experience, though not necessarily only in good ways.  This is something I have given a good deal of thought to over time.

 

   Warning!  What Follows is Sort of LONG and if you only digest Twitter Sized Posts, Move along to the end.

 

The NEW player (and I mean those who would be coming into the game POST any of this [see above] as Brand New Players) experience I think will be very difficult.  I honestly think that if these changes are made as they stand now, Brand New Players will be at an EXTREME disadvantage in very many ways.

 

 

1) The grind to tier VI WILL be easy and easier, yes, no doubt about it. 

          So on the face of things it APPEARS to be a good thing.  However, since I started playing back in 2014, the prevailing 'popular' opinion was that, by and large, you couldn't learn anything about the game until you hit tiers IV and V, where the grinding actually begins to MEAN something. So this means that you will have a LOT more folks making it to tier VI with what amounts to knowing NOTHING about the game beyond the WASD and LMB with the awareness that they are new and get rekt a lot.

 

     I will admit, my personal observations over time is that a LOT of folks in tiers IV-VI (where I spend(t) most of my time playing) Still Know Very Little about the game.  So that won't be that much of a change, in many ways.  However, what WILL be different is that the players will have, up to tier IV, virtually No Experience with the multiple classes of tanks and how differently they play.  AS an example, my fist foray into SPGs took me about 4 games to figure out how to fire it in Overhead View mode, even though the shift key is the key for both Arcade/Sniper or Arcade/OV.  It took another seven or so games to realize how to smoothly operate the controls so that I wasn't madly sliding my mouse all over the place to get aimed to my target.

 

     This, in my opinion (the lack of experience with all the different classes) will be a net negative for the truly New Player.  My point of view on the matter would be to NOT remove the units from the tech tree and if 'grinding' is too long, then the Smart Play would have been to reduce the scaling of the XP requirements per tier and not have it become so steep so fast.  Right now, it's near logarithmic and instead should be closer to a 1.25x or 1.5x scaling per tier.

 

          End result potential:  We will have more unexperienced, unknowledgeable players hitting Tier VI.  We will have folks with less experience with how the different classes function.  This will translate into even worse comprehension of Vision and Spotting, Concealment and being Spotted mechanics than is the current situation.  I am not sure how much more this will be, though I can say with a fair amount of certainty that it will be MORE and not LESS.

 

2) The New and Newer Players will not have access to the variety of tanks that the more experienced players already have in tiers II--V. 

          The idea here is to reduce the confusion of choices to the New Player by eliminating a large chunk of them (73 tier II to V tanks) from the research line of the Tech Tree.  While this will do as advertised, the consequences that I can easily see here apply to the Newer and New Player directly in a negative way.

 

     Firstly, with this lack of access to tanks of 'parity' the folks we call Seal Clubbers (whether appropriately or not) WILL have these tanks.  They will have them and they will use them.  Because the New and Newer Player will NOT have access to these tanks, they will never be able to achieve 'parity' on the field as they work their way to tier VI.  This means that Hetzers, Pz Ics, Luchs, Pak 40s and other such units will STILL be out there, whomping away on the New Guys, making that shorter grind to tier VI MUCH more unenjoyable, for them as they would have No Recourse at all to at least attempt to emulate them with the same tanks and achieve a sort of battle field 'parity' at the least.

 

     Secondly, again, we're going to see folks really upset by these tanks that they can't have, mostly can't spot or see before they get blapped and will be negativized by the experience.  As New Players, I have a strong suspicion that this will Drive Away more players than the Easier Grind will retain.  It will seem even MORE unfair than it seems now and we get plenty of complaints Now about how Seal Clubbers are 'ruining' the New Player Experience.   This lack of tech tree access to the same tanks will further exacerbate this feeling and possibly cement it firmly as inherently unfair -- causing more New Players to become Non Players.

 

          End result potential:  I see these changes as they are so far (and possibly At ALL) as supremely negativizing the New Player Experience.  Seal Clubbers will still be there and they will now DOMINATE with tanks no-one New or Newer that does not have them already can even remotely hope to counter.  They will also be limited in their tank choices, making these Seal Clubbers even more able to just pawn the New Player to the point where I feel New Players would be more inclined to quit as opposed to just 'power' through it.

 

     New Players will not know the grind is easier.  They will only see that they are getting stomped in tanks they can't have, Premium Players or Free To Play Players alike will experience this great disparity.  I feel, based on years of watching New Players (not just in this game, for decades' worth of observations over many different games) attempt to adapt to being the New Player in a large group, that this will serve to actually drive away many more new players that would have otherwise stuck with it.

 

     Those New Players that DO make it to tier VI are more than likely NOT going to get those "Collectors" tanks and go down tier hoping to 'get some payback' for their being so soundly clubbed.  Sure, some of them will become a 'new generation' of Seal Clubber, though most are just going to never look back and be damn glad they don't have to THAT anymore.  Which means:  Less Experienced players in lower tiers and More Inexperienced players in higher tiers.  Both of these balances will certainly be negatives on the overall game experience.

 

 

     Beyond the obvious of the Tech Tree Issues, the HE changes may or may not be a good thing.  I have yet to be able to see my way to make a determination there as they would REQUIRE me to be playtesting and I cannot at this time do that.  The Tech Tree changes, however, from my years designing my own games, inclusive of setting up systems to teach and retain New Players while training them to become Experienced Players, are, to my view Obviously Apparent.

 

     I don't think I need to see playtesting in that arena to make what I feel would be a very accurate prediction in this particular matter.  WGs New Player Experience was BRUTAL when I got here and while it was lessened a tiny bit with the introduction of "Proving Grounds," which was replaced a year after being removed with "Enter Boot Camp," the overall methods employed to 'ease' the New Player were -- well, I don't know of a better way to say it -- relatively pathetic, because they Do Not Address the Core Issue of Teaching a New Player HOW to understand the game mechanics to any real degree.

 

     I think the New Player experience post these changes (if implemented) will speed up their access to tier VI and provide the masses who are already playing and experienced that much Easier Prey.  I think the New Player will be LESS informed and less able to understand what's going on when they reach tier VI and it's easy enough to get there now.  In 2014 when I started playing I got to tier IV in the first day of playing.  I got to my fist few tier Vs in the second and third days of playing.  I got my first tier VI on the fourth day of playing.

 

     If these changes are implemented, I see no reason why a person like me (100% FTPP) couldn't reach at least one or two Tier VI units by the second day of play.  More players at tier VI who "Know Nothing" about the game, let loose amongst folks who've been playing for YEARS at those tiers will be EATEN up.  This will serve to further negativize the New Player as the game being Unfair to them.  It's bad enough as it is and these changes, in my opinion will only serve to make those issues more apparent, not reduce them and certainly NOT eliminate them in any fashion.  If anything, I believe these changes will actually make the situation worse than it is now.

 


     I'm totally willing (and hope) to be mistaken in this.  However, I do know a lot about how people are affected by game rules and games in general.  I've been making my own War Games (board games) since I was 17.  I've been playing games with complex rules since I was 12.  I am 59 now and have been steadily playing games of all kinds my entire life.

 

     I've seen way too many people toss away rules in disgust before ever playing.  I've seen literally thousands of folks grab the controls of an arcade or PC video game as if they were going to just RULE and within five minutes walk away claiming, "What a stupid game," when they realize that its much harder than they thought it was.

 

     This game is HARD to master, because it IS a game with a complex set of rules.  Reducing vehicles from the Tech Tree so it's easier to get to Tier VI will NOT change that complexity.  Not even a little bit.  All these changes can do is remove the chance for new players to learn the game at a slower pace and with a greater sense of fairness.

 

     In my experience, that is NOT a recipe for success.

 

 

GL, HF & HSYBF!
OvO


Edited by dunniteowl, Feb 14 2020 - 19:51.


KiltedAmerican #3 Posted Feb 14 2020 - 20:13

    Corporal

  • -Players-
  • 0 battles
  • 69
  • Member since:
    01-12-2020

Tier VI is the new Tier II

 

Let the "seal-clubber" whine  begin  continue



MiddleAgedNoob #4 Posted Feb 14 2020 - 20:42

    First lieutenant

  • -Players-
  • 20015 battles
  • 798
  • [MARV] MARV
  • Member since:
    10-29-2016

Thanks Dunnite for a thoughtful analysis.  In my original post, my goal was to provide a factual explanation of the changes and I purposefully avoided offering an opinion on the merits of the planned changes or speculating on how they might influence player experience.  While I agree with you on most of what you say, although I don't think it will be as dramatic as it seems you do, I prefer to just wait and see.

 

GLHF


Edited by MiddleAgedNoob, Feb 14 2020 - 20:44.


dunniteowl #5 Posted Feb 14 2020 - 20:57

    Major

  • -Players-
  • 31544 battles
  • 9,400
  • Member since:
    09-01-2014

I am a pretty much 'wait and see' type.  However, I also "bill" myself as an Optimistic Cynic or a Cynical Optimist as the case may present itself.

 

I do hope I'm wrong.  My overall people with games experience, though, tells me this might not go nearly like WG intends.  These changes are, AT THE BEST, about 4 months away if Nothing Else Changes.  So folks have time.

 

I do not see these changes, though, making folks who like to remain in tiers II-IV and REMAIN there permanently being affected at all by this change other than that they will have a larger pool of unsuspecting Noobs that simply cannot even really fight back, tank for tank.  That doesn't sound good to me.  The changes won't affect those folks ONE TINY BIT and they will STILL be in those tiers.  That doesn't sound good to me, either.

 

Getting to tier VI faster SOUNDS good, though the cynic in me just sees a larger pool of folks who have no real experience playing the game more rapidly dumped into tiers VI and above, which also doesn't sound that good to me.  This part won't be as Impactful, in my view, as the New Player Introduction to Seal Clubbing.  Now, instead of getting 'clubbed' just in tiers I-IV (some say V as well) they WILL get the full experience of being stomped from tiers I to VI without mercy and without recourse to parity.

 

I have no idea how bad that might end up being, however I can see nothing good coming from it in terms of New Player retention and if you fail to bring in and Keep New Players, the game will most certainly tail off and die.  I wouldn't like to see that.  I hope it doesn't come to that.  I seriously HOPE I'm wrong.  That's the optimist in me fighting with the cynic in me.  You gotta have some sort of balance in your head and I chose Optimism balanced with Cynicism.  So far, it's been a pretty workable pairing.

 

The Optimist part allows me to hope and the Cynic part of me tempers that with some awareness that some things are hard to change.

 

With the new changes in the game, right now the Cynic's view seems to have greater validity at this point, based on past experience with people and gaming.  The Optimist just has his fingers crossed and keeps repeating, "Maybe you'll be wrong.  Maybe you'll be wrong."

 

 

Which brings up the reason I tend to be a "wait and see" sort.  Can't know which side got it right until it happens.  Personally, both the cynic and the optimist hope these changes (WRT Tech Tree Changes) do Not happen at all.

 

 

 

GL, HF & HSYBF!
OvO






1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users