Got me a new set of tracks…will roll.
Every time I enter a new tier in World of Tanks I am super excited and then rapidly it turns to frustration. No I haven’t changed my mind about the game, I still think it is a crazy amount of fun, but in order for it to be a winner for a long period of time, it needs to fix a couple of things. They are undoubtedly making a profit now, so they need to focus on life after the growth mode.
There will be a plateau at some point where the number of new players/accounts tapers off and the number of people who get bored with the game increases. At this point any game needs to improve itself or watch all their players run off to the next big thing. Here are a couple of areas that I think need some work.
The biggest thing in my opinion is optimizing the matchmaking system. For those of you MMORPG’ers out there, this is the “leveling” content of the game. Currently you click on the random battle button in the game and you are tossed in a 15-on-15 tank battle with tanks/tank destroyers/artillery from tiers that range from 3 tiers beneath you to 3 tiers above you. The battles are organized in a manner of seconds which is awesome. The problem is if you are the player that is playing at the bottom of that 3 tier range. Oddly for whatever reason it seems that I am at the bottom of the tiers more often than at the top, but that might be just perception.
The problem with this matchmaking system is that frequently tanks that are at the bottom can do absolutely nothing to tanks at the top aside from make a good target. Depending on the tank, you can probably do some damage to tanks a tier or two above your own, but those big dogs at the top are near impenetrable. If you have a stock tank from just entering a new tier, you may as well just put it in drive and point at the other side of the map and play Words with Friends on your smart phone. I understand, the battles are random and sometimes you are the top dog, but I would much rather have more frequent even battles rather than some battles that I can’t do anything and others where I can mop the floor. Whatever they do, they need to sort this out. Even if new algorithms require a longer queue time, it would be well worth it.
One of the other problems I see is that clans (guilds for the MMORPGers) need more to do together. At present, you can play in one Clan Wars battle (15 clanmates vs 15 clanmates from another clan) a night (more if you win the first) and then the clans are relegated to teaming up in groups of three (aka platoons) to enter random battles. For me, I can only participate in the Clan Wars battles on the weekend because they are scheduled before I get home from work. Something more useful would be setting up 15-on-15 random battles that could take place at any time so that clans could still participate in group events even if they don’t effect the Clan Wars campaign.
Again, this is a great game. It is well polished and is ultimately a lot of fun. I can see it getting old after a while though and there is only so much that adding a map or two here and there can do. Hopefully the folks at Wargaming.net aren’t just resting on their laurels and are actively trying to make this gem of a game even better.