WoT Console Chicago Office: WG’s Kindergarden

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This is an article intended to lay a foundation to upcoming ones of the same subject.

As most of you may be aware, I made known many months ago that I had started playing World of Tanks Console. At the time, I pretty much only covered WoT PC on this page but I did quite like the game and decided to give a voice to Console on Status Report.

For that, I brought along Deconoir as a co-author which was one of the best decisions I ever made. He’s someone without agendas who genuinely want to see the game flourish, has played console for a long time, was involved in the Supertest program for some awhile and has a far greater insight of the game than me, still, he always has taken the time to explain and teach me about this version of WoT and we always brief before he posts an opinion article.

Rest assured, every word Deconoir has written about Console has my stamp of approval.

With the Console niche created on the blog, we logically have attracted the Console community and I became more involved and especially now after TankFest 2017, I did not expect to have so many console players approaching to thank us and incentivising keep on sharing Console content and asking to get more things going.

On the latter, and this is something I did explain to those people at the event, is that we have, in fact, tried to create a communication channel with the Console staff like we do with the PC staff but to no avail. I formally requested things through the right people, that we solely want to have a proper constructive and friendly atmosphere going back and forth with Deconoir & I, you and they.

The answer I got back was rather offending if not alarming, to put it into simple words we got dismissed because they disliked the fact that we promote constructive criticism.

I know what I just wrote sounds rather odd but I also say this as a Community Contributor for about 4 years (first for WG ES and then WG EN) that unless you asslick and agree with everything from the Console office good luck trying to get anything from them. I did briefly speak about this yesterday with one of the biggest Youtube Content Creators for Console and his experience was pretty much the same.

Another thing that some of you brought to my attention was the staff’s behaviour towards Content Creators and Community, talking especially in the forum where they got more authority.

I have been lurking for the past months the Console forums and got to witness a number of things. WG’s staff behaviour there is appalling and most definitely not fit to be working and representing a multimillion dollar company.

While fanboys are allowed to create as much havoc as they want, the players who are actually trying to bring something constructive are often bullied and shut down by moderation.

WG Console Staff has gone so out of hand, players simply created a second forum. Also, a few days ago Deconoir got an unjustified 24-hour ban, he wasn’t even worthy of receiving a warning honestly but not even that he got, instead they just banned him. I got the screenshots:

And now things get funny…

A day later, I finally decided to make my presence known in the Console forum (I did not spoke good and neither bad of the product, my post was a simple hello, Rita way) and I immediately received, I kid you not, an “Educational Warning”, check this out:

I need to raise the important question… Was this staff picked from a kindergarten? Seriously, were they?
I probably should be mad that they have made such a childish threat but they have gone so low I can’t even take them seriously anymore!

The only thing that genuinely concerns me here, if they have straight ahead treated me like this, knowing very well who I am, you can only imagine the treatment they give to random players of the community and that for me then makes things serious.

You would think after the Viktor Kislyi’s Rubicon promises and after the Fochgate incident and the current efforts of the company to truly become globalised that the Chicago Console office would read the memo, you know, as a Wargaming.net product but they have only become worse.

Like I noted at the beginning, this article has laid down a foundation for future ones. I intend to post unaltered opinion articles of the Console Playerbase because I believe is about time that they get to have a voice as well. Tomorrow I should have the first article ready from one of you.

Anyone is more than free to email me if you wanted to share your experience and you can even send screenshots of moderation abuse, I will be posting those too.

Besides it all, we still love the game and we still want to see it grow and we can only hope that Wargaming Console gets some education from this.

 

Email us at: ritastatusreport@gmail.com

Yours sincerely,

Rita Sobral

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52 comments on “WoT Console Chicago Office: WG’s Kindergarden

  1. Vidar Hook says:

    I’m proud of wargaming Chicago. Growing up to become even worse than their parents, GJ!




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    • VoltaicGrunt says:

      Like everyone else, I’ve renamed on of my Russian commanders Viktor Ripov, and he has done. All prammo now defaults to gold.




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  2. alhambra117 says:

    This is really a sad indictment of the current climate of the Console version, and is the main reason alongside the general issues that remain unfixed that I will not return to the game. This has been exacerbated by the sheer idiocy of the pay-for-free-options bollocks that went down only a week or so ago.
    Great article, and I await more on the subject, that hopefully will give Minsk the kick up the arse they need to begin controlling the Console version more




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  3. Just Call Me Zo says:

    I’m speechless. WG is a company that desperately wants to be taken seriously when at every case that would require tact and patience, they shoot themselves in the foot. Sadly, though, Sliphantom had it right that they only care about their image when it comes to the attention of people outside the community. For that reason, while your upcoming report will no doubt interesting and shed more light on how WG has such shit management and vision, you’re sort of yelling into the void. We as the people in these games more often than no agree with you, and WG doesn’t give a f*** what you say because they still make money by whipping more money out of us regardless of whether or not our enjoyment of the game ebbs.

    What we need is someone like Jim Sterling (thank god for him) to do a segment at the end of his videos in the vein of #FucKonami where he just lays into WG for their BS. It would be surprising to see how much buzz you could get after slapping the hornets nest a bit. Really, all he would need is the desire and to be kept abreast of the situation from our end. Not saying your article won’t do any good, but we as a community need more outreach to tell others on the outside: “STAY AWAY. THIS HOUSE IS ON FIRE. DON’T INVEST YOUR TIME AND MONEY BECAUSE YOU’LL REGRET IT BY TIER 8, BUT BY THEN IT’S PROBABLY TOO LATE.”




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    • Anonymous says:

      Its already too late for me now so yeah……
      Be warned to those who haven’t touch this game yet!
      We’ll tell you when it is safe to play. Or probably never…….




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  4. JD says:

    Vote with your feet. Apparently they feel they have enough content there and don’t need/want independent voices.




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    • Just Call Me Zo says:

      It’s not so much the amount of content. If it was implemented with more care and less emphasis on skinning the player’s wallet alive; there’s still the bones of a good game here.




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  5. Major Englush says:

    IMHO, 99% of the issue with the Console side is the fact they were never, ever a video game company. They were a software development team contracted to make a port of a PC game and fell bassackwards into being a full-fledged gaming company.

    There was—and, in many cases, still is—no marketing, PR, or social media infrastructure, no experienced forum moderators, and nobody anywhere who has a clue about game balance (mostly because 99% of their employees suck at the game).

    They could fix this quite easily by hiring a few key people:

    1. Someone who can serve as head of balance who is good at the game. They don’t need to be a superuni, though that would be nice, but they need to have around 15K battles and probably a WN8 around 2K or so.

    2. A Marketing person with experience in the F2P arena. While charging for crew voices is clinically stupid, paying for crew customization or tank customization is fine — in fact, customizing your stuff is how most F2P games make money, vs. pay-to-win items (*cough*Tiger 131 on console**cough**). They need to do more of that and less of the bullshit re-skins.

    3. EXPERIENCED FORUM MODERATORS!! I’ve been on corporate-ran message boards for years, and I have never, ever seen worse moderating by a company. Ever. The fan boys get free passes, anything remotely critical of WG (and especially specific WG employees) is insta-banned. And look how they handled your arrival: they know who you are, so they IMMEDIATELY tried to intimidate you with the “Educational Warning.” (Note: I have, like, six of those. Don’t stress. XD )

    Dog knows they have more than enough cash to cover these positions, yet they refuse to hire them. I don’t know if it’s organizational-levels of the Dunning-Kruger effect, if WG itself has told them not to change, or if they just don’t give a shit. Whatever it is, it’s going to wind up killing the game on console if they’re not careful.

    Saddest part is that it’s super-easy for them to fix.




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    • Micheal Mims says:

      Giaka here, actually Wargaming West = Day One Studios and they did have Mech Assault on Console. 😉




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      • Major Englush says:

        Lol! Forgot about that. 🙂

        That was the San Fran team, wasn’t it? Thought they dumped them for the Chicago and Bmore folks, but am probably wrong.

        Still, game dev companies aren’t the same as game companies and normally don’t have things like consumer marketing, PR, forums, etc.




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      • VoltaicGrunt says:

        Check WGCB’s website. They have vacancies in all positions at all levels and have for at least 12 months. They have no Marketing or Communications people. Fact is, no one wants to work for them.




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  6. Shade01982 says:

    WG’s current biggest problem is they simple have to many employees. More than a few of the bigger companies like this have problems controlling their employees, simply because there are too many of them.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Is WoT Console even directly under WG, or is it more like China, where they operate pretty much independently?




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      • Shade01982 says:

        I’m not really sure. As far as I know, the Baltimore office falls under WG main office management, but has considerable freedom in it’s decisionmaking process. But they aren’t a different company like KongZhong is. Harkonnen might know better.




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      • Shade01982 says:

        Sorry, not Baltimore office, I meant Chicago office.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    One of the well respected forumers recieved a ban for making an IS-7 review, they perma banned someone for making a friendly jibe about kidnapping a friends family (everyone knew it was a joke) yet when their favourite kiss ass made a joke about killing someone he didn’t even get a warning or his post modded.
    There’s more censorship on that forum than there is in North Korea.




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  8. Charcharo says:

    On the one hand I seriously wish console gaming to suffer as its toxic for the long term future of gaming as an art form. It costs more, has lesser or no modding, has no emulation and limited backwards compatibility, its objectively inferior in all ways and is popular only in rich countries and only due to nostalgia.

    But damn…




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  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for including the console side of players.
    I play on console and its got character. (if it’s a good one that’s debatable) ethier way there’s lots of dedicated players on here.




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  10. Renzo says:

    Is there a second wot console forum?
    I never get warnings 🙁 I almost never get noticed.

    Only got warned on the AW forums once. They don’t seem to like the nickname Fail.RU that much.




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  11. In my opinion there is one key factor that is wrong with WG Chicago. Paingod. He is literally dragging this game down the hole. He doesn’t know anything about the game, yet he is the one calling the shots. Arty is still the way it is even though is is fundamentally broken, not even nerfed at all, FV215B 183 hesh pen hasn’t been nerfed even though it is broken, Waffle is still in the game IN IT’S UNERFED STATE ESSENTIALLY (the nerf they gave to it did almost nothing) and is completely broken. There are also tanks that need to be buffed still, yet he chooses not to, not going to name any. He brings in what he wants from pc and says screw the rest because they want to be “Different from pc”. Bring someone in who knows about the game and knows what they are doing along with better forum moderators and actually listening to the complaints on the forum that the players have and the game would be 100% better. There is still a long way from fixing the game completely, same with pc, but anything will be better than paingod.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t forget the lead balance Dev Leo Flores, he actually said the WT-E100 is one of the most balanced tier 10 TD’s. Out loud and everything.




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  12. Gamer Gurl says:

    With 60 million PS4’s sold, 30 million Xbox One’s sold, and 84 million Xbox 360’s sold console World of Tanks has just over 100k players per day including all console platforms. That is fewer active users per day than ancient XB360 titles such as Black Ops 1 and Black Ops 2.

    The Xbox version bas roughly lost 40-50% of it’s players in the last 12 months. Something needs to change. I don’t have the answers, but I do know the console version of WoT can’t continue on this trend forever.

    Have a look at the Xbox One game hub comments for World of Tanks. It’s very difficult for Wargaming to delete or bury comments made there. It gives a good view to how casual and new players feel about the game compared to opinions made on the official forums.




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  13. Beast says:

    Tiragenocide2 has some good videos on what he feels need to change within Console. Also, 20+ bans here, only a few deserved.




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  14. Juan says:

    Are you serious Rita?!

    First of all, that first ban and warning on your CC friend was deserved. He cussed in forum which is something worth a warning and ban. That goes to show what kind of a person your guy is, uncontrolled and childish.

    Second, you did post something that wasn’t even constructive on probably a hot topic. You even said you created the account to post on that forum thread. How many times do you think people create new accounts to troll? They probably have that tightly moderated. Then you get mad over getting the warning?! Grow a pair Rita.

    If you really want to be taken seriously by grown ups, show maturity and respect.




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    • Rita Sobral says:

      Hola Juan,

      So saying hello because that was my first post in a forum is not constructive?
      Saying hello as the first post even in a forum is standard/polite behaviour at least in all the forums I frequented before jumping into the convos. Jumping into the conversation without introducing myself would in fact be worse and even seen as grandiose, I have to consider my CC status and the fact I run the biggest “WG-things” blog that has quite a legacy when I’m out publicly and the last thing I want to look or even sound like I am above others, I am not, I’m only blessed to have been given the power and channel to share things and give a voice to the community. I want people to know from the start that they can reach me.

      Plus I am the CC not Deco. Deconoir is my right wing and representative in the forums although he deserves the status as well because he does just as much as I do for the community, regardless if everyone agrees with him or not.
      This is not childish, I am just tired of seeing forum rules being read like a bible (by that used as a weapon) to shut down only those they deem and dare to bring constructive criticism. I’ve been a lurker there for quite some time and I’ve seen far too much BS unfold towards the community.

      Like I said in the article, I couldn’t give a damn they gave me that warning, in fact I find it quite hilarious but it brings the question, if they did that to me, knowing who I am (and this is not me being grandiose, just stating facts that I’ve been one of the biggest CCs on the western side of WG for years), what makes you think they are not doing worse to the community aka normal players?

      That’s what I am not okay with. I am not okay with the treatment they give to the next door Joe.

      That is what made me write this article and lay the foundation for more to come.

      Also, I would not like to grow a pair, pairs are squishy and can not take a pounding.

      I hope this made you understand.

      Best wishes,
      Rita




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    • Anonymous says:

      Hmmmm, can’t work out if you’re Steampunkpagan or Leova?




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  15. Anonymous says:

    Please Rita, please bring more attention to console, as a player of the best console clan I can say this game is going to shit. Most of 7F play Battlefield 1 rather than play tanks unless its for silver or tournaments. Sad.




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  16. Me thinks it was this office that sent that letter to Jim Sterling.




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  17. Moshpit400 says:

    While I didnt agree with Deco or his very weighted approach the other day, I didn’t see anything that warranted a warning, much less a ban. The idea that Rita was derailing the thread is just laughable.




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  18. Stormcloud says:

    Well, you were obviously testing the waters on the froum by posting just after the turn of events, not surprising they interpreted it as a veiled provocation. You know that, I know that and they know that 🙂 To be fair, no surprises there with the warning. Mods usually get itchy with the banhammer when there’s unrest on the forum.

    That said, there has to be more background than this? (sorry, I don’t read the console forums).

    If you had approached them to ask if any of them are willing to liaise about questions pertaining to console development (e.g. like Storm’s Q&As for PC … I miss those), I think they’re well within their rights to refuse cooperation regardless of status. The issue of politeness or professionalism in that discourse is separate matter.

    Plus, do you really need them to answer yes? A well written criticism, supported with detailed facts will do just as well on this blog. Push it often enough, sooner or later they won’t be able to ignore it.




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    • KaitoGhost says:

      As a veteran of the console forums, I can assure you that the moderation there is inconsistent and heavy handed. A player received a 3 day ban for “name and shaming” one of the AI bots in the Proving Grounds as a lighthearted joke. I received a 3 day ban for “name and shaming” myself as a joke. One of the founders of “the other forum” was banned for posting a guide on how to play a certain tank (IS-7, if I recall correctly) in General Discussion instead of the never-visited Russian Tank sub-forum. WGA staff has been a joke for a long time now, and is a major reason why I not only no longer visit the official forums, but no longer even play WoT Console.




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  19. Anonymous says:

    That’s what you get for playing the craptastic console games.




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  20. Anonymous says:

    Oh yeah, nearly forgot. WG staff have been known to change forumers posts without informing the poster or placing the red text below saying it had been modified.
    I actually know a player who recieved a permenant ban after a certain “gameplay expert” amended a post that was 3 months old and reported it.




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  21. Sqn Ldr B says:

    This kind of behaviour is a savage indictment of the sheer stupidity that permeates that forum’s moderation team and their idiotic reactionary way of moderating. There is no room for jokes, banter, humour or just a generally easygoing atmosphere, it’s limited to strict humourless discussion of their (terrible) game, and nothing else, unless you’re one of their unctuous following. The admin staff are belligerent and/or mostly useless when answering questions, and those members who kowtow to WG are the only ones listened to. I was permabanned for making what apparently was a tasteless joke, despite it being hardly anything worthy of being permanently kicked out. In the end I was basically pushed before I could jump, rather than the usual cliché. I’ve stopped playing the game and I obviously can’t go on their forum now. It’s populated by morons and kowtowing, obsequious cretins, and the whole development of the game is being driven by a stupid pay-to-win doctrine that includes very little actual content and yet is still lapped up by their posse of imbeciles on the forum.




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  22. Seth says:

    “I immediately received, I kid you not, an “Educational Warning””

    You must have forgot to give a trigger warning first so that they could run to their safe spaces. Welcome to the reality of quite a few US millennials and their fragile psyche.

    I love that they you got the warning for a “non-constructive post” and yet if you provide constructive criticism, a constructive post, you get banned, harassed, etc. To them a “constructive post” evidently is to brown nose them and blow smoke up their a$$es.




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  23. Thaldor says:

    I said this during the Foch incident and this is just like a dot on the i.

    Looking from the view of ex-software engineer, today independent game designer/3D artist/”the angry guy who kicks everyone to do boring projects that bring the startup at least money to get bread on the table”. The WG just seems to have ourgrown the skills of it’s leads way too fast. Managing multi-national company which has hundreds even thousands of employees needs a lot more skill and experience than running a small studio with tens of employees and the most important ones are communication, management and guidelines. WG seems to miss at least communication and guidelines if not completely but at least for the major parts because it seems that every single sideoffice is doing their own thing without knowing what the hell even the office in the next door is doing.

    Probably all of the big international game companies (like EA, Ubisoft, Take-Two and especialy Nintendo) have very strict guidelines and codes of conduct that every employee must know and follow (especially when working in PR) and clear line of command. Something like the “second state” of the Foch incident wouldn’t happen within them because no one else gives out press releases without getting stamps from people who have authority to do that after they have consulted deparments and people whos job is to make sure the press release isn’t full of bullshit and drag the company further down into a press nightmare. Most of them even have the same forum platforms / support platforms for all of their studios just to keep PR in same place so that they can fastly react and have needed professionals on the hand. Moderation on forums might be done by language areas but mostly they all have the same guidelines for moderation.

    The Foch incident is a great example how WGs branches are running around like a headless chickens. When the shit started to hit the fan the WGEU started the damage control and it was starting to work, until WGNA went and made their own “damage control” and throw even more shit at the fan. If WG was well founded and managed someone would have called Cyprus and woke up people at the WGHQ to do the damage control so that none of the branches would have gone and release their own stuff without knowing what others are doing. Even better would have been a guideline to say something like “We are sorry for that and we are in the middle of negotiating with the parties and are following the community discussion for constructive feedback” as default in the case of shit hitting the fan. Everybody knows the first press release from the company in that situation is mostly some BS that someone has prewritten at the marketing department a long time ago to silent some of the public outcry, but it’s still extremely effective way to control the press damage, hell, most of the community/social media fire dies out when the company just says “We fucked up, we are sorry” with the most standard and universal press release that is clearly ment to be given at anytime shit hits the fan.

    Then to the point of community contributor program. I would have thought that CCs would have had their status in every part of the WG unconstrained by the branch which gave the status. At least, I thought, every branch would have a huge note on their PR wall about every CC with a note “handle with care because these motherfuckers will go public and people know them”. Same thing with public figures like Jim Sterling (thank god for him) who are known to take the salt, add their own heat and throw it out to the public to be ripped appart.




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  24. RAD FROOD 25 says:

    One problem with the game and that’s Paingod remove him and the game will recover.

    They started with these permo camo schemes…… I’m all for a nation to have a flag tank and 1 hero tank but the amount of cash grabbing, making us pay over the odds for a premium tank just because it has a permo camo.

    The so called mercenary tree that is in development, is it coming, i doubt it. I asked in the forums and got nothing back from the devs.




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  25. Vex says:

    I’ve never had an issue on the console forum. Been on there since the beta days back in 2013 and the staff have been nothing but kind to myself and the moderation taken against users have been more than fair in my experiences. Odd that some people have had a bad experiences with them, there must be something else going on, a missing part of the story.




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    • Vex says:

      That or there’s some trigger happy mods.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Some of the staff are brilliant, but unfortunately they don’t frequent the forums a lot, the forums started slipping when Lady O was moved. When the mods started giving people warnings for shaming a Proving Ground AI and for making a how to play the IS-7 thread then it was obvious there was trouble brewing. One forumer was perma banned for joking with a friend about kidnapping his family (bad taste, but every forumer knew it was a joke), yet a fanboy joked about killing another forumer and nothing was done, it’s the double standards that most forumers don’t like.




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  26. R35T NO MORE says:

    Hi, i’m the co-founder of the alternative console forum. Been playing since beta went live in Europe. Spent thousands on the game, i was in the supertest program for longer than all but a handful of people who were active, and have made countless threads, posts, and PMs to help players regarding the game, and have also given WG a fair few suggestions, at least 1 of which is now part of the game (there’s a point to me blowing all that smoke where the sun doesn’t shine, bear with me)

    Bearing all that in mind, i was hounded near non stop by mods, with a period of months where near every post i made, advice, idle chat or banter, was reported as off topic or derailing, and bans followed, the IS-7 line guide review (posted for the on track event) being a prime example.

    It got to the point where i gave up making helpful posts as i was getting punished for it, and the times when i made posts containing constructive critism, yes men would post sly insults against me in an attempt to bait me into a flame war so they could, yet again, get me banned.

    Nowadays i barely post. The awful moderation, and yes men trolls that seek to derail any thread that isn’t praise, have made attempting to be a useful, helpful forumer a harder task than it is worth.

    Their forum is now merely an echo chamber, with people attempting to voice their own opinions getting jumped on if they aren’t praise of WG. The vast majority of helpful or fun forumers are gone as a result.

    It’s a huge shame as for a few years i really enjoyed being a part of that community. Now it’s, unfortunately, dull at best and outright toxic and hostile at the worst.




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  27. Anonymous says:

    They should get a group of about 100-300 people with 20k+ battles who play a variety of different vehicles and who listen to fellow tankers to provide feedback. At the moment the only way to get feedback across is to spam it in their twitch chat until they get sick of seeing it and say something.




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  28. inti watjen - munoz says:

    Yeah I think this is ridiculous, I have been playing very frequently since 2013 and have watched the game evolve and devolve. It’s insane that it took the Chicago office over 4 years to simply switch some audio cues around in order to give us national crew voices.

    Every “update” it’s some new pointless feature no-one wants or needs instead of bug fixes or balance to tanks like buffing and nerfing tanks.
    Plus the new matchmaker would be nice as well.




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  29. GlennA says:

    Well the console version right now is basically stagnating as they adopt a “release more reskinned premiums” approach to game development.

    I just don’t see console lasting much longer I mean even WoTNA servers are starting to struggle but honestly they probably have more life left in them than the console version of this game given how bad the community and console staff are.




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    • Anonymous says:

      There’s about 110k frequent players on the Consol these days, about 6 months ago it was about 135k-140k frequent players. Yet if you ask WG there’s no problem, their perfect and can do no wrong. All advice veteran players offer gets ignored and it’s killing the game.




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  30. josh says:

    its a shame to see this game in this state ive wondered for a while now why ive found this game no fun seeing reskin after reskin the flag tanks should have been a warning ive not seen the stuff going on with the forums as i dont frequent them enough i was wondering where some people had gone if wargaming happen to be looking at this page change your damn ways wittyliner69er out




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  31. Did 1 kill you says:

    I deleted the game yesterday. I reckon I am in top 1% for money paid over 3 years. The direction the game is taking is poor. The on track to the fucking 183 is a joke. The weather maps where once you’re spotted you are dead are a joke. Tier X is a random lottery. If it’s not a cartoon tank, reskin or autoloader it is not considered. Artillery is a joke. The nerf to accuracy is a joke. The 5 man platoons are a joke. The match maker is an absolute fucking joke. The general lack of balance is a joke. The new maps are piss poor. The total map rotation is a joke. The lack of technical support in terms of game mechanics questions is a joke.

    The playerbase is genuinely shit.




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