Wargaming’s 2019 Promises

Hello,

seems like Wargaming is ending the year on a strong note with the news on their portal as they are promising a lot for 2019. Many of these promises were actual topics we discussed 2ish years ago and been asking as far as 3 years now but even although that time is distant now but like I recently wrote, I believe that is still not late for World of Tanks to turn things around.

So let’s see what we are to expect next year!

I’ve recorded my first proper WoT video in years to talk about the matter:

Transcript:

Premium Ammo Rebalancing

Besides in their intention to rework the whole mechanic the first thing that comes out of the bat is that they have decided to remove the ability to obtain ammo and consumables for Gold currency but then they ask the player base to start calling “Premium ammo” or “Gold ammo” as “special ammo” on the basis that the current nicknames given are inappropriate.

Personally, I find this slightly comical, for those that paid attention just a couple days ago to the comment section of the “WoT is dying” article, you may remember that I wrote the following:

GoldAMMO

This is a clear attempt at trying to distance themselves from being called a Pay to Win game but the reality is that whatever politically correct term they end up asking us to call it, it doesn’t mean that the Gold Ammo will disappear or that you wont have to exchange gold for credits in order to obtain it given the current currency situation of the game.

There is one British saying that fits quite well:

“Can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”

Secondly, the developers are also expressing their desire to lower the usage of Gold Ammo in-game and they brought up the current standing in which players choose their ammunition based on each given situation on the battlefield. They state how some players will choose to use HE on less armoured vehicles, like the Grille 15 for example, but the main focus for the player during the match is the armour penetration values associated with the ammunition.

To change that they want to do the following:

  • Gold Ammo: Reduce the damage per shot between 25 to 30% and sell them at a higher cost
  • Standard AP: Affordable and will deal more damage than Gold ammo.
  • High Explosive: Higher damage chance against all types of armour but lowest damage per shot. Cannot pierce obstacles and have a lower velocity. Cost not revealed.

It is clear that they are trying to bring back tactical flexibility very much similar to an early World of Tanks, however, I don’t believe that lowering the amount of damage that Gold Ammo deals will make people fire it less, despite the fact that it will be more expensive, especially since the overly armoured epidemic starting with the Japanese Heavies introduced in the game years ago. More than anything it will just make World of Tanks more Pay To Win than already is as it will take even more “Special Shells” to bring down a well-armoured target.

 

Matchmaker

The developers pointed out that since 2010 a lot of changes to the matchmaker were made, like tackling the “Fail-Platoons”, high amounts of SPGs per battle and that lastly in 2017 they added the 3-5-7 / 5-10 system that turned out to be quite controversial.

They still defend those changes affirming that battles become more acceptable however it raised further MM issues as this template is more rigid and can not dynamically and swiftly adapt to the queue’s gradual changes, it is also now harder for a player to be matched as a top-tier than once was, especially if you chose a vehicle between VI and VIII tiers.

In order to fix that, they are thinking of the following:

  • Add flexibility to the current system so it can better adapt to the queue evolution by adding more templates.
  • Two-tier battle: Possibility to add 6-9 and 7-8 templates
  • Three-tier battle: Possibility to add 4-5-6 and 5-5-5 templates.

They were not very specific in how these will be implemented but to our understanding, there will be a preferential order, given what’s available on the queue rooster, if a player(s) does not fit into the regular 3-5-7 / 5-10 template they will then rotate down into the sub templates created for each classic one.

It does look like a good change of direction. With the 4-5-6 and 5-5-5 ratios, it would mean that poor performing players would have less chance to ruin matches for everyone else, while the lower tiers would still have targets to sink their teeth into and vehicles like the Defender won’t have as much of an opportunity to dominate matches against lower tier machines that have no hopes of penetrating it.

However, there is no mention of anything about the lower tiers of the game. This suggests that there might be a lack of interest with these tiers, focusing more on the high end games, once more continuing their neglect.

 

The Return of Frontline

Some news that will be popular with some people is that Frontline mode will be returning early 2019, with a change in format into how it is run. Note that the core gameplay will not be touched. The most notable changes are: It will be run monthly and for one week at a time, there is an increase in prestige levels (from 3 to 10) and there are 30 levels for each prestige, and finally there will be a new points based currency each prestige which may be used to purchase special reward vehicles. Overall a good mode to see return and while providing the same XP and credits, it will provide something for both experienced and newer players.

 

Vehicle Rebalancing

The developers affirm that this year they have been actively rebalancing and adding new tanks and removing some old ones. I don’t believe you can sincerely call it “actively” given that the patch sizes these days are usually about ⅓ of the size they used to be and by ‘removing’ some of the older tanks from the researchable tech tree like the FV215B (183) and FV215B, it is leaving this policy open to interpretation, seeing as the older fanbase still retains access to these tanks, whilst denying the newer players to these capable vehicles.

Next year, they are looking to improve the vehicles who will be the most influenced/affected by the possibly coming Gold Ammo changes and nerf or buff vehicles depending on how power crept or overpowered they are and they have given us a list of the following:

  • E 100
  • IS-4
  • Leopard 1
  • STB-1
  • Kranvagn

Lastly, they expressed their interest to look at rebalancing the mid-tiers but they left it at that and it is important to note that once more the low tiers are not being mentioned here, leaving again, half of the tiers available in this game under neglect and ignoring the basics of what keeps a multiplayer game like World of Tanks being successful. It is important to cater for a new player base so that they are enticed to become long-term players just as it’s important to give enough content to the long-term players to keep on playing even longer.

 

New Vehicles

Next year the chances of seeing a new tech tree in the game are very slim as instead, the development will instead focusing purely on the Swedish tech tree. Wargaming have stated they intend to work on a medium tank line for the Swedes which is not surprising seeing as they have announced the Lansen C, which follows the usual Wargaming trend for a new line or tech tree: adding a premium so players can get a mini test of the line and start training their crews

It is too soon to confirm how many vehicles or what tier this tech tree line will start but two things they are sure of, one being that the Medium Swedes will have the Siege Mode mechanic and the other that they make a big promise by also adding that all of the upcoming vehicles will be entirely historical given that in the last tech trees added, at least half of the tanks were fictional. How they will play is up to speculation, but given they are based around the siege mode mechanic, one could surmise that they could be long-range support mediums. This in itself suggests Wargaming is focusing on mechanics and gimmicks rather than engaging gameplay, but this can only be answered when they hit the test server.

 

New Mechanics

Nothing much happening besides concepts and experiment phases that they are not yet willing to disclose.

 

Ranked Battles

The developers are now confirming that Ranked Battles will return in 2019 after they took in the player feedback and they understood that the previous system wasn’t the most optimal for anyone given the rift between casual and top players. To solve that predicament they reworked the Ranked Battles mechanics and separated it into 4 divisions.

Each division involves 15 ranks while reducing the number of Chevrons a player requires to reach Rank 15.

The 4 new divisions are, respectively Qualification, Bronze, Silver and Gold and it is not possible to drop into a lower one once you have advanced and Chevrons will be earned depending on how well each player performs.

 

Clan Wars

It’s now confirmed that the new Clan Wars reward will be the T95/FV4201 Chieftain, starting in January.

Bonds Shop

In relation to vehicles being removed from the tech tree, Wargaming is now offering the chance for you to buy them from the bond shop, in a similar fashion to the arsenal in World of Warships. While the merits of having them removed from general purchase can be debated, if it is implemented in a similar way to the arsenal it could provide an interesting system of acquiring new tanks. However, this all depends on the methods available to acquire new bonds for if it relies on clan battles and ranked, it would still punish newer players who would take an exponentially longer time to grind these vehicles. It should be noted that the bonds shop will be split into 2 rounds next year, first round focusing on pre-existing vehicles and the second round aiming at exclusive vehicles.

 

Premium Account

In the article, wargaming have stated they intend to shake up the Premium system from the current system they have been using for 8 years. They state this change is forthcoming due to the introduction of personal reserves which in certain cases provide better bonuses than the account benefits themselves. While they haven’t been specific in the changes, apart from larger bonuses and unique opportunities, we can make an educated guess from the WoWS development where we could see a specific premium account that provides a large bonus for the selected game, or a general account which would provide an equal coverage over all the Wargaming games, but note this is not for certain.

 

Customization Styles

Wargaming has revealed they intend to carry on their unique skins for tanks in the game, highlighting all those they released this year for these tanks: 50TP, Caernarvon Action X, KV2 (R), BDR G1 B, T57 Heavy, Bat.-Châtillon 25 t, Grille 15 and IS-7. As of yet, they have not mentioned what tanks they plan to implement these unique styles to next.

 

Tank Race

To round it all off, Wargaming has teased us with mention of a tank race, whether this harkens back to the days of the Chaffee races hasn’t been revealed. We have been told to keep an eye on the news, and we will keep you updated when it is revealed.

 

Overall these are welcoming changes, however, I am very apprehensive with the small prints especially with the “Special Ammo” and the selling of “removed” vehicles,

Let me know what you think of the changes in the comment section below!

 

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