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The World of Russian Tanks and a few other nations that do not really matter.

Balance is something Wargaming has evidently no real grasp on or desire to see done with their new tank game. Balance and realism are changed and swapped with each other when it benefits the Russian line. I do not see this playing out well.

Author: CastorHoS

The World of Russian Tanks and a few other nations that do not really matter.

Posted by CastorHoS Tuesday November 30 2010 at 10:06AM
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    Having spent close to 20 years in or around the game industry I have to say that balance is one of the most common problems that any player or developer faces in a game where people are able to either square off against one another or stats are kept.

    Who has the most kills, damage over time, hardest single blow, who has taken the most damage, etc, etc, etc. These are all stats we look at when a game lists them and more times than not can point to balance issues within a game. Other times they may simply point to the difference between classes in a game. 

    Balance is something that is as important to a game as anything and when done well the game is enjoyable for all. When done poorly, well, let's just say that some people like the challenge of taking underpowered classes or characters as far as they can. I can only pound my head off of that wall so many times before it gets old in a hurry.

    Enter World of Tanks. Enter World of Russian Tanks with a few other nations that do not really matter. The first name is the correct one, the second is what the game is beginning to feel and look like to those not stuck playing Russian only tanks.

    Balance in this game is done by using some data pulled from the Russian servers to show how well tanks survive, the damage they deal, damage done to them and their win rates.  If you are scratching your head on how this actually is being used to balance tanks you are not alone.

    Each nation has, or will have, three distinct lines for vehicles in the game. Self-propelled guns (artilery), tank destroyers (think howitzer with treads) and tanks (light, medium and heavy). These lines are then broken into tiers, so far tier one through ten are in for most of them with a few exceptions left out in closed beta. These can easily be seen by going to the World of Tanks website, since I do not have permission to report them I am unable to help you with that part.

    Now the tiers are the important factor. This is basically the "level" system of the game. Tier one is the lowest and tier ten the highest. Pretty straight forward and consistant with what we have in other games. Then comes the problem of balance.

    If you look at a Tier 8 medium tank between the 3 existing nations you should see either of a few ways to balance them out against one another. Either they straight up possess the same damage, speed and armor or one may have an advantage in speed while it falls below the others in armor and damage, or a variation of that thought process. This game does not have that and from all looks and talks of the developers, never will.

    What the developers have done falls more along the lines of propganada then a game. I hate to put it that way but as I said, in 20 years of being either a gamer or sitting on the other side of the fence, I have never seen or heard of such a blatant attempt to underpower one or more sides while giving such a large advantage to the "home team". Pick almost any current FPS out and you would be hard pressed to see any large gap between one nation or side over an opposing nation or side.

     Their testing and balancing methods have been picked apart to show the lack of consideraton for the one main thing that can skew any data collected for a game, the human element. One player alone with a fully upgraded crew and tank can swing some battles all by themselves. You also have maximum 3 man squads which also factors into that. Poors players also factor into this and can hurt that data from being accurate because of one game design element that has already shown to skew data, that being the autoaim feature.

     Autoaim will lock on to a target for you in order to track targets far away. This is fine for that purpose or if a tank is tanding still it gives you the ability to simple lock on and fire away. The problem lies n the fact that the autoaim locks on to the turret of the tank ( the most heavily armored part) and it does not lead a moving target for you. Read that again and then go back to the metrics they use to determine balance.

     See the problem yet? A couple hundred lazy players who would rather ping round after round off a turret are going to skew the data used to see damamge being done and/or taken. It is also going to skew how well one tanks survives vs. how well the others in it's own tier survive.

     They do have a very good concept for a game. The implementation and follow through is something else. Star Wars Galaxies and a lot of other games were good concepts and they failed.