The Problems with Wargaming League [Rant]

Rant by michiganspeed and PompousMagnus

(Seb: it’s actually something that needs rework, so I invite you to discuss in the comments your opinions about it; I found this rant very well thought out so I decided to share it)

Now that the finals are over, I thought it would be a good time to talk about some of the problems with WoT eSports.

  • The Format

The Wargaming league originally started using the 7/42 format, which was 5 tier 8 and two tier 1 tanks. I played in the gold league when it was this format under Simplistic, and it was both boring to play and boring to watch. Over the next few seasons they would increase the points to allow more tanks and higher tiers until it settled on the current format of 7/68, 6 tier 10s and a tier 8. This format is superior in my opinion because it showcases the endgame content of tier X tanks, and allows a much greater variance of tanks used. Even with all of these changes the format is still terrible for an eSport because its foreign to the average player. When you look at other eSports such as CS:GO, Overwatch, Halo, Dota and Smite the game format the pros play is the EXACT same game that anyone can play, tanks is the only one that is different. The gameplay being so different means that players who watch it actually gain very little from the streams. A viewer will never need to know strats on how to push 5 batchats on cliff or perform a north cap on himmels. Going further, the gametype of attack defend is not a part of the random battles. These map layouts and conditions are never seen by the average player outside of the streams. Wargaming did add “team battles” into the game, but it was implemented poorly and left to die.

  • RNG.

This may come as a shock to some people but I think RNG should stay in the game, as most games have some sort of RNG. Even DOTA, one of the most popular eSports in the world, has some RNG. The problem with WoT is that everything in the core gameplay is based heavily on RNG in contrast to many other games use it for specific reasons / features (such as crit hits or bullet spreads). One big gripe of mine is ammo racking tanks. This mechanic has no place in a competitive eSport environment. During this season against AM60, Get Flanked ammo racked an enemy batchat from full health to dead instantly. That wasn’t skill, that was bullshit luck. Suddenly they enemy team was down a tank and we crushed them. The only thing to to protect from the chance of getting ammo racked is not get shot.

  • Boosts are another problem.

We had to spend hours learning how to master these stupid little map boosts. Some people claim to love them because they are a “skill” thing to do, but really for me these boosts break the maps. This just makes league play another step away from what the public actually plays. Normal players will never really be able to use these boosts in pub battles, and they seem to get patched / changed every few releases. Steppes in particular has become very annoying to play with the boosts. I think WG should just cut these out all together as it will force the players to play the maps like everyone else, making it more enjoyable for the average viewer.

So how can the league format be fixed? Wargaming is dumping tons of money into the WG league over the past few years, but its failed to really take off. Viewership across all regions is very low compared to other eSports. The way I see it there are a few ways that WG should go about changing this…

  • Change Format to 14/140.

Changing the format to be 14/140 (leaving the last spot for an observer) would be one quick change to breath life into the Wargaming League. While I am sure the logistics of having a 20 man team (14 starters and 6 backups) would be a nightmare, it would be the better for the league. They should also get rid of the attack and defend gametype and instead use the same format as clan wars with a 10 minute timer to speed things up. Two bases so both teams can win by cap but one team is designated the “defender” and wins in the case of a draw just like in clan wars. They would then switch sides and play the map again with the other team “defending”. This will prevent camping and stagnation that they saw in the original 7/42 gametype. This would be huge for viewers as it will allow them to go and learn strategies that they can take directly to strongholds and clan wars (which they will need to fix but that’s another issue). So think of this new league format as “clan wars & strongholds pro”. The endgame content is already there, and this will just tie the eSport format directly to it. This will also allow WG to market it as the biggest eSport in history. I am sure they would love to use that.

  • Competitive/Ranked Playlist

However, I think adding “Ranked” matchmaking battles into World of Tanks is also a good option. The team battle system was clunky and not easy to use. These battles should be just as easy and quick to get into as standard random battles. This ranked format should match what the pros are playing, and if WG wants to keep teams small a 7/70 attack/defend format could work really well. This gametype could have reduced RNG, removal of ammo racking tanks, and maybe a few other tweaks. Teams should vote on maps, and the game would be first to three wins. Teams to would then choose tanks before the start of each round. Basically faceit but actually built into the game and supported by Wargaming. The system could even have separate ladders like in starcraft or overwatch with prizes given out at the end of a season. I guarantee that if the game mode was giving out free gold, credits, premium tanks or camo, people would play it. You could have have the have a ladder system that gives prizes out at the end of the season, here is an example I came up with:

  • Ace: Credits, Gold, Camo, Tier 10&8 Premium
  • Master: Credits, Gold, Camo, Tier 8 Premium
  • Lieutenant: Credits, Gold, Camo
  • Sergeant: Credits and Gold
  • Recruit: Credits

This would give new players incentive to enter the ranked battles and get to bronze ranking. These players will then watch the Wargaming league to learn the new meta to improve their own ranks. The premium tanks would be exclusive to ladder winners until the next season when they are added to the rewards of clan wars which helps drive the endgame ecosystem. Right now the only “competitive” game mode is clan wars, which leaves much to be desired. Having a ranked / competitive mode will help keep players invested into the game.

  • Lack of Fantasy

This was one of the main reasons people watched at all. To see if there favourite player did well that day or not. They killed all the prizing and made it more of a bragging rights thing rather than a event to get people to look into the pro leauge.

  • Advertisement/ Fan Gear

Wargaming’s, in my opinions biggest failing was they dont allow to you buy your favourite teams camo for you tank, or emblems to show off who you root for. This was one of the main things in other games like Cs:go that make the game more enjoyable for the players and for the teams. It is a huge mistake to not even look into this type of catering to the fan base.

Secondly, WG almost never posted about matches on the official page. If they wanted the leauge to be something special they would have done more to let the average player know about the games pro scene.

31 thoughts on “The Problems with Wargaming League [Rant]

  1. ” Two bases so both teams can win by cap but one team is designated the “defender” and wins in the case of a draw just like in clan wars.(…) This will prevent camping”

    ??? Defending team auto switch into camper team 0.00001 second after match start. And then switch of sides – so after 10 minutes of campfest on first base, we can now watch another 10 minutes of camping on same map…

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    1. In that case it’s worse now because the defender doesn’t get a base to try to cap. At least this way they can try to take attacker’s cap

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  2. They made WGL fantasy really great two seasons ago; the interface was great, it was interesting to pick teams, and there was plenty of prizes. The system was working really well…and then they abandoned everything when the latest season started. Makes no damn sense.

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  3. slightly off topic, but the one thing that struck me more than anything watching the finals was the presentation, i did not once see a name of a player on screen when the camera switched to a certain person, you could see someone have a stormer of a match and still wont have a clue as to who it was on the team.

    even names on the front of there friggin shirts would help

    small thing yeah, but things like this helps new watchers into things and builds more of a connection to the teams you follow

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ii dont play clan wars or anything like that but i will 100% agree that the current attack/defense thing they have for it is crap because as you said its a different game. i really think you hit on something though when you said add some sort of competitive non random battle mode. i think if wgl and that ranked mode both had the same sort of maps and game mode then people would have something familiar to watch and play. having a 7 per side game mode sort of like wows ranked battles were you are thrown in to a team with other people around the same ranking as you. then you need to work together to beat the enemy team of random people thrown together that sounds like it could be fun because that game mode in wows is awesome. also the ladders thing is a great idea i would play the shit out of a mode where if i perform well i get rewarded in the ways you said plus that would put an end to my genuine fear of soon running out of things to do in the game because im not far off having every tier 10 im interested in unlocked.

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  5. for me. the things i want from League are

    1. return of silver and bronze. these were minor leagues so players who wanted to develop as a team could start off and earn some gold for our time (league takes alot of time for practice)

    2. league accounts (cause with gold being requried so often….like shooting hulldown e5s..both teams need equal access to it as otherwise the team with gold has an advantage over one who doesnt)

    3. EVE-bet style for WoT. EVE-bet was a website where you could take in game currency(in EVE, ISK, in WoT, Silver) and bet it on teams dependign on match, set of matches, and entire tournament.
    This made me become invested in league as i wanted to see my teams win. or see how other teams played so i might bet on them in the future.

    4. “Banned tank” style.
    almost EVERY esport has this where you ban anywhere from 2-10 champions/heroes/ ships. or tanks.
    the point of this is to force people out of using the same meta over and over. and use unusual tank set ups with new strategies to create a new experience every time.
    when you see both teams pick the same set up time after time. map after map. its BORING it gets old FAST.

    Now imagine one team bans E5 and 113. the other team bans Russian X meds and batchat.

    all of a sudden you have team set ups that are different from previous matches, and get to see some of the other tier 10s used in new strats than ever before.

    4.1 “Banned style point system”
    This is a EVE esport version. in addition to both teams banning 2 ships, each ship is also worth points based on what kind it is and what tier.

    This means one team could have more players, while the other team may go heavier tanks.

    this creates the odd matches of low tier tanks being used as scouts and view range bush traps. while higher tier tanks beat up a larger number of higher tiers.

    this might nto work for WoT, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. i loved the 2 tier 1s in the old format because teams used them differently. from view range, to mobile cover, to cappers, to “RIP AMX 50 100 ASS”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. some very good points that made a lot of sense but i dont think you said anything about the mode and how youd format that? (as in would you keep with the attac/defense thing or would you change it to some sort of domination game mode (wows random battle has this 3 caps get points by killing stuff and holding caps first to a certain threshold or to kill all the enemys wins or would you go for some sort of an encounter mode etc)

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      1. ah sorry. and thanks

        the mode would copy EVE’s basic mode. aka WoT’s random battle.
        2 flags. 1 per team. kill all or cap.

        though i would VERY MUCH like that 2 cap defense mode to be implimented into clan wars or strongholds(for stronghold defense?) as its rather fun(and abusable. we keep putting all our heavies in the middle of the 2 caps while 1 batchat on each cap caps…..so enemy has to go through all of us to stop both)

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    2. on a non-league topic

      Theres a list of stuff WG could do inspired from EVE

      From EVE Fanfest (where all dev teams talk about what they working on. give previews. etc)

      *warning, devs are not good at public speaking but they try.

      to a player elected council of players who tell the devs what players want added/changed. and devs actually do it (voted for yearly)
      https://community.eveonline.com/community/csm/
      http://csm.eveonline.com/

      https://community.eveonline.com/community/csm/your-csm/

      Transcribed Notes of all the things discussed by the player council with devs (so you know they did what you voted for them for)
      http://cdn1.eveonline.com/community/csm/Meetings/summit/CSM10-S2.pdf

      A Roadmap of updates (so players can see what updates have happened in the past, and what ones are upcoming)
      https://updates.eveonline.com/

      all of this is ways for the devs to make the game players want. rather than face hell on earth like the “emblem stat” fiasco.

      Like

    3. They did try the “tank bans” in WGL APAC a year (or two years?) ago, when it was 7/54. It looked fun because you had teams playing with 5 50 100, 1 King Tiger, and 1 KV-2, and all other goofy-looking setups that they make work.

      The League Accounts, I think has to be implemented on a “earn by skill” kind of basis. Like, if you make it in Silver League, and as long as you stay in Silver League, you will get a different account (or you can get special tanks that is only usable in League games)

      All in All, I believe WGL isn’t their priority right now (which is sad and a little understandable if they fix the core game first then focus on WGL afterwards) that’s why it is what it is now.

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  6. “That wasn’t skill, that was bullshit luck.”

    I disagree here. You need proper aiming (which is still skill – many pro players actually aim at ammo racks) and fail from the ammo racked person (people know where they have ammo rack and many good players avoid showing it actively).

    Yes, you can still get randomly hit, but it’s actually pretty rare. Getting ammo rack like this is about as usual as triggering some LoL RNG just the way you need it or getting two headshots instead of one (still one of my favourite feats of Olofmeister, and he’d probably be the first one to admit that he needed lots of luck in addition to skill there).

    It’s mostly the mindset of the watchers. WoT audience hates RNG, so when they see it, they whine. CS/LoL audience takes it as something interesting, since most of the other stuff is very predictable – so they take it as a freshening moment and welcome it.

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  7. I never watched a single full minute of WGL stream.
    I only ways I heard about is were:
    -spam on the portal page. *yawn*
    -advertising panels on Sand River => not a bad idea, but they’d look better in a 40’s design. With flames and shit, it just doesn’t fit to the environment of WWII tanks fighting each other. And putting it on a single map isn’t a great idea, since the map rotation gives you 3 maps/day.
    -Fcking WGL camo on the 13 57 and the german Bulldog. Seen how it ruins their appearance, by association, “WGL = unwanted spam” => won’t want to watch nor buy.
    If they want to make people use their horrible camo, at least make it available for everybody, on any tank and with a small bonus to motivate them to participate to WGL’s advertisement (+5% exp bonus/credits/whatever). The special WGL premium could just have a unique paint scheme without making it eyebleeding, like on the Skorp G/Mutz/… and contain “L” in their name for “League”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. totally agree about the camos they ruined 2 perfectly good tanks with those camos that just look shit. mean while some of the camos for tanks being used look pretty cool like there was 1 team had a really cool looking yellow and black camo design and it looked awesome and itd be cool if you could select a camo to show your support for a particular team or something like that. thats an idea actually if teams were allowed to make their own tank camos designs that would be awesome because then people could get creative plus if regular non league players are playing in random battles with these camos they could have a toggle button turning on or off the wgl camos so if they dont want to see them they dont have to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Why couldn’t they have picked a different tank for the GF camo. Could have given it to the M4 Rev. or made another Cromwell clone, but no, they stuck it on the only French light trainer.

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        1. yeah that really pissed me off and we still havent gotten another option for french lt crew training and its been what 2 years? since that tank came out. its hilarious because the americans the germans and the french have the highest number of lts to use yet america has no high tier lt prems available and the germans and french had theirs ruined. yet the chinese nation which has 3 lts above tier 5 has 2 prems. a tier 6 and a tier 7…

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  8. Big no/no on the format. I don’t care that it’s different to random battles or competitive modes.
    1. Logistics – it’d be a nightmare. Realistically teams would have to have 20 players, organizing training with 20 players would be complicated, event with 6 teams = 120 players, prize pools would have to double (if you cut them in half nobody’s gonna play), teams would need to find new players – quality of league would decrease or we’d end up with 4 teams per league.
    2. Gameplay – 14 people are able to get much more map control. Right now games are full of rotations, because it’s impossible to control the whole map with 7 people, 14 people kinda can. The battle would be more about big fights in some locations rather than tactical approach, rotations and finding weakspots in enemy defense like it is now. Anyone who watched the finals can see that the battles were close and tense, albeit some of them were slow. Also, calling is much easier in 7 v 7 compared to 14 v 14, organizing 14 people would be tougher and less pleasant to viewer (lately we could hear team comms, they’d be a miss if 14 ppl were there).
    So while changing the format might attract more viewers IMO it’d kill the gameplay and interest from players themselves.

    Climbs – kinda agree, the really big and gamebreaking ones should be patched, rest can stay IMO, I don’t see an issue with being able to climb mines safely or climbing a mount in Himmels, it’s practically another mechanic and skill to learn and meta is dynamic thanks to them (because you need to find ways to counter climbs). Re: Steppes climbs – IIRC DiNG won both matches on Steppes against Kazna without a single climb.

    Rest I agree with, Team camo purchasable ingame would be great, gamemode of same format would hopefully help people understand better. Instead of posting about battles on official page I’d rather like to see Twitch stream implemented into launcher – not many people visit official page but everybody has to start the game through the launcher.

    Liked by 1 person

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