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WoT v WT effort-thread

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So, WoT/WoW vs WT/WTGF...

 

I know it's been hashed out before, but I'd kind of like to discuss it from a design/play perspective instead a whine/wish-fulfilment fantasy one (background reading).

 

 

For my money, WT is enjoyable but commits some of the cardinal sins of the Free-to-play/pay-to-win model. There is an obscene level of grinding, along with ridiculous advantages for the lucky few who can afford to sink a fortune into it. Don't even get me started on premium vehicles.

 

On the other hand; it's hella pretty, realistic/simulation battles are my thing and the pacing is slow enough so that my ridiculous lag doesn't make me too uncompetitive.

 

WoT, on the other hand, is a more polished online game; with better balance (yes really) and more tactical play than 'point at thing, click button'. Additionally, I feel that WoT is the better model for free-to-play: less pandering to whales and less obvious money-sinks means that the player base is likely to remain bigger and more active than WT.

 

I'd value your thoughts here, on the strict basis that this doesn't generate into another whine/gloat thread.

 

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All the above ring true. In WT's defence, however, I'd argue that realism implies a certain level of random confusion. I just wish they would then run with realism instead of also introducing gamefied bullshit.

On another tangent, I love how WTGF's matchmaking and metagame as an argument for how overrated a lot of German gear is.

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For having good graphics I am dismayed at how poorly designed the game play is. The worst is the lack of ground friction (whatever the technicall term is) of tank driving. It feels like I'm driving a skateboard in an 8-bit Nintendo game.

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The biggest killer of WT for me is the amount of time I need to dedicate to a battle. In WoT, I can crank out a fight every 5-7 minutes, even if I die and have to use another tank. In WT, it takes what, half an hour to find and play a Realistic battle? Pass.

 

This is it for me. WT tanks feels like it was designed with an intense disregard if not outright antipathy for its players' time. I decided I was done when I got critted by arty, alt-tabbed and played a round of WoT.'

 

Also it seems like the design decisions were driven by a weird hybrid of realism, "realism", and being not WoT with three modes done by scabbing UI changes onto a base game, while WoT has a very coherent idea of gameplay that makes for a game whose elements work well together. WoT is a third person shooter where there's an action economy that really matters, situational awareness is king, and most important for me a good decision is very likely to get consistently rewarded (although it's easy to get angry when you think you made a good decision and were instead gambling).

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It should also be mentioned that part of the problem with realism in games is that it tends to make unrealistic stuff stand out even more. So, for instance, the fact that WTGF BR3 consists almost entirely of Tigers vs. various flavours of IS bugs me more than it would otherwise.

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A game that uses the control inputs of one player with one set of eyes and one brain to do the jobs of four or five people with hopefully a proportional number of brains and eyes always makes me twitch when it claims to be hugely realistic.

 

At that point being themed or inspired by it and being unafraid to take the game where gameplay goes is one good option (I think tanks did a relatively decent option).

 

The other is to not try to slavishly make realistic mechanics when your simulation has massive holes in it. The goal for a realistic game should then to be to make an interface that has a realistic feel and gameplay that creates a realistic set of decisions for the player. I would contend that a game with abstracted mechanics that makes the player make the same decisions as his real life counterpart does is more realistic than a game with realistic mechanics that changes the decisions or interactions because of an incomplete simulation. For example, I tend to feel that some form of vision mechanics is a good idea in fighter sims because the FoV of the pilot isn't as small as a monitor and he has the significant advantage of knowing which way his neck is craned to have a rough idea of where his plane is pointed.

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Agreed.

This makes me think what we want is verisimilitude, rather than realism. It also reminds me of the issues inherent in top-down vs. bottom-up simulation.

Some of WT's issues can then be seen as stemming from attempts at bottom-up, realistic simulation: the idea that if you make the physics and mechanics as close to real as possible, then the play will naturally result in more realistic scenarios and outcomes.

Unfortunately, going this route tends to result in unexpected, emergent behaviour when your things bump up against the limits of the realism you have provided.

Like you said, a top-down approach is often better on this regard due to the fact that the designer gets to set limits on mechanical interactions and has more power to balance things. Even so, I tend to find that I enjoy more slavishly realistic games (especially where realistic physics is involved) just because the weirdness thay results is in itself entertaining.

tl;dr: fuck the jpz IV/70 and all the tools who bought it from such a shamelessly predatory company. And fuck the La-5, at least until I can get one.

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Yeah, it started out as a game whose main sin was being bland, but it was moving in an okay direction and had some cool stuff (like the picture in picture which was the first decent solution I've seen for being able to keep your eyes bouncing between an enemy and having a rough idea where your plane was pointed). I liked it. I was utterly fantastic at it. Like top ten players good. And then they made german heavy fighters an I win button, made a lot of the most famous planes bad to awful, and they released it in that condition, at which point a certain collection of morons who wanted to think they were way better than they were triple linked german heavy fighters, pubbed to a 95% win rate, and killed the game.

 

God damn it.

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It turns out that I'm also pretty good at WoWP (mainly in American and British planes). Which is... odd, considering how aggressively average I am at nearly any other game type. Unfortunately, it turns out that lag starts to really matter once you get to high-speed props and early jets. So I ended up maxing out the planes I could play and didn't progress further.

 

With WT, on the other hand, it's really hard to tell if anyone is any good. I mean, I just played three matches where I got my wing torn off on the first pass after a 5 minute flight in.

So I don't even know if any skills are involved here.

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It turns out that I'm also pretty good at WoWP (mainly in American and British planes). Which is... odd, considering how aggressively average I am at nearly any other game type. Unfortunately, it turns out that lag starts to really matter once you get to high-speed props and early jets. So I ended up maxing out the planes I could play and didn't progress further.

 

With WT, on the other hand, it's really hard to tell if anyone is any good. I mean, I just played three matches where I got my wing torn off on the first pass after a 5 minute flight in.

So I don't even know if any skills are involved here.

 

I used to solopub a high 70's percent win rate in WoWP, and I did a pretty decent amount of synch playing against one of the other best in the process. He was a better duellist, but I tended to get kills faster. So yeah, I'm miffed that they killed it with some of the worst concieved changes I've ever seen in a game.

 

In contrast, WT in the mode that doesn't burden the game with way too much simulationism and enforced bad situational awareness has a control scheme where joystick is massively worse, and catching someone unawares is a likely death sentence for them because the planes are quite maneuverable and it's just a matter of being able to point a camera and click in front of a plane. The effect of all the realistically modeled armament stuff is that the damage dealt is functionally quite random, with luck shots and unlucky full loads of ammunition aplenty. This randomness reduces the difference between a momentary firing opportunity and a solid advantage in position, diminishing the role of skill in dogfights. Even worse, the furball is dragged low by the ground targets, and planes respawn with an altitude advantage, meaning that players who get shot down can come back with an energy advantage that means unless they actively screw up they can pick someone and get a free kill. War Thunder is actively designed to mitigate the effects of high player skill.

 

WoWP is the only flight game I played where skill in maneuvering your plane and maintaining situational awareness while doing so was paramount and could really decide a game. Every other one is about being better able to manipulate some sort of awkward camera interface better than the other guy with flight skill a distant second that's only really relevant if both parties are equally capable with the camera, or was something where the game was set up to minimize the effects of good management of the player's plane.

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I have great memories of soloing a match or two in WoWP.

 

My overall feeling is that there is a perfect aerial combat game out there somewhere, but that WoWP and WT ain't it.

 

I'll wait and hope until the coming of our one true lord and maneauver-fighter. Until then, I'll do the best I can with a dead game and a broken one.

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Personally I think WoWP in the mid-beta stage did a reasonably good job of capturing the decision making process of fighter combat, and made it a good mix of ACM prowess and situational awareness, but it was hard to control without a joystick and it had an agressively, unnecessarily bland flight model. I can totally understand why a decent number of people weren't nearly as eager as I to forgive its flaws, but I do miss it.

 

I don't know if I see anything like it coming along for a while. The other games with similar ideas don't have the same flexibility in UI, and often tend to be jets with missiles, which I feel fundamentally weakens the importance of gaining a dominant position compared to a game where guns are the main means of attack, and there isn't usually the same ability to really dig yourself into an energy hole.

 

C'est la vie.

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