Online games news Tedious Retro Gamer, 14-08-2021
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In a move that shocked pretty much no one, who paid attention to World of Warships in recent months, the most recognized Community Contributors for the game has just distanced themselves from Wargaming as a company and their products.
After another PR disaster for Wargaming, company that owns (among other projects) online games World of Warships, World of Tanks and World of Warplanes, few of the most recognizable Community Contributors has just left the program stating (I’m paraphrasing the general substance of their reasons) they can no longer support the morally bankrupt company that Wargaming has become in recent years.
After debacle that lead to removal of Flamu from CC Program early this year (for criticizing some of the new ideas forced by Wargaming), removal of No Zoup For You (well, to be fair his own stupidity was behind it, so we can’t blame Wargaming for it), now Little White Mouse, I Chase Gaming and Flambass have resigned from participating in the program. Also it looks like The Mighty Jingles, one of the most beloved contributors, may join them soon, since he was often quite vocal that Wargaming is heading in completely wrong direction with World of Warships.
What lead to this point? Wargaming for years was infamous for having rather predatory practices - while their games are free to play, step by step they moved to what is now called free to pay model, where spending money is just necessity. Of course there are many free to play games that have monetization implemented, so while premium tanks and ships were introduced they were rather collectibles than actually much better vehicles than the standard ones. But once they became better than standard the games became less and less fun and users of standard vehicles became just cannon fodder for the premium vehicles owners.
In World of Warships the introduction of aircraft carriers was one of the turning points - they had advantage over every other player, they were able to attack opponents in any part of the map while staying safe far away from the battle. Even though they were almost universally hated by the players and some of the Community Contributors, with each update Wargaming was giving carriers even larger advantage (f.e. by improving their secondary guns, introducing rocket planes, almost eliminating chance of setting them on fire, giving them automatic repair feature, not to mention unlimited number of planes).
While Community Contributors were suppose to be the intermediaries between community and Wargaming their role was diminished in recent months (if not years) since the company decided to just ignore their suggestions. With each complaint about aircraft carriers or poor balance of battles they were given lecture that, according to the company spreadsheets, it is all fine and they are just simply wrong. In recent months Wargaming reworked commander skills, which got lukewarm reception because it again was ruining balance between ship classes. Another nail in the coffin of CC Program was planned introduction of the submarines, which would again reshuffle balance of the game, not to mention that in recent update submarines are almost arcade-like gameplay with homing torpedoes and ridiculous speed.
But the one element that finally triggered the walkout of Community Contributors was linked to another idea that just shows how Wargaming changed in recent years. From time to time there were special events, in which players could, through money spending or ridiculous amount of grind, get new ships. This year it was suppose to be USS Missouri, a WW2 legend that many fans of the game would love to have in their collection. But what Wargaming introduced was... stunning for many users - USS Missouri would be available through... Oh yes, what evil corporation could come up with to anger their users? The loot boxes, of course. Recent set of loot boxes was advertised that "it will give you permanent camouflages that you do not have yet", when this turned out to be lie the start of the sentence was changed to "it might give you" and Wargaming blamed it on translation. Right, 15 translators (the website is available in 15 languages) got that one particular bit completely wrong, in exactly the same way...
Also the way Wargaming treated Little White Mouse, one of the hard working Community Contributors, who provided players with ship data they would not get from company, was behind the walkout. After she was offered chance to work on warship that would be new addition to Canadian fleet (Little White Mouse is Canadian), she spent about 16 months collecting data and preparing suggestions, which... were completely ignored when ship was finally introduced into the game. When she complained about that, she was told that no one asked her to work on that project and she should be more respectful towards Wargaming.
For Community Contributors the introduction of gambling element into World of Warships, which already had reputation for being predatory money-making scheme, was the final straw. As one of them has put it in his statement, Wargaming were ignoring their efforts, ignoring their feedback, pushing crazy ideas based completely on spreadsheets of data and they simply lost all the fun that World of Warships used to be in the past. Well played, Wargaming, well played indeed. If it wasn’t just an elaborate plan to get rid of Community Contributors and move towards the multi-level marketing scheme (yes, there is such plan in Wargaming minds) then it was just a giant f*ck up. Not the first one for Wargaming though.
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