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Kaga_Kai_Ni

My thoughts on the Naval Training Center, why it's a bad idea and how I would fix it.

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So to start with, let me first clear up. Yes, I have a bias. I have played World of Warships since the first wave of Closed Beta Test, and have played competitive World of Warships since the final season of Supremacy Leauge. Therefore, I am somewhat motivated towards general game balance, and especially competitive balance. I feel everybody should enter a fight in a fair environment, with skill being the deciding outcome. Not biases in map design, one person's Montana being stronger than another person's Montana, etc.

So based on the information published in today's development blog, Wargaming announced their plans for the Naval Training Center: https://medium.com/@devblogwows/naval-training-center-6ae94ee5b34a?fbclid=IwAR2-MHSPS4V4xaZzy5QCtrEnFQFH3YO1u5ZN7x3sA5RKhcp_ie-NIVDaV_M
This is something which would encourage users to play the lower tier ships, to increase the strength of ships they enjoy playing. This alone is a flawed and worrying choice.

Giving players the option to make their ship stronger, just by regrinding the line is worrying - But it gets worse. Players can opt to just spend free-exp skipping the grind. This means, for a while after the release, this mechanic will be somewhat "pay to win". Players will perform better and have stronger ships, just by spending currency, redeemable for real money, to make their ships stronger.

Let's take a look at the implication on the changes to Battleships (as noted below) by examining the impact these changes will have on the current Tier 10, Tech Tree Soviet battleship, Kremlin. Please remember, these buffs would apply to all ships, but I'm using Kremlin to show the contrast of how much stronger she would become.
image.png.893458a647763231eed8a09fd7e63a39.png
Kremlin is an already strong ship, and players are doing well in her. But just what happens when you upgrade her to level 3?

Well, a Level 3 upgraded Kremlin has:
16,245 more health increasing her total health to 124,545. (Able to be increased to 128,545 with Ovechkin and SE if you are so inclined.). This increase in total hitpoints increases the effectiveness of the heal which heals 0.5% health per tick (second), for a total of 28 ticks.
On a standard Kreml, a heal will recharge you 541 health per tick for a total of 15,162 health per heal.

Using an Ovechkin SE Captain on a Level 3 Captain (I'm not saying this is a good idea, there are much better skills for 3 points a Battleship captain should take. However, I'm using it to further demonstrate the point.), the ship will heal back 642 health per tick for a total of 17,996 health per heal. This is an increase of almost 3k per heal on top of the increase in raw hit points, providing an exceptional increase in survivability.

However, this only covers the level 1 upgrade.

Moving onto level 2, Kreml's already excellent main battery accuracy would be increased by 10%! This is a sizeable buff, which exceeds the buff of the Yamato legendary mod, (a 7% buff.) and falls only just behind the USN Slot 6 Dispersion mod which grants an 11% accuracy buff.
This is an exceptional buff to Kreml, and all other tier 10 battleships. Here's a good example of current tier 10 Battleships expected accuracy. Note the performance difference between Yamato and Yamato with the legendary mod.
The following graph comes from u/ 3d_space_pinball on reddit, you can find his post here: 

Spoiler
 
 
 
Spoiler

 


Image result for Montana dispersion wows

So, we've covered how the accuracy and health increase alone is actually a massive buff for the ship, what about tier 3 upgrades?

Well now, you get better consumables, and these changes reflect well with Kremlin, because unlike other ships, she has a limited use DCP.

Firstly, your consumable reload time is reduced by 10%, this obviously will also stack with the captain skill and flags. With all of these stacked, you can get the DCP reload time down to only 27.6 seconds.
The DCP is also up for 10 seconds. However, the level 3 upgrade increases that by 40% upto 14 seconds. An extra 4 seconds you cannot be flooded, set on fire etc. On top of all this, you gain an extra charge of DCP and Heal.

So, that alone may make some people think twice. Do you really want to fight against people suddenly having ships which are quite drastically better, because they either re-grinded the line or even more likely put their hand into their pockets and pulled out their wallets?

For most random players, that'll be frustrating and make them simply not wish to play. Nobody likes fighting against people who suddenly have a random advantage. Especially when it's so drastic as this.

However, that's not my only issue.
I also worry about the impact on Competitive Game Modes.

So, while WG do claim the following:
image.png.fcb3bceffeeb38af0b4efcf421572bff.png
This still implies that a degree of bonus will be available. And that is still going to be hugely important. It means, to join a strong team who aim to be one of the best, having these upgrades will be a requirement for the ship you wish to play, while weaker teams, less well versed in the competitive scene who equally enjoy playing will be at an even larger disadvantage. But that's not all.

Player ran and managed competitive game modes, such as Kings of the Sea, Shipstorm would suffer greatly from this.

It would remove the elements of skill, and start to reward people just for having a better ship unless a rule was implemented banning these upgrades in which then comes another concern - Are we even able to demount these "upgrades" or, if we say upgraded our Montana, are no longer able to use it in a player managed event because we upgraded the ship for playing in randoms?

It creates a large degree of stress on the organizers part for such tournaments, to enforce rules banning these upgrades while risking the balance of the tournament and the enjoyment of the players if allowed to be used.

Alternative solutions:

The idea of encouraging people to go back and play lower tier ships however, is a relatively smart and interesting idea. Something I actually support.

Players will be able to learn much more at lower tiers, the improvement this would bring to Match Maker would also be measurable with fewer people spamming games at top tier to sort through.

So, WarGaming, how about. Instead of ship buffs, provide cosmetic and economic incentives to players for doing this.

Based on your current system:
image.png.893458a647763231eed8a09fd7e63a39.png
I have produced my own 3 tier reward scheme which would equally reward and encourage players to experiment with the system, without risking the damage to game balance and introducing the huge Pay to Win element that this system allows.

Tech Tree Mastery

Level 1 2 3
Name Expert Elite Master
Bonus A tier 6 - 8 Tech Tree Premium ship A tier 8 - 10 Special Premium Ship A special edition camouflage for the tier 10s of this nation 


Plus a relevant emblem for each tier.

 


So, what do these rewards bring?
Upon completing your first reset, you would receive a tier 6 - 8 tech tree premium. For the Japanese, this could be a ship such as Atago.

Once a captain has complete the second's stage, they could redeem a special premium. An example could be: Temeraire, a tier VIII Lion class Battleship, with only the 406mm guns, less health, and AA.
These special premiums could have a more unique camo to resemble how they are acquired without being too different from other line ships to simplify development and balancing.

And with the final reward, players would earn a special edition camouflage on all of the tier 10s of the nation. This camo would provide EXP and Captain Training benefits over the standard premium camouflage (although likely no increase in credits, so as to encourage people to continue to play other ships too and not further inflate the economy.)

This camouflage again could be special and reflect the hard work the player dedicated themselves too, to go through the tech tree again.

This system would no longer impact on game balance, while still being appealing, especially to collectors and people who like shiny things!


Thank you for reading my.. Very long post, please keep all discussions relevant to the topic at hand and keep insults out of here. :)

 

 

 

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Yup! I think that's the general consensus. An idea I had today but lack the self confidence to formally post, is have the grinds be for economic flags. Redo, say, the French BBs, and get a French style flag with (potentially chooseable) significant economic bonuses. Do it again to up the bonuses, and on and on. 

 

Each time adds design to the flag. Like emblems, but with benifits. Emblems could be a good reward source too. 

Edited by _1204_
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I'd prefer your idea a million times over what has been proposed thus far. Something, ANYTHING but a straight-up, MASSIVE buff. Very well thought-out and compelling thread, Kaga. o7

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Way better alternative rewards, although it still won't bring me back to the game

 

If only there's an option that lets us play the game without encountering CVs...

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So basically "Prestieging" a line? That sounds like a really bad idea, in most games prestige only means getting some XP bonus/ credit bonus/ cosmetic. But buffing a ship through this? No thanks. If this ever gets into the game, I'm pretty sure i will just full on quit. It basically makes perfectionist that have grind for many years to earn all the T10s in the game meaningless, and that's not a good thing at the current state of this game. This might have been a good idea if it was made 2/3 years ago. But its too late for now.

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I still remember your post on the CV rework how it was detailed and actually in touch with the playerbase. Yet again you make another post that should be very much taken into consideration by WG.

The current system planned to come in place by WG will reward players who either play the game enough to replay an entire line or have stockpiled enough freexp to do so. By having actual ship buffs only given to these players, it does what gold ammo effictly does in WoT and removes the skill in playing this game from learning how to play a ship/class line to those players, (being blunt here), those with no social obligations to regrind all the lines up to level 3. Isnt the average age of people playing WoWs in their upper 20s anyway? Meaning there is not the time to regrind these lines? We already see proof of a declining playerbase with CB being 6v6 due to the summer/winter breaks, adding something that encourages more grinding instead of balancing things such as IFHE are 100% not the direction that should be gone in this game.

There is just is no reason that the NTC should bring any ship upgrades to the game and as you suggested which I 100% agree, it needs to be cosmetic only. If it even affects the ship in any statistic, this will probably be a worse addition then the CV rework to this game.

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This would be a good system. Anything cosmetic or some type of premium reward would be A OK in my opinion. But anything, like, ANYTHING performance wise for any ship is just wrong and a terrible idea. A think the same system with a permaflague or premium ship would be a much better option.

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Given an actual comparison using Kremlin shows how absurdly unbalanced the game will be, even when it still is somewhat unbalanced with reworked CVs, this is a quite concerning topic, Im yet to hear from someone who has no problem at all with it. Overall well written post bringing this huge issue attention, 

+1

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I agree with your idea. Though rewarding a premium ship doesn't seem to be the best reward. They have to come up with a bunch of new ones, and is one premium really worth all that trouble. I'd say maybe Steel/Coal rewards for each ship re-researched. Permacamoes, emblems, the usual collection of signals and camoes, maybe sets of missions for the ships that are for doing things that are out of the usual playstyle for the ship with good rewards. Maybe on the final playthrough you could make the ships premium to some extent. Better bonuses, ability to swap commanders, etc. The idea of resetting a line for veteran players is a good one. And if you want to regrind the line you should get good rewards for doing it. But, it should not be mandatory to remain competitive. If you want to regrind the line, good for you. But I don't, at least not right now. So don't make me in order for my hard earned Montana to be equal to yours gameplaywise. Economic and cosmetic bonuses are great, looks cool and everything. And if I want them, I know what to do. But don't ruin the game for everyone else just so some people can have a huge advantage.

Also, I think FXPing the rerolls should be at least discouraged. The obvious way is to prevent FXP from being used for anything other than the first time through the line. That way you actually have to grind. However, a more interesting way would be to have a unique set of missions for each ship in the line on the second and third, etc, times through. Something a bit more challenging, doing something different. Like secondary damage on a USN BB, or torpedo damage on a KMS cruiser. Something to make it different the next time through. And most of the rewards are tied to the missions. So there's an incentive to grind the ship. Or you can FXP by it if you can't stand it. This would actually encourage a second grinding, and make it interesting to some extent.

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My suggestion would be similar to Kaga's, but instead of earning free premium ships (I'm not sure WG would be up for that - love the idea tho), you, the player, choose a ship in the line you just re-ground to become a premium ship.  It gains the bonuses of that premium ship like no captain retrain.  If that doesn't work, then I like the idea from one of my clanmates - permanently affix any camo of choice to one ship in the line.  Give it default permacamo bonuses if there's a concern about that.  

This way the player gains something that means something to them - a ship they'll want to keep in their port as a reminder of the hard work/effort they put into grinding the line.

BTW, special edition T10 camo...  :cap_like:

Edited by Lord_Zath
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1 minute ago, Lord_Zath said:

My suggestion would be similar to Kaga's, but instead of earning free premium ships (I'm not sure WG would be up for that - love the idea tho), you, the player, choose a ship in the line you just re-ground to become a premium ship.  It gains the bonuses of that premium ship like no captain retrain.

I support this idea.

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Think they should just trash this system, you think people get steamroll due to more experience players fighting the inexperience this is just going to make it worst

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Sorry not interested in grinding... I play casually, took me two years to go to a tier X ship ... you want me to repeat that? lol??

This change will just ensure casual players quit playing WoW...

This is not innovation WG, I am not sure who comes up with these ideas but I am nor amused nor impressed...and will further push the game in a downward spiral..

How about getting some new designer that will actually think of ways to make the game more fun and retain as well as attract new players instead?

Edited by Suraknar
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2 hours ago, _1204_ said:

Yup! I think that's the general consensus. An idea I had today but lack the self confidence to formally post, is have the grinds be for economic flags. Redo, say, the French BBs, and get a French style flag with (potentially chooseable) significant economic bonuses. Do it again to up the bonuses, and on and on. 

 

Each time adds design to the flag. Like emblems, but with benifits. Emblems could be a good reward source too. 

Definitely quite fair - encourage aesthetics over outright buffing the ship.

If they really want to "buff" in some manner, handing out flags could be another good option.  That or the vaunted steel will encourage players to run the old ships again because steel in general isn't easy to get.

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21 minutes ago, Muki41 said:

Think they should just trash this system, you think people get steamroll due to more experience players fighting the inexperience this is just going to make it worst

Well, WG wants to find a way to get players to play older lines, which isn't a bad idea.

The bad idea comes from outright giving buffed warships a bonus for every grind finished.  A buffed ship > a non-buffed ship after all.

Focusing on aesthetic rewards is a good compromise to allow them to keep the system while also giving out incentives to do so without chucking the balance out the window.

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4 hours ago, Battlecruiser_Yavuz said:

Well, WG wants to find a way to get players to play older lines, which isn't a bad idea.

The bad idea comes from outright giving buffed warships a bonus for every grind finished.  A buffed ship > a non-buffed ship after all.

Focusing on aesthetic rewards is a good compromise to allow them to keep the system while also giving out incentives to do so without chucking the balance out the window.

This is entirely it.

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So Wargaming announced some changes based on the feedback which they received.
As per: https://www.reddit.com/r/WorldOfWarships/comments/c94mow/psa_on_naval_training_center/
Two things about this continue to concern me:

image.png.7fe1698d9c9dcb0c24ff192c4fa1b326.png
image.png.68cce493bacae267fdbbab7eed6fff1c.png

Simply put, WarGaming is still choosing to go ahead with combat buffs.

Not only that, but they are now opening the opportunity for increasing the buffs beyond level 1 for competitive play.

While sure, the size of the buff may get reworked, in the grand scheme of things the impact remains the same.

Any edge in ship performance destroys the game's balance. Competitive gameplay NEEDS balanced ship performance.
And the impact on randoms still remains. Could you imagine, playing your new tier 8 Premium Battleship, and the enemy team has multiple Tier 4 Upgraded, Tier 10 Battleships?

But this isn't my only worry. They mention how:
image.png.7d77ea2c03f4c3a728569582c544d2d9.png

This also concerns me.

Premium consumables should NOT be used as a balancing factor, an extra charge and faster cool down time really is a big difference. Hence why I pointed that out in regards to the buff given by this very NTC.

Not only that but, this change stands to further damage the game's economy making it even more viable for users to just spam games at tier 10, instead of stepping back down and enjoying another tier, this is entirely what brought around the MM problems in the first place.

Every day, my worries about NTC are growing, we want a balanced, fun to play game. Not a game, which will be decided by who has the deepest wallets or the most free-exp to regrind a line and gain a performance advantage. All this change serves to do is make the community a more toxic environment, where these buffs are a necessity.

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They're putting perfume on a pig.

Almost makes me wonder if they didn't try deliberately presenting an exaggerated version of what they had planned all along, just to get some players to feel like WG had "given in a little".

 

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43 minutes ago, KilljoyCutter said:

They're putting perfume on a pig.

Almost makes me wonder if they didn't try deliberately presenting an exaggerated version of what they had planned all along, just to get some players to feel like WG had "given in a little".

 

The term is anchoring. Basically give an outrageous offer then scale it back to sound "resonable". It's a pychological trick that many grifers do. 

If WoWs wanted to give players something that displayed that they "prestiged" a line sure something cosmetic would have been fine, but giving buffs is too far as many have already said before. 

Some of my ideas on my clan's discords:
1 special camo reward giving 100% xp, credit, and fxp bonus
2 fully research ships in port have 50% discount on respecc

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