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wdarkk

The Problem(s) with Scenarios

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So recently I received two bits of information that made me really stop and think about Scenario Battles in World of Warships.

The first was a WoWs dev mentioning that scenarios were not a priority because they weren't played very much.

The second was a Blizzcon panel mentioning that Starcraft 2's equivalent to scenario battle was more or less what was keeping the lights on.

Each of those games has botmatch, scenario-like games, and multiplayer versus modes, but in one the scenario-like mode is the most popular and in the other game it's the least. This made my theory senses tingle, so I brainstormed as to why that might be. I feel I've uncovered a set of fatal flaws in Scenario Battle, but also possible ways to correct them.

Problem One: Exclusivity vs Inclusivity

SC2's version of Scenario Battle (hereinafter referred to as "SC2 Co-op" as that is its name) has an assortment of possible player setups, and you can bring any one of them to any match. There's 17 playable and one upcoming commanders, representing all three factions and many different playstyles. Even if your commander of choice is currently at level one, you can bring them to a maximum difficulty match and hope your partner and/or your mastery of SC2 can carry the day. On the contrary, World of Warships Scenarios are very restrictive. You can only bring a tiny subset of ships to a scenario. Assuming all the removed scenarios were brought back, here's the ships you cannot bring to a scenario battle under any circumstance:

  • All tier one, two, three, and four ships.
  • All tier five ships other than destroyers from allied nations (I think, I forget exactly how Dunkirk works)
  • All tier eight ships other than allied cruisers and French battleships.
  • All tier nine ships
  • All tier ten ships

That's quite a list of exclusions, including many of the most popular ships. It's also impossible to level a line via scenarios.

Problem Two: Randomness vs Repetitiveness

When you join the queue for SC2 Co-op, you by default are accepting a randomly-selected mission from a list of 15; if you want to play a specific mission, you can select that one, forfeit a small exp bonus for choosing random, and someone who picked random will be matched with you. By default, WoWs scenarios have one fixed scenario for the entire week; if you want to play a different one (say, that allows the ship you want to grind, or because this week is Newport) you must assemble a team of people who will do it with you. Obviously one of these approaches is much more convenient than the other.

The Proposal: Flexible Operations

So, I think you can see what I want here. I want the ability to take any ship of tier 5 or higher, hit a new shiny "Random Operation" button, and get an operation that way.

The first thing that would have to change is a way of scaling operations to tier. In theory, this isn't too hard. Just take note of the relative tier of a ship against the current player tier for the operation, and then spawn a ship with the corresponding relative tier. So in a tier ten match on Killer Whale, the tier four enemy battleships will be replaced with tier eights. Obviously there might be some issues here, but I feel it could be worked out, even if it requires some sort of "range normalization" debuff or similar.

The second is that historical "accuracy" might have to get sacrificed for game flow, but it's not like this is a new thing to WoWs or that it won't happen some more in the future. Sure, it doesn't exactly make sense that the battleships Yamato and Grosser Kurfurst escort the gold of France away from the dastardly Germans, but it also doesn't make sense for 50s French and Soviet warships to fight on the same team as early 40s German and Japanese ones, especially since many of them never actually existed. In addition, some ship types that wouldn't normally be allowed into operations would now be able to do so, such as battleships and destroyers on Cherry Blossom. This might be a little tricky for Dunkirk, I admit.

There's also the issue that this scaling might result in a tier 11-13 ship being called for on some occasions. While it'd be nice to have WG implement some sort of Super Yamato or Tillman boss battle, I'd understand if they just used "two tier tens" or "a tier ten with some arms race buffs slapped on" instead.

Obviously, alternate sets of objective stats with increased or decreased health pools for other tiers may be required.

Finally, I figured I'd discuss the matchmaker for this proposed change. The idea here would be that we'd want to keep the ship tier as close together as possible, but allow some small variation. So I'm proposing a majority+outlier matchmaking system. Under this system, battles could consist of either seven tier N ships, six tier N ships and one N+1 ship, or five tier N ships and one each of N-1 and N+1. Despite the possible presence of an N+1 ship, all of those would be considered tier N matches for purposes of spawning opposition.

Some Other Considerations

I feel like there's a few other, less drastic changes that should be made to scenario battles. The first is that Defense of Naval Station Newport is just so much more difficult to complete with a random group than any other op, and needs some sort of change. My suggestion would be to give the surveillance stations a substantial health pool, allowing ships to fire on the approaching enemy at long ranges.

The second is that I really don't like the way repair circles currently work. I feel it promotes a certain level of passiveness and lemming train like behavior. I'd like to see them changed to heal you regardless of your position on the map as long as the base or ship that provides it is alive. This would also provide an important tuning nob against the inevitable escalation of fire damage in tier nine and ten scenarios.

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3 minutes ago, wdarkk said:

The first was a WoWs dev mentioning that scenarios were not a priority because they weren't played very much.

I'm surprised by this comment given the number of forum posts lamenting the absence of much missed operations. I'd like to hear opinions from people active on the Hoperations Discord server.

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I played Transylvania with random teams...  All are losses.

Most folks in there have no clue how to defeat this.  They are just doing random stuff.  Can't play and coach at the same time.

I just wanted a leisurely match where I could pick up some stuff....   No way.

Can't wait for Halloween to go away this time.  I really enjoyed the subs last year.  This year -- not much enthusiasm after this kind of start.

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27 minutes ago, Rumple010 said:

I'm surprised by this comment given the number of forum posts lamenting the absence of much missed operations. I'd like to hear opinions from people active on the Hoperations Discord server.

They used the CV reeework as an excuse to take them away because they didn't like how much economy people were farming. 

 

Prove me wrong WG.

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33 minutes ago, AVR_Project said:

I played Transylvania with random teams...  All are losses.

Most folks in there have no clue how to defeat this.  They are just doing random stuff.  Can't play and coach at the same time.

I just wanted a leisurely match where I could pick up some stuff....   No way.

Can't wait for Halloween to go away this time.  I really enjoyed the subs last year.  This year -- not much enthusiasm after this kind of start.

AVR, given that the Transylvania operations provide all players with the ships that they'll use rather than with the more traditional operations where you can only use what's in your port, it's possible that there are a lot of very inexperienced players in the Transylvania battles.  Players who have never played tier 8 ships, or only rarely.  I've also had difficulty getting wins in the Sunray operation.  I can do ridiculous amounts of damage, but in the end, I've rarely been able to hold back the tide of enemy ships by myself and end up losing.

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All i ever here from the mods is -

#1 we will bring them back at our pace since no one wants to play them

#2 it would effect MM. 

Thats it.. No stats, nothing to back that up. 

Tells me it is not a money $$$$maker at least in the Marketing/Bean Counters eyes which makes ZERO sense since this game needs a constant infusion of players. One way to do this is kick [edited]scenarios or PVe however you want to call itwhere development is a priority and you COULD sell it as a DLC. Someone at the top is making poor decisions imo. 

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A HUGE reason that Scenarios are the least played game type is that Scenario battles do not count for anything in any of these month long grind events we've been having lately.

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6 minutes ago, CaptainKaitoGhost said:

A HUGE reason that Scenarios are the least played game type is that Scenario battles do not count for anything in any of these month long grind events we've been having lately.

any missions that require grinding any form of XP or credits can be grinded in operations. I can understand though why its only those missions; way too easy to farm the missions (Ex: if Aegis was in rotation you just take an Aigle or any heavy Cruiser and farm citadel missions easily)

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I'M Callin BEE SSS on  " Not enough people play OPS "  Never been to a OP of the week and seen an empty CUE or even had to wait as long as any COOP!  In fact I have never seen the need to send it BOTS In OPS like I see in COOP very often.  Yesterday I was the ONLY human on one round.

What the diff between OPS and COOP?  Yep!  You can EARN in OPS!

WG you DO earn $$$  from  OPS .. I have at least 4 premium ships I bought with real money JUST FOR OPS.

Find another excuse.  You don't like that we are getting good and can earn in them?  Just don't want to support them anymore?

People aren't stupid and most resent the assumption.

Col Out

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Considering how they invested a ton into another "small group" of players (aka the CV population) there is no reason that they couldn't do the exact same thing to Operations. I don't know how I'd feel about T9 or T10 Operations considering how facing up tiered ships tends to make the missions more challenging (aka like the Izumo in Newport, the Mo in Narai, the Bis and Tirpitz in Hermes and the Alabama in The Ultimate Frontier). 

I do believe that doing more operations in the t6-t8 bracket would be nice, it allows for people to have another game mode to play and enjoy some of the more historical ships in while they grind through some lines in some challenging ships (cough stock NM or Colorado). While I don't mind the exclusive operations ala Hermes or Cherry Blossom I do mind when we're already limited in number of Operations (even before the CV Reework) and now after it with all those removed? 

I purposely bought several of my premium ships for use in Operations exclusively, running builds that wouldn't be best for random battles. I chose to enjoy PvE because I'm always game for comp stomping since it usually ends up with more team work and cooperation compared to random battles or co op. 

Back to the small numbers I feel like that's overstated since when I use to run operations back before the reework I would almost never run into the same players again and again, those that I did ended up friending them so we could keep doing operations together, couple that with the ingame operations channel and I've found enough people who enjoy operations and the challenge of completing them in new ships and new ways. 

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