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World of Tanks

Wargaming's US and European director reveals the key to free-to-play success on PC: patience

Is patience something we can learn from the unbending steely will of the mobile artillery platform?

Victor Kislyi may be Wargaming’s CEO, but Frederic Menou oversees the largest domain in the company - North America, Europe, the Middle-East and Africa. He knows his stuff - and the stuff he’s made of, apparently, is patience. 

Menou says free-to-play developers need to allow a “certain amount of time before monetisation” if they have a hope of replicating World of Tanks’ success.

August will mark the four year anniversary of Wargaming’s flagship Russian release - but not until this year did World of Tanks break 80 million accounts, and its creators invest $10 million in its reported 40,000 eSports teams.

It’s time and word of mouth that have allowed for these eventual highs, Menou told Develop.

“When you buy premium games, you know these are products with a high price and with content which will not evolve, or maybe only with the help of some DLC,” he said.

“F2P games are another concept. When you play F2P titles you know the content will be updated regularly, from the day of release, and that the game won’t be the same after a couple months. It’s constantly changing. The community will also grow with time and will help the game to stay around. This is even more true if the game has some eSport potential.”

Wargaming publically abandoned pay-to-win last year to pursue World of Tanks’ eSports potential.

The next generation of massively successful free-to-play games, said Menou, will have already been released.

“You need a certain amount of time before the monetisation, which is the key of any F2P business,” he said.

“The game enriches itself with content, month after month, which gives more and more opportunities to have microtransactions which ensures monetisation. So you have to give time to F2P games to enter and stay in this [revenue] chart.” 

However, Menou cautioned against thinking of players as “milk cows”: “You should never force players to pay to enjoy your game”. Do you agree?

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He is absolutely true that you need patience, but you also need a lot of other factors to turn your game into a success. Their F2P model is, with a few exceptions here and there, absolutely fair. The game has an appealing theme and is mechanically and tactically complex.And is updated constantly. And is fun to play. And is competitive. And ...

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- Complete lack of balance

- MM works as it programmed and it programmed to be shit

- Your teammates are more dangerous than the enemy

- There is not a single bit of feel of teamplay

- The updates are mainly visual, without normal optimization.

- Servers lagging sometimes

- Many shots miss, dont do damage or ricochet in ridicolous situations to make battle cost even higher.

- New tanks nearly always overpowered to players spend gold on premium and grind them.

- WG ruins good old maps by updating them.

- If you play arty, you get into city maps everytime.

- The spotting system still bugging, many times i got spotted and i spot tanks without physicalli seeing them.

- There is a huge lag between the clientside and serverside crosshair.

- 90% of players not looking at the minimap and going to the same side.

- 80% of the players dont know how to play with their tank type.

- The whole game is a camping party, and thanks to WG's map improvements, its getting more campy and campy.

- There are ridiculously lot of players who are dumb as fck especially under specials.

- Many times its impossible to win by some reason, you get 30% winrate under 50 battles.

- Because of the unbalanced teams there are many times 2 type of match happening. 15>2 or 2 - There are 20-30 or more different maps and it is possible to get matched on the same sht 3 times in a row.

- Many maps are barely used, it fells like you are playing on the half of the maps.

- WG removing maps sometimes, because they are "bad" when there are 2 times worse maps what are not removed.

Theese were the facts what i told from my memory..... and there are a LOT more of theese.

Conclusion...

You may have a good battle, but on the next 10 you WILL sck.

This game is absolutely NOT FUN to play...

The bad thing is, it WAS fun but its quality is dropping with the updates really fast.

:D Enjoy the game. I dont recommend it.

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Eh, let me see.

- There isn't a complete lack of balance, rather a complete lack of one-on-one balance, which imho is impossible to achieve. Some vehicles are too strong, for example any tier 10 TD.

- MM is fine now. Used to be absolute crap, but now it's OK. I would like to see matches composed of vehicles of the same tier, but I'm not willing to wait 10 minutes in queue for that. Are you?

- Same goes for every multi-player game. Try DOTA, it's the same shit. Nothing wrong with the game.

- Same as above

- Some updates are visual, some change mechanics.

- Again, something that is inherit to all multi-player games. I can't say that is worse in WoT than anywhere else.

- Yeah, that is true. Sometimes very weird stuff happens. I do believe it's a problem with their engine and not a conspiracy.

- There isn't a pattern here really. If you mean the new TD's ... yeah, those are super OP. In other cases newly added vehicles were in fact under-powered (see the British heavy). Their ability to correctly gauge a vehicle's power is somewhat wonky.

- I think they did an OK job upgrading the maps, with a few exceptions. If nothing else, the terrain is more varied and less flat now. Some maps have been changed for the worse, true.

- No, you don't.

- The spotting system can indeed act in what it seems a weird fashion. Sometimes it is as designed, sometimes it's just weird. All you can do is research how the say it should work, which will remove a lot of the weirdness. And then there is the weirdness that remains ...

- Not noticed any "major" lag. The server cursor usually follows the client one closely.

- You're blaming the game because you run into poor players

- Same as above

- Map design and the presence of tier 10 TD's pretty much dictate how the round will play. When my E-100 can be blown to pieces in under 10 seconds I'm not gonna take any risks. You have to be far more cautions now.

- Again, you blame the game for the quality of the players

- You mean while you upgrade your tank?

I'll give you this, it is the kind of game that will cause to jump from your desk, throwing your mouse at the wall cursing the devs. That will happen. But ... when the rage is done and you analyze what had happen that inevitably lead to your doom, most of the times you will find the blame is with you. You over-extended, you exposed yourself, you tried to push w/o enough back-up, etc. And then ... then there is the BS you can't explain.

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