so, I was playing World of Tanks bit more this weekend after some (usually I just log in for Clanwars to see whether I am needed or not) and I decided to run the missions, specifically, you know, the one where you gotta win 15 times to get some consumables or something. Did it on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was fine, but Sunday… it was like “I really don’t feel like doing it, but I am at 11/15, so I better finish it”. I am sure most of you had that feeling at one point or another. This feeling of frustration (doing something you don’t actually want to in order to accomplish something) only leads to bad gameplay (“let this battle be over with fast so I can have this done”).
Now, older players might remember time when there actually were no missions – compared to that, the current system definitely is a step in the right direction both for players (who get extra rewards) and for developers, because as you can see, missions under some circumstances keep players playing even if they don’t want to – and in some cases, the “only a few left to go” is transformed into more spending (“fuck it, I’m going to shoot gold for the rest of the mission”), which in turn obviously leads to increased profit for Wargaming (in some cases directly, in some indirectly via “aw shit I spent 500k on premium rounds, better buy premium account once my salary arrives”).
As I wrote above, this, while an improvement, is not ideal. Players should not feel frustrated by the game. So, how could a mission system be improved or changed in order to make players feel better? Well, at this point, I would like to refer you to this video, it is highly relevant and maybe it will make you think as it did for me. Maybe we will even reach the same conclusions.
This topic is something I wanted to write about even before I saw this video, but watching it served as a catalyst of sorts and helped sort my thoughts on this matter.
At first, I thought it would be actually cool to connect some rewards to the outside world. Mind you, with the ingame element. How would that work? Simple. Let’s say Wargaming wants players to learn the details of one particular event, or to learn more about tanks. So, they could implement a question into the game and answering it would unlock let’s say one extra mission, tied to the question (so the ingame element remains, but a reward is there as well). For example: “What was the nickname of the VK3001(P) tank” – the answer would be “Leopard” and it would unlock “get X kills with the VK3001P” for example. The questions could be a LOT harder though or referring something that’s not that easy to find.
With that being said, it’s not a smart idea. Basically, if such a thing (or its mutation) was implemented, what would happen: players would easily put together a database of questions with the correct answers (in case it was different for every player) or would (probably within minutes) find the correct “password”, post it somewhere and 99,999 percent of players would never get to find it on their own, they would just copypaste the password and that’s it, nothing new learned, just one extra mission. Pointless. The idea of connecting real world and WoT a bit more however has more applications and I will post them at some point as well.
This led me back to the “personalized” missions. Some time ago, Overlord mentioned on his blog an idea to implement missions, personalized for each player (for example based on vehicles in his hangar) – if you have a T-54 and a Panzer IV in hangar, you would get a “daily mission”, corresponding to that vehicle somehow (an example for the T-54: “Destroy an Imperialist – kill either one M46, M48 or M60 in the game”). That’s not a bad idea, but… still missing something. The “play something you don’t want to – or in a way you don’t want to – to get rewards” element is still there. Here comes a twist then.
It would probably be possible to turn the missions more like into short achievements, that you do without looking at a counter all the time. For example:
- you play your Panzer IV
- you destroy three T-34′s in random battles
- a message appears: “Achievement: Historical Rampage” and you get a small reward for destroying those three tanks
- a MISSION appears, based on this principle: “now that we know that you drive your Panzer IV, you like to destroy enemy medium tanks and you are pretty good at it, destroy 10 more for reward.
Or maybe you are a light tank and you like to sneak behind enemy lines to kill enemy arty? No problem. Kill three arties, get reward. Or maybe you are a light tank and you just destroyed three enemy light tanks in random battles? That implies you prefer to hunt down enemy light tanks, so do that a bit more and you get a reward.
You get my drift. Dynamic missions. Of course, this would probably need some tweaking, but it would make the grind a bit more fun I think. An example for me: I love when enemies get oneshotted by my Panzer IV 105mm HE shells and I generally try to do that on purpose. So, I could unlock a repeatable “mission” to do that two more times with tier 5+ (let’s say) medium tanks (not easy, but possible).
The main advantages of this concept are:
- rewarding players for what they are actually doing anyway, giving more incentive to play what they want even more
- missions tailored to each tank’s specific advantages, teaching players to use them
- not having to wait for “your” tanks to be a part of an event
- immediate rewards and the feeling of achievability: having to kill two more tanks will make you think “okay, I killed two, let’s make that one more time”
- doesn’t have to cancel the regular missions system, can work as an addition
Anyway, that’s just an idea. What do you think?