this post is sort of a continuation of the missions post I made yesterday. You don’t have to read that one first as I’ll be writing about something a bit different, but they are connected a bit. I hope that I don’t have to add that this is my personal perception of things only, if you aren’t interested in that, simply don’t read it :)
Let me start by writing that especially lately, the real world and the virtual one (internet, social networks and such) are connected more and more – examples are obvious: when applying for the job, the company HR will try to find you on Facebook and look into your comments (there have been numerous cases of job losses due to inappropriate FB comments) – or vice versa, when you interact with something in real life, it can have a “response” online (such as the discount FB check-in system). These elements are well known in the west – here, though, they are still uncommon (outside of the capital anyway). The interaction within the virtual world is there as well of course (“want to comment on site X? Use site Y login!”).
Regardless of what we might think of this (and I am NOT a friend of this, I prefer privacy in general), it is a clear trend of things. So, I was wondering, why not use this trend in World of Tanks as well? How? It’s really simple and it can be done on several tiers.
Tier I – activities tied to your forum account and portal. This kinda concerns only about (my guess) 5 percent of all the players, who actually visit forums and such. A limited amount of interaction is already there (behavior on forum CAN lead to deletion of your ingame account in extreme cases, such as death threats), but it could be even deeper. Being a popular poster? Got over 2000 forum reputation? Cool, here’s reward X (something small, let’s say 10 gold aid kids or something). Are you a troll and did you get a read-only ban? Too bad, now you will earn 50 percent less XP for the duration of the ban. That should discourage the “LOL I HAEV 43 WINRATE I BLAEM POLISH” types of posts. On the other hand, something like this could draw more people to forums (not sure that’s a good thing, but you get the point).
Tier II – activities tied to the World of Tanks portal and affiliated sites. This one already exists in limited amounts as well (you won a portal competition? you get an ingame prize), but it could be made deeper. An example: We all know that the ingame tutorial is insufficient and it doesn’t prepare you for the role you need to play in battle in order to be successful. Reading up in full on designated tutorial articles on the portal could earn you an XP/credit gain temporary bonus. Answering a quiz on portal could get you a small ingame “bonus” – or you could even play an extra game: if you answer correctly, you get a bonus. If you answer incorrectly, something negative happens. Possibilities are endless.
Tier III – activities tied to the web outside of Wargaming domain. Connecting your account to Facebook for example (that one is already there as well partially): you have birthday? Cool, 50 percent XP gain bonus for you for one day! Stuff like that.
Tier IV – activities tied to real life. Buying food at Wargaming affiliate place? Cool, here’s a bonus code. This one actually exists as well – in Russia, Burger King was giving out invite codes with its meals. Attending meetings and getting bonus codes there is a form of this as well in a way, but I am talking about system interaction in general, such as typing your ingame username and getting a discount code in return.
As you can see, each “tier” has its elements already implemented, so Wargaming is clearly aware of the trend. So the real question is:
SHOULD outside elements be integrated more into the game?
I am not sure. Maybe I am oldschool, but I think that the less such integration is, the better. When I go and play a computer game, I do it because I want to relax from the real world, not because I want to make the game a part of it (although I am pretty sure that’s exactly what the developers want). I consider for example Facebook updates on any “game” events (“Look I just scored THIS much in the game XY”) highly annoying as well. Having real world catching up to you in the game is probably not the best idea.
What do you think?