Dear readers and friends,
now, that’s a change from the usual “hello everyone” and the Star Trek title – must mean something significant, yes? Well, unfortunately, it does.
I am quitting working on For the Record, completely.
The reasons for these are numerous, but the most obvious one is that I was hired by My.com, the producer of Armored Warfare, to become a content manager and a sort of historical advisor (minus the epic hat) with a hint of community management. My contract prevents me from doing anything, that would benefit My.com’s competition and unfortunately, running a Wargaming news blog is exactly the kind of thing that is prohibited. I wasn’t expecting this to come so suddenly (in fact, I was counting on running the blog for at least another month to take it all nice and slow), but the resolution of the situation came rather swiftly and I cannot wait – I’d be in breach of my contract. Don’t worry though, I won’t leave you without any info, there is a contingency plan (see below).
There are other reasons as well though and I do feel like I owe you a longer explanation though, so here goes.
This decision is not new. Some of you might remember that I was considering quitting completely as early as in the autumn of 2014. Wasn’t a good time for me really – along with some health issues, by that point FTR was practically a fulltime job (which didn’t change until today) and no matter how easy it might seem to an outsider, running the blog to any standard was completely exhausting. Another price, even more serious one, was the complete lack of any “life”, a price I was willing to pay, but I am no longer – I found someone very special in my life and suddenly found myself in a situation where I had to choose between my private life and working on FTR. Until today, I chose the latter, but I cannot do that anymore.
But that’s not nearly everything. For a long time, I was doing FTR mostly out of sense of duty, as there was unfortunately no true goal to the entire endeavor. While the FTR numbers between 2013 and 2014 practically doubled, recently, the growth generally just stagnated. I believe that as it is now, FTR has reached its limits, there is nowhere to expand – in fact, I had to get rid of some topics to be able to manage the amount of incoming information.
And add one more factor to that. There is nowhere to go for me even in World of Tanks itself. I am not really interested in becoming a unicum or anything. For me, the real fun with World of Tanks was participating (well, sort of) in the development. As you know, my goal was to have Czechoslovak tanks introduced into the game and by Wargaming actually agreeing to do that, there’s nothing left to achieve.
Combine all these reasons and you have a very tiring mixture. Make no mistake: I liked working on For the Record and I was happier working on it more than I was with my real job. Unfortunately, even with the generosity of the contributors (some were VERY generous and I won’t forget that), FTR could never bring enough money to work as a fulltime job. Well, maybe it could, if I spam the entire site with ads, but the thing is, I hate ads. Plus, ad revenue is extremely vulnerable to reader whims as the Adblock is just one click away.
Sure, you might think – why not contact Wargaming and maybe work something out? Well… for one, you know very well what I think of the entire WG EU. WG RU has some really cool guys and I never had a “beef” with them per se, but the thing is… I am also tired of this game and I don’t like where it is going. Sure, Czechoslovak tanks are cool, but what’s next? The development future and plans do seem a bit like stumbling in the dark from my perspective. I don’t feel like Wargaming has a clear vision, as there is little to achieve gameplay-wise left for them apart from making more and more money. Not that there’s something wrong with making money, it’s just that I have the feeling (especially lately) that it actually sometimes collides with the game development itself (cutting out content that is very expensive to produce, while introducing more and more premium tanks being the most obvious example). Perhaps I am wrong, but that’s how I see it.
That’s why I turned to who I consider to have a bright future: Armored Warfare developers, Obsidian.
Armored Warfare developers have a vision, that doesn’t consist entirely of selling you more and more stuff – and they listen to the players. An example: it took me two years to convince Wargaming to put Czechoslovak tanks into the game. It took me three minutes to do that with Obsidian.
What I do believe is that with proper development, Armored Warfare can not only go toe to toe with World of Tanks, we can even beat it on their own turf.Therein lies the challenge and the goal. Can I personally help to make it better with my dedication? I’d like to think that yes, I can. I have faith, something I lacked for a very long time, a faith that was in Wargaming’s case replaced by cynicism, stemming from some degree of knowledge of Wargaming’s inner workings a long time ago. I am sure you noticed that yourselves from the leaks as well.
I will not tell you that Wargaming is the Great Satan and Armored Warfare is our only savior. That would be stupid and it would be a lie. For all its flaws and the idiocy of some of WG staff, World of Tanks is a good game, even a great game (if you embrace arty that is :D). I just think there’s an opportunity here to build something even better – together with the players and developers actually listening to player feedback without having to spend years to convince them of a good idea.
And so, it suddenly all “clicked” together – their offer, my desire to do something I actually really like for a living and reasons to actually have some private life back. And I said yes. So this is it.
Now, before I depart, two things.
AW beta keys
If you are interested, I have beta keys for all the contributors, who ever donated to FTR. Just write me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your identification as a former FTR contributor and I’ll send you one. I wish I had beta keys for EVERYBODY but alas, I couldn’t get my hands on so many. But that’s okay… I am pretty sure that if you go to the Armored Warfare site and register for CBT, you’ll get there in no time, the beta has plenty of space for everybody.
Second – as promised, you won’t be left without information. I was wondering for a long time how to do this – and I opted for one thing, one person who actually has no agenda and who I actually really trust – Ritagamer. Surprised? So was I, when she showed interest. Long story short: I did put her in touch with a native Russian speaker, let’s call him “Ivan”. Ivan will help her with translations for her and she will be posting them in the same style as I used on FTR. And yes, there will still be leaks. She will also cover Armored Warfare actually, so you’ll get everything in a nice, neat package. You can find her blog here:
Make no mistake, it will be very difficult for her at first and the design of the blogger site is less than optimal, so please, support her as much as you did support me, she is taking a huge risk with this and it’s a lot of work. But, I am confident she’ll be up to the task – you know her from her streams, when she wants something, she gets it right :)
So, that’s it really. I hope to see you drop by on AW forums. This is for the record… signing off.