Just right now, I really feel for Wargaming.net. In the short few months I have been playing, there have been two constant refrains from the player base. The first was the desire for new match modes, which were released in the 7.4 update. They have been met with, I shall term it, partial success. Now, according to the patch notes for the Public Test Server in the 7.5 update they have made mention of the other: changing the matchmaker.
This is huge. This is the same sort of huge as EVE or LOTRO changing their inventory system. Even if this change does everything that Wargaming wish to occur, I am sure they are going to catch a great deal of heat for the simplest of reasons: people don’t like change. Moreover, I fully expect that plenty of expectations will not be met, especially with many people failing to understand the concept of small sample size. This change also has another element, rebalancing certain tanks due to tier spread they are most likely to encounter. By the looks of it this will affect my Marder II, and a whole series of other tanks. I have read already a certain amount of upset caused by this, but methinks they do protest too much. After all, it has been requested for a long time … but the weight of expectation is therefore essentially impossible to bear.
However, this is not the only change in the 7.5 patch, some of which I already mentioned briefly on the limited information available at that time. Three new maps have been confirmed; and they are called Seaport, Highway, and Quiet Beach. Likewise the Tier X medium tanks and tank destroyers. In the French line all tanks from the current Tier V are being bumped one tier and a new tier V light tank is being introduced. Also a new German Tier VIII TD – the Jagdpanther II.
There appears to be a great deal of balancing going on unrelated that the match-making revision. Some tanks are getting buffed – the repair costs of my KV-3 are going down for example. Balancing is surely one of the great intangibles of game design, and with the tech trees getting changed around and new tanks constantly introduced, I am not at all surprised that the balancing is ongoing.
In all the balancing though I find it amusing. According to what I have occasionally read on the forums two things will never happen: Soviet tanks will never get nerfed and German tanks will never get buffed. The logic behind such sentiments appears to be that as Wargaming.net is a Russian company they are clearly utterly biased. Yet in this patch a whole swathe of Russian tanks are being nerfed, and some German tanks – particularly the two Tier X heavies – are getting buffed. I don’t expect this to change people’s opinions of course. After all, when did evidence get in the way of a perfectly indefensible prejudice? 🙂
I won’t be going to the Test Server – public test is not really something I have ever been interested in. Besides, with MMOs especially the live game can, in part, be viewed as a Test Server anyway. However with the matchmaking changes I am now looking forward to the 7.5 update more than I was previously.