Interview with My.com Senior Producer Josh Morris on Armored Warfare at GDC 2016


I sat down with Josh Morris at Game Developers Conference 2016 for an hour to discuss all things Armored Warfare (AW).

Josh is the Senior Producer at My.com and previously worked at Wargaming for three years as NA Producer for World of Tanks (WoT).

We covered a wide range of topics, including tank balance, PVP and PVE evolution, determining how modern tanks should work in-game, and matchmaking. Warning, very long wall-of-text incoming :)

Taugrim: What the relationship between Obsidian Entertainment, My.com, and Mail.ru?

Obsidian Entertainment logo My.com logo Mail.ru logo

Josh: We all fill different roles.

Obsidian is making the game, so the day-to-day creation is their job. Mail.ru is our parent company and has provided all the funding for AW. My.com is the subsidiary of Mail.ru that is tasked with bringing games to the West, so we’re the publisher of AW everywhere outside of Russia. My.com owns marketing the game, community management, outreach, special events.

Mail.ru is basically the equivalent of Google in Russia, they’re that big. They control the email services, social media, etc in that market.

Taugrim: How much interaction does My.com have with Mail.ru and Obsidian?

Josh: We have conversations with our partners in EU and RU every day and we share our stats and how the game is doing for each server. We get together quarterly to plan out the next 6 months.

It’s a challenge globally to interact with people around the world. It’s a bit easier for us in NA as we have Obsidian in same time zone.

Taugrim: Can you talk about the differences in game design between WoT and AW?

Josh: AW is much more skill-based than WoT. It rewards good play even more than WoT, but conversely it also punishes bad play. The fast paced nature of the game, the speed in which the vehicles can damage and move. In WoT if you see two tanks going down your right flank, you put that in the back of your mind, but you won’t see them for several minutes. In AW, if you doesn’t react to that situation almost immediately, you’re going to be in trouble.

WoT is a great game. I worked for Wargaming as a NA Producer for 3 years. I went to work for them because I am a historical gamer. WoT got the core mechanics down, the loop is good, and it’s fun to play. It’s just that the wrapper around it had a lot of sharp edges, e.g. the interface, the RNG, and design decisions that weren’t helpful for the NA and EU audiences and stunted the growth of the game in regions beyond Russia. Because of the success of WoT in RU it was hard to impact the game for the greater global good.

I was at Wargaming for 3 years and had to make a choice.

Taugrim: There’s the perception in the WoT community that there is Russian bias from Wargaming, and it seems merited.

Josh: I don’t know if there was Russian bias per se, but the attributes of the Russian heavy tanks were forgiving to new players: they have big guns, they have good armor, so a new player is going to stay alive for a while and they’re going to see some big numbers.

Often the best tanks in the game required finesse to play well, e.g. American tanks with their gun depression and French tanks with their speed.

Taugrim: In a lot of games, there’s a dilemma of how to balance squishier classes, because they are less forgiving. In AW’s case we’re talking about AFVs, LTs, and TDs. Is that a problem that can’t be solved unless you over-buff the squishier tanks?

Josh: That’s not a good solution either. There still are some balance issues to work out between the classes. MBTs still aren’t playing the way we want them to be. Yes, we do want to maintain their almost invulnerability from the front – that is what they are designed to do in real life, you just don’t shoot them in the front.

We do want to make other tanks good at other things, e.g. flanking. That means map design needs to allow for that, and the vehicles need to have special abilities to support the way we think the class should be played. That’s why the TD class got its special ability changed from the bonus damage to concealment. You can suppress your position.

Taugrim: I agree; the TD concealment ability is under-rated. If you can use that ability to squeeze off 2-3 shots without getting spotted, that’s huge.

Josh: I don’t think people understand the power of that unless you’re in an MBT getting hammered and you never saw the guy.

We have a definition of where we want classes to be, but we’re also blurring the lines, e.g. with the new Stryker coming out that is a missile boat with the AFV designate.

Stryker

For MBTs specifically, in real life today they’re all blurring into the similar thing and they perform the same. They’ve figured out the right formula, but that’s not great for gameplay. So even within a class [such as MBTs] we need to look at each line and give it its own flavor, whether it’s ruggedness, maneuverability, DPM, or gun handling.

Taugrim: You’re accepting payment transactions in Open Beta, so AW is effectively live. What things would you need to progress to feel ready to ship AW as 1.0?

Josh: Yes, it’s a soft launch. What’s great about that is we can keep evolving the game. We’re stilling willing to make major changes to the game, the gameplay, the classes, and balance.

We’re happy that players are there to support us with their money and tell us that they believe in us. We’re humbled by that sentiment, and it’s not something we take lightly. It’s not like we’re just going to ship it to get money in. We want to get the game where we want it to be. Especially in the NA market, there are a lot of games to compete against, and we don’t want to waste our marketing efforts on a game that’s still in Beta.

What are those things we feel are still lacking? This is WoT 2.0 for all intents and purposes. In many ways we have a better product right now. However, we don’t have a complete product. There are still missing things: balance tweaks beyond tier 6 to make sure [non-MBTs] have strong counters and places to have a role in the battlefield and have fun.

The player experience is also something we want to improve over time.

Taugrim: Can you explain what you mean by that?

Josh: In 0.14, which is a week or so away, we’ll be adding in our in-game “player feedback loop“. Players learn best if you teach them while they’re doing.

The problem with WoT was that you couldn’t tell what you did well until the end of the game, and half the time or more you’re cutting back to the garage, so how do you know what you did and didn’t do well.

So we’ll have contextual badges that show up in [the battle] right then and there. Important ones like spotting damage and spots, I just got XP that guy shooting that guy because I was spotting him. That’s not taught anywhere. It’s a concept that gets away from people. People don’t understand that not firing in an AFV can make you XP as long as you are a force multiplier through your spotting. So we’ll keep improving that system.

Taugrim: What were you most surprised about since the launch of Open Beta?

Josh: We knew that people wanted PVE, but we didn’t know how much. So we want to make sure that our game experience is two full ways to get through the game. That means having a beginning, middle, and end. We’re missing the end for both paths (PVP and PVE) right now.

Taugrim: Are you able to shed any light on what endgame for PVP and PVE will look like?

Josh: There’s short-term, mid-term, and long-term for what we want in the game. I can speak to the short-term.

For PVP, we want to get competition into the game. We’re going to introduce a “King of the Hill” during certain hours of the day. It will show up like a PVP map, similar to the interface for PVE. It will allow you to enter in this contest, and you’ll acquire points for every win. Think of it as a pyramid. You climb up as you win and get matched up with other team. There’s one team at the top, and it fights the teams coming up.

King of the Hill

You’ll be able to accumulate points and spend them on cool prizes at the end of every season.

Taugrim: Will that be premade or solo?

Josh: It’s both. As long as you participate you accumulate points with wins. Everyone wants prizes, but it’s also recognition. We’ll also have the leader boards.

Taugrim: This is great for bragging rights, it’s a big deal to competitive players.

Josh: Whoever is the leader of a group, the points go to that battalion. The coolest thing is that every time you retained or just gained the title, it’s broadcast to the server. Server firsts have always been an important thing on shards in RPGs, so we wanted to bring that in. The leader boards would be visible in-game and on the My.com site.

This isn’t our end goal for final recognition. We also wanted to make it casual-friendly, and players can participate in multiple teams.

Taugrim: OK, so it’s not like you can’t participate if some of your team is offline, e.g. a WoW Arena team.

Josh: Exactly. It won’t be like well we need 8 guys but only 6 are online so we can’t play. Those 6 guys can pick up 2 guys and play. They may not go to #1 that night but they’ll still get points.

Taugrim: Guild Wars 2 had a mode where when 8 teams queued up there would be an ad-hoc tournament.

Josh: That is also something I’d like to see, a casual “I’d like to participate in a tournament.” When 8 teams have formed and queued, we run a 3 round tournament.

People want to compete, and people conversely from a PVE standpoint just want to let loose and blow up bots. We can make that more compelling as well.

From an RPG standpoint, we have dungeons with our missions. We’re working on what would be considered a boss mode fight, so you would have bigger bad guys and mechanics where you have to think about how you defeat them. That gives us an ability to bring in things that wouldn’t be seen, e.g. maybe you’re fighting a helicopter or a tank backed up by missile launcher or a ship.

Taugrim: How do you figure out how to spec modern tanks, since they’re classified?

Josh: In some ways it’s an advantage. Anyone can go out and take measurements of a Tiger tank, and it’s harder to gamify that. With a classified tank, we can say it has 1500 armor or it has classified composite materials, what do you have to say about that.

We want this to be a game first and to look and feel like a Hollywood version of reality. We don’t get stuck in the tape rule thought process. We want a tank to accurately and visually look like what it represents, and we want it to have in-game the basic role that it has on a [real] battlefield. But everything else between A and B is up for interpretation.

Taugrim: That’s interesting, it gives you guys a lot more flexibility than Wargaming has with WoT. Wargaming goes back to Bovington and re-measures.

Josh: And that makes it a huge argument [with players].

A Tiger could have done this to a T-34, but a Tiger was also engaging at 2000 meters and that doesn’t exist in WoT, and rightfully so. They compressed everything because shooting dots on the horizon isn’t fun.

In our game, you can shoot at small targets but you also have the speed to close the distance.

Taugrim: And the guns in AW handle much better, so I can reliably hit targets further away in AW and it’s not as subject to RNG.

Speaking of gamification, the PL-01 (tier 10 LT) is built to avoid detection by infrared and radar, especially by aircraft, but obviously we don’t have planes in AW, so how do you gamify the stealthiness of the PL-01?

PL-01

Josh: You have to take every weapon system and figure out how to translate it into the game.

Maybe [PL-01’s] don’t show up on the mini-map.

Take for example optics and thermals. Letting people flip to IR just destroys game balance, but those things can be factored into vision ranges and camo.

There’s no way a game like this is going to replicate the real life experience. Again, it’s that Hollywood version of reality and things should work the way you think they work, not how they actually work.

War is not actually that much fun; you’re shooting at people who never saw you, shooting at dots in the distance.

You have to look at every mechanic you put into a game and ask yourself is this adding to the experience or is this making it more complicated.

Taugrim: Going back to what we discussed earlier, AW is very rewarding toward good play and punitive towards bad play with the speed of the tanks, gun handling, and penetration values.

A lot of people complain about landslide victories and put on the blame on MM (matchmaking), but I think it’s due to those mechanics. Is this a perception you can constructively address?

Josh: It’s a perception issue. This is the thing: you asked for a game that was more skill-based, you asked for a game that was more fast-paced. We’re delivering it to you, and these are the results of a faster-paced game with skill.

In some ways, it’s nice that it’s over quickly. In WoT, you might have to wait five minutes for the winning side to kill you.

AW can be more frustrating for a bad player. There were also complaints about our game being harder to advance or it takes longer to grind out tanks. That on a per-match basis versus WoT is absolutely not true, we’re faster. However, we are much faster for skilled players and can be slower if you are not willing to work to get better.

What did we do for that? We did do some modifications to our system to bring up the bottom end [i.e. more XP for poor performers] without trying to push down the top end.

Editor’s Note: speaking of player skill, if you’re looking for guides and videos to help improve your gameplay, check out my “The Art of Warfare” series.

Taugrim's PVP Stats in Armored Warfare

Taugrim: It’s a good solution. It helps people keep up even if they aren’t able to do so on their own.

Let’s talk about Skill Influenced Match Making (SIMM). This is probably the only area I strongly disagree with your design decisions.

Josh: Well tell me what you think it does.

Taugrim: I’m a 62% win rate player. Prior to patch 0.13, it used to pair me with bad players, e.g. a 38% WR player or maybe several 46% WR players. In patch 0.13, the WR was capped at 55%. So now I get a 45% WR player to offset me.

A lot of players in the higher-end battalions don’t like SIMM because they feel like they have to carry potatoes. When I’m solo queuing as a skilled player, if there are three other skilled players that get into the same battle and are in a platoon, I’m placed on the opposite team and that seems unfair to me.

Josh: You also have to consider whether skilled players are in a platoon, and would you have to weigh that differently. So there is still room to improve our system.

We’re going to keep going with SIMM until we think it’s not working.

The philosophy behind it is this. If I make it completely random MM, you could get on the same as that skilled platoon and you’re going to wipe the other side out. Or you could get a bunch of potatoes on your side and how fun is that?

We’re making it so that both sides have an equal chance, but of course that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a close battle. We want you to feel that you have a chance.

I want to give you a solo gamer with skill a chance to win every game you’re in instead of just some games. Every game, if you suck it up and play well, you’re going to have a chance to win. I think that’s a superior system.

Taugrim: How do you discern what is valid and insightful feedback about tank balance?

Mechanical Balance Scale

Josh: Everyone has their favorite tank or favorite class. At the end of the day we want the game to be fair and balanced for everyone. We don’t want to have those edge cases that are way out of line, and we don’t care if that’s a premium tank or anything. There may need to be a nerf to any tank in the game, including premium tanks.

My response to people that say they paid for a premium tank is that there are people who paid more to convert XP to get to a regular tank. We’ll try to keep what you love about a given tank intact, but not at the cost of you’re the only one having fun. That’s not F2P.

Taugrim: Have you guys considered dropping the premium matchmaking on some premium tanks and balancing them against tanks of their tier?

Josh: You paid for it so we want you to be comfortable playing the tank. We don’t want it to be pound-for-pound overpowered compared to what you’re facing.

Will we ever remove it? We might, but that’s why we’re in this Beta, to explore and see what the players think.

Taugrim: What would be the one thing you want for the community to know?

Josh: This is just the beginning. This is your chance to get in there and continue to impact the game, continue to give your suggestions, continue to play so we can analyze the statistics.

AW is going to be around for a long time; we want this to be a permanent franchise. We want to make this the game that people want to play and a better alternative to what they’re playing now. While we’ve set the table in many aspects, we want to continue to push that and give the player not necessarily what they want but what they need.

Taugrim: Thanks so much for your time!

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Posted in Armored Warfare, Business Analysis, Game Design, Interview, PVE, PVP
32 comments on “Interview with My.com Senior Producer Josh Morris on Armored Warfare at GDC 2016
  1. So I wanted to leave one personal note, as a comment and not part of the article.

    I’ve had the opportunity to interview senior folks from various gaming companies over the years.

    Josh Morris was not only generous with his time and direct with his answers, he was also unusually knowledgeable about the game product itself, its issues, and the community.

    I am one of the people who believes, as Josh said, that they have a terrific albeit incomplete game in AW, and that someone like Josh works at My.com gives me confidence that they have a very informed perspective on their own product.

  2. joE says:

    I’m still confused about the relationship of My.com and Obsidian. If Josh works for My.com which is responsible for “My.com owns marketing the game, community management, outreach, special events.” how does anything he says or wants get implemented into the game considering obsidian is the game developer.

    Is it because the parent company mail.ru pays the bills and hence obsidian has no choice but to implement their requirements/demands?

    • Is it because the parent company mail.ru pays the bills and hence obsidian has no choice but to implement their requirements/demands

      I wouldn’t say “no choice” but yes, the fact that Mail.ru is funding this game means that they and My.com may have more input than would be normal in a developer-publisher relationship.

      For situations where the developer funded the game development, the publisher typically has much less input on the game design itself and the publisher tends to focus on localization aspects of the game, as opposed to telling the developer how the game should work, e.g. content, game mechanics, etc. I believe this is the case with Asian-developed MMORPGs such as ArcheAge that are then brought to the West by a company such as Trion.

      • joE says:

        Thanks for the detail, that makes it a lot more clearer. And as others have said, great questions and a productive discussion. Thanks for sharing.

  3. ScottPoet says:

    Good interview. Have to take a second look at it but right now gtg.

  4. AppyRose says:

    Taugrim,
    Great Interview, I will be sharing it with my Troops,
    Cheers anf thank you,
    Appy

  5. ScottPoet says:

    Not having played AW the SIMM system bothers me… in theory it sounds good. But the question is, for every single match do you want the player’s mentality going it to be, “suck it up and play well”, or lose. Personally, I would prefer random.

    Bad or just inexperienced players don’t feel the pressure like good players do. To point out the obvious, good players are very competitive players. The danger is that SIMM creates is a constant tension for the more competitive members, without the sense of relief that comes from being in a favorable match up where they don’t have to carry.

    Unfavorable match ups also have some merit. First, similar to easy wins, there is no the pressure to carry the team with perfect gameplay. Second, it gives an opportunity for good players experiment, or make high risk gambles to overcome the odds.

    Another consideration is to take the example of the two best platoons on the server playing night after night. If I understand the system correctly, matchmaker would always place them on opposite teams every time they landed in the same battle. Effectively, matchmaker is segregating players of the most active groups from each other. Potentially counter productive to the community aspect of the game.

    However, those of us who have played WoT, and have experienced the 10 game blowout losing streaks. No matter how well you play, as an individual player, you can’t effect the outcome of the battle. This isn’t good either.

    If I was to have any input, I would advocate a random que with a weighted skill based matching system. The two top players would most likely play against each other, but not always. Still random matchmaking, just with weighted dice to reduce the highs and lows for moderately more consistent ques.

    That’s my thoughts Ed.

    • You hit the nail on the head.

      Unicum-level players have said the say thing that you did…

      Bad or just inexperienced players don’t feel the pressure like good players do. To point out the obvious, good players are very competitive players

      …and that the current system puts no pressure or incentive for a bad player to try to get better.

      BTW, I think you and your brother would really like AW. The gameplay is much better than WoT.

      • ScottPoet says:

        I’m not playing too many games these days due to burn out and no longer being injured. One day I’ll feel a real need to do some hardcore gaming and I’ll give it a go.

        I have been trying to convince my brother to try AW. He is still hard at WoT, but he’s experienced PVE in World of Warships and likes it better than PVP. So I think pve AW might be his jam. WoT was his first video game love, so he’s stubborn to try something new.

        IDK, any impressions of AW pve I should pass along?

        • no longer being injured

          Glad to hear that!

          WoT was his first video game love, so he’s stubborn to try something new.

          A lot of WoT players feel the same way.

          Unlike most MMO gamers, I don’t have the desire to try every new game that launches. I’m only interested in games that look sufficiently good to be worth my time.

          AW is most definitely worth a look, at least through tier 4. The game provides for free many annoying things you have to pay for in WoT, e.g. crew members and garage slots. Everyone in AW gets WoT’s “Sixth Sense” right off the bat. Beyond that, tank mobility and gun handling are vastly superior in AW, so the tanks are more fun to drive.

          IDK, any impressions of AW pve I should pass along?

          It exists and will continue to get better.

          To be honest, I’m not a huge AW PVE player, but it’s a good mode to relax while grinding tanks.

    • Excellent insight ScottPoet and what really validates your reply is the fact that you have yet to play the game yet you can see that by using SIMM it’s RIGGED and nothing close to FAIR or BALANCED. My rant is much longer but I would like you to read it and comment; it’s near the bottom…

      Ziggy_CyPhy…

  6. Cerebius says:

    Great article. I have posted a link for our Battalion to read. Thank you for taking the time to make this happen.

  7. Patrick Dalgleish says:

    The game needs league based match making so that you play with and against players of similar skill. Nobody should play against players with far superior skill or be expected to carry players with lower ability.

    The way match making is at the moment is unfair. There is a reason why there is an Olympics and a Special Olympics

    • game needs league based match making so that you play with and against players of similar skill

      I’m assuming you mean more of an ELO/ladder system where players have ratings.

      In an ideal world, that makes sense to me.

      That said, for such a system to work well, it requires a critical mass of population so that you get a wide spread of ratings to reflect skill levels, and each ratings bracket has a meaningful number of players. Otherwise you still have players of vastly different skill facing off against each other, and even with a critical mass of population, players on the top end of the spectrum tend to experience long queue times and fight the same people over and over. This used to happen to me when I did 2K+ in 2v2 and 3v3 of WoW Arena.

      I’m not against ELO/ladder per se – I think in many use cases it’s the best way to go – but I don’t think the timing for AW is yet right.

    • Excellent Patrick Dalgleish, that is so true, there is a reason the two Olympics are separated.

      SIMM’s, however, would pit the Two OLYMPICS together and then try and blow smoke up our butts and say things like “This is your chance to get in there and continue to impact the game” so that each side can say that “Every game, if you suck it up and play well, you’re going to have a chance to win.” Well said Patrick, very well said…

      Ziggy_CyPhy….

  8. Ziggy_CyPhy here and I’d like to address concerns I have about the smoke you just tried to BLOW UP MY BUTT here. I will repeat your questions that provide the interpretation that you IMPLY or LEAVE OUT.

    “Taugrim: What the relationship between Obsidian Entertainment, My.com, and Mail.ru?

    Obsidian is making the game, so the day-to-day creation is their job. Mail.ru is our parent company and has provided all the funding for AW. My.com is the subsidiary of Mail.ru that is tasked with bringing games to the West, so we’re the publisher of AW everywhere outside of Russia. My.com owns marketing the game, community management, outreach, special events.”

    You took a long way to say that Obsidian is being TOLD what to do and Mail.RU is PULLING THE STRINGS. Truth be told this game is being sold as “AN AMERICAN COMPANY” and that is just BS, it’s Mail.RU providing the FUNDING and with RUSSIAN INFLUENCE providing the BIAS to Soviet Style Armor, that is a FACT not FICTION.

    “Taugrim: Can you talk about the differences in game design between WoT and AW?

    Josh: WoT is a great game. I worked for Wargaming as a NA Producer for 3 years.”

    As many have suspected, there is not much of a difference between these two games, Other than the spelling of the two game names and the extreme graphic difference based off of Era of Vehicles involved, WWII for WOT’s and Modern Era for AW.

    “Taugrim: There’s the perception in the WoT community that there is Russian bias from Wargaming, and it seems merited.

    Josh: I don’t know if there was Russian bias per se, but the attributes of the Russian heavy tanks were forgiving to new players: they have big guns, they have good armor, so a new player is going to stay alive for a while and they’re going to see some big numbers.”

    The fact that you worked for WOT’s just goes to show that you bring with you much of the Russian BIAS, so PER SE THIS Tard bucket, Russian Influence is in both games. Delusional behavior means you have no TRUTH in your mind and you believe that Russian Based Vehicles are SUPERIOR to all others when in fact, in REAL LIFE, it is NOT THE CASE. How you program a game and say you strive for FAIR and BALANCE is just BS. You did not answer the question but SKIRT AROUND IT with BS. So in your mind that fact that American Tanks have great depression and French Tanks have Speed that justifies giving BONUS to Russian Vehicles that DON’T EXIST in real life, right, that is what you call FAIR and BALANCED??? WRONG, that is BS and I am here to set you straight.

    “Taugrim: In a lot of games, there’s a dilemma of how to balance squishier classes, because they are less forgiving. In AW’s case we’re talking about AFVs, LTs, and TDs. Is that a problem that can’t be solved unless you over-buff the squishier tanks?

    Josh: That’s not a good solution either. There still are some balance issues to work out between the classes. MBTs still aren’t playing the way we want them to be. Yes, we do want to maintain their almost invulnerability from the front – that is what they are designed to do in real life, you just don’t shoot them in the front.”

    This is my IDEA of a MBT, strong, almost impenetrable FRONTAL ARMOR, except every single MBT that I own get’s penned easily from the front; whether I am angled or NOT and I own 2 Tier 9’s, M1A2 and T-90MS. In my opinion the T-90MS should have the M changed to a B because that tank is TOTAL BS. How it plays in this game is not even in the same universe of how it does in REAL LIFE so how is this not the PERFECT EXAMPLE of RUSSIAN BIAS. I sold my T-90BS tank because I did not have to zoom in to HIT and do Dmg nor did I need to bother to STOP and FIRE as I hit 90% of the time on the move over rough terrain. This is one of the FEW TANKS I can fire on the move and it had ZERO RETRO FITS on purpose. Oh right, you keep saying AW is still in BETA so that is your excuse, because it’s BETA you can SAY you are willing to UPDATE IT.

    “Taugrim: You’re accepting payment transactions in Open Beta, so AW is effectively live. What things would you need to progress to feel ready to ship AW as 1.0?

    Josh: Yes, it’s a soft launch. What’s great about that is we can keep evolving the game. We’re stilling willing to make major changes to the game, the gameplay, the classes, and balance.

    “My Rant:
    No Josh, you keep saying it’s BETA how could your answer YES to being LIVE and then say IT’S A SOFT LAUNCH. BS, it’s released and BROKEN and you add more things to a BROKEN GAME just so we spend money on it.”

    We’re happy that players are there to support us with their money and tell us that they believe in us. We’re humbled by that sentiment, and it’s not something we take lightly. It’s not like we’re just going to ship it to get money in. We want to get the game where we want it to be. Especially in the NA market, there are a lot of games to compete against, and we don’t want to waste our marketing efforts on a game that’s still in Beta.

    What are those things we feel are still lacking? This is WoT 2.0 for all intents and purposes. In many ways we have a better product right now. However, we don’t have a complete product. There are still missing things: balance tweaks beyond tier 6 to make sure [non-MBTs] have strong counters and places to have a role in the battlefield and have fun.

    The player experience is also something we want to improve over time.”

    WOW, where to begin here? You nor anyone at My.com or Mail.RU can give a RAT’s BUTT about what we, THE PLAYER, have to say about the game so your HUMBLED by SENTIMENT is just BS. Yes you do add NEW THINGS to a BROKEN GAME for the sole purpose to GET MONEY IN. MONEY IN is your ENTIRE PURPOSE and you don’t care how RIGGED the game play is in general. For Taugrim to say he has a 62% Win Rate is just BS because for him to have such a Win Rate means the game is forcing someone else, ME for example, to STAY at a 45% Win Rate so he can enjoy a 62% Win Rate. I am here to say this game is NOT ENJOYABLE when your Win Rate is below the favored rate of 50%.

    You said a mouthful here but wait this is AW, according to you, JOSH, no relation to WOT, yet you just said “This is WoT 2.0 for all intents and purposes. In many ways we have a better product right now.” I have to wonder how the two games are different. Once again you avoid questions for the sole purpose of blowing smoke up my butt. Stop doing that.

    I’ve skipped the next few questions as they are not worth my time to address but the Leader Board stuff is just childish and will only go to force others from the game. The others I refer to are those of us that seem to be labeled Cannon Fodder. We are the one’s making the claims of LANDSLIDE VICTORIES because we lose upwards of 30 games in a row and typically by LANDSLIDE NUMBERS. Some games we are lucky to get a single kill on the entire team. Yep, BRAGGING RIGHTS, that is exactly WHAT this game needs, as if there is NOT ENOUGH as it is.

    “Taugrim: How do you figure out how to spec modern tanks, since they’re classified?

    Josh: In some ways it’s an advantage. Anyone can go out and take measurements of a Tiger tank, and it’s harder to gamify that. With a classified tank, we can say it has 1500 armor or it has classified composite materials, what do you have to say about that.

    We want this to be a game first and to look and feel like a Hollywood version of reality. We don’t get stuck in the tape rule thought process. We want a tank to accurately visually look like what it represents, and we want it to have in-game the basic role that it has on a [real] battlefield. But everything else between A and B is up for interpretation.”

    Oh sure just avoid the question all together for some more BS Answer, the question was specific to how do you SPEC Modern Tanks since they are CLASSIFIED. The short answer is YOU GUESS because you have no CLUE. You use RUSSIAN BIAS because YOU THINK Soviet Armor is SUPERIOR to ALL OTHER ARMOR. The question was not about HOW THE TANKS LOOKS VISUALLY but rather how do you determine CLASSIFIED Specs and translate that to game design. You just give it 1500 and call it a day when in real life it’s more like 15,000, that is what you do you GUESS and LOW BALL the tank.

    “Taugrim: And the guns in AW handle much better, so I can reliably hit targets further away in AW and it’s not as subject to RNG.”

    Wow, must be nice to be a 62% Win Rate Player. My Hit rate is 68% but my shots ARE subject to RNG and I am here to say NEGATIVE RNG because 90% of my hits BOUNCE when they should PEN and do dmg. When my 90 – 120 mm guns bounce on 12 mm of ANY ARMOR there is SOMETHING WRONG with RNG. I don’t care how angled 12 mm is, 90 to 120 mm ANYTHING is going through, but oh no, not in AW. If you are a FAVORED PLAYER sure 80% of your shots go through and do dmg, even the shots YOU MISS.

    You, Taugrim, probably have no idea what the phrases “HE GOT LUCKY” or “NO PEN” mean, do you? Oh sure, I am sure you’ve heard it once or maybe twice, but I hear it 8 out of 10 shorts against Armor that I can PEN with my bare hands, so I have to wonder why you are so lucky in this game and I am not.

    “Taugrim: Going back to what we discussed earlier, AW is very rewarding toward good play and punitive towards bad play with the speed of the tanks, gun handling, and penetration values.

    A lot of people complain about landslide victories and put on the blame on MM (matchmaking), but I think it’s due to those mechanics. Is this a perception you can constructively address?

    Josh: It’s a perception issue. This is the thing: you asked for a game that was more skill-based, you asked for a game that was more fast-paced. We’re delivering it to you, and these are the results of a faster-paced game with skill.”

    Right JOSH every 48% or lower WIN RATE PLAYER suffers from the same PERCEPTION ISSUE, this game is not being RIGGED AGAINST THEM, WE JUST THINK IT IS. Thanks for clearing that up. Then you go on to insult us further by saying this and I quote “What did we do for that? We did do some modifications to our system to bring up the bottom end [i.e. more XP for poor performers] without trying to push down the top end.” Heavens to MEGA-TROY you PUSH DOWN THE TOP to make the game fair and balanced. BS once again, since 0.13 I am making 1/3 of what I use to make on a game per game basis and since adding the dreaded LOGISTICS COST to PvE you’ve about ruined PvE. Stop blowing smoke up my butt, I can SEE CLEARLY NOW as the song goes.

    “Taugrim: I’m a 62% win rate player. Prior to patch 0.13, it used to pair me with bad players, e.g. a 38% WR player or maybe several 46% WR players. In patch 0.13, the WR was capped at 55%. So now I get a 45% WR player to offset me.

    A lot of players in the higher-end battalions don’t like SIMM because they feel like they have to carry potatoes. When I’m solo queuing as a skilled player, if there are three other skilled players that get into the same battle and are in a platoon, I’m placed on the opposite team and that seems unfair to me.

    Josh: You also have to consider whether skilled players are in a platoon, and would you have to weigh that differently. So there is still room to improve our system.

    We’re going to keep going with SIMM until we think it’s not working.”

    SKILLED PLAYERS, wow, HOW exactly does this SIMM or MM, determine how much skill I have as a player? How does the system just KNOW if I am BAD or GOOD? Does is quickly EMAIL SANTA CLAUS? Because I would take that as a MORE VALID REASON than the BS you just provided. How is it I can find the Enemy, get the first few shots, do little to almost NO DMG despite what my aiming reticle says, yet I seem to get VAPORIZED once spotted because I get LOW RNG and they get beyond MAX DMG? How is this possible? WIN RATE is the ONLY THING being used to determine this because there IS NO OTHER WAYS being factored in. How many times I play my tank is MEANINGLESS to how PROFICIENT I AM AT IT so don’t tell me AW is NOT RIGGED, it is.

    Taugrim get over yourself, you are not a SKILLED PLAYER, you just have a better Win Rate ergo the SYSTEM FAVORS you, or is RIGGED IN YOUR FAVOR, and you end up with a much higher reward and exp compared to me, and you will do 1/3 of what I do. LETS you and I start new accounts and vs each other I would wipe the map with your tank. I am not the best player alive but I’ve watched your videos and you are not as good as you think. You camp and don’t really add much to your side’s win other than Pick the Pockets of Potato’s by stealing their kills.

    Josh get with the PROGRAM SIMM is BROKE and NEEDS TO BE REPLACED. But wait, if you really do make the game FAIR and BALANCED than everyone in the game would range from 48% to 52% Win Rate and how fun would that be? Than no one would be able to say “Look at the LEADER BOARDS, I’m NUMBER ONE” for long as they would be replaced very quickly. SIMM is RIGGED MM in short because you want to keep those above 50% happy so they spend more money and give those of us, 48% or lower, the illusion that landslide Victories are a PERCEPTION so we continue to play.

    “Josh: The philosophy behind it is this. If I make it completely random MM, you could get on the same as that skilled platoon and you’re going to wipe the other side out. Or you could get a bunch of potatoes on your side and how fun is that?

    “My Rant:
    Right Josh, you tell me what it’s like to get a BUNCH OF POTATOES on your TEAM because I bet that does not happen to you; provided you even play the game. Your account has all vehicles, all tiers and all equipment UNLOCKED so you don’t have to GRIND, you can just PLAY the GAME. That in itself is just BS because you don’t know what the GRIND is that you are creating with your RIGGED SIMM. I bet if you had to start the game as we did, NO GOLD, NO UNLOCKED TANKS but the crap Tier 1, and NO COIN that you would answer most of these questions differently. Start a new account and don’t add that gamer tag to the FAVORED SIDE of SIMM and see if you can LOOK YOURSELF in the MIRROR afterwards. I bet you can’t LOOK YOURSELF in the MIRROR.”

    We’re making it so that both sides have an equal chance, but of course that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a close battle. We want you to feel that you have a chance.

    “WRONG, you are NOT MAKING is so that both sides have an equal chance, because if you did you would not go on to say “Or you could get a bunch of potatoes on your side and how fun is that? So what gives JOSH, it SIMM’s RIGGED or FAIR and BALANCED? Ima go with RIGGED since that makes the most sense all things considered. Right, you load Team A with Potatoes and SOFT TANKS than load Team B with NON POTATOES with MBT’s and give the illusion that EACH SIDE has a chance when in fact you just RIGGED the OUTCOME because the MBT’s are going to WIPE THE MAP. Wow, what part of this is ROCKET SCIENCE???”

    I want to give you a solo gamer with skill a chance to win every game you’re in instead of just some games. Every game, if you suck it up and play well, you’re going to have a chance to win. I think that’s a superior system.”

    So tell me Josh, if it’s NOT COMPLETELY RANDOM what else could it be other than RIGGED to show FAVORITISM. WOW, that is so good of you to make is so BOTH SIDES have an EQUAL CHANCE but NOT A CLOSE BATTLE. So you want us to THINK we can WIN or have a chance to WIN when in fact this game is RIGGED and we are going to get WIPED ANYWAYS. Here’s a concept, stick to your word and MAKE IT COMPLETELY RANDOM and let the cards FALL WHERE THEY MAY. Rigging a game is NOT the ANSWER.

    “Taugrim: What would be the one thing you want for the community to know?

    Josh: This is just the beginning. This is your chance to get in there and continue to impact the game, continue to give your suggestions, continue to play so we can analyze the statistics.

    AW is going to be around for a long time; we want this to be a permanent franchise. We want to make this the game that people want to play and a better alternative to what they’re playing now. While we’ve set the table in many aspects, we want to continue to push that and give the player not necessarily what they want but what they need.”

    Wow, Josh, Really, get in there and impact the game. How EXACTLY am I to do that when this game is clearly RIGGED AGAINST ME? How can I impact the game when my NEG RNG can not pen tanks it should blow very big hole in and/or destroy instantly? The more I research this game the more I am finding you Developers are running out of SMOKE to BLOW UP OUR BUTTS. The Truth will come out one day then what SMOKE SCREEN will you HIDE BEHIND? AW is WOT 2.0, your words JOSH, NOT MINE. I can call WIN or LOSS at the loading screen 80% of the time before I even know what side of the map I am RANDOMLY, or RIGGED, to start on. Yes, I can easily call 8 out of 10 and I am here to say they are not all losses, I have some wins, 4 out of 10 because I have to maintain my 45% win rate so that Taugrim can enjoy his 62% win rate. Sure there are the occasionally 2 upsets that I am wrong; that’s because I don’t know how many games a favored player has won in a row and if he is RIGGED to lose this match. I will say this, if I am wrong, I am wrong when I assume I would win because I’ve lost the last 10 or more in a row and just WISH a WIN would happen so that there is at least SOME HOPE. But no, NO HOPE in SIGHT…

    I don’t stream often but I plan to start streaming every day so feel free to watch and comment on how AW treats me vs how it treats you.

    http://www.twitch.tv/ziggy_cyphy

    • For Taugrim to say he has a 62% Win Rate is just BS because for him to have such a Win Rate means the game is forcing someone else, ME for example, to STAY at a 45%

      My win rate has very very very very very very very very very very very very very little to do with yours. Emphasis on the “very”.

      If your WR is at 45%, in a game where you are given the benefit of having a good player paired with you via SIMM to help your team have an even chance of winning, well, that says a lot about your gameplay.

      The common factor for any player across thousands of battles is that player.

      I started with a 47% WR over my first 100 battles and have been gradually raising it as I improve my knowledge and skill of the game.

      My Hit rate is 68% but my shots ARE subject to RNG and I am here to say NEGATIVE RNG because 90% of my hits BOUNCE when they should PEN and do dmg

      My Hit Rate is 58%, so even lower than yours:

      Unicums tend to take more shots, because we position ourselves in such a way that we have more shot opportunities.

      Does that mean I actually penetrate more? Nope. I get plenty of missing and non-pens.

      You, Taugrim, probably have no idea what the phrases “HE GOT LUCKY” or “NO PEN” mean, do you? Oh sure, I am sure you’ve heard it once or maybe twice, but I hear it 8 out of 10 shorts against Armor that I can PEN with my bare hands, so I have to wonder why you are so lucky in this game and I am not.

      If you want to believe that the game is out to get you and that I’m given favorable RNG, well, I can’t do anything about that.

      Some players will blame anything except their own gameplay. I make mistakes, and I know when I do them. Do you?

      I have some wins, 4 out of 10 because I have to maintain my 45% win rate so that Taugrim can enjoy his 62% win rate

      My dossier is public, so if you are on NA peruse the various tanks I’ve played and my stats in them.

      For that matter, you can look at the progression of my stats every 100 battles at the following link and see a consistent upward trend in everything: kill-to-death ratio, kills per battle, damage ratio, win rate, etc:

      I’ve had to consciously work hard at improving my gameplay at this game. Stats are a reflection of gameplay.

      If you’re sub-50% WR, there are probably lots of correctable mistakes that you could address, if you were willing to entertain the possibility that you have room for improvement.

      It took me hundreds of battles to learn AW’s game mechanics, the maps, the tanks, etc, and it wasn’t until about 2000 battles that I had really turned the corner in terms of knowing what to do when and why and how.

    • ScottPoet says:

      The three rules of the internet are don’t be a dick, don’t be a dick and don’t be a dick. I pretty sure you broke rule one and three.

      I think the fundamental problem is, you believe you have a right to be a winner. You don’t.
      Taugrim being a better player, has nothing to do with you poor performances.

      • ScottPoet,
        Are you saying Taugrim is a better player than me? If that is so where is your proof, our win records. If that is the case than it seems you have broken your own Rule #2. You have not seen me play and have no clue how good or bad I am, you’ve only read a post of my rant about a game that could be MORE but it is being held back by GREED. Cheers….

        • Pablo Airzoolb says:

          Dear Paul,

          I think we should 1 v 1. You PICK the tier and we will battle UNTIL dominance is established. Do you accept THIS challenge or will you continue to HIDE and blow smoke up our BUTTS?

          Please reply,

          Sincerely and truly yours,

          Pablo

    • I’ve posted my real name and real gamer tag for AW so I hide from NOTHING, those of you that ARE HIDING by only using some twat name are COWARDS, both on forums and in real life so ANYTHING you have to say is meaningless. And those of you that post BS Links are just tard buckets as taugrims link goes to some BS game. I have seen no friend request from you so I can’t send you a Platoon Invite, but I will say this, if you are not willing to Platoon with me it just proves that you know what I say is true and you don’t want your WIN RATE to suffer by being forced to lose. Platoons are broken in this game because they only evauate the person that starts the Platoon; I’ve proved this already several times. Alleged WINNERS refuse to platoon with me after a few games because it does not take long for them to realize when I run a platoon games we are put in are obviously UNBALANCED and NOT EVEN CLOSE TO FAIR. Many have seen it within a few games and no one has stayed long enough to effect their WIN RATE. So Taugrims I challenge you to spend the day platooning with me and I bet you update this post of you kissing the ass of Josh. I mean seriously I do not think you missed a SINGLE HAIR on his BUTT because the coverage your KISSES provided covered every Millimeter of his BUTT.

      • ScottPoet says:

        That has got to be the worst invitation for platooning I have ever seen.

        Oh well the link was pretty amazing. I laughed 9/10!

      • Pablo Airzoolb says:

        At what point did this allegedly rigged MM start forcing you to lose matches? At your 50th game, your 1st game, your 100th game? When?

  9. Kid says:

    OUTRAGEOUS
    I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW THAT on AW forum moderators delete my post in 10 seconds and don’t let me post anymore this. I am not banned or something, but I get this message:
    “Thank you for posting! Your post will not be visible until a moderator has approved it for posting. ”

    My post was this:

    <<I am a little confused after I read those:
    “Obsidian is making the game, so the day-to-day creation is their job. Mail.ru is our parent company and has provided all the funding for AW.
    My.com is the subsidiary of Mail.ru that is tasked with bringing games to the West, so we’re the publisher of AW everywhere outside of Russia.
    My.com owns marketing the game, community management, outreach, special events.”
    – Josh Morris

    So, My.com only owns marketing the game, community management, outreach, special events. Wich is perfect.
    But, now read this:

    “We’re going to keep going with SIMM until we think it’s not working.”
    – Josh Morris

    The second affirmation just denied the first one.

    With my little brain, I understand this:
    because Mail.ru has provided all the funding for AW, they decide the path/the future for AW.
    Like Josh himself saying: “We’re going to keep going with SIMM until we think it’s not working.”
    Please notice the word “We”. By “we” I understand My.com.

    Am I wrong?

    Source:
    https://taugrim.com/2016/03/19/interview-with-my-com-senior-producer-josh-morris-on-armored-warfare-at-gdc-2016/ >>

    So, this is my deleted post.

    Just prove how OE/My.com understand to manipulate people. For me is clear. And for all my clan and all my friends from other clans.

  10. Sabrewolf says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. I started playing AW and uninstalled Waste Of Time to get away from the toxic player base and the soviet/russian bias that WG constantly exhibits. If this is true, and mail.ru is controlling what is supposed to be an AMERICAN game, I will be uninstalling the game as soon as I am done posting this.

    • cybercapri says:

      Armored Warfare is also Mail.RU Ran, so ya, same BIAS there as well. The T14 does the most Alpha Damage of the game which is total BS…

      • IMO the balance across the tank lines of different nations is pretty solid.

        The main issue is moreso that MBTs scale too well, but that is getting addressed in Balance 2.0.

        A lot hangs on how well 2.0 is implemented.

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