Home > Ftr news > Christmas, FTR Future in 2015 and some other random crap I wanted to rant about

Hello everyone,

so, tomorrow’s the Christmas day here and there are only a couple of days left till the end of the year. It’s time to look back – and forward. If you forgive me, this time, I’ll just skip the contributor review, I will make a separate post later on. Thank all of you who contributed of course – it’s just in this post, I want to focus on something a bit different, the past and the future. It’s going to be a long post, so be warned. Gonna split it in parts by topics.

Of me and Wargaming

Right… where to start. A lot of people think that I actually hate Wargaming. This is a matter I explained several times, but still the feeling lingers on, fuelled by my… let’s say more negative posts. It’s not true, at least mostly not. My attitude towards Wargaming is actually quite complicated. For me, it’s about the specific people. There are people I respect immensely and in a way am glad I am not bearing their burdens of responsibility – people such as Storm, or Evilly. Practically all of the people I really respect are Russians or Belarusians, although I must say that despite having some disagreements, I also am very fond of American server’s very own historian, The_Chieftain (and his epic hat), I also remember Overlord, who moved on to WoT Blitz and god knows what he’s doing now, haven’t heard from him in ages. And let’s not forget the historical and balance department, those are some awesome guys. And the supertesters, some of them are pretty great as well :) Won’t give names, reasons are obvious.

On the other hand, there are people who I truly detest, like the EU staff, who I think are generally a bunch of pisspots. Yes, I know many of you like Ectar & Co., I don’t. There are exceptions of course. Then there’s Yuri Pasholok, but that’s a very specific case. We’ll see how he acts in real life, won’t we? According to WG guys I met, he’s coming in January to Prague… pack a raincoat Yuri, the weather here is shit. That’s global warming for you.

Overall, I was surprised myself to find out that there are more specific people I like than those I dislike, at least specific people – strange, yes? What I really dislike is the way Wargaming shifted in last months. Maybe it’s just me… I don’t know. I just have this nagging feeling that something changed in last half a year and Wargaming as a whole moved much more towards the “money at all costs” policy. I mean… too many offers, the discount system is almost arcane, hard to keep track even for me these days. I get it actually – World of Tanks is still the main product that HAS to be used to make as much money as possible. World of Warplanes didn’t work and World of Warships… that I don’t know. The feedback for that seems to be really positive, but even if the final game is MUCH more interesting than what we’ve seen in the test, I really don’t believe it will ever cross the “niche genre” boundaries, because ships – that’s very niche thing (tanks on the other hand are not niche in post-Soviet countries, there is a huge fanbase of armor, the Great Patriotic War and all that, much larger than a ship fanbase I’d wager).

You might have noticed that Wargaming now has activities all over the world. From what was essentially an oversized “garage company” of years ago, it transformed into a global company with many interests, including banking, venture capitalism and software development. It is absolutely clear that unless they do something suicidal, Wargaming will never want for money again and despite what many malcontents say, Wargaming will never go broke. We might not like it, but we have to respect that Wargaming marketing (despite the negative community feedback) is not stupid and in the end, they do whatever brings them most money. It’s trading profit for popularity, that is eventually gained elsewhere.

But that’s Wargaming, not World of Tanks itself.

As a product, I think World of Tanks is in a way “spent”. While 2014 brought some new and interesting features, it was nowhere near to what was expected in late 2013. Back then, a year ago, I said that 2014 would be a great year for World of Tanks, but I was wrong, it went from rapid development of the early years to much slower pace, especially when it came to new tanks. Some might disagree with me, but I do think that content for ALL the players is the lifeblood of every MMO, but for World of Tanks, the introduced features such as Strongholds are attractive only to a limited number of players. How many players do play those modes? 20-30 percent maximum? Well, you see what I mean. For me, the most important contant are the new tanks, but in 2015, the amount of this content is not likely to increase much – we’ll get a French branch without midtier content, an EU tree branch (one) and one more branch of godknowswhat. Adding new tanks has one advantage though – it’s safe. I mean, there’s not THAT much you can fuck up with new tanks… well, okay, unless it’s outrageous minmax retarded stuff like WT E-100 and FV4005, but let’s hope they learned from that.

On the other hand, new modes and such features are risky. We saw that clearly on the example (failure) of historical battles and confrontation modes. They are probably not as expensive (money-wise) to implement than new tanks, but it takes longer to tweak them (before they work properly anyway) and I do think the manhour cost might be higher as well.

In the end, I am skeptical about World of Tanks in 2015. I do think that apart from interesting vehicles, it’ll bring some ingame content for limited audience (perhaps more CW functions, perhaps more e-sports), but in the end, when the end of 2015 is upon us, the feeling we will have will not be of joy, but of blandness. I am even skeptical they will ever introduce Havok in any meaningful form (perhaps with very limited “pretty” destruction of small objects, but with rapidly disappearing particles and no “big building destruction”).

But perhaps I am wrong. I hope I am, for all your sakes.

Of For The Record, past and future

I think many of you noticed this – I was tired. Really, really tired of FTR. The crisis came around October to November, when I was practically decided to drop the entire blog completely and walk away. I was convinced that I’ve hit the ceiling in readerbase, but I was wrong in that. Actually, comparing stats from 2013 to 2014, the blog practically doubled, sometimes tripled in readers per day. And it’s still growing, we’re not at the ceiling yet, no way (there was a significant drop in summer, but hey, that’s summer, then it skyrocketed). Especially these days, the everyday readerbase is double the way it was in summer and double-triple the amount it was in winter 2013. I actually really appreciate it, you guys are great.

But it was tiring. I have to admit, there were days when even thinking of FTR made me sick. Count in some bad personal shit in the second half of 2014 and other issues and, well… was not a good time.

Why did I continue? Good question. Money’s not the reason despite what some think – really not worth this much effort (and it still takes the same effort as it did a year ago). You have to be a really dedicated person to do it (or obsessed, hell, noone says I am right in my head, but then, few really dedicated people are), I guess that’s the reason why every attempt to clone FTR failed until now. On the other hand, I am not under the illusion that I am irreplaceable. If I leave, someone else will start somewhere eventually. Hell, maybe even WG EU will stop sitting on their fat asses. But the main issue with FTR for me was the fact that it had no purpose other than its existence. I mean, it’s nice to have a blog with tons of readers, but where does it lead? Nowhere, I thought, no future. It would eventually just diminish and die – that is the way of all things. After all, WoT won’t be here forever either.

Sure, there’s the theoretical option of cooperating with Wargaming more closely, but… as you can imagine, that has no future for me either. They are not interested and I am CERTAINLY not interested in working with WG EU in any way, I’d rather drink my own piss (no offense, Bear Grylls). Nah, I’d make THEM drink it. And let’s face it, some of them hate my ass and I can see why and can’t blame them (see above). So fuck you, WG EU.

There is ONE venue of cooperation with Wargaming however that I am active in and that is the Czechoslovak branch research. No, that’s not just some dream or whatever, that’s actively researched with the participation of foremost Czechoslovak armor historians. I am not quite convince WG is very happy with me being included in this (since I know the historians personally), but… well, the best I can do is to provide info on the branch and translate (which I did already) and facilitate the – let’s say data acquisition. Which I am doing. So in a way, I am a part of WoT development the way Daigensui and Soukoudragon were with the Japanese tanks in 2013, so I got that going for me, which is nice (and yes, I do read 9Gag).

Make no mistake, it was and still is a lot of fun. We’ll see how it goes, I hope WG doesn’t fuck the entire thing up or scrap it. No matter what you might think of the plan, it actually makes sense when it comes to pure numbers, Czechoslovak community is large. It’s a combination of factors really, but even if it doesn’t work out, it was FUN working on it, you know. It was a shitload of work done too and yea, I am bragging now, so I better stop. No, seriously, this was one of the few things that actually kept me with WoT and FTR (apart from some twisted sense of duty anyway). The work will continue, in January.

Okay, back to For the Record.

The current plan is to keep For the Record going as it is now through 2015. No limitations, no changes.

So, I guess you are asking what changed. The Czech branch, certainly, but there is something else too.

That’s right. Armored Warfare.

Unlike Gaijin (where I instinctively immediately disliked the Ground Forces and was mostly indifferent about the planes, even though it’s clear as day War Thunder airplanes are superior to WoWp), I actually like Armored Warfare concept and the devs. Yep, it’s a WoT clone with a better engine – but that’s actually a smart thing to do, isn’t it? They are friendly, their staff is nice, but most importantly, they are eager and not afraid. And they speak English, I am sure you can see how that’s a huge advantage. So, basically, I decided at one point to cooperate with them, they seemed interested and – well, can’t tell you any details, but seems… interesting. And I am not the only one, not by a longshot.

As I mentioned before, the deal I have with Edrard (to whom I am and always will be grateful) prevents me from writing about Armored Warfare on For the Record. That’s why FTR (the current one you are reading) will continue to be dedicated to World of Tanks and only to content related to it. The original plan was to create a copy of FTR for AW, but then I asked myself… is that really wise? For me and for them? I mean, it’ll just draw people from their own portals to me. Hence the delay in everything (plus I had other stuff to finish). In the end, there probably will be a split AW FTR. Future will tell. But you know what? For now, I feel great again. Sure, AW might be a huge screwup, sure, they might not even dent WG, but who knows? 2015 could be an interesting year after all.

Damn, that was long.

Okay, enough ranting. TLDR: FTR goes on.

Okay, one more thing.

Merry Christmas to you all, happy holidays and… thank you. For reading this far and for sticking with me.

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Опубликовал Feldfebel Glinka Comments Off on Christmas, FTR Future in 2015 and some other random crap I wanted to rant about

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