For the Record: Silentstalker's Top 10 Wargaming Fails
here are (in my opinion) the worst Wargaming fails, in a very general order. Most refer to the EU server (I have no idea what sort of crap is going on on the RU one and only vaguely understand the NA server issues). These things however do influence everybody.
10 - SerB trolling
SerB is the main developer and the creative director (I think), seated in Minsk. He quite often answers the questions to the developers. Nothing bad with that - only one thing: he likes to troll. A lot. Answers like "go play Tetris" and "go back to school" are popular in RU regions (SerB is vastly popular there), but when translated to English other languages (as they do, not only by me, but by other people too), they sound just rude and offensive. It's not that big of a deal, but a lot of people on EU server would just get insulted.
Storm is usually not trolling, but even he can be really rude:
"Hahaha. Suffer, faggot, your suffering makes us happy!"
9 - Russian historical bias
Everybody knows that nazi names, pictures and symbols are not allowed in the game and on Wargaming forums - and rightfully so, the nazi ideology is one of the worst evils that ever happened in mankind's history. However, at the same time, we have Wargaming developers naming themselves "KGB" and using Smersh avatars. I think we all can agree that Smersh and KGB were no "regular" organisations - they murdered thousands of people, dragged thousands more to die in Soviet Gulags and the only difference between KGB/Smersh and Gestapo/SS is that the nazis lost the war. The shameful Soviet propaganda is illegal in some European countries (Czech republic included, the 1948-1989 Communist party was banned here) and the "Stalinist" Soviet tank decal, promoting the mass murderer Stalin is as nasty as if the Germans wrote "SS Mann" on their tanks.
8 - Broken Clanwars
Clanwars are supposed to be the ultimate endgame World of Tanks equivalent to Warcraft's raiding, yet somehow, even after more than a year, they are still in beta phase and simply don't work. Everything gets broken down and there is hardly a month without Clanwars freeze. Now, I am no expert on Clanwars and I don't even like this sort of stuff, but it's absolutely clear that something's really wrong with them. The inability of Wargaming to produce a working endgame mechanism in 2 years is... not good.
7 - EU Moderators
Moderators are not Wargaming's employees in strictest sense. They are recruited from regular players and paid some chump change (200 Euro or so?) to police the forums. Naturally, that reflects their quality. Much like the "private security" mallcop companies, that accept simply anyone, Moderator corps on EU server specifically are swarming with (in better case) powertripping idiots, in worst case small people getting even their enemies thru power abuse. Complaints against moderators are not taken seriously, the appeal system does not work and the selection process is dubious (Remember the Czechout affair? A part of it was Czechout pushing thru a moderator called Idahou by making his warning points "disappear". That guy's still there and there were several complain threads opened in last months alone in the Czechoslovak section). Other common "feature" is different punishment for the same offense. Only yesterday I've seen a moderator on EU1 general chat ban a guy for saying two words in Polish, while literally in seconds, some other guy was spamming in German - he didn't get banned.
6 - Dysfunctional EU Q&A
Enough said here. While RU server gets answers and explanations from developers daily (and NA has The_Chieftain, who does an amazing job), EU is left in the dark. There is some guy named Quasar, who is allegedly a developer and who runs a joke of a Q&A (with a rate of 5 answers per month). It used to be much better, when Overlord (a really great guy by the way) used to operatively (immediately, imagine that!) answer the questions - and all that while being (now comes the big shock) very polite. Insane, right? Well, I guess I should thank them, most of the readers of this blog probably come here for the Wargaming news :)
5 - Fake tanks
Enough has already been written on the topic of Failowe being fake. Of course, it's not the only case - the T28 Prototype is mostly made up, E-50 Ausf.M is nearly made up, some German tanks have unhistorical armor and guns, the T71 is a mashup of two models as far as I know, the ingame Chaffee is a historian's nightmare and so on. Of course, it wouldn't be such a problem.... IF Wargaming didn't fanatically enforce historical data on other vehicles. Buff an underperforming vehicle? "Why, it's historical!"
4 - Impotent Wargaming Paris community section
This is something I criticized for a long time, both before my ban and after. The EU community section is completely impotent. They can't do anything on their own, they have absolutely no power (all decisions that matter are taken in Minsk) and their PR is a nightmare. Now, I don't think they are bad people. Supercharge has some nice articles, Challenger is great (what I do somehow see as a problem is that it is my impression he doesn't talk to us "common folks", but only to the cadre of soldiers/war veterans in his section). Blanchard I have absolutely no idea about - seems like a nice guy, not posting very much. Ectar - again, probably a nice guy in real life, but by GOD, they are all so... I don't know... empty? No improvisation, no changes, everything has to be scheduled from Minsk - in the past, this led to some pretty funny fails. Remember that time the random battles were flooded with (fresh in the shop) Type 59 tanks? It was a disaster, there were like 15 vs 15 Type 59 battles and at one point I just quitted for a while, because for someone grinding a regular T7 tank it was unplayable. A few weeks into this nightmare, Wargaming EU made a post on the portal about how wonderful Type 59 is and how to play it. A perfect shot in the foot, forums started raging that the players are getting trolled and from what I know, the EU community organizers *facepalmed* at the post, but they HAD to post it, because it was sent from Minsk. Eventually, the post was removed, but not before a huge backlash.
Another case was the "Stalinec" issue. A player posted in the general section that he finds the Soviet decal "Stalinec" offensive. Naturally, a debate was started and in the end, Ectar promised he would personally pass the complaint to Minsk. He kept his promise - only to be openly mocked by SerB (or Storm) in the Russian Q&A thread. Says a lot about how much Minsk respects WG Paris.
And don't let me even get started about the "Voroshilov was a strategic mastermind" affair, that didn't make the Polish players very happy...
Oddly enough, Wargaming US seems to be a LOT more different and independent. They have The_Chieftain (a sort of military expert and developer mix), who - while he probably hates my ass - actually REPLIES daily on stuff the way Overlord did - so don't tell me it isn't possible.
3 - 83mm HE shell fiasco
A quick recap: from the RU version of patch 0.8.4 it was found out, that 83mm HE shells would basically quadruple in price, making a huge profit possible. This info did spread like a wildfire and people bought a LOT of 83mm HE shells, only for WG Europe to announce the price wouldn't quadruple, but only double, so those who "invested" like this wouldn't be getting crap. Subsequently a LOT of people raged, because some invested literally millions of credits and some even sold their vehicles in order to make profit.
The price reduction itself was not that big of a problem. The biggest problem was the fact that - unlike the Europeans, the Russians DID get the price quadrupled (it was lowered weeks after the Russians recieved the 0.8.4 patch) and some made quite a lot of money on this. Apparently, all players are equal, but some are more equal than others.
The second issue was the PR handling of the situation. EU staff was completely clueless, only Ectar was actually attempting to explain and they let the shitstorm get into giantic proportions - it took two days for the forums to calm down somewhat and I bet some people still feel pretty crappy when they remember the whole damn thing.
2 - EU supertest handling
Where to start? I have been talking to a few supertersters for some time and it is my impression the Supertest was a mess. Everything was in Russian (the english translations were done by volunteers) and EU players were generally treated like 2nd class citizens. A lot of Russians displayed an anti-European attitude and at least one moderator went from what I know on a nasty anti-European rant. Needless to say, this backfired by disgruntled supertesters starting to leak stuff. Make no mistake: it wasn't only Europeans who leaked stuff, at least one of the leaks I got was a Russian and no, it was not the one of the two who got punished (so we can expect more leaks in the future). In the end, all the EU supertesters were sacked, which might seem a logical step, but then again, the question is, whether the leaks were the result of bad people being bad, or of Wargaming's attitude towards EU supertesters.
Naturally, another reason is the fact that Wargaming just keeps too many secrets. A sneak peek here and there would do wonders...
1 - Czechout affair
Need I say more? A quick summary: a WG employee was fixing competitions (plus a bunch of other stuff), it was made public and the employee was kicked out after an epic shitstorm. I am sure all of us from the EU server remember that.
Honorable mentions: some might remember the "Design your Porsche vehicle" contest from last year, that was a disaster (took 3 months or so to pick "winners" and in the end, they appeared to be picked at random, which caused a rage). Czech "Design your own competition" contest - the results simply disappeared and noone heard of it ever again. Ingame illogical bugs (0 damage hits), that can be seriously annoying. The Red Screen of Death - that was fortunately fixed, but not before haunting the game for months. The Pearl River map screenies - Wargaming gave out "exclusive" content to some bloggers and streamers and told everyone it's exclusively for them - much to their surprise, the same screenies appeared all over the internet at the same time and boy did the people feel stupid.
I am sure there are many more you could mention. Truth to be told, there is a lot of room for improvement. But it's not all bad. World of Tanks is a great concept and a good game - and I personally enjoy it. Let's hope these "thingies" get fixed in the future.