World of Warships – The Great PR Disaster

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With Update 0.8.11 comes the annual celebration of Christmas in World of Warships. It’s a season of smiles, merriment, and giving… unless you really had your heart set on a USS Puerto Rico, that is. The Tier X Premium American “super” and how she is obtained has been at the heart of a firestorm of controversy the past few days. I hadn’t planned to weigh in, but enough people inquired that I figured I’d share some thoughts.

Here’s the link to the article I mentioned:
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-12-12-wargaming-finally-branching-beyond-world-of-tanks-with-uk-studios-new-ip

#WorldOfWarships #PRDisaster

52 Comments:

  1. It’s a clear case of misleading/dishonest advertising.

    • @SeaRaptor from the live stream that introduced it all and the webbie thingy that is how most people understood it . they really need to get their words round the right way , so we get the correct info from the get go . it’s better to say ” we don’t know how yet ” than to give us false hope .

    • @Grease Monkey Fair, but the patch dropped several days before players could start the grind for PR. That gave everyone a chance to learn about the event and decided to how/if to spend money. I don’t disagree that Gorizia should have been the focus, but calling all of this false advertising when there was plenty of time to learn what was going on before spending a dime is a stretch, IMHO.

    • @SeaRaptor You should just make a video saying, look I am too biased to make a statement. I mean come on. Several CC’s made videos showing the event and WG changed the directives without telling anyone. You seem to be the only CC’s that can’t remain objective.

    • @Boats The directives changed between PTS and live. They always do, for several years now. What no one knew was just how nuts they would be on live.

    • @SeaRaptor The majority of people see it that way. Community Contributors , avid players and newbies. I know that i agree and i’m not going to sit on the fence about it.

  2. Good Upload SeaRaptor ?

    • Thanks, man. I appreciate that there are a lot of different viewpoints on this whole debacle. I just wanted to share mine. If folks don’t agree, hey, no big deal, to each their own.

    • @SeaRaptor Yeah WG made a mess. But i don’t understand the anger or disdain for the people who bought the doubloons to get it. Its one’s prerogative of his choice. As for me personally don’t fancy the ship atm and am not willing to spend the dough and time on it. Maybe i might grind till the Gorizia. But WG needs a lot to learn from this debacle, if that’s the right word and be more sensitive to the community in future and WG should be able to take criticism and handle it more sensitively and hear out the 99.99% of what the community voice out. Thanx again

  3. I don’t think that more than 20 people will be able to grind the ship out to completion without money being thrown into it.

  4. Really nice commentary on the health of the player base, SR.

    • A guy not long ago died from exhaustion during a World of Tanks marathon. A baby in Singapore died when their gaming parents didn’t feed it during another marathon and it starved to death. At the end of the day the responsibiliy is our own to look after ourselves. But it is a bit hazardous to set a challenge like the PR without taking into account the feasibility of their customers care. It is an esport now so at least some lip service on the topic could be appreciated. I once played a game i bought and every hour it told me i had played for an hour and suggested i should have a break…that was a shocker but i did think while disregarding the message ”That was nice, hmmm its only 3am but”

    • @Armadio Incidents like the ones you highlight are thankfully pretty rare, but run the risk of becoming more commonplace as gaming companies find ways to incentivize more and more of our time. It’s incumbent upon the community and the players to draw a line that says “this is not healthy, and we don’t appreciate it”. I’m too much a classical liberal to ever want to tell someone how to spend their time, but I don’t think we should be encouraging unhealthy behavior the way some of the later directives do.

    • . Almost all people would find this PR grind physically debilitating, socially detrimental and failing to their familial obligations. Designed that way so people will ”Buy out” than take anymore. This event isnt worth enough to let it affect my mental health or that of my family around me. I just won’t have that lifestyle. Shame on Wargaming for giving this stark choice to their fanbase of whom some may be compulsive gamers who cannot for whatever reason resist this temptation.

  5. So, what aspect of WG’s blatant dishonesty, cynicism, and tone-deaf response is excusable or acceptable if no-one on the internet acted with outrage and everyone was civil?

  6. What really gets me is WG changed the advertisement for the PR, editing the wording so as to not give the impression as this grind was anything but near impossible. IChase points this out in his video, showing the original page and comparing it to the current one.

    • I saw this in Chase’s second video. Honestly, I wasn’t bothered very much by it. I have spent enough time lamenting their English translations that I chalk a lot of wording things up to that. It’s not until a native speaker sees it that certain corrections get made.

    • @SeaRaptor So it was all a translation problem. That, in my opinion, is a lame duck excuse. They have English speakers (They have American and English employee’s in Minsk) that vet these kind of announcements to the EU and NA server. They aren’t amateurs.

    • @Armadio agreed. Why make a dockyard when no one will get it. Unless you have so many flags for like 1 000 games and get alot of xp and shit and atleast only wins. Its time waisting for us and them. I bought 20 containers and no ship only flags and camo. I understand that being angry wont give you a ship but its a Xmas event people where lied to and they cant get theyer moneys worth PR for 24 000 doubloons I mean T8 is like 12 000 doubloons so pr should be loke 24 000. The players are just angry sins its a giving holiday but we need to give them but we play theyer game.
      They have how many games on theyre launcher? And how many people are buying something everyday. We play and buy 360 days wheres the one chance we could get a free ship. They sed it will be free or pay They SED ITS FREE OR PAY FOR DOUBLOONS. I know its a free to play games but they sed it.(ooooo this is not like faced to you its my opinion and I agreed what you sed)

    • @Armadio For clarity: WoT is developed in Minsk and WoWS is developed in St. Petersburg. Now, there are native English speakers in St. Pete – iEarlGrey comes to mind – but from my 3+ years of working on the wiki and seeing the little 3-sentence ship descriptions they write, I’m depressingly aware of how badly they need a native speaker to review their translation work on occasion. I don’t know if that’s what happened here but it wouldn’t surprise me, especially since Chase’s video showed the removal of only two adjectives from a single sentence. It’s not as if they re-wrote the thing, they toned it down from the marketing-speak into something a bit more rational.

    • ​@SeaRaptor Thank you for the correction. Few simple words can change an entire narrative. ”Simply Complete”and ”Entirely Possible” certainly does make something seem rather mundane and achievable. No one said they re-wrote the entire thing. It’s all about perception to some people and that can change the entire definitions of plausibility in some minds. Either way, that won’t change the trust issues that WG suffers as a business model to it’s community.

  7. I was disappointed by the fact that we didn’t get an Atlantic Theater themed campaign or mission series tying in the Siegfried, the new German Captian, and Odin/Mainz. We had the Duke of York and Graf Spee the last few years and Im sad we broke that little tradition.

    • That would have been fun and thematic!

    • Agreed! I asked at the USS Texas why are we not doing more historical ops or themes and they just kinda shrugged it off with a maybe. :/

    • @James Powell Exactly. Its what we have been doing for a at least 2 of the 4 years the game has been around. With all the “new german content in the pipe” and the lack of german content like second camo color and flags or a special german commander, it was the perfect setup.

  8. The most disappointing thing about this whole sorry mess is the cynical lack of respect that WG have shown towards their playerbase, for the sake of some greedy marketing. That’s the EA type of behaviour that can ruin a brand … it has certainly dissuaded me from spending any money with them fir the immediate future.

    • The subsequent statements have, unfortunately, not done them any favors. Admittedly, I doubt anything they could have said would have made any difference since they clearly have no intention of adjusting the event in any way.

    • ​@SeaRaptor I can only speak for myself, and I’m just one guy – but as someone who is an old school gamer (just turned 50,) and has no problem paying to play (I’ve paid probably around $4-500 for the 22 months of WoWS I’ve played – and probably 2x that for the years I played WoT…) the response definitely cost them my money this Christmas. That’s only $100, but the CEO’s response (which pretty much was FU) – that I just read earlier tonight absolutely made a difference to me. And cost them my money this year. But I already bought a buddy a copy of Post Scriptum, and I’ll find some other things to buy when Steam sales are in full speed I’m sure.

    • Voting with your wallet is the only way to encourage behavior you like or don’t like, so good for you!

  9. well said

  10. As someone who has played several EA games, they don’t even come remotely close to this level of despicable. You historically have not been critical of WG, because it would create cognitive dissonance. You have a lot invested being a CC and a caster. By overlooking the predatory behavior, you are able to remain neutral and continue on. Make no mistake, I have played video games for 20 years and nothing even comes close to this level of disgusting, sunk cost fallacy, low brow, dirty move. This is a vile company. Keep in mind, you are doing this game a disservice by toeing the line. WG needs to hear the message loud and clear, but you just can’t do it.

    • I am critical of them when I feel they deserve it. They have earned ample criticism here. I am just not the type of person who grabs a pitchfork and demands that heads roll, because it just doesn’t amount to much. There are better ways to deliver criticism and feedback than faux rage on the forums or reddit or Twitter.

      Help me understand why you feel like this is “predatory behavior”. I genuinely don’t see it, but we all have different life experiences. For me it seems a simple matter to say “nah, this event isn’t for me”. Are there folks out there that are incapable of doing that for themselves?

    • You need help to understand why people are so upset?

    • @SeaRaptor The irony is if a company did this in another area of business you would feel the way we feel. Imagine buying a washing machine after seeing a commercial only to find out you still need a parts set which is sold separately. Well thats absurd right because these are virtual items right? Are we spending virtual money though? The fact that this is a video game where children are being taught that acquisition is the game, and are being exposed to gambling/predatory tactics should alarm you. Just five years ago video games were about having fun playing the game. Now the game is being tricked into spending money. Again I want you to know, you have more invested than the average player. Seeing WG for what they are would threaten to ruin that for you.

    • @Princess Luna No, I’ve got a pretty good grasp on that. I’m asking him to help me understand why he feels this is “predatory behavior”. To me, that has a very specific connotation that differs greatly from “optional event for mediocre ship that you don’t really need”, such as Puerto Rico. He sees it differently, so I asked him to elaborate.

  11. I would have been happy with a tier 3 pos.
    I would never stress out over a computer game.
    I never even got close to the tier 6 german BB from last year.
    Been a WOT player since 2011. I gave up on grinding tanks/ships many years ago. As a player, WG treats me like a trained chimp. I am not a chimp, or a chump.

    • “I would never stress out over a computer game.”

      This is me, honestly, and it’s why I sometimes struggle to understand some of the views folks espouse and why dialogue is important.

  12. Glad I found this channel. Trying to not burn out as im currently rusting over as a good world of warships player so im Exspanding my libary of wows youtubers

  13. It is refreshing to hear from someone who has experience outside of gaming and a more grounded view of this becoming “pay for gaming” game. Thanks and keep up the good work!

  14. Issue a lot of people have is the misleading hype leading up to this event. A LOT of CC’s were putting out videos and streams repeating the mantra that “anyone can earn this for free”. And as some CC’s have said, this was done with the full knowledge of WG. But WG never tried to get them to temper those comments. Then we see a grind that even the likes of Flamu and Flambass say they don’t think they can do. It’s really the misleading and setting expectations that have people angry. WG shot themselves in the foot on this one.
    Then they send out Conway. IMO, he comes across as arrogant and condescending on a good day. Doubled down on that EU stream. Follow that up with the Sub Octavian non-apology spreadsheet. So after shooting themselves in the foot, they reloaded and kept going.
    I’ll just ignore this grind entirely. Never was super interested in Alaska. Have the FXP for it but never pulled the trigger. So it won’t break my heart if I don’t get the T10 version of it.

    • To me, this is the right way to approach it. If you’re angry or busy or whatever, just don’t participate. The reward ship is hardly meta-defining.

  15. We should STOP following WoWs facebook page. If the number drops to zero, it will be noticed.

  16. Enough of this. Just let the Puerto Rico die where it belongs. On our drydocks.

  17. I don’t give a chit about this anymore
    I’ll just play normally like Christmas event or dockyard never existed.

  18. If one or two Wargaming employees put this all together I would cut them some slack. But the “apology” and tone deaf response to the player base was pretty unforgivable. I’ve dropped my last penny on this game and uninstalled it for now. Maybe I will return, but this since-CBT player is not happy with the missions, the response and failure of Wargaming to understand WHY they got the reaction they got, nor did they express any second thoughts on their choices. It’s only a game, but I enjoyed it and the community for years. Besides, this uproar has all but hidden the impressive efforts the Developers made to create the dockyard. All of this was due to Wargaming’s apparent inability to think things through.

    • It’s depressing that all of the uproar over the PR grind has overshadowed how amazing the visuals and mechanics of the Dockyard are. The art guys did an amazing job.

  19. LordTyphoon WoWSasia

    SO MUCH WHINGING. Players need to just MAN UP and deal with the grind if they want the ship for free! There is nothing misleading – the requirements are clearly provided. Whether they are realistic or not DOESNT MATTER.

  20. Would be nice, especially after acknowledging they made misleading statements (see iChase where he shows they even changed the verbiage of the original Reddit post), that they compensate those who have paid the 24K doubloons later in life when PR becomes available – similar to when GZ was released and then had to be taken back. Many people bought it and were given compensation later or a flat out refund. To admit you messed up and do nothing is almost as bad as intentionally putting people in unhealthy conditions to accomplish this unrealistic event. Just my 2 cents

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