Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sandbox changes in World of Tanks

Wargaming announced some changes they are testing in the sandbox server:

Changing shot dispersion so that shells are more likely to land toward the outside of the aim circle
"Shot distribution within the aiming circle. The revised mechanic has fewer shots clustered closer to its center. As a result, hitting weak spots at range is more difficult for the guns that have bad dispersion (0.4 or more), while aim time, armor, and gun stabilization become more important. Those who participated in the first Sandbox iteration will find the new solution is nearly the same as then, but this time, the perception of this change is unaffected by other significant changes surrounding it."

Drop in penetration over distance
"AP and APCR shells penetration values begin decreasing at 50m (not 100m) and they lose 18% and 23%, respectively, of their initial values at 500m. This should facilitate action-packed, close-range engagements and make armor thickness more relevant, while maneuvering in the enemy's sight becomes safer with distance. We tested a similar solution in the first iteration, and found it too radical. Now we’re testing reduced penetration falloff to see if it’s enough to make maneuvering and flanking safer, without disrupting the fun."

Changing the alpha damage for some guns
"At the same time, we’re increasing the damage of 120mm guns to the damage rating of the 122mm guns (at the moment, this minuscule difference in caliber results in a 10% reduction of damage: 400 vs. 440). Their reload time gets increased as well, to keep the DPM intact"

Decreased alpha damage for some guns
"Currently, vehicles with very high alpha damage (the JagdPz. E 100, FV 4005, or FV 215b (183)) foster artillery-like gameplay. We’ll try to fix it by reducing excessively high alpha damage of very high-caliber (170+mm) guns, while also improving their reloading time to keep the DPM unchanged."

A new stun effect that's revised and improved after last year’s Sandbox test
"Implements the ability to reduce the stun effect and lift it completely with consumables, which are now multi-use
Added stun indicators that should help both teams quickly assess the situation and adjust their battle plans"

Revised ammo loads and shell and combat parameters
"No AP and HEAT shells for SPGs
Decreased penetration and alpha damage for HE shells, while also improving their accuracy, dispersion on the move, aiming and reload time"

Increased blast radius and revised the damage falloff within it

Introduced target area marking so that SPGs can show friendly vehicles where they aim

New alternate aim for SPGs to make artillery gameplay more engaging and efficient

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

What Went Wrong With World of Tanks Superbowl Advertisements?

World of Tanks Superbowl Advertisements - Were they the right choice?

World of Tanks had four Superbowl advertisements.  They were listed on the World of Tanks web page in a new item:
You can watch all four on that link.

I talked with a random sampling of people who don't play World of Tanks that watched the Superbowl.  They included relatives, friends, coworkers, and some employees of local businesses.  Most of the gamers and the non gamers said they don't really remember the commercials that well and there was nothing in the commercial that made them want to go to the web site in the commercial or find out more about the game.

The few that remembered the commercials and said they laughed at the commercials were in the 12-22 year old age range.  The issue with that is World of Tanks is a free to play game that requires players to spend real money on additional game items to make a profit.  Most 12 to 22 year old people don't have a large disposable income.  Wargaming previously said the average World of Tanks player is a male in his 30's.  The commercials need to be targeted to people older than teenagers and people in their early 20's.  In my own experience playing the game, players in their mid 20's and younger than that usually don't spend much money on the game.  Even a $25 purchase of in game goods seems difficult for them when they can buy a whole other game or game collection on Steam for the same price or take their significant other out to a movie for the same price.  Wargaming needs to target people with more disposable income than players in the 12 to 22 year old age range.

Monday, February 6, 2017

GTX 1050 vs RX 460 World of Tanks FPS comparison results Part 2


After reading part one, some people asked if using the overclocked i7-6700K processor would give better results than a less powerful and older processor.  I decided to retest both graphics cards with an i3 processor released in 2012 on a socket 1155 motherboard.  In addition to that, I tested the effects of different game settings on FPS with both GPUs.


I used Fraps and a WoT replay of the M41 Bulldog on the Windstorm map to compare the GTX 1050 vs the RX 460.  Fraps recorded the minimum, average, and maximum FPS for the battle.  The RX 460 that was used cost $95 and the GTX 1050 that was used cost $100.  Both are models that don't use any additional power and get all their power through the PCI Express x16 slot.  Also, both cards have 2 GB of memory.

The computer used for the comparison had these specs:
Intel i3-3240 CPU
Asrock H61M-VG4 Motherboard
16 GB DDR3 RAM (8GB x 2 sticks)
500 GB Samsung 840 SSD
Seasonic 650 Watt power supply
Windows 10 Pro

The two graphics cards tested were:
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Mini $99.99
PowerColor RED DRAGON Radeon RX 460 $94.99
Both graphics cards were run at their default clock speed.  Both graphics cards use a single fan and heat sink and have similar cooling designs.

As stated in part one, for smooth game play you want to keep your minimum FPS(Frames per Second) above 30 FPS.  Games can start looking like a slide show below 30 FPS.  Games tend to look smoother and are easier to play when you keep your minimum frame rates higher.  Generally 50-60 FPS is where games start to look much smoother to most gamers.  Some people with 60 Hz monitors prefer to have their minimum FPS never drop below 60 FPS then enable V-sync to reduce the visual effect called screen tearing.  Other players have monitors that are capable of 75 Hz, 100 Hz, 120 Hz, 144 Hz, or faster  refresh rates and want higher average FPS in game.  Minimum and average frame per second are a matter of both game play quality and personal preference and can be limited by the hardware.  Maximum FPS isn't as important for game play as minimum FPS and average FPS.