Thursday, 2 July 2015

The Insider: Why was Mäuschen removed? Plus the issue of mods

Hello warriors,

the Insider from Wargaming wrote an interesting letter to me regarding the removal of the Mäuschen and other things. This comes from internal discussion between developers and should serve to illustrate the issues with that tank. Why was then Mauschen removed?

- it's extremely powerful when on top of the team. Technically tier 7 tanks have absolutely no hope of reliably stopping the tank, a platoon of 3 of these beasts will simply steamroll anything when on top of the match and even tier 8 tanks have great difficulties fighting them them
- only tier 9 tanks are competitive against it, with a few exceptions of tank destroyers of tier 8
- however, on tier 10 matches, the Mauschens are hopelessly outmatched by anything
- balancing it further is a nightmare (too powerful against low tiers, yet too weak against high tiers) and the tank itself comes at a bad time when artillery mechanic is about to be reworked and shell penetrations are being reworked
 - should it be rebalanced once again, the tank's guns would be "trash" - especially the 15cm where the removal of HEAT rounds did not solve the issue, in fact it only made the tank feel weaker against same tier, and nearly useless against tier 10, yet allowing it to use HEAT shells would make it extremely powerful. (briefly described as "pedobear sydrome", too good against anything lower than itself)
To sum it up, the current public test shows that over 80% of the Mauschen players shoot HE over AP, but used AP against tier 7-8 with devastating results (usually oneshots and other mumbo jumbo). The fact that the current shell penetrations got rolled back doesn't mean they are shelved, they will certainly come back after tweaking, especially gold shells. Once proper changes are implemented, the Mauschen will come back.

Tanking for XP will also come after the shell penetration changes to ascertain that armor works better. Interesting fact is that the Japanese heavies more or less drive like the Mauschen, except that they are designed to be "derps" (shoot HE a lot KV-2 style), while the Mauschen wasnt designed like that.

Most of the HE shots against the Mauchen did nothing against it, this wasn't further helping with a swarm of russian trolls TKing arty, which was one of the things developers wanted to test to ascertain how much impact would arty have over it and flagged all high tier arty specifically for the test and rebalance, however due the idiots, this has been recalled, so yes, technically we can blame arty TKer idiots for delaying the arty rebalance too.
Storm briefly described the 15cm gun as trash and he is pressing for a rebalance of the 15cm shell on both the Mauschen/E-100 (test showed nearly 100% of the E-100 players shooting HEAT, and in live servers, it's still over 80%, making the E-100 the biggest gold spam sink of all the game), this will be corrected and it's most likely that the projected shell changes to increase the AP pen of the E-100 will come SOONER than the rest of the shell changes.

The overall feedback of 9.9 is mostly positive, weak computers show up to 15% increase in FPS and even some players with really ancient cards have managed to display up to 30 fps and stability has been increased overall.
Of Mods
Mods are something the developers are concerned about. To quote one:
"Most community modders aren't really efficient when it comes of memory management, we have seen sound modifications that consume up to 400mb in memory by loading all the events into the memory instead of using segments, there will be a certain amount of whines for clients suddenly crashing to desktop when loading into battle /in the middle of a battle without a warning, and will try to blame the developer- its most likely these players are using high-mem mods that haven't been really optimized, the same applies for visual mods, the more fancy it is, the more problematic it will become".

Several examples are given too:
- an example of such is shown as Gnomefathers engine sounds/guns, while pretty fancy, they aren't well optimized nor are memory efficient, to work properly, they need to be loaded in segments or require a better compression.
-some really crappy Duke nukem BGM mod is next mentioned (taken from the SEA server) (quote: "This shit takes 500mb of memory once loaded and weighs 400mb which is tremendously large for the pagefile the quality is almost MIDI and has no transitions, crash guaranteed after the second/third battle or upon loading on Overlord/Stalingrad -- how is this even allowed!?")
- now a mod from NA server (they provided a link: : "This one's music is well made and loads in segments, it barely consumes over 150mb of pagefile, quality is great and has a lot of tracks (30+), while its about a theme away from tanks, the transitions and segments are perfectly placed"

So far the most memory consuming addons come usually from XVM, however XVM itself is not to blame as it has a fairly small pagefile and the impact is within range, but rather the poor modders lack of skill at coding for XVM addons.

Of course not all modders are bad, but it takes certain knowledge to differentiate between "thinking" of how the mod works on a newer game version or actually "optimizing" the mod for the new game version.

It comes to worst when people don't backup their original audio folder and just drop the faulty mods in the res/audio folder, effectively "destroying" their game unless they redownload the client. The mail finished by requesting to allow an "authorized mods" section in the webpages. (and yes it includes XVM)


From now on, all mods are banned form e-sports, you will play vanilla only.

Technically, WG can already know the amount of mods and players who run mods, and for how long too! I am unable to tell what will they do with that info, but I expect many cheater tears sometime in the future:
"It will come without announcement in order to catch the max amount of botters & defoliant users/others in one merciless sweep"

No premium/paying users will be spared, only premium tanks may stay in case the account is deemed to be reset, banned accounts gets no refunds.