Disclaimer: The following overtly hyperbolic commentary is solely the that of I, DrFerd himself, and it has not been vetted by any of the participants, organizers, spectators, or commentators, is almost certainly not even close to approximating correctness, is not legally binding nor liable to WG veto, does not come with a lifetime warranty unless you count ridiculousness, is hereby marked “opinion“and should only be read with the utmost discretion. All suitably constructive discussion
, be itin concurrence or dissent,will be accepted in the comment thread and ruminated upon with appropriate evenhandedness. By way of example, “nub idiot” has no chance whatsoever of being published.
Part 8B: Rumination
The final part of this Twister Cup review covers a couple lateral subjects.
(C) Audience Experience. By all accounts a great time was had by those fortunate enough to attend the event. Those watching online like myself experienced an entertaining day of Twister competition, dispersed randomly amongst lengthy technical downtime. While as a first event Twister was an undoubted success, everyone can appreciate that improvements can be enacted in future iterations. A selection of some serous (and some not so serious) thoughts and suggestions for enhancing the event that have been discussed on the forums include:
- Prescribing a mix of tanks (e.g. a minimum of 2 heavies, 2 meds, 1 TD per team).
- Use a “draft” system with points allotted for different tiers or tanks so team makeup is highly flexible but has to fit under a total points cap (e.g. 3 tier X, 2 tier IX, 1 tier VIII)
- Blind the tank selection of the opposition prior to battle and until they are spotted.
- Enhance the spectator view to include a “team health” bar.
- Incorporate an indicator of spotted tanks to bring the cammo/spotter dynamic to life for spectators.
- Add production depth in additional cameras, screens, commentators, interviews, and analysis.
- Add a platoon indicator* marker.
- Replace the comfortable lounge chairs with thrones for a more realistic Blitz experience.
*Kidding. But we do want one.
(D) The Future (Warning: this tanker is about to speculate wildly about the prospect of competitive Blitz). PC WOT was first released in 2010 (RU server), giving it a nearly 4.5 year development cycle head-start on Blitz. The established player base on PC currently dwarfs that of Blitz and the official eSport PC WOT, Wargaming.net League, is a highly supported and refined product. So much so that at the 2016 league finals $300,000 was up for grabs in the prize pool. Interestingly, the game format for Blitz is already very similar to the eSport version of competitive PC WOT. Both use seven players a side and are of shorter duration than full PC WOT (Blitz: 7 mins, PC eSport: 10 mins, PC: 15 mins [15 players]). Blitz has the added advantages of having smaller maps and no artillery (see disclaimer above).
While it has changed in many ways since it was released halfway though 2014, one recurring feature of Blitz development has been the step-by-step incorporation of additional platforms. It is currently available on iOS, Android, Xbox, PC, MacOS and Steam, the latter three supporting KB/M gaming. Over time the new platform queues have been merged into the general pool so that for the most part players on a diverse set of controllers and devices are currently competing against each other (with “same control mode” functionality added for those who don’t appreciate it). Consequently, Blitz is a unified game with possibly the widest potential reach of all the WOT titles. It’s becoming clear that although there may be pros and cons for each platform, the overall playing experience is relatively even across all. The installed Blitz player base will only continue to grow as does the game.
What has all this got to do with the Twister Cup you may ask? The genesis of these thoughts come from a podcast reviewing the event from Bushka and SnakeEyes, where a comment was made that competitive Blitz was somewhat more entertaining than the PC WOT tournament happening a couple rooms over at the same venue. There are a myriad of reasons why this is likely to be a profound insight. The most notable is that as a “compressed” version of the game Blitz is a natural fit for tournament play. The smaller maps lend themselves to immediate action, as does the shorter game clock, and without artillery the fighting is limited to line-of-sight. While certainly a step down from PC WOT in terms of total complexity, Blitz is a refined distillation of all of the key ingredients. The cross-platform foundation of Blitz is also significant, and potentially the basis of a competitive outlet for the entire “non-PC” player base. Its therefore possible to make the following outrageous prediction:
Blitz will become the cross-platform e-sport version of World of Tanks
“lol, wut?” said everybody.
Just think about it for a minute. Blitz is an accessible and engrossing game with a big future. There are multiple nations, exciting tech tree lines and game modes yet to even be introduced. PC and Xbox WOT players who are attracted by shorter games as well as shallower grind curves that come with +1/-1 MM could easily find themselves induced to switch. Indeed, the “switcher” learning curve is even flatter with the gradual “PC-fication” of Blitz maps (Mines 2.0 and Himmesldorf, anyone?). All of the pieces are already in place to support cross-platform Blitz tournaments in the form of unified queues, training rooms, in-game tournaments, clans, sky-cam spectator views, and a replay function [soon™]. There has even been a recent announcement that regular ongoing tournaments on the NA server will no longer separate out client types. Looming some time in the not too distant future, WG may pass a critical investment/reward threshold so that competitive Blitz warrants comprehensive support. Imagine Wargaming.net League pro style tournaments in Blitz, with competing teams made up of touch, console and KB/M players. That would be huge.
With enough forward progress this:
Could easily turn into this:
Many previous hurdles that would have precluded such a concept have been removed over the past year in particular.
Here endeth the speculation.
And with that, Ill wrap up this longer-than-originally-intended series on the Twister Cup 2016. Thanks readers, comment droppers and subscribers. Thanks also to the YouTube channels that have uploaded the couple of videos Ive tapped for examples: