This site is dedicated to provide interesting downloads, mainly Steampunk widgets for
Xwidget, Rainmeter, Yahoo Widgets and KDE Plasma engines as well as wallpapers and icons. Please feel free to download and use any of these on your Windows or
Linux system. Simply download the widgets for the widget engine of your
choice and have fun. They are all entirely free.
A good reason for avoiding using cores &
often directly translatable into web widgets.
If the Xwidget
engine does ever turn into abandonware (like the yahoo widget engine)
then you may find yourself in the position of having a lot of widgets
but nowhere to run them (all it takes is a little change in a future
version of Windows and Xwidgets could simply stop working). To protect
yourself from this, if your working functionality is achieved in
create/convert to web widgets that work within the context of a browser.
have a few widgets that are being converted by Harry Whitfield to run
as web widgets at this moment. When I feel confident of the task then I
may do the same to some other of my widgets. You may eventually start to
see them appearing around the web...
This is the U-boat web
widget running within a browser. It isn't just stuck on using Photoshop.
It really is running in Firefox. It tells the time and switches from
one face to another, the hands all turn and the buttons can be pressed.
The rest of it remains to be done but it works.
point of this post is to demonstrate that a Xwidget can be made to work
on other environments but that can only be done without the use of the
widget is a case in hand, it uses a smooth ticking function that is
one starts at the KJC's/Cannuckens original Xwidget version of the
provide functionality that the core does not (smoother ticks on the
second hand &c - KJC adopted it too, resizing &c). Then there is
my Yahoo widget version that does everything that the Xwidget version
does but purely in code. From this final yahoo version it has been
possible to create a web widget.
Comparing one against the other
gives a good understanding of the strengths and weakness of the two
be used to achieve largely anything at the cost of a lot of scripting.
The Xwidget engine does the heavy-lifting with a few cores but it does
central functionality. This is both good and bad depending upon your
The use of desktop widgets is declining and it should
be obvious to anyone that a good way to get your widgets out there is
to have them running on as many platforms as possible. Web widgets run
on all machines via the browser interface so it makes sense to think
about targetting that platform.
The U-boat widget above is a
good example of that conversion as this particular widget has undergone
the conversion from Xwidget to web widget successfully, probably the
only Xwidget that has done so (as far as I know). A lot of Xwidgets may
have made the progression from the web to desktop but as far as I know
none have gone the other way round.
There are now two versions of the steampunk media player, one an Xwidget
and the other a Konfabulator or Yahoo widget. I created the Xwidget
media player version first and chose the Xwidget engine as it would be
easier to code and complete. The result was a working widget but it
lacked certain key features. It looked good though.
Due to the limitations of the Xwidget engine's media player core I
decided to create a Yahoo widget using the same design. It is worthwhile
noting the differences between the two widgets. The design on the
Xwidget was significantly easier to accomplish given the graphical GUI
and the use of the media player core. The mediaplayer core in Xwidget
does a lot of the heavy lifting for you so you can just set about
creating a widget in a short time. I was able to assign functionality to
various parts of the widget without much coding at all. The
documentation of the mediaplayer and its controls is sketchy to say the
least but by divination and looking at other's widgets I was able to see
how the media player core operates. It is a working widget but it is
awkward for the user to operate as the media player core does not easily
allow you to play a file immediately, instead you have to open the
actual media player in order to play a playlist. Rather defeats the
purpose. Adding a file to the playlist is easily achieved but the widget
won't play it straight away.
Coding for the yahoo widget is a lot more tricky as there are nothing
similar to Xwidget's 'cores' to interface into the Windows Media player,
although there is complete and thorough documentation. You have to
interface the widget via a COM object to the windows player OCX. You can
then submit player commands to operate the player so you have complete
control via code. Unfortunately you need to do everything by hand,
things such as play/pause buttons changing and the widget reacting to
the track duration all have to be controlled by timers, xml and
version but saying that, the end result is much better than the Xwidget
version as there is more complete functionality. The user can select
the track to play, choose a complete folder to play and it will restart
using the same default music folder. Some of the complexity is due to
the use of the COM integration to the Windows Media player which is not a
native player for the Yahoo widget engine. By default the Yahoo widget
engine has a complete API for itunes and it would have been much easier
to create an itunes-controlling widget. In the end the integration to
the Windoows Media a Player was relatively simple enough to do but there
was interaction between the various controls that needed to be
considered and it required thought and careful programming in
now available for download, it has been tested and used on my desktop
and you can try it now too. I will shortly update the Xwidget version
too in order to keep them in synch with regard to fucntionality. The
Konfabulator/Yahoo version will stand as a comparison as to how much
extra complexity is required without the heavy-lifting being done by one
of Tony's Xwidget cores. It will also show how limited Xwidget's
mediaplayer core is and how much more functionality is required, as was
stated on the Xwidget forums, the mediaplayer core in Xwidget is lacking
functionality and some more work here from the Xwidget developer would
Download the new player here:
Some interesting information regarding Intel processors - Intel has just
stopped any future development of their mobile processors after
spending $10,000 million (10 x US billion) on development, meaning that
in the future all those Atom powered little notebooks will have to be
powered by conventional power-hungry Intel CPUs or utilise low powered
processors from other manufacturers.
This is an essential bit of
news for Windows developers as it may be another nail in the coffin for
mobile Windows devices as there will be fewer mobile CPUs for it to run
on. The Intel Atom was a good chip and it succeeded in powering a range
of sub-laptops but it was always a bit of a niche market as Windows on
small devices is very hard to use.
Microsoft is pulling out of
the mobile device sector having failed so spectacularly with Windows
Phone (a very nice phone that nobody wants), Windows Mobile (old,
useless and dead) and Windows RT (Windows with all the useful bits
removed). The Microsoft hardware offerings were also a failure, Surface
and Lumia are noticeable by their absence from most users' hands despite
any inherent hardware/software innovations they might have had.
Microsoft are stuck with a failing device market that cost them several
billion (US) to create but one which they can't now dump as it would be
admitting defeat to Apple. That last fact is probably the only thing
keeping them there.
Microsoft dumped Intel instead opting for low
powered ARM CPUs for their Surface RT range of laptops and the rest of
the world has followed their lead, looking elsewhere for mobile CPUs.
Intel's efforts in this market have shown spectacularly low
levels of sucess versus ever-increasing development costs. In addition
the traditional Microsoft/Intel relationship has been abandoned by
Microsoft for its ARM powered Surface hardware and that has not helped
Intel scale their production of mobile processors in order to reduce
costs and make returns on its investment. As a result, Intel has had to
abandon an unprofitable market.
The knock-on effect of these
failures is that new small-factor windows devices will become more and
more hard to find as time goes on. Despite RT, Windows (95-Win10)
really only runs on x86 processors and without compatible low-power CPUs
Windows isn't going anywhere else soon. Microsoft is not admitting
defeat in the mobile market and will, in the medium term, be
retrenching, just like Intel has, until it finds the next mobile avenue
to pursue - but at the moment it is unclear which direction Microsoft
will go. As a result of the entrenchment expect Windows RT to die,
expect Windows Phone to fade away gradually. Continuum is supposed to be
the next great step for Windows linking all the desktop and mobile
forms of Windows into one over-arching and all-encompassing o/s but at
the moment there is a big question as to exactly on which processor
types it will run. Windows on x86 already works, so there's no need for
Continuum there, if there are no other mobile CPU devices running
Windows then there is little point in having Continuum in the first
place, so Continuum looks to be dead before it even got started. Windows
needs low power CPUs for mobile devices and soon there won't be any
that work. Could the future be Windows on ARM (RT) after all? It may
have to be, in the absence of other compatible CPUs, but I really do
hope not, I don't want to have to run crippled software on a slow mobile
device... it has to be x86.
The impact on Windows developers of
Intel pulling out of the mobile market is that the future for Windows
looks increasingly bleak. We may be hearing the very first notes of
Windows death-knell, (well perhaps that it is a bit too bleak an
assessment) it certainly is the first toll of the death knell for
Windows on mobile devices - we can hear it being tolled now. The only
way I can see this sorting itself out is for Microsoft to finance the
development of the Intel Atom processor, Microsoft took a dip into
hardware development with the Surface now it may have to take a dip into
chip manufacture with the Intel Atom. The more obvious alternative is a
compatibility layer for Continuum allowing it to run on different
processors. Either way it is a big problem for Microsoft and it may not
be resolvable and the end result acceptable to consumers. Do you want
slow but compatible Windows or fast Android/Chrome/IOS?
I'm annoyed - We have had to suffer the indignities of having a mobile
o/s interface foisted upon the traditional desktop, the result a
schizophrenic dual-desktop mess. All this, for the sake of mobile
devices that might never actually be...
With Microsoft realising that the ONLY differentiator between one
Windows o/s and another being the user interface (see Metro/Modern
design) it means that any customisation of the o/s is slowly being
removed from newer versions of Windows. Venerable XP had some
customisation features built-in from the very start through the use of
themes, these were a part of the intrinsic design allowing you to
customise the colours, backgrounds and font sizes. This feature was
disabled before XP was released meaning that only Microsoft supplied
themes would operate - only Microsoft would be allowed to theme XP.
Users quickly worked around this imposed limitation so this feature
could be re-enabled by some patching of the o/s files, meaning that
third-party themes could be applied. Although this caught on within the
relatively small customisation community it did not catch on with most
home or business XP users, most were content with the bland corporate
XP-look applied out of the box. That's the 'normal' world I suppose. The
important thing here though, is that Microsoft originally planned to
allow customisation to Windows look and feel but soon realised that with
a stable o/s (that seldom ever changes) the main differentiator is a
going to be the "look and feel" and this was going to be Microsoft's
main selling point for new operating systems. A Microsoft executive
probably made the decision to remove theme-ing and customisation from XP
when this realisation dawned...
When Vista came out it revamped
the GUI and added in some fundamental security improvements adding or
changing a lot of newly created 'extras' but apart from the security
changes the core o/s functions (handling of virtual memory and
processes) are essentially exactly the same as XP with some tweaks to
address locations. Microsoft revamped a lot of the o/s candy and the
user interface so from the user point of view, it looked like a new o/s.
Despite the GUI changes all the tools still did exactly what they
should (as they also did in XP) and as a result the departure from XP
was nowhere near as large as Microsoft would have liked you to have
believed. From Microsoft's point of view the changes really were huge as
Redmond had to incorporate enormous changes in project and coding
methodologies to ensure security and quality of code were paramount in
code delivery as well as in design.
An automotive analogy:
Microsoft were building the same old car design with new bolt-on body
panels, metallic colours and an updated interior but underneath the
bonnet it was all the same old car. However, instead of building
everything as they had done previously by hand, they had now introduced
machines and robots to do the work to far better levels of accuracy and
reliability. The trouble is, the end-user doesn't appreciate all of
this, he only sees the nice paint job on the new car.
Microsoft though this was a mindset change and it shows why they wanted
us all to move from XP to Vista even though XP worked just as well as it
Despite all the hype, Vista turned out to be a
failure as the GUI was universally hated (except for a very few
diehards), "Windows for tele-tubbies" was a becoming an increasingly
accurate description as newer versions of Windows came out. The security
additions interrupted everyday usage due to what was simply a poor
implementation of security for the end user. Despite the real
improvements it also introduced DRM, licensing rules, driver and
software incompatibility, greater hardware requirements &c and the
result is, that as we all know, there are hardly any Vista systems out
there anymore, while XP somehow still persists...even now it has 10% of
market share and that's not bad for a 15 year old o/s. It should be
noted that Windows XP outperforms Vista in several key productivity
areas and is secure if operated correctly .
Vista had an
advantage over later o/s in that although it revamped the GUI, it did
not structurally change the method it operated, the desktop, start menu,
taskbar and icon concepts carried forward from XP and other similar
operating systems, still remained operable in the same manner. Themeing
and customisation however were not improved or made more flexible, in
fact some components were made slightly more difficult to theme, fonts,
desktop icons &c with Microsoft realising that end-users saw the GUI
changes as the real difference between XP and Vista.
In both XP
and Vista third party tools such as WindowBlinds, Rainmeter, objectdock,
rocketdock's task bars, desktop launchers, widget engines &c
allowed a massive amount of themeing to be achieved by other means,
often replacing Windows core functionality with improved alternatives.
This is one of the strengths of the Windows o/s as perceived by
customisers but Microsoft doesn't see it this way, as customising the
o/s means Windows losing its essential corporate identity and the single
main differentiator between one version of Windows and another.
7 can be largely ignored in the scheme of things even though it is
probably the best traditional Windows o/s to come out of Redmond.
Although being called Windows 7, it was really only ever Windows 6.1, in
that it only fixed Vista's issues, mainly performance and UAC pop-up
issues. The only real change other than tweaks, being an improved
taskbar, this change showing Microsoft appreciation that Windows 7
needed a changed GUI element for end-users to consider it as a
completely new operating system, when in fact it was no such thing.
Other than this there were no major changes to themeing at all. Windows 7
is really Vista Plus and despite the changes XP still outperforms
Windows 7 in some respects (I'm harping on this to underline the point
that for the high end-user, a lot has changed under the bonnet but the
end result is more or less the same for the end user).
Windows 8 and 10 the desktop was transformed. Icons are no longer so
important, though they are still there. There are two desktops, one with
big buttons and live tiles, big buttons for clumsy fingers on a high
resolution and precise desktop controlled by a mouse? They don't seem to
combine well. Microsoft, having no tablet o/s and scared about
designing one from scratch only to end up with two distinct
desktop/tablet systems (like Apple who are rapidly dumping desktop OS/X
in favour of IOS), were left with shoe-horning Windows 7 onto tablet
devices. They worked hard on this and the result worked but only
partially. Windows 8 was a chunky, tile GUI with 'apps' but retaining
the whole of Windows Vista/7, un-revamped behind it. On tablets the old
desktop was still there but too small to view or use. The o/s interface
had a split personality that would force a tile interface onto desktop
users whilst forcing significant desktop remnants onto tablet users. For
a while Windows 8 was fun to use on tablets simply because you had the
whole Windows desktop in your hand. The trouble is that long term users
did not find themselves wanting to use it. As an example my Windows
tablet despite being very cheap and a technical marvel, remains unused,
uncharged and I suppose unwanted. My laptop persists as my main device
as it is useful... and I have to admit those ipads are great for casual
usage. The fact is Windows 8 did not work for the majority of Windows
users that remain om the desktop. I managed to customise Win8 and
migrated a couple of working and pretty tablet applications from the
desktop but interacting with them still required mouse-style precision
that my chunky fingers just couldn't provide.
So, that leaves us
with Windows 10, an o/s that has changed the desktop user interface
again without us really wanting it. Why the changes? Microsoft just
needs just one o/s that will adapt dynamically from the desktop to the
phone, tablet or any other device and it doesn't have that o/s yet.
Windows currently has Windows RT for ARM based tablets (dead in the
water), Windows Phone (dead in the water but really rather good
as a phone) and Windows 10 for desktops. How standard Windows 10
operates on Intel Atom based tablets is unknown to me as my Windows 8
tablets don't have enough space to upgrade... however, I suspect that
the tablet experience will be better than the desktop one. Personally, I
hate the split personality of Windows 10 desktop knowing that in order
to focus on multiple environments Microsoft will have to pay less
attention to each and so it means to fail a little more on each type.
Apple got the IOS interface just right for tablets as they have only the
one o/s to worry about (OS/X is as good as dead) but when it comes to
turning IOS into a desktop OS, Apple will have a similar set of problems
Where does this leave the customisers? - out in the cold I am
afraid. Microsoft does not want us to modify their o/s and in fact their
tablet methodologies go quite well with bland chunky buttons leaving
Microsoft and Apple's offerings looking very much the same.
Customisation is not on the end-users lips at the moment and their focus
is on tablet devices and ease-of-use rather than desktops and
flexibility. Some clever chaps are trying to bring customisation to
Android through desktop and widget engine development but the result and
success of all this will be debatable. For IOS the environment is
closed and customisation of the default "look and feel" is frankly
discouraged by Apple and in fact largely prevented by the shape and form
of the device. Customisation of the desktop graphical interface is no
longer the focus of the majority of users which leaves a lot of us
wondering what to do next with such graphical skills we have. Rainmeter,
objectdock, rocketdock, windowblinds, winstep xtreme and widget engines
all offer a level of customisation that is still applicable on the
current Windows desktop but I can see focus shifting away from these
useful tools as both the end user and the developer's focus shifts
elsewhere. As new versions of Windows arrive some of these tools may no
longer function (I have already seen this happening on OS/X) or the GUI
changes will combine so that these tools are incompatible with Windows
new methodologies (no desktop at all?). The environment is also dynamic
as no-one knows which new consumer devices will appear. The future for
Windows customisation and individual graphic design is bleak I fear and
once again all your oses will sport the bland corporate interfaces that
each big corporation foists upon you...
PS. I'll add some graphics to this long rambling rant when I get time.
I don't normally get this het up about software and I don't normally
say it out loud but it must be said - Windows 10 is a crock of sh 1 t.
The poor interface on top of just another NT6 with no real improvements
to the core o/s but instead just major changes to the GUI whilst adding a
load more inconsistencies/bugs is really not good enough. Win 7 was
really the last good o/s that has come out of Microdolts. Windows 10 is
really as unstable as good old Windows 98 but not quite as bad as
Windows ME. That's not saying much. To summarise I have to reboot daily,
basic function are unstable and many of my applications simply do not
work. That really sounds like Windows 98 to me.
On top of the apps
that no longer work, so much in Win10 is tatty and unfinished, it is
difficult to theme properly and it keeps generating fundamental errors
that make it unusable for enterprise level software. There is this thing
called WMI which is the Windows Management Instrumentation layer that
is meant to provide system level information in a standard fashion to
allow monitoring programs access to core data. This is vital stuff for
businesses to test whether their PCs/servers are functioning correctly.
In Win10 it either does not work, is corrupted or just stops working for
no apparent reason. WMI is one of those fundamental building blocks
that HAS to work in order for Win10 to be seen as a decent and grown-up
o/s. It worked well enough in XP, Vista, Win 7 and 8 but not in 10. I
suspect that the WMI repository was broken during the update from Win
8.1 to Win10 as straight blank installationsof Win10 don't seem to have
exhibited this problem. As most casual users are not using WMI they
would not be aware of this issue.
Recent updates to Win10 have
broken other things like GDI font rendering, breaking any utility that
uses pretty GDI fonts - Rocketdock, Objectdock and Winstep Extreme have
all been affected, if only temporarily. These and other sorts of errors
show that Windows 10 is flaky and should be avoided if at all possible
until it is fixed. Rule 1: Don't install a new o/s, what you always need
is the stable old o/s - not the new. I wish I'd followed my own advice.
So far my experience of using Win10 is like using a new car where 50%
of the bolts haven't been properly tightened yet - you don't know what
is going to fall off next. Lots of people complaining about it,
NVidia - BSOD
The latest issues I was faced with were the regular crashes with a BSOD
with "IRQ IS LESS THAN OR NOT EQUAL..." from the NVidia driver when
playing videos and doing other graphical functions involving
transparencies/animation simultaneously. Microsoft are pushing graphics
driver updates automatically with Win10 which means that you get the
latest driver whether or not it is stable for your machine to use it.
The last few days the graphics sub-system has been made very unreliable.
You may have to download and install an older version of the Nvidia
drivers and then do that again in a week or two when Windows overwrites
them. These initial graphics problems have started to subside since
Nvidia and Microsoft have got to grips with how to create and distribute
drivers for Win10, however this problem still persists for some that
are using older hardware with Microsoft pushing driver updates that are
innappropriate for their hardware (eg. AMD systems).
Some strange sound issues appear daily when using a browser to watch
videos. The sound suddenly cuts out and the volume slider will no longer
appear from the systray. Any changes to sound have no effect, the only
solution is a soft reboot. Delving into the sound components attempting
to make a change, results in the message "the device is currently locked
by another application". These sound issues have been here since the
beginning of Win10 but now they happen intermittently and frequently. In
fact, it just happened as I write this, the words just stopped coming
out of a commentator's mouth... nothing but the sound of silence. The
volume icon sometimes fails to show itself on the systray. This problem
has been happening every two days or so - a reboot ha been required
almost daily. These initial sound problems have started to subside since
Microsoft has worked on sorting its sound control in Win10.
Wireless disconnects are happening far more than I would expect in a
operating system that is supposedly in general live use today. The
symptoms are that the wireless connection is cut unexpectedly and
repeatedly, especially after the system has been restarted from a system
sleep/hibernation. From this point clicking on the wireless icon in the
systray does not always cause the list of active wireless points to pop
up. Shutting down has been the only course of action but after one of
these wireless problems a shutdown seems to take an abnormally long
period of time. It is as if the connection between the desktop, explorer
and the wireless state has its knickers in a twist. A hard reboot has
often been required to recover from one of these, sometimes a power off
as the desktop is unresponsive.
The taskbar cannot be resized below a certain point. Windows XP's
taskbar is superior in this respect, you can make it shrink to a very
small size, Windows 10 has a minimum set size. On top of that Explorer
gets in a tizzy sometimes and refuses to auto-hide the task bar due to
some unknown explorer systray issue. So, if you have moved your taskbar
to the top of the screen, it can end up sitting on top of the title bar
for some of your overlapped windows meaning that you can't minimise or
move them about. Annoying. I kill the explorer process when this
happens, this used to fix it on Win7 allowing the taskbar to auto-hide
again. Killing the explorer process used to be an easy option under XP
just open task manager and kill explorer.exe. Doing so on earlier
versions of Win10 resulted in the desktop not coming back properly...
Doubly-annoying, as a reboot was required. This latter issue seems to
have been sorted now though the inability to reduce the taskbar height
by dragging it edge is a facility that is still missing.
The new task manager uses up more resources, uses up too much space and
has been optimised for touch devices. The layout and operation is just
different enough from the old task manager to make it annoying to use.
To improve my experience, on every Win10 machine that I operate, I now
copy the Win7 task manager to the windows system 32 folder and
thankfully I have the old familiar task manager working again in Win10.
How to get this working for yourself? Try here: How to get the old task
manager working again.
this strange split personality, it has a settings windows when called
from the metro menu bar which does some of what I want (but in a manner
that makes it difficult for me to find the things I want to manipulate)
but what I'd really like is the old control panel which I can get to
only with some difficulty (it is however, easily available in its proper
location using the classic shell utility). There are also these tablet
style 'apps'. The difference between apps and programs? So far it seems
to be that apps are things I never, ever use, not once have I found
myself wanting them. My Win10 computer seems to run programs such as
photoshop, thunderbird, firefox &c. Win10 has a large number of
customisations for tablets that are basically unwanted on a Windows
desktop. What were MS thinking? This is their flagship product and it is
full of unwanted and unused junkware - see OneDrive*...
Onedrive was foisted upon us as Microsoft's answer to your cloud
storage requirements. It comes installed on Windows 10 by default and as
a result it aimed to displace dropbox as everyone's favoured cloud
storage/file transfer option. It could have worked too, being as
Microsoft's space allocation was generous at 15gb with an extra 15gb for
the use of the camera roll function...however, Microsoft have just
pulled the plug on that 15gb, reducing it to 5gb, meaning that a service
that was previously useful for storing a 'normal' amount of data for a
standard user, is now quite useless as 5gb is just not enough. Microsoft
responded to complaints by allowing users that complained the ability
to retain those original amounts. However, MS did not publicise this
fact widely and so, for those that never complained and did not receive
the message until it was too late, all their accounts will be reduced to
5gb. Despite the unexpected downgrade users that want to transfer their
storage to other providers (Dropbox, Google Drive) will still find that
annoying OneDrive icon on Explorer as Microsoft do not provide an
uninstall option for OneDrive. To get rid of OneDrive you need to remove
the oneDrive folder in your user folders, run a couple of commands to
remove OneDrive altogether, then a couple of registry commands to remove
that annoying OneDrive icon...
Can't say I'm impressed with
OneDrive. It was useful but now it is not. Instead I recommend Dropbox
or Google Drive that comes with a lot of space by default.
Privacy and spying:
10 out of the box sends a lot of information back to Microsoft by
default. If you don't want this (you should never actually want this to
happen) then you need to disable it with a tool such as
Just install it and
disable as much as you can, use the recommended settings and you should
be OK. Microsoft - what is this rubbish that you are doing?
Having said all this, I am using Windows 10 daily and despite the
regular crashes and hard reboots (one per day is not unusual) for
ordinary use, initially it was bearable, but only just. Since then, a
myriad number of bugfixes have been applied and the system today is much
more stable. My Win10 desktop is heavily customised to remove most of
the new metro tiled interface and also to replace the massive metro menu
with the Classic Menu replacement. With the replacement of the Windows 7
task manager, the system becomes somewhat similar to Win7 or XP in
operation. The majority of current Windows applications and games work
out of the box - so, for most people Windows 10 will be good enough - as
long as their hardware/software is up to date and works. However, some
of the advanced functions are still rather buggy and that is where I
come to grief. My biggest gripes so far are the interface, the bugs, the
crashes and the absence of some DRM support for older applications.
Bear in mind that I use the following apps - firefox, text editors,
photoshop, graphical Konfabulator and Xwidgets, thunderbird almost
continuously. Occasionally I might play an old game or two or a current
one like World of Tanks. This should not tax a normal system and should
not be stretching the capabilities of Windows10. This is NOT real
'power' usage and if Win10 is not stable enough for me in the use of
these ordinary applications then it might not be for you.
open my old XP laptop I see what a great o/s it was in comparison, the
interface is consistent and designed for a desktop usage, no feely,
touchy-crap for tablets, everything works, it is easily cutomisable and
it is lovely to use. However, I am stuck with Win10 on my new lappie and
I have persisted with it but I am starting to hate the Win10 specific
So with this in mind at the moment I can only suggest
that you continue to use the last stable o/s from Microsoft, not Vista
which screwed up XP, not Windows 8, nor 8.1 both of which broke the
Windows desktop interface, not Win10 - which is just again attempting
to fix those Win8 GUI things already broken (whilst introducing a raft
of new changes and bugs) - yes, the last stable and usable o/s from
Microsoft really was Windows 7.
Note: Between them, at the time
of writing, Win7 and XP still have 60% of the installed user base
whilst Windows 10 has only 10% of the market.
Personally, I can
only pray for ReactOS! An O/S that will run win32 programs and drivers
without MS MicroShafting us with an unfinished GUI every year or so.
The above is ReactOS - does that not look like Windows? As soon as
ReactOS becomes stable for my suite of apps I will start to switch.
Software that fails under Windows 10 that worked perfectly under previous versions of windows.
Battleground Ardennes (16bit stub does not work on a 64bit o/s)
Rome Total War (DRM)
Mediaeval War (DRM)
Oracle VM Virtualbox (now fixed)
Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds PC game (DRM)
Photoshop CS ver 8.0 - a problem or two causing crashes
It seems that I still need my XP system to run my favourite games...
Horrific, fantastic, superb architecture, visually amazing, utterly involving, depressing, don't watch this if you are young, easily upset by scenes of horror. Appallingly negative storyline with a visualisation that sucks you in regardless. The man whounderpinned the creation of this game is a genius. Watch at your peril. Children, do NOT watch, do not take part. LEaVe noW.
A combination of very attractive girls, long hair, short costumes, War of the Worlds, Jeff Wayne's music, steampunk and superb performances, what is there not to like? I often post a musical interlude here just for the sake of it and in this case I could not resist.
The following video has been around for some time but it is rather good so it is worth putting here. Very moody but visually enchanting the imagery works well with the music, in fact the two would be far less without each other. I do hope you find this musically appealing.
Hopefully soon I'll have some new/updated widgets for you. My old Yahoo CPU/GPU Thermometer Widget is being updated..
new graphics and new functionality including working graph and new use
for the gauges. Updating and improving the Yahoo widget now and then
will start to convert it to an Xwidget.
was the second widget that I created and it was little rushed in parts
and as a result I probably didn't think it through enough. It was still a
lovely functioning widget though which has sat on my desktop doing its
job well. The current version shows up to four sensors and displays a
running graph of two of them. When I have the new version rewritten and
updated I will have the thing in my head and I'll be confident to
translate it to the Xwidget engine.
Whilst I am working on the
CPU/GPU Thermometer Widget for Yahoo/Xwidget engines occasionally an
idea comes to mind and if it is worth pursuing then a dalliance is
allowed. In this frame of mind I have opened an old icon PSD file that I
had earlier created and have organised it so that it can be made into a
widget. The idea is that each drawer on the filing cabinet can be
hovered over or clicked upon and the drawer will open and inform you
which folder each drawer refers to. A double click will open the
respective folder. Think of it as a replacement for Explorer, a
steampunk version of a file explorer.
gauge may display CPU as an aside and the bulbs on the top will glow
according to the network adapters that are present in the system,
glowing in strength according to the signal each adapter receives.
Ethernet adapters being permanently connected will glow brightly whilst
wireless adapters may glow dimly. That's it, just a germ of an idea at
the moment but I have knocked up the initial widget and it sits on my
desktop as I write this.
For the Christmas season I have revamped
my Christmas Bauble widgets. The first version was a set of 10
individual widgets, each of which showed a different Christmas image.
That was it, nothing special.
The next revamped version acts more
like an old-style advent calendar. The advent season encompasses the
time from the first four Sundays before Christmas up to Christmas Day.
Those old-style Advent calendars allow you to open a little door that
shows a different Christmas scene every day. My new baubles will allow
of multiple widgets each showing a different bauble there will be just
one widget showing multiple baubles that can still be moved around
individually on the desktop. Each bauble has a door that can be opened
when clicked upon but only when the appropriate date is reached. Each
door has a musical surprise contained within. It is really rather
Christmassy and very pleasant to use. Each bauble can be individually
So what do I have to do to complete it? Add ten
existing bauble images, find thirteen more appropriate bauble images,
create twenty-three glass doors in open and closed states. Find
twenty-five musical elements and convert them for use in the widget. Add
the resizing code, test and tidy up. Package and distribute. A fair
Need to do it before 30th November which is the first day of Advent.
So to answer that question, World of Tanks - is the matchmaker rigged?
Well, I can't actually answer that question as I have no access to
Wargaming.net's code that defines what the MatchMaker does and how it does
it. There is no published and impartial definition of what the MatchMaker
is actually doing. Wargaming has given out ideas and hints as to how it
operates (RNG, random) but if you've played the game for several thousand
games (and if you are an observant person) it should start to become clear
as to how the matchmaker really achieves its aims...
How can you tell that the game is rigged for you? I can show you a good example. You play the same tanks for 1,000 games and even though your WN8 has been consistently climbing but you have a corresponding average drop in win rate of a full 1%. Over the thousand game period your loss rate is 60%. How can that be when previously you were winning 60% of your matches? Then you pop into one of WG's rental tanks and the teams suddenly improve, your WN8 shoots to 2,200+ and your win rate in your un-nerfed rental is suddenly restored, you are winning 60% of your matches again...
I maintain that the Matchmaker is consistent. It consistently controls
your win rate by the simple expedient of dropping you into games with more
noobs (noob = new player), placing your tank in a non-preferential side of
the map or alternatively by placing your tank in a game with more highly
skilled opponents. This is all conjecture until you use one or more of the
statistical analysis sites that have sprung up with World of Tanks that
have access to WoT's historical data. These sites allow you to view graphs
based upon various performance metrics and it will soon become apparent
that your win rate is controlled.
Who am I to propose this analysis of World of Tanks? I am neither a noob
or a unicum (expert player). I have played 17,000 or so battles in
exclusively low tier (sub tier 6) light and heavy tanks. Unlike most WoT
players I typically play one type of tank consistently, I don't jump
from nation to nation, tank to tank and I do not play the best, most
highly successful tanks. My overall win rate is 55.5% and climbing (over
time) consistently but slowly. My win rate fluctuates from 65-70% to
45%. My average WN8 score is 1,300 but for the last 1,000 battles I
have had a WN8 of approximately 1,700. That currently puts me into the
light blue range, which is actually the top 5% of players. I am not the
best player but these stats show I am not at all bad at low tier (sub tier VII games).
For the purposes of this analyis I played WoT on an 8 year old laptop with a 2.5ghz core2duo cpu and a
256mb Nvida 8400m GPU. It maintains a frame rate of a mere 19-25fps so it
should be clear that I have limitations imposed upon me by playing on
hardware that is far from being optimised. I am not a dedicated gamer but
I enjoy playing WoT.
My analysis must be taken in this context.
The first time you will start to ask yourself questions as to whether
the MM is rigged or not is when you find yourself playing losing battles
for extended periods of time - ask yourself these additional questions:
o Why do you lose consistently (for tens or hundreds of games)
at a rate that is the ALWAYS the inverse of your previous winning
rate (eg. 40% vs 60%)
o Why does this occur when you reach a win rate of 50%, 55% or some
other arbitrary limit?
o Why does win rate suppression stop suddenly and subsequently
improve meteorically at 60% WR for an equal period?
o Why are so many players experiencing this?
o Why does this up/down oscillation in win rate occur against a
measurable background using other metrics (WN8) that improve gradually
o Why does Wargaming have a patent that describes exactly these sort
of methods for "putting down" players that reach a pre-determined level of
If these questions seem familiar to your experience of playing the game
then this articles serves the purpose of stating for the record what many
I'll give you a typical short term example: Playing in the Crusader with
four skilled 2,500 game crew, I can play consistently with a WN8 of 2,700
(unicum) and an 80% win rate - this can go on for 60 games for a few days.
Then suddenly after a log-out and re-login to WoT the next day, the win
rate drops to 38% as my team (and myself) are all killed within 2 and half
mins in every game for the next 60-100 games. Logging into another account
on another server and my win rate is restored!
Fig1. If your WN8 and kill/death ratio are rising continuously and you
see a win ratio like the above then perhaps you are being
For my analysis I used the website
noobmeter.com to view the data provided by Wargaming.net. I played
the British Cruiser MKIII and MkIV tanks consistently for approx 1,000
games at a time (I believe that playing lots of tanks of different
types/nationalities as most people do, obscures the cycling effect from
showing on a personal win rate graph). I switched between the two tanks
almost consistently for 8,000 games. When it seemed that my win rate was
being suppressed I then abandoned one tank and switched to another to see
if it would occur there too. I did this analysis specifically to see if
these cycles of win/loss were consistent and were caused by something
within or without of my control. When the downturn occurred I tried
beating it with all the tricks at my disposal, using premium rounds and
doing all I could to optimise my game play. On occasion I deviated from
these two tanks to alleviate the boredom but still the cycling persisted.
The tanks I used in their stead were also low tier British Cruisers...
Covenantor and Crusader.
Note: this is not a statistical analysis, this is an observational
analysis based upon gameplay and experience and observing the statistics
as provided by noobmeter, wotstats and wotlabs. As far as statistics goes, I let these sites provide the data, I merely retained all the graphs from that period so I have a graphical record of the swings, up and down.
I chose low tier as I should be able to make a much bigger influence on
the outcome given that my three skill crews in a couple of brawler tanks
should be able to consistently cause more wins. It isn't what I found.
Regardless of any improvement in my own play (or changing between these
two tanks) I found I was bouncing between two win rate thresholds,
the upper limit that I battled to break was 55.10%. I would be playing
consistently at a current 65% WR for several hundred games and then as
soon as the upper threshold was reached the suppression of my win rate
would start. The drop in my win rate could not be stopped, better gameplay
on my part would simply slow or extend the drop for hundreds of
games until the lower threshold was reached. During the period of downturn
it seemed as if the majority of the teams I was inserted into were
consistently losing teams. On the upward swing the opposite, all winning
teams seemed to be on my side providing a consistent WR of 65%.
I could not account for this behaviour in my own mood swings, skill levels
&c as my Win8/7 ratings all climbed consistently during the periods of
continual loss. It was only the win rate that swung wildly.
Result: My analysis of playing WoT in
version 0.8.5 - 0.8.11 seemed to confirm that the MM has an arbitrary
win 'limit' set in % that seems to be defined by tier or type of
tank. My win rate turned out to be 55.10%. When I reached that
limit all subsequent teams were losses until a lower threshold was
reached. This caused a cycling effect of wins followed by losses. The aim seems to be to keep a player within a
narrow win-ratio band.
Now imagine that my chosen tank(s) will have lost consistently for
eight hundred games in a row achieving a win rate of only 45% - As
I am only one player in a team of fifteen I assumed that I personally
cannot have had that much effect on the overall win rate of my teams, if I
had been playing consistently badly I could have contributed to the loss
of one or two games perhaps but not consistently for hundreds of games, my
ego isn't that big - I am not that important in the scheme of things. To
lose so consistently I have to assume it must be an external influence on
the teams I have participated in (especially so if all other
metrics are improving).
Fig 2. The graph above showing the cycling effect on win rate (created
from two graphs).
See the massive troughs of thousands of games losing/winning, losing at
40% and then winning at 60%. Statistically it does not make sense that I
could lose consistently like that as my gameplay and style simply does not
Note:- In the graph above (Fig 2.) the peaks and troughs were originally
much sharper and more defined. WoT has a habit of modifying the historical
data that is provided to 3rd party sites such as Noobmeter.com, in
particular removing the peaks and troughs and smoothing out the graphs. If
you were to analyse the same data from WoT in noobmeter today (Fig 3.) the
peak and trough that occurred at 4,400 games has been completely removed
from the data... which makes no sense. It is as if the historical data has
been deliberately massaged to remove the absolute peaks. Look at the
graphs in the two examples above and below, see the dramatic fall at
approximately 4,400 battles, in the later version below, that whole cycle
of 500 games has simply been removed. The peak did occur and the
only way to know it has occurred is for you (or myself in this case) to
retain your own data or the graph image for later analysis. I have
maintained my own copies of the graph since I noticed this medium-term
smoothing of the data.
Since the final flattening out of the data (from 8,100 games onward) the
changes have been:
1. I have focussed on playing tier III/IV mid-tier cruiser tanks.
2. WoT 0.9 series has been released.
In the above graph you will note a change in the periodicity of the
cycles at the point at which the 0.9.0 patch was released. The graph peaks
have smoothed out considerably but the drop was still inexorably downhill.
Either of the above two changes could have had the effect of removing the
pronounced 'cycling' previously experienced in 0.8.nn. What seems to be
the case is that since 0.9 the upper and lower thresholds seemed closer
together but just as in 0.8.nn, as soon as the upper threshold was
reached, gameplay became distinctly harder and losing teams were more
regularly encountered - same as in the 0.8 series.
(Note for all the forum trolls: These graphs weren't made up, just taken
straight as a screenshot from noobmeter as explained. If you want to disbelieve them,
that's fine, simply do your own analysis before commenting.)
WIN RATE vs. PERFORMANCE METRICS
The analysis of win rate does not take into account other metrics that
also indicate performance independently. WoT has a performance rating that
is calculated according to an algorithm owned by Wargaming.net. Two
independent metrics are also maintained that supposedly give a more
accurate estimate of your performance, they are WN7 and WN8, the latter
being the most up to date.
The core of it all is this -An obvious supposition is that if my win rate is controlled solely by my ability
to play well within the game, then my other performance metrics (average
damage, average no. of kills, experience, kill to death ratio &c) should all fluctuate in
synchronisation with the cycling win rate especially over thousands of games. However, this does NOT occur,
indicating the cycling is clearly artificial.
My performance as measured
by all metrics including WIN7/8 was consistently climbing despite all the
win rate peaks and troughs. In fact, prior to the nerf starting my win
rate consistently rose and rose until it reached 55.1%. At approx 2,000
games then the wwin rate simply stopped climbing and stayed just below 55.1% WR and
then began cycling up and down. That isn't statistically possible if the MM is
even-handed. It indicates an algorithm coming into play. These sorts of
heavy losses can only be achieved by the match maker putting me against
tougher opponents or simply put, dropping me into loser teams or
manipulating the outcome of the battle in some other way.
I regularly create accounts to prove this and when playing I find that my performance metrics are entirely independent from my win rate. I can play with a win rate of 65% for hundreds of games, then 30-45% for hundreds of games and watch the average damage and kills increase but still experience loss after loss after loss.
Fig 3. The other performance metrics showing a steady climb - (graph
extracted from noobmeter, no modifications to the data other than adding
my text and an average win rate over time - the blue line)
Fig 4.Win rate from 7,000 games showing win rate cycling continuing until 55.6% which seems to be my new cut-off point.
On average the win rate graph does show an average climb (the blue line
that I have drawn myself onto the win rate graph). That climb equates well
to the other metrics showing that overall my win rate is improving
consistently and inline with expectations. The trouble is the massive
cycles up and down just should NOT be present unless they are
artificially induced by the matchmaker. Remember, some of those
troughs are six or seven hundred games long, that is far too long to play
consistently losing matches. Conversely, in the upward climbs it seems as
if I am playing like a 'god' with a 65-70% win rate for hundreds of
matches, both are unbelievable.
This cycling only seems to show its head when you play one or two tanks
consistently. If you play many different tanks you may not notice the
effect. With all statistical cycles if you have multiple sources it tends
to flatten out to a curve when all the cycles are combined - as each
occurs at a different frequency. IF you want to replicate this analysis,
simply play two tanks of the same type consistently for thousands of
games, the cycling effect will then show. On the forums it seems to be
known as the saw tooth effect. I like to call it "cycling".
When your game improves to such a point where it achieves a sort of equilibrium, one where you play consistently well but you can't improve any further... your statistics should then demonstrate something like a relatively stable maximum personal WN8. It may still improve slowly but you should not expect major climbs and you certainly should not see your WN8 cycle up and down - after all it is an indicator of individual skill not of transient team victory.
Unfortunately this is not the case. If you have reached this skill level and the MM gives you teams that are consistently bad and then follow them with teams that are consistently goodyou may see your skill reate rise and fall. What this shows is that regardless of skill you have no chance of showing what you are made of because your team collapses or conversely that your god-like team is carrying you...
If your WN8 is cycling up and down then it indicates that WN8 is not necessarily related directly to personal skill.
Just as a reminder to all who see this thread, here's Wargaming's patent
on the MatchMaker and how it operates, supporting observed behaviour:
"According to another aspect, the
matchmaking server may store a win/loss percentage for each user (or
vehicle) at a given battle level. As the player's win/loss ratio
decreases, the player becomes more likely to be placed in battles
having battle levels at the lower end of the allowable range, whereas
as the player's win/loss ration increases, the player becomes more
likely to be placed in battles having battle levels at the upper end
of the allowable range. Thus, when a player has been repeatedly put
into too many difficult battles, the balancing is done in favor of
easier battle sessions, thereby encouraging the player by providing an
easier game environment. Similarly, when the player has been
repeatedly put into too many easy battles, the balancing is done in
favor of harder battle sessions, thereby keeping the player challenged
instead of letting the player become bored with easy games."
Note: You only patent your most precious intellectual resources as the
work to patent something is not inconsiderable. The work to protect a patent is also considerable and costly. Why does the patent match
real-life observation? Well, I would suggest that it's in use - otherwise
why bother to patent it? Occam's razor states the solution with the fewest
assumptions should be selected, ie - the patent exists so it is much more
likely that it is in place in the game - than it isn't.
Ask yourself this simple question: If Wargaming has a patent for a
mechanism they claim they don't actually use, why don't they patent the method they
claim they actually do use? This is all back-to-front and frankly I don't
believe a word of it.
In any case, Wargaming admits that the patent IS actually in place in
World of Tanks. In the court case against "Beijing Gamease Age Digital
Technology Co., Ltd. (“Gamease”)" for copyright theft against their clone
game, Project tank, Wargaming states in a legal statement that the patent
is in operation. To quote Wargaming's own petition to the United States
District Court Northern District Of Illinois Eastern Division:
44. Wargaming.net also has
intellectual property protecting one or more innovative nd novel
features that upon information and belief are utilized within at least
the most recent version of World of Tanks®. For example, Wargaming.net
is the owner of United States Patent No. 8,425,330 (“the ‘330
patent”), issued April 23, 2013, and entitled “Dynamic Battle Session
Matchmaking in a Multiplayer Game,” a copy of which is attached as
45. The ‘330 patent is directed to methods and systems for matching
client devices based on a permissible range of battle levels for each
vehicle based on vehicle type and vehicle
This lets us know that the patent is in operation in WoT and Wargaming
is prepared to fight competitors using it. You can't have your cake and
If you mention any of this on the World of Tank's forums you will
receive a lot of counter feedback, some of it rude and some of it very
persistent. It seems that there are some that appear on every discussion
of the matchmaker putting down any possibility that the matchmaker is
'rigged' in any sort of way. They appear to want to suppress discussion on
the matter. These trolls state that the patent is not in operation when
Wargaming itself says it is. Other posters on the forum have suggested
that they are 'shills ' whose role
it is to provide disinformation and to rubbish other's suggestions as to
the extent of the rigging of the Matchmaker. I won't comment except to say
that it does seem strange that they appear on every such thread
where the Matchmaker is mentioned. I do wish they wouldn't as it reduces
the effect of their contribution and often turns any discussion to a
The Match Maker conversations on the forum could be generally more
appreciative of the other's opposing opinions and less dismissive or
insulting. I find the US forum is quite a trollish place and not the most
receptive place for discussion. If you do post there do not expect much
more than invective and trollish one-liners as a return, especially from
those that we all suspect to be known-shills. These shills do exist, three
of them inhabit the NA Matchmaker threads and two at least live on the EU forum (Jubsta).
You'll soon see who these people are as they post on EVERY matchmaker
thread: Unter, pukle and Flort are the names of some of the main disseminators of
disinformation on the NA forums with a chap named Narto assisting - you know who I mean... :)
There is a suggestion that these veteran trolls are put in-place to
cause arguments and foster insulting behaviour. In this way they can cause
the moderators to shut down threads or simply embroil the original posters
in invective, essentially smothering any logical argument. In fact, their persistent trolling on the forum lead me to create this article. I realised that by gathering all my forum posts into one location, this would result in a readable article. In this simple manner I could win the argument and also reach an audience of over 40,000 - a lot more effectively. Thanks chaps for focussing my mind!
Regardless of their reasons, what I cannot believe is how these few are
prepared to continually argue the point as to the veracity of other's
claims to Matchmaker fixing. Due to their persistence in the face of reality you should make it a rule never to engage with them.
From normal gameplay I witness and
experience the peaks and troughs occurring almost continuously. How some other players do not see it occurring themselves, is
frankly beyond me. The cycling is part and parcel of playing WoT on a daily basis.
For those few to not see the patterns? - well, that tells me they are either
seriously blinkered, playing another game with the suppression somehow
magically switched off or could it be they are paid by Wargaming.net not
to see it at all? What do you think?
For those trolls in the forum I have a snippet of information, an email or two from Wargaming.net support employees to WoT players that refer to the
patent. In the email the employees admit that the matchmaker's patented
function is in operation in the game itself today (the game you are
playing right now) and they explain how it places in you in progressively harder
matches, where teams of harder opponents simply 'challenge' you to do
better (their words). They state that it is perfectly normal for this
practice to be in place and that is exactly in line with all the other MMO
games out there.
Wayne Cartwright 27 September 2013
09:52 (name withheld)
Dear v*********1, (name withheld)
Thank you for your reply.
I apologize that I did not get to your ticket yesterday.
We do not fully need the old replays as (name withheld)
let me know he went through your chat logs for the past 2 months. As
said before however, we are not allowed to disclose what punishments
are handed to players.
The only thing we would need replays for is to investigate physics
abuse. (like a teammate pushing you into water so you drown etc)
As for the patent regarding the matchmaker, this does state that:
“According to another aspect, the matchmaking server may store a
win/loss percentage for each user (or vehicle) at a given battle
level. As the player's win/loss ratio decreases, the player becomes
more likely to be placed in battles having battle levels at the lower
end of the allowable range, whereas as the player's win/loss ration
increases, the player becomes more likely to be placed in battles
having battle levels at the upper end of the allowable range.”
This does not mean that the matchmaker “Rigs” games, it just means
that the better a player is doing, the more of a challenge they are
presented with and ultimately the results of a battle still are in
control of the players and now well they perform with their team.
We see this in many games, and it is not there to force a player to
lose, but simply to provide a challenge. Here are some examples:
-In Mario Kart, when you are in last place you have a high probability
to gain a bullet powerup or red shell, however if you are in first
place you have a higher probability to get bananas.
-In Tera, when one team captures the flag against another team, the
team who had their flag captures is granted a “loser buff” that makes
them more powerful for a determined time.
-In Final Fantasy XIV, if your group wipes while attempting to kill an
enemy monster, the group is then granted an aura buff to make the next
battle a little easier.
I hope this clears up any confusion and rumors being spread about our
Please let me know how it goes.
Wargaming America Support Service
To reply, please log in at https://support.worldoftanks.com using your
registered account email and password.
In another email, from the EU support team this time, the process by which the Matchmaker selects teams being based on the player's performance over the last half hour is discussed.
Tonkaboy24 December 2013 14:25 Please explain in depth
• Vehicles are selected according to the battle statistics within the last half hour.
Miguel Adaephon Del... 26 December 2013 08:31
Thank you for coming back to us with this question.
The point you are referring to is simply applied because whereas the
overall statistics can be misleading as everyone can have a good or bad
day, so we use the player's statistics in the last 30 mins to get an
idea of how they are playing at this particular moment.
We therefore use this information to try and make the teams more
balanced, but unfortunately not all players have been playing in the
last half an hour, so this may not be the best way of measuring and
therefore is not given the most importance, but just taken into account
with the rest of the pieces of information.
I hope this explains the sentence appropriately and wish you the best of luck on the battlefield.
I feel that in these emails from WG support it is quite clear in these admissions that the Matchmaker is
being manipulated or rigged.
Further confirmation that this cycling is artificially induced and is
not attributable to your own state of mind, poor mental health or
other environmental factors (!) can be found by taking the following actions:
o Leaving a particular server unplayed for a period of at least two
o Logging onto an alternative server, EU, SEA &c (a re-roll).
If you leave a game server entirely and stop playing for two/three
months (recent news suggests two months is no longer enough), when you return you will find that the MM has forgotten about you,
the suppression of your win rate has been curtailed and that your win rate
will be back to the levels that is was pre-suppression. This indicates
that the MM looks at your win rate values over a period of time to
determine whether to suppress you or leave you alone. If your current win
rates are low (or you haven't had any for a while) then matchmaking is
switched back to normal or 'preferential'. When your win rate rises
consistently and surpasses the threshold for a period of time then it
switches the suppression back on.
When you log into another server (EU, SEA) you may find that your win
rates are similar to what they were prior to the suppression. Give this
course of action a go and see if it helps your win rate and report back
Note: Some recent testing shows that Wargaming appears to suppress win
rate not only by account ID but also by IP address to prevent people from
doing a re-roll - so I suggest changing your ip address regularly.
The current observation on using a re-roll account on the EU server is
that this solution definitely works, at least in the short term. My
current Win Rate is 65-70% over the last 200 games and averages 56% over
the total 500 games played in each tank used (limited to two). I need to
do more analysis on this proposition over a longer period of time (4,000
games or so) to state that this latter course of action definitely works
in the long term.
CONCLUSION WITH REGARD TO CYCLING:
Looking at the extreme cycles that could be found in 0.8.nn. It seems
obvious that the MM can only achieve this perceived threshold win rate
throttling by placing artificial limitations upon a player. IF you agree
that this is being done then you must ask yourself why do they do it?
Well, one answer might be that Wargaming.net is a commercial organisation
and it can make money by giving you the incentive to play using a premium,
paid account or by using enhanced resources bought using real cash
(in-game gold). I believe this win rate threshold limit is designed to
encourage you to do exactly that.
It has been stated on the forums that
this cycling is the result of Wargaming.net averaging out your win rate
"in the long run". I am quite prepared to accept that statement
yet I am not quite sure what it means. Due the continuous nerfing my win
rate has been steadily climbing throughout all the cycling but it has
been slow and the result is yet another example of the long and painful
grind that is World of Tanks.
The fact that win rates do climb
progressively is not actually in dispute, it is the method by which
Wargaming achieves moderation of the win rate over time that is.
There appears to be a difference in the way the cycling operates between
the 0.8 series and the later 0.9 series. During the 0.8 series the upper
and lower thresholds were farther apart meaning that the wild swings in
win rate were highly pronounced, lasting for hundreds if not thousands of games. The
controlling mechanism appears to have been changed in 0.9 and is being refined to make the rigging less obvious. The upper
threshold seems slightly higher (still arbitrary?) but the lower threshold
is much closer to the upper. This means that losing/winning cycles appear
much closer together, you may now have losing streaks for a day or only 50-100 games or so.
The length of these cycles depends upon how well you play and how long you
take to be suppressed down to the lower threshold.
The observation of 0.9.n is limited as the number of games/cycles I have
experienced in 0.9 is simply far less than in 0.8. The win/loss cycling
effect is still present but perhaps slightly less pronounced? I am still
performing limited tests on different servers to see how the suppression
is being implemented and will update this article as more information is
Matchmaker changes are never announced to the general public in
Wargaming's brief release notes. They are unrelated to any game patches as the changes take place on the Matchmaking server code and not the client. Changes to the MatchMaker are expected in
one of the near future releases as it has been suggested that even
Wargaming.net's devs realise that the MatchMaker is broken in some way
(not admitted officially) and it has been mooted that changes are
underway. To many, the MatchMaker does seem seriously broken in many other respects,
uneven teams and broken platoons (failtoons) are oft quoted as being
examples of real failure. I doubt that any potential changes will remove
the cycling but we can assume that the process will be modified somewhat
without informing the community.
What does this mean to you? It means a day's worth of games may be played at a 60% win rate and the very next day? a 40% win rate. On a day when I play 30 games of WoT using my favoured 2-barrel-stripe tank at 61% and the very next day I play 25 games but lose 70% of them - I know that my account is being nerfed.
CUT-OFF POINTS/PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT:
Not only are you 'nerfed' according to your win rate but there also
exist some arbitrary nerf points at which games will start to get tougher.
Serb has already admitted that new players receive preferential treatment
for the first 80-100 games. So, we know the first nerf point is
approximately 80 games, you can test this by playing the medium MkI on a
new account. You should be able obtain a win rate of 67% until the 80 game
cut-off point (approx.) then you'll see the win rate drop.
The second nerf point appears to be 1,000 games. Up to this point it should be
possible to attain a 67% win rate on a re-roll account played by a
reasonably good player on a few good tanks. From 1,000 games onward things
will toughen and the games will harden.This cut-off point may not really exist, it is just the point where after a thousand games a good player may reach a good enough win rate for the MM to start to really 'nerf' the account.
It appears that 'types' of tanks are allowed preferential treatment from
the start. I have exclusively used 'real' tanks as opposed to SP guns and
arty. Playing on an account that was being nerfed (struggling to achieve a
45% win rate over an extended period in my overall 56% tanks) I switched
to a tier II arty. Having never played arty before I expected a low-ish
win rate. However, my win rate was 65% over 100 games. Admittedly I killed
a couple of tanks every now and then but nowhere near enough damage to
cause that win rate. Just as before, amazing teams that carried the game,
time and time again. I intended to keep playing this bit of arty to see at what point
the nerf point would occur but I find arty to be very boring.
It has been related that the MM 'nerf' also comes hand in hand with an
accuracy/penetration/damage 'nerf'. I cannot state that I have encountered
this nor have I tested for it in my analysis. Personally, I do not think
it is required as the MatchMaker is able to control your win rates more
effectively by simply putting you into teams with slightly more low
experience players. An accuracy nerf would seem be too obvious and too
easy to discern. I am not saying it doesn't happen, for the purposes of
this analysis I am simply not taking it into account (if it exists) nor
have I been looking for it.
Personally I am not sure that the accuracy nerf exists though sometimes it certainly feels that way. It is possibly just
frustration on the part of the gamer brought on by the Matchmaker suppression showing how you cannot carry a poor team, highlighting the 25% random nature of
However, it could well be manipulation of the RNG figure (and I agree I do seem to have noticed a negative effect on aim &c) but the MM cycling is
enough to frustrate by itself. I'd need a lot more evidence to report an accuracy nerf here.
I believe it may be possible to defeat the cycling but possibly only in the sort term. Switching to your
very best tank appears to be a potentially successful tactic but only in
the short term. Choosing one of the very best of the OP (over-powered)
tanks that suits your own personal style seems to be one tactic. Some of
the best Russian tanks (KV1 &c) seem to be good places to retreat to
when the 'nerf' starts.
So, not only do you need to beat your enemies but you also need to beat
the MatchMaker. Another way of achieving this is simply to abandon a
server for two months or so, it seems to be a good and workable tactic.
You simply have to be able to recognise when a nerf has started... that is
the sign to stop playing. For example, recently, I played 373 games at an
average of 58% win rate running just three lower tier (II-V) British
Cruiser tanks. After a series of 65%-100% evenings consistently able to
carry the game I began to experience a severe downturn, playing 30 games
but winning only 10... with one continuous losing streak of 15 games
in a row. This was the start of the downturn.
You can tell when the MM has decided to put you down in that it selects
losing teams for you consistently. You'll find that even at tier 2/3 it
will be very hard to win, that your enemies will consist of teams of
'sealclubbers', seasoned players in platoons and groups that will wipe the
floor with your team. You will be placed consistently into higher tier
games where your newly adopted light tank status emasculates your ability
to influence the game. You will find your chosen tank playing in
consistently higher tier games where it is simply unable to contribute as
effectively. You may do well personally but you still won't be able to win
the game. You'll be doing more damage than everyone else but you will
still be losing.
You'll be just as stunned by your opponent's steamroller capabilities as
you were when your own teams consistently played like 'gods'.
If you continue to play you may find that downturn lasting for tens if
not hundreds of games. At this point the only thing to do is to abandon
the game and stop playing that particular account for approximately 8
weeks. I suggest that instead you simply open an account on another
server, reset your ip address so that Wargaming does not know it is still
you, and play there instead. Use a different username and if possible an
unrelated email address. It may take some time to train another crew to
100% experience but when you do, sit back and watch your win rate
Don't think you can simply open an account on the same server -
that does not seem to work. Initially, you may get the positive
preferential treatment that the MM gives to new players (50-80 games or
so) but as soon as you start to do well (high win rate overall) you may be
nerfed once again.
If you do open a re-roll on the same server, it will take about 50 -80
games playing at high average and current win rates before the nerf
starts. I have tried this option and it does not seem to be of great
benefit unless you change your IP address at the same time. To achieve
this simply reboot your router - pull the plug!
AN EXAMPLE OF A RE-ROLL ACCOUNT:
To show you how the re-roll works an example would seem to be best:
I have two accounts that I have available for testing. Account 1 is an
old account that has seen some hard wear from one of my older children,
2,200 games @ 51% win rate. This account was one that I deliberately set
up to be 'nerfed' so that for the period of this test it is currently
under suppression from the MatchMaker. To deliberately achieve this
suppression I played 100 low-tier cruiser games at a 65% current win rate
until it reached an overall 51% win rate for the account. At that point
the Matchmaker noticed the high win rate and the 'nerf' was imposed. For
100 games all subsequent matches for this account hardened and I was
unable to achieve a win rate above 38% no matter what I did.
To prove that my tanking skills were not in question, I had previously
opened a second re-roll account (account 2) and obtained the same low
level British cruisers to fight and use there. I had trained two crews up
to 100% standard with one perk and had left that account 'fallow' for some
months so that it was invisible to the Matchmaker. I played this account
instead, participating in 85 games. As expected, the games encountered
were standard games with normally-skilled opponents, normal gameplay, no ROFLstomps by
the enemy, no collapsing paper-bag teams, just normal games. On this
account, (miracle of miracles) I was able to restore my win rate and
obtain a consistently high 75% win rate throughout - seal-clubbing as
Finally, just to confirm the 'nerf' was still in place on account 1 - I
returned to account 1 to play another 50 games and sure enough the
suppression continued at the very low 38% win rate. Conclusion: One
account was nerfed, the other was not. For me, simple gameplay with
results like these are proof enough.
Note there is nothing different between the two accounts, my skills are
the same. Average damage, no. of kills, WN8 &c over the period are
pretty much all the same on both accounts, the only difference is the win
rate. If I had been tired, playing badly or if some other environmental
factor had been influencing me then the issue should have affected both
accounts. As I was able to play well on one account but not on the other
then this implied an obvious manipulation of my win rates by the
The above example is not made up. I have just completed this
mini-analysis and it still stuns me how easy it is is to defeat the
Matchmaker simply by opening and playing another account on another
server. I wish someone had told me this 10,000 games ago. This I believe,
is the reason why Wargaming prohibits users having multiple accounts on
the same server. If you do create multiple accounts, whatever you do,
don't admit to it.
What do bots have to do with it? Nothing obviously unless you have a
suspicion that WG is using bots to pad the teams. I recently had a game
where the whole enemy tier 5 team was slaughtered within three minutes with
eleven of the team doing zero damage. They didn't suicide - they just
stood there and took it, faced the wrong way, did everything that a bot
might do. Just played badly. The enemy team actually made some vague attempt
to fight back, turrets turned, guns fired but regardless of the attempt they were all killed in very
short order. Some seriously hard tanks (S35A, O-I, T67, Stug, Hetzer)
failed even to make a hit connect, let alone count. I did as much damage
as I could but frankly it was hard to keep up as each enemy tank died just at
the moment I arrived. It was as if I had a team with super-powers granted
by God and an enemy team of people who just returned rather late from making a
cup of tea, "Oh dear I've died..."
I did some analysis using Wotlabs stats. The whole enemy team but three were bots. I
suggest that WG was testing its AI bot technology in advance of the
release of the training room with AI bot players. I can't really believe that the whole
team would be generated by 3rd party bots at this tier level, there were no gold
spammers! My feeling is that they MUST be WG bots to pad out or influence the team. None of the bot players had generated
ANY recent stats so they weren't bots created for stat padding or selling accounts... As far as the statistics sites go, using the data supplied by WG, none of the
players had played any games recently but I can testify that
I played a match against a team of them - all the same, all bots.
So, now we now have a new mystery - is this the effective level of WG's
training bot AI? - ie. really poor? Does this explain why we have so many
blow-out matches (real teams padded with bots)?. Is this the reason we see
25,000 players concurrently (lots of bots instead of real players)?
It could be just 3rd party bots but why don't their recent stats show
after a week or two has passed? Why would WG suppress their stats?
OK, this is all speculation so I will just assume that some bots exist but that we don't
yet know why.
WHY IS ALL THIS IMPORTANT?
It is important because it is a game that is designed to draw players
in, it entices you to pay money to perform better, ie
Wargaming.net's profits are tied to your ability/inability to win. The
more you lose the more you will want to tip the balance in your favour by
paying money for premium shells and accounts in the hope that you may find
your win rate improves. That is the idea. It affects you as it extracts
real cash from the wallet of many an unsuspecting player in the most
devious manner - by statistical manipulation.
What it has told me is that the only way to win at WoT is to follow the
grind to the upper tier and OP tanks. You can't build up your skill level at tiers 1-6
and expect to win more and more as you improve and become more efficient. At
some point you may simply stop winning and find yourself on massive
artificial losing streaks due to crumbling teams.
Once you know this is in place, you may be able to relax and enjoy the
game, play to have fun - but whatever you do don't follow win ratios
unless you want a serious battle with the matchmaker. For me, the
realisation of rigging leads to some disenchantment, I know that other
seasoned players are also disillusioned and look around hoping to find
some reason to continue playing WoT but not finding any.
WHY DID I WRITE THIS ARTICLE?
Well, I am hoping that it will
open your eyes to what seems to be Wargaming's sharp business practices
and stop you from wasting your time and your hard-earned cash when you are
bashing your head on WoT's losing brick wall. The fact remains that the MM appears
to be fixed, rigged, manipulated, managed,
whatever you call it.
In addition, I realised that this article is a much more efficient way to promote my analysis. For a moment, think about those poor forum trolls that spend so much time responding to each and every forum matchmakng thread. How much time they are wasting. I wrote this article as I only have to do it once and it will reach a far larger audience than any post on the forum.
Hopefully, this article will also serve as an outlet for your frustrations, please add your comment below.
Ultimately you must decide whether the MatchMaker is rigged or not.
It may well be rigged for you or it may not. It is up to you to
determine how the game is treating you personally. I clearly believe it is
rigged for the accounts I use and my analysis seems to support that
belief. However, rather than believe or disbelieve anything I have written
here I suggest you do your own analysis and then make your own
Now that I have realised the game is rigged I no longer spend any
money on it. To quote from the forum: "People pay while under the
spell, then stop playing when they see it's a sham."
Occasionally I still play WoT but as the experience of winning
then losing continuously is so down-heartening I now play very seldomly.
As soon as the losing streak returns (which it always does) I
abandon the game, deinstall entirely and do something more fulfilling. I wish Wargaming
understood that the poor and rigged Matchmaker is the main reason why many
of stop playing altogether. If the Matchmaker rigging was done away with I would
play this game all the time and I'd be willing to invest in it. As it is, there is no point in playing.
Wargaming.net appear content to take your money but
at the same time try to possibly fool you into thinking you can play well - and
still win. In actual fact, in the long run
you probably can expect a very slow increase in your win rates but do not expect
those short-term high percentage winning streaks to be reflected in the
longer term. You aren't a unicum - It just won't happen.
My hope? For me it would be preferable if these sharp
practices could be curtailed and WoT be transformed into a more open and
less manipulative game.
WHAT AM I DOING NOW INSTEAD?
Not playing WoT.
The statistics from a brand new re-roll account show the fixing in
action on a new account. This was the RU server, playing low tier tanks
solely using such skills I have. See the initial high performance rating
even on low tier, zero skilled crews, plummet like a stone. Then raise
itself just as unnaturally. After that a steady win rate climb even
though damage is dropping? Makes no sense.
With very few games on the account, any manipulation
is clear to see - if you don't understand what this means - let me
explain...If you have thousands of games under your belt any
manipulation of win rates is obscured by the data averaging out over
time and so you won't see any short term manipulation of any data, no
peaks and troughs in the graphs as they are smoothed out. If you only
have a couple of hundred games then the graph will show the peaks and
troughs much more clearly.
What the matchmaker is trying to do here is manipulate the outcome of
games by giving much harder opponents when it detects a high win rate -
the contrived nature of the result is clear to see. The perfect slopes
show the result of the manipulation.
Subsequent to the 200 games shown above I suddenly experienced a
slackening of the MM and experienced a run of wins for 50 games at a win
rate of 72% with one straight run of 17 wins in a row, a magical
performance and win rate with a Unicum WN8 of 1,900 followed by, yes
you've guessed it, a 35% win rate for the next 40 games and WN8 of
450... all teams dead within two minutes. It seems that the Matchmaker
on the Russian server is even more aggressive that than that on the NA
If World of Tanks becomes too depressing to play when (due to experience) you are made aware of its shortcomings (the Match Maker, tinsy, tiny maps, Russian tech. bias, map removal, failure to deliver key promises on game improvements &c), if the experience of the grind in WoT is too depressing and each time you start a new tech tree it is back to the worst map of them all - "Mittengard/Crappengard" for hundreds of games, then World of Tanks does have some good alternatives if the tank genre tickles your fancy. Most of these are single person PC games, some have multiplayer options. The following videos might whet your appetite for what the competition has to offer!
Video 1: Ground War Tanks - This is the one that Wargaming does not
like, online and accessible now.
It used to be called Project Tank and when it first came out it was subject to complete shutdown by WG's corporate lawyers for being such a clone of WoT. Same control, look and feel and same tanks, garages and unobtanium. A rename and the game is back!
Basically, you can leave WoT and play Ground War Tanks and use such skills and
familiarity that you have with this new game - It is almost a clone of
woT. Think of it as WoT 0.0.1 as it has lower graphics, fewer enemies/allies per team, smaller maps,
tech trees for only a limited amount of nations. However, the identical controls, similar interface, ease of play and
availabilty to download and play within 3 mins will have you testing it within moments.
Ground War Tanks is a game played within the constraints of facebook and is based upon flash technology. This is good and bad. It means that you don't have to download gigabytes of data but you will need to run the game within a browser and accept the unreliability of flash.
It will never be a real competitor to WoT as is it is just a little bit rubbish. On a low powered machine lagging and late-starts to the game mean that you always seem to be one step behind your enemy. A different spotting mechanism seems to make tanks appear from nowhere, you need a high-ish powered machine otherwise the regular lags and crashes will soon disenchant you. Think of it only as a WoT-Lite for kiddies and you won't be disappointed. It is worth playing for fun occasionally especially when you need your WoT fix but dont have a machine to hand with the full game installed but don't expect your unicum status at WoT to easily transfer...
Video 2: War Thunder- an amazing online tank game. A realistic competitor to WoT.
War Thunder needs a powerful GPU and quad core machine to run smoothly. Don't expect to do well at War Thunder just because you are a unicum in WoT. Damage is done differently and youcan be one-shotted at any time. A shot that penetrates armour will do serious simulated damage and not just reduce your pool of HP. Expect to be one-shotted regularly. The spotting and camouflage system is completely different. Foliage is extensive and actually blocks your LoS (Line of Sight) to the enemy meaning most tanks are invisitanks here.
I'm still getting to grips with Wah Funder. At first I hated the game as my toaster laptop could only run on minimum graphics, the lag was massive and I could not a grip of the controls (slippy tanks) and the fact that the tanks were so much more reactive to input from the mouse and keyboard. With a newer model lappie, quad core 2.5-3ghz, a NVidia 650GTX and an SSD, combined with a set of much more delicate fingers, War Thunder became playable and fun.
The sensitive controls take some adjustment, the interface is not as mature as WoTs and can be very confusing (some serious work needed here) but playing the tanks is a new and refreshing experience. I'm killing 4-5 per game and enjoying the game at low tier. Researching modules and upgrades seems a lot quicker, the tank driving is a lot less precise than WoT but I have always thought that WoT's tanks are a little too firmly planted in the ground and possibly too easy to drive.
So far I have only played arcade mode but with my new non-toaster laptop it is an enjoyable game.
War Thunder's maps are huge! On the maps I find the big floating A's and B's that hover above the cap points are disconcerting and off-putting, reminders of course that it is just a game with big maps (of course) but that is a reminder that spoils the illusion.
Artillery is done well, anyone can call down an artillery strike if they have researched the appropriate enhancement. The whistle of the artillery and the on-screen warning of an impending artillery barrage give you time to evade and the damage inflicted seems appropriate.
In War Thunder you can always can hop in a plane if you want to just to try it out! This is NOT considered a bonus to some but I understand the context of tanks fighting it out on a battlefield with planes - I suppose they could always add submarines...
In graphics War Thunder compares favourably with World of Tank. The models are as well executed and as realistic as the later high definition models in WoT and without some of the major mistakes (see the British Cruiser MkIV's incorrect backwards wheel arrangement). The HD models are available in-game at much higher quality than WoT as Gaijin's game engine at high resolutions is much more efficient.
In gameplay War Thunder compares well with World of Tanks but War Thunder's UIX is clumsily executed and needs serious improvements. Random popups and counter-inuitive menus simply confuse. WoT's UIX wins hands down and is superior in almost all aspects. Gaijin needs to overhaul the UIX of War Thunder as it is terribly off-putting for the noob. I am no noob and I still find it confusing. I hate it.
In the past the sparse tech trees have been augmented with welcome recent additions (the British have arrived). This has made the game much more attractive.
I find the experience of playing War Thunder is lacking somewhat in the intangible aspects that make a game attractive. When playing WoT I find myself wanting to play again and again, it is simply addictive which shows the mix is right. War Thunder is the opposite, the game is enjoyable but the mix is not quite 'right. After a few successful games find your self replete, you've had enough. I think this is caused by the 'disconnect'', the maps are huge and you can get lost in them, due to the size of the maps there is no feeling of participation within a team as normally you simply aren't aware of where the team is. The minimap is not as helpful and when team members (or enemies) appear at your side it is almost a surprise...
Multiple spawns is a serious problem. You never know when a game is won or not as more enemy tanks may spawn in the game dependant upon the enemy players' capabilities to spawn more tanks. You don't know whether you have won until the bases are captured so it really is just a game of capture the flag. As a result your part in the game seems small and the concept of carrying to win seems far less possible. The multiple spawning element needs to be remove, games would be shorter and the end result more easy to define, more involvement in the outcome might be engendered.
I think the real key as to why War Thunder is less attractive is that you are a mere participant in a much wider action and whether you are skilled or not the game can go either way. The length of the games and the feeling of disconnect from the team make the game much less satisfying to play.
Gaijin needs to address the gameplay aspects of War thunder to make it more appealling. At the moment it is just another competent tank game but it lacks the real attraction of World of Tanks. A real pity.
Video 3: Armoured Warfare -
A new contender to the genre of tanks vs tank games that has only recently entered an open beta phase. It is another amazing online tank game that you can play for free. It is a realistic
competitor to WoT but one that needs a powerful GPU and quad core machine to run
The graphics will draw a "WoW!" from you the first time you see them. You'll see rain, mist and other weather effects, light and dark days and deep shadows unlike WoT's eternal daylight. A problem playing World of Tanks is that you get used to the (not great) graphics and you expect everything to look like that. AW's better graphics actually take some getting used to. My own laptop is a quad core 2.5ghz i7 with an Nvidia GTX 650 GPU. It handles Armoured Warfare's graphics competently. Playing World of Tanks on the best graphics setting has never been an option as it taxes the GPU too much but AW's graphics appear to be higher resolution even at its lower settings.
Armoured Warfare compares well with WoT comes and comes out the winner on graphics and Match Maker. In any comparison between WoT and Armoured Warfare, AW would win hands down except that the game currently has no WW2 tanks and an unhappy way of allowing you to select which tank to grind. AW forces you to play tanks you potentially have no interest in whatsoever. You have to select tanks from an arms dealer's stocks and he may have one tank you want to play but you will have to grind through a lot of uninteresting tanks to get at it.
WoT's grind may be painful but at least you choose which nation's tanks you get to play. In addition Armoured Warfare's UIX is blocky and confused but the actual in-game interface is directly copied from WoT's and as a result all is well.
The game is now in open beta which means that the game is playable but anyone joining the community must expect changes to the gameplay, game elements and the interface.
Video 4: Steel Armor - Blaze of War - Great game, great music!
You can buy this one on ebay - dirt cheap. Runs on your PC locally.
Complex, not an arcade game. A very good looking simulator with high
graphics, good sounds and ultra realism. Requires a good quad core
machine of 2.6 ghz or more and a decent graphics card. Not a game for a
standard core2duo, i3 or i5 laptop. There is NO similarity whatsoever with WoT. The controls and gameplay
are alien to any WoT-er, you'd have to spend a lot of time mastering
the controls and the result is utterly different to WoT. Change your
expectations and you'll have a interesting time but don't pick this game
up and expect to be able to play it in an hour. It will take a few
hours just to get familar with the controls and the method of operation.
It is almost not a game.
Video 5: Iron Front Liberation 1944 -
You can obtain this game on steam or ebay. Runs on your PC locally. Multiplayer is available.
More complex than WoT, a cross between a simulator and an arcade game. Allows you to access and use any weapon not just tanks. If this appeals to you then you might well have fun.
Video 6: Iron Front Liberation 1944 - Another one showing this fine game.
Video 7: Panzer ElitePP2-X
Panzer Elite PP2-X is a reskinning of Panzer Elite SE and it provides gameplay that is not so far from what is offered by WoT. The controls though are keyboard-based and vastly, and I mean vastly
different from WoT. A dyed-in-the-wool WoT-er will have severe control
transfer problems. You simply have to forget the arcade style of WoT and
start with a completely new game and method of control. The PE maps are huge, the graphics generally inferior but they do the
job. Realism is better but it is hard to play. A good diversion though.
Any PC will be able to cope with the graphics. Panzer Elite runs on
your PC, you'll need to buy a copy on ebay, the game needs the 1.2 patch and
then the PP2X mod to be downloaded in order for the game to be playable. End result is quite good though.
Video 8: Panzer Elite Dunes of War
A completely different game to the
original Panzer Elite as shown in video 5. This version is definitely an arcade game with
gameplay similar to WoT. It will feel at home to WoT-ers but the aiming
is arbitrary and the one-shotting of enemies happens too often. Your
tank is pretty much indestructible. too much of an arcade game to keep
your interest but a diversion nonetheless. It has a good multiplayer
Runs virtually on any half decent PC. Found on ebay aplenty. Requires Windows XP to run well.
Video 9: T-34 vs Tiger
I've not been able to try T-34
vs. Tiger as it is not readily on sale anywhere except occasionally on
fleabay. the company that created it went bust shortly after it was
released. Expect to pay full prices for this game. With regard to
graphics it looks to be the dog's testicles, and even more attractive. Certainly
more of a simulator and I expect it will need a decent PC to get the
best from it. Looks easier to play than Steel Armor Blaze of War but
possibly the same level of complexity as Panzer Elite SE. Notice the GUI similarities to WoT, the minimap and the rotating tank
in the same positions as WoT. Looks as if the layout has fast become
Video 10: Steel Beasts Pro
Wargaming has to realise there will always be a tank game out there
to compete with it in one way or another. There is a current simulator,
Steel Beasts Pro, that has been going for a few years now, that provides
an advanced simulation of modern tanks. Used by some military types to
evaluate the effectiveness of certain tactics it conveys the idea of
real tank to tank warfare. Not an arcade game in any sense, does not
compete with WoT in any manner whatsoever. Some Steel Beast players
might play WoT as light relief.
The GUI has no
comparison with WoT, the controls are unique and the audience has no
commonality. Nothing for Wargaming to worry about there. This
simulator is expensive too at over $100 for a single dongle-protected
licence. In the past this would be considered very expensive for a game
but the way that WoT sucks in players into the whole tanking experience
makes $100 quite cheap nowadays. The average premium WoT-er probably
spends this much on the game yearly. In this context Steel Beasts Pro is
quite a bargain.
I can't imagine this simulator taking
any of WoT's cash so there should be little for Wargaming's lawyers to
worry about nor much for them to sink their teeth into. Very little
commonality other than the tanks themselves and they are too modern for
WoT to compare. So what would Wargaming.net's
lawyers have to work with? GUI infringements - nope, gameplay, nope as
most games use the mouse point and shoot method for control. The tier and purchasing infrastructure - nope as it is part of the GUI and a reflection of reality and history, the game-tiering and matchmaking (possibly due to the patents they have in place with regard to the matchmaker - but which they say they don't actually use), which leaves the in-game 2D and 3D resources such as images, sounds &c. Not much to go the courts with I should imagine.
Two more games that I will leave you with, Red Orchestra 2: Armored Assault and Heroes & Generals. I have tried neither game so will provode a comment wheneach has been tested.
Video 11: Red Orchestra 2 Armored Assault
Video 12: Heroes and Generals
Video 13: World of Tanks Blitz
World of Tanks comes out the loser despite all its glitz and UIX-competence but only because of WoT's above-listed shortcomings. If WG would put some effort into solving them then WoT would be the hands-down winner.
It is worthwhile noting I paid money, spondoolics, wonga, cash, money, pounds, sterling on both Armoured Warfare and War Thunder to obtain founders packs. I haven't spent any money at WG's offering for at least two years now as I feel that Warganing.net is simply 'shafting' me by not improving key areas of the game whilst repeatedly damaging others.
In comparison to Armoured Warfare and War Thunder, WoT has the advantage
in sheer playability which helps noobs and newish players. The
experienced players (10,000 and above games) will want to try War
Thunder or Armoured Warfare but once gone, they may not come back.
Personally, I uninstall WoT regularly and leave the game untouched for
three months but in the past I have always come back to WoT for my 'tank
fix'. Of course now, I don't need to anymore, I can get my fix from
playing War Thunder whilst testing Armoured Warfare.
Personally, I have to say that my feelings about the game are mixed, I have never ever played any other game so much. It is my favourite game. However, in general I also really dislike the game because it wastes so much of my time. I find it hard to believe that Wargaming would want to alienate its core adherents so much that they simply want to stop playing - but unfortunately that is what they have done.
I'm not sure what effect this article will have on you, some will
disbelieve it all saying I have fabricated parts - I haven't, there is simply no need. Some will talk
about it for days on the forum but there is no need. Rather than go on and on
discussing it on the Matchmaker forum threads, simply do your own analysis.
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