World of Warships, Wargaming's free-to-play naval warfare MMO, has angered its fan base with its recent monetization and gambling mechanics. These frustrations have resulted in many of their community contributors leaving the program.
Why are World of Warships players angry with Wargaming?
As Massively Overpowered explains, part of the problem stems from a recent summer sale, which lets players use real money to buy Doubloons to purchase bundles that include summer tokens, which can then be spent on random crates that can contain ship skins. Alternatively, those tokens can be spent on a chain of random crates at a discount, although the exact discount is unclear. The frustrations came to a head last weekend with the re-release of the USS Missouri, a ship originally purchasable for in-game currency from December 2016 to February 2018. It's middle-of-the-road in terms of power, but it's still a popular ship because it has great historical significance and boosts how many credits players earn per battle, a trait that got the ship pulled due to it disrupting the in-game economy. It's still been available in random containers centered around special events, but Wargaming recently announced that it would be available to buy again.
The devlog announcing the return of the USS Missouri states that it would be "available for purchase in exchange for Doubloons," with the slight caveat that this version would provide a smaller credit bonus (those who originally owned the ship would get its original bonus.) However, the straw that broke the camel's back was the 0.10.7 update announcement that revealed that the USS Missouri would actually "appear in random bundles that can be obtained in exchange for Doubloons." This, along with other recent issues (scroll down to Chobi's Chibi-Chair for the full story) got North American and European content creators debating leaving the game's Community Contributor program. That mass exodus wound up happening last Friday when LittleWhiteMouse, a beloved community member and ship reviewer who provided (sadly ignored) input on the Yukon, announced on Reddit that she was leaving the program after a heated argument with a Wargaming rep. Since then, about 24 other content creators have left the program, including The Mighty Jingles, who is a playable captain in World of Warships.
So in today's Salt Mines Discord Q&A (which will be posted in lieu of Mingles with Jingles on Monday) I announced my intention to quit the World of Warships Community Contributor Program. Once the Discord Q&A ended, I posted this message on the CC Discord and left the server. pic.twitter.com/7sHhYvALNN— Paul Charlton (@MightyJingles) August 14, 2021
On the topic of gambling mechanics, it's worth noting that the game's terms of service require players to be 13 or older. Meanwhile, the game's PEGI rating is only 7, meaning the game is considered okay for kids as young as 7. Meanwhile, Wargaming just released a statement on the exodus, saying that they are "awfully sorry" that LittleWhiteMouse and other content creators have left the Community Contributors program and that they will be missed. The apology mentions adding an alternative way to purchase the USS Missouri, will carefully analyze the ship's adjusted earnings and change them if need be, and stay true to releasing the HMCS Huron in 2022. At the time of writing, the apology has almost 100 "Meh" responses, represented by an emoji angrily giving a thumbs-down. The game's subreddit is also filled with less-then-pleased posts, showing that this apology hasn't gone over well.
World of Warships is available on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.