Unpopular Opinions: The Dilemma of War Robots

One of the most controversial topics in War Robots today is how the company approaches the game. While the game has been long considered to be the top mobile mech title, the patches that happen in War Robots turn out to be extremely disruptive and unpopular, especially the recent ones that came out over the past six months or so.

While a few good gems like new maps, mode selection and enjoyable skirmishes come out from the toolbox, a ton of bad things and unsolved mysteries are also present in War Robots. From unbalanced matchmaking despite having a large pool of players, to unoptimized game code and connection issues, the game has become one of the most polarizing topics on the interwebs today.

Background

Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue in completely free-to-play games (i.e. Dota 2, CS:GO, etc.) or in games where you pay the whole thing already (i.e. PUBG, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, etc.) as long as the changes aren’t too outlandish (there was this one time in League of Legends Season 8 where the changes didn’t work as envisioned…and created completely different interactions and effects, thus creating a great uproar among the playerbase).

However, as it stands, War Robots patches either actively reduce ways for players to gain resources, introduce new stuff on the battlefield that is designed to be overpowered (so as to force players to adapt or to get them from the store).

As a result, every drastic change and introduction of content has become a sore point in War Robots’ player base, especially those who have been playing game for a long time and those who have played the game at a high level, both socially and competitively.

Body

A patch would always go like this: Preview comes months before on the website, test server sessions are made, initial patch notes are placed 48-72 hours before the update and then the patch comes in force on Android, then on iOS and then elsewhere.

It would be nice and neat if the updates only happened once every three or four months. Unfortunately, in the space of a year, the game has saw tons of updates, including the “silent nerfs” and the “mini-tweaks” in the game.

While some may argue that it provides ample time for people to adjust (the author included), others feel that it may be too much.

In recent times, it has been the case, though people are still willing to stick to the game “as long as they get a chance to get the latest game content and stay up there.”

Results

While it has created dividends for Pixonic and its mother company, Mail.RU, the patch changes have divided the player base and made sure that the numerous forums on War Robots would contain rants, complaints and opinions by various players about the current state of the game.

Of course, there are many people who love and support War Robots to the end.

As a result, it has created friction inside these forums.

In addition, there are actually times when Pixonic seemed to feel the pain and thus, they actually create incentives to try to pull back or rein their players.

Overall, it has been a zigzag ride, with tons of uncertainty surrounding Pixonic’s endgame and game plan for the direction of War Robots.

Conclusions

With the surge of the mobile mech genre (Battle of Titans, Mech Battle, Mech Wars and Robot Warfare all come to mind), Pixonic must do something in order to strengthen its player base and win back those who were disgruntled with the game.

At the moment of writing, thousands of players have already migrated to other titles (Even this author only spends time on WR to do Skirmish, reach Champions League and play 6-Pack League). It is safe to say that these games have finally started to eat into War Robots’ market share.

However, it is a given fact that the majority of War Robots’ players would play the game unless Pixonic closes it down (after all, many of these players are casuals and treat War Robots as just one of their game titles). Thus, these issues might not affect them as much.

In addition, Pixonic might actually choose to let the game die and just move on (to put it from the “negative perspective”, get the money, grab the win, cash out and leave). I do really hope that this is not the case…

However, I do not wish for that to happen. While people may say it’s just a game and there’s no need to fret too much about it, for the author, War Robots would always carry a special place. This is because of the broad world-making, the real-life friends and the interactive, high-octane, fast-paced gameplay that everyone has come to associate with the game over the years.

Yet, it’s clear as day that the ball is in Pixonic’s hands now.

Let’s see what happens next.

Rights to photos belong to their respective owners.

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