German Economy

No, this isn’t a post on the merits of the euro versus the deutschmark, though there is a fair amount of math. Rather, it’s spawned from a Twitter conversation which itself spawned from the announcement of Guild Wars 2‘s PLEX-like cash-for-gold microtransaction system. When I griped about people blowing things out of proportion because in-game currency (which I’ll abbreviate in the rest of this post to IGC, since the game I’m going to talk about calls it’s real-money currency “Gold”) is meaningless because, after reaching a certain point in pretty much any MMO, you have more than you’ll ever need and, for the most part, anyone who would actually buy IGC from a gold farmer in anything other than a very economy-focused game like EVE Online, is at the least, a very bad player and is at the most, an idiot. I’ve said this before, BTW.

That prompted a pair of responses from my favorite Twitter follower (this week, at least), David Hatcher, regarding World of Tanks:

World of Tanks, for example, your repair expenses go up faster than your income at tiers (6-7-8) slowing progress way down.

Just buying tanks, cant make enough money to keep up with tech making new tanks available. I dont have the +50% gold sub bonus.

I hadn’t really considered WoT, which is certainly a game that requires more money as you advance, and in some cases, more than you can afford. Granted, I consider it more of a MOBA than a true MMORPG, but I thought it was still a point worth exploring. So I did.

Isn't she beautiful?

I ran 10 matches with my Tier VI tank, a German VK 3001 (P), last night. It only has one mod installed beyond its base configuration: an improved engine. Also, as point of fact, I’m a completely free player. I don’t have the +50% bonus from spending gold either, nor any other perks I could have paid for or received as a member of the gaming media. (You might notice some gold in my account from a screenshot, but I’m honestly unsure as to how it got there. Probably some promotion I participated in a while back, as anyone could have. In any case, I’ve never spent it.)

Here’s a thing about World of Tanks, though — you do need IGC to advance to a better tank, but you also need experience points. All the IGC in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t have enough XP to research new modules and, eventually, a new tank. So, before starting my matches last night with my tank last night, I counted up all the XP and all the IGC I would need to unlock and buy my new tank, minus the XP and IGC I currently had and also subtracting the IGC I would receive for selling my tank, which I’ve always done as I advanced. Basically, this would be the way to see how much I would need if my sole goal was to get the next tank in line and nothing else.

The results: I needed 59,211 XP and 792,210 IGC. Dividing IGC by XP means that for every point of XP I get, I’ll need to make about 13.4 IGC to “keep pace.” Ideally, I’d hit both milestones at the same time so I can unlock and buy my next tank all at once. Yes, I know that I can (and probably will) spend IGC on more upgrades for my tank, but those will improve my tank’s capabilities and alter the rate at which I earn IGC and XP, so I can’t really track that. This study is still valid for purposes of just determining how quickly I could get to the next tier of tank if that was my singular focus, without worrying about the intermediate steps.

Here were the results of my 10 battles. The IGC counts subtract all IGC required for repairs and restocking of ammo; they’re basically my net profit from each battle and does not count my one-time XP bonus (from my first battle) for the first win of the day.

XP IGC Win? Survive?
250 6955 Yes Yes
129 -1093 No No
86 266 No No
378 6192 Yes No
129 364 No No
383 10683 Yes Yes
278 2545 Yes No
91 776 No No
375 1419 Yes No
6 -1739 No No

My total for the 10 battles was 2,105 XP and 26,368 IGC. That’s a ratio of 12.5. It’s off my desired mark of 13.4, but not terribly so. At this rate, it would take me 281 battles (ugh) to get enough XP for my Tier VII tank and 300 to get enough IGC. That’s not an awful disparity, I think.

30 seconds in and I'm still alive... but not for long.

A lot of my IGC, however, goes into repairing my tank after it gets trashed in battle. That runs me about 5,000 IGC per fight, and with my 20% survival rate in these battles — which is actually greater than my overall 11% survival rate with this tank — it adds up. Still, if I could just add one more “survival” per 10 fights, that would add 5,000 to my total IGC and put me at a ratio of 14.9… sort of. You do gain more XP when your tankers survive the battle; in my very limited sample size above, I managed about 130 more XP in battles I survived as opposed to ones I didn’t. Even if that was actually a difference of 200 XP, then adding that to my total (with the +5,000 IGC for surviving) would yield a ratio of 13.6, still right about in line with my 13.4 established above.

I don’t think I’m a great World of Tanks player, as my survival rate above shows, and my overall win percentage is 43% — 37% with the VK 3001 (P). I probably will buy a new gun when it’s available, as I don’t recall that I got a single kill in my 10 matches — my current popgun couldn’t penetrate a French whore, much less a French tank. So I’m not some uber-elite player with a tricked-out machine for whom these results would be terribly atypical. I could play a little better, and probably be rewarded for it. Imagine that. In any case, at least in this fairly small sample size for a Tier VI medium tank, you can earn IGC and XP at a slow, though equitable, rate that wouldn’t require you to “buy” IGC with real money. Would Gold let me progress faster? Yes. Would it provide an “advantage”? No.

In other words, I’m declaring that I won an argument on the Internet. I’m sure that’ll hold up 🙂

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One Response to German Economy

  1. dndhatcher says:

    You lose because you overlooked some factors and didnt check multiple tiers.

    Here is what I have found to be the economic situation:

    Tier 5 tanks/TDs : cost ~400K each (I’ve had 3 medium, 1 heavy tanks, 3 tds at this tier).
    I average close 8K profit per match. Dead tanks cost about 3K to repair. Even if I die without doing anything I can still break even on a loss.

    Tier 6 tanks/TDs: cost ~800K each (Ive had 2 medium , 1 heavy tanks, 2 tds at this tier)
    I average close to 5K profit per match. Dead tanks cost about 6K to repair. If I die without doing anything I lose about 3K

    Tier 7 tanks: cost 1.4mil each (I have had 2 medium, 1 heavy tanks at this tier)
    I average close to 3K profit per match. Dead tanks cost about 9K to repair. If I die without doing anything I lose about 5K.

    I am current running 1 Tier 7 Heavy (Tiger), 1 Tier 7 medium (Panther), 1 tier 6 TDs (JagdPZ4, Slugger), 1 tier 6 heavy(KV3), 1 tier 6 medium (T34/85), 1 tier 5 medium (T34), 2 tier 5 TDs (Stug3, SU85) and one Tier 5 arty (Hummel). I have tech unlocked for a tier 7 TD (JagdPanzer) and a tier 6 medium and heavy that I cant afford to buy. I even bought my Tiger, Panther and Slugger during half price specials and I sold a tier 7 medium (3002 DB) to buy the Panther.

    Your math only works in the rather unlikely scenario that you play the same tier 6 tank over and over on the same day. You also did not account for the cost of track, engine, turret, radio and gun upgrades. I run 5-8 tanks of varying tiers a few matches each tank each day, and I believe that is how most people actually play. Why? Because the first victory in each tank every day gets double experience. You generally first run through all your tanks to get that first win. Then you go back and play whatever tank/s you feel like for the rest of your time. That skews the numbers even more in favor of experience over money.

    The other thing that happens at tier 7 is most of the time you get put into tier 7-10 battles against the top players with the most modern tanks. The problem is the repairs go up and but your shells still bounce and your odds of getting quickly taken out by a much higher ranked tank stays the same. You have to get lucky with the match maker and get in some tier 4-7 battles with teammates that dont suck and rack up multiple kills without getting cheap shotted by arty to make up for multiple money losing tier 7-10 battles.

    For the record my Win ratio is 49% and survival is 31%. Both of those numbers are down a couple percent since I started playing tier 7 tanks.

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