What if, with the sham box, WG is testing the devotion of the fans of Japanese tanks?

As we all know, WG has just announced the “Shamrock Day” root box event, or SHAM in short, and everyone is raging. Rightly so, as root boxes are often considered as one of the dirtiest ways for game companies to earn money, and unlike previous loot boxes from WG, this SHAM doesn’t even contain gold. As far as I know, this is the first time WG did this. Many are calling this “another cash-grabbing scheme from WG.” But bizarre thing here is, the prizes, as in the tanks in the box, are not very appealing. If WG want to shamelessly make it rain by selling loot boxes without even giving back gold, they would surely make the prize unmissable so the players would have to buy the box, however reluctantly. So the SHAM doesn’t even look like a…well, SHAM to make money, it looks more like a puzzling, nonsensical decision…at least at a glance. What if, though, this is a part of an evil, ingeniously long-term plan to make even more money than they would by selling simply broken tanks?

So usually, what makes these “gatcha” systems truly evil is the juiciness of the prize. Often, in order to ensure the sale, companies put some prize that is just simply too good to miss in root boxes. In WoT, recent introduction of BZ176 comes to mind. That tank was truly a broken, ridiculous addition to the game, and it was in the holiday box. Game companies use juicy baits like this to get our money out of our pockets, and as outrageous as it is, it is a logical course of action for these companies. After all, game companies are just that: companies, private corporations. Their one and only goal is to make money, they exist solely for that goal. And if you just want to make money, juicy root boxes are, unfortunately, devilishly profitable. SHAM is not an exception…except this time, the prizes are really, really not juicy.

First, as previously mentioned, this box doesn’t contain gold. This alone drastically decreases the appeal of the box. However, gamers, especially tankers, are a gullible bunch. As long as the prizes are enticing enough, the box would still sell. So, are the prizes enticing enough? NO. For most people, the prizes in SHAM is really not enticing. Let’s start with the main star of the box, Ka-Ri. While it admittedly has some novelty to it for being the first Japanese TD, the first Japanese premium in 7+ years, and only the third Japanese premium (excluding anime tanks), the tank itself is mediocre at best. It is essentially an up-tierd Jagdpanther; the gun seems very nice, but the platform is far from great. The armor is…decent? and the top speed is not bad, but still, it is a flat-armored casemate TD with mediocre camo-rate. If you want to know if that particular type of TDs have a niche in the current meta, just take a look at Jagdpanther, Jagdtiger, or even better, Ferdinand (though admittedly, Ka-Ri’s decent mobility probably makes it much better than Ferdinand). Unless you are a huge Japanese tank enthusiast, you’d be far better off by buying existing premium TDs such as 130PM or Skorpion G, or even playing tech tree TDs such as Borsig or UDES. But then again, even some noted Japanese tank enthusiasts seem to be hesitating. My friend, who is arguably responsible for Ka-Ri being called Ka-Ri in the first place(https://www.reddit.com/r/WorldofTanks/comments/z54af5/more_authentic_name_for_type_5_hoto/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3), told me he’s going to “think about buying it”, which is a HUGE red flag because one simply doesn’t type hundreds of words about tank’s name unless they care a lot about it, and even he is merely “thinking about it.” But okay, how about the other main prize, 130 PM “forest spirit”? It certainly looks neat. It also doesn’t hurt that the base tank, 130 PM, is a great TD and quite popular. That’s the thing though; many people already have 130 PM because it is a good tank, and if you already have 130 PM, you don’t need “forest spirit” unless you are a druid. Then, aside from these two, the other prizes are not very appealing either. Gonsalo, Turtle I and maybe Kirovets-1 are decent, but the other ones are just not very desireble. All in all, content of this SHAM looks pretty unappealing. Again, WG is a private corporation, and usually anything baffling they do can be explained away with the profit motive. But this SHAM can’t even be describes as WG’s cash-grabbing scheme; with such unappealing prizes, the box probably won’t sell very well at all. This begs a question though. If it is not a cash-grabbing, why do they do this? Well here is an admittedly crazy idea…maybe, just maybe, WG is putting the loyalty of the fans of Japanese tanks on trial here?

I’m rather new to this community, but according to my upper-mentioned friend, who is a long-time WoT player, years ago WG stated that they wouldn’t buff Japanese tanks because they have a small group of insanely devoted fans who can achieve decent win-rate even with something like Chi-Ri. And sure, even on this sub alone, there are a few super devoted fans, including you-know-who and again upper-mentioned my friend. Then those handful of people have cried (I’m intentionally using this word here so don’t get upset at me guys, I’m happy for new Japanese tanks too) just badly enough for a just long enough period of time to make WG say, “ok fine, we will add Japanese tanks so please leave us alone.” What if, on top of being annoyed, they are a little impressed? “Wow,” they may be saying, “these guys are so passionate! …MAYBE WE CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT?” So they decided to release this SHAM in such a Ka-Ridiculous fashion as if to say, “we know this is incredibly bad deal for you. If you are normal and sane person, you would never buy this obvious SHAM. If the prize was, say, a Soviet HT, you wouldn’t even think about buying it. But it is a Japanese tank. If you were as insanely passionate about Japanese tanks as you have been saying, you would surely put your money where your mouth is and jump on this opportunity. If not, well, guess there is no benefit for us in catering to you crybabies after all, so we will slow down the introduction of Japan-related contents even more. Conversely, if you actually buy this SHAM, it means you’d do anything and everything to get your precious Japanese tanks, which means you are very valuable customers for us indeed, so we will add a lot of Japanese tanks, with even worse a deal next time. Now if you excuse us, we’d like to go back to planning next batch of nerfs for your favorite tech tree tanks, so pay up, or shut up.” This puts the Japanese tank enthusiasts in a very awkward place. If they pay, they will only prove they are gullible customers, and they will probably be laughed at by the other players. “OMG, you actually bought that box, how stupid,” they will see in the in-game chat. But they can’t not buy really, cause if they want any chance of continued addition of Japanese tanks in future, they have to prove to WG that Japanese tanks are popular and profitable indeed. THIS, in my crazed mind, might be WG’s scheme with this SHAM. They are, in a way, threatening the fans of Japanese tanks.

But I don’t know. They say don’t attribute something to malice when you can attribute it to stupidity, so maybe WG is just stupid enough to think the novelty of new Japanese tank alone is sufficient to sell the box? Though if that’s the case it’s an even worse news, because after the event is over they will look at the number and probably say “hmm Japanese tanks are not as popular as we hoped. Guess we should prioritize other nations,” and my friend’s ball will be even bluer. What do you think?

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