To borrow a phrase from TheMightyJingles – He kemp bush! I was recently on a nostalgia kick about WoT, and was watching old Jingles videos, when I came across the one that spawned many memes. Many of you already know which one. Schrader, the mighty Lowe driver. “He Kemp bush!” “Unfair plane!”
In this video, Jingles mused that Schrader was just very new to the game and didn’t know much (and even backed it up looking up his stats, like just a few hundred matches at the time). Little did we know that Schrader was a troll account (a later video in the series shows this), but at the time, it made a certain amount of sense. New players will say and do things that are incomprehensible to those of us who have taken our lumps, learned, and improved at the game.
Recent videos by players like Dezgamez and Quickybaby have highlighted this phenomenon. Why are players in frontline superheavies ‘kemp bush’ in the back of the map? I believe it comes down to a common complaint, but not applied in the manner in which you may think. The speed of the game.
“What do you mean, Private_Public? We know matches are quicker, but what does that have to do with it?” That isn’t what I’m talking about. What I am talking about is the speed at which players experience all of the content in the game.
<Cue the banjo music and an old man rocking in his chair on the porch>
Back when I first started playing World of Tanks (yes, the prehistoric days), it was the real wild west. Unlimited Matchmaker just to fill enough players in a match. Crazy stats on tanks. Netcode so bad, that certain tanks teleported around the battlefield (anyone else remember calling the T54 the UFO?). There was also no way to speed up the grind up the trees other than to pay for premium time, and become a better player so you earned more XP in a match, thus fewer matches to grind. It was not uncommon for a new player of the time to take 3,500-4,000 matches to get their first tier 10 tank. It took me about 3,750 or so to get the AMX 50B. It took me another 2,000 to get the IS-7 and IS-4 (the IS-4 was tier 9, and I ground it out and had it in my garage to become a free tier 10 when the Russian Heavies split).
Anyway, why the disparity in games played between my first and 2nd Tier X? Mostly getting better at the game. I learned how to play better, thus earn more xp in a match. Instead of 250 a match, I was getting 500, 600, 700+ XP in a match. It made a lot of difference. Also, about this time, WG started introducing XP boost weekends. Earning 3x or 5x XP on a first victory was HUGE.
Time went on. Tech trees, new mechanics, etc. all came to the game. But the basics was still that it would take new players 3.5-4k games for their first Tier X, and after that, it sped up a lot as they got better at the game.
That all changed overnight in 2019. 7 years after I started playing. One word. One game mechanic. Grinding out the tech trees was suddenly accelerated many times over. Blueprints. Blueprints meant that for simply doing daily missions, you were rewarded with blueprints (or basically chunks of free xp towards certain tanks). This sped up the grind considerably.
Suddenly, players were speeding up research trees. If you took the time to grind out tier 5 and below on all of the trees, then every blueprint you earned would be a tier 6 or higher tank, giving you a lot of bang for your time-played “buck”. As you played and unlocked tanks, it made the pool of available tanks to research smaller, thus making it easier to research them for free with blueprints you earned in missions. Grinds that were taking me 1,500 to 2,000 battles (tier 1 to 10) to do, were now taking 300-500 battles max. I was zipping past entire branches without so much as even playing a single match in that branch. Example: I have already unlocked the tier 9 American Yoh tank without having played a single game in any tank leading up to it – all from blueprints earned from daily missions.
I wasn’t the only one. Now, everyone was zipping up the trees. Including newbies. Then, WG added in boosters. Not only could you earn 1/2/3 hour chunks of xp/credit/freexp/crew xp boosters from missions, you could also buy them in packs. A great idea for f2p players, as it let them get the premium experience without paying for premium. But for players paying for premium time, it is like having a permanent x3,x4, or x5 for hours on end.
So, WG has sped up XP gains. WG has sped up research speed. New players are getting to tier 8 in 200-300 battles, instead of hitting their first tier 6 about that time. New players are getting thrown to the sharks without realizing it. All because WG wanted to make accessing its content easier for players.
I do not believe this was malicious or that there was any ill intent by WG meant towards newer players. On the front of it, with a game that is 12+ years old, with as much content as this game has, it is intimidating for new players to get into. Helping speed up that experience and letting them experience more of the content is a great idea in theory and also usually in practice.
But it came with a side-effect. The learning that takes place in the first 3,000 to 4,000 matches is no longer taking place mostly in tiers 4-7, with the last 750 or so in tier 9-10. All of that initial learning is now happening at tiers 7-9. Players are learning basic game mechanics against veterans who know them in and out. It makes upper tier gameplay more chaotic. it leads to more situations of “Maus kemp bush”, as those players have this awesomely armored heavy, but don’t know what to do with it, and they get screamed at all match by teammates when they rush forward, they get screamed at when they hide. And they dont’ know why they are losing 750 hitpoints a pop to a TD they can’t see.
Would I change it? No.
Would I want players of today to suffer the horrors of light tanks seeing tanks 5+ tiers above them, 10+ arty in a match, or playing in a time when repair kits were not only were 1 use, but only repaired 1 of your 2 tracks, if you were double tracked?
So newbies – Enjoy the game. Stay. Play. Have fun. All the while I cackle maniacally as I unfair plane and kemp bush in my TD and blap away 750 hitpoints at a time.