Clan Wars in World of Tanks represents the pinnacle of conflict; organized clans send their best against each other in the competition for land, gold, and bragging rights. Behind the simplistic interface and premise is a metagame that can easily rival that of any other arena MMO on the market. However, by Wargaming’s estimates, only one percent of players regularly participate in Clan Wars. Even less do so at a truly competitive level. Similar to how nullsec EVE players stick around far longer than players in other types of space, Tankers that participate in Clan Wars are less prone to just walking away, unless they become burned out by a long grind.
On May 21st, Wargaming announced the first ever World of Tanks "campaign". During a campaign, the Clan Wars map is reset and all territory ownership removed. All clans that want land have to compete in landing tournaments and fight their way towards the lucrative provinces. Once the fighting is over, score is tallied based on how much land the clan holds, and the map is reset for the next phase. The first Campaign consists of 4 fighting phases; each one sets different limits on what tanks can be used, changes where “key provinces” are located, and creates special objectives that can be met for bonus score.
In essence, this announcement creates a competitive environment analogous to “Seasons” in other games such as Starcraft II or League of Legends. While intricate and demanding a great amount of skill, World of Tanks Clan Wars has a reputation for being stagnant. After all, a Non-Aggression-Pact called “NASA” famously locked down continental Europe on the NA server by participating in landing tournaments to remove aggressors, then throwing the match against the owner afterwards. Clan Wars also has a reputation for being tremendously unwelcoming to inexperienced clans, as can only run around in Africa or the Middle East for months; trying to enter Europe results in them getting stomped repeatedly by the larger clans. Campaigns hope to break the stranglehold by removing defensible borders and leveling the playing field. Keeping score of conquests creates a leaderboard that promotes the absolute best clans to compete with each other for gold and bragging rights, and will hopefully result in new interactions in the metagame. This will give WG more data to work with when it comes time to balance and introduce tanks.
Meanwhile, At Wargaming
At least, that was the plan. The EU announcement thread is quite calm, with people welcoming the chance to make their mark on the map as well as the opportunity to use lower tier tanks in a competitive environment. However, the NA server is up in arms, with the announcement having a slew of downvotes. The thread has become a battleground between those supporting Wargaming and those in fierce opposition. So why is there such a large difference in opinion between the normally similar NA and EU servers?