These are the tweaks to Crew 2.0 I’ve come up with in order to make maxed-out crews more valuable and give more meaning to selecting skills that would improve what is currently available on the Sandbox.
I’m coming from the perspective that these changes will be arriving and without any major foundational reworks. Also, that they are more for the new/low battle count players than for current high battle count players. The goal is to expand the game.
In all honesty, I’m excited for Crew 2.0 as well as the coming changes with “Field Modifications”, but this is what I feel would make it even better.
Maxed out crews need to contribute more
Maxed-out crews should be a “crew/free” exp source. If crews are getting a hard level cap then they should work like Ships crews and have a system where they create a pool of exp that can be used on other crews or converted into free exp to have an incentive to continue using those crews.
At this point, it looks like the crew exp earned by a maxed-out crew just disappears. I even ended up dumping ALL the free exp and my sandbox account into one crew and could dump still more exp into a crew that was already maxed out.
That makes it seem pretty useless to grind a tank with a maxed-out crew. Not to mention it defeats the entire incentive of putting trainers on maxed crews.
At the very least it needs to be clear what is happening to the crew exp when you play with a maxed-out crew. Crews need to have value after maxing out for players to want to continue to play them and give them trainers. In the current Sandbox that value is missing.
A new idea would be to funnel the exp earned by a maxed-out crew back onto their tank. This is effectively the reverse of the “Accelerated Crew Training” that is currently available on the live server. Maxed crews would be better for grinding down new tank lines because they would allow for more exp to be awarded to a tank after a match. There is also an incentive to use them on elited and premium tanks to build up a pool of exp to convert to free exp or grind the exp for the upcoming Field Modifications.
Additionally, this provides an incentive to use trainers on maxed out crews for the exp boost and ensures the continued value of unique 4 trainer teams (OffSpring, Sabaton, ETC) after maxing out.
Players would have to choose if they leave the maxed-out crew on a tank they love or if they retrain the crew to another tank or tank line.
Another idea would be that a maxed crew is considered veteran enough to cut resupply and/or repair costs for a vehicle. The veteran crew knows how to get the job done more effectively and has the connections to get things done. This also makes it more desirable to use maxed crews on premium tanks for added credit profit or standard tanks to improve profitability.
Both of these ideas would make maxing out a crew a goal to shoot for because of the motivation to play new tank lines, old favorite tanks, and premium tanks. This also further incentives training maxed-out crews to multiple vehicles and It rewards players for being dedicated to a crew and the time spent in the game. It would also open up the opportunity to reduce reliance on Resource Boosters and provide a bonus that wouldn’t be overpowered competitively and simultaneously would have value that even Free to Play players can use and enjoy.
BIA Needs to be Replaced
The handling from BIA should just be baked into the crews and BIA replaced with another skill. Say a "Diversity" skill that does the same as "Coherence" but with friendly vehicles of a different type instead of the same type. That way then there's an incentive to do a team support build with "Coherence" and "Diversity" which could be competitive play meta.
It’s more exciting to put points into a skill that is a focused improvement rather than a skill that is just a blanket “make me better” like the extra “handling”. Replacing and baking BIA into crew eliminates a “must-have” perk that has plagued crew 1.0 because everyone should have it on their tanks just like Sixth Sense.
Handling after level 80 should instead be more crew points
The extra handling after level 80 is too invisible and not incentivizing enough. It makes more sense to have at least another 10 points instead of the added “handling”. Then players have to decide if they go for a third talent or grab some of the low-priority skills that would otherwise go unused.
Which there are a lot of low-priority skills. Some of them feel outright useless because they are too situational like Adrenaline Rush, Controlled Impact, and the stun reduction skills. They are so situational you could go an entire day of play or more while never making meaningful use of the skills. Which makes them wasted points. Even some of the talents are too low priority to see consistent use. Low priority skills mean their talents will be ignored because it’s not meta to spend the 30 points on the skills required to activate them.
With 90 points, players will go for two meta talents and then they have to choose to either focus the last 30 points into a third talent or select another 3 skills that they would really like to play with while sacrificing a third talent.
The “handling” received after level 80 is nearly invisible in the UI and it’s still that boring blanket “make me better” issue.
Alternatively, going up to 90 points leaves the choice to the players on what is best to make the game fun and unique for them.
The last 10 points, or even the last 30 points, could still be free exp only and crew books being invalid which would give an end grind/goal. It’s still more interesting than “well I better grind more crew levels for another 2% bonus…”
Baking in BIA, replacing it, and going with 90 crew points will make it more likely players will experiment with low-traffic skills and talents instead of having dead zone no-gos in the skill tree. Crew points represent far more options and choice than a blanket “Grind the crew so I can have a food and vents bonus I don’t have to pay for on top of the food and vents I have equipped.” Which is what the 15% “handling” after level 80 is.
Even further this incentivizes the use of trainers to catch up to players that have more skill points and not just use trainers to boost skills beyond 10 points. The selection of trainer skill boosts will carry more weight.
“Do I stack these level two trainers for a free 10 points on a skill or do I split them so I only have to spend 5 points on two skills?”
Points give players the sense of customization and a crew unique to fit their play style. A “handling” handout will only incentivize the min/max competitive players.
Similarly, forgoing the “handling” earned after hitting level 80 for more crew points means that players with maxed-out crews just get more of what all players have access to. In the end, it reduces the need to have maxed out crews in competitive play which makes it easier for new players to join in.
It would also mean forgoing the extra handling that currently is seen as making tanks overpowered because of the excessive overall boost. A second set of food and vent’s that you don’t pay for and don’t have to equip is too much.
These are the glaring issues I currently see with Crew 2.0, but as I said I’m excited for it. I would be even more excited if we saw improvements like these made to Crew 2.0.
Thank you for the opportunity to test these features and thank you for your work continuing to develop the game.